The countdown for the release of Bound to Favor is on!
And I'm sharing from the first 3 chapters.
Thank you to everyone who sent me a comment after reading the first one. Your feedback is useful and appreciated. Keep them coming.
As promised, the next instalment from Bound to Favor is here.
Read Chapter One, Part One.
Here's Chapter One, Part Two. Enjoy. ❤
Chapter One - Part Two
Ike asked, “Would you like water?”
“Sure. Thank you.” Kamali replied, seated halfway onto the padded cushion, not on the edge and not relaxed either.
As Ike filled the glasses, the cubes tinkled and swirled inside while condensation settled on the outside.
“How’s your daughter? Her name is Fari, right?” Henry leaned forward, lower arms on his thighs, head tilted to the side.
Kamali had to make an effort to conceal his surprise at the genuine expression of interest. He hadn’t been expecting his cousin to know much about his personal life or to care, for that matter. They hadn’t been close, not even when they’d been boys, and Henry had lived as a Danladi in Katsina.
Kamali had had enough troubles on his plate then to worry about the problems Henry had been experiencing with his father and subsequently, the feud with his brother.
Now, a touch of shame scorched his cheeks that he’d never enquired about his cousin or sought him out before. Being raised as Danladi had fostered the spirit of competitiveness among cousins and even brothers, which meant selfish streaks ran in their blood.
Henry’s enquiry about his daughter warmed Kamali’s heart, and his smile brightened. It showed that the man harboured some familial affection for him, though they’d only renewed their acquaintance as cousins during a recent family gathering in Katsina.
It could also just be Henry playing the astute business man and trying to score favourable points with him, the cynic in Kamali reminded.
In any case, his daughter was the light of his life. He appreciated the sentiment regardless of the motive. “Yes, her name is Fari, and she’s doing great. Thanks for asking.”
“Don’t mention it. As Musa said the last time we got together, we’re all blood, and we should be our brothers’ keepers. Your daughter is a daughter to me too.” Henry reached for his untouched glass of water.
In light of the recently ended feud between Henry and Jibril, it proved another surprise to see Henry being so accommodating. Experience had taught Kamali to be suspicious of everyone. In the end, he only trusted one person. Himself.
“I’m astonished you’re willing to forgive and forget, considering what happened,” he said. He wasn’t fooled into buying the ‘brothers’ keepers’ spiel. His cousin had to still be carrying a grudge. Kamali would never have forgiven Jibril for what he’d done.
Henry took a sip of water. It seemed he needed to pause, gather his thoughts and choose his words.
Kamali’s body tensed as he prepared for all the different platitudes Henry could possibly espouse to support his supposed position—to err is human, to forgive is divine. Blah blah blah.
If he had a Naira for every time someone in Nigeria spouted that bullshit, he’d be a millionaire. Then again, he was a millionaire. So he didn’t need to hear the crap. Certainly not today.
Henry put the glass down on the table in a deliberate motion and met Kamali’s gaze. “You’re referring to the animosity between Jibril and me?”
Something akin to pain flickered in Henry’s eyes. He leaned his elbows on his knees and clasped his palms together. “Will I ever forget what Jibril did? Never. Will I forgive him one day? Possibly. Have I moved on from the past? Yes.”
Kamali’s lungs constricted, making it hard to breathe as he relived old heartache.
Henry’s impassioned honesty made him acquire new respect for his cousin. Not many people would speak the truth and bare their souls in this manner to someone who was little more than an acquaintance, even if they were related.
At this moment, he connected with Henry in a way he had never done with any of his Danladi cousins. They had similar pasts—deceived and burned by family.
His inbuilt suspicions crumbled.
Ike watched him with the same assessing intensity that Henry did. The two men had no secrets between one another. It made sense since they were business partners and best friends, by the look of things.
Kamali couldn’t claim to have the same type of relationship with his business associates.
He carried too many secrets, things hidden in his heart and mind that he had never divulged. He almost envied his cousin the intimacy he shared with his friend that enabled them to confide in each other. He’d never had that with anyone.
“I appreciate your frankness, cousin,” he said, finally letting his body sink into the comfortable leather seat. “On behalf of my branch of the Danladi family, I want to offer you my support, in any way that you need it.”
He’d probably just shot himself in the foot by siding with Henry instead of Jibril. Jibril was a hard man to cross. But he would accept Henry’s integrity over Jibril’s disloyalty any day.
In any case, Musa, their cousin and the Emir of Katsina, had already settled the quarrel between the brothers and warned of dire consequences if anyone stepped out of line again. Whether Jibril would heed the warning remained debatable.
Henry glanced at Ike who tilted his head and gave a nod before he turned back to face Kamali with a broad smile on his face.
“Thank you for the offer. I really appreciate it. Thankfully the matter with Jibril is settled.” He shifted forward in his seat. “We invited you here for a different purpose. I hope that the outcome will strengthen our relationship both personally and professionally.”
Kamali glanced from Ike to Henry as he leaned forward. “I’m certainly interested.”
Five years ago, Kamali took over as CEO of Danladi Cement Plc which was a subsidiary of the Danladi Group of Companies. The headquarters was in Lagos, not far from his current location, although they had several factories in Nigeria and across Africa. The vision and success of the firm rested on his shoulders, every day.
“Good,” Henry said. “Thomas International and Coker Construction already have a well established partnership. Our association is built on trust.”
Ike nodded in agreement but didn’t say anything.
“I’ve watched the way you’ve handled Danladi Cement in the past years,” Henry continued. “And I believe your ethos matches up to ours, which is the reason I think we can work together.”
“Thank you,” Kamali said. It had been a hard slug to prove that he was capable of heading the business and was glad that his efforts had been recognised.
“An opportunity has risen that we think will benefit our companies as well as yours,” Ike said as he reached for his glass of water. “But it’s still early stages and what we have to tell you is strictly confidential.”
“Of course. I understand,” Kamali said as his heart sped up. New business opportunities were rare with a stagnant economy, so he explored any chances that came along.
“Good. We’re bidding for the contract to build a new state-of-the-art international sports stadium in Gabon and we would like to partner with Danladi Cement.”
Copyright Kiru Taye 2018
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You need to read Bound to Ransom at least before you read Bound to Favor, otherwise you might be confused by what's going on.
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