This week I'm deep in my editing cave working on finalising Making Scandal in preparation for publication in a few days. And I got to thinking about the little threads that link the entire series together.
So this week I thought I'd share a teaser from Keeping Secrets and a scene that refers to a central theme of the entire series--Chief Essien's extra-marital affair and it's impact on his 3 sons. In this scene, we see Felix's perspective on the issue.
On the drive out to La Campagne Tropicana, a remote beach resort on the outskirts of Lagos State, Kola drove the car, which surprised her, considering Patrick was the usual driver. When Felix spoke, she suddenly understood the need for the change.
“When I was a boy, my father cheated on my mother.”
She gasped, turning in her seat to look at him. Felix wasn’t looking at her, his gaze focused on a point on the blacked out windows of the Porsche Cayenne whizzing down the expressway.
Why would he reveal something like this out of the blue?
“It wasn’t just a one-off affair,” he continued. “He would spend days away and when I asked my mother, she would say he travelled on business. He kept it a secret for a long time.”
The pain wrapped up in his words knifed through her. She reached for him, covering his hand with hers. “I’m so sorry.”
He turned around staring at her hand as if not really seeing it.
“Have you ever wondered why there’s only a two year gap between Mark and I? After all, my mum died when I was eight.”
She frowned. “I’ve never really thought about it. I always assumed your dad married Mark’s mother after your mum passed on.”
“You are correct. They did get married afterwards. But while my mother was alive, they were having an affair. Mark is the product of that affair.”
“Oh.” She didn't know what else to say.
Beneath her fingers, his hand clenched tight into a fist but he didn’t withdraw it and she was grateful he chose to maintain contact.
“You see, it broke my mother’s heart finding out what my father did. I would watch her crying day after day. As a boy, I swore I would never get married. Never put myself through such vulnerability and heart ache.”
Shadows clouded his eyes and his chest rose as he drew a long breath.
“Then I met you and broke that vow because I care about you. I feel as if I’ve known you all my life when as you say it has only been months. I know we are meant to be together.”
She lowered her gaze. He reached across and tipped her head back up with his finger under her chin.
“I know it as much as I know the sun will set tonight. But you’ve got to trust me and share the things bothering this pretty head of yours.” He brushed back strands of hair from her face.
She relaxed into him, some of her earlier anxiety fleeing her body. The physical contact with Felix always seemed to soothe her nerves.
He ran his tongue around the edges of her lips, inflaming her. When his tongue probed her mouth for entry, she sighed and opened up her lips, letting him in. He thrust into her with determination and promise, and her uncertainty dissolved in a haze of passion. She remained eager for his touch to soothe her jangled nerves, suddenly needing to be closer to Felix. To hear him say her name with fervour. To feel wanted and loved. He wanted her. That proved certain. Did her love her? This morning, she would have said yes, but now, she didn’t feel so confident. Not with an unexpected pregnancy looming over them.
Her excitement rose as he moved his lips to her chin, neck, and eventually, her ear, sensitising her body.The car slowed as they arrived at their destination, stopping their play.
Find out more about Keeping Secrets. Keeping Secrets is now available in paperback too, for those interested.
So what do you think? Leave me a comment and don't forget to check out the other mid-week teasers.
I hope you'll bear with me as I finish edits but I will be stopping by your blogs and checking out what you're up to soon.