This week I'm bringing you another teaser from a brand new manuscript, Worth A Challenge. The Challenge series follows the exploits of 3 best friends Michael, Paul and Peter.
Last week we met Tess. So this week I'm introducing you to Peter. It is an unedited first draft and I hope you enjoy it.
"You know, I never thought you'd be getting married before me."
Peter Oranye cupped the balloon glass in his palm and swirled the clear dark amber liquid it contained before tilting the glass to inhale the aroma. The smell of strong wood, spices and orange peel sailed through his nostrils.
"Point of correction. He is already married. This is just a formality." Michael Ede laughed at his own joke while patting Paul Arinze on the back.
"Yes, I forgot about the shotgun wedding in Lagos."
Paul spat out his drink. "Shotgun wedding? Ijay is not pregnant."
Peter burst into laughter. "You should see your face now."
"He had you there." Michael grinned.
"Funny. Haha," Paul said. "I still haven't thanked you for pulling the strings with the Attorney General."
"You know it's nothing." Peter dismissed with a wave of hand. "It was the least I could do since I wasn't there myself for your wedding. Anyway what's the point of knowing people in high places if you never use it?"
Among his friends, Peter's family were the most connected with his father's connection to politics. Chief Silas Oranye was one of the kingmakers of Nigeria politics, a member of the ruling party and a wealthy businessman.
The downside to all that was that his father held political ambitions for Peter.
"Well, your help is very appreciated." Paul fiddled with the gold wedding band on his finger.
"I hope this whole marriage thing is not contagious. First it was Michael proposing to Kasie within a few weeks of meeting her. Then you take it one step further by marrying Ijay and now we have your traditional wedding ceremony next weekend."
"You'll be next." Michael said emphatically.
"As if that matters. Look at us." Paul pointed to Michael and back to himself. "Although it took me almost six months to do anything about it, I knew Ijay was special from the moment she walked onto that balcony at the bar in London."
"Same here," Michael concurred. "When I look back, Kasie had me in her snare from the moment she walked into this bar all those months ago."
Peter stared at his friends open-mouthed. He couldn’t believe how open and upfront they were being about their relationships. As a group they didn't really discuss feelings or women in that manner. Business, yes. Sport, yes. Relationships, no way. His friends had suddenly discovered their softer sides.
"I'm not sure what you guys have been taking but enough with all the touchy-feely stuff." Peter shuddered.
"Ol' boy, you're saying that now. Wait until 'the one' turns up. I'm willing to bet a huge chunk of wad that you'll be fighting to wed her in a matter of months."
"Another bet, Michael. Are you sure? Remember you lost the last one and that's how you ended up with Kasie."
"Hey, I got the girl so I'm not complaining."
"I'm backing Michael on this one, man. I think you're going to fall hard when you meet her. I'll even go as far as to say that you'll be willing to risk everything to keep the girl. Wanna bet?"
Peter considered his friends. They seemed pretty damned sure of themselves if the smug expressions on their faces were anything to go by. He was quite confident he wasn't getting married anytime soon. He had too many other things to deal with. His many businesses for one.
Not to mention his new political career. A family obligation and one he couldn’t avoid.
He groaned inwards and pushed the thought aside.
Marriage, however, was one thing he could control and that was not going to happen anytime soon.
"You're on," he said to his friends, his lips curling in a confident smile. "There is no reward without risk. Some rewards are worth risking everything."
Copyright © Kiru Taye 2014
So what do you think? Is he crazy for taking the bet? Leave me a comment.
And don't forget to check out the other mid-week teasers.