Dakolo hissed and muttered a curse word under his breath as he discovered that the tracker he placed on Dave’s body had been dropped just outside the gate. He turned off his car engine and refreshed the app running on his phone again, to see if it will bring a different result but it didn’t not. The map still displayed exactly the same location. He wondered how Dave had discovered the stuff so easily, he looked too young to have so much experience in journalism.
He hissed and shook his head before starting the car engine, having it in mind to stop and search for his tracker at the gate where Dave had left it.
‘We’re closer now,’ Lizzy said in an unsure tone, taking glances at her device’s screen and then outside to the buildings as they passed.
‘This place isn’t a residential area,’ Dave commented, also looking out with an eye through the window and also trying to focus on driving.
They continued for three more minutes before Lizzy spoke up. ‘Stop,’ she said suddenly. Dave who already had his indicator on and was driving at the slow lane pulled over beside the drain. ‘I think we are right at the place,’ Lizzy said, looking out through the window to the right side.
There was a magnificent building of a boutique there. The sign board glowed from the impact of the aesthetic lights placed under which turned on automatically at night time. The day was getting dark already, so the lights were bringing out their full beauty and colours.
‘Menista!’ Dave exclaimed, reading the text in the signboard. ‘This is one hell of men’s clothing source, most likely the best place for men to get their clothes of different kinds.’
He reversed the car a bit and turned towards the boutique. He drove to the back of another car and turned off the engine.
‘But could he still be shopping at this time? They’re closing already,’ Lizzy said as she opened the door.
‘He could just be doing the late hour shopping thing,’ Dave said as he got out and closed the door.
Both of them proceeded right into the building, Dave holding Lizzy gently by the hand and helping her navigate as she fixed her eyes on the device’s screen, trying to find the exact point indicated on the tracker app.
‘Good evening sir, what kind of clothes would you like to purchase?’ one of the very busy attendants approached Dave.
‘Ermm…’ Dave itched for a few seconds. Then he took a quick glance at Lizzy’s device and then took a quick look towards the left. ‘I think I’ll like to check out some suits,’ he replied, looking towards the suits section.
‘Sorry sir, but they closed in that section already.’ she replied him.
‘Ermm…’ he collected the phone from Lizzy’s hand. ‘I’ll check the jean jackets then,’ he said, pointing towards the next section to the suits.
‘Okay sir, you can go there quickly. Our official closing hour for all sections is just two minutes from now,’ she said.
‘Thank you,’ Dave said and took a quick glance at the time. It was two minutes to seven. He dragged Lizzy along with him towards the section. ‘I want a jacket I can wear on a dark blue jean,’ he said to the waiting ears of the attendant as they approached.
The attendant allowed them into the place and began to take them through the lined up options of jackets which matched Dave’s request. Dave then requested for a place to try on the cloth, adding that he had a blue jean trouser in Lizzy’s bag which he was going to try it on. The attendant pointed him to direction and he took Lizzy’s bag and the device with him as he went but not without giving Lizzy a signal.
Lizzy used the waiting time to look around the place. The only other female customer she saw was at the kids section and she could tell that the woman was picking clothes for her kids. She looked towards the door and saw that the entrance door had already been closed and many people going out through the exit. Her thoughts drifted to the EasyShoppers office and the agents, she wondered if they would have discovered what happened to them or have reported to their management.
‘Isn’t your friend out yet?’ Lizzy heard a voice behind her and she turned. It was the salesman who attended to them.
‘No, I’ve not seen him yet.’ she replied, shaking her head slightly.
‘It’s ten minutes now since he left to try on the jacket and I can’t find him in there,’ he complained.
‘I’m sure he will be somewhere around,’ Lizzy said, looking around for any trace of him.
‘I need to write my submission for the day already,’ he said to her.
‘Don’t worry, he’ll be here. I remember he said he also wanted to use the toilet. Be rest assured he wouldn’t not leave without paying you,’ she replied.
‘He would dare not, I’ll inform the security now.’ the salesman threatened.
‘No, you don’t have to go that far sir.’ Lizzy pleaded. Not because she was afraid of getting into trouble with the guards but she didn’t just want any issues that will cause them delay. ‘I’m still here, he cannot leave without me.’
‘I’m still gonna alert the security guards though,’ he replied adamantly, making his way out of the section.
‘Well, maybe you don’t have to. Here he is,’ Lizzy said aloud as she sighted Dave coming towards the place with the jacket on.
The man turned back and hissed. He walked back into the section and continued arranging the goods he was arranging while waiting for Dave to meet them.
‘He’s been looking all over for you,’ Lizzy said to Dave as he got to the entrance of the section. She collected her bag from him.
‘I went to use the restroom,’ Dave replied, placing a stern gaze at the salesman. He dipped his hand into his back pocket and took out his wallet from which he removed his debit card.
Dave and Lizzy were on their way out in a few minutes and Lizzy had the time to ask him what he found. Although she was sure he wasn’t able to locate Cole because if he had done, they won’t be on their way out.
‘He visited here and changed his clothes,’ Dave replied her question. ‘I saw the clothes which you put the tracker on, it was well arranged in a bag and kept behind the door in the restroom. The guards said it doesn’t look like the guy’s coming back for it anytime soon. I detached our tracker from the cloth already.’
They climbed down the stairs of the building and proceeded straight to the car. It was after Dave started the car engine that Lizzy spoke again. ‘So what are we doing now?’
‘Take out your tab and check if the location of the car has changed. We’re going after the car. I believe he left the car there only to come have a change of clothes here,’ Dave answered.
‘I believe so too,’ Lizzy said, taking out her device. ‘But do you think he was aware that a tracker was on him?’
‘I’m not really sure about that. I think he should have just removed it if he knew, he didn’t have any need for a complete change of clothes. It’s likely he wanted to disguise with the new set of clothes.’
‘Well…’ Lizzy hummed, releasing a huge mould of breath.
‘It took you longer than I expected,’ Tarasha said, watching as the guys moved in the foodstuffs into the house from her wheelchair. She tried to roll herself around leisurely but every roll she tried took more energy but produced less movement for her. Henry who would always come to her aid wasn’t looking at her side. Tomi was standing close to her. All of them were in the front yard which also looked exactly the same like the other facility that had been discovered by Rex and Dave.
‘I think the delay was getting the foodstuffs from the easy shopper’s guys, the lady insisted that she had to intimate me about their new terms and conditions before delivering the goods,’ Cole replied without stopping to talk. He carried a half bag of rice on his shoulder into the house while Henry followed behind him with two cartons.
Tarasha’s eyes met with Tomi eyes after the guys had gone in and the latter quickly looked away. Tarasha let out a chuckle and also looked away. She had nothing to say or to do with the girl, at least not yet, except of course her ongoing treatment. She stared at her legs on the wheelchair footer for a couple of seconds, she was feeling better now. Though she was still weak but the very little strength she had gotten and at the pace she did was something she had thought impossible but then forgetting that Cole had also been an assassin for years and would know medical experts who were experienced in treating assassins and criminals alike.
But one thing she knew for a certain was that all the strength quickening drugs she was been administered were reducers of lifespan. Most assassins she knew that had been treated often for cases like hers never lived above the age of fifty five. Five years to that, they always begin by feeling pains and inability to move their bodies and then it progresses to a more complicated medical condition which they have to live with until they died which was always not too long after. But this was Tara’s first time of treating such a condition and she hoped that it would be the last; not for the fear of it reducing her days on earth but for her not to ever face a time that she’ll be bedridden and unable to kill people anymore, she preferred to die the easy, which was; having a bullet shot into the middle of her skull or a knife ran through her throat or even a sword sliding through her neck.
She could feel her hands and legs stronger and she was tempted to try to get up to her feet since she was already being able to use her hands. She decided not to complicate issues by trying something dangerous, all she needed to do was wait for a few days and her strength would have fully returned.
Soon, the guys were back to carry the remaining foodstuffs into the house. Both of them picked bags convenient enough for them to carry and both walked back in. Tarasha’s eyes met with Tomi’s again and this time, Tomi fixed her eyes at the entrance where Cole had just walked in.
‘Do you like him?’ Tarasha asked, turning her chair to Tomi.
The question came as a surprise to Tomi. She blinked and quickly looked away from Tarasha’s face. ‘Like him? No, I just have a close business partner relationship with him.’
‘Just a close business partner relationship?’
‘Yes,’ Tomi answered.
‘You’ve forgotten that we caught both of you smooching?’ Tarasha raised her brows.
‘Oh!’ Tomi’s voice was covered by silence. She faced down knowing she had no other argument to make.
‘I’ve not said that you shouldn’t like him or that I was going to penalize you people for smooching but you need to be careful and don’t allow it disturb your job. That could lead to easy and premature death of the both of you.’ Tarasha warned.’ she paused to clear her throat. ‘I’ve warned Cole too,’ she added, having listened and accepted Cole’s explanation earlier that day.
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‘But he cannot be working here,’ Lizzy said to Dave with a frown on her face. Both of them were at the painting house where Cole had gone to repaint the car.
‘I think he came to repaint his car,’ Dave said as he led the way into the place. ‘Where did you place the tracker?’
‘On the plate number,’ Lizzy replied. ‘I attached it because it had exactly the same colour with the plate.’
‘You placed it in a nice position, it shouldn’t be discovered easily.’
‘Good evening gentleman and lady, we’ve closed already for the day. You can check us tomorrow for any of our services you need,’ a short man with a big face cap on his head said to them.
‘We’re from the SSS,’ Dave displayed his identity card to the man immediately, not wanting to waste time since it was dark already. ‘We need to check something right in here,’ he said and pushed the man gently aside. He noticed the shaken attitude of the man but ignored it.
He proceeded on in the place with Lizzy and entered into the section where vehicles were being painted. They both stopped at the entrance and Dave looked around while Lizzy looked into her device. Dave could see men at different angles washing different tools and some their hands and legs. Two other men approached he and Lizzy to ask them what they wanted but the short man who first questioned them answered his colleagues before Dave could speak.
‘What’s the direction?’ Dave asked Lizzy about the location of the tracker placed on the car which she was monitoring on the device.
‘Right there,’ Lizzy pointed to the wall at the left, where there were no cars.
‘There?’ Dave questioned. He moved closer to her and looked into the device to confirm. ‘It’s really there…’ he agreed in low tones. ‘Let’s check.’
Dave knew at once that the tracker on the car was also discovered and had been removed but he decided to still follow the direction shown to them by the application and retrieve the tracker if possible. Lizzy continued to look around at all the cars parked as they walked to the wall, she wanted to see if the tracked car was anywhere around. It wasn’t in sight and her heart continued to beat fast as they walked on, she feared that all her troubles the whole day might have been in vain. The three men watching them followed slowly behind them.
They soon got to the wall and realized that the tracker was already in a dustbin, a very dirty one. Dave decided not to bother about retrieving the tracker. He asked Lizzy to put back the device into her bag and they both proceeded out of the place to their car, believing beyond every sense of doubt that the trackers were discovered by Samantha’s man.
It wasn’t until they entered into the car that Dave noticed Lizzy’s gloomy face.
‘Lizzy, what’s the matter?’ he asked, taking off his finger from the start button and turning to her.
‘It was all a waste of time,’ she said in a very sad tone.
‘You did your best Lizzy, you tried.’ Dave said as he faced front and released a breath. ‘Remember we are dealing with Samantha Osman, it won’t be that easy to get her.’
‘But I just made a terrible mistake by allowing her know someone who might not be the police is on her tail. The EasyShoppers office must have called to inform them about what happened, that’s why he changed everything and even came to drop his registration plate on a dustbin here.’
‘I think you did a nice job with the EasyShoppers staffs, they couldn’t have reported their stupidity so easily. Trust me, you did a very nice job, I couldn’t have done better than this. Samantha Osman is just a very cunning woman,’ Dave said and smiled at her. He took her palms and squeezed it in his.
Cole took off the shoes and threw them around carelessly in the room, then he sank into the bed tiredly and released a deep breath. Tarasha had declared the next day as a day of rest for all of them and he personally really needed it. After taking the foodstuffs into the house with Henry, he had to test the car in Tarasha’s presence for her to see all it’s features and confirm that he bought the right thing. He felt so tired even though the stress of that day wasn’t up to a sixth of what he goes through on some other days but his feeling at that moment was a result of accumulated tiredness and lack of proper rest for some days.
His mind quickly drifted back to the day’s activities and he remembered Patricia, the EasyShoppers worker. His body shivered again as he could feel her effect just at the thought of her. Maybe she was a goddess of some sort, he thought.
He searched his trouser pocket and brought out two sheets; the only two things he had taken out from the cloth he left at the boutique. The first was the EasyShoppers receipt given to him and the other was Patricia’s mobile number which she had scribbled hastily into the paper for him in case he needed to reach her again.
‘Thank you,’ Dakolo said into the phone and ended the call. He turned off the screen and dropped the phone on the table. He typed some more commands on his laptop before shutting it down. Then he stood up from the desk and turned towards his bed with a loud yawn. It had been four hours of trying to confirm Dave’s identity and he had been informed by the manager of the Dessert Reporters that Dave James was one of their per time journalists.
He sank into the bed and turned off the light. As he closed his eyes, he made a silent wish in his heart that Dave would agree to work with him and then they can both bring down Samantha Osman.
To be continued