Today’s snippet theme is Character. Enjoy.
An snippet from Conquering Jazz…
Laughing, Mia replied, “You know I’m a wicked woman with any type of food. But chocolate syrup is more my thing. Give me a bottle and I’m wild.”
“So, that’s why you pawned my account off on one of your employees?” demanded a deep baritone voice from the door behind Mia.
“Uh-oh. She’s going to blow,” Jasmine whispered.
Ignoring her, Mia replied in a scratchy, tight voice, without turning around. “Yes. So I can have time for my legion of men, who know what they want and can make up their damned minds.”
From the corner of her eye, Mia saw Jermaine’s muscular thighs come into view. Distracted by his nearness, she was caught unaware as he hauled her up out of the chair to face him.
“Well, your legion will have to wait. You aren’t going to leave my party in the hands of some incompetent idiot.”
Jasmine looked on in disbelief as they circled each other like boxers.
Jerking her arm from his hand, Mia replied through clenched teeth. “We don’t have incompetent people working here. But we do have difficult clients.” Mia looked pointedly at him. “We are more than happy to serve you the best we can by pairing you with a more compatible individual.”
Crossing his arms over his muscular chest, Jermaine scoffed. “I want you to plan the party, or I will take my business elsewhere. Unless you’re afraid you can’t handle a party like this.”
Sputtering, Mia answered, “I can handle any party, even your rinky-dink one, with my eyes closed.”
“Good, then it’s settled. When can we meet to talk over the changes we discussed last time?”
Mia’s gaze glittered dangerously. “We will not discuss anything. If you don’t want Vivian, you can…” Jasmine put her hand over Mia’s mouth from behind, muffling her as she kept talking.
Laughing, Jermaine reclined on Jasmine’s desk. “Hi Sis. Sorry for the interruption. My planner and I had a slight miscommunication. We’re working it out.” He gestured toward Mia, as she continued to rave behind Jasmine’s hand.
Jasmine watched uneasily as Jermaine’s expression turned speculative. “I haven’t seen much of you lately. Where have you been? Every time I call, you brush me off, or you’re not at home. So what have you been up to?”
Damn! He suspects something, Jasmine thought.
Clearing her throat, Jasmine replied, “Oh, I’ve just been busy, that’s all. Sorry I haven’t come by. I meant to get together with you, J. So how is everything going?”
“Everything is fine, but you’re not going to get off that easy. Where have you been? None of us has heard anything from you in weeks. So what’s going on? If I didn’t know better, I would swear you have a new boyfriend. But you always let us check him out, so, nah, that can’t be it.”
Guiltily, Jasmine laughed. “You’re so full of crap. I don’t let you check anyone out. You all get crazy and try to scare them away.” She wasn’t fooled by the innocent look on Jermaine face.
“Who, us? We’re harmless,” he said. “We just want what’s best for our little sis. And I want to make sure nobody takes advantage of my second half.”
“‘Best’ my foot. Buy a clue, J. We’re twins, so we’re the same age, bro. I’m not your little sis. You and the rest of our brothers just like to interfere and get revenge.”
Jermaine’s brown eyes twinkled as he grinned mischievously. “That too. But who can blame us, after all the pranks you’ve pulled.”
They laughed. Jasmine glanced at Mia, whose eyes still glittered as she stood silently. She glanced back at Jermaine as he spoke.
“I think she’s run out of energy now. You can let her go.”
Gingerly, Jasmine withdrew her hand. Mia slapped her on the arm, saying, “Don’t do that again. I know he’s your brother. I wasn’t going to hurt him–too much.”
Chuckling, Jasmine whispered, “I know, but I wanted to make sure you didn’t say something you would regret–although he is a pain in the ass sometimes.” They ignored him as he made a rude noise. “Jermaine is a client.”
The glare Mia gave Jermaine could have melted steel as she said loudly, “Yes, he’s more than a pain in the ass. He is a …Ouch! Stop that.” She rubbed her arm where Jasmine had pinched her. She continued to glare at Jermaine.
He returned her glare with a smirk. The tension in the room thickened.
“If you think I’ll work with you on anything, you are sadly mistaken,” Mia said.
“Oh no, I’m not. You are, if you think I’ll let you pawn me off like some chump to someone else. If you can’t be mature, that’s your problem.” He straightened his six-foot-four frame from his lounging position on Jasmine’s desk.
The verbal slings continued and escalated as Jasmine watched, trying not to laugh. Jermaine stalked across the carpet until he stood in Mia’s face. Mia was only slightly shorter than him, and in her heels, she almost met him eye to eye. They seemed like two cats, bristling at each other.
Then Jasmine’s eyes widened. There was more than animosity in their body language as they argued with each other. Mia stepped back as Jermaine advanced on her. Catching herself, Mia stood her ground. Jermaine reached her, and Jasmine watched in fascination as her normally cold brother proceeded to try and haul Mia up off her feet.
Copyright © McKenna Jeffries, 2008.
All Rights Reserved, Liquid Silver Books.
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