Buki wore his green shirt over blue jeans and a pair of brown moccasins. He had pleaded with Modele to allow him dress as casual and comfortable as he could for the dinner. Even though he had had his new wardrobe for weeks, he still felt more comfortable in his own old clothes.
Modele, on the other hand, was not pleased. She knew he was nervous, knew he would be, but wanted him to dress-to-kill. Her father was a dresser, they had a big fashion house in the family business, and her mother was an artist and a fashion designer as well.
Yet, Buki preferred to feel at home in his own clothes. Modele was pressed to indulge him. Dressed in a small green dress with a round neck and small sleeves, one of her new acquiring, Modele looked sweet. She brushed her short hair back and wore 18-carat platinum-loop earrings with matching neck chain, and bracelet. She wore high-heeled silver shoes and carried a dressy bag to match. Purposely, she left her face bare of makeup except for a lip gloss. She looked young and beautiful, and when she stepped into her private parlour to join Buki, he gasped his appreciation.
“Close your mouth.” She placed a finger on his drooping lips and walked past. Her Elizabeth Arden Red Door wafted through his nostrils and he breathed deeply.
“You’ll kill me one day,” he groaned and followed her, close enough to get to the car door before her.
The Eiba estate glowed in the late sun set. Buki admired the family, especially for their success. They were shown into the family room by a uniformed butler, and given the message her parents would join them shortly.
“Kade!” Modele screamed and ran to her big brother, elated. He caught her in his arms and pressed a kiss to her forehead before hugging her. Buki stood respectfully aside and watched the two.
“You didn’t tell me you’d be here! Daddy and Mom did not either.” Modele shouted. The fondness between the two was astounding.
He tickled her. “I wanted to surprise you.”
“Oh Kade, I’m so glad you’re here.”
Kade stared above her head at Buki with cold eyes. The two men surveyed each other.
They had met before Buki came to work for the family and he knew what Kade was thinking. He shifted to ease the weight on his bad leg and continue to return Kade’s stare. They were age mates, Kade, a year older though was about half an inch shorter. However, Kade was more handsome, less muscular, more refined.
He looked intimidating in a white collarless shirt and dark Italian suit trousers. The look on his face spoke volumes.
His gaze still on Buki’s face, he said, “I may not be able to stay through the dinner.”
Modele stepped back and looked at him. “Oh no! You have to, please.” She turned to look at Buki when she realised her brother was looking at him, and turned back to Kade. “I don’t know what the old folks will be up to tonight but you always understand me!”
Kade dragged his eyes away from Buki and smiled at his sister. “Modele, I just came in this evening and Joyce will expect a call, dinner or something.”
She pouted her lips like a little child. “Is Joyce more important than me?”
His eyes hardened. “Is Buki more important than Joyce?”
“I didn’t even allow you two to socialize…” She drew back and held her hand out to Buki. He politely took it, and held it lightly.
“Good evening, Kade.”
Kade’s voice was as cold as his look. “Good evening,” he said. “Modele, would you go and find your parents. I’d like to chat with Buki alone.”
“Really?” She looked from the one to the other again, and shrugged. “Don’t be hard on my sweetheart!” She playfully wagged her finger at Kade and laughed but none of the men joined in.
“Don’t be long,” Buki said softly.
She excused them and left. She stood briefly at the back of door to eavesdrop on the two.
“Nice you’re here, tonight,” Buki said. “I’m sure it makes Modele feel better…”
Modele sighed and found her way upstairs to find her mother. Ronke was in her dressing room, putting final additions on her makeup.
Her face brightened when she saw Modele. “Oh, you two are already here.”
“Yes, Mom. Good evening.” She gave her mother a peck on her check. “Buki was ready by six. I had to slow him down.” She giggled. “You look sweet, Mom. I wish I’ll look this young and beautiful when I’m your age.” Modele stood behind her mother, and both looked into the mirror. Ronke wore a purple lace dress with pink accessories. Her face lit up at her daughter’s compliment.
“You’ll be more beautiful, my dear. Age becomes us in our family. Look at your father, he gets younger and younger every day,” she said fondly.
“Ah ha! You can say that when you are madly in love with him.” Modele teased.
Ronke’s expression became sombre. “Are you madly in love with Buki?”
“I think so, Mom,” whispered Modele. “I’m crazy about him.” She looked away from the scrutinizing gaze of her mother, and sat, nervously, beside her. “I know it’s so soon after Jude and I’m still hurting from Jude’s rejection but Buki seems so different, so patient with me.”
“What makes you say that?”
“He fusses over me. I offend him a lot, most times on purpose but he is so calm. He hardly loses his temper with me and he’s so quick to apologize.”
“My dear, all that can be acting.”
“I know Mom, but Jude never acted even once. In my relationship with Jude, he dictated. He called all shots. In this one, I am in charge. I decide where we go, what we wear, everything. He allows me to be myself and to come out of my shell.” Modele tried to be objective. “If he is acting, then he’s a damn good actor.”
“And that could be very dangerous because movies end. Parts end. And when it ends, the real person comes out.”
“Jude was not an actor, he left me. I still wanted him, even until he took that other girl to the altar. I was still hoping he would walk out on her that day. I want to try an actor, Mom.” Modele shrugged. “Maybe there would be a difference. In addition, it is just because he seems too good to be true. He may just be God’s recompense for my eight wasted years!”
Ronke sighed. “You may be right. Love does make one look younger and prettier, and happy. You look happy. Are you?” Ronke looked at her daughter with deep concern.
“I am, Mom…”
“What are you two chit-chatting about?” Kola Eiba’s voice boomed from the entrance of the dressing room. “Don’t you know you’re late for dinner?”
“Daddy.” Modele stood and hugged him. He looked formal in a dark dinner suit and tie. Modele thought of Buki’s jeans and moccasins and cringed inwardly.
He stared deeply into her eyes. “How are you, my dear?”
She’d not seen him since she told them about the relationship, and then got upset and ran off. She knew it was saving the evil day but she was glad they’d let her be… until the day before when her mother came to invite them over.
Modele returned her father’s look and nodded.
“Well madam, are we going to wait forever?” Kola looked at his wife, who stood abruptly.
“Let’s get to dinner,” she crooned. Her husband looked her over with admiration and smiled.
“You always give me reason not to be too upset. You look beautiful, my dear.”
“Let’s get to d-i-n-n-e-r-r-r-r!”
Modele led the way and gave some space so she reached the family room ahead of them. She stopped short at the door. Kade was talking in a strained voice.
“I warn you, Buki George. If you hurt my sister, I’ll kill you…”
Modele opened the door and saw the two just as she had left them. They stood far apart. Kade’s fists were clenching and unclenching. Buki’s expression spit fire.
Still selling. BUY BATTERED on okadabooks and on payhip
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