MacNeith Hotel, South Husan
Sheila and Henry were sitting side by side in her hotel room. She had on blue jean bumshorts and a black top. Henry had a grey top on with black shorts. They were sitting at the edge of the bed, close to each other but appeared to be in a serious mood. A laptop was on a stool in front of them through which Sheila displayed some figures to Henry.
“So, I don’t get the reason you had to go through all those streets and buy some of the tools without going into the company.” Henry said to her in continuation of an ongoing discussion.
“I needed to come here and have an overview of the facilities and products before commencement of the deal,” Sheila answered. “The firm in question has no idea that I am here or that a deal is on its way. I agree there are a lot of good reports about them online but it’s necessary to hear and see what people around them think about them and the products.”
“So are you satisfied with what you’ve seen?”
“Yes, I’ve discovered the changes we need to make it conform to our taste. The firm has expertise in BUS signal codes and they need our expertise in the high unit TRA encryption, we would strike a good deal with them and also help them.”
“The benefit of this deal is the BUS signal codes we’re getting?”
“We are not just going to be getting the codes, we’d be learning how to write them and they would also learn TRA encryption from us. It benefits both of us and they even need us more right now.”
“Apart from that, it’s also going to grant us entry into these regions where the firm has expanded to,” she explained, using a map being displayed on the screen. She scrolled down and stopped at a list of countries. “These countries are also in need of products encrypted with TRA and written with BUS signal codes. If we get these codes, they would be attracted to us and we would jointly make a lot of money.”
“Wow! Sounds like a great plan,” Henry exclaimed looking at her face. “Did you come up with this or your team?”
“Well, I found out about the BUS signal codes on one of my trips for the UN. I introduced it to the company and showed them the prospects. Since then, we’ve been searching for a firm which writes strong BUS codes and I identified this firm. They have some challenges and are in debt, so they have put up part of their company for sale which no one has showed interest to buy. In three days time, they would run bankrupt if they can’t make the sale. So we are not just buying their property, we are offering them a merger.”
Henry smiled and leaned back a bit. “I’m amazed at your intelligence Sheila,” he said, looking at her face.
“Really?” She turned her face to look at him.
“Yeah, truly. You’re a young person with a lot of achievements already and you are not stopping or slowing down your efforts. I really want to be like you.”
“Hahaha,” she laughed loud and hit him playfully on the shoulder. “You flatter me too much.”
“No, I’m saying the truth.” He said in a serious tone and grabbed her fist to stop her from hitting him.
“Well,” she stopped and shrugged. She let out a broad smile before talking. “Thank you, I think I got my business intelligence from my Dad.”
“I quite agree with you, there’s no doubt you would become one of the richest women in Africa and in the world.”
“Here you go again!” She said, stressing her words deeply as she rolled her eyes.
“No flattering, it’s the truth.” He quickly added.
With a smile on her face, she stared into his eyes silently for a while and then hugged him closely, placing her head on his shoulders again.
There was such warmth she felt around Henry always which made her always feel comfortable. Also the way he showed interest always in her business and deals got her more endeared to him. It was something she never felt when she was with Tom. Tom was not usually interested in what she did or support her unless he was consciously asked to.
“Are you through with your work for tonight?” Henry asked nudging her as he stared at the laptop screen.
“Ermm… Nothing more to do until my legal team and technical advisers arrive.” She replied as she disengaged herself from him. She leaned forward to shut down the laptop.
“That’s till afternoon tomorrow, so what would we be doing until then?” Henry asked.
“Maybe, we can do some exercises tomorrow. You’d teach me some fight moves,” she replied, staring at his face before she wrapped her hands around his body like she did before.
Henry chuckled at her mention of fight moves again. “So why do you need to learn fight moves? You want to go into wrestling?”
She laughed and then tilted her face up to look at him. He was also staring at her.
“Would you like for me to go into wrestling if I wanted to?”
“Never,” Henry’s lips trembled as he replied. Their faces were so close again, just like it happened in the car two days ago. He wondered why she always put him in such a situation where he would hold his breath unconsciously and long to touch her lips with his. It happened somehow that there was no kiss in the car two days ago. At the moment their lips were supposed to meet, the driver had decided to make a surprising sharp turn that caused them a jerking reaction in the car and made them pull away from each other after the car continued in its stable motion, both feeling embarrassed but Henry with the more intense feeling.
It was a similar situation here but they were in no car which would cause a jerking reaction, they were in Sheila’s hotel room, far from distractions in the world. They both felt tensed, breaths held and eyes looking into each others. Their faces moved closer and they were less than a centimetre apart.
A phone rang.
It brought them back to reality and Sheila disengaged herself from him quickly to answer the call.
There was this awkward feeling again which made Henry get up to his feet immediately. He picked his things and waited for Sheila to finish answering the call before he told her he was retiring to his hotel room which was opposite hers.
She didn’t argue as usual for him to stay a little longer. She nodded her head gently in response and looked away without talking.
“Goodnight,” she said in a voice not louder than a whisper.
She remained in the same position until she heard the sound of the closing door. She fell back to the bed and closed her eyes.
Several thoughts ran through her mind and she began to feel so foolish as she wondered what was happening to her. She had not been able to get Henry off her mind in the past few days. She felt silly for letting him dominate her thoughts after she had only known him for few months. She was sure there was no future with him, he was a man who God had brought her way only to help and who was soon leaving her to find his own life, she needed to get him off her mind completely. She realized she had allowed him occupy too much of her thoughts and she was gradually losing guard with him. She needed to apply more care and probably spend lesser time with him, she concluded in her mind.
She sat up and picked the notepad and pen beside her laptop. She opened it and scribbled something in the middle page. A member of her team had just called to inform her that they had secured their flight tickets to South Husan and they would be leaving Bethanna by eight o’clock.
They planned to meet with their prospective partners that evening, after a developers conference that would hold that afternoon where they would book a meeting with them for the next day and reveal their offer.
Henry got into his room, feeling weak. Not physical weakness, but something which felt stronger than emotional weakness. He couldn’t tell what was happening with him and Sheila but he felt it wasn’t right. She was his benefactor and he was indebted to her, he was not supposed to take advantage of her emotions in any way. Knowing that she had just come out of a disappointing relationship with Tom and she would be emotionally fragile, he needed to avoid anything that would make her emotionally entangled to him or do something that they would later come to regret.
The bed shook as he fell flat on his face into it, he pulled the pillow closer to his head and buried his face in it. He tried to get Sheila off his mind by thinking about how his life would be when he finally left. Few minutes after struggling to keep her away from his thoughts, he couldn’t still do it. He heaved a sigh and turned his face and whole body to face the ceiling, he raised his right knee and then crossed the other leg over it.
Newland Estate, Ruthernard, Bethanna.
The Red Wolves Executives were seated for another meeting, in the same usual sitting arrangement.
“It’s official, our operations can begin since we confirmed the death of the Agent.” The Ghanian man said aloud. He now had some boldness in him which was missing in the last meeting.
“Yes, I agree with Bernard.” another man put in.
There were nods and sounds of agreement from every corner except from two of the men, one whom they called the strategist and the other who was the leader of the group.
The leader of the team sat at the left hand corner, he was mostly quiet during their meetings and in their last meeting had only spoken at the beginning and at the end. His name was Elvis Kahn, a man in his late fifties. He had a dual citizenship of Bethanna and the United Land and resided mostly in the United Land until the Wolves movement began years ago. He was an ex agent of the United Land’s forces who was dismissed after 25 years of serving in the force. His outward look was that of a strict man. He was well built, a little above the average height. He was well trained in the use of arms and ammunitions and was also a very intelligent man.
The rest of the men became confused when they noticed the other two men did not seem to agree that they could continue with their operations. They knew they only need one of them to agree, when one did, the other would also succumb, trusting in the ability of the other one to make the right choice. Everybody placed more attention on the strategist, he spoke more than their leader did and came up with strategies most of the time.
“I do think we can go ahead with our operations.” One of them spoke finally, but it was who they least expected – the leader.
There was total silence after. The strategist wasn’t still talking.
“What do you think Hutton?” Elvis the leader had to ask him.
“If you think we should go ahead, it’s fine.” Hutton replied. “I will suggest that we just thread carefully.”
“I think there’s no cause for alarm,” Elvis Kahn continued, now addressing everyone. “There’s no reason we should be scared of a dead agent.” He added and then flashed a look at Hutton again. “We’d continue with our operations and hit the next target. Remember our plan is to crumble the economy of the nation so that they won’t be able to sponsor the FOX. It would take time for the International bodies to lend support because they would expect the FOX to be fit enough to take charge, but it would be too late when they’d realize that the FOX is weak. We would penetrate one after the other into neighboring countries and spread.”
Four days after
El Deols Airport, El Deols, Anthanna.
Sheila and Henry finally returned to the country after a successful business trip. It was a short one but Henry felt glad he went. South Husan was a beautiful country just like Sheila had told him, and apart from the beautiful environment, he had also learnt new things.
They sat at the backseat of the car with enough space between each other this time around, totally different from the manner at which they sat while going to the airport few days ago.
After that night which the phone call disturbed them, both had avoided being together alone and doing things that had to bring their bodies so close even though they still were not able to get the thoughts of each other off their minds completely.
“Did you say something to me?” Henry asked after he heard her make a sound which he wasn’t sure of.
She was busy making use of her phone and reading business news on the pobsonline website while he was also busy with his phone.
“No, I wasn’t talking to you.” She looked at him and replied. She had gotten so carried away with the news that she didn’t realize her response was loud for others to hear. “I’m not just happy about what’s happening in Bethanna.”
“Bethanna?” Henry’s eyebrows gathered together. “That sounds familiar.”
“Yeah, it’s a neighboring country to Anthanna.” Sheila replied. “Earlier this year, they had issues of terrorist attacks but they overcame with the help of two secret FOX agents who died in the process. But just three days ago, there was a bomb blast at their Central Bank in the country’s capital Bexford and over fifteen people are already confirmed dead and more than fifty in critical conditions.”
“That’s so bad!” Henry exclaimed, a sad frown covering his face as he felt bad for the number of people killed.
“Yes, so bad.”
Henry strangely felt so pained like someone whose relative died in the bomb blast. He minimized the running app on his phone and opened his browser, he typed in pobsonline.com and quickly moved to their news section where he scrolled to check the news.
He soon found it after using the search box and he clicked on the link. He began to read the news article which talked about the time, place and the damages caused at the place of attack. It also talked about two top FOX agents who had died trying to end the terrorist organization.
After reading the news, he wanted to know more about the FOX agency, it sounded to him like something familiar. He typed the word into the search box and clicked on search. Three seconds after, the search results displayed and he scrolled through to make an option of which link to choose.
It took him about thirty minutes reading about the FOX agency and he didn’t feel contented with the information gotten yet. He wanted to search more about the agency when the driver of the vehicle spoke.
“Madam, the police vehicle is waving us.”
Sheila looked up quickly, she turned her neck to check what he was saying. A black police Hilux was coming behind them.
“What do they want?” Sheila asked with a deep frown on her face, expecting no answer to her question. She pondered on the situation for a brief moment before asking the driver to pull over. “Let’s find out what they want.”
The driver turned on the vehicle indicator and continued until the traffic was clear before pulling to a curb.
The police vehicle pulled to a halt behind them and three uniformed and armed men jumped out of the vehicle and walked towards Sheila’s car immediately.
“Step out of the car right now?” One of the officers ordered in a loud voice, three of them already splitting in different directions and pointing their guns at them. “Put your hands above your head as you come out.”
Henry was as confused as Sheila, so he followed every step she took first. He waited until she opened the door at her side before he did. He also stepped out after her with his hands above his head.
“You bas***d, step over here!” One of the men yelled at Henry. “You think you can keep on hiding?”
Henry’s heart began to beat fast as he concluded that his past was already coming to hunt him. With his hands raised above his head, he walked slowly in direction of the officers. They all had their guns pointing at him now, none was pointing the gun at Sheila or the driver.
Sheila watched on as Henry moved closer to the men. She felt so sorry for him. She had exposed him to the public by allowing him take the job of being her bodyguard and then making him have to be at the airport and travel with her. She was full of regrets. Here was Henry now, in a past that he had always tried to avoid.
“Thank God we found him quickly Madam Sheila, this guy is a dangerous man and would have put you in trouble with his cunningness or even hurt you.” One of the men said as they ordered Henry to put his hands behind him and handcuffed him.
Henry stared at Sheila’s face helplessly and he could also see that she was full of regrets. It was all over for him, he thought. He would never have the new future he had dreamt and planned for, he would have to face the consequences of his past of which he remembered nothing.
“Move dude!” an Officer barked at him, directing him towards their vehicle.
“Where are you taking him to?” Sheila challenged.
“The police barracks,” the policeman replied him.
“We’re coming with you,” Sheila said and made a signal for her driver to get into the car.
“You don’t need to come with us Madam, but if you want to make a statement against him, it’s okay.”
The men led Henry into the police vehicle and ordered him to get into the backseat, one of them joined him by his left and another by the right.
He closed his eyes for a moment as he sat with his hands cuffed behind. He did not know what awaited him. He felt sorry for himself.
He opened his eyes again when the vehicle began to move, he noticed that Sheila’s vehicle was following behind. He wished he could tell her to forget about him but he knew she wouldn’t listen. She had done enough for him already, he should be left to reap the consequences of whatever his past actions were.
He let out a deep breath again. He looked up and his eyes met in the rearview mirror with the eyes of the police man by his left, he looked away after some seconds. His gaze moved to the ground. He saw the shoes of the policemen and the picture suddenly changed to another man’s shoe. This man was standing, putting on another uniform, totally different one. Henry could see the guns attached to the belt of the man’s trousers as the picture became fuller. Then he saw the man’s face. Unexpectedly, it was no one else but himself, a younger version of him. He felt something like a shock and then the picture disappeared totally. He shook his head, trying to get the picture back but he couldn’t, all he could see again were the policemen shoes.