PROMISE TOMORROW (Eiba Family Saga Book 2)
Modele stood up after a while and went into the kitchen where she caught Toro gazing out into the garden, directly where she’d been with Buki a few minutes earlier. The latter jumped with a guilty look on her face but Modele smiled affably.
She took some apples from the refrigerator and placed them on a plate, and took them out to where she had left Buki looking dazzled. They later had a late lunch together before Buki went in for a shower and then came back to sit out with her.
“Tell me about you.”
The sky was full of stars. The night air cool and refreshing, she sat cross–legged on the grass beside him and munched an apple.
“You know everything about me.” She shrugged. “The junkies can’t get enough!”
“I don’t read junk news. I don’t even know your age.”
“I can’t, you’re too beautiful and you look so young. You’re ageless.” He pulled her into the curve under his arm and stared down into her face.
“Twenty-six. Jude told me I looked my age. I thought that comment was thrilling.”
“I always felt I look too young.” She giggled and lay on her back, staring at the stars. He drew close to her and pulled her to lie in his arms.
“You don’t look your age,” he mumbled.
“How old are you?”
“Thirty.” He looked straight into her eyes and took her right hand in both of his. “Mo, I need to know how you feel about me. Will your family accept me?”
“Of course. We d-d-d-d-don’t discriminate. My parents are born-again Christians…”
He gazed at her intently. “But…?”
“You can’t have inferiority complex around me. I hate it.” She covered his hands with her left. “I need a confident man. A man who can hold his own. Who is not too proud to accept help from those who can give it.”
“What if the help is not in accordance with what he plans for himself and his woman?” He covered both her hands and massaged them.
She looked at him solemnly. “What exactly are your plans?”
“You don’t want to answer my question?”
“It depends on what your plans are,” she said. “You have to understand how we think. We want the best for ourselves and if our money can get that, then we use it.” She sighed. “Part of my problem with Jude was that he refused financial aid from my parents and that took three years out of our lives.”
He rubbed his nose on hers. “Three years I am thanking God for today.”
“Oh you can joke about that now.” She pulled her hands from his. “But I suffered those years, struggling to stand between him and my parents. And what came out of it. He walked. He jilted me and married someone from a poor background.” She got up and began to walk back to the house. Buki jumped up after her.
“I’m sorry.” He caught her arm and pulled her to him. “I’m sorry. Come let’s take a walk.” He pulled her closer and walked with her without waiting for her permission. They walked round the garden, arm in arm in silence and then came back to the spot where they’d been.
He helped her to the ground as though she was an egg. “Do you forgive me?”
“I know how you feel but look at us. We are of absolutely different backgrounds. It doesn’t bother me one bit.” She shrugged. “But my parents won’t understand. You won’t either if it were your daughter. I don’t want to get stuck with another man who’ll keep seeing me as a spoilt brat, just because I’m trying to be reasonable with my parents. I moved into this house just because Jude thought I was too attached to my parents… Look at me now.” She shook her head. “I need to know you will not insist we move out of this house to a one bedroom flat after we marry just so that you can prove you are a man!”
“So how does a man prove himself, and at the same time love you.” He stared out into the approaching darkness.
He understood her but she had to understand him in return. No man wants to live in the shadows of his woman’s family. But did she just say, “after we marry?” He looked at her as they sat on the grass, arm-in-arm. “I never dreamt I could fall in love with a rich woman. With you! I never dreamt you could want me!” He mused.
“But now, you’re not only dreaming it, you’re living it and that makes a lot of difference. You have to let me know how you think. I need to know what you think now. Only then will I be able to defend our decision.” Her lovely eyes enlarged pleadingly at him.
He thought he would drown in them. But he needed to hear her say she loved him, and was ready to stand by him. That would be the challenge.
“Mo, if you love me, all these things won’t matter to you,” he said softly.
“Honestly, wealth, fame, a good life…all these things mean little to me but my family…My brother will never understand why I will throw away my birthright for love. I don’t understand why any man would demand it of me as well.”
“Your brother seemed to me a very reasonable guy.”
“He is but you’ve not heard him talk about me when it comes to love.” She smiled, and then frowned. “He’s very possessive!”
“I think any reasonable man should be. If I had a sister half as pretty as you, I’ll become a monster, protecting her.” He tickled her and she laughed.
“You have a way of playing on a person’s intelligence” she said.
“Let’s stick together, Mo.”
“I like the way you call me. Mo. No one ever called me that.”
“Thanks.” He smiled at her and then his tone became serious. “Let’s stick together. Let’s work things out. I know this can work.”
“You have to help me, Buki. You have to understand where I’m coming from. I’ve been hurt. I need a man who’ll understand me.”
“I can promise I’ll try my best. I will never intentionally hurt you. I will not selfishly hurt you. I’ll try and understand but it’s a two–way thing and really I am at a disadvantage here.” He stroked the nape of her hair absently. “You know that. You have to help my ego and you have to give me time to make the plans for our lives.”
She rested her head on his chest. “I know how you feel.”
“I know how you feel too, my love.” He placed a peck on the crown of her head. “We’ll make it.”
“So what are your immediate plans for the future?”
“Loving you,” he drawled, “and making you love me.”
“And giving you big ideas about your books. Have you published any yet?”
“No. I have four so far. I don’t know how to go about the publishing!”
“Don’t tell me that! You write legal articles for publishers!”
She laughed. “That’s true!”
“Well, then I’ve got a job to do here. I’ll be your publishing agent.”
“You are so much more intelligent than your qualification.” She looked up into his eyes, probing.
He shrugged. “I’m interested in knowledge.”
“Tell me your story.”
He frowned. “My story?”
“How did you get that scar? Where were you before you came here?”
“Well, I was an athlete. 100m, 200m, hurdles. I was gunning for the big show when I had an auto accident.”He took a deep breath. “My woman died. I sustained injuries. The scar and the limp.”
She turned to face him, her eyes full of compassion. “I’m so sorry.”
She cupped his face and ran a finger down the scar. He caught her hand just above his lips, pressed kisses to her palm, and then brought her face close to his. Gently, he kissed her.
“It’s alright. It’s the past. More than three years gone now.”
His hand cupped the back of her head, and he kissed her again. His passion poured over her and got her carried away in its hot tide. All her senses focused on him. For a brief moment, they seemed lost in their desire for one another.
“Toro,” Modele murmured against his lips when he paused for breath. “Toro should move.” He nuzzled her lips, distorting her statement. “Toro should move in with me.” She managed to say when his lips traced kisses to her earlobe. “In the main house.” She moaned as he traced kisses to her throat.
He looked into her eyes and his heart rejoiced at the look in them. She was as shaken as he was. “Why?” His finger teased a line across her lips.
“As a check or caution. I don’t think we can control ourselves the way we are getting on.” She breathed, trying to regain normal composure.
He pulled back and turned her, back to chest, holding her captive to him. “It’s a good idea.” He shrugged. “I don’t think it’s necessary but if you insist. We stopped now, didn’t we?” He massaged her shoulders.
“You think so? With your hands on my shoulders like that, anything can happen.” She moaned under his ministrations.
He laughed, enjoying what he was doing to her. “You’re special.” He leaned down and planted kisses on her shoulder blades and slim neck.
She lifted her hand to caress the back of his head. “I’ll need a new gardener.” Her lips found his and she kissed him. He responded promptly. “Since I like to have this one closer to me in the house.”
He moaned. “I love gardening and I’m working on that fruit orchard …”
“You can supervise it. Soon people will notice us. At least, let’s start from the house and not out in the open.”
He pulled away and looked at her. “Are you ashamed of me?”
“You don’t know what these junk magazines can do! And I want my parents to know about us before the junkies do.” She rested her head on his chest and twined her fingers with his. “My mum reads them… She wants to know what they’re saying about us!”
“That means you have to tell them in the morning. Already, news would have started going round from that party.” He knew what the paparazzi could do as well.
“They’ll want to know your plans. Daddy will expect you to have details. He is a very meticulous man. And Kade is another…”
“Sshh! Relax your sweet head.” He blew air on the side of her head. “I’ll take care of that. I will work for you. And I promise you, I won’t allow ego to come in,” he whispered.
“’What do I tell them if they ask about your plans? I know my people.” She hunched her shoulders, shifting away from him, he drew her back.
He shrugged. “Publishing, I’ll assist you with your work as a writer. Simple.”
“I hope it works. Oh God, I pray they’ll accept that.”
He rested his head on hers. “It shall be well, my sweet.”
It was near dawn before they both got up and went to their different beds.
Neither slept till morning.
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