False Pretense Episode 56

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Moss shook his head at her looking at her like he was seeing her for the first time. “Sometimes, I wonder about you, Vick…how you can be as callous and cold as stone, must be the coke you’re sniffing.” Vicky hissed

“Oh please, the coke doesn’t do anything to me, you’ve always been a scaredy cat.”

“oh, yeah? Well this scaredy cat wants this deal to go real smooth, so you better get your act together and do everything to how we planned it in the first place.” He cautioned.

“Whatever.” She replied opening the doors to her car, pissed with Moss. The guy could be so bloody irritating sometimes. “We’ll talk soon, just make sure things at your end run smoothly.”

*******

“ What the fu-“

“Sir, please calm down.” Sal advised his boss “You need to calm down.” He turned from the TV screen, on to the other man and looked at him in such annoyance, as if he was the cause of all he was going through at the moment.

“Calm?” He asked him “Calm? Are you freaking serious? The stupid police leaked information about the case to the press and you want me to be fu’cking calm? Are you for real? Get the fu’cking IGP on the phone this minute and tell him I want them off the case….”

“Sir…..” Sal started unsure but stopped at the look his boss gave him, he dare not to speak, he’d never seen his boss this way before, like a mad man from hell, as if he was crazy. Blood shot eyes, and angry as hell, he did an about turn instantly and went to make the call.

Ise turned back to the screen and saw they’d moved on to other news, he had good reason to shut down the TV station and sue it’s management for divulging information in an ongoing case, information that had been obtained from his mother during her private interview with the police. To think they’d asked that Vicki be removed from the room when they’d not made certain their own house was clean, they were such dumb as’ses.

He’d insisted Vicki remained, as she was a doctor and concerned about his mother’s health status. His mother hadn’t given them much other than she was certain there was a female in the company of the perpetrators who’d attacked them. Her voice had been muffled and faint but she’d heard her instructing the guys to take Kite in her place since she’d not been doing well. According to his mother, the woman had said she hadn’t wanted to be saddled with a dead old bat.

Ise was feeling more desperate by the second, it was already eight p.m and still no ransom demand, he was beginning to get scared that this might be more than a kidnapping, maybe they were sent to abduct and kill? He felt himself grow cold and shiver, never! Why abduct people you wanted to kill? Why not just do it there and then? And then, they’d left his mother behind so as not to have them die in their hands.

They would send a demand, he told himself, looking up to see that he was at the doorway to Kite’s room, he’d wandered down there absent minded as he’d been going through things in his head. Pushing the door open, he looked in, feeling as if he would see her come out of the bathroom at any moment but struggled to accept that it wasn’t happening.

The air in there felt alive with her presence and he went in, maybe he could find some solace in being there? The room was just as she’d left it, tempted to smile as he looked around, Kite could be a sort of slob, fond of taking off her clothes and leaving them wherever she’d dropped it to be picked up sometime later.

He picked up the gold sequined gown off the floor of the wardrobe where she’d left it two nights before when they’d made love. The night she’d opened up to him about what she’d really been about. The night he’d realized he really didn’t want to be without her, the night he’d realized she came with a lot of baggage and he was ready to bear it with her.

She wasn’t a bad person, just hadn’t been dealt a fair hand by life and had had to work with what she had. Maybe he was making excuses for her, but he didn’t give a damn, he would do anything for that girl and the second he’d realized that, he’d known he wanted to be married to her, wanted to live the rest of his life with her.

She could do no wrong in his eyes. His hurtful words to her the day before had been caused by his anger at being used all along by a friend he’d trusted so much.

Dropping the gown on her bed, he glanced at the side stool and saw the glittering purse that had accompanied the gown, he picked it up. Running his hands over it, he recalled how surreal she’d looked that night. He found himself opening it, curious as to what was in the purse. Was the little thing just an accessory or did she actually have stuff inside? Opening the clasp he saw a pack of gum and a slip of paper which he brought out and saw digit’s to a phone number written on it accompanied with ‘Emergency, call me’. There was no name attached to it, just a number. He frowned studying the sturdy, confident strokes of ink and knew most certainly it was a man’s writing. He wondered who it could be.

Taking the slip of paper, he dropped the purse and made his way back to the study where he picked Kite’s phone which was lying on his desk. It had been found in the car along with her handbag. He dialed the number and it began to ring, he expected it to be picked up but instead it rang till it was disconnected. So much for emergency, he thought wryly but before he dropped the phone, it began to ring, a call coming in from a private number. He answered the call on the first ring, tempted to say the first hello but didn’t, he kept mute instead, listening. Finally, the other person spoke

“Kite, are you there? Are you alright?” The voice was a male and Ise had a good idea who it was, he didn’t know how he knew but he did.

“it’s not Kite,” he replied and there was a silence before he spoke up again.

“Williams?” Ise raised a brow

“Yes, it’s Ise Williams.” There was a sigh on the other end and the other man began again

“Look, if you’re thinking Kite and I are still in contact, you’re wrong. I gave her the number to get to me in case of an emergency. There’s no need spying on her anymore, I’m out of the picture for good, I’m not even in the country anymore.” That explained why he had no idea what had happened.

“ Kite was abducted.” He said crisply.

“s’cuse me?”

“Kite was abducted along with my younger sister.”

“What!” He could feel the other mans shock from where he stood “When?”

“Yesterday evening.”

“Why?”

“ I’m not sure yet, there’s no ransom demand at the moment, the abductors haven’t gotten back to us.”

“Where did it happen?”

“not far from the house, Kwame Nkrumah Crescent, they’d been in the car with my mother on their way somewhere when they’d been waylaid and forcefully abducted. Look, I’m not sure why I’m telling you this but I thought you had to know. For some reason, Kite was fond of you, I know she would want this.”

“Is the police on it?”

“they were but I asked them to back out because they leaked classified information to the press.”

“No, get them back on it. Act like you’re with them on this but do your own background investigations, and keep them out of that loop. You know how useless they are. I’ll make some enquiries from my end and get back to you on what I find. I will reach you on Kite’s number, so keep it with you always and please do not let anyone know about my involvement or even your investigations. Not even those you think you trust with your life.” He hung up leaving Ise staring at the now useless device in his hand. Now, that wasn’t rude, he thought.

This was the kind of action he needed, not people around him who were stumped and seemed to be at a dead end. Sal knocked at the door, Ise turned “yeah?”

“Sir…I just finished with the IGP and he doesn’t believe the leak came from his office, he…”

“Get them back on the case!” He said brusquely

“What?” Sal asked not sure he’d heard well. Ise said more slowly for the man’s benefit

“Get the police back on the case!” Sal frowned

“but…” Ise sighed

“I’ve changed my mind, Sal, I’ve realized they are my only option at getting these guys, or have your investigations come up with anything tangible?” Sal slumped his shoulders

“No sir.”

“So get them back on ….” He didn’t finish his statement as he heard some sort of commotion outside. Exchanging a brief glance with Sal, they both made their way outside to see Olamide struggling with a team of security personnel. Ise had left instructions not to be bothered with any more guests after Vicki had left and they were working on his orders.

“Hey! Hey!” Sal called out to them, getting them to stop.

“ Sir, we told him Mr. Williams can’t receive any guests but he barged in and….”

“it’s okay.” Ise said, it wouldn’t kill him to receive his former friend. They left him alone and Ola turned to him, glaring angrily.

“ Ise!” The other man yelled as he approached him “How dare you! You crossed the line, man! Keeping me out of the loop like this! I know you could be mean but not like this, not like this man! Do you have any idea what I’ve been going through? Finding out about my girlfriends abduction on the news? Really? Ise, I’m now that inconsequential to you?” Ise saw the pain he was going through mirrored exactly in his friends demeanor, Ola was equally going through hell and it dawned on Ise that maybe he’d been too quick to judge his friend. Maybe Ola really did have strong feelings for Jeje?

“I’m sorry.” He found himself saying, the words leaving him without hesitation, he meant it. He was sorry for everything, he realised. “I…” he didn’t know what else to say or how to console his friend “I’m so sorry.” He said putting an arm over his friends shoulder as Ola burst into sobs he’d been holding back, letting go finally, his shoulders shaking.

Ise had never seen his friend breakdown this way before, but he understood. He wasn’t far from breaking point himself, he wished he could just give in but knew he had to keep a cool, clear head. That was what the situation really needed. He couldn’t afford to lose focus.

“Sir!” Sals voice was sharp and Ise looked up to see Sal holding up his phone “Princess just called and said you needed to check your mail.” Ise let go of Ola who seemed bewildered. He accepted the phone and went straight to his inbox, instantly seeing what he was looking for, the ransom demand.

SUBJECT:RANSOM

TO: ise.williams@wolcorp.org

FROM: anonymous@yahoo.com

WIRED TRANSFER TO THE BANK OF CAYMAN’S 2034567839337467 $ 2,000,000

DEADLINE : TUESDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2013 4.00PM PROMPT.

“Finally!” He breathed before turning to Sal “Get me the head of our IT department, get me Izy and get me the family’s account manager at Citibank, get them here like yesterday, we need to start liquidating assets…also arrange for a teleconference with my father.”

“Sir..” Sal started

“what now?” He asked impatiently

“The police…” Sal began

“leave them out of this!” He stated and Sal knew not to argue “just get those three down here now, we have no time.” He added before turning on his friend who’d been silently watching for a while.

“Come on Ola, you’ll need to sit in on this.”

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