Tobi exited the shower toweling himself into his master bedroom, only stopping a beat to study himself in the giant-sized mirror at the far end of the room. His brows dipped in dissatisfaction at his thinner muscles and a slight bulge in his lower belly. Since the accident now two months, he’d lost out on some tight fitness regime, and his body showed for it; a few pounds and some fat here and there where it used to be solid and taut.
Swearing to get back in shape he threw on some round neck tees and some short, easing into the bed for convenience. As much as the stiff limb needed to be worked, it shouldn’t be overstrained.
The grandfather clock at the corner of the wall chimed nine pm, a not too subtle reminder of time. Tobi had a great liking for the old age clock as opposed to the modern-day. Its lazy stroke a subtle intimation of time and its importance, each quiet ding a reminder to cherish every hour. Through it, Tobi relived moments when life was less paced and enjoyed as opposed to the seemingly immediate tick of the modern clock which somehow projected life as a sprint, placing unnecessary stress and tension on the modern age man.
Tobi envied men of time past. He sometimes wished a part of that world of tranquility before the advent of all of the modern noises that debilitates thoughts and concentration. For that reason, he sometimes retreated to his farm, a large span of land at a rural section secluded from modernization. There in seclusion, within the quiet of the woods and the transient sound of nature, was his greatest ideas borne.
Tobi doesn’t deem modernization deleterious. But for all advancements, a price usually had to be paid. In this case, it was ‘quiet’ which he thought a too grave price.
Tobi grabbed his phone from the nightstand to dial Kamiye. She should be home already, especially as it was such a crucial period for the Longe’s. The phone blinked a message from her, simply telling they were stuck in traffic and a multiple missed calls, both from her. He called her still, doused with such relief as her voice picked at the other end. They were almost home.
Alleviated, Tobi eased into the bedstead, rounding the stations for some interest. He itched for Kamiye’s take on the newly hired guard just refereed by Tega, who had immediately begun doubling as Kamiye’s driver in her new bulletproof car.
Tobi settled for ESPN, his all-time favourite cable sports channel. Golf was playing, Tiger woods’ had just pitched a ball and was ahead of his opponent by ten points. Until now, Tobi hadn’t realized how much of golf he missed, another of his many interests he couldn’t wait to get back on with the boys. He sounded a helpless sigh at the thought of it, and the mean play out that morning, which yet rang wonder as what had begun as a simple conversation between friends had blown disproportionately into a humongous confrontation to which he could do little else but watch shocked eye.
It had all happened in split seconds, in between Tega’s insinuatory tone to Dimeji’s unexpected outburst, there’d been no time for thought process except to watch the quiet unfolding. Tobi was confused. In spite of Tega’s insistence on the ‘truth’, he was yet to reach a conclusion. There were claims at a man he’d known almost all his life and had done nothing but watch his back. And until proven otherwise he deserved some benefit of doubt. Plus perhaps, it was just a misunderstanding, a wrong assumption and a dirty give away by Dimeji’s famed temperament.
Tobi was simply confused, his head and heart seemed in a mighty conflict, each airing different opinions. He should listen to Tega, it was only logical he did. But he and Dimeji go way back, far before anyone even came into the picture. If Dimeji ever intended to hurt him, he would have a long time ago. So why now, Tobi pondered as his heads prompted tons of instances which perhaps might have triggered some certain dislike or envy.
“Stop!” Tobi piped out loud to still the growing aggressive voice and wrong thinking. But it wouldn’t stop. On the contrary, like a full blast came instances when Dimeji had jokingly demanded a raise in share. Motive! The company! motive! The voice chanted incessantly, laced with what was possibly the sound of Tega’s. Tobi with tightly closed eyes, clutched his head between his palms willing it to end until finally, he screamed it into deep into his subconscious. It heeded this time and gradually the tide settled. Spent, he sagged against the pillow, his sight blurring a while at the huge screen until at last the faces and sport took shape only to be replaced again by the day’s occurrence.
Could it be that Tega knew more than he was sharing? If not, why had his lip given a cryptic twist when Dimeji had stormed off. He might be wrong, but his sixth sense told him something dark might soon be unfolded. For God, he hoped Tega was wrong, and all of this will pass as a simple misunderstanding to be laughed off over drinks. But deep down, he sensed otherwise.
Though Dimeji’s departure had opened chances to further scrutiny. However, Tobi could not recollect having Dimeji out of his presence that fateful day or messing with his brake. And except Tega had something better, there was really no way to accept that line of thought.
“What’s wrong babe?” Kamiye piped as she let into the room. Tiredly, she dumped her bag unto the nearest couch and crossed concernedly to Tobi smacking a kiss to his temple and smoothing his furrowed brows as she lifted.“Are you okay?”
“Yes. Was just doing some light thinking.” His expression warmed as he pushed up into a sitting position for better access to his wife.
“Dimeji?” she guessed.
His quiet exhale was enough response. In the next minutes, silence stole like some cold arms, and Tobi was content with watching Kamiye undress. Since the early morning occurrence, thoughts and considerations on the matter had been avoided by both parties. The matter seemed too wary a subject for either to discuss or even consider, a hideous ghoul both shriveled from. Discussing it would only further strengthen and empower its terror more than necessary. And so both had stowed it far away in the dusty corner of their minds. But deep in Kamiye’s mind if push came to shove, she’d swear on her life on Dimeji’s innocence. Call it assumption or instinct.
Tobi glued a studious eye on Kamiye as she cleaned off her makeup first. His eyes were particularly riveted on her hips which he thought a bit more rounder than usual, and just some days back, he’d thought her breast fuller in the see-through nightwear. For a better judge of what seemed to appear a slight weight gain, Tobi itched to feel their weight in his palms. Perhaps he was wrong and only beguiled by his desire.
Frankly, he wanted Kamiye with all of his being, he needed her to forget all his pains and worry. To hold her and assure her that they’d survive whatever, as long as they had each other. But as Kamiye sank into the nearest sofa, stifling a yawn and closing her eyes in apparent wariness, Tobi’s hopes of spending the night with her dwindled.
The next time Kamiye’s eye opened, they opened surprisedly to Tobi now sitted in an opposite sofa and reaching for her legs. Her face mirrored confusion and amusement, as he slid off her sandals, slowly unbuckling one strappy heel after the other gently massaging her feet. She sucked in a mighty sigh of relief on shut eyes. Lord knows she needed that.
She barely heard Tobi’s inquiry about the newly recruited guard, but they somehow registered through her contentment.
“He is okay. Apart from the awkwardness of having a bodyguard, Gabriel is cool and professional. I like having him around actually. I feel…safer.”
Tobi smiled at her easy confession, yet surprised. He hadn’t expected such easy acceptance coming from her. Especially considering her adamancy on the matter.
He asked about Pelumi, yet engaging her. And he grinned in delight when she shuddered, and burned alert with such enamoring fire as she tried to retrieve her leg from hold, giggling. His massage had turned to unmerciful tickles. Reflexively, he took her legs fast, holding it to himself before she could snatch it.
Tobi wouldn’t let go of it, and when she passed him a knowing glare, he feigned utter ignorance and soon lost her again in her childlike giggle and wracking shivers. Every touch sent tingles down her spine and into the lower part of her belly that growled her need. The temptation to give in was strong, but she thought of ovulation which was only nine days away-her shot at pregnancy. Her thoughts were soon clouded by the beautifully sharp tingles. She could barely stay calm or think. A month had already passed since they made love. She’d set the rules, and now doubted she’d survive a moment longer.
Tobi’s eyes were a full display of his raw need. He’d reached his limit, she could tell, and wondered how long she could hang. Waiting be damned. She wanted Tobi, it ached and she let her low moan speak for itself. She sighed with both relief and disappointment when Tobi stopped but soon again, he resumed with her other leg.
“Aunt Yemi was around today.”
Tobi stopped as though slapped. “What for?”
“To apologize. She came before I arrived, but Tijani stopped her from going in.’
“But she saw Pelumi and I heard it was bad. I was told she lashed at her and literally chased her away. It was quite a scene.”
“Good!” Tobi bit in satisfaction when she finished with her relay of the incidence as passed on by a witnessing nurse. “She thinks her apology can just right the past and make everything better. Like it will lessen or take away Pelumi’s pain, the mental trauma? God! Why does she keep showing up in my absence? I swear she is only lucky she didn’t meet me!” He spat angrily.
Kamiye sobered at the mean look emanating from the man across her. “But what about forgiveness Tobi?” her voice was gentle, little above a whisper.
“To hell with it.” He growled, lowering Kamiye’s leg whose heart sunk in disappointment and regret at the loss of the previously shared intimacy as he retreated to the bed obviously peeved.
Through his rage, Tobi was yet attuned to Kamiye’s disappointed sigh and through the corner of his eyes, he watched her grab her belongings and make it out of his room. He felt an alarming emptiness on her departure and somehow was tempted to call her back as it dawned on him his lost chance for the night with Kamiye. And at that, his need escalated along with deep-rooted hate for his aunt and now her interruption of his night.
Tobi was yet brooding about his lost opportunity when the door cracked open again, with Kamiye strutting in in a robe and her hair over her shoulders, a most innocent and uninterested glare in her eyes as she muttered something under her breath and began to gather her bags and shoes. And just when he thought she would leave, she stashed them neatly in his closet and started off to the mirror without even casting him a glance. Firstly, she started to rid herself of the minimal jewelry she wore, starting with the Michael Kors wristwatch and the diamond stud earrings she wore.
Next, she peeled off her robe, leaving her a glorious sight in matching black lacy lingerie that played a contrast against beautiful fair skin. Their gazes held briefly now in the mirror as she busied with piling her extensions atop her head and securing them with large clips. Tobi now was focused at the cheeky bum in flimsy thongs when she turned to him giving him an eyeful of full blossom in black push-ups. Tobi cursed at the anger that had taken a hold of him, and as he watched her, he felt all his anger ebb and instead panted for his woman who in spite of two kids, remained the real epitome of beauty. The journey down childbirth ten years back had done no dent to Kamiye’s body. And he in spite of time had not tired of that body. Lovemaking whenever seemed like an adventure. Like fine wine, it only got better. Heavens forbid he accepts her quest for another kid, Tobi thought. The first time, she’d been lucky as she had birthed at a young age that her body had snapped back almost too easily.
Her gaze was thoughtful, he noticed and just when he was close to understanding, it disappeared leaving only a contentious grin as she started to unhook her bra and as though on second thought, shook her head and sashayed into the bathroom. With a final glimpse behind, she shut the door, her message was clear; tonight she was letting down the rules. In spite of himself, he scrambled off the sheets and all but raced after her into the bathroom with a laugh. He knew her ploy, and all too gladly, he would play her puppet for the night.