Preorder: 9th February 2016
Early Download: 23rd February 2016
General Release: 22nd March 2016
The time of deliverance was just a few days away, and Prince Kenwei could not recite the ancient words that would bind his twin sister to the lake god. Restless nights robbed his concentration. When the princess explained his dreams were similar to the ones that called the chosen one to the god, Kenwei knew she had to be wrong. He was convinced there was no way he could be receiving a dream meant for the sister, but was he right?
Abeni appeared in the doorway to the living room. His chest swelled as he smiled. She had grown into a lovely young woman. Kenwei had no doubt the lake god would be pleased with her. They shared many features being siblings, but when Kenwei looked at his sister he saw the king’s eyes. Light brown and all-knowing, sparkling with the awareness that intellectual people had.
“Good morning,” he said, walking toward her.
“Good morning, Kenwei. My goodness. You look terrible.”
They met at the table and Kenwei kissed her cheek before sitting beside her with a sigh.
“Are you still not sleeping well?” she asked, caressing his face in concern.
“No and the dreams are coming more often. They used to come once in a while, but they have increased to every night. I have even had one during the day.”
“Here eat something,” his sister offered, pushing a bowl of fruit toward him. “It will help build your strength.”
Kenwei nodded and rested his head on his fist. He was not hungry but munched on the food to make her happy.
“Please, Kenwei, you mentioned these dreams to me many times without giving me any details. Tell me what they consist of. Perhaps I can help you decipher their meanings.” Abeni let her hand glide over his back lovingly. “If they derive from a problem, we can conquer it together,” she added.
Abeni’s voice was filled with concern. His twin sister was the closest person in the world to him. He had come to see if she could help him, and now that he was here, he was almost afraid she would find him crazy. He looked up and saw the discomfort she felt at his distress and sighed again.
“There isn’t much to tell, Abeni,” he said, taking another bite of the half-eaten pear. “They are about the same man every time. I don’t know him. He is not a member of our tribe, nor do I recognize him from another village.”
“Does he speak to you?” she asked, taking a banana from the basket.
“Yes. He said he finds me beautiful, and he will continue to come to me until I come to him. He has also said that we belong together.”
Abeni’s eyes widened. “He speaks to you like a lover?”
Kenwei nodded. “Yes. He has made love to me repeatedly in these dreams.”
Abeni tapped her chin in thought as she chewed. “Kenwei, this all sounds familiar, almost like the dreams the elder women say I am supposed to be having.”
His brows rose. “What?”
“Yes. According to legend, the child of the deliverance king is supposed to have a dream to prepare her for the lake god’s arrival. He calls out to her while she sleeps, makes love to her repeatedly to build her desire for him.” She looked away for a moment, seemingly to search her memory for the words. “On the day she is presented to him, she not only recognizes him by sight, but her body knows him as well, thus allowing her to give herself to him willingly. The elders say the dreams are to help ease the fright of mating with the god for the first time.”
Kenwei’s features contorted as he searched his memory. “Now that you mention it, I do remember reading that. Preparing for the ritual father had me read the ancient covenant. But I am not the one who is going to the lake god, Abeni,” he protested, pointing to his chest. “You are. My studying shouldn’t be causing these dreams.”
“We are twins, Kenwei.” She mentioned as if he had forgotten. “The first ever to be born of a king of deliverance. It may be possible because of our unique closeness that you are having the dream instead of me.”
His jaw dropped. “What! You haven’t had the dream?”
She shook her head. Abeni didn’t seem bothered by that knowledge, but Kenwei’s heart skipped a beat.
“Why haven’t you said anything? Aren’t you concerned at all?”
She shrugged. “The elder women are not worried. They say that the scrolls don’t mention a specific time when the dreams come to the woman, just that she has them. The ceremony isn’t until tomorrow. They are confident that I will have one tonight. I am the only daughter of the king.” She paused to eat another piece of her banana. “Now tell me, how long have you been dreaming of this man?”
“Since we became of age to marry,” he confessed reluctantly.
“That’s been over six months. Why are you just now saying something?” she asked in an astonished tone.
He pushed the chair back and stood, running his hands over his head. “I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t know what to think at first. I thought it was because I didn’t have a lover.”
“You don’t have a lover?” she squealed with new shock.
“Neither do you,” he countered accusingly, gripping the back of the seat.
“Yes, but it is different for me, Kenwei. I am supposed to be a virgin when I am presented to the lake god. You are a viral young man of twenty one years. How can you pleasure a wife if you don’t know how?”
Kenwei heaved a sigh, then dropped into the chair again. “I don’t—I don’t think I want a wife, Abeni,” he confessed in a low voice.
Abeni gasped. “You must take a wife, Kenwei. Although your offspring will not be the next ruler, as prince of this tribe, it is your duty to marry. Other tribes throughout Africa wish to bond with us because the gods have given our people their strength and beauty.” She pulled the basket of fruit closer to her. “After the ceremony, many kings will appear with their daughters for you to choose from. You know how important your union is. It will connect us to other tribes and ensure that new blood flows through our tribe,” she reminded him on her way to the kitchen.
Kenwei leaned back, dragging his hands over his face. “I know, I know. I just don’t find the touch of a woman as pleasurable as I do that of this man.”
“Have you shared intimacy with a man the way you have with women?” she asked with a raised brow, returning to her seat.
“Yes. Well no. Not awake anyway.” He hesitated for a moment, then dropped his head to the table with a groan. “Abeni, this is very hard to discuss with you. You’re my sister.”
She touched his hand. “Kenwei, we closer than any regular brother and sister could ever be. You can share anything with me. I would never judge you.”
Kenwei knew that to be true, and he really was bursting to share his dreams with someone.
“I haven’t felt the physical touch of a man’s hand on me, but…” A growling moan left his lips causing him to pause. “The dreams are so strong, so real. They bring me to an amazing release each time. I wake exhausted from his superior prowess and handling of my body.”
“Oh my,” Abeni exclaimed, covering her mouth to muffle a girlish giggle.
“I can see him in my mind as clear as I see you now. He is pale and lovely in the moonlight with long lean limbs and flowing jet black hair. His eyes are an incredible liquid blue. They sparkle like the tiny wave caps atop the clearest lake in the light of the sun’s rays, and his lips are pink and perfect.” He leaned forward to gaze at his sister. “When his hand is on my skin, it feels just as real as yours does now,” he added, lifting her hand to emphasize his words. “Each time he caresses my body, it feels better than the last. I have never felt its equal with any of the women I have been with.”
“My goodness, Kenwei. You sound mystified and delighted at the same time over this,” Abeni teased as more titters escaped.
Not offended by his sister’s teasing, Kenwei shook his head and chuckled. “You have no idea.”