Ojiugo sat in a group with her friends, chatting and giggling.

She was animated, excitement fizzing in her blood. She was adorned, her body decorated with the beautifying uli markings. Her skin gleamed like polished wood.

Across the square sat the men and another group crowded around the wrestlers in the celebrations.

Ojiugo did not watch the wrestlers, neither was her attention entirely on the conversations around her.

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Her back prickled. When she looked across the square and met his gaze, everything else faded. Even with the distance, she connected with him on every level.

Shame, they could never stop hiding or publicly declare their feelings for each other. She had gotten into trouble because of him numerous times. The last time, she’d left home under the guise of ‘making her hair’. Her husband Okonkwo beat her up when she returned home late. The incident caused so much trouble, even prompting a visit from Ezeani the priest. Okonkwo was fined for disrupting the week of peace and never quite forgave her. This time would be different. Everyone was out watching the wrestling match. No one would miss her.

Lowering her lashes, in a teasing manner, she smiled and turned back to her friends.

After a while, she made an excuse to ease herself and asked one of the other women to watch her children. Then she walked away from her friends, heading down the footpath meandering through the back of the compounds.

Smiling, she didn’t need to turn around to know that he would come. He always came when she needed him.

When she arrived at their secret place, he was waiting.

Her eyes rounded seductively as he pulled her further into the woods. He pushed her against a tree trunk and kissed her lips.

This was madness, but she was unable to resist his allure at this proximity.

He tasted of palm wine, fresh and robust. Smelled of musk and man, arousing.

His hard body pressed against her yielding flesh.

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Desire caught flame within her. His rumbling groan made her belly quiver.

Panting, he lifted his head, kissing her neck.

“Someone might see us,” she said in a breathless voice, reminding him of their location.

Still, she tilted her head to the side, giving him access to the sensitive column of skin behind her earlobe.

It was risky for both being out here with the celebrations going on only a little distance away. That didn’t seem to be a deterrent.

The spark in his molten-brown eyes spoke of his arousal. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. Perhaps the forbidden nature of the affair was part of its appeal. The illicit rendezvous heightened excitement and fun. Neither of them would end it unless it was necessary.

Gentle kisses feathered her face. Something her lover liked to do whenever they were together. He traced a line up her neck and blew into her ear.

She moaned softly, her hands on his shoulders tightening.

“When you moan like that, I struggle to control myself. You make me want to sink into you, right here, against this tree.”

She attempted to manoeuvre away. “We can’t, and I should return to my friends.”

“There’s no need to rush. We are alone,” he whispered against her mouth. He held her in place, hands on her hips. The bulge of his manhood pressing against her belly.

His hand roamed her body, slipping between her legs to find her core hot and dripping. He fingered her wet heat.

She gasped, inhaling sharply. He moved his lips down, past the trinkets on her neck to gain access to her soft breasts, their nipples already taut, seeking his attention. He took one into his mouth, sucking and lapping it. With his thumb, he parted her hooded flesh and caressed it while pumping his fingers into her.

She moved her hips against his hand’s actions, and soon she was gyrating at a quicker pace as he stroked her intimately. Her inner walls clenched around his fingers. She panted, trembled, so close to climax. Tweaking her nub with his thumb, he kissed her lips again just as she splintered in his arms.

“Very few things give me as much pleasure as watching you come apart.”

“Ojiugo!”

She opened her eyes at the sound of someone calling her name.

Grinning, he released her body and straightened her clothes. “I think someone’s looking for you.”

Her soft lips widened in a blissful smile. Her chest filled with warmth. “I told you I’d be missed.”

She brushed her clothes down and tightened the wrap.

“Not as much as I already miss you.” He grazed her lips lightly with his, holding onto her one last time before she had to go.

She wanted so much more of him. However, she would have to wait a little longer for that pleasure.

“Ojiugo!”

“I really have to go before they find us together.”

“You know I don’t care about that. I only care about you. Anyway, you should go.”

He kissed her again and let her go.

She took a few steps away from him and ran back to him, giving him a hug that seemed to surprise him. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him. He leaned into her embrace, her heart pounding.

“I miss you already,” she whispered before running back toward the celebration and wrestling match. Pure exhilaration rushed through her veins.

That night she lay in her cot, nursing bruises inflicted by her mean and abusive husband who had beaten her again. As Okonkwo’s youngest wife, he had never been able to satisfy her in bed or give her the pleasures she deserved.

Instead, she consoled herself with memories of her youthful, vigorous, considerate secret lover. Of his kisses and caresses and of the next time she would see him again.

***

Read Thighs Fell Apart: “Ikemefuna” (Episode 2)