Modi couldn’t hold back her smile. Khotso Motsei was passing through the Excellence Convention Centre’s reception area, on his way to the lift that would take him up to his office.

Of course he had paused, caught her eye, and flashed her a smile. A bone-melting smile.

“How are you today, Modiegi?” His eyes asked a different, flirtatious question.

“Fine, thank you, Khotso.” And maybe her eyes were answering.

When she had started work at the Centre, she had called him ‘sir’ because, even if he was only in his early twenties, he was one of the threesome of go-getting young men responsible for the big convention centre here in Tshwane. After the first few times, he had insisted she use his first name.

He looked like he was going to stop and say more, but then one of his phones rang.

“That Khotso,” Lebo said as she and Modi watched him head for the lifts, talking into the phone as he went. “He’s such a playa. I can tell you like him, Modi, but please be careful. Don’t get your heart broken.”

Some of the girls working on the ground floor resented Modi getting so much of Khotso’s attention. She was a nobody in their opinion: straight out of school and working only temporarily. The fact that she was a bit older than most matriculants didn’t improve her status among the girls. They assumed it was because she wasn’t very clever. If they’d bothered to talk to her they’d have discovered that she had to repeat a year only because she’d been forced to miss so much school.

Lebo was different, with no need to be jealous. She was madly in love with a gorgeous Pretoria University student.

Modi laughed. “A playa is exactly what I need, sista. He’ll suit me just fine, if he ever stands still long enough for us to connect.”

And if he could get past her hidden scar. She needed to keep that in mind, as well as the other things that might put a guy off it he knew about them.

“Seriously?” Lebo was surprised. “You don’t come across like someone who plays. I see you as the sort of girl who settles down and raises a family.”

Modi took a moment, smoothing her dark yellow skirt as an excuse to look away.

“But you know why I’m here,” she protested, smile back in place. “Trying to earn enough bucks to go chasing that career I want. Definitely not ready to settle down!”

“Hello? What year is this? Don’t you know we women can have it all – career and family?”

“Not always, and not always easily,” Modi reminded her, thinking of her friend Phetisi, who had given up her dream of being a dancer to please her controlling boyfriend. “Anyway, this woman you’re looking at right here only wants the career part. Well, a career and some fun with a hottie like Khotso Motsei.”

“And speaking of Khotso, he’s back – and heading this way!”

Modi’s heart gave a little skip as she saw Khotso striding across from the lifts, clearly heading for the curving end of the long reception counter where she and Lebo were stationed.

“Modiegi.” Wow, so much warmth in his smile. “I promised myself this would be the day I did more than just greet you, but of course my phone had to ring … Listen, that famous musical, “King Kong”, at the State Theatre? I’ve got tickets for tomorrow night. Please come with me?”


Tell us what you think: Men with a playboy reputation are often admired, but do you think women who “play” are judged differently, and why?