This week, I’ll be sharing the scene of the “first kiss” between Ogonna and Philip from The Governor’s Wife.
Although not really their #FirstKiss, this was the first one they shared when they accidentally met again seven years after a bitter separation.
I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.
A deep part of his subconscious rose up in protest. This was Ogonna, the woman who broke him by running off to marry someone else.
He shouldn’t want to have anything to do with her, let alone kiss her. He needed to bring this madness to an end, turn and walk away.But Philip remained rooted to the spot, deepening the pressure of his thumb instead, and then trailing it slowly across her full lower lip.
Her tongue darted out, flickering lightly. A bold move. Unexpected.
His eyes swept to hers and he froze. They were wide as saucers, as if startled by her own boldness. It would have been easier for him to let her go if even an iota of repulsion or uncertainty registered in their dark depths. Instead, something primal flashed in her pupils.
His breath trapped in his chest. Ogonna wanted him, too. The realisation sent a wave of need through him, weakening him.
Another soft moan came from her. His nostrils flared, and he let out a groan from deep within his throat. Almost roughly, he reached for her face, cradled it in both hands and brought his mouth down on hers.
Strong arms engulfed her as she hit her head against a rigid wall. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a wall. It felt like firm chest muscles. The alluring aroma of maleness and cologne that filled her nostrils tightened her chest. She inhaled deeply. She had died and gone to heaven in the arms of Angel Michael. Rita buried her face in his chest, and she felt the pounding of his heart against her cheeks.
“Angel Michael,” Rita whispered, resting her face against his broad chest, feeling safe in the arms that carried her. This was heaven. “Thank you, Angel Michael.”
“Bloody hell! You scared the shit out of me! What the hell is wrong with you!” The voice that barked at her was gruff. Her eyes snapped open. That was definitely not the voice or words of an angel.
“Who are you? Let go of me!” Rita screamed, suddenly aware of her surroundings. She had not jumped off the bridge as she had intended, and a stranger held her in his arms, refusing to let her go.
“Let go of me!” she cried again, hitting the stranger on his back. He neither responded to her command nor flinched from the force of her blows. He simply turned, holding her firmly in his arms and began moving towards a vehicle.
“Let me go, please,” Rita pleaded, alarmed. Reality set in; she was being abducted by this man. “Please let me go. Who are you?” The man still did not respond. She began to panic, really panic. She was alone. No one knew where she was. She immediately regretted locking Tango back in the bungalow. If this man took her somewhere and killed her, nobody would even know where to find her.
“Do you know who I am?” Rita’s panic-stricken voice rang out again. “I am Senator Obaseki’s daughter. My father will have you killed.” Anger replaced her fear. “Let me go! Do you hear me? My father is very rich…”
He remained silent as he carried her to the black car parked at the other end of the bridge. Rita noticed the opened front door of the vehicle, but before she could say anything more, he slammed it shut with his foot.
The stranger yanked open the door to the backseat and dumped her inside. She tried to kick him away, but he held her legs together and pulled out a rope from the floor of the car. Keeping her legs bound with ease, he tied the rope around her ankles and knotted it. Rita’s arms flapped about, throwing punches at the man in a state of terror. She hit him anywhere she could find his flesh, but he didn’t duck or flinch.
He reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small knife. Rita’s eyes widened. She held both hands above her head in surrender, temporarily immobilised by fear. “Please don’t kill me. I’ll give you money. Name your price. Whatever amount you want, I’ll give you.” His facial expression was indifferent, as if unimpressed by her declaration. Without even looking up at her, he used the knife to cut the rope and placed it back in his pocket.
After securing the rope on her ankles, he retrieved another rope from somewhere in the car and reached for her forearm. He captured one forearm in his large hand and aimed for her other hand. Rita didn’t make it easy for him, aimlessly flailing her free hand around, trying to elude his grasp.
“What do you want? Money? I can give you up to ten million Naira today if you let me go.” She searched his face anxiously for a sign that he heard what she’d just said. There was no emotion there. His focus was aiming for her hand. Fear gripped her insides. This was not about money. This man didn’t need her money. And that was frightening. What did he want? Was he a rapist? A ritualist?
“Give me your hand,” he muttered in a low voice. Rita continued to evade his attempt to gather her hands together. “I don’t want to hurt you. Just give me your hand.”
“Please, let me go, then. I have money. Loads of money I could give you today if you let me go.” Her voice became desperate. “Please…”
“Give me your hand now,” he said again. This time, there was an authoritative ring to his words that made her heart jump. Rita offered her other hand to him.
While he tied her wrists together, Rita studied him silently, trying to recall if she had met him before. His glossy skin was a deep mahogany hue that she would have found appealing under different circumstances. He had a long face with piercing large eyes below thick well-carved eyebrows. His nose was long with flared nostrils, and his full lips stood out amongst his precisely trimmed facial hair. Closely cropped smooth curls crowned his head, tapering to thin sideburns.
Her frantic mind search for previous encounters with this man came up empty. She hadn’t met him before, had she? Was this personal? He was a tall, muscular man with a commanding presence that she would not easily forget had their paths crossed. No, she hadn’t met him before. She was sure of that.
“Please let me go, I haven’t done anything to you, have I? I don’t know you, do I? Please let me go…please…I can give you money.”
He didn’t look up or even acknowledge her statement. He used the same knife from his pocket to cut the ends of the rope that secured her wrists before replacing it in his pocket.
Glancing up at her, he ran a thumb over her bound wrist.
“Does this hurt?” he asked in a tone that Rita would have described as compassionate were she not tied hands and feet in the back seat of his car. It took a moment for her to realise that he was referring to the rope on her wrists. Rita shook her head.
“Good…” He brushed his hand over his face. “Listen, Princess. I don’t want to hurt you. If you do exactly as I say, you will be fine,” he warned her. His intonation was a rich baritone that cracked at the end of his sentence.
“What do you want? Are you a ritualist? I can give you money if you are a ritualist… Name the amount…you don’t have to do anything to me. Please. I’ll pay double whatever they are offering you.”
He laughed in response. The sound of his laughter reverberated in the air. Not replying to her comment, he slammed the car door shut and walked over to the driver’s seat and sat down.
“You are a rapist, then. A big man like you… Do you have to resort to rape to have sex? So, you can’t manage to find a girl to convince to sleep with you? You should be ashamed of yourself!”
He remained silent. Rita’s fear intensified. Her throat tightened with tears. She was going to die. This man was going to rape her, kill her and leave her body somewhere nobody would ever find. And it was all her fault. Oh, God. Why did I lock Tango inside the bungalow?
“Where are you taking me? Please don’t hurt me…please…” Rita’s tone wavered. Tears fell down her eyes.
Her plea seemed to touch him, and she noticed him pause his movements. He glanced at the rare-view mirror and their gazes linked. “I promise I won’t hurt you, okay?” he said gently. Rita watched him open the glove compartment and pull out a small syringe. He took out a tiny needle from a box in there, tore away the packet, and attached it to the end of the syringe. “This is the only thing that will hurt. But just like a sharp sting, like a mosquito bite. Nothing dramatic.”
Rita could barely hear what he was saying. Her needle phobia kicked in. Blood drained from her head, causing her to feel dizzy. Wide eyes with dread and her gaze focused on the advancing needle, she remained paralysed, so scared that she didn’t even feel the sharp sting of the needle as it pierced the skin of her arm. All she could feel was the blood pounding in her ears.
“You will soon become light-headed,” the man continued in a deep voice. “And then slowly fall asleep. Don’t worry; it’s a low dose, so you will be fine when you wake up, Rita.”
Rita? He had called her by name. She was not a random victim. This man knew her name.
“How do you know my name? Why are you doing this? Who are you?” The man did not reply. He started the car, pulled out of the side road where they were, and drove towards the main road.
More questions formed in Rita’s head. But her brain became fuzzy, and slowly, just as the man had warned, her eyes grew heavy. The questions whirled around in her brain in disjointed circles until she could no longer keep her eyes open or her mind alert. Heaving a deep sigh, Rita gave in to the darkness that claimed her. But not before she noticed the flash of regret that touched the stranger’s sharp eyes.
The butt (ass) grab is a common scene in romance fiction novels.
Depending on how it’s written, it could be either sexy or sleazy.
In this week’s #LAPLovenotes i’m sharing a butt grabbing scene from The Senator’s Daughter
“I’m having such a lovely time, Nosa. Thank you,” Rita whispered, her eyes shining.
Unable to resist, Nosa lowered his head to her lips. He intended just a quick kiss, but when her tongue brushed over his lips, he needed more.
Capturing her mouth with his own, he drew her closer, roaming his hands over her delicate back, grabbing and squeezing her bottom through her dress. The taste of her was a drug, powerful and addictive—he wanted all of her and would always come back for more.
“Kissy-kissy people, get a room jor,” joked a group of teenage passersby.
Their loud laughter jerked Nosa to reality. He pulled back, cradling Rita in his arms. “We…” He cleared his throat. “We probably should go home now.”
Hope you enjoyed this snippet. What’s your verdict? Sexy or sleazy? Yay or nay? Please leave a comment.
Hello everyone. Here’s another instalment of the Segment Breakup to Makeup from The Governor’s Wife.
Here, Ogonna has just found out that Philip has been keeping secrets. This scene is in Philip’s apartment. Enjoy.
Ogonna rose abruptly, lifting her bag off the bed. “Okay, then…”
She made a move to walk past him.
Philip rushed to the door and slammed it shut, bracing himself against it.
“Step away, Phil. I want to leave,” she said.
“ No!” Philip barked, broadening his stance so she had no room to push him away.
“We need to talk.”
“No, we don’t. I have nothing else to say except, you can have her…”
“What?” he said, in wide-eyed disbelief. “I don’t want her.”
“Do you think I’m stupid?”
“Of course, I don’t…please, Ogonna, listen to me. I don’t know what Stella told you, but it’s not what you think.”
“Told me? Stella didn’t tell me anything. I found out on my own.” Ogonna shook her head at him and blew out a humourless laugh. “You can hide your phone all you want now. I’m done. I don’t fight another woman for a man. Not me. So, step away from the door. Now.”
“No, Ogonna…let’s talk. I love you…”
Another bout of her harsh laughter grated on his ears.
“Love me? Love me?” Ogonna spat, her mouth opened wide in disgusted disbelief. “Is that what you also tell Stella when you fuck her?”
Philip cringed. Ogonna rarely swore. This was worse than he could have imagined.
“You told me you broke up with her…made me believe there was nothing between you two. Like a fool, I believed. Even after I saw you with her in the hotel car park, I let myself believe the Philip I love would never betray me. And then bam! I find out you have maintained contact with her behind my back and that she’s pregnant.”
“ I haven’t maintained contact with her!” Philip shouted.
“You must think I’m a total idiot…I went through your computer, Phil.”
His lips parted in a shocked gasp.
“Yes, I did! Yes, I did,” Ogonna spat unrepentantly. “You think hiding your phone would hide your lies? Your computer’s Facetime records calls, too, and I saw the repeated calls from an unknown number. And that number has called three times this week. Curious, I dialled it back. Guess who answered?”
Philip sighed. “Ogonna…”
“Don’t Ogonna me. I told you I don’t do side chick…”
“You are not my side chick, you are my main…” Philip scrubbed his face with his palm in frustration “I mean…I don’t have a side chick.”
Ogonna shook her head. “Clap for yourself,” she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. “Lucky me, the main chick. All that talk about loving me, O and P together forever. What a fool I’ve been.”
“No, you are not. It’s true, Ogonna. You and me, we belong together.” Philip moved away from the door and pulled her into his arms.
“Let me go!” she screeched, swinging her bag at him.
“No!” he yelled, pulling her into a tight embrace. “Ogonna, please, listen…I wanted to tell you, but I was afraid you would leave…”
“Let me go!” she screamed again.
“No, not until you listen to what I have to say…”
“Philip, there’s nothing you can say.”
“There must be, Ogonna. Promise me you will listen, Ogonna. We’ve been together for over nineteen years. Don’t throw it all away—”
“You threw it away by cheating on me, Phil!” she sneered. “Now, let me go.”
“I didn’t cheat on you…I love you.” He held on to her, arms around her waist, anchoring her to him so she couldn’t wriggle away.
Ogonna stiffened in his arms. He sensed her body weakening, the fight seeping out of her, and Philip seized the moment to push his advantage. Ogonna couldn’t leave him. Not when she didn’t know the complete story.
“Please listen, Ogonna, let’s sit down and talk. You need to hear everything. If you still want to leave…then…”
She remained still in his arms, breathing heavily, her soft breasts crushed against his chest.
“Fine, Phil, talk,” she said in a hoarse whisper. “But no more lies. I want the truth.”
Philip heaved a relieved sigh and released Ogonna from his grip, hating that he had held her against her will, but seeing no other alternative.
“Okay,” he whispered, taking her hand and leading her towards the bed.
A few more days to the release of Be My Valentine by Love Africa Press. It’s an anthology of African love stories I co-authored with other amazing romance writers. So excited!
In the meantime, here’s another instalment of the segment, Breakup to Makeup from Starting Over Again, the last of the trilogy of The Obi family Series.
In this snippet, Nnamdi had to explain himself and beg Onome for forgiveness for being a jealous ass. Enjoy.
Starting Over Again
Her phone buzzed, splintering her thoughts. She looked at the screen. It was a text message from Nnamdi.
I am at your front door.
Onome’s heart flipped. She expected him to come after her. But not tonight. She didn’t even know he was back from Enugu. He had not communicated with her for three days. Three whole days. Who does that? She wanted to ignore the text message. She really did. But she knew it wasn’t the mature thing to do.
Sighing, she dried her tears and walked over to the front door. Inhaling deeply, she opened it.
He stood there, handsome, perfect, staring at her like she meant the world to him. Her chest constricted.
“Onome,” he began.
“Fejiro is asleep, let’s go to my room,” she interjected.
He followed her silently. As soon as they entered her room and she shut the door, he pulled her into his arms.
“Let go of me!” Onome snapped. He did instantaneously.
“Onome, I am sorry,” he murmured, his voice hoarse.
She moved away from him, needing the distance. God, she loved this man so much. How had things gotten to this point?
“Nnamdi, look, let’s cut our losses and move on. I still want us to be friends, though. For the girls’ sake. They really like each other.”
“Listen, I can’t be with a man who doesn’t trust me.”
“Not only did you follow me around taking pictures of me, you had the audacity to pay off Efe to stay away from me.” Onome moved to the window, increasing the distance between them. “Is that what you Obi men do? Play chess with people’s lives? Because you have money?” Her tone was louder, her anger resurfacing. “First your brother arrogantly tries to buy me off. Then you arrogantly buy Efe off.”
“Onome, it’s not like—”
“Don’t try to deny it. I saw the pictures in your office and Efe confessed it himself.”
“So, that fool still went behind my back to talk to you? After I warned him not to?” Nnamdi snarled.
She shook her head, fresh rage building up inside her. “Yes, he did! Yes, he did! And what can you do about it?” Onome goaded. Nnamdi’s nostrils flared.
“You are mine!” he declared possessively, his eyes fierce with passion. “Efe can continue with his games but I want you to know this, you belong to me! No other man!”
Onome burst into a sardonic laugh that lasted a few seconds. When she stopped laughing, she strolled forward calmly and stood directly in front of Nnamdi, both hands on her hips.
“Nnamdi, I don’t belong to any man. I don’t belong to my father, to Efe, and I certainly don’t belong to you.” Her tone was surprisingly controlled, considering her intense anger. “If you must know, I can make my own decisions, you don’t need to pay anyone to stay away from me.” Dragging a hand from her hip, she flicked a finger towards her chest. “I decided to marry Efe, despite my father’s disapproval. I decided not to crawl back to Efe after our divorce despite the temptation to do so.” She continued to point to her chest as she spoke. “I decided to reject Efe when he asked me to marry him again.”
Nnamdi’s mouth popped open.
“Yes, if only you had asked me instead of stalking me and jumping to conclusions, you would have found out that the only reason why I met up with Efe was for Fejiro. Only for Fejiro.” She lowered her voice when she made her last statement, still pointing to her chest. “And that is how I have decided to walk away from us, because if there is no trust between us, there is nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
“Onome, I am so sorry. My brain shut down when I saw those pictures of you with Efe. All I could think of was that he would take you away from me, that I would lose you. Although deep inside me, I know you would never hurt me that way, I couldn’t see past my jealousy.”
“That means you don’t trust me. How can you even believe I could ever go back to Efe? How? After what he put me through? After what you and I have shared together?” She shook her head. “I love you, but I can’t be with a man who doesn’t trust me. We have to end this now. We have to walk away before we hurt each other more.”
“No!” Nnamdi took her in his arms. He was trembling. “You can’t walk away from us, Onome. You can’t. We belong together.”
She held onto Nnamdi, tears streaming down her face.
“We have to end this relationship, Nnamdi. We both have children who are our first priorities. We both have to be absolutely sure about us, because any decision we make affects them.”
“I am sure about you, Onome,” Nnamdi rasped, holding tightly onto her.
“You may be,” Onome whispered. “But I am not sure about you.”
It’s always heartbreaking to witness a marriage proposal being rejected. I always wonder what happens to the relationship after that. Can the relationship be salvaged?
In the only one I’ve ever witnessed, the couple went their separate ways.
In Thorns and Roses, Ifeoma turned Chuma down in what I thought was a sweet marriage proposal.
Here is another instalment of my teaser series— Breakup to Make up. Enjoy.
Thorns and Roses
A few minutes after they left the restaurant, they arrived at their destination. Chuma led her out of the jeep towards a building. Ifeoma followed closely beside him, holding his hand.
She stopped when she saw the sign that said Eastern Delight hoisted on the ground floor of a three-storey complex building. Appearing puzzled, she turned towards him.
“What’s going on?”
“Just follow me,” Chuma said, leading her into the building.
“Follow me to the kitchen,” he said.
Ifeoma froze as soon as she stepped inside. It was a beautiful modern restaurant with mahogany tables and chairs neatly arranged, silk table clothes spread across the tables and lovely floral arrangements on the centre of each table.
Before she could respond to his prompting, he took her hand and led her to an even more fascinating kitchen where three yam pounders, multiple fancy kitchen equipments, including two large cookers, were strategically placed.
“I bought what I think you need but we can add anything else that you want,” Chuma was saying, but Ifeoma hardly heard a thing. Her mind was reeling from shock.
“Ifeoma Okafor, this is all yours,” he said, holding out a bunch of keys towards her. “All paid for in your name.”
Ifeoma was still speechless, her eyes widened in astonishment, her heart fluttering.
“Ify, I was there this afternoon. I know about Mr Peters. Trust me, he will never bother you again. I will never let anyone hurt you again.” Getting down on a knee, Chuma brought out a box from his shirt pocket. He opened it and Ifeoma gasped. A huge diamond ring dazzled her vision.
Will you marry me, Ify?” he asked simply because he was a simple man. Always direct, he did not know how to use any other approach.
She stared blankly at him for a few seconds, then turned and fled.
Cursing, Chuma got to his feet speedily and pursued her. He caught her in his arms before she could get far. They were in the middle of the empty restaurant.
“Let go of me!” she screeched.
Chuma dropped his hands. Ifeoma escaped his embrace and began to pace the room.“
“You were there this afternoon? How do you know about Mr Peters?” Ifeoma asked, panting heavily, eyes wide in shock.
“I found out about him, about what he did to you, I’m sorry for what he did. He will never bother you again.” Chuma’s tone was calm, even though he felt the direct opposite.
Ifeoma paused her pacing as if suddenly having an epiphany.
“Mr Peters … his face … did you … did you do it?” she asked, eyeing him sceptically.
“Not personally, but I was there when it happened.” Chuma did not bother to conceal that truth. “I wanted them to do worse, to break his neck.”
“Did you tell him to… to—”
“Yes! Ifeoma, yes!” Chuma answered indignantly. “I told him to stay away from you.” He noticed the repulsion on Ifeoma’s face, and then added. “I don’t regret it, I don’t apologise. I will do anything to protect you.”
“Protect me!” she cried in disbelief. “You think losing the restaurant I worked so hard for is protecting me?” Ifeoma shook with the rage that swept through her entire body. Chuma said nothing.
“You are a controlling, manipulative asshole, and I will never marry you!” Ifeoma pointed angrily at him as she spoke.
Flinching inwardly at her words, Chuma remained still. A deep-seated fear that he was losing her made his insides burn. Many women had called him an asshole. It was nothing new. Until now, he had actually thought nothing of being called that because he knew it was the truth. Even his family frequently called him an asshole. But hearing it coming from Ifeoma’s mouth was like a knife to his heart.
“I did all of this for you! Ify, can’t you see that?”
Chuma drew closer to Ifeoma, desperate to make her see how much she meant to him. He couldn’t lose her. She backed away.
“No, you did it for yourself. To control me. I will not allow you to control me!” she snarled, her nostrils flaring. Just then, the front door to the restaurant burst open.
The loud sound of cheering from the door interrupted them. Ifeoma and Chuma glanced simultaneously at the entrance.
Nnamdi, Adaora, Chioma, and Ngozi walked in cheering loudly with flowers and champagne bottles in their hands. Adaora held a big banner with congratulations on your engagement written boldly across it. They seemed to halt in unison as soon as they properly observed the expressions on Ifeoma and Chuma’s faces.
“You got my sisters involved?” Ifeoma turned towards him, her voice saturated with fury.
“I wanted to make this a wonderful night for you, believe me, Ify, I did this all for you,” he replied, running his palm over his shaved head. The vein at the side of his head became more prominent.
“Should we leave?” Adaora asked hesitantly.
The atmosphere was awkward and full of tension.
“No, I’ll leave,” Ifeoma said, her tone low, her eyes not straying from his face.
“Stay away from me,” she said to him as she took off her shoes and ran out into the night, leaving him staring after her.
Whenever I’ve enjoyed a novel, I always ask myself why. The honest answer is that for a romance novel to be interesting to me, there must be a few tension soaked dramatic quarrels between the couple in the book.
The kinds that make me feel like I’m a reluctant eavesdropper in the room 🤦🏾♀️
I write what I love to read. So in the next few weeks I’ll be releasing a series of couple quarrels in my novels. Because what’s more sexy than breaking up to make up?
Here’s the first instalment from Melodies of Love. Enjoy
The drive to Adaora’s apartment felt like the longest drive he had ever had to endure. His mind was all over the place.
Why does Adaora still not trust me? He asked himself over and over again. Granted, the images on the blog appeared so convincing, but she knew him. How could she believe it? Without even asking him?
“I’m sorry, you can’t go in, Oga Aristar!” The gateman to Adaora’s apartment complex stopped him, placing his hand on Ikenna’s arm.
“Get your hands off me,” Ikenna growled, shaking the man’s hand off. “Call Ada now and tell her I am waiting here for her.”
The gateman seeing the depth of irritation in Ikenna’s eyes, did as he was told. He was not paid well enough to be in the middle of this situation.
“Madam, Oga Aristar is waiting here for you,” he announced through the intercom. There was a brief pause.
“Send him up,” Ikenna heard Adaora’s shaky voice respond. Climbing two steps at a time, Ikenna hurried up to her apartment. The front door was open. Adaora was standing by the window. She turned to face him when he came in.
“I would like to say this to your face, Ikenna. I don’t want to ever see you again.” Her voice was calm, different from her dishevelled appearance. Ikenna’s hungry gaze perused her body. He had missed her so much. Her face was puffy and her eyes were red; she looked as if she had been crying.
“Ada, please believe me. Everything you read from the gossip blog is a lie.”
“Do you think that I’m a fool?” Her eyes flashed with anger.
“No, I don’t. But it’s not what it seems—”
“Was that woman in the club with you?”
“Was she naked in your hotel bedroom?”
“Yes, but I—”
“Get out of my home! Get out of my life!” Adaora cried, picking up the couch pillow and throwing it at him. It hit him in the chest.
“No!” Ikenna refused, closing the distance between them, grabbing her and pulling her into his arms. She fought him hard, hitting him on his shoulders.
“I missed you, Ada, I love you. How can you believe I could even look at another woman?”
His mouth descended on hers. With a desperate need, Ikenna kissed her. Adaora sucked his tongue greedily into her mouth, kissing him back urgently. She pressed her body into his as their kiss deepened. She felt his hands kneading her bottom and moisture pooled between her legs. Moaning with need, she ran her fingers through his thick hair as their mouths fused hungrily. Then with a sudden shriek, she slapped him.
“Get out of my life!” She screamed. The suddenness of the slap weakened Ikenna’s grip on her, making it easier for Adaora to move away from his embrace.
“Ada, listen to me—” Ikenna began, his voice hoarse as he palmed the area of his face where she had slapped him.
“No, you listen to me. My brothers were right. You are beneath me.”
Adaora could not believe what was coming out of her mouth. She could not believe that she was actually saying these hurtful words because they were untrue. But in her blinding fury, she could not seem to stop herself.
“I deserve so much better than you. You are nothing but a classless musician. You are just a thug and all your money can’t change that. Get out of my life!”
Ikenna flinched at that comment. Adaora had finally said the only thing that had the power to hurt him. Something he had battled with himself over ever since he met her. The real reason he had left her twelve years ago. Ikenna had never felt good enough for her. Right from the start, he’d always felt Adaora deserved a better man than him. Someone with a distinguished family background. Someone with class. His father’s hurtful words came back to haunt him. A girl like her can never end up with someone like you.
And just like that, with a wounded look in his eyes, Ikenna turned around and walked out of her apartment. He couldn’t believe he was losing her again.
As promised, here is the preview of The Governor’s Wife.
Chapter One—Part 2
“I’m sorry, Phil, but I can’t wait for you any longer. Our plans just aren’t practical. It will take years. You have no job, and I’d be waiting for a dream that is totally unrealistic.” She took a deep breath, as if afraid to utter her next words. “Deputy Governor Uchendu is ready to marry me now. Not years from now, and it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up.”
Like a play, her words came out with practiced clarity, as if she had repeated them to herself over and over and over again…as if trying to convince herself the explanation carried a scintilla of plausibility and absolved her of treachery.
She gathered in another breath, let it out and continued. “I’m the only daughter in my family and almost thirty. Almost past my expiration date. So, my family approved the wedding, the bride price has been paid, and the traditional rites done.”
Philip swallowed hard. Tiny spikes of pain tore at his heart with every word she uttered. Yet he couldn’t seem to overcome the cold shock that transfixed him. He stared at a complete stranger.
“I came down to tell you personally. I didn’t want you to hear it from someone else…because of our history. Our love.”
“Love…our love,” he repeated. “Osanobua! What a beautiful love story. Someone will surely compose a love song about us.” A harsh laugh rose up in Philip and spilled out like red hot magma from a volcano.
“How dare you even say the word. You know nothing about love.” He took a step back from her, quarantining himself from her and his feelings. “While I’ve been here, trailing from one interview to the next, practically begging anyone who would listen for a job, you’ve been securing your own future by selling yourself to the highest bidder.”
She sucked in her breath. Her eyes widened, and he could see the shadow of hurt in them, but he was too far gone to care.
“We both know the waiting isn’t the problem. It’s the money. He is a rich Deputy Governor and I’m not.” He clenched his jaw until it ached. “And we both know your age has nothing to do with this. You’re only twenty-five, a long way from thirty. Which even if you were, doesn’t justify rushing into marriage blindly. So, don’t tell me it’s about your age. It has never been a problem for us. Never!”
Philip strode slowly towards Ogonna again and halted right in front of her, pinning her with his eyes.
“If this isn’t about money, Ogonna, call off the wedding now. We’ll get married, if it’s marriage you want. Let’s do it. Call this rubbish off, and let’s go to court. We could live here in this BQ.” He waved his hand around the small self-contained, one-bedroom apartment he shared with a former classmate and friend. “I’ll ask Femi to move out. I have a job interview next week, and if I get it, the salary is enough to kickstart our future.”
His hopes came alive when he saw her eyes mist and spark with possibilities. Encouraged by this, he continued. “Call the wedding off, Ogonna, I’ll marry you today.”
Silence. For a brief moment, he thought he noticed the familiar tightening of her jaw…saw a rock-hard determination that always etched her features when they talked of their future plans, both personal and professional. They had talked constantly about their dreams of building a real-estate empire. And their four children, for whom they would create a legacy…together. While other couples lived moment to moment, he and Ogonna had been Mr. and Mrs. Power Couple in university. Philgonna, their friends had christened the pair, as if they were a celebrity couple.
Hope seemed to wrestle in her eyes for a few seconds. Then, a sob broke free. Confused, Philip took a step closer to her. She moved back, as though his nearness scorched her.
“Ogonna, please tell me. What’s going on?”
“I’m sorry, Phil. It’s too late.”
“Too late…what does that mean?” A sudden bout of nausea rose to his throat as a horrifying possibility popped into his head. He became very still.
“Are you pregnant?” The question came out in a low growl.
“No!” she denied sharply. “No!”
“Then why…why are you doing this? Nothing makes sense. I have been faithful to you. Never once strayed. And I know you have been faithful to me, too. Until now. Why? Why this governor? Why now?” He paused, his chest heaving with the emotions charging through him. Nothing was adding up.
He half expected her to break into a laugh. To shout April fools! before pulling him into her arms and assuring him it was all a joke. But it wasn’t April. And even a bat could see the tears in her eyes were real. And the engraved invitation card lying on the floor…frighteningly real, too.
“Because he can offer me and my family stability,” she muttered. Tears streamed down her cheeks in a sad trail. “And I need that.”
And here he was, right back to the beginning—unable to believe what he was hearing from the woman he loved.
“Need it more than you need me…more than you need our love?” he asked in a low voice, afraid to hear her answer.
“Yes, yes, yes,” she screamed, the words seeming to come from the bowels of hell. “More than I need you or our love.”
And then, without warning, Ogonna turned and fled from the room as though the hounds of hell pursued her.
Philip stood staring at the door for long seconds after it slammed shut in his face. Tears he’d been holding back fell freely from his eyes, and he made no attempt to wipe them away.
Slowly, he walked over to the corner of the room and picked up the elegantly designed white and gold wedding invitation off the floor. He stared intently at the words typed in bold italics as though the more he looked, the sooner the nightmare would end.
The families of Chief and Lolo Moneke and Chief and Lolo Uchendu,
invite you to the holy matrimony of their daughter, Ogonna Moneke
and son, Deputy Governor Kene Uchendu
on Saturday, November 12, 2011.
Three weeks away. The wedding was only three weeks away. He stood there in utter disbelief.
I’m releasing 2 parts of chapter one of The Governor’s Wife this week in preparation for the upcoming book release.
Here’s the first part. Enjoy 😊
His fingers trembled so badly that the small white card almost slipped through them. His eyes moved from it to the woman who’d just handed it to him.
“This…it’s a joke, right?” Philip asked. He couldn’t believe what he’d just read. Icy chills twined with a volcanic heat to run up and down the nerves of his body.
“No, Phil, I’m sorry, but…”
A loud grunt unbound itself from deep within him, and Philip flung the card across the room. He leapt from his chair and cuffed each of her arms with his hands. “Please, Ogonna. You can’t. How can you do this to me…to us? How can you marry this man?”
Her muscles stiffened at his touch, and she shifted her eyes from him.
“Thirteen years, Ogonna. You’ve been my girlfriend over thirteen years. We have a plan…you and me—”
“Exactly, Phil. Thirteen years a girlfriend. A big difference between that and wife,” she retorted.
“Is that what you want? For us to marry…now? When I have no way to support us?” Philip asked, his eyes wide with disbelief. “You’re still in university. I’ve only just graduated. You know I’m here in Abuja looking for a job. Trying to better myself…for our future.”
“This isn’t about you…”
“Not about me?” He tightened his grip, his eyes flashing and his nostrils flaring. “My girlfriend just hands me an invitation to watch her marry another man, and it’s not about me?”
“Phil, let me go,” she said, trying to shake herself free of his grip.
“No!” he growled. “You are mine. If you think I’m going to let you marry anyone else…”
She let out a low cry, more of a whimper. She sniffled, and then slowly turned her head back towards him. Her eyes, brimming with tears, released large glistening drops from their corners to stream in a trail down her cheeks.
Those tears where his undoing. Philip loosened his grip on her arms and forced himself to let her go. He took a step back, his muscles tense with conflicting emotions. Shock, anger, and fear battled in his chest, each fighting for dominance.
“I’m sorry,” he muttered. Pushing back his anger, trying to understand what was happening, he reached up and gently brushed her tears away with the pads of his thumbs.
“I’m sorry,” he repeated.
Slowly, he tilted her tear-stained face upwards. “But why, Ogonna? Why are you doing this?” He searched her face anxiously. “Please tell me.”
Her expression darkened with uncertainty. Her shoulders bowed, almost turning in on themselves. And her lips trembled as if she were chilled to the bone. Her usual self-assurance seemed to have been snatched from her, leaving a broken shell—a stranger— standing before him.
The girl he had dated for almost fourteen years had disappeared, like she’d gone up in smoke. And Philip didn’t know how to get her back.
Since secondary school, Ogonna had been his support system. She’d been right there by his side through all the significant events from adolescence up till now. Like two peas in a pod, they had been inseparable. Whenever he needed her, she came through for him, no questions asked. His entire world. Since the day he’d set eyes on her, there had never been anyone else. And the same for her—or so he’d thought, fool that he was.
They had plotted and planned their lives with the precision of a military operation. After graduation, he would move to Abuja to find a job. Once she’d completed her studies a year later, she would join him.
They were almost there—their end game in sight. He had a job interview scheduled for next week, and her final exams were only two months away. They’d executed the plan to the letter.
But now, here she stood dropping a bombshell in the middle of their lives.
Philip felt he’d been transported to an alternate universe—one where nothing added up. He’d just visited her two weeks ago, had spent the entire weekend in her off-campus flat. Everything had been as it always was between them. Perfect, normal, happy.
Absolutely no indication she had someone else. So, how the hell could she be getting married? And to the Deputy Governor of her home state. Where did she meet the guy? When? His eyes widened.
“How long have you been cheating on me?”
“Philip, I haven’t…it’s not what you think…” She sniffled again.
“Don’t lie to me!” he snapped. “How else can you explain a sudden engagement? Eh?”
“Philip…” she said, starting to say more, then closing her mouth. Her face fell to her feet again.
“Oh, my God!” Philip felt his throat close in. “How long?”
Again, she parted her full lips to reply, but shut them again. A strained silence stifled the atmosphere for a few seconds more until a new bout of frustration rose inside him.
“Answer me…now.” His voice came low and gravelly, delivering the command with a deadly calm that startled her.
Ogonna heaved a deep sigh of resignation, as though she could no longer hold back the truth from him. “I only met him a few weeks ago,” she responded, trailing a trembling finger over her upper lip.
A sign of anxiety. He knew that gesture all too well. He had on many occasions soothed her unease by simply lifting her finger to his lips. But now, he stood frozen. Her revelation rendering him speechless.
Yes, he’d heard her admission, but his subconscious couldn’t immediately process the information. This entire thing seemed like a distant scene unfolding before him. A scene he had no part in. Still immobilised by the shock of her betrayal, he didn’t respond.
To usher in the weekend, here’s a little hot teaser from Melodies Of Love. Enjoy.
The car had stopped moving and the sound of the gate opening signalled to them that they had arrived at Adaora’s place. Adaora gathered her purse, and the moment the jeep came to a stop, she jumped out and ran.
Ikenna cursed under his breath and went after her. She ran up the stairs as fast as she could, forgetting to shut the main door to the apartment building’s main entrance. He caught up with her before she got to the final step, and pulled her into his arms.
“Leave me alone,” Adaora said, struggling to loosen his grip on her. The flight up the stairs had caused her to lose her breath and she was panting uncontrollably. “I can’t deal with all of this. You. All those women… Yet you left me.”
Ikenna put her down, his chest heaving as he struggled to catch his own breath.
“I can’t deal with this,” she said again, quietly this time.
“Can’t deal with this,” Ikenna repeated, shaking his head. His voice was rough. “Let’s start with what you can actually deal with Ada, eh!” he growled. “Can you deal with the fact that I want you so badly that I have not been able to sleep? Can you deal with the fact that all I can think about is holding you, kissing you, ripping your clothes off and being with you in the most intimate way possible?”
He paused, his golden eyes darkening with intense emotion. “Can you deal with that? Ada, can you deal with that?”
“Then do it!” she cried. “All you have ever done is tell me you want to do this and that! It’s been twelve years! Do it! Stop talking and do it!”
Ikenna became still. His golden eyes darkened even more that now he looked dangerous. Adaora’s heartbeat drummed rapidly. The look in his eyes reminded her of the lion head sitting at the top of his studio building; alert and ready to pounce. Ikenna closed the distance between them and lifted her into his arms.
“Open the door now!” he commanded in a hoarse voice.
Adaora’s hands shook terribly. She failed to get the door open on the first try. Ikenna grabbed the keys from her shaking fingers, opened the door and carried her inside.
Melodies Of Love can be purchased as ebooks and paper copies via the following links: