PROMISE TOMORROW (Eiba Family Saga Book 2)
She watched him leave, his limp less conspicuous than before. She was impressed with his dressing and carriage. Maybe he’d had money before. People like that didn’t lose the air around them easily. She wished she knew what his story was, especially why he limped. She could ask him anyway. Just that she wasn’t sure how close she would want to get to him.
“Can a lonely man sit with a lonely lady,” a man said softly and took the seat beside her.
Modele jerked her head up. Only one person had that voice. Could she ever forget it? Could she ever forget him?
“I’m not lonely, and you should be with your wife!” she said, her voice rose a pitch higher than she would have wanted.
He took the seat beside her. “Loneliness brings out the worst in people and my dear you seem to be coping very badly.” He looked at her. “You knew I’ll be here, you also knew I love this dress.” He eyed her, in a shamelessly provocative way.
“I don’t have to sit here and listen to you.” She lurched to her feet. He pulled her back into her seat roughly.
“Why did you cut your hair?” He cupped the back of her head. “Though you’re not looking bad with a scraped scalp.” He smiled teasingly.
She pushed her head out of his grip. “Where is your wife?”
“At home, sick. I didn’t know she would catch on so quickly. I’d hardly touched her before she started having morning sicknesses.” He emptied the glass of wine he had been holding in one gulp and belched. “Thank God you were not so susceptible.” He patted her cheek and she slapped his hand.
Buki approached with a waiter bearing a tray with assortments. As soon as Modele saw him, she stood and pulled him into a partial hug. Buki stiffened.
“Darling, I want you to meet my ex-beau, Jude Anja.” She placed a light peck on his cheek and looked lovingly into his eyes.
“Really,” he mumbled in his most sarcastic tone and dashed Jude a nasty look. “Keep that on the table,” he told the waiter who responded promptly. He dragged Modele’s seat to the other side where another empty chair was and they both sat facing Jude. “So how’s married life, Mr. Anja? Is the Mrs. well?” His voice dripped of mockery.
“I see you got yourself something. No wonder you had the guts to come to this party dressed to kill,” Jude said angrily, ignoring Buki.
“Jude was just telling me how pregnant-ly sick his wife is,” she said, brushing something off Buki’s face, and smiling contentedly.
“I bet you rushed into his arms dying for comfort,” Jude said, still addressing her.
“I see marriage has turned you into a philosopher, Jude. What the…”
Buki patted her hand gently, and turned to Jude. “You walked, Mr. Anja. Be responsible for your decision.” His voice was as cold as ice. Jude groaned. “He asked you to cut your hair? Modele, who’s this guy? Can he ever be what I was to you?”
Buki took advantage of the situation to satisfy his lust; that’s what she thought. He pulled Modele’s head gently to rest on his shoulder, and scratched her scalp, tickling the back of her ear
Jude sat up rigidly, and clenched his fists on the table.
“Mr. Anja, please excuse us,” Buki drawled. “This conversation is over.” He looked at Modele, his eyes aglow. “We’d like to eat in private, right?” She nodded.
Jude snickered and stood. “You won’t last. Modele is still mine. I’m back, girl.”
Modele waved him off, making no attempt to raise her head from Buki’s shoulder. “Oh go away, Jude. You’re married.”
Jude stomped off.
Modele raised her head slowly and straightened her dress. “Thanks for the drama.”
“My pleasure.” He didn’t lose the coldness in his voice.
They picked at the small chops on the plates quietly, both making no attempt at conversation. The waiter brought drinks for them and they finished what they could. Both scarcely ate anything.
Modele breathed deeply. “I’m tired. I want to go home.”
“Ok.” He helped her out of her seat and after saying the goodbyes, they left.
The drive home was in complete silence. Buki stopped the car in front of the house and she got out without a word.
He got out of the car and followed her.
She didn’t object though it was strange. He was supposed to go and park the car and then go into his own room. They’d spent only an hour at the party and the night was still young.
At the lobby, she turned and almost bumped into him. “I want to thank you for putting up that act…”
Buki cupped his hand on the back of her head and pulled her into his arms. He bent his head and took possession of her lips. Slowly, as though with utmost care, he grazed her mouth with his, breathing in her scent, trembling in the act. It went on for a long moment. He didn’t quite kiss her; just teasing, luring, holding back. His second hand lay limp on the small of her back, supporting him rather than her.
Suddenly, he pulled back. Shakily, he let go of her, and stumbled back.
He heaved. “I’m sorry I did that.”
His eyes searched hers. “Is it?”
She shrugged. “We’re both very tired, I guess.”
“You’re a beautiful woman.” His voice was low, and hoarse. “You’re a very beautiful woman.”
“Goodnight, Mr. George.”
“Call me Buki, please.”
She turned round and walked off.
He had played with her in Jude’s presence, fulfilling his fantasy. He wondered what Modele had ever liked in this man. He wasn’t even handsome.
He stood there for a long while after she left, gazing at nothing.
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