It didn’t take Adaora long to adjust to her new role as a servant. Her mistress seemed to have an aversion to house chores and home management, so she had to plan everything for herself.
She had bathed the children and washed some of their clothes. But she would have to locate the stream in a few days, because the massive water pot was almost empty. Adaora had swept the entire compound, including the rooms of her master and mistress.
Adaora pondered on the magical vision that she had seen earlier. She shuddered at the thought of the gods of Anyanwa finding her in Ezeudo. She almost sliced her finger along the Utazi leaves that she had been chopping for dinner. She kept the knife aside and stared at her hands.
She could never heed the call of the gods, because they had abandoned the people when they were needed most. If the gods were that powerful, they would have answered her mother when the slave traders had come.
“I want nothing from any of you! I want nothing at all! Stay away from me!” She pointed at the udara tree as she spoke. Tears dribbled across her cheeks. The pain of her mother’s untimely demise was still fresh. Never in her life had she imagined that she would work as a slave. But here she was, shredding leaves for the next dinner.
While she was crying, Chinedum had heard her wail. He had just returned from setting night traps. He had caught a big animal and he had expected Obiajulu to welcome him with her warm hug. But there was nobody to. As he advanced towards the kitchen area, he had heard the slave girl crying and it pierced his heart. Of all things that he hated, crying was topmost.
“Adaora?” He called her name for the first time.
Adaora’s spirit almost jumped out of her body when she realized that she had been crying, instead of preparing dinner. She quickly wiped her face with the end of the old wrapper that she had been given. She grabbed the knife and went back to work.
“I called you,” Chinedum dropped the dead rabbit on the plantain leaf where the Utazi leaves had been kept.
Adaora bowed her head, afraid to look into her master’s eyes.
“Welcome master, I am sorry that dinner isn’t ready yet. I will make the fire and boil yam as soon as I can.”
“I wasn’t asking after dinner. Why are you crying? What happened? Did my wife hit you?” Chinedum asked calmly. Briefly, he wondered where Obiajulu was. The moon had shown her beautiful face, and his wife was nowhere to be found.
Adaora was more afraid of Obiajulu than her husband. The woman was a complete devil and Adaora didn’t want to do anything to step on her toes.
“Not at all, I am very fine!” Adaora insisted. She couldn’t drag her mistress into this mess.
He knew that she was not being truthful. She wasn’t ready to talk about whatever it was that bothered her. And he didn’t want to press further.
“Where is my wife?” He lowered himself and fetched some Utazi leaves.
“I haven’t seen her since afternoon, but the children are sleeping. I have bathed them and given them evening food.”
Chinedum wasn’t comfortable with his development. He swallowed the bitterness of the leaves and moved towards his room. If Obiajulu didn’t show up in a short moment from then, he would know that she was in trouble. But for now, he just needed to take a bath and wait for his dinner.
A smile played on his lips as he thought about Adaora. The slave girl was extremely beautiful and homely. His children had warmed up to her, and that really pleased him. His only wish was for Obiajulu to treat her like a human being, and not a lesser person.
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Usually, the lovers always met at the dead of the night, but Anosike had changed his mind about the whole thing. He had sent a secret message to Obiajulu to meet him. Now that Oriaku knew about their affair, they needed to be more discreet.
Obiajulu had noticed that her husband had given the dirty slave her new wrappers, she had been on her way to Adaora’s hut for another round of beating, when a little boy had showed up with a basketful of bush apples. Bush apples were little reddish fruits which could only be found in the deepest forest of Ezeudo, the venue of her meeting with Anosike. At once, she abandoned her plans to beat up Adaora. Her love for Anosike was greater than all.
As she walked deeper into the forest, she imagined what it would feel like to finally be the Queen of Ezeudo. Her husband wasn’t an ambitious man like Anosike, but she was going to push him to overthrow his cousin. Ikemba was a barren and cursed King. There was no way that he would ever father a child. It was common knowledge that her husband was next to the throne, Chinedum had to arise and take matters into his hands.
The blade of the grasses scratched her skin, leaving reddish marks which were hidden by the weakness of the moon. Obiajulu ignored the insect bites and the uncomfortable sting of some grasses. All she wanted was Anosike. She wanted to love him. She wanted to join her body with him.
Her heart raced as she spotted a tall figure leaning against an oil bean tree.
“My darling!” She beamed with excitement.
Anosike, who’d been waiting for her to arrive, peeled himself lazily from the mighty tree. He had missed her all day. He couldn’t wait to make love to her. At a point, he didn’t expect her to show up, but she greatly surprised him.
“I didn’t know that you would show up…”
Obiajulu framed his face in her hands and whispered, “How could I stay away from your touch? Oh, how I have missed you.”
The lovers adored their faces with their hands. Their eyes were glued together. Their heartbeats matched. They were destined to be together. Anosike pulled his best friend’s wife closer to his body. He wanted Obiajulu to feel his hardness. He was going to make passionate love to her, and he wouldn’t stop until she confessed that he was better than her husband.
“Do you really miss me?” His voice was seductive.
Obiajulu’s breath was rushed, she couldn’t wait.
“Please, don’t torture me tonight. I have waited enough,” she begged.
Anosike smiled. With a puckish light that danced in his eyes, his hands found the knot that held her wrapper pieces in place. He pulled it backward and the fabrics fell to the ground.
He swept her sleek body into his arms and carried her to a shade that he had erected for the sole purpose of their affair. He dropped Obiajulu’s naked body on the raffia mat. He allowed the moon and the stars to gaze upon her beauty.
“I am lucky to have your heart and body,” he dropped a kiss on her neck.
Obiajulu welcome his hard chest, which brushed past her nipple by holding his naked back with her hands.
His tongue was warm at first, but the warmth vanished as he began to trace a line from her neck to the rising of her breasts. Obiajulu swallowed. Anosike was a man who loved details. He hated rushing. He completely understood her body. But tonight wasn’t that night they would take things slow.
“Hurry, I didn’t tell Chinedum about my movement,” she whispered.
Obediently, his lips found the buttons on her breasts. He swallowed one swollen tip and fed hungrily like a little child. His hands caressed the flesh of her belly, the sweep of her hips and her smooth legs.

To be continued…

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