Stay the Night [NOOK Book]

Overview

They didn't believe in love. . .

Beautiful and brilliant Adana Terrell is a no-nonsense litigator who's nearly given up on happily ever after. But while on vacation in breathtaking Nairobi, Kenya, she encounters a man who just might change her mind--if only he wasn't as stubborn as she is. . .

Until their hearts gave them no choice. . .

Ruggedly handsome and fabulously wealthy lawyer Kamau Mazrui is facing his own demons--and falling for a ...

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Stay the Night

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Overview

They didn't believe in love. . .

Beautiful and brilliant Adana Terrell is a no-nonsense litigator who's nearly given up on happily ever after. But while on vacation in breathtaking Nairobi, Kenya, she encounters a man who just might change her mind--if only he wasn't as stubborn as she is. . .

Until their hearts gave them no choice. . .

Ruggedly handsome and fabulously wealthy lawyer Kamau Mazrui is facing his own demons--and falling for a headstrong woman is not in his plans. He and Adana lock horns immediately, yet Kamau can hardly resist the stunning woman's intensity and passion--though he is determined to try. . .

Praise for Chilufiya Safaa

"...sure to please fans of Francis Ray and Gwynne Forster." --Booklist on The Art of Love

"An enchanting and heartwarming love story." --The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers on Passionate Encounters

Chilufiya Safaa is an educator and an entrepreneur. Her passions are her children and her grandchildren, traveling, studying other cultures, listening to a variety of styles of music, good theater, and good conversation. She lives in Tennessee.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her fourth contemporary romance about the beautiful and accomplished Terrell sisters (after 2007's The Art of Love), Safaa focuses on the eldest sister, Adana, a confident Virginia lawyer. Adana loves her work but is dissatisfied with colleagues who value her for her background rather than for her talent. Traveling to Kenya to visit her sisters, she meets attorney Kamau Mazrui and sparks fly, even though he's mourning his recently deceased wife. After Adana shares a night of passion with the handsome Kamau, he helps her prepare for a big case about to go to trial. When she returns to Virginia, they continue their sizzling relationship long distance, but commitment issues challenge their future. There is a warm, appealing bond among the sisters, but Safaa unrealistically downplays the cultural differences between America and Kenya, making the romance feel just a little too easy. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758273468
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 930,072
  • File size: 695 KB

First Chapter

Stay The Night


By Chilufiya Safaa

DAFINA BOOKS

Copyright © 2010 Chilufiya Safaa
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-1974-9


Chapter One

Nairobi, Kenya

Mist hung as if by magic in the early morning air. The gray-colored Kenyan sky opened and released clear droplets of warm rain that drizzled gently down to the thirsty, rust-colored earth. Kamau Mazrui stood stoically alone inside the enclosed structure of the Mazrui family mausoleum. As the rain dropped softly to the ground, so did silent tears drop down Kamau's clenched, square jaw. The painful memory of the loss of his wife, Yasmin Mazrui, once again pierced his heart like the reopening of an old wound. He stood motionless. Even the air dared not stir as he stood mute, questioning silently what he could have done to prevent his wife's untimely death. Yasmin Mazrui's life had ended a year earlier in the crash of the small Cessna aircraft she had been piloting, but Kamau's need for her still lingered. The void left by his wife's absence wrapped around him like silken ribbons, reminding him of a touch that could no longer be felt. Kamau stood, knowing he would never see, hear nor feel Yasmin again. The void eased through him, leaving cold, empty traces of longing and regret. Rapid-fire questions lasered through his consciousness. Was there a word that should have or could have been said? Could more have been done to stop her from piloting the plane alone? Why was her life taken? Why was he deprived of her beauty, intellect and humor? If they had not quarreled before her business trip about her wanting to pilot the plane without him, would she have been more focused and consequently still alive? The barrage of muted questions had no answers. Feeling the moisture from tears landing on taut, chiseled, deep-mahogany-colored cheeks, Kamau wiped them away quickly with the back of his strong, dark hand. With one motion, he denied their existence. The end of Kamau Mazrui's momentary expression of sorrow was released in a breath that emanated from a body that had become defined by grief.

As if by rote, Kamau quickly looked at the octagonal face of his custom-made Cartier wristwatch. The time that registered brought him back to the realities of his current existence. In less than an hour, he was expected to host a breakfast meeting for businessmen who, like himself, wielded substantial power around the globe. Among the men attending would be his father, Judge Garsen Mazrui, and his older brother, Keino Mazrui, a highly successful international entrepreneur. For the sake of the family, Kamau knew he could show no signs of lingering grief. It was not his desire to have anyone show concern or pity for him. The isolation he felt shrouded him as he lifted dark, hooded eyes once again to read the golden plaque on which was etched YASMIN MAZRUI, BELOVED WIFE. He took a deep cleansing breath and slowly exited the mausoleum. Leaving the structure, Kamau noted that the rain had stopped, and the sky had returned to azure laced with chalky-white clouds making their way lazily across the heavens.

Moving his well-toned, solidly built body with grace and precision, Kamau Mazrui placed one elegantly crafted, meticulously polished, leather Italian lace-up shoe in front of the other. Having made his way across the manicured grounds on which the mausoleum stood, Kamau unlocked his four-door, late-model Bentley with the remote. Entering the driver's seat, he was encased in a soft cocoon of burgundy leather that became another refuge.

He placed the key in the ignition and turned his wrist slightly. The powerful engine responded with a barely perceptible hum. With an automatic motion, Kamau pressed his foot on the accelerator. The elegantly designed driving machine moved forward, gliding so smoothly Kamau barely felt the road. With skill and precision, he steered the touring sedan and sped along familiar highways, heading toward what he hoped would be the ultimate distraction-his work.

The streets of Nairobi were congested as Kamau Mazrui maneuvered the steel-gray Bentley along the stretch of roadway leading to the Meru Gentlemen's Club. The Meru Club had been founded decades before by his paternal grandfather. The Mazrui patriarch had always declared that the club had been erected as a barrier against the vulgar and the mundane. In contemporary times, its use had become more complicated. The vulgar and the mundane were open to loosely held interpretations. The major reason for the meetings held at the club in modern times concerned business; some would have conjectured that a certain level of business by its very nature lent itself to vulgarity and to the mundane. And so with every accelerated motion of the sedan, Kamau Mazrui moved momentarily away from the grief that permeated his soul to the ruthlessness that often characterized the world in which he operated as the principal attorney in the Mazrui law firm.

As he continued to steer the car in the direction of the club, the symbol of strength and timelessness erected by his grandfather soon became visible. It was a massive building that mimicked the Georgian architecture popular in eighteenth-century Britain. The sight of the structure released in him a calm assurance that connected him mentally and emotionally to the power of his grandfather, the patriarch of the dynasty who had conceived of and constructed the building he saw before him. At this time in his life, only his ancestral connections gave him the strength to persevere.

Kamau Mazrui wheeled the luxury automobile into his reserved parking space, and immediately a valet was on hand to open his door. Kamau pressed a lever to open the trunk of the car, stepped out, retrieved his flawlessly crafted leather briefcase and walked into the gentlemen's club with the air of pride, competence, arrogance and confidence that surrounded all of the Mazrui men. He entered the building and found within its well-preserved walls the sense of peace he craved. There was a refined splendor in the large, opulently decorated rooms. They were separated by their functions. Some were used for gaming; some for dining; some for meetings; and others for lounging with a favorite cigar, glass of port, snifter of brandy, pipe, periodical, book or the daily news. Conversations were to be had on any subject, from the ridiculous to the sublime. Kamau welcomed the smells of aged leather, rich tobacco, freshly brewed coffee and the faint fragrance of lemon from highly polished African and European antique furnishings. He was calmed by the watchful eyes that stared down from the ornately framed portraits of men like his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, men who had prevailed and thrived in spite of personal tragedies. It gave him comfort to know that such strength was his birthright. As Kamau entered the vestibule, he was greeted by the hall porter, a wizened, elderly gentleman who informed him that his father and brother had already arrived. He thanked the porter who had served the Mazrui family and the Meru Gentlemen's Club for three decades, and then made his way to the room he had reserved for the meeting.

As Kamau entered the room, Garsen and Keino Mazrui saw him, stopped their conversation and encircled him warmly in the familial embrace that was their custom. After the greeting, each man positioned himself in one of the high-backed chairs encircling a round table constructed of gleaming ebony wood inlaid on the surface with geometrically shaped mahogany pieces.

Judge Garsen Mazrui observed his son Kamau with more intensity than usual as the three of them discussed the fluctuating global markets and made light of recent political scandals. The judge watched Kamau go through the motions of emptying his briefcase of well-ordered file folders in preparation for the meeting. Kamau distractedly lined up the files perfectly on the table in front of him while conversing with his father and brother. Judge Mazrui noted that although it had been a year since his daughter-in-law's death, his son's eyes still held the look of one caught unaware by a tragedy that defied explanation. Keino, too, tried to unobtrusively observe his brother. It pained him that he could not help his beloved sibling find peace. Keino was well aware that although Kamau performed his normal duties as efficiently as ever for all the world to see, his brother wore his pain as close to him as one of his well-tailored suits.

Judge Mazrui changed the subject from stocks and bonds to more immediate concerns. While looking at his gold pocket watch, he asked, "Kamau, how many of our colleagues are joining us today?"

Still organizing the files in front of him, Kamau responded, "Approximately ten." He stopped positioning the files and added, "They should start arriving shortly." With the thumb and index finger of his left hand, Kamau stroked his full, well-groomed mustache as he continued speaking. "I have been informed that everyone invited will join us." He added with a slightly cynical grin, "Time in Africa is, after all, cyclical. Despite modern advances, some cultural practices never change."

Kamau's statement amused Keino, and through his laughter, Keino responded, "My brother, you are so right. African time will always be African time." He gestured, lifting his hands into the air. "Throughout the diaspora it is the same."

Just as Keino finished his sentence, a number of the businessmen scheduled to arrive walked into the room. These men were representatives of a number of African countries. As emissaries of their various city-states, they had come to the Meru Gentlemen's Club at Kamau's request to serve as the founding members of a continental African strategic planning entity designed to set policy to unify political and economic systems across the continent. Greetings were extended and small talk was exchanged. Shortly, the remainder of the group arrived, and Kamau took charge as waiters entered as if on cue, carrying trays of food that they placed on skirted buffet tables. Gone was Kamau's early morning melancholy; in its place was a driven, laser-focused attention to detail. His only purpose at that moment was to preside over the meeting with the commanding presence that was the hallmark of Mazrui tradition. As the morning clicked by at a rapid pace, filled with eating, lighthearted banter and serious business transactions, Kamau's sadness turned to the solemn focus and the passion and persistence that had forged his reputation as an internationally renowned corporate attorney. With the heightened decibels of his voice, he guided the men forward to the accomplishment of their stated goals, pushing thoughts of Yasmin for a time further back into the recesses of his mind.

Chapter Two

Virginia, USA

Adana Terrell stood in the empty courtroom where in two hours she was scheduled to begin the trial preliminaries of her newest case. Years before, she had developed a ritual of standing in the vacant courtroom in which she was to appear to breathe in all of the joy she felt when practicing the art of being a jurist. Adana couldn't remember a time when she didn't want to be a lawyer. She was living her dream. She was a partner in the prestigious firm of Wilkes, Willis, Burkes, and Terrell. A smile eased across her narrow face. A deep sigh parted ruby-colored lips as she tilted her head back, causing her short, precision-cut, fine, raven-colored hair to fall back, resting on her head in perfect layers. The lock of hair that normally stopped at her cheek, almost covering one eye, fell back, exposing round eyes that sparkled and glistened. Feeling a sense of peace wash over her, Adana closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around her torso. In her mind's eye, she envisioned herself facing the jury and hammering away at them with arguments so compelling her client would be acquitted. Just as she envisioned herself uttering the last sentence of her summation, the vision was shattered. A familiar voice that prickled her skin pierced the silence.

"I see you're still practicing that ritual of yours."

She felt as if the proverbial splash of cold water had been thrown in her face. Adana's body tightened, her eyes opened slowly and she stared with deadly precision at the figure standing before her. Adana could not mistake that voice. She would never forget it. There he was, cocky, flashy, with a hint of slick hiding beneath an extremely expensive wardrobe. She wondered what she had ever seen in him. Adana hated to think that her preoccupation with work and the pursuit of her dream had allowed her to fall for the shallow pretty boy Jeffery Scott, Esquire, who was now standing there leering at her. But it had, and now he was thrown back into her life as her adversary in the firm's latest case.

Adana straightened her slender, shapely form to its maximum five feet nine inches and, with the ruby-colored nails of her left hand, flicked a strand of hair from her cheek, turned her back to him and began walking in the opposite direction.

Jeffery watched her walk to the defense table, and for the zillionth time, he regretted losing the spectacular woman he saw before him. As always, she was impeccably dressed. Adana's black St. John knit suit tastefully hugged every curve, the white silk blouse and three strands of white pearls touched places he longed to embrace, and the matching pearl earrings and black three-inch stilettos brought back memories of the heat and passion Adana had always evoked in him.

Adana's silence spoke volumes, causing Jeffery to feel tremendous exasperation and a loss of control. With a clipped tone that sounded as though he were examining a witness, Jeffery asked, "Are you going to answer me?"

Having finished placing previously reviewed briefs back into her leather briefcase, a cold, exacting Adana responded while picking up the briefcase from the table. "No, Jeffery. No small talk, no answered questions. I only intend to speak to you when we are actively involved in matters pertaining to this trial. Until then, leave me the hell alone." With head held high and composure intact, Adana left the courtroom, leaving Jeffery frozen where he stood.

His eyes followed her. The corner of his mouth lifted in a sly grin. Jeffery shook his head and reminded himself that though he had lost one round, he wasn't giving up. Jeffery Scott felt he had been given another chance, and this time Adana Terrell was not going to slip away. He turned his attention to the documents he intended to review and silently assured himself that the lady lawyer, his worthy adversary, would once again be his.

Adana was steaming. The intensity of the anger was causing her head to pound and her ears to ring. Clenching her teeth, she muttered to herself, "What in God's name have I done to deserve this? What have I done? I am going to have to work for weeks with a man who deceived and humiliated me."

Walking became her release. The heels of her stilettos clicked rhythmically as she hurried along the marbled halls of the courthouse, moving as quickly as she could away from a piece of her past she wanted never to remember. Jeffery Scott was a constant reminder that though she was an accomplished attorney, when it came to choosing a man, she, Adana Terrell, was clueless. Jeffery Scott, the fast-talking, New York-bred manipulator, had more game than Adana had ever encountered. As she walked, she thought to herself, Adana, you were played like a fiddle. She needed to run, to punch something, to scream, to curse Jeffery. None of those things were options at that moment, so she hurried on to the parking garage where she had left her car.

Adana crossed the busy street facing the courthouse, taking deep breaths, hoping to calm herself. She quickly entered the concrete slab constructed to house automobiles of every imaginable size, shape and color. Adana found the numbered stall where she had parked her car, and as she slid into the driver's seat, she grabbed the steering wheel of the two-seater Mercedes-Benz with both hands, rested her head on it and wept. The tears weren't for Jeffery or for the loss of the relationship. The tears were because, in her mind, she had been played royally. Adana Terrell hated to lose, and she hated being duped. Both loss and deception left her feeling vulnerable, and being vulnerable was not something she handled well. With Jeffery she had missed every sign. Denial had been her middle name. The ability to judge correctly was the cornerstone of her chosen profession. The fact that Jeffery Scott was ever a fixture in her life left her questioning herself on the most basic levels.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Stay The Night by Chilufiya Safaa Copyright © 2010 by Chilufiya Safaa. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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