Sacrilege – Episode 38
© Adeola Nissi
“So what really happened?” Chris asked when he realized he was alone with Deolu. Sleep was out of the question this night.
Deolu sighed, rubbing the bridge between his eyes before glancing at Chris. “Remember I told you about rushing Teju to the hospital when I found her in pain?”
Chris frowned, a dangerous look crossing his eyes. “Wait, hold on. Tito was right? You left Laura all alone on a beach at night because of Teju?” bemused anger was evident in his voice.
Deolu sent him a glare. “Would you listen at least?” he snapped. Chris became silent for a brief moment. “I got a message from the doctor, said I had to see him urgently. It wasn’t just about Teju for me, it was also about my marriage but…” he shook his head, “nothing prepared me for what I discovered when I got there” Deolu had Chris’ interest now as Chris looked on with curious expectancy. “She has leukemia”
Chris froze, his mouth forming the ‘o’ shape as he stared at Deolu. He truly had never expected this, he never saw this coming. “Why… I mean… how?”
Deolu surged to his feet. “How am I supposed to know that? She had been in the know of this for months and she never said anything, I never knew anything” anger boiled in his veins. He was angry at Teju for not trusting him enough after years of friendship, angry at himself for not noticing that something was wrong with someone he had considered his best friend; heck, he was angry at life itself for being so cruel and unfair. “I just knew it wasn’t like Teju to give in to my mother’s devious plan just like that. She had a mind of her own; she would never be lured into anything she doesn’t want to do. She always wanted to have kids, it was the one thing she always craved, and she even talked endlessly about adopting one if only she had enough resources…”
Chris rubbed his temples, his head suddenly aching. “But being pregnant means that.. that…”
“She is not on chemotherapy” Deolu finished for him. “And according to the doctor, she knew this before she became pregnant. She knew the risk, she knew she could die but she still went ahead. How can she be so stupid? How can she be so tired of life that dying would mean nothing to her? How can… how can I watch her die because she was carrying my baby, Chris” Deolu raved, dipping his hands in his trouser pockets and removing them again as he stormed around, hoping to walk off his frustration. “And like that’s not enough to digest, I have to face this! Someone just had to kidnap Laura now… now!” he bellowed and dipped his hands in his pockets again, pacing. “Someone is really messing with my head”
Chris stared into space, trying to digest the information he just got. “Wow!”
Silence reigned for a brief moment as both men became drowned in the sea of their own thoughts. “What if he did it?”
Deolu turned back to face Chris. “If who did what?”
Chris raised his eyes to his. “The doctor” Chris said, standing as he warmed up to the thought. “He sent you a message so late, effectively taking you away from Laura, only to hear a few hours later that she had been kidnapped. Isn’t it suspicious?”
Deolu frowned. “It is… but what would his motive be? What motive would he have? Besides, practically no one knew I took Laura to the beach, she didn’t even know till we got there. It might just be coincidental.” But Deolu couldn’t deny Chris had a point. But by God, if he was behind this, he might just be lucky to see the dark side of Deolu.
Chris nodded. “Maybe, maybe not! Whatever the case, I think we should have an eye on him”
Chris walked into the moderate sized library of Deolu’s home. He had been searching the apartment for Tito but she seemed to have practically vanished until his eyes caught the library door. It was a small but cozy enclosed space, filled with books shelves, few portraits and a cushion couch. The only window in the room gave a beautiful view of the garden; Chris had instantly fallen in love with the room the first time he stepped into it. Even now, as he stepped into the library, he knew that’s where Tito would want to be at a time like this.
The light from the bulb in the room warded off the darkness to a certain extent but it was barely daybreak. She had her back to him as she lay on her side on the couch so Chris approached quietly, careful she might be asleep. His long strides took him to her in no time and as he hovered over her, he realized she wasn’t asleep. She held an open book in her hand and had her eyes fixed on the pages. Chris wondered if she was actually reading anything because though her eyes were on the pages of the book, she seemed far away. As Chris put out his hand to tap Tito, she sensed his presence. Her eyes shot up and a momentary fright crossed her face as she gasped, jerking into a sitting position with a single move.
“Sorry… sorry I startled you”
Tito put her hand against her racing heart as she tried to catch a breath. “Good grief, Chris! Don’t sneak up on me like that”
A smile crossed Chris’ face. “Didn’t mean to, sorry” Tito had unintentionally made room for him when she jerked to a sitting position so Chris lowered his frame onto the chair, occupying the other half of the couch.
Tito sat on her folded legs and watched him nervously. She drummed the pads of fingers against the book in her hand. “Want something?”
Chris always found it amusing and flattering that Tito could be so nervous in his presence when barely a few hours ago, she was glaring down at Deolu like a mother hen protecting her chicks. Chris stared at the book she was holding, vaguely learning the details. “I’ve been searching for you”
Tito frowned, her curiosity pricked. “Why? Is there news?”
Chris saw the keen expectation in her eyes. “Yes… I mean, no. Well, not about Laura” why was he stuttering like a little girl now? “My friend just put to bed. I’m a father” he said, smiling. He didn’t know why he had felt the urge to tell Tito immediately Anita’s husband called to give him the news.
Tito had started to smile when she heard the first sentence but the statement that followed froze her smile on her face. “Father” she muttered.
Chris grinned. “Godfather precisely”
Tito let out a breath she hadn’t been aware of holding. “Clown” she muttered under her breath, causing Chris’ grin to widen. “Congratulations. Baby girl, eh?”
Chris frowned. “How do you know?”
Tito shrugged. “Players love female children”
Chris chuckled and shook his head. “You are not going to relent on this player thing, are you?”
Tito grinned. “You’re in for it” she answered and laughed when he made the sign of the cross over his heart. Chris watched her laugh, the sadness and worry lifting from her eyes momentarily and thought it was a sight he would always want to behold. Tito had her hair packed up in a bun on her head and Chris wondered what he would give to take the band off and have the rich night-black tresses tumble over his fingers. His fingers itched just from the thought of holding the glorious mane, itched just from the thought of touching his fingers to the soft smoothness of her chocolate skin. As her laughter drifted off and her tongue darted out to moisten her lips, Chris felt his heart skip in his chest. The last major time he had kissed her flashed unbridled in his mind. A roar of blood pounded in his veins, echoing in his ears till he could barely hear the pounding of his own heart. She had been all soft, smooth and womanly and everything in him craved to experience that again.
Tito swallowed. Chris was staring at her too intensely, it unnerved her. She saw the undisguised desire in his eyes, her heart had nearly stopped when his eyes lingered on her lips, the hunger to take them was as clear as day in his eyes and the desire to have him do just that boiled in her. But she had to remind herself that attraction was not the same as love. Tito was a woman of dignity and she would not let herself be used by a man who had someone else in his heart, even if that someone was her own sister. Tito cleared her throat. “Did you… do you want something else?” Tito said into the suddenly uneasy silence.
Chris stared into her eyes, his eyes reading and assessing. He leaned forward, bringing them remotely close as his hand snaked out without warning, touching the soft smoothness of her face. Tito felt winded as Chris’ eyes grew more intense. His thumb strolled up her cheek to massage the corner of her eye gently. “I want you to sleep” he whispered. “You look exhausted”
Tito felt her heart race in her chest and she pushed out of the chair mostly because she couldn’t stand his proximity. “I am exhausted and no, I can’t sleep. This book is doing an awful job of keeping me relaxed” she dumped the book on the couch beside Chris and sighed as she went to the window, hugging herself. She couldn’t see the garden clearly, it was still dark outside. “I heard Deolu drive out. He is really going to pay them what they are demanding?” she asked, looking back at Chris.
Chris nodded before pushing to his feet. Tito looked back out the window. “It is a lot”
“Nothing is too much when the one you love is involved”
Tito took a deep breath and let it out. “You think I was really hard on him”
“I didn’t say that”
“Didn’t have to.” She sighed, looking down at the window frame. “I shouldn’t have said the things I said. It’s all my fault anyways. I shouldn’t have called Laura so late; knowing Laura; she would have wanted to come, if for nothing but to give me some moral support. I was just being so selfish because I needed her around. I should have insisted she waited till morning when she said she was coming over. Now this…”
“Shhh” Tito froze when Chris’ hand circled her waist. She hadn’t been aware of him standing up. She stood rigid as Chris pulled her back against his chest. “Lean on me for a minute.” He whispered. “You need to relax”
Tito swallowed as her back joined with his chest. His heat enveloped her, blurring the thoughts in her head and the voice whispering to her that she was skating on thin ice. “Stop” she managed weakly.
Chris ignored her and leaned down to kiss the back of her neck. “You can’t solve anything by worrying and you definitely can’t solve anything by casting blames. Everything would be sorted out but for now, you need to relax.” If only he knew that his presence was creating more tension in her presently than she cared to acknowledge, Tito thought. Involuntarily, she leaned against him fully, enjoying the feel of his big muscular body behind her. She felt him smile. How could she think of anything else when he was standing this close? He buried his nose in the crux of her shoulder and inhaled deeply. “You smell of flowers”
Tito blushed, feeling her heart skip continuously in her chest. “It’s the… garden”
“Uhn… Want me to give you a massage? Or sing you a lullaby?”
Tito had to smile. “I am not a baby”
He turned her around to face him at that, holding her gently around the waist. His eyes were intense on hers, holding a gentle smile which did not begin to mask the dark desire in them. “You are…” he answered. “You have a baby’s heart”
Chris stared down at her upturned face, a blush rising in her cheeks; her eyes were dark and her lips soft and welcoming. He had a different way of getting her to relax… one that was terribly selfish and involved spiking up the speed of her heartbeat. He moved one hand sensuously up her back in a caress till it came to rest at the back of her neck.
Tito felt her heart thud in her chest. Their bodies were barely touching, yet, she could feel the heat of his body reaching out to her. His ensnaring scent filled her senses, clouding her thoughts. Her tongue felt glued to the roof of her mouth. She should be stepping away! Wasn’t that her resolution? She should be backing away. Wasn’t he in love with Laura? Hadn’t she sworn off men? She should step away now. But he had her pinned with his gaze, like she had no escape route. She swallowed. “Chris, I…”
His mouth came down and covered hers, sending whatever she had been meaning to say into oblivion. Tito melted in his arms, whatever she had been planning to say or do was totally forgotten. All that occupied her head now was Chris. Her hands went over his muscled shoulders as the kiss grew deeper, hungrier, more intense. She felt the fast beating of his heart as he pulled her fully into his arms, or was it the racing of her own heart? Her head couldn’t distinguish anything anymore, lost in the sensual haze that only Chris’ arms could bring. Her legs turned to jelly beneath her and she held onto Chris for support.
Chris had never felt himself go so out of control with just a kiss. His blood roared in his veins and his hands had a mind of their own as one moved to her hair, craving the feel of that glorious midnight mane against his fingers. Unable to resist any longer, his hand removed the bond holding the hair in place and a low rumble emanated from the back of his throat as the tresses spilled over their faces and he sank his hand into her hair.
Tito felt Chris losing control and a low warning light flashed in her head. But she was ensnared, already beyond control herself. For a moment there she wondered if it would be so terrible… couldn’t she throw away morality for a few minutes in her life?
At first, the name was like a whisper, barely audible. But when she heard the high-pitched yell again, she jumped out of Chris’ arms, gasping for breath. Chris’ eyes were dark and intense, he clearly hadn’t heard the voice because he took a step towards her as though he was about to take her right back into his arms, then the voice came again, loud and clear.
“Tito… where are you”
Margaret! Tito swallowed hard as she stepped away from Chris. Running her fingers through her hair, she hastened towards the door, trying to quench the desire to go back into his arms. She jumped out of the library and nearly squealed when Margaret bumped into her. “Margaret! What are you doing here so early?”
“I’ve been looking all over for you” Margaret said. “Laura is in trouble. She went on a date with Deolu since yesterday and I hadn’t been able to reach her till someone picked up, saying we need to give him ten million in exchange for Laura”
Tito let out a breath. “They already called Deolu”
The door of the library opened and Chris came out. “Hi”
Margaret stared from Tito to Chris and back. “Was I… interrupting anything?”
“No” Tito answered, maybe too hastily because Margaret frowned but she soon shrugged it off as worry clouded her eyes again. “So, what’s happening? Where is Deolu? He sure has some explaining to do because I don’t understand how she was kidnapped when she was with him at the beach” she looked angry. “Where is he?”
“He has gone out” Chris said, cautiously. There was something odd about what she said but Chris couldn’t quite figure it out.
“He isn’t informing the police, is he?” she looked scared.
Tito stared at Margaret. “No. and I think he should”
Margaret seemed to give it a brief thought. “Yes. Those b******s shouldn’t go scot free. But I am worried about Laura; I don’t want them to hurt Laura because we reported them. We wouldn’t be able to forgive ourselves”
Tito swallowed. “You are right. But whoever is responsible better pray I don’t find him because if I do, they’d live to regret ever messing with my sister”
Margaret frowned. “Sister? Sister how?”
Deolu had been driving since it was barely daybreak. Now, the darkness had lifted and he could now turn off the headlamp. He hadn’t told anyone of the tracker that linked his phone with Laura’s. He had almost forgotten about it himself. But now, he thanked God for it. He had decided to keep it to himself, also the fact that he was going to inform some trusted security personnel. It was not because he didn’t trust Chris and Tito enough with that information but he just wanted to be careful. If whoever was behind this was an insider, the less information he let lose, the better.
Deolu turned into a bush path and parked. He took out his phone and dialed a number. “Hey Felix, morning…. Listen, I need a favour”
To be continued