“I want to be craved by you. I want you to think about kissing me as much as I think about kissing you.” – Unknown.
It was a Friday evening and like so many people already trooping into the Rumours club, Reginald was thanking God it was Friday and the hectic week was finally over. He’d had to travel to Abuja for a Presentation Meeting with his creative team on Tuesday and had only gotten back yesterday.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t been viciously hounded by yearning thoughts for Alex. Christ! He’d been miles away from her yet the unquenchable desire that gnawed his insides was slowly becoming a desert-dry thirst.
Almost at his wits end on what to do about the tormenting feelings, he’d been contemplating storming her office and taunting some kind of response from her when her call had come through. Ama had contacted her to help them check out their wine choices and since that wasn’t really her area of expertise like cake, she needed him there.
So, much as he’d have loved to relax at the club with his pals and just blow off steam, he had a feeling he’d be better off blowing off that steam with Alex.
“I’m sorry I’ve been slacking guys, but I’ve got to meet up with Alex just about right now.” He said apologetically finishing off his drink and picking up his phones.
“You’re meeting with Alex again?” Patrick looked flabbergasted. “And what’s the occasion now… testing the wedding dress?”
Reginald grinned at his sarcasm. “Actually we are going wine tasting this time.”
“Wine tasting… of course.” Patrick threw up his hands in exasperation. “Two weekends ago, you were tasting cakes, the weekend before that you were reviewing venues and picking flowers. Today, you are going wine tasting.” He edged forward in his seat and pointed his glass of wine at him. “Should Dare and I be dusting off our tuxedo suits for your wedding to Alex? Because it looks to me like you are doing more than just trying to stop a wedding here.”
Reginald chuckled. “C’mon dude, you know the plan here. Your guy here needs to get back his woman. I’m practically living in the Sahara these days… no juice.”
“So? It’s not like you to go celibate because of a woman.” Patrick dismissed settling back into the leather sofa. “You slept with other women while you dated Ama in the past. So, why the abstinence when you two are no longer together and she’s about to wed another man?”
“I’m trying to be a better man?” He grinned.
“Or maybe you are beginning to have a thing for our Ms Alexandra.” Dare put in quietly, watching him from under his dark lashes.
Reginald gave a hoot and pushed to his feet. “Now guys, let’s not get over-imaginative here. This is still about getting Ama back. All this is just part of the plan. I’ll see you guys next weekend.”
“That is if you won’t be tasting the food with Alex.” Patrick retorted sarcastically.
His rumbling laughter was all the response he got as Reginald strode off.
“You mind telling me why you are so complacent?” Patrick turned to Dare with a frown.
Dare calmly took a gulp of his beer, then slowly laid it down on the table. “Because what an old man sees sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs the Iroko tree.”
Patrick stared at him for a moment, wondering if both of his best friends were in league to drive him crazy. “Now you want to go Pete-Edochie on me?”
Dare chuckled. “Sit back and relax, Pat. And watch this drama unfold. Our pal Regie is knee deeper than he believes.”
“What do you know that I don’t?” Patrick demanded eyeing him suspiciously.
“More like – what do I see that you don’t.” Dare corrected lazily. “I’ll tell you but first let’s get another round.” He raised his right hand and beckoned to a waiter.
In the car as he made his way towards the Mainland, Reginald considered his buzzing excitement over seeing Alex. He shouldn’t be this eager and all stirred up to see her… he wished he wasn’t.
But the fact was that he had a yearning for her that went against every rational and sensible thought he had in his head. He had desire pulsating through his bloodstreams like raging fire. He wanted her, needed her… and he could not understand it. She’d added a condition yesterday, that he sincerely promised he was going to be on his best behaviour – no flirting, no suggestive remarks and no kissing. He’d agreed of course. He’d have agreed to just about anything to get back into this crazy plan with her.
And that was another astonishing discovery for him – he’d finally realised that their Operation stop the wedding was the stupidest and most selfish, egotistical plan he’d ever made and was involved in. And worse still, it was so pointless now… as it had been then without his knowing it. He wasn’t in love with Ama. He’d never been in love with her and he didn’t want her back in his life.
Of course that didn’t mean he was in love with Alex either… he huffed out a breath to calm his instantly panicking nerves. No, he wasn’t in love with her either. He just desired her. That was it… desire. Problem now was how he was going to convince Alex that she wasn’t really in love with Ken either, for he’d seen the desire in her eyes too.
He couldn’t of course. For if he dared to mention it, she’d only toss him out of the plan and go ahead with it alone. She was that pig-headed and single-minded. Hell no, he wasn’t saying anything, he’d continue playing along… besides that was his only way of getting her into his arms anyway.
He slowed down and pulled off beside the wall fence. Then stepped down and honked the horn, moving round to open the passenger door as Alex pushed open the pedestrian-gate and stepped out.
The very sight of her slammed into him with such force, he had to swallow just to push down the searing heat flaring through him. She was the image of a spicy professional woman.
She had on a red vintage-style high-waist pencil skirt that ran just below her knees and was topped by a white silk high-neck sleeveless blouse with a large bow on the left shoulder. The blouse was tucked into the skirt and her dark-brown weaves were lifted up by a clip with the tips falling loosely over her neck. The image was finished off with this pair of sexy ankle-straps red platform sandals and white with red stripes clutch bag.
“My, is this what you wore to the office today?” He drawled forgetting his promise not to flirt.
“You are six minutes late.” Alex said coolly, refusing to acknowledge that the dark gleaming appreciation in his eyes thrilled her or that she’d aimed for just that look. “And hope you are not forgetting your promise to be on your best behaviour.”
“Traffic was a bitch. And I do remember my promise.” He gave her a lopsided grin. “Was just complimenting your outfit.”
She inclined her head haughtily. “Compliment accepted. Awaiting apologies.”
He angled his head. “Apologies?”
She smoothly crossed her hands in front of her skirt. “For being late. Apologies and not poor excuses are usually more acceptable.”
“What happened to a poor excuse being better than none?”
She rolled her eyes. “Mere arrogant crap… and it’s a bad excuse.” Brushing past him she slid into the car.
He grinned, he was surely going to enjoy this evening. Getting into the car, he turned to her. “I apologise.” She arched a brow. “I am sorry?”
Her coral-red painted lips curved in a smile. “There’s hope for you yet.”
He gave a rumbling laugh as he started the car and pulled back into the road.
To keep herself preoccupied and not dazzled by his dark, striking open-collar black shirt over black trousers look, she picked up his CD collection and flipped through it. “Hmm, Lionel Richie – evergreen musician.”
“One of my favourite all-time musicians.” He agreed with a smile easing into the Ikorudu expressway as they sloped down Maryland.
“Hmm.” She slipped the CD into the Player and almost at once Lionel’s dulcet tone filled the air with his hit song Motown Lover.
“Damn player knows my favourite track too.” He winked at her.
Alex shook her head and laughed, relaxing into the comfortable leather soft.
It didn’t take them long to arrive the huge wine store at Palm-Grove.
And after a quick tour and showing of all their wine collection and wines highly recommended for wedding receptions, they were shaking hands with the manager again with promises to get back to them, swinging out and getting back into the car.
“That didn’t take long.” Reginald commented sliding the key into the ignition. “The night is still young… so, how about we go some place I know where we can taste real wines and amazing, delicious seafood?”
Alex opened her mouth to respond but he quickly added. “It’d be a total waste you getting this dressed only for a few minutes in a wine store.”
“My thinking exactly.” She saw his surprise at her answer and chuckled. “C’mon Akin-Thomas time’s a wasting.”
“Not anymore.” He grinned kicking the car back to life and swinging with exhilaration into the brightly-lit expressway.
“Gosh, I love this place. It’s so untangling and mind-boggling uplifting.” Alex giggled at her own term, lifting her glass to take another greedy sip of her red wine.
“I’m sure it’s the Shiraz.” He said dryly.
They were at Ember Creek enjoying the cool night ambiance and the sea-breeze by the waterside. Though they’d ordered chicken wings and snails, Alex seemed to have a special preference for the bottle of wine.
She drew her chair closer to his and leaned forward. “And I’m sure you are right.” Her voice was huskier and smokier, it sizzled down his spine. “And I think I shall have more.” She reached for the bottle and emptied its content into her glass. “I fear we need more, Regie.” She gave him a flirtatious wink.
He called the attention of a waitress and ordered another bottle, somehow certain it wasn’t a wise decision. “I’m taking it this is not how you spend most of your Friday nights?” He watched as she took another generous sip.
Alex laid back her glass and turned to him. “I’m your regular after-work-straight-home kinda girl, Mondays through Fridays. The most I have for fun is when Mina manages to drag me to some party or even a club.” She saw his lopsided grin and grimaced. “It’s alright for you… being a man in this man’s world and having so very little expected of you.”
He dropped a snail into his mouth. “I think that is somewhat a myopic assessment.” He disagreed. “Being a man… much really is expected of me.”
She frowningly picked a wing and bit into it, munched for a minute before wiping her mouth and taking another sip. “What exactly is expected of you?” she fixed bright, slightly glazed eyes on him. “Have a good career, get married when you are good and ready and then perpetuate the tribe?” She snorted.
“You try being an only child… a female only child, who got her father’s company foisted on her shoulders the second she turned thirty. Who’s got a whole world of self-satisfied men watching her keenly waiting for her to fail and all the while everyone having snide opinions about who and what she is without knowing jack.”
She lifted her glass and drained it. Then reached for the new opened bottle, Reginald took it from her and poured. He was trying to assuage the biting guilt realising he was one of those self-satisfied men who’d been judging her and all the while waiting for her to fail.
“Fill it.” She commanded when he stopped at half glass.
“Maybe you should ease back a little.” He suggested lightly. “Mix it up with something… less volatile.” He decided his initial ‘soft’ word choice would have been taken as an insult.
He needn’t have bothered with the word change. The wine might be making her eyes over-bright and glazy, but she was still as sharp as a tack. “You were going to say ‘soft’, weren’t you?” She took the bottle from him and filled her glass. “A mix would be more suitable for a lady, right?” She took a single sip. “But I’m not a lady, am I Regie?” She leaned forward. “I am one of the boys, playing in the big boys’ league. A real lioness in this wanton Pride Land… gggrrrrrr.”
The low throaty growl sent a quiver down his back. It was followed by a throaty laugh as she leaned back against her chair.
“They don’t know jack. But in their arrogant, snooty male minds they think they’ve got me all figured out. Daddy’s little girl, given the leadership reins of the company and now using her nicely packaged body to get that company to the top.” She gave a derisive snort and took a quick sip of her wine.
Reginald dropped the piece of snail he’d been about to eat and lifted his glass of wine. He was feeling uncomfortable and real guilty. “We are apt to make narrow-minded conclusions at times.” He offered taking a gulp wishing it could wash down the guilt of being one of those arrogant, snooty male minds.
“And narrow-minded it is.” She gestured with her glass. “Everyone of those advertising contracts RH got, I worked thrice as you men folk to make it happen.” She declared with a haughty lift of her chin.
“I’m sure you did…”
“Bah! Don’t you patronise me, Reginald. You think I don’t know you are one of them? You with your – kiss up to him remarks?”
He flushed under the mocking stare. He felt like a worm. A low, worthless, brainless, testosterone-raging worm. “You know our little world of rivalry.” He said lamely. “It’s a blood-thirsty one.”
“Bull shit! You made me your arch-rival because I was… am a woman.”
He raised his head and held her alcohol-gleaming gaze. “No. I made you my arch-rival because you were… are the best.”
His voice was low, deep and serious. It cut through her alcohol-induced righteous fury and struck a chord. She raised her glass to her lips, drank with her gaze firmly locked with his. Maybe it was the percentage of alcohol surging through her bloodstream, or maybe it was his surprisingly sincere words or maybe it could be both… Alex didn’t know and didn’t care to fathom why. She found herself leaning towards him, making for his wide, sensual lips.
“Alexandra! This is such a surprise.”
Nicholas’s voice had her pushing back and swiping her head up… regretfully. “Well, hello Nick. Still in your work clothes, I see.” Regarding his brawny length in black trousers, a blue shirt and a black blazer.
Nicholas chuckled. “We don’t get to close early like the boss and head home to change. Never knew this kind of place was your thing.” He observed.
She leaned back against her chair. “Reginald wanted to liven up my monotonous lifestyle.”
“Ah.” Nicholas inclined his head looking at Reginald for the first time. “Hello Regie. This is a pleasant surprise.”
Reginald ignored the man-to-man knowing look. “Hey Nick, how’s the evening going?”
“Winding down for me.” Nicholas smiled looking from one to the other now. “Got to head back to wifey and the kids.” His amused eyes rested on Reginald. “I’ll leave you guys now to enjoy the rest of the night. See ya around, boss lady.” Giving Alex a bow, he waved as he marched off.
They watched him meander through the bustling, packed outdoor lounge, then Alex returned her gaze to Reginald. “So, when men exchange that look, what are they exactly saying?”
He lifted his brows, all innocence. “What look?”
She let out a smoky laugh. “Hmm, the claim of ignorance – I like it. I never cared much for a man who kisses and tells.” She pushed her head forward and with a light nibble, grazed his ear. It sent a wild sensation cursing through him and he bolted to his feet.
“Ha… I think we should take Nicholas’s cue and head home ourselves.” His voice sounded hoarse and a little panicked.
Alex pushed leisurely to her feet, grinned like a Cheshire cat – all knowing and secretive. “I agree… some things are best shared in private.”
Picking up her clutch, she gave him a look that had his whole insides lighting up in fiery flames as she led the way out. He followed her, cursing himself for bringing her here and piling her with drinks. He’d only wanted her relaxed not turn into a seductive siren for Christ’s sakes!
He told himself, he’d driven into the yard so he could see safely into the house and for no other reason. The astonished look in the gateman’s eyes as he drove past the opened gate and Alex greeted him cheerfully, told him that seeing his boss come home late at night with a man was a straight-out-of-the-blue occurrence.
He followed her as she made concentrated effort not to hobble as they made for the front door. He was just going to see her inside and then head out of here, he told himself doing his best to squash all the slithering sensations cursing through him.
The minute they were inside, Alex shut the door and turning with a seductive, dazzling smile grabbed him by the collar. “You have the most sensuous lips… so sexy.” She said in a throaty whisper. “So tempting.”
The slithering sensations rose like hissing anaconda snakes, before he could say a word… think of what to say, she pulled him even closer and slapped her mouth to his.
Reginald literally felt his brains sizzle, like electricity-sparking sizzle. Her tongue pried his mouth open and dove in, twining and twisting with his own. His mind went blank. His brain went on instant shutdown.
Christ! But she can kiss, he thought a deep moan escaping him as he felt the grazing tangle of her tongue against his. Unable to hold back, he trailed his hands upward and grabbed her by the hair, the pin that held it up broke and fell, he streamed his fingers through her luscious waves.
She grazed her teeth over his lower lips – biting and nibbling. A deep groan rumbled out through his throat. She gurgled against his mouth sending electrical, slithering sparks running through him. He felt himself harden, felt her hands creep under his shirt, snaking their way downward, they grabbed his buckle. That sent a splash of cold water slamming into him.
He grabbed her creeping hands and pulled back. “Ha, we shouldn’t be doing this …”
“Once again you are right.” She gave him a lascivious wink, her lips wet and pouty from the tempestuous kiss. He swallowed involuntarily.
“Let’s take this to the bedroom.” She cooed in his ears.
Dragging him by the shirt, she stumbled. Reginald swore softly, bending over to scoop her into his arms.
Alex gave a deep-throated chuckle that had fires lighting inside him. “I just love a strong man.” She crooned in his ears.
He bit down the deep groan as he tried to screw back the nuts that have broken lose in his head.
They entered the room she pointed out as hers, he gently deposited her back on her feet and felt round the wall for the switch. He located it and turned it on. Washing shaky hands through his smooth-shaven head, he slowly turned round and his jaw literally dropped open – she was lying on the bed, her legs crossed at the ankles in nothing but just her panties and bra. Her clothes and shoes were now lying in a scruffy heap on the floor beside her.
Reginald had never seen a woman so seductively fill out her underwear before. The sheer red panties and bra seemed to have been created for her gorgeous body. Her breasts were round and full inside their filmy lace cups.
He managed to drag his eyes from her body to her face, she was smiling dazzlingly. “C’mon, join me” She crooned crooking her forefinger at him.
Oh God save me, he prayed silently moving toward the bed like a man in a daze. “Alex, I don’t think we should…”
“Kiss me.” She ordered.
“Ah…” He was speechless… thought-less.
“I want you to kiss me.” She repeated huskily, her dark-brown eyes beseeching.
It was the beseeching look that seared through him, cutting off every protestation and reason. He slipped into the empty space beside her, ran his eyes over her almost naked body, then raised them back to hold her gaze. “You are beautiful… you have a beautiful body.” He said softly.
Her parted lips widened into a provocative smile. “Then kiss me.” She commanded throatily, her dark-brown eyes gaining confidence.
He fixed his eyes on her pouty heart-shaped lips, they were so utterly tempting. Raising his left hand, he trailed it across her face, caressing her cheeks. He traced a finger over her lips, they quivered under his touch, hitching breath escaping from their parted lusciousness.
He’d so longed to taste them again and again… he wanted, needed to taste them again.
Leaning down he slowly took them into his mouth. They tasted of grape wine – soured, heady grape wine. He kissed her gently, enjoying her low moan, allowing himself to drown briefly in her seductive feminine scent mixed with the flowery perfume. Then he lifted his head and looked down on her.
Her mouth was pouty and pink, her eyes heavy-lidded and drooping. “Don’t go. Stay with me.” She murmured drowsily.
He nodded and leaned in to kiss her forehead as she closed her eyes. He laid there, quiet and unmoving beside her until her breath became an even, rhythmic, low piglet snore. Slipping down from the bed, he gently raised her legs and slipped them under the peacock-designed coverlet. Grabbing a pillow and a wrapper just beside her, he blew out a breath, walked to the switch, turned it off and slipped out of the room.
Back in the living room, he decided for the wide, comfortable cream-yellow sofa, spreading the wrapper over it, he laid the pillow on it and dropped his long length over it. Realising he still had his shoes on, he pushed back to his feet and kicked them off. He unbuttoned the shirt and took it off too before laying back on the sofa.
Yeah, he definitely had some nuts lose if he was lying here with a half-naked gorgeous woman just a few yards away. He sighed deeply and closed his eyes, willing his lustful mind to shutdown as he did his best to slip behind the curtain of sleep into oblivion.
***That’s today’s update, hope you enjoy… hit my facebook button *winks* and do all the sharing, lol. See y’all Saturday***