I waited, counting the slow tick of the black second hand of a clock on the wall across from the room. It was slow and tortuous.
I waited another thirty seconds.
Desire spiked through me like a hot spear. I heard blood rushing in my ears. My heartbeat was out of control. When I reached for the glass for a drink to calm me, my hand shook. This wasn’t my first time, it wasn’t new territory, I wasn’t the school virgin at the class party, so why did I feel completely unnerved about taking her up on that offer to walk right into the ladies’ and see what gave?
Face it, Stanley Mala, what woman has ever brazenly propositioned you without playing hard to get? Lose this opportunity and see how many centuries you have to wait for it to come around.
At the end of the fourth set of thirty seconds, I rose and walked out. The rain had started pouring while I’d been inside LuckPot listening to Prisca’s rendering of her desire for me—and shamefully, the mirror image of the same lust she ignited in me. My body tingled as I rounded the Picanto and dropped in with exhaustion, panting. Now that I was on my own, I saw red; an inferno of mind-numbing lust blazed through my body. My suit was uncomfortably hot, a confinement I longed to get out of. With an angry movement, I undid my tie to breathe easier.
Get out of here, I said to himself, starting the Picanto. In a flash, Prisca emerged from the restaurant and stood before the Picanto. Her posture was warlike, the way I supposed Queen Amina of Zaria stood over the bodies of men killed in battle. She didn’t budge as I bore down on her. I braked with a screech inches from where she stood and leaned out the window.
“Are you out of your mind?”
She simply walked to the car, pulled the door open, got in without a word. She did it so fast the door slamming could have been the response to my question.
“What do you think you are doing?”
“Sorry.” She stepped out.
I felt stupid. Never have I allowed myself to get into ridiculous situations as this. She had done nothing or said nothing I couldn’t have stopped, yet I was compromised beyond my imagination.
“Get in,” I said at last.
She did, closing the door with a defiant slam as I drove away from LuckPot. Neither of us said anything through the first few interminable minutes of the drive, but the unspoken connection weaved tight around us. Rain pattered down on the roof of the car. The air conditioner hummed through the awkward silence between us. I sensed her watching me. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her turn her attention to the raindrops swirling across the windscreen as the wiper battled to keep them off. Headlights momentarily illuminated her profile—stern, caught in the silent mix of anger and lust.
I turned toward the road, watching cars speed past in the rain, before breaking the silence. “Where do I drop you off?”
“At the apartment.”
Of course I knew it would be the apartment. Where else, you little idiot! “How do I get there?”
I concentrated on the mechanics of driving while she gave the directions in clipped tones at intervals. Left. Right, and keep on right. Another right. Take that curve ahead. Exit on the next right.
“This can’t be where you and your friend live.”
To the right of the road ran what looked like a giant mirror with a wan moon caught within it. We drove along Madangyan Lake, which should have been beautiful, except that raindrops broke up the silvery moon reflected in the lake. The rain had also driven away the countless residents of Kontagora who frequented it—housewives doing laundry on edge of the lake by morning, schoolchildren taking dips on their way home in the afternoon, and men bathing in the evenings. Darkness couldn’t disguise the only lake in Kontagora. Darkness couldn’t hide the roaring attraction inside the Picanto.
“I’m not going home,” she stated. “And I’m not going anywhere.”
I flexed my fingers around the wheel, trying to hide my anxiety. Sexual attraction was natural and human, so why did I feel like I was walking barefoot on blocks of flaming coal.
To keep her out of my mind, I focused on the winding road ahead. Prisca moved without warning, leaning toward my seat. Her hand landed on my thigh with artful calculation, then slid a fraction upward. My breath hitched in my chest. The impact was jarring.
“Holy shit!” she gasped.
I brought the Picanto to a screaming stop on the shoulder. “Are you out of your mind?” I futilely slapped her hand off.
“For wanting you? Yes, I’m going out of my mind thinking about rocking you.” Her voice was still husky, evidence that the tension wasn’t a lone affliction for me, not that I ever thought it was.
“It can’t be!” I murmured, half to myself.
“It can be. I need you, Doctor Mala.” Her hand returned, this time going straight to where it hurt most, where a helpless part of me ached to be touched. She kept her gaze fastened to mine while her hand explored. “You don’t have to admit you want me. Your body tells me every fibre inside is burning.” Her voice vibrated through me like the deep, low purr of a cat in heat.
“Stop this, Prisca Braithwaite, or you are going to make me mad.”
Hollow threat, and she saw it. What man issued such a threat when he expected one touch, one more caress to push him through pink clouds. The car was already a prison, but she made the confinement worse by pressing further against me.
I pushed open the door without warning and stumbled out. Rain pelted me, drenching my suit. I saw red. A N30,000 suit drenched in rain, and for what!
I turned at a sound as Prisca got out the car and saw another shade of red. The rain quickly moulded her dress to her body and the vision of her in a shower rose unbidden to my mind. I didn’t need a shower to picture her wet. The rain did a perfect job. She pushed the slinky curves of her body into action, sashaying around the car to where I stood.
I was taller and had to look down into her face, which showed determination. Her breath misted in the space between our faces.
“May I kiss you?”
I lost my voice, afraid to speak.
She didn’t kiss me. She pressed her mouth, wet and open, to my neck, and I didn’t stop it. Not because I liked it, but because I didn’t hate it nearly enough. Her warm tongue swept up the column of my neck and rational thought flew out of my head. I was allowing myself to be seduced. I was already seduced.
She shoved against my chest and I rocked back on my heels onto the side of the car. She leaned fully against me, moulding her slender figure against mine like a creeper seeking support. Her limbs curled around me.
One hand went behind my neck to pull my face lower to hers. I was too stupid to stop it until I felt her lips brush against mine, then hang parted and waiting.
“Kiss me,” she pleaded.
I dared not.
She shifted slightly, positioning her thighs astride my right leg. She made me feel the manly surge of power in my thigh wedged between hers. One hand reached under my suit to insinuate itself against my wet shirt. It crept upward and I caught my breath when it touched my nipple.
I caught her hand to stop her. She twisted suddenly and I had to catch her from falling. Too late I realised what happened. Now she was backed against the car and my hand was firmly planted in the small of her back. She dragged me closer.
I pulled away, pushing her hands aside. The abrupt movement knocked her sideways. She stumbled rather affectedly toward the front of the car, turned sharply and caught my shirtfront, dragged me with her as she leaned back onto the bonnet.
Her thigh wedged between mine, bringing our bodies into the most intimate contact possible between a man and a woman. Rigid strength met pliant softness. Every inch of me was alive with longing. My body flamed with desire, begging to be set free.
Supporting herself against the car, she lifted her body to wrap her legs around my waist in a flash. Rain beat down mercilessly. I had to grab instinctively at something, thinking I had to push her away but finding myself steadying her instead. My fingers dug into her hips. She released a long moan and arched into me, her hips flush against mine.
The moan lengthened into a sequence, long and drawn out for a moment before segueing into choppy sounds that bubbled deep in her throat and escaped through adoringly parted lips.
“Holy shit,” she muttered under her breath. “This is bloody unbelievable.”
Each second was beyond belief.
“I’m going to explode right here. I’m going to explode!” The choppy sounds became shorter and faster, animated in time with the gyration of her hips as she repeatedly ground harder against me.
The sounds came right out of my dreams. This time the voice was real, as was the body pressed against mine. It wasn’t my imagination. My arms were not around a pillow; a living, breathing Prisca panting with desire was in my arms.
“I’m going to…” She ground faster, clamped her thighs tighter in a choking hold as she rode herself to pleasure. “Touch me, doctor, please touch me!”
I fought the temptation to obey.
“I need your hand on me, doctor, now!”
The piece of my brain still functional was dangerously close to going kaput.
“On me, in me, touch me please!” she bellowed. “Holy shit, I’m coming.”
The shit was far from holy. I’d heard this sequence of hunger-driven words in my dreams. Hearing them now flow from her lips with abandon made them more potent.
“No, no way!” I fought her off, but the fight was directed against my own reluctance to end this sensual embrace.
As though for my benefit, lightning flashed, casting her face in garish white for a second. It was long enough to see her on the edge of losing reason—mouth agape, no words coming forth, eyes darkened with passion, and raindrops pattering between our faces.
Prisca teethered on the brink. Once I touched her to push her away, it was too late. She latched onto my hand for support and came on a long drawn breath. I felt her shudder rake through me.
“I’m dead,” she murmured and clasped on to me. “I came on your leg. I’m finished.” Despite her complaint, there was no disappointment in her voice. I sensed her triumph, which was mirrored by my frustration.
“What have you just done?” She uncoiled from me, giving me strength to step back.
Using her arms behind her as leverage, Prisca wiggled her bottom onto the bonnet. She crossed her legs in plain sight, making sure I noticed every movement. Her underwear was clearly outlined under her wet dress.
She lay back onto the bonnet, spread her arms.
I moved to her, touched her leg and let my hand ride upward to her thigh, dragging the flimsy fabric higher as it travelled. She rose on one elbow with a welcoming smile, responding perfectly to my touch. I joined her on the bonnet and she shifted to accommodate me. My hand palmed her derriere to mould her against me. Her hand was there, guiding mine under the hem of her dress to an inner hem less different from skin. She spread her legs wider, welcoming my hand between her thighs at the same she lifted her head and, with a tortuous sigh, welcomed my mouth. Hell, this was damn easy! It was senseless denying myself this pleasure that waited to be tasted.
The word brought me back to earth. Prisca was upright on the bonnet. Her dress was undone, its front hanging open to reveal more skin. I would never see my Picanto the same way again.
She reached under the hem of her dress, tugged. A wet fabric came away in her hand and she threw it toward me. I caught it midair in a fist and stared in mute shock at the wet black bit of triangle in my hand.
I was at the end of my tether. There was only so much a man could take. Fuming, I advanced on her.
Before I reached her, she slid off the bonnet to meet me. “I don’t want anything in the way,” she said in a challenge.
“Do you have any idea what you are doing?” I roared at her. “You are seriously asking for trouble.”
“I want trouble,” she said, her hand travelling down my front. “Huge, big trouble. Plenty of it.”
She touched me and I cursed.
“Forget yourself for just one moment. Just feel.”
“You are a temptation…”
“A sin begging to explored.”
“And you don’t have to confess to any priest.”
The words were spoken in a sexy whisper. Reaching behind, she tugged the bodice of her dress lower. With her faintly spoken words still hanging in the air, she sidestepped me and went past the car. She crossed the rest of the shoulder and darted into the greenery on the roadside. I watched, my heart drumming to the sound of her voice, as she continued toward the lake. When she disappeared behind swaying leaves, I kicked the Picanto’s innocent front tyre in annoyance and banged my fist on the bonnet Prisca had been sitting on seconds ago. The triangular bits of lace still lay in my fist.
I’ll be goddamned!
I whipped off my suit, tore off my tie.
What was happening to me?
Prisca’s elaborate seduction sequence was craftily executed and its hook landed somewhere deep inside my vitals. My body stirred, hardened and protested.
The underwear in my hand winked at me like the memento of an illicit tryst discarded in abandon. Every aspect of it spelt promise, temptation and ultimate doom. I crushed the flimsy fabric in my fist. My gut raged for release with the passion of a thirsty man dying on the sun-baked expanse of the Sahara.
What the hell!
I needed release, any release. I was going to get it somehow. The foreplay had gone on enough. Time for action.
My mind was made up, no turning back. I dropped the lacy underwear on the bonnet like the memento of a night tryst it was and stormed into the bush after Prisca.