More from Chapter Two from Bound to Favor?
And I'm sharing from the first 3 chapters.
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As promised, the next instalment from Bound to Favor is here.
Read Chapter One, Part One.
Read Chapter One, Part Two.
Read Chapter Two, Part One.
Here's Chapter Two, Part One. Enjoy. ❤
Chapter Two - Part Two
“I thought we were having dinner,” she said, focusing her mind on the present. She faced the counter, unsure if she should order a drink here or wait for the dinner table.
“You don’t get to tell me what to do,” Jonah gritted out in a low voice, his irritation evident.
Okay. Not wanting to start an argument in front of his friends, she swivelled to the left so she could talk to Hans who stood next to her.
“So, Hans, how are you?” She didn’t see the man often as he worked offshore on an oil rig in the Niger Delta. He only came to Lagos when he had a break.
“I’m doing okay.” He had a gruff accent that reminded her of Alexander Skarsgård. “How about you?”
“Same old. Same old.”
“Have you been back to London recently?”
Jonah cut her off. “Does she ever get a break, this one? I hardly see her as it is. She’s at work all the time.”
Heat pelted her skin, and she flicked her gaze heavenwards. “That’s not fair.”
His attitude got old, fast.
Yes. She had a single-minded determination to succeed, and worked sixty to seventy hour weeks. With no children or a serious relationship, what else did she have to do?
As an employee of one of the big accounting firms, Jonah worked as long and as hard as she did.
She never criticised his work schedule. Yet, he complained about hers.
Glaring at her, he got off the stool. “I’m going to get some food. Are you coming?”
He walked off without looking back.
Ebun sucked in a deep breath and puffed it out. This was going to be a long evening. If she didn’t need company tonight, she would have just gone home. The idea of spending the night alone didn't appeal.
A few weeks had passed since she met up with Jonah as he'd travelled on business. Maybe she understood some of his grouchiness. They were both overdue for some TLC.
“I guess I’ll see you guys some other time.” She got off the stool, patted her skirt and followed Jonah through the throng of revellers.
“We’re joining you two.” Hans followed her.
“Oh. I didn’t know that.” She arrived at the foyer where the server gathered the menus and led them through the busy restaurant. Their four-seat table stood in the middle row and offered no privacy from other diners or the entrance.
Jonah held the chair for her. He could be a gentleman, sometimes. After she settled in it, he lowered his head and whispered in her ear.
“You are going to pay for making me wait.” He sat on the chair to her left while Hans took the seat opposite her and Pete plonked next to him.
His threat made her scalp prickle and stomach quiver. What did he mean?
Narrowing her eyes, she opened her mouth to protest, and closed it.
The click of crockery, hum of chatter and low music reminded her that she sat in a busy restaurant. She couldn’t make a scene.
She lifted the menu and gazed at it. It proved to be more of a shield and a distraction because the words didn't register in her mind.
Why was Jonah being difficult?
She flicked her gaze at him. He seemed preoccupied with the cuisine list, his demeanour back to normal.
How could he threaten her one minute and be calm the next?
This wasn't his first time of behaving erratically. She'd dismissed the previous occasions. No one was perfect. But they now occurred more frequently and she'd made one too many excuses for him.
Was it time to call this relationship to an end? They'd lasted longer than her previous relationships.
The uneasy chill on her skin wouldn't go away. Something about this arrangement didn't seem right. She chanced sidelong glances at the men.
Hans and Pete didn't tag along on Jonah's and Ebun's dinner dates. There had only been one other time when the three of them had sat down together like this. The memory of that night was still hazy. From the things she remembered, she didn't want to revisit the memories anyway.
This was the reason the presence of the other men unsettled her, especially Pete.
Hans was always nice to her and she liked him.
Pete. A shudder racked her body as she glanced at the man. He gave her the creeps, especially when he stared at her as if she were on the menu, like he did now.
She'd told Jonah once that Pete reminded her of the guy in a horror movie who sets up hidden cameras in the victims houses and watches them discreetly before hacking them to death.
Jonah had laughed it off as a joke.
“Have you decided what you want?” Hans's question drew her from her turbulent thoughts. “Not yet.” Her voice sounded croaky. She coughed to clear the lump in her throat and stared at the menu, still struggling to decide.
A glance at lecherous Pete made bile rose in her throat. She swallowed the bitter taste.
“Jonah, I’m sorry. I don’t feel very well. I’m going to head home.” She put the menu back on the table and didn’t meet his gaze.
“If you don’t want to eat, you can stay and have a drink. I need food.” He raised his hand to call the waiter.
She waited while the men ordered their meals. Jonah ordered a glass of wine for her even though she’d said she didn’t want anything.
When the waiter walked away, she said. “I’m only going to stay for the wine, and then I’m going home.”
Using her phone, she sent a message to her driver and got a response back that he'd parked outside the premises, waiting for her.
Jonah wouldn’t be happy with her leaving early. But she'd moved beyond caring. She wouldn’t have an argument in a public venue and she wouldn’t let him railroad her into doing something she'd regret.
They would have to chat privately over the weekend about her concerns.
Why couldn’t she have a normal man, anyway?
The image of her boss loomed in her mind—tall, handsome and imposing Kamali Danladi.
Her heart rate kicked up. Her body flushed hot and then cold with intense emotions, the way it always did when she thought about him.
There was nothing ordinary about the CEO of Danladi Cements. Ruthless and regal would describe him better.
She had a love-hate relationship with her boss, all one-sided of course. Because she’d rather die than confess that she’d been in love with the man from the first day she’d seen him. He represented everything her heart yearned for and everything she couldn’t have. And she hated him for it.
Not that anyone would ever know it, including him.
The server returned with the drinks.
Thinking of her boss and her unrequited feelings made her drink fast.
Jarabi by Sona Jobarteh played in the background. Ebun hummed along and swayed rhythmically to the wonderful seductive beats and vocals of the Gambian musician.
By the time she got to the bottom of the glass, the alcohol buzzed in her veins because she hadn’t eaten much today.
“I’ve got to go. See you guys another time.” She tried to stand but Jonah gripped her arm.
“Where do you think you’re going?” he gritted out in a low voice.
“Home. I told you I don’t feel well.”
“And I told you to wait for us.”
“Let her go,” Hans intervened. “She’s not feeling well.”
Jonah glared at her for a few more seconds before releasing her hand.
“Thank you,” she said, stood up and walked away, her body trembling.
However, she didn’t get very far.
A group of men she recognised blocked her exit. The sight of one of them sent her heart racing.
Talk of the devil.
Without a doubt, Kamali stood in the restaurant foyer with two other men, impressive and too darn real.
She stared at him, drank him in. Adrenaline surged through her veins.
Judas Priest! He was a sight for sore eyes. Wearing a tailored two-piece silk-cashmere navy suit, a burgundy silk tie on a white shirt with blue pinstripes, and black Italian brogues, he could’ve just stepped off the cover of a men’s magazine.
She’d seen him earlier in the day. Still, her heart raced.
The men around him were good-looking. Yet she was drawn to Kamali, even after she’d sworn she wouldn’t date an African man.
What the hell was he doing here? Sure, he was allowed to eat out. Couldn’t he and his friends have chosen another restaurant?
She could only hope he hadn’t seen the little incident with Jonah. Her cheeks burned anyway.
Someone dropped a cutlery on a table to her right, jarring Ebun into moving. She glanced towards the corridor. Could she get to it in time before her boss spotted her? She would wait there until the men had dispersed from the foyer.
She took another look in Kamali’s direction.
Their gazes connected, his eyes a piercing cognac colour that reminded her of her father’s favourite drink from years ago. Her breath caught and a lump lodged in her throat, old sentiments rising.
This wasn’t going to be her night.
She could handle seeing Kamali in the office because when at work, determination to excel drove her to focus on the matters at hands. She would never want to come across as incompetent.
Now outside work, especially after Jonah’s behaviour, she felt raw and exposed. She didn’t want Kamali seeing her. Not like this.
Too late do anything as Kamali strode towards her.
Copyright Kiru Taye 2018
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You need to read Bound to Ransom at least before you read Bound to Favor, otherwise you might be confused by what's going on.
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