® 18+ SNVL
© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
“Can you remember what they were talking about before you passed out?” Hutton asked, staring into Jane’s face.
She was sitting in a hospital bed, looking disorganized. Her face was teary and her hair was scattered. right in his front, teary and looking disorganized.
She had woken to consciousness thirty minutes earlier to find out that Hakim was murdered by the visitors.
“Can you remember?” Hutton asked again, this time in a soft tone as he bent slightly and stared closer into her eyes.
“I can’t remember all,” her voice trembled. “But they were looking for someone.”
“Who were they looking for?’ Hutton enquired.
She closed her eyes and remained silent for a while as she tried to recall. “I think his name was Hutton Right…”
Hutton let out some air from his mouth as he stood upright and took two steps back. Jane raised her face to look at him.
“Hutton Ryker?” He asked for confirmation.
“Yeah, I think something like that,” she replied.
Hutton exchanged quick glances with Chanda and Kahn before he turned to Jane again.
“What did he say to them?”
She wiped off tears from her eyes and sniffed back the fluid trying to escape her nostrils.
“I don’t know if he said anything to them after I passed out,” she answered. “But they were hitting him because he wasn’t going to say anything.”
Hutton nodded slowly and then took two steps backward. He turned his neck slowly both ways and looked at the faces of every one in the room with him. They were six in total. He, Chanda, Kahn, and three of the men who had gone to save Hakim.
“Did he say anything because he gave up the ghost?” he asked the man who led the team there.
“No,” the man shook his head. “He only wanted us to go after his killers.”
“Hakim’s a soldier, he’s never going to say anything to them,” Kahn whispered to Hutton.
Hutton stared at his face for a couple of seconds and then turned back to Jane. He stepped closer and sat partially beside her on the bed.
Slowly, he reached for her palms and held it in his. She stared at his face and he also looked back. “I’m sorry for the loss of your man, Jane.”
His voice moved her to tears again and it dropped freely from her eyes. Hutton squeezed her palms warmly and waited until she was calm again.
“But there’s nothing we can do to bring him back,” He continued. “The only thing we can do is make his killers pay and I promise you we’re going to do that.”
He released one of her hands to let her wipe the tears on her face but still held on the second palm.
“There’s one thing I need you to do to help us, can you do it?” Hutton questioned, staring deeply into her eyes.
She didn’t speak so he spoke again. “It’s one way of making sure that we get his killers.”
She finally nodded in affirmation.
“The police have no idea that you’re conscious now, but they’ll be here tomorrow to ask you questions tomorrow,” Hutton explained. “Don’t tell them you remember anything,” he added and paused for a second. “Don’t mention the name Hutton or talk about the killers.”
Jane was staring at his face and wondering why he was making such request after he had just promised to get Hakim’s killers. His request made it seem like he was protecting the killers.
“You know Hakim was involved in some real sh*t with us,” Hutton began to explain. “If the police find out he was killed by a rival gang, they would dismiss the case like they do with other gang fights. And if they get to hear the name Hutton Ryker, it would lead to one of us. They would come after us and not the Hakim’s killers. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” she nodded and replied in a soft voice.
Hutton released her hand and got up slowly from the bed.
“We’ll make plans to ensure you’re safe once you finish with the police,” Hutton said after taking a step back. “And if you think you need a vacation somewhere, let me know. We will organize one for you.”
She simply nodded and sniffed in again.
“Take care of yourself,” Hutton said before turning away from her. He signaled to his men and they all walked out of the room together.
Ten minutes later
Kahn got into the driver’s side of the car first and unlocked the doors for the other two to enter.
Chanda entered into the backseat while Hutton joined Kahn at the front.
“Been thinking about the meeting again,” Chanda stated after they were all settled in. “Do you really think Rex can kill Carl?”
Hutton who was about to put on his seatbelt suspended it and turned to look at Chanda. “You’re not getting it yet,” he stated, staring at Chanda narrowly. “It’s not about who kills who, if Rex kills Carl, fine. But if he fails and Carl kills him, then it still serves our purpose. It doesn’t matter who kills who, Carl’s still going die that day.”
After explaining, Hutton turned forward and buckled his seat belt. The car engine roared to life and they sped down the road.
All the members of the team were present at the dining table and they all ate in silence. Eating breakfast together seemed unusual to them. It only happened rarely as they were used to take breakfast whenever each of them wakes up. Rather, dinner was the only regular meal they had together.
This morning was different as Henry had requested for it. He had made such requests a couple of times but it was only during lunch. And some of the times, they always had a meeting after they had the meal. At other times, they would often crack jokes and gist after they ate.
Dave was the first to finish his meal and got up to leave with his plates immediately.
“Hold on, Dave,” Henry stopped him. “We will talk after everyone is done,” he picked the last piece of meat on the plate with his fork into his mouth.
Dave dropped the plates back on the table and sat without hesitating. He took his phone out while he waited for the others to finish.
Two minutes after, they were all done and ready for the conversation.
“I’m going to make this as brief as possible,” Henry began. “That is because we need to leave here this morning. We’ve been staying here because of the attack on DIA but it didn’t go as planned. We will have to leave anyways.”
He paused and cleared his throat. “Our work has not stopped yet. The coming days will most likely be very busy for us. Hutton will begin to make fast moves. He doesn’t know how much we know about him So, he will try to execute his plans quickly while watching out for us. However, we are coming to him through a way he will never expect.”
Henry paused again and glanced at Maxwell. “Through Emily, we will get Hutton Ryker. Emily would give us enough information to hunt him down.”
Henry stopped talking and stared at each of their faces one after the other.
“Are you sure that will be possible?” Samantha was first to express her doubts.
“She’s just a director at the club. She most likely knows nothing about his terrorism activities,” Dave put in.
“Yeah, and that’s what we need now. Information that isn’t connected with his terrorism acts,” Henry stated. “Since he knows we’re after him and is not sure of what information we have about him. He’s going to try to make moves through legal channels. This means, he will most likely avoid their criminal hideouts for fear that we might have knowledge of these places. He will stay in more relaxed areas.
Through Emily, we can find out some more neutral details about them. And we might even be able to tap their communication.”
“I checked our past records in trailing that guy, he’s always done his air communication through encrypted methods,” Maxwell put in.
“Yes,” Henry turned to him and flashed a brief smile. “But he has no time to prepare for all that. Once we find more info, we will drop another of his men to make him think we’re closer. That would make him act more hurriedly. Then, he won’t have time to set up encryption methods to make calls at the new places he stays. If we can find his location, we can tap his communication and get clearer details.”
“That sounds interesting but doesn’t look like it’ll work,” Dave replied negatively. “What if Maxwell never extracts enough information from Emily?”
“Maxwell is intelligent and knows how to get it from her,” Henry said and slowly moved his gaze from Dave to Maxwell. “But in case, things go wrong and he doesn’t get info from her. He would at least be able to get Kahn’s neutral number.”
“Well, that I can try,” Maxwell whistled and nodded.
Henry stopped and stared at their faces one after the other again, wondering if they had questions.
“So, when are we leaving here?” Samantha asked.
“We’ll check out before noon and leave back to the base,” Henry answered her. “Maxwell and Jennifer will stay. Max has Emily to deal with while Jennifer will assist him. Remember that she is his partner where he works. So, we’ll book two rooms for both of them here.”
Maxwell turned to look at Jennifer and their eyes met. His eyes also locked with Samantha’s as he turned back. He wished at that moment that Samantha was going to be his partner instead. But it could not be changed at that moment.
“Where do we go to?” Samantha asked.
“Back to the base, to wait for info from Maxwell,” Henry replied.
The whole team was in the garage where two of their vehicles were parked. They had just finished arranging their items into the larger vehicle and Dave had stepped into the driver’s side. Maxwell was sitting on the bonnet, waiting while Jennifer was standing aside.
Henry and Samantha approached was seen approaching them with the last of the bags.
Maxwell got up from the bonnet and whispered for Dave to open the boot. He then walked towards Henry and met him and the back of the car. He held up the boot cover for them to arrange the bags in.”
“Thank you,” Henry said after placing his bag in. “So, when do you plan to call her again?”
“I don’t need to,” Maxwell replied and then looked at Henry’s face. Henry raised a brow. “She already texted me.”
“What did she say?”
“Wanted us to meet up, she wants to show me around town.”
“What time are you going?”
“I’ll call her in the next hour.”
Henry moved closer to him and stared straight into his eyes. “Be careful, but you still got to try to be fast with her. We have very little time left.”
He patted Maxwell on the shoulder gently and turned to get into the car. Samantha also walked forward to join Dave in the front seat.
Maxwell turned before Henry could open the door. “The thing’s not f***ing easy like you think it is.”
Henry turned back to him in surprise, wondering why he was sounding negative again. Samantha also heard him and stared.
Maxwell carried a frown on his face and one could tell he was confused.
“What I’m doing is only trying to use Emily,” he explained. “I’m gonna make her trust me, confide in me, and dump her after getting what I want, isn’t it?”
Henry heaved a sigh. He closed back the door and stepped closer to Maxwell. He placed a hand on his shoulder. “This is not the time to let emotions get in the way, Max. Trust me, if we had a better choice, we would do it a better way. But this is the best option presently. Even if we don’t get so much info from her, we need to get Kahn’s neutral phone number.”
Maxwell let out a sigh as his eyes met with Samantha’s.
“I’ll let you know when I get anything substantial,” Maxwell said without enthusiasm and stepped back, letting Henry withdraw the hand that was placed on his shoulder.
“I’ll see you soon, Max.” henry turned back and got into the car.
Maxwell walked back to the second car and then opened the backseat to pick out two bags, a big female bag and a box.
He handed one the female bag to Jennifer who stepped closer to him. They watched out of the garage towards the gate and then walked back in to lodge into different rooms.
90 minutes later
Emily smiled as she saw Maxwell step out of the hotel gate and proceeded towards her car.
He was dressed in a light blue round neck shirt and navy blue jeans trousers. He had black sneakers with white dots on his foot.
In less than forty seconds, he got to the car and entered.
“Your beauty seems to get brighter everyday,” Maxwell complemented as he feasted his eyes on her. “You look stunning today.”
“Thank you,” she smiled broadly. “You’re looking handsome too.”
“Thanks,” he flashed his teeth.
She was dressed in a beautiful pink gown which revealed much of her thighs in her sitting position. She also had light makeup on, with the colour of her lipstick matching her outfit.
Maxwell also noticed her newly made hair and the nice fragrance of her perfume. It made him feel truly attracted to her for the first time.
“So, where are you taking me to?”
She turned to him after turning on the engine. “You’ll find out soon,” she smiled again.
3 hours later
Emily and Maxwell stepped out of the Benuit national museum together, with their faces beaming with smiles.
“Did you ever visit any of the ancient palaces?” Maxwell asked as they stepped down the building, proceeding towards the car park.
“No, I’ve only seen the historical items like you,” she answered him.
“Well, if you ask me, it all looks so real already. I was just wondering how realer it would be if we visited the real locations,” Maxwell remarked.
“I’ve always wondered too but never visited,” she answered.
“I must confess, I really enjoyed every section of the Museum we visited. Are there other places like this?”
“Yeah, there are so many places you could visit in Benuit. If I have more time, I’ll show you around.”
“I really hope you will have enough time,” Maxwell stated.
They got to the car and Emily unlocked it quickly for both of them to step in.
“But why doesn’t anyone talk about the historical values of Benuit? Never seen anything about it,” Maxwell asked thoughtfully.
“Well, I don’t know,” she shrugged. “I guess the government isn’t ready to make the place attractive as it should be.”
“Well, I never knew Benuit was a town with so much history,” Maxwell remarked as he put on his seatbelt.
“Every beautiful ancient town has its history,” she stated.
Maxwell turned to stare at her with a smile. “Just like every beautiful person has their history.”
Emily turned to him, wondering what he was talking about.
“You’re so beautiful,” Maxwell continued. “I don’t know if I could have ever met someone like you if I didn’t come to Benuit. But I’m glad I did.”
Emily smiled and looked away shyly. “You’re beginning to…” she was trying to say she turned back to face him but noticed he had leaned closer.
He reached for her palms while staring into her eyes. “You’re as strong woman who has gone through a lot of pains in the past. I may not be able to feel the same way you do, but I understand you perfectly. You need to let go of the past and enjoy your life because you deserve it.”
Emily was speechless even though she wanted to talk. She heard beyond his words as he spoke and she could see a passion inside deep down in his eyes which was peering into hers. Even though his words brought some healing to her mind, she had a soothing feeling from being close to him and inhaling the fragrance from him. His lips looked inviting and she wished he would just come closer to cover his lips with hers.
Maxwell tried to withdraw but she didn’t let go of his hands. She brought her face closer instead and kiss him lightly on the lips with her eyes closed. She drew back a bit and they both stared into each other’s eyes for a moment.
Their lips brushed again and they kissed for some more seconds before she broke it off. She tried to withdraw but he pulled her closer, holding her face close with a hand. This time, the kiss was deep and passionate and it lasted for almost a minute.
They broke the kiss slowly, staring deeply into each other’s eyes. A chuckle escaped Maxwell’s lips and she smiled in return.
“We need to get out of here,” she said and pulled back quickly.
“Yeah, we need to,” he leaned back and breathed out.
She started the car engine and drove out of the place immediately. There was an awkward silence between them as they got to the road. Each kept to their thoughts.
As she drove, Emily kept wondering if she wasn’t going too far with this stranger. He was just a visitor with a mission to Benuit and could leave anytime soon. He seemed to be what she liked though. And staring at him brought this overwhelming presence that she couldn’t resist. Whatever it was she felt, she decided to enjoy it while it lasted.
On the other hand, Maxwell had a feeling of guilt. Emily seemed to be falling so quickly for him without any idea that he only wanted something from her. She was a broken woman who was just trying to heal. He just hoped she wouldn’t fall so much for him to get hurt when he finally disappears.
“Uhmn…I think you should let me stop somewhere convenient for you, so you can go home to rest,” he suggested.
“Well, I’m taking you back to the hotel. I don’t stay so far.”
“Do you really need to go through that stress?”
“I don’t think its stress,” she replied. “I can’t leave you to take a cab there when I can just drop you off.”
“What about the family dinner you talked about? Won’t you be late?”
“It’s by seven, this is just four o’clock,” she answered.
Maxwell heaved a sigh and gave up trying to convince her. They remained quiet for some more minutes.
“So, when next can we meet again?” Maxwell asked after some minutes of silence.
“I’ll be going to the office tomorrow, I’m not so sure how long I’ll be there.”
“Have the investigations been concluded?”
“Not yet, but it should be by tomorrow. My boss wants me to meet me before he goes on a trip.”
“Hmm…I’m wondering who this your boss could be,” Maxwell remarked. “He owns a big hotel, casino, club, and many other centres in that single facility. I’ve been wondering how he does keep himself out of the news. I’ve never seen his picture.”
Emily chuckled. “My boss is a kind of complicated man….”
To be continued