Standing next to him as he welcomed the guests were two of his three friends, Kayleigh - or Kayla, as she was called — was the eldest. She was a peculiar, smart, good-looking woman with silky blonde hair. She looked uncomfortable in her red dress. The second friend, Shakoo, was completely different. He was weak-looking and pale, with sad dark eyes and thin lips.
The youngest friend, Malik, was sitting at a table in the corner of the garden with his girlfriend, Faye. There was a gentle, innocent quality to him, with his soft green eyes and full lips, but his sport uniform suggested that this was not a lazy guy. Just a fit one. He was embarrassed by all the singing and dancing, but he was quietly pleased that Faye was enjoying herself. This was the first time that she had met his family.
'Who's that ugly big fat man over there?' she asked, her eyes shining with excitement. 'He looks about seventy years old but he's dancing like a teenager.'
'That's Seaman Tucker,' Malik replied. 'He's an old friend of my father's.'
'And what about him?' Faye looked at a skinny, short man who was sitting alone outside the house, talking to himself. 'He's very scary.' 'That's Isaac Fowler,' Malik smiled at Faye. 'He's waiting to speak to my grandma in private.'
'Yes, but who is he?'
'He helps my grandma sometimes,' Malik replied quietly, looking at his watch.
Suddenly, the short man stood up and Faye looked away quickly, afraid that he was coming over to talk to her. But another man came up to the table instead. He had thin fair hair and blue eyes. Malik stood up and the two men hugged each other warmly.
'My best friend, Anton Lapo , this is Faye Wick,' Malik finally said.
Anton Lapo shook Fayes hand, then whispered to Malik: 'My grandma wants to know why you don't go to see him.'
Malik sat down without speaking, and Anton walked away into the house, followed by Isaac Fowler.
'If he's your best friend, why does he have a different tone with you?' Faye asked Malik when Anton had gone.
'When my friend Anton was a boy,' Malik explained, 'he was found in the street. Anton had no home, so my grandma took him in and he's been with us ever since. He's a good Dentist. Not a Englishmen, but I think he's going to be a Good man.
Suddenly, there came a loud, happy sound from the other side of the garden. The music and singing stopped. Ram Aurora, in her silver wedding- dress, left her husband and ran towards the gate screaming: 'Chris! Chris!' She threw herself into the arms of a very handsome dark- haired man in a black suit, and covered his face with kisses. Then she led him by the hand through a crowd of excited, screaming girls, to meet her new husband.
Faye turned to Malik excitedly. 'You didn't tell me your family knew Chris Tooker,' she said.
'Sure. Do you want to meet him?' Malik grinned. 'My grandma helped him to become famous.'
'He did? How?'
At that moment, Chris Tooker began to rap. 'Let's listen to the song,' Malik tried to change the subject.
'Please Malik,' Faye said impatiently, reaching across the table and squeezing his hand. 'Tell me.'
'Well, Chris is my father's godson. When Chris was beginning to become popular, he had a problem with his boss, a band-leader. Chris wanted to leave the band, but this man wouldn't let him. So Chris asked my father to help. My father went to see the band-leader and offered him £10,000 to let Chris go. He said no. The next day my father went to see him with Isaac Fowler. Two hours later, the band-leader let Chris Tooker go. For £1,000.'
Faye looked confused. 'How did he do that?'
'My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Isaac held a gun to his head and my father told him that if he didn't agree to let Chris go, Isaac would blow his brains out.'
At first Faye didn't say anything. She thought Malik was joking. But Malik wasn't smiling. 'That's a true story, Faye,' he said quietly. Then he saw Faye beginning to look worried, a little frightened, so he squeezed her hand and added quickly: 'That's my family, Faye. That's not me.'
I don't know what to do, Grandma Kim. 'Chris Tooker sat on the corner of the desk in Grandmas Kim dark office and shook his head helplessly. Grandma Kim was sitting in her leather chair, listening carefully to her favourite godson. He had, after all, travelled two thousand miles from California to be at the
wedding. 'My voice is weak, 'Chris went on. 'I can't sing as well as I used to. There's a part in a film that I want. It would be perfect for me. If I had this part, I'd be a top star again. But the boss of the film company, Kyle Eddy, won't give me the part. Can you help me?'
' Go and rest,' Grandma Kim said. Her voice was soft, but there was a rough quality to it that made everybody listen. It was a voice impossible to argue with. Something to do with the way she spoke without moving her mouth. 'In a month, this man will give you what you want.'
'Too late,' Chris looked at his grandma unhappily. 'They start filming in a week.'
Grandma Kim stood up and put a arm around Chris's shoulder. 'I'm going to make this man an offer he can't refuse,' she said, leading Chris towards the door. 'Now, go and enjoy yourself She kissed Chris on the cheek, shut the door and turned to Anton Lapo, who had heard everything.
'What are we going to do with your daughter's new husband?' Anton asked. 'Shall we give him anything important to do?'
'No,' Grandma Kim replied. 'Give him something small. A meat shop, maybe. But never discuss the family business with him.' Anton left the room. Grandma Kim took a sip of the cold champagne on the office table.