In a twinkle of an eye, she stretched her left hand into the driver’s side and her right hand into the back side. She pulled the two men by their shirts and dragged their heads out through the windows and smashed them against each other. The both men were caught by surprise and didn’t prepare to defend themselves. She drew out the knife from her back and slid it into the throat of the man behind the front seat. Then she quickly opened the driver’s door, making the man’s head hit the top of the bus and tilt backwards.
‘Mum, I’m bleeding.’ Stephanie screamed aloud as she noticed the blood on her hand.
‘Oh Dear! This is much,’ Madam Henrietta exclaimed.
They just got into a taxi, heading for the Goodluck junction where Tarasha had instructed that they wait for her. Stephanie had not realized she had been cut by the knife due to her anxiety and the darkness around the house did not help matters. She only noticed when she became calmer and observed the fluid on her hand. She was only lucky that the cut had not been too deep, but she had already lost a lot of blood and was weak already.
The taxi driver turned to look at them, he made a frown when he saw the bleeding, not happy because his seats could have gotten stained by the blood.
‘There’s a pharmacy right in front, I’ll just stop you there.’ The driver said.
He stopped them beside the pharmacy and the women stepped out of the vehicle to get first aid treatment for Stephanie.
The man whom the driver referred to as boss was quick to pull out his gun but Tarasha was faster, she jacked up the driver by his neck and threw him on the man’s body, making him lose control of the gun. She gripped the both sides of the door and used it as a support as she jumped first on the driver’s seat and then sent a kick with her two legs simultaneously at the men. She turned sharply and placed her feet on the ground, she pulled the driver away from the boss and pushed him out through the window at the right side.
The man referred to as boss managed to open his eyes and stare at her. He looked confused beyond words. He wondered how the little whore had managed to take out two of his men in a brief moment already. He tried to reach for his gun but he realized it was far away.
He stared at her face again and opened his mouth to talk, ‘ Who are..’
She interrupted him with a blow on his face, then she picked his gun which had fallen to the floor in the bus. She opened the door and pulled the man out, then pushed him to the ground. She turned to the driver whom she had first pushed to the ground, she thought of shooting him but she changed her mind. She took out another short knife and slit in into his throat.
She turned back and faced the boss, he was yet to recover. She placed a knee on the ground beside the man and pulled him up by the neck, staring him in the face directly.
‘Hey Man, Get up. We got some talks to do,’ She said as she dragged him up to his feet. She pushed him, making his back lean against the bus and placed the knife beside his throat. ‘Who sent you here?’
The man growled, unwilling to give an answer.
‘I won’t ask you for a third time,’ she said, putting the knife deeper into his skin.
‘Stainless,’ the man managed to say.
‘He asked you to kill both ladies?’
‘No, he sent us to the old woman only but he told us to waste anyone that stands in the…’
Tarasha did not let him finish before she took him out with the butt of her gun.
30 Minutes later.
Madam Henrietta and Stephanie arrived at Goodluck junction and began to look around for signs of Tarasha.
‘We’re ten minutes late,’ Stephanie said to Madam Henrietta.
‘She asked us to wait for her here, couldn’t she have waited when she didn’t see us?’ Madam Henrietta complained, looking around in confusion.
They stayed for five more minutes at the junction without seeing any sign of her and both of them were getting frustrated already when they heard a strange voice behind them.
‘Why did it take you guys so long to get here?’ Tarasha asked from behind, startling them.
Stephanie turned back sharply and ran into her arms. Tarasha was taken by surprise at the warm embrace but she didn’t resist. It felt odd at first but she heaved a sigh and decided to release her frozen body. She put her arms around the girl’s body and drew her closer.
‘Can we leave now?’ Tarasha said after breaking free from the hug, looking at Madam Henrietta who was staring at them strangely.
‘Where are we going to?’ the woman questioned in low tones.
‘Just follow me,’ Tarasha replied and began to lead them across the road.
Stephanie gave Madam Henrietta a reassuring look before holding her hand and pulling her along with them. Madam Henrietta had no choice than to follow, she somehow felt indebted to the strange lady for saving her from death.
She was already struggling for breath when the miracle happened. The man who was trying to suffocate her with the handkerchief suddenly fell to the floor after giving out a loud cry. It took her sometime to regain her breath and open her eyes and when she did , she saw the face of a young woman dressed in all black standing before her.
Stephanie got into the front seat of the car with Tarasha while Madam Henrietta sat at the back seat.
Tarasha took in a deep breath after putting on the seatbelt. She took off the wig on her clean shaven head and folded it neatly into a bag beside her. Stephanie stared at her with her lips widely parted.
‘Why did you cut your hair?’ Stephanie asked in amazement, trying to remember whether Tarasha was shaven the first time they met. She recalled, and couldn’t find any image of her been shaven in her memory. She remembered that there was a neatly plaited hair on her head that day and it didn’t look like a wig.
‘Wrong question at a wrong time,’ Tarasha replied coldly. She turned to look at Stephanie’s face and stared into her eyes for a while, it was obvious Stephanie still recognized her from the night she saved her from the rapist. She recalled that the makeup she disguised with was already fading at that time of the night when they first met and agreed it was easy for Stephanie to still recognize her. But she narrowed her gaze as she remembered something else, ‘I thought they said you lost your memory.’
Stephanie remained quiet for a while, she was uncomfortable with the question because of Madam Henrietta’s presence in the car. The old woman also did not know that she could recall everything that happened when she was kidnapped.
Tarasha could see the discomfort in her eyes and sensed she didn’t want to talk about it in Madam Henrietta’s presence. She changed the subject, ‘Those men that attacked you, where do you know them from?’ she asked and turned to look at Madam Henrietta.
‘I don’t know any of them and I don’t know where they’re from,’ Madam Henrietta answered.
Tarasha turned to Stephanie.
‘I’ve never seen them either,’ Stephanie said.
Tarasha turned back to Madam Stephanie. ‘You were their target, who do you suspect?’
Madam Henrietta let of a gasp. She suddenly became afraid again. ‘Who?’ She began to pant. ‘I’ve not done anything for anyone to want me dead.’
Tarasha glanced back at Stephanie again before facing front. She stared blankly for a moment, thinking about how things would have turned out if she hadn’t been in Abuja that moment. She had tracked Stephanie’s address through the IP from which the email message was sent from and only planned to pay a surprise visit that night to force out some information but her plans changed when she got there. She realized that another group had gotten there before her. She arrived incidentally at the same time their bus arrived and noticed them first. She took some time to observe them and suspected their mission from viewing their body language. She followed after the three men when they went in but didn’t pass through the main entrance and it was why it took her more time to get in after they had.
She heaved a sigh before she pushed the start button to turn on the car engine, she also turned on the indicator and looked into the side mirror to view the cars coming from behind.
It took them extra thirty minutes to get to their destination. It was a house in Gwagalada. They had stopped on the way at a restaurant to get dinner for the three of them. Tarasha led them into the house and locked the door. She ushered them to the dining table and made Stephanie served the food for the three of them.
They finished the food in silence, with Madam Henrietta and Stephanie exchanging glances occasionally and also stealing glances at Tarasha’s face and expecting her to talk. Tarasha knew they expected her to begin a conversation but she remained silent and focused on the meal without returning any of their looks. Only when she finished the meal did she stand up, she took in a deep breath and took quick glances at the faces of the two ladies
‘You two would not try to move out of this place until I return, is that clear?’ Tarasha said calmly, but still maintained the authority in her voice.
‘We won’t,’ Stephanie was the one who replied, she had no problem with the instruction.
Madam Henrietta was also forced to nod in agreement when Tarasha placed her gaze on her face.
‘Good.’ Tarasha got up from the dining table and walked into the living room. She took out her wig from the bag and put it on again. She made it tight at the back to ensure that it wouldn’t fall.
Without another word, she walked out of the house and walked back straight to the car.
‘I thought you said she is a police officer,’ Madam Henrietta questioned, staring at Stephanie’s face for explanation.
‘Yes, I said so.’ Stephanie answered and got up to her feet. She proceeded towards the window and opened the curtains slightly to see what Tarasha was up to.
‘Are you sure she is?’ Madam Henrietta asked, also walking into the living room. ‘Have you seen her on uniform?’
‘No, I haven’t. But other police officers said she was also a police officer on national TV.’ Stephanie turned back before answering the woman. She opened the curtain again to look.
Tarasha was at the back of the car now, standing behind the opened boot. She pulled something up and dragged it to the floor. Stephanie opened her mouth in shock. It was a man. The man was tied up and locked in the boot of the car in which they all came in and she and Madam Henrietta did not notice. The man legs and hands were tied, his mouth was also covered with a tape.
Tarasha took off the tape from the man’s mouth and bent down to speak to him, Stephanie couldn’t hear what was being said. After a minute, she closed the boot of the car and dragged the man in his tied state into the car. She dropped him at the backseat and entered into the driver’s side.
‘What are you looking at?’ Madam Henrietta asked curiously, walking towards Stephanie to also have a look.
‘Nothing,’ Stephanie replied and closed the curtain.
Madam Henrietta stopped behind and stared at her for a while. ‘Are you sure you know who this woman is?’
‘Yes, I know her. She’d be back soon, we’re safe here.’ Stephanie replied and walked back to sit in the living room.
Madam Henrietta proceeded to the window and opened the curtain. The only thing she saw was the car driving out. She proceeded to the door of the living room and tried to open it by turning the knob.
‘The door is locked from outside,’ She said to Stephanie with panic written all over her face.
‘We’re not planning to leave, are we?’ Stephanie replied confidently. She crossed her legs and rested her back.
Madam Henrietta stared at her for a couple of seconds. She was baffled about Stephanie’s confidence and attitude, she concluded that Stephanie must know about and have a hand in what was going on.
‘Steph, you have to tell me what’s happening here,’ she said and proceeded straight to the girl, determined to make her explain everything to her.
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‘Hey dude! Now you’ve gotta talk plainly to me,’ Tarasha said after dragging the tied man into a dark room. The only source of light in the room was her phone’s flashlight which was placed in her trousers front pocket.
She pulled him up by the collar and made him rest his back against the wall.
‘I can’t tdo what you’re asking to do, I would be hunted till he finds and kill me.’ the man voiced out, looking away from Tarasha’s face as she squatted right in front of him.
Tarasha placed a knee on the ground. She pulled his hair and made him look her straight into her eyes. ‘Who’s going to kill you? I can kill him before he gets the news that you told me,’ Tarasha offered.
‘Who are you?’ the man underrated her in his mind. ‘A lady like you can’t kill him.’
‘I’m Samantha Osman, who is he and why can’t I kill him?’ she replied.
The man widened his eyes in shock. His lips trembled and he swallowed hard in fear. He didn’t know whether to believe her or not. The lady in front of him did not look like Samantha Osman but considering her strength and actions, it could mean she truly was who she claimed to be.
‘Stainless gave me the job,’ the man finally voiced out, taking his chance.
‘The same one who worked with Don Dan?’ she asked the question she did not ask at the first time he mention Stainless’ name.
‘Yes, he’s number one in Nigeria now apart from you, the visitor, Samantha Osman.’
‘He isn’t number one,’ Tarasha said and got up to her feet. She thought for some seconds and knelt again. ‘What if you work with me?’ she offered temptingly. ‘It could save you from Don and help you secure your future.’
The man only stared at her for minutes without coming to a decision.
She finally rose up when he wasn’t saying anything. ‘I still need Stainless alive, so I won’t be taking him out soon. That gives him enough time to know that you’ve betrayed him and hunt for you. Since you have made a choice not to work with me, I’ll have to leave you to face his wrath. I’ll kill him when it’s time. Goodbye,’ she said and began to proceed towards the door.
‘I will work with you,’ the man let out a muffled sound.
Tarasha turned back and made a crooked smile at him. ‘Good,’ she proceeded back towards him. She took off the ropes from his hands and feet, ‘I’ll let you leave and work with me. But you should understand that you now owe your allegiance to me, you sign not only your death warrant the day you betray me, you also sign your entire family’s death.’
The man trembled in fear.
‘I was already making moves for your family,’ she said, taking out a phone from her back pocket. ‘I sent the picture of you I took to my team member and they got your profile already,’ she stopped and unlocked the phone. She opened an app and displayed it to him. It showed his full profile and passport, his address, his legal occupation, his wife and kids and some of his family members’ name.
The man opened his mouth in shock. His heart began to beat faster and his body trembled more.
‘Forget that you saw that,’ Tarasha said with a smile and returned her phone. She took out another from the second pocket and handed it to him, ‘Here’s the phone I took from your pocket. Do you have Stainless’ number there?’
The man nodded in affirmation.
‘When is he expecting a reply from you?’
‘He asked me to get back to him as soon as the woman got killed,’ he replied in low tones.
‘Now, call him and tell him that your mission has not been successful yet, but you got the woman under watch.’ Tarasha said. ‘Place it on loud speakers,’ she quickly added as he began to use the phone. She took out her own phone again and unlocked it, she opened the tracking application and clicked on the man’s phone details which she had already stored on it.
The phone began to ring and the call was answered in less than a minute.
‘Alex, what’s up man?’ Stainless voice sounded through the loud speakers.
‘Stain, the woman wasn’t found at the expected place, but we still have her under watch and we will drop her as soon as we get the best opportunity to make it look natural.’ Alex replied.
‘What the hell are you talking about?’ Stainless replied angrily. ‘You can’t drop a harmless woman in one night.’
‘I’m sorry Stain, we should have dropped her if we weren’t following your instructions to make it look natural.’
‘You’re sick in the head, when are you going to get it done?’
Alex quickly glanced at Tarasha.
‘Tomorrow,’ she whispered to him.
‘Tomorrow,’ Alex said into the phone.
‘Get it done tomorrow man, we have someone else to drop here but that must be done first. So don’t delay my job, you get me?’
Tarasha copied the location gotten from the tracker and pasted into the text message box.
‘Locate this place and start a survey,’ she typed under the location and sent the message to Cole.
To be continued