A woman's dilemma - Episode 23

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Daniel:


"Everyone would always tell me how unfortunate I was to have birthed six girls without an heir but looking at all my children today and how they have all turned out, I can never be prouder than my girls." Claudia's father says as the whole table goes quiet for the celebrant to give his speech. I look around the table at the faces of all the women surrounding the table . They are all smiling at their father like he's their world. My eyes lands on Claudia and she's also smiling at her father.
"None of them ever brought me shame. They're all happily married except for my little girl's who is writing her WAEC this year. Oh and my stubborn daughter Claudia." He continues and I see his proud  eyes land on Claudia who grins stubbornly at her father. Her father's eyes comes to me and so does Claudia's.
"Though I think I speak for everyone when I say there is still hope for her with her latest escapades with Mr actor here." The room grows rowdy with laughter and muttering.
"Dad!" Claudia complains but her friend pulls a hand over her mouth.
"Go on dad!" The woman who I recognize as a politician's wife cheers and everyone laughs. Claudia shakes her head at her friends then me

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. I shrug nonchalantly.
"All I'm saying is I'm a very fulfilled seventy years old man. Cheers!" He finally finishes and I let my eyes stray from Claudia's to lift my glass up.
"To long life and prosperity!" An older version of Claudia cheers as everyone starts clinking glasses with each other. I toast Claudia at the other side of the table. She nods at me and mouths to me if I'm having a good time. I nod at her and motion for her to look down at her phone.
 

CAN WE TALK? SOMEWHERE PRIVATE.

 I send the text off to her and look up to make sure she sees it. Her eyes comes up from her phone and she eyes me suspiciously. I chuckles under my breath.

I PROMISE TO BE A GOOD BOY.

 I click send and wait for her to read the text.

"I really can't believe I'm sitting beside you! Can I get an autograph please? My friend is also a fan of yours." The adorable teenager sitting on the other side of me grabs my hand and I turn my attention from my phone. I smile sincerely at her as she hands me a marker. I have a feeling she has been looking for an in since she snatched the seat beside me to the chagrin of her other sisters.
"What's your name sweet." I see her swoon.
"P-prudence. Sign on this." She pulls a t-shirt out from under the table and hands it to me. I scribble my initials on the T-shirt and a few other things that gets push unto my lap by some of the kids. My phone alerts me of a text just as I'm about to take a picture with all the kids.
"Let me get this." I say to the kids as I click on Claudia's text.


MEET ME AT THE BALCONY IN FIVE MINUTES.

ENJOYING THE ATTENTION FROM THE LITTLE ONES MR SUPER STAR

 I smile at the second text and look up to find Claudia talking to the two women beside her.
"The picture." A phone is pushed into my hand by a small hand. All the kids smile up at me like I'm super man. Claudia must notice my gaze on her because she turns to face me. She smiles slowly and motions to the balcony. She whispers something to her friends then she stands. My eyes follow her fluid movement up.
"One second, sugar." I tell the impatient little girl bouncing on her feet beside me.


ONE MINUTE.

 I send out to Claudia before facing the kids. Let's get this picture over and done with. I can't keep my Claw waiting. Yes, I said mine.


****


Claudia:

 

"There you are." Big hands slip around my waist as I get pushed back into a hard and warm body. I try not to think about the giddiness that assails me as the scent of his cologne tickle my nose. I relax into him as I breathe in the cool air outside.
"You shouldn't be doing this out here." I find myself saying even though I don't want him to let me go. When did I become this wanton woman?
"You're right.  I'm sorry." Daniel apologizes and to my chagrin starts to pull away from behind me. I have to clench my fist to stop myself from holding him back. I just wrap my hands around myself when he comes to stand beside me.
"You cold? We can go inside." He says and I shake my head.
"I'm fine." I say with a sigh. Why can't I just be like Amy in this moment? I don't know why I feel embarrassed to want a man's full attention. Or maybe it's just Daniel's attention I'm worried about because I know he doesn't want anything real.
"This isn't about the deal okay? I'm not trying to pressure you Claudia." My eyes flies up to his when he says my name for what must be the first time.
"What?" He asks me.
"Well I just realized you have never used my name before." His lips curl into a teasing smile.
"I bet you prefer me calling you Claw!"
"Of course not!" Oh yeah, maybe I do. 
"Come on! Admit it, your eyes are twitching like crazy right now. You like being called Claw don't you? Admit it or I'll tickle the hell out of you." He threatens. 
"I'm not ticklish." I say smugly because I'm not. He gives me a dubious look and closes the space between us.
"Every woman has that spot that's ticklish. I just have to find yours." His fingers dig into my ribs torturously.
"Get off me! I'm not ticklish!" I laugh despite the fact that my ribs are not ticklish.
"This doesn't seem to be the spot." He has the nerve to trace his fingers up my side to my armpit. Then he blesses me with his cheeky smile.
"Wh--don't you dare t--ahhh!" I scream as he digs into my armpits. I try to wriggle free of him but he has me trapped between his body and the railing I'm leaning on. I'm not ticklish but his hands on me is wrecking havoc on my senses. I squirm in his grasp as the night breeze carry both our laughter across my father's compound​. 
"Stop it! My father is just inside with the rest of my family."
"Oh I think your father will be more than happy with this." I start to make a comeback when my eyes catch the handle of the door jiggling behind Daniel. Not wanting to be caught in this position by anyone inside that room, I use the whole of my strength to push Daniel to the darker side of the balcony.
"Wha--"
"Shhh!" I clamp my hand over his mouth to get him shut up.
"I don't want my family to misunderstand." I say as way of explanation as I peek out from the side to see who we are hiding from. My distraught looking sister greets my eyes.  Her back is turned to me but I can see she's lost in conversation with whoever is on the phone with her. That's better. I wouldn't want her to see us either. My eyes comes back to Daniel who's rolling his eyes at me in the darkness.
"no!" My eyes snaps back at my sister's sudden outburst. I catch her looking around like she's afraid of anyone listening. Now that I focus on her, she looks jittery. I strain my ears to catch her words.
"My family can't know okay?! They look so happy. I can't put this on them. Not today." She's saying to whoever is on the other side of the line.

Read " Stolen innocence " by the same author ( Ameh juliet )

. My forehead crinkle in worry. What are we not supposed to know? I feel Daniel's hand grab mine and my eyes goes up to his. He shakes it head at me.
"Don't do anything please. Let him take them. I just have to think about this first. Remember no one has to know. Especially Claudia." My sister finishes and my face hardens.
"What isn't Claudia supposed to know." I burst out of hiding and her face goes pale. 

*****

So sorry for the week's hiatus. Been super busy the past week plus the stress had me down with fever for some days as well. But I'm back and the plot thickens. Hope your supports continue guys. Please comment 



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