“Blessed are those who dwell in your house-they are ever praising you-blessed are those whose strength is in you-whose hearts are set on our God-we will go from strength to strength-until we see you face to face-Hear our prayer-oh Lord-God-Almighty-come bless our land-as we seek you-worship you…” the music flowed into his ears from the DVD player.
He closed his eyes and relaxed on the leather chair. In about an hour or two, he would leave for the hospital to pick up his fiancée. He had not been able to go to church that day because he left the hospital late the other night. He doesn’t know how he would cope during the week. He was physically and emotionally drained. He had won several contracts from major firms in the past month and he had a lot of work to do. Thank God for the three new staff he had employed. The pressure from work had eased up a bit. One of his major prayer points was Didi’s health. Their parents were also concerned. They were not happy that the wedding had been put on hold. He hoped that she would get better as soon as possible.
God grant Didi a complete and perfect health.
He prayed within. The door bell rang. He opened his eyes. He wasn’t expecting anyone. He pulled his weight off the seat and made his way to the front door. He opened it and came face to face with Mara. She was clad in a silky pink long sleeve shirt. Two buttons or three were opened, exposing her fair soft, supple, and endearing cleavage. Her matching white mini skirt clung to the lower part of her body, revealing a pair of long smooth legs. He felt assaulted by her seductive presence.
“Hello handsome,” she winked and flashed him a pair of white teeth.
He tore his gaze from her body and glared at her. Wasn’t she supposed to be at the hospital with Didi?
“Didi is fine and asleep. I thought I should check up on you.”
He folded his arms across his chest.
“Am I going to stand out here?”
She opened her mouth and closed it. He eyed her and backed into the flat. She grinned and followed him in. She scanned the room.
“Nice place you’ve got here,” she placed her hands on her hips. This was going to be her matrimonial home in a couple of months if her plans played out well without hitches. She sized him up. The three quarter jeans trouser he was wearing, along with the white short-sleeve tee-shirt made him look boyish and cute. She sighed. He was her s£xy prince charming. She couldn’t wait for him to be hers. He noticed her scrutiny. Why was she staring at him like that? Was it possible that she liked him? He pushed the thought out of his mind. It doesn’t matter if she liked or hated him. He wanted her out of his place asap.
“Hey! I know this song,” she listened to the music playing on the DVD player.
“Can I get you a drink or something?”
“Have you eaten?” her excited honey coloured eyes captured his dark unsteady ones.
“You look tired. You need a lot of rest. Where is your kitchen?”
“Down the hall.”
“Let me make you lunch. You need to eat.”
She hurried away. He sighed. He was actually hungry. He had not had a decent meal in three days. He followed her.
“Your kitchen is well equipped.”
He shrugged and leaned on the refrigerator, “I don’t want my wife to stress herself.”
“She is one lucky woman. Show me where everything is. I have to make some food for Didi too.”
He nodded and opened the cupboard above his head.
Mara made a meal of fried rice and spicy fried chicken. They ate in the kitchen and she packed her friend’s food in a small cooler.
“I didn’t know that you can cook,” he dumped the dirty dishes in the sink.
She laughed. She was happy that he enjoyed the meal.
“Let me change into something else, then we can get to the hospital,” he walked out of the kitchen. She wiped her w€t hands with a napkin and left the kitchen. Where was his room? She walked down the hall and checked the bedrooms one after the other until she found him standing by an open wardrobe in his boxers. She tiptoed into the room, stepped up behind him and wrapped her arms around his n@ked flesh. He froze. His throat went dry. What was she doing? Why was she in his room? She began to kiss the back of his neck, ran her hands over his chest and squeezed it. He shuddered.
“Stop…” he released himself from her grip and turned around. Her eyes were filled with intensed desire. She began to unbutton her shirt. He blinked.
“What are you doing?”
She ran her tongue over her red lips and pulled off the shirt. It dropped on the rugged floor. His eyes widened in shock. She wasn’t wearing anything beneath the shirt. His heart beat accelerated. He closed his eyes and turned away. Mara was crazy! He needed to get away from her. He headed for the door. She ran after him and flung herself at him. Her skin felt like butter against his flesh. It melted into him, turning his mind wild. He pushed her against the wall and consumed her lips with his. She responded, matching his eagerness, fire for fire. She felt his hardness. Her desire intensified. n@ked and lost, he rammed into her like a wild animal. Her screams filled the room. They merged into each other, consumed by lust and inordinate passion. In a few minutes, it was all over. His eyes opened. He staggered away from her. What had he done? He tripped over their clothing and fell on the rugged floor with a thud. How did he lose control? If he couldn’t control his emotions as a single person, he would be in trouble after marriage.
She smiled at him. She had won. He was completely hers.
Didi was hungry. She didn’t know where her friend was. Her fiancé who was supposed to pick her up was nowhere to be found. Where were they? She lifted her head and saw Bankole walking towards her. She hissed and frowned.
“What are you still doing here?”
“I thought you have been discharged.”
“I am waiting for my fiancé.”
He looked around the waiting room, “Is he here?”
She shook her head.
“He is not serious. Let me take you home. You must be tired and hungry,” he picked up her bag and the basket of provisions and food coolers.
She got up and followed him out of the building. He helped her into the black Lexus jeep and shut the door. Uwa had made a big mistake. His lateness had turned into a golden opportunity for him to express his undying love to Didi. He was hopeful that she would give him another chance into her life. He joined the teaming traffic on the road.
Uwa got to his feet and staggered into the bathroom. He needed to wash himself. He felt dirty. He had betrayed the love of his life. He had disappointed God. He was in trouble. How was he going to come out of this with his sanity intact?
Mara heard the faint sound of her ringtone. Where was her phone? She remembered leaving it on the kitchen cabinet while she was cooking. She hurried out of the room and headed for the kitchen. She found her phone and saw several missed calls from Didi. She opened the text message. It was from Bankole. He was with her friend. She replied that she was with Uwa. She returned to the bedroom and found him in the bathroom. He stood under the shower, motionless and confused. The way the water ran over his dark skin turned her on. She joined him.
“What are you still doing here?” he glared at her.
She smiled, “You cannot deny the way we feel about each other.”
“You are dreaming. I feel nothing but hate for you right now.”
She blinked. His words hurt her.
“I don’t believe you.”
“You are naïve. A man can give you his body anytime, any day, anywhere, but, it doesn’t mean that his heart is yours.”
Her eyes smarted with tears.
“I might have slept with you a moment ago; it doesn’t mean that I have feelings for you. I was just turned on. I should have controlled myself, regardless; my heart will always belong to Didi.”
She backed away. How could he say such things to her after they had just made love?
Didi looked out of the window and noticed that they were driving past Palm Groove Estate. She wondered if her fiancé was home.
“I want to check up on my Uwa.”
“Okay. Does he stay in Palm Groove Estate?”
Bankole wondered what kind of house his rival lived in. He would find out soon enough.
Mara eyed him. She didn’t believe a word he had just said. If he couldn’t resist her a moment ago, she was sure he would melt into her arms again. She lurched herself at him. He panicked. He tried to push her away, but, the water made her body slippery. She pushed her weight up and wrapped her legs around his thighs. He staggered and balanced against the tiled wall, completely trapped. Gritted teeth, he tried to push her way. She navigated her womanliness into his hardness and rode him like a horse, driven by a sudden frenzy that took over her. He tried to stop her, but, she held unto him like her life depended on it. His resolve weaned, clouded by passion and lust, he gave in to the ecstasy that consumed his entire being.
Didi and Bankole stepped into the posh apartment. He was impressed. His rival had done well for himself.
“Please sit down. I think he is home,” she headed for the master bedroom.
Bankole sat on the sofa and scanned his surrounding.
Didi heard the shower running when she walked into the bedroom. She found his boxers on the rugged floor and her heart missed a beat when she saw a white skirt and a pink shirt on the floor too. She looked towards the bathroom and took in a long deep breath. She marched forward, stopped at the doorway and peeped. Her eyes widened in shock when she found Uwa and Mara entangled in each other’s arms, under the shower. Was she dreaming? She blinked and tried to speak, but her throat went dry.
He sensed her presence and turned his head. Maze glanced back and saw her friend. She staggered away from his body and dashed out. She wrapped her body with the towel she found on the door and picked her clothes on the floor. Where were her shoes? She hurried out of the room. Didi started to cry. He got out of the shower. He wanted to comfort her, but, he was sure she wouldn’t want him to touch her that very moment. He knelt down beside her and couldn’t stop his tears from flowing.
Mara threw the towel on the floor in the corridor and got into her clothes. She found Bankole in the sitting room.
“What are you both doing here?”
He got to his feet.
“Why did you bring her here?”
He eyed her, “I planned to take her home, but, she wanted to check up on her fiancé.”
She looked around for her shoes. She found it under the center table.
“Take me home.”
“I am waiting for her.”
“You can come back for her.”
“Look, this is my time-out with her, don’t spoil my plans.”
“Fine,” she went into the kitchen and picked her phone.
“What happened to your hair?”
“Call me,” she headed out. He sat back on the chair. He could sense that something had happened. Whatever it was, he hoped that it would work in his favour.
She headed out of the bathroom. He hurried after her.
“Didi please…” he reached out for her hand. She slapped his palm.
“Don’t touch me!”
He knelt before her, “Please hear me out.”
She shook her head. She didn’t want to listen to him. What she had seen had er£cted a permanent site on her mind. It would take eternity to erase it.
“Get out of my way!”
“Please… for the sake of the love we share…”
“I can explain.”
“I don’t want to hear it.”
“I lost control. I am sorry.”
She wiped her w€t face with the back of her hand, “If you cannot control yourself now, how do you want me to trust you?”
“We can work this out.”
“No. it is over.”
“Don’t say that.”
She pushed him away and stormed out of the room. Bankole got to his feet immediately he saw her.
“Take me home.”
He nodded and followed her out of the flat. Uwa heard the front door closed. He walked into the sitting room, sat on the sofa and placed both hands on his head.
Bankole parked his car in front of the building.
“I am not going in there.”
He glanced at her.
“Someone will end up in a morgue if I step into that flat.”
“Ah-han…. Take it easy now,” he had been quiet all through their journey back to Shomolu. He knew she was hurting and he had remained mum to give her the space she needed.
“Take me to Ikorodu. I would rather stay with my family, than live with that backstabbing traitor that calls herself my best friend.”
“Okay, all right. I will take you to your parents’ place,” he started the car. He was prepared to do anything for her, as long as she was right there beside him.