Hello sweeties. It's been a while, I know. I've been deep in the revision cave.
I wasn't happy with the original Bound to Favor story and there's no way I'm going to give you a story I'm not happy with.
Unfortunately that means I'm currently stripping back the manuscript and redoing chunks of it.
I'm sorry for the continued delay. I promise it will be worth it when you get the finalised version.
Please continue to bear with me. Thank you for your patience.
In the meantime, let me give you a teaser. I hope you enjoy it. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.
After dinner, they retired to the living room.
Fari took Kamali’s hand, “Daddy, are you getting married to Aunty Ebun?”
He’d known his daughter would ask the question after his declaration. He hadn’t had time for a one-to-one with her to explain the situation. He tugged her to the alcove in the foyer where they could talk in private.
They both sat on the settee, looking out of the window into the side of the house. Floor level lamps lit up the beige wall and the potted ferns and palms.
“What do you think about Ebun?” he asked, trying to gauge her reaction.
Her body posture perked up and a slow smile lit up her face. “She’s nice to me and I like her. Didn’t you say you didn’t want to get married again, though?”
He nodded slowly. This girl never forgot anything. “I did. But your grandma thinks I should marry again. She said you would like a new mother. Would you?”
“Sometimes.” Her smile was tentative. Her shoulders rose and fell gently. “Sometimes I wish I had a mother just like Veda and Rashi have Aunty Fahima.”
Chest tightening, his stomach sank. His mother had been correct. He’d been depriving his daughter of a female parent. Perhaps he really should consider Laila.
“Aunty Yasmin says you will marry Aunty Laila.” Fari echoed his thoughts. “Are you going to marry two wives like Uncle Jibril?”
He would’ve laughed if it wasn’t a serious matter. He didn’t even want one wife let alone two. But he would be permitted to marry four wives if he chose to do so.
Rubbing his fingers between the middle of his forehead to soothe the oncoming headache, he closed his eyes and puffed out a breath.
When he opened his eyes, Fari’s gaze focused on him, her head tilted to the side. The weight of her expectations and his responsibility settled on his shoulders like boulders threatening to crush him.
Whatever decisions he made would impact her life, her future. She had a stake in this, perhaps more than he did.
He avoided her question and asked another. “What do you think about Laila?”
“I like her,” she said, shrugged and glanced around as if making sure no one would overhear. She leaned close and lowered her voice. “But I prefer Aunty Ebun. She reminds me of Mummy.”
That vice in Kamali’s chest tightened again, and the tension in his head returned.
His daughter didn’t know it, but matching Ebun to his late wife didn’t bode well. Surely Fate wouldn’t curse him with the same type of woman twice.
What a dilemma.
He forced enthusiasm into his voice and patted her hand. “That’s good. Now, go on. Join your cousins.”
“See you later, Daddy.” She pressed a kiss to his cheek, beamed a smile that had his heart clenching before she walked across the hall back into the downstairs lounge.
He got up, walked down the hall, opened the side door and went outside. Light from patio lamps aided his path as he went further through the maze of manicured emerald shrubs and pink, white and yellow blossoms in the back garden, the air scented with calla lilies and candelabra aloe.
He reached the elaborate white gazebo, climbed the step and lowered his body onto the loveseat.
Darkness settled around him bringing quiet and solitude. A trellis and climbing pink chrysanthemums obscured the main house standing about two hundred yards away.
Here lay one of his favourite spots—a space where he could get away from meddling families and burdensome responsibilities for a few precious minutes.
Vibration in his pocket made him pull out his phone. A smile curled his lips when he saw the notification. He clicked to read the message from Ebun.
I didn’t see you after dinner. Are you okay?
He typed a reply.
Yes. Just having a quiet moment.
A replied pinged back almost instantly.
Oh. I disturbed you. I’m sorry.
Don’t be, he sent.
She didn’t send a reply to that.
His insides quivered, his heart made sick. He didn’t want solitude.
He wanted Ebun—her voice, her laughter, her scent, her taste, and her touch—her slick channel gripping him, milking him and sending him to paradise.
His breath quickened, just as blood rushed south, peace overtaken by passion.
He typed another message on his phone with trembling fingers.
Meet me outside. Bring that jumbo pack of rubbers.