Henry heaved a sigh of frustration. ‘But we can just run away, leave this place or leave the country completely.’
‘No, we will not do that. Never!’
There was another moment of silence, this time longer than all the others put together.
Henry finally broke the silence with a very calm silence, ‘Tara, is there any way we can do this without killing people?’
‘You mean is there any way we can kill people without killing people?’ Tarasha replied him in a rather sarcastic manner.
‘Is there any way we can make sure those men receive their punishment without killing them?’ Henry replied her in a desperate tone.
‘Henry, we’ve gone through this over and over again. It seems like every bit of rest you have makes you reconsider and change your mind always but I have told you that there’s no way out of this. We have to do what we have to do and even if we decide not to do it, those people would still come after us no matter where we run to.’
Another silence occurred, it seemed to be the pattern of the day’s discussion, only the intake and release of breath could be heard. Both stared at each other for a while before Henry looked away and fixed a thin stare at the ground.
Tarasha kept on looking at his eyes, not sure if it was fear or uncertainty she could see there. She closed her eyes to think for a brief moment. ‘Henry,’ she called calmly after a minute. ‘I don’t have to put you into all these you know, you can leave if you want to, I’ll ensure you cross the border safely and also make sure you get a new identity outside the country.’
‘Leave the country?’ Henry shone his eyes at her as if he was shocked by her words. ‘I’m not going anywhere without you.’
‘I’m not about to go anywhere with you, it would mean betraying the Nefary clan.’
‘What is that, Nefary?’ Henry narrowed his look at her face.
She rose up and walked two steps to him. She placed a hand on his shoulder and then squatted, bringing her hand down to his elbow. She looked directly into his eyes before she began to speak, ‘Look Henry, I was born to be an assassin and I can’t deny who I am. You have a different path, you have tried staying with me and it’s not working. The best you can do for the both of us is to leave and go somewhere very far because anywhere close to me would never be safe for you.’
He took her hand off his elbow and got up. ‘I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to stay here until I convince you and we leave together.’ he said and proceeded towards the door. She watched him as he opened the door and slammed it shut after stepping out. She fell flat in her bed and buried her face in the pillow.
Patricia watched him with the side eye as he put the phone close to his ears. She was alert and ready for any surprise he would come up with. She opened the gate of the boot behind the van and continued to watch Cole from the hole between the door and the van, she also hoped Dave was watching from where he was like he had promised.
‘Hey…’ she paused to listen to him as she began to hear his voice. ‘I’ve got…’ she couldn’t hear his voice anymore as he reduced it and turned to the other side.
She took some seconds to look around towards where Dave had parked the car and was supposed to be watching from but she couldn’t see him there. Her eyebrows gathered together in panic at the thought of Dave leaving her alone against their agreement.
She was still wondering where he could have gone when she heard the guy’s voice again, he had turned towards her and took two steps forward before stopping again. She quickly tried to comport herself for him not to notice anything if he comes to the boot. At the same time she saw Dave walking from a building close to the car back to the car. He had a phone close to his ear and was looking towards them. He displayed a thumbs up to her as he saw her watching. That gave her more confidence and she believed that Dave must have been listening to the the conversation the guy was having on phone and there was no problem for them. She turned back to the goods in the boot and leaned forward to open a carton. She ensured she positioned her backside in a way that Cole wouldn’t miss it when he gets to the back of the van.
‘I did not…’ she could hear Cole saying as he walked to the back after ending his phone call. His words were cut short when his eyes met with the trap she set for him.
She could hear him take in a deep breath and release it immediately. ‘You did not do what?’ she said, changing her position with a twist as she knew his eyes will still be on it.
Cole sighed. ‘I think I should just open my boot now,’ he said and turned to the Lexus car CR-V car he drove there.
She had faced him by the time he finished making space in his boot. ‘You were saying something before you went to your car sir,’ she said, looking straight into his eyes seductively.
Even though Cole was getting irritated over her moves and the way she was looking at him which he knew was intended to seduce him, he couldn’t deny her obvious assets which could make any man go crazy when flaunted.
‘I forgot to ask for a delivery man,’ he said as he moved to the boot of the van and took a brief overview of what was in it. ‘Do I own the carton I saw you opening?’
‘No,’ she replied as she shifted closer to him, still looking into his eyes. ‘It’s a carton of beverages and we’re giving you one pack as a bonus.’
‘Oh!’ he took on a deep breath, shaking his head as the scent of her perfume filled his nostrils. He placed a look at her again. He wasn’t anymore impressed about her but he still wouldn’t mind banging her crazily if he got the chance, maybe just one night will weaken her body and make her stop the naughty moves she was making because he would ensure he doesn’t stop with her until she had a headache and pains all over her body. That’s how he treated girls who acted so desperate to get down with him, he handled them roughly and violently like toys during the action and Patricia was looking like one who deserved it. ‘Okay, I have to start moving these one after the other.’ he said and began to pull out a sack.
‘I could help you, just for today,’ she said and bent to help move out the carton of chicken, using her bum to rub his legs consciously.
Cole dropped the sack on the ground and stood still, watching her as she carried the carton to his boot. She dropped it and was walking back to him when she saw him staring at her with a strange look on his face.
‘So is this how all you ladies at the EasyShoppers behave? Seducing male customers even at public places? Can you just use your brain for once?’ he slammed.
She didn’t give a verbal response but he could see her shoulders drop and her countenance fall. The glow in her eyes with which she moved about disappeared. She turned silently and then walked to the front of the van. Cole was left alone until he finished moving everything into his car.
He closed the boot of the CR-V and walked to the front to meet her. She was leaning against the bonnet of the van and staring down. He was surprised to see her already putting on a jacket on top of her crop top. The jacket covered down her waist down to her thighs. He shook his head as he presumed that that was the way she must have dressed before she left the office and must have taken off the jacket because he was a male customer, she probably wanted to get some extra money off him.
She faced up as he got close to her. She still carried the sombre look she had on when he insulted her. She looked at his face with no seductive looks this time, instead she looked more like a beaten child. Cole was confused and amazed at the same time. He already saw her as a prostitute who had a lucky job at the EasyShoppers but was confused on seeing the remorseful look she now had on her face.
‘I’m done,’ he was the first to speak.
She quietly walked away from his front to the back of the van and took out a nylon pack before closing the back. She walked back to him and stretched the pack for him to have. ‘It’s a bonus to all our customers for this month,’ she said with a lifeless voice.
‘Thank you,’ he collected it, still looking at her face and amazed at her change in countenance.
She silently passed his side as he refused to give way and turned to the driver’s side of the van. Cole stood still and watched till she entered into the vehicle and started the engine before he knocked the window to the passengers’ side. He got her attention and she wind down the glass.
‘Are you leaving without making me sign to confirm receipt of the goods?’
‘Oh!’ she let out a gasp and shook her head like she had forgotten the last stage of the delivery job. She killed the engine and stepped out of the car again with her receipt book. She turned to where he stood and opened the page for him to sign, handing him a pen to use.
Cole collected the book and pen but closed it instead of signing. He stared at her and bit his lips slightly, ‘I’m sorry for talking that way to you.’ He found himself apologizing.
‘You didn’t do any wrong sir, I’m sorry for acting badly and not being professional.’ she apologized back without looking at his face.
Cole still stared at her face without making any move while she stared at the ground.
‘Please sign the receipt sir, I have to return to the office now.’ she spoke again without looking at him.
‘Do you forgive me for talking badly to you?’
‘You didn’t offend me sir.’
Cole moved the pen and receipt book in his right hand to the left and placed his hand under her chin to lift up her face. He did until he saw her eyes looking at his face.
‘I offended you, would you just say you forgive me so that I can sign now.’
She turned her head to move her chin off his fingers, ‘You didn’t offend me sir but I forgive you if that’s what you want me to say.’
Cole let out a crooked smile and still continued to stare at her face. ‘How do I know you’ve truly forgiven me?’ he asked and paused to hear her reply but she gave none. ‘Can I take you out for dinner tonight?’
‘Please sign sir, I would like to leave immediately.’
‘Please,’ he pleaded in a melodious tone.
‘No sir, it’s against the ethics of our job to get personal with customers.’
‘Huh ho!’ her words left his mouth opened in surprise. She wasn’t about to stop amazing him yet. He stared at her and wondered how someone who was desperate to seduce him few minutes ago now remembered her job ethics. He was tempted to ask her why she made all the moves she made earlier when she knew it was against her job but he decided to let it slide so as not to spoil his chances of getting her to go out with him.
‘Don’t mind how I acted to you earlier, just forgive me and forget that.’ he said, raising her face up again.
‘It’s okay,’ she finally said unsmiling.
‘Thank you,’ Cole smiled and opened the receipt book to sign. ”I’ll call you with the number you gave me the last time, can I pick you up here by 6:30?’
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Tarasha had slept for two hours when the sound of her phone’s ringing tone woke up. She got up from the bed and realized that she had slept off since Henry left the room. She was already getting used to taking naps in the afternoon like the nurse had advised for her to make her recovery fast. But she knew it was just for the moment; soon there might just be no time for her to even relax at night.
The phone had stopped ringing by the time she got to the table. She picked it and swiped it open to see the ID of the missed caller. It was Chief Gab calling with a Nigerian number. She dialed back.
‘Good afternoon Chief, I see you are in town already.’
‘Yes, I landed not up to thirty minutes ago.’ The Chief replied.
‘Okay then, I’ll see you tomorrow.’
‘What time are you coming? What time is your flight leaving?’
‘I’ll be coming anytime, just prepare for me. You would receive my call when I get there.’
‘I thought you would need someone to pick you from the airport,’ the man said.
‘No, you should not worry about that. All you need to do is to make sure you are ready with the documents.”
‘Alright Tarasha, I will be expecting you.’ the man said and the call ended.
Tarasha dropped the phone on the table and was about to settle on the chair when she heard a soft knock at the door.
‘Come in,’ she said as she sat.
The door opened slowly and Cole walked in.
‘Damn it! I was scared when I couldn’t find you at the car, I thought you left already.’ Lizzy said in a stressed tone to Dave as he drove the car with her by his side.
‘I could see the fright on your face even from the far distance.’ he replied with a chuckle. ‘Who did you think he was calling?’
‘I thought he was calling a backup or maybe one of his men, I thought he had discovered I was there on a different mission from the EasyShoppers but I became relaxed when I saw you with the phone. Who was he speaking to?’
‘He called the EasyShoppers line.’
‘Huh?’ Lizzy’s eyes shone in surprise.
‘Yea, but I didn’t let it go through. He spoke to me instead.’
‘Wow! You were so fast.’
‘Yea, I had to leave the car then because I wanted to watch every of your moves, so I moved to a place the van wasn’t blocking my view.’
‘What did he say?’
‘He wanted to confirm who was sent to make the delivery.’
‘I knew he had doubts with the way he was staring.’
‘He sure did.’
‘How were you able to intercept? Was it just the little time you spent accessing the EasyShoppers’ data that you configured your device with theirs and turned around their settings.’
‘Yes, those guys never expected this kind of day to come so they did not provide top security for their systems. I did it in such a way that I can intercept any of their calls to 55678 which is the number that responds to calls from Asokoro and Maitama but I only get an alarm on my device whenever Kimberly’s number is trying to connect or they are trying to connect to her.’
‘So does that mean Kimberly and her guys live in Asokoro or Maitama?’
‘Not necessarily, it only means they registered with EasyShoppers in one of these two places.’
‘Now, we have to plan for tonight. Did you still put the tracker anywhere?’
‘No, you asked me not to do that only if I saw that there was no good rapport between us.’
‘But you said he accused you of trying to seduce him.’
‘Yes, he did but I could see that he still wanted to have a taste and I knew he was still going to fall.’
:Well, it’s what you specialize at, I shouldn’t be surprised that you knew what every of his reaction meant.’
‘I did, and do I need to meet him tonight?’
‘Did you agree to?’
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‘Good day boss,’ he bowed slightly before closing back the door.
‘Cole,’ she called his name in response to his greeting. ‘Have you gotten any useful data yet?’
‘Ermmm… I don’t really think what I’ve got is useful,’ he said and began to walk closer to her.
‘What have you gotten?’
‘I found out this morning that there’s been no other police officer or team handling the Samantha Osman case and there are no records of any other security agency acting on it.’
Tarasha took in a breath as she stared thinly into the air.
‘So Agent Tim’s team is still in charge of the case?’ she asked. Cole nodded in affirmation, muttering a ‘yes’ which could only be read by the movement of his lips. ‘So it means that the guy who helped you on that day isn’t a member of the agent’s team.’
‘Yes and I don’t think he’s a member of the police force also,’ Cole stated.
‘Why do you say so?’
‘He’s been declared wanted by the Police for a month now, I believe they should have fished him out if he was one of them.’
‘Didn’t you say he had a bandage on his head?’
‘Yes, he did. He looked seriously injured and…’ Cole paused, a confused look appeared on his face. ‘But his carriage wasn’t like that of a seriously injured person, he moved and acted so swift.’
‘That could just be as a result of a training he might have undergone,’ Tarasha said. ‘And that leads us closer to finding who he is; which armed force in Nigeria do you think has the ability to be that swift?’
‘I’ve thought about it also and there are so many of them, he could be a personal investigator who was trained somewhere outside the country or a special intelligence officer of one of the forces except the police.’
‘He can’t be a personal investigator, the Vice President and Inspector General who are the men in focus won’t employ a personal investigator when they have Rex…’ she stopped to think for a while. Then she turned to the table and picked her phone, she began to scroll through. I made some research and my findings were that the State Security Service in Nigeria would also be involved in the case since it involves top government officials and then I searched and found the pictures of some SSS men that have been involved in the case, I have them here,’ she said, stretching the phone towards him. He quickly walked forward to collect it. ‘Just keep swiping, they all have the same name pattern.’
Cole took about two minute to stare at the ten pictures of two men, five for each man. He shook his head, ‘Boss, this guy looked younger than these men. I know these two men before, they’ve spoken about the case on national TV before but it’s just that I didn’t find any existing record.’
‘Well, I was thinking it could be someone under them if it isn’t one of them but the confusing part is that he shot security officers and that is making me want to rule out the possibility of him being a security official himself. There’s a higher possibility of him just being from another Hoodlum who had worked with the Inspector General and Vice President before and had fallen out with them, it is possible he helped you just to get back at them.’
There was silence for a minute.
‘But he still being alive could be a disturbance to us, he shot you a tracker and that means he had plans of coming after us or of coming to us. It is also possible we never meet him again, no one knows where we are right now and can’t trace our movements from here except we expose ourself. But do you think he is someone who knew you before that day?’
‘No, I don’t think so. The only person I know who could interfere like that is Don who is late now…’ Cole paused and closed his eyes briefly. ‘And then Stainless, but Stainless works with Rex and he doesn’t look like the guy I saw.’
‘Didn’t you say he had a bandage around his forehead, he might also have had other things on his face.’
‘Is there any possibility of this Stainless wanting to betray Rex?’
‘I’m not sure but Tomi mentioned that he was gathering a new set of guys recently and I believe he is trying to revive his own gang.
‘Tomi,’ Tarasha mentioned thoughtfully, stressing each syllable of the name. ‘Is Tomi good enough to be sent?’
‘With close monitoring, I think we could send her.’z
‘Okay, I’ll decide on what to do.’ she said and remained silent for some seconds. ‘Don’t ask or tell her anything until I return from Lagos.’
‘Sure boss, I won’t.
Keep dropping your answers to the question I posted in the last episode. Answer would be revealed on Sunday.