BOUND TO FAVOR
Kamali Danladi has sworn never to get married again. But his meddling mother is bent on hitching him to any eligible female that comes along to the next family gathering. There's only one thing for it. Get fake-hitched to his executive assistant. If anyone is more averse to marriage than he is, it's her. So they'll be perfect together. Or at least, they'll fake perfect together.
Ebun Forson doesn't do families. She certainly doesn't do festivities. So when she has to spend a week playing fiancée to her boss, how is she going to cope with the extensive Danladi kinsfolk without breaking out in hives? Her next shopping trip funded by the bonus he's giving her should more than make up for the inconvenience.
However, she soon finds the real threat is to her heart. The dark and intense Kamali behaves as if he sees through to her soul, making her almost forget that this is all an act. In any case, someone with a past like hers doesn’t deserve a happy ever after, surely.
Bound to Favor is a story about learning to heal from emotional pain and finding love in the most unexpected places.
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“Oh, don’t you dare patronise me. I am not your fiancée. I’m not polished or elegant enough to be considered your wife. According to your family the only reason you would consider me is if I were pregnant.”
He moved and sat at the edge of the bed. “Don’t mind my sisters. Their opinions don’t matter.”
“So if I discount your sisters, what about you?” She waved her hand in the air at him.
“What about me?” His eyes narrowed as his brows creased.
“I’ve worked with you for two years and you’ve never even noticed me, never paid me any attention other than for work. I’m here now because you need a fake fiancée. Your sisters think we’ve been having sex in the office. If only they knew you wouldn’t touch me with a barge pole.”
She suddenly had no wish to hide her emotions about him, as anger bolstered her resolve.
"You think I never noticed you all these years?" Kamali asked in a gravelly voice that carried a warning.
Ebun halted before she reached the door to the bathroom. Heart racing, she folded her arms around her midriff to hide their trembling and didn't turn to face him.
"When you're deep in concentration you bite your bottom lip until it turns pink," he continued, his tone deeper than normal. "When you smile, a dimple appears on your left cheek ... and when you're excited, your brown eyes sparkle like gold dust."
So enthralled by his words, she hadn't heard his approaching footsteps until her back prickled with his body heat.
"Ebunoluwa, I notice you every goddamned day."
His candour undid her, and smashed through defences she’d erected around her. All the while she’d thought he’d overlooked her, he’d been paying attention. Warmth seeped into her heart and tingled across her chest.
What could she say to him? ‘Thank you’ seemed inadequate and inappropriate.
In any case, it wasn’t gratitude making her pulse accelerate and her body tremble as she turned around.
Her heart slammed against her ribs when she met Kamali’s burning gaze.
The intensity of his stare pinned her to the spot and she couldn’t move.
“Granted, we're here now because I need your help. But it doesn’t take away the fact that you are a beautiful woman. There’s no way anybody will not notice you. Trust me.”
Before she could assimilate his words, his lips descended on her. First it was a light brush against hers from one edge to the other. But in that heart-stopping moment, her lips parted as she wanted closer contact, the urge to taste him increasing by the second.
He didn’t disappoint her. His tongue delved into her mouth. Plundered and possessed her. She yielded and opened up. Welcomed the heat, and the intensity.
He unleashed repressed feelings, allowing passion to reign supreme.
Her fingers clutched his shirt, clinging on, needing his solidity to keep her standing when her knees threatened to give way.
He was her anchor keeping her grounded in a world where she was boneless and about to float away.
He broke the kiss and whispered against her lips, “Look at what you do to me.”
The deep timbre of his voice made her heart race as his fingers gripped the nape and tilted her head back.
“If you knew the thoughts in my head, the things I want to do to you, to your beautiful body,” he continued.
She breathed in short bursts, his words as electrifying as his touch. He thought she had a beautiful body?
There was no mistaking the lust in his dark gaze. But there was something else, enthralling and revealing, all at the same time.
“You want me?” She couldn’t hide the surprise in her voice. She’d just had the most exhilarating kiss of her life. Was there a chance for more?
“Yes. Don’t look so surprised. I’ve wanted you from the first day I met you. But I swore I wouldn’t touch you.” His thumb stroked the sensitive skin of her neck.
The weight on her chest fizzled away leaving her lightheaded as her pulse sped up and adrenaline rushed through her.
“I thought...” Her mouth had dried out. She licked her lip and swallowed. “I thought you didn’t want me. Couldn’t want me. Look at me, I’m not pretty.”
“Ebunoluwa,” his voice suddenly took on a stern, warning tone. “Don’t ever say that. You are beautiful.”
She shook her head. He had to say it to cheer her up.
How could he describe her as beautiful? His sisters were beautiful. The woman they’d called Laila was beautiful.
He gripped her hand and tugged it down. “Do you need proof of how beautiful you are, of how much I want you?”
She lowered her gaze to his groin before he placed her hand on the bulge tenting his trousers. He was hard and hot under the fabric.
“This is what you do to me every time I see you.”
“Really?” she asked in a breathless voice.
“Yes,” his voice sounded gruff as if he was fighting for control.
Desire burnt away the last of her inhibitions. Feeling emboldened, she stroked his turgid length through the linen.
His groan rumbled around them, his eyes gleaming. “If you keep doing that, I’m going to come. But I’d rather do it while buried inside you.”