Friday, June 14, 2019
Book Preview: Like Never Before (Chapter Three)
As I count down to the release of my upcoming romance novel, I’ll be sharing chapters of the book every other week.
Here’s the third chapter, and I hope you enjoy it:
Chapter Three: Three shots later
Chiny got to the club around 11:30 p.m. looking like something out of a movie. She wore a short red dress with black heels, and let her long braids down. Her make-up was nicely done, and she used silver-coloured accessories to compliment her dressing, which matched the chain of her purse that she hung over her shoulder. She had a sexy, but casual look, and she loved it.
The taxi she had called from the hotel stopped her a few buildings from the club because the street was one-way and he had missed his turning. From a distance, she could see a long and noisy queue, and she immediately knew that it was the club. She paid the driver, a ridiculous amount for a short trip, in her opinion, as the man had arrived with the meter already reading.
She got out of the taxi and cat-walked all the way to the queue, then joined it. It was a bit chilly and she wished she had taken a scarf or something to cover her shoulders with. The queue seemed to be moving at a snail’s pace, and she wondered what was causing the delay. The three hefty-looking bouncers at the door didn’t let everyone in. Some people were turned away because they weren’t properly dressed, while a group of young, obviously drunk boys were also turned away with no reason given. Chiny noticed that mostly guys were being turned away, and the only females who were denied entry were those who came alone. She didn’t know why being alone was an issue, but she hoped she wasn’t going to suffer the same fate.
As she stood in the queue still shivering, a bluish graphite grey Aston Martin pulled up the street and drove by slowly, making all the heads on the queue turn. Chiny turned her head abruptly to her right, almost breaking her neck, as her eyes followed the car.
“Oh wow, the latest 2007 Aston Martin Vanquish,” she said. She had seen the car only in catalogues and magazines, so she was amazed to see one physically. She was tempted to take a picture of it, or rather with it, but she imagined hearing Nneka’s voice warning her not to do anything disgraceful. She realised that she had been staring at the car for too long, then turned her head back to face the queue.
At the same time, she said to herself, “That’s a very expensive and powerful car. I’m sure the idiot who owns it doesn’t even know its worth.”
“I’m pretty sure the idiot does,” a voice replied, making Chiny turn her head to the left.
She looked at the person. A white man, deliciously cute, but white all the same. His English was perfect, and she could tell that he had a British accent, but she wasn’t there to make any friends. She ignored the man.
“So you know cars?” the same man asked.
Chiny looked at the white man again. She scrutinised his slack-looking tee shirt with a V-neck and the skinny jeans he wore. His shoes were shiny, as though polished with baby oil. She looked away, as she replied, “Yes, I do.”
“And you think you know that car’s worth?” The man smiled. “Tell me something that is unique about it.”
“I sell cars back home. Of course, I know its worth. That’s a DBS V12, which is actually not released to the general public yet. It will be officially unveiled next month in California.”
“All right.” He put both his hands up, as though he was surrendering. “So where’s back home?”
Chiny turned to look at him, this time, with eyes that could shoot daggers. She was feeling cold and the stranger was disturbing her. She didn’t want to answer any more of his questions. She was going to give him a sarcastic answer when she heard someone yell the name “David Butler.”
As she turned towards the person who had yelled, she saw other people running towards her from all corners of the street. She stood confused, unable to move or to get out of the way. By the time she got her senses back, she was pushed and knocked over. And in that split second, she looked towards the club; the queue was no longer there. The club-goers had followed the direction of the crowd.
Chiny rolled away so that she wouldn’t get crushed. She wondered what exactly was going on, then noticed that everyone had gathered around someone. She figured that the 'someone' could be the owner of the Aston Martin who had clearly gotten out of his car and had approached the club. Within seconds, the three hefty-looking bouncers broke through the crowd and rescued whoever it was that had been surrounded, then took the person into the club.
Still somewhat confused, Chiny got up, wobbled on her feet, face scrunched, then went back to the entrance of the club. Luckily for her, she was now the first in line, just in time before the crowd ran back to form a queue behind her.
When the bouncers returned from inside, they asked if she was alone and she said yes. She was turned away. She asked why, out of curiosity, and no response was given — she wasn’t going to be allowed in, and she wasn’t going to be given an explanation either. She was turned away again and asked to step aside, so that the line could advance. Cold, bruised and frustrated, she stepped aside. She was considering leaving when a security man came out of the club and walked up to her.
She looked back to check if he was talking to someone else. There was no one behind her.
“I was asked to bring you in,” he said.
“Sorry?” She looked perplexed. “Bring me in?”
“Yes. Someone inside asked me to bring you in.”
“Someone inside? Who is the someone inside?”
“The Magnet?” she asked.
She realised she had been repeating everything the security man had said and felt awkward. At the same time, she had no clue who the Magnet was and why the person had an interest in her. She believed it could have been the owner of the Aston Martin, who had inadvertently caused her to fall. He may have felt sorry for her and wanted to make it up to her. Whatever the case might have been, she was happy that she wasn’t going home after all. Her heart beat faster at the thought of being invited in by a celebrity and instant excitement filled her body.
“Yes. Follow me,” the security man said, and walked away before Chiny could say any other thing. She followed immediately.
The club was immense on the inside; the small metal entrance door didn’t do it any justice. It was very colourful with disco balls and flashing lights. The music was so loud, Chiny felt the beats vibrate through her body.
The security man bent his head and whispered into her ear, “Mr. Butler said you can join him in the VIP section if you want to. It’s upstairs.”
Mr. Butler? Chiny thought. The man had told her that it was the ‘Magnet’ earlier. But that didn’t matter anymore. What mattered was that the celebrity had invited her to the VIP section.
She bent forward and also whispered in his ear, “Okay, but I want to use the toilet first.”
The security man nodded, and then walked away, while Chiny looked around for the toilet. And at the same time, she noticed that the club had several sections, and each section had a DJ with a different genre of music playing. She passed the reggae, the rock, the dancehall, the zouk, and the R&B sections, each time peeping in to see what it was like. She could make out about a thousand people or more in the club. She was excited. She found her way to the toilet and met a short queue inside. And after waiting for only a few minutes, she was able to get a free stall.
She entered the stall and pulled out her phone to call Nneka. She then put the phone to her ear with one hand and placed her other hand to her other ear to try to block out the noise.
Nneka didn’t disappoint. She picked up immediately. “Aren’t you supposed to be...” She paused, then shouted. “It’s so noisy there, what’s the club like?”
“I can’t really hear you,” Chiny replied.
“Then why did you call if you can’t hear me?” Nneka asked, and hissed. “Frog.”
“Goat. Please do you know anyone called the Magnet?” Chiny continued.
“How am I supposed to know that?” Nneka sounded sarcastic. “Do I look like Google to you? Please, it’s 2007, everything is online these days.”
“Shut up jor. The person is supposed to be a celebrity, I think. Do you know him or not?”
“I don’t know him. Why?”
“It’s a long story jor,” Chiny started, then she suddenly remembered how the long story had begun, with someone yelling a name. “Do you know any Butler?”
“Don’t be a frog. I’m sure there are more than a million Butlers in the world. Is there any other name?”
“You’re a goat. I don’t remember the first name.”
“So you’ve gone to meet a man... a celebrity for that matter. You didn’t go there to play oh.”
“Bye-bye jor,” Chiny said, then hung up.
She didn’t even know why she had called Nneka to ask her if she knew the mysterious Magnet; she could have just checked it out online, as Nneka had mentioned. So she quickly opened the browser on her phone and put ‘Butler’ in the search engine; she was overwhelmed by the number of results that came up. There were indeed a lot of Butlers in the world.
She paused to think, trying to recall what name she had heard the person on the street yell. The name didn’t come to her, so she searched for ‘Butler The Magnet’ and was surprised to see the pictures of the white man she had met outside the club surface. There were also loads of articles and stories about him.
In the pictures she saw of him, he was either alone or with other people, at outings, events, or award ceremonies. She scrolled down the list, her eyes glancing through the titles of all the articles and stories in full speed. One of the articles indicated that his first name was David. She then remembered what the person outside had yelled before the crowd pushed her down; it was David Butler. She went back to the main page and typed in ‘David Butler,’ and his personal page immediately popped up. He was David the ‘Magnet’ Butler.
Chiny opened the link and read through it. He was one of the highest-paid actors in the world. He was English, but he divided his time between his homes in London and Los Angeles. He was also from a wealthy family and heir to his late father’s estate in the UK. He could stop acting if he wanted to, and he would never go hungry, Chiny thought. She continued reading.
She found out that he was thirty-six years old, and in her opinion, too young to be one of the highest-paid actors in the world. She only wondered if his family’s wealth and prominence had played a role in his stardom and financial status... but she would never know.
Even more interesting news about him was the fact that he wasn’t married, and he didn’t have kids. He had a girlfriend, yes, but they were in an on-and-off relationship. Chiny knew better than to get mixed up with a man that was already taken. Finally, she learnt that he was called the ‘Magnet’ by his friends during high school, as a lot of girls were attracted to him. Chiny smiled at that, then closed the pages and left the toilet.
She headed straight for the VIP section to meet her celebrity friend, hoping that he hadn’t yet left. She didn’t know if he qualified to be her friend, but that was what she was sticking to. When she got there, he was sitting alone, with bottles of drinks on the table. The security man was also in the VIP section but on a different table. The place was as noisy as the rest of the club.
“You are the Magnet?” she asked, as she approached him, although she already knew the answer to the question.
“Yes, and also the idiot who owns the Aston Martin Vanquish.” He laughed. “I’m David Butler.”
Chiny put her head down, embarrassed. She promised herself to be more cautious with her words whenever she was in public.
“I’m sorry about that,” she said. “I meant no offense.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
There was then an awkward silence, which Chiny broke when she asked, “Can I sit?”
She had yelled the question because of the noise, but she figured it was her use of sign language that indicated her intention.
David immediately got up, and also yelled, “Of course. Please.”
“Where is everyone?” she asked, as she sat down. “Isn’t it boring up here alone?”
“Not really. I like being here alone, so I paid to reserve this whole section.”
“You would deprive everyone else of sitting here because you like being alone? You could have just stayed at home.”
David laughed. “I like being alone, just in this section, but with people, music, and noise in the building. So it’s different from staying at home alone.”
Chiny had nothing to say to that.
“Would you like a drink?” David asked.
“What are you having?”
David laughed again. “Louis thirteenth, in English. It’s cognac from the house of Rémy Martin.”
“Thanks, but I don’t drink Cognac.” She almost bit her tongue trying to pronounce the word and was happy that the place was noisy, so David didn’t hear exactly what she had said.
“Have you tried it?” he asked.
She shook her head, indicating ‘no.’
“There’s always a first time to try something new.”
She shrugged, and David poured her a shot. She took the glass and clinked it on his before gulping down the drink. She coughed after the liquid passed through her throat and burned her chest. Strangely, she loved the sensation.
“Do you like it?” David asked.
She liked the feeling it left, but she wasn’t sure if she liked the drink. She nodded all the same.
Before long, they began to make small talk, but not about anything serious, as the volume of the music in the club wasn’t helping matters. David had to move his seat to her side, so that they wouldn’t have to shout at each other to communicate. From the eyes of an onlooker, they were like two high school kids on a first date, as they whispered into each other’s ear, but in reality, it was the only way they could have a proper conversation. They carried on like that, talking mostly about cars, then family, career, dreams, what she was doing in France and the places she wanted to see, and why he was called the Magnet. He confirmed what she had read online about the nickname.
Three shots later, Chiny was floating. She didn’t know that was all it took for her to get intoxicated, but she loved the feeling. She let go and relaxed her body, and she felt a certain freedom as she chatted. She remembered talking about relationships with David. She told him she wasn’t dating anyone, and he said that he was ‘off’ at the moment on his on-and-off relationship with his girlfriend. Chiny smiled at the fact that he wasn’t a taken man after all. She took some more shots, although she knew that she was crossing her limits.
When they were done talking, David stood up and extended his hand to her, then he whispered into her ear, “Shall we dance?” An R&B song had come up and he didn’t want to miss the opportunity of slow dancing to it. Chiny took his hand and stood up, but she couldn’t explain how she was feeling as they danced. Her mind was telling her that it was time to return to her hotel, but her legs felt like jelly, she thought they were going to give way. And just like a magnet, her body was drawn towards David’s own and stuck to it. She felt a nice tingling sensation run through her body and stop between her legs, putting mild pressure in that area, as if she wanted to pee. She held her knees together.
David whispered into her ear one more time. “Do you want to leave this club? We can go over to where I stay.”
Chiny looked up and nodded what felt like a thousand times. Something in her just wanted to be with him.
Did you enjoy it? Please share it with people you know might enjoy it, and check back in two weeks for the next chapter.
Have a lovely weekend!