I walked to his vehicle as Mr Benson opened the door.
“hey Ackim!” He shouted..
“Am fine Sir..” I responded
” and your daughter too”
“Good,” Mr Benson answered..
“so what do we have here ?” he asked as I lead him to the storage room where I had tied the shooter.
“I managed to catch him Sir but I was waiting for you for the next step” I told him standing in front of the now wide awake guy, his dark scared face held high. I felt the urge to knock the pride out of his funny face but I had to play cool in front of my new boss.
Mr Benson bent down and asked the man almost in a whisper..
“who sent you? Tell me now who sent you to kill my daughter or else I will be forced to get you killed.”
The stupid guy let a laugh and shook his head…
“you are wasting your time” he said rising his eyes at Mr Benson.
I saw his face frown. he was upset. He raised his fist and hit him in his face and to his surprise the thug started laughing historically.
“is that all you have got!” He shouted amid his laughter.
I knew I had to come in at that point..I too let a laugh in my head, though I didn’t dare show it. Mr Benson’s blow couldn’t even make a small boy spit a piece of meat from his mouth.
I then went forward and hit the guy , my blow broke his nose instantly and he started bleeding. Before he could take in the first blow, I gave him two more and his face was a mess.
“Now” I sighed calmly..
” I am certain we understand each other.” I paused and walked around him trying to defeat him psychologically.
I knew a person like him was only good for jobs like shooting and hitting people. He had nothing close to a spirit of endurance. Just that moment I saw his fear emerge. I could bet he didn’t anticipate that action from me.
I continued in my silence and I could see Mr Benson wondering what I was doing. Then I pulled a small tin from the empty tins in the corner, placed it in from of him as he’s head bow down blood oozing from his mouth and nose.
I sat on it looking at him
” now” I sighed rubbing my fist.
“are you ready to start talking?”
He raised his head to say something and then spat.
” you won’t get a thing from me man.”
“Oh I see,” I told nodded, still calm.
I almost stood up to give him another blow but before it could reach him he screamed..
“ok ok! Stop I will tell you everything I know..”
I could see Mr Benson pay much attentuon now
” listening” I responded..
The guy explained he was hired by some guy to shoot Paula.
“this guy just gave me the photo of the lady and I have been looking around for her since yesterday, that’s all i know..” he winced.
“Give me his name!” I shouted back.
“I don’t know I swear!” he pleaded.
” we don’t ask for names all you do is pull out the job man and get my money, thats it..”
“Well, how clever..” I chuckled and gave him a second round of beating until he finally explained the place he was hired from and he gave me the description of the guy who hired him.
Satisfied, I nodded to Mr Benson who was watching in silence.
“I think I have seen the guy he just described” I told him when we stood outside.
” how? Where?” Mr Benson asked surprised..
“Yes sir. He is one of the guys who had held Paula in the forest. I knocked him down, am sure they know she’s alive and they are trying to finish what they started.” I added as Mr Benson listened attentively.
“Good Job soldier.. ” he commended.
” I will get some guys to check out the place he just told you.”
“Of course Sir” I told him..
“if you may, let me lead the group.” Mr Benson smiled..
“does it mean you are staying?”
” I am sir” I smiled back.
” I will take your offer, though I only have one request.”
“What’s that Ackim? ” He asked me.
“Well I think you should help me find my family in Ndola. am sure you have a lot of connections. I need to know about their whereabouts so I can easily go back home when am done here.”
“Sure thing soldier” he assured me..
“right away I will hire someone to investigate.”
” Thank you” i shook his hand.
“I will take care of him” I added pointing inside.
“probably hand him to the police later.”
” yeah..” he answered as he walked away
” Keep me updated. Whatever you need just make a call” ” he said walking away.
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I pressed the guy some more to make sure he didn’t hide anything else. I told one of Mr Benson’s men to call the police and hand over the shooter after the mission was complete.
I walked inside the lodge and found Paula hugging her father
“good bye” dad she told him.
” I will see you later” he responded as he nodded his head at me.
Paula told me she had to go to her room.
” I need to get rid of these clothes.. ” she scoffed.
“sure” i nodded looking at her skin jeans which were dirty from the point she lay down at the shoot out in town.
I walked to my room too. Opening it, I found Shila cleaning my room whilst she hummed to a song.
“Hey! ” I called out. Instead of the dirty look she gave me the day we arrived, she that moment wore a wide smile.
“hey stranger !” she shouted back cheerfully “looking hot!”
I looked at her and smiled back.
“wow..I thought I disgusted you the first time we meet. I didnt know you were friendly” I teased as i put my hands in my poackets .
“Sorry about that” she said raising her hand.“just that you looked um……. you know” she shrugged patting the bed to finish placing the sheets.
“It’s okay” I told her still standing next to the door. I had not closed it.
“Am Shila” she introduced herself extending her hand to greet me.
“I know.” I smiled grabing her hand and shaking it
“am Ackim” I added.” it’s a pleasure to meet you again.”
“Yeah sure, same here hot guy.” She winked, before walking past me close enough to rub her shoulder on mine..
“call me if you need anything ” she whispered
“Oh women!” I muttered to myself.
“She is not bad”
Instead of going shopping that afternoon Paula Told me she made an online order of clothes from Lusaka and that they would be delivered the following day.
“you just had to?” I asked her as a sat in her office. I was waiting for the guys Mr Benson told me would join me to check the place the shooter guy had told us.
“Yes I had to. You need clothings, at least dad Will bring me something from home.” She shrugged
” mmmn great then” I said standing as my phone beeped. I received a text with details of the place we would meet the other guys. I was to be driven by the guy who drove us earlier since i wasnt so familiar with the places around Solwezi.
“Stay inside.” I told Paula before walking out“.from now on you dont leave my Sight without my permission” I added.
She raised her Hand and saluted teasingly.
” yes Sir! ” I laughed and left the room with long steps. It was action time and that reminded me of the army and General Loko’s camp only that, this time i was doing it for a good cause, thats what I thought anyway.
“Lets go” I motioned to the driver as i got in front of the car.
“step on it man!” I ordered
“we are Running out of time…”
To be continued