Abuja To Lagos
Episode 5 ?❤
The next two days in Lagos passed quickly.
Wednesday morning, Clifford woke up and went back to his seminars. Adaora took the rental car and ran some errands. After a quickie and then lunch, the two were in the exhibition hall, closing a sixty-five thousand naira deal on some equipment for the restaurant’s kitchen. Afterward, he went back to his meetings, and she went back to the blackjack tables.
The conference had a banquet that night. The pair ate and danced in their little world, oblivious to everyone around them. After all, their business was done, and they found they were enjoying each other’s company more and more.
The last day of the conference began on Thursday morning. While Clifford went to the closing sessions, Adaora took the car out again for some final business. After the conference was over, Clifford drove her around town and they did touristy things. They visited Shoprite, and had the Lekki Conversation Centre Experience in Lasgos, and went downtown to Epe Resort.
All the while, they held hands, walked arm in arm, and acted like lovers, not like a call girl and her client.
Adaora liked Clifford, and she felt that he liked her, too. She was dreading the end of the week because it would force them to address their relationship, something neither of them seemed eager to do.
After their talk about Ezinne on Tuesday night, Clifford was much more outgoing and even more engaging than he was before. It was as if a giant weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
At first, Adaora felt threatened by Ezinne. She didn’t like that feeling. To her, it meant that Clifford had gotten to her, and that was unsettling. He stirred feelings within her, feelings that she never had the luxury of acknowledging in her line of work.
Adaora had been a call girl for the last few years. Trading her body for money, she didn’t allow herself the luxury of emotional investment or personal attachment.
She wasn’t in the business because she was a drug addict or had nowhere else to turn. For her, it was all about the money. Adaora had a University degree but never found a job that paid as well as working for Omalicha. Even after taking the madam’s share off the top, Clifford was paying her more per day than she had ever made in a week working a regular 9 to 5 job.
And all it had cost was her self-respect.
Something happened that night, as she and Clifford talked about his late wife, Ezinne. It started at the beginning of the week when she got the feeling that he wasn’t going to be like her other clients. It seems strange, but there was a certain amount of comfort in her sex life. Not because it was pleasurable, but because it was regular and there were no expectations.
Men had sex with her. She got paid. It was cut and dry. There was no middle ground. No relationship beyond a simple business transaction.
Not with Clifford, though.
The more he talked about Ezinne, the more uncomfortable Adaora felt. Clifford was opening up to her. Although she was scared of the way she responded, she felt like she was getting close to him. She realized just how lonely her life was. Not that she had a bad life, but she realized just how much she was missing out on. All for the sake of a little cash.
Adaora also found herself talking to Clifford more. She didn’t acknowledge it then, but she was investing herself in him and their relationship. She was also setting herself up. Both of them knew that initially, their relationship was on a timer, but she could never have imagined that she would have to make a heartbreaking decision a week later.
As Clifford talked about Ezinne, Adaora’s feelings changed from jealousy and insecurity to warmth. She liked that he recalled little things about her, like what she liked to drink with meals or where she had gone on vacation with her parents when she was little. Adaora liked that he treasured memories. She liked that Clifford could tell her what he and Ezinne had for dinner on the night they had come to Lagos to be married. She liked that he wasn’t afraid of commitment or falling in love.
Now, if she could only get past her aversion to commitments and attachments.
She knew Ezinne wasn’t going to show up one day and take Clifford back. Adaora thought Clifford liked her as much as she liked him, once she could admit that to herself. What she didn’t know was if she was willing to let him get through the barriers she had spent a lifetime putting up around herself.
Her feelings came to a head early Friday morning.
On Thursday, after driving downtown and making a little cash off the blackjack tables at the Golden Nugget, she and Clifford stopped to see the water show at the Eleguish Beach on Thursday night.
With soft romantic music playing through strategically-placed speakers, she leaned back into Clifford’s arms. He held her tenderly. Neither said a word. His embrace was comforting.
Even amidst the crowd gathered to see the show, she felt like they were alone. She was losing herself to his charm. Afterward, she drew out her phone and had a passerby take a picture of them together, with the lights and water sprays of the beach behind them.
This was something Clifford and Ezinne had not done on their previous trip to Lagos. Along with some of the other pictures she had taken throughout the day, these were the first of their memories together.
They went back to their room at the Lagos Intercontinental Hotel and made love under the moonlight that shone through the windows.
When she awoke, the sun was coming up. Clifford must have gotten up in the middle of the night because the curtains were closed. His naked body was spooned up against hers. His arm was around her. She could feel his shallow breath on the back of her neck.
Realizing where she was, she seemed to be fully awake instantly. Her heart started to pound.
She wanted to sit up but instead tried to calm herself. A couple of deep breaths later, her pulse was down and she no longer had the urge to get up and leave her lover.
Instead, she rolled Clifford onto his back. He started snoring softly.
Her hand ran along his jawbone and down his neck.
“What have you done to me, Clifford?” Adaora whispered.
She watched his chest rise and fall.
“I can’t stand sleeping with someone touching me, but when you hold me, I never want you to let me go.” Her voice was soft.
This was the first time they had woken up together. All week, Clifford had to get up early and be in meetings and seminars first thing in the morning while she slept in. With the conference over, she had him all to herself.
She reached down between her legs and felt the warm semen that was slowly leaking out of her, left over from the night before. Clifford had convinced her to break one of her call girl rules: Never let a John cum in anything other than a condom.
Just the feeling of the slippery fluid gave her chills. The memories of the orgasms she had with Clifford made her toes tingle.
“Why do you have to be such a nice guy?” Adaora said quietly, even knowing that Clifford wouldn’t respond. “Why couldn’t you be just another jackass client? I wouldn’t feel bad about taking your money then.”
And I wouldn’t have to break your heart. The words were on her lips but she couldn’t bring herself to say them aloud, even if Clifford couldn’t hear her. Or my own.
Clifford stirred slightly and she hurriedly brushed the tears out of her eyes. She leaned over and kissed him. A sleepy smile was on his lips.
She gently kissed her way down his body, giving Alan the kind of good morning greeting every guy likes.
A short time later, the two were in the shower, each washing the other’s body. They playfully groped and tickled each other under the warm water.
“So what’s the plan tonight?” Adaora asked.
Although his smile was sincere, his laugh was a little hollow. There was a distant look in his eye. This would have been his anniversary and Adaora couldn’t blame him for being a little distracted.
“It’s a surprise.” He slapped her gently across the backside.
“Don’t start that if you’re not going to finish it,” she warned him with a wink.
“Adaora,” he started. There was a look in his eyes that made her shiver with anticipated pleasure. “If I were ten years younger, you would be begging me for mercy.”
“I never beg,” she replied with a huff of mock indignation.
Clifford smiled gently and pulled her close. His lips were warm. As the water poured over their bodies, she folded into his embrace. The feeling of his body pressed against hers sent a chill down her spine.
With a sigh, he pulled back and released her. Then, Clifford opened the glass door to the stand-up shower. Adaora let out a disappointed sigh of her own and turned off the water. Clifford handed her a towel and the two dried off.
“Why don’t you go order us some breakfast,” Clifford suggested as he hunted around for his electric razor.
“What do you want?”
Adaora wrapped her hair in a towel and then slipped into one of the Hotel’s soft bathrobes.
She went through the bedroom and stopped in her tracks when she opened the door to the outer room.
There were flowers everywhere.
They covered the table and the desk. Roses, Tulips, and bouquets were on every end table and stand, even on the floor. On the couch, there was a basket full of chocolates and other goodies next to a carefully-wrapped present and a card with her name on it.
Her hands trembling, she opened the card to find Clifford’s neat print.
I can’t thank you enough for what you have done for me this week.
It’s more than the deal you made with TGR or the help you’ve given me with the restaurant.
Ezinne has been on my mind a lot lately. You are the first person I have talked to about her since she died. She was taken from me without warning and my heart is still broken. I can’t live in the past and I know that, but she was the center of my life for so long. You’ve helped me realize that there is life after loss.
I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel uncomfortable when I talk about her, but you’re always willing to listen and you are so easy for me to talk to.
You are a special woman and have done more for me than I ever could have asked.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Adaora set the card down and unwrapped the present. In a simple wooden picture frame, she found a picture of herself and Clifford from the night before. They were standing in front of the beach. They both had goofy grins on their faces. His arms were around her, holding her close.
“You bitch!” Her voice was barely audible.
She turned and looked back over her shoulder. Through her tears, she could barely see Clifford standing in the doorway, grinning sheepishly.
Her blood boiled with anger. Not at Clifford. At herself for becoming so jaded. For giving up hope. She was angry with fate for bringing this man into her life as a paying client. She cursed the day she gave up being a woman and became a whore. All her pent-up emotions came boiling to the surface.
Adaora stared at Clifford for a moment. Time seemed to stop.
She threw the card and picture down on the couch and stalked toward Clifford.
Adaora threw herself into his arms. Hunger consumed her. It wasn’t just sexual desire. With Clifford, she felt loved and wanted. Not for her body. Not for her talents in the bedroom. Simply for being herself.
Clifford wasn’t fully prepared for her assault and staggered back a step or two. Adaora was all over him. She took his face in her hands and she kissed him hard, even as he wrapped his arms around her.
He backpedaled until he bumped into the bed. Adaora put her feet on the floor and her hands tore at his bathrobe. Then she flung her own across the room.
She gave him a savage push and Clifford fell back on the bed.
Adaora jumped on top of him, her naked body hot with desire. She bit his neck and collarbone.
His hands squeezed her breasts.
Their eyes locked together.
“I am sooooooooo going to f*ck your brains out,” Adaora vowed.
Clifford’s only response was a knowing smile. There was a hint of sadness in his eyes, but he blinked that away quickly. His gaze transfixed her. Something passed between them. Something inexplicable. Something that shook Adaora to her very core.
She leaned down and kissed Clifford
To be continued…
Frank The Writer