here's a first look at book 3 in the book club series..the liaison
Nadia Brooks sat in her home office, listening to her client on the other side of the large computer screen on her desk.
Over the past five years, Nadia had built a solid business working as a life coach for people who needed direction and encouragement in their lives. Her no nonsense attitude and keeping it one hundred personality served her well in this capacity, because sometimes people needed someone to simply tell them the truth, without judgement.
In her capacity, she helped black men and women see both the good and the bad in their thoughts and actions, then directed them out of the bad and encouraged them more toward the good. Her current client was a woman in her forties who was looking for a new lease on life.
“Good morning, Nadia,”
Nadia smiled into the camera. “Good Morning, Alina. How are you today?”
“Needing to talk to you,”
Lifting a brow, Nadia settled in. “What’s going on?”
Nadia kept her face emotionless. “What about him?”
“He doesn’t like me talking to you.”
“Of course he doesn’t,” Nadia explained. “Because I’m helping you to stand on your own two feet and be the woman you want to be…instead of the woman he wants you to be. Have you enrolled in classes yet?”
Alina sighed. “Tony thinks that it’s too late for me to follow that dream.”
Nadia nodded. “Okay, so what do you think?”
“I don’t know.” Alina told her. “I mean, when we worked on my plans, I was so excited, but now…”
“Alina, you hired me because you were tired of the life you’re currently living and you wanted something better.” Nadia told her. “As long as you want that, and you move toward it, it will happen in your life. But, if you allow Tony to continue to make you doubt yourself and your abilities, you’re going to stay in the same place or sink lower.”
“He wants to get married…” Alina announced.
Nadia looked at the woman. “After five years, what do you think his motivation is now?”
“He loves me.”
“Alina, I’m a life coach, not a therapist. I can help you identify your goals and ways to accomplish them.” Nadia explained. “What I can’t and won’t do, is sit here and listen to you rationalize something that makes absolutely no sense.”
Alina looked away. “You don’t think he loves me?”
“It’s not my concern, Alina. I don’t get paid to figure out if Tony loves you. I get paid to see if you love yourself enough to change your life.”
Alina looked back at the screen. “You’re so tough.”
“No, I’m truthful and sometimes the truth is tough to handle.”
“Do you really think I can go back to school at my age?”
“What are you talking about? You’re in your early forties. Do you know how many years of life you have left?” Nadia questioned.
“It just feels like I’ve lost so much time.”
Nadia shook her head. “Remove the negative connotation from that time, and see it as a learning experience. A time which has taught you about your true self.”
“This is such a change for me.”
Nadia smiled. “I know. That’s why you came to me. You want to change, Alina. There’s a woman inside that wants to break out and be all that you desire.”
Alina looked at the beautiful, confident woman who was always put together.
“You seem like you can handle anything,” Alina said quietly.
“I won’t say that, but I will say that what I have to handle, I will do it…” Nadia told her. “And that’s all you have to do.”
Taking a deep breath, Alina nodded. “I do want this.”
“Then you’re going to have to go and get it.” Nadia told her. “No matter what anyone says, no matter who supports you…you have to be determined in what you want.”
“Yes, I do…”
“Have you been doing the meditations that I suggested?” Nadia asked.
Alina smiled. “I was a little leery at first, but now I’m getting more acclimated. They really help me to focus.”
“That’s the purpose,” Nadia told her. “You can’t achieve much without focus. Distractions have destroyed many dreams.”
“What should I do about Tony?” Alina asked.
Nadia shook her head. “That’s not my lane. That’s for you to figure out.” She answered. “But, if he’s going to be your distraction, the answer should become clear to you.”
There was silence as the two women looked at one another.
“The next time we talk, I hope you’ve enrolled in your classes and you’re focused on the next steps in your life plan.” Nadia said quietly.
Nadia smiled. “I don’t want to take your money for nothing.”
“You’re worth every penny.”
“I’m glad you think so.” Nadia told her. “Now keep that vision board up to date and stay focused.”
“Thank you, Nadia.”
“It’s what I do…”
For the rest of the hour, Nadia worked with Alina on her future plans to create the life she wanted for herself. Nadia made sure not to force her own beliefs on her clients. Their decisions needed to be their own, in line with the goals that they set for themselves. Her job was to guide and encourage them to completion.
Ending the video call with Alina, Nadia began to type her notes from the session. When she was done, she turned her phone on and saw a message from Gil. She’d met Gil in New York City at her friend, Debra’s wedding. Gil was the groom’s best man and they had spent a little time together, while she was in town. Since then, they’d kept in touch via phone calls and texts.
Nadia sighed and thought about her pact with the Book Club. They’d agreed to all find husbands in one year. Since that time, both Tiffany and Debra had gotten married, and Tiffany was almost ready to deliver her son in a few months. Debra had settled into her newly-built home with her husband, Darius, and they were planning on starting their family soon.
That meant there were only a few months left before their self-imposed deadline, and Nadia didn’t really feel any closer to finding her man, than when they had started. However, she wasn’t giving up hope. She’d seen the wave in action…the wave of friends getting married in groups.
Her wave was coming, she was sure of it…and since Willie was taken, she had no other available alternatives. Dialing Gil’s number, she waited for him to answer.
“Hi, Gil. I got your message.”
“Were you meeting with a client?”
She nodded. “Yes, I have another shortly.”
“Thanks for fitting me in…”
“How’s New York?” Nadia asked.
“It’s funny that you ask…”
Nadia frowned. “What’s funny about it?”
“I was calling to schedule a trip to Grayling to see a beautiful life coach.” He said softly.
She blinked. “Hmmm?”
“I would like to come visit you.” Gil explained. “I haven’t seen you since the new year, it’s April now.” He explained.
“You’re coming to Grayling?”
Gil chuckled. “Yes, I’ve heard a lot about it from Darius. I’ll also be visiting him at his new home, but my priority is to see you.”
Still surprised, Nadia composed herself. “I’d love to see you, too.”
“Thank you. You had me worried there for a minute.”
“No, you surprised me.”
“I hope it was a good surprise,” he replied.
Nadia agreed. “Yes, it was…I don’t really like surprises since my life is based on teaching people to plan.”
“I’m glad I didn’t just show up on your doorstep.”
“That’s not the best idea.”
He laughed. “Okay, darling. I’ll let you know when I plan to arrive.”
“I appreciate that, and I’ll be ready to see you when you get here.”
“Good, I’d like to spend some more time with you.”
Nadia smiled. “I’d like that, too.”
They talked a little while longer until Nadia had to prepare for her next client. She ended the call and sat back in her chair, thinking about Gil. Gilbert Bagley III was the epitome of the bourgeoisie. His family was black elite at its finest.
Gil, for his part was a handsome, successful man who was a few years older than her thirty, which she liked. Everything about him was refined and based on etiquette, and the time they’d been together in New York had been pleasurable, but nothing hot and exciting.
Tapping her full, colorful lips, Nadia thought that maybe during his visit, she could find out if something could actually spark between her and Gil. She was sure that he was considered quite the catch in New York circles, but that didn’t impress her.
Nadia’s list of qualifications for her man included successful, tall, sexy, and muscular, with the right dose of thug…oh, and recently she’d included romantic. Debra and Tiffany’s men had displayed some hella romance, so she wanted that, too.
Gil met some of those requirements…he was successful in his family’s business and he was tall. His thug meter, however, was in the single digits. When they’d gone out, he’dordered his scotch neat, and used every utensil on the table at the appropriate time of the meal.
“Okay, Gil…come and show me what you got.”
After finishing with her second client of the day, Nadia decided to head over to the new restaurant for lunch. Benson’s was the spot to be since it had been remodeled and renamed. It was much more comfortable, and Nadia enjoyed relaxing there.
Leaving out of her door, she felt her phone buzz. Checking the number, she shook her head and answered.
“Damn girl, you can’t call nobody?”
She frowned, then replied firmly. “I run a business…just like you.”
He laughed. “Don’t get mad, bae. I just miss your fine ass.”
Nadia continued to her destination. “What’s going on with you?” she asked.
“Checking on my number one,”
She sighed. “Jerrell…”
“Why you keep playing?”
“Actually, I’m not.”
“That’s cool. I’ll chase it…cause when I get it, you’ll be blowing up my phone.”
Nadia laughed. “First of all, this right here is premium. It’s designed for Bugattis…not Fords.”
Jerrell howled. “Girl, you know I ain’t no damn Ford. This is a Maybach…”
“Okay, Mr. Maybach. What can I do for you today?”
“Hmmm…where should I start?” he asked in a sexy voice.
“I’m about to hang up on you.” Nadia snapped.
“Calm down, don’t go all CO on me...like I’m in the pen.”
Nadia shook her head. “When have you had a Corrections Officer, Jerrell?”
“You know, I might not have spent time in the county or nothing, but I feel the experience through my clients, ya fell me? That shit is real.” He said emotionally. “My homies in cages…twenty-three-hour lockdown, SHU programs…like Training Day.”
Nadia stopped and frowned at the phone. “What do you want, Jerrell?”
He paused. “I wanted to hear your sexy ass voice.”
“Yeah...I’m heading over to Detroit to check out some talent. Why don’t you ride with me?” He asked.
She shook her head. “When?”
“Next week, I’m leaving the ‘CHI’ on Thursday.”
“I don’t think I can do that. My schedule is full for the next few weeks.”
Jerrell nodded. “I understand. My woman gotta handle her coins.”
“You know it, and I’m not your woman.”
“I’m ‘bout mine, too, so I ain’t mad…”
Nadia smirked. “I’m so relieved.”
“You got a smart ass mouth, but I like that…” he said sexily. “How about I stop through your little town and scoop you up for a minute? You know, fill you up with some food…and whatnot?”
“If you’re asking to take me to dinner,” Nadia began. “Then I think I can manage that. All that other stuff you’re talking, you can keep that.”
“Okay bae, we’ll see about that.”
“Make sure you let me know when you’re coming,” Nadia warned.
Jerrell paused. “Why? You got some other dude over there?”
“I can have as many dudes as I want, but if you don’t want your feelings hurt, you’d better let me know.” Nadia told him.
“Hmm…let me catch another dude with you…”
“I’m sorry…who are you talking to?”
“I’m just saying,” Jerrell told her. “I don’t like that. I’ll come through tearing shit up.”
Nadia stopped. “Come through here unannounced, acting a damn fool, and you’re not going to like me on your ass.”
“Oooh, I can’t wait to see you, bae…” Jerrell told her, with a smile in his voice. “You know you turn me on.”
“Bye, Jerrell. I’ll talk to you later.”
He laughed. “I’ll bring the Hen.”
Nadia laughed too. “Okay, you do that.”
Ending the call, Nadia smiled and continued to the restaurant. Jerrell Thompson was a mess. He was a music producer out of Chicago, and they’d met through a mutual client. Nadia had coached a young man into getting a contract for his music, and Jerrell had signed him to his label.
Jerrell was fun to be around and loved to party his ass off. Although he’d been raised in the suburbs, he’d adapted to the hood mentality and overly immersed himself in it. His seeming obsession with jail and jail culture, made her question him.
However, he was a successful producer with quality talent on his label. While Gil’s thug level was in single digits, Jerrell’s was in the thousands. He took thug to a whole new level and while she liked the thug aspect, it could quickly get on her nerves at that level.
She’d gone out with Jerrell a few times, when he was traveling to scout talent. They had met up at locations along the way and he’d always shown her a good time. Jerrell didn’t care about nothing but making his bread and having fun. With him being a few years younger than her, she gave him a small pass for some of his antics, attributing it to his age and environment.
Nadia couldn’t really see anything long term with Jerrell, but he was too much fun to let pass. Plus, he had crazy connections that had landed her a few clients. Jerrell was a good guy with a good heart, and he’d fallen for her hard and fast. Maybe because Nadia was older and experienced, also she didn’t take his shit and wasn’t chasing after him.
Jerrell had money, looks and talent, so he was a prize to the groupie and Instagram scene…however, that didn’t impress Nadia. A man had to bring more to the table, in order to feast on this. She headed inside the restaurant and found it filled to capacity.
THE LIAISON -Book 3 - The Book Club Series