Hello everyone, and happy birthday to the lovely Amber Kell! Many thanks for the invitation to her blog. My interview today was scheduled with Nuri Emin, the Turkish taxi driver from my story A Twist and Two Balls—but I’ve been hijacked by his boyfriend Eddy! They met in A Twist, and are still enjoying getting to know each other. So Eddy insisted he ask the questions.
Eddy sits carefully at the restaurant table, an official-looking clipboard on his knee. “Good evening Mr Emin.”
Nuri smiles at him. “Such formality from my boyfriend.”
Eddy blushes and appears to be biting back a smile in return. “This is a professional interview, Nuri, for a prestigious online blog. Your brothers have kindly lent us a table at their restaurant as a setting.”
“And for free food,” Nuri adds gleefully. He fills his plate with some of the delicious meze he and Eddy like so much.
Eddy grins back. Then, almost under his breath, he hisses, “Don’t distract me.”
Nuri shrugs. His eyes are dark and soft when he looks at Eddy. “Please continue. Whatever you want to ask, I’ll answer.”
“So. To start, if you’d like to tell me about your memories of a favourite birthday?”
“We don’t celebrate birthdays,” Nuri says quite casually.
“What?” Eddy nearly drops the clipboard. “I mean, what do you mean?”
Nuri leans back in his chair, smiling. His fingers glisten from handling the vine leaves stuffed with sticky rice, and he licks them clean, one by one. Eddy gives a small whimper and looks studiously at his notes.
“Such drama, in all your expressions,” Nuri says. “I never tire of watching you. Whether you’re watching the news on TV or choosing apples at the supermarket, always you give it your full emotions. And as for your responses at night, when you’re so passionate in bed—”
“That’s enough of that, thank you, Mr Emin. May we please return to why you don’t celebrate birthdays. Is that the way in Turkey?”
“Maybe. We have a big family, we spend our energies on getting by. We don’t make a big thing of it.”
“But you’re in London now?”
“Yes, and so we celebrate for my nieces and nephews, they expect it.” Nuri smiles as he thinks of his brothers’ and sister’s children. “But there have been few celebrations for me.”
“What about when you were in Turkey?”
“We came to London while I was still very young. But I do remember a time my father took me bicycling. My brother Adem had handed down his old bicycle to me, around my birthday. It was a precious thing to me. It gave me the freedom to ride out in my free time, to reach farther than my own street, than my family’s home. I cycled into the city a few times, though the journey was too much for me really. But I saw the businesses there and the opportunities for well-educated people. I think that’s when I developed my dream of being a lawyer.” Nuri’s eyes soften again, but this time with memories of his late father, and his early childhood in Turkey.
“Where did you and your father go that day?”
“We went along the beach in Adrasan, crossed the river over the ford at the far end of the beach, then rode to the north of Adrasan bay. It’s one of the bays north of Cyprus. We took our lunch halfway up the mountain, looking out over the sea. The views from there were magnificent.”
“It sounds fabulous,” Eddy says softly.
“One day we’ll go there.” Nuri nods as if the decision is already made. “Birthday or not. It’s the most beautiful place. We can swim in the bay.”
Eddy coughs. “Um. Actually, I can’t swim…”
“You will,” Nuri says confidently. “I will teach you, like my father taught me that day.” His gaze never wavers from Eddy’s face, as if he savours every moment of Eddy’s company and attention.
“That would be great.” Eddy is quiet, staring happily at Nuri. He hasn’t taken many notes.
“You have more questions?”
“Yes,” Eddy says. He puts his hand on Nuri’s, on top of the tablecloth, and gently strokes the dark skin. He waggles his eyebrows in an exaggerated, cheeky way. “Will you come home with me now, so we can make our own celebration?”
“Will it become one of your British traditions?” Nuri asks, with more than a hint of his own mischief. He shifts in his seat as if his jeans are uncomfortable.
“I damn well hope so,” Eddy sniggers. “Let’s go!”
LINKS and GIVEAWAY:
Nuri and Eddy appear in a Christmas story NICE AND SNOW available in December.
In the meantime, follow their first meeting in A TWIST AND TWO BALLS:
and all the other popular stories in the WITH A KICK series:
I’d like to offer a giveaway of A TWIST AND TWO BALLS today, in the e-format of your choice. Please comment on the post to be entered in the draw. Thanks!
BIO: Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.
She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fueled family home.
Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here: