"...they say you don't know the value of what you've got till it's gone. What happens if you get it back? Does one finally understand the value then?"
It was a chilly Saturday morning, it had drizzled all night. Cold nights like this incites a dose of sleep and grogginess. Egbon roused himself from his sleep. He had to be out of Ile-Ife, his business here was done already. The boys were under protection and as long as they kept their mouths shut and kept things cool they would be fine. He left a long list of instructions and directives regarding their safety and continued survival. His younger brother was the only thing in the world that mattered to him and he did all he could to keep him alive.
He rose from the bed in all of his adamic nature, Egbon is one that hates encumbrances such as clothing or underwear when going to sleep at night. He took a cold shower with total disregard for the cold outside, the Lexus would be warm anyways. There was no bag to pack but he didn't forget to retrieve his SIG Sauer P320 from underneath the headrest. He never traveled out of town without his favourite handgun. The SIG Sauer P320 fired 9×19mm Parabellum rounds, and could squeeze out a maximum of 21 rounds before reloading. The SIG is the official handgun of the US Army and Egbon had to pull a lot of strings to get one into the country. He tucked it in the waistband of his trousers and concealed it from view with his Lakers basketball shirt.
As he stepped of The Cameron Hotels, he ignored the greetings from staff and pleas that he should check out and not leave with any of the hotel's property, he made a beeline for the Lexus GS350. She was a beauty and so far hasn't failed him yet. He activated his key fob, unlocked the car and wasted no time firing up the engine. The Lexus gave a satisfying growl as Egbon stepped on the gas pedal and screamed out of the hotel parking lot. He had the GS 350 retrofitted when he acquired it. It ran on a naturally aspirated V8 engine instead of the usual V6 engine thereby delivering over 500hp. Any confrontation from a police cruiser would be fruitless because, the GS 350 would effortlessly leave any standard police cruiser in the dust without even utilising all of the ponies under that hood.
Egbon transferred his handgun from his waistband to a special holder under the steering wheel for comfort while driving. The special holder ensured that the handgun could be retrieved as fast as needed without much movement while he was behind the wheel. Egbon eased up on the gas pedal as he approached a U-turn that would point him towards Ibadan and thereafter Lagos. He engaged his seatbelt and settled in for what was going to be a painstakingly long journey.
Ghost was barely awake behind the wheel as green scenery blew past. There had been an out-of-town meeting to discuss some things of importance. His hands were being tied by his bosses. Those old men kept stressing the fact that the brotherhood wasn't about bloodshed and violence. He was sick of hearing all that crap. All he needed was an excuse or maybe... He squinted his eyes to see the vehicle tearing down the opposing lane; Black Lexus GS 350 with diplomatic plates, the oncoming vehicle whined as it shifted into a higher gear, burning rubber as it flew past at about 180km/hour or thereabouts... "That fucker!" He cursed. It was on now, if Egbon was in town while his boy was killed it narrows down the suspects to just one or at least a group of imbeciles. The Bi-Turbo V8 barked as he stomped down on the gas pedal with fury. Not today, he was going to patiently bid his time and plan...
"Baby talk to me, are you okay?" Paula asked soothingly. She had to wait for a while before she got her reply though. When he finally spoke she couldn't hear him well and she had to tell to stop and speak up. "Your food is burning" He said. She rushed into the kitchenette to take care of it. Then came back to the room and sat down on the only plastic chair available in the room.
"Why did you send that text?" He asked. "What text?" Paula replied with a question of her own. "The one where you said you never wanted to see me again?" He replied. The look on her face was...
The look on Paula's face was one of astonishment and bewilderment. "I didn't send any text saying I never want to see you again. Why would I even say that? I've been angry at you all this while, you haven't reached out me in what six weeks? Now you come over here crying like a baby and talk about a text I never sent. Tell me what is going exactly I'm really confused" Paula ranted. The silence that ensued was deafening it went on like that for some moments before Paula raised her eyes to look inquisitively into Nife's eyes. "Are you deaf now?" She retorted.
Nife studied Paula's eyes they were a shade of grey. With her light skin tone and black hair, it was completely striking. She had a straight-edged nose with a heart-shaped face which is deemed to be 'mathematically beautiful'. Her jawline was well defined with not too prominent angles. She had cupid's bow shaped lips with a natural groove just beneath her nose. Nife leaned in, her breath smelled like warm milk. She slowly parted her lips, he inched his head some degrees sideways and touched his lips to her lower lip. He paused, expecting some resistance on getting none he got bolder and nibbled that lower lip. Then sucked lightly on it, he felt rather than hear her gasp she melted and he steadied her neck with his left hand. He went in for the kiss, slowly and delicately caressing her lips with his tongue. Then she kissed him back. It felt like electricity running through his veins. When their tongues met, it was like a well ochestrated symphony. His hands started moving, unzipping her with lightning speed, she matched his tempo and in no time their clothes were tossed across the room. It was hot, steamy and passionate, with Nife teasing Paula to the edge and back again. He knew her so well and she knew him too better than anyone else. They both explored and finally went over the edge. They laid on the bed staring at the ceiling, spent but the fire they had just rekindled burned with renewed vigour.
"Are you hungry? We could talk as we eat. You are telling me everything." Paula said. Nife didn't know where to start. He couldn't start with the fact that they killed someone. That would be too scary.
"I joined a cult group" He said without giving himself too much time to think about it. She looked unabashed and urged him to continue. He spilled his guts, told her about Ahmed's death, Egbon's intervention coming a little too late, his life debt to Ghost, and his comprised position as a friend, enemy and betrayer to everything that he held dear. Paula did agree that it was too big a burden to carry alone. She apologized for her actions at the restaurant and Nife said that he deserved no less. He pledged to be around her more and promised complete honesty. She accepted but argued that they should plan a course of action. She mentioned FM, saying that since he wasn't much older than they were and definitely much more far ahead in life and experienced than they were, they could go to him for help, maybe he would accompany them to the police station so that Nife's position would be properly explained. But, Nife blatantly refused and argued that FM wasn't really that well known and since there was no proof of the crime. The Police wouldn't believe them. So all he had to do was get Ghost off his back and denounce a cult group all by himself. Pretty simple yeah?
Nife stayed till late and then left for his flat. Refusing Paula's pleas that her apartment would be the safest place for him right now since nobody would think of looking for him there. But he didn't want to bring her into this mess. It wouldn't bode well for him if any of Ghost's boys saw him with Paula. He took his leave making sure to keep his face obscured from public scrutiny.
Paula wasn't sure what to do. She had been sworn to complet secrecy by Nife. Her mind was made, FM was just frantic gulp of hair. Nife was in trouble and she would do everything in her power to help him. She couldn't confide in Tutu. Tutu wasn't exactly a closed tomb, she couldn't keep a secret for too long. She picked up her phone and dialed FM's number. She had never been so sure of anything in her life. He would be able to help her.
FM's Saturday wasn't exactly splendid but his rage had tempered down to a simmer. His phone rang as he was settling down to watch a premier League match on the cable TV he had just installed. It was Paula calling.
Paula was frantic on the phone. She told him all about her boyfriend and his predicament and how she needed his help. He promised to help out and calmed her down.
FM looked into the mirror placed beside his wardrobe and watched as Ghost smiled back at him sinisterly. Well Well Well what an exciting outcome of events...