The Memory Bank

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CHAPTER 8

I was happy, and anyone could tell I was happy. It showed on my face, my smile and my actions, Victoria just looked at me and smiled. After our moment in the Jacuzzi, we washed up and came to the bed to cuddle; it was really nice having someone close by. I remembered that day at the park when I saw the couple lying on the mat, just enjoying the presence of each other, which was what it was like with Victoria and me.

I pulled her closer to my chest and kissed her forehead; she slapped my chest playfully and giggled. I had told her countless times how much I loved her, but not once did she say it back, she would smile and kiss me instead. I was patient and I had every reason to, her past relationship was not something to write home about, and she wanted to take things really slow, especially with a rich person like me. Her past boyfriend was a rich guy too, but he cheated on her and treated her like trash; I was happy he did, unless I would not have had her with me. I promised myself that I would always care for her and look after her well-being, although I still felt bad about lying about my job when she asked me.

“Babe, let’s go out, I have a surprise for you,” I announced. It was something I had planned for a while.

“Hmm, what is this surprise?”

“It wouldn’t be a surprise if I told you now, would it?” I teased.

“You wouldn’t tell even if I give you my get-things look?” she asked pouting. She looked beautiful with her black hair flowing down and touching her shoulders, they were always so soft.

“My lips are sealed. So go get ready, and also check the wardrobe, there is a package for you.” I winked, got off the bed and walked into the bathroom to have a shower.

I heard a happy shout and smiled as I rubbed a peach shampoo on my hair; it was Victoria who picked it. She said it smelt exotic on me, and made it a point to restock every time. I wore my bathrobe when I was done in the shower and walked back into the bedroom. I could see her waiting for me to finish up, which was for the best because I doubted if I could have held myself and not touch her again.

“Thank you, Michael,” she said with teary eyes, jumped into my arms with a tight hug.

“You are welcome, love.” I hugged her back, and kissed her hair. “Now, hurry up and take a shower, I wanna see if I picked the right one.

“You got it.’”

I watched her enter the bathroom; I turned and walked into my walk-in closet to pick a cloth for tonight. I had to dress just right for the occasion, and looking at my collection of suits and shoes, I was troubled at which one would be fit for the night.

“Wear the one I hung on the stand beside the mirror!” Victoria shouted. I turned to the mirror and saw the black tuxedo with a red handkerchief in the breast pocket. I grinned, the tuxedo was perfect and it complimented her gown.

“She knows me well,” I whispered to myself. I took the tuxedo from the hanger and wore it, the material was so soft that it could easy tear, and it felt nice against the skin. I disrobed, took a brief and wore, applied some lavender-smelling lotion on my body. then wore the white shirt Victoria picked. I wore my trouser, picked up the cuff-links she had set aside for the tuxedo, cuffed the hand of the shirt, and finally I picked up the suit and wore it. I buttoned up the three buttons, the tuxedo fitted my frame nicely, and I could see the outline of my muscles.

She’d already put out my shoes, I put them on and wore my cologne, jellied my hair and combed it so none of it stuck out. I picked up an Armani silver watch and a silver neck chain, looked at myself in the mirror, and knew that I was not the eighteen-year-old of some months back, I was a man making millions. The quarter-shaped birth mark on my face was not something I hated anymore, Victoria said it added to my charm and made me look special.

“I am ready, Michael,” I heard Victoria’s voice from the bedroom, I took one last look at myself in the mirror, turned and walked out. The woman that stood in front of me was not Victoria—she was a goddess. The red gown that she wore was exquisite on her body, her curves were outlined in accurate proportions, her chest filling out nicely. Victoria had seen this dress while shopping online and said it spoke to her, silently, I had promised myself to get it for her. I picked right because the gown was just too perfect, I also asked the attendant at the store to get me a matching pair of shoes, a bag, and jewelries.

She twisted her hair into her ponytail, then curled the tail, arranging so it rested on her chest. On her face was a light makeup: an eye shadow with some mascara, and a red lipstick.

“You look gorgeous,” I gushed.

She giggled. “You cleaned up nicely too.”

“Only with your help, love,” I said and kissed her lightly on the lips, “Shall we?”

*************

I asked my driver to take us to the seaside, while we sat at the back staring into each other’s eyes. They say when a male wolf finds his mate, he does everything to make her happy and satiated, he protects her and pleases her because he knows she comes only once in a lifetime. Victoria was my soul mate, and it was my duty to see she was the happiest woman alive.

“We are close, love. Do you mind wearing this blindfold?” I asked.

“What do you have planned, you sexy devil?”

“Something that would blow your mind, just trust me.”

“Okay.”

I tied a blindfold around her eyes and waited till the driver got us to the pier. I helped Victoria out of the car, took her hand and a jacket too in case she felt cold, and led her to her surprise.

“Watch your step,” I said gently.

“Michael, why are we at the seaside?” she asked while climbing the steps carefully. When she was in, I signaled for the sailor to start the engine of the yacht and drive us away from the port.. “Be patient, love.”

The yacht glided on the water smoothly, not rocking too much to tell Victoria she was on a boat, I took her inside immediately the boat moved, so she was in a warm room on the yacht, sitting at a table for two. I stood up and took the blindfold off. “Surprise!” I cheered.

“Oh my God! Michael, is this a yacht?”

“Yes, love, a yacht for us to spend three days far from the city. I know how much you love the sea,” I said with a smile.

“Oh, Michael, this is so beautiful,” she replied, looking around to take in the room she stayed in. At the corner, a piano man was playing a Mozart, beneath us was a fish tank decorated with roses in a heart shape and our table was in the middle of it all. The fish tank glowed from a bioluminiscent light, the light in the room was dimmed, only the glow from the fish tank lightened up the room—it was magical.

“I love it, thank you.”

I snapped my fingers and the waiters brought in the food. It ranged from Italian to French cuisines. We dined together, talking in-between bites of the delicious meal. This was perfect and I wanted everyday like this, good thing I planned for a three day vacation at on the sea with the love of my heart.

After the meal, I took her hand and together we waltzed like we did at the party the first time we met. My hands around her waist, her hands around my neck, her eyes staring deep into mine, she left her mark on my soul and memory.

************

Three days of freedom at the sea was enough to rejuvenate any sad person. Victoria loved the time we shared together, cuddling on the couch while watching a movie or when we were tearing each other’s clothes off, trying to taste each other. She was mine for those three days, but it was time we got back to our daily life and I knew Derek would need me soon.

Immediately we got on the pier, Derek called my burner phone; I allowed it ring and did not pick it up. I did not want Victoria asking why I used a burner phone, so I acted like everything was okay. I took her to her apartment in the city, dropped her by the entrance, kissed her one last time and got back into the car. I picked up Derek call on the next ring was braced for the tongue lashing.

“You are lucky it was Victoria you were with or you would have been a mincemeat tonight. Meet at river in twenty minutes,” he grumbled from the other end.

“Yes, boss.”

I told the driver to get me to the Adonis River, the popular hangout spot for men. I was there in the nick of time, although Derek got there before me, it was always a surprise how he was always the first to get to a location. He was fishing when I go the river. Derek fishing was as weird as a lion eating fish, and Derek was not a fan of sea food. I walked up to him and took the seat he left open for me.

“I have an assignment for you, and only you would be going on it,” he said immediately I sat down.

“Okay. Who am I meeting?” I asked, staring at the water, they brought back memories of my time with Victoria.

“The Chaos. You are to monitor their actions and report back to me, Sylvester believes they are acting up.”

“I see. Is there something I should be worried about?”

“It is best to take a gun along for self-defense, and you are meeting them at the abandoned warehouse of the Argos Company,” he said without looking at me. It made me wonder what I was going to find at the location. He dug into his bag and handed me a file.

“Off you go, kid. Meeting time is in an hour from now, so you take my bike and head there now,” he ordered.

I took the file, stood up and headed to where he kept his bike. The key was in its ignition, also a bag was sitting on the tank, and I dug into it to find a pistol. Derek came ready, it made me feel a little afraid that I was going alone; the Chaos was a friend of the Horus, but sometimes the men did things their own way. I got on the bike, started the ignition and sped through town, heading straight to the city.

I got to the warehouse some minutes before the meeting time and decided to take a look around. The Argos was into aluminum, the warehouse was an abandoned one after they moved their project to another area. The sun was setting over the horizon, so the Chaos would be arriving soon; they liked their business in the dark, just like they loved causing havoc at night.

I heard a crash in the warehouse and turned sharply to see what it was, when I did not hear anything again, I decided to investigate. I tiptoed to the warehouse, doing my best to lay low in case there was someone watching, the Chaos could be tricky sometimes. As I got closer, I heard another crash and a groan, it sounded human, and something was definitely up.

I pushed the door of the warehouse open and stepped in, it was dark inside since the windows were closed. I turned on the flashlight of my phone, and pointed it into the dark, the shape of bodies huddled together greeted my eyes, and I walked forward to get a closer look, when I heard a muffled shout above me. I pointed the flashlight up to see a teenage girl tied to the ceiling; her hands were bound to her back, a cloth tied over her mouth to silence her. But what was most disturbing were the cuts that were on her skin, they looked like carvings. I heard crying from the bodies huddled together, I pointed my flashlight to see children of different age grades tied together—they were drugged.

I heard the sound of cars driving into the compound; I switched off my flashlight and slipped outside, trying to calm my racing heart. My palms got sweaty, and lips trembled, I ducked behind an abandoned vehicle as someone passed, close to my hiding spot. I had to get back to my bike, and since I left the warehouse door open, and they would know someone was here.

I scurried away when the person was out of earshot. As I got closer to my bike I heard someone shout and I froze, regained my composure and turned to them. “Hello fellas.”

“Who are you?” the leader of the group asked.

“I am Mockingbird, the representative of the Horus,” I said calmly, I dug into my pocket and brought out the card Sylvester gave me at the coffee shop.

He scrutinized carefully and then said, “I am Talon, the representative from the Chaos.”

As I was about to talk, the man who passed me when I hid behind the vehicle ran to his leader and whispered something to him; his eyes snapped to me and blazed. “My men tell me you went snooping around my territory,” he said with a quiet anger that always meant trouble.

“I wouldn’t say snooping, but I took a walk around when I got here,” I replied, adding a shrug to show indifference, I had to be in control of the situation.

“I see. And what did you see?” He brought out a pocket knife and played with it.

“Nothing much, just saw dust and wreckage.” He must be the one who carved that girl, my mind brought back the image of her bleeding skin.

“He lies. Kill him, boys,” he said with a wave of his hand and turned to leave. I already knew he wanted me dead, so I dove to the side as the men rained bullets at the spot I stood earlier. I brought out my gun too and fired back, hitting some, while others took cover. The training with Derek paid off, the first one who got close to my hiding got a kick in his ribs, and a punch on his face knocked him out. One attacked me from behind, hitting my back with a plank, and then proceeded to kick my face. I groaned, used my hand as shield to block the second kick and shot him in the knee, and kicked his face to knock him out. Soon, they were upon me, and I let my instincts take over.

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