Thursday 2pm Henry was sitting alone in the living room on the three sitter sofa, he was occupied with something on his laptop. He didn’t quickly take note when Tarasha walked in. His eyes were still fixed to the laptop’s screen until Tarasha sat beside him.
‘Hi’ Tarasha signaled.
‘Hey’ he smiled back.
‘What are you doing? I see you’ve been quite busy since morning’ She said, shifting closer to him to peep into the laptop.
‘Yeah, I’ve been trying to conclude some leftover jobs. I have to give a report this evening’ Tarasha rested back after finding nothing meaningful to her on the laptop’s screen.
‘Well, I’ll be leaving for the banquet by four thirty pm’
‘Oh!’ Henry took a quick glance at his wristwatch. ‘So you still insist on going?’
‘Yes. I have to conclude the deal, that’s what I’m in Nigeria for’ Henry paused. He turned to Tarasha and stared deeply into her eyes for some seconds.
‘I have this feeling that I’ve met you somewhere else before’ he said, returning to his laptop. ‘Something in your voice tells me so’ Tarasha chuckled.
‘Maybe, in your dreams’
‘Well, maybe’ Henry picked an opened jotter and stared at a phone number written in it.
‘I would have loved to come with you but I can’t stand coming in contact with that murderer again and most important is this job that I need to finish this night’
‘It’s okay, I understand. I’ve arranged for a driver to take me there’ Tarasha replied.
‘Just be careful’ Henry warned. Tarasha smiled.
‘Put your mind at rest, you have nothing to worry about’ she said. She frowned as her eyes suddenly caught something on Henry’s jotter. It was the phone number Cole had used to call Jubril Lawal and act her father, Alexander Amaechi. She stylishly moved closer to Henry and placed her head on his shoulder, peeping into the laptop. Henry was surprised, she had not come close to him like that for sometime. He inhaled deeply as he perceived the soothing fragrance from her body. She placed her hand on his chest and ran it under his button. He felt a tickling sensation.
‘I wish you could follow me to the banquet’ Tarasha said, looking into his eyes. She needed something to distract him from finishing the job or else he’ll be disrupting her operation that night.
‘But I can’t’ Henry replied, astonished, she never sounded like she wanted his company before.
‘Can’t you postpone this job and submit tomorrow?’ Tarasha pleaded.
‘That’ll be difficult, I already promised today’
‘But you can tell them that you have some thing to attend to tonight and that you’ll give a report tomorrow morning’ Henry took away her hand from his chest and turned face to his. He stared at her with doubt in his eyes.
‘Why do you suddenly want me to come with you?’ Tarasha looked away from him.
‘I just felt like I’ll be needing your company’
‘But you didn’t feel like that before’ Henry said, taking the laptop off his lap. ‘And you said you’ll be going with a driver’
‘Yes, but I need a friend’ Tarasha said childishly and clutched to his chest again. Henry let out a deep breath. He had been looking for an opportunity to hang out with her, could this be the right time? Was his work worth postponing for her? He was feeling strange about her request but his desire to go out with her beclouded his reasoning.
‘You also said that it’s a ticketed event?’
‘I have an extra ticket already’ she put in quickly. He let out another deep breath and wrapped his hands around her. Tarasha felt deep warmth within her, that was a sign that he had fallen for her trick.
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Dare drove straight to the car park as he entered in through the gate of Orex recreational centre. He parked in a good position as directed by the marshalls and spent some few more minutes in the car before opening the door and stepping out. He looked around for any sign of those he had an appointment with. His phone beeped.
‘In the garden’ the text message from Afo read. Dare locked the doors carefully and looked around to locate the garden. He put on his face cap and proceeded at once as he located the garden.
‘Mr Dare’ a voice spoke softly to him as he stepped into the garden. He turned to see the person.
‘Over there’ the man said, pointing him to where Afo and Audu were seated. Dare walked over to them immediately. He stood beside Afo’s seat for a minute without saying anything or getting any word from his hosts.
‘What’s the plan tonight?’ Afo finally asked.
‘I should be asking you that question’ Dare retorted. Afo smiled. He turned to face Dare and stared at him without saying anything. Dare took his face away from the gaze. ‘All I know is that she would be present in the banquet today. You must find a way to take her and make sure she leads you to the guy’ Dare spoke angrily and then paused. He dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out a picture. He threw it towards Afo and it landed on the floor. ‘That’s both of them in the picture, in case you don’t recognize them anymore’ Afo stamped his feet angrily on the floor and got up as if to pounce on Dare, but he was restrained by an unknown inner strength and Audu’s constant warning stare at him.
‘Wetin dey work you now, Dare?’ Afo spoke angrily in pidgin. ‘No be today we don dey deliver for you, why you con dey do like person wey no know me before’
‘That’s what you’ll say, what if I’ve been already implicated by your silly mistake?’ Afo returned to his seat and remained silent for another couple of seconds. He picked up the picture and carefully examined it before tucking it into his pocket.
‘No worry, we go handle the job tonight, we go carry the girl’ Dare cleared his throat and was about to walk away when Audu spoke.
‘Wait’ Audu said and got up from his seat. ‘Why don’t you let’s tweak the plan a little bit?’
‘How?’ Dare turned back, somehow interested.
‘Trying to use the girl in tracing the guy may not work, that girl seems stubborn and quite difficult to handle’ Audu paused and glanced at Afo. Afo nodded in agreement. ‘She may not lead us to him’
‘Oh’ Dare exclaimed under his breath.
‘I think we should drop her immediately’ Audu said. Dare and Afo stared at him in disagreement. ‘We’ll keep the dead body in the guy’s house to implicate him’ Audu quickly added to ease the tension. ‘He’ll never come out of the trouble’
‘Hmmm’ a slight smile began to appear on Afo’s face. He glanced at Dare who was also smiling and nodding his head as he reasoned the idea.
‘Sounds nice’ Dare said, smiling at Audu as he took a quick glance at his wristwatch. ‘I’ve got to go now, please make sure the job is done that way’ Dare said with a note of finality and walked away briskly.
5pm ‘My driver is outside already’ Tarasha called to Henry as she stepped out of the bedroom and walked into the living room.
‘Okay, I’m ready’ Henry answered from his room. He came out to join Tarasha in the sitting room few seconds later. He stood speechless at the centre of the living room as she turned to face him. He had never seen such beauty emanating from anyone else. Even with very little makeup, her fitted short blue gown made her look more stunning than all winners which the Miss World Beauty Pageant had ever produced put together.
He let out a very deep breath as she stared at him too. As if he was aware that she was going to put on blue, he also adorned himself in a deep blue suit and a white inner shirt with a butterfly bow tie to complement it.
‘Oh! I’ve been with God’s most beautiful Angel without knowing it’ Henry exclaimed as he moved closer to her. He could inhale the attractive accent of her perfume as he got closer to her. He placed his hands around her waist and stared into her face.
She returned his stare as she placed her hands on his shoulder. Henry held his breath as his eyes met her inviting lips, he felt her hold hers too. His heartbeat increased, he could hear hers drumming loud too. …
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to be continued