It didn’t take long before food was brought for the royal family.
‘I have an important meeting later today. Hold the fort while I’m gone.’ Yemi grabbed a chip of fried plantain but dropped it immediately it burned his hands. Leaving the palace earlier before Cassie awoke was part of his plan to conquer her.
He had never felt this confident while wooing a woman. Now that he knew her secret, he would use it against her.
‘I don’t understand, where are you going?’ Tayo began to pick the grilled fish with her fork after chewing the pieces of garlic and onions.
‘None of your business little sister, now let us eat.’

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From the feel of the velvety material on her legs, Cassie knew she wasn’t in the right place. Her bed cover was made out of pure cotton. Slowly, her brown eyes gave way to the deep blue light in the room. She took in the numerous wardrobes; the stack of expensive looking shoes and dazzling floors.
It was the painting of King Adeyemi Lasisi in the middle of the wall that made her realize she was in the King’s chambers.
‘My God,’ Cassie gasped and quickly pushed the thick bedcover from her body. How had she gotten into his bed? What was she doing in Yemi’s room? Her heart thumped with so many questions. Her blood boiled in fear of what may have taken place on the previous night.
Cassie jumped out of the bed and ran straight to the mirror. She was so terrified and confused as she remembered one of the things Yemi had threatened her with on one night.
“I’ll have you in my bed.” His words reechoed in her memory, and she briefly wondered if he had taken her into his chambers to fulfill his vile promise. She tried to stay calm by breathing very slowly. She closed her eyes and searched the deepest parts of her soul, the place where all events were recorded. It didn’t take long before her mind presented her with loads of memories from the night before.
She remembered making an ugly dress from her curtains. She also remembered feeling disappointed when Yemi didn’t turn up for dinner. She could recall finishing a bottle of rose by herself. Cassie tried to get more memories after the drinking part, but her mind went blank.
‘Damn!’ She opened her eyes and glared at her reflection. There seemed to be a sort of amalgam, which blinded her from the rest of what took place at night. Cassie averted her gaze and set it on the King’s picture. She briefly wondered if…
‘No,’ her legs felt wobbly as she began to move away from the spot. She began to wonder if she had sex with Yemi.
‘God please no,’ Cassie’s lips trembled.
She couldn’t remember anything. What if Yemi had made good his promise? What if he had taken advantage of her all through the night? Cassie tried to believe the worst of him, but her mind told her that the king was a good person. He was a noble man and would never violate a woman’s body.
Besides, she didn’t feel any strange sensation on her body. Everything was intact. Everything was alright.
She felt humiliated and embarrassed. She had worn the ill-fitting dress to spite me, but she had ended up in his arms. Cassie ran her eyes over the room one last time, before making up her mind to leave. How would she even look at him?
‘I messed up,’ she murmured.
From what she could make out of the few memories, she had taken too much wine and that had knocked out completely. A scene of a drunken Cassie, staggering or farting popped up in her mind. What if she had acted that way? Or done something more stupid?
‘I’ll never forgive myself,’ she whispered. Yemi would always use that to spite her, and she couldn’t live in the Palace like that.
Cassie was about running out of the room, when she noticed she wasn’t wearing shoes. She carefully ran her eyes over the glittering floor which distracted her a bit. She couldn’t believe, Yemi would bring her to such a hallowed ground.
The chamber of a king was holy. It was revered. How could he bring her into it? Did he consider her special? Did he like her?
‘No he doesn’t stupid.’ Her mind whispered, and quickly reminded her that the King could be having an affair with Pelumi. Yemi only lusted after her body, like the other men whom she’d dated in the past had done.
The King was a classy man. He was refined in taste and pedigree. His room spoke of great wealth and majesty. It felt like she was in a five star hotel. A man like Yemi who lived in such an exquisite haven could never bring himself to love someone like her.
Her sister was even better. Eno had been a medical doctor. She was educated and exposed. She was a better match for the king than herself. Cassie knew she could never fit in here. She had no money. She was just a struggling fashion designer. She had dreams to go to Milan or Venice, but who would be her sponsor?
‘I have no place here.’ Those were the last words that emanated from her lips after she had found her shoes beneath the bed. She didn’t hesitate before walking towards the door. She took a glance at the room one last time, before closing the door behind.
Cassie slipped her tiny feet into the shoes, and decided to have some breakfast first. By now, the dining hall would be empty. The King was a very busy man, and she hardly saw him at breakfast. She would have to ignore or deal with his annoying little sister.
She would have breakfast and retire to her room. She had a lot of designs to work on, and she would spend the whole day alone. Cassie felt like her time in the palace was up. She had no place in Yemi’s home or heart. She had to find a way back home.
“Good morning princess Cassie.” The guards bellowed as she passed.
‘Morning,’ she replied calmly. How could these men give her such honor that she didn’t deserve? She was no princess and she knew it deep down. She was just an ordinary girl, from an ordinary home who had somehow made a terrible mistake.
Even as she marched towards the dining hall, her thoughts were filled with his handsomeness. She couldn’t stop thinking about a man that would never be hers. She had made a grave mistake by falling in love with King Adeyemi Lasisi.
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‘Wait!’ Tayo called to her brother. He was unusually excited this morning, and it made her wonder why he was in a rush. Yemi loved to savor his meals, especially the ones with fish in them. He was a fish lover.
‘How may I help you Tayo?’ Yemi paused. He had a meeting with an important person, and he couldn’t waste more time in the palace.
Tayo drew in a deep breath. She was tempted to tell her brother that the deal with the Mask had pulled through. She needed Yemi to know that the coast was clear. But on second thoughts about the terms of agreement she’d entered with the Mask’s team, she decided to let the matter die.
If her brother knew she had asked for a man in exchange for a quarter of vermillion, he would begin to ask her questions. Elvis Benjamin had caught her attention, and she liked the bad boy in him. She wasn’t ashamed of what she felt. It was just a sexual fire, and she wanted to be burned by him.
But one thing was certain, Yemi could never approve of her relationship with an outlaw. He could throw her out of the palace if he discovered she was frolicking with the new Mask. She couldn’t even tell him that Sam had resigned from the militia.
‘You seem kind of lost.’ Yemi noticed.
‘Um, I’m fine. Just take good care of yourself. And let me know when you’re planning that valentine party. I may invite a few friends over, if it is okay.’ She lied.
Yemi was surprised by her interest in the valentine party that he planned to organize. He had meant it. Now that he was sure that Cassie Benjamin was attracted to him, he would conquer her and make her his queen.
‘Well, let’s see how it goes.’ He winked.
To be continued…

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