WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
There was a plan. A carefully mapped out plan by him. And if Genesis followed it to the letter, it was going to get them the desired results.
But it seemed she wasn’t ready. Both of them weren’t. They hadn’t foreseen the curveball thrown by Mother.
How were they to know that the woman would want her to sleep with another man while her time with Dominic was still running? According to what Dominic had been told by Genesis, Mother protected the reputation of every girl that was under her care. One of her rules stated that once any of her girls was handling a man, she was solely his. If she was caught with another man, there were going to be dire consequences. She always reiterated to them that she would never cheapen them into lowlife prostitutes that stood on the streets. She had other girls for that, girls that handled her monthly orgy parties, mostly hired on contract while her own girls were groomed as ladies of class and caliber. She was never going to let them stoop low to prostitution.
But all of that crumbled in just one night, not long after Genesis had opened up to Dominic about her life and what she did for Mother. It took only one vital piece of information she revealed when he questioned her, asking for specific details about how Mother ran her business. She had told him about the orgies at the beach house and how Mother had cameras hidden to record the nastiness that usually went down there, as leverage, just in case a client proved difficult at some point. Genesis had not even known this secret; Nancy was the one who revealed it to her, casually. Genesis told Dominic and Dominic, in turn let it slip into the ears of a highly-placed politician who was one of Mother’s top clients.
Rumors had it that during the next orgy, policemen stormed the beach house and pulled the place down in search of the cameras. They found quite a good number and had Mother arrested. She lost the house and many clients that one night. The men that remained loyal, did so mostly out of fear of her supernatural powers. It was a huge blow dealt to her underground reputation and business, but she never revealed to Genesis what had befallen her. And to others who didn’t know, she still kept her façade, although she was forced to accept men who were far less rich or influential.
Yet Dominic wasn’t satisfied with her fall. He wanted her reduced to nothing and her new ally, Bashorun, crushed to the ground as well. From investigation, Dominic learned that it was Bashorun who got her out of the mess after she was arrested. This only meant that the alliance between them was strengthened and Dominic felt that as long as it remained that way, neither he nor Genesis was safe. It was for that reason he asked Genesis to accept Mother’s invitation. Genesis was to continue to show her undying devotion to her. But he feared for Genesis, because she had changed so much in his hands and he wasn’t sure she would bend willingly to Mother’s whims again.
That uncertainty led him to sit out on his balcony in the company of Vhasti, waiting for his phone to ring. The last words Genesis spoke to him had unnerved him. She hated swearing or being tactless with her speech. Speaking to him the way she had only showed how deeply he had upset her. He had plans to make things right – later that night and after all their woes were over.
He sat in restlessness and watched as dusk turned to darkness and as the stars began to speckle the sky.
She sat in silence before her old dressing mirror and looked at her reflection. Her hair and makeup were done and the dress she had on was something new from Mother that had her cleavage spilling out indecently. She tugged it up so many times but the dress remained stubbornly low. At some point, she gave up and sat, shoulders slouched, waiting for the ‘moment’ like one waiting for death’s call.
It came earlier than she was prepared for. Mother walked in and appraised her looks. She took her hand.
“Treat him well.”
Genesis gave a nod.
They left the room and took a curvy hallway that popped out in another part of the house where Mother entertained special guests. A spacious living room opened up to them. Waiting in there was Bashorun. The moment Genesis saw him, her steps lost their vigor. He was the last person she expected to see even though she knew about the pact he had with Mother. His confession to Dominic about how he had Eva murdered was suddenly brought to Genesis’ recollection and it reran in her head. So loud it was that she didn’t hear him ask how she was doing.
Mother touched her slightly. She surprised herself by putting up a pose that exposed nothing of her discomposure.
“How are you doing?” Bashorun repeated.
“Good. But what a surprise, me finding you here.”
“Heard you like surprises. Thought I’d give you one.”
“I will leave you two,” Mother cut in. “Hope you don’t mind?”
Her hand rested on Genesis, delivering a silent message that Genesis didn’t miss. Strangely, the touch calmed her further.
“We’re fine, Mamisi,” Genesis replied. Self-control had found her voice and taken over. She reached for that person from her past that had been in situations like this severally. That nature of her was a pro at handling men she disliked and getting them to do her bidding. Mother had taught her well; and she told herself, that despite the peculiarities of this client, it was just another day at the office.
“Good then,” Mother’s voice barged into her thoughts. “Genesis will take good care of you, Balogun. She is at your service.”
Mother left and Bashorun turned wanton eyes on his prey. It was easy to catch the desire on his face.
“You know what I want, don’t you?”
Genesis responded to his question with a blank face as she took a slow catwalk towards him.
“I have no idea what you want, Lord Bash.”
The name she called him brought out a boyish grin. She took in his looks. He was still dressed in the white kaftan he wore for Eva’s burial, accessorized by brown leather shoes, a gold wristwatch and a ring on his small finger. Somewhere on his neck, a thin gold necklace glimmered as well. She couldn’t deny his classiness and sophistication but all of that was stripped before her eyes as she saw the rapist and murderer in him.
“Maybe you need a drink?” she asked him politely.
“I already have one.” He lifted a half-filled glass of wine.
“Then let me refill.” She leaned forward and fed his view with her breasts as she picked his glass from his hold, making sure to leave a subtle caress on his fingers.
A minibar rested in a corner of the room and there she stood and gave him her backside as she topped up his drink while quickly typing a text to Dominic.
“The way you stare, Lord Bash… You do know Dominic has marked his territory on me, right?” she mentioned.
“Why are you telling me that?” Bashorun’s tone was gruff. “What’s my business with it?”
She turned around, two glasses of wine in her hands.
“You should be concerned. What if I go back to him and recount all that happens here today?”
“But you won’t.”
Bashorun sat straight and crossed a leg over the other.
“Your mother’s life hangs by a thread only I hold. You don’t want anything to happen to her.”
Genesis pretended to ponder on his statement briefly before she handed him his glass of wine. She sat beside him but kept a good distance, enough to give him room to gawk at her.
“So what exactly do you want from me?” she enquired.
Bashorun took a couple of gulps of the wine and set it aside.
“A memory card in Dominic’s care.”
“It contains a video of Dominic beating a friend to death, just as he almost did with me. Did he tell you he took one of my teeth out?”
“Lord Bash, I don’t want to be caught between you and Dominic like Eva was. Just tell me what you want and also, what I’ll get in return and we’re good.”
Bashorun was clearly taken aback by the way she had addressed him. It seemed to spark some sort of fresh lust for her.
“I want you. And that’s the obvious. But I want that memory card more. In return, you get all of me and you get that place in my life that Eva would have occupied if death hadn’t claimed her.”
“I thought she was murdered – by me and Dominic.”
“Aww…” he reached towards her and took her hand. “I was just upset at that interview, darling. Pay no heed to anything I said there.” He kissed the back of her hand. “I know someone as sweet as you is not capable of murder. And what motive would you have to take Eva’s life? Unless you have feelings for Dominic?”
Genesis lowered her eyes to her wine glass, took a drink and looked at Bashorun again.
“In my line of work, Lord Bash, feelings are employed only as a means to an end.”
Bashorun had shifted really close now and his cologne filled her nostrils, irritating her.
Relax, Gen, this will soon be over.
Bashorun’s hand was resting on her knee. She played the game by tending towards him. Curvy eyelashes batted at him.
“So, I get you this…memory card and spend a night with you…”
“Nights.” His hand left her knee and stroked her fingers. “I want to own you, Genesis Raymond, for the obvious reasons.”
“One, I get to have all of this gorgeousness tamed at last and all mine.” His hand traveled up and stopped just above her elbow. He was getting territorial.
“Secondly, I have one over Dominic by taking you from him. Yes, he and I have a lot of bad blood and there’s nothing we can do about it. Years and years of beef…”
“I’ve been told.”
“But in return,” he allowed his hand drop to her waist, “you’ll have me and become a Balogun.”
“Tempting. But I want more.”
“More?” He pulled back a little but his hand held her waist, squeezing into it lightly. “You are greedy.”
“I am.” She eyed her drink. “I was taught to go for all… or nothing.”
“So what do you want?” he asked with a frown.
“I don’t want your name and I don’t want your money either, and I could care less for what’s between your legs…”
He touched his chest in mock disappointment. “You don’t want me? Genesis, baby, all you need is one night and you’ll be change your mind.”
Genesis kept her serious mien. “Understand that this is business; and pleasure doesn’t quite mix well with it. What I want from you is simple.”
“Bring Mamisi to nothing.”
Bashorun inclined his head to one side and looked at Genesis through contracted eyes. “What did you just say?”
“Earlier you told me I’d do anything you asked just because you had Mother’s life hanging on a thread.” Genesis lowered her gaze to his lips. “I want you to snap that thread.”
Floating his eyes over her breasts, he raised them and looked at her. “You hold no loyalties, do you?”
“At the age of twelve, the people I was loyal to died and since then life has been serving me bastards that only want to take from me. I didn’t get to where I am today by playing favorites with anyone.”
She forced her eyes on his lips again and this time her stare lingered just before it pulled down to the rest of his body.
“Do we have a deal, Lord Bash?”
“I don’t trust you.”
“You don’t need trust; you need results,” she replied. “You’ll give me Mamisi for your memory card, and maybe…” she turned on a smile, “a few of those nights you were talking about. I’m curious to see what the charming Lord Bash has beneath his ruthless surface.”
Bashorun laughed and wetted dry lips brought on by his evident hankering for her.
“Oh well,” he cleared his throat, “Mamisi already failed when the walls of her business were brought down and there I was, believing she had some supernatural power that could ruin Dominic, maybe leave him with painful boils and shriveling balls…”
Genesis threw her head back and laughed.
“Turned out Mamisi was all mouth. It was I who bailed her out of jail and made a few calls to clear her name. You should have been there. She looked terrible. I think she’s too old for this business, really. But tell me, Genesis, what do you profit from selling Dominic out?”
Genesis suddenly realized that her glass was empty. She walked to the minibar and after refilling it with another round of red wine, she faced Bash again.
“I think I might have gotten what I want from Dominic already,” she muttered, energy drained of her. She just wanted to go home and lie in Dominic’s arms. She wondered if she had gotten across to Bashorun as she walked back towards him. A smile from him told her she had. She smiled back and a dubious alliance was formed. She knew he didn’t trust her but it didn’t matter. She had gotten him to see her in a different light.
Chichi was a weirdo. She had times when she liked to act like she was totally oblivious of the world around her. At such moments, she was fun to be with and she could make any guy with her happy. She wasn’t demanding, stayed away from drama and never displayed any sort of extreme emotion. That part of her could last for weeks, months even. But one day she’ll wake up and decide to bring out the total bitch in her. Everything will be on a high and the littlest stuff could set her off. This change could also last as long as the other.
So far, Kasi had gotten her good side and had convinced himself that she was changed and he was never again going to see the flipside of the coin as he had experienced in the past. But his thinking was reset when she walked into his room and gave him a serious stare.
“I’m horny,” she announced, walking to him with nothing but a shirt on.
“I’m not in the mood. I’m tired.”
She stopped in her steps and crossed her arms. “I said I’m horny.”
Kasi left his position by the bed and aimed for the door but she dashed backwards and blocked him.
“When last did we have sex?” She put a finger on her lip to think. “Lemme see… erm… exactly ten days ago. That’s so not cool, Kasbi. Or I don’t turn you on again?”
She undid the buttons of her shirt and he was forced to stare at her nude figure.
Okay, she was sexy. He liked her body; it still did things to him. Plus, she was beautiful to stare at and he remembered back when he could sit all day, doing nothing but gazing at her. Lastly, she had a dash of that South African butt that used to drive him crazy. And maybe if he tried, it could still get him there.
But nothing was connecting. He had gotten to that point where he wanted her only. It was Lexus he needed, and it didn’t matter that she had none of Chichi’s features, a single thought of her drove his mind crazy. Maybe it was time to let Chichi go.
“Chisom, you still turn me on…”
“But everything’s somehow these days with Eva’s death and all…”
Chichi put her arms round his neck and pressed her body into his. “That’s why we have each other. If the world outside is burning and we’re here, we won’t feel it. You used to tell me that. Or don’t you love me anymore, Kasiobi’m?”
He looked into her eyes and weakened. Chichi still knew his buttons and how to press them.
“I still… lo-love you, Chi but the spark is not there anymore.”
“That’s why I’m here so we can light the fire again.”
“Not this night.”
His answer angered her and she freed him. She proceeded to rest her back on the door. He heard a click and the key was in her hand.
“You want to go and stay with Lexus and I’m not letting you go until we have sex.”
“What is wrong with you?”
She went to the bed and lay down, face buried in his pillow, and she began to cry. Speaking in a muffled voice, she scarily recounted the night of Eva’s death and how she noticed he and Lexus had disappeared for a few minutes and how the next morning, she had also discovered the condom he had in his wallet was gone.
She turned round, face soaked in tears. “If you didn’t use it on me, then you used it on her!”
“You’ve started your madness abi? You’ll just wake up one day and let your demons in, okwa ya?”
“Deny that you didn’t fuck her!”
“I’m not telling you anything. Come and open this door, Chisom.”
Chichi buried her head on his pillow again and became even more hysterical. Kasi knew it was going to be a long night. To worsen matters, Lexus was waiting for him. They were supposed to go somewhere for the night.
He thought of forcing Chichi to hand him the key but he didn’t want drama. Knowing her, that would only take things to a different level. Breaking up with her at that moment was another option. But how do you break up with a crazy girl who lived in the same house with you, and then move on to a crazier one in the next house?
It was a recipe for disaster. No prophet had to tell him that.
His life was screwed with Chichi in it. Still, he didn’t let it bother him much. He was a firm believer in knowing a million ways to kill a rat. All he needed was time.
He picked an extra pillow on his bed and laid it on the floor after he pinged Lexus, apologizing for standing her up. He switched off the phone and lay on the floor with his hands behind his head. Chichi left the bed and went to him. He didn’t drive her away, even when she put her head on his chest. It didn’t take long for sleep to find him.
When morning came she had her hands all over his body and begged, rather embarrassingly, for sex. He obliged her eventually and she got really stagy with it. She screamed at the top of her voice with each movement, calling out his name above the sound of music playing in the room. He was as amused as he was annoyed. She made him feel like he was a stud but it wasn’t her he wanted feeling him that way. He endured the whole thing a few minutes longer and after she got her orgasm, he wore his slacks and entered the bathroom for a leak. But Chichi had only begun. She followed him there and demanded for more. He ignored her and commenced on brushing his teeth.
“Why didn’t you cum?” she pulled at his waistband. “I want you to cum.”
With his other hand guarding his jewels and his knees closing up on them, he managed to stay away from her until he was through with his teeth. When he dropped his toothbrush, he faced her.
“I’m going to break up with you if you keep this up. Sex is not by force.”
“That’s because you’re getting it from Lexus.”
He snapped at her statement, twisted her hand behind her and led her into the bedroom where she produced the key to the door.
The moment he was outside and free of her, he turned on his phone and waited for Lexus’ pings to come in. But he didn’t need them to know how upset she was. He found her standing by the kitchen door with eyes glued on him. Her face read her disappointment.
Chichi stepped out. Nude as he had left her in the room.
“Lexxie, darling!” she yelled in superfluous excitement. “Sup!”
Lexus gave her a thumbs up in reply.
“Have you been here the whole time? Did you hear me moaning?”
Lexus looked at Kasi. “I did.”
Chichi put her hand to her mouth. “Oops. Sorry. It’s just that le boo here is a stud. You know that, right?”
Lexus kept her eyes on Kasi. “No.”
“Wait… are you saying you guys have never done it, not even when I was in Durban? The whole two years?”
“No friends with benefits?”
“It doesn’t work,” Lexus replied. “Someone will eventually start catching feelings and the other one won’t give a shit.”
“True.” Chichi held Kasi. “That’s why everyone should stick to their own girlfriend…and boyfriend.” She looked at Lexus. “Where’s Chris sef? I haven’t seen him in days. I thought he’d be at your momsie’s burial. Or have you guys broken up?”
Kasi felt like punching her mouth shut. She was being calculatingly mean. He wondered what point below the belt she would hit next. Unfortunately for her, Chris came out of the kitchen with a mug of something hot for Lexus. His presence brought silence and heightened the tension.
“You’re naked,” Kasi whispered to Chichi.
“Oh.” She giggled but hung around a few seconds longer before dashing off.
It was Kasi who broke the unease as he muttered some greeting to Chris. He wanted to say something to Lexus but she looked away from him and linked fingers with Chris.
“We’re in the main house,” Chris informed Kasi. He had been the only one making efforts to forget their beef and until today, Kasi had been on the hostile side. But his loud morning romp with Chichi somehow brought his pride to the ground.
He nodded at Chris. “Cool,” he replied and stood where he was until they disappeared. Then he went into his bedroom to have a serious talk with Chichi.
The music from Lexus bedroom…
He tossed on the floor a few times and finally lay on his back.
No call from her yet. No text. No pings.
Where was she? Had Mother gotten into her head again and taken her from him? Or had Bashorun done something bad to her. The last text he received from her about Bashorun being the client still had him on edge.
He reached for his phone to call her but he sensed it would ring off the hook as it had done the other times.
Had he put her in harm’s way? Should he go and look for her?
He shut his eyes and planned to stay that way for the next thirty minutes. If he didn’t hear from her, he would go in search for her.
So he waited…
And the thirty minutes came and went by.
Lexus was still playing her music and Vhasti was still meowing. His headache remained as well and so did his restlessness.
He got off the floor and stretched. Then he picked his phone and car key from the bed and headed to the door. He opened it… and there she was.
For a second he shut his eyes in gratitude. When he opened them, he drew her in and wrapped her in his arms, swathing her face and neck with kisses. He was also being sly, inhaling the scent of her skin to check if she had been intimate with Bashorun.
“I didn’t sleep with him, if that’s what’s bothering you.”
She pushed away from him and entered the room. Her dress, underwear and jewelry were discarded and she went to the bathroom for a shower. He followed her and she related to him her entire conversation with Bashorun. Dominic was pleased with the turn of events but didn’t like that she had gotten herself in an alliance with Bashorun. He let her know this in clear terms.
“I can’t trust him with you …”
“No, Genesis,” he stopped her objection with a raised hand and helped her into a towel as she stepped out of the shower cubicle.
“But we have a deal already. If I back out now…”
“Bashorun doesn’t know what deals are. He doesn’t play by the rules. If I had known you were going to meet him there, I would have stopped you from going.”
“Why would you think you have the right to stop me from going there? I’m doing this for myself as well; not just for you, Nick. And I have gotten him to get rid of Mamisi for all of us.”
“I don’t want you near him! Period!”
Dominic left the bathroom and she went after him. She cut in before him and stopped his journey out to the balcony.
“Don’t ever talk to me like that, Dominic. I’ m not one of those women. Don’t do that ever again! You don’t own me!”
“I do,” he replied with certainty and arrogance.
“You don’t.” She raised her left hand and wiggled her fingers in his face. “No ring.”
“Is that what you want?”
“That’s what you really want? A ring?”
“You’re not serious.”
He turned away from her and went to his closet.
“I thought as much,” she whispered and he caught the hurt in her voice. He returned to her and found her sitting on the edge of the bed, toweling her face. There were tears in her eyes. He knelt on the floor before her.
“I’m sorry, baby.” He held her hands. “I get pig-headed sometimes and dish out orders without thinking. The truth is no woman has had this much influence over me and gotten me to my knees like you’re doing now.”
“It’s okay, Nick. I…”
He slipped a diamond ring on her fourth finger without warning.
“Nick!” she gasped, holding her chest.
“Now, will you let me own you?”
She laughed through happy tears that found their way down her cheeks really fast. “I think the right question is: will you marry me?”
“Yeah, because owning you is too mainstream abi?”
She laughed harder at his sarcasm.
Genesis pulled him to the bed and had him over her. The towel was done away with and Dominic kissed her lips gently as his fingers traced a line down her abdomen and stopped over her pelvis.
“You haven’t answered me.”
“Yes, Ditorusin. Own me… now.”
He smiled at her. But within, what he felt was more than a smile. It was some sort of comfort that threatened the feeling of loneliness he had struggled with for years. He was tired of being alone and losing everyone he had.
He prayed to God that Genesis was going to stay. If she left like the others, he was going to give up on life.