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“Can I open my eyes now?” Amara asked as soon as they were ushered out of the car.

“Not yet baby,” Derek said. He held her hand as she stepped down from the Rolls Royce Cullinan.

Derek had gone to pick her up from the La Campagne Tropicana Hotel, Lekki right on time and covered her eyes with a handkerchief.

He wanted her to move in together with him into his new home, a modest mansion, to say the least; located in Lekki which had been renovated to suit his high tech tastes; he would do anything to make it special for her.

Nigerian Highlife music was already wafting out of the concealed speakers surrounding the whole building and the swimming pool which was fitted with water resistant speakers, the atmosphere was so lively.

Mr Adefolarin Stan, the housing agent was already at the gate waiting with a couple of friends to welcome them into their new home; he looked smart in a grey suit and he stepped forward to present them with a gold platter which had key cards and a scissors in it; Derek took the scissors and put it in Amara’s hand while guiding her to the gate.

“What’s that for? Honey, you’ve got to tell me what’s going on, I don’t want to freak out,” she took the scissors with her eyes still blindfolded and Derek guided her hands to the red ribbon tied across the huge metal gate,

“Ok, on three you cut the tape. Okay?” Derek said in her ears,

“One, two and three!” Mr. Adefolarin counted and on ‘three’, Amara cut the tape while Derek simultaneously pulled off the blindfold from her eyes.

“Hurray,” they all shouted.

Amara was surprised and dumb-founded, she didn’t even know that people were there watching her. She just stood and stared in awe.

“Oh my God! You didn’t say anyt…” Derek cut her off with his long index finger on her lips. She hugged him.

“This is so sweet. I’m so excited; can we go in right now?”

“Of course, it’s ours now. Mr Stan can you come over please,” he came over and Derek introduced them to each other,.

“Honey, this is Mr. Stan Adelofarin. My childhood friend, architect and the best housing agents behind this magnificent mansion; Stan, this is Amarachi Bradley my fiancé,” they both shook hands.

“I’ve read so much about you in the papers and Derek talks about you all the time. He loves saying my name the wrong way, it’s Adefolarin,” they all laughed heartily.

“I’ve been telling you that I’m not a Yoruba guy, I love the language though,” Derek added,

“You’re welcome, Mr Adefolarin. Don’t mind him, he can be like that sometimes,” she made a face while saying it.

“This is not so fair,” Derek joked; he stretched his arms and brought her closer.

“It’s time for the party to begin, you need to come over here madam,” Mr Stan led her to the pillar on the right side of the gate; the two massive square-shaped pillars were silver plated and it shone with light from the street lights. He took one of the key cards and swiped it through a card reader set into the pillar; a green light blinked thrice and a small section of the silver plated slid up to reveal a concealed panel, he pushed some buttons on the panel.

“Can I have your phone ma?” she handed it over to him and he operated it before handing it back to her, “alright, you just have to align your eye with the retina scanner and then you’re done, Derek already has his own registered on the database,” Amara came over and stood right in front of the panel facing two binocular-like lenses, within seconds the green light blinked,

“Place your right index finger on the screen of the panel and she did so, the lights blinked once again and the two gates slid open.

“That’s okay, from now on you just have to stand right here for the gate to open or you can use the thumbprint scanner in front of the gate; the gate is also equipped with discreet cameras and long range retina scanners to detect intruders and even if you are in the car you just have to stare directly at the gate.”

“This is so cool, you are gonna pay for not letting me in on all of this,” Amara said, she held Derek’s hands and squeezed it,

“You better brace yourself up because more surprises are coming,” he said and cocked his head.

“But won’t we be having visitors or something?”

“Of course you would, the whole surrounding of this property is equipped with a virtual wall fence, underground sensor cables integrated with CCTV cameras to detect anyone that breaches the perimeter and either of you would be alerted with an 1080p HD live video coverage of the perimeter streamed to your phones not excluding the emergency text message and at the push of a button, an emergency call would be put through to the authorities, it’s all programmed in here,”

“That was a lot to take in,” Amara said

“Don’t worry, I’ll show you how it all works later,”

“That’s all for the security on the outside. I failed to mention that if you’ve got a visitor pressing the door bell, an electronic voice would inquire who he or she is looking for – your guests better know your real names, the system then takes a snapshot of the visitor and emails it to either of you, you can then authorize entry or authorize the system to say that you are not available or in some cases, call the police,”

“I can’t wait to get in there,” Amara said delightfully and they all walked in, Segun drove the car into the compound and soon located the parking spaces.

A gasp escaped from Amara’s lips; it was a one-story mansion built in a complex but alluring architectural design, glasses dominated the building and the positioning of the lights throughout the building was superb – the whole place was electrifyingly beautiful. The fountain was in four tiers and a dolphin stood on its tail on the top with water shooting high up from its mouth. The fountain was flooded with lights and the well-manicured flowers that surrounded the whole compound even had lights glowing out of them.

“Derek, this place is so beautiful,” she was holding up her hands to her chest the way women do when they think something is awesome,

“I just hope you like it,” Derek said smiling, he had gotten what he wanted. He wanted to surprise her and he had obviously succeeded.

“Why, I love it, Derek. Jeez, I never imagined something like this, this is just like my dream home,” she said running her hands over the magnificent flowers that led up to the entrance.

“Most of the structures here were designed with different kinds of marble, all the door handles are equipped with self-sterilization systems and even when you’re not watching, Diamond Security corporation has already been licensed to help you secure the place.”

Amara couldn’t get enough of it.

“Can we go inside?” she said excitedly. Derek was just observing her and smiling satisfactorily. He had really surprised her.

The front door opened on its own accord as soon as she stood in front of it and they all got in,

“You just blew my mind, Derek. This is far more luxurious than my condo,” she sat on one of the fluffy cushions and grabbed a pillow; the whole place smelt new and fresh.

“No T.V.?” she asked. Derek stepped in,

“There is, it’s right in front of you. Close your eyes, count to three and open, it would just appear right here,” he said deliberately and pointed at the seemingly empty wall; highlife music by Flavor, the Nigerian sensation at the moment rang out through the walls.

She did as she was told and before she could open her eye, Derek had already turned on the television,

“Here is the famous transparent UHD television, you can also watch it with a 3-D glass to get the best out of it and right there is your refrigerator,” Stan said switching channels on the smart tv screen.

“Not just any refrigerator, it is a Wave Ultra Sonic Wine Ager and Refrigerator and uses the magneto caloric effect to age any wine of your choice within minutes,” Derek added, he loved that one.

“It only has to be you and your obsession for aged wine,” she said rolling her eyes, “What is that over there? I don’t think we would need a fireplace, we are in Nigeria for God’s sake,” she asked pointing at the fireplace,

“It’s actually different from the fireplace we know, welcome the Electrolux fireplace; adds a touch of lively design to the living room. If you don’t like this, this place has an extra sitting room and a T.V. room. Lit it up!” He said and the fireplace lit up with purple flames.

“Wow. What about the bedrooms?”

“The building has three master bedrooms and two visitors bedroom, five in all,” Stan said.

“Derek, this is just too much, I mean who’s gonna stay in all these rooms,” she said.

“Uhm, our kids,” Derek and Stan laughed heartily,

“you’ve seen nothing yet. Why not we show her the ultimate, Mr. Stan?”

“As you wish boss,” he led the way to a closet and they all went in and closed the opaque glass door. Derek took his keycard and swiped it through a slit beneath a hand washing sink, and a humming sound was heard before the whole closet began a downward journey.

“Wow! A concealed underground and this closet is a cool elevator, even CTAN doesn’t have one with a hand washing sink and a mirror,” Amara said and they laughed.

Within seconds the elevator stopped and the door opened.

“Twenty-three feet underground, here we are,” Derek announced gleefully. The space was not that much, an imposing metallic door was up ahead; it almost looked like a bank vault.

“What is that?” Amara asked walking ahead of them.

“You are standing in front of a bullet and bomb-proof door that leads to an NBCE Shelter; it has the capability to protect anything inside against nuclear, biological, chemical and electromagnetic bombs. Built 20 to 30 feet underground, the shelter could be stocked with food and water that could last from just several months to a year and has a filtration system that purifies the air and at the request of your fiancé we had it stocked with licensed arms and ammunition; let’s just, y’all are fully prepared for Armageddon,” Stan joked and they all laughed. Just then, Derek’s blackberry rang and he picked the call.

“Hello Segun, what is it this time?” he paused, “the Executive Manager? Okay, I’m coming right away,” he terminated the call.

“Sorry, my boss at G.S. Tech just called, he said that I should come over as soon as possible, that it’s an emergency,” he apologized.

“You’re leaving for Dubai this night? Can’t it wait till tomorrow?” Amara asked, wide-eyed. She was on a red evening dress that hugged her figure perfectly, she had loosened her hair and it rested on both shoulders; she barely does that as she loves making her long hair in a ponytail or a bun due to the rigorous activities and training she does at the CTAN agency.

Derek swallowed hard; he certainly would miss all the fun tonight but he had to go – duty calls.

“Duty calls, I’ve got to go. Love you,” he bent and kissed her cheeks,

“You know what honey?”

“What my dear?” Derek asked.

“Last time you did this was at the airport and I got kidnapped and got you into trouble,” she said holding his cheeks in her hands.

“Ah, there you go again. That was some time ago and it’s Dubai, not any other place; there certainly would be no trouble and besides, I can take care of myself,” he said.

Amara smiled,

“Sure you can when you don’t take the gun lessons serious,”

“At least I can handle a gun when the need arises, trust me on that one,” he winked and slowly backed away.

“Take care and be careful honey, ,” she blew him a kiss as he got into the elevator.

“I will. Just keep it tight for me baby,” he winked.

The last thing he heard her say was ‘I’ll be waiting for you as long as you bring that thing back to mama’, he chuckled and checked his watch; 10:32pm already.

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