Hey guys, not too good news. Some of you kuku don’t care before 😦 Anyway, Eyin Ese won’t be dropping tomorrow. I’m in Ibadan and it always resets my brain. Of course, not in a bad way. Lol. But, well, stuff happened. I would still be blogging it sha, cos I promised. So here’s today’s episode. Enjoy. And drop your comments biko 😑. Awon ghost readers.

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“You should go.” Adeola said to the man watching her with so much concern in his eyes. She did not need him hanging around her like that. He did not have to look at her with so much concern and, pity.

She was not dying. On the contrary, it was her monthly visitor that had come.

“Adeola,” he was calling her real name for the second time that night, she realized. And somehow, it felt personal. Like they were not generational enemies and like his blade had not been dug into her father’s heart right in his own kingdom.

He touched her again and this time, she did not have the strength to shove his hand off her.

“Please tell me what is wrong.” He pleaded, his voice gentle and was that fear she sensed.

“I am not dying.” She said and she heard him sigh. Why would he have thought she was dying? “It is my monthly visitor.” She said to him and at first his face was bland. Then slowly, as if just occurring to him what ‘monthly visitor’ meant, he nodded.

“That.” He said and uttered nothing more for a while until he added, “Should I get Adebanwo?”

She did not want him to leave her. Though he was her Captor, he was the only person she felt she knew.

The only one who treated her like she was human; the others simply looked at her like she was evil.

“Stay.” She said and then grabbed his hand as she felt another pain pulsing through her.

“I don’t know what to do.” He said and she realized he was really innocent. She had to admit, the look of innocence did look out of place on his handsome face but it was also appealing.

“I would teach you,” she replied, “First, get me the idera leaf. Make it two so that the juice will be plenty. Then rub it hard against your palm until you have squeezed out every juice then…” she shut her eyes tightly as she felt another pain coming.

“I am sorry you have to endure this.” He said to her and she stifled a chuckle. He did not have to be sorry. It was what she and many other women endured.

“Bring me the juice.”

He nodded and went away as soon as she was done talking. Adeola sat against the tree and clutched her stomach, her eyes tightly shut.

Back in Oyo, she would have been prepared. But thanks to the stress and the unusual occurrences that had happened to her since Oyekunle invaded their home with his army, she had forgotten to think about too many things.

Digging her fingers into the sand, she waited for him to return to her.

Earlier, she had caught Oyelese and another man, the one who looked like a giant, talking in hushed tones as they looked at her from where they stood.

She had been aware what it meant – her fate was being decided.

However, she wondered what it was they wanted to do with her. She wished she knew. But even if she did, would she be able to control it?

She however hoped they knew killing her was not going to be in their favor. Her people would fight and they would not stop until they killed them all; every single drop of their blood would be shed.

“I’m back.” Oyekunle said, kneeling beside her as he handed her a calabash.

“Thank you,” she said and gulped the bitter juice of the idera leaves.

“I squeezed out the juice by myself,” he said to her as if worried she would think somebody else had carried out the errand she sent him.

She smiled as she finished the juice and handed it to him. Oyekunle watched her lean against the tree. He wanted to take care of her, to shield her, to…

A thought hit him as she staggered to her feet.

“I would like to lay down now,” she said, walking towards the bedchamber they shared. Oyekunle nodded, grabbing the calabash as he followed her.

Pulling the mat that guided the entrance aside, he watched her step in and dusted the bed before she laid down on it.

He wished the thought would go away but the more it lingered, the more he realized it was the only way out of her predicament.

The corner of her lips creased into a smile, “Is this what you do for your betrothed?” she asked, eyeing the calabash he still held in his hands.

“I don’t have a betrothed.”

She did not believe him. “You did not find a woman to marry in the whole of Tede?” she yawned and he wondered if the idera leaf was responsible for that. Until then, he had no idea the leaf could perform wonders.

“I was not ready to marry…”

“Was not? Have you decided against that now?” she inquired, battling her eyelids from closing.

“Is it the leaf that is making you groggy?”

She nodded and yawned again, “Yes. It knocks you off and works while you sleep,” Oyekunle noticed she had dimples. “I asked you a question.”

“What?”

“Have you decided against your decision not to marry?”

“I did not decide not to marry, I was just not ready.”

There was a slight pause and he could have sworn she was asleep already until she asked, “What changed your mind?”

“You.”

Another slight pause ensued and he realized she was half asleep.

“What?”

“I am going to marry you.” He said but she was already fast asleep.

“You are going to what?”

Oyelese gaped at him in utmost shock. As for Ajanlekoko, he was pokerfaced.

“Oyekunle this is preposterous!”

“That is an understatement. I have never heard of such in my entire sojourn on this earth. It looks like sorcery.” Ajanlekoko added, his face still bare. Oyekunle briefly wondered what was going through his mind.

“It is not sorcery,” Oyekunle replied, “I am in full control of my senses.” If there was enchantment of any sort involved, then it was not black magic. It was the woman who drew him to her without doing anything at all that had sucked him in.

“It does not seem like it.” Ajanlekoko said softly, as if dazed by what had happened to Oyekunle.

Oyelese drew Oyekunle closer to him, “What has happened to you, brother?” worry was etched on his face and Oyekunle wished he could explain to him that it was not something to be concerned about.

Actually, as far as he was concerned, a wedding ceremony would throw the enemy off guard and buy them more time than sending bits and pieces of her to them.

With the latter, they would be livid. With the former, they would be shocked to the marrow.

“You want to marry your enemy?” Oyelese quizzed, looking straight into his eyes as if waiting for a big explanation for what he had just heard. Unfortunately, Oyekunle did not have one.

It was just what it was.

“Her father is my enemy, not her.”

“She is her father’s daughter! You think she would not stab you in your sleep if you marry her? You’re the man who killed her father and is about to take the throne away from her brother!”

Oyelese paced restlessly, he was disturbed. Oyekunle glanced at Ajanlekoko who stared at them, his hands folded across his bare chest. He even looked more menacing under the moonlight. Oyekunle knew the man’s face was the type to make children cry and wild animals run for cover.

“Oyelese, a wedding is unexpected.”

“And unnecessary.”

“Maiming her is what is unnecessary.”

Oyelese paused, “Are you doing this because you do not want her maimed?”

“No.” Oyekunle lied, “I am doing this because you asked for her to be used. And she is being used.”

Oyelese shook his head firmly, “I do not know about this, brother.”

“I am in charge of my senses, I know what I am doing.”

Oyelese weighed Oyekunle’s expression, “You say it with so much certainty.”

“Because therein lies the truth.”

After a long stretch of silence, Oyelese said “Shall I send for your mother?”

Oyekunle gasped, “Why? I do not need her to complicate matters. Besides, we do not have the time for her to journey from Tede here.”

“We can wait.” The man turned around and faced Ajanlekoko who was picking his teeth with a little stick, one arm against the tree. He was watching them both, his face bland as usual. “Ajanlekoko, tell two of your men to ride as fast as they can to Tede. They must return with Oyekunle’s mother by sunrise.”

Oyekunle wanted to convince him otherwise but he knew it was a waste of time. The man was hell bent on convincing him to nip his plans in the bud. And clearly, there was no changing that.

“Sleep over this, brother. Maybe my morning, sending for your mother would have been a waste of time.” As he left with Ajanlekoko, Oyekunle pondered on his own decision to marry the daughter of his enemy, his mother’s reaction to it and Adeola’s reaction to it.

Because as of that moment, even she didn’t know she was about to be married.

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