I'm just about to starting revising and editing Making Scandal, book 2 of The Essien Trilogy as we start the countdown to publication on August 28, 2014. So this week, I bring you a teaser from this manuscript. The scene explains itself. It is unedited.
"HE is so good-looking."
Stella Orovi walked over to where Faith Brown was tapping away at the screen of her Samsung Galaxy tablet. She placed the drinks she'd just ordered on the table. Faith gave her a quick warning glance to mind her tablet before returning to continue typing out what she was doing.
"Don't tell me that you're not interested. He's like one of the hottest men alive," she persisted, as Faith continued to ignore her.
"Do I look like I care?" asked Faith shortly, not lifting her head up and getting mildly irritated when she was trying to concentrate on the email message she was typing out.
"You do realise this is supposed to be a party and we're supposed to be letting our hair down for the night," Stella muttered, raising the glass of what looked like vodka and coke to her lips and taking a large sip.
"I will get in a party mood once I finish what I'm doing. I have to reply to these emails before I can relax," replied Faith.
"It's Friday evening. I'm sure everyone in Lagos is preparing the weekend and or have already left for home. And we're in Jo'burg. Those emails could wait till Monday."
Stella snorted and leaned back into her chair, her gaze returning to sweep the lounge of the bar they were in.
Faith returned to her emails. She was one of those people that could never put off things till tomorrow. She thrived on crossing things out of her to-do list. Otherwise she would never sleep peacefully at night.
And as Strategy Director for City Investment Brokerage firm, she hadn't achieved her position by resting on her laurels. Sheer hard work and determination were the traits she'd acquired early in life and they drove her to the top of her career ladder.
Once she sent out the emails, she put her tablet into her oversized handbag and picked up the vodka and coke drink Stella had left for her.
"Sometimes I wish I was as bold as Wumi and I wouldn’t hesitate to go up to him." Stella sighed before taking another swig of her drink.
Faith rolled her eyes up before glancing in the direction Stella had been staring. Of course she didn't even have to look. She knew exactly whom her friend and colleague had been referring to.
Everybody knew who he was—Mark Essien, the second son of Chief Essien, Chairman of Apex Group of Companies, CEO of Apex Investments and currently named the second most eligible bachelor in Nigeria after his older brother Felix.
She'd swatted up on information about him when she'd find out he was going to be their keynote speaker at the Finance conference they were attending in Johannesburg.
Of course they'd been there all week but he'd only arrived on Friday to give his speech. As he strode to the platform to deliver his speech, she'd heard the soft gasp from Stella who'd been sitting next to her.
Faith had seen pictures of the business tycoon in the press. But none of it had prepared her for seeing him in the flesh. And when his gaze had connected with hers while he was speaking, her breath had died in her throat for a long moment. She'd told herself her response had been from the sparkling stars in his dark eyes. Yet the truth was that he was the most intriguing and handsome man she'd ever come across.
Tall and dark— and younger than Wumi, according to the press clips she'd read—with thick, curly hair left long and kinky in an afro. She didn't know what colour his eyes were, except that they were dark too, complementing the rather harsh facial features that were essentially masculine.
At this moment, he slouched against the bar, one lean, caramel-coloured hand resting on his thigh, the other holding a short glass with amber liquid that could've been whisky or brandy. Boredom. His expression reeked of it and he paid no attention to the woman whose arm draped his shoulder in a possessive gesture—another friend and colleague, Wumi.
"From the looks of things, you're too late. Wumi has already claimed him," said Faith now, although Mark didn't look like someone who could be claimed if the little attention he was paying Wumi was anything to go by. "Wumi wouldn't like you wading in on her territory."
"Damn!" Stella looked disappointed now. "What I wouldn’t give to bag one of the Essien brothers as a boyfriend. You know I read they were worth billions of dollars."
"You don't need to bag an Essien to have a good life. You have a good job and you're earning good money. Why do you need him or any man for that matter."
"Ah, body no be wood o. I'm still a woman with needs even if you choose not to be." Stella eyed her.
Faith ignored her snarky comment. For the past few years Faith had been so focused on achieving her professional ambitions she hadn't made time to get involved in a personal relationship.
Why did she have to apologise for the path she had chosen? Men were expected to focus on building a career and wealth. And yet in this day and age women were still expected to yearn for relationships and babies. No way. Not her.
"If you want sex, you can still get it without surrendering to a man like Mark Essien. I promise you getting involved with him can only lead to trouble. You are better off finding someone else to fulfil your sexual needs."
"Perhaps. But he looks like a man who can fulfil a woman's sexual needs and more." Stella tapped her lips with scarlet-tipped fingers, as she gave Faith a quick mock-disdainful once over. "Are you seriously saying that if he asked you out, you would turn him down? Get real."
"No." Faith sucked in a sharp breath. "My answer to him would be 'no'." She refused to give heed to the voice calling her a liar in her mind because she'd already imagined what it would be like to have Mark's intense gaze on her body. Even now her body quickened at the thought.
You can read the blurb and add it to your TBR on Goodreads.
You can read the blurb and add it to your TBR on Goodreads.
So, how long do you think Faith will deny her attraction to Mark? LOL. Leave me a comment. And don't forget to check out the other mid-week teasers. Happy Hump Day! xx