Toinette burst into the semi-bright bedroom clad in baby pink pyjamas top and bottom bubbling over with excitement.
“Aunty Valerie. Aunty Kike.”
She ran to the bed and hugged the sleepy-eyed stretching Valerie. “Wake up, Aunty Val. Get up and behold this very beautiful and magnificent day.”
She sprinted off to the window and drew the aside the sunny-cream damask curtains. “See how the garden is already bright and sunny, isn’t it marvellous?”
Valerie groaned from the bed. What was it about mornings that filled youngsters with so much excitement and energy?
“Hardly sunny I should think.” She mumbled pushing aside the saddle brown and beige coverlet. “It’s barely six-thirty a.m.”
Yawning and stretching she walked to the beaming Toinette. Scooping her up, she swayed her round and round, with
Toinette squealing and laughing at the same time. They both landed on the bed, giggling, Toinette on top of Valerie.
Kike bounced out of the bathroom, face crinkled in laughter. “Ha, the birthday group hug.” She shrieked spreading her hands and landing on top Toinette.
They rained kisses on Toinette’s cheeks from both sides while she squirmed and giggled.
“Happy birthday and many more happy returns.” They both chorused.
Valerie whooshed out a deep breath and wriggled. “Okay, you two, get up before you squash the life out of me. Up, up, up.” She raised her hand and smacked Kike on the bum.
“Ouch!” She cried. “How come I get to be spanked? Was just joining in the fun.” She complained springing to her feet.
“Because it was your bantam weight that nearly crushed the breath out of me.” Valerie retorted wryly, pushing to her feet.
Toinette giggled. “Oh, I just knew this will be the best birthday ever.” She clapped her hands in excitement. “I tell you, May 25 is the best day ever in the whole wide world.” She announced grinning widely. “And I’m so glad everyone is here.”
“And so are we, dearie.” Valerie smiled.
“And to give you more of that best day, we Chop N’ Munch gals got to get ready and start setting up this place for the party of the century.” Kike winked.
“But isn’t it a little early?” Toinette asked.
Kike shook her head. “Not anymore, it isn’t. You woke us up, remember?” Nudging her to the door, she suggested with a conspiratorial wink. “Why don’t you go do the same to other sleepy heads?”
“Oh, I already woke up Grandma and Nana.” Toinette grinned opening the door. “But I haven’t been to daddy and Uncle Dunc’s rooms yet. I would start with daddy.”
Her feet clattered on the tiled passage as she headed to her father’s room.
Valerie groaned. “The young – I envy their energy and vitality.” She dropped her still drowsy body back on the bed. “Damn, I still feel a little sleepy.”
Kike snickered. “I’ll just bet… sneaking out at night and tiptoeing back in… tell me was it all just kisses or did your wild dreams finally come true?”
Valerie sprang up from the bed. “Good gracious, Kike. It’s barely six-thirty a.m. in the morning and your mind is already running amok with such thoughts.” With a toss of her head she flounced off to the bathroom.
Kike only sniggered. “Ha, it was that hot, huh?” She asked, rolling her eyes.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, she followed Valerie into the bathroom, to torture every detail of last night’s moonlight walk out of her.
The Birthday bash was really a low-keyed affair – mostly selected close friends and associates of the Abayomi-Phillips, Toinette’s friends and classmates – just under a hundred guest list. Quite small considering it was a two-in-one birthday celebration.
In spite it’s being low-keyed though, it did still reflect the image and impeccable taste of the Abayomi-Phillips – stylishly decorated garden setting, top rate DJ cum Comedian to skilfully entertain guests, an assortment of scrumptious dishes and drinks, games and competitions to entertain the kids and attractively wrapped gifts packs for all.
Valerie flicked her left hand for a quick glance at her wristwatch, four-twenty, very good she nodded with satisfaction, heading for the stairs.
Everything was going as scheduled. Toinette’s friends and classmates were mostly all here. And Stan, the DJ, was already doing a great job of keeping them entertained and livening up the atmosphere.
Adult guests already here could be counted on her fingers, but that was expected – it was the African time factor – and they’d been expecting it and were prepared for it.
She didn’t notice Nathan watching her from below the stairs until she was halfway down. Her eyes widened and glowed with pleasure and her lips curved in a warm smile.
He looked so gorgeous and sexy standing there in Levi black jeans, midnight-blue T-shirt and a black blazer, gazing up at her with an intense, lascivious look that made her skin heat up.
She stopped at the last stair, looking him in the eyes, she crooned. “Did your mama not teach you never to look at a woman in that very naughty manner?”
“She did.” He nodded, grinning wickedly. “I never did learn though.” He took a step closer. “I think I do deserve to be punished, don’t you?” His voice was low and suggestive.
Valerie chuckled, rightly guessing the kind of punishment he was looking for. She leaned toward him. “Would a kiss – soft, long, deep – be adequate punishment?” She asked in a low throaty voice.
Nathan visibly swallowed. “Ha, the very punishment I had in mind.”
He stepped even closer so they were standing only a breath apart. “Punish me now… and show no mercy.”
“Close your eyes.” She whispered in a smoky and tantalizing voice. “No peeking.”
He shut his eyes, lips parted in expectation. A sharp pinch on his parted lips had him snapping open his eyes.
Valerie was grinning from ear-to-ear, and the hooting sound behind him was evidence that Duncan had witnessed the shameful, punishment.
“That I do believe is the appropriate punishment.” She told him calmly and with a pat on the cheek, stepped past him. “Ah Dunc, looking great in jeans and polo.” She said with a wink as she sashayed past the laughing Duncan.
Duncan walked over to stand by Nathan, who was rubbing his lips. “She does look devastatingly hot in that Multi-print halter-neck dress, doesn’t she?” He remarked as they both watched smooth, long legs in chocolate-brown sandals glide through the French door.
“Go ogle your own girl and stop ogling mine.” Nathan growled turning to face him.
“My girl dumped me.” Duncan responded lightly. “Besides, she never had such amazing-looking legs.”
Nathan’s eyes instantly clouded with concern. “Vivian left you? What… when did this happen?”
Duncan shrugged. “Last night – over the phone.” He shook his head as Nathan was about to say something. “Story for another day… today we celebrate, have fun and ogle ladies, hmm?”
Nathan laid a brotherly arm across his best friend’s shoulders. “I suggest we head then to the patio, they are all there looking all fancy and sexy, we can ogle and gawk to our heart’s content”
But just as they were about to head for the French doors, the entrance door slide open and Kike glided in.
“Great, thank God I found you two.” She said smiling breezily. “It’s almost time to put this party on the road and we need you two, gorgeous looking men out in the garden.”
Duncan’s eyes widened with appreciation as they took in her appearance. She was looking spectacular in her tomato-red cowl, flutter-sleeved sweater dress that clung to her slim frame, accentuating the attractive tilt behind.
“Could we just hang around with you?” He asked grinning.
Nathan’s brows shot up.
Kike chuckled. “No you may not. I’m busy here… we are the hired help.” She winked at Nathan. “Off to the garden with you two.” She ordered nudging them towards the door. “I’ll go get the others.” She said slipping through the French doors.
Nathan watched as Duncan’s eyes trailed after her. “I didn’t think she was really your type.” He commented elbowing him lightly. “Being all skinny and all.”
Duncan shrugged as they went through the open panel slide door. “She’s not. We are ogling remember?”
“Ogling… hmm, right.” Nathan nodded with knowing smile.
Kike met the ladies chatting animatedly and laughing on the patio.
And looking utterly elegant and beautiful, she noted, admiring them.
Tonia, the No.2 celebrant, was looking particularly elegant in black and white floral-appliqué sequined dress with kimono sleeves. And sitting beside her on the hand-crafted cane sofa, was Nana, looking equally elegant in ditsy black floral print caftan, they both had studded low heeled sandals on.
And the fair complexioned lady who’d introduced herself earlier as Mrs Aziba, was not at all looking her age in slim-fit blue jeans and colour-block, loose-fitting chiffon blouse.
And finally, Mama Bee, who’d arrived that morning, looking voluptuously elegant in chinos gray pants and black embroidered, silky caftan tunic. Like the pretty fair lady beside her, she wasn’t looking her age at all. But the best of all in her opinion was Aunty Sochi, she was looking totally stylish and chic in her fitting sea-green tulip dress and tan wedge sandals.
Eyes sparkling with delight and pleasure, she approached them. “Ladies, I hate to interrupt you.” She said grinning. “But our Commander-in-Chief, Valerie Chibuike has ordered me to escort you ladies, into the garden as this party is set to begin.”
“Yes, it’s already four-forty.” Tonia commented checking her wristwatch. “The Commander-in-chief is absolutely right.” She got to her feet, as did the others. “The party should begin.”
“Maybe we could delay things a bit.” Mama Bee suggested. “Most of your guests are not here yet.”
“And many of them will still not be here by six.” Tonia retorted waving aside the suggestion. “Let’s go on with the party as planned… whatever they meet, they enjoy.”
With that she slide smoothly down the front stair and with a regal gait strolled toward the garden, with the others following closely behind.
To be continued…