A HUI excerpt and Serena is GOAT
First, Serena Jameka Williams is GOAT.
Check out JK Rowling’s comeback on twitter to someone who tried to rain on Serena’s parade:
Serena’s WEARING that dress!! Look at those curves!
That Wimbledon women’s final had everything. High drama, an emotional roller coaster for both players. There were thrilling rallies and at times, brilliant shots. Yes, both players had a case of the yips. But it was the Wimbledon final, so I expected that. Garbine Muguruza is a rising star in tennis. I’ve been watching her progress, and her talent is undeniable.
A few more promos I’d worked on for my fictitious ballet sex symbol, Le Jong Hui:
One more excerpt before the book comes out:
If Hui wanted to impress her with this place he’d succeeded. From the time they stopped in front of a building with a wrought iron entrance and made their way to a top floor condo ─ a place that Hui said someone had graciously offered the use of ─ Imani’s eyes bulged at the décor and design.
The double doors to the condo opened with a quiet, velvety swish. Hui removed his shoes before going any further and she did the same.
As they padded barefoot into the sleek modern space, Imani’s eyes were greeted with skylights, natural wood and stone at every turn. From a bistro styled kitchen to a loft area that held a reading nook full of books, Imani loved everything she could openly see at his new residence. There was pride in his voice when he explained it was all the work of a South Korean interior designer.
When he excused himself, pulling apart two sections of a sliding door that closed off the living area, it gave her a chance to grab her phone and shoot off a quick text to Julio.
Hey, guess where I am and who I’m with?
U R with a tall, fine man named Hui, Julio answered. We saw U 2!
Dang. Imani sat back on a very low sofa. There were large cushions on the floor and wooden stools with winged seats that she gave a thought to trying, but Hui had returned, so she quickly put her phone away. He took a seat beside her, playing the attentive host as he explained all about the kind of wood beneath her feet – bamboo – and that most of the furniture was made from red sandalwood. “The color and materials the designer used are calming, don’t you think?”
She couldn’t disagree with that.
“Did you always know you wanted to be a dancer?” she said, grazing a light hand over the curves of stone along the wall behind them.
“No? Are you serious?”
I was just trying to stay alive, he thought. Instead he told her, “When I was young I wanted to join the military. I liked their uniforms. I was fascinated by their marching formation and their precision.”
Imani recognized part of his answer. She’d read an article where he’d said the very same thing, but it was for a different question. “African Americans and North Koreans kinda have a lot in common. It’s tough for us. I mean, if you really look at our histories.”
He stiffened at her statement. “How so?” Had she ever gone truly hungry for days and weeks? Did she know real fear, the kind that comes with hiding from those intent on capturing and returning refugees to North Korea? Or the horror at realizing those who claimed to help would betray you?
“Wasn’t it hard once you got to South Korea? I’ve been doing some reading on the two Koreas and-”
He interrupted her with, “Would you like something to drink?”
“I just had some cocoa,” she reminded him, going back to her question. “I just wondered how you felt about trying to integrate into South Korean society.”
Her question and pensive stare made Hui feel like he was under a microscope. She was probing, trying to find out things she could not possibly understand. At times my North Korean accent was a liability. Sometimes it made more sense to pass as Chinese. I fell behind in school, both Taek-hyun and I. We felt ashamed. We were tolerated, but not fully accepted. Hoping to change the subject, Hui’s voice dropped, becoming as smoothly sensuous and contented as a cat’s purr. “I want to know more about you. What is your favorite ballet?”
“That’s easy. It’s a tie between Don Quixote and La Bayadere. What’s yours?”
“I enjoy the love and sadness of Romeo and Juliet. And Giselle.”
“Way too depressing. But they’re beautiful stories with moving choreography, so I can see why you’d pick them.”
“I have another. It’s a Korean folktale that we will debut here called Prince Hodong.”
“What’s it about?”
“Two kingdoms at war.” His eyes lit up as he spoke. “Prince Hodong from Goguryeo falls for the Princess of Nakrang, and she must make a choice between love or loyalty.”
“Is there a villain in this story?”
“There are two, or perhaps three. King Daemusin, Hodong’s father. And Wonbi, his first wife. She wants her son Haewoo to be king.”
“Does it have a happy ending?”
“Princess Nakrang must decide between being loyal to her country, or to Prince Hodong, who she secretly marries. In the end she chooses to do a traitorous act for her husband. And her father, King Choiree kills her.”
“Damn.” She’d already figured it ended in tragedy.
Hui moved in closer, resting his chin on her shoulder, his dark eyes full of mischief. The strap from Imani’s camisole was playfully snagged by his finger. It was a good thing they weren’t far off the ground, because that wonderfully functional couch wasn’t large enough to do the things she wanted to do with him. “You said we’d practice,” she whispered, just as his lips were about to land on hers.
“I did. And so we will.” He got up from the couch, pulling her along with him. “Before I lift you, I will work hard for your trust. You will not leave the ground until you’re ready.”
They started out slowly circling one another, shoulder to shoulder, flirting in a little game of you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.