Osagie doesn't know what's hit him when he kidnaps Gina because of something her sister did (no spoilers for you, thank you. 😊). Despite the way these two meet, the sexual tension is off-the-charts and Gina chips away at Osagie's armor until he has not option but to fall. Gina is Osagie's match at every level and both of them are old enough and have seen life, if you know what I mean. Although this is a prequel to an upcoming story, it is also a great standalone with a happy ending. Perfect.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: Osagie: Bad Santa
Author: Kiru Taye
Series: Enders #3
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Trope: Captor falls for captive, Over 40s
Although Gina Badu is a good girl all-year-round, she knows her Christmas wish will never come true. Not with a recent divorce, late parents and a sister who courts trouble.
Then Santa abducts her in the middle of the night. Except this Santa is terrible—a silver fox of a tattooed fallen angel.
Osagie Peters is a ruthless, cartel boss whose dark soul threatens to consume her. He scares her as much as he fascinates her. It seems he’s got her on the naughty list. Still, there’s a chance she might have a Merry Christmas after all.
Osagie: Bad Santa is an Enders series romantic suspense novella and is the prequel to Osagie: King of Clubs. Osagie was first introduced in Xandra: Killer of Kings, Enders series book 2.
Content warning: kidnapping.
Read it on Kiru’s forum or grab a copy from online bookshops for 99c/₦300
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OTHER BOOKS IN THE ENDERS SERIES
EXCERPT from Osagie: Bad Santa
Copyright 2021 Kiru Taye, Love Africa Press
“Tell me again why we’re doing this instead of sending the boys to handle it?” Idehen asked, two days later, as he parked the SUV on a quiet residential street and killed the engine.
Osagie sat in the front passenger seat. Still dark, they had driven about an hour across the city to this estate in the Daware suburb. Now, the sky was dawn grey, neither dark nor light.
They could have sent others. Their boys had investigated and reported that Daniella was nowhere to be found. Her sister, however, was here. The next step would have been to instruct the boys to take and secure the sibling until Daniella was located.
He’d imagined his men maltreating Georgina—apparently, that was Gina’s full name which he preferred—and his blood had run cold.
He didn’t want her injured in the process. Regardless of her status as Daniella’s sister, he had no proof of her direct involvement.
The hacking and theft incidents weren’t the end of the world. But it could mark the beginning of the end for Osagie. If he didn’t catch and punish the culprits severely, many more thefts would follow. He had no doubt employees, and others were watching and waiting to see his response.
Mostly since there were women involved this time.
He wasn’t in the business of harming the innocent. He’d sworn to adhere to certain principles no matter what—protect the weak, and touch not the innocent were two codes he stuck to amongst others.
Georgina wasn’t weak. He’d watched some of her fitness videos on social media. The woman was physically and mentally strong, no doubt. However, until he could ascertain her involvement, he would treat her as an innocent—someone outside of his tainted world.
So, the only people he trusted with her welfare were in this car right now.
“Some jobs are best done yourself,” Osagie rationalised.
“Mmhmm.” His friend didn’t sound convinced. “Is that the only reason?”
Osagie’s face tingled. He stiffened, annoyed for feeling like the hungry boy caught trying to steal food. Perhaps he shouldn’t be concerned about the woman’s welfare. Still, he had no reason to feel embarrassed for trying to protect an innocent. Once Dani was found, he had no business sitting in the car outside the woman’s house.
“What other reason is there? If they mess it up, we don’t get our money back.”
“Just saying.” Idehen shook his head as a grin split his face. “We became big men, so others can do this kind of shit.”
“Big men, huh?” His friend’s humour made Osagie chuckle. “Seriously though, don’t you miss this?”
“This?” His friend turned to look at him.
“Yes, this.” Osagie waved his hand to indicate their current situation. “The thrill of the hustle. Picking a mark, planning, and executing the score. Avoiding detection.”
“Sometimes, I miss it. But we were struggling for survival in those days. This is not the same thing. This is a matter of respect and that Dani woman needs a serious lesson in respect. You don’t spit in your fucking eating bowl.”
His friend’s outburst sparked questions in Osagie. Was there more going on than Idehen had revealed?
Before he could ask, movement across the street distracted him. His pulse rate spiked, and he leaned forward.
The metal pedestrian gate to Georgina’s two-bedroom ground-floor apartment building cranked open.
“Here we go,” Idehen muttered.
Georgina came out, dressed in another crop sports top and leggings combo with brightly coloured trainers, hair in a low bun. She pulled the barrier shut and jogged along the pavement of the hundred-residence Highgate Estate. Her running shoes pounded the tarmac as she headed across the road, squeezing between parked cars to go toward the field.
“Check out the apartment. See if there’s anything that indicates where her sister’s gone. I’ll follow her and let you know when she heads back.” Osagie reached for the door and stepped out.
“Right.” Idehen exited the car, clicking the fob to lock it. “Happy hunting.”
Osagie grinned at the old remark. They used to say that to each other when they were younger men hustling for pay-days. He tugged the hood of the black long-sleeved jersey over his head and entered the park.
Ahead, trees stood as unmoving sentries and bushes demarcated the adventure playground's shadows from the ghost mist hovering over the sizeable glittering pond. A chilly Harmattan breeze whipped dust and the leaves in the trees.
It was damned cold. His head-to-toe kit provided cover, and the run would warm him up. Still, he would rather jog on a treadmill than exercise with the sand in his eyes.
It seemed Georgina preferred the opposite. She co-owned a gymnasium not far from here. Yet, according to the report he'd received, she used the park at dawn daily, adding to the things about her that fascinated him.
Hence the reason he was braving the brisk weather on a December morning. He kept his distance from her, staying out of sight until he got the lay of the park. He expected more people, joggers, dog-walkers, or people just cutting-through to different destination.
However, after ten minutes, he spotted only one other person. Perhaps, the regular users had travelled for the festivities since it was less than a week until Christmas.
Keeping to the open space, Georgina completed two laps before she paused to stretch her warmed muscles. Then she continued her third lap. Her movement was fluid and entrancing, the strides of an athlete.
He took advantage of the deserted location and headed in her direction but maintained the gap.
As if she sensed his presence, she glanced back.
His drab black outfit would make him appear indistinguishable in the grey light and with the distance. He wore long-sleeves to hide his tattoos. Only his face and hands were visible.
Hopefully, if Idehen found her sister’s location, he wouldn’t have to contact Georgina.
And Osagie would be rid of this constant lust. From the moment he’d seen her photo on Idehen’s phone, she’d lit a fire in his veins.
But Georgina looked too sweet and clean for his twisted life. And he didn’t fuck around with lovely and naïve. So yes, he was keeping his distance.
He was only here because she may have colluded with her sister to steal from him. He had to keep his mind on the goal.
Georgina gave him a second curious look. Then she turned away, adjusted her earbuds, fiddled with the phone attached to a pack on her back and increased her running speed. She did another set of laps, avoiding the dark, dense foliage of trees.
She disappeared behind some shrubs, and he stayed back, not wanting to spook her. Or make her return home too early. Idehen needed time to search the house.
Someone should have warned her about wearing headsets while running in a secluded park before sunrise. She didn’t know who could be lurking about like he was, even if this was supposed to be a secure neighbourhood.
After five more laps, she slowed down, pulled a water bottle from the pack's latch, and took a drink.
Watching her throat ripple as she drank made him thirst, for cool refreshing water, for the salty taste of her skin.
Damn, he had it bad.
Putting the bottle aside, she took a couple of steps and stumbled.
Unable to keep away, he sprinted towards her, discarding caution.
She spread her arms, righting herself. Then she froze and stared at him with genuine appreciation until he stopped beside her.
“Are you okay?” he asked, his voice unexpectedly husky. He searched her face, checking her over. He couldn’t explain this need to be near her. To make sure she was unharmed.
Up close, her photos didn’t convey her brilliance.
Although he was taller and worked out regularly at the gym, she outclassed him. Her ripped abs alone could put him to shame.
She was beautiful and knowledgeable. He’d discovered she was studying for a Master programme. He hadn’t even finished secondary school.
Not to mention that he was older and she looked like she would look great with one of those younger celebrities hanging off her arm.
She was a goddess.
He was in awe and would die to worship at her altar even for one night.
Swallowing hard, she bobbed her head, as if unable to work saliva into her mouth. Sheens of sweat beaded her deep-arched brows and the top of her bow-shaped lips.
She opened her mouth and closed it, seeming to struggle with breathing. Her body swayed.
“You don’t look well. Lean forward,” he instructed and reached out, hand sliding over her shoulder gently. “Breathe deep.”
She leaned in, gulping air.
“Have a drink.” He stepped close, reached for her pack, and withdrew the bottle of water. In protective mode, his actions were without timidity or uneasiness.
“I’m all right.” She took the bottle off him and drank. Then she looked up at his face, scrutinising him. “Do I know you?”
“No.” His heart raced. He shouldn’t have come this close. Now that she’d seen his face, she might be able to identify him later.
Footsteps made him turn.
A man in a Tee and shorts set slowed his jogging and marked time beside them.
“Gina, are you all right?” the stranger asked, staring at her and then at the Osagie.
Osagie’s spine stiffened, and his jaw tightened. Who was the man?
“Hi, Bob. I’m okay,” she replied after drawing in a shaky breath. She glanced at the Osagie and said, “I have to go.”
His expression remained inscrutable, but he nodded at her.
She ran off with the Bob guy.
Osagie pulled his phone from his pocket and sent a message to Idehen.
She’s heading home. One minute.
He jogged towards the car.
Idehen already sat at the driver’s seat with a scowl on his face.
“What’s up?” Osagie asked as he got in.
“Can you imagine? The woman is in Dubai, spending our money. I’m going to strangle her when I get my hands on her.”
Osagie chuckled. He’d never seen his friend so frustrated, certainly not over any woman. “It sounds to me like you want to do more than strangle Daniella. Is there something going on between you two?”
Idehen jerked back, looking affronted. “Of course, there’s nothing between that troublesome woman and me. The last time she came to me, batting her long lashes, asking for some time off. And then the money went missing the next day.”
“And now you want to strangle her.”
“I didn’t know you were into erotic asphyxiation.”
“What?” Idehen did the backward jerk again, eyes bulging in a comical expression.
“Gotcha.” Osagie laughed out loud. “You should see your face.”
“Bastard.” His friend shook his head, lips curving upwards.
“And they say I don’t crack jokes.” Osagie sobered when someone came out of Gina’s building. “There’s a complication. Georgina saw my face.”
The plan had been simple.
Locate the culprits—Daniella and accomplices. Recover the cash. Mete out the punishment. Avoid collateral damage—Georgina, specifically.
Now it seemed they had an inadvertent casualty.
Idehen scrubbed a palm over his face and puffed out air. “We can’t leave her. We don’t want her warning Dani that we’re onto her.”
“I know.” Osagie sighed. “This is turning into one big party.”
Except they didn’t laugh at the joke because it meant the one thing he’d wanted to avoid—taking a hostage. Taking Georgina.