In Rogue’s Shadow – Part Two

Annabel grabbed at her skirts, walked out of the room and onto the terrace overlooking the grounds where party revelers were gathered. She rested both hands over the rail and directed her gaze towards the oval-shaped balloon decorated entrance where a young man she knew to be thirty-one years old was standing.

He had managed to command for himself the attention of everyone present, including the two white fluffy dogs whose breed she could not tell because of the ghastly fusha-coloured garments they had been to wear, obviously against their will.

Annabel had surmised earlier that the adorable creatures belonged to the beautiful but neferiously spoiled daughters of the city mayor, twenty-seven year old Kangwa Mwansa, and her twenty-three year old sister Chileshe. In true hostess style, the two women,  approached the dandy creature for a warm welcome, completely forsaking their fluffy companions.

Annabel regarded the popular guest intensely, narrowing her eyes as if to capture an x-ray vision of him with her bare eyes. She drew an even breathe, overwhelmed by the extremes to which his sheer beauty ran.

Dexter was exactly as the rumors made him out to be, ateast physically. The man was a fusion of consumable elegance and untamed charisma. Expertly cut dark and short curly hair neatly covered his head and ended in deliberate contours across the forehead, framing his face into something designed for a GQ cover.

The rumors were right, he had an unholy thing for dark colors. That suit was definitely sewn on him looking at the way it hugged his musculine figure, giving him a dark mysterious look that made everyone who had the misfortune…or rather fortune of gazing at him, male or female, a burning need to draw closer and discover the tempting secrets within him. Given her string of lovers from the near past, Annabel had seen her fair share of wonders, men’s bodies that left her lusting for them weeks after they were gone. But this particular man would haunt her till the end of time.

Annabel felt a gnawing pain deep in her heart and instinctively shut her eyes as if to wade off its thundering echoe that rocketed against the walls of her being. She had experienced loss before, but never one of this kind or magnitude. It was a loss of something promised but never begotten. Though she could feast her eyes on him with fervent pleasure, he was a man she could never have, for their paths were destined to run parallel to times indefinite.

She had somehow reached where he was, her feet having dragged her there in a near-daze whilst her mind was stuck in a maze. She could hear her companions voices in her ear but she paid no attention to them. This was the moment she had been waiting for, and nothing was going to stand in her way.

Annabel stopped right behind Dexter and patted him on the shoulder. If she took another step, she would be one with his spirit. She quietly cleared her throat to catch his attention, and inadvertently that of the two hostesses who were giggling like a set of infant twins who had just discovered a third breast on their mother’s bosom. They were yet to release him to the rest of the party from the moment he appeared at the entrance.

Dexter had caught a whiff of the familiar floral and vanilla scented frangance before she even touched him. He turned slowly to face her.

“Anna.” He greeted her with stiff airs of disinterest, rubbing his left temple in frustration.

“Is that a way to greet your mother, son?” She said, giving him an arched look.

“Aren’t you a little too young to be his mother?” Asked one of the mayor’s offsprings, the older one, Kangwa. The younger one could only twitch her eyes and lips infinitesimally. If she had a gun, she would have turned Annabel into a literal drop-dead gorgeous woman.

“Step-mother, Anna. Don’t flatter yourself.” Dexter’s gaze of disavowal bored into Annabel’s skin and left burning marks all over. Just before Annabel could feel herself turn to ashes, Dexture lifted his gaze to address the sisters. “Ladies, I’ll be with you shortly.”

Without waiting for a response, he grabbed Annabel’s wrist and led her into the parking lot just a short distance away.

“I thought we agreed that the next time I see you, you should be in your coffin.” He said briskly.

Annabel laughed incredulously as she wrenched her hand free to surreptitiously touch the ear with the hidden earpiece, deliberately tipping her head slightly in mock seduction. Flashing her pearly whites at him, she said, “Do you still love Red Velvet cake?”

For a split second, a flash of realization touched Dexter’s eyes before he said, “What I love or don’t love is none of your business.”  He then turned to leave when her next words brought him to an instant halt.

Anna quickly schooled her face into a tight knot. “I have your favorite Red Velvet Cake stashed somewhere in my room.” She stressed the noun for emphasis. She motioned her head towards the terrace of her room. She saw that look that had flashed across his face a moment ago flash again but it was gone just as quickly. He had gotten her message.

“I don’t trust you and I never will,” Dexter said. “I have no idea what is waiting for me up there but I am no fool to wish to find out.”

“How about we go to a place of your choice instead?” She suggested.

He gave her a quizzical look before sauntering towards her to give her a rough body search. “Like I said, I don’t trust you.”

Annabel chuckled softly and spread her arms wide to allow him a good search. “Like what you feel?”

“Cut it out,” Dexter warned. He stepped away from her abruptly. “Remove the wire and take off that thing in your ear if you want to come with me.” He did not stick around to see her reaction.

Dexter walked straight back to his car in long strides. Half-way to his car, he turned to face her. “You can leave the gun!”  He shouted. “It goes perfectly with that audacious slit of yours.” Was that a smile she was seeing? “Besides, it’s not like you can ever use it on me. You could try Anna, but you can never pull the trigger. You’re too selfish to get rid of your guilty pleasures.” 

He resumed walking, leaving Annabel to gape at his stoic back. “Sorry fellas, duty calls,” she said to her audience before disconnecting.

“What the hell is she doing!” Betty screamed at the monitor. Unlike her, her husband had a very satisfied grin on his face. “I thought she said the man hated her!” the woman bellowed. “From the way she was enjoying his hands all over her, I am inclined to believe otherwise. She lied to us Manu.”

Manu got up from the couch and headed towards the door. Betty was right on his heels. “Have you nothing to say?” She asked.

“Calm yourself down woman,” Manu said. “I trust her. She has everything under control. You just wait and see.” He held the door open for his furious wife to exit into the hallway first.

Betty brushed past him with vengeance if a tsunami. “Oh, and you know that because you can see the future or because you are screwing her?”

Manu stopped walking. “If I had the ability to do both of those things, we wouldn’t be standing here right now. I would be five inches deep inside her.”

“Just get me back my stuff and you can drown yourself inside her as deep as you like, not as if you can make it five inches even on your best warm days honey,” she scoffed. With that, Mrs Manu stormed off, leaving her husband to relish in the fantasy, completely ignoring her snub.

“My father is alive?” Dexter asked the moment Annabel joined him in his car.

“Drive,” Annabel said after securing the seatbelt and settling comfortably in her seat. 


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