Different thoughts ran through Stephanie’s mind at the backseat of the cab where she sat with another passenger. She had gotten some secrets from her mum on her last visit and wanted Dave to help her verify the details.
‘Madam, this is Fadel Cool Creamery,” The cab man said to Stephanie, pointing out through the window to show her the place. He found a good place and pulled over for her to come out.
‘Thank you,’ she said as she paid him the fee. She got out of the car and walked back to Fadel Cool Creamery. She stopped for a minute at the front to admire the beauty of the building.
Dave spotted her from the table he was seated at immediate she stepped in and waved to get her attention. She walked to him all smiles and he rose up to welcome her.
‘Good afternoon,’ she greeted first as she received his handshake.
‘Good afternoon,’ he replied, smiling back at her. ‘Please be seated.’
They both settled into their seats and Dave beckoned on a waiter. ‘What would you like to take?’ he asked Stephanie.
‘Oh! Thanks, don’t bother, I had something before coming.’
‘I understand, but don’t you care for ice cream? We could take that while we’re discussing.’
‘No, thanks. Maybe a bottle of water would do.’
Dave turned his face to the waiter and said, ‘Two bottles of water and two plates of ice cream’. He paused and turned to Stephanie, ‘What kind of cream would you like?’
‘Don’t bother, I’m very much okay with water alone,’ Stephanie replied.
‘I know, I’m talking about something you’d take along with you when you’re leaving.’
‘Well, anything milk will do.’ she said to the waiter.
‘Get the same for me,’ Dave said to the waiter who nodded and mumbled a reply before turning to leave.
‘I called for this meeting, so I’ll be taking care of the bill.’ she said to Dave after the waiter walked out of earshot.
‘Hehe!’ Dave chuckled. ‘I won’t allow you to that of course.’
‘You will not, they won’t take your cash or card from you. I already paid some money while I was waiting for you.’
‘Oh! Nice of you but you shouldn’t have bothered.’
Dave shrugged, ‘I guess it’s what a gentleman should do.’
‘Thanks, so can we go to the reason we’re here?’ Stephanie asked.
‘Yes please, I have an appointment with someone by two pm.’ Dave said and glanced at his wristwatch.
‘Okay, we can’t stay up to that time here.’ Stephanie said, also glancing at her wristwatch. ‘I need a favour from you,’ she began.
‘And what could that be?’ Dave questioned, wondering why she went quiet again.
‘My mum told me some things which I’ll like to verify but I don’t know the way to go about it.’
‘Is your mum still in Nigeria?’
‘No, of course. She left a long time ago and I’m not even talking about madam Henrietta.’
Dave raised a brow, ‘Then who are you talking about?’
‘My real mother, Madam Henrietta is just my guardian.’
‘Wow!’ Dave shone his eyes in surprise. ‘Quite a revelation! So where is your real mum?’
Stephanie’s face turned sad, she inhaled and exhaled deeply. ‘She’s not feeling fine, so she’s been in a rehabilitation home.’
‘Oh! Sorry about that, I pray she gets well soon.’
‘Amen, thank you,’ Stephanie said with a brief smile. ‘I was with her three days ago and she was talking to me about how Madam Henrietta helped her, and she mentioned something about the Vice President that I need to confirm.’
‘Well, what could that be? I do hope I have the answer.’
‘I’m not sure you have the answer, I just need you to assist me in finding the answer.’
‘Okay, just tell me. I’ll do everything I can to help you.’
‘My mum told me how my father used to work with Chief Elvis Richards while he was the deputy governor of Lagos State and how my father and siblings death were arranged by him, then they made the world think that it was an accident.’
‘I don’t really understand,’ Dave said with a frown. ‘Maybe you have to first tell me more about your father and who he was.’
Henry pulled over just behind Cole’s car. He took off the seat belt and stepped out of the car without turning off the engine. He walked to the car in front and entered through the backseat. Tomi stepped out of the car after him and also joined at the backseat.
‘Cole,’ Henry called as he entered.
‘Henry, where’s the boss?’ Cole replied him without turning back but looking at his face through the rearview mirror, their eyes met there.
‘She dropped on the way, she’ll join us later.’
‘What’s her instruction?’
‘We would book three rooms, but still wait in the car for her,’ Henry replied.
‘How do we pair?’ Cole asked, now casting his gaze back. ‘And how do we handle him?’ he added, flashing a look at Dr Ekwueme who was at the front with him.
‘Do you still think I would cause any trouble for you? I would have done that when we were alone and there were better chances of getting away,’ Dr Ekwueme cut in, in a very weak voice.
The three others in the car turned their gazes on him. Cole smiled faintly and looked away for a second. ‘I would have killed you straightway and explained later to the boss,’ Cole said in his mind.
‘The problem is not really you trying to make trouble, the real problem is trouble coming because of you. Just imagine a case of someone seeing and recognizing you with us in the hotel, that’ll be dangerous. The person would report to the police silently and they’ll come for us without we expecting them.’
There was silence for about thirty seconds. The doctor closed his eyes and leaned his head on the headrest.
‘Tomi would go in now to book the rooms while you remain here with him,’ Henry said to Cole.
‘What about you?’
‘I’m going to dump the car somewhere far from here, I’ll get us food on my way back.’ Henry replied and then opened the door.
‘What’s going on here? Please slow down a bit,’ Tarasha said to the cab man driving her as they drove past the base Rex and the officers had just attacked.
The gate of the place was wide open and some police officers could still be seen inside the compound, while two of their vehicles were parked outside. Tarasha had left Cole and Tomi and turned back to the place after visiting a boutique and changing her clothes there. She was also putting on a wig to cover her low cut.
‘No Madam, I can’t slow down here. Can’t you see the police tapes?’ the cab driver replied after casting a look of surprise at her.
‘What happened here?’
‘Hmm…’ the cab man folded his lips in and shook his head slowly like someone who was getting ready to gossip. ‘If you came here about ninety minutes ago, then you would have asked me to speed up instead of asking me to wait. About twenty armed robbers attacked the place and were shooting for almost an hour, it was terrible…’
The man continued to blab on while Tarasha paid attention to observing the environment.
‘I’m stopping here,’ she finally said to the cab man after three minutes. The man continued talking as she paid him and stepped out of the car. It wasn’t until she walked away from the car that he stopped talking and drove off.
Tarasha opened her handbag and took out her sunshades. She looked around before putting it on. She was now some distance away from the base of attack and she was sure the police officers were going to take that route back to their station. She wanted to wait until they left and go back close to the base and take pictures as a journalist. She walked away from the side and the road and stepped into the verandah of a locked shop with a bench in front of it.
Dave dialed Lizzy’s number and it rang for the fourth time without being answered. He sighed and glanced at Stephanie’s face, ‘She’s still not answering.’
‘I think you should just wait a little more for her,’ Stephanie said.
‘We’d leave in the next three minutes if she doesn’t show up,’ Dave replied after confirming the time to be twenty seven minutes past two.
‘Are you sure that wouldn’t get her upset?’
‘No, it won’t. I’m sending her a text message already,’ Dave replied, typing in a message on his phone.
‘I still think you should wait, she could be on her way.’
‘Today is Sunday and the library would be closing by four pm, it’s open twenty four hours everyday except from Saturdays and Sundays. Today affords us a very good opportunity to use it with less protocols,’ Dave said.
‘Well, if you insist.’ Stephanie shrugged.
‘Let’s move,’ Dave glanced at his wristwatch again before getting up from the seat. Stephanie picked her bag and followed him.
Lizzy walked back towards her car, pondering on all he had said to her. He wasn’t telling a lie when he talked about her crushing on Dave, she knew it was true but would not admit to him. It had caused an argument between them with no side winning the debate but the part that made the argument a heated one was what he said about Dave, she would never agree with him, even though she didn’t know so much about Dave except what she knew as a colleague. She knew he was closer to Dave and should know more about him than she knew.
She opened the door to the driver’s side of her car and entered to take her phone which she had forgotten inside before entering the main facility of the creamery. Her phone’s screen was on as she picked it, a text message had just entered.
‘I just got a text from the chairman and I’m on my way to meet with him,’ the message from Dave read. She heaved a sigh after seeing the message and was already complaining inside of her when she scrolled down her notification bar and saw his missed calls. She agreed it was partly her fault; he had been calling before two pm and it was likely he had wanted to call off the lunch earlier.
She took in a deep breath and glanced back unconsciously towards the entrance of the creamery. She fixed her gaze there when she recognized someone walking out of the place. It was Dave and he was with another girl. She quickly checked through her phone again to confirm if it was him who sent the message. She turned back to look, Dave was walking towards the garage at the other side with the lady. Lizzy opened her door and tried to sit inside, so as to reduce the chances of Dave seeing her if he mistakenly turned back but stood up again as sitting inside would not allow her watch him anymore because of the other cars parked around blocking her view.
She watched as Dave opened the passenger’s side door for the lady and turned to the driver’s side. Soon, the car was moving. Lizzy entered into hers and turned it on, she waited for them to drive out through the gate before following after them.
Rex stepped out of the bathroom with his towel wrapped around his waist, he took it off on getting close to the wardrobe and began to clean his body with it. He turned back on hearing his phone ring. He walked to the bed and picked the phone, the Vice President was the caller.
‘Good afternoon Elvis Richards,’ he answered the call.
‘Hey Rex! Congrats man, I’ve just been told that the Inspector General was rescued from Samantha Osman.’ Chief Elvis’ voice came enthusiastically from the other end.
‘Yea, he was, and he’s still alive. I’m hoping nothing happens to him,’ Rex replied.
‘What do you mean Rex?’ the excitement in the VP’s voice reduced. ‘If you think she could still try to attack him, then you should tell us.’
‘Attack him for now?’ I don’t think so,’ Rex said as he turned back and proceeded to the wardrobe. ‘She would not attack him now that there are over fifty security officers guarding and monitoring the hospital he is.’
‘So, why did you suggest that something bad will happen to him?’
‘I’m only hoping that she hasn’t done any damage to him yet, she could have done all she needed to do before escaping.’
‘I spoke with the IG some minutes ago and he told me he’s fine and only needs to gain his strength back.’
‘Okay, I would need to speak to him too and find out what his encounter was like.’
‘Okay, did you go after Samantha Osman?’
‘No, that would be a bad move. She had the chance of killing the man Rikau before escaping but she left him alive, following after her would be like walking into a trap.’
‘Okay then, I guess we’d talk about that later.’
‘Yes, we would.’
Rex replied his appreciation with the sound made by clearing his throat. ‘Well, I need you to facilitate stainless’ release.’
‘Stainless, what happened to him?’
‘He passed out and was taken to the hospital by the police, I’m sure he’d be taken to their station from the hospital.’
‘Okay, Agent Tim is in charge of the case and it’ll be easy to get him released.’
Rex ended the call and flung the phone to the bed. He hung his towel in the wardrobe and picked out a new set of clothes to put on.
He remembered being confused the day before. He had gotten a text from the Inspector General to kill John Bisong and had almost fallen for it. He was suspicious of the text initially but decided to go ahead to carry out the instruction when he got another text to kidnap the man instead of killing. Stainless had called him that afternoon to tell him of having being able to trace one of Samantha Osman’s men. He had almost finalized his plans when the news about the Inspector General’s kidnap hit the airwaves. He informed the Vice President of his need to return early the next morning and the Vice President made it possible for him to get an early flight on a Sunday morning.
The journey was a straight one and it wasn’t difficult for Lizzy to follow them without being noticed. She followed until Dave’s car stopped at the front of a gate. She waited for a minute after they drove in before following after. She stopped at the gate of the place and took note of the name and function, it was a library and relaxation centre.
She let out a breath before driving off. Dave had cancelled the lunch with her to spend time with another lady. Maybe what was said about Dave was right after all. Maybe she was never going to get his attention like she wanted except for the flirtatious remarks he made at her occasionally.
She decided to watch him more carefully from that moment aand see if he was really fighting for the truth or just after his own belly and only deceiving her.
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