‘Rex,’ Tarasha muttered to herself with her eyes closed as she pictured his figure again. She compared him with Darya whose well built figure was still clear in her memory. She and Rex were certainly citizens of the same clan, the tiger clan. But she still couldn’t relate the secret the Queen told her to the victory against Darya and how it was going to help her against Rex. It was a mystery that still needed to be unveiled.
The whole house was silent. Patricia sat at the dining table working quietly with her laptop. Two of Cole’s phone were on the table. The one which was reserved for communicating with her was behind the top cover of the laptop and the main one he uses was connected to the laptop through a USB cable.
Cole had slept about an hour ago after a sex romp with her. She had put the sleep inducer in a drink for him like she planned. She was certain he was going to sleep until she woke him up by morning, so she did her job confidently. She had gone through the first phone – the one which Cole reserved for her- it was without a security lock, so she was able to go through the phone easily. She found nothing useful in the phone. The only contact on the phone was hers and the messages and online conversations on it were the ones he had with her. The second phone had a security lock and she had connected it to the computer, trying to unlock it without losing or tampering with any of the files. She had been on it for close to ten minutes and was almost done with the task.
She took a glance at the phone’s screen one more time before clicking OK on the pop up dialog box. The screen of the phone turned on and it unlocked automatically. She picked the phone and disconnected it from the laptop. She clicked on the menu icon and the first thing she navigated to was the phone contacts list. She pulled the notepad at the center of the table closer and picked the pen beside. She started from the first contact on the list and began to study every one; she paid attention to the contacts’ name, checked the social media accounts associated with the number and go through the conversation between Cole and the contacts on WhatsApp and other messaging apps.
It was almost three o’clock by the time she got to the thirtieth number. It occurred to her that she couldn’t cover all the numbers if she were to continue at that pace. She began to skip some numbers whose names seemed unimportant. She got to a contact stored as ‘boss’ and clicked on it. She checked the call records first and discovered that there had been only three calls between the number and Cole’s. Two outgoing calls and one incoming. She exited and moved to the messages, there were no records of SMSes exchanged between the numbers. Then she navigated to the Whatsapp messenger. Only two messages were found there and they were from Cole to the Boss. The both read; ‘Benny has dropped the package’ and ‘The Police officers are close by’, they were dated January 2031. She closed the chat and decided to go through other messages on WhatsApp. Like she expected, she couldn’t find any conversation useful to her. She knew most of the important details must have been deleted or the serious chats would have been done on a more secure chat application.
She closed the app and returned to the contact list. She scribbled down the first number with the name boss, there were two contacts there named ‘Boss’ but with numbers attached. She opened each of them and repeated the process she went through for the first one. Then she scrolled up the list to the contact named ‘Benny’.
After spending another thirty minutes on working on the contact list, she returned to the main menu and began to check for other chat applications that did not reflect in the contact list application. It didn’t take her time to find one which seemed like what she was looking for. She opened it and at the top of the chats found a conversation with a contact named ‘My Boss’ , there were over a thousand messages in the conversation.
‘Wake up sweetheart, I thought you planned to leave here early.’ Patricia said as she planted a kiss on Victor’s lips
‘Uhnn…’ Victor snorted as he stretched lazily in the bed. He yawned noisily as he managed to seat up. ‘Good morning Pat,’ he said, looking at her body as she slipped off her clothes in front of the wardrobe.
‘Good morning honey,’ she replied without looking at him. She had just taken off her panty and her backside was bare before him.
He felt his male organ rise and felt the urge to grab her from behind but she picked out a towel at that moment and wrapped her body with it as she turned to him.
‘I’m going to take my bath now, I prepared breakfast already.’ she said as she brushed her hair backwards with her hand. Then she proceeded into the bathroom.
Victor took in a deep breath as he rose up. He had no clothes on except his boxers. He proceeded to the table where his phones were kept since the last night. He tapped one of them on to check the time. He widened his eyes in surprise as he saw the time, it was 6:38am. He had slept so peacefully and sound, after having a nice time with his girlfriend. He unlocked the second phone to check if he had any new messages, there was none yet. He yawned again and dropped the two phones, then he returned to the bed to wait for Patricia to finish having her bath.
Cole turned off the car engine and took off his seatbelt. He picked his phones from the passenger’s side and stepped out of the car. He straightened his shirt and began to walk towards the entrance of his house, whistling under his breath. He tried to take off memories of the last night with Patricia from his mind and focus on the day’s job but the adventure kept replaying in his mind and he wished he still had her in his arms.
His thoughts were cut off as he came closer to the entrance. Tomi was standing down beside the two-step stairs leading to the verandah, he had not noticed her until then but she had stepped out while he drove the car into the compound. She had on her apron which was a sign that she was already preparing breakfast. The look on her face wasn’t too different from that of the day before. Cole wondered if she was going to talk to him or remain mute like she had been since the day before.
‘Good morning Tomi,’ he greeted as he got to the stairs leading to the verandah. She just stared at him without answering, her hands were folded across her chest and her lips tightened slightly.
He kept staring at her as he walked up. He sighed and turned to the door on seeing she wasn’t going to answer him.
‘So, you’re coming from her right?’ Tomi said as he placed his fingers on the knob.
Cole closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He wasn’t ready for her tantrums that morning, there was enough work to do and he couldn’t imagine starting his day having to listen to her blabbing first.
‘Coming from who?’ he asked, with a raised eyebrow, hoping she’d ignore his question and he’d walk away with the opportunity.
‘From that slut called Patricia,’ she slammed.
Tomi’s mention of Patricia’s name hit Cole as a shock. He wondered how she got the name. His mind searched fast to see if there was any possibility of her to have been stalking him around town without him noticing. There was no possibility, especially because they had different jobs and tasks always assigned by the boss. Then he suddenly remembered that he had once mentioned ‘Pat’ while talking on phone on a certain day. He believed that was how she must have gotten the name.
‘She’s not a slut!’ he replied her. ‘And be careful how you talk about her,’ he warned and entered into the house without listening for her reply. He would have replied back by calling her a slut too but he decided to take it lightly because of the sad mood she seemed to have been since the day before.
Tomi took in a deep breath after he slammed the door shut at her. She stared blankly with her arms still folded across her chest, thinking of what to do next.
She took out her phone from the pocket behind the apron and searched out for the number she stored on the phone the day before. She dialed it and waited for the call to be answered.
‘Hello,’ a tiny voice answered from the other end. There seemed to be an element of surprise in her voice.
‘You shameless slut!’ Tomi cursed. ‘I’m gonna ask you to leave Cole alone in a friendly way right now, but if I ever have to ask you again, you would not like what would happen to you afterwards.’ she said and ended the call.
‘Who is Cole?’ Lizzy asked the caller. ‘Hello…’ she stared at the phone’s screen and noticed that the call had been cut. She stared at the number for a while, wondering who the caller was. She knew that Cole was Victor. She had been surprised when she got a call from an unknown number, being that Victor was the only person she had given the telephone number to. She thought the caller had dialed the wrong number until she heard her mentioned Cole’s name.
She clicked on the Truecaller application to check the caller’s real name and location but the app was unable to reveal the details.
She was still seated in her car in the parking space of the security organization, waiting for eight o’clock before heading to her office. She took out her second phone from the bag and the notepad in which she had jotted down some few details, she had sent most of the important details in text format straight from Cole’s phone into her laptop and from the laptop to her own phone.
She opened her chat application and opened a new conversation with Dave.
‘Good morning Dave, I’ve got so much of details this morning.’ she typed and sent. The message was marked sent but wasn’t marked delivered yet. She continued by typing in more of the details and then concluded by informing him of the call from the unknown girl, she asked him to call her immediately he read the messages.
ILORIN, KWARA STATE.
The sound of Rex’s ringtone woke him from sleep. He opened his eyes and turned around to pick his phone which was by the pillow side. The Inspector General was the one calling.
‘Rex, we booked a flight for you to Cross River already. It’s leaving by 9am, you have to get ready immediately.’
‘What am I going to do in Cross River?’ Rex asked in a confident tone as he sat up.
‘Samantha Osman called John Bisong this morning and she has asked him to prepare some documents for her which she would be going to get from him by night time today.’
‘How sure are you of this?’ Rex asked, getting up from the bed.
‘Very sure. John Bisong called the Vice President some few minutes ago to tell him about the message she sent regarding it.’
‘Which airline did you book for me?’ Rex asked as he pulled out a towel from the wardrobe.
International Airport, Ilorin.
Dan and Dave rolled their boxes along with them as they followed a junior NIS officer leading them to the car waiting for them in the garage. The junior officer was also carrying a bag in his hands.
They got to the garage and put their bags into the boot of the car. The junior officer joined the driver at the front seat while the Dan and Dave entered into the car. The driver turned on the car engine and was about to drive off when Dan spoke up.
‘Hold on for a second,’ he said, reading something on his phone. He then turned back and looked out through the back glass, watching the couple of cars which drove past at that moment. Every other person in the car had their attention turned towards him. ‘We can move now,’ Dan said after the last of the cars passed.
‘What was that for?’ Dave asked with a raised eyebrow.
‘I wanted to see those cars pass us,’ Dan replied without paying much attention. He continued with his activity on the phone.
Dave refrained from asking more questions as it was obvious Dan wasn’t ready to keep answering. He took out his own phone and unlocked it. He swiped down the notification bar. He already had so many messages, the highest number and most recent of them from Lizzy.
He went through Lizzy’s messages carefully. The look on his face brightened as he read each one. Cole’s chat history which Lizzy had gained access to had revealed a lot of his conversations with his boss, Samantha. Dave couldn’t fully comprehend the messages but he was sure it was something positive. He read to the end where she asked him to call her immediately he reads the messages but he couldn’t at that time. He typed back a reply instead, ‘I’ll call you when I’m alone, Good work.’
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Cole was working in the control room when Tarasha walked in. He glanced towards the door and paused what he was doing to greet.
‘Good morning Boss,’ he greeted before turning back to the computer.
‘Hey Cole, good morning.’ she greeted as she proceeded towards the main computer. ‘How many cars are we using tomorrow?’
‘One should be enough, going with the directions we were given by Henry.’ Cole replied.
‘What’s our escape route?’ she took her seat and turned on the system.
‘We’d return through the same way we double cross them.’
‘Have you checked what the traffic is like on a Saturday?’
‘Yes, it’s always less busy, especially at that time of the morning.’
‘Then we should have it smooth tomorrow.’
‘Yes, we should.’
Aguda House, Aso Rock
James glanced at his wristwatch as he hurried towards the house. He was sure his father would be out already. He took out his phone and dialed Vivian’s number as he walked the verandah to the entrance.
‘Good morning Vivian, I’m coming into Dad’s house now. Can we see briefly?’ he said into the phone immediately the call was answered.
‘Yes, I’m inside.’
‘Okay, just come into the living room to meet me,’ he said and ended the call.
He got into the house and waited in the living room for some few seconds until Vivian came to join him. He saw her walking down from the stairs, still in her night robe. She didn’t look hurt just like Inspector Dakolo had told him but she wasn’t looking lively either.
Dakolo had called James late the night before, telling him how Vivian was rescued from the car and how their father prevented them from asking her questions. James offered to do the questioning since he had direct access to his sister and he was also involved in the case.
‘Good morning brother,’ she said as she entered into the living room.
‘Vivian, good morning. Can we sit and talk?’
‘Yes, ‘ she replied, folding her arms.
They both settled on the three seater sofa, facing each other.
‘So, what happened to you yesterday?’ I’m aware you were on your way to the airport.’ James began.
‘Nothing, I only had a minor accident due to the carelessness of my driver. The doors of the car were shut,’ she lied.
‘Minor accident?’ James widened his eyes questioningly. ‘Come on, stop hiding the truth from me. I’m your blood.’
‘Brother,’ Vivian called and sighed. ‘Dad does not want me to tell this to anybody.’
‘I know, but am I anybody?’ he asked, looking straight into her eyes. ‘And even if Daddy wants you to hide it from me too, should you?’
James paused to see her reaction. She was expressionless, so he continued.
‘I think our Dad is facing something dangerous that could harm him and us, and it’ll be crazy to hide it from ourselves. You should talk to me so that we can both make plans on what to do, to help our Father and ourselves. It won’t do us any good if you hide it from me.’
Vivian sighed and closed her eyes briefly. She stared into his eyes and took in another breath. ‘But do you promise you won’t let Dad know if I tell you?’ she questioned James.
‘Vivian, it’s not about letting Dad know or not here. It’s first about our safety and his.’
‘Are you sure we’d actually find a solution if I tell you?’
‘Come on, you’ve not even told me yet. How do I know there’ll be a solution if I don’t know the problem yet?’
Vivian closed her eyes and shook her head gently, it seemed she was making a tough decision not to keep what happened to herself like she promised her father.
‘Tell me Vivian, what really happened yesterday?’
‘I was supposed to travel but Samantha Osman sent someone to stop me from traveling.’
‘Yes, she sent a guy and he said I’m not allowed to travel until my father is punished for all the wrong things he has done.’
‘All the wrong things?’ James frowned. ‘Did he tell you what these wrong things are?’
‘No, but…’ Vivian sighed again. ‘I’ve seen him before, he actually came with the wrong things the first time.’
‘I don’t understand.’
‘Samantha Osman has sent him to me before, he came to meet me at a studio. It’s part of the reasons Dad arranged for me to leave the country quickly.’
‘Huh? What did he tell you when he came the first time?’
‘He gave me a file to give Dad.’
‘A file? What file?’
‘A file containing documentations of a deal by a certain NOTD firm, the Ministry of Health and some foreign health companies.’
‘Wow!’ James inhaled and let out air from his mouth. He got up from the seat and began to pace in front of the three seater slowly.
‘What’s wrong?’ Vivian asked.
‘Nothing,’ he suddenly stopped and sat down again. ‘Did you give the file to Dad? And what did he say after receiving it?’
‘Actually the file carries his signatures and passport photographs showing that he signed the illegal deals for the NOTD firm,’ she paused to look at James’ face. He was paying full attention to her. ‘Dad denied knowing anything about the deals, he said they were the works of his enemies who wants to Tanisha his.’
‘Hmm…’ James got up from the seat again and paced the floor for a while. ‘I received a file too,’ James said, after sitting down again. She seemed confused by his statement. ‘Samantha came to me in person and asked me to deliver the file to Dad.’
‘Wow!’ Vivian exclaimed with her eyes widened.
‘What do you think about the allegations they made against Dad?’ James asked.
A confused look appeared on Vivian’s face, she seemed to have a hard time giving the answer to the question.
‘I don’t know, but Dad says he knows nothing and I think we should believe him.’
‘I don’t think he knows nothing, I think he was really involved in those terrible deals.’
‘You think so?’
‘Yes, I do. Let’s look at the facts together…’
To be continued