Star-crossed - Episode 17

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 My eyes take in the beautiful setting inside the  cozy room which Raymond directed me to wait for him. There are balloons of pretty colours scattered on the floor with a spread of rose petals leading to a table setting of two chairs. Wine sits in a bucket of ice on the table and so does two empty plates. There's also a scented candle burning calmly.
"So beautiful." I pick the single rose on the bed and I'm reminded of our visit to mother's grave a few weeks ago and the warm feeling that takes over my stomach is more than mere butterflies.
"I see you've found my surprise." Raymond's head peeks through the slightly door with a smile.
"it's just amazing, Raymond
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. So beautiful."
"Not as amazing as you make me feel. Come here." Raymond fully enters the room and places some clothes gently on the bed then opens his hand to me. I don't hesitate a second and take my place in his arms. His arms swallow me in their warmth and I bury my nose in his alluring scent.
"I wanted to have a cozy birthday with you before all of this intercepted my plan. Hope you don't mind?" He says into my hair.
"Of course not. It's the thought that counts right? By the way,you should have told me it's your birthday today." I pull my head from his chest and lean back to get a good look at his eyes.
"Was going to surprise you." He tweaks my nose with a smile.
"I'm supposed to be the one surprising you

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. You spoil me too much." I tell him sincerely.
"I've not even started spoiling you, girl. Moreover, you being here is the best present ever." I lean into his hand as he brushes his knuckles across my cheek.
"Still, I want to do something for you, Ray." I wrap both my arms around his waist and lean into him.
"Hmmm. What do I want now? A new car? Since you wreck the last one."
"Don't be silly! I'm serious here." I pout at him.
"I don't want anything baby. Seriously, you don't know how much you've made me happy these few weeks. I love you." My heart literally stops at these three words before sputtering to a start as my eyes widen.
"I know it's been just few weeks but is love really about time? I'm not really an expert but right here, it's never been so light." He takes my hand and rests it against his heart. I can't look away from the enticing look in his eyes and when they move from my eyes to my lips, my heart races with my pulse.
"Comfort...." He says softly as his head starts to come down. My eyes flutter close heavily just as his lips make contact with mine. My God! My mind is immediately blown at the feel of his silky tongue on my lips. My lips quiver and knees buckle under me.
"Careful." Raymond is quick to catch me with a light chuckle as he pulls me up to straddle his waist. I'm quick to connect our lips, just to get another taste of this alien feeling. I don't even know if I'm doing it right as I kiss him feverish. I can feel him walk us to the bed and I gasp when he sits on the bed with me on his lap and my legs still around his waist. His lips are visibly red from my kisses and I blush redder. My head drops to my chest in embarrassment.
"Don't hide your face from me." His hand pulls my chin up so I'm looking at him.
"I. Love. You." He punctuates each word with a quick kiss to my lips.
"So don't ever be embarrassed about anything with us." He says firmly and I nod mildly.
"Good. Now I would love nothing more than to continue this, trust me I would but, we've got guests to entertain." Without much effort, he pulls me off his lap and comes to stand beside me.
"that's true."
"Yup, so I'll leave you to change into that. It's one of my sister's but the tag is still on it so she's probably never worn it. It should fit." I pull the dress off the bed and inspect it. Obviously, his sister has great taste. It's even more pretty than the one I'm wearing which I've totally forgotten is wet by the way.
"Thanks Raymond."
"Sure, you know where to find us when you're done right? Just follow the music okay?" he tells me.
"Yeah, I'll be out in a jiffy."
"Good. Don't take too long."
"I won't."
"Okay, I'll just go change my top." He places a quick peck on my forehead then my lips. When he does pull away, I have to push him back playfully.
"Your guests.." I remind him.
"We should just chase them away." He pouts.
"you're not serious. Go jhare."
"fine. One more first." He takes my lips in another searing kiss before reluctantly pulling away.
"don't take long." He says behind his shoulder as he turns to walk out of the room.
"Raymond?" I call out to him when he gets to the door and he quickly turns around to face me. I bite down on my bottom lip shyly.
"I love you." I manage to get out. His face brightens in a huge grin but he shrugs.
"Of course, I know that. I mean who wouldn't?" He jokes and I roll my eyes at him with a chuckle.
"Go change before I change my mind and ravage you right where you stand." He winks at me and with that, walks out of the room.



"Man of the hour!!!" The crowd cheers as soon as I walk into the games room. As expected another cup is placed in my hand and I throw the drink to the back of my throat without a grimace and the cheers increase.
"Happy birthday, man." Shedrach, one of my paddy in the university comes to slap my shoulder with a grin.
"Thanks, man. You guys didn't need to do this." I tell him.
"It was all Prince's idea. The guy can't pass up the idea of a party." He jokes.
"Where's the maga now?" I look among the crowd and he's nowhere to be seen.
"Probably in one dark corner molesting someone else's babe." Shedrach says and we both burst into laughter. We know our friend too much.
"You speak like you're any better." I point to shedrach who grins.
"Well... That's why we're the real merry men of Lagos right?"
"Swears, guy. Falz and his gang are counterfeit abi"
"Na you talk that one o. But on a serious note, you both know that I'm just a learner compared to you guys." He says.
"Don't be silly. Go and enjoy the party. Your date is already eying me from that corner."

I push him on and he shakes his head at me on a chuckle.
"Please tell me you've not slept with that one too." He teases.
"Shut up, man." He only laughs at my bark at him but I try to study his date just to be sure I didn't mess with her in the past. I can't have Comfort being uncomfortable in my house. Speaking of, where is she anyways.



"Where is the music coming from sef. This house is so big, it feels like a maze." I mutter as I walk down the long hallway where I think the music is louder.
"Father, I'm telling you I can't make it tomorrow. I have something important to do all day." I stop in my steps at the familiar voice of Raymond's friend coming from inside the door in front of me. It's slightly open and I don't want him to see me before he starts his incessant flirting so I start to walk on tiptoes just to get past the slightly open door without getting seen.
"Damn it! I'm not my brother!" The sudden outburst has me clutching me chest with a startled squeal. The door flies open before I can move and I'm eye to eye with Prince.
"Listening on something that doesn't concern you?" His voice makes cold drip down my spine and I cower back. He's obviously not happy.
"I'm s-sorry." I stutter.
"What did you hear?" He grinds out as he starts to stalk towards me. My heart beat rockets up.
"nothing, I--"
"Don't lie to me!" He bellows as his fist hits the wall beside my head. My heart dives into my stomach in extreme shock and my legs give way under me.
"Christ, woman!" Strong arms catch me before I hit the floor.
"Hey, wake up! Hey!" I barely hear him through the pounding of my pulse in my ears. I push my eyes open to find Prince's face a bare inch away from mine and we're both on the floor.
"You're awake! Can you see me? How many fingers am I holding up?" I push his long finger out of my face and try to sit up.
"Are you sure you can stand?" His hand helps me sit up on the floor.
"Water..." I mumble.
"Water, okay. Don't move okay?" He tells me before he flies out of the hallway.
"I just fainted. Because of a man. Stupid, stupid, stupid!" I knock my head lightly. This is so embarrassing.

Read " Falling For Innocence " by the same author ( Ameh juliet )

. I pick myself off the floor and look down the hallway where Prince just went down. Biting my lip, I contemplate waiting for him and think against it.
 Dusting my pristine dress off, I continue down the hallway in the other direction and thankfully find a room filled with people.
"There you are. I was already thinking of sending a search party." Raymond meets me before I cross the doorway and he pulls me into his arms for a hug.
"I take it you're having fun." I chuckle at how giddy he seems as I pull away. I have to scream above the loud music though and I feel a headache coming up.
"This party is dope, babe. Come on, let's dance." He starts to lead me inside.
"I'll rather sit this out." I mumble.
"But I want to dance with my woman." He pouts. I'm about to argue some more but Prince walks into the room with a glass of water. Our eyes clash and he frowns at me. I quickly look away and take Raymond's other hand.
"One dance shouldn't hurt right?" I tell him and he smiles so brightly. I comment myself for giving in to him. I mean, we might have different likes but isn't a relationship about adjusting for each other's likes.
 The song changes into a fast one as we get to the centre of the room and Raymond turns me to face away from him but pulls my back flush as his hands trail down to my hips. All thoughts of my encounter with Prince flies out of my head at this.
"You look so damn beautiful in this dress, baby." Raymond whispers into my ear with a followed kiss against my neck which causes my toes to tingle.
 I know I didn't want to dance at first but as we sway to the music together, I can't deny the rightness of being in this man's arms right now.


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