“I like you,” he murmured softly while his hand tenderly caressed her smooth cheek.
“I like you too,” she responded in a heave, trying not to choke on her rapid breath, while unconsciously swerving towards the mass muscle that was his whole body.
Don’t be alarmed folks, it’s just the palace love birds finally talking to each other. You recall I had mentioned cook’s love for the head of security, well, things have been developing over the week…things like courage and the pressing need to express the lovely emotion of love.
Let me explain how it got to this confessions; Atan, the tall, dark, bulky muscled head of security for the king of Efik kingdom had finally gotten tired of suppressing his feelings for the robust cook. He had made the decision today to speak to her or die trying…okay, okay, he didn’t add the dying part, but you get the gist of his determination.
So, he waited for her in the premises of the vast palace, glad that the king didn’t have to go anywhere today, so he had time. His heart begun pounding when the car for market runs drove through the gates and stopped and the round, diminutive woman, who encompassed his dreams, day and night, stepped out.
He still could not comprehend how such a small woman (in height though) had taken over his heart (him being big and tall). Gulping in air for courage, he left his vantage point after she had taken one of the market bags and made for the kitchen.
Atan stopped the driver who had been about to take the remaining bag inside and collected it from him with a murmur that he’d do it. The driver had smiled knowingly at him, I told you, everybody knew about them, but the head of security couldn’t respond, he had a top mission at hand.
With a grim mien because he was afraid he might have read the signs on cook’s face wrongly, but still had to try and therefore risked rejection, he went into the kitchen. You know the rest…apparently it went well if they were confessing likeness for each other.
“I wanted to take you out on a date,” Atan gushed, grinning like an idiot because he couldn’t believe that he was actually touching the woman of his dreams, who reciprocated his feelings too.
Cook, whose real name was Sara, moved close to him again, there was barely space in between them for air to pass through. “But that is impossible. I’m always needed here and so are you,” she complained, her hand tentatively rose and landed lightly on his massive chest, then she sighed as though she had come home.
Atan didn’t miss this reaction, which in turn increased his heart rate. “Which is why I wanted to invite you to my quarters,” he breathed out hopefully, “I have time now, I’m not sure about later, the king might have an evening function.”
Silence reigned for seconds that felt like hours, I have to say, if I had a heart, it would have been pounding while I watched this ones in their episode of relationship creation.
“Sara?” he whispered questioningly, his eyes pleading that she accept his invite.
“I don’t know, Atan,” she murmured, not knowing that she was stabbing that giant of a man in the heart, while her eyes left his face to roam the half unloaded market bag on the kitchen table. Packed and fresh groceries were scattered everywhere in need of storing, and that job was solely hers, no help.
“There’s just so much to do, stocking up, preparing lunch, serving everyone…stocking…”
“You already mentioned stocking, Sara. All I hear is excuses. You have already served everybody lunch, I know for a fact that before you go shopping for groceries you make sure you prepare all the day’s meal, to enable you rest when you get back…”
“How do you know all these?” Sara whispered in shock, her hand hadn’t left his chest, in fact, it had been slowly advancing to the first two open buttons, an avenue where she could touch his skin.
“I’ve been watching you, asking about you, wanting to know everything about you,” he confessed. “I just want to spend time with you, get to know you from you. So, if you care for it, I’ll be waiting,” Atan concluded and stepped away from her, in the process her hand on his chest fell away and it was the single most difficult thing Atan had had to do that year.
He gave her an intense look and walked away, obviously going to his quarters.
Sara was left to ponder her position. Atan had made his move, now it was her turn, and she really liked that guy and God knows, she’d not had male relations in like forever. The plan was to unload the market bags, stock the groceries in the fridge, cupboards and store, clean up the kitchen and then go meet him in his quarters; the whole act could have taken at least twenty minutes.
She begun unloading and lasted only a minute before she abandoned everything as they were, scattered and raced, despite her bulk, to Atan’s quarters.
Yes! I celebrated, so glad she made that decision. The bro heard the patter of her running feet and opened his door before she got there with the most exhilarating look on his face, he caught her in an engulfing hug and even though she weighed some considerable kilograms, Atan was able to lift her up and into his room, shoving the door close.
He had arranged a small table, laid out with wine and probably fast food, but served in good china. Sara’s eyes widened, her heart melted and she turned and gave him a kiss so hot his knees threatened to buckle beneath him. Who knew the hard man head of security would be so romantic?
Pent up passion took over, and it was hours before they deigned to look at the beautifully laid out fast food. Ha, the beauty of palace romance!
A few minutes after Sara raced to her dream man, Wofai ventured into the kitchen out of boredom. The queen had promised to have a heart to heart discussion with her when the meeting of chiefs at the throne room was completed. But the meeting had been going for hours and didn’t seem like it was going to end anytime soon.
Wofai was used to always keeping busy, but with the gaggle of palace workers, willing to walk for her, keeping busy was almost impossible. At this time of the day, she would have been busy side by side with Onen at the mill. Sighing heavily, she thought, with the way she was feeling, having to much time on her hands to dwell on her predicament, she was afraid depression might set in…she needed something to do.
And so she went to the kitchen to gladly discover cook’s mess.
“Sara?” she called questioningly, hopeful but afraid to believe that she could be this lucky to find work.
“She’s indisposed at the moment,” the car washer replied suddenly, shocking Wofai because she hadn’t heard him enter the kitchen.
With her hand on her heart, she smiled at him, “You scared me. You are the car washer, right?” she asked with a friendly tone, since her debacle, she’d been trying to know everybody personally, so that she wouldn’t feel threatened enough to scream at them. She was trying to solve her problem, because she knew that it was an abnormal behavior…one that had not been there before.
She had to reset herself to factory setting and the first step was getting to know everyone.
“Yes,” he answered uncertainly.
“I hear your music, you’re good…keep it up,” she said and turned to face the groceries.
“Thank you,” the car washer stammered. He wanted to flee the kitchen before she probably ended up requesting for a wake up ritual like princess Nkoyo had subjected him to, but he saw her begin unloading the second market bag.
“Princess, what are doing?” he asked curiously, unable to walk away.
“I am going to put all of these things at their proper places,” she replied with a happy smile, she was really bored.
“But you don’t know where their proper places are, cook does that,” he pointed out. Even though the princess seemed nice, everybody had heard of her scream when she’d not gotten her way, so, his comment wasn’t whole heartedly said at that moment.
“That’s the best part. Since I don’t have anything doing, I shall check every cupboard and store until I know where everything belongs, and then I’d put them in their proper places,” Wofai said while busily unloading the bag.
The car washer was left speechless and confused at the strange girl. Wofai turned to find him still standing there, “Run along, now,” she waved him away, and she was glad that he complied; the car washer didn’t wait to be told twice, he fled.
With her propensity for organization, a by product of her accounting practice at the mill and for her father, she was done in approximately ten minutes. And then she was bored again, she even considered pulling everything out and putting them back in, but that wouldn’t last an hour, so it was useless.
Because she had already toured the whole palace, that didn’t hold any entertainment either. With nothing else to do, she groaned in frustration and trudged back to her monstrous room.
After closing the door, she raced and dived on the bed, giggled by herself at her silliness. She then climbed on the bed and jumped on it like she used to when she’d been young, she soon lost interest. Wofai went to the wardrobe, intending to try on all the cloths of the absent princess, but she found out the cloths were two sizes bigger than her, so she ended up opening her closing the wardrobe doors until she got tired.
Soon enough she begun singing and dancing crazily to her own song…what can I say, we do stupid things when we are bored. Her open box caught her attention, when she went to it still humming her song, she discovered her tennis balls, the one she usually threw at her brother whenever he entered her room without knocking.
A smile came to Wofai’s lips as she missed home. She pulled out the balls and started bouncing them to see how high they could go.
Prince Ekong had had a really busy day. His chauffeur, knowing his routine had driven straight to the Efik palace after he’d concluded his official business. With his mind in so many places he hadn’t recalled that his fiancée wasn’t around. When he arrived and saw several cars packed out front and a gaggle of chauffeurs lounging around, he deduced that a council meeting was in session.
Recalling that Nkoyo had always asked him to go straight to her room without calling or even knocking, he walked through the palace confidently, he knew his way. He didn’t pass any workers on his way to her room and he wasn’t surprised, the workers were probably taking a break since there was nothing to do until the council meeting dispersed.
Ekong got to twenty feet of Nkoyo’s room before his steps tapered to a stop, he’d just recalled that Nkoyo had traveled. Disappointment suffused his eager heart but it didn’t stop him from hearing the curious thump coming from his fiancée’s room; had she returned? He steps echoed excitedly as he approached the door…
WOFAI HEARD THE DEFINITELY male steps that approached her door, she was instantly transported back home and the familiar surge of fury and excitement she felt when she heard her brother approaching her room suffused her.
She even grinned in anticipation as she waited for the impertinent action of him opening her door without a knock. She faced the door and widened her legs in a gaming stance, ready to throw the instant the door clicked open without a knock.
It never occurred to her that it might be…probably the king; all she felt was the familiar situation back home. Wofai listened to the confident steps, so like her brother’s and tensed while still bouncing the ball…waiting…ready…
The door clicked as the handle bent and it pushed open with Ekong sauntering majestically into the room…
When the first ball landed squarely on his temple, he was shoved back a couple of feet by the force. Then the second ball came, still on the face and he backed into the door, inadvertently shutting it and thwarting his escape.
Ekong was confused, at this point he realized he was in serious danger and his arms came up in defense, trying to cover his face but the balls were well aimed and injurious and they bounced on his body right back to his attacker who didn’t hesitate in pounding him again and again.
When his curses and grunts of ‘stop’ weren’t adhered to, Ekong risked looking up and when his assailant was bent, intending to grab a fallen ball, he dived at her, enfolding her in his strong arms.
“Let go,” Wofai grunted, struggling valiantly to escape the iron bands posing as arms.
“Not happening,” Ekong grunted right back. “Who are you and what are you doing attacking me? I am the prince of Ibibio kingdom, nobody dares attack me without reason,” he declared arrogantly.
His arrogance grated on her nerves, instantly stoking her ire. His scent, on the other hand, surprisingly assailed her nostrils and melted her reasoning, Wofai looked up and her eyes met with the most handsome eyes she’d ever seen. The effect it had on her was so explosive she went into full blown panic.
Heart thumping, palm sweating panic engulfed her chest and she could feel the surge of the scream…the only way she could release the tightening in her chest. Without much thought, she let the handsome stranger have it.
Fortunately, I was glad that the throne room is isolated in another part of the palace so her screams did no harm to the king and queen and their guests. With the windows and door shut, the sound bounced off the walls and Ekong suffered the full brunt of it.
He immediately let her go but she wouldn’t shut up. He had no idea, but it seemed her chest tightened more when she saw the full glory of his beauty and she had need to keep screaming so that she could breathe.
In total confusion, Ekong rushed her and placed his large palm over her mouth, his ear drums seriously enjoying the reprieve. Her eyes clashed with his and his chest contracted, he had no idea if it was from the adrenaline surging in his system or the fact that she was too beautiful for words.
Her eyes flashed as she breathed heavily and to Ekong’s eyes, with some difficulty. He promptly removed his hands but didn’t move away and so he was blasted with another wave of scream.
“Stop it!” he tried to shout the command but felt awkward joining her in her scream.
It could have been the strange situation that caused what happened next. Ekong knew he was a solution oriented person and so he rationalized that his strange action was as a reaction to the strange situation.
Since his palm had been in effective, Ekong heaved a weary sigh and without thought, he covered Wofai’s mouth with his. Of course, it stopped the infuriating scream and he should have raised his head a couple of minutes later, but he didn’t.
Rather, he moved closer to the compact body of his assailant, one of his hands pulling her close and he deepened that kiss to a point that both of them moaned their pleasure.
Wofai’s panic melted away as though it had never been. She had been kissed before, several times but she had never felt as though she was flying. She had never felt as though she wanted the kiss to last forever. Her hands unconsciously crawled up his chest and over his neck and she pulled him forward, wanting to feel more of him.
A part of Ekong was conscious that what he was doing…they were doing, was inappropriate, but he couldn’t seem to untangle himself from this unknown woman, especially as it seemed like she was trying to meld into him.
Finally, the basic requirement of oxygen pulled them apart but their face remained inches from each other while they heaved heavily, their eyes staring fixedly.
“Who are you?” Ekong whispered in awe, he had never done something as reckless as that before and he had never felt as complete as he felt now with this woman in his arms.
Wofai returning his stare with her own shocked one, “I don’t know,” she whispered back.
Seriously though, she didn’t know who she was at that moment. She couldn’t understand what had just happened. She couldn’t deduce what she was feeling but it felt good and she wanted a repeat of it.
Ekong was feeling the exact same way and his head had already begun advancing to do just that when he suddenly recalled that he was engaged to be married and he was standing in his fiancée’s room kissing another woman…a strange woman.
He jerked away from her as though burnt but his eyes never leaving her. Wofai took a step back too, suddenly feeling self conscious and abashed at her misconduct. She wasn’t a flirt, had never been one, so she couldn’t understand why she’d not slapped the black off his handsome face of this stranger. Even thinking of it while staring at him and coming back to her senses, she knew she wouldn’t do it, she couldn’t hurt such perfection.
The honorable prince of Ibibio kingdom was having a hard time collecting his thoughts, foremost on his mind was rushing the strange woman and tasting her lips again just to confirm the sweetness in there. He licked his lips and tasted her unique taste there, his eyes fluttered to her thoroughly kissed and swollen lips with longing.
A soft moan escaped her slightly opened mouth and Ekong heard it; he saw her eyes mirror his longing and his body swayed towards her, wanting nothing more than to feel her flushed against him once again. But with a will he had no idea how he managed, he stepped back, opened the door and fled.
Wofai turned to the bed and fell heavily on it, she sighed with a goofy smile on her face. She was currently enjoying the beautiful feeling of floating and some how she wondered…who was that man?
What can I say folks, it was a day of romance at that palace. I couldn’t have planned it better if I had tried. I know what you’re thinking, yes, I felt the same way that day too…that this was an unexpected turn of events.
INSIDE OUT continues
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