Freddie Entangled Excerpt © Kiru Taye 2017
“Did you know that your gateman believes that God guards your house?” Freddie’s words cut into her thoughts, drawing her attention back to him. “And therefore, he doesn’t have to do anything more than just opening and closing the gates?”
Kike sighed. She remained aware of the lackadaisical attitude towards security around here. As if by being a pastor, her husband and anyone associated with him became bulletproof.
“I know. It’s part of the reason I don’t feel safe,” she replied in a monotone voice. “Sometimes, I feel as if I’m going to be murdered in my sleep and everybody is going to dismiss it as the will of God.”
Freddie stopped the car just after he went past the main gates leading out of the estate. He turned in his seat and stared at her, eyebrows drawn together. “Do you feel that unsafe? Did someone threaten you?”
Damn. Why had she blurted that out? She shouldn’t have spoken those words out loud. She’d never said anything like that to anyone before. And she certainly shouldn’t have said it to Freddie.
She avoided eye contact, and her gaze bounced around the car interior before settling on a spot beyond the windscreen at the high fence surrounding the building across the road. She clenched her hands into fists and closed her eyes, counting between inhales and exhales.
“Mrs. Ogun, is there something I should know?”
“Look, Freddie—“” Saying his name felt very intimate like she knew him on a personal level, which she didn’t. He was just a man looking to provide a service to her and her family. She needed to remember that. She avoided his searching gaze. He seemed able to discover things she hid. Not to mention the ease with which she had confided in him. “Forget I said that. It was nothing.”
“It’s not nothing.”
Cool palm covered the bare skin on her wrist. Her pulse jumped, her skin electrified, and her breath hitched. She turned her head so quickly that she felt woozy, the disorientation made worse when she met his gaze.
His eyes were full of questions, concern, and compassion. He looked at her as if he’d understood her fears even before she’d spoken them.
What was going on with her? He didn’t know her. Couldn’t know her. And he was never going to get the chance to know her.
“Just drive.” She ordered, forced herself to look away again, and tried to tug her arm free. He didn’t let her go. She swallowed as her skin flushed.
Her heart skipped a beat. Her name on his lips was beautiful, like a plea whispered by an old lover rather than a man she hardly knew. The low timbre vibrated through her, making her core throb. Her skin tingled where he held her. She was certain he could feel her racing pulse underneath his thumb.
Did he know that his restraint excited her?
She closed her eyes and held her breath. An image of him caging her with his body popped into her mind.
Her eyes flew open, and she raised her palms to cover her face. So she’d become starved of a lover’s affection in the past few years. But did she desperately miss the touch of a man enough to forget herself? That she would ache for the first man who inadvertently pushed her needy buttons?
“You shouldn’t call me that.” Her breathy reprimand came out weak, more to remind herself that she was just a client to him than to prompt him of his status.
“You can tell me anything,” he said, his enticing voice filled with empathy. “You can trust me. What I said in your house is true. I will protect you from any threat.”
“Okay.” Her voice croaked, and she swallowed.
“So will you tell me what’s going on?” he probed.
Her first impulse was to tell him the truth. To bare her soul to him. His soothing tone felt almost magical and inspired trust.
Breaking the habit of a lifetime proved difficult. She’d hidden things about herself from other people for years. When people found out things about her, all she ever got back were judgements and criticisms. The only person who ever really understood her was Lekan. See how that had turned out.
“Nothing is going on.” She still didn’t meet his gaze. At least this way, he wouldn’t know she was telling a lie.
He didn’t say anything for several racing heartbeats.
“Okay. When you decide to talk, I’ll be here to listen. Any time of day.” He pressed the ignition knob, indicated, and pulled out of the junction, heading to Yomi’s school.