‘I can’t stop staring at this cold stones. They are so beautiful.’ Rose stared down at the Cartier box of jewelry in her hand with undisguised pleasure. They just checked into their hotel room in the ancient part of Rome, in Italy for their honeymoon. She sat on the bed and admired the winking diamond stones.
‘I don’t know why women always drool over jewelry, especially when it is very expensive.’ Alex glared at her but couldn’t help admiring it, even as it annoyed him immensely.
‘You are just jealous because you can’t afford it.’ She laughed softly as she snapped it shut and tucked it into her handbag.
‘The guy is sure loaded. It is a great pity I admire and like him a lot. I won’t allow any man to buy jewelry for my wife in future. It is too risky.’ He grumbled good-naturedly, even as a smile tugged at his lips. She elbowed him lightly.
‘He is very rich, Alexi. He sponsored Becky and Michael’s trip down to the cab fare they took to my house. He also took on Caitlin without another thought. He used to be their family driver.’ She shook her head at the irony of life. Alex sighed a little bit with envy.
‘He is one lucky dude. Is Becky aware he was the one who sponsored their trip?’ Her new husband gave her a curious look but she ducked her head.
‘Not really. She thought we met for the first time at the mall. Well, that was the first time we were meeting physically but we have spoken several times before we met. He is truly crazy about Becky.’ She sighed solemnly.
‘I am not surprised she is not aware. She strikes as a young woman with a great deal of pride and dignity. It may backfire when she finds out though. I hope you are ready for that?’ He stretched out on the bed beside her, still fully clothed.
‘I will handle her when the time comes. She is crazy about Joseph but she finds it difficult to let go because of her husband. The idiot destroys her trust in men.’ Rose hissed angrily.
‘Life happens to us all. She needs to step out on her faith and believe in men again.’ Alex smiled ruefully as he closed his eyes. He was so tired.
‘You won’t believe they almost made love in my room on my wedding day? I wanted to get my veil and shoes but wasn’t sure where I kept them. I knocked and walked in but they were oblivious to my presence I left the room and called her name to get her attention.’ She grinned down at him. He chuckled in amusement.
‘He is a sharp dude. Who is Michael’s father by the way?’ He opened his eyes to look at her and watched color rise in her cheeks.
‘It is Becky who can answer that question. She is a married woman and her husband….’ Her voice trailed off at the warning look in her husband’s eyes. He sat up in bed to face her.
‘You are playing with fire, Rose. If you truly love your friend, you will advise her to say the truth and let the poor guy know he is a father already. Damn, he loves that kid already. Why will you be keeping such information secret? It is obvious to anyone with a sight.’ Alex’s voice was low with anger.
‘I know. I’m sure she will do so at the first opportunity.’ She made a mental note to approach the subject with Rebecca.
‘I hope so. Caitlin is having her first crush by the way. I hope she will be willing to come back when the time comes.’ Alex teased as he nuzzled her neck.
‘Teenage crush is so pathetic. I can’t believe I went through that stage in my life. She hangs on Joseph’s words as if it is law. She has vowed she will marry a Nigerian man.’ She groaned loudly but her eyes were dancing with amusement.
‘He is too good-looking for an African man.’ He tucked his tongue in his cheek.
‘You are a damn racist, Alex.’ She glared at him mockingly.
‘You are right. That is for buying my wife an expensive trinket.’ He grinned at her.
‘You are such a clown. We need to visit Nigeria one of these days.’ She cupped his cheek and kissed him fully on the mouth.
‘Anything you want, love.’ He murmured huskily as he rubbed his lips against hers, sliding his hand into her sweater to caress her skin. She sighed contentedly.
‘Kingsley, Can I have your thought about the store sales so far?’ Naomi sat back in her seat, ready to listen. The year was coming to an end and they just concluded an end-of-the-year meeting with the entire employees.
‘There was a significant increase in sales on a monthly basis. That is obvious from the monthly report. Of course, we can do better as I am already working on different strategies to get us to the next level.’ He paused slightly.
‘What about the children and ladies section? It is relatively new, I know but do you think the units have potentials.’ She frowned slightly.
‘Yes, it is new but sales have been coming been coming in steadily. Lola has been working her butt out to get that unit moving and she is making progress on daily basis. I need to give it to her. She is usually the first person to get in here to make sure everything is in order and doesn’t leave until the last person has gone home. She hovered over every delivery like a mother hen and personally checked it out to ensure everything is in order. The women admired her and the kids love her. ‘ He stated in a matter of fact tone.
‘I’m glad to hear that. Please let me have the report before the close of the day. How are your siblings?’ She asked with a smile.
‘They are doing very well. Our last girl is getting married in a two months time. I can’t believe she has grown so much.’ He shook his head in disbelieve as he got to his feet.
‘That is Jessica, right? Let me have the invitation card as soon as it is out. I need to see the beautiful bride.’ She grinned at him.
‘Thank you, ma’am.’ He curtseyed before he turned to leave the office.
‘When are you going home?’ Titilola jumped at the voice. She looked up from the system and peered at him.
‘I will go very soon. I want to file our last order and placed a call to Margareta, the head of our clothing line in London. Has the store close?’ She typed away on the laptop for several moments.
‘The store closed two hours ago. It is past eleven, Lola. Shut down and let’s go home.’ Kingsley strolled forward.
‘Wow! How time flies! Let me quickly complete this order and I will shut down.’ Her mouth gaped open when he slammed shut her laptop and picked up her handbag.
‘Let’s go home, Lola. It is late. You can continue whatever you are doing tomorrow.’ He stared down at her.
‘What is your business with the time I go home, Kingsley? I may report to you but you have no right over my life.’ She put her hand on her hips challengingly.
‘As your direct supervisor, I am ordering you to go home. We need healthy, well-rested employee to move the business forward. So may we go or I will have to carry you?’ He raised an eyebrow at her. Her mouth opened and closed but no word came out as she stared at him.
‘How dare you, your egoistic idiot!’ She found her voice at last.
‘Move your ass, Coker. We are running late.’ He put his hand on the small of her back to propel her forward. He pulled her door closed as they move out.
‘Get your hand off me.’ She hissed as she marched past him out of the eerily silent store.
Kingsley spoke briefly to the security guard on duty before he followed her to the main road.
‘Where is your car?’ He asked quietly.
‘I didn’t bring it today. I need to change the battery but I keep postponing it until it refuses to start this morning.’ She shrugged and tried not to look scared. Everywhere was so quiet.
‘Today is Sunday. You know the way our town is. Get in, I will drop you.’ He strolled towards his car and she followed behind him.
‘Thank you.’ She looked down at her hands as he started the car.
‘You are welcome.’ He moved unto the main road.
‘I apologize for my rudeness to you. It was uncalled for and you didn’t deserve it.’ She swallowed hard as she said stiffly. He gave her a glance and laughed ruefully.
‘Apologies accepted. Don’t sweat it. Give me the direction to your house.’ He smiled as she rattled off Naomi’s residential address. She picked up her bag and felt her phone vibrating in it.
’20 missed calls? Joseph will have my hide. I am in trouble.’ She exclaimed in horror as she stared at the phone. It rang again and she picked it up.
‘Where the hell are you? I am at the store. I was told you left with some guy.’ Joseph’s voice exploded in her ear. She winced slightly.
‘I’m sorry, Opemiposi. Kingsley gave me a ride. He is the store manager. We are home already.’ She glanced apologetically at Kingsley who winked back. He pulled up in front of her house.
‘Go inside and give the phone to mum. I want to talk to her. She is waiting in the sitting room.’ Joseph ended the call abruptly. She rolled her eyes in exasperation.
‘He wants to know if I am truly home. Thank you for the ride.’ She jumped out of the car in a hurry.
‘I’m going to love meeting your brother. He is a smart guy.’ Kingsley chuckled in amusement.
‘Go away. You are all the same, choking us with your macho protection.’ She waved him away but she was smiling as she walked through the gate.
He waited till she disappeared into the compound before driving away.
He kept thinking about her as he prepared for bed that evening. You better don’t get involved with the boss’s daughter; he reprimanded himself as he closed his eyes and dropped off to sleep
‘Opemi wants to talk to you.’ Her phone rang immediately she walked in. She rolled her eyes as she gave it to Naomi and flopped unto the seat beside her.
‘She is home. See you later, dear.’ Naomi said quietly, listened and put an end to the call.
‘Why did you give us such a scare?’ Naomi asked quietly.
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was that late until Kingsley came to bully me out of the office. Forgive me.’ She wound her arms around her waist and hugged tight. Naomi exhaled softly.
‘Don’t ever do that again, Titi. Your dinner is in the kitchen.’ Naomi got to her feet.
‘Thank you, mama.’ She grinned at her as she headed for the kitchen.
‘Was it Kingsley who dropped you off?’ Naomi turned to face her as an afterthought.
‘Yes. He was the one who dropped me at the gate. He annoyed me initially but I realized he was right.’ She shrugged as she turned back and disappeared into the kitchen.
Naomi’s lips turned up into a smile as she headed for her room.
The doorbell rang consistently. Rebecca cursed fervently as she stumbled from the bedroom and glared at the front door as if it was responsible for waking her up.
It was her off day. Her mother has already gone to her shop without waking her up. She had dropped the kids off at Joseph’s place the previous evening so that she could spend the whole day, sleeping.
‘Who the hell is there?’ She asked coldly, swaying on her feet.
‘Becky, open the door before I break it down.’ It was Joseph. She hissed as she marched over and jerked the door open.
‘What the hell are you doing here?’ She growled at him as she watched him walked past her into the house.
‘I woke you up. I’m sorry.’ He smiled as he took in her rumpled appearance in shorts and camisole.
‘You have not answered my question. Where are the kids by the way?’ She went to lie down on the longest sofa, with her big bum wriggling upward provocatively. His groin ached as he stared at her backside.
‘We went to meet a client this morning but the meeting didn’t last as long as I expect, so I decided to check on you. The kids are with mother. I am sure she is taking them to Granny’s place this afternoon. The Coker house has more space than ours. It also has a pool and other playthings. They will be fine. ‘ He went to sit beside her.
‘I hope your grandma will not mind? Who is the client you went to meet?’ Her voice was slurred with sleep.
He chuckled richly. He will be damn if he will allow her to fall asleep in his presence.
‘I’m sure you are not interested in the detail right now.’ He smiled as he ran his hand up her side under the camisole, feeling her soft skin.
‘Stop it please.’ She wiggled and tried to jerk away. He stood up and flipped her onto her back.
‘Go away, Joseph. I need to sleep.’ She mumbled as she forced her eyes open.
‘Hmmm. You look delicious.’ He stretched beside her and nuzzled her neck. He lifted her camisole and caressed her bare breasts. She moaned.
‘That is my baby.’ He crooned as his calloused thumb rubbed over nipples. It tightened and hardened into a pebble. Her arms went around his neck and they rolled unto the rug.
‘I want you.’ Her voice came out in a whisper as he pulled the camisole over her head and flung it away.
‘Thank God.’ He murmured fervently. They were over each other in a flash, tugging at clothes, caressing and kissing in between until they were both naked.
He straddled her and entered her in one smooth movement. They sighed in unison and it was a whirlwind passion which took them over the edge. Then they lay in each other‘s arms, sated for now.
Rebecca was snuggled in Joseph’s arms, sated and contented. She was already dozing off when she heard the door opened and closed in the distance.
‘Becky, how dare you do this to me?’ Elizabeth’s shrieking voice jolted Becky out of her blissful state. She sat upright and stared at her sister.
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