COPYRIGHT\u2026\r\n\r\nThis story is entirely fiction. The names, characters, and Incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author\u2019s Imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.\r\n\r\nThe author asserts the moral right to be identified as the Author of this work.\r\n\r\nNo part of this book may be reproduced in any written, electronic, recording, or photocopying without written permission of the publisher or author. The exception would be in the case of brief quotations embodied in the critical articles or reviews and pages where permission is specifically granted by the publisher or author.\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\nThanks\r\n\r\nPurityval\r\n\r\n0703440 1770.\r\n\r\email@example.com.\r\n\r\nINTRO\r\n\r\n"Sir she just arrived" the guy on a face cap pretending to be going through a sports mag said into his phone.\r\n\r\n"Ok! Consider it done." He said again putting the phone away.\r\n\r\nLooking up through the tip of his cap, he watched as Claire rolled her box walking towards the exit.\r\n\r\nParked outside on the parking lot was a guy on a hood with dark Shades covering his eyes. He watched as Claire walked out from arrival lounge. She made a call and not long a young man probably her driver appeared all smiles taking her bag while she walked behind him.\r\n\r\nAs they left the entrance, he watched as the guy on face cap came out and walked towards his car.\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nTires could be heard screeching as a car suddenly overtook and block theirs.\r\n\r\n"What is it, what is the problem?" Claire asked the driver looking up from her phone.\r\n\r\nBefore the driver could say a word two bullets pierced his heart through the windscreen leaving him dead instantly.\r\n\r\nClaire was shocked as a guy on face cap came around to her side placing the nose of the gun on the glass. Just when she thought that it was over, she heard two shots as the guy dropped, his gun slipping from his hand with blood splashed on the glass.\r\n\r\nImmediately the guy dropped dead, she saw another guy on hold open the door. Dropping a note beside her, he closed the door and ran off after which she heard tires screeching as a car speed past.\r\n\r\nEpisode one\r\n\r\nPeople around scampered to safety as they heard gun shots. Shop owners hastily locked themselves inside their shops while motorist all parked their cars; some ramming into cars ahead of them; some ran away leaving the door of their cars open, while others locked themselves inside their car. Residents within the premises locked up their doors, while some were courageous enough to peep through the windows to grab what was happening.\r\n\r\nWhen it was clear enough that everything had settled, few brave ones made up mostly of street touts who wanted to get the information first and later boast about it (after adding up their own tales) could be seen approaching the scene.\r\n\r\nThey had barely gathered around the scene when the siren of a coming police patrol team was heard from a distance. In a blink of an eye, all of them dispersed while residents leaving around watched from their windows. Some shop owners who had previously locked up peeped from their keyholes.\r\n\r\nParking a distance away from the crime scene, a team of four policemen from the Special Crimes Department stepped down from their vehicle and approached the scene cautiously, guns at hand and ready to be used.\r\n\r\nThe Toyota Matrix which blocked the Prado jeep was on ignition with one of the doors open but had no occupant. Two of the policemen took over the vehicle while the other two approached the jeep from each side.\r\n\r\nFrom the shattered windscreen, they saw the driver resting on the steering wheel lifeless and beside the car laid a lifeless body with a face cap.\r\n\r\n\u201cCall in the medics,\u201d the ranking officer ordered shifting the pistol beside the dead body away.\r\n\r\nOne of the officers looking younger than others talked over the walkie talkie perched on his shoulder.\r\n\r\n\u201cThis is patrol 04721 requesting for urgent medical support.\u201d\r\n\r\nThere was a brief silence before a reply came.\r\n\r\n\u201c04721 what is your location?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cZepan bypass off Airport Avenue.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201c04721 a medical team has been dispatched to your location.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCopy that.\u201d\r\n\r\nWalking to the back seat, the ranking officer slowly opened the door. Sitting in great shock was a young lady of about 23 years.\r\n\r\n\u201cMa\u2019am are you ok?\u201d he asked as he holstered his gun.\r\n\r\nThe lady nodded without a word.\r\n\r\n\u201cI am officer Owel of the Special Crimes Department. I want you to know that you are safe now.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe young lady looked at him still stunned.\r\n\r\n\u201cMa\u2019am I need you to step down from the vehicle,\u201d he said offering his hand to support her.\r\n\r\nThe young lady took his hand as he gently led her down from the vehicle and walked away from it.\r\n\r\n\u201cAgent Klin, take her to the hospital,\u201d he commanded handing the young lady to the young agent who earlier called for medical support.\r\n\r\nAs the agent left with the young lady, the medical team made up of a doctor and three paramedics arrived the venue in an ambulance.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nFrom the moment she saw the guy on face cap place the noose of his gun at her through the glass, she died deep inside. She had closed her eyes waiting for the shot to go off and to feel the bullets pierce her. When she heard two shots; she had waited to feel the pain but it seemed the bullet missed her; so she thought. She opened her eyes in time to see him slump as blood splashed on the window. Frightened, she\u2019d sat still expecting the worst when the door opened and just in a twinkle of an eye a guy on hood dropped a note beside her and banged the door shot running off. Not long she heard tires screeching again as a car zoomed past.\r\n\r\nShe had clutched the note squeezing it in her hand when she heard the siren of the police patrol team.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nThe guy on hood watched from his car parked a distance away from the scene. As the agent carrying the young lady left the scene, he waited for some seconds before trailing them. Beside him laid the phone which he had taken from the guy on cap\r\n\r\n********\r\n\r\nClaire Williams, a twenty-three-year-old fresh graduate from Harvard Business School is the only child and daughter of late Chief RalphWilliams, an oil and Business mogul. Tall and fair in complexion with a bottle shaped figure to die for. People always told her of her striking resemblance to her late mom who had died of cancer when she was still a kid.\r\n\r\nAt 20, Claire had lost her dad to some assassins. The death of her father was a blow she nearly didn\u2019t recover from but all thanks to her only Uncle, Bob and best friend Lizzy. She had abandoned school and mourned her father for months.\r\n\r\nAfter mourning for months, she had gone back to finish her education in other to take over her father\u2019s business which was his dream before he was killed. Also, her friend Lizzy who had come down to Nigeria from London and had refused going back to school without her, influenced her decision.\r\n\r\nShe had rounded up her education, emerging as the best in her set and after graduation, she left for Nigeria to get incorporated into and learn the rudiments and ethics of her father\u2019s business.\r\n\r\nEpisode two\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\n\u201cGood day!! I am looking for a young lady, Claire Williams, who was brought here by the SCD some hours ago,\u201d Bob said to the receptionist sitting at the counter.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood day Sir. May I know your name and relationship with the lady please,\u201d the young beautiful receptionist said with a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cBob\u2026 Bob Williams, her Uncle.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCan I see an ID please?\u201d she demanded.\r\n\r\nBob annoyingly pulled out his wallet and picking out his driving license slammed it on the counter cursing under his breath.\r\n\r\nThe young lady took the license and checked for face match. Convinced, she punched some buttons on the computer before handing it back to the man with a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cShe is in the ICU, room 20. Take the stairs and walk down the corridor. The second to the last room on the left, thanks.\u201d\r\n\r\nBob collected his license and without sparing the young lady another look ran up the stairs.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSeated outside room 20 was Agent Klin jotting down on his notepad. Sighting a man walking up to him, he stood up to meet him.\r\n\r\n\u201cSorry, Sir this is a restricted area you have to move back.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m Bob Williams, Claire is my niece. Your office called me,\u201d Bob said stopping before the officer.\r\n\r\n\u201cCan I see an ID please?\u201d Agent Klin demanded.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor Christ sake\u2026.\u201d Bob cursed repeating the same process he passed through at the reception.\r\n\r\nAgent Klin collected the license which Bob handed out to him to check for face match. Convinced, he handed it back to him.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m afraid you will have to wait for a moment, Sir. She is been attended to by the doctor,\u201d the agent said.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor how long do I have to wait?\u201d Bob asked impatiently.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can\u2019t tell Sir,\u201d Agent Klin replied and sank back to his seat while Bob started pacing the length of the corridor impatiently and frustrated. He so wanted to see his niece and make sure she is ok.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nOutside the hospital, he sat inside his car, with his hood hanging down his shoulder, as he went through the phone he\u2019d collected from the guy he killed. He couldn\u2019t find any saved number; just a couple of messages and a continuous exchange of calls between two numbers.\r\n\r\nPulling out his phone, he dialed a number and waited for it to connect.\r\n\r\n\u201cKunle how far?\u201d he asked as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes I know sorry for the disturbance,\u201d he apologized before he continued. \u201cI need you to help me check the registration details of this number, 070\u2026\u2026 Hit me back when you have got something, thanks.\u201d He concluded and dropped the call.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAs he dropped the call, he saw a car speed into the hospital premises pulling to a stop not far from his car. His hand instantly went for his gun ready to shoot when he saw the acting CEO of Williams Holdings step down from the car rushing to the hospital.\u00a0 Putting his gun back into the glove compartment, he stepped down from the car and followed him in.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d pretended to have an appointment and settled on the hospital reception on the second floor which housed the ICU where Claire was admitted watching the CEO as he paced up and down with the police officer seated in front of the door.\r\n\r\nAfter about ten minutes he saw the doctor come out from the room. He watched as he talked briefly with Mr. Bob, the acting CEO before stepping away, for Bob to enter the room. His phone started vibrating in his pocket and pulling it out, he saw a message notification from Kunle.\r\n\r\n\u2018It\u2019s a dead end, the line was registered with the face of a baby and all details to it are sham\u2019\r\n\r\nHe sighed, typed a \u2018Thank you\u2019 and replied Kunle before dropping the phone back into his pocket.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n********\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\nHis patience was running out as he paced in front of the ward. The officer had offered him a seat twice but he was in no mood to seat.\r\n\r\nJust when he was about to lose it, the doctor stepped out from the room, followed by a nurse.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank Goodness.\u201d He said heaving a deep sigh of relief.\r\n\r\n\u201cI presume you are Mr. Bob?\u201d the doctor asked stretching forth his hand for a handshake.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, how is she?\u201d Bob asked taking the doctor\u2019s hand.\r\n\r\n\u201cCalm down sir, she is ok, just shocked. We sedated her and by the time she wakes up she will be just fine.\u201d The doctor explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank you, doctor.\u201d Bob appreciated.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are welcome.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCan I see her now?\u201d he asked, uncertain of what the doctor\u2019s reply would be.\r\n\r\n\u201cYea sure!\u201d the doctor replied with a smile and nodded to the officer before walking away with the nurse.\r\n\r\nEpisode three\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nClaire\r\n\r\nShe woke up and saw her only Uncle, Bob, sitting beside her, holding her hand. He was bent, resting his head on the bed probably sleeping. She looked around the room, her eyes settling on the wall clock which had \u2018BE HEALTHY\u2019 engraved in it. She couldn\u2019t believe she\u2019d slept for eight good hours at a stretch. Taking the exclusively furnished room into cognizance, she didn\u2019t expect less as her name always evoked the best treatment for her. As she looked around the room, the event that had brought her to the hospital flashed through her mind. This was the first time an attempt was been made on her life since she came back to the country to take over her father\u2019s business. She couldn\u2019t think of any reason why someone would want to kill her.\r\n\r\nAs her thoughts roamed around the incident, the note she tucked under the pillow when they brought her into the ICU came to her mind. Adjusting quietly, trying not to disturb her uncle, she picked the note and unfolded it. Written on the paper in bold letters with a red ink were three words \u2018TRUST NO ONE\u2019\r\n\r\nShe remembered how horrified she\u2019d been when the door to her side of the car opened. She had thought that he came to finish her up. She\u2019d been so shocked and afraid that she couldn\u2019t get a view of the guy. Though he was very fast and had half of his face covered by the hood of his sweat shirt, she could have made out something from his face if she had herself under control. She shifted to relax back to the bed when her uncle stirred and woke up.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank goodness. How are you Princess?\u201d he asked surprised at seeing her up.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m fine uncle, sorry for waking you.\u201d She replied with a smile. \u201cI know you must have been here for long.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI came as soon as I was contacted by the police.\u201d He replied waving off her apology. \u201cWhat happened?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHow is Anthony?\u201d she asked ignoring her uncle\u2019s question.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know, the cops didn\u2019t say much about him.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe image of Anthony slumped over the steering wheel settled on her mind as she prayed silently for a miracle that he survives. She\u2019d heard as two shots shattered the windscreen just as Anthony slumped over the steering.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHer thoughts were disrupted by the entrance of the doctor, nurse and two men; one carrying her handbag, the other she recognized vividly from the crime scene.\r\n\r\n\u201cOh!! I see, you are awake,\u201d the doctor said with a smile walking towards her bed, \u201cGentle men\u201d he said turning to the two men behind him, \u201cThis is Mr. Bob, uncle to the victim and Mr. Bob these are men from the Police SCD.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe men nodded in salutation to Bob who also did same. The one with the handbag handed it over to Bob who in turn placed it beside Claire.\r\n\r\nWithout waiting for further pleasantries, the doctor turned to Claire.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow are you feeling?\u201d he asked with a smile feeling her pulse from her hand.\r\n\r\nShe nodded without a word. The doctor with the smile not leaving his lips used his stethoscope on her chest. After that, he checked the readings on the EKG which was connected to some parts of Claire\u2019s body. Taking the file from the nurse, he jotted down something before handing it back to her.\r\n\r\n\u201cDo you feel anyhow, weird or pressure on any part of your body?\u201d he asked still with smiles.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo, not at all. I feel like myself. When am I leaving here?\u201d she asked trying her best not to sound rude.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s good to hear that you are fine. We will watch you again for this night and maybe by tomorrow you will be discharged.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, thank you.\u201d She muttered, not pleased that she won\u2019t be discharged immediately.\r\n\r\n\u201cWell then, these gentlemen will like to talk to you,\u201d he said and turning to the SCD men, he said \u201cDon\u2019t pressure her, she still needs time.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe leading officer nodded and shook hands with the doctor before he left. While all these happened, Bob rested on the seat observing without words.\r\n\r\n\u201cMiss like you already know, I\u2019m Inspector Owel from the state SCD (Special Crimes Department) and this is my colleague Donald, hope you don\u2019t mind if we ask you a couple of questions pertaining to the event of today?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo problem.\u201d Claire replied.\r\n\r\nBob waved them to a double sitter beside where he sat asking them to sit. They thanked him and sank into the seat pulling out their note pads.\r\n\r\n\u201cDo you mind telling us what happened at the scene?\u201d Owel asked.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nClaire narrated how all she could remember was how a car pulled up in front blocking them off beside the road. How the driver got shot by the guy on face cap and him coming around to her window when she heard two shots while the guy slumped.\r\n\r\n\u201cDid you by any chance get to see the face of the guy that fired the shots at the guy on cap?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes. After he slumped, another guy on hood who I believe fired the shot came around to my side of the car and opened the door. He looked in as if to confirm that I was ok before banging the door.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCan you describe him?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo\u2026. I don\u2019t know\u2026 I can\u2019t. It had happened so fast, all I can remember was seeing a car zoom pass not long after he banged the door.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cDid you get a view of the car?\u201d Owel asked with little frustration.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cDid he say anything when he opened the door?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, that will be all for now,\u201d Owel said standing with his colleague, \u201cIn case there is anything you think we need to know, don\u2019t hesitate to let us know.\u201d He continued stretching forth his complimentary card to her.\r\n\r\nClaire collected the card just in time for Agent Donald to ask,\r\n\r\n\u201cIs there anybody that you think is capable of doing this?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo, not at all.\u201d Claire replied tiredly.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk then, we will keep in touch if anything comes up and remember to give us a call if you find anything that could be helpful to this case.\u201d Owel said as they shook hands with Bob and made for the door.\r\n\r\n\u201cUmmm!! Officer, what about my driver, is he ok?\u201d she asked stopping them on their track.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe can\u2019t say anything for now,\u201d Owel started with a deflated look, \u201cthe doctors are attending to him in another hospital and once we get anything positive, we will keep you posted.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, thank you.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are welcome and have a quick recovery too.\u201d Owel said with a smile and turning to Bob who has just been listening to the whole interrogatory session, he requested to have a word with him outside.\r\n\r\n\u201cSure, no problem.\u201d Bob replied and patting Claire on the shoulder, he left with the detectives.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are sorry Mr \u2026\u201d Owel trailed off outside the room.\r\n\r\n\u201cBob.\u201d Bob said with a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, Mr. Bob, pardon me,\u201d he resumed smiling. \u201cWe are sorry the driver didn\u2019t make it, he died on the spot.\u201d\r\n\r\nBob brooded heavily before asking,\r\n\r\n\u201cDo you have anything on the dead guy who I presumed wanted her dead?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cInvestigations are still ongoing and we are trying to piece our findings together.\u201d Owel replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, just keep us posted about any development.\u201d He said handing out his complimentary card.\r\n\r\n\u201cSure we will, sorry once again for the death of the driver.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThanks.\u201d Bob replied nodding.\r\n\r\n\u201cMr. Bob, is there anybody you suspect of wanting your cousin dead?\u201d Donald asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo, not at all. Her late father had enemies which mostly I don\u2019t know of but, I don\u2019t see why any of them should come for her daughter.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, we will keep in touch.\u201d Owel said as they shook hands once again and left while Bob went back inside.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nSly is an A grade assassin who has carried out high level political assassinations. He was always contacted whenever someone with a means wants someone dead without a trace. He\u2019d built a good reputation among the few mighty men at the top of the political cadre who always sorted for his help in eliminating opponents.\r\n\r\nHe is always very good and cautious leaving no traces behind. Most times, the bodies of his victims are never found. His charges are so high that only the well to do minority could afford him.\r\n\r\nOnce contacted, he never meets with his clients. A \u2018drop off\u2018 is always done by two different people at any location of his choosing. The client provides someone masked who drops off information about the job to be done and a hundred percent of his charge in the currency and denomination of his choosing. He wasn\u2019t paid through any other means apart from \u2018drop off\u2019; this way, he doesn\u2019t get to know his client and vice versa.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s a well known fact amongst those whoever chooses to contact him that any attempt at trying to breach the terms of the agreement makes one a target.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nOn a particular day after he just got off an operation and was planning on taking a vacation, a number contacted him for a job. He could have waved it off but for some reason he didn\u2019t. First, the voice sounded familiar and not so often does he get contacted by familiar voices. Again, the price attached to the job made it impossible to walk over.\r\n\r\nThis particular contract was clearly away from what he involved himself in; his operations never exceeded two weeks; one week of surveillance and another for execution but, on the contrary, this case involved surveillance for one month, finding a classified document before execution\r\n\r\nHe had set everything in motion after the drop off was made. At first he had thought that the target was a high ranking politician or an oil man for such a bounty to have been placed, only to realize that the target was a young girl more or less in her early or mid twenties. He\u2019d thought that she was a spoilt brat daughter of a politician but from the picture he had, she didn\u2019t strike him as one but, that has never been his concern.\r\n\r\nWith his mind set, he had started following the target, monitoring every of her move. The first few days were hitch free as he followed her around from a distance. The target had posed no threat to his operation as she walked freely, no guards; a thing of surprise to him.\r\n\r\nAfter two weeks of following the target, for the very first time, he questioned the rationale behind the execution of such an innocent and carefree girl as he termed her. Apart from the simple nature of the girl, he strongly believed that there were forces surrounding her.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIt had all started the first night he made an entrance into her apartment. If not for his expertise, he would have been caught and probably shot by the girl. He\u2019d gained entrance into the apartment altering the security system. After confirming that the girl was deep asleep, he had proceeded to her study in search of a document which was part of the operation. The document as detailed was marked with triple X which signified top secret\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d been engrossed in the search when his ears picked a sound tiptoeing towards the study. He had stopped and got himself perfectly hidden just in time for the \u2018supposed to be sleeping\u2019 girl walk into the study armed like she had been notified about his presence. After checking around, the girl had left. He\u2019d already readied himself for defense should the girl find him but luckily she didn\u2019t. As she left, he\u2019d followed suit escaping from where he came in.\r\n\r\nThis particular sequence had repeated itself the following week before he decided to give up on the operation. He had found himself getting attached to the girl. Seeing the look on her face each morning after a disturbed night always gave him a guilty conscience; a guilt that never left.\r\n\r\nAfter the third week on the target, for the very first time in his career, he decided to terminate the contract but not without having in mind that if he couldn\u2019t do it, some other person was going to do it and it was just a matter of time before the girl gets killed.\r\n\r\nAfter much contemplation, he contacted his client and notified him of the termination of the contract. The man had been disappointed and ran curses on him before going off the phone. Sly had requested for a drop off of the bounty that had been paid but his client had directed him to the road that led to hell and told him to go and rot in it after he made it clear to him that he wasn\u2019t the only best hand in the job and since he couldn\u2019t do it, someone else was going to do it, only just a matter of time.\r\n\r\nSly couldn\u2019t believe that for the first time in his life that he was developing feelings for a target. He couldn\u2019t believe himself but could he help it? He was the Sly known for his ruthlessness that never gave emotions and sentiments a chance, but following the innocent target, who obviously had offended nobody, for three weeks had got him attached to her and he had decided to protect her.\r\n\r\nHe had continued following the girl but this time was for her protection. While following the girl, he had tried to find out who wanted her dead but it had all led to a dead end. The only lead he had was that the voice that ordered the hit sounded familiar to that which ordered for the elimination of four suspected assassins two years ago.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIt was one month later while following the young lady that he noticed another assassin stalking her and just then he knew that the chips were down. Two days after he noticed the stalker, the girl had travelled for what he had information to be a seminar and then he decided to tail the assassin.\r\n\r\nThe guy had been cautious enough but was no match for him. He had on two occasions made him out by following him and had shook him off or so he thought but, on those occasions, Sly had played like a normal motorist going about his business.\r\n\r\nSly had waited for a perfect opportunity for the dude to make a slip but that never happened till the day the girl came back from the seminar. He had tracked the guy to the airport and waited till the girl arrived.\r\n\r\nSly\u2019s motive had been to kidnap the dude and get information out from him but that never happened as he shot him before he could eliminate the girl. Before he left the scene, he had picked the assassin\u2019s phone to get more clues but it had all led to a dead end.\r\n\r\nEpisode four\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nBOB.\r\n\r\nBob Williams is the only brother of late Mr. Ralph Williams. Since the death of his brother, he had taken charge of running his company pending when Claire was ready to take over.\r\n\r\nHe had run the company with his life for the legacy of his brother not to crumble as it was already moving towards that end after his death with some individuals at the top echelon of the company orchestrating plans for a hostile takeover.\r\n\r\nHe was on his way for a contract meeting when he got a call from the state SCD office about the attack on Claire. Immediately he made a detour and headed straight to the hospital.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n****\r\n\r\nAs the officers left, he\u2019d gone back into the room to Claire\u2019s searching gaze.\r\n\r\n\u201cIs everything alright?\u201d Claire had asked noticing the look on his face.\r\n\r\n\u201cYea everything is fine.\u201d He replied settling on the couch beside Claire\u2019s bed.\r\n\r\n\u201cAny news about Anthony?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAnthony? No \u2026 not yet.\u201d He stammered and that gave him up.\r\n\r\nClaire knew that whenever Bob stammers something was amiss. They\u2019ve been so close right from when she was a kid and became closer since the death of her father. After he had assumed the role of a father, always wanting and giving her the best of everything.\r\n\r\nShe remembered when her father died. How Bob had stepped in to make sure that her father\u2019s business empire didn\u2019t crumble.\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle what is it?\u201d she asked staring at Bob who tried to avoid her piercing gaze, \u201cIs Anthony ok?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m sorry sweetheart, he didn\u2019t make it. He died on the spot.\u201d He blurted out holding her hand comfortingly.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nClaire had silently been praying for a miracle about Anthony\u2019s survival. She\u2019d seen him slump over the steering wheel when the shots shattered the windscreen.\r\n\r\nAnthony was a hardworking young man though in his early forties. He was her personal driver before she left for the states. She never had much friends growing up and Anthony had turned out to be her best friend. They had created a bond that Claire could tell him anything and everything. She confided in him, seek his opinion and advice which he never failed to give.\r\n\r\nWhen she left for the States, she had pleaded with her late dad to give Anthony another job pending when she comes back. That request had been granted by her father and when she came back, though she moved out from her father\u2019s house because of the memories it gave her, she was happy reuniting with Anthony who doubled as her official and personal driver.\r\n\r\nShe had mourned him till the next morning that she was discharged. Bob had stayed with her not taking a step out till she was discharged and they left together.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHe was relieved seeing Claire discharged the following day. He stayed in the hospital the previous day till his presence started becoming suspicious before he left.\r\n\r\nThe next morning as early as 5am, he was already parked at the hospital premises waiting for her to be discharged.\r\n\r\nHe didn\u2019t sleep a wink the previous night as the thought of Claire never left his mind. The look of horror she had when he opened the car door etched on his heart. As he thought about Claire, he also tried to put the links he had together but couldn\u2019t make out anything from them. After so much thought, he\u2019d decided to create a list of potential suspects and investigate them. First on, the list was the current acting CEO of Williams Holdings, Bob, but before that, he needed to find a connection between two years ago and his current task since the voice that ordered for the hit on the four assassins sounded similar to that which ordered for the hit on Claire, he needed to find a link.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have made provision for some body guards from a security firm. They\u2019ll be here any moment.\u201d Bob said as they got home from the hospital.\r\n\r\n\u201cBody guards? When, how?\u201d Claire asked surprised.\r\n\r\n\u201cA friend of mine heads a security service so I contacted him last night while you were sleeping.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle I don\u2019t think that\u2019s necessary,\u201d she said deflated.\r\n\r\n\u201cSweetheart it has become compulsory that you have some physical protection, at least till we know what we are dealing with and possibly get things under control.\u201d Bob said firmly.\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle but I\u2019m fine. Seriously, I don\u2019t need some tough, mean looking guy around me. I am going to be miserable I swear to God.\u201d She whined.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are going to be just fine,\u201d Bob said with assurance, laughing. \u201cIt\u2019s just a matter of few months.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cMonths?\u201d she shouted, \u201cyou can as well confine me to a prison or under house arrest.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI am going to use my influence and your father\u2019s name to get the SCD to speed up their investigation and I promise you, before you know it, all these will be over for good.\u201d Bob said with utmost reassurance.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd what about you? I might not be the only person they are after.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cDon\u2019t worry about me, I can take care of myself.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cIf I need some body guards then you need some too. I\u2019m not going through this misery of body guards alone.\u201d She said with a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, if that is going to make you accept them then I will get one for myself too.\u201d Bob started laughing. \u201cThat reminds me, I got in contact with Anthony\u2019s family too. I told them to keep us in the loop about everything concerning his burial arrangements.\u201d\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nRelaxing on the couch, tears gathered in her eyes. Even after the confirmation of Anthony\u2019s death, she\u2019d still prayed for a miracle but, was that still possible?\r\n\r\n\u201cI will contact his family myself; his wife especially.\u201d She said with teary eyes.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, that would be fine. I know this is hard for you but, you have got to handle it with courage. We all mourn him. It\u2019s not just a loss for you, it\u2019s for all of us.\u201d Bob said patting her on the shoulder gently.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nClaire\u2019s mind drifted to when Tony as she fondly called him had called her in the States to tell her that he was getting married. She remembered how they had joked that day. How she\u2019d accused him of breaking her heart by marrying another woman. Tony\u2019s response that day never left her mind. He\u2019d told her that nothing, not even the woman he was getting married to was going to come between them. That he would always be there for her any time and any day she needed him. She had actually felt jealous of the girl Anthony was going o marry.\r\n\r\nShe also remembered on many occasions she\u2019d called him her husband but he had always been quick to object telling her that she wasn\u2019t meant for a guy like him. That they belonged to two different worlds but that notwithstanding, he was always be at her service.\r\n\r\nShe was still in her thoughts when the door alarm rang. Bob who was also with his own thoughts stood up to answer the door. After confirming the identity of the men outside through the door camera,he opened the door and in came four stern looking men. He ushered them to the sitting room and waved them to a seat before they went down to discuss security business.\r\n\r\nClaire at a point had lost interest and asked Bob to take care of everything and show them around before heading up to her room. She had never in her life been a fan of rugged, all macho, strong faced guys, but as the situation has left her with no choice. She knew that she just had to deal with it. She would try her possible to keep her sanity till it was all over.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nSly parked a distance away from Claire\u2019s gate, talking with someone on the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cI need you to get me all the information you have concerning the death of four assassin found dead and buried together two years ago.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cClassified? Then make it unclassified. I need everything you\u2019ve got on it; no details should be left out within the hour, thanks.\u201d He concluded and ended the call.\r\n\r\nPulling out a note pad from the glove compartment of his car. On the cover of the book is an inscription \u2018Field work\u2019, this is the book where he records his works. Flipping through the pages, he got to a page and traced his finger down before it rested on a number. Picking his phone from the dashboard he typed a message before adding the number and sending it to Kunle.\r\n\r\nHe was about to make another call when a block SUV zoomed pass and stopped in front of Claire\u2019s gate. He saw an inscription \u2018Assured Security\u2019 scribbled on the car. He knew the security firm as most popular people picked their body guards from them. Four men had stepped down from the car.\r\n\r\nHe was relieved when he saw the men. For one, he knew the director of the security service who was among the four men. He heaved a sigh of relief for that was going to give him the needed time to investigate whoever it is that wants the innocent girl dead.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEpisode five\r\n\r\n****\r\n\r\nTWO YEARS BACK.\r\n\r\nCHIEF WIILIAMS\r\n\r\nA wealthy business man who had made a name for himself in the world of business. His business empire spreads out from oil to Real Estates, hotels and resorts. He also had a fair share in the world of construction.\r\n\r\nHe had lost his wife to cancer at the early stage of their marriage; two years after the birth of his only child Claire.\r\n\r\nThe death of his wife had broken him down to the point of seclusion and confinement to a team of medical and psychiatrist experts not excluding counselors who fought to restore his sanity. He mourned his wife like someone that lost everything he owned in the world.\r\n\r\nHis recovery came on a day and time when hope was lost. People who thought he was beyond help and had given up on him were shocked to the marrow.\r\n\r\nFrom the point of his recovery, he devoted his life to loving and raising his only daughter. He had only two people he could call his own in the whole world; his only daughter and a brother who was languishing in prison in China for drug related offences.\r\n\r\nHe had used his business contacts and connections in china to secure the release and deportation of his brother but not without parting with a fortune. After the release and rehabilitation of his brother, he\u2019d quickly incorporated him into his empire. And he was neither disappointed nor regretted ever bringing him in as Bob impressed him beyond his imagination.\r\n\r\nHe made sure everything was provided for her daughter; from the best nanny to the best schools. From his point of recovery, he rebuilt the foundation of his business and settled it around his daughter. He\u2019d stood his ground against taking in another woman, a promise he made to his wife the night of their wedding; that alive or dead, he will never take in another woman.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d written his life will and sent to three of his lawyers in three different parts of the world unknown to each other. Contained in the will are details of the benefactors and formula for sharing his properties should he die before his daughter turned twenty five. Also contained in the will is what happens should his daughter die before clocking twenty five.\r\n\r\nGrowing and becoming successful in the world of business involves stepping on toes at every stage. As he created a name for himself in business, he also made a whole lot of enemies and friends. Just like he had people in his bad books, he also was in the bad books of others.\r\n\r\nHis death had shocked the whole country. As narrated by his personal driver and security and also as released by the press and SCD, he was assassinated. His car had been ambushed by four men as they only came for his life and when they made sure that he was dead, left without touching his driver or the security escort.\r\n\r\nHis death had attracted concern from far and wide and that had put the SCD on their toes as they used all their resources and best hands in investigating his death. Every perceived opponent of Mr. Williams was drilled, monitored and investigated but nothing came out.\r\n\r\nOne day, a breakthrough came from a call made to the SCD. The caller had reported the discovery of a grave carelessly dug with a hand sticking out. The SCD had swung into action and had discovered four decomposed bodies in the said grave. After the autopsy and identification, it was confirmed that the four dead bodies were that of those responsible for the death of Mr. William.\r\n\r\nWitnesses and material evidences to the murder of the four were sort but whoever did the job did a good one not to have left any atom of evidence.\r\n\r\nAfter what was a long year of thorough investigation, the case was gradually laid to rest.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nSettled in the comfort of his car which overlooked Claire\u2019s gate, his mind went back to what was among the most difficult contract he ever handled; two years ago. How he was contacted to execute the contract and provided with all necessary information after the drop off. He had recorded the contract on his note pad (contract book) and went into action.\r\n\r\nIt had involved the execution of four men which had taken him two months to locate. It had been tough as every one of them seemed meticulous and hiding. He had reconciled all the information he had on each of them and realized that they were a gang.\r\n\r\nGathering them together had been the easiest part of the job as capturing one of them had led to that of the other three. After killing them, he had transported their bodies to a remote village and buried them. After burying them, he retraced his step making sure not to leave any evidence.\r\n\r\nOne month after, the news of the discovery of four dead bodies hit every nook and cranny but died off under one year which was sooner than he\u2019d expected. It was thenthat he realized that the four guys he killed were connected to the death of a very wealthy man.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe buzzing of his phone jolted him back to reality. Picking it up, he saw a message notification and clicked it open. \u2018They are connected to the death of Mr. Williams; a famous business man. He has a daughter Claire and a brother Bob. That\u2019s all I could lay my hands on\u2019\r\n\r\nAfter reading the text message, flashes started coming to his mind. Why had he not connected Claire to Mr. Williams? He remembered the face of Mr. Williams all over the news and just then it occurred to him that he had seen that same face on Claire\u2019s study. Hitting himself hard, he cursed under his breath \u2018damn!! Why didn\u2019t I connect this before now?\u201d\r\n\r\nClicking on the reply option under the text message, a clear sheet appeared and he typed a message, \u2018I need all the names and details of every suspect on that case. I\u2019m expecting it within an hour, thanks\u2019\r\n\r\nWhen the message delivered, he slipped the phone back into his pocket. \u2018Whoever ordered the hit on those four guys was responsible for the death of Mr. Williams and is also responsible for that of Claire\u2019s.\u2019 He concluded.\r\n\r\nEpisode six\r\n\r\nTHREE MONTHS ON\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHis investigation so far had yielded only bits of information. Every suspect that had been involved by the SCD in the death of Mr. Williams had a bit of information tied to them but, all the evidences he gathered were not falling into place.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nOn the list of suspects are two big shots who according to his findings where the only ones capable of ordering a hit on Mr. Williams and his daughter. One is Mr. Festus whom Mr. Williams according to his statement to the SCD used his connection to frustrate him out of a contract worth millions of naira. The other was Mr. Olive who also suffered terribly in the hands of Mr. Williams, at the end went bankrupt and had to start life afresh.\r\n\r\nWhile Mr. Olive according to his statement had forgiven and forgotten, Mr. Festus had stated categorically that if he had opportunity to eliminate Mr. Williams he would have done it but made it clear that he had nothing to do with his murder. The question on his mind is \u2018do people really forgive and even if they do, forgetting is a very long way to go\u2019.\r\n\r\nSly had secretly contacted every suspect to the case to check for voice match but none had matched. Away from the names on the list, he\u2019d secretly investigated the top members of Williams\u2019s holdings. Coming out tops on his list of strong suspects was Mr. Batho. From the information he\u2019d gathered, Mr. Batho had never fallen in line with Mr. Williams. After the death of William\u2019s wife, when he was unstable, Mr. Batho had aligned with some board members to overthrow him and install himself but had met stiff opposition from members loyal to Mr. Williams. The same action had repeated itself after his death but Bob had stood up to him and his plans had hit a brick wall. Why Williams kept him at the top echelon of his company despite all, still remained unknown. Maybe, the only theory that supports that remains the fact that despite the rebellious nature of Batho, he was ambitious and produced great results for the company and people that had the knack of producing results had a place in Mr. William\u2019s heart.\r\n\r\nSly had dug deep into Batho\u2019s affairs but the bits of information he\u2019d gathered couldn\u2019t pin him as a prime suspect but he wasn\u2019t giving up.\r\n\r\nAfter going through the suspect list from the SCD, the only person whose name never appeared anywhere was Mr. Bob. From lessons he\u2019d learnt from many years in his career, he knew that the no one could be trusted but in this case, Mr. Bob was too clean not to be trusted.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d devoted time to follow him, monitor his home, tapped his phone, had Kunle trace his cell, bank transactions and everything he was involved in down to his romantic relationships but in all, Bob had come out clean.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d gone further to dig into the lives of the security escorts protecting Claire and they were clear enough.\r\n\r\nSly had people virtually in all places; people who are in one way or the other indebted to him or those he had something against. That had made getting information very easy for him. That\u2019s also the reason why he was always many steps ahead of the law.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nIt was three months gone and she was becoming pissed to hell with the whole body guards around her. She used to be a simple girl living a simple life but suddenly everything came crumbling as she can\u2019t wait to have it back.\r\n\r\nAfter the attempt on her life, she\u2019d taken one month of work to recover and mourn Anthony. She\u2019d not spared anything in making sure that Anthony had a befitting burial. She\u2019d also set up Anthony\u2019s wife and taken sponsorship of his only daughter who Anthony had named Claire; she believed she owed that much to her friend.\r\n\r\nAfter one month, she had resumed work but mostly worked from the comfort of her house, though she disliked the whole security issue but her uncle had insisted that until everything was settled, he wouldn\u2019t withdraw them.\r\n\r\nHer little hope of getting rid of the security around her dashed when she\u2019d decided to show him the note the guy on hood gave to her. Bob had gone ahead to secure three more body guards who took charge of the house while the other three followed her around.\r\n\r\nWithin the first two months, she\u2019d thought of running away back to the States but decided against it; that would be disappointing her father. She had always reminded herself that she has come far enough to run away; that it was only a matter of time and everything will return to normalcy.\r\n\r\nThroughout that period, she almost delegated every function to Bob;both company and contract meetings and he had run everything effectively. At times, she hated her uncle for being so stubborn to her liken but, most other times she couldn\u2019t stop loving him. She knew he meant well for her.\r\n\r\nShe could never be grateful enough to him for his care and support. From her young age when he came back to Nigeria they had shared a bond and when her father died, he\u2019d single handedly ran the company, even when majority wanted to take over the company.\r\n\r\nIt had always been the wish of her late father to have her assume the position of CEO in the company when she graduates from high school but he died before actualizing that and Bob had taken it upon himself to see that dream come true.\r\n\r\nAfter her graduation, Bob had coached her through the rudiments of the company and never failed to tell her how proud she made him. Bob had told her that her late father wished for her to run the company at twenty five and when that time comes he was going to hand over the title of CEO to her.\r\n\r\nTo her, she preferred that Bob keeps the position of the CEO while she assumes a managerial role but that hadn\u2019t gone down well with him. He had insisted that it was to be done as her father had wanted it to be. He\u2019d instead offered to be her adviser as well as taking a managerial role under her. Claire had taken his decision with open and appreciative heart.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nThe only consolation she had that period was her only best friend Lizzy. Lizzy had been her friend from their time in high school. They had clicked when they realized that they were both from Nigeria. Their friendship had blossomed beyond description.\r\n\r\nLizzy is an extrovert while Claire is on the reserved side. They had both affected each other\u2019s life positively. Lizzy had been her backbone when she lost her dad. She had flown down to Nigeria, putting a break on her academics to mourn with her. Whenever it was like the world was crashing down on her, Lizzy was always there to help her stand firm.\r\n\r\nWhen she\u2019d informed her of the attempt on her life, Lizzy who had been on a business trip to Dubai had hurried everything just to come back and be with her. For the first month that she was with her, she had enjoyed her company but not the nagging it came with. Lizzy never ceased to drum it into her ears to take a time out from work and devote some time to build a relationship with a guy. Truth to that fact, she has loads of highly placed guys gunning for her love but, she always waved them off believing that they would be nothing but distraction to her purpose of fulfilling her father\u2019s dream.\r\n\r\nAway from that, the little relationship she had back in high school had ended miserably after she refused to give into the sexual demands of her boyfriend; a Latino. To her it had been good riddance to bad rubbish. She\u2019d moved on like it never happened even when the guy tried to ridicule her by flaunting his new girlfriend everywhere. She had learnt a lesson from it that love is overly exaggerated, it is always about interest. She had vowed that no man was ever going to subdue her against her wishes. The few she\u2019d given chances of friendship had all been control freaks and that had made her close her mind entirely towards dating until God knows when.\r\n\r\nLizzy never ceased to taunt her that she was going to die a virgin, frustrated and miserable which she always accepted without a fight.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter the third month, she\u2019d fought her uncle, screamed and threatened to run away or commit suicide if the guards weren\u2019t withdrawn. She had been so serious that Bob didn\u2019t blink an eye before withdrawing them. He had pleaded with her to allow one guard follow her around while another watches over the house but she had bluntly refused threatening that should she as little as notice anybody following her from a thousand miles radius in the name of protection she will run away and never come back. She needed her life back. Bob had no option but to relieve the guards and escorts around her.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHer happiness had known no bounds when everything returned to normalcy. Nothing beats the new feeling of being herself and going about her normal business without some mean looking men walking beside and behind her.\r\n\r\nEpisode seven\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nNever in his widest of dreams did it ever occur to him that he would develop feelings for a target one day. It wasn\u2019t him and probably not what he is known for. He doesn\u2019t even know himself as someone that can develop feelings. No, at first, he denied it but, it wasn\u2019t for long. He never felt responsible for taking care of anybody all his life, well, not after the death of the only person he cared about; his sister. His life was devoid of emotions. But, now, he feels responsible for this girl whom he was supposed to eliminate and go on a vacation with the bounty which was placed on her. It would have been only a matter of days before he forgets her and everything about her.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nBefore he was contacted for that operation, he already decided that he needed a break which he planned on taking before that particular job. The offer had been so tempting to walk away from; fifteen million naira, nah, he wasn\u2019t stupid enough to walk away from such offer. Though that would be like a drop in his account but it wouldn\u2019t hurt becoming fifteen million richer.\r\n\r\nHe had made up his mind, setting a time limit to finish up with the operation and go for his vacation. He\u2019d planned going to the UAE to spend one week after which he\u2019d make his way to England to see a couple of Premier league games live for two weeks, then move to the United States for another two weeks before making a detour to Nigeria but, look where he found himself, protecting someone that stood against him and his vacation.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d found himself dreaming about the girl every night and having her in mind during the day. He always looked forward to seeing her with the breaking of each day.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n********\r\n\r\nCLAIRE.\r\n\r\nJumping down from her bed as if she\u2019d been stung by an ant, she drew her bedside drawer and pulled out a Wesson and smith 9mm pistol. Turning on her bedside lamp she shouted at the top of her voice \u201cstop or I will blow your head off.\u201d She looked around as her voice re-echoed.\r\n\r\nLooking lost around the room, sweat oozed out from every pore on her body drenching her nightie which clung tight to her body. It had been so real to be a dream she thought. She had felt a presence and a hand squeezing tight around her neck. It has been long she had dream of such. Pulling her phone to call the SCD, she decided against it, it might seem like raising a false alarm. Again, she didn\u2019t want the entire question which at the end wouldn\u2019t yield out anything.\r\n\r\nSitting up from the bed, she went to check through the house. Though with little training on how to use a gun, she felt confident enough in protecting herself with the weapon in her hand. Is this really a dream? She asked herself as she walked down the stairs to her sitting room. She moved cautiously as she took the door which led to the kitchen. She found the kitchen door slightly opened. That had never happened not as far as she could remember; she doesn\u2019t leave the door to her kitchen open once she is not inside. Her instincts all came on alert as she nudged the door slightly with the nose of the gun. She peeped through first, before letting herself in, step after step.\r\n\r\nEverything was as she left it before going to bed except for the kitchen door. It wasn\u2019t clear to her if she actually did lock up the kitchen door before retiring for the night because she\u2019d been so tired when she came back from work. Convinced about the kitchen as everything seemed in place, she opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. Placing the gun on the freezer, she took a deep gulp from the can before picking up the gun and walking away back to the sitting room. As she left the kitchen, she made sure to lock the door behind her.\r\n\r\nThe silence in the sitting room was distorted by the ticking of the wall clock which hung on the wall. Taking her attention to the time which just clocked 2am she sighed before lowering herself on the couch. She took another gulp from the can setting it down beside the couch.\r\n\r\nTotally calm, she relaxed back and tried to remember everything about the dream. \u00a0All she could remember was two hands tightening around her throat trying to strangle her. She\u2019d fought all she could trying to get a look at the face but she couldn\u2019t. She tried thinking deep but her head felt like splitting. With the gun still balanced in her hand, she stood up and picking the bottle of water, she walked aimlessly up the stairs to her room.\r\n\r\nIn her room, she sat on her dressing table and stared at the image that greeted her at the mirror. She couldn\u2019t believe the shadow that stared back at her. She looked totally the shadow of herself. Reaching out for a bottle of medication on the table, she took some pills and threw them in her mouth washing it down with another gulp from the bottle which she dropped on the table afterwards.\r\n\r\nStill on the table waiting for the drug to take its effect she forced herself to remove her eyes from the mirror and focus on something else; the sight staring back her wasn\u2019t pleasant at all.\r\n\r\nTurning away from the mirror she looked at her bed. The pillows were on the floor with the duvet while the bed spread was rumpled like it was played on. She stood from the table and went for the pillows, picking them up, she tossed them back to the bed with the duvet. She sat on the bed with no effort at trying to arrange the bed. The pills were taking its toll on her already as she was finding it difficult holding up her eyelids. Placing the gun on the lamp stand beside her bed, she laid back to the bed surrendering to the effect of the drug as she drifted into another realm.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued...\r\n\r\nEpisode eight\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nIt was three weeks after Claire\u2019s guards were laid off that he found himself following her around again, combining it with his private investigation. He had kept a close watch on Mr. Olive, Bathoand Festus since the three came out top on his list of suspects but, so far nothing substantial came out from them.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d decided to ditch his cars having virtually used all of them in following Claire. He was sure that if a pro like him was hired and had been on the girl that it would have been easy to make him out as a stalker.\r\n\r\nAgain, it was four months gone after that particular incident, since then everything had seemed clear and settled. The SCD had conducted a shallow investigation coming out with nothing and after two months laid the case to rest.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nAs he sat at the Mallam\u2019s shop pretending to be smoking with a stick of cigarette burning away in between his fingers something caught his eyes; a black Lexus L330. His mind went to work immediately. He remembered seeing that particular vehicle two days ago parked outside the mall where Claire had gone to make some personal purchases. Again, he remembered the car driving recklessly pass Claire\u2019s residence the evening of the previous day. Was it coincidence? He doesn\u2019t believe in that, he couldn\u2019t make out the face of the occupant since the glasses were partially tinted. He waited mapping out plans on his head as all his senses became alert.\r\n\r\nIt wasn\u2019t long before Claire pulled out and drove by in her Rang Rover Envogue. After exactly two minutes, the Lexus turned and followed her; that was the only confirmation he needed to know that another person had been contracted.\r\n\r\n\u201cDamn!!\u201d He cursed under his breath, regretting why he wasn\u2019t with his car. Paying off the mallam, he ran as fast as he could to the main road off the street and hailed a cab. The two cars; that of Claire and the Lexus were out of sight but he knew that Claire was probably headed to her office.\r\n\r\nThe cab had dropped him a distance away from where he could trek down to the block housing Late William\u2019s office complex. Just like he\u2019d expected, parked a short distance away was the Lexus.\r\n\r\nHe walked pass the Lexus and went a short distance before turning around. From the windscreen which wasn\u2019t tinted, he saw a guy talking on the phone. He stood at a spot away from the car looking around like someone lost without a direction. He saw a lady walking by and approached her asking for a non-existing address. The lady pointed around to some shops telling him to ask them that she was new around there. He thanked her and went straight to the shop close to where the car was parked.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d asked the shop owner for the same fake address and also got directed to another person. All this he did just to get the attention of the stalker to let down his guards. Walking to the car obvious that the occupant was looking at him, he knocked on the glass and waited. After a while, the glass went down.\r\n\r\n\u201cSorry can I help you?\u201d the occupant asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning sir, please do you know no.18 Parkway Avenue?\u201d he asked dead serious and with a look of a lost person as he motionlessly pulled out his gun tucked on his waist.\r\n\r\n\u201cParkway Avenue? Sorry, I have not heard of a place like that. Why not ask people around.\u201d he said.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, thank you very much but if you don\u2019t mind I want you to quietly put your hands up where I can see them.\u201d He said pointing the gun straight to his head.\r\n\r\nThe sudden look of shock and surprise which covered the guys face amused him but he kept a straight face. The guy gently raised his hands while Sly used one hand to open the door from inside. Settled on the back seat directly behind the guy, he ordered him to drive off. The shocked guy obeyed without hesitance.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nShe woke up feeling a lot better than earlier. Picking her wrist watch from the lamp stand beside her bed she checked the time; it was 7: 30 am. Dragging herself off the bed, she yawned and stretched heading downstairs to the kitchen.\r\n\r\nShe made herself a cup of coffee and sat down, sipping it while her mind roamed settling at nothing. Rinsing the cup after gulping the last content, she walked back to her room to get ready for work. After making her bed, she got off her night gown and surveyed her body on the mirror opposite her. A smile never fails to creep into her lips each time she checked herself out naked in front of a mirror. Done checking herself out, she walked into her bathroom. Allowing the warm water to wash away her troubles, she took her time enjoying the warm bath.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nDressed in a black Zara skirt, with a red H&M shirt with a black Zanotti wedge, she walked down the stairs turning into her study. Packing some papers into her briefcase, she walked out from the study into the sitting room. Looking around the sitting room, the wall clock attracted her attention again; it was already 8: 45 am. She picked her keys on the table and headed for the door. As she held to the door knob about to turn it her home phone started ringing. Whocould be calling me now? She thought. She made to ignore it but the ringing persisted. Leaving the door, she went straight to her bar and lifted the receiver from its cradle.\r\n\r\n\u201cClaire William\u2019s home?\u201d she said into the receiver.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning sweetheart.\u201d Came Lizzy\u2019s voice from the other end of the line.\r\n\r\n\u201cOh! Lizzy, good morning, was about leaving for work.\u201d Taking a reflex look at her wrist watch.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, have been trying to reach your cell but you ain\u2019t picking, everything ok?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOh my Goodness!!\u201d she exclaimed. \u201cForgot to turn the silence mode off after the board meeting yesterday. Sorry sweetheart.\u201d She apologized.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are going to get a beating for getting me so worried since last night.\u201d Lizzy said.\r\n\r\n\u201cIf it\u2019s not going to land me in the hospital then you are free to beat me as you like.\u201d Claire replied smiling, rummaging through her handbag for her phones.\r\n\r\n\u201cWait until I catch you.\u201d Lizzy shouted laughing.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s not going to be a problem.\u201d Claire replied with a sigh.\r\n\r\nLizzy must have caught a tone on her voice as she asked, \u201cAre you ok dear?\u201d\r\n\r\nKnowing that she has betrayed herself in trying not to let Lizzy know that she was bothered, she tried last night to get Lizzy off her back. \u201cYea everything is fine, just having a slight headache.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou know what?\u201d Lizzy started. \u201cYou\u2019ve never been a good liar not even when your life depends on it so, just come out straight and tell me what\u2019s bugging you.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe know that Lizzy is not a friend that takes \u2018don\u2019t worry\u2019 for an answer and decided to lay her cards down. \u201cIt\u2019s the dream.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAgain?\u201d Lizzy exclaimed.\u201d Same as before?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes.\u201d She replied with a sigh.\r\n\r\n\u201cDon\u2019t worry dear, it\u2019s gon be fine ok?\u201d Lizzy consoled.\r\n\r\n\u201cSure, thanks.\u201d Claire replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ll drop by at your office so we can talk about it if you don\u2019t mind.\u201d Lizzy suggested.\r\n\r\n\u201cSure that will be great. I can do with a little distraction.\u201d She replied smiling.\r\n\r\n\u201cOh! I\u2019m now a distraction? Ok, wait till I see you at lunch.\u201d Lizzy fired.\r\n\r\n\u201cLunch time it is then. Remember to come along with your cane.\u201d Claire retorted laughing.\r\n\r\n\u201cSure, I ain\u2019t gon forget it. Have a nice day hun lemme run along.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk sweetheart. Do take care of yourself.\u201d Claire replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou too hun, bye.\u201d Lizzy said as the line went dead.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nClaire dropped the phone and picking her briefcase from the sofa she hurried towards the door. Holding the door knob, she turned and took a last glance at the room to make sure she wasn\u2019t forgetting anything. Satisfied, she walked out and pressed some buttons on the security lock.\r\n\r\nOpening the door of her car, she dropped her briefcase before climbing in, slamming the door shut after her.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nEasing the car into her parking lot, she came down with her briefcase and handbag. Walking a little away from the car towards the entrance to her office, she pressed the car lock without turning as the car beeped twice.\r\n\r\nAs she walked up the stairs to the entrance, the security man at the door held it open for her with a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning ma\u2019am.\u201d He greeted.\r\n\r\nSmiling at him as she walked through the door, \u201cgood morning Nick.\u201d She greeted. \u201cHow was your night?\u201d she continued without stopping.\r\n\r\n\u201cFine ma\u2019am, welcome.\u201d He replied behind her.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank you and do have a nice day.\u201d Claire said smiling as she stopped and turned to him briefly before walking on.\r\n\r\nAs she walked towards the elevator, she got greetings from other staffs whom she knows by their names. To these greetings she replied with a smile without stopping.\r\n\r\nStepping out from the elevator, she walked towards her office.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning Vera.\u201d She greeted her secretary who was busy typing away on her laptop as she walked in.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning ma.\u201d Vera greeted standing up. \u201cWelcome.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThank you dear. How are you this morning?\u201d she asked heading to the inner section which served as her office.\r\n\r\n\u201cFine ma\u2019am, thank you.\u201d Vera replied behind her.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nFew minutes as she settled down in her office, Vera walked in with her schedule for the day. She placed it on the table quietly and walked out trying not disturb Claire who was busy with her laptop. After few minutes of typing and checking through her mails, she pushed it aside and picked up the schedule. Glancing through it, she picked a ball point pen from her table and marked asterisks on some of the typed events of the day. She doesn\u2019t feel like attending to any schedule that day.\r\n\r\nDropping the schedule on the table, she stretched her hand and picked up the neatly arranged mails on the table. Taking a glance at the mails one after the other, she smiled as she opened the last of them. As she read it, she smiled before dropping them back into her drawer. She picked a copy of one of the tabloids and scanned through the headlines, none seemed to capture her attention; no doubt she was already having a bad day. As she was still reading through the daily captions, her desk phone started ringing. Dropping the paper, she pressed a button as Vera\u2019s voice came on the line.\r\n\r\n\u201cMa\u2019am you have Mr. Bob on line three.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201c Ok, Thanks.\u201d She replied and pressed another button and Bob\u2019s voice came on air.\r\n\r\n\u201cMorning Angel.\u201d Bob greeted.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning Uncle.\u201d She replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow are you sweetheart?\u201d he asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m cool Uncle just had a bad night.\u201d she replied relaxing back on the seat.\r\n\r\n\u201cAh!\u201d Bob exclaimed, \u201cWhat was it about dear?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cDon\u2019t even want to think or talk about it now.\u201d She sighed.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy not drop by at the house after work and tell me about it. We can go see a movie at the Ozones.\u201d Bob offered.\r\n\r\n\u201cHmmm\u2026\u201d she thought for a while. \u201cA friend will be coming around this evening, so I don\u2019t think I can make it after work. And as for the movies, thanks, don\u2019t feel like it.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk. That reminds me,\u201d Bob continued. \u201cWhat happened to your phones? You weren\u2019t answering your calls last night.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOh! Sorry uncle,\u201d she apologized. \u201cI forgot to unsilenced it after the meeting yesterday.\u201d She didn\u2019t still do that after Lizzy called and returned it back without checking the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s ok dear, wanted to remind you of the meeting with Ampcom Investors today.\u201d Bob said.\r\n\r\n\u201cYea, my secretary has already briefed me on that but uncle, I don\u2019t think I will be able to be there, why not oversee everything.\u201d She said weakly.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy, is everything ok with you?\u201d Bob asked concerned.\r\n\r\nShe knew that was what was coming next.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m not just feeling myself and coupled with the dream, think I\u2019m having a bad day already.\u201d She explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk then, why not rest a little, I will take care of the meeting.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, thank you very much.\u201d She appreciated.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnything for you my little Angel.\u201d Bob retorted.\r\n\r\nClaire smiled shyly as if her uncle was standing before her before they said the goodbyes and Bob rang off\u2026\r\n\r\n******************************************\r\n\r\nPlease like and share our stories. Invite your friends to read also.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEpisode nine\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nThey had driven for fifteen minutes before he directed him off the tarred road to a local road. They drove for another ten minutes before he ordered him to take another turning which led them to an abandoned bungalow in the middle of nowhere.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d ordered him out and led him into the building which looked like some hideout place for criminals. In one of the rooms which he led him to was a seat and ropes littered around.\r\n\r\n\u201cSit down.\u201d Sly ordered the guy who hasn\u2019t said a word since he pulled a gun at him. Throwing a rope to him, he ordered him to secure his legs. Afterwards, he told him to get his hands behind the seat to which he got them tied tightly.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow here is the deal.\u201d He started. \u201cAnswer my questions correctly and we\u2019ll be done here before you know it while I take my leave, do you understand?\u201d\r\n\r\nThe guy nodded without a word.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor starters I\u2019ll go straight to the point. Who sent you to monitor her?\u201d he asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know what you are talking about.\u201d The guy responded holding his gaze.\r\n\r\n\u201cDo you think that is the best you can do in this situation? Nah I don\u2019t think so.\u201d Sly said placing the noose of the gun his knee cap. \u201cNow I\u2019m going to ask you again,\u201d he started, \u201cWho sent you and for what reason?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI told you already, I don\u2019t know what you are talking abou\u2026.\u201d Before he could drop the last word, Sly pulled the trigger shattering his knee cap.\r\n\r\nHe screamed falling with the seat as blood flowed from his shattered leg. Pulling him up, Sly took his position again before him unperturbed allowing the guy to grasp the situation and wallow in pain more before he resumed.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow that you know what I\u2019m capable of doing I\u2019ll ask you again, once. Who sent you and for what reason?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cGo to hell. We both know that there is no way I\u2019m leaving here alive so why not make it quick and kill me already.\u201d The guy bellowed through clenched teeth amidst pain.\r\n\r\nJust as the words came out from his mouth Sly shattered the second knee cap with another bang from the gun. The same process of screaming, falling and pulling up repeated itself as blood flowed covering the floor around the guy.\r\n\r\n\u201cI like you for one thing,\u201d Sly started, \u201cyou are staunch to the rule of the game; not ratting out on your contractor, but, you know whoever sent you doesn\u2019t care one bit about you. To him it\u2019s just business and whether you get killed or not it\u2019s none of his damn business. So once again who sent you?\u201d this time he placed the noose of the gun on his rib cage.\r\n\r\nThe visibly shaking guy, bleeding out writhing in pain looked at him pleadingly. The look he saw on Sly\u2019s face gave him no hope to plead for his life. He know that he was going to keep putting slugs into his body till he talks; it was only a matter of time.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know anything. We never met. I was only contacted by an unknown number and given the details of the victim.\u201d He cried anguishly.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat were your orders?\u201d Sly bellowed pushing the gun deep against his ribs.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was just told to monitor her movement while awaiting further instructions.\u201d He cried out.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat further instructions?\u201d Sly asked slowly with a sort of firmness in his voice.\r\n\r\n\u201cI wasn\u2019t told, I swear I wasn\u2019t.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI believe you have been paid for the job,\u201d Sly started more like a question. \u201cThrough which means were you paid.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI got a parcel delivered with half the payment, that\u2019s all. The other half was to come at the completion of the job.\u201d He said crying in pain.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor how long have you been on the job and how do you report back to your contractor?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m just one week on it and the number calls whenever he needs update or has information to pass across.\u201d\r\n\r\nStraightening up, sly walked back a bit and surveyed the guy. For a moment, he felt pity for him seeing that he was bleeding out. He know that there was no help or information the guy has to give anymore. He could see the pain he was in and needed to end his misery by giving him a quick death. Walking behind him, he pointed his gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The guy slumped immediately as his white membranes spilled out some splashing on Sly\u2019s face and cloth. Pulling out a handkerchief, he wiped his face.\r\n\r\nSettled on the Lexus, he typed a message on the phone he collected from the guy. \u2018Kunle it\u2019s me, Sly. I want you to help me check the last call made to this number and the location the call was made from, thanks\u2019\r\n\r\nAs the message was delivered, he drove off, leaving the vicinity.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\n\u2018The last call was made somewhere around Allen Avenue. The number is 041\u2026.. and about the registration. It\u2019s a sham\u2019\r\n\r\nSly read Kunle\u2019s message from the comfort of exquisitely furnished sitting room for the umpteenth time. It had been two days he has been waiting to get a call from the cell but none had come in. he\u2019d dialed the number after he got it de encrypted from Kunle but it has maintained switched off.\r\n\r\nWhile he waited, he had taken the two days off trying to piece the bits of information he\u2019d gathered together but it wasn\u2019t still forming a whole.\r\n\r\nHis main suspect was Mr. Olive. Recently, he got informed by one of his informants monitoring Mr. Olive\u2019s account that some amount to the tune of five million was withdrawn cash from his account. While Mr. Olive had seemed clean enough, Sly knew that nobody forgives nor forgets; atleast not for him. Even when some forgive, they never forget. The only thing not connecting was who the money was paid to.\r\n\r\nBiting his lower lip he regretted not asking the guy the amount he was paid for the operation. \u201cDamn\u201d, he cursed. How could he have been in such haste? Only one reason seemed to explain it, he\u2019d felt compassion for the guy and wanted to end his misery. He couldn\u2019t remember ever feeling compassion for anybody till Claire came into his life. She\u2019d created a soft spot in him unknowingly. He sighed regrettably relaxing back on to the couch deep in thought.\r\n\r\nJust like a flash, an idea came into his mind. Immediately, he sprang up from the couch and rushed to his garage where he\u2019d parked the Lexus with the hope of discarding it later on. Searching the glove compartment of the vehicle, he saw a wallet and some complimentary cards. He cross checked the complimentary cards; none seemed to match with anything that interest him. He flipped through the wallet and saw an ATM card and a folded piece of paper containing the perfect description of Claire\u2019s house and office apartment.\r\n\r\nRunning back into the room, he picked his phone and dialed one of his contact. The bank that own the ATM card is a new generation bank and he has nobody there. As the phone rang, he tapped his foot on the floor impatiently. He would have headed out to the ATM close by but he doesn\u2019t know the card details. The phone rang off without been answered forcing him to redial and just on the second time it was answered.\r\n\r\n\u201cCan you trace the details of an ATM from another bank?\u201d he asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cAfex bank.\u201d He replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk I will send it asap, thanks.\u201d He said ending the call.\r\n\r\nDropping the call, he typed the card number and name of the bank and sent to the number. After about ten minutes which had seemed like eternity to him, a message entered his phone. Impatiently he clicked it open.\r\n\r\n\u2018Name of account-Nick Alius. Amount-0.00. last date of transaction \u2026\u2026.\u2019\r\n\r\nHe heaved deep and cursed under his breath flinging the card away. \u201cWhat am I missing?\u201d He shouted pacing the length of his sitting room.\r\n\r\nAfter so much thought, he decided that he was going to contact and probably meet her.\r\n\r\nPlease read AND DROP A COMMENT\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEpisode ten\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\n\u201cHey!! Where is the supposed intruder?\u201d Lizzy said yawning and stretching on the bed.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning sweetheart.\u201d Claire greeted ignoring her remark.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nJust like Lizzy promised, she\u2019d dropped over for lunch the previous day and had insisted on passing the night at her place. She had objected but knowing who Lizzy is, she doesn\u2019t take no for an answer especially when coming from her.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve told you that you need a man around you; in your life, maybe this whole hallucination will stop, miss workaholic.\u201d She said making a face at Claire.\r\n\r\nClaire crumpled a piece of paper from her dressing table where she sat working with her laptop and threw it at her. \u201cAre you starting on me this morning?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m not starting on you just stating the obvious.\u201d Lizzy replied through yawning.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I will put that into consideration.\u201d Claire played her usual reply whenever Lizzy starts up her get a man gospel.\r\n\r\n\u201cPerfect Claire sweeping important issues under the carpet since 19BC.\u201d Lizzy said sitting up from the bed.\r\n\r\nClaire couldn\u2019t hold back the laughter as Lizzy said that.\r\n\r\n\u201cPerfect Lizzy bugging someone\u2019s life since 19AD.\u201d She replied laughing.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m not bugging your life just being a good friend. I don\u2019t want you to die a miserable virgin carrying all those things to the world beyond while some guys will actually give heaven and earth just to have them.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYea! Yea!! Thanks so much good friend,\u201d Claire said sarcastically. \u201cI will put that into consideration.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cIf you think you are going to put me off with that just know that you haven\u2019t seen the least coming. I\u2019m not giving up on you just like Jesus didn\u2019t give up on sinners.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOh!! Dear,\u201d Claire said hands on her chest. \u201cI\u2019m so touched sister Lizzy.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are just what I don\u2019t know.\u201d Lizzy said laughing at Claire\u2019s reaction.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nStanding from the bed, she walked to where Claire was sitting with her laptop and closed it.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo home culture at all. Don\u2019t you know that you are supposed to make coffee for your visitor first thing in the morning?\u201d Lizzy slammed\r\n\r\n\u201cOh!! Please,\u201d Claire started, \u201cwho is the visitor?\u201d she asked looking around laughing.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo I\u2019m not a visitor ba? I no reach to be called a visitor, issorite. Brother intruder please come this night o, she is going to be alone.\u201d Lizzy shouted walking out of the room throwing Claire into another fist of laughter.\r\n\r\n\u201cPlease help me with a cup too hun. No sugar o.\u201d Claire shouted behind her.\r\n\r\n\u201cTake your pea.\u201d Lizzy fired back.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*** *** ***\r\n\r\nSome one hour thirty minutes later saw them dressed and ready to leave for work. Lizzy had opted for Claire\u2019s car leaving hers behind since she was still going to pass the night again there.\r\n\r\n\u201cSo what\u2019s your schedule like today?\u201d Claire asked as they settled in the car before she turned the ignition.\r\n\r\n\u201cNothing much, have a date at lunchtime after that I\u2019m gon be in the shop throughout.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk seems like a free day for you.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYea Yea, what about you?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHave a couple of meetings to attend and that\u2019s all.\u201d She replied reversing to the gate.\r\n\r\nThe gate keeper was handy to open the gate as she drove out. Driving out, she saw a paper attached to the gate outside. She horned drawing the gateman\u2019s attention. She signaled him to get the paper to her.\r\n\r\nUnfolding the paper, she saw the exact pattern of writing in block letters again but this time with a different message. \u2018THE ENEMY IS WITHIN; TRUST NO ONE\u2019. Shocked, she stretched out the note to Lizzy who had her attention buried in her phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat is that?\u201d she asked collecting the note from her.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s this? Who sent it?\u201d she asked looking around after reading the words.\r\n\r\n\u201c I don\u2019t know.\u201d she replied driving quickly looking through the rear view and the side glasses.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m calling the police.\u201d Claire said with a frightened look as they connected to the main road off her street.\r\n\r\n\u2018And tell them what?\u201d Lizzy started looking around frantically. \u201cThat someone dropped a note at your gate? I don\u2019t think that\u2019s the best action to take.\u201d She concluded looking back to know if they were being followed.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat do you suggest I do? I\u2019m tired of all this.\u201d She cried. \u201cI\u2019m leaving this country for good.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHey pull over.\u201d Lizzy said tapping her on the shoulder.\r\n\r\nPulling up on the side walk, Claire parked as Lizzy stepped down and walked around to the driver\u2019s side and told her to move over to the passenger side. She couldn\u2019t watch and allow her drive in that condition. She was frightened too but had a better control over herself than Claire, who was already crying. Getting the car back into the road, Lizzy constantly checked her side and rear mirror to know if she could pick out a stalker but she couldn\u2019t.\r\n\r\n\u201cClaire,\u201d she started. \u201cThis needs to be handled discretely. Whoever dropped that note must have been following you. I don\u2019t know, but, I think he must be up to something which is making him send the warnings. Any attempt to go to the police might make him disappear.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat then am I supposed to do? Who have I offended? Should I just keep quiet till this dude puts a slug into my head, is that?\u201d Claire said amidst tears.\r\n\r\n\u201cHey babe calm down. Come to think of it, if this guy wanted you dead you would have been dead, I am sorry to say it.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy then is he hiding in the shadows? If he has something why can\u2019t he just come and talk to me instead of making my life miserable.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCalm down hun. I think I have an idea.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat is it?\u201d Claire asked inquisitively.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think you need to pretend like nothing happened and go about your normal life. I have a feeling that he will try to reach out to you.\u201d Lizzy said slowing down before the traffic light turned red.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo way in hell that I\u2019m doing that. I can\u2019t pretend like everything is normal when my life is at stake. I\u2019m definitely getting the SCD involved.\u201d Claire said dead serious.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat if this guy is right that the enemy is actually within; maybe amongst your friends, family people at work? What if he is right?\u201d Lizzy asked pressing down on the accelerator as the traffic light turned green.\r\n\r\n\u201cThen he should be bold enough to present whatever information he has to the police so that all this can end. Do I have to live in fear all my life?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNobody said you should live in fear all your life but, instead of involving the police, why don\u2019t we get a private investigator.\u201d Lizzy suggested.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo way. I ain\u2019t going to live that life again. I don\u2019t want to be followed around anymore. I\u2019d rather get the police involved.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cClaire listen to me. This is the second time you are getting a tip off from this guy. I suggest we handle it discretely without letting anybody know about it. It\u2019s obvious we don\u2019t know who to trust. I know of a private investigator. We can have him follow you from a distance while also looking for information on who might be after your life. This way we will be killing two birds with a stone. Going to the police might also give the enemy who we don\u2019t know the heads up to be smarter.\u201d\r\n\r\nClaire kept quiet for a moment thinking about what Lizzy said as she eased the car into her parking space. Deep in thought, she knew that Lizzy made some valid points but, what if these tip offs is a decoy. Who knows, the guy might just be looking for a clear part to carry out his plans. \u00a0How will she be able to keep it all to herself and not get her uncle involved? She knows that getting Bob involved was going to change everything as that is going to give him all the excuses he needs to have private security guards swimming around her. But on the contrary could she just pretend and live her life normally knowing that someone must possibly be following her?\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nAs he got his car parked at a different position away from Claire\u2019s vicinity he contemplated on whether he was making the right decision. He\u2019d never in his career question his own decision or second guessed himself but recently he was doing that a lot.\r\n\r\nStepping out from the vehicle he walked briskly down to Claire\u2019s gate. As he walked his hood covering his head, he looked around to know if he could pick out any unusual movement which he didn\u2019t. Dropping the note on the gate handle, he walked back to his car and waited for Claire.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d made up his mind to meet her and know if there was any information she could offer that would help him. He hoped she wouldn\u2019t panic and get the authorities involved as that would further hinder his operation.\r\n\r\nIt wasn\u2019t long before Claire drove out from her compound and had seen the note. From where he parked he couldn\u2019t see through the vehicle to actually know what was going on there; in the car.\r\n\r\nThey had parked for a moment before driving off. In his normal routine he waited for two minutes before turning to follow her. Unknown to him, he was also followed from a distance.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nGREG\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nParked at a distance away from where Sly parked was a guy on binocular viewing Claire\u2019s compound through it. He\u2019d been parked for almost three hours since dawn viewing the compound intermittently. Since he parked, he\u2019d been unable to find something tangible. Just when he was about to put down the binoculars and drive off something caught his sight.\r\n\r\nA guy just stepped out from his vehicle and was walking towards the gate he\u2019d been monitoring. He couldn\u2019t see his face as it was covered by the hood of his sweat shirt.\r\n\r\nPulling out his phone, he pressed down on a number and the phone went into speed dial.\r\n\r\n\u201cSir there is a situation.\u201d He said as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cSomebody just dropped a note at her gate.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo sir, I can\u2019t make out his face.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk sir, on it.\u201d He concluded and dropped the call.\r\n\r\nAfter the call he waited as his curiosity has been aroused he\u2019d been ordered to eliminate the guy before proceeding to follow the girl. Not long after the guy dropped the note that the gate opened and the girl drove out. He saw from his binoculars as the gate man took the note to her.\r\n\r\nWhen the girl finally drove off after waiting for a while, the guy turned and followed her. He waited before trailing them as well.\r\n\r\nAs he followed them, he made sure to keep his distance in other not to arouse their suspicion. Pulling out a pistol from his glove compartment, he readied it for action.\r\n\r\nHe was two cars behind his target when he noticed him pulling over. Slowing down, he allowed more vehicles to move ahead of him before pulling over. Viewing through the binoculars, he noticed that ahead of the guy was the young lady\u2019s car parked. He saw another girl move around to the driver\u2019s side before the car pulled back into the road. The guy followed suit while he also turned his ignition and entered the road.\r\n\r\nHis perfect opportunity to drive by and take him out came when the traffic ahead turned red. He had overtaken some vehicles before him in other to close the gap between him and the guy. He was close behind him when another vehicle suddenly made a quick turn blocking him off. Cursing under his breath, he tried to make a reverse but had seemed trapped as cars behind closed in on him.\r\n\r\nSwearing at the car before him which the driver didn\u2019t seem to care, he honk severally, frustrated. Not even the loud sound of his horn seemed to get to the old man who would rather keep looking straight than sparing him a glance.\r\n\r\nHe had given up in annoyance when the blaring of his horn started attracting undue attention to him waiting for the traffic light to turn back green.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHe noticed Claire\u2019s left trafficator beeping from the distance, he kept behind her as the car slowed down and pulled over to the side walk. He pulled over and watched on. He\u2019d seen a girl step down from the other side of the car walking around to the driver\u2019s side.\r\n\r\nAs the car went back into the road, he also followed suit. A long truck had found its way between his car and two other vehicles ahead keeping him five cars behind Claire. Just as he managed to overtake the two vehicles before him, the truck took to the center of the road not giving him a chance to get ahead of it even after trying from both sides. He had stopped trying when the traffic light ahead turned red just as Claire\u2019s car crossed.\r\n\r\nHe didn\u2019t need to rush anymore as he relaxed back waiting on the traffic light knowing that he was still going to meet Claire at her work place.\r\n\r\nAs the traffic light ticked on slowly, he noticed through the rear view a car driving up behind him but was suddenly blocked off by an old man who had suddenly made a lane switch. He couldn\u2019t help but laugh at the frustrated guy who kept blasting his horn at the old man who didn\u2019t seem to care. The scene behind him had been amusing as he remembered his frustration at trying to overtake the long truck before him.\r\n\r\nHe was looking still looking through the rear view at the guy who had resigned in frustration as the light turned green. Turning his ignition, he eased the car into motion. Stepping hard on the accelerator he overtook the long truck which seemed to be gathering up speed.\r\n\r\nShort distance away, he noticed through the side view the same car speeding carelessly, overtaking cars from both sides. His sense became alert as he didn\u2019t know whether the guy was on an emergency or trailing him.\r\n\r\nNot wanting to take chances, he pressed down hard on the accelerator gaining some distance ahead. Having gained some distance, he turned his trafficator and took a bend off the highway. Covering another short distance, he parked and came down moving away as fast as he could from the car, his gun readily tucked into his trouser covered by his sweat shirt.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nFrom where he stood away from his car, he saw the car come into view at a high speed stopping a little distance away. Immediately, he confirmed that he was being followed. He watched the car park for a while contemplating whether to approach it or not. Just as he made up his mind and was approaching the car, it zoomed off leaving a cloud of dust behind. Running back to his car, he penned down the registration number of the car. Pulling the car out from where he parked, he dialed a number on his phone\u2026.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nSettled in the comfort of her office she thought deeply about what she discussed with Lizzy. Lizzy had been of the strong opinion that they keep the information and handle it discreetly. Before Lizzy left with her car she\u2019d admonished her to be careful and talk to no one while she contacts her private investigator friend.\r\n\r\nClaire had told her to stand down till she thinks things through. Since Lizzy was going to come back to her house later, she had persuaded her to take her car against taking a taxi. She was strongly contemplating on telling her uncle or not when her phone started ringing. \u201cTalking of the devil\u201d, she muttered picking the phone from the table. As she answered the call, she knew she couldn\u2019t keep such information away from him. He was going to insist on getting the authorities involved but she was going to make sure he didn\u2019t go down that lane.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning uncle.\u201d She greeted as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m fine and you?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes I just came in.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk\u2026.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe dropped the cell on the table as the line disconnected and relaxed back waiting for the arrival of Bob who told her that he was on his way to her office.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nGREG\r\n\r\n*****\u00a0 *****\r\n\r\nIt wasn\u2019t long before the traffic light turned green and cars started moving. He couldn\u2019t wait and just when he saw the little chance he needed he overtook the old man cursing.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d kept stepping on the accelerator in other to cover up the distance between him and the guy on hood who seemed not aware of being followed.\r\n\r\nAs he covered some distance, few cars away from his target, he noticed the sudden increase in the car\u2019s acceleration. Cursing, knowing that he has blown his cover, he increased the speed of the car.\r\n\r\nThe guy seemed good as he has given him much distance that he barely managed to still have a faint view of his tail light. Suddenly he noticed the cars trafficator blinking as the car swerved off the road taking a bend. He pressed down on his accelerator not to miss him.\r\n\r\nPulling off the high way taking the same bend he couldn\u2019t see the car anymore.\u201cDamn it!!\u201d He cursed hitting the steering hard. Pulling out his phone, he pressed down again on number one and the phone speed dialed a number. This wasn\u2019t the way he ran his operation but with ten million naira bounty; five million already paid, his contractor had requested to be updated with every development.\r\n\r\n\u201cI lost him.\u201d He said as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think he picked me out before I could get to him.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe kept mute as the voice from the other end cursed and bemoaned his incompetence after which he ordered him to go back and keep an eye on the young lady. Easing the car into motion cursing he failed to notice the guy on hood approaching him\u2026\r\n\r\nEpisode twelve\r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\nDriving into the office complex his heart skipped when he looked at Claire\u2019s parking space and couldn\u2019t see her car. Picking his phone from the tray board he dialed her number.\r\n\r\nConfirmed that she was in the office, he pulled up in his space and picking his briefcase he exited the car and headed into the complex.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood morning sweetheart, how was your night?\u201d he responded to Claire\u2019s greetings as he entered her office.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy night was ok uncle,\u201d she replied. \u201cHow about yours?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cMine wasn\u2019t cool. I saw a dream.\u201d He\u2019d replied.\r\n\r\nShe had urged him on as he narrated the dream to her. After narrating his dream, he looked intently at her as she seemed lost in thought.\r\n\r\n\u201cAre you ok?\u201d he asked breaking into her thought\r\n\r\n\u201cYe..yes,\u201d she replied snapping out from her thought.\r\n\r\n\u201cI am of the strong opinion that we should\u2026\u201d he started but stopped as Claire stretched out a piece of paper to him.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat is that?\u201d he asked collecting the piece of paper from her.\r\n\r\n\u201cI saw it in front of my gate this morning.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSame pattern of writing, who is this guy?\u201d Bob asked rhetorically. \u201cI think we should get back your orderlies.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle no.\u201d she protested immediately. \u201cI\u2019m not going through that life again.\r\n\r\n\u201cSweetheart this is the only available option left for us. We will get the police involved and while they are at it investigating, your body guards will be doing their job, protecting you. I don\u2019t want to take chances with this guy. I can\u2019t leave with myself should anything happen to you.\u201d He persisted.\r\n\r\n\u201cNothing is going to happen to me. If this guy hasn\u2019t killed me till this moment then, I think he is not out to harm me.\u201d She said defensively surprised at herself.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou\u2019ve got to be kidding me right? It\u2019s only a matter of time before he executes his plans and that\u2019s a risk I can\u2019t take.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBut uncle what if this guy knows something? What if he is right about an enemy leaving within?\u201d she asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cThen he should provide us with concrete evidence or go to the SCD with it and spare everybody this feeling of physical and emotional insecurity and harm.\u201d Bob retorted.\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle please, I know you want the best for me but, I think we should handle this discretely. If this guy knows something or is unto something, getting the SCD and private security might scare him off thereby leaving the actual treat walking freely to orchestrate his plans.\u201d She explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can\u2019t believe you are buying into this guy\u2019s ideology already.\u201d Bob said with a countenance of disappointment.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m not buying into any of his Ideology. I just think we should be discrete. That way, we can get more information from him if he has any but if this is a wolf\u2019s cry, we can set him up and get him apprehended.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cGetting the SCD involved is the best discretion we can give to this now.\u201d Bob persisted.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo Uncle, no private security or SCD. I have a plan.\u201d She started.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I\u2019m listening.\u201d He said relaxing back to his seat.\r\n\r\n\u201cActually I was with Lizzy this morning when I saw the note. She knows a private investigator who can be able to watch me from a distance and also investigate to know who actually is a bad egg in the company. I\u2019m just going to keep to my normal routine like nothing changed. This might spur him to try another tip off or ask for a meet and then we can get him there.\u201d She explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd you think he\u2019d be careless enough not to see through this plan of yours?\u201d Bob asked with a note of resignation. \u201cI\u2019m still of the strong opinion that we should get the authorities involved. With them around you, I can sleep easy.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe chuckled \u201cIf we play this right, I don\u2019t see him noticing a foul play or suspecting anything. She said reassuringly.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn as much as I am not in full support of this your idea, don\u2019t keep anything away from me. I want to be kept in the loop every step on the way.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cC\u2019mon Uncle, have I ever kept anything from you? I can\u2019t start now.\u201d Claire said.\r\n\r\n\u201cI know sweetheart, just trying to remind you before he convinces you otherwise.\u201d He said smiling.\r\n\r\n\u201cNooo,\u201d she protested. \u201cNobody can do that.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd what do you know about this guy that Lizzy is contacting?\u201d he asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cNothing for now uncle but, it seems she knows him and is sure of his works. I\u2019ll still meet with him.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBefore any step is taken, I will want to meet with him too. I can\u2019t hand your life and security to someone I don\u2019t know of his credibility so, tell Lizzy to set up a meeting.\u201d Bob said with a note of finality.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes sir!\u201d she replied laughing.\r\n\r\nThey had discussed further before he decided to leave for a meeting he had scheduled. Standing from his sit he made for the door before turning, \u201c Your car is not parked outside.\u201d He said more like a question.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, Lizzy left with it. She will pick me up for lunch.\u201d She explained.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk then, see you when I get back and do have a nice day.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou too uncle.\u201d She replied behind him as he left her office.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nShe hadn\u2019t anticipated that convincing her uncle not to get the authorities involved would\u2019ve been that easy. She had always known him to be staunch on everything concerning her security and wouldn\u2019t spare anything getting her protected.\r\n\r\nAs she saw him leave her office, she was so happy for having convinced him otherwise. As he left, he placed a call to Lizzy and told her to make the call as well as set up a meeting between them.\r\n\r\nAfter the call, she\u2019d cancelled all her appointments for the day. Standing from her table, she went around and laid on the sofa as her mind wandered away.\r\n\r\nEpisode thirteen\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nDown between his laps, Nellisa knelt giving him a deep throat. She was so good at it that he felt his brain spilling out through his nose with pleasure. Groaning like one possessed, he kept pushing up his waist to get more of himself into her mouth.\r\n\r\nNellisa seemed to have got him under control as she expertly pushed down his waist to avoid him drilling a hole through her throat. Pulling up her head, she released half his shaft before going back deep again having the whole length of him in her mouth. She cupped and squeezed his balls gently sending bolts of pleasure through his being leaving him jerking like a leaf under the rain.\r\n\r\nShe had been on it so long to know that he was close. Pulling up again, she took in half of his length and started running her lips tight around his shaft slowly, up and down.\r\n\r\nShe was enjoying the ecstatic countenance over his face as he looked lost in pleasure while she did what she knew how to do best.\r\n\r\nHe was far beyond lost in the land of pleasure as she worked wonders on his member. Moaning, he kept thrusting up but she\u2019d pinned down his waist restricting his movement. Each time he felt close, she always pulled off pushing back his cum.\r\n\r\nAfter a while, she pulled out and forming her fingers into a tight ring around his shaft started stroking him fast.\r\n\r\nNot long she felt him shaking vigorously. His waist became unsteady as he kept pushing up. His whole being shook under her giving her that awesome feeling knowing that he is always a leaf under her. She knew that he was close. Just like she timed it, on getting her mouth over his tip he exploded. She kept gulping down sprouts after sprouts of his cum to the last drop\r\n\r\nStanding up, she adjusted her skirt and pulled up her bra to cup her boobs which he\u2019d pulled out during their pre intimacy. She was soaked and dripping but couldn\u2019t help it; it was that time of the month for her. Giving him a naughty smile as he laid wasted on the couch, she wiggled her waist off to the bathroom to clean up.\r\n\r\nHe laid on the couch recuperating from the awesome blowjob which Nellisa just gave him; just what he needed at the moment. He had needed something to clear his mind off Claire. For whatever reason, he\u2019d been making some little careless mistakes which had never happened. How could he not have picked a stalker till he was so close to him?\r\n\r\nAfter he shook off the guy, he\u2019d decided that he needed to clear his head off Claire so that he could think straight. The whole compassion and missing out bits of vital information and clues have got to stop. Whenever he felt like clearing his mind, he knows who to call; Nellisa.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nNellisa has been his friend right from his final year in the university. She was also in her finals then. They had taken a great liken to each other and had heated it off; what they tagged FWB. No feelings, no emotions, everything was for fun. Nellisa knew that he was a dreaded cultist but never cared. She\u2019d harbored, hid and protected him on some occasions when things really got bad.\r\n\r\nTheir affair had continued till after graduation and they still kept in touch. He\u2019d never given NYSC a thought, so, as Nelly as he fondly calls her went for the NYSC, he concentrated on building his career; hit man\/assassin.\r\n\r\nOne year after NYSC Nelly was finding it hard getting a job. Sly had pulled a few strings and gotten her a job with the FLC (federal licensing commission). He knows that there, she was going to be very useful to him and never has she disappointed him.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHe had called her up that morning asking for her presence. She already knew the game and had told him that she was feeling \u2018crampy\u2019 as it was that time of the month for her. He had opted to send her a message but she\u2019d waved it off telling him that she was on her way.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\u201cHey! I gats roll.\u201d Nelly say coming into the sitting room bringing him back from his reminiscence.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, let me change and dropped you off.\u201d He said sitting up from the couch.\r\n\r\n\u201cNah don\u2019t worry. I\u2019ve got places to go before heading home.\u201d She said corking her eyes at him.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk then, gimme a min.\u201d he said walking up the stairs.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nComing back to the room, \u201cThis is for your Tfare and I need every detail to this number, nothing should be left out.\u201d He said handing two wads of five hundred naira notes and a piece of paper containing the registration number of the trailer who was on him.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk boss.\u201d Nelly replied throwing him a mock salute. \u201cSee you when I see you.\u201d She continued heading towards the exit.\r\n\r\n\u201cI need everything asap.\u201d He said behind her.\r\n\r\n\u201cI know, as always.\u201d She said turning around to face him. \u201cAnd I\u2019m sorry about this,\u201d placing a hand on her bikini line, \u201cI will make it up to you.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo probs.\u201d He replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk hun, see ya.\u201d......\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*********\r\n\r\nNot like him anymore. He\u2019d thought that inviting Nelly over would help clear his head off Claire but, that seemed not to be the case as his mind was still glued to her.\r\n\r\nAs he laid on his couch after a short nap, he thought deeply on the next action to take. He thought hard to find what it was that he was missing but he couldn\u2019t place it. After much thought, he sprang up, threw his shirt over and headed out.\r\n\r\nTaking a bike he directed him to Claire\u2019s office complex. For one he didn\u2019t want to go with any of his cars as parked cars always draw attentions. Again, the guy tailing him must have seen his face and no doubt could recognize his car, so, ditching his cars was the only option left for him.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nDropping some poles away, he paid off the bike man and trekked the short distance down. It was almost close of work time but, as he walked, Claire\u2019s car zoomed pass entering the complex. He slowed down his step watching the car as two people; the girl who he seen with her in the morning and a guy he couldn\u2019t recognize stepped out from it.\r\n\r\nWalking off the road a short distance away from where he had a good view of what goes on in the complex he called\u00a0 a mobile cobbler, an \u2018aboki\u2019 to attend to his slippers. He monitored the surrounding looking for anything suspicious but couldn\u2019t find any.\r\n\r\nNot long after he paid off the cobbler that he saw Claire walk out with the girl. They had entered her car and drove off without the guy. He had an inkling to wait a little and that he did. Some minutes later, the young man stepped through the automatic door and headed towards the road. As he watched the young man walk away, an instinct told him that he wasn\u2019t just an office acquaintance. The way he looked around as he walked had something to it. To be on a safer side, he had to assume that a private investigator or security guard has been hired.\r\n\r\nFrom a distance he followed the guy till he boarded a taxi. Jumping another cab, he instructed him to keep an eye on the third cab ahead of them which was the one carrying the young man.\r\n\r\nHe had followed him till the guy took a bend heading towards Claire\u2019s residence. Confirmed, he instructed the cabbie to move on heading to his house.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nGREG\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nHe despised insults in discharging his duty but, he has gotten loads of them from his current contractor. The process he was following wasn\u2019t how he worked. He never had to report step by step of his operation to a contractor but that was what he\u2019d found himself doing. When the details of the contract was been discussed over the phone, he\u2019d wanted to call it off and walk away but the monetary offer had been so tempting that posterity wouldn\u2019t have forgiven him if he had rejected the offer. Fifty percent of the operation fee was delivered before he even took a step in the contract, which had spurred his interest. But, over time, his interest in the job was waning.\r\n\r\nFirst, his orders had been to follow the girl and await instructions to eliminate her. He had been asked to report any and every move she made outside her office, who she met, talked to, everything to the contractor daily.\r\n\r\nHe had already followed the girl for a couple of days and was already tired of it. Albeit, he wasn\u2019t finding the job fun as he presumed it would be. For one, the girl led a simple and boring life from his judgment; not to add her workaholic nature which he had found depressing. He had wondered if the girl had a social life at all, but, since it wasn\u2019t his job to worry about her social life, he stuck to going through the depressing routine of following her to work and back.\r\n\r\nStill lost in his thought over a bottle of scotch, his cell rang cutting through his thoughts. He had bought a new line for the job as the contractor requested. Looking at the screen he contemplated on taking the call. He didn\u2019t want to, but, business remained business to him. He was already in and for the sake of his reputation he wasn\u2019t going to back out. Clearing his throat, he relaxed on the couch, a cup of scotch in his hand as he answered the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes\u2026\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cGive me a description.\u201d He said putting down the cup and taking up a biro ready to scribe down on a piece of paper.\r\n\r\n\u201cFair, broad chest, late twenties, a mark on the neck.\u201d He repeated as he jotted down.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, consider it done.\u201d\r\n\r\nGulping the remaining content of his cup, he slammed the cup down on his glass table. Picking up his gun, he headed out leaving the piece of paper behind.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued...!!\r\n\r\nEpisode fourteen\r\n\r\n*********\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nName: Vince Greg.\r\n\r\nResidence: 16 Hillview Avenue.\r\n\r\nDate of Reg: 5th May, 2015\u2026\u2026\u2026. That\u2019s your guy.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAfter reading the text message from Nellisa, he stood up, picked his keys and left. Driving out, he began to map out plan of action in his head.\r\n\r\nFew poles away from 13 Hillview Avenue, he parked and stepped down walking the remaining distance down to 16.\r\n\r\nIt was a fenced duplex that had a big gate to it. Walking past the building, he noticed that it shared no boundary with any other building, unlike others. Again, the gate had a padlock to it which signified that he doesn\u2019t have a gate keeper and probably lives alone; typical life of a contract killer. The building stood alone, away from other buildings.\r\n\r\nTaking a bend behind the building, he walked cautiously and expertly scaled the fence. Pulling out his gun as he touched down inside the compound, he tiptoed to survey the compound. He surveyed the not so large compound for any possible surprise. Satisfied as he found none, he walked back to the back of the building where a door which probably led into the house stood.\r\n\r\nPicking a lock had always been an easy fry for him and that one wasn\u2019t different. Within two minutes he found his way into the building. He walked the corridor which led him into the kitchen. Looking around, he knows that the kitchen may have not seen life for a while.\r\n\r\nHe left the kitchen and took the adjacent door which opened to the dining room and the sitting room further. As he entered the room, he scanned around for any sign of a camera. Instincts have thought that the first thing to always check for when breaking into a building was a camera. He knows the perfect places where a camera could be hidden in a room and made sure to scan those angles. Satisfied that there was none, he walked pass the dining room to the sitting room. On the table closer to one of the couches was a bottle of scotch, a glass cup and a piece of paper with biro.\r\n\r\nPicking up the piece of paper, he read the description which was written on it. Muffling a curse under his breath he headed back from where he came in. Securing the picked door from where he came in, he scaled the fence out and hurried to his car. He avoided running to avert people looking at him suspiciously. Few poles to his car, he practically ran up to it and within few seconds he was speeding down the high way. Son of a bitch, he cursed loudly\u2026\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nGREG\r\n\r\nWith anger and distaste for the job which was already giving him regrets he parked away from his normal spot and decided to walk. His gun safely tucked in his waist covered by his blue T-shirt over a jean he walked casually down the street. It looked like a casual walk but it was meant not to arouse suspicion from people around especially the one he was after. As he walked, he surveyed around through the corners of his eyes for his target. He had not walked long when he spotted a perfect match. Bingo! He muttered and kept walking down.\r\n\r\nGetting to a magazine\/daily store at the end of the street, he bought a copy of one of the day\u2019s newspaper and headed back the way he came. A little away from the store, he pulled his .38 and sandwiched it into the newspaper folding it perfectly.\r\n\r\nWalking pass the joint where his target sat, he stopped on his track and turned like he forgot something. His order was clear. \u2018Take the private eye out, no collateral except if the need be or in other to secure his exit.\u2019 Calling on the mallam who sold little provisions on the store, he pulled out his wallet and handed him a note of one thousand naira demanding for a loaf of bread.\r\n\r\nHe kept an eye on his target who sat unsuspectingly not giving a rat f*ck about him. As the mallam turned to get his balance he knew that was the only chance he had. Pulling his gun out, he squeezed the trigger send three shots into his target who dropped dead instantly.\r\n\r\nPandemonium broke out as people around scampered for safety. That gave him the needed opportunity as he escaped through the confusion running nonstop to his car. If only he knew the surprise that awaits him.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*********\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nHe took a bend, tires screeching, he nearly missed it. Parked by the road on the pedestrian walk way was the same car with matching registration number. Reversing the car, he drove a distance away and parked. He stepped down pressing the automatic lock as the sound of gun shots exploded. As he stood contemplating on the next step to take, he saw motorists speeding out from the street. He made to walk into the street and saw him running out from the street tucking his gun into his cloth.\r\n\r\nConcluding that the deed has been done, he stepped back into his car and waited. He saw him enter his car and speed off before getting down his car and accosting a young man who just ran out from the street and was impatiently waiting to cross the busy road.\r\n\r\n\u201cHello! Please I\u2019m about to enter that street but I heard gun shots, do you have any idea what happened there?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHmmm!! Oga, if you know what is good for you just turn and start going back. They just killed one man for that side now now.\u201d The guy said and without waiting for another question ran across the road.\r\n\r\nHe hurried back into the car and sped off the same direction Greg took. He softened on the accelerator not wanting to catch up with him. He had an instinct that he was headed home so he drove at a moderate speed heading back to Greg\u2019s abode.\r\n\r\nLeaving his car in the same position as before, he trekked the remaining distance down. As he got infront of Greg\u2019s house, he noticed the tire marks which weren\u2019t there before. Also the padlock that secured the gate before wasn\u2019t in place anymore which was a clear indication that someone had gained entrance into the building.\r\n\r\nConfirming that he had no attention to himself, he took the usual bend and walked behind the building. He scaled the fence and landed cautiously in the compound pulling out his gun. Carefully he nudged the door and gained entrance into the hallway leading to the kitchen. He heard a voice talking on the phone and trailed it. The voice led him to the sitting room where he saw Greg relaxed on the couch with a cup of scotch at hand. On the table close to him was the same bottle of scotch and a Wesson and smith pistol. Greg had his eyes fixed on the cup on his hand paying attention to the person on the other end of the phone as he didn\u2019t notice the figure advancing towards him.\r\n\r\nPointing the gun to his head, sly walked into the room step after step till he was few steps away from him. He saw the shocked expression on his face as he turned and saw him pointing a gun to his head. He made to rush for his gun but Sly was close enough to kick it away signaling him to stay still and keep talking on the phone. Wanting to hear the caller he told him to turn the phone to speak out. Greg obeyed without hesitation as a voice echoed from the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood job. Take some time off and await further instruction.\u201d The caller said and they hard a click as the call ended. Sly replayed the voice immediately on his head, no doubt, it was masked.\r\n\r\n\u201cWho are you and how did you get in here?\u201d Greg asked the only question that came to his mind.\r\n\r\nGiving a low laugh, he enjoyed the confused and frightened look spread across Greg\u2019s face.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t think that\u2019s the right question you should be asking. The right question should be what do I want from you but, before then, I think we should get introduced. I\u2019m Sly, the trailer of the trailer and you are?\u201d he asked with a grin.\r\n\r\nGreg stayed mute staring at the gun pointed to his head weighing his escape options. For everything he knew he had no plan.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I will presume you don\u2019t have a name Vince Greg.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe enjoyed the look of surprise that came and disappeared on Greg\u2019s face replaced with the look of faked composure.\r\n\r\n\u201cIntroductions over. Now let\u2019s get down to business.\u201d He said pulling out cuffs from his pocket. He threw it to him and nodded. Greg didn\u2019t need to be told what he meant as he got his hands cuffed. \u201cNow to why I\u2019m here,\u201d he continued. \u201cI want to make it quick and get the hell out of the place in the shortest time.\u201d He said taking a breath waiting for what he said to sink into his head. \u201cNow, who sent you after Claire, me and the person you just killed?\u201d\r\n\r\nGreg still kept mute blinking his eyes as it got tired of staring at the gun. He knew that there was no way he was getting out alive not when he just killed someone. He\u2019d made up his mind to keep mute to all his questions, not like he knew much anyway.\r\n\r\n\u201cSeriously, you don\u2019t want to go down this lane with me.\u201d Sly said with stern seriousness emptying the chambers of his revolver. He picked a bullet from the floor and slotted it back into one of the chambers and rolled it before latching it back. \u201cI\u2019m going to ask you one more time, who sent you.\u201d He walked behind him placing the noose of the gun on his neck line. Without waiting for an answer he pulled the trigger which produced a click. He noticed as Greg tightened his neck muscles before pulling on the trigger again and again.\r\n\r\nAs he heard the third click from the gun he started shivering as his faked courage left him.\r\n\r\n\u201cWait!!\u201d he shouted\u00a0 but Sly was determined to give him a bullet for making him ask twice and to further motivate him for his next question.\r\n\r\nHe made to shout again but felt a terrible pain and hotness as the bang deafened him with the bullet piercing its way down into him. He made to jerk up but Sly\u2019s strong arm pulled him down to the seat as blood gushed out soaking up part of the sofa.\r\n\r\nWalking back to his former position he picked another bullet and slotted it into the chamber rolling it before latching it back without a word to Greg who was writhing in pain. Taking two steps further he pointed the gun to his knee cap and pulled the trigger which produced a click. He smiled and asked, \u201cWho sent you.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe didn\u2019t wait to hear another click before he shouted painfully, \u201cI don\u2019t know, I was just contacted and given orders.\u201d\r\n\r\nGiving another low laugh, \u201cAnd you expect me to believe you.\u201d He asked raising an eyebrow.\r\n\r\n\u201cI swear to God I don\u2019t know.\u201d Greg repeated sobbing painfully. \u201cI only receive orders through the phone. I never met with anybody.\u201d He cried painfully as blood kept gushing out from his shoulder.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow let\u2019s say I believe you. What are you orders?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m dead already right?\u201d he asked through pain.\r\n\r\nFor an answer Sly squeezed the trigger once again and a click was produced. Greg swore under his breath before answering.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was just told to monitor the girl and await further instructions. When you came into the picture, I was instructed to take you out but unfortunately I lost you. That\u2019s all.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cUnfortunately you lost me.\u201d Sly repeated smiling. \u201cLet\u2019s say I believe you again. The guy you killed today, what\u2019s his connection to all of this?\u201d\r\n\r\nBreathing heavily through pain he demanded for water as he was bleeding out. The demand earned him a squeeze of the trigger which produced a bullet shattering his knee. He screamed as another bolt of pain exploded inside of him throwing him off the sofa to the floor as he convulsed in pain on the floor.\r\n\r\nSly picked another bullet and repeated the same process as before without making any effort to pull him up. Walking up to where he laid on the floor writhing in pain bleeding profusely he pressed his foot down on his leg. Squatting, he placed the gun on his crotch.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow about the document, what do you know?\u201d he asked staring down at his face. Smile touched the corners of his lips as he watched the shocked expression on Greg\u2019s face mixed with pain. \u201cYou think I don\u2019t know about the details of the job?\u201d he smirked. \u201cI know every detail. As a matter of fact I was the first contracted to do this job but I had asked myself, what would it benefit me to kill an innocent young girl? That was not how business worked for me. So to the question, what do you know?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo\u2026.. nothing. I haven\u2019t found it yet.\u201d Greg cried in agony.\r\n\r\nSly cursed under his breath. \u2018Then what do you know about the contractor?\u201d He asked pressing the noose of the gun hard to his groin.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know much,\u201d Greg started aguishly. \u201cHe only contacts me through a number.\u201d He said gesturing his head to the phone on the table. \u201cWhenever there is an update I give it to him through the number, that\u2019s all I know.\u201d\r\n\r\nStanding up, Sly picked the phone from the table and pressed a button clicking on the contact list. There was just a number saved on the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen next are you going to be contacted?\u201d He asked frustrated.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know. He said I should take the time off, plea\u2026.\u201d\r\n\r\nBefore he could complete the word, Sly squeezed the trigger which sent the bullet straight into Greg\u2019s head leaving him dead immediately. Pocketing the phone, he went out through the same way he came in.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode fifteen\r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE.\r\n\r\n\u201cTurn to the news.\u201d She heard Bob say as she answered the phone.\r\n\r\nTurning the channel from Nat Geo world which is her favorite station to Channels TV with Lizzy firing her shots from where she laid on the sofa.\r\n\r\nAs Channels TV came on, the first headline that greeted them was the picture of a young man murdered. Lizzy sprang from where she laid and walked towards the TV to get a clearer view while Claire relaxed back stunned and shocked.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt can\u2019t be\u2026 no it can\u2019t\u201d Lizzy said looking confused, tears gathering in her eyes. She stood in front of the television hands on her head as tears dripped down her eyes while Claire cried from the couch.\r\n\r\nThey couldn\u2019t believe it. Someone they just met few hours ago. For some reason Lizzy failed to believe the news. Rushing back to her previous position, she took her phone and started dialing a number. After some minutes of trying unsuccessfully to get through to the number, she let the phone slip from her hand and dropped to the floor crying.\r\n\r\nClaire would have gone to console her friend but, was she any better. She wasn\u2019t sobbing out loud but was shedding a great deal of tears. For once she wished that they\u2019d let the young man be and contacted the SCD. She regretted not listening to her uncle.\r\n\r\nThe alarm from the door shook them both out of their mood. Lizzy had stopped crying out loud but was still in her position on the floor sobbing while Claire was with her own thoughts seated on the couch. The alarm sounded again as they looked at each other; fear and uncertainty written over their faces. As they were still contemplating silently to answer the door or not, Claire\u2019s phone started ringing.\r\n\r\nPulling it out from the couch crack she checked for the caller before tapping on the receiver option.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, coming.\u201d She said standing up. \u201cIt\u2019s my uncle.\u201d She repeated casually to Lizzy who was looking inquisitively as she walked to the door.\r\n\r\n\u201cSweetheart! Are you ok?\u201d Bob asked gathering her into a bear hug as the door opened. \u201cWhere is Lizzy?\u201d he asked.\r\n\r\nShe gestured her head into the room standing stiffly while her uncle consoled her, patting her back. Walking into the room holding hands, they met Lizzy who stood up to greet Bob. She also got a hug of comfort and some consoling words from him.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think we should get the SCD involved now.\u201d Claire said with a tone laced with guilt staring away from him in shame as they settled down in different sits.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, I have already placed a complaint and taken care of everything. They will be here soon to ask some questions; standard procedure.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhere did it happen?\u201d Lizzy asked as Bob dropped his last comment.\r\n\r\n\u201cFew poles away from here. Whoever killed him must have followed him down here.\u201d\r\n\r\nThey were still talking when the door alarm rang. \u201cThis must be them, the SCD.\u201d Bob said walking to get the door.\r\n\r\nBehind Bob walking into the room were two men, the same from the hospital; Owel and Donald.\r\n\r\n\u201cGood evening ladies.\u201d Owel greeted as Bob waved them to a double sitter. The ladies just nodded mumbling inaudible words.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are going to be straight and fast here ladies,\u201d Owel started taking a breath before he continued. \u201cWe have been briefed about everything but, apart from the three of you, is there any other person who knows about your connection with the deceased?\u201d\r\n\r\nClaire shook her head in negation looking at Lizzy to know if she had something contrary to say but she also shook her head while Owel\u2019s eyes trailed the both of them.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe were also made to understand that prior to hiring the deceased you have been getting warning notes from the suspected killer, is that right?\u201d\r\n\r\nShe nodded in affirmation looking away from the officer, guilt ridden.\r\n\r\n\u201cIs there anything you can tell us about him?\u201d\r\n\r\nClearing her throat, \u201cThe last note he dropped was the first after the previous incident. There is nothing I know about him apart from that.\u201d\r\n\r\nOwel was about asking another question when his cell started vibrating inside his pocket. Pulling it out he flipped the lid and placed it on his ear,\r\n\r\n\u201cOwel speaking.\u201d He said\r\n\r\n\u201cWhere?\u2026\u2026.. Ok, on our way.\u201d He said and ended the call. \u201cI just got information concerning the case, we have to be on our way.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe ladies and Mr. Bob looked surprised as the officers stood up to go.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd I hope there is been nothing kept from us this time.\u201d Owel said looking accusingly around the room.\r\n\r\nClaire nodded in affirmation, looking away before Bob spoke up. \u201cOfficer there is nothing hidden from you.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk then, if he makes any contact again don\u2019t hesitate to let us know.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSure officer, we won\u2019t hesitate.\u201d Bob replied. \u201cAnd please we\u2019d like to be kept informed on any development on the case.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, drop by in our office tomorrow.\u201d Owel said before they left.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nGetting to his car he pulled out his phone and typed a message to Kunle. \u2018I need everything you can get on this number, 081\u2026\u2026\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter he sent the message he\u2019d opened his glove compartment and picked a pack of sim card and a small phone. Slotting the SIM into the phone he switched it on and placed a call to the emergency line of the SCD. After reporting the death of Greg he opened the door and dropped the phone on the tire track before driving away.\r\n\r\nGetting home, he hurried to the bar and poured himself double scotch. He had a nauseous feeling and a knot tightening on his system and was shaking seriously. This was something that he never felt before. No, this weird feeling has found its way to his heart since Claire.\r\n\r\nDowning the scotch he poured another before carrying the bottle back to the couch. He hated how he was feeling and wanted to blurt it out; that was never him. Apart from his first time, he never felt like this after killing someone. Pulling out his phone, he pressed down on a number and it went into speed dial. Nellisa, who was just what he needed.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nHe was breathing heavily, ramming ferociously into her as she steadied herself matching and meeting his thrusts half way. Brooding heavily he felt his seed coming and increased the speed of his thrust before raising his head, eyes closed, the mesmerizing feeling of orgasm swept through him as he exploded deep into her.\r\n\r\nTurning around, she pushed him down to the couch and attacked his shaft which was going limb. Taking the dicck which was coated with cum and her wets into her mouth she licked it clean before sucking on the head expertly.\r\n\r\nSly shivered with goose bumps spread all over him as Nellisa worked wonders on his man meat. Stretching forth his hands, he took her boobbs and started fondling them gently moaning in ecstasy. Feeling him hard enough, she stood up, climbed up his laps and perfectly guarded his dick into her wet cunnt. She smiled as he opened his mouth, eyes closed, lost in the sweetness of her womanhood.\r\n\r\nPerfectly settled on his dick, she started riding him gently before gathering pace. With head thrown back she felt so out of the world as his dick kept piercing into her like a hot iron hitting her spot at each thrust. Her movement increased as she felt herself close. Holding her waist down, he started thrusting up with much speed as he was close to the edge. It wasn\u2019t long before they both reached that point of no return as they simultaneously cried out in ecstasy before exploding into oblivion.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nNellisa had arrived with a worried expression on her face. She needed no soothsayer to explain to her that something was wrong which he never does, calling her up twice in a week. Definitely, she felt something was wrong with him.\r\n\r\nTrue to her thoughts, the bottle of scotch on the table as she entered the house confirmed her worries. He never gave her the chance to ask question before getting down on her. Unlike him, she was still dry when he forcefully pierced into her. It had felt so painful but being who she is; she didn\u2019t complain or tried to protest. It was never in her nature to, not when she understood the situation.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nAs they both laid wasted on the couch, guilt enveloped him. He\u2019d never treated her so roughly. Turning, he looked at her resting her head on the armrest her but propped up with her ass cheeks parted giving him a peak of her swollen lips. Pulling her up to rest on his chest, he muttered quietly and remorsefully.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly I\u2019m sorry.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe was feeling sore between her thighs but it wasn\u2019t to be compared to the feeling of satisfaction that she was basking in. Truth be told, he never handled her roughly but she only understood it to mean that everything wasn\u2019t ok with him.\r\n\r\n\u201cSssshhh!!\u201d she made the sound placing her lips to his. \u201cI\u2019m not pissed ok.\u201d She said breaking of the kiss.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly I\u2019m really sorry.\u201d He continued avoiding her eyes.\r\n\r\n\u201cSly, what is the problem, what is eating you up?\u201d she asked ignoring his apologies.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly it\u2019s too complicated\u2026\u2026\u2026\u201d he said trailing off.\r\n\r\nSly never involved her in any of his dealings. He always kept details away from her. According to him, it was for her own safety and she wasn\u2019t going to push it now. She respected him and his privacy so much and vice versa.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhatever it is, I believe you can handle it.\u201d She said leaving his body heading to clean up in the bathroom.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d assumed that she was pissed and called out to her.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly\u2026\u2026\u2026\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cC\u2019mon, I\u2019m cool ok? Don\u2019t sweat it.\u201d Nellisa said with a convincing smile before walking away.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued...\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode sixteen\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\n\u201cI know you are going to object to this but I think it\u2019s now obvious that we need to get you a personal guard again.\u201d He said coming back into the room after the men from SCD left.\r\n\r\n\u201cNot again.\u201d She muttered with a dispassionate look.\r\n\r\n\u201cCome on, we are not going to let our guards down until we are sure the SCD has him behind bars and prosecuted.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cThen why don\u2019t we wait. They just got a tip off.\u201d She protested.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat if it\u2019s a sham.\u201d He asked annoyed?\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd what if it\u2019s not? Uncle I\u2019m sorry. I know you mean well for me and want my safety but, I can\u2019t leave with those guys around me again. I don\u2019t even feel safe with them.\u201d\r\n\r\nBob gave up frustrated. He knew there is no way he was going to change her mind. Picking his cell from the armrest, he stood up to go.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will see you tomorrow at the office.\u201d He said heading to the door.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, goodnight.\u201d Claire said walking behind him to the door.\r\n\r\nAfter his exit, she walked back into the room and went over to Lizzy who was still sobbing lightly. Gathering her into an embrace she consoled him.\r\n\r\n\u201cI know you feel bad honey, we all do. Don\u2019t make it hard on yourself.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI killed him,\u201d Lizzy cried. \u201cIf I\u2019d not gotten him involved in all this he would have been alive.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cC\u2019mon hun you didn\u2019t kill him. You didn\u2019t know it was going to turn out like this.\u201d Claire consoled patting her gently.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThey were stilled, and snuggled together when her cell started ringing. She allowed it to ring out but when the caller wasn\u2019t giving up she left Lizzy and went for the phone. Sighing, she dropped the phone as unknown number displayed on the screen. She was about walking back to Lizzy when it started ringing again. Picking the phone she pressed on the receiver placing the phone on her ear without saying a word. She heard some crack sound from the callers end but no word, more like the caller was waiting on her. Tapping on the speaker button she dropped the phone and as she took a step, a voice came through the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t kill him.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe was taken aback as her eyes met Lizzy\u2019s who was also looking at her. That was the least of what she expected from an unknown caller. Lizzy had stopped cryingand had her attention focused on Claire and the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cWho are you?\u201d Claire asked with mixed feeling of fear and confusion.\r\n\r\n\u201cLet\u2019s meet, I will explain everything then.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cMeet? Why you I won\u2019t do that?\u201d she asked forcing some confidence into her tone.\r\n\r\n\u201cBecause your life is in danger. Jesson Garden, 9pm, Today. Don\u2019t tell anyone about this and make sure to come alone.\u201d The caller said with a note of finality before the call ended.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nStanding put where she\u2019d been, confused, she stared at Lizzy who was sitting up on the couch looking confused too. Turning her face, she looked at the wall clock; 7:30pm.\r\n\r\n\u201cI hope it\u2019s not what I\u2019m thinking?\u201d Lizzy started. \u201cYou are not thinking of going to meet that lunatic are you?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know. I want all these cleared once and for all. I want to have my life back.\u201d She replied confused.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd you think going to meet with someone who will definitely send you to the grave is going to solve all this?\u201d Lizzy asked with a flat tone.\r\n\r\n\u201cLizzy, if this guy wanted me dead, I would have been dead long ago. If he is unto something as he claims then, we need to know what that is. You even said that yourself.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHey! Don\u2019t use my words against me and yes I said that but, that was before. Before he killed an innocent man; a friend of mine.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cLizzy,\u201d Claire cried, \u201cBut you heard him. He said he didn\u2019t do it.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSeriously? \u00a0I can\u2019t believe we are debating this Claire. You want to walk into your own death with your eyes wide open?\u201d Lizzy shouted annoyed.\r\n\r\n\u201cLizzy listen to me,\u201d Claire started calmly. \u201cI\u2019m not going there alone. I\u2019m going to contact my uncle who\u2019d get the SCD involved. That way we will wrap this whole thing up once and for all.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cClaire I\u2019m afraid. We can\u2019t just inform your uncle and the SCD. They can go and arrest him there.\u201d Lizzy said sitting back on the couch.\r\n\r\n\u201cAnd you think he will show up without me? C\u2019mon hun you can think better than this.\u201d Claire retorted.\r\n\r\n\u201cI know. I just don\u2019t want anything to happen to you\u201d. Lizzy said walking up to her.\r\n\r\n\u201cI know. I\u2019m afraid myself but, if he has an evil intention, he wouldn\u2019t have'chosen a public place.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou have to call your uncle and tell him about this\u201d, Lizzy advised.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes.\u201d Claire said picking up her phone and placing a call to Bob.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n****\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nIt wasn\u2019t long after he watched Nellisa leave that Greg\u2019s phone started ringing. Staring at the phone, he allowed it to ring out contemplating on taking the call or not. The phone started ringing again before he decided to pick it. The caller had remained silent after he picked the call waiting for him to talk. After a while, he heard a click and the call went dead. Sly knew immediately that the caller must have found out that something was wrong. Picking his phone, he typed a message to Kunle to trace the number and the origination of the last call.\r\n\r\nContemplating on his next move, he decided to place a call to Claire and schedule for a meet. He needed to ask her some questions and know if there is any valuable lead she could give to him.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\u00a0 *****\u00a0 ******\r\n\r\nParked a distance away from the Jesson Garden, he walked down and secured a seat for himself at the \u2018suya\u2019 spot overlooking the entrance of the garden. Taking a look at his time, it was fifteen 8:45pm; he still had some time before she arrives. He ordered for some sticks of \u2018suya\u2019 to while away time.As he picked the pieces of meat into his mouth, he checked his time intermittently.\r\n\r\nIt was fifteen minutes past when he saw her car pull up at the parking lot of the garden. As she stepped down from the vehicle, his breath seized. He watched as she walked elegantly into the bar wallowing in her beauty. No woman had ever had such effect on him; not even Nellisa.\r\n\r\nHe watched as she looked around the bar settling in an empty table. Pulling out his phone he dialed her number.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou are late.\u201d He said as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhere are you?\u201d She\u2019d asked looking around the bar.\r\n\r\n\u201cDid you tell anybody about this meeting?\u201d he asked looking around for any suspicious movement.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo, I came alone. Where are you?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWill be with you shortly.\u201d He said and dropped the call.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nShe had placed a call to Bob informing him of the call she just received. Just like Lizzy, he had also strongly advised her against the meeting but after she told him of her plan, he\u2019d skeptically agreed. They had agreed on the plan to get the SCD involved. The plan was for the SCD to move in and hang around before her arrival and swoop in to arrest the guy if he approaches her.\r\n\r\nAt the point of leaving her house for the meeting, a great fear had fallen on her. She\u2019d decided not to go again but Lizzy who had been advising her against going urged her on since she\u2019d already involved the SCD.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nPulling up the Garden\u2019s parking lot, she\u2019d dragged herself down from the car heading into the bar. She was barely settled when a call came through her phone; the hidden number.\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHe didn\u2019t want her to freak out but also didn\u2019t want to risk it if she came with anybody or had contacted the authorities. Dialing her number, he decided to shake her a little more.\r\n\r\n\u201cI told you to come alone.\u201d He said as the she picked the call. He noticed a tensed silence before the girl spoke with a shaking voice.\r\n\r\n\u201cI came alone, I didn\u2019t talk to anybody.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBut I can see the authorities around here.\u201d He lied pushing it harder.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t talk to anybody and I\u2019m sure I wasn\u2019t followed. Maybe\u2026\u2026.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe didn\u2019t allow her to drop her last words before dropping the call. He\u2019d been busy watching her reaction from where he sat that he didn\u2019t notice a car pulling up quietly not far away from him.\r\n\r\nHe wanted to make sure that she didn\u2019t come with anybody but her reaction had been somewhat suspicious. He looked around again to know if he could pick up any suspicious movement but everything thing seemed normal as people walked by about their business.\r\n\r\nHaving spent twenty minutes after she arrived, he saw how restless she was becoming. Crossing over, he walked into the garden straight to her position. He wanted to wrap the meeting within the shortest time frame as the weather was rumbling and threatening a heavy down pour.\r\n\r\n\u201cAre you sure that you told nobody about this meeting?\u201d he asked settling opposite her on the table.\r\n\r\nHe watched her as she stared at him without words. He was also enchanted by her beauty as his eyes held hers. He\u2019d recovered himself on time and tapped on the table drawing her attention back.\r\n\r\n\u201cYe\u2026.yes I wasn\u2019t.\u201d she stammered.\r\n\r\n\u201cI want you to listen to me carefully. Your life is in danger and whoever wants you dead is buried deep either in your father\u2019s company. I want you to\u2026\u2026\u2026\u2026\u201d his voice trailed off as he saw a guy on hood walking straight to their table with gun pointing at Claire.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode seventeen\r\n\r\nReaching for his gun, he ran fast around the table covering Claire who had sprang to her feet as he stood up. His movement coincided with the shots which rang through the bar throwing up confusion. He covered her in time as he felt sharp piercing and hot pains in his arm and chest. The shot had been so powerful that it pushed him down. He made sure to pull Claire down with himself while falling still covering her. He\u2019d shot twice at the assailant who\u2019d been fast enough to disappear with the crowd but he caught a glimpse of his face as he struggled with his hood which was pulled off by the wind.\r\n\r\nStruggling to his feet in deep pain soaked in his own blood, he looked at her as she sat on the floor in great shock. He needed to leave the vicinity as fast as he could.\r\n\r\n\u201cAre you ok, are you hit?\u201d he asked through severe pain.\r\n\r\nShe shook her head in negation without a word.\r\n\r\n\u201cCall for help.\u201d He said and with great effort he staggered away through the back alley.\r\n\r\n\u201cWait, I can help you, let me help you.\u201d He heard her call from behind but he walked on. He wouldn\u2019t risk her help.\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nSetting her eyes on him had taken the breath out of her. He was the opposite of what she\u2019d expected. She had expected a tough mean looking monster but sitting opposite her was a handsome guy who looked harmless. That moment she stared at him, her heart raced a million bits, she felt herself melting in his sight she\u2019d regretted involving the SCD. If he\u2019d as little as given her a chance to talk, she would have tipped him of the supposed presence of the SCD.\r\n\r\nWhen suddenly he stopped midway into his words and sprang to his feet pulling out a gun, she thought he\u2019d seen the authorities. She\u2019d been afraid only to turn and see a guy on hood holding a gun, pointing at her. Everything had happened in a flash; his covering her, the bang she heard. Everything happened so fast that when she realized it, she was on the floor covered by him; the shooter had escaped with the crowd. For some seconds she thought she\u2019d met her end as she saw blood on her body.\r\n\r\nShe touched herself places where the patches of blood had formed and when she didn\u2019t feel any pain, it downed on her that the blood wasn\u2019t hers. She was shocked as he struggled to his feet soaked in his own blood. He\u2019d taken the bullet meant for her. The shooter hadn\u2019t come for him, he came for her, and she saw it clearly.\r\n\r\nAs he struggled to his feet in great pain which she saw in his face, instead of walking away, he\u2019d stayed back to know if she was ok before walking away. As she sat there watching him walk away, she had call out to help him, but he neither turned nor said a word to her.\r\n\r\nAs she sat on the floor thinking about what happened to her uncle and the SCD who were supposed to be there, she saw Bob rush in calling out for her. She\u2019d waved, drawing his attention. Helping her up to her feet, he barraged her with questions.\r\n\r\n\u201cAre you ok?What happened, did he shoot you?\u201d he asked without catching a breath\r\n\r\nShe had muttered a word of \u201cI\u2019m fine\u201d to him as he helped her to a seat.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe SCD will be here soon. We don\u2019t need to be here when they arrive.\u201d He\u2019d said pulling her hand gently.\r\n\r\nShe looked at him surprised before standing as he led her out. As they drove out, she saw the SCDS driving in\u2026To Be Continued\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nONE DAY ON.\r\n\r\nLooking around his surrounding, he couldn\u2019t recognize where he was or what he was doing there. He saw a drip stand with drip which was attached to his body and he could feel pains all over with his arm and shoulder wrapped with bandage. Pulling the duvet which covered him to his chest, he had only a boxers on; it wasn\u2019t his own. He looked around for his cloths and gun but it wasn\u2019t within sight. Propping himself to sit up, he felt unbearable pains at his arm and shoulder and just then images started flashing through his memory.\r\n\r\nHe remembered sitting with Claire; the hooded guy (his impersonator) walking into the bar with gun pointing at Claire. Finally the look on Claire\u2019s face settled on his mind. He could remember everything except how he got where he was at that moment. Could it be that she finally helped him? He remembered her asking to help him but that was all.\r\n\r\nHe moved his legs to know if he was cuffed but they felt free just like his hands apart from the one with drip attached to it.\r\n\r\n\u201cHello?!\u201d He raised his voice as loud as he could as a sharp pain seared through him.\r\n\r\n\u201cHey!! Easy,\u201d Nellisa walked in immediately cleaning her hands with a hand towel with an apron tied around her neck.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly?\u201d he muttered surprised.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s my name,\u201d she said sitting beside her. \u201cHow are you, how do you feel?\u201d she asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know, like I was run over by a train.\u201d He said feigning a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, that\u2019s because two bullets were removed from your body. One from your shoulder and another missing your heart just by few inches; thank goodness.\u201d Sly said with an expressionless face.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow did I get here?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYou called me.\u201d Nelly replied flatly.\r\n\r\nJust then it came to his mind. He remembered walking through the back alley drenched in his own blood. How he\u2019d managed to drag himself to his car remained the last memory he had of the incident.\r\n\r\n\u201cWho did this?\u201d he asked looking at his bandaged section with a worried expression.\r\n\r\n\u201cA friend of mine.\u201d She replied again with a flat tone staring into his eyes. Off all the questions he was asking, all she wanted was an explanation of how and why he nearly got himself killed. He\u2019d lost so much blood when she got to him. She\u2019d donated almost three pints of blood which was transfused into him since their blood matched.\r\n\r\n\u201cI need to go.\u201d He said trying to sit up amidst the pains he felt.\r\n\r\n\u201cSly calm down,\u201d she started, holding him down gently. \u201cI know what you are worried about; he is not going to the cops, he promised me that that.\u201d she said with assurance.\r\n\r\nWith the look on her face, he knew there was no way she was going to let him take a step out.\r\n\r\n\u201cGet me my phone, I need to make a call.\u201d he said defeated.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo. I\u2019m sorry but, no calls for now. He strictly ordered that you don\u2019t stress yourself.\u201d She protested.\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly c\u2019mon it\u2019s important. I don\u2019t care about what he said and moreover this is not the first time\u2026\u2026\u201d he stopped and looked over himself forcing a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cSly please, I know this is not the first time but just let the call go for now I beg you. The world will not end without the call.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNelly please, this is important. Just this once I beg you.\u201d He pleaded. He knew that he had no option in his present condition than to plead with her. Knowing also how stubborn she could be, he had no choice.\r\n\r\n\u201cSly\u2026\u2026.\u201d She started looking at him while he made a pleading face. \u201cJust this once.\u201d She concluded sitting up from the bed. She went out from the room and later came back handing him his phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank you.\u201d He said smiling at the annoyed Nelly.\r\n\r\n\u201cKeep it to yourself.\u201d She retorted and without sparing him a glance left the room.\r\n\r\n\u201cBy the way, your place is lovely.\u201d He said behind her with a small laugh.\r\n\r\n\u201cShut up and make your call.\u201d she cursed from outside the room.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nPlacing the phone by his side, he thought of Nelly. For all he knows, another girl would have barraged him with questions about what happened or even freaked out but not Nelly. Her courage and understanding had always marveled him. She never forced any question or asked for explanations. She had always waited for the little he has to say and if he said nothing which happens most of the time, she never puts up an attitude or a fight.\r\n\r\nBack in school, he remembered when some operations had gone wrong and he had the authorities on his tail. She had always hidden him through those periods. He remembered on two occasions when he had caught bullets from rival groups back in school, she had always been her hiding place.\r\n\r\nIt was after the girlfriend of the \u2018capon\u2019 of a rival group was killed when his assailant couldn\u2019t get to him that he\u2019d decided to keep Nelly out of his affairs and that he\u2019d done till that moment. That was the very first time he knew where she lived since after they left school as he never dropped her anywhere close to her house or paid her a visit.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nComing out from his reverie he picked the phone and scrolled through the call log. When he got to Claire\u2019s number, he tapped the dial option waiting for the call to connect\u2026.. To Be Continued\r\n\r\nEpisode nineteen\r\n\r\nCLAIRE.\r\n\r\nShe laid on the bed her mind occupied with the thought of him. She had been like that from the previous night when Bob drove her home till that morning. His image as he walked out drenched in his own blood had etched on her memory. He took the bullet for me, she\u2019d kept repeating in her mind like she wanted to believe otherwise.\r\n\r\nEverything had happened so fast that she didn\u2019t get a clear view of the shooter. She\u2019d been in shock and speechless since the incident.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat happened?\u201d Lizzy who\u2019d been seated staring at her all morning asked for the umpteenth time.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe took the bullets that were meant for me.\u201d She muttered.\r\n\r\nHeaving a big sigh that finally she\u2019d decided to talk to her, she edged closer and took her hand. The previous night when she was led home by Bob, she\u2019d seen patches of blood on her and had feared the worse. It was when she confirmed from Bob that she wasn\u2019t shot that her mind was relieved.\r\n\r\n\u201cWho took what bullets for you?\u201d she persisted.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe covered me and got shot.\u201d She repeated.\r\n\r\n\u201cTalk to me hun.\u201d I can\u2019t make a head or tail out of what you are saying Lizzy pushed on.\r\n\r\nShe was about to narrate what happened when her phone started ring from the dressing table. With a sigh, lizzy stood up and headed to silence the phone when she saw the caller ID; Unknown.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s from an unknown number.\u201d She announced.\r\n\r\nJerking from her state and down from the bed, she took quick strides and collected the phone from Lizzy. Lizzy was surprised at the sudden change in her behavior and watched on.\r\n\r\n\u201cHello?\u201d she said impatiently into the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, how are you, where are you, are you ok?\u201d she asked without catching a breath.\r\n\r\n\u201cCan I meet you? I need to see you please.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo please don\u2019t, I just want to see you; to know that you are ok.\u201d She cried.\r\n\r\n\u201cHello\u2026? Helloo\u2026.?\u00a0 She repeated as tears rolled down her eye.\r\n\r\nRealizing that he had dropped the call, she removed the phone from her ear and stared at the screen clutching it tightly. Turning around she saw Lizzy staring at her blankly. She knew what was next as she walked back to the bed dabbing her eyes with the back of her hand.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSince Bob drove her home the previous night, she had not said a word to anybody,keeping mute wouldn\u2019t be possible anymore which she already knows because Lizzy would rather beat it out from her than plead again.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow I think we\u2019ve had enough of this drama, can you now tell me what happened last night?\u201d Lizzy said dragging a seat close to the bed.\r\n\r\nLetting out a sigh, she looked at Lizzy apologetically. She knew what she must have put her through since the night. A lot had happened and she could see emotional stress written all over her.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was nearly shot.\u201d She started quietly.\r\n\r\n\u201cBy who, the guy?\u201d she asked impatiently urging her on.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know, by another guy on hood.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAnother guy on hood? What does that mean?\u201d she asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cI had gotten to the Garden and waited for him. He called immediately I walked in and started asking if I told anybody about the meeting and other things. I thought he must have noticed or seen something but, I denied telling anybody. After a little over fifteen minutes, he came around to the table and repeated the same question to which I nodded in affirmation. He had started to talk when suddenly he stopped and sprang to his feet pulling a gun and running around the table.\u201d She stopped and let out another sigh. \u201cEverything had happened so fast but, when I turned, I saw a guy on hood with his gun pointing at me. I heard shots as soon as I turned but the other guy was fast enough as he had me covered already taking the bullets.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWait! Wait! Let me get this. This guy on hood is he not the same guy that had been dropping you warning notes.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know, I don\u2019t think so. I think he is an impersonator. Whoever pulled that must know something about me and the other guy.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat about your uncle and the SCD?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know. There was no SCD around when it all happened. Bob came in few minutes after it all happened and we left before the SCD patrol team arrived.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy, thought they were supposed to be there before you even got there?\u201d Lizzy asked surprised.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t see anybody, I was left alone to myself if it hadn\u2019t been for him maybe I would be dead by now.\u201d She said as her eyes gloomed.\r\n\r\n\u201cDid you get a look at the shooter?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo, I just saw him running off with the crowd after the shots.\u201d She said looking lost.\r\n\r\n\u201cDid your uncle give you any reason as to what happened to the plan you had with him before going for the meeting?\u201d Lizzy asked.\r\n\r\n\u201cI didn\u2019t ask and he didn\u2019t say also.\u201d\r\n\r\nSilence hovered around as they both went into their thoughts.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe was badly wounded and lost a lot of blood.\u201d She said jolting Lizzy out from her thought\r\n\r\n\u201cI think you should talk to your uncle and the SCD, maybe they can contacts hospitals for any presence of someone with a gunshot wound.\u201d Lizzy suggested.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will do no such thing. I want to meet with him first. I\u2019m going to search through all the hospitals around till I locate him.\u201d Claire said determined.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou nearly got shot and you want to meet again? I can\u2019t believe you.\u201d Lizzy said surprised.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think he knows something. I would rather find out what he knows before talking to anybody.\u201d She concluded with a note of finality.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSLY.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d not expected her to react the way she did on the phone. She\u2019d acted so concerned and wanted to meet. Instincts told him that it was a set up. He also suspected that the call might be monitored and rang off before she could continue. Turning off the phone, he pulled out the SIM card and placed the phone on the table beside the bed.\r\n\r\nHe was weak and in pain but knowing that she was in good condition had been a relief. His mind retraced the events of the previous night. He\u2019d caught an obscure view of the shooter as he mixed up escaping through the crowd. He wasn\u2019t sure if it was really who he had in mind but, that had sure given him a lead to follow. Whoever had planned the attack either knows about him and must be close to Claire.\r\n\r\nRelaxing back on the bed, he allowed his mind to wander. He knew that security would be tight around Claire and the authorities would be on the lookout for him. He wasn\u2019t worried about the authorities looking for him but about Claire\u2019s safety.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued...\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode twenty\r\n\r\nTWO WEEKS ON.\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nIt has been two weeks gone and she hasn\u2019t heard from him. The past week had her always glued to her phone waiting for his call or message but none came.\r\n\r\nJust like she\u2019d anticipated, Bob had brought in some security guards the day after the attack. She knew it was going to happen and didn\u2019t fight it. After the first week, she\u2019d dismissed them without informing Bob.\r\n\r\nShe had talked less to her uncle since, the incident despite every effort he\u2019d made to get her to talk. She\u2019d scraped the incident without going deep into what happened when he\u2019d asked her. Some things remained unclear to her. What happened to their plan? Why did Bob show up after it all happened and why did they leave before the authorities arrived. Why had he not contacted the SCD?\r\n\r\nShe had confronted Bob with the questions but the answers he gave her weren\u2019t a bit convincing. She had allowed it to slip and kept her reservations.\r\n\r\nAfter the incident, she\u2019d grown suspicious of everybody around her. The only person she could trust was the one that took the bullet for her and Lizzy who\u2019d sat beside her ever since it happened. She had found concentrating at work hard as her mind always drifted back to the scene. His image as he limped away in pain had kept coming back to her. She didn\u2019t know if it haunted her, but her dreams and days were just about him.\r\n\r\nShe went through the whole week praying that he will contact her, which never happened, she had picked up her life and moved on. Frustrating as it was, she\u2019d tried to block off his face and concentrate, which had seemed the most difficult. She\u2019d resigned to fate and took each day as it came still longing for his call in the deepest part of her heart.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHe had left Nelly\u2019s house after one week back to his own, much to her disapproval. He knew that she wasn\u2019t happy but it wasn\u2019t about what made her happy; he\u2019d involved her enough, much more than he should have. Her safety still mattered a lot to him. To cap it all, it wasn\u2019t rocket science knowing that she was seeing someone which seemed serious. And he didn\u2019t need her to tell him that it was the young Doctor that treated him, who had also visited twice in the week. He\u2019d seen the connection between them, the stares and the whispers behind the door. It was just safe to leave them be.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019d recovered enough and was on the trial of his new lead. He had deliberately stayed away from contacting Claire till he had something substantial.\r\n\r\nFor one week he\u2019d followed the new lead trailing his movement. Everything had seemed normal till he followed him to a particular location which seemed to ring a bell in his head.\r\n\r\nHe thought hard as he sat at the caf\u00e9 which overlooked where the suspect parked with his pocket camera at hand. As his mind worked, he saw him through the glass as he fixed a scrambler to his phone and made a call.\r\n\r\nBuuummm!! It struck him. That particular location had been where Kunle traced the origination of a call to. Placing the camera on point, he took some shot before putting it away and taking a sip from the can of energy drink before him.\r\n\r\nNot long after he took the first shoot that another car pulled up behind that of the suspect. A man in his early forties stepped out from the vehicle and headed toward the suspect\u2019s car looking around suspiciously. He took some quick shots before the man got into the car. As he got into the car, the glasses suddenly went blur making it difficult for him to see what was going on inside the vehicle.\r\n\r\nSuspicious as it seemed, as the glasses became blur, the driver stepped out from the vehicle leaving the two men inside. That gave him all he needed to know that something was definitely fishy.\r\n\r\nThirty minutes later, the second man stepped out from the car as the driver went back in and drove off. Walking out from the caf\u00e9, he walked as fast as he could to his car and waited for the new guy to drive off before trailing him. He wanted to know more about him.\r\n\r\nHe followed him to his house and surveyed around before heading home. On his way, he stopped by a photo studio owned by a friend of his and printed the pictures. He also made extra copies before heading home to rest.\r\n\r\nIn the comfort of his sitting room with the pictures spread on the table before him, he thought of his next line of action. To make things clear enough, he needed to talk to Claire and see if there is something she knows.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\nHe has been worried sick about Claire. Since after the incident, she has been withdrawn and talked less. He suspects that she knows something but was keeping it away from him. She had asked him some questions which only suggested that she suspects something and that her trust in him was waning, and that trust, he needed back.\r\n\r\nHe has hired someone to keep an eye on her but, the reports he got haven\u2019t been convincing enough; he still suspect something from her cold behavior.\u00a0 Could she be talking to him? He thought. Picking up his phone from the table, he dialed a number.\r\n\r\n\u201cI want you to tap on a number and connect me to every call that goes in and out of it.\u201d He said as the line connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, this is it, 0814\u2026\u2026.. I need to be part of every call that enters or leaves that line.\u201d He said authoritatively.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I will have it wired to your account.\u201d He concluded before dropping the call.\r\n\r\nHe can\u2019t afford anything to go out of plan at that crucial moment.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCLAIRE.\r\n\r\nShe has moved on and going about her normal business not waiting for a call from him anymore. Though he still occupied the greater part of her mind, but of what use is it if he is never going to call again. She doesn\u2019t even know if he was still alive or probably if something had gone wrong with him. She\u2019d stopped beating herself up and took the day as it came.\r\n\r\nOn the other hand, there seemed to be a developing cold rift between her and Bob. She knows she can be difficult sometimes but would that help her? Bob is like her backbone, though, after the last incident, she\u2019d started having doubts but she still needed him so much to go silent on him.\r\n\r\nThat morning as she woke up, she\u2019d decided to breach the developing gap between them. Picking her phone, she\u2019d put a call through to him. After they talked for a while, they scheduled lunch before she hung up; that had given her so much relief.\r\n\r\nAs they sat over lunch that afternoon, she\u2019d apologized for her cold attitude since the incident. He\u2019d waved it off, taking responsibility for everything that happened that day, she saw reasons after he explained and blamed herself for keeping her distance from him; if only she knew what was behind the apologies.\r\n\r\nShe had perfectly avoided bringing anything that had happened between herself and the guy. She\u2019d denied being told anything or even been able to recognize him again. She went ahead to suggest that he might have died from the bullet wound as he hasn\u2019t contacted her again.\r\n\r\nIt was like they reconnected as they exited lunch. Claire wanted to make some personal shopping so she headed off to the mall while Bob drove out, heading to another direction.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nSly watched as they exited from the eatery driving off to different directions. He decided that it was a perfect opportunity he needed to talk to Claire, though he didn\u2019t know the direction she was headed. As Claire drove off, he waited to know if he could notice any stalker and truly, to his thought there was one. As the guy drove by, he waited for some seconds before following them both keeping an unsuspecting distance.\r\n\r\nThey drove for a distance before Claire took a turn heading towards the popular shopping mall.\u00a0 Expecting the supposed stalker to also make a turning, he switched his pointer to the same turning but was surprised when the he drove ahead. As he took the turn, he cleared off the road and stepped down walking back to see if the guy had picked him and decided to play with his mind. He waited for some minutes before going back to the car and driving off to the mall.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHe watched as she picked items and dropping them into the cart which she rolled freely. He had waited outside the mall expecting the stalker to make an entry or for any suspicious movement but everything seemed normal as everybody walked about their business. He\u2019d walked into the mall picking a cart on his way.\r\n\r\nHe picked some personal toiletries before heading towards the wine section where Claire stood checking out some wine collections. He picked some bottles of red wine edging closer to the girl who shopped unconcerned. Closer enough he said to her,\r\n\r\n\u201cHi, don\u2019t look back and don\u2019t look at me just listen.\u201d\r\n\r\nFrom the corner of his eyes, he saw as she froze before comporting herself. As he watched her reaction, he scanned through the drinks waiting to have her attention. Not looking back was achieved but looking at him wasn\u2019t. She\u2019d held out a bottle of wine as if making an enquiry from him and asked\u2019\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat happened to you, are you ok?\u201d\r\n\r\nIgnoring her question he retorted asking the same question,\r\n\r\n\u201cHow are you?\u201d How it came out from his mouth he couldn\u2019t tell. He\u2019d wanted to shun everything personal but seeing that look as she asked after his wellbeing had got him resettled. He recovered himself before she could give an answer and continued.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhoever wants you dead is deep into you and knows so much, so, I need you to keep whatever I tell you to yourself. Do you understand?\u201d he looked as she nodded with her eyes still at the counter.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will drop a parcel on your cart and we will see tomorrow at St Agnes Church, 4pm.\u201d He said. Walking around her, he dropped an envelope containing the pictures before walking off. As he walked, he heard her call behind him but kept walking away without turning.\r\n\r\nTo Be \r\n\r\nEpisode twenty-one\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nThe familiar fragrance wafted through her nose and just as she turned trying to know who was wearing it she heard his voice. Unmistaken, it was his. Her heart thumbed hard against her ribs as she felt goose bumps cover her skin. He\u2019d told her to keep straight and not look at him but after all the while of thinking about him; she wasn\u2019t going to allow that.\r\n\r\nHaving a look at his face had sent shivers down her spine. The feeling she had was unfamiliar, not one she could remember ever having. As he talked, her mind held a picture of him. She couldn\u2019t hear a word of what he was saying being lost in the thought of him in her head.\r\n\r\nAs he walked around her she noticedhe dropped a parcel in her cart. She called out to him but he\u2019d disappeared through the shelves. Pushing her cart along, she walked fast to catch up with him but as she took the same bend he did, she couldn\u2019t see him anymore. She looked around but he was gone.\r\n\r\nPushing her good to the counter, she unpacked, paid and took her receipt heading out in quick strides. Outside, she surveyed but couldn\u2019t see any sign of him.\r\n\r\nSettled in the comfort of her car, she opened the parcel and dipped her hand in skeptically. She felt some thick papers with sharp edges before pulling them out.\r\n\r\nThe first picture has a picture of Bob in his car with his phone on his ear. The second had Gerald the company\u2019s attorney stepping out from his car. The third had Gerald entering Bob\u2019s car. The fourth Picture had Bob\u2019s driver standing outside the vehicle and the car glasses gone dark.\r\n\r\nShe couldn\u2019t make out anything from the pictures as she held them; deep in thought. Is he suspecting Bob? She asked herself. \u201cNo, that can\u2019t be,\u201d she muttered putting the pictures back into the envelope.\r\n\r\nShe was deep in thought as she drove back home trying to remember the words he\u2019d said to her. She thought deep and hard but came out void. She tried to figure out the message he was trying to pass through with that; the pictures. Is he in any way trying to tell her that those two has something connected to what she was passing through? She scoffed at the thought. Even the mere thought of it made her laugh. If not for anything, those are the two men she can trust with her life though she was skeptical about everybody at that moment. They had been the pillar behind her in the company; their support has not wavered one bit. But, what is with those pictures?\r\n\r\nShe would have called her uncle immediately she got off the mall to inform him about the recent development but, after the last incident, she\u2019d decided to keep any and every information to herself and she felt very comfortable with her decision.\r\n\r\nAgain her new found feeling was strange to her; nothing that she had felt before. He\u2019d thrown himself before the bullet to save her life, so much of someone that everyone perceives to want her dead. She couldn\u2019t explain the reaction she had when she heard his voice and saw his face. It wasn\u2019t of fear, wasn\u2019t a feeling of wanting to escape. Could she even describe it? She\u2019d felt numb struck. She\u2019d wanted to go into his arms. It would have felt safe for her. Those feelings, she had no words for them.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAs she held out the last item she was unpacking into the kitchen cabinet, it struck her, the word St Agnes church. She remembered hearing him say that, but what he said afterwards she couldn\u2019t remember. What\u2019s with St Agnes Church? She asked rhetorically. Does he want to meet, if so why the church of all places?Closing the overhead cupboard, she walked off the kitchen and headed to her room.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\n\r\n \t AGNES CHURCH\r\n\r\nTHE NEXT DAY\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nHe wasn\u2019t sure if she was going to come. A part of him was telling him that she was going to involve the authorities while the other urged him to wait a little more. Sitting in the closed confessional, he watched every movement inside the church checking his time intermittently. When his time struck 5pm, he concluded that she wasn\u2019t going to come again and walked out from confessional. Taking the left isle, he walked quietly towards the exit.\r\n\r\nHe was about walk out when the sound of a shoe heel hitting the tiled floor stopped him on his track. Turning to the main entrance, he saw her walking skeptically towards the altar.\r\n\r\nFrom where he stood, it would be a bit difficult for someone from her position to see him. Dashing out from the church, he walked around the building to the main entrance. He looked around the church premises from a pillar which had him covered from other eyes. Satisfied of no strange movement, he walked back and entered the church from where he came out. He walked quietly through the left isle which would lead him behind her before walking through the central isle and settled behind her on the pew.\r\n\r\n\u201cDon\u2019t look back.\u201d He said softly kneeling behind her his head close to her ears.\r\n\r\nShe stiffened as he saw the muscles around her neck tighten.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can\u2019t, I want to see your face.\u201d She retorted and turned before he could stop her. Their eyes met and locked as they stared at each other strangely. They felt a current pass through their eyes touching the depth of their souls.\r\n\r\nShaking himself off from the enchantment of her eyes, he gently turned her face around.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow are you healing?\u201d she asked before he could utter a word.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat can you tell me about the pictures?\u201d he asked ignoring her question.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo\u2026 nothing.\u201d She stammered. \u201cWhat has these got to do with them?\u201d she asked with a quivering tone.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe man in the picture, the second guy, who is he?\u201d He pushed on ignoring her question again.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe company\u2019s attorney, why?\u201d she replied.\r\n\r\n\u201cIs there any connection between the three of you apart from the company?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOf course.\u201d She replied. She was getting herself under control and wasn\u2019t going to tell him anything again if he isn\u2019t going to answer her questions. \u201cWho are you and why are you doing all these?\u201d she asked unexpectedly.\r\n\r\n\u201cTell me the connection.\u201d Sly said trying to brush off her question.\r\n\r\n\u201cDamn it,\u201d she swore under her breath, \u201cAnswer me for once. Why are you doing all this?\u201d she said through her teeth.\r\n\r\nHe caught the anger and frustration in her voice. From the way he was going, he knew that she wasn\u2019t going to give her anything if he doesn\u2019t answer her questions.\r\n\r\n\u201cBecause I was hired to kill you.\u201d He said softly.\r\n\r\nShe went still as goose bump spread over her skin before she relaxed herself.\r\n\r\n\u201cBy who?\u201d she asked calmly.\r\n\r\n\u201cI don\u2019t know. I guess by someone who still wants you dead.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy are you protecting me now?\u201d She repeated calmly with a tone laced with emotions.\r\n\r\nHe knew that once he\u2019d started answering her question she wasn\u2019t going to stop asking. He didn\u2019t need to remind himself that he wasn\u2019t there for a question and answer session.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere is something I believe you possess; maybe unknowingly. It is a classified document marked with triple X. search for it. When you have it, beep me through this line.\u201d He said and dropped a phone and a pack of SIM card together with a piece of paper containing a mobile number. \u201cAnd again, be careful, your phone might have been tapped.\u201d He concluded and left before she could say another word.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued...\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode twenty-two\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\nHe was angry, confused and frustrated as he stared at the pictures spread on his table. He\u2019d gotten a parcel from the private eye he\u2019d hired to keep tabs on Claire and spread on his table are pictures of Claire and the guy he thought was dead. What does she know? What has he told her? These and a whole lot of other questions clouded his mind as he sat restlessly. He needed to act as fast as he could; time wasn\u2019t his luxury anymore. He sat thoughtfully for some minutes before picking up his phone and placing a call to a number.\r\n\r\n\u201cThere is a problem.\u201d He said as the line connected.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nDeep in thought in her study, she searched for the umpteenth time the stack of files piled up on her table for the document marked with triple X but couldn\u2019t find any.\r\n\r\nShe pushed her seat back to the safe box attached to the wall covered by portrait. Taking the portrait away she entered her pass code. The lock clicked and opened automatically. In the safe laid neatly were important documents, stock certificates and other documents related to the company.\r\n\r\nPulling out the neatly arranged files, she carefully flipped through them. She searched specifically for the particular document but couldn\u2019t find it.\r\n\r\nConfused and frustrated by the fruitless search, she packed the files back into the safe box and walked out angrily. She was done searching for a document she knew nothing about and was heading to the sitting room to call Bob when a thought struck her. Stopping on her track, she remembered her late father\u2019s safe box.\r\n\r\nAs a child growing up, she remembered staying with her father while he accessed the safe. He remembered that he had told her the pass code to the safe a couple of times and would intentionally send her to get a file for him from the box just to make her know the code at heart.\r\n\r\nFrom the way the safe box was attached to the wall behind the automatic shelves in her father\u2019s study, she was very sure that only the both of them knew of its existence. She could also remember the difficulties she had back then locating it but over a period of time accessing the safe, she\u2019d gotten used to it and can find her way around it with closed eyes. Could it be there? She asked rhetorically lowering herself on the couch. She hadn\u2019t stopped by at the main house for over three months; the memories that usually followed her visits to the house hardly leave her in weeks. Picking up her key from the table, she decided to drive down to the main house.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\u00a0 *****\r\n\r\n\u201cWelcome ma.\u201d Salim greeted standing a little away from the car as she stepped down.\r\n\r\n\u201cSalim, how are you?\u201d she asked flashing him a smile.\r\n\r\n\u201cI am fine ma, welcome ma.\u201d He replied bowing slightly with a sheepish smile which covered his face.\r\n\r\nSalim had doubled as the gate keeper and the security of the house after the death of Anthony. Looking around the large compound, she was happy and satisfied to find everywhere tidy and kept. The flowers where trimmed perfectly, she observed, as her eyes settled on the flowers at the side before the pool which spelt her name.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLetting out a deep sigh snapping from her thoughts she walked to the entrance of the house. She felt lonely and like a stranger. Walking stiffly up the stairs, she punched in her codes at the door and pushed it open.\r\n\r\nAs the door opened to the general sitting room which had all the furniture and electronics in it covered with a white satin sheet, she let out another deep sigh.\u201d Game time,\u201d she muttered dragging her steps into the house. She walked quietly making her way towards her late father\u2019s study.\r\n\r\nShe stood shocked at the entrance to thestudy as she took in the sight before her. The study had been turned upside down. She couldn\u2019t believe her eyes. Who could have gained access to the house and to her father\u2019s study? Apart from herself, Bob was the only person who has a pass code to the main entrance.\r\n\r\nMaking her way to the shelf through the littered books on the floor, she tapped the unnoticeable knob and the shelf automatically opened up to the safe box. She keyed in the code and the box produced a clicked and hummed before it opened. No doubt, she picked her tidiness from her father. Picking out the neatly arranged files, she went through each of them carefully.\r\n\r\nHer hand shook as she held the three envelops marked with triple X with different dates. Arranging the other files back, she locked the box and tapped on the knob again and the shelves closed up. She walked through the books again and left the study.\r\n\r\nAs she got out from the study as was about rushing out, something came to her mind. Turning, she headed up the stairs. Getting to the room which served as the control room, she punched in her passcode and pushed the door. Walking towards the three live monitor screens which displayed sections of the house in patches, she tapped a button on the keyboard and the recorder ejected three CD\u2019s. She labeled the CD\u2019s before packing them into the file. Pulling the drawer, she picked new CD\u2019s and fed them to the recorder before exiting the room.\r\n\r\n\u201cSalim.\u201d She called as she came out from the house.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes ma.\u201d Salim answered running out from his quarters.\r\n\r\n\u201cHas anybody been here recently?\u201d she asked holding his gaze.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes ma, the other Oga done come,\u201d he stopped and thought and continued. \u201cEm don come like three times.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, thank you. Open the gate.\u201d With that she entered her car as Salim rushed to open the gates.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\n\u201cOga, madam just comot now now from house.\u201d Salim said into the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo\u2026.Yes, she carry one small file like that.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNo sir.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes sir.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk sir.\u201d He concluded and dropped the call.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n****\r\n\r\nSLY\r\n\r\nHe couldn\u2019t believe his eyes. On the table were two different copies of Late Mr. William\u2019s will with different contents. Taking out his phone, he took shots of the copies before exiting the study.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n***\r\n\r\nHe had stationed himself outside Gerald\u2019s apartment since morning waiting for him to leave. He was getting tired of waiting as it seemed Gerald wasn\u2019t going to leave the building for the day. He was already making up his mind to leave when he saw the gate open and Gerald drove out locking the gate outside before driving away. That had indicated to Sly that he lived alone and had giving him every opportunity he needed to access the building.\r\n\r\nThe building; a duplex surrounded by other buildings. He surveyed the surrounding before making his way through the back into the building. B&E (breaking and entering) and bypassing security was something he was perfect with as he didn\u2019t find it difficult gaining access into the building. He located his study where he met the documents on the table.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nScaling the fence, he landed outside the building from where he\u2019d jumped in. As he straightened up, he noticed a sudden movement behind a window on the neighboring building. Hurrying his steps, he walked back to his car and drove off. As he was about driving out from the street, he saw Gerald\u2019s car speeding down, taking a sharp bend into the street.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\nThings had suddenly started deviating from the original plan. Cursing silently, he pressed down on the start button as the car came to life.\r\n\r\nHe had called Gerald for a meeting to discuss the way forward but half way, he\u2019d called back cancelling the meeting claiming that his house has been burgled. He knows that if anything incriminating was found in Gerald\u2019s apartment that connects them together that it was going to be the end of their plan. Holding tight to the staring wheel, he cursed out loud stepping down on the accelerator.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nEasing the car into the garage as he got home, he stepped out just as his phone started ringing.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat happened?\u201d he asked taking the call.\r\n\r\n\u201cWas anything taken?\u201d he repeated\r\n\r\n\u201cOh! Thank God.\u201d He said heaving a big sigh.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes we have to speed up action. I just got a confirmation that she left the main house with a file and might be on her way to meet with the guy.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, order the hit.\u201d He concluded before walking into his house.\r\n\r\nTo Be continued...\r\n\r\nEpisode twenty-three\r\n\r\n*******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nShe couldn\u2019t believe her eyes as she stared at the screen of her computer as images of Bob and Gerald searching and scattering her father\u2019s study displayed. She\u2019d kept asking herself some unbelievable questions but didn\u2019t want to give the obvious answers.\r\n\r\nShe was still with her thoughts when the small cell phone he gave her started vibrating. Picking it up with a shaking hand, she pressed on the receiver button placing it on her ears.\r\n\r\n\u201cI need you to leave your house now and meet me outside.\u201d His voice came frantically from the other end of the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy?\u201d she asked frightened.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will explain everything later but you need to get out now.\u201d He repeated.\r\n\r\nTapping a button on her laptop, it ejected the disc. She packed them back into the file rushing out with it. Getting outside the gate, she saw a car parked as he beckoned on her from inside to be fast and enter. She had barely touched the door handle when she saw a car speeding recklessly towards them.\r\n\r\n\u201cDamn it,\u201d she heard him curse. \u201cGet in.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe had barely sat in the car when the coming vehicle slammed them from behind throwing them off balance. All thanks to the seat belt, they would have been found outside the car through the windscreen. Sly recovered in time and turned the ignition sending the car speeding off. \u201cGet down.\u201d He shouted pulling her down just as bullets shattered the rear glass and kept hitting the car till they were out of its range.\r\n\r\nHe knows that the shooter was definitely going to tail them so he kept the pressure on the accelerator gaining as much distance as he could. He kept looking at the rear view for any sign of the shooter.\r\n\r\nWhen they have gone a safe distance, he parked beside the road and came down hailing a cab.\r\n\r\n\u201cAre you ok?\u201d he asked her as they settled in the cab.\r\n\r\nShe nodded looking at him questionably as to why they were taking another car.\r\n\r\n\u201cHe will definitely be after us, so we need to ditch the car.\u201d He explained.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\n\u201cThree days.\u201d He said to the hotel receptionist who tapped at the keyboard before looking up to ask.\r\n\r\n\u201cCash or credit card?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCash.\u201d Sly replied pulling out a wrap of 1000 naira notes from his pocket. He paid for three nights after which the receptionist led them to their room.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank you.\u201d He said collecting the key from the reception after she opened the room.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nClaire had been in shock to utter any word through the whole incident. She just clutched tight to the file like her life depended on it.\r\n\r\n\u201cDo you need anything?\u201d He asked turning the key in the lock.\r\n\r\n\u201cWater\u2026 I need water.\u201d She replied.\r\n\r\nAt one corner of the room was a mini fridge. He walked over and pulled out a cold bottle of water. Taking the seal off, he handed it to her. He watched as she took a long draw from the bottle heaving a big sigh afterwards before handing the water back to him.\r\n\r\nTaking it from her, he screwed back the cover and placed it back inside the fridge. He walked over and sat beside her on the bed. He caught her slight reaction as she shifted uneasily.\r\n\r\n\u201cI found this in my father\u2019s safe.\u201d She said handing over the file to him.\r\n\r\nHe collected the file and flipped through it. \u201cWhat are these for?\u201d he asked tapping the CDs.\r\n\r\n\u201cThey are from the CCTV recorder at the main house.\u201d She said looking away.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s in it?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cBob and Gerald.\u201d She said without furthering.\r\n\r\nHe understood what she meant and didn\u2019t push any further. Pulling out his phone, he tapped a media file and placed the phone on the bed as Bob and Gerald\u2019s last conversation played. She was shocked beyond words at finally confirming her fears.\r\n\r\nAfter he left Gerald\u2019s house, he\u2019d called Kunle and asked him to record every call that enters or leaves Gerald\u2019s phone. It wasn\u2019t long before Kunle sent him a file and also called to alert him of the danger ahead.\r\n\r\nAs they listened to the recorded voice, it struck him; the voice. \u201cIt\u2019s him.\u201d He said quietly listening intently to the voice. He remembered the voice that had ordered for the hit on Claire as it matched with that of Gerald.\r\n\r\nClaire was crying when the file played to the end. She couldn\u2019t believe everything she just heard. She couldn\u2019t believe that the two most trusted people in her life were the ones scheming for her death.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow could they?\u201d she asked rhetorically amidst tears.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think it\u2019s because of this.\u201d He said zooming the picture on his phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s this?\u201d She asked dabbing her eyes with the back of her hand.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s you father\u2019s will.\u201d\r\n\r\nClaire read for the first time her late father\u2019s will. After she read the contents, he scrolled to another picture and zoomed it. She read throughthe document which had a different content and clauses from the first she\u2019d read. She looked up at him with lots of questions written on her face as she didn\u2019t know which is which.\r\n\r\n\u201cI think this will answer your questions.\u201d He said picking one of the envelopes marked with triple X which had the recent date. He pulled out a neatly folded paper from it and handed it over to her. \u201cThis is the original will of your late father.\u201d He said as she read through it.\r\n\r\nShe couldn\u2019t hold back the emotion again as tears streamed down her eyes. Pulling herself together she took the handkerchief from his outstretched hand and dabbed her eyes.\r\n\r\nShe looked at him for some quiet moment before asking the question which has been burning its way through her, \u201cWho are you?\u201d\r\n\r\nThe question didn\u2019t again catch him off guard as he has been expecting it since they never had a formal introduction.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m Davis,\u201d Sly started, \u201cA hired killer.\u201d He said and looked in time to catch the frightened expression which came and disappeared immediately. \u201cTwo years ago,\u201d he continued, \u201cI was hired to eliminate a four man gang. I had executed the job only to realize later on that they were linked to the death of your father. Whoever contracted me for that job wanted to bury everything concerning the death of your father without any trace and that\u2019s why he contacted me.\r\n\r\n\u201cWho contacted you?\u201d she asked cutting him off.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn my line of business, we don\u2019t meet face to face. Every business is always discussed on phone.\u201d He answered and looked at her to know if she understood before he continued. \u201cSix months ago, I got contacted again to eliminate you.\u201d He looked away avoiding the expression on her face. \u201cI had accepted the job though, I was already planning to take a vacation but the price on your head was insane to overlook; 15 million\u201d he stopped and took a breath. \u201cSecondly, the voice that ordered for the hit rang a bell and in this business, we don\u2019t get to hear familiar voices ordering for hits often. I had planned to finish up within two weeks and leave but I realized that I couldn\u2019t do it; it haunted me, you haunted me.\u201d He stopped and breathed heavily suppressing the lump swelling up in his throat.\r\n\r\n\u201cI couldn\u2019t do it; it haunted me to my soul.\u201d He started before diverting as he was getting emotional. \u201cIn the course of my trailing you, I found out who you are; the daughter of the man I killed his killers two years back. It was then it struck me. The same voice that ordered for the hit on those boys was the same voice that ordered for your death.\u201d\r\n\r\nShe stared at him as he explained himself. Her fears have been replaced by emotions. She saw mixed feeling appearing and disappearing on his face. She noticed how he was trying to suppress his emotions swelling up through his throat noticeable in his voice. He avoided her eyes. \u201cWhat is wrong with him, is he in love with me? She thought. No that\u2019s ridiculous, she rebuked herself.\r\n\r\nShe couldn\u2019t understand herself that moment either. She\u2019d felt a force drawing her closer to him. She caught herself twice, staring at his features, the outline of his jaw and his lips moving as he talked. She\u2019d had to shake herself out from the trance before he could notice.\r\n\r\n\u201cHow did you know that Bob was involved in this?\u201d she asked breaking through the silence which hovered around them after he explained everything to herself.\r\n\r\n\u201cBecause on the night we first met, he was the shooter.\u201dHe replied coldly.\r\n\r\nShifting away, she stared at him unbelievably, \u201cNo it can\u2019t be.\u201d She muttered shocked.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, it was him. While he tried to mix up and escaped through the commotion, the hood had fallen off his head.\r\n\r\nShe couldn\u2019t believe it. Suddenly things started becoming clear to her; it struck her. While falling under Sly that night, she\u2019d seen the shoe of the shooter and she just remembered Bob wearing the same shoe that night. Again, how could he just appear immediately after the shooting? He must have taken his time to discard the hood. It now made sense to her why their plan never worked and why they left before the SCD arrived.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy didn\u2019t you tell me before now?\u201d she asked confused.\r\n\r\n\u201cBecause I wanted to confirm it. He\u2019d been clean enough that I couldn\u2019t see any reason to suspect him.\u201d He replied still looking away.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat do we do now, what\u2019s the next step to take?\u201d she asked more confused.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have to get the SCD involved now, we have enough evidence to nail them but, before then, we still need to draw either the shooter out here or Bob.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cHow\u2026?\u201d To Be continued...\r\n\r\nGet the complete episode by typing your email address below\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nEpisode twenty-four\r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\n\u201cSir, there is a problem.\u201d He said into the phone parked beside the road where he saw their car.\r\n\r\n\u201cI lost them.\u201d He repeated\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, a guy, I couldn\u2019t see his face. He helped her escape.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, on it.\u201d\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\nGerald paced the length of his sitting room confused. How could everything that was already in place start going wrong all of a sudden. Gulping the last content of his cup, he picked his phone from the table and dialed Bob to inform him of the latest development; they need to device another plan.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe need to see.\u201d He said as the phone connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt wasn\u2019t successful. She escaped with the help of someone.\u201d He repeated.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s the next step?\u201d He asked impatiently.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I\u2019m waiting.\u201d He said and threw the phone on the couch.\r\n\r\nPouring another shot, he gulped it down before sending the cup flying against the wall shouting.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n****\r\n\r\nBOB\r\n\r\n\u201cDamn it.\u201d He cursed loudly after the call. \u201cWhat\u2019s the force behind this girl?\u201d\r\n\r\nSuddenly everything was taking a new dimension and they need to come up with a plan as fast as they could before they are caught off guard.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n*****\r\n\r\n\u201cSir you have two men down here asking to see you.\u201d The receptionist said into the phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cDetective Owel and a colleague.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cOk thank you.\u201d He said again replacing the phone.\r\n\r\nRoom 305, last room on the left after the second stairs.\u201d She directed Agent Owel and another officer on mufti.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n******\r\n\r\nCLAIRE\r\n\r\nI don\u2019t need to be here when they arrive.\u201d Sly said dropping the phone.\r\n\r\nShe looked up at him pleadingly, \u201cI can\u2019t do this alone please, don\u2019t go.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI need to go, they can handle it from here. I don\u2019t need to be in their way and you know what I do.\u201d He said looking at her. She understood what he meant.\r\n\r\n\u201cPlease,\u201d she tried for the last time. She knows there was no way he was going to stay. \u201cI beg you; don\u2019t go now, maybe after all these.\u201d She persisted placing her hand on his.\r\n\r\n\u201cI need to. I will be around waiting for the trailer or whoever will show up, ok.\u201d He explained covering her hand in his.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nShe had wanted him to stay by her through it all, but that seemed not to be possible as he needed to leave before the SCD men she\u2019d contacted arrived. They had set out every plan before she contacted Owel. Moving closer, she threw her hands around his neck and pressed her body tightly to him in a hug. She felt at peace and safe just hugging him. He\u2019d reciprocated before gently disengaging. Planting a kiss on his lips, she looked into his eyes and said, \u201cPlease be careful.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI will.\u201d He mustered a smile. \u201cI have my eyes on you, don\u2019t be afraid ok?\u201d he encouraged her.\r\n\r\nShe nodded and smiled through tears.\r\n\r\n\u201cAlso remember to show them everything, and the plans ok?\u201d He said heading to the door.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will.\u201d She replied before he opened the door and left.\r\n\r\nShe immediately felt lonely and afraid as the door closed behind him. She couldn\u2019t believe everything that had happened, again, she owes him her life.\r\n\r\nShe was still with her thought when she heard a knock on the door. Walking to the door, she opened it and stood face to face with the officers.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n********\r\n\r\nGERALD\r\n\r\nGerald sat uncomfortable thinking of the next step to take. It has been over an hour that he called Bob but he was nowhere to be seen and to cap it all, he wasn\u2019t answering his phone again. He\u2019d dialed the hired killer who told him that he was still on the lookout for Claire. He\u2019d told him to still be on the lookout while awaiting further instruction.\r\n\r\nThis time around, he used someone he knows to avoid a case of \u2018bailing\u2019 or sudden disappearance. He tried to get in touch with Bob for the last time and just when he thought that he\u2019d bailed on him, he answered his phone.\r\n\r\n\u201cThank goodness Bob, where are you?\u201d he asked impatiently.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m on my way to you now, had to attend to something.\u201d He replied calmly.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, have you heard from her?\u201d he repeated.\r\n\r\n\u201cI will be with you shortly.\u201d Bob replied and ended the call.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nAnother twenty minutes saw Bob stepping out from a taxi a short distance away from Gerald\u2019s house. He paid off the cabbie and waited for him to drive off before walking down the short distance to 24 Presidential Avenue. As he walked, he kept looking back to know if he was followed. As he got close to Gerald\u2019s gate, he pulled out his phone and dialed his number asking him to come and open his gate. He\u2019d wonder for the umpteenth time why Gerald sent his wife and child abroad and had refused to use a gateman only to be leaving as a bachelor. Few seconds as he dropped the call, he heard the gate unlock as Gerald held it open for him to enter.\r\n\r\n\u201cHave you heard from her?\u201d he asked immediately Bob stepped into the compound.\r\n\r\n\u201cCalm down, let take each step carefully.\u201d Bob admonished as they walked into Gerald\u2019s sitting room.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat would you prefer?\u201d Gerald asked walking to the bar as Bob settled on the couch.\r\n\r\n\u201cI can use anything hard.\u201d Bob replied calmly.\r\n\r\nPulling out a bottle of scotch with two glass cups, he walked back and placed it on a side stool beside Bob and also took a seat. He poured two cups and handed one to him before gulping his own down.\r\n\r\nTaking a sip, Bob surveyed the tip of the cup as the drink burned its way down his throat. Putting down the cup, he started.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe person that broke into your house, what did he take?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cNothing; I guess it\u2019s a petty thief. He couldn\u2019t gain entrance.\u201d He replied pouring another shot for himself.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have told you to get yourself a security man around here.\u201d Bob said taking a deep breath. He took another sip placing the cup back on the stool.\r\n\r\n\u201cHave you heard from her?\u201d Gerald asked for the umpteenth time.\r\n\r\n\u201cNo.\u201d he replied calmly.\r\n\r\nGerald stared at him confused. His calmness was beginning to upset him. He wondered if he has a sinister plan. \u201cThen call her let\u2019s know her location and finish up with this once and for all.\u201d\u00a0 He said with wide eyes.\r\n\r\n\u201cGerald calm down,\u201d he started. \u201cWe need to be cautious about this. For now it\u2019s assumed that I don\u2019t know anything that is happening. So let\u2019s wait till she contacts me before we can take any action.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWhy? Why wait for her to contact you?\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cAm I supposed to know about this? Calm down man. You are panicking and that\u2019s not good at all.\u201d Bob said calmly once more.\r\n\r\n\u201cDamn!!\u201d He cursed hitting the couch. \u201cKilling her father wasn\u2019t even this hard.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cCalm down,\u201d Bob started throwing him a glance, \u201cwe will wrap this up very soon.\u201d\r\n\r\nHe was about saying something when Bob\u2019s phone starting ringing. Picking it up from the armrest, he nodded and cleared his voice, \u201cIt\u2019s Claire.\u201d He said and pressed the receiver button before turning it to speak out.\r\n\r\n\u201cHello sweetheart.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cUncle I\u2019m in trouble,\u201d Claire cried. \u201cSomeone is after my life. He tried to kill me\u2026. he tried to kill me.\u201d She cried.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat? Who? How? Where are you?\u201d he asked with faked seriousness.\r\n\r\nClaire kept crying without a word.\r\n\r\n\u201cSweatheart calm down, I\u2019m on my way to you now but I need to know where you are.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m in Paradise hotel.\u201d She said crying.\r\n\r\n\u201cOk, I want you to stay there. I\u2019m on my way with the SCD ok?\u201d he said\r\n\r\nShe was still crying before he dropped the call. They both heaved big sighs of relieve as Gerald poured another round of shot for them.\r\n\r\n\u201cNow call your guy and tell him to move as fast as he could to Paradise hotel. Tell him that incase they demand for a name, he should tell them that it\u2019s Bob.\u201d\r\n\r\nPicking his phone Gerald placed a call to the hired killer and gave him the piece of information.\r\n\r\nTo Be Continued..!!