RESTLESS : The Hunt For Peace Episode 9

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No Dad, not him. Why should he work as a bodyguard for me?” Sheila argued.

Emery Jack only flashed a look at Sheila and returned his gaze to Henry face.

Henry was stood still and did not know what response to give. He felt it would be bad to decline such a request from Emery Jack since he was the father of the woman who saved his life. Being close to Sheila at all times which the offer would allow him was another thing which he liked but he did not know if Sheila would like to have him around her and also did not know how he could take the job without it affecting his personal life.

When he had gotten a message from Emery Jack to join them downstairs, he had the idea that this would be the subject of discussion but never thought he would be asked to take up the role. He was puzzled and unable to speak, he hoped Sheila would talk and save him from having to accept or decline the request.

Emery Jack took his eyes off Henry after realizing that Henry was depending on Sheila for the decision. He sat back on his seat and stared at his daughter’s face “If you reject Henry, then I would have to get another for you and you don’t have a choice.”

“No Dad, I told you I do not need one. I’m not a kid that you would force things on.”

“I’m telling you that you need one, I can’t let you keep going around town without being protected. If you don’t make the wise decisions like the adult you want to be treated like, I’d make them for you.”

“But Dad, I don’t still understand how you came up with the idea of Henry being my bodyguard.”

“Don’t get sentimental young lady, you complained that you didn’t want a bodyguard because it would make you feel monitored but Henry here is your friend, all he needs is to be with you as friend and ensure you are protected at all times. You don’t need to see him as a bodyguard.”

Sheila also thought the idea of being close to Henry at all times was good but she also considered how it would affect him. “It’s not possible Dad, Henry has his personal matters to take care of. He needs to continue with his private classes.”

“That’s workable, I’m already making arrangements for him to continue his private tutorials in your firm. He gets a room close to your office and he continues his classes there while also work.”

“What? You are already making arrangements in my firm, how?” Sheila raised a brow.

“Yes, I’m making arrangements to get his office opposite to yours but you know this arrangements can not be completed or approved without your consent.”

She let out a breath. To her the man was making sense but she wasn’t going to agree easily especially when she knew it conflicted with Henry’s routine.

“He can’t still work as a bodyguard for me, he needs to be off public places for now until he leaves the country,” Sheila continued to make a case for Henry.

“He needs to stay off public places yet you let him go with you to the workout center? Isn’t that a public place?” The man fired at her. “Stop these flimpsy excuses young woman. You don’t appear on the television everyday. Your routine is work, recreation centres and home. So how would being with you expose him to the public?”

Sheila was silent for a while. Her Dad had asked a question she had no answer to, she was about to bring up another argument when Henry’s voice silenced her.

“I would take up the job,” Henry said in a firm voice.

Emery Jack flashed a quick look at him. He narrowed his gaze on his face for a moment to check his expression and know if he feels compelled to agree.

Sheila also looked at her his face. “No, you can’t do that Henry. I won’t let you,” Sheila argued.

“You would, I would take the job.” Henry insisted, matching forward to a sofa to take his seat.

Emery Jack heaved a sigh of relief. He got up from his seat and advanced towards Henry. Henry saw him coming and stopped in front of the seat but did not sit.

“Thank you Henry, you would start immediately,” Emery Jack said as he offered him a handshake. Henry took his hand firmly in his. “Please send me your email address via sms, I would request that some details are forwarded to you tonight. You would come with her to my apartment tomorrow and some other things would be explained to you by my men.”

“I’ll do exactly that sir,” Henry replied.

The man smiled lightly at him and Henry smiled back.

“I’ll see you tomorrow Sheila,” Emery Jack said to his daughter before walking out of the house.

“Henry,” Sheila exclaimed after staring at Henry’s face in shock and silence for a while. “How could you just agree with him? Why do you need the job?”

“I don’t see it as a job, I see it as a duty.” Henry replied, he sank on a seat beside her.

“Come on!” she exclaimed. “You shouldn’t have made him do what you did not want to do.”

“Trust me Sheila, I want to do this.” Henry replied. He kept an expressionless face even as he watched Sheila get up and walked out of the living room.

He got a text message right after she walked out of his sight. it was from Emery Jack.

I never thought you would agree, I only wanted to make her have enough reasons to take someone else. Send me your email address ASAP. Thank you.

Henry replied the message with his email address immediately

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20:55pm
Oct 2, 2015
Rutna, Anthanna.

In a small living room sat a family of four. The father of the house Mark had the smallest child aged one year and a month sitting on his laps. The older child was with her mother on the long sofa, both sitting at the different edges.

Mark was busy with his phone while the rest of the family had their eyes glued to the television on which a children’s program was being aired, of course except for the little child who was on his Dad’s laps and fondling with his father’s long beards.

“Come on, stop it boy!” the man said to the boy in his hand with a playful look. “I’m going to put you on the seat to stay all alone by yourself,” he threatened playfully.

The boy responded as if he perfectly understood and turned his focus to the television for a while before he finally began to doze off.

The man was still scrolling through the messages on his mail when a instant messenger notification popped up, he had just received a message from an unknown number. He scrolled for some more seconds before switching to the instant messenger. He opened the message from the unknown sender.

It’s Odio! Meet me outside your house right now Mark.

Mark’s heart instantly began to beat fast after he read the message. He dreaded Odio, just like every other man in his line of business did. Odio was a sea officer who hailed from the country Bethanna and worked at the Bexford Port. He was the head of all sea officers around the port and was greatly feared by all, not just for his office but for his ruthlessness and his involvement in criminal activities around the sea. He had a wide range of thugs and other criminals working for him. Mark who was from Anthanna worked as a sea officer and also as a part time sailor. Mark was also involved in criminal activities such as transportation of contraband goods and aiding of criminals movement over the sea. He always had to go through Bethanna as most of his trips had to do with delivery goods at the Bexford sea, and because of the nature of the job had to settle things with Odio at all times.

Four days ago he had gotten a message from Odio’s assistant early in the morning that the boss needed to see him urgently and that he was to come that day. He was surprised to get the message at first and he called two of his friends at Bethanna to ask if they had any idea what was happening and why Odio wanted to see him. The first one denied having any idea but the second one admitted that Odio had been calling every officer and asking them questions again about the man who was thrown into the sea on the thirtieth day of March that year. The surprise Mark felt had turned to fear instantly because he and his crew had not just seen a body drop into the water in the early hours of the thirty first day of March but had also picked the man and put him in their ship to help him.

Mark had gotten information that Odio had questioned the officers about the issue since the first week of April and he had also received a call concerning it and was even asked physically when he passed through the sea later in April but claimed he knew nothing about it, just like everyone else. The information given by Odio then was not accurate, Odio had wanted to find out if anyone had picked the dead body late night on the 30th of March. This made Mark uncertain about it, and he concluded that Odio wasn’t talking about the man whom he and his crew saw for they had seen him drop from the bridge above in the early hours of the next day and not on the thirtieth day.

On one of the other journeys on the sea, he had learnt through gossip of the sea workers that the man Odio asked about was one of the FOX Agents whom the Agency was also searching for. He then thought it had all ended then after the FOX had declared an end to their search. It shocked him when his friend explained to him that Odio had commenced a new search and had begun to ask specifically for those who crossed the sea overnight.

He took no step to answer Odio’s call that day and was called again by another assistant that night, he was told to report as soon as he could the next day but he refused to show up and turned off his phone throughout the day instead. He got another call as he dressed up for work the third day and it was from Odio himself, threatening him to find his way to the Bexford Sea area that day unfailingly but Mark gave excuses of having work to do and that he would rey to show up as soon as possible which he never planned to do. Odio gave him till the end of the day to show up and he did not, instead he turned off his line.

It was the night of the fourth day after he got the first call and here was a message saying Odio was outside his house. He found it hard to believe. He had turned off his line and even refused to go to work that day, hoping Odio would not try to reach him through someone else at work, he didn’t imagine that Odio could get to his home so easily. It was a new apartment in a different city from where he lived before and none of his friends at work knew the place or had visited him there.

He was still contemplating on what to do when another message popped in.

“I’m waiting you blockhead! Or would you like me to interrogate you in front of your wife and kids?”

Mark got up immediately and carried the baby in his hands to his wife. He really would not love the option of his wife seeing him with Odio.

“I need to use the restroom honey,” he said as he dropped the boy in the hands on his mother. The mother in turn laid the boy on the space beside her on the sofa as she wondered what the reason for his suspicious movement was. Her eyes followed her husband as he walked away.

Mark got out through the backyard and turned to the front. It was easy to locate the mini van parked in front of the wooden fenced compound. Mark glanced again at the house as he walked carefully to the van.

Odio was sitting in the front of the vehicle and his eyes met with Mark as the latter advanced towards them. He felt some anger and disgust on seeing Mark, he couldn’t believe that he had called for him and he had refused to obey.

Mark walked as fast as he could with his short legs, he knew Odio was angry and did not want to provoke him further.

Mark was a petite man of dark complexion, he was in his thirties but his face made him look way older, like a man in his late forties or early fifties. From his look, one could never guess he was involved in illegal businesses but as they say, looks are truly deceitful.

“Get into the car,” Odio said before Mark got to the car. One of the two men sitting at the backseat stepped out and opened the door for him to enter. He entered the back after Mark got in. “We’d drive a short distance away from here, to somewhere we can talk without you being afraid of your wife’s interruption,” Odio added in calm tone which surprised Mark. Mark expected to get it hot from Odio after refusing to honour his summon to Bexford.

After ten minutes drive, they came to a halt on a deserted dark road. All the men stepped out except for Odio, Mark also had to step out with them.

He turned to the front to speak with Odio who still sat in the car, facing outside with the door opened.

“Thank you for already confirming that you saw the body of that man, now I …”

“No, I…” Mark interrupted in order to deny but Odio gave him a threatening look which cut him short.

“I’m mad at you already, don’t provoke me further by lying to me. And don’t interrupt me when I talk, never again.” Odio warned with a stern look on his face.

Mark swallowed hard. He had heard of Odio’s anger and brutality, he was not willing to have a taste of it.

“You confirmed your guilt by refusing to respond when you should have,” Odio continued. “So, I am fully convinced that you know the whereabouts of the dead body and I want you to tell me now all you know about it.”

“Ermm…I’m not really sure of which one you are talking about,” Mark began in a shaky voice. “They said the dead body was thrown into the sea on Monday night, I wasn’t on the Bexford sea on Monday night.”

“It wasn’t on Monday night you dummy, the bodies were thrown midnight, that’s early on Tuesday and even if it were Monday night you could still have found the body on Tuesday morning.”

“It wouldn’t have been possible, the body would still be underwater.”

“Blockhead, stop lecturing me and go straight to the answer I need.” Odio slammed.

“Ermm…I was with my crew on the sea that morning, we were approaching the bridge around 3:30am when we saw something drop from afar.” Mark said stuttering, he looked at Odio’s face and the look thereon was one urging him to continue. “We noticed that there were some men on the bridge but they departed before we got under the bridge. We stopped and three of my men went into the water to help the man that was dropped. We pulled him out and put him on our ship, he looked dead to us but we had a medical personnel who said he could still be alive. So we took him on the journey and got to the Deols Port before 5:30, it was then the stupid personnel confirmed that he could not survive for long and would probably die in the next five minutes. Truly he stopped breathing in five minutes. We were in trouble, the port was already opening and people were around, we couldn’t drop the body anywhere around and dig a hole and put him there. We put the body in a body bag and placed him in my car, we drove out, looking for somewhere to put him and one of my men suggested we go to Nura River. That was where we dropped the dead body.”

“Nura river? Where’s that?”

“In Nura Village, it’s about three hours drive from there.”

Three hours? Why did you have to take it so far?”

“There was no way we would have dropped a dead body anywhere in El Deols or close by without the police tracing it to us. We had to take it somewhere far and remote.”

“Was he dead before you took him there?” Odio asked.

“Yes, he stopped breathing.” Mark answered.

Odio sighed. He cursed Agent Carl in his mind. He was among the men that night and he remembered how the man was beaten severely and struck several times on his head and chest before he was finally shot thrice and let to fall into the sea. He wondered how the man could still be alive after being found minutes later in the sea. To him, it was naturally impossible, but this was Agent Carl of the FOX who was rumoured to have escaped death with his partner several times. Most people believed that their hard training had made them immune to the natural processes that hurts normal beings.

It was a relief however to hear from Mark that the man breathed his last before being put away. He however remembered that he needed to go back to the Red Wolves with proofs that the Agent was dead. He was about to ask another question when Mark’s phone rang.

“My wife,” Mark said as he looked at the screen.

“Answer it,” Odio permitted.

“No please,” Mark shook his head.

“She’d be worried,” Odio replied.

“It’s better than knowing I’m out this late in the night, I’ll talk to her when I get back home.” Mark said as he kept the phone into his pocket.

Odio smiled at Mark’s response. If only Mark knew he might never return home, he thought to himself.

“You are not going home tonight, it’s better you answer and tell her something.”

Mark’s eyes widened in shock. “What? But I already told you everything I know.”

“Yes, you can’t return until you take us to the exact place you kept the body.” Odio replied with an oppressive smile.

“That place is far and we can no longer find the body there, the body would have been eaten up by vultures.” Mark retorted, stammering.

“You have to show proofs somehow that the man died and he was eaten up by vultures,” Odio replied, unmoved.

Mark heaved a sigh of frustration. How did he ever think he would leave easily? He had heard so much about Odio and he should know that getting out of Odio’s troubles is never easy.

tbc