Title: Bound to Passion
Author: Kiru Taye
Genre: Contemporary Romance
❤❤❤❤❤ "The chemistry between Joshua and Christy was off the charts and despite the problems in their marriage, I love that Joshua was willing to fight to save it. In the end I was grinning like a fool. A passionate and fabulous read." ~ Maya 😘
When Christy Inemi-Spiff discovers that the man she vowed to love and honor has no such feelings for her, she’s determined to cut her losses and move on with her life. A quick, quiet divorce is all she wishes for Christmas.
However, Joshua has other ideas. He’s not ready to walk away yet, especially when he doesn’t understand why Christy wants out of their marriage. So he demands she agree to spend a quiet Christmas on a remote African Island with him, hoping they can salvage their relationship. If she still wants a divorce after these two weeks, he will let her go. But not before he’s had his fill of her.
But with the sparking tension between them, and the secrets behind the disintegration of their marriage threatening to explode, will either of them get their wish? Or will this season of good will show them what really lies at the bottom of their hearts?
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Joshua Inemi-Spiff waited outside, ready to confront his future. The late afternoon December sun kissed his back with heat rays. On reflex, he rolled his shoulders and massaged his neck with his right hand.
To pace the paved driveway was madness when he had a sleek, cool car parked meters away. Or even better, an air-conditioned office with piles of work waiting for his attention.
Yet, he endured the sweat-inducing temperature, the seasonal cooling harmattan winds from the Sahara playing elusive. The raison d’être? An envelope and its alarming contents. A simple correspondence, black ink on off-white, letter-headed paper. Words typed out by an efficient legal clerk. Effective. Destructive.
The apartment building before him was less than a year old, one of several in a new up-market estate in Abuja that boasted a leisure centre, tennis and basketball courts, and a golf course. Lucky for him, the security men at the gates had been impressed with his BMW M6 Coupe and classy appearance; they’d let him in. Otherwise, he would’ve required an appointment to visit one of the residents.
With an impatient flick of his wrist, he glanced at his watch. The ticking of the second hand of the Carrera chronograph mocked his edginess. He’d only been waiting five minutes for a response to his persistent buzzing of the door bell. Fortitude was supposed to be one of his best qualities. Though, not at this moment.
The oak-timber front door to the ground-floor apartment swung inward. Christy stood at the entrance. Clear brown eyes he didn’t think he could ever forget stared back at him. Her auburn Afro hair hung loose in twisted curls and dangled around her shoulders, with a rose petal pin holding back one side. Her luscious lips were curved in an unwelcoming scowl.
“Joshua,” she said in a breathy, soft voice that still played a lusty role in his dreams. “What are you doing here?”
Without haste, he trawled his gaze across her body from head to toe in admiration. She hadn’t changed a bit in appearance since he last saw her. Dressed in a grey halter-neck top and orange/grey Ankara print skirt, she had the same flawless, oval-shaped face with a skin tone that reminded him of tasty caramel. The same bountiful, graceful curves in the right places, and long legs he’d like to wrap around his hips.
When she contemplated the brown envelope in his hand, recognition sparked in her eyes. She pulled her bottom lip with her teeth. A sure indication of her nervousness. Since she’d instigated the contents of the packet and their implications, she should be worried.
“Are you going to let me in, Christy?”
“I’m not sure that’s a good idea. What’s this about?”
“I think you know.” He lifted his arm, bringing the envelope up to her eye level. “We need to talk.”
She took another swipe at her lip with her teeth and backed away with slow steps, offering him a reluctant invitation.
Joshua walked into the airy hallway and shut the door. He followed her into the living room, his gaze riveted to the gentle sway of her rounded hips luring him closer to her.
To keep himself in check, he diverted his attention to the room, furnished in pure Christy style—pastel-colored curtains and cushions, cream-upholstered sofa and chairs, round coffee table with a light pink glass top. So similar to how she’d furnished their home.
Memories of the two of them smashed into his mind. Pictures he couldn’t escape or blank out. Christy in his arms, soft and fragrant; on his bed, warm and welcoming. Joshua coming home one day to a cold and empty house. Devoid of Christy.
The pain of her departure had triggered other buried emotions. Feelings he hadn’t dealt with in years. Loss. Grief. The only way he’d been able to cope had been to board up his heart, to ignore Christy.
Now standing only strides away from her, the floral scent of her perfume danced around him in an evocative waltz. The ache re-emerged, frighteningly fiercer and almost unbearable, leaving him with a hollow throbbing in his gut.
“Why don’t you come home?” he asked gently, the roughness of his voice betraying his vulnerability. She was his one weakness.
Sometimes, he wondered if she knew it.
She folded her arms across her chest. “You know why,” she said before sitting in the corner of the sofa.
Her inflexible response made him stiffen his stance, cold fury wrapping his momentary fear in ice. However, it didn’t stop his body’s response to the fire in her eyes. Desire swelled within him with the vigor of a high-voltage electric power surge. The rise of Christy’s emotions always had the power to arouse him.
He sat down beside her. She moved to stand. He clamped his hand on her thigh, keeping her pinned to the sofa, letting her heat brand him.
She turned to him. As she drew in breaths, her full chest rose and fell in a rapid rhythm. She worried her lips again with her teeth, drawing his attention to their lush plumpness.
The urge to crush their silkiness against his mouth rose as he remembered all the times they’d been intimate. Her softness. Her moans. Her passion. Everything else faded away. It had always been them against the world. Yet, all that had changed when she left him.
He ignored the persistent urge of his desire and removed his hand from her thigh.
“I don’t know why,” he replied instead. “All you said was that you needed a break. That was three months ago.”
In a flash, she rose and walked away from the sofa. From him. Again. The stinging emptiness returned. It took a chunk out of his self-control not to reach out and pull her back beside him. Not to hold on to her and never let her out of his sight.
Her skirt swirled around her knees as she pivoted to face him, her arms back under her chest, lifting her breasts into prominence.
“Yes, I needed a break,” she said. “You and I are not working out. There’s no point prolonging the agony. I thought that was why you came here.”
Regret washed over him, its bitterness souring his mouth. He knew then he should have kissed her. He should have never let her leave their home. He should’ve stopped her, spent more time with her, and done whatever he needed to persuade her to stay.
Joshua got up and strode in a different direction from where Christy stood, stuffing his hands into his trouser pockets. Otherwise, he would reach for her. All consequences be damned.
“I came here to talk to you.” He looked at her, and their unrelenting gazes clashed. “To make you see sense and come home.”
“I don’t think there’s anything to talk about,” she retorted.
He took a couple of long strides toward her but stopped just out of touching range. Any closer and the passion between them would likely combust in an instant. Their lovemaking had always been fiery—one of the things about their relationship that had worked so well. He hadn’t touched her in three long months. If he did now, it wouldn’t stop there. He would have to take her. Right here.
“You’re my wife,” he said in a calm voice that hid the depth of his fury at her. “I don’t know what’s come over you, but we need to discuss this.”
Christy had always been bold and strong-willed. As a teenager, her willful rebelliousness had been amusing to watch at times. Yet, her bravery and compassion had attracted him to her.
Even now after all these years since they first met, Joshua was still as attracted to this defiant young woman as he had been to the determined teenager. He’d seen through her rebellion as a mask for her loneliness as an only child, a feeling he was familiar with. In Christy, he’d thought he’d found a kindred spirit. Had he been wrong all along?
“Joshua, when I left three months ago, you didn’t stop me. Why does it matter now?” Christy curled her lips in a skeptical pout.
She had him there. He should’ve never let things get this bad. Still, her decision to move out of their home had come at the worst possible time. He’d been distracted with urgent business issues. The consequences would’ve been catastrophic if he hadn’t dealt with them at the time.
The fact that he’d dismissed her impromptu action as whimsical had obviously not helped matters. Her actions had annoyed him, but he’d hoped she’d realize their futility and come home.
But this? Another wave of rage passed through him. He fought the urge to scrunch the brown envelope in his hand and tossed it on the table instead.
“Is there someone else?”
He couldn’t resist asking the question though he dreaded the answer. The thought of Christy with another man would make him insane. Insanity led to crazy things like murder. And murder was illegal. Shame.
She reared back as if he’d hit her. “You think this is about another man? You think I’m seeing someone else?”
“Well, I don’t know what to think, Christy.” He waved both hands in the air. “You’ve refused to speak to me in so long. Even your parents are worried about you.”
“I should’ve known you’d gang up with my parents,” she snapped.
“No one is ganging up against you. We’re just worried,” he countered in frustration.
“There’s no need to be. I’m grown up. I know my own mind. And what I want is outlined in that document.” She pointed to the envelope on the table.
All warmth and reason drained from him. He pursed his lips in a grim line as he watched Christy’s expression. Her chin was tilted up, her eyes blazing. She meant her words.
“A divorce? You really want a divorce?”
His speech left his lips in an icy tone, drawn from the chip of iceberg that seemed to have replaced his heart.