Restless – The Hunt For Peace Episode 178

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© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye

03:45 PM

Somewhere in Benuit

“We have our eyes on Hakim,” Samantha said into the mouthpiece attached to her shirt. She and Dave were sitting in the car, Dave at the driver’s seat while she was at the passenger’s.

Hakim and three other men had just stepped out of an electronic shop after purchasing some items. Two of the men walked to the boot to place the items there while Hakim walked to the driver’s side.

“Is he alone?” Henry asked from the other end.

“No, with three others,” Samantha answered.

“If you get a clear view of the men, take a good picture.”

“Right…”

“Keep following until he’s alone,” Henry instructed.

** **

05:30 PM

El Deols, Anthanna

Sheila was laying quietly on her belly in the bed, busy with her phone when she heard a knock at the door. She turned to find Lesedi opening the door.

“Can I come in, Ma’am?” Lesedi asked, even after stepping into the room already.

Sheila turned and sat up without bothering to give a response.

“Mr. Adrian is here to see you,” Lesedi said after closing the door behind. “The smoothies you asked for is ready, I wanted to bring it up here but I thought you’ll like to take it downstairs since you have a guest now.”

“It’s fine,” Sheila cut in. “You can serve it when I come down, bring some for him too. And please, let him know I’ll join him in five minutes.”

“Alright ma’am,” Lesedi curtsied before she turned and walked out.

Sheila dragged herself out of the bed and turned towards the mirror. She was putting on a short gown that revealed her thighs and a shower cap of the same colour. After a few seconds of indecision, she took off the shower cap and let her hair flow freely down. She then picked up a comb to straighten it well. After straightening it for a brief moment, she stared again at the mirror and confirmed it was looking better. She reached for her phone before she proceeded out of the room.

“Hi, baby,” Adrian called in a pleasant voice as she approached him.

“Hey, sweetheart,” she replied and walked into his open arms, as he placed a light kiss on her lips.

They released each other and she sat on the sofa next to his, placing her arm on the armrest and leaning towards him. He moved closer and kissed her lightly on the lips again. She smiled.

“I never expected you’ll come this early,” she remarked after taking a glance at the giant wall clock, ticking noiselessly at the opposite wall.

“Don’t you want me here now?” He asked with a smirk.

“Of course, I do,” she tapped him lightly.

They stared at each other’s eyes silently for a moment.

“I brought you something,” Adrian suddenly remembered and turned to pick an item he had placed on the floor. He brought the small box forward and watched as Sheila stared at it inquisitively.

“You got me a gift three days ago,” she remarked, staring straight into his eyes.

“Yes, I did. But gifts can’t be too much for my Angel, can they?” He replied, smiling sheepishly.

It’s been two weeks since Sheila had said ‘yes’ to his relationship proposal and that day had been the happiest day of his life. He had thought she would never give him the chance but she surprised him that day even without much effort on his part.

However, he still knew Sheila had only decided to give him a chance as he’d pleaded with her. And that chance seemed to be the opportunity he needed to make her love him forever. He wasn’t going to take it lightly.

They both stared at the box in his hands and Sheila watched in suspense as he opened the box slowly.

Her mouth widened in surprise as it revealed a sparkling gold necklace. She raised her face and stared at him, unable to close her mouth.

He picked out the necklace and raised it. “Do you like it?”

“Yeah, I do,” she replied but her smile faded slowly. “But you didn’t have to get something so expensive. You’re spending too much of your money buying gifts for me.”

“I’m not complaining,” Adrian chuckled, staring at her while still holding the necklace up. “Would you let me put it on you?”

“Sure,” she smiled and leaned closer to him.

He moved closer and gently fixed the necklace around her neck. He pulled back and stared at her while she smiled. “You look stunning as ever,” he said in a low soothing voice.

He was about to lean forward for another kiss when they both noticed Lesedi walking in with cups containing smoothies for both of them.

“These smoothies are made with Tiger Nut, you like to take?” Sheila asked Adrian as Lesedi got closer.

“Ermm… I like smoothies in general,” he replied. “I’m not sure how this will taste but I know I would love it since you do too.”

“Thank you, Lesedi,” Sheila smiled as she picked the cup from Lesedi’s tray. She positioned the straw properly and drew in a mouthful.

“Thank you,” Adrian also appreciated after taking the cup from Lesedi. He watched Sheila staring at him as he drew in the first. He had only taken a little as he wasn’t sure how it tasted yet. “It’s so good,” he commented and then drew in more, taking more of the fluid.

“Yeah, it’s good. That’s why I love it,” Sheila remarked.

Adrian was about to say something when Sheila’s phone began to ring. She picked it up from the armrest where she placed it and stopped for a second to check the caller. Adrian could also see the caller’s name.

“I have to take this, please excuse me,” Sheila said and did not wait for Adrian’s response before leaving.

His countenance changed as he watched her go. He suddenly lost his sense of taste and couldn’t enjoy taking the drink again. He reached for the footstool and dropped the cup on it.

A sigh escaped his lips as he shook his head and brushed his face with his palm. He remembered Sheila telling him a week ago how she had nothing to do with Henry anymore. But here she was, excusing herself to answer a call from him. If she could do that with him around, then she must be in communication with Henry much more than he thought.

He wondered if he would be ever able to make her love him the same way he loved her. It was obvious to him when she accepted to date him that it wasn’t because she loved him. She had even told him some time ago that she didn’t have the same feelings he always expressed in his words towards her. Still yet, he continued to convince her to try him out.

Even though he was quite certain he would be able to make her love him, he believed it would only be if she cut off communication with Henry. He was quite sure that Henry was the one standing in between them.

A minute later, Sheila returned to the living room and put on a smile as their eyes met.

“You stopped taking your drink?” She stared at the cup on the footstool as she walked to her seat.

“No, just taking a break,” he replied dryly.

She sat down and crossed her legs before she picked the cup to take a sip.

“Care to share what the call was about?” Adrian inquired.

“Nothing serious, he just wanted me to get something done for him in Anthanna. He’s asking about the progress,” Sheila answered him, yet to notice the change in his countenance.

“He wants you to get something done for him?” Adrian turned to her with his eyes squinted. “I thought you told your Dad you were no longer in touch with him?”

Sheila dropped her cup as she finally noticed he looked somewhat worried. “Yes, but I’m still much in touch with him. Dad can’t know I’ve been talking to Henry. He’ll be mad at me.”

“Why are you still talking with him?” Adrian asked in a disturbed tone.

Sheila stared at him silently for a couple of seconds. “I told you he needed to get something done in Anthanna, I had to help him.”

“Couldn’t he have called someone else? Considering the problems he could put you through.”

“He’s my friend, Adrian. And he wanted help concerning something related to my work. I was the only one he could call here,” Sheila replied.

Adrian closed his eyes and then dragged in a deep breath.

“You don’t need to be so insecure, Adrian. I told you I have nothing more with Henry than being friends,” Sheila explained. “I don’t even have casual conversations with him. But we’re not enemies and I have to help him when I can.”

Adrian covered his face with his palms briefly and breathed into it before he turned his face to Sheila. He tried to put on a smile. “I’m sorry, I was just bothered that you’re still so close to him,” he drew closer to her as he spoke. “You have to stay away from him. Your Dad said being close to him meant trouble. I don’t want you to get into any more of that.”

“You don’t have anything to worry about, Adrian. Not even when I have huge bodyguards following me everywhere. They don’t even let me use the bathroom privately sometimes,” she paused and let out a chuckle with a bright smile on her face. Adrian also laughed briefly. “So, keep your mind at rest. I’m out of trouble.”

** **

06:45 PM

DIA Club, Estaru

Benuit, Bethanna

It was a frustrating day at work. There had been so many questions from the police to answer and reports to give to the boss. The only consolation Emily had was that the Clubhouse wouldn’t open that night. It meant she could take out time for herself.

“Take care,” she waved at one of the guards who greeted her as she approached the exit. She was putting on an armless cream-coloured innerwear on a blue skirt that stopped above her knees. Her suit jacket was placed on one arm and her handbag was on the other.

She forced out a smile as she waved another man while climbing down the balcony. The head of security was standing down the balcony and he turned to her as she climbed down.

“Any more instructions from the boss yet?” he asked her, staring at her legs as she walked down.

“No, Mr Wright,” she replied in a stressed tone. “I think we will continue if there’s anything tomorrow.”

“Okay, goodnight ma’am,” Wright smiled pleasantly.

“Goodnight,” Emily answered and turned towards the garage for staff. She took out her car keys from her bag and clicked on the unlock button. In less than one minute, she had gotten into the car and arranged her things by the passenger’s side carefully. She then turned the key to start the key engine.

It made the usual sound at first but did not come on. She tried for the second time but the vehicle gave an unpleasant sound this time around.

“Not again,” she cursed under her breath as she hit her fist on the steering wheel in anger. She was about to turn the key for the third time when her phone began to ring. She stopped to answer the call first.

Her eyes narrowed on the screen as she saw the caller. She wondered why he could be calling again that day.

“Good evening, Mr. Oliver,” she said immediately after answering the call.

“Good evening, Emily. I’m sorry to disturb you again but I have some questions to ask you,” Maxwell’s voice sounded from the other end. “Is this a good time?”

Emily sighed. “Well, I think it would be better if you let me call you when I can talk well.”

“Oh! There’s no problem then, I’ll expect your call,” Maxwell said and hung up.

She dropped the phone hurriedly and continued with her car. After trying to start it three more times, she gave up. She took out the key and opened her door to step out but she stopped after placing a foot outside. A thought came to her mind. She returned into the car immediately and closed the door.

She picked her phone again and dialed Oliver. He answered the call almost immediately.

“Hey! Are you free to talk already?” the voice came from the other end.

“Uhmm… Well, I just wanted to ask if you are somewhere close to the club,” Emily stated with a note of uncertainty.

“Yeah, I’m lodged in a hotel which is closeby. It’s less than five minutes drive.”

“Can we talk over dinner instead?”

“Oh, really? That’s a good idea,” Maxwell seemed excited. “When should we meet?”

“Is thirty minutes fine?” She asked.

“Yeah, it’s okay.”

“Okay, you’ll pick me at the main gate. I’ll wait there for you,” She stated.

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

“See you soon,” she concluded and hung up.

Her head fell backward as she closed her eyes and blew out air with her lips slightly pouted. She wondered if she was doing the right thing. A lot had been going through her mind and she had always wanted a time out. But her work was time-consuming and she was always organizing different events even during the holidays.

It seemed to be a good time to chill out, especially because she would not have to resume work early the next day. And even though she was attracted physically to this stranger, she wasn’t still sure he was the right person to chill out with.

She quickly stepped out of her car with her things and proceeded back to the club building. She would have to hand the car over to one of the junior security officials whom she trusted.

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** **

“Do I look good in this?” Maxwell stepped to Henry’s front.

He was putting on a sky blue long sleeve denim shirt on a pair of blue jeans. A black-coloured sneaker with white dots was on his foot to complete the dressing. His hair was neatly combed and his beards were shiny. He looked handsome.

Henry stared at him blankly without knowing what to say. He was the wrong person to ask the question.

“You’re looking great,” Henry shook his head with a smile on his lips.

“My choice of clothes is not bad, right?”

“Well, it looks perfect to me. But I’m not an expert in these things,” Henry shrugged.

Maxwell smiled. He had checked the mirror before stepping out and knew he looked great already. He just wanted Henry’s comment.

“Thank you,” he said and turned to leave.

“Don’t forget the most important thing, Max,” Henry stated before Maxwell could move. “Ensure you gain her trust, so that she can speak freely to you.”

“Understood,” Maxwell made a nod and then proceeded to the door without saying anything else.

Henry turned back to see a blinking light on the communicator he had placed on the table. He quickly fixed the earpiece back into his ear and tapped the button on the communicator box.

“Hey, Sam. I’m sorry, I’ve been attending to something,” he apologized for his late response.

“No problem, I heard you talking to Max just now,” Samantha replied from the other end. “We’ve got our man alone in his car right now and it seems he’s headed home.”

“Great, it’s time to press and let him know he’s been followed.”

“Yeah, we’re on it. Keep in touch in case we lose him.”

“Sure, I will keep an eye on his direction,” Henry replied.

** **

07:20 PM

“No change in plan, we follow the initial one for now,” Samantha relayed to Dave after her communication with Henry.

Dave nodded in response and placed his hands on the steering wheel.

They both watched Hakim get into his car after purchasing an item from a grocery store. Immediately he moved the vehicle, they followed him.

** **

07:35 PM

Maxwell located Emily easily as he arrived at the place. He stopped in front of her and smiled watching her settle in.

“You look smart and beautiful as usual,” he complimented as he drove on.

“Thanks, Oliver,” she replied dryly.

“The beauty would be better if you put on a smile though,” he noted her mood. “Was there a problem at work today?”

Emily stared at him and wondered whether to talk to him or keep quiet. She wasn’t sure if it was time to move from the official relationship to a personal one.

Maxwell noticed she was finding it difficult to decide to answer or not, so he choose not to press for an answer.

“Where do we go?” He asked. “I don’t know anywhere in town.”

“Let’s go to Balms restaurant, it’s a nice place. Just drive straight.”

** **

07: 45 PM

Hakim stared into the rearview mirror again, trying to catch a glimpse of those in the car behind him. He couldn’t see their faces properly as they both had face caps on and a handkerchief tied to cover their nose and mouth.

He had noticed the car when he wanted to leave the grocery store. Now, it had been almost thirty minutes of driving and they were still following him closely. He was so sure that they were coming after him.

His heart was beating fast already. And he thought of ways to escape them. He had a pistol with him but he couldn’t tell what type of guns they had with them. So escaping seemed like a better move instead of attempting to face them.

In a panic, he picked up his phone and dialed a number.

**

“He’s playing according to the plan,” Sam whispered to Dave.

“Sure, this gotta go according to our plan,” Dave remarked.

“It’s five minutes more before he gets to his residence, what if he gets help before then?”

Dave looked at her and chuckled. “We kill him and kill the help that comes for him,” he replied with an evil grin. “We ain’t letting the mother^^^ker get away with this, are we?”

Samantha shook her head and replied in whispers, “No.”

“Then we kill him and whoever comes to help,” Dave emphasized.

“Well, remember we still have to follow instructions,” Sam pointed out.

“F*** instructions, Sam.”

** **

Hakim felt lucky as the traffic lights turned green and the cars began to move. He quickly tried to change his lane and increased the car speed immediately. A look at the side mirror showed that the trailing car had also increased speed. He was now so sure that they were coming for him.

However, he felt some confidence that the roads were now free. Except they had been practicing with speed on this road for fifteen years as he had, there was no way they would meet up with him.

** **

“The bast***d just drove past his residence and into a muddy road,” Samantha said into her mouthpiece. She seemed a bit unsure.

“Yeah, I can see it, Sam,” Henry replied from the other end. “I think it’s time to catch up with him and kill him right away.”

Samantha scoffed. “Catch up with him? I don’t think we can,” she paused and glanced at Dave who was also looking at her.

“This road is damn rough and sloppy. The amount of dust is crazy too, I can barely see where I’m going. He seems to know the road well and he’s maneuvering easily. If we go at his speed, we kill ourselves,” Dave spoke out in a loud voice. It was his first time talking to Henry since he was on the task.

“Just follow as fast as you can, avoid accidents. I’m trailing him and tell you his location if you lose him.”

“He made calls already, could he be leading us where we can get overpowered by other men?” Samantha asked

“That’s not going to happen,” Henry replied. “I will let you know if he stops at a location you shouldn’t get to. But have it in mind we’re not failing this task.”

Samantha let out a deep breath.

20 minutes later

They had left the muddy road but the car was now parked, after losing sight of their target for over fifteen minutes. Samantha and Dave sat in the vehicle silently and seemed to have given up on the task already. However, they were also feeling so bad that Hakim could outsmart them.

“We never thought he was going to take the turn into a f***ing bad road,” Samantha commented bitterly after minutes of silence.

“I thought of it,” Henry’s voice sounded out. Samantha had forgotten that she was still connected to him.

“Is there any provision for that?” she asked.

“Block 254, Herling. Third apartment by the right-hand side, on the sixth floor.” Henry replied.

“Huh?” Sam wondered if she heard him.

“That’s where you’ll find him,” Henry replied.

“That’s a house address,” Dave shot back. “I thought you were tracking his car, how come you have a specific address of the block and apartment he got into?”

“It’s his girlfriend’s apartment,” Henry replied. “His car has been hidden in a location close to the place. He’s going to try to sneak into the lady’s apartment.”

“You don’t sound sure,” Dave countered.

Henry was silent.

“Are you sure of this, Henry?” Samantha asked calmly.

“Maxwell and I dug every detail on Hakim. There’s nowhere else he could have gone except that apartment. We also tracked the lady’s activity throughout today. Now, it’s time for you two to get your task done.”

Samantha took a glance at Dave.

“Wouldn’t it be a death trap to go to the apartment, he’ll be ready for us,” Dave said, not feeling good about the plan.

“Just get on the road now, Dave. I’ll tell you what to do. I have it planned out already,” Henry replied.

Dave shrugged resignedly and shook his head at Samantha. He started the car engine again and turned on the trafficator to join the road.

“You gotta repeat that address, Henry,” Samantha said into the mouthpiece.

^^ ^^

08:35 PM

Block 254, Herling

Hakim kept looking back as he stepped from the stairs into the passage and proceeded towards his girlfriend’s apartment. He stopped at the front of the door and turned towards the stairs to listen if he would hear the footsteps of anyone following behind him.

After he was sure there was no sound, he knocked gently on the door and waited for a response. He was about to knock the second time when he heard footsteps from inside the house.

He could feel her close to the door and knew she was checking through the peephole.

“Good gracious!” His girlfriend, a short slim girl in her mid-twenties opened the door. She was putting on a singlet and bum shorts. “I wasn’t expecting you tonight,” she stood aside for him to walk in, keeping a bright smile on her face.

“Shut the door,” he said and walked in briskly.

“Huh?” She quickly closed the door and turned the knob behind. “What’s up, Hakim?” She frowned, noticing his demeanor as he turned towards her.

“Some assh*les are coming after me,” he replied and walked up to the sofa to sit.

“They’re coming after you,” she responded in fear. “And won’t they come here?” She sat quickly beside him.

“No, they were chasing me in a vehicle but I made sure they missed me,” Hakim replied confidently.

She let out a sigh of relief. “What do they want? And why have you gotten into trouble again?”

Hakim sighed. “I don’t know what they f***ing want.”

“Do you know who they are?” She asked.

“I believe they’re the same people who killed Trip,” he replied.

She shone her eyes and pulled back in shock. “Trip is dead?”

“Yeah, he was killed by a girl at the club last night,” Hakim replied.

The girl got up slowly in a state of shock, her lips slightly parted and her eyes still shone brightly.

“We don’t even have a clue why he was killed,” Hakim continued. “And now, I don’t have a clue why they’re also after me.”

“Why don’t you report to the police?” She made a swift turn to him.

He stared at her in surprise. “You know I can’t do that, except I want to step a long time in prison.”

She let out a deep breath.

“Do you have something to eat?” He asked. “I’m so hungry and I forgot the meal I bought in the car.”

“Sure, I’ll get something for you,” she said and proceeded towards the kitchen. Still in a state of shock, her body shivered as she walked.

Hakim picked out his phone to make a call.

“I’m at Jane’s and I’m safe for now,” he said into the phone.

“Okay, we’re close. Just stay and we’ll come to get you now,” the voice from the other end replied.

“You don’t have to bother, we can see tomorrow.”

“The boss asked to ensure you leave with us to be safe,” the person insisted.

“Okay, you can come to get me but you’ll have to wait until I finish eating.”

“We’re close to the neighborhood and I’ll be there in ten minutes,” the voice concluded.

“Okay,” Hakim replied and hung up.

Two minutes after, a knock sounded at the door.

He stood up in shock immediately and glanced towards the kitchen. He waited for a while to confirm if he had indeed heard a knock or if it was just his imagination. The knock came again, confirming that someone was truly at the door.

He pulled out his gun quickly and headed towards the door, trying not to make any sound. His breath was held as he checked through the peephole.

A man dressed in a white top and blue jeans was standing outside the door. He somewhat looked harmless to Hakim.

Noiselessly, Hakim turned back and proceeded towards the kitchen.

“Hey! Are you expecting anyone?” He asked her.

She reduced the heat of the cooker and turned to him with a raised eyebrow. “Is there someone at the door?”

“Yes, a guy.”

She squinted, wondering who it was. Before she could say any other thing, her phone began to ring. She stepped forward to pick it where it was placed.

“Hello,” she answered the call and paused to listen. The look on her face softened as she listened to the caller. “Okay, I’m coming to get you now,” she concluded and a slight smile formed on her face.

Hakim was staring narrowly at her.

“It’s just a new friend I met earlier today on Twitter, he sells very good stuff and I asked him to bring some for me. He’s a popular distributor,” she explained to Hakim.

“What the heck! You met him today and you asked him to bring something to your house?”

“Yeah, his stuff is dope and he’s just here to deliver,” she scoffed and turned back to turn off the cooker. “Let me attend to him and I’ll be back to dish your meal.”

Hakim snarled as he followed behind slowly. “You gotta stop this your f***ing addiction, baby. If you continue taking coke like this, it’s going to ruin you.”

She made no comments on his remarks and went straight to the door. She checked again through the peephole before opening the door. Hakim remained standing at a spot that faced the door directly, he had dipped his gun into his pocket but still had his hand on the handle for precaution.

“Hey!” the guy at the door greeted.

“Hi,” she sized him quickly with her eyes and noticed that he held something under his jacket.

“May I come in?” He requested. “You don’t stay alone here and I don’t want anyone to see us.”

She stepped aside for him to walk in and then closed the door. The guy walked about six steps in and stopped, His eyes met with Hakim’s and he quickly glanced at the girl.

“Your boyfriend?” he asked.

“Yes,” she replied. “You don’t have to worry, you can bring it out,” she reassured.

The guest looked at Hakim and waved a greeting. He got a response in the same manner he greeted. Then, he poured out some wrapped coke from his inner jacket pocket to the table.

“Wow!” All these for a hundred Bethannan dollars?”

“Yeah, hundred Bethanna dollars,” he replied.

She smiled. “That’s a cool prize. Just wait a minute, I go get the money inside for you.”

“Alright, ma’am.”

As she was about to turn towards the room, another knock sounded at the door.

The girl glanced at Hakim’s face before she turned to her guest. “Did you come with anyone?”

“No,” the guest shook his head, also looking confused.

She walked quickly to the door and peeped. Then she turned to look at Hakim who was already coming closer. He still had his hand in his pocket.

“Do you know the person?” Hakim asked in whispers.

“No, I don’t,” she whispered back and moved aside for Hakim to peep.

“It’s a girl,” Hakim said to his girlfriend after checking. “And you don’t know her?”

He pulled out his gun and lowered it as he took two steps back.

“You’ll open it and talk to her calmly while I stay here,” he said and was about to cock his gun when he felt a revolver touch his neck. He let out a loud angry sigh. Jane’s harmless guest had eventually turned to be one of the assailants.

Hakim and his girlfriend had been so focused on the person at the door that they almost forgot they had a guest inside.

Dave stood right behind him with an already cocked gun. He stretched his other palm forward, “Drop the pistol here carefully and put your hands up.”

Hakim dropped the gun slowly and then raised both hands as instructed.

Dave turned his eyes to the girl at the door who was shivering in panic. “What the bleep are you waiting for?” He shouted at her. “Open the door and let her in.”

Jane had no choice but to open the door and let Samantha in.

Samantha closed the door behind and pointed her gun at the girl.

Hakim’s phone which he placed on a sofa began to ring. He felt some form of relief. The ringing phone meant that his men were already close to the house or even in the building already. He needed to find a way to keep the attackers with him until his men got to the room.

** **

Hutton and Kahn sat facing each other quietly. Hutton’s eyes were fixed on the phone’s screen like he was expecting a call. And truly, a call came in at that moment.

“Have you gotten him?” He asked as he answered the call.

“Not yet, but we’re at the building already. He’s not answering his calls,” the voice from the other end replied.

“Move as fast as possible,” Hutton urged. “Ensure you get him alive.”

He got a reply and hung him immediately.

“What next if they kill Hakim?”

Hutton peered at him. “Carl Winston is trying to get us faster than we thought. Whether or not Hakim is killed, we launch operation Rex immediately.”

“That means we gotta hold that meeting as soon as possible,” Kahn stated.

“Yeah.” Hutton cleared his throat and then began to dial a number. The call was answered almost immediately. “Hey! Set up a meeting tonight for us and the guest. Make it ten o’clock and also inform him right away.”

To be continued