The countdown is on for the book release of Making Scandal and I'm doing my final read through to make sure it's spick and span for all you wonderful readers. My book tour also starts next week. If you have space on your blog this September, will you consider hosting me, pretty please? You can sign up for my book tour here. Thank you!
This week's tease come from part of the prologue. Those of you who read Keeping Secrets and the original prologue for Making Scandal at the back will notice some changes.
Mark knew. Anyone who saw Felix in his blue-with-white-banded boxing attire—boots, shorts, robe and gloves—and understood what lay ahead would be clued in too.
Boxing had never been Mark’s thing, but Felix enjoyed it as a sport. Apart from training sessions in the membership-by-invitation-only exclusive private gym they used to keep in shape, he had not participated in a boxing fight since his days at university.
Footsteps echoed off the hard flooring, announcing their arrival with the thud of insistent drumbeats. Must and citrus from air fresheners scented the cool air, wafting from overhead air-conditioning units. Beyond the reach of the aisle spotlights, the rest of the area lay in darkness, the spaced out exercise equipment resembling misshapen shadowed aliens.
A touch of unease tightened Mark's shoulders. This would be Felix’s first serious match since his car accident and the subsequent six-week coma. Had four months been enough for him to recover?
Foolhardy notion to box today. However, no amount of logic from Mark convinced his brother to not fight. Good or bad, determination ran in Essien blood, a trait they all shared and part of the reason their business ventures rocketed with successes.
However, Felix had a wife, Ebony, and a baby on the way; no harm should come to him. They might not share the same mother, but Felix was his brother; his blood. And Essiens stood side by side, in love and in war.
Like right now.
In the ring occupying a chunk of the massive well-kitted gymnasium, his brother’s opponent leaned against the ropes, his corner men on either side of him. The referee stood at the centre alongside the owner of the boxing club. No one loitered in the sidelines. Kola had arranged this strictly private affair to set things right for Felix.
A lesson needed to be taught. No man messed with an Essien and got away with it.
Kola parted the ropes and Felix stepped between them. Mark stood at the edge of the ring, his hands in his trouser pockets, projecting outward calm when inside his concern for his brother's wellbeing rose. His stomach churned and his mouth dried out. He eyed the cooler at the base of the ring which contained plastic bottles of mineral water but didn't pick any.
Felix gave a cursory nod in acknowledgement at the other man. His opponent pulled his lips back baring blue gum shield in a nasty sneer. This wasn’t meant to be a friendly fight. The stakes were too high, almost a winner takes all.
Felix ignored the man's taunt and rolled his shoulders, hopping around on his corner of the ring to keep his heart rate up.
Mark squinted at the opponent jumping and pacing his half of the ring. Stocky, he packed more weight than Felix, so if his brother got hit, he’d feel it. Felix had religiously watched all those videos of Mohammed Ali fights as a teenager. He hoped his sibling had learned a thing or two about avoiding punches.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” would come in very handy today.
The referee introduced them—Felix Essien versus Dele Savage—read out the rules, and started the countdown to the first round.
Kola took Felix’s robe and stepped out of the ring. “Remember, keep moving. Don’t let him hit you.”
Felix jabbed the air in quick succession, hopped twice and turned. Mark caught his gaze, leaned onto the hard base below the last rope and said, "Knock him the fuck out."
There's a chance to win a paperback copy of Making Scandal in this Goodreads Giveaway.
I hope you enjoyed the teaser. Leave me a comment and check out the other Mid-Week Teasers.
Happy Hump Day!