Fatihat Ali a.k.a Delilah Smith came sweeping down her rugged staircase. Her supple body was clad in a cream-color terry robe and a fluffy white house slipper adorned her beautifully manicured feet. A stick of King of Denmark cigar dangled from her lips as she searched in the pocket of her robe for a lighter.
“Good morning ma” Her longtime security man, Mallam Yahaya greeted from the foot of the staircase.
“How are you, Yahaya? Is there any problem?” She halted half-way down the staircase.
“The managing director of Abeeb group of company, Mr. Olatunde Abeeb is here to see you.” He told her in a voice, heavy with Hausa accent.
“Take him into the reception room. I will be waiting for him.” She said briskly.
He retreated from the foot of the staircase with a murmured “yes ma”.
Fatihat sat in a corner of the room in her favorite armchair, rocking gently back and forth. Her legs were crossed over each other, giving a tantalizing glimpse of her fair, smooth thigh. She blew smoke out slowly through her pursed lips and watched it curled lazily into the air. A glass of chilled white wine stood on a stool beside her when Olatunde Abeeb walked into the room.
“Good morning” He greeted with a slight frown.
“Good morning, MD. Please have your seat.” She waved him to a seat with a careless gesture of her beautiful, well-manicured fingers.
“I’m here to see Miss Delilah Smith.” He sat down directly opposite her.
“You are looking at her. How may I help you?” She asked with a carefully masked rising irritation.
Rotten asshole, she thought angrily. She recrossed her legs and noted with satisfaction the way his eyes followed the movement.
“So you are the one who bought into half of my company’s shares, right?” He asked in a faintly accusing voice as he studied her closely.
“The shares are in the market for sale. You got a buyer for it. Do you have a problem with that?” She asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I’m fairly sure you don’t know what you are getting into. That company is in a deep financial mess. It is on the edge of bankrupt. Yet, you went ahead to tie up such a huge amount of capital when you know its chance of recovering is fifty percent. What kind of stockbroker are you dealing with?” His voice was full of condensation.
She looked at him for a moment and then dropped the half-smoked cigar into the ashtray before sitting back. She regarded him in silence for a moment longer.
“If you are hoping to scare me into withdrawing my offer, you are talking to the wrong person because I know exactly what I am doing.” She told him with a quiet confidence that grated on his nerves.
“That makes it obvious that you are not in this for the profit. Why else would you buy into a company that is almost going under? Are you aware that it was a private company? We had to go public because that seems the only way the company can survive and get back on its feet.” He paused for a moment. “Moreover, if I have been around when this decision was taken, I would have preferred those shares to be sold to someone who has interest in the business.” He gave her a direct stare. She stared back unflinchingly.
“So you are indirectly telling me I have no interest in business, isn’t it? Can you tell me what gave you this impression, Mr. Abeeb?” She raised an eyebrow to him.
“Well, are you interested in doing business with us or you have a hidden agenda, Miss Smith?” He asked with a tight-lipped smile.
“What do you have in mind, Mr. Abeeb?” She tapped her fingers impatiently on the glass top of the stool.
“You can give me an idea. Come off it, Delilah Smith or Fatihat Ali, whichever you are, you don’t need this partnering. There is no gain in it for you. Look for another way to indulge your whims.”
“Are you trying to tell me you can’t make it work? If you have so little faith in your father’s company getting back on its feet, then why are you there? What kind of businessman are you?” She asked as she steeped her slim fingers together.
“I see. Welcome on board ma.”He got to his feet and gave her a slight bow. “Since you now own half of the damn company, we are going to ride through the storm together. Is that okay with you? On the other hand, I can give you another option.” He decided to play his last card.
He hoped it would work and prayed that his instinct about this whole thing is wrong.
“Oh! What is your option?” She got to her feet, too.
“I want to offer you another form of distraction provided you will let go of the company shares.” He smiled indulgingly at her.
“What form of distraction might that be? I am curious.”
His eyes suddenly snapped to life as it roved over her from her hair down to her toes slowly in pure male approval and went back to meet her eyes again.
Fatihat felt thoroughly exposed and embarrassed, something she hadn’t felt in years in the presence of thousands of men.
“I can offer you a more fun-filled and charming distraction than getting involved in a run-down company. We both know we will enjoy it. I have not lost my touch over the years.” His smile was flirtatious.
“I didn’t know you have added the job of a gigolo to your resume. It shouldn’t surprise me though. You have the look. However, I will consider your proposal and get back to you. I hope that is fine with you?” She bent and carefully removed a stick of cigar from its pack. She lit it and blew smoke quickly into the air.
His jaw tightened with anger but he made no comment.
“In the meantime, I already owned half of your father’s company. There is nothing you can do about that unless I decide to change my mind. I find it difficult to resist good looking men. Let’s call it a day. I will see you soon. Please see yourself out.” She wagged her fingers at him and walked out before he could utter another word.
She was livid with rage by the time she got to her study room. Her foster sister, Josephine Bob has gone to school but it was a lecture-free day for her, so she has the house to herself in the main time.
She went into the kitchen to get herself something to eat while she thought of what next to do.
After taking breakfast, she went into her study room and sat down at her laptop. She inserted her flash drive and downloaded the file on the Abeebs’s family which her private detective had sent her a few days ago.
She went straight to the file titled ‘Tunde’s love life’.
Her lips tightened with displeasure and festering hatred as she went through it.
Adenike Jacobs was the only daughter of a prominent senator in Lagos. She met her fiancée, Olatunde Abeeb during his twelve months masters programme in the United Kingdom while she was running her degree programme in the same university.
The meeting took place at a friend’s Get-together party. It was an instant attraction.
After the first meeting, they become quite inseparable. It was assumed that they would be getting married as soon as they get back in the country but things didn’t work out as planned.
On getting back to Nigeria, Tunde realized his father’s company was in a deep murky water of trouble. His father died a few months before he traveled out. He was supposed to take over his place in the company but his mother wanted him to get his master’s degree before he joined the company. She gave the reign to the company’s management board.
This turned out to be a great mistake because Mrs. Olayemi Abeeb realized quite too late that the company had been run into the ground by the so-called management team.
Tunde also found out to his horror that his mother has invested her capital in the last attempt to save the crumbling company, so he invariably put off his plan to get married and plunged in to save the company before it was too late.
Fatihat studied the picture of Adenike Jacobs closely. She decided that she was not bad at all.
I’m so sorry, girlfriend; you won’t have him because I didn’t. Both of you are in for the shock of your life, she thought with a malicious grin.
It was Friday. Tunde couldn’t wait to leave the office. He has spent the day in a series of strategic management meeting. He was exhausted.
He was also emotionally drained because he has needed to take some difficult decisions and asked for the resignation of some management staffs whose loyalty was no longer with the company.
He picked up his briefcase immediately after the last meeting and drove home.
‘Good evening, baba. Is Nike around yet?” He paused on his way into their compound and spoke to their gateman.
“No, sir. She is not in yet.” The elderly man answered, holding the gate opened.
“Thank you.” He drove in.
The man closed and locked the gate.
Barely ten minutes later, the gateman heard the sound of the horn of another car and peeped to see a brand new tinted Cherokee jeep just outside the gate.
He came out of the side gate as the window glass on the driver’s side was rolled down. He caught his breath at the startlingly beautiful young lady who smiled at him.
A long thin veil wrapped around her head and neck and a black shade covered half of her face.
“Good evening sir. Please is hajia in the house right now?” She asked in a voice laced heavily with Hausa accent.
“No ma. She is not in but her son is in. will you like to see him?” The man smiled at her, completely charmed by her beauty.
“Thank you, sir” The glass window went up.
She drove in when he opened the gate and went straight to the back of the house where she pulled up. She tried not to be swamped by the memories of her stay in this house.
Barely minutes later, a short plump woman came to join her through the back door. She was the cleaner in the house. She looked furtively around before sneaking up to her car.
“He is in the shower right now. I am sure she will soon be here. I heard him talking to her on the phone.” She whispered to her.
“Thank you, Mama Ruth. I will take up the rest from here.” She gave her a bulky envelope. The elderly woman nearly fainted at the sight of so much cash.
“Don’t say anything. Just go home, you deserve it.” Fatihat got out of the car in the long silky button-down caftan she wore and locked the Car door.
She gave the woman a peck on the cheek and glided away while the woman stared after her with eyes blurring with tears.
Nike took the staircase two at a time, shouting her fiancée’s name.
“Sweetheart, I’m home. Where are you?” She opened his bedroom door and got the shock of her life.
She stared at the naked woman in her fiancée’s bed who was fast asleep. The lady opened her eyes slowly and then, sat upright with a shocked expression on her face, clutching the blanket to her chest.
Nike was aware of the running shower in the background as she felt her fiery anger building gradually.
“Who are you?” She asked coldly as she advanced slowly towards her.
“I’m fatihat. Who are you?” Fatihat repeated the question as she stared right back.
“Darling, I will be with you in a moment.” Tunde said loudly, thinking he heard the door opened while the two ladies glared at each other.
“Can you hear that?” Fatihat cocked her head to the side and gave her an up-and-down appraisal which annoyed Nike immensely.
“Are you aware of the fact that you are in my fiancée’s bed?” She stood beside the bed and looked down at her.
Fatihat stretched slowly and practically purred.
“I could kill you, do you know that?” Nike sneered as she bent until their faces were a few inches from each other.
“Try it.” Her voice was deadly as she stared right back. Nike felt a shiver of fear ran down her spine.
The shower stopped. Tunde came out a few seconds later. His jaw dropped in shock when he encountered the gazes of the two furious ladies.
“What is going on here?” He whispered, at last, looking at fatihat, noting her naked back and stared back at Nike who was practically glaring at him.
“Well, will you say something?” Nike asked coldly, the anger in her been slowly replaced by a dull pain in her heart region.
“Fatihat, what are you doing in my bed? I thought …………..God!” He sat down on the edge of the bed, realizing with a sick feeling that his instinct was on track.
“So you know her, right? How long has this been going on?” Nike told him accusingly, her eyes filling with tears.
“I’ve never slept with her.” His denial ended weakly when fatihat cocked an eyebrow at him.
“Is that right? You’ve never slept with me?” Her voice was quiet as she sat back against the pillow.
“Please answer that question, Tunde. I want a Yes or No answer. Have you ever slept with her or not?” Nike asked in a trembling voice.
“It is not what you think, Nike. I just spoke to you a few hours ago. Why will I bring a woman in when I know you will be visiting at any time? Please give me a chance to explain myself.” He got to his feet and went towards her with a pleading look.
“Don’t come near me. I want to know what a naked woman is doing in your bed. Just answer my question. A simple Yes or No will do.” She held up her hand and stepped away from him.
“We all have our past, Nike. Dont you have yours?” He tried to bluster his way through.
“You forgot to tell me about this past that is lying naked in your bed right now. Please answer me” She pointed at her.
He dropped his hands in defeat. He stared down coldly at Fatihat for a moment where she was still lying on the bed. She returned the stare with a faint lift of her lips.
“Yes, I have slept with her but it is not the way you are thinking it. Please let me explain.” He pleaded desperately.
“That is all I need to know. Thank you very much, Olatunde Abeebs but you’ve not seen the last of me” She picked up her bag from where she dropped it in shock and turned towards the doorway.
“Nike, please wait. I knew her a long time ago.” He began pleadingly, reaching for her arm.
“How long is that?” she asked sarcastically as she snatched her arm away.
“We even have a baby, Nike. Please don’t waste your time with him because we are going to get married real soon. You can ask his mother if she knows me or not.” Fatihat smiled as she got out of bed and wrapped the blanket around herself.
“She is lying!”Tunde said in hot denial. He looked surprised when Nike gave him a resounding slap on his cheek.
“So your mother knows about this too? God, you are going to pay dearly for this! All of you in your family will pay very dearly. I will use everything in my power to fight you till I breathe my last.” She swore savagely and walked out of the room.
Fatihat looked at Tunde and burst into a hearty laughter. He came towards her with menace. She dropped the blanket, revealing her nude form in only lacy scanty panties. His steps faltered and his fingers knotted into fists.
“I can kill you, fatihat Ali.”He gritted his teeth.
“You know I was considering your proposal after all.”She gave a stretch of her lithe, shapely body.
He realized with horror that his body was actually responding to the sight of her. He turned away abruptly and went to sit on the only sofa in his bedroom with his head in his palm. He felt as if his whole life had just shattered into pieces all around him.
Something else came to his mind as he looked up in time to see her picking up her handbag after buttoning up her caftan.
“Were you serious about that baby stuff or it is all part of your wicked scheme?” He asked with a narrow gaze. She stared at him for a moment and her sultry gaze grew very cold.
“Go and ask your mother.” She moved towards the door but he got to his feet and pulled her back.
“Are you serious?”The hand he laid on her arm was trembling. She shrugged it away.
“The battle line has just been drawn, Olatunde Abeeb, kindly deliver that message to your mother.” She told him and walked out of his room.
Tunde felt like fainting and went to sit down on his bed very slowly.
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We have come to the end of ‘TWIST OF FATE’. This is the beginning of another wonderful story. I hope you enjoy it.
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