August 31st | Lekki Phase One
This morning she was intentional, deliberate in her actions. Perhaps the fact that Eddie was returning had something to do with it.
She wanted to hear his voice and didn’t wait for his routine morning call. She made it instead; the surprise in his voice reward enough.
His flight was scheduled for 11am. She called him again 30 minutes before to wish him a smooth trip and learnt there was a slight delay.
An hour later, the flight was yet to begin boarding.
That’s when she stopped calling, reminding herself she had work to attend to. She couldn’t allow distractions in the form of a smoky voice and cocky visage derail her with the anticipation and excitement of viewing it again. She needed to get a grip of herself and tune her mind towards the magazine’s afternoon meeting with the wellness centre.
She fired off a bon voyage message at 12. 45pm, and alerted the features editor of her intention to join the team from the onset of the interview, and not at 3.30pm as earlier planned. Another deliberate action to quell the errant, exciting thoughts of Eddie swirling around in her head.
She was going to see him later on, for goodness sake! Right now, her job demanded her thoughts, time and attention.
She switched off the ringer on her cell phone.
The interview with the CEO of Aroma took place in her office with the features editor, and a videographer and photographer of La Feminine. Touring the grounds of the centre was Esohe, her assistant and another La Feminine videographer. The feature of the centre was going to be the main piece of the magazine’s September issue. At least a four-paged spread showcasing its facilities interspersed with the interview as well as a short promo video on the magazine’s website. Esohe wanted to ensure the video got the best of the centre’s sprawling grounds, its services, staff, etc as well as good angles.
In a colourful, Ankara jumpsuit with culotte-style trousers and a halter neck, exposing smooth, shinning shoulders and arms, a belt knotted at her waist, outlining her slender figure, Esohe moved from the shrub–lined courtyard bathed in soft rays of sunlight streaming through the surrounding trees and onto five or six massage beds arranged parallel to one another to the steaming baths, waxing and facials enclosures, the gym and yoga rooms and an unusual yet intriguing blue room, capturing any and everything worth showcasing in the promo shot.
A couple of hours had flown by before she glanced at her cell phone screen, after being pleased with the amount of content recorded for use, and having a satisfactory conversation about advertisement placements and duration.
Two calls. Both from Eddie. One message. One word. Boarded. Sent at 1.15pm. Two more calls an hour later. It was almost 4.30pm.
The La Feminine crew was packed up and piling into the official van which conveyed them to the location. Esohe’s car was parked behind it.
As she approached, Tony jumped out of it and held one of the back doors open for her. The young man resumed promptly at her office on Monday morning and refused to budge from her side, saying he had strict orders from his boss not to. No amount of cajoling from Esohe made any difference. So she let him be.
She slid into the car as she addressed him now. “Have you spoken to Mr. Williams?” One of her feet, encased in brown, strappy, heeled sandals dangled from the car. He was unable to close the door immediately.
He nodded. “Yes ma. He is in Lagos.”
She tucked her leg in with the other. “Did he say where he’ll be?”
“Yes, ma. He is going to the house, ma.” He answered and shut the door softly before tracing his steps to the driver’s side.
She tried Eddie’s number as Tony kicked the engine to life, and got a busy tone. He was on a call.
“Where to, ma?” Tony inquired, viewing her through his mirror. “Are we going back to the office?”
She looked up from her screen. “No, Tony. Let’s go to Mr. Williams’ house. I have to return you to him today.” She arched her back slightly. A dull ache, halfway down, plagued her since morning. She blamed only herself, sleeping off on an armchair for half of the night while reading. She winced, and missed the small smile chasing across Tony’s face in reaction to her words.
Eddie’s place was at the end of a cul-de-sac off a street off Bisola Durosinmi-Etti Drive. A black Toyota Accord was exiting the grounds as they arrived; Tony waved at the man behind the wheel.
Probably someone from B & I, Esohe thought idly, as they drove in, past an unoccupied, brick-coloured maisonette with a penthouse and towards the back where a quaint cottage –like building stood. Eddie’s silver BMW X6 was parked to the side of it.
Questions swirled as she exited the car, her gaze darting back and forth between the maisonette and the cottage whose front door was ajar, allowing a peek of the sturdy net door behind it.
Tony led the way to the cottage which was bathed in soft white lights. Curtains drawn apart and faint noises signaled human presence and occupation.
Stretching metal strings sounded as the net door swung open, alerting Eddie standing by the glass dining table. He half–turned his snow-white, babariga clad body towards the intrusion, the beginning of a frown on his brows; his cell phone glued to his left ear, a black folder opened on the table in front of him. He nodded briskly to Tony’s salutations and was returning to the documents when he glimpsed who walked in after his driver.
He did one of those classic double takes!
His countenance changed to one of pure joy. It was all Esohe needed to continue strutting in his direction with a smile of her own, and her heart fluttering foolishly at the mere sight of him.
He had just enough time to speak into the ‘phone: “I’ll call you later” before she reached him, wound her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his in what could only be described as searing.
A rush of emotions engulfed him simultaneously. The delight at her presence. Her choice of welcome. The unexpectedness of it yet extremely pleasing and totally welcoming. Her jasmine scent assaulting his senses. Their combination instinctively sent his arms sliding down her back to rest on her waist, moulding her supple curves to the hard contours of his.
Her soft lips parted under his urgent ones as he kissed her right back, taking charge of her spontaneity. She closed her eyes and sighed, savouring the taste of him as a delicious shiver ran down her spine.
Neither of them took notice of Tony silently disappearing behind a door to the right of the dining area, or anything else until they came up for air.
Resting his forehead against hers while still cuddled together, he breathed out. “And I missed you too, my darling.”