For most of her adult life, boss-lady Oumou has wanted to leave her hometown in pursuit of big-city fame. All her closest friends are doing bigger and brighter things elsewhere; one is even dating a prince. However, her plans to leave small-town Bali are put on hold when the pandemic hits. At least there are some positives. She’s enduring lockdown with her friend, Yahya, who is her exact opposite in personality. But he’s sexy, easy on the eyes, and cleans up his messes. Opposites attract, right?
Mechanic Yahya has two obsessions—fixing damaged cars and his hometown of Bali. He has no desire for fame or fortune. Nevertheless, since flamboyant Oumou set up shop right across the road from his auto garage, he’s developed a new obsession with her. Each day at work, he glimpses her glorious smile and the temptation for her spirals. But why bother? She won’t even consider him—someone she labels as dull—and they are just too different to work.
Then Yahya and Oumou are stuck together as quarantine buddies, and their attraction combusts in the confines of the apartment. Soon the man so skilled at unscrewing her wheel-nut becomes the sexy hunk satisfying her every fantasy. But what happens when reality kicks in the door and their differences threaten to tear them apart?
A hulking shadow appeared at her window, and a tapping sound made her jerk. “Oumou, are you okay?”
How did they know her name?
Silly question. Anyone who knew her would recognise the bright yellow truck. Uncle Ngarta had helped to secure a good deal with one of his car-dealer clients. They’d even resprayed the vehicle a yellow colour over the original dull white. The contrast of the black radiator grille, front and back bumpers and door handles against the yellow made the vehicle catch the eye and stand out. This was great, considering there were Mou Supermarket logo decals over the side panels and tailgate, which helped to build brand awareness for the store she owned.
However, the deep baritone from the person outside her vehicle sounded familiar.
The pattern of her beating heart changed again, and it had nothing to do with fear. Lifting her phone, she tapped the flashlight app, illuminating the face peering through the window. “Yahya?”
It was him—the close-cut hair on his head, the dark stubble on his chin, the taupe-toned skin, and the full lips she’d shamelessly dreamt about kissing once too often. His penetrating black eyes held hers, and she forgot everything else.
Relief and unexpected excitement flushed through her. Her breath caught, and she gulped, rubbing her thighs together, heat flaring over her skin. Her panties dampened along with her palms and behind her knees. Her mouth dried, and she licked her lips.
“Are you okay?” Something in his deep voice sounded as if he knew his effect on her body, which snapped her out of the spell of lust.
Ridiculous. Her cheeks heated, and she nodded. She turned off the engine, tugging the door handle to open it. He stepped away as she climbed out.
“I have a puncture and was trying to call your garage for someone to come out and help me change it.” She held up the phone in her hand.
He pulled a small pen torch out of his button-down shirt pocket and flashed it at the wheels on this side. “O m wè. Adama, pran yon gade nan sa a.” Oh, I see. Adama, take a look at this.
His colleague, who wore a t-shirt with the garage logo over a pair of jeans, came around from the other side.
“Bon sware,” he greeted before turning his attention to the damaged rubber wheel.
The men conversed briefly in rapid-fire Pidgin French. Oumou could understand it, but she wasn’t as fluent. She’d been forced to learn it as a teenager because she’d only spoken English and Hausa in Nigeria. Meanwhile, people in Bali chatted using a combination of broken French and regional dialects.
“Adama will handle it.” Yahya turned, heading towards his car. “Come with me.”
For a moment, his physique snagged her attention—the expanse of the blue long-sleeved cotton shirt across his back tucked in at the hips, the snug dark denim around his tight bubble butt, the stretch of his muscular legs with each lithe stride and the tan Timbs on his feet.
Damn. Yahya was eye candy. She wouldn’t mind doing more than looking. Her mouth watered, and she swallowed. Shame he would never consider her as a friend with benefits.