How to Self-Publish your Books in Kenya

Self-publishing might seem like an uphill battle, but with  experience, it gets easier tothere is no reason to stay unpublished get into on this sunny part of the world.  There is no reason not to write.  A few years ago, the only way to access your money after you sold e-books and your money was in your Paypal account was through a bank.  It took eight days for it to process. Such a long time.  Well, that’s changed now, thanks to Safaricom’s Mpesa.  So, I thought I should post this little how-to today, coz I’m excited about it.

So, Simple how-to self-publish your e-book/book in Kenya:

  1. Write your book. – I advocate fiction books because that is what I primarily publish, but this works for non-fiction books too.  Your book must be entertaining, engaging, and in the case of non-fiction, informative.  Don’t cut corners.  Find an editor, pay them, do the work and get your book to perfection.
  2. Design your cover  – Great Covers are essential.  Find a graphic designer who can create a cover that will market your book in the best possible way.  Discover more about genres, and how covers play a role in distinguishing them.  If you’re writing non-fiction books, make sure your cover speaks to your audience, and the topic you are discussing.
  3. Write a Blurb – When you go to the bookshop and are browsing books, you pick one out, read the back, if you don’t like what it says, you return it to the shelf.  If you do like that small paragraph in the back, you immediately head to the counter to pay for it.  Hehehe…Now, take your book that you’ve spent months writing, and come up with a great blurb to entice your readers with one glance.
  4. If you’re publishing this book as an e-book on Smashwords/Amazon’s KDP, you are good to go.  The next step is to log on to your account, and start uploading the files as specified by each site.  Set your price, and hit publish.  Then start marketing your e-book like there is no tomorrow.
  5. Amazon has yet to offer any easier ways of getting paid in Kenya.  You still get a check in your mailbox with these guys when your sales reach $100.   Smashwords is more lenient.  They now pay out  monthly to Paypal.  And as I said earlier, Safaricom’s Mpesa now has an easy way for you to get your money through Paypal. 
  6. If you’re publishing your book as a physical book, get in touch with the copyright board, get your ISBN, and make sure you have crossed your T’s with them.  Then consider your printing options.  There are many different types of printers in Nairobi.  Some are efficient, others not so much. You need to find your perfect fit, money wise, and emotional-wise too.
  7. The rest is marketing and awareness.  Don’t forget that your book is a product.  Create a brand, embrace every reader who comes to you, and give them more with lots of love.  Share your work, and if readers love it, they will pay for it.

I write these little how-to’s because I believe the fiction/non-fiction books market is growing in Kenya.  We need more authors writing fiction and publishing it.  We need a bigger presence in the e-book market, and authors to take ownership of their fiction.  Then we can really have a vibrant industry, enough to entice more readers.  So, if you’re a writer reading this, get started today.  Get published!

Bonus:

Here’s a short fiction story to read for Free!

Download the Save My Heart PDF.

 

Life on the Fast Track – 15

Track 15 – Because getting to know you, is my favorite adventure…

The door was open, and Jasmine sat on her bed writing in her diary.  She didn’t look up, so Danny leaned on the doorjamb and watched her for a few minutes.

The reading glasses resting on the bridge of her nose made her look studious, and sexy…Danny grinned.  He leaned the hockey stick on the wall inside her bedroom and cleared his throat.

She looked up at him.

“Still mad at me?” he asked.

Jasmine closed her diary and placed it on the bedside table.

“No.”

“I need to know you’re safe when you’re alone,” Danny explained.

“I know,” Jasmine said, removing her glasses, she held out her right hand to him.

Danny entered the bedroom and closed the door.  He moved closer and took her hand.  Getting on the bed, he pulled her into a tight hug.  Not wanting to let go just yet, Danny shifted until he was comfortably resting on the comfortable pillows.  Jasmine settled against him, and he rubbed her arm, breathing in the scent of mint.  The scent like home.

Jasmine traced shapes on his t-shirt.

“Will you tell me what tonight’s been about?”

Danny held her tighter.

“First, let me ask, do you trust me?”

Jasmine’s finger stilled on his chest.  She lifted her head from his chest to meet his gaze.  Danny searched her eyes for a hint of doubt, and when he found none, he couldn’t help the little burst of joy in his heart.

“I’m not a criminal,” Danny said then, needing her to know that.  “The garage’s revenue is clean, no dirty money.”

“And the race grounds?” Jasmine asked.

“Jimmy and I bought the land and own it free and clear.  We built the course, developed the tracks.  We’ve ran a tight circle until a few months ago when Adrian approached us wanting to join in.”  Danny shook his head.  “At first glance, his business looked legitimate.  He imports car parts and has a shop in the middle of Nairobi town.”

“He has other sources of income,” Jasmine said, resting her chin on Danny’s chest.

“We allowed him into the circle because he could pay the cut,” Danny sighed.  “It worked out well a few races.  Then Anderson’s people started working the guests.  Trying to sell merchandise, Jimmy thinks there were drugs involved.  It got weird, and we started not calling him for any races.”

“Now he’s upset,” Jasmine said in understanding.  “Upsetting Adrian is like stepping on a cat’s tail, Danny.  He’s a mean bastard, his claws scratch deep.”

“I made Terry finish her business with anyone associated with Anderson.  Jimmy has people watching her.  I stayed away from you thinking I was protecting you.  Then Terry came home and told me you used to date his little brother—,”

“Hence the ex-boyfriend conversation,” Jasmine sighed.  “Danny, I doubt Anderson will come after me.”

“He will because you matter to me,” Danny said, tightening his hold on her.  She frowned, and he brought his free hand to pinch her left cheek, and then gave it a small caress.

“It would hurt me if something happened to you, Jazz.  That’s no secret,” Danny said.

***

Well…when he put it that way, Jasmine thought, sucking in air.  Danny certainly knew how to say the right thing to make all her mad disappear.  Wiping out a full evening of being upset with a few words, what talent.  Her heart squeezed and she gave up on fighting her feelings for this man.

She smiled and Danny stared at her, then ran his hands down her back, tickling her.  She started laughing and tried to wiggle out of his hold.

“Were you really going to hit me with the hockey stick?”

Jasmine grabbed his wrists to stop him, but he was strong.  He tickled her sides and she convulsed into uncontrollable laughs.

“Tell me, or I won’t stop,” Danny threatened.

“I thought you were a thief.”  Jasmine tried to move away, but then Danny rolled on top of her.  “You’ve been freaking out about psychos at my door.  Then I hear banging—,”

“Next time, call for help,” Danny said.

“My phone was in the living room,” Jasmine said.

“You’re exasperating,” Danny chuckled.  “I think I need to stay here with you.”

“What?” Jasmine stared at him in surprise.  Then he kissed her hard and she forgot all thought.

***

She wasn’t working the next morning.  Danny finally got his wish.  He woke her with heated kisses, bringing her up as the sun rose to a beautiful Friday morning.  Jasmine curled to his side and pressed a kiss on his shoulder.

“Morning,” Danny said.

“Morning,” she smiled.  “If they were all like this, I’d never get to work.”

“Hmm…” Danny said, his tone low.  “Is that an idea?”

“Maybe,” Jasmine said.

They spent the morning lazing around in bed.  At around nine, they dressed leisurely and ended up in the kitchen around nine-thirty.  Danny stood behind Jasmine as she made eggs, his hands on her hips.  He pressed a kiss on her neck.

“Danny,” She chuckled.  “Do you have to stand so close?  I’m trying to cook here.”

“I know,” Danny said, kissing her shoulder.  “I’m hoping I’m the only one you cook for woman.”

“Such a jealous man,” Jasmine said, turning the eggs.  “Pass the plates.”

Danny reached behind him and picked up the plates.  Helping her serve the eggs, he took the plates to the dining table while she turned the fire off.  Taking their cups of coffee, she followed him to the dining table.  Taking a seat beside him, she grabbed her fork and started eating.

“Baby, you’ve got an appetite,” Danny teased.

“So what?” She sipped her coffee.  “Am I fat?”

“I love your body,” Danny answered rubbing her back.

“Good answer.”

Danny chuckled and sipped his coffee.

“What were you busy typing last night?”

Jasmine swallowed her eggs hard, meeting Danny’s gaze.  She’d never told her friends about her hobby other than her immediate family.

“Uhm…some stuff.”

“Work related?” Danny asked.

“Not really,” Jasmine evaded.  “Anyway, what are you doing today?”

“Spending the day with you,” Danny answered, smiling at her shocked reaction.

“The whole day?” she asked.

“Yes, Jasmine.  I’m going to spend the whole day with you.  Get  used to the idea, girlfriend,” Danny said, leaning over to kiss her cheek.

Jasmine shook her head, taking a bite of her eggs.

“I wonder what your racing buddies would say if they saw you now.  Your playboy reputation would suffer.”

“It would be worth it,” Danny winked at her.  “I’m trying out new things.  Speaking of which, later tonight, there is a race.  I want you to come.”

“Danny—

“I’m not taking no for an answer,” Danny said.  “Please?  Come be my luck, Jazz.  Let me try to end your fear.”

She stared at her fork.  Terry had warned her.  Told her she would need to accept this side of Danny too.  When she met his gaze, he looked anxious, expecting her to say no.

Jasmine hid a smile and turned away.

“Well, since you asked so nicely,” she said, “I guess I can try it out.”

***

To be continued…Thanks for Reading! ^_^

←Previous Track

Blog Feature – Child of Destiny

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  Sharing stories from fellow writers (bloggers) from my area code (254).

Thursdays, the eve before Friday, like the calm day before the storm.  Of course, our blog feature is anything but Calm.   A. Musawale over at Child of Destiny, loves shaking your life up.  She keeps it real, and pushes your boundaries whether you want it or not.

Her story ‘Rain-check on the Last Dance’ is an awesome take on the best Rihanna/Lupita movie they’ll-never-make-but-we-wish-they-did.

Rain-Check on the Last Dance

Rihanna is walking slowly, smoking a blunt lost in thought. She’s just used up the last of her savings from the last job she had. Since President Trump took over the country it’s been hard for an undocumented immigrant from Haiti to find work. She couldn’t go home. There was nothing there for her. All her family died in the earthquake. She can’t face her own country. If she’s gonna die, she’d rather do it here, in New York.

She hears a sound behind her and looks back, hand on the switchblade she keeps strapped to her thigh. She hears a scream, high pitched, scared but angry too. It’s coming from the other end of the alley and she creeps cautiously forward to peer into the pitch dark.
There is a group of people massed together from what she can see. They seem to be agitated, moving around and struggling.
“Leave me alone you bastards!” a female voice screams from the thick of the group of people and Rihanna can’t help herself. She steps forward. Coming closer, she can see that it’s a group of five men, and one girl.
Three guesses what they’re trying to do to her.
Rihanna fishes out the 9mm she keeps in her bra and points it in the air.
“Leave her alone!” she shouted and let off a shot.
The cowardly men took off, leaving a small shape huddled on the floor. Rihanna stared at her.
“You okay?” she asked taking a step back.
The girl looked up at her with the most luminous big eyes Rihanna had ever seen, “I’m fine.” She said, “Thank you.”
Rihanna reversed direction stepping forward and reaching her hand down, “I’m Rihanna” she said.
“Lupita” the girl replied.
“Pleasure” Rihanna said helping her to her feet.
“Yeah, very glad to meet you as well.”
Eventually the girls exchange stories; Lupita tells Rihanna about getting thrown out of home when her mother walked in on her passionately kissing her best friend…Amanda. Rihanna tells Lupita about stowing away on a red cross boat after the earthquake in Haiti and ending up in New Orleans. How she’d come to New York for a job but once Trump took over, the owner had tried to blackmail her into having sex with him in return for not reporting her to the authorities.
They live together, survive together; coming up with more and more creative ways to make money. As they manage to stop living from hand to mouth, they move up from petty theft, to breaking and entering, to scam artistes. Lupita is a whiz with a computer and Rihanna can talk anyone into anything. They make a fantastic team.
As their hit list gets bigger and bigger and several big shots are affected, a task force is formed to catch them because how dare the poor rob the rich. One of their targets, Anders McCaulicolkin, turns out to be a police plant. He was sent to entrap them.
Rihanna was really excited about this mark because unlike their average idiot, this one was bloody good lookin’. She approaches him at a party, gets his number and they begin the dance of seduction and manipulation. Lupita is inexplicably hostile to this guy. She doesn’t like how much Rihanna is enjoying the job. Rihanna tries to find out what’s bugging her partner but she won’t say. Lupita channels her feelings into finding out more background on Anders and just after rihanna finishes clearing his account out and transferring the money to their holding account in the Caribbean island of Barbados…Lupita discovers that he’s a plant.
She frantically tries to get hold of Rihanna but she’s already left for the rendezvous point. If the money is tagged like Lupita suspects it is, it means one of their accounts is blown, and Rihanna is exposed.
Lupita always stays in the background but she breaks her cover to get to Rihanna before the cops do.
“Lupita this isn’t the plan!” Rihanna tries to exclaim as she follows Lupita at a dead run through the maze of streets she’s leading her through.
“Yeah well…” Lupita said, “If they caught you…”
“If they caught me what Lupita? We would follow the protocol” Rihanna complained.
“I couldn’t let that happen” Lupita breathed as she rounded the corner to the garage which housed one of their cars.
“Why not Lupita?” Rihanna demanded getting in her face, “At least one of us coulda gotten away cle-”
Her words were stopped by Lupita kissing her, very hard. The darker girl moved back.
“I can’t live without you Rihanna. Better to die together than-”
“Rihanna covered her lips with her hand before she could say it, “Don’t even think it” she said her heart pounding, “Let’s go.”
They get in the car and drive. But the police find them and chase them over three states. Eventually they get to Texas and drive with everything they have, heading for the border. The police cut them off. They veer off and find themselves over the canyon with Trump’s border wall dividing the river beneath into Mexico and USA.
Lupita and Rihanna look at each other, breathing hard.
Rihanna reaches for Lupita’s hand. She takes it. Rihanna’s foot bears down on the accelerator as the cops array behind them and they drive off the cliff.
Thoughts:
Ooh, I love me a good Girls gone Wild story.  Survivors with a strong sisterhood, maybe more, and mad gangster attitude, yeah, I would also watch this movie.  Why haven’t they made it yet, again? Chicks before bros! Yeah!
Yeah, It put a smile on my face, that wouldn’t Quit!

Blog Feature – Jagombaka

This week, The E.i.N blog takes a break from writing, and goes on a Nairobi Fictionspiration Trip.  Sharing stories from fellow writers (bloggers) from my area code (254).

Our Blog Feature today is Exciting.  I love this blog, and the look and the feel of it.  Jagomboka, written by Awino Lesley.  And in her own words, she is:

 “I am a simple listener, writing to you the stories from the true Jagombaka. I fear she sees too much, but the stories must be told. They hold our souls together, and therefore, must be told or else…”

Read one of her stories “Watching Wonder” below:

Watching Wonder

A lone female sits in one of the available benches in Nairobi. The day has yet to turn from where it sleeps in preparation for its final dream. She is young, a few months shy of 24, and yet, looking into her eyes, you get the feeling that she has lived more years than you. A large furry coat is all you see keeping her covered, besides the heeled black boots.  What you see of her skin is smooth and chocolate coloured. Her hair is dark, pure and untouched by the unnatural element of cosmetics. You think about going to her, but you stop yourself mid stride. She does not give  any indication that she has noticed your presence.

She looks up to the dark sky as if searching for something. Something you fail to grasp, because you hear her chuckle to herself. There is a look of wonder on her face, pure and unadulterated. Somehow, she has managed to find wonder in the night sky, even as the bright lights of still open bars dull its brilliance. Her gaze remains unbroken even as the colours begin to adjust. As night’s shift ended, it left in its wake a trickle of people milling about in a bid to reach their jobs, businesses, and in some cases, homes.

Her eyes change focus, to the fast and faster moving waters of humanity. She reads them all as they walk past. To them, she is invisible. To her, they seem to be all the same, all running around like headless chicken. From the suits, to the dresses, to the tattered old clothes worn by the still sleeping chokoras. Nothing matters to them save their own little worries, and perhaps the notion that they care for others. But even then, it is rare to find those that truly love, whose hearts understand the magnitude of that emotion.

Every now again, there is a ripple caused, as someone passes by whose heart is true and continues to feel love. She smiles, knowing that there may be hope yet for the future of this species. And then comes one of them for whom she searches. One of them whose very presence alters whomever they pass for the better. He is self assured and, every once in awhile, busts out a small smile as he moves. There is something tangibly positive about him… He is compelling in his own walk, with neither a word nor sound needed. You get the feeling he has the power to do anything he sets his mind to, and he does so often. She turns to you.

“What do you think? Are you the same?”

She pauses.

“I bet you are…you just don’t know it yet.”

She watches him for a few seconds, gets up, stretches and follows him. Two steps in, she disintegrates into flecks of gold dust and becomes a part of him. You sense a subtle change… and you know he has just become the best and most powerful version of himself.

A voice softly whispers in your ear.

“I’ll come to you once you decide you are ready.”

Thoughts:

I love the description of the city in this story.  How intense the masses of people can be walking along those streets.  I see the one on the bench, watching these masses, seeking for one that stands out, one that shines with strength.  What do you see in this story?  Do you think she would see you as being different too? 

Follow this link to read the Birth of Jagombaka as well. 

Follow her on twitter

Follow her blog

Life on the Fast Track – 9

Track 9 : It’s the small things like trust, honesty…wanting to take care of the cat

An hour later, they sat on Jasmine’s couch, sharing a glass of wine; soft music filled the living room.  Jazz had her feet over Danny’s lap and he was stroking them absently as they talked.

“Your father is really a good man.  I like how he’s dealt with you guys.  Easy-going and encouraging, you don’t find that very much,” Jazz said.

“You never talk about your father,” Danny pointed out gently.  “Why?”

“My Dad and I, we have a difficult relationship,” Jazz sighed.  “He’s a military man.  His ways are set, he likes it when everyone in the family tows the line.  I’m the child that doesn’t follow the path he directs.”

“I’m sure if you talked now, you could settle things,” Danny said, studying her.  She was keeping her gaze down.  It wasn’t hard to see the breach in that relationship hurt her.  “He’s your dad.”

“We had a huge fight the week before I moved out of home,” Jazz said.  “He told me if I left the house, and failed, I would have no choice but to return home and live as he directed, down to marriage.  You know me.  I love a challenge.  I left.  He hasn’t wanted to talk to me since then.”

“Jazz,” Danny brushed a kiss on her cheek.  “It will work out. He’ll come around.”

Jasmine feigned a smile with a small scoff.

“You’re being sweet.  My father is tough.  He’s everything yours is not.”

“Is that why you’re scared to trust me?” Danny asked, holding her gaze.

Jasmine chuckled.

“Really Danny, you think I have Daddy issues?”

“Well,” Danny laughed.

“No,” Jasmine poked his chest and shook her head.  “That’s not why.  I’ve just never been able to be easy on trust with men”

“Hmm…,” Danny said.

“What?”

“I’m not sure whether to be happy or sad about being grouped in with the horde of men you’ve dated.”

“Danny.  I didn’t mean it that way,” Jasmine frowned.  “Besides, I’m pretty sure we should take this, whatever this is, very slowly.”

“Not jumping into it,” Danny stated, “has led us here.  I’m of the opinion we should go all in.”

“Danny—,”

“Jazz,” Danny cut her off.  “I’ve never felt this way about a woman.  You’ve always had this strange hold on me.  Can’t we just go together without thinking too much?”

Jasmine studied him, her gaze thoughtful, her eyes inky black and full of wary shadows.

“If things go wrong, it will definitely hurt more,” Jasmine stated, her tone low.

“Shhh…” Danny pressed a finger over her lips.  “Don’t predict the worst.”

He shifted and pulled her on to his lap.

“Just – enjoy – the – moment,” Danny said, punctuating each word with a kiss.  “The rest, we leave for the future.”

“One step at a time,” Jasmine insisted, pressing her forehead to his.

Danny smiled, holding her closer.

“You’ll get used to having me around, Jasmine Lima.  I’ll make sure of it.”

***

Danny woke up early Monday morning and was once again disappointed to find Jasmine awake and about.  The woman seemed incapable of lazing around in bed.  Pushing a pillow behind his back, he sat up and watched Jasmine pull on a black pencil skirt.  She shimmied it up and reached behind her to zip it.  The material hugged her hips to perfection, made him want to moan in appreciation.  She picked up a lacy blouse, wore it.  As she turned to the vanity table, she noticed that he was awake.

A smile graced her lips, and she came over to his side of the bed.

“Morning,” she said, leaning down to kiss him.

He pulled her down to his lap and kissed her thoroughly, making her catch her breath and her arms lock around his neck.

“Morning,” he answered, when she ended the kiss.

“Did I wake you?” she asked, stroking a finger over his dark stubble.

“No.” Danny studied her swollen lips with an answering smile.  “I wish you had.  I would have loved to wake you up, Jazz.”

“Hmm…” Jasmine smiled.  “I bet you would have.”

“Must you leave?” Danny asked, not willing to give her up yet.

“I have to.  Work calls,” she said, resting her head on his shoulder.  He rubbed her back, holding her tighter.  “I would stay otherwise.”

“I want to have breakfast with you one of these days,” Danny complained.

He breathed in her scent, something flowery, it was intoxicating.  Jasmine pressed a kiss on his shoulder and pulled back.  She stood and returned to the vanity table.  Grabbing ab rush, she ran it through her hair, styling it quickly.  Danny watched her wear her make up, a swift sweep of a brush on her skin, drawing a steady line for eyeliner, followed by a thin coat of red lipstick.  Jasmine picked a pair of hoop earrings from a jewelry box and slipped them on.  Danny watched her study her appearance in the mirror.  She was beautiful, and it fascinated him to watch her see flaws where he saw none.

Jasmine put everything on the table back in its place.  He smiled when she removed the hoops and replaced them with gold teardrop earrings.  Satisfied with her look, Jasmine leaned down and reached for a pair of black heels.

“Terry is passing by to pick up Min.  She’s going to take her to the vet.  Will you be here?”

“Maybe,” Danny said, his tone preoccupied.  Jasmine looked like a conservative administrator now.  It thrilled him to know that underneath that was a wild temptress.  “I could take Min to the vet for you.”

“Why?” Jasmine asked, rummaging through her handbag.

“Because,” Danny said.  “Do I need a reason?”

“I’m just wondering why you’d want to run errands for me,” Jasmine said, giving up on her handbag.  She went to the closet.  “I’m sure Jimmy won’t be happy with me for keeping you away from the garage.”

“Jazz, you’re pissing me off,” Danny said, leaning his head back to stare at the ceiling.  “What’s wrong with being nice to you?”

“Because we’re together now?” Jasmine asked, emerging from her closet with a black jacket that she wore in swift jerks.  “Because we’re sleeping together, help me understand.”

“You know what,” Danny said, glaring at her.  “Go to work.”

“What?” Jasmine asked, a frown dancing on her forehead.  “What have I said now?”

“Nothing.  Go to work,” Danny said.  “I’ll call you later.”

Jasmine studied him for a moment, then picked up her handbag, moved to kiss his jaw before leaving in a cloud of subtle passion fruit perfume.

Danny sighed when he heard the front door slam closed.  He slipped out of the bed and headed for the shower.

***

To be continued….Thanks for reading! ^_^

←Previous Track

Life on the Fast Track – 6

Track 6 : Family comes knocking the morning after

Sunrays danced into the quiet bedroom through a crack in the heavy curtains.  They made glittering shapes on the queen-size bed where rumpled covers fell to the floor.  The white floral sheet half covered the two figures deep asleep on the bed.  A car passed on the street and Danny opened his eyes, his sight blurred at first before it cleared and fell on the woman lying beside him.

Jasmine.  She slept with a hand tucked under her cheek.  Her lashes long, her lips slightly parted, she breathed in and out in gentle motions, her slender body curled toward him.

He had known it would be good between them.  Really good.  Now all he needed to do was convince her they were right for each other.  A much tougher task, he thought with a sigh.  When she wrinkled her nose and curled into the pillow, he grinned.  Watching her now, she reminded him of a kitten, so cute and vulnerable.

He couldn’t explain it.  The woman had crawled into his bones and taken over, it seemed his heart had always been hers.

Her phone buzzed and he frowned when she turned sleepily, reaching a hand out to the grab the cell phone on the bedside table.  The motion was so natural he wondered who dared call her so early.

“Hello,” Jasmine said, her voice heavy with sleep.  Her hair was mussed, the curve of her neck enticing, Danny felt compelled to drop kisses on the soft skin.

He moved to do exactly that, but then she sat up in a panic.

“What?  Now?  Why?” The answers had her kicking away the sheet and she ended the call with a gasp.  “Oh God.  Get up, Danny.  Please get dressed.  We have to get you out here.”

“Why?” Danny frowned, watching her grab a robe from a couch in the corner and slip it on, hiding her beautiful body from him.

“Stop lazing around,” Jasmine said, moving to pick up his trousers and throwing them at him.  “My mother is on her way.”

“Is this normal for you?  Coz it’s not for me,” Danny said, sliding out of bed.  He ignored the trousers and reached for her instead.  Pulling her into his arms, he kissed her.

“Good morning,” he said, when he was done kissing her.

Shaking her head, as though to clear a daze, Jasmine pushed her hair back.

“Don’t distract me.  Will you dress?”

Jasmine pulled away from him and rushed to her closet.  Feeling put upon, Danny picked up his trousers, wearing them with a sigh.

“You’re hard on a guy, Jazz.  At least be apologetic about this.”

“I am,” Jasmine said, her voice muffled in the closet.  “We can talk about it later too.  Right now,” she appeared at the closet doors in a pair of jeans and a white dress top.  She was running fingers through her hair when he pulled her into his arms again.

“Danny,” she moaned, melting into him.

“You can’t blame me,” Danny said, nibbling at the sensitive spot on her neck.  “You’re delicious.”

“I haven’t showered,” Jasmine said, laughing.  “You’re going to get more than you bargained for if you keep this up.”

Danny kissed her cheek.

“I wish you could calm down and stop being so frantic.  It’s just your mom.  I want to meet her.”

“Oh no,” Jasmine said, pulling away.  “Danny, you don’t know my mother.  Right now, she’s coming because I didn’t show up for dinner Friday night.”

Bending down, she picked up his shirt from the floor and pressed it to his chest.

“Please dress, please.”

“Kiss me,” Danny bargained, liking how hard she was imploring him.

Jasmine leaned up on her toes and kissed him sweetly.

“Now dress, I gotta get the house ready for her.”

Danny watched as she rushed out of her bedroom.  Shaking his head, he wore his shirt and went on a search for his socks.  He found both in the living room where Jasmine was picking up her clothes from the night before.  Danny sat on the couch they’d spent half the night on.

“I’ll never forget this couch,” Danny said, sneaking a glance at her.

Jasmine’s answer was to rush back to her bedroom.  It was obvious, they still had a lot unsaid between them.

She came back wearing a sweater and leaned on the wall closest to the front door.

“Can we talk later?” she asked.

Danny finished wearing his socks and stood, looking at her, noting her guarded gaze.

“Over dinner tonight?” he asked.

She opened her mouth to protest, but he stopped her, placing a finger over her lips.

“I’ll pick you up at seven sharp.  Dress up.  I’m not taking no for an answer.”

Jasmine stared at him, as he picked up his car keys from a small table next to her and smiled.

“Have a good day, Jazz.”

With that, Danny was out the door and she was left staring at the closed door.

Minutes later, her mother pulled into the small driveway and Jasmine sighed.

“So close,” she murmured, opening the door, nerves racing through her.

***

To be continued….Thank you for reading!

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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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