The countdown for the release of Bound to Favor is on!
Can I get a 'woohoo!'
Y'all know how I like to tease you, right? Between now and release day I'm planning to share from the first 3 chapters of the book.
Here's how it's going to work.
Read the excerpt and leave me a comment, telling me what you think. It's that simple.
The more comments I get, the more excerpts I post. So make sure you comment if you want to read more.
Here's Chapter One, Part One. Enjoy. ❤
Chapter One - Part One
Family could make you or break you.
Like an omen, the words reverberated in Kamali Danladi’s mind as he stepped into the elevator and pressed the button that would take him to the top floor of the Thomas International Tower.
Adrenaline rushed through him. He stood legs wide apart, hands shoved in his trouser pockets, shoulders straight, staring ahead as the brushed aluminium doors slid shut.
Cold air blew down from the vents in the ceiling. His silhouette echoed from the satiny surface of the polished metal.
Family could make you or break you. His mind replayed the phrase etched in his heart. A remark which underlined his existence, so much so that he could mark each year as a ‘make’ or a ‘break’ year.
He’d lived through the highs and lows of familial ties, risen out of the extreme experiences that had moulded him into the man he’d become. He’d built a stable life despite everything and now headed a successful business.
He never took anything for granted, never rested on his laurels. Rest was for the dead.
As a grandson of Abubakar Danladi who had founded the Danladi Group of Companies, one of the largest conglomerates in Africa, Kamali had been born to triumph and master his universe. The Danladi clan could trace their lineage to the ancient Katsina Kingdom that was established in the 10th century before Islam was introduced in the 15th century.
The elevator pinged, announcing its arrival at the intended level.
His limbs tingled. A knot sat in his gut. The forthcoming meeting unsettled him.
However, he didn’t have time to dwell on his misgivings.
He relaxed the muscles on his face, shook out his shoulders and strode out when the doors opened.
The tapping of fingers on keyboards reached him as he took in the expansive open-plan office space with workers hunched over the rows of flint-coloured modular desks.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Danladi,” a smiling, dark-skinned, smartly-dressed woman greeted him in the light and airy foyer. She appeared to be in her early 30s. “I’m Jane, Ike’s assistant.”
Kamali’s skin prickled at her use of Mr. Thomas’s first name. His assistant, Ebun Forson, had never addressed him by his given name. Not that he’d ever encouraged it. He didn’t want the implied familiarity or for others to misconstrue their working relationship.
Was Ike Thomas having an illicit affair with his PA for her to use his name so casually? The man was married. Then again, extra-marital liaisons were commonplace, a festering sore on society.
The knot in Kamali’s gut tightened and his jaw set in a rigid line. He shouldn’t care. It wasn’t his business if the man was cheating on his wife.
He plastered a smile on his face and focused on the reason for his visit. “Thank you, Jane. I’m here to meet Mr. Coker. Has he arrived?”
“Yes, sir. They are both in Ike’s office. This way, please.” She swivelled and hurried down the aisle between columns of desks, the buzz of business in the air.
At the end of the walkway, the silver plaque had an embossment showing ‘Managing Director.’ Jane tapped with her knuckles and turned the handle.
“Mr. Danladi is here,” she announced and pushed the door wide for him to go through.
The sleek, clean line of the ultra-modern building continued in here. The space made up of glass, metal and leather furniture had a panoramic view of the sandy beach, teal Atlantic Ocean, and azure sky. The internal glass partitioning had a cloud glaze which obscured the view of the main floor, while a sun-sensitive screen blocked out the sun glare on the outside wall.
Fresh air blasted in from the vents in the white ceiling, making a mockery of the thirty-two degrees Celsuis reading on his phone as the outside temperature.
The two men who had been seated opposite each other at the glass-topped desk stood and approached. Their suit jackets hung over the back of the chairs they abandoned.
His cousin, Henry Coker, reached him first, arms extended and a warm smile on his face. “Kamali, it’s good to see you.”
Henry, or rather, Omar as the rest of the Danladi clan referred to him, was also a grandson of Abubakar Danladi, although he had dropped the Danladi surname in favour of his maternal surname after his parents split up.
Kamali had to resist from doing a double take. Henry reminded him too much of another cousin, Jibril who was Henry’s half-brother.
Nonetheless, most of the Danladi men had all inherited the height, build and skin-tone of Grandpa Abubakar, so they were recognisable as relatives, including Kamali.
Kamali grabbed his cousin’s hand with his right and clasped the shoulder with his left, just as Henry did. It wasn’t a brotherly hug, but it was welcoming and indicated they were more than acquaintances. “Same here, Henry.”
He’d debated whether to use his cousin’s first name of Omar. But as they hadn’t interacted since they’d been boys and he’d come here for a business meeting, he’d settled on Henry.
“Have you met my friend, Ike?” Henry asked as he released his hand.
“Yes,” Kamali replied. “I think we met once at the Nigeria Build Expo.”
“Of course we did. It’s good to see you again.” Ike stepped forward, and they exchanged a formal handshake this time. “Please, take a seat.”
Ike waved at the cluster of white leather and chrome sofas separated by a low clear glass and chrome coffee table and a woven mocha rug.
His suspicious nature made Kamali chose the sofa facing the exit. When he was in an unknown situation, he made sure he had his bases covered.
Although Henry was his cousin, he didn’t know the man well enough beyond what he’d read in the media or heard from other members of the family. Henry had lived most of his live outside the Danladi clan, after the acrimonious breakup of his parents’ relationship.
Ike sat opposite while Henry settled in the space next to him. The men wanted to be able to observe him just as he needed to watch them.
Jane returned with a small tray containing a bottle of water and three tall glasses half-filled with ice cubes. The men waited as she deposited the items on the table.
“Will you need anything else?” she asked as she straightened, tray in right hand.
“That will be all. Thanks,” Ike replied and leaned forward to grab the bottle.
Her shoes tapped on the hard, pewter tiles as she walked out. With a click, the door shut behind her.
Copyright Kiru Taye 2018
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