prinsbinky Oluremi Zainab 🇬🇭

Amira was a go-getter and had always gone after what she wanted with the ferociousness of an untamed bull as far as she could recall. Lessons learned in life branded her that way. Her vigorous and forceful nature mostly made folks around to misunderstand and misjudge her, which was fine by her because she wasn't looking to please anyone; she had too much on her plate to worry about such mundane stuff. Truth was she hadn't been born with a silver spoon and had learnt at an early age how to fend for herself and be dependent solely on her young self. She had found herself abandoned by her birth mother or so she had thought then when her mother left her behind in pursuit of a greener pasture to secure their future. Her mother's absence created an empty chasm in her life and began a series of unfortunate events that shaped her to be the tough somewhat daring lady she became. She found the innocent world she knew come crashing down around her as she lost her most precious gem. Lies and betrayals became the order of the day, and she quickly learned to trust no one, rely on no one, and expect nothing from no one to avoid being disappointed. In the blink of an eye, her life was destroyed, and the people who were supposed to have her back were responsible. She had to flee her crumbled world and learn to hide and cover her tracks when her guardians ruthlessly became her oppressors. But not before hitting them back where it hurt the most. She had to face the tides head-on and pick up the pieces to start afresh elsewhere. And though each day was a battle to forget, and came with the threats of being discovered and thrust back into the world of the haunted, she refused to be broken or defeated and embraced life to the fullest. In her new world, Amira saw the light in the dark, the goodness in life, and embraced love when she finally found it. NB: HEA guaranteed! Please note no part of this work should be reproduced or distributed in any form and by any means electronic or otherwise without the consent of the author O.J Zainab. All rights reserved.


#11 Dan Romance #3 Dan Suspense romantique Déconseillé aux moins de 13 ans. © Copyright ©️ 2023-2024 by Zainab Oluremi. No part of this work should be reproduced or distributed in any form and by any means electronic or otherwise without the consent of O.J Zainab. All rights reserved.

#oppressed #freedom # #betrayal #dominant #love #perseverance #resilient
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The betrayal



PROLOGUE



Year 2010.



Saying goodbye...




***Amira***


She stared at the flurry of movements around her with wide-eyed fascination. Her young mind couldn't believe her mother was leaving the country for Dubai. Everyone said it was a good thing and were celebrating the grand opportunity that suddenly fell into her mother's lap to work abroad, but she couldn't quell the niggling feeling that things were never going to be the same again. She couldn't tamp down the fear that she would never see her mother again. How would life be without the tender loving care of her mother? The soft kisses, cuddles, advice, and storytelling were irrevocably going to be a thing of the past. No one seemed to care about the implications and hits her absence would have on her young self. Her mother was her idol. She hadn't left yet but she was already dreading her leaving with her fragile heart in her throat. They expected her to put on her big girl panty, but how could she when her world as she knew it was drastically changing and she could do nothing–absolutely nothing about it? Even her fascination with her surroundings couldn't overshadow her fear.

She watched on woefully as her mother got down to be on eye level with her, then drew her in for a tight hug. "This is it, sweetheart. I would be boarding the plane soon. I would miss you so much."

"I would miss you more. Please don't go! Please stay with me or take me with you!"

She watched her mother sigh in dismay. "I wish I could, but you know I can't. I have to do this for you, for us." When she stared at her mother dubiously, she added softly. "Tell you what, I would be back before you know it. You're thirteen now, I promise to be back before you turn fifteen. I would throw you a big fifteenth birthday party. You would like that, won't you?"

"Well...I guess so." She relented.

"Great. Let's pinky swear on it. We have a date on your fifteenth birthday."

"Okay, mum. Let's do it!" They crossed their pinky fingers together and uncrossed it with bittersweet smiles on their faces. "I promise to be a good girl and behave properly in your absence Mum."

"That's my girl. Always remember mum loves you to the moon and back."

She nodded her head jerkily and watched silently as her mother softly kissed her forehead, then hugged her tightly to her bountiful bosom before getting back up to face her sister; Aunt Sadia. "I leave my most precious gem in your care. Please take good care of her. Promise me you would take good care of her."

"I promise. You don't need to worry for she is in safe hands. I would take good care of her like she is mine. Just concentrate on what's ahead of you and return safely back to us. Take good care of yourself out there."

"I will. Now I truly need to go. See you all soon. Bye, sweetheart. Be a good girl!" Her mother kissed her quickly and hugged her one last time before waving profusely at them as she rushed towards her new destination. A destination that somehow didn't include her. She watched woefully as her mother's image finally faded away, and she was gone–just like that.

"Come on dear, let's go home." Her aunty murmured while dragging her very unwilling feet along. No! No! No! Her reluctant mind interjected. She couldn't leave now. She needed to go to her mum! She needed...she...she...needed to be with her mother. Noooooooo!!!!!



***


An hour later...

"So how did it go? Is she finally gone?" Her aunt's husband Samad asked, and she didn't like his tone one tiny little bit. There was just something off about him that gave her the creeps. She wondered for the hundredth time what her aunt Sadia had ever seen in him. The man gave her goosebumps, and now she had to live under the same roof with him! God help her. She would have to avoid him at all costs which wasn't going to be an easy feat to accomplish considering the coziness of her new home. She knew that. It would be like building castles in the air which of course was impossible.

"Yes, she is. I am so ecstatic for her. Her dreams are finally coming true and success is not off limits."

"Hold your horses. Don't be too hasty in concluding." He said in a bored grouchy tone, making Amira cringe in disdain. "Besides, the start of a journey should not be mistaken for success."

"Perhaps, but a dream does not become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. My sister has it all in spades, and that my dear husband would guarantee her success. Get it?" Amira smiled at her aunt's smart comeback.

"Whatever." He mumbled turning away from her. "I'm starving. What are we having for supper?"

"Uh let me rush to the grocery store to get some items. I would be back soon to prepare the meal. Please bear with me and keep an eye on my niece." Aunt Sadia said grabbing her purse and rushing out the door, leaving behind a room cloaked with awkward silence. Amira cautiously attempted to leave the room and make a hasty getaway to anywhere but where she currently stood only to freeze in her tracks when he growled, really growled.

"Not so fast girl! We have a few things to iron out. Have a seat."

"But...but we have nothing to discuss."

"I said sit down! Are you the grownup now? When I tell you to do something, anything, you better do it. No questions asked. Do I make myself clear?" He bellowed down at her.

"Y...yes sir."

"Good. Now sit down!" He growled louder and she returned his vile look with a snobbish stare of her own. Let's see who hated the other more. She knew why she disliked him so much–he was a wolf disguising himself in a sheep's skin. He could never deceive her young but keen mind. However, she didn't seem to get his beef with her. She was just a teen but he seemed to hate her guts. She knew and felt it from the very first moment they met. Ah well, it was better this way, she would hate to play his games or pretend to be cordial with him when they were alone. Begrudgingly she took the offered seat and glared up at him in disgust. She didn't like her current position for it placed her tiny self at a disadvantage as he loomed down at her like a hungry eagle bearing down on its prey. Not good at all.

"What seems to be the problem, Uncle Samad?" She asked innocently, forcefully schooling her features to hide her emotions.

"Since you're going to be living under my roof henceforth, you need to follow my rules." He announced smugly.

"Your rules?"

"Yes, my rules, which entail you obeying my every command and staying away from my stuff as long as you're here. If you want something you ask first. Bear in mind that you would be punished severely whenever you do something wrong. And don't think your aunt would be able to save you. I am the man of the house, what I say is the law. Get it?"

"Yes sir."

"Good. Now get out of my sight." Amira rushed out of the room with the sound of her palpitating heart her only companion. She entered the room assigned to her and locked the door behind her. Something told her she needed to erect a barrier between her and the wolf in the hall. Seemed her life was about to become hellish– God help her. She needed to brace herself for the tides ahead. She must survive. She must! For her loving mother.






CHAPTER 1



2014...four years later.



The betrayal...


***Amira***


It's been four long painful years since she last saw her mother, three years since she last spoke to her. Her mother had failed to keep her promise. She had been told by her mean uncle that her mother abandoned her because she was unlovable, unworthy, and too much of a hassle. When she had turned to her aunt for confirmation or denial, she had kept her lips sealed on the matter. To say her life since her mother left was tiresome, garnished with all sorts of emotional and physical abuse mostly from her uncle was the biggest understatement of the year. She hadn't had a moment of peace or love showered upon her. Every moment spent in her aunt's home was filled with torture and misery. Each day was filled with tedious chores and even more painful chores that drained her and left her hating her mother and fate.

Why must she suffer like this? She found herself asking on numerous occasions. Her uncle made her pull her weight in the worst way possible. He sent her on errands that would make any decent young soul cringe in disdain. He often hosted these clandestine parties when her aunt was away on business, and paraded her before his lecherous friends by forcing her to serve and attend to their every whim. This was the moment that scared her the most, for she feared someday his leery friends would cross the line with her and take advantage of her innocence. She feared she might end up a victim or prey to the forbidden lust she saw lurking in their glances, wayward pokes, and slimy sneaky grasps. Her warning seemed to fall on deafened ears, and she had no hope of getting any help from her uncle as he was no different. If she could she would run from home, but she had nowhere to go and no way to survive. She could only pray and carry a pocket knife on such occasions for her protection.

To add salt to injury, what rankled–what cracked her up every single time was her aunty's indifference to her husband's misdeeds. She kept turning a blind eye to all his abuses. Nothing she said or did made any impact on her. It hurt a lot she couldn't rely on the one person who was supposed to take care of her. But she refused to, absolutely refused to allow them to take her innocence; her most priceless gem. She would face them head-on and endure. Her guardian can do their worst but would never break her will. They would never break her will to survive and make something of herself so she could get out of their wretched hold and quagmire her life had become. Wherever her mother was, she hoped she was happy with her achievements. She had unwittingly sentenced her to a life of dejection flavored with misery. Today would be the last day she thought of her. She would erase her from her thoughts–what little was left there and trudge ahead. She was tired of feeling pity for her situation.

She sighed wearily at the merriment going on around her. At last, it was her graduation from high school, and she should be proud and happy at her pristine achievements, but she couldn't seem to muster up the interest as the flurry of movements around her only knocked home what was missing in her life; family and the love they project. Her life was lacking that. Though she had family, it was like she had none. Her case was different, and her only relatives couldn't give a hoot about her achievements. They couldn't even grace her occasion as it was considered unimportant. So she found herself sitting alone in a quiet corner like a lone wolf silently observing the celebration. While everyone seemed and looked happy in the cocoon of their families' love and support, she felt lost and drained.

"Earth to Amira!"

"Goodness Jaz! Don't sneak up on me like that again," she gasped trying to get her frantic heart under control. She had been scared to the roots of her hair by her bestie's outburst. She was surprised she didn't notice Jaz sneak up until it was too late. She was an alert person on a good day. "What's up? Why are you here? You should be out there celebrating with your family, not here sulking with me."

"Who said anything about sulking? Come on, join me over there. We need to celebrate girl! We're finally done with high school and will be freshmen soon in college. We should celebrate this rite of passage, don't you think?"

"I don't know Jaz. I'm not feeling it–"

"Why? What's wrong? Are you letting your family issues get to you? What did they do this time."

Amira sighed and mumbled aloud. "Aside from them never being there for me. I'm scared Jaz. I'm scared they would take everything from me. I don't know how long I can hold on. I feel so exhausted."

"Oh. Is it that bad?" Jaz asked taking the seat next to her.

"It's worse. You know my uncle throws these sick parties where he invites his equally morally sick friends to and I'm made to attend to them. I...I fear for my safety Jaz. I fear I might become their victim if caution is not taken. But what can I do? I'm in a conundrum!"

"Wow, that's serious and sucks. What does your aunt have to say about these parties?"

"The Truth is she doesn't know–"

"Excuse me! But why? You need to tell her ASAP!"

Amira shook her head and announced dejectedly. "It would make no difference. Besides my uncle threatened me against doing that. And you know him–you know how brutal his beatings can be. I don't think I can stomach that for a risk that wouldn't yield anything tangible. I hurt enough already to add his physical abuse to the twist."

"Wow, this is truly a quagmire you are in. What are you gonna do then?"

"Well, that's the crux of the problem. Shoot me in the leg if I know. All I know is that my situation is giving me a whiplash at every turn."

"I don't know what to say–"

"I know right." Amira laughed bitterly as she turned to her bestie with a sheen of tears clouding her sad eyes.

"Please don't do that. Don't cry. I promise you're not alone. I'm here for you. You can count on me, Mira. We would figure something out. There is no chance in the underworld I'm letting your uncle or any of his friends have a go at you. No way! I would kill him or them before they do."

That got Amira laughing heartily she shed some good-natured tears. She needed that. "Really Jaz? You're gonna commit murder? Girl, you can't even hurt a fly."

"I would for you though."

"Yeah yeah, I appreciate that. But hopefully, it wouldn't come to that."

"Well hopefully," Jasmine reiterated, then added in a pleading tone. "Come on, let's join my family. My mum prepared a scrumptious meal. You would love it! Plus we need to take some cool pictures to commemorate this day. Come on."

"Okay fine. I can't say no to a good meal."

"Yes! That's my girl. Come on let's go. And heads up, my cousin is in attendance."

"Ah no. Is it too late to back out?" Amira groaned aloud. Facing Jasmine's flirtatious college cousin was the last thing she wanted. This should be fun. She didn't have the strength to thwart his moves nor the frame of mind to deal with his innuendos.

"Yup, too late," Jasmine smiled goofily at her reluctance and dismay. "You have a crush, just deal with it." Amira tried unsuccessfully to pinch her, only to give up as Jasmine was just too flighty on her feet.



***


Amira smiled wanly as she recalled how Jasmine's family received her into their folds and lavished their loving attention on her. She felt right at home with them. Even the unwanted sinful attention from Jaz's cousin didn't deter her from finally enjoying the merriment and temporarily forgetting her troubles.

However as she stood before her aunt's quaint little home; which was a prison to her, the rowdy noises emanating from within gave her goosebumps.

Not again!

How long did she have to entertain his immoral fun times? Looks like he was at it again, which meant her aunt was out of town again. She was so exhausted, emotionally beaten, and only wanted to crawl into bed and cry herself to sleep. She so wasn't up for entertaining her nefarious uncle and his bunch of lecherous friends.

She signed deeply in dejection at the mess she knew awaited her indoors. Though she would love to just vanish into thin air and just sit this one out, she knew she couldn't stall anymore, for to do so is to get thoroughly beaten by her uncle. Her life just sucks. Her human rights are nonexistent. This was her broken life. This was her broken fate, at least for now. Because she refused to make it a permanent existence. No way! She was getting out the first chance she got. She would mend the broken hand fate dealt her and find success mingled with happiness. She would not remain like this forever.

No.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.

So she knew she would get out someday soon. Things would surely change in her favor. Fortifying herself with a huge breath, she trudged on. Her feet felt heavy as if she was being dragged through the mud to the slaughterhouse. But that can't be helped. Slowly and painfully, she opened the front door and cringed inside as it croaked aloud alerting everyone in there to her presence. Guess the hinges needed greasing, something her uncle wasn't concerned about. She would have to see to it later because she didn't like the feeling of being noticed anytime she entered her hell of a home.

"If it isn't my luscious niece! Come here, Amira. I have been waiting for you and you're late."

"I'm sorry," she mumbled while schooling her thoughts. No need for him to see how disgusted she was by him and his wicked activities.

"Come here. I want to introduce you to our new guest. Today is his first time joining us. Come here, girl!"

Hell no!

She didn't want to meet any of his morally degraded friends. She just wanted to crawl upstairs into bed and ignore the chaos around.

"Amira–" he growled warningly and she knew he was getting impatient. And impatience wasn't a good look on him. She bit her lower lips to prevent it from trembling and forced her reluctant feet to do his bidding. In no time she was before him and staring down at the guest in question. What she saw made her more curious. He was handsome and young. Well way younger than her uncle. Plus he looked refined, so unlike the usual crowd her uncle normally rolled with. He wasn't like any of the men who paraded and graced their home at the behest of her uncle. He wasn't like any man she had met before. Everything about him oozed money and power. His eyes though gave her the chills as they were so cold and penetrating in their perusal. She wasn't so sure she liked the look of them.

"Felix, my friend meet my niece Amira. Amira my friend Felix."

"Nice to meet you," she lied. She couldn't wait to leave his presence. He intimidated her. Every shred of her protective instincts was screaming at her to run, run as fast as her feet would take her.

"I'm impressed Samad. You have such an innocent and lovely niece. I want her–"

"Uh Amira, go and do your rounds. Make sure everyone is well served and satisfied okay."

"Okay," she said moving away from their table. She couldn't help the chills that washed over her at Mr cold eyes statement. What was that he said again? Does he want her? How? In what way? Was he sick or something? He can't have her in any way. No chance in hell would she allow him close to her person. No chance! Doesn't matter if he looked different or refined. He so was not getting her! None of her uncle's friends were getting her. None had any claim on her. So why couldn't she silence the fear gripping and paralyzing her from within? Why did she feel she was out of her depth here and was about to become prey to the beast? Why?




***Samad***



Once his niece was out of earshot he turned angrily at his friend and hissed. "What do you think you were doing? What was that about Felix? You can't go around saying such things! Especially not to her!"

"And why the hell not! I want her. And you know me well enough to know I don't mince my words. Plus I always get what I want," Felix said in a voice filled with arrogance which made him want to knock him down a peg or two. But he couldn't sadly, because his business was hurting and he needed the fool's help to get back on his feet. He would have to rein in his desire to lash out. He signed in resignation and mumbled softly. "I know, but there's a need for caution here. She is still a minor in the eyes of the law, so you can't put your feelings out there for all to see."

"It has nothing to do with feelings but desire. Desire. Truth is, I desire your niece. I desire her innocence. I want to consume her. Just for one night. So name your price."

"What–" he allowed his voice to trail off. He couldn't believe his ears, and his heartbeat had picked up pace. What should he do? His offer was too good to pass up. It was a blessing in disguise. It wasn't like he loved his wife's niece or anything. No. The girl was too brazen and annoying for him to feel remorse. Though she was beautiful too. So beautiful it hurts to look at her at times. She had blossomed into a very intoxicating and ravishing young lady. Her innocence was a thick shroud that lured men in and kept them captivated. He was not immune to her charms either and had found himself tempted on more than one occasion. He was truly impressed at his resistance to succumbing to the temptation she always presented. He had wanted to tap into her sensual oasis, and just make her his. But his little conscience had resisted. And now here he sat contemplating negotiating her innocence away.

Was it so wrong?

Well, he didn't think so. This was an opportunity too good to pass up. He could kill two birds with one stone. Accomplish a lot with so little. His friend could take her innocence and pay him for it. He could use the money to save his motor spare parts business, and later have his fill of her without his conscience bugging him as she wouldn't be innocent any longer. Though he would have loved to be the one to take her innocence, he loved the money more.

"Name your price," Felix repeated in a slow tone as if giving him time to catch up.

"You can't be serious."

"I'm damn serious, and losing my patience. Come on, just name your price Samad!" Felix said sounding exasperated.

"One million Ghana cedis." He announced only half-jokingly.

"I would double that for one night with your niece," he murmured with a smirk. "But I would only pay after having her."

"What?"

"Yes. And it's not negotiable. Don't fret for you will get your money as soon as my night with your niece is over. Which would you prefer? Cash or cheque?"

"Cash," he said coldly not sounding pleased at all. He didn't like the idea of not getting the money now. He was desperate to get his hands on the cash.

"No need to sound cold. You know I'm good at my words. You would get your money as soon as I get her," he pointed with a nod towards his niece and raised his shot of brandy to his lips with a tiny malicious smirk. His friend was hooked it seems. He only sighed in response.

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