As Wana watched her husband pace in worry for his daughter, she debated between loyalty for Richard or her husband. She had an idea of what might have transpired between Stacey and Richard and she was aware it might have instigated Stacey’s sudden move back to Lagos.
“Calm down, love, she’s fine; she’s an adult you know,” Wana pointed out in mild exasperation, even though she understood what he was feeling. It had been two weeks since Stacey had suddenly upped without warning and returned to Lagos.
Daniel loved his daughter and was ecstatically proud of her; and he still mourned the five formative years of her life that he’d missed because his ex-wife had been exceptionally materialistic and had eloped with another man, taking his daughter in tow.
It wasn’t that he didn’t love his other kid, far from it, he was crazy about Tony and the little one growing in her womb, but he’d grown protective of his daughter like any good father should, especially as Stacey was his first seed and female too.
“You spoke to her on the phone…”
“And she didn’t sound well at all even though she insisted that she was okay,” Daniel interrupted. “I even called her room mate, but she didn’t really have anything to say.”
“You have Stacey’s roommate’s number?” Wana asked incredulously but with a smile on her face.
“I have her land lady’s number too,” Daniel snapped and then sighed wearily. When he looked at his beloved wife and saw the grin she was trying to hide, he gave up and chuckled with her. He loved her so much. She was his balance; she always helped him not over do things.
“My over protective, darling daddy,” she crooned and walked up to hug him.
Daniel shut his eyes and enjoyed the softness of her body plastered on his, his arms rounded her torso and he sighed again.
“Why aren’t you worried about this?” he asked and pulled away from his wife to look at her face.
Guilt flashed in her eyes and her husband saw the fleeting emotion, “Wana?” he dragged her name questioningly.
Wana huffed and withdrew from his arms, “She’s an adult, Danny…”
“But it doesn’t explain her sudden return to Lagos. I could have sworn that state had been left behind when she’d ignored the date she’d told us she’d be returning. I could have sworn she was ready to ask for that job at the publishing house I’ve been offering,” Daniel ranted.
And he could have been right on all counts, Wana thought and sighed, more like readying herself for Danny’s explosion.
“You need to remember she’s an adult,” Wana insisted, giving her husband a penetrating stare.
“You keep saying that,” he said narrowing his eyes at her.
Another heavy sigh and eye roll and Wana said, “Stacey has man problems.”
The wind was knocked out of Daniel, rendering him speechless for a while. His little girl…then he was suddenly frowning, he would kill the bastard that felt he could tamper with his darling daughter and run.
“Don’t look so incensed, Danny. Remember she’s an adult and she can make relationship decisions by herself, she doesn’t need you playing defender for her for every man that hurts her.”
Daniel’s nose had widened in fury as he tried to drag in enough breath into his body. “Who?” he growled and pinned Wana with an unwavering stare.
Wana swallowed heavily, okay, she might have made a mistake in telling him his daughter had man problems, no man wanted to hear that. No man wanted to hear that some man touched his little girl in a manner well known to men.
“You can’t go round…”
“Who, Wana?!” he snapped and seemed to approach his wife threateningly.
She had never seen him this angry before, Wana had the insane urge to take a step back as though she was afraid of getting harmed. And she was afraid, but not for herself, for Richard.
Huffing heavily, she flung her arms in exasperation, “I don’t know the details but, I feel she had a thing with Richard.”
“Richard?!” he exploded, “Your Richard?!”
“Uh-huh, that’s the one,” she replied calmly, tiredly making her way to the bed, sat down, raised her legs on top of a pillow and settled to listen to her husband rave.
“Wha…ho…wha…is he…” Wana watched her husband sputter, struggling to speak but seeming to have an overload of things to say but all of it ending in the wrangled garble that was currently spewing from his lips.
She would have laughed if the situation wasn’t so serious to him.
Daniel took a deep breath and tried to clear the film of red fury which covered his eyes. “I’m going to kill him when he gets back from his damned overseas training,” he growled with the strength of his anger.
Wana nodded seriously, “You better clean your guns then, because he’ll be back in a couple of days.”
Daniel calmed enough to narrow his eyes on his wife, “You think I’m over reacting, don’t you?”
“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do,” she replied and shrugged.
“What does that even mean?” he snapped.
“I understand how you feel, darling, but Stacey is 21…”
“Not yet, she’s still 20,” he countered.
“Right, I was 26 when we fucked,” she pointed out.
“Please, Wana! For God’s sake, don’t put that picture in my head right now; I don’t want to think of her like that,” Daniel griped, feeling his chest hurt for his kid.
“But it’s reality. Your daughter is 21… this year when her birthday comes around,” Wana added quickly so that he wouldn’t interrupt her; she narrowed her eyes at him and he desisted from what he’d been about say.
“She has lived alone and away from parental supervision since she was 15 without being wayward the whole time. She has managed to write two awesome books and has also managed to secure employment at the Sun newspaper, after graduation, without your help.”
“She’s to be an intern,” Daniel corrected, rocked on the balls of his feet and resumed pacing the length of his room. He was trying to manage his pride in his daughter and his anger at Richard; he didn’t deserve his baby girl, no man did.
“Still, they held the spot for her this whole time, they tried to entice her to come work for them, it means she’s exceptional, a genius.”
“What are you trying to say, Wana?” he asked impatiently.
“I’m trying to say that you should give such a daughter some vote of confidence in handling her personal life.”
Daniel huffed and thought about what she’d said, but he still warred with himself and still wanted to hurt the boy.
“I feel like you’re trying to calm me down because it’s Richard,” he accused mildly.
Wana tightened her lips impatiently, “Danny, I feel like you’re trying to piss me off. Are you saying I don’t love Stacey enough?”
“Because, if I find out Richard did anything untoward to her, I’ll personally cut off his balls, not minding that I’m practically his mother!”
“I’m sorry, darling, calm down,” Daniel begged when he saw how worked up she was.
“You can’t go off half corked just because you know who and where Richard is; what if he was someone else?” she griped, scoffing and leaning back on the bed while her hand rubbed her slightly swollen belly.
Daniel took a deep breath to calm his ire and walked to his wife. He climbed on the bed and lay his head on her thighs, his hand joining to rub her belly.
He kissed her stomach when her hand began rubbing his head tenderly, “I’m sorry, Wanny,” he said and was glad to feel her stomach shake in laughter.
“You haven’t called me that in a while, Danny,” she pointed out humorously.
“Well, you haven’t been exasperated with me in a while,” he murmured, rubbing his nose on her belly and inhaling her lovely scent which seemed to calm him more.
“I’ll have to make a detour when I travel tomorrow,” he commented quietly.
Wana sighed, “You’re going to see Stacey,” she stated, already knowing how her husband thought; he really needed to see and confirm that his baby girl was okay.
He nodded, wrapping his arm around her waist and pulling himself closer to her belly. “A man has got to do what a man has got to do,” Wana commented again.
Daniel chuckled, the sound muffled against Wana’s stomach, “Now, that makes sense,” he kissed her stomach tenderly, his hand caressing her baby bump and enjoying the sigh of pleasure that escaped her mouth.
When he stiffened suddenly, his tender caresses ceased, Wana was instantly aware. She was about to ask what the matter was when he raised his head, his eyes expressing alarm that made Wana’s heart squeeze unpleasantly.
“Do you…do you think she’s pregnant; is that why she ran away?”
Crap, Wana thought, sometimes she forgot the thread of sixth sense she shared with her husband; sometimes, her thoughts seemed to filter into his head. It was awesome when he vocalized what she’d just been thinking, but not right now, this was one of those thoughts she would have appreciated not projecting.
But then she didn’t have control over what thoughts got projected into her husband’s mind from hers; she had no idea how it worked though she really wished she did. Wana took a deep breath to calm herself first before calming her silently hysterical husband.
“Danny,” she cleared her throat and gathered her thoughts, “First of all, we don’t know she ran away…”
Daniel raised his body on his elbows, “She left with no prior plan and we got to know she wasn’t in the state through a phone call,” he pointed out.
Wana rolled her eyes, “Okay, she ran away, but it might not be because she’s pregnant.”
“But…” he started worriedly.
“Stop worrying, you’re going to see her tomorrow anyway, and you’ll confirm that she’s fine,” she emphasized, sighing in relief when he husband nodded and settled down back on her thigh.
Comfortable silence filled their bedroom, then Wana sighed again, “But if she is, we won’t freak out,” she commented quietly, causing her husband to surge up again in indignation.
“You think she might be pregnant too,” he accused, his expression a mixture of worry, anger and dread.
“If she is, we will help her like the loving parents we are. We will not treat her like other parents do and alienate their children, causing hate and discord in the family. We are wise and we know these things happen; it’s reality.”
“We will not berate her for her mistake; instead we will love her more. And in that love, we will tenderly correct her mistake.”
Daniel groaned and plopped his head on his wife’s thigh again. “I feel like a bad parent just listening to you. I was ready to rant and rave and express my disappointment in her,” he murmured in a pained tone.
Wana patted his head, “No need to feel bad, it’s natural to feel that way. But we don’t even know that she’s pregnant, so let’s not get ahead of our shadows.”
He nodded in gratitude. He couldn’t wait to see his daughter tomorrow. Daniel looked at his wife with so much love, “I love you, Wanny, very much,” he said and meant it, he pulled her into his arms when she smiled lovingly at him, and they both fell asleep that way.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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