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Angie Situation (NAIVETE')    SNEAK PEEK of the PREQUEL TO <--THIS SEQUEL "Angie Situation" (INNOCENCE)

"Call it the death of "me" or the "depth of me."

His presumptuousness was sexy.
His invasiveness was a turn-on.
Before you knew it, he would leave you with no choice-but his way-before you even realized it.
I had never met a guy like that before-one that had such a non-commanding presence yet, such a presumptuous way about him. I knew he couldn’t have been from our town-they just weren’t cut like that here. And after some time, let me tell it-God must had broken the mold when He cut him from that different cloth that I was sure he was cut from. And he cut me deep and had me to the point where I was ready to meet his Maker even before his Maker had plans on meeting me.

Malachi was his name.
He was awkwardly and abnormally tall but there was nothing awkward about his body and the way he carried it and himself. He had the height of a ball-player, the good looks of a model but a rock-star personality (subtly so). The whole town knew him and treated him as such, yet, I had never seen him one day in my life, nor had I ever heard tale of his name-or his many tales that I had grown to live with and deal with.

I kept the keys to my friend’s office complex, and on early Friday mornings, I would stop by to do some work for him to help get him caught up from the week. While there, at the office next door, Malachi was relaxing and hanging back on the black leather couch in an area adjacent from some other guys. When I walked past the door to get to the little office I was working out of, I saw Malachi sit erect on the couch and fold his hands as if he was about to say something-I didn’t give him time to-I headed straight to my office, pulled the door in some, took a seat and proceeded to get back on the computer. A couple minutes later, I saw this tall handsome face in the glass, using his index and middle fingers to peck at the glass to ask my permission to step in.

“Hello,” I said to him.
He stepped inside.
“Hello, Miss Lady-how are you? My name is Malachi and I-I couldn’t help but notice you walk past the office next door. I would be remised and not be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t stop in here to find out what your name was,” he smiled, while holding onto his chest.
I squinted my eyes and stared at him as if-all at once-I was going to: laugh, giggle, smile and tell him that I was about to call security. Within that time, he was walking towards the desk where I sat. I held out my hand to shake his then introduced myself.
“Nice name: ‘Malachi,’ is that your real name?” I asked.
“Everything about me is real-even down to my name,” he replied.
I smiled.

He proceeded to tell me that he was here on business with some guys next door who too, were from town, but flying to New York on business with him. He sat there smiling and flashing those pretty teeth and lips-asking me a ton of questions as if I was there to be interviewed by him-I was doing the same to same to him, while multi-tasking.

Just as he was about to continue to pour on his charm, we were interrupted by two good-looking guys rushing to the office doorway to tell Malachi that the cab was outside blowing. Malachi replied: “Go ahead. I will catch up with you guys by tomorrow evening. Y’all can get everything up, running and going until I touch down tomorrow-in a day or so, can’t you?”

The guys looked stunned-but afraid to question it or doubt that they could.

Two more guys came rushing towards the door with rolling luggage and shoulder bags on their arms; running into the two that were already standing at my office doorway. They all looked as if they had all run into a brick wall. They did: Malachi.

He turned towards all of them and introduced me:
“Hey guys, say hello to my new friend. She’s beautiful isn’t she? I was just getting to know her, and well-I’m not going anywhere right now,” he said matter-of-factly.
I sat there with my eyes stretched wide-open as if I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

“Hello,” they all spoke in unison, like obedient choir boys.
“Hello,” I waved.
“You guys look so nice and fresh. Nice haircuts. Awesome,” I complimented.

Malachi interrupted:
“Where’s the cab?” he asked.
“It’s out front,” replied one of the four handsome guys.
“Well, you all know where we were scheduled to check in. It can still go on without me today. Nothing major’s going on until the tomorrow or the next day or so. Just keep your phones on you and I will buzz you when I touch down tomorrow-perhaps,” he replied.

“Here’s something to hold y’all over until I get there-enjoy yourselves until then,” he replied-handing one guy the wad of money that turned his back to me to count out and divide with his fingers and his mind.

All their faces relaxed.
They grabbed their luggage and shoulder bags then prepared to head out. Malachi slapped hands and shoulder-hugged each guy as they rushed to get to the cab and to catch their flight.

When the office doorway cleared and the commotion died down, I wondered what in the hell was Malachi going to do and where he was going to go.

He had the nerve of steel.

I proceeded to type onto the computer while pretending to ignore the fact that this man was still standing there, in this office alone with me without the safe sounds of the commotion that was just next door.
I then grabbed my legal pad and began to place the calls to check on some orders that my friend asked me to check on as well.

He made himself comfortable on the couch adjacent from the desk where I sat; staring as if he had a million thoughts running through his head about what he had up his sleeve next.

I broke eye-contact with him as I took notes and placed several calls back to back.

When I got off my last call, I had to ask him just what he was going to do with himself. Because I knew that he wasn’t from town and was here on business: “So um, where are you going and when you are going Malachi? Your crew just-peeled out on you to head miles away,” I said.
He looked past as if I merely asked him to hand me a pencil.

“You sound so professional,” he complimented.

I giggled.

“Oh, thank you,” I replied.

I smiled at him with my brows up as if I was waiting on him to answer my question still.

He held his cell phone up to his chest and had a look on his face as if he forgot who he was about to call.

With a soft smile, I interjected to help him out: “So were you about to call for someone to come pick you up or? You didn’t drive right?”

“No, I actually didn’t drive. One of the guys’ girlfriends brought them all here to meet me because I had business next door to tend to. I’ve been here since I arrived in town and they met me. But, I would like to hang out with you today-to see what your day is like if you don’t mind,” said this smooth operator.

I pretended to ignore his question while entering the rest of the information I needed to enter into the computer.

“Um, we’ve talked about so much about ourselves and who we had in common and all, but I would like to know if you are spoken for-if you don’t mind my asking,” he asked.

“Fine time to ask,” I replied and giggled.

“No, I was hoping to impress you enough in conversation that even if you did-you would as least lie for the day even, just so I could hang out with you. I just want to roll with you for the day. I just feel that way. I hope I’m not invading your space,” he offered.

“No, I’m okay,” I replied.
“So, how were you going to get around-get from here-after your guys left. I mean…” I looked at him as if to say: “who says I was just going to agree to put you in my car and ride with me.”

“Oh, I can get around while I’m here. Trust me. That’s never a problem. I can hang with whomever I choose to-but I want to hang out with you,” he pointed.
He continued:
“I mean, I’m not weird or anything. I know your brother and we know quite a few other people in common-they can all tell you-I’m a cool dude,” he laughed.

“Well, to answer your question-I do not have anyone that I am seeing exclusively. I date and have a couple guy friends is all,” I replied.
“I’m shocked. Someone as pretty as you, why don’t you have a boyfriend, you have such pretty teeth, a pretty smile. I love your smile.
It’s magnetic-I'm stuck,” he said-seriously.

I blushed and looked back at him-observing his perfect shoes, perfected good-looks, freshly manicured nails, crisp t-shirt, brand named expensive jeans with a masculine studded belt that I could tell cost every bit of a thousand dollars-at least.

Still, he didn’t feel perfect and complete. He kept complaining about his hair needing to be cut. Finally, he asked: “Do you mind taking me to the barber shop so I can get my hair cut?”

“I thought this was my day-you were rolling with me today!” I joked.

“Well, just liked you got left and ended up stuck here with me-you left me with no choice then, so, I guess I have no other choice now too-eh?”

He burst into laughter.

“Sure, I can do that,” I huffed and replied-as if I was in the middle of more of a hard days work.

He laughed aloud.

“I like you-a lot. I’m looking forward to hanging out with you. Something about you in the first few minutes made me not want to leave,” he said-sweetly.

“Oh, that was a sweet thing to say,” I replied.

We ended up having a cool day. When he got his hair cut, he looked as perfect from his head to his perfect: nails, t-shirt, shoes and jeans-being held up by the thousand-dollar belt.

We then we stopped to eat at my favorite restaurant. He was so smooth-and interested. He ordered himself a lot of food but was so interested in listening to me-that he slid his plate away from the table while he sat and watched me laugh and talk.
“Why aren’t you eating?” I asked him.
“Because I loveyour conversation and I like to watch you if you don’t mind,” he said-seriously. 
“...And you talk funny-but it’s cute,” he laughed.
“I can’t tell if it’s an accent, the way you just-talk or if it’s my accent clouding my decision on how you talk,” he said.
I frowned at him.

This guy was a smooth one-I could tell.
“Again,” I gasped-“you leave me no choice,” I laughed and shook my head.
He laughed with me and kept staring at the light shining down on my hair and face.
He just kept watching and watching and watching…then he ate, while watching me-still, as if his chin had the eyes that watched the food that he cut and methodically placed into his mouth.

When we got done eating, he asked if I would take him to the bank.

I laughed again.

We had learned so much about one another up to that point that we were about ready to finish one another’s sentences and near reading each other’s minds, so, he already knew what was in my mind as I held out both of my hands and shook my head really fast: “Sure. Again-you leave me with no choice.”
With that in mind-both our minds-we both laughed.

Though all for me, from the moment I watched him make that spontaneous change of plans-about so much as heading out of town on business and working it around what he wanted and around his time; up through this very moment in the day already, I could tell that he was the type of guy who took the kind liberties with people (and in life-period), that you just had to “work around” and “deal with” if he was going to deal with you in any way.
Take it or leave it, or him-you. I could tell that was how he was.
No matter how interested or invested he was in any thing, he had a very flat and indifferent way of exhibiting his lead.
So much so that if you had a complaint about it, he could stonewall you-effortlessly, so, it would not be up for argument or for you to defend.
No matter his offense.
So far, the only “argument” (to myself) I could have about it was if that was just his “way” (less his money) I could respect it. But if that was his way because of his money, and I didn’t grow to respect him I would not accept it-or him.

Everything he did and said was like some unspoken mental habit.
He was involved, flattering, generous and interested: so much so that even up to this moment he left me with no choice-but his way.

Though: “Sure. Again, you leave me no choice,” was my new joke-about as new as we were to one another-I could tell that it really was no joke.
And neither was he.
I'm thinking that he is what it was, and he is what it is.
He was the business.
But exactly what his business was-he never stated that.
I noticed that too-right along with my scanning his perfect hair, skin and nails, his perfect t-shirt, his perfect shoes and his perfect jeans being held up by that perfect thousand-dollar studded belt.
Whoa boy. What have I gotten myself into?
I think I should be looking at the front door but he did nothing outside of being himself-that I should reach for the knob just yet but he sure as hell made me want to, when while on this excursion of hanging “with me” for the day, he had me take him to the bank on the strip.

Having no other choice-it turned out that I ended up “hanging with him” because while there, Malachi literally had me outside waiting on him for a little over an hour-in the blazing hot sun.

At first I thought I was being punked or that he surely went in to rob that bank. Yeah, that was it-I thought to myself. But then reality set in and I thought about how I had even seen movies where bank robberies had taken less time than that. And from my view-there were no police and swat assuming the position with guns drawn yet, no news cameras-but where was he? I asked while wiping the sweat from my brow in between turning the car and air off and on. 

By the time he returned, it had been on the "on" and air position-so he got the luxury of not having to wipe his brow when he returned. I just looked him up and down while secretly wondering what he did with the canvas bag. I said to him: “Malachi-again-you leave me with no choice. And well, out in the hot sun this time.”

He looked at me and simply replied, nonchalantly: “I’m sorry.”

I kept staring at him with my eyes blinking really fast-he shrugged his shoulders and smiled at me if he merely walked into the bank and came out in the normal five or ten minutes time.

“I had to do some wire transfers to a partner” he said, with his head turned away this time-with an almost contemplative look turned serious on his face-as if to say that was all he was going to explain and I had better not probe for more an apology or explanation than what he had given.

You couldn’t argue with him-I could tell.
He wouldn’t allow it.
His body and his presence were not going to give way or room for it. But somehow, someway-I had to exert myself in order to take over the rest of this day that he was merely supposed to ride shotgun on while observing what I would be doing for the rest of the hours in it. The fact that he was stuffing money in my hand at each errand we ran for him; had worn thin.

It wasn’t about the "hanging out with me" turned cab ride-it was how he just appeared into my day and took the wheel without even taking the wheel.

I deviated from my whole day.
"This couldn't be good," I said to myself.

“We have to pump the brakes for a minute, because I need to make a stop somewhere to oversee something,” I said to him.

I made a B-line over to Lucky’s summer camp to check on things and have the bus ride home routed to my mother’s house for pickup. Lucky was in a wild and playful mood and happy to be going to Gran’s house-so that put me in a better mood.

I got the rest of my errands run and business taken care of while in between, Malachi had a few Western Union and Money Gram stops to make-I guess to send off all that money that I was still a little convinced that he robbed from that now, poor bank on the strip.
With my mood lighter, business handled and errands run, I was now ready to laugh and talk more about what his dealings with Twin could possibly be and why he was so connected to the city, though not from the city.

“I actually moved my dad and sister up here after my mom passed. My dad’s family moved here some years ago, so, he felt right at home here. I’m not really close to them like he is-but, he’s happy here-so, I’m good with that,” he explained.

I knew that he must do something that generated a lot of money, but it was hard to figure it out.
He had the height of a ball player, the good looks of a print-ad model, but was far from the look of a drug-dealer.
Outside of the one highly expensive diamond watch that he wore-that I could tell cost ten-times as much as his belt; he didn’t have on one other accessory.
No gaudy pinky ring, no gaudy necklaces, no earrings-nothing.
He still had all his teeth and it merely looked like he cared for them and had gotten them whitened a time or two.

Throughout our excursion, I could tell that he was well-connected in the city, but it baffled me that I had never heard of him before-especially with that unusual name.

Though my stomping ground wasn’t in the streets, since my innocent years, I still remained friends with some of the girls I grew up with whose life took on a different direction-and they were street girls. They kept their ears and business to everything-street. It seemed like I would have heard his unusual name at least a time or two-if the streets were indeed his stomping ground-as well.

Was he some kind of loan-shark?
His manner and “way” told me that he could-be.
A professional hit-man perhaps? His manner and “way” told me that he could very well-be.

I looked at his non-obvious but expensive style and I could clearly see him wearing an Uzi as an occasional accessory-easily.

The questions plagued my mind.

I did not want to insult him by asking if he were a has-been of some former public life, nor did I want to ask him something that he could very well had been prepared to give me an answer for-that I didn’t want to hear or know.

So instead I asked him to state his business with Twin and to explain how he knew him so well.

“Twin and I have known each other for years-many years. He rolls with some dudes in business, and he put me on to them,” he said-still leaving me with nothing solid.

That had to have been the most camouflaged answers to a question I had never heard in my life. I took a deep sigh and began to giggle.
“What’s so funny?” he laughed back at me and moved his back toward the car door to look at me.

“Nothing” I replied-and giggled.

“Okay-this is starting to look weird, I know. But I never knew. It all dawned on me during this whole time I have been spending with you,” he confessed.

I was clueless as to what he just said was all about but hell, I was ready to play right along with it to see what I was about to get up out of this man of steel.

I replied, playing along-like I knew what he was talking about:

“Man, you are a trip!”

“Okay, let me explain something. When I first saw you my mouth dropped. I was stunned,” he said.

But, I already remembered him saying something to that effect earlier when we were in the office, but this sounded different.
I decided to adlib a few giggles to get him to talk more-because he seemed embarrassed about something.

I shook my head back and forth-as if to say: “shame on you.”

“Okay, I saw you then-but I swear, I swear it didn’t dawn on me that “you” were “her” that day,” he confessed.

I was really confused at this point, but this sounded juicy and I needed for him to finish confessing something that sounded like I needed to know. I figured the best way to get it all out of him was to laugh, shake my head back and fourth, giggle, and do anything but say no words until this cat was out of the bag.

I pulled over and placed my hands upon my forehead and shook my head back and forth and laughed.
It was working.
He went for it.
He lost all his cool.

“See, that day, I was in town and your brother, me and another dude that is close with your brother, had a meeting up at the sports bar that afternoon. We were wrapping up to leave and your brother had stepped out the back door of the restaurant and when he opened the door, she was standing right there-right in my view-and my heart almost stopped. So me and my friend-who is also friends with your brother-had stepped outside ‘cause I wanted to see if I was seeing right. So I asked John-our mutual friend: 'Who is that!?' John then told me that was the girl’s brother-his twin. You…” he gasped.

Throughout his whole explanation I was really clueless and kept my fingers over my forehead but my hand blocked my face while shaking my head back and forth-giggling. I had no idea what he was talking about until he got to the part about “twin,” and that’s when I knew that he was talking about me. I was “she,” I was “the girl,” I was the sister-the “twin,” who did indeed meet my brother slash Twin at the back of the restaurant to give him some paperwork-something I had typed up for him. That all had come together for me, yet it all wasn’t coming together plus adding up, so I listened on while he continued:

“I was standing there at the top of the steps and you and your brother were right at the bottom, about twenty steps down from me,” he said.

I totally didn’t look up the steps for any length of time but I did remember meeting my brother in back of the restaurant and that there were some other people atop the steps-talking to one another. I did not think they were with Twin-so I paid no attention to them.

I replied:
“Yeah I remember that day-it was about a week or two ago up at Maloney’s meeting my brother out back-but I didn’t pay y’all any mind or look to see who he was with.”

He continued:

“It didn’t look like you did-but boy when I saw you I was like: ‘oh my God, where is she from?’ I had never seen you here. And I’m here a lot. I get around the city a lot. I even club here-sometimes but I had never seen you in my life. I wanted to meet you so bad. I can’t lie-for the next couple of weeks I was trying to hang closely to your brother because I wanted to meet you. Part of the reason I even decided to work on his venture was so that one day I could meet your fine ass. I couldn’t help it,” he confessed.

It still wasn’t adding up. Twin had no connection to my friend’s office, where I would do some work on Friday’s, so I was clueless as to how Malachi could have found me there.

“So how did you wind up at the office complex-my brother has no connection to anybody or any business there,” I said-looking at him as if he was starting to spook me.

“That is the crazy part. I don’t know. Twin had nothing to do with my business that I was doing over at that office complex-it just ‘happened.’ All I know was that I saw this fine ass girl walk past-and I said to myself: 'Damn she is fine. I know I saw that particular booty somewhere before!' " he joked.

That broke the ice as well as the spook-totally catching me off-guard.

“That was purely coincidental-I swear it was. When I walked up to you at the office-I had no idea that “you” were “that girl” from the back of the restaurant that day. But to be honest-by the time I kept staring at you and watching you get up to go the fax machine and walking around, I put it together while I was watching you talk on the phone. That is when I knew for sure that you were that I feel in love with at first sight,” he laughed. 

I listened, intently.

“When we walked out to your car-I totally put two and two together because I remembered your car being parked sideways at the back of the restaurant down by where you were talking to Twin. And when we got into the car after leaving the office, my motherfucking ass exhaled-I can’t lie,” he laughed aloud.

I laughed and shook my head some more, this time without my hands covering my face, but rather, looking at him and twisting my lips while laughing with him.

“Please believe me, this is the most awkward coincidence I have ever experienced in my enter life. I wanted to step to you that day but John was like: ‘Nah, he’s very over protective of his sister,’ so when he said that, I asked John where you hung out at. He said that you didn’t hang out anywhere, so I told John that it was a must that I run into you somewhere. So, after that-it was a for sure go-me helping your brother out with the venture, because I wasn’t going to rest until I met you, again,” he said-seriously.  

“So what about all this:‘I like you-a lot/looking forward to hanging out with you/something about you in the first few minutes made me not want to leave,’ stuff you said-when you already knew who I was, and you had already put “two and two” together?

“That’s just it. I did like you a lot. I was looking forward to hanging out with you. There was something about you in those first few minutes that made me not want to leave-back at the office. It helped it even more when in my mind, I remembered that the girl from the back of the restaurant that day, happened to be that girl that I couldn’t get off my mind for two weeks. “She” just so happened to be sitting right in front of me-all by design I guess,” he confessed.

I got quiet. It was a dead silence in the car. I reached to turn the radio down and looked over at him with a serious face:

“So you mean to tell me that I have been hanging out with a methodical-assed stalker?! Help! Help!” I yelled out the window-laughing my ass off.

His eyes got big while he was laughing:

“No. No. Please believe me-everything I said was the truth. Exactly how everything happened-in that order. I swear. I swear to you. This is all coincidence!” he asserted-sounding like he wanted to make himself very clear, believed and trusted.

I gave him a look of a “maybe” kind of approval.

He replied romantically: “It was love at first sight, then this coincidence. You ever think that maybe you were just supposed to meet me?”

I replied:
“Maybe so, this is some kinda different-I tell ya. But I believe you. I believe certain things are kismet-maybe we just are-for some reason. Now I would love it if God would give me the reason why though…”

He smiled and stared into my eyes-looking hopeful.

“I’m glad we got all of that out and in the open and that it all came out in the open this way-it does seem weird. ‘Cause my heart bounced at the girl back at the back of the restaurant the same way it bounced for the girl who walked past the door at the office complex and now here that girl is-you,” he said-romantically.

I switched gears.

I looked at him lightly and ran my fingers over his freshly cut thick hair then touched his perfectly blade-shaven face:

“I was just thinking. That guy at the barber shop did a number on you. You needed it! You went in rugged and came out precise!” 

I laughed aloud. His face turned beet-red. He laughed with me but looked at me with a shocked look on his face at the same time.

“Did I look that bad? I never go more than seven days without a haircut and my face trimmed-ever. I didn’t think I looked that bad!” he replied.
“No. You have very nice hair and gorgeous facial hair-so you can look rugged or freshly cut and could play the look off well. I was just playing-you looked really good before the barber. But you looked perfect-after words,” I said.

He took a deep sigh of relief.
I was winning.
I needed this moment.
I needed to turn the tables somewhat, to give myself some leverage in this-so as to not feel like so much a pushover to this man that I could tell was used to having his way-all the hours of the day.

I accelerated:
“Yeah, I noticed that when I complimented the guys at the office-on their haircuts, you player-hated on them and interrupted me. I saw it all unfold. Don’t think I didn’t catch that,” I giggled and twisted my lips.

“Ah man! Are you serious! I did not hate on them!” he laughed-in ways that I could tell that he would never dare allow a girl make him do. All of his “cool” was in the palm of my hands at this point.

I replied jokingly:
“Admit it. You only wanted to hang out with me today so that I could see what you look like with a fresh haircut and shave too-like your guys at the office-didn’t you?”
I used my index and middle finger to move them back and forth from my face to his-repeatedly:  “We’re like this now.”

He laughed uncontrollably.
I patted his back then began tapping my index finger to my ear while listening to him laugh like a high-school boy.
“You can tell me…”

He laughed so hard.
His “cool” was so in the palm of my hands.

I continued in:
“That was one of the first things you did-you got a haircut and face trim! I saw it all. I was in here,” I laughed-while tapping my index finger onto my temple-listening to him giggle his ass off.
“You are one crazy girl” this is tripping me out, man. I’m at a loss for words!” he kept laughing uncontrollably.

This was fun and it had been a screaming roller coaster and concerto of a day.

I broke his laugh as if I was the conductor in the pit:
“Well,” I slapped my thigh:
“I need to wrap our day up-you have worn me out. I feel like I have been around the world in a day with you. I’m way too relaxed and slap happy now. And so are you. You are losing your swag!” I laughed and giggled.

“Huh!” he looked at me-taken aback.

“I’m just kidding. Again! Geez! Pardon my humor-it sounds serious sometimes,” I replied.
"It’s not. I’m really enjoying this. I had a great time with you-I really did,” I said.

“I really had the best time with you today. I have never have spent-like-a whole day with a woman who made me not want to leave, or you spend time with her while thinking of a thousand other things I could and would rather be doing-you know?” he confessed.

“Wow, that’s the sweetest thing-thanks,” I blushed.

“Ohhh,” he whined and pouted.

His “cool” and a part of his: never-beat-like-this-before-heart...still in the palm of my hand:

“I know a lot of this day was spent around with me woven in between-I apologize. And if it’s not too much, I would like to know if you would name the date-anything, anywhere-tonight. I would love to spend more time with you-I really would. I hate for this day to end, and in the next few days or so-I have some important things to get back to and…” he sighed.

“…And, it’s my fault that you sent your business away to start without you, so now I owe it to you to finish spending the day with you, only <i>after</i>, you took care of all the business of yours-while redirecting mine! Oh I get it!” I laughed condescendingly, while shaking my head-looking at him.

He was cute-for a second and one second only: he poked his bottom lip out and rolled his head to the side as if he was my favorite puppy.

Raise up off the clutch.

In an instant, he straightened up from toe to head, from inside to out.

He took the wheel.

He refused to take his swagger down any more notches after all this. It was as if a little devil on his shoulder stabbed him in the shoulder and made him straighten up-blowing fire on his “cool” that was taken back from my hands-just like that.

He put it in first:
“I mean it. And I will not take ‘no’ for an answer,” he asserted-sitting back as if he was in the middle of some kind of deal that he was all to used to making-having pushed upon the table; some kind of offer that could not be refused, never been refused and dared not be refused.”