Eyes closed, swift shallow breaths, racing pulse. My body shuddered and I refused to move, allowing the pleasurable sensations to reverberate throughout my body – it felt good. He moved to withdraw from me then had a wicked change of heart and bumped his shaft against my still sensitive clitoris. I gasped and drew in a quick breath as the movement jolted a rivulet of electricity along my various nerve endings stirring the beginnings of pleasure – I wanted more. He withdrew his penis completely and I scowled refusing to open my eyes, he chuckled at my expression of protest and rose, moving away from me.
I opened my eyes “We’re not done” I said, my voice husky, “We’re never done because you are insatiable” he retorted and stalked off to the bathroom. I sighed and placed my fingers on my clitoris, beginning a perpendicular stroke but I withdrew immediately. I was sensitive and the heavy touch hurt. I re-started with lighter strokes and as the pleasure began to build I alternated with circular patterns, I was reaching for something light and sweet, I closed my eyes and grabbed the bed sheet with my left hand as coherent thoughts began scattering.
Nisyros stood at the doorway, momentarily appreciating her form, she was spread out on the bed, moaning softly as her fingers manipulated her clitoris – her vagina often the venue of his ecstasy. She arched her back, her moans turning to grunts and her fingers working faster. He half smiled and moved towards the bed, a man with a purpose.
My eyes flew open and narrowed when Nisyros pulled my hand away. “You’re scowling again” he said his voice deep and low – provocative. “You’re supposed to be watching” I remarked. He settled himself on top of me, pinning me down with his weight. I liked the feel of him on me missionary style – so protective, I thought. “That was an invitation to treat” he murmured and nipped at my lower lip, snapping me from my thoughts, his face was hovered over mine and our eyes locked, he barely brushed my lips with his then traced their outline with his tongue. I sighed. He poked his tongue into my mouth deepening the kiss.
I ran my tongue along his teeth and my hands down the sides of his torso, resting on his taut buttocks. I slipped my dominant hand between us and wrapped my fingers around the shaft of his penis. He inhaled sharply and hardened some more. I chuckled against his lips and whispered playfully “blue pill or red pill?”
I bounded into the office feeling like a lioness ready for the kill. I had a story to complete and two reports to submit by close of business today, I was raring to go until I bumped into Karungi whose eyes narrowed upon sighting me. I waltzed past her and set my bag on the table. “Late again” she said, I ignored her and pulled out my laptop, busying myself with setting up my paperwork as the laptop fired up, too slowly for comfort. I needed a new computer, this one had reached and exceeded its function life. Three years together, that was longer than any functional relationship I had ever had with a man.
“Did you have car trouble?” Karungi asked. I ignored her again. “I have no idea why Marcus puts up with you –“ Karungi tried again. “I give much better head than you Karungi” I retorted. She stared at me and I winked. We were tied, she had killed my morning buzz and I had alluded to her ‘secret’ affair with the boss. The score was even – at least for now.
By 9.30 am the office was a torrent of people as colleagues made their way to their desks, swapped stories and settled in to work – our cubicle jungle. “Team SADC!” Marcus shouted from the floor above. Silence whispered throughout the office floor as eyes searched out team members, while others peered up Marcus as he leaned against the railing looking down at us. I picked up my folder and headed up to Marcus’ office entering just as a young man from the finance section scuttled out accompanied by Marcus’ yell of ‘dickhead!’
The other members of my team were seated at the roundtable. There was Nelson, Paul, Patrice and Kwame. I was the only woman on the team and I preferred it that way. There were three journalist teams at the The Sisyphus. Each team represented the area of operation of the investigative crew. The teams were SADC covering Southern Africa, EAC covering East Africa and ECOWAS covering West Africa – extremely unoriginal. Each team had five members consisting of two photographers, two journalists and a handler. We followed up potential stories, researched leads, sources, information and told the story.
“I haven’t received your work plans for the next fortnight,” Marcus said as he approached the table. Patrice, our team lead and handler spoke first “I revised our work plan due to a few changes based on some leads that didn’t pan out, sources with credibility issues and budget cuts from finance.” “I didn’t hear a deadline,” Marcus said the words but I lip-synced them. Sitting at his side, I was out of his line of vision, the perfect place to goof around. Kwame smothered an unguarded laugh converting it to a cough while Paul rubbed his nose to hide a smile. Patrice responded quickly “In your inbox right after this meeting.” Marcus grunted.
Marcus continued, “Paul your shots from the election campaigns in Antananarivo were good, Kwame your reporting was good but you both lacked a story. You played it safe by being general. I expected you to show the readers the two main contenders with photographs from the campaign trail of one of the candidates.” Kwame interjected “What about the idea of telling a balanced story?” “I often talk about certain ideas being stupid – that is one of them.” Marcus spoke, I mimicked him. Another rub of the nose from Paul and a half smile from Patrice. Kwame scowled. Marcus turned to look at me and I looked back at him deadpan.
Marcus asked “I didn’t get a peep about Rajoelina, why not?” “He’s barred from participating in the elections and therefore irrelevant” Kwame responded “He’s been head of government for four years, he’s a power broker – they are always relevant.” Marcus shot back. What about Lalao Ravalomanana?” Marcus continued “She’s barred from participating.” Kwame said. “Power broker.” Patrice whispered loudly. Kwame sat back in his chair shaking his head.
Marcus turned to me “As for the jokester here, your piece on the trafficking of Brazilian women to Angola for sex was thought provoking –“ “Is that a synonym for great?” I interjected. “You’re only as brilliant as your next story. What’s your next story?” Marcus asked. “Four sisters in Botswana challenged traditional inheritance laws and won” I responded. Marcus yawned, Kwame smiled. “It’s a landmark case that sets a tone for women rights and creates debate about women’s rights vis-a-vis tradition” I argued. Who wants to read about that?” he asked. “It’s not sexy.” Kwame said and smiled. I rolled my eyes and turned to Marcus “You always say The Sisyphus represents the underdog – this is a story about the underdog.” “I say represent the underdog not start a crusade. The story is a non-starter.” Marcus said. “What? Wait –“ I was astounded. “What’s your angle?” Marcus asked me. “Women’s rights gain a foothold and triumph over unfair and archaic traditional practices.” I responded “No. The three big news channels will be all over it with that angle. Find a different angle or shelf the story.” Marcus said. I started to protest but stopped.
“What else?” he asked me. “RENAMO just renounced the 1992 peace agreement signed with FRELIMO in Mozambique. I want to write a piece on RENAMO plus an interview with Afonso Dhlakama, their leader.” “Why?” Marcus asked “Story is that RENAMO was created as a resistance movement by the Rhodesian and pro-apartheid South African government with support from western countries such as the US primarily to oppose FRELIMO. The cold war was fought on Mozambican soil. It’s a case of the hunter’s glorified tale so let’s give the lion a mouth piece.” I narrated quickly to avoid my story being shot down.
“Who wants to read about a defeated rebel leader?” Kwame asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Due to the economic recession in Europe, hundreds of Portuguese nationals are migrating to Mozambique in search of work and a better life. Mozambique’s economy is growing and companies such as Rio Tinto and countries like China are investing there. Maybe Dhlakama will start a war, maybe he won’t. It’s a ‘watch this space’ story.” I countered.” Send me your pitch, leads and sources and I’ll respond by lunch time.” Marcus said. “She shoots and scores.” I said taunting Kwame.
“Perfect moment for a time out.” The voice came from the door. We all turned to see Nisyros leaning against the door. “Okay folks. Patrice, I want that work schedule yesterday! Kwame rework the election story and Obsidian send me that pitch!” Marcus gave us our orders and dismissed us. As I walked out of the door, Nisyros unnoticed, gave my right buttock a quick squeeze. I glanced at him, half smiled and walked off. Nisyros walked into the room, “Marcus, we have a potential windfall but there is a catch. Hear me out.”
Nisyros Stavros is The Sisyphus fundraiser and co-founder. A Greek-American, savvy, he knows how to find investors, convince them to open their wallets and keep the money coming in. The paper makes money through other avenues such as advertising, sponsored articles and investments but Nisyros brings in financial backers that enable the paper to operate on a black ledger.
“Fifty shillings says that your RENAMO story is dead on pitch,” Kwame said as we walked to our desks. “Fifty shillings? C’mon, titillate me here, set my nerves alight. Two hundred shillings says my pitch will get the green light.” I sneered, taking the bait. Patrice and Paul whistled while Kwame grunted. I pulled four crisp fifty thousand shilling notes from my wallet, spread them out, fanned myself, lay them on the table and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Gauntlet thrown! You can’t back down now,” Paul shouted from across the room. “Two hundred it is.” Kwame said and placed the money on the table.
As a team we are always betting against or for our story pitches. I often won my bets against Kwame. I enjoyed taking his money, he made it too easy. Nelson came over and collected the money for safekeeping, as my photographer and assignment sidekick he always got a 40% cut of my winnings. An adoring father of two girls and husband to Refilwe, a family he had left behind in South Africa in an attempt to improve their standard of living and provide a better life – it wasn’t easy for him. We had a great working relationship and his struggle resonated with me. After my father’s death, my mother moved to the United Kingdom and left me with my father’s sister while she worked there to improve my standard of living.
“If Marcus’ rejection of your pitch on women’s rights is anything to go by, I am winning this bet.” Kwame said. I snorted. “You should have incorporated my suggestions on Lalao and Rajoelina.” I told him. “Marcus is controversial.” Kwame retorted. “He knows what sells.” I said “He likes to polarize!” Kwame snapped. “And yet you still work here after all these years – why is that?” I asked and handed him a file with information on Lalao Ravalomanana.
I stepped out of the air conditioned office and took a moment to appreciate the early evening air as I walked to the gate. It was humid with a subtle breeze and that was how I liked it. As a child, I enjoyed visiting my mother in Birmingham, the visits were a welcome respite but I hated the cold inclement weather – rain or snow.
We drove into traffic and the boda-boda driver I hired weaved through, it was noisy, congested and busy but that was partly why I loved Kampala city.
As I entered the lobby of the Serena hotel, my phone buzzed. I walked through to the reserved hall and found a seat. I checked the text message.
Roll in the sack. Yours or mine?
I responded Mine. I had a morning meeting and had to wake early, no use making a mad dash across town tomorrow.
I smiled. Teddy or Corset?
Bra, no panties.
I snickered. Today, no hands.
Mine or yours.
Yours. Let’s work your tongue muscles tonight, I thought.
I’ll lick you to ecstasy.
I’ll ride you all the way there. I wrote and dropped my phone in my bag as she reached the podium.
She was silent for a long time before she spoke. Someone coughed, feet shuffled, a chair scrapped the floor as someone moved. I noticed her intake of breath before speaking “My name is Laura and I am an alcoholic. Two weeks ago I would have been sober for two months but two weeks ago I picked up a bottle and didn’t stop drinking for days.” Her voice quivered but she continued speaking, she searched the small crowd and her gaze fixed on me. I smiled and waved at her.
Kazembe tilted the photographs in his hand. In one, Obsidian Kabumba stared back with large brown eyes and shaped thick eyebrows. She had plump lips, in the picture she wore red lipstick. She had an oval face and smooth dark skin. Her thin long dreadlocks were styled in criss-cross fashion on her head. It was a stunning portrait.
In the other photograph she was with her co-worker, a photographer named Nelson Khumalo from South Africa. The two were engrossed in conversation. Obsidian had small breasts and a petite frame. She was wearing an army green t-shirt with the Che Guevara silhouette and a tight pair of jeans with ballet pumps.
Kazembe had been searching for her for three years – a long and difficult search. Upon locating her, he had ensured she was monitored. With Obsidian in the picture, he could put the rest of his plan into action. He wondered if Nisyros would come through. His phone rang.