He glanced at the naked breasts and when he looked up at her, a smile was waiting on her lips.

“Come to me.”

“Why are you letting yourself get used like a pawn?”

“I will be used as anything for my future husband. He owns me.”

He wanted to tell her he did not own her – that nobody owned her except herself. And that as beautiful as she was standing naked before him, he did not want her. He wanted just one woman since he knew what it was like to be close to her and that woman was the one he was to get married to.

Yet, he sat and looked at Peju, a smile on his face as he asked, “So what do you plan to do with me?”

She chuckled; a genuine laughter that emerged from her mouth as she got on her knees and placed her hands on his laps.

“Whatever you want, my Prince.” She replied with a slight bow of her head. He wondered if Adeola would bow to him like that and the mere thought of her doing that made him cringe.

He did not want a woman who did his every bid; a woman who lived just to please him.

He wanted her to want to please him, he just didn’t want that to be the reason for her existence.

“My Prince?” she called, “What do you want me to do for you?”

He looked long and hard at her; a vulnerable woman being used like a pawn by external forces for a man she fancied. The mere thought of that disgusted him. Yet, he knew for him to get out of the current situation he was in, he had to use the same means.

“Are you sure you would do anything I want?” he asked her, his voice softened.

She nodded in response.

“Then let me out of here.” Her eyes widened in shock. Slowly, she began to withdraw from him, a look of slight disapproval on her face.

“If I let you out of here, I will be doing myself harm.” She said. Even now that she was disobeying him, she couldn’t look him right in the face and do it.

“You will be doing us both some good,” Oyekunle said to her, his voice gentle.

“There is no good in seeing the man I am to marry become someone else’s husband.”

“Who says it is to become someone’s husband?”

She looked at him now, her face contorted in utter confusion. “If you get out, is it not for you to marry that princess?” she said the word princess with total disgust. Oyekunle could see through that one word how much hate filled her heart against the woman she considered rival.

A woman he was beginning to fall for.

“No.” he said, his heart breaking into several pieces when he mouthed the word.

“My prince, what are you saying?” Adepeju inquired, looking at him as if he was crazy. “You both are to get married today.”

He held her hands, one after the other, then let the words he could never believe out “I do not want that woman; she is the devil. Of course, I will be possessed by the spirit of insanity and be cursed by Esu if I genuinely wanted her…”

Adepeju let out a sigh, “I knew something was wrong, My Prince,” sitting up, she asked, “Is she forcing your hand? Do you think she is trying to bewitch you? Because I know that you my prince cannot be bewitched even by the guiles of a princess.”

Oyekunle wondered how much lies her head had been filled with for her to believe in him this much. The trust and belief she had in him was so strong, he wondered how she had come to feel that way.

“I do not think so.” He replied, “However, if you do not let me out, she will be angry and send word to her brother to wage war even now that our army isn’t ready.”

“But your army is strong, my Father used to boast to his friends and my Uncles in Tede…”

“That was before we were defeated in Oyo. We had many casualties in that battle. It is the reason we’re here in Saki and not in Tede, because we need somewhere to hide and re-strategize.”

She nodded slowly, as if letting each word sink down into her mind. Placing a hand on her chin, her brows knitted she asked, “So that is why you haven’t killed her brother yet?” as if impatient for a response, she asked again, “You will kill her brother wouldn’t you?”

Cringing at the look that would be on Adeola’s face if she were in the same room with them at that very moment, he said, “Yes.”

Adepeju smiled, “I am proud of you, my prince. The entire Tede town will be proud of your conquest when this war is over – because you have not just avenged your father, you have made your mother’s town proud.”

Curious that she could talk like that, he asked, “Is that how you feel?”

“It is what my father always said when I was back in Tede. I think I am beginning to see why he is like that.” She replied.

He nodded when she had responded. Silence fell upon them, her head placed on the bed very close to his legs. Oyekunle watched as her breasts rose and fell when she breathed, his mind questioning his virility; was he losing his ability to feel near a woman or was the Adeola effect that strong?

“You can touch them,”

Stunned, he found himself stuttering.

Adepeju chuckled, “I know you’re looking at my breasts. You can touch them; they’re going to be yours anyway.” Lifting his hand, she placed one over the brown-tipped boob that was closest to him. She laughed when his hand stood motionless, refusing to move or feel the breast. “My prince, you do not strike me as one who would be frightened to touch a woman’s breasts.” She said, her eyes dancing with laughter.

“I am not frightened…”

“You’re just not one to fondle your soon-to-be wife because you have not paid her bride price yet?”

“Well…”

She laughed, her hand gripping his thigh as she placed a head on it. Oyekunle felt trapped. He had hoped telling her he did not feel anything for Adeola would warm her up and demand the door to the room be unbolted. But somehow, it felt like she had taken it as a sign to bond with him behind closed doors.

“Do you think you can unlock the door?” he asked her after a moment of brief silence.

“I would have but the key is with your mother.”

Of course. He was stupid to think his mother would be sloppy with her plan and leave the key with Adepeju.

The woman knew what she was doing.

He stood, gently lifting Adepeju’s head off his legs. “Let me see if I can call her from the window.” He said as he walked towards the only window the room had.

Pushing it open, he peeped through it. The space the window covered was tiny and he could barely see the entire compound. No one was in sight and he knew it was a lost cause calling out for his mother.

So he turned and returned to the bed where Adepeju now sat, her eyes on him. “Did you not see her?”

He shook his head, “No.”

“Maybe I can help you call her.”

“How? You do not have the key you said.”

She nodded, as if just realizing, then she said “If the window is big enough for me to squeeze myself through I can go and get her.” She was walking towards it, throwing on her buba and iro as she sauntered towards the only exit the room provided.

He followed her, “Are you sure…” but she was already climbing the wall, her hand reaching for the window.

“Lift me,” she said, letting herself go so he could easily carry her and push her towards the window. “Thank you.” She said to him and jumped out of the window the moment she reached it.

When she was gone, Oyekunle returned to his former seat on the bed. He wondered what Adeola was doing at the moment and what was going through his mind.

He also wondered how easily he had been able to convince Adepeju after telling her he did not feel a thing for Adeola.

And even though he knew it was a bad move, he still prayed silently to the gods that the words he had spoken to the poor woman would not come and bite him in the butt when the time came.

“My Prince!” startled by Adepeju’s voice, he started towards the window she had just jumped out of some seconds before. Peeping, he saw her standing outside, a smile on her face. “Carry me in please.” She said.

“Were you not supposed to return with a key?” he quizzed, puzzled that she had returned without a key and was about to make her entrance through the window.

“Your mother is bringing it.” she replied. Confused as to why she had chosen to come back through the window, Oyekunle took her outstretched arms and helped her in through the small window.

She held on to him for a moment after she hopped in before letting him go.

“It was when I got outside I realized how hot it is in this room, my prince.”

Oyekunle was not sure if it was just him or the woman had become really chirpy.

“Well, the only window in the room is not even wide enough to let my hand through.” He said and she threw her head back, laughing so hard, Oyekunle began to wonder if it was what he had said that provoked the laughter or something else.

She began to fan herself with the hem of her wrapper as she took her seat on the floor. “Sit,” she tapped the space beside her on the bed, “Your mother said it may take a while to get the key.”

“Did she lose it?”

“No.” she replied, “I don’t know.” She added almost immediately. She tapped the space on the bed again. “Sit.” He sat. His gaze on her. Something was not right. But he could not lay his finger on what it was.

Silence ensued for a very short while before she looked him in the face and asked, “My prince, do you really mean the words of which you spoke earlier?” he looked at her, aware that this moment could change everything.

If he reiterated that which he said, she was going to grasp on to it and let the seed of her feelings – if they existed – germinate through the hope he gave in his response.

And he felt she knew that too. So when his response was slow to come, she complained about the heat again and this time, pulled of her buba.

“You do pull off your clothes easily.” He said to her but she said nothing. She flung the buba across the room, discarded her iro and laid near him, her head on his laps.

“My prince, can I please ask you something?” she inquired.

“You may.”

“I know you may not take me as a wife, even though my love for you is like fire set on dry leaves. So I ask, would you hold me this one time? Even if I never get the chance to be held by the man I so love again in my life.”

Oyekunle knew it was a stupid idea to grant her request, yet he felt sorry for her. A woman who was being used and who he had blatantly lied to just some minutes before.

So he did what he had to do to shed his conscience of the guilt it bore.

He pulled her close and held her, refusing to push her away even when her tender breasts pressed hard against him and her hands held him tight.

“Please hold me longer.” She said after a while and he wondered if it was that she had sensed his reluctance to hold on longer than he had.

He obliged her and would have torn himself from the embrace but didn’t. When he heard the key at the lock, he told her they had to disengage but he got no response from her.

And so he sat there, hoping she would move before they had company in the person of his mother.

However, that was not to be, because the door opened wide and his mother and Adeola stood at the entrance, watching him and a naked woman in his arms.

But he did not care for the smile on his mother’s face, he only cared for the woman beside her.

The one who was now dressed like a bride, looking the most beautiful he had ever seen any woman and who was to be his soon.

Her eyes bore into his, a look of disbelief creeping into them. And as he tore himself away from the embrace of the naked woman, the one he wanted turned away and stalked off.

Gutted, he pushed past his mother and called out after her.

But she ignored him and paid him no mind. Determined to catch up with her, he took quick strides, tiny stones and sand seeping into his leather slippers.

Grabbing her hand, he pulled her into a halt. Her eyes were lacking of emotion when she faced him and that drove him further into guilt.

“Adeola, I know what you saw looked bad…”

“I do not care what your royal penis does in its spare time. Just get yourself together and let us get this travesty over with as soon as possible.” And with that she yanked her hand off him and walked away.

Yeah, I know it’s short and you people want to chop my head off like right now. But whatevs 👅 I had to post something 😂😂

Meanwhile, hope you people are following Okadabooks on Instagram? They’ve been doing some giveaways for a while now. If y’all get free credit, you can easily buy my book when it’s ready. So watch out for them. xoxo

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