Lizzy began to dress up for her meeting with Victor after lunch. She had a feeling of relief whenever she remembered that her days with him were numbered and that his gang was close to their waterloo.
After dressing up, she stood in front of the mirror and stared at her reflection for a while. She smiled to herself as she admired her beautiful figure and the curves of her body which made her irresistible to men whenever flaunted. The smile disappeared from her face as she remembered that she had had to subject her beautiful body to fulfill the lusts of criminals like Victor. That truth made her feel sick for a moment.
A thought came to her mind. She turned back to her bed and reached for her phone. She searched out Tomi’s number and dialed.
‘Hello,’ the call was answered from the other end with a muffled voice, it sounded like Tomi was chewing something and she seemed not to have checked who the caller was before answering.
‘Hello dear,’ Lizzy replied in a playful tone. ‘Hope you’re doing fine today. I called to confirm if you have agreed to the deal I offered you two days ago.’
The chewing sound from Tomi’s end stopped and there was silence for some seconds.
‘Hey you b****!’ Tomi cursed, it appeared she had just realized who the caller was. ‘You’re not going to get tired of ******g with my boyfriend right?’
‘Baby Doll, he never told me about you, I guess you don’t exist in his mind. But I also think he may be trying to deceive me and that’s why I’m trying to offer a deal to you…’
‘Shut the **** up, you can keep ******* with the dog for all I care,’ Tomi slammed. Lizzy giggled. ‘He knows what kind of a b**** you are already, I allowed him hear how he was barking like a dog while having sex with you and how you were mewing like the screwed ****y that you are.’
‘Ermm… What do you mean?’ Lizzy seemed tensed for a moment.
‘You heard me right b****. I recorded that phone call and played everything to him,’ Tomi replied. ‘Now, **** off the line.’
The call ended but it left Lizzy dazzled. She tried to process in her head all that Tomi had told her, then it made sense to her why Victor sounded pained while asking to see her that evening. She never imagined that the call could have been recorded. The only effect she expected from the call was to leave Tomi brokenhearted and angry with Victor. She began to imagine several reasons the call was recorded for. Maybe it wasn’t only Victor who listened to the recording, their boss could have listened to it too.
She got up from the bed and reached for her bag, she put the phone into the bag before getting her shoes. She knew Victor was going to be throwing her questions and she needed to get ready answers to all his possible questions.
Victor glanced at the giant wall clock again, it was exactly four o’clock. It had taken so long to come and the fifteen minutes for which he had been waiting for seemed like eternity. He picked up his phone and opened his call dialer, he selected Patricia’s number and wanted to dial but stopped on a second thought. He glanced at the wall clock again, it was a minute past four, it was still too early to call and ask her where she was. He closed his eyes and rested his head on the backrest of the sofa.
He was about sleeping off nine minutes later when he heard a sound of the door opening. He sat up immediately and stared intently at the door until she entered.
The scent of her perfume filled the whole place as she entered. She stopped at the door and stared straight at Victor’s face. Their eyes connected deeply at that moment. For Victor, the connection was deeper than just the eyes, it was their hearts connecting. It felt like he was just seeing again her after so many years. She looked more beautiful and radiant to him. On the other hand, Patricia stared at him with so much hatred for him in her eyes, her desire to see him being executed for being a murderer seemed to grow stronger at that moment.
‘Pat,’ Victor called with a soft voice as he rose to his feet. She walked closer to him and they engaged each other in a tight hug for some seconds. Patricia continued to twitch her body uncomfortably until he released her.
‘I missed you dear,’ Victor said in happy tone.
‘I missed you too,’ she replied with less enthusiasm.
They both settled beside each other in the three seater sofa.
Patricia held his hands in hers and looked into his eyes as she began to speak. ‘Please Victor, I want you to tell me the whole truth.’ she said and Victor stared into her eyes more intently. ‘Do you have another girlfriend?’
Victor’s muscles relaxed a bit, his shoulders dropped and his eyes closed for a second. ‘Why do you ask? I thought I told you I never had a relationship before I met you.’
She let out a breath and released his hands from her grip. Her facial expression changed and turned angry all of a sudden, tears could be seen in her eyes. ‘If you’re not in a relationship, then who is Tomi?’
Victor froze for a second, wondering what was happening. He had thought he would be the first to bring up the matter but here she was talking about it before him and even very angry about it.
‘Tomi is not my girlfriend,’ he answered. He sat up and raised his gaze to her face.
‘Then who is she?’
Victor was confused for a moment. He didn’t have the right words to describe Tomi’s relationship with him and was trying his best to be careful so as not to complicate the issues.
‘She works with Evelyn Alexandra and I got to know her in the house, we had sex twice before I met you, but I swear, there’s nothing serious between the both of us.’ Victor explained with his voice and his facial expression depicting seriousness.
Patricia shook her head gently in disbelief, squinting at his face as she folded her arms. ‘I don’t believe any single word of yours, why didn’t you tell me about her before.’
‘Why do you think I would lie to you?’ Victor asked, spreading his palms wide as he stood up to his feet. ‘I had nothing serious going on with her, so there was no reason to tell you.’
He tried to move closer to her but she stepped back farther.
‘This is what all guys say when they’re caught, they always make an explanation.’
‘Believe me Pat, I’m telling you the whole truth. She’s nothing to me.’
‘Why then did you record our voices four days ago and how did she get it on her device?’
‘Record our voices?’ Victor halted and frowned. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘I’m sure you must have a camera somewhere here,’ Patricia said and began to look around the ceiling and it’s edges.
‘What camera?’ Victor asked, following her as she looked everywhere. He stepped closer to her and tried to hold her but she resisted.
‘Don’t touch me until you tell me why you recorded our voices and how she got it.’
Victor halted again. He was confused, wondering if she was talking about the same recording Tomi played for him to listen to or a different one. ‘What did you intend to achieve by that? You planned to humiliate me?’
‘No, why would I want to humiliate you? I don’t even understand what you’re talking about,’ Victor said helplessly.
‘You shameless liar, I hate you.’ she shouted at him and turned. She picked her bag from the center table where it was dropped and proceeded angrily to the door.
‘Hey Pat, please listen to me,’ Victor pleaded and ran after her. He stopped her from opening the door and gripped her wrists. ‘Listen, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why don’t you allow me listen to the audio you’re talking about?’
‘Please let me be,’ she hissed and tried to wriggle her self free from his grip but he held her firmly. ‘Let me be,’ she screamed in a loud voice and he had no choice than to release her hands but still blocked her from touching the door. ‘Why should I allow you listen to anything. You’re a liar, the audio had the voices of both of us and we were the only ones in this house that day except you have someone else living here that I don’t know about.’
‘No Pat, there’s no one else that comes here apart from the both of us and there was no one in the house with us that day. But why would I make any recording? What do I have to gain from it?’
‘I don’t know, please can you just let me leave here now?’ she screamed.
‘No Pat, please let’s settle this.’ Victor pleaded and reached for her hands again. ‘I think Tomi played that same audio for me to listen, I swear, I don’t know how it was recorded.’
Patricia remained mute for a moment, staring into his eyes angrily and breathing loudly. She had been able to make him confirm that there was really a recording and that Tomi played it for him to listen. ‘I don’t believe you, we were the only ones here that evening, who else could have done it?’
‘You have to believe because I’m saying the truth,’ Victor said and let out a deep breath. ‘Okay, let’s look at it this way, let’s say one of us mistakenly recorded that day…’
‘No, I didn’t record anything. You did. You own this house and you must have set everything up before that evening.’
Victor heaved a sigh. He had never begged a lady for anything this way and he was getting tired of trying to convince her but he just couldn’t stop himself, the last thing he wanted was for Patricia to hate him.
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ASO ROCK CLINIC
‘I’m not feeling any better Doctor, it seems to have gotten worse than it was two days ago.’ Chief Elvis Richards complained to the doctor, his eyes closed as he held his forehead with his palm.
‘I’m sorry about that sir,’ the doctor replied, staring at the man with a pity face. ‘But sir, did you follow the prescription carefully?’
‘Yes, I did. Even when I almost forget, I always have people to remind me.’
‘Hmm,’ the doctor opened the case file again and read through for some seconds. ‘The symptoms you complained of are still symptoms of Malaria fever but you’d have to go through another blood test for us to ascertain what’s wrong,’ he said before closing the file. He picked up his phone and dialed a number. He instructed a nurse to come get the Vice President’s blood sample.
Fifteen minutes later, the result of the test was out and the doctor had gone through it.
‘Sir, it’s still malaria but it’s severe malaria. We have to prescribe stronger drugs for you.’ the doctor said after drawing out a conclusion from the test results.
SAMANTHA OSMAN’S NEW BASE
Tomi was in the kitchen, washing used plates and pots when she heard someone’s footsteps entering the kitchen. She looked back and was surprised to see Cole charging towards her. But there was no time for her to express her surprise as Cole grabbed her suddenly by the neck and put a gun on her forehead.
‘Tell me, where did you get Patricia’s number?’ he barked at her.
Tomi was shocked and unable to look at his face. She stood there fidgeting and struggling to breathe as Cole’s grip on her neck was tight. ‘Cole, put that gun down and let me go.’ she managed to say.
‘I won’t allow you go until you answer my questions,’ Cole barked at her, still holding the gun to her head and pushing her body against the kitchen slab.
‘Cole, you’re crazy, please let me go.’ Tomi pleaded in a terrified voice. With the look on Cole’s face, he wasn’t going to let her go until she gives out her last breath.
‘Tell me how you got Patricia’s number and why you started sending her messages,’ Cole insisted.
‘I got it from your phone,’ Tomi muffled. Her eyes were becoming hot and her body vibrating more. ‘You’re hurting me, please let me go.’
‘Cole!’ Someone shouted authoritatively with a loud voice from behind and Cole looked back briefly. It was Henry. ‘Are you crazy?’ Henry asked.
Cole eventually released her neck from his grip but still pointed his gun at her for some few more seconds. ‘I’m going to kill you next time I get reports that you speak to her again,’ he said before turning back and walking to the door angrily. He stopped at the entrance for a second and flashed a look at Henry’s face before walking out.
‘My Goodness, are you okay?’ Henry entered into the kitchen to meet Tomi who was now on her knees and was coughing out. ‘Do you need water?’ he asked and she raised up her hand to signify a No. ‘The boss has to do something about it this time,’ Henry said to himself.
Cole bolted the door from behind after entering into the room. He sank into the bed heavily and dropped the pistol in his hand beside him before covering his face with a pillow. He let out a deep breath. He knew it was inevitable for him and Tomi to be summoned by the boss for an explanation. He had made some noise this time but he didn’t consider it as going too far. Tomi was the one who had gone too far by threatening to hurt Patricia and also sending the horrible record to her – at least, that was what he was made to believe by Patricia. He still wondered how the recording came to be that day. Was it possible that Tomi had attached something to his cloth that day without him realizing it? He asked himself. Henry’s intervention was what had stopped him from asking and getting the answer to all his questions. He didn’t know what to think. His thinking faculties weren’t working properly anymore and he wasn’t able to think of anyway that the fault could have come from Patricia.
Tomi’s admission to have taken the number from his phone made him surer that Tomi was the one who initiated the first call to Patricia and began the whole madness. Now Patricia was angry at him and he wasn’t able to stop her from leaving the house angrily when he couldn’t explain how the recording came about.
He forced himself out of bed and began to take off his clothes. He needed to change into another set of clothes and leave the room before Tomi comes knocking at the door.
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May 7, 2031
Stephanie and Dave walked side by side into the airport with their backpacks strapped to their backs.
‘We still have thirteen minutes more,’ Stephanie said to Dave as they walked into the waiting lounge.
‘That’s if the flight would not be at least ten minutes late,’ Dave replied her.
They located some empty seats and sat side by side, waiting for the announcement for their flight.
‘Hope you remember all I taught you,’ Dave asked as he took out a phone from the backpack.
‘Yes, I do but I do not really understand why we are doing it that way, isn’t it supposed to be the job of the police?’
‘It is, but the police are not doing their jobs and so journalists have to come in.’
‘But won’t this cause problems for us if we’re discovered?’
‘Relax dear,’ Dave smiled and reached for her palm. He squeezed it in his and looked into her eyes. ‘I’ve been investigating top criminal cases as a journalist for years and I’ve never had problems, all you have to do is follow the instructions and guidelines I gave to you.’
They sat in silence for the rest of the waiting period, both left to their individual thoughts. It felt like a dangerous adventure for Stephanie. She and Dave had spent several hours together in her house the day before, planning and preparing for the journey. It took so long for them to finish that Dave had to leave the house ten pm at night after having dinner with her. Dave had instructed her to act like his partner working with him in the Desert Reporters firm and lectured her on the ethics of the job. He had also given her an ID card that morning. He also lectured her on asking questions and how to make the interviewee release answers they didn’t plan to. They had fixed a session with the man already that day and the man asked them to visit his residence by evening.
Dave had a positive mindset about the journey. He saw Stephanie that was determined and would not take no for an answer but at the same time also applies common sense to her dealings. It had been easy for him to take an excuse from work, he had told the agency that he needed to visit a sick family member and explained to Dan that he was going to see his hospitalized girlfriend.
SAMANTHA OSMAN’S NEW BASE
‘Good morning Tara,’ Henry greeted as he walked into the computer room.
She flashed a look at him and replied, ‘Good morning Henry.’
‘You returned to the house past three am this morning, I hope there is no problem.’ Henry asked.
Tarasha smiled chiefly, ‘There is no problem.’
‘So where exactly did you go?’ Henry asked as he took a seat beside her.
She stopped what she was doing on the computer and turned to him. She folded her arms and looked into his eyes for a moment. ‘I went to Base B to get some important documents.’
‘Why didn’t you ask for help when you knew it would take you so long?’
‘It didn’t take me so long. I got there by one a.m. and left past two.’
‘Hmmm and where were you the whole evening?’
‘Going around town to check people’s reaction to our last post before I make the post about the Inspector General by twelve o’clock.’
‘Okay, that reminds me of something I discovered last night while waiting for you,’ Henry said with a serious look and readjusted his seating position. ‘The Inspector General plans to leave the country this Saturday.’
‘Oh!’ Tarasha widened her gaze and let out a wry smile. ‘The allegations would be out today, he wouldn’t be able to travel.’ she said and shrugged. ‘For now, I’ve got some work for you,’ she paused and turned back to the computer.
ASO ROCK CLINIC
‘Are you sure I’ll be okay soon or do we need to go to a specialist hospital?’ Elvis Richards asked the doctor.
‘No, it hasn’t gotten to that stage yet, we can handle it here,’ the doctor replied, holding the man’s hand and checking for the right vein he could put a syringe.
‘How many injections do I have to take?’ Chief Elvis asked again.
‘After this, you have one tonight and another tomorrow morning, I’ll suggest that you stay at home today and rest, you need a lot of rest. Right now, we’re treating you for low PCV and we hope that it rises soon.’
‘What’s low PCV?’
‘Low PCV is an effect of the severe malaria, PCV is the percentage of red blood cells in circulating blood.’
‘Oh well, whatever that means, all I need is to get better.’
The doctor was through administering the injections in ten minutes time and the Vice President’s phone was brought to him by one of his assistants, the Inspector General was calling.
‘Good morning Inspector General,’ Chief Elvis greeted.
‘Good morning sir, I hope you’re feeling better now.’
Yes, I am. What about you?’
‘I’m fine too, it’s just the leg that has gone worse.’
‘Sorry about that,’ Chief Elvis sympathized. ‘Just get ready for Saturday so that you can receive specialist treatment.’
‘Yes, I’m ready, I’ll be leaving here this evening.’
There was a brief moment of silence.
‘Sir, did Rex call you too?’ Chief Rikau asked.
‘Yes, he did.’
‘We’re finally making some progress; I told you there would be a difference if we involve the chairman.’
‘Yes, you did. Let’s talk later, I’m at the clinic now and its not a good place to discuss deep matters with you.’
In the next episode, Dave meets a shocking surprise in Lagos that turns everything around.
To be continued.