Saturday, May 29, 2010

Update - More time

Hey Peeps,

Most of you know I have been planning a vacation cum book tour in New York. The next chapter should have been up by now but I've been so busy. Sorry for the delay and I ask for more of your patience and understanding. A new story will be up as soon as possible.

Have a lovely weekend.

See some of you in New York soon.

Where:
Captain Cafe‎
34 East 32nd Street,
New York, NY 10016-5503
(212) 779-0003‎

When:
Tuesday June 1, 2010 (6 - 8PM)
Thursday June 3, 2010 (6 - 8PM)
Friday June 4, 2010 (7 - 9PM)
Saturday June 5, 2010 (Bloggers Summer Event - TBC)

The following are reasons you may want to come...

1. Because you want to see Myne Whitman in person.
2. Because there will be lattes or your choice of coffee.
3. Because you are my your blogger friend :):)
4. Because you like my writing.
5. Because you want to buy an autographed copy of A Heart to Mend!

The following books by Nigerian Authors are up for grabs too! FREE!

A Heart to Mend - Moi! (Raffle draw at the Blogger Event)
In my dreams it was simpler - FG and the Team
Love in Paradise - Lara Daniels
The Mrs Club - Ekene Onu
Zara the Windseeker
To Saint Patrick - Eghosa Imaseun
Measuring Time - Helon Habila
Becoming Abigail - Chris Abani

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dabaru! His nightmare was back ....by Aedeeaee

“Shit,” Chinedu said when the converstion with Habib ended. If his hands were not on the steering wheel, they'd be clenched at this point.

Why now? Now that everything was fine and somewhat dandy. Why now? Now that he was irrevocably hooked on her. Now that he had pledged to love her. Now that he had asked her to marry him. Now that she had accepted. Why?

Poor Iphey. He couldn’t even warn her of the danger that was brewing…Oh God. How he loved her and wanted to protect her. They couldn’t run away. No! he wasn't just going to up and run like some chicken. Run from who? He didn’t even know who they were up against.

That's the question that should be on your mind, Chinedu.

This thing reeked of cat pee. Acidic. Could it be just a gambling debt? Or was there something James wasn’t telling even the EFCC?

He had to do something… and real fast too…

Bob Marley’s Stir it up was playing in the background…Damn. Bob used to help him think straight…and…OH! A Plan began to form in his head.

"Why didn’t I think of that….” Said Chinedu as he dialed a number.

A part of him admonished him...begged him not to call the number...told him to think hard before…it was too late…

“Ehen??” said the voice on the other side, ”who be dis?”

“Ahn ahn! Gbenro, ta lo ji pata re? Who don go vex you today?"

“Tani yii? Who dey talk...who’s this?”

“Chinedu ni...”

“Ah ah! Tuale!. How you dey na? Na wa o! E don tey oh…”

Chinedu and Gbenro had remained friends. Their friendship had remained a secret. They were never seen together when they did have to meet. Gbenro had come to Chinedu at a low point in his life and so had started their unlikely alliance. Chinedu helped him in cash and Gbenro becaame Chinedu's eyes and ears in the underworld. Just as Alhaji Galadima recruited him for the police, Chinedu began to funnel information from Gbenro to the authorities when necessary.  Gbenro knew people who knew people and it was Chinedu who needed Gbenro’s expertise now.

"I need answers and answers I will get by hook or crook." Chinedu thought to himself.

“Gbenro, abeg…Meet me for that place now now...Abeg…E get wetin I want make you help me do…abeg…” Chinedu said.

“Na wa o! Ogbeni. This one wey you don talk abeg like three times so…”

“Wo, dey come, Quick quick!” Chinedu was becoming more agitated now.

“Make I discharge some people. I go dey there sharp sharp!”

“Ok now. See you there. Thank you my brother…”

He had another call to make.

Iphey, Pick up. Pick up...

There was music in the background when he got through.

“Hello…Iphey? Err…are you with James yet?”

“No. I’m still at home,” she said.

“OK. Listen. Call him and tell him you’ll meet him at the Galleria.”

“What? “ There was a tinge of irritation in her voice.

“Look, Iphey, We still are not sure of this guy. He’s your sister’s husband but he’s been away for a while…Remember the circumstances surrounding his disappearance…”

“Look Nedu, you don't know him like I do. Sure I told you the later bits…”

Chinedu was too wired to let her continue. “Trust me Iphey…I’ll come pick you up in about an hour….Please promise you’ll do as I’ve said…”

“You’re talking weird, Nedu, James is still my sister's husband...”

“Please, just do it, ok?”

"Do what exactly?"

"Call James and tell him you'll only see him at the Galleria in an hour."

“OK.”

“Phew! I must “gist” our children o! Kai! This your stubbornness is legendary.” Chinedu was happy she had accepted to do as he wanted.

“Go joo.” Iphey replied.

“See you in an hour honey…”


***************************************************


Ten minutes later, Chinedu was at the assigned place and left the engine running as Gbenro slid into the car.

“Tuale! Ore mi, kilon popping na? You just shari your guy sha…”

“Haba Gbenro! You know everything na…” Chinedu glanced into all the mirrors as he drove of. He had to be sure no one was following them.

“Anyway sha, wetin you dey hurry hurry me make I come do?” His passenger asked.

“Ehen, Gbenro, e get one guy like this wey I want make you tell guys make them torchlight am for me…I wan know who him be…”

“Wetin the guy do? Im dey disturb you? Make I organize boys make them go arrange the guy neat…”

Satisfied that they were not under observation, Chinedu stepped on the accelerator and pulled away. "No. No be like that…the story long small but I will explain quick…See e get one girl…”

“Ha Sinedu! Woman matter…Naa…I no dey that one.”

“Guy, hear wetin I dey talk na! This na my woman o.” They were both silent for a while and then Gbenro nodded.

Chinedu continued, “My girl get one sister when e marry one guy like this…The guy come leave them run…The man come back this year say people wen im owe money dey chase am…the thing be say, the people wey dey chase am come dey think say my girlfriend na the guy partner who hold their money…”

"So wetin come happen. She take the money?"

"Haba now Gbenro, she no take am. She doesn't even know anything."

"OK na...so wetin you want make I do?"

By now, they were parked not too far from where Iphey lived. The engine idled because the air conditioners were on. Chinedu slung his hands over the steering. "Some people wan kidnap my girl be that Gbenro. It fit even happen tonight!"

“Hmmmm…” Gbenro started thoughtfully…

“Which one is hmmmm?” Chinedu said.

"I hear some kidnap rumors sha, na the big Ogas, the ones for Island, na them get that one sha."

Chinedu sat up straight. This must be it, it must be the same people Habib was after, the reason he had picked an interest in James in the first place. The ones who ran gambling rings in Lekki and environs and used low gangs in Ajegunle to do their dirty business. He cursed himself for demanding to be out of the loop. Well it was too late for regrets. Hopefully Gbenro knew the lackeys who would do the actual job and would be able to help foil it.

"Gbenro, I think it is the same deal, what do you know?"

“You get the girl picture? “

“Wetin you wan carry am do?”

“Ogbeni, answer me O jare…”

"E dey my phone sha…" Chinedu began to scroll through his blackberry, “Ok..Ehen this one clear..see am…”

Gbenro took the phone from Chinedu and looked at the picture. His features suddenly registered his shock.

“Na she be this?”

“Yes that's her…Na wetin happen?” Chinedu asked a visibly disturbed Gbenro.

Gbenro, shaking his head vigorously said…“Guy, wahala dey o…”

“What do you mean?” He wa confused now..Very confused…He was convinced that there was no way Gbenro could have met Iphey…Absolutely no way… but Gbenro’s next words put paid to his thoughts…

“Sinedu, this ghel wey you see so, na Dabaru personal project tonight…”

"Dabaru???"

His Nightmare was back.

******************************


So that's it for today folks. We have three more chapters to go before we wrap this us so no more votes. Check back on Thursday for the next instalment.

Our contributor is Aeedeeaee, she has contributed before and is a playwright who lives and works in Lagos. She was actually the one that introduced us fully to James. I think it is fitting that she comes in again at this juncture. You can read her other chapters HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Iphey will be Kidnapped! ...by His DarLyn

Did all that really happen, Chinedu thought as he drove away from Iphey's place, who would have thought I could get so lucky today, all thanks to Iphey herself though. He loved her with all his heart and right at this moment, considered himself the luckiest man alive. That woman is really the best for me, he grinned to himself as he drove. The strains of Celine Dion's have you ever been in love filled the car as he switched on the radio, could not have imagined a better suited song for the moment, cupid is really up to something.

He started thinking, where can I take her to for a real proposal? It was great that she had accepted his mother's ring in a small eatery but he wanted to do more for her. She deserved the best of him and more. Just as this thought was playing in his head he heard his phone ring. He ignored it till he got to his street, then he quickly pulled over to pick the call thinking it might be Iphey. It turned out to be an unknown number, but since he had parked the car he picked it anyway.

"Hello," he said into the phone as he set up his brakes.

"My guy where you dey?"

It was Habib at the other end. "Oh Habib, this dude you no go kill me o. This is not the number
you talk say I fit reach you on now?"

"Nedu wait, just listen to me. Where are you? Are you sitting down?"

"Habib you are scaring me now, what is it?"

"Iphey is in danger," Habib said, "I know you've said I should leave you out of this one but..."

"Dude forget that, tell me what is happening, what's wrong? I just dropped her at her place now I'm even not yet home," he had subconsciously headed home based on the plans he was trying to make for another evening with Iphey.

"You remember the contact person I told you about sometime ago," Habib asked.

"One James person," Chinedu interjected.

"Yes him," Habib confirmed. "So it turns out he was at Iphey's place some months ago..."

Chinedu swore under his breath, "to do what, does Iphey know him?" All these Chinedu asked all at once. His mind was already joining the dots together but he did not want to see it. This was the woman who owned his heart dammit!

"Damn, damn, damn!"

"Calm down," that was all Habib could get into the conversation as Chinedu was on an overdrive worked up about danger to Iphey.

"I swear Habib if anything happens to Iphey I will kill that guy, who is he by the way?"

"Will you just hear me out," Habib shouted. "My James is the same as her brother-in-law," Chinedu heard faintly as he put on his ear piece.

"Iphey's brother-in-law is the same as your informant?" he asked Habib to be sure.

"Yes he is. I only found out the other day when he mentioned his family for the first time. His wife is Ngozi and he is scared for them. Things are beginning to get ugly."

"Hey dude, back up one second please, so you are telling me that this James fellow you have been working with is Iphey's brother-in-law so why are you just finding out now?"

At this point, Chinedu finished plugging in his hands-free set and did a U-turn to head back to Iphey's place. She was not going to be out of his sight from now on. If her life was in danger then he would protect her, with his own life if need be.

"Habib you can do better than this!" Chinedu pulled into traffic and checked his mirrors. "You usually would have found out everything about anybody you were working with seconds after they join your team!"

"But that is it Nedu, he is not on my team!" Habib tried to defend himself.

"What is happening?" Chinedu demanded, "So he is not also working for EFCC or what."

"That's exactly what I'm saying. He didn't have as much information as I thought and I preferred to leave him at the peripherals while concentrating on the bigger fish..."

Chinedy began to mutter, "This cannot be happening, I don't believe this..."

At this outburst, Habib who was already upset with Chinedu began to shout at him. "Will you just shut up? If you listen to me maybe we can still smoothen things out before it really gets bad."

That seemed to really shut Chinedu up so Habib went on, "Nedu, this is not like you at all. How can you be panicking like this. Some weeks ago, you were the one who told me not to involve you anymore in this case! What was your reason? You were in love and did not want the distraction..."

"OK, ok...I am sorry, let's cut to the meat of the matter, shall we?" Chinedu did not regret his earlier action. It had been to protect Iphey that he had begged off Habib's current mission. How was he to know she would be involved through another person?

"Maybe if you had not been out of the loop, you would already know everything," Habib muttered. "Anyway, James is in a lot of trouble with the Gang. He ran into hard times financially and made
the error of gambling with the Gang in hope that he would be able to settle the gambling debt already incurred. In the process, he went into business with T-shark, you remember the guy we found burnt to death some years ago."

Chinedu nodded as he recalled the events of about three years ago.

"Well it turns out that T-shark also had loads of gambling debt which he claimed his partner will pay off, partner being James. Apparently T-shark double crossed both James and the Gang and made the Gang believe James had more of their money than he actually does. So the gang has been after him since then. He abandoned his family after T-sharks death and went hiding so they don't get caught in the web..."

"Ok ok ok, Habib so how does this concern Iphey now?"

"Chill my guy," Habib said, "If you remember some months ago, Aisha kept going on about Iphey's car not being good, well she took a cab and it turned out to be the our James was driving, his way to make a living of some sort. And Iphey recognized him. He went to see her in a bid to allay her fears and keep her from looking for him or telling Ngozi. Wrong move...it seems he was being tailed. Now they've got pictures of Iphey at her house, office, and in the car at various places. They have been sending threats to James that if he does not provide their money by the end of this month he won't see Iphey again."

"Oh my God!"

"Indeed..." Habib agreed. "The plan is to kidnap Iphey. I think they know Ngozi too but for some reason think Iphey is his current girlfriend and knows where the money since she works in a bank and all. So she is in great danger at the moment..."

Chinedu could not bear what he was hearing, "Look Habib, I'm heading back to Iphey's place. What type of danger is she in? I know she is about to meet her brother-in-law James this evening..."

"I know and that is why I called. You have to keep her away from him!" Habib shouted. "We are planning a safe house for all of James family. I'm guessing that is what he wants to tell Iphey. I told him we would do the job but amateur that he is, he had to do it himself. And it's likely that they will be following him and will take the opportunity to take Iphey!"

"No way! I won't allow that." Chinedu's mind whirled. He sorted through his memory for the right people to involve in this, he would do anything to keep Iphey safe from harm.

"Listen Nedu, as of now I need you to take Iphey away to where ever you are sure she will be safe. If anything happens to her Aisha will kill me..."

"I will kill you first," Chinedu interjected, "why didn't you tell me all this before?"

"Well, you said to leave you out, remember?" Habib reminded. "But seriously, I didn't know the two James were the same until this evening. My James had told me his family was in danger and we were making plans. I put some officers to follow him and they came back today with the information that allowed me to put two and two together. You like that girl don't you?"

"No my guy that one was before. Now I know that I really love Iphey and I have proposed..."

"Oh wow..."

"Yes, I was planning another date for the whole shebang with friends before you called me. I should be in her place in a few minutes. Iphey knows my background but she thinks it's all in the past. How do I make her understand how well I still know the Gang and how deadly they are?" Chinedu asked.

"No o," Habib shouted, "you can't tell her the whole story yet. You know this case is not over. You could let her more deeply into what you do now and that you help us, that will help her understand the danger. Depending on the turn of things, then we'll let her into the rest. Iphey is a really level headed girl. Just help her understand. I suggest you get her out of her place as fast as possible."

"Ok Habib call me in 30 minutes. I think that gives me enough time to get Iphey out of her place..."

**********************************************


So yeah, the action starts. And we have just about four more chapters before the end of the series. I can't wait for how this works out.

Our contributor is His DarLyn of a testament of love, life and living. She describes herself as an ordinary girl with His extra-odinary love. A young lady making her way through life, love, work and all. You know how it is said that perfect love casteth out fear? I love His DarLyn poems, talking about the love of God especially this one.

I fear what I see
I fear what is hidden
I fear what is assumed
But all the fear feeds on
is my imagination
I refuse to be cowed by fear
I refuse to be crowded by fear
I refuse to be conquered by fear...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Would she spend the rest of her life with him? ...by Tisha

Iphey looked up briefly in shock to see Chinedu waiting on her answer, half in anticipation, the other half as vulnerable as a child. His eyes glittered like lightning but held Iphey’s gaze and waited for her to do something, anything to show that this was what she wanted too. Iphey gazed into Chinedu’s eyes for a second or so and then she fluttered her own eyes shut to hide her confusion, nothing prepared her for this. Being with him was everything she had ever dreamed, in the short time they had been together, she had come to depend on him so much, she had tried to hold back many times in case it was not that serious and things did not work out but Chinedu had a lust for life that was contagious and what he wanted he got. He did all he did with passion, a quality sometimes alien to her except where work and family were concerned.

When they went out together, he was always the center of attention wherever they ended up. His full throaty laughter made her heart soar and then made her smile every time. She had tried to maintain her routine so that he could be a part of her life and not take over her world but many a times she would find herself listening for the sound of his car, the distinct slapping sound of his Joe Blogg shoes and the jingle of his keys. He invaded her space slowly and consequently her life. She could not deny how his eyes lit up and her heart jumped in her chest every time he turned up at her doorsteps and she looked forward to his warm embrace, she could hug him forever. Why could she not spend the rest of her life with him?

She weighed her options. It was true they had only been seriously dating for three months but their first date had been in November last year, six months ago. From that day, he had been making inroads into her emotions, her mind and her family. The fact was that if every thing worked out as planned, she would be gloriously happy and content but if not, she would never ever forget him. She would be torn and having her heart broken would be an understatement. She would forever miss his presence like a part of her; her soul most likely would be fragmented, forever lost to her. Her family, friends and her work would suffer because she would be unable
to ignore the loss.

She glanced up at him and wondered if she was willing to risk her life with him like that, who was she fooling, it had long been out of her hands, only the decision she would make was in her hands. Her lashes flirted with the silken texture of her face and her eyes widened with complete openness not caring who could see the naked emotions on her face. She saw the possibilities for all the good that could come and she saw the dangers flash before her eyes and she knew this was the moment she had been waiting for all her life.

"Babe? he called, "please don't keep me waiting too long."

She looked into Chinedu’s eyes, hers solemn and quiet, stretched her hand across the table and grasped his own. She looked into his eyes steady and sure, his features beautiful, they could be hard edges one moment and then suddenly soft and compassionate. She looked at his build, he was well toned all over with not a layer of fat, all pure muscle or at least that is what all the ladies say. He carried his brown slacks and neutral colored shirt like a work of art; he swore
his hair short and simple brown leather strapped Calvin Klein watch.

She searched his face, her mind wandering, praying to see the future, to see if he would hurt her, how much he would hurt her. What gave her the courage to go ahead was this: he was a man of integrity with strength of character and a heart full of courage, she looked at him from the corners of her eyes the way only a woman could watch and knew, this was the only man for her, a man comparable to her; they fit like a perfect waltz in all things. She turned limpid pools of her brown colored eyes at him and knew exactly what her answer would be. Yet when she spoke, her voice little more than a whisper.

“Yes.”

Chinedu met her soft gaze then but his face was hard, as if ready for battle prepared for whatever came, even a negative answer.

“What did you say?” he asked in a strong voice.

“Nedu,” her voice lifted an octave higher, “I love you and I’ll marry you,” she ended smiling.

She saw relief in his eyes and barely glimpsed his lips descend towards hers, she did not wait for him to land but met him halfway as their tongues dueled and clashed with the force of the attraction they felt one for another, absolutely unimaginable.

She was a bit taken aback and gasped as she felt like he consume her whole, she was vibrating from head to foot at the power behind the kiss they shared and could feel the desire pumping through her veins, she felt Chinedu deepen the kiss again and she made a move quickly as she placed her hand on his chest to stop him.

“Nedu…” she groaned in half surrender “We are in a restaurant...”

She tried to glance around but her gaze was caught in his. He kissed her a little slower, nibbling here and there and then he withdrew, removed a black object from his pocket then knelt in front of her, opened the box gingerly to reveal a simple silver band, nothing setting it apart, except for the fact that he was the one giving it to her.

“This is my mother’s…” he smiled “I have been carrying it around for the last few weeks hoping for a perfect time to give it to you.” He smiled simply “This is not an engagement ring, I didn't know I would propose today. But it is a gift to show you that you're the only one for me. As it is, I don’t think there will be a better time than this,” his voice was a whisper by this time.

Her passion-darkened eyes had filled with surprise he talked and now as slipped the ring he held in his hands to her already outstretched hand and unto her finger inch by inch, a strange calm came over her. Then the enormity of responsibility the ring on her finger placed on Iphey’s shoulders hit almost immediately. She had entrusted her heart, soul and mind to him with seven words, to the one man who had a chance at breaking her heart and she, though her logic tried to point her in another direction, refused to pick another, how difficult was it anyway?

“Nedu…” she whispered in fear and awe, "your mother's?"

"Yes and I want you to have it. You will be the mother of my children and mine too." His smile spread joy over her heart and she wrapped her fingers over the simple ring.

"I love you Nedu, thank you for this."

"I love you too." He punctuated this with a kiss.

Her phone began to ring almost immediately.

“I should have switched this off …” she muttered apologetically as she glanced down at her Nokia BlackBerry “…Oh, it’s James my sister’s husband and I need to take it.”

"Go on," Chinedu waved her ahead. "I'll go settle the bill."

Iphey smiled at him and admired his backside as he walked away. And then she focused on the phone and what James was saying.

"You want to see me? Can I come with Ngozi? No? OK, where? Alright, I'll soon be there."

She hung up just as Chinedu returned. "I have to go home now. James wants us to meet."

"No problem, I'll take you there if you want?"

Iphey was grateful for all his help so far in locating James but now she felt she should do this on her own. She had to speak sense to James to return to his family and best if he wasn't defensive already that she came with someone.

"No thanks," Iphey finally replied. "If you can just take me home?"

"Sure."

***********************************************************************


Like I said the last time I love the direction of the closing of the series. Even I couldn't have predicted it would end like this. Now we're entering the eye of the storm, so brace yourselves. There is danger everywhere and I have to warn you that we may lose one or two people at the end of this. Anyways, leave your comments and vote for the next chapter.

Our main contributor is Tisha. You all know Tisha, she has contributed before and continues to surprise me with her poetic writing and good internalizations. Apart from the last bit, this is strictly her's. Show her some love please at her entry on Naija Stories.

Till the next time, have fun peeps. Enjoy the coming weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iphey will you marry me? ...by Tisha and Myne

Chinedu picked Iphey up at seven after work on a Friday evening. Iphey wore black pants, a burgundy camisole and black short sleeved classy jacket. Today was special and so it deserved the special concern. It was three months since she had got together with Chinedu and everyday was a revelation of how good they were together. She smiled to herself as she went to the ladies and slipped on silver filigree earrings, slid on some gloss and did her eye makeup sprinkling loose powder sparsely on her face.

Chinedu waited for her downstairs and she traipsed down in her heels and got into his car, smiling a hello and buckling her seatbelt as they headed for Surulere to one of the tasteful fast food places on Adeniran Ogunsanya way. They ordered and began chatting idly about their families, careers, hobbies and values, Iphey chatted on with no guile and Chinedu listened enraptured.

He murmured and added words that showed he was focused on the conversation as opposed to some of the other guys and richie wannabes she had been out with. He was not like most guys, he did not pretend to hear what she was saying and then launch into his own project and he actually listened to her. He must have a lot of practice she thought and then she stopped talking as she noticed he was watching her intently, different emotions moving across his face, too fast for her to decipher.

She stopped talking and laughed at Chinedu.

“What’s up? You are staring at me like…” she shook her head then waved her hand in front of her face “…I can’t explain the look.”

Chinedu glanced at her his gaze open and his look sincere.

“I am looking at you because…” he pausing swallowing, an Adam apple she hardly saw bobbing at his throat “I am humbled because I know that I could never have met you in twenty lifetimes if God did not lead you
to me”.

Iphey looked her Chinedu, blinked, looked at him again, she couldn't stop the tears that came to her eyes. She wanted to laugh but instead she just said, “you know you drive me crazy right?”

He just stroked the hand she laid on his thigh.

She smiled through the tears and blubbered, “when I think I have you figured, you find a way to break my defenses however small they are…”

“Iphey…”

“Wait, let me finish…” she blinked to clear her eyes. “I wanted to give you a chance but I needed to do it on my own terms…” she looked away like he caught her in a lie or something, “…with barriers so I could maintain a resemblance of safety. But every time I think I am safe, secure, you slam through my defenses like they're a pack of cards, disarming me with simple gestures, simple words."

"Listen to me..."

"No let me finish." Iphey shook her head. "I can’t but reveal all of me to you…” she sighed in exasperation “…you make it impossible for me to hold anything back from you”.

“Iphey…”

“Please, let me get it all off my chest, I have feelings for you. I fought it with all I had like I do everything else, I looked for everything, every reason why I couldn’t be with you, I counseled me, gave me all the logical equations that should make sense but it all failed and I am afraid…” she shook visibly “…I am in love with you.”

Chinedu could not keep quiet after that declaration. “Iphey, I love you too. Sometimes I feel it so much it scares me. That was what kept me coming back to you even at those early stages you were so busy pushing me away. I am in love with you too and I promise to do everything within my power to keep your heart safe.”

Iphey wiped away the tears that had started dripping again. “Every passion I feel is reserved for you alone,” she murmured her eyes glittering, her gaze was trapped in Chinedu’s.

Chinedu laughed and said, “Iphey, I want to grow old with you, I may not be perfect but be reassured that I love you more than my life.”

Iphey laughed and then she murmured “I can be so silly and fussy sometimes…” she muttered looking down and then she gazed into his eyes. “I am not usually like this, you bring out the unusual in me.”

“No Iphey…” Chinedu protested as he gazed into her eyes reassuring her “I love you cheerful or crying, it’s an adventure getting to know you and love all the different parts of you.”

“Chinedu…”

“Iphey”

Iphey turned her gaze on Chinedu and he froze in place, her heart slammed in her chest as she noticed the effect she had on him; and she wondered at the power he had over her. There was this great upheaval inside her and she knew that come what may, she would always be connected to Chinedu. There was no stopping this and no running away any longer; it was time she faced up to it.

“Chinedu, everyday with you is an adventure and it’s the ride of my life, I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I know this, God has got us…”

“Iphey, the first day I saw you, I knew you were meant for me…” He paused as he saw Iphey frozen in fear, visibly shaking, he drew in a sharp breath and “…I know it has taken a while, me getting you to believe in me and what I am about…” he gazed steadily into her eyes, “…but even though I am not certain what the future holds, I know great things are in store for us, there is so much promise and so much greatness ahead of us, all we need to do is take each day as it comes trusting ourselves and trusting in God.”

Iphey smiled and seemed about to speak and then thought to herself, ‘This man is the man of my dreams, I am in such a wealthy place, my fears still speak, they tell me if I ever lost him, but would fall; my faith though speaks louder, it tells me this man was created just for me and that if I can just take God’s hands and trust him, we are in for the greatest adventure ever lived’

Iphey smiled and hugged Chinedu with everything she had in her slight frame.

He pulled away slightly after a short kiss and looked into her face. Iphey noticed he was avoiding looking into her eyes.

"What is it?" She asked.

"Nothing." He hedged.

"Nedu spit it out," she laughed. "I know you too well. What are you trying to hide from me?"

He laughed and finally met her gaze. Chinedu took a deep breath and took both her hands. "I did not plan to say this today or here or even this way..."

Iphey was confused. Was this the end? After the happy declarations of a few minutes ago? "Chinedu, what is it? Did I say something wrong?"

"No, no, of course not!" He moved closer. "You said and did everything right..." His phone began to ring. He did not even look at it before switching it off. He paused again.

"Chinedu, please tell me. Whatever it is, just say it!"

"OK, OK." Chinedu took another deep breath. "I want to marry you Iphey, I want you to be my wife..."

Her lips were rounding open by this time. Iphey's breath came quick and fast, and she pressed both their hands under her breast as if to stop her racing heart.

"Iphey will you marry me?"

*********************

Well, the story is rolling along quickly isn't it? I love the direction of the closing of the series but I have to warn you that this is the eye of the storm. Dangerous events are brewing I tell you. Anyways, leave your comments and vote for the next chapter.

Our main contributor is Tisha. You all know Tisha, she has contributed before and this is another collabo with her. I have to say she is improving very quickly. Watch out for that talent.

Till the next time, have fun peeps. Enjoy the coming weekend.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Charmer and Danger! ...by Happy BBB

Ngozi whisked the eggs steadily, slowly adding butter and sugar, swiftly turning them in, it was a very calming process, her mind wandered...

Since Iphey told her about James she hadn't been able to sleep well, had become easily distracted, even though she had also felt a bit relieved , a sense of closure because not knowing what happened to James had been tearing her apart. She had barely managed to fight off his relatives who had been adamant about declaring him dead.

Ngozi sighed again, she really needed someone to confide in. Iphey had been so busy lately, since she had gotten back with Chinedu two weeks ago so there really wasn't a good time to talk to her about it. She couldn't speak to her mum because she knew it would just escalate things, her mum was still with her throwing a spanner in the works for Otunba. But the truth was that who she really needed to speak to was James, to ask him why he left, explain to her why she didn't have a choice in the matter, how he could just walk out and leave hs son without a father. It had been a quick knee-jerk reaction to draw closer to Otunba but she had changed her mind since then. His proposal had clouded her mind coupled with James's continued aloofness.

She remembered the way they had met, back in Port Harcourt. Then her baking was truly a hobby. She baked for her mother's friends usually and only charged money if the job was really big to earn some spare cash. That day she had been baking a cake for a customer who she had never met. He had called three days previous, said he'd gotten a referral from one of her usual customers and he wanted a cake for his mums birthday. Usually she didn't take orders without at least a weeks's notice, but there had been something about that voice, so warm and friendly, the way he gently pleaded and nudged her to do his will, she wondered what type of face would go with that voice.

The birthday was later that day and as she completed the icing on the cake, she smiled in anticipation of finally meeting him. They had spoken twice more on the phone after his first call and he had confirmed that he would pick it up himself.She was expecting him in four hours so she had just about enough time to finish with the cake and get herself ready.

At exactly 5pm her doorbell rang, an hour earlier than planned, the icing was all on but not ready to go but she was in even worse shape. She caught a glance at herself at the mirror on the corridor, she looked a mess, she always looked scattered when baking. Her heart hammered in her chest but she didn't want to keep him waiting.

James was at the door, he hoped she had been able to bake the cake in three days. He had been really desperate and had pulled out all his charms in getting her to assist him. She had sounded stern on the phone but at the end of the phone call, she was laughing really hard. He remembered her laugh now, it had sounded like a happy song, it made him smile thinking about it.

Ngozi opened the door to a striking face, he looked just as he had sounded -a charmer- he was tall dark and handsome -a cliché- but that was all that came to mind looking at him, his smile completed the whole look and she felt her heart skip a beat.

Wow, she thought, that hadn't happened in a while.

"Hi," he said, "I am James, we've spoken on the phone, about the cake?"

"Yes, yes" Ngozi replied, "please come in."

"I am so sorry for the inconvenience, it was a last minute thought," James said.

"Oh no worries, you are definitely paying for it," she replied jokingly. "The cake is just about finished. I'll put it in a box for you soon as I return to the kitchen. I am sure your mum will be pleasantly surprised, wish I could see her face when you give her, I love surprises."

"You could, you know, she is having a small get-together, you could come if you wanted to."

Ngozi smiled, "its so nice of you to offer, but I couldn't possibly go. I am not even dressed and I have to clean up, I can't impose."

James insisted "You wouldn't be, and I could help clean up while you dress. After all it's my fault, I gave an order on short notice and now I'm here earlier then we scheduled." He smiled at this point sending her heart to skipping, "Also you would find that I'm a domesticated man."

Ngozi refused, "thanks for the offer but I wouldn't want to crash your mother's party."

"I insist, she wouldn't mind. In fact I am sure she would want to meet you after tasting this cake, and it'd be great for your business." James added.

"OK, but this is just a hobby." Ngozi had smiled, admitting defeat, "I'd go, let me just freshen up," she had left him in the kitchen after showing him where the utensils are kept.


**********************************

James washed up after his simple meal, a scowl staining his face. He forced himself to smile by thinking of Ngozi and his son Obi. His hope of seeing them again soon was being boosted by his new friend Habib. He had confided in him about his woes of the past and the young man had promised to help. He said he had friends in the police who would soon be on the case. James rinsed his plate reminded of the day he met Ngozi. He smiled to himself, just like that day, he had a feeling that something was about to change in his life.

He couldn't remember all he had said that day seven years ago but there had something about the lady he'd first seen at the door that appealed to him, she looked so adorable in her stained apron and tussled hair. With the facade of a cake, their mothers had schemed for them to meet each other and he had fallen for it without knowing. By the time they both found out about the match-making, it had been a moot point. They were in love with each other. They got married six months after that day and it had been bliss all the way till he had spoiled it with his own hands. He cursed the day he decided to try his hand at gambling. Thank God he had learnt his lesson before it was too late. Or was it? His family was still out there...

A knock broke through his consciousness.

"Oga James," the little boy that lived in the room opposite said, "one man say make I give you this." The prepubescent chap handed him a thin envelope and scampered off.

James closed the door and opened the enveloped. Dread washed over him even before he knew what was inside. He had never received parcels since he moved into this area of Ajegunle. Did this mean they had found him again? Just as he was about to hope again?

The five pictures sliding out of their cage, missed his waiting hands and scattered across the floor. There were pictures of him in his borrowed taxi, him and Iphey in the taxi, him and Iphey at the entrance to her house and then a couple of just Iphey, at work and at home.

James staggered back till he collapsed on the only furniture in the room apart from the thin mattress on the floor. The chair creaked underneath his slight weight as he leaned his head between his knees. The envelope was now also on the floor. It was only then he noticed the writing paper peeping out. He pulled at it quickly. Scrawled in pencil were the following words.

YOU AND YOUR NEW GIRLFRIEND WILL BE IN TROUBLE IF YOU DON'T GET OUR MONEY IMMEDIATELY!


***********************************

That's it folks. It seems things are still going to continue between Ngozi and James. It seems none of the contributors wanted Otunba in the picture, oh well. BUT! Did anyone see what I saw? Iphey is in Danger! Who gave James enemies the idea that she was his girlfriend, how did they find him and more important, how did they find her? Leave your comments and vote for who you want to hear from in the next chapter. Don't forget to check back always.

Our contributor is HappyBBB of WHO I AM!!!!! Her name already gives us an idea of who she is but her last post on the ten things I love meme sheds even more light.

"1) Smiles: i am a smiling person, i always smile that's my personality, its easy to know when am down you wont see a frown, there just wont be a smile, my brother calls me ismaila... hehehehe,
2) My blackberry: its my blogging and twitting machine, i am addicted to it i swear down, my mum has threatened to seize it times without number, what was i doing when i didn't have one,
3) Love: i totally love love, love stories,movies , novels,songs, they all speak to me, i love watching people fall in love, hearing people speak about love, i love weddings and d smile on the brides face, i love awwwwing and ooohhhing, i love giving love out, making TY feel loved, i love the four letter word in its entirety"

Stats