“Is there something you want to tell me?” Rose probed, looking lost than ever.

“Uh….that’s Ashorkor; Daddy’s Princess.” Kojo replied nonchalantly.

“ By Daddy’s Princess, you mean your father…?”

“Yes, that’s what I mean. Can we please not talk about it? Tell you what, give me a second to get dressed and we’ll be out of here in no time.” Kojo said and dashed upstairs at the speed of lightning.

In no time, he was back in a blue short sleeves shirt and a pair of white shorts matching the white and blue airmax sneakers that clad his feet. Rose smiled as he saw him descend the stairs – “he’s still got that swag” she thought. They made their way out of the house before Esi could snitch on him; Not that he needed her permission. Speak of the devil and she appears after you have left. Only evidence of their presence was Kojo’s woodsy cologne left in their wake.

At the restaurant.

“Baby I realise this is a sensitive matter to you but I can’t help being curious. The lady at your house – Ashorkor right? – how did it happen? Is it blackmail or your Dad got into some bad deal?” Rose brought the issue up again.

“Sweetheart I’m tired okay. My father is a fully grown man, and he knows what’s best for him. That’s all I can say.” Came the curt reply.

“My dear you can do better than that. Whatever it is, tell me; I can handle it.” Rose pushed further.

“You’re just impossible, Rose. Gosh. I don’t know how it happened okay. I pursued Esi one Saturday morning after she’d trashed my room only to see this young lady seated beside my dad in the hall. Frankly I didn’t even see her until my dad drew my attention to her and introduced the lady as his fianceé. I told my dad about my reservations and he sees me as an enemy to his progress.

Can you believe he almost beat me to pulp for trying to open his eyes? Since then I’ve resolved to keep my reservations to myself and wait for the worst while I hope that I’m wrong about her. I only tolerate her, as my stepmother.” Kojo said distastefully.

“Wow. That’s a lot to take in. This is overwhelming.” Rose couldn’t contain herself.

“Tell me about it. Anyways I thought you wouldn’t be back until ending of May?” Kojo Enquired.

“That was the idea but dad had some business to take care of here and I wasn’t going to be left there alone, so I had to come along. Besides I needed to see my boo.”

“I am glad you came.” He endeared.

With that out of the way, he beckoned waiter to take their orders. When the food arrived, they ate in companinable silence.

“Hey. You haven’t changed one bit.” Kojo exclaimed when Rose stole his chicken for the nth time. She always ordered one meal and ended up sharing his.

After they settled the bills, Kojo walked her to the junction, stopped a cab for her, as she was to meet her mother at the market for some foodstuff. Hailing a cab, he headed straight home. He got to the house around five o’clock in the evening and found Ashorkor and Esi in the parlour watching a telenovela on UTV.

“Well look who finally decided to show up; I bet you had a great time with your mistress.” Ashorkor scowled. What crawled up your butt and died? Kojo wondered as he closed the entrance door.

Puzzled, he asked, “Sorry, are you talking to me?”

“No. The person behind you. So where did you take her, to the mall? I bet you took her to the restaurant, am I wrong?” Ashorkor shot back.

“Hey, what’s your problem? Since when did you become interested in my business?” kojo struggled to stay calm, he didn’t want to upset Esi.

Since I became the woman of this house; your stepmother!” Came Ashorkor’s answer.

Kojo’s gaped. Is she for real? He looked back at Ashorkor who seemed to be enjoying their altercation. So he did what he thought was best. He walked towards her and landed a hefty slap forcing her face to swing in the opposite direction. Satisfied with his handiwork, he straightened his shirt and made for his room. Serves her right.

“Are you going to stand there all night or answer my damn question?” This drew him out of his reverie. He unclenched his fists and walked away. Only God knows what trouble he would be in if he had given in to his flesh.

“And where does he think he’s going? I’m not done talking to you, how dare you walk out on me!’ Ashorkor yelled from behind him.

Halfway, Kojo turned to face the lady who irked him to the core. His arms folded on his chest, “What do you want from me Ashorkor?” he asks, maintaining his composure. He did not want to give her the satisfaction of getting under his skin.

“Who’s that lady?” Ashorkor demanded.

“This is unbelievable. What do you care? I don’t care who you think you are but let’s get one thing straight, my business is my business, and it will remain so. Stay out of it.” Kojo relayed and stormed off.

The bang of his door a couple of seconds later drew a smile on her face. “This is just the beginning” she muttered.

The next morning, 7:45am

Kojo plodded to the kitchen to fix a quick meal. He usually didn’t get hungry that early in the morning but today was a different. He had been up since 3 am video chatting with Rose till 7:30. When he could not stand the hunger pangs any longer, he sought sought solace in the kitchen.

He brakes two eggs into a small bowl, sliced some onion and tomatoes and put them into the bowl. He added a pinch of salt and proceeded to whisk it.

Barely a minute after emptying the contents into the heated oil in the frying pan came the voice he wished he never heard.

“Something smells good in here.” Came Ashorkor’s voice from behind him.

His eyes popped when he turns to see the lady of the manor smiling at him.  He wished it was the smile that got that reaction of him. Rooted to the spot, he feasted on the creature before him. The rosy frilly lingerie failed to cover her ample chest, neither did the bottom part of her apparel shield his eyes from seeing her curves. Kojo had always known Ashorkor was a pretty lady but seeing her scantily dressed gave him a different perspective.

Dread gripped him as blood rushed down to where the sun doesn’t shine. This was his father’s princess he was fantasizing about. Forgive me father for I have sinned. He prayed silently.  Like a predator, Ashorkor glided towards him, intent on devouring him. Her prey- confused, aroused and scared could neither move away or stop her. Ashorkor closed in on him, leaned- displaying her cleavage in the process- forward as if to kiss him, “I think something is burning” she whispered into his ears and sashayed out of the kitchen. Ashorkor 5-0 Kojo.

“Holy shit!” Kojo cussed as he turned off the gas stove. His egg had was charred. “I am doomed.” He muttered as he looked at the result of his stupidity.

He dumped the frying pan with the burned egg into the sink and walked out of the kitchen frustrated. He could not believe what had just happened; As he replayed the event in his mind, he felt guilty. He couldn’t believe he was yearning for Ashorkor; the same lady he had spent months to convince his father was not right for him. “I’m a hypocrite” he murmured.

“Hey lover boy.”

Ashorkor lounged in his bed as he entered his room. Time froze. Maybe he froze.

To be continued……..