Life on the Fast Track – 17

Track 17 – The Best and the Worst of Moments

Heartbeat electrified, Jasmine followed Terry into the racing grounds Danny owned with Jimmy.  They had to park their car outside the gates because there was no space left inside.  Jasmine glanced at the time on her phone.  Eleven

Spin Me Baby!

o’clock in the night, and it felt like she was walking through a busy street during the day. Danny’s races drew a crowd of spectators.  It was a revelation to discover such a following in Nairobi for the races.

Loud music filled the night, it was lucky the property was removed from any residential areas.  Excitement skated down Jasmine spine, increasing with every step, bringing her deeper into Danny’s world.  Thrilling and frightening at the same time.

Terry took her right hand and squeezed, twining their fingers.

“Don’t be nervous,” Terry soothed, as they weaved their way through a sea of souped-up cars.

Gazes followed their progress.  Jasmine suspected it was because she was a new face in the very tight circle.  Despite the number of people in the place, they all knew each other.  As if on cue, a short man in shiny white leather, who looked like he had married a gym and lived in it day and night, stepped in their way.  His hair dyed blonde, Jasmine thought he would fit right in to a boy band.

“Who you with?” he demanded, his expression forbidding.

“Back off,” Terry said, her tone bored.  “Rick, run back to your master.”

“No strangers allowed, Terry,” Rick insisted, his gaze on Jasmine.

Jasmine started to explain, but then Danny’s arm slid around her waist and she looked up in surprise when he pulled her against him possessively.

“Ricky, are you giving my gal a hard time?  Coz, you know what that means.”  Danny kept his tone low, his stance deceptively calm.  His eyes though spelled doom.  Jasmine hoped Rick saw it too.

Rick’s eyes widened and he took a step back.

“Danny,” Rick said, his tone apologetic.

Danny’s eyes narrowed and Terry sighed when Nic Mugera came to stand beside Rick, placing his arm on Rick’s shoulders.

“Do we have a problem here?” Nic asked, meeting Danny’s gaze.

“”I don’t know, Nic, do we?” Danny asked, his arm still around Jasmine.

She moved closer to Danny and Nic’s gaze shifted to her.  Jasmine found she wasn’t afraid of much standing beside Danny.  She met Nic’s gaze and smiled.

“I don’t think we do,” Nick said, returning her smile.  “Rick, get back to the pit.  Make sure everything is running fine.  Danny, I apologize for my people.  Jasmine Lima, welcome to the fold.”

Danny watched Nic stride away before he pulled Jasmine into his arms.  Wanting to make a point, Danny kissed Jasmine.  She clung to his jacket and gasped when he stopped the kiss as abruptly as he had started.

“Well,” Terry said, smiling.  “You’re in good hands, Jazz.  I’m gonna go mingle.”

Danny kept his gaze focused on Jasmine.

“I’m sorry for that,” he said.

“No need to apologize,” Jasmine murmured.  “I suppose that makes me one of the babes.  I’m not sure how to feel about that.”

“You’re not one of the babes,” Danny said, smiling.  “You’re my woman, Jazz.  My woman.”

“As long as you don’t call me the little woman at home,” Jasmine said, pulling back.  “Now, let’s get this show on the road.  How much money are we winning?”

Danny chuckled.  “Babe, I like how you think.”

Jasmine frowned at him.  “I thought you said I wasn’t one of the babes?”

Danny grinned and lifted his hands up in surrender when she threatened to punch his arm.

“No money tonight,” Danny said, taking her hand and leading her toward his spot.  “We’re racing for a log book.  Nic has a very smooth running Nissan Skyline.  I want it.”

“Nice,” Jasmine said, excited.

“I’ll introduce you to my crew.  By the way, my girlfriend, you get to start the race.”

Jasmine gasped at that.  “What?”

“You look sexy,” Danny said, running his hand over her hip.

She had worn a short leather skirt and a light blouse for the occasion.  Her feet in ankle-length heeled boots.

Danny grinned when she looked like she might stop breathing.

“You’ll love it.”

Yep, he had stolen her heart, she decided when all it did was flip-over in excitement instead of freak out.  He was right about the start.

There was something absolutely exhilarating about standing at the starting point while five supercharged engines growled like beasts, itching for take off.  Jasmine stood between Danny and Nic Mugera’s cars, her hands raised while Jimmy counted down on the sideline.  When he got to one, she dropped her arms and the rush of cars whipping into motion past her let her breathless.

Terry rushed to her side jumping in excitement.  They moved out of the road, to the closest screen to watch the race, documented by strategic cameras placed along the circuit.  The competition was high-powered energy; Jasmine could feel the current on her skin.  Everyone around them vibrated with it, watching with bated breath, she could hardly stay unaffected.

Watching Danny’s car muscle its way along the course was both hard and exciting.  She clung to Terry’s arm when Nic’s car got too close to Danny’s or when the curves they took looked too dangerous.  Danny was a great driver, but the maniacs racing him worried her.  They drove aggressively, and seemed uncaring of safety.  A green car tried to overtake Danny on a narrow part of the road, and for a full two minutes, Jasmine couldn’t breathe.

Danny freed himself from the crazy driver in the green car, edging ahead with Nic behind him in a white car.

Then, when Danny started on the last stretch, a brilliant blue car broke into the race.  Forcing Danny to swerve out of the road to avoid a crash.  The rogue blue car followed him, forcing him into the dirt field in the middle of the racing course.  One moment, Danny seemed in control of his car, and then the blue car tapped his back and sent him into a wild spin.

Jasmine stood frozen, screams filled the night but none of that penetrated.  The race continued on, but Jasmine’s gaze remained on Danny’s car bringing up a pile of dust in the middle of the field.  She started to move, and Terry locked arms around her.

“Let me go,” Jasmine ordered, slapping at Terry’s arms to get free.  She needed to get to Danny, save him, make sure he was okay.

“Let them pass,” Terry said, nodding to the oncoming cars.

A bitter taste filling her mouth, Jasmine stopped long enough to let the four remaining cars pass by the tarmac road, and then ran across, heading straight for the cloud of dust.

“Jazz!” Terry screamed.

She ignored the call, and kept going, wishing she hadn’t chosen to wear heels tonight.

Danny!

Strong arms wrapped around her waist lifting her up.

“You idiot,” Jimmy cursed when she started to struggle.  “Don’t go running into a mess you can’t see.”

Jimmy’s hold around her waist was tight, and for a minute, she didn’t understand what he meant until that rogue blue car emerged out of the dust.  She felt Jimmy brace to push them out of its way.  A scream escaping when the blue car missed them by an inch.

She clung to Jimmy then, her gaze on the blue car driving out of the property in unholy speeds, sending people scurrying out of its way.  The driver clearly in a hurry to get away.  When she could stand without shaking, she pushed off Jimmy and raced toward the settling dust.

Danny’s car stood still in the middle, parked haphazardly.  Heart in her throat, Jasmine raced to the driver’s side in crazed madness.

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading!

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Life on the Fast Track – 8

Track 8: The Sands of Time Flow Too Fast when we Talk.

“Jazz, come on,” Danny called.

She cleared her throat and righted her dress.  She hurried out into the hallway to find him holding her black sweater.  He helped her wear it, and made sure it was buttoned before he ushered her out.  The night air was cool.  Danny opened the passenger door for her, and once she was settled, he hurried around to the driver’s side.

“How is your mum?” he asked, once they were on the road.

“She’s okay,” Jasmine said.  “She fusses.  Today she brought my sis and bro along.”

“Jenny and Daryl,” Danny said.  “Is Daryl in high school?”

“Yeah, his last year,” Jasmine answered.  “He’s a good kid.”

“You love them very much,” Danny noted.

“There are times we are at odds, but I’ll always love them,” Jasmine said with a smile.  “Tell me Danny, how did you start on cars?”

Danny chuckled.

“My dad.  He was a grease monkey, loved working on engines.  I used to hang out with him a lot, so the disease passed on.”

“Did your mum approve?” Jasmine asked, turning to study him.

“She was alright with it.  She’d say she was happy we were happy.”

Jasmine smiled at the that thinking of a young Danny with grease all over his face.  Maria Kihome died of cancer when they were in high school.  Jasmine remembered Danny and Terry’s struggle as the doctors tried to save their mother.  When they failed, the grief was so deep, Jasmine had thought the siblings would break.

“I know you miss her a lot,” Jasmine said, softly.  “She’d be proud of you.”

Danny glanced at her for a second, then took her right hand in his left and squeezed.

Jasmine tangled their fingers and stared out the window.

“So where are we going?”

“The Passion Fruit,” Danny said.

“Impressive,” Jasmine said.  The Passion Fruit was a popular restaurant hidden in the lush green hills of Limuru.  Getting a table on a moment’s notice was very difficult.   “How did you get a reservation?”

“I have my ways,” Danny said, getting on the highway headed toward Limuru.  “So tell me, Jazz.  What don’t I know about you?  I want to know everything.”

Laughing, Jasmine looked at him.  “Everything?  Seriously, a girl needs some secrets. So the intrigue remains.”

“Not you, Jazz.  I want to know you, inside and out.”

Smiling at his provocative words, she said, “That could take a while.”

Danny pulled into the restaurant parking lot and parked, turning off the car, he said quietly, “As long as it takes, Jazz.”

Not sure whether to be happy or afraid about that statement, Jasmine watched Danny get out of the car and came around to open her door.  He was really working at this, she mused as he locked the car and they headed into the restaurant.  How was she supposed to resist it?

***

“Action or Epic movies,” Danny asked.

“Action,” Jasmine said.

They sat close together at a very private table, eating peach pie from the same plate.

“Dark-haired Bond or Blonde Bond?””

“Definitely Pierce Brosnan,” Danny answered with a smile.  “Rock music, or rap?”

“Bondo, Punk rock and new age stuff,” Jasmine answered.  “It depends on the mood.”

“Fair enough,” Danny nodded.  “Vacation in Paris or an Island in the Pacific?”

“An Island in the Pacific.  I’m not refined enough for Paris,” Jasmine said with a wide smile, holding Danny’s gaze, she asked.  “What about you?”

Danny studied her lips and said, “Definitely the Island in the Pacific.”

Jasmine nodded and would have kissed him but then—

“Danny boy, you didn’t tell me your date was Jasmine!” Raphael Kihome interrupted, pulling a chair to their table.

Sitting back, surprised, Jasmine stared at the older version of Danny.

“You promised not to interfere,” Danny complained to his father.

“Well, that was before I saw who your date was,” Raphael said with a handsome grin.  “Jasmine, you look beautiful.”

“Thanks, Mr. Kihome.”

“No, if you’re going to be part of the family, call me Baba,” Raphael said.

“Baba,” Danny scowled at his father.

Jasmine blushed.

“Oh quit whining kid,” Raphael waved off Danny.  “Did you like the food, Jazz?”

“Yes.  I didn’t realize you would be here,” Jasmine said.  “So you’re the one who helped Danny.”

“Apart from cars, I love good food, my dear.  This place is my other obsession,” Raphael explained.  “You come here whenever you’re hungry, alright?  You’ll always have a table.”

“Baba, go bother other people,” Danny said.

“Yeah,” Raphael turned a teasing smile on his son.  “I came here to remind you that this is a public place.  My girl deserves more class from you.”

“Baba, Go!” Danny waved Raphael off, making Jasmine laugh hard.  Once Raphael was gone, Danny sighed.  “I’m sorry about that.  He gets friendly.”

“I love it.  Your Dad is charming,” Jasmine said.  “Kind of like you.”

“Like me?” Danny grinned.  “You think I’m charming?”

“Maybe a little,” Jasmine said.

“Let’s get out of here and we can talk about it more,” Danny smiled.

Glancing at the clock on the wall, Jasmine nodded.  It was already ten-thirty.  All that time passed while they discussed topics that had nothing to do with why they were on this date in the first place.  Danny could distract her like nothing else.

“Let me go to the ladies,” Jasmine said.  “Then we can go.”

“Alright,” Danny nodded, watching her take her purse and get up to leave the table.  She winked at him and hurried away, headed for the discreet ladies’ room.

For a moment, Danny appreciated how every man’s gaze followed her in the room.  It was the way she moved, such effortless seduction.

“You may stop undressing her already,” Raphael said beside him.  “I see you finally got the guts to ask her out.”

“Baba, stay out of my life,” Danny said, shaking his head.

“Can’t, you’re stuck with me.  Be good to her, she’s in need of love,” Raphael said.  “The kind you’ve been bottling for her.”

“It’s not easy,” Danny said.  “She’s scared.”

“Most good women are, you just have to know the right time to make it permanent,” Raphael advised.  “Don’t hurt her though.”

“I’m not going to screw this up.”

“It would be a shame.  You’ve been wanting her so long,” Raphael said, squeezing his son’s shoulder, he moved on to the next table.

Jazz returned and Danny smiled as she reached him.

“Ready?”

“Yes,” she said, looking around the dining room for Raphael, she said, “Just a moment.”

Danny watched as she hurried to his father.  Smiling, Jasmine hugged Raphael.

“It was nice seeing you tonight.”

“You too, Jazz.” Raphael stroked her cheek.  “Make him take care of you, and if he doesn’t, tell me.”

Jazz chuckled.  “I will.”

Danny gave his father a nod, and then quickly led Jazz out into the night.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading!

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a/n :

Baba – Literally means Father in swahili.  When I first wrote this, I had met cousins who called their dad, ‘Baba’, instead of Dad, or Daddy like the rest of us. I thought that was extremely cool, so I had Danny call his father ‘Baba’, as Raphael is so laid back and passionate about life.

Life on the Fast Track – 5

Track 5 : If you say ‘Yes’, I promise, It will be Good.

Making his way through the crowd, Danny followed Jasmine out of the club, catching up with her outside.

“Jazz,” Danny said, rushing in front of her, stopping her progress to her car.

“Spit it out.  No more games.” Jasmine stared at him.  “I don’t want to—

“Yes, you do,” Danny said, his hands on her slender shoulders.

“I need you to.”

“I can’t,” Jasmine said.

Danny shook his head, then looking at her, he cursed under his breath and leaned in.  He kissed her hard, a demanding kiss that took her breath away.  Pulling her against him, he kissed her with all the frustration she caused him.  It pleased him when she clung to his arms.

When they both needed air, he pulled away and asked, “I want that every day.  Don’t you?”

“I’m sorry,” Jasmine said, her eyes bright under the street lights.  “I don’t want to hurt, Danny.  I know you how much you can hurt me, Danny, and I don’t want it.”

“I could never—, look at me, Jazz—, I could never hurt you,” Danny insisted.  “Jesus, Jasmine, can’t you see how much you matter to me?”

Jasmine looked away, those tears in her eyes breaking free and sliding down her cheeks.

“I don’t want it.”

“What happens if I keep pushing?” Danny asked, tilting her face up with a finger, so that he could look into her eyes.  “I never figured you for a coward.”

“I’m not a coward,” Jasmine said, stepping away from him.  “Just protective of my heart.  Will you give Terry a ride home?  Tell her I had to go.”

Jasmine hurried to her car, and left Danny standing alone, staring after her a tad baffled by her resistance.  He turned to head back to the club when Terry appeared.

“Go after her,” Terry ordered.  “Can’t you see she’s scared?  It won’t end unless you step up, dear brother.”

“She doesn’t want me,” Danny said, disappointment filling him.  He’d thought Jasmine would take a chance—

“Push harder,” Terry said.  “Go on, now.”

“You’re bossy, little sis.”

“Someone has to be,” Terry smiled.  “Listen to me.  It’s not that she doesn’t want you.  It’s that she wants you too much.”

Because Terry was never wrong, and he desperately wanted to fight for Jasmine, Danny nodded and headed for his car, pausing only to ask.

“How will you get home?”

“Jimmy is here,” Terry called back.  “Don’t worry about me, Danny.”

****

Jasmine had barely entered her house when a knock came on her door.  Thinking it was her younger brother, she sighed, removed her heels and reached for the front door.  Opening it, she stared in surprise at the man who stood on her porch, with one hand braced on the doorjamb, his head bent.

“You should ask who is at the door first,” Danny complained.

“Why?” Jasmine looked behind him, to see his car parked in the little yard outside her house.  Her house was a one-bedroom guesthouse in a very quiet neighborhood.  Security was high, and she rarely needed to worry about being secure thanks to her landlord.

“I don’t get visitors at night.  I figured it was family.”

“You truly make me worry,” Danny said, walking into her house without waiting for an invitation.

“Danny, what are you doing here?” Jasmine asked, closing the door.

“Answers,” Danny said, standing in her hallway, studying her.  “You gave me interesting ones.”

“Danny—

“No.”  Danny cut her off, stepping closer, he hooked his finger under her chin and tilted her lips to his.  He kissed her gently.  Sweetly.

“I want you.  I know you want me too,” he said against her lips.

“Danny.” Jasmine sighed, when he wrapped his arms around her.

“Just let it happen, Jazz,” he said, lifting her up as though she weighed no more than a feather.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, when he kept the kiss going.  Heading into the living room, Danny sat down on the couch with her on his lap.  Wrapping gentle fingers around her neck, he traced her skin with his thumb, pressing a kiss on her bare shoulder.

“I’ve wanted to hold you this way for a very long time.”

“Really?” Jasmine met his gaze.  “How long?”

“Since high school,” Danny said with a laugh.

“I couldn’t tell.  It didn’t seem possible.  You were so untouchable.”

“Untouchable?” Danny chuckled.  “I’m also unapproachable, and a person to avoid.  So many accusations for one man.”

Danny studied her.

“Well, I have one for you, Jasmine.  You are a serial dater.”

Jasmine bit her lip and dropped her gaze to his mouth.

“Well, my excuse is that I couldn’t date the one I wanted,” Jasmine admitted, then pressed her forehead on his shoulder to hide her face.  Her heart beat too erratic for her to keep a straight face.

“Who did you want to date?” Danny asked.

Jasmine closed her eyes, and for once allowed the truth out.

“You, Danny.  I wanted you.”

“Do you want me now?”

“Yes,” Jasmine answered on a whisper. Danny let out a relieved sigh and held her tighter.

“That’s all I need to hear,” he said. “Is it?”

“Yes, it is,” Danny answered, pulling her back to kiss her.

Danny kissed her as he had wanted to for so many years.  Hungrily, savoring her taste, devouring her mouth, exploring, a kiss made him feel as though he was making up for lost time.

“Danny,” Jasmine gasped, her fingers sliding to the back of his head, holding him to her.

“I want you, Jazz,” Danny said, trailing kisses down her throat, he kissed her left ear, and whispered.  “Do you want this?”

Clinging to him, Jasmine felt as though saying no would mean missing holding Danny.  So, she leaned closer, and kissed him.

“Yes,” she said.

“It will be good,” Danny said, holding her gaze.  “I promise.”

“I know,” Jasmine answered, and lost herself in him.

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading! ^_^

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Life on the Fast Track – 3

Track 3 – I Like You So Much, I’m Terrified

The next few minutes were a blur for Danny.  He could only think of her delicious scent when she leaned into him.  Her soft lips on his clean-shaven jaw and how much he wanted her to do it again.

“Danny?” Jasmine called again, snapping him back.  “Earth to Danny, is everything okay?”

“Sure,” Danny cleared his throat, blinking.

Jasmine was in the dining room, looking at him, her gaze expectant.  Following her, he realized breakfast was ready.  Jasmine had set the table.  Smiling at her, Danny moved to the dining table.

“Where did you go?” Jasmine asked, as she sat down to her breakfast.  Picking up her fork, she dug in.

Danny, charmed, watched her eat.  He wondered what she would say if he told her the truth.

“The food looks good.  I didn’t know you could cook.”

Jasmine laughed.

“Danny, you’ve avoided me for a while now.  You don’t know many things about me.”

“Avoiding?  I haven’t avoided you,” Danny said, picking up his fork ready to deny the truth.

“Really?” Jasmine studied him.  “Hmm…then, I have avoided you,” she said, taking a sip of her orange juice.

Her comment had him looking up to meet her gaze.

“Why?” he asked.

Jasmine looked away first.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged.  “Just ‘coz.”

“I want a reason,” Danny prodded, watching her eat eggs.  He imagined watching her eat eggs for the rest of his life was not a bad idea.

“No, you don’t,” Jasmine said, sipping her juice.  “How’s the business of cars?”

“Fine, we’re still standing,” Danny said, reaching for pepper to sprinkle on his eggs.

“Speeding against the air waves?” she asked, her tone cautious.

“It’s my passion,” Danny said.  “I have a race tonight.  Would you like to come?”

“No.”

Jasmine answered without much hesitation.

“I have somewhere to go tonight,” she said.

“Oh yeah, with who?” Danny asked, his teeth gritted at the answer he would get.

“Someone, anyone,” Jasmine said quietly.

“But me” Danny finished for her, matching her tone.

“I’m avoiding you, remember,” Jasmine said, finally lifting her gaze to study him.  “You and I, we’re very—, different.”

“Because you’re avoiding me,” Danny said, placing his fork on his mat.  “You piss me off more times than you know.”

“I hardly talk to you,” Jasmine frowned.  “I make sure not to.”

“Do I have the plague?”

“Can’t we have a nice meal with each other?  No arguing.  I owe you a debt—

“You don’t,” Danny said, louder than he intended.  “I helped because I wanted to.  You’re Terry’s friend.”

“Don’t yell at me,” Jasmine said, annoyed now.  “This is why I avoid you, Danny.  We can’t seem to be cordial to each other.”

Danny got up from his seat.  He reached into his pocket, pulled out her car keys and placed them on the table.

“You know what, you’re right.  Call me if anything sounds wrong with the car.  I have to go.”

“Sure,” Jasmine said, not moving.

Danny glared at her one last time before he stalked out, making sure to slam her front door.

Avoiding, ha!  Jasmine was too much.  Did she even realize he’d asked her out and she had ignored it?  Not to brag, but the list of women who wanted such an invitation was long, especially tonight.  Plenty of women!

Turning his car toward the highway, Danny cursed under his breath.  It wasn’t like he wasn’t avoiding her too, but the fact that she actually admitted staying away from him with such a calm tone, that pissed him off.

“Speeding against the airwaves,” Danny scoffed.  “Who says that?”

****

“We had breakfast,” Jasmine said, hours later.  “Then he left.”

“That’s all?” Terry exclaimed.  “Oh, come on.”

“It was an exciting moment,” Jasmine said, flashing Terry a smile.  “He yelled as usual.  You can at least give me credit.  I made him eggs.”

Terry shook her head at her best friend and wondered what she had to do to get her brother and Jasmine together.  Her best friend and her brother were the two most idiotic people she knew.  Did they need everything spelled out to them?

“Quit matchmaking,” Jasmine said, pushing clothes on the rack in her closet.

They were getting ready to go to a new club tonight.  Jasmine wanted to let loose after her disastrous breakfast.  The day had not improved, and her mood was sour.  Terry had found Jasmine dealing with work problems, the warehouse she worked for wouldn’t stop calling her.

“I’m exhausted with drumming sense into you,” Terry said, moving to take Jasmine by her shoulders.

Giving Jasmine a little shake, Terry sighed.

“You two need to stop dodging the obvious.  Things will get easier if you face up to the truth and stop avoiding each other.”

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading ^_^

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The Enchanting Violinist – 3

Hiring the Violinist who sells Weaves in Kinoo.

Phillip clutched his keys, his gaze taking in the quaint town Nyambura had chosen to settle in.  Kinoo was small, out of the city, but still close enough to major hospitals and the hustle and flow.  Having a major highway close was a plus.  Nyambura’s shop was thriving.

She stepped out of the shop, drawing his attention.  She always looked healthy and beautiful.  He smiled.  Her casual style far removed from the ultra modern women he met daily.  No heels for Nyams, she preferred white rubber shoes.  Comfort ruled her world.  Her well-worn jeans hugged her hips to perfection, the white shirt she wore covered her curves but the mystery intrigued him.

Meeting her frowning gaze, Phillip smiled.

“What brings you here?” Nyambura asked, with a flustered smile.

“How are you?” Phillip asked, closing the distance Nyambura kept between them.  “You don’t call or answer messages.”

“Phillip,” Nyambura started.

“I told you, think of me as your friend.”

“Yes,”  Nyambura sighed.  “I know you did.  I’m sorry.  I’ve been busy with the shop and practice.”

Phillip chuckled.

“Excuses, Nyams,” He shook his head.  “I’m not asking for anything else but friendship.”

“Yeah?” Nyambura leaned on the wall behind her.  Her gaze on his car.  “Why don’t you tell me why you came today?”

Nyambura was an escapist.  She continued to avoid his attempts to get close.  Shutting him down without effort, Phillip sighed.

“I have a gig for you,” Phillip said.  “You interested?”

“What kind of gig?” Nyambura asked, finally meeting his gaze, her interest peaked.

Phillip hid a smile and folded his arms against his chest.

“My company has a formal party tomorrow evening.  The main act cancelled.  They’re stuck in Kampala doing another performance.  We have important investors in town, the kind who need classy parties.”

Nyambura frowned.  “How much?”

“Twenty thousand,” Phillip said.  “Formal dress, our guests expect a real authentic show.”

“Twenty-five,” Nyambura countered, forever the business woman.

“Come on, Nyams,” Phillip said.

“It’s short notice, Phillip,” Nyambura said.  “If I need to convince the guys to give up stuff they are doing for cash, I need a good payout.”

Phillip calculated their budget.  The act that cancelled was to be paid thirty thousand for the night, and an early breakfast call.  Their popularity dictated their price.  Nyams and her quartet were classy, but unknown.  Oh well, Phillip decided the payout was well-deserved.  He’d get flack for it from the accountant, but—

“Fine, Twenty-five,” Phillip said.

Nyambura gifted him with her first smile and he stared.  She rarely smiled.  Phillip could count the number of times he’d seen her do it.  Six times, to be exact.  This woman with her hard shell and brown eyes that had seen too much.  She intrigued him.

“Thank you,” Nyambura said.  “What time?”

“Can you show up at five-thirty in the evening?  Set up, and make sure everything is working.”

“Sounds good,” she nodded.  “We need a room to keep stuff, and change clothes.”

“No problem,” Phillip smiled.  “Dinner is on us.”

Nyambura nodded, and reached for her cell phone.  She texted her fellow musicians in seconds, and got a reply back just as fast.  Her excitement was hard to miss.  It made him feel as though he’d helped her win the lottery.  Nyambura’s music was important to her.

Phillip stared at his car keys.  He wished Nyambura would ask him if he wanted tea.  He’d scoped out the little shopping center and the tiny hotel across the street was perfect.  Hell, he could eat a mandazi if she asked.  Or even a samosa

If she wanted, he could drive her to the nearest pizza place.  While they ate, they would talk about everything from the weather, to planting maize…the music people were listening to these days…the possibilities were endless.

“Well,” Nyambura said, and he looked up, hopeful.  “Thank you so much for thinking about us.  We won’t disappoint you tomorrow.”

Yes, the let down was swift, fast.  No room for doubt, Phillip sighed.  Nyambura never dared to give him a hope.

He smiled at her, and she held out her hand for a handshake.

Phillip took her slender hand, squeezed it gently, then she let go, and he was left with no choice but to head back to his car.  He shook his head and walked down the steps.

“What happened to all the courage, Phillip?” he murmured under his breath, and opened the driver’s door.  Getting in, he slammed the door closed and sat watching Nyambura enter the shop with a final wave to him.  He’d come to visit her with such fire, ready to make her hear him out.

Still stuck in friend zone, fail, Phillip scoffed.

Jeez, this was getting pathetic.  His mistake though, he kept spouting all the nonsense about friendship.  If he was ever going to get out of there, he had to confess tomorrow night at the party, he decided.  Nyambura was always at her best when she was playing music, so he’d talk to her right when she was flying high from the performance.

Phillip smiled with anticipation and started the car.

****

to be continued…..Thank you for reading ^_^!

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The Enchanting Violinist – 2

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The Enchanting Violinist – 2

The Boiling Hot Day and Weaves with Celebrity Names

Midday, the sun was high, almost suffocating.  The television newscasters were calling it an equator equinox, such a fancy name for boiling-hot, as in, step-out-into-the-sun-if-you-wanna-roast days.  The heat wave was making her stupid.

Nyambura heard the fans working overtime above her.  Still, it sorta felt like they were circulating the hot air faster.  Moraa from a salon across the street walked in, wiping sweat off her face with a handkerchief.

“Nyams, give me two Rihannas, one Cici, three Full Stars and a Dora,” Moraa said.

Nyambura entered the shop’s back store.

She turned on the light and found the boxes with the weaves.

“Two Rihannas,” she said under her breath, getting two packages of weaves.  “One Cici,” she continued, getting one packet.  “Three Full Stars,” she stared at the different colors in the box.

“What color?” she shouted out into the shop.  “We don’t have no. 33.”

“She wants blond anyway,” Moraa said.

Nyambura shrugged and got two Full Star weaves, blond and a Dora packet.  Her arms were laden with her loot.  She walked back into the main shop.

“Don’t you think someone would think we’re playing a joke with these names?” she asked Moraa as she rung up the sale.  “Two Rihannas, as if.”

Moraa laughed.

“It sells the weaves though,” Moraa said.  “Who doesn’t want to look like Rihanna?”

Nyambura packed the weaves and thanked Moraa.  She’d never thought to make money from selling fake hair, but the world she lived in, women wanted beauty.  Beauty was most certainly judged with first appearance and many of her fellow ladies believed it started with the hair.  Weaves were easy installation and they looked good if done right.  They brought her money.  So, yes, she sold the weaves and wore them too because to convince a client, well you gotta believe in the product too.

She was selling beauty here.

But damn, she reached for her handkerchief and wiped sweat off her forehead.

If the weather didn’t let up soon, women were going to put down the weaves and put her out of business.

“Rachel,” Nyambura called to her best friend and business partner across the room.  Rachel was busy braiding corn rows on a young girl.  “Maybe we should offer cold drinks?  Our customers might run away at this rate.”

“Forget the customers,” Rachel said, fanning herself.  “How about buying us cold drinks first?  I’m so hot!”

Nyambura reached into her pocket and found a two hundred shilling note.  If she used it, she’d have to give up buying data bundles to watch Lindsey Stirling YouTube videos.

Glancing at Rachel, she saw her friend swipe a hand over her forehead.  The heat was taking a toll on everyone.

Oh well, Lindsey Stirling could wait.

Nyambura went around the counter.

“I’ll go get drinks,” she said to Rachel.  “What do you want?”

“Coke baridi,” Rachel said.  “Juice for the little one.”

“Sure,” Nyambura went out into the hot day.

On her way back from the shop across the street, she almost dropped the cold coke when a black Mercedes practically turned into their shop’s parking space in front of her.  She clutched her drinks scowling at the tinted windows.

Damn drivers, she thought as the driver’s window opened slowly.

“I’m sorry,” Phillip Keitani said, smiling at her.  “I wasn’t trying to kill you.”

“Could have fooled me,” Nyambura said, climbing the three stairs to her shop’s veranda.  “I’m too young to die, friend.  Got lots of business loans to pay off.”

Phillip chuckled and got out of the car, closing the door.

“Can I talk to you?” he asked, when she didn’t wait for him and started to enter the shop.  “Please, Nyams.”

She held up the drinks.

“I need to save two people from the heat.”

Phillip locked his car, glancing around the busy shopping center.

“Jeez, the thieves are sleeping in this heat,” Nyambura said with a small grin.  “At least for now.”

She entered the shop.

“What took you so long?” Rachel asked, reaching for the orange juice first.  She uncapped it and gave it to her the little girl on the short stool.

“Phillip is waiting outside,” Nyambura said, handing the cold coke to Rachel.

She glanced at the counter.

“I’ll watch the store,” Rachel said, after taking a healthy gulp from the bottle.  “Don’t brush him off, gal.  You keep doing that and he might really give up.”

Nyambura frowned at the disappointment that flooded her at that statement.  She was surprised to find out that she didn’t want Phillip  to give up his quest.

***

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Koya’s Choice – 19 – Day 11

19 – The truth comes when you least expect it.

Mean.  Horrible.  Heart breaker.  These words described the woman who had written the letter sitting on the desk.  Koya scowled.  She didn’t have her own letter to  prove her innocence.  Kim was the only who had read the letter Charlie had sent her. 

Anger. Astonished.  Bitter.  Downright annoyed. 

That was her after Charlie walked out of her office looking justified.

Bastard.

He wasn’t the only one who had a broken heart.  Her heart was broken too. Staring at the letter on her desk, she wondered at her luck.  Why did this have to go this way?  She’d never written a letter to Charlie.  Which meant, the letter she’d read…she stared at the letter on her desk.  That letter that  had broken her…

Koya got to her feet and grabbed her cell phone to call Kim. Her finger hovered over the dial button, but she couldn’t call.  She was someone who had been kissing Kim last night.  Did it make sense to call him now to complain about her ex? 

Was that fair?

Koya scowled. 

She started pacing, looking for Ashi’s number.  Her finger, once again, stopped short of pressing the dial button.  Ashi had spent fifteen minutes earlier in a parking lot railing at her over her indecision with Kim. If she called now about a bloody letter that was eight years old, Koya groaned and stopped pacing.

Hana was next.

She dialed Hana’s number, but it went unanswered.  One glance at the time, it was two o’clock.  Hana was probably busy with work.

Great, she needed a bigger circle of friends.

Grabbing the worn letter from her desk, she took her car keys and left her office, not even stopping to give Linda an explanation.

The red haze that clouded her mind didn’t clear until she was driving along Ndwaru road leading to the Dhali Estate. She stopped her car before the imposing gate she had once pounded on for answers.  The black gate, high and imposing.  There was the pillar where Kim chewed on sugarcane and dropped the bits while she cried her heart out. The pain that day had never left her.  Rejection, so coldly delivered.  How could she have hoped to forgive Charlie after reading that letter she got?  How could she have imagined he received a similar letter from her?

She slammed her palm on the car horn.  The sound splintered the relative calm in the neighborhood.

The guard appeared at the small entrance on the side of the gate.  Giving her car a once over, he decided she was worthy of entering the estate, and went to open the large gates.  She didn’t wait for him to ask questions. Koya drove up the driveway determined to face Ashley Dhali.

***

To be continued…Thank you for reading!

100 days Writing AdventureDay 11 – Ashley, the boogey Mama is looming in the horizon.  I suddenly wonder if she’s going to manage to play her games this time.  The days continue…