Saturday, 16 December 2017

FALSE PRETENSES Episode 40

Tuesday 24th September 12 30p.m
'' Jeje, really you've got to get a grip on yourself. Crying is really not helping the situation." kite tried consoling Jeje who had been all tears since the day before. " It will turn out alright, I'm quite sure of it."
Jeje shook her head "How can you be so calm, Kite? How do you manage it, I'm scared out of my skin."
Kite looked over at Jeje who was in the other corner of the room, she wished she could go over and offer her a hug but both their arms and feet were tied and they were seating hunched in a corner. " I just tell myself it will be fine, you heard them earlier, we've been taken as hostages until the ransom has been paid for. I'm sure that shouldn’t be a problem, so take it easy on yourself, okay? It will be alright." She tried reassuring her.
Jeje sighed " It seems so simple when you say it," she managed a small smile I hope it turns out like you said."
I hope so too, Kite thought to herself. I really do hope so.
*******
1.52pm
Ise stepped into the meeting with just some seconds to spare. The Israelis were already seated and waiting, he hated giving them the impression of being unprofessional by being late, this was an important merger which he was taking very seriously but much more serious was this kidnap of his family.
He'd not slept all night, consorting with his father, Izy and Colin from Citibank on which assets to liquidate. No one had two million dollars just sitting around, that would be insane and illegal even. It was a huge amount but wasn’t going to cripple the family fortune in anyway. At six A.M, they'd finally come up with assets to sell and buyers for them but had to wait until the markets had opened, that was at eight am, he'd only just left the house when the last of it had been sold, the next step was getting the funds into that foreign account via wire transfer.
He wondered what sort of exclusive abductors these were that dealt with accounts in the Cayman's. It was highly unusual as a vast sum was needed to open these shady accounts. Colin had been left to make the transfer and would get back to him when he was done.
He was also working on a backup plan from his own end as he wasn’t playing all his cards at once, he wanted to be ready for these guys in the case they reneged on the agreement so he'd engaged the head of the IT department at WOLCORP who had gotten one of his smartest guys working on the location of the computer where that mail had come from. Ise was positive he would find something. He had to.
Just before he opened the door to the room, Princess, who had been following behind, called his attention "Sir, before I forget, Adeniyi called earlier to leave a message, he said he has something for you now. I fixed him for three thirty."
"Fine." Ise said going in, now he had to focus on this meeting, it would be hard but he had to.
********
1.56pm
Princess was scared. Something told her that her job was on the line here. Kenny had been fired during the weekend, had Ise found about the funds which they and a others had been pocketing for a while now? She'd tried reaching Kenny but his phone had been switched off and he was not answering his door. Had he run off? It would be typical of the coward, he'd not even bothered with warning her before taking off. She hated being kept out of the loop like this, it was killing her not knowing what was going down and she and a few others were getting real scared. Had Kenny exposed them before he'd left and what was this top secret thing Adeniyi was working on?
Princess didn’t particularly care about Jeje and that tramp being kidnapped. She was more scared for her own hide and was at a loss for what to do. Should she wait until she was caught, did she run, or should she confess and hope Ise would be lenient on her. She'd been a good P.A to him for four years after all, that ought to count for something, she wondered as she walked into the meeting behind him hoping she would be able to concentrate.
If she lost this job, she would be destitute. She had never been big on saving, her funds depleted as soon it came in, paying off huge debt incurred from the lavish lifestyle she enjoyed. She seriously needed a backup plan.
*********
3.55pm
Vicky took a sip of the cold beer as she sat down to her PC. It was three fifty five pm and time to check if Williams had done his part. She smiled to herself already knowing that the money would indeed reflect in the account. From what she'd seen at his place the day before, she knew he was ready to sell his whole estate just to get his family and fiancée back.
She felt real good, soon she would be basking in millions of dollars, enjoying the lifestyle she was used to, with Moss or maybe without him, depending on how the evening went. She paused as she thought about her shaky, scared boyfriend. The guy had been really irritating these past few days. Made her wonder if she was wasting her time with him, he was too squeamish for his own good. He'd been negative about the plan from the start, scared that something would happen and they would get caught. she didnt need that kind of person hanging on to her, she needed a confident guy who was ready to take on the world. Not some squeamish little mouse. Could she trust him? That was the question that had been plaguing her mind for a while now.
Turning back to the PC, she logged into her online account, more like her late husband's account. Husband number two had been into some shady deals and had been a tax evader, he'd set up the account in the Cayman's to evade the IRS and FBI. He'd been a selfish son of a b'itch and it had given Vicky great pleasure sending him to his grave and then owning all he had. It hadn’t taken her time to blow through everything though, Moss had also been to thank for it. This time, she promised herself she would be wiser.
The bank’s user interface opened on the screen of her laptop and she clicked the button to check her balance, smiling as she registered what was in it, "Good Boy!" she cooed, Ise Williams had played nice and for that he would get his reward. She picked up her cell phone.
"Baby...." She drawled as Moss picked up the phone.
"Yeah?" His voice was wary like he didnt trust her sudden drop in voice tone.
" The account has been credited, we're good to go, babe!"
"You serious?" He sounded like he didnt believe it.
"Believe it, babe, we're set."
"Whoa! Whoa! the whole two million?"
"All of it babe, I knew it wouldnt be a problem for Williams, we should have gone ahead with five million!"
"Vick!" Moss said sharply "That would be pushing it, we're good with two, okay?"
She rolled her eyes, "Okay, just get yourself down here right now!"
"Why?"
" for the celebration, silly!" She said consciously making her voice warm.
"We could do that later tonight, I've got to arrange for the hostages to ...."
She cut him off "Later Honey, leave them with the guys. I want you here right now, I'm wearing your favourite negligee, the red crotch less one ......" She said silkily and he groaned.
"I'll be right there, babe." He said and the phone went dead.
**********
5.48pm
Ise returned home from his wild goose chase, tired as hell. It was all beginning to take its toll on him, the sleepless nights, the lack of a proper meal since Sunday and most of al,l the worry. His body was very close to breaking down but he wouldn’t give in, not till he made sure Kite and Jeje were back to safety.
After Colin had confirmed that the transaction had been made sometime around three, he'd met with Adeniyi who'd given him the full report on his findings, it was all documented and he'd not had time to listen to the man’s lengthy explanation because the IT guy had come in and said he had something. He'd dismissed Adeniyi with a promise to go through the report later and had called the guy in.
Tope, who'd been nervous as hell to be in a private meeting with the boss had stuttered and shook as he'd told Ise what he'd put together. He'd first launched into a tutorial on how IP address were like a mail addresses on an envelope of a mail and how they were hidden, how he'd had to get it from the header of the mail. Ise had hurried him along, worked through the stammering and gotten what he'd needed, Tope had traced the IP address of the computer used to send the mail to an address in Jabi.
Ise, Sal and two of his personal security detail had gone to the address, just to stake it out and found out that it was a cyber cafe. Ise's hope had deflated instantly but Sal had gone in and asked some questions. He'd gotten that some woman had used the computer the day before, the attendant on duty had noticed her because she'd been pretty with blonde hair and shades on. She'd also had a little scarf on her head which she'd wrapped around her face partly covering her face, but he could tell she was pretty.
Ise wondered who this mysterious woman was whom the attendant and his mother were talking about, was it even the same person? His gut told him it was. Someone influential enough to have an account in the Cayman's, who could this person, be?
"Sir," Sal said handing over Kite's phone which was ringing. He accepted it wondering if it was that friend of hers, Lucky who had called the day before. The girl had been distraught and Ise had tried reassuring her that he was all he could to find her.
"Ise Williams." He said.
"Yeah, it's Izu. Whats the latest?" He asked going straight to the point.
"nothing much other than the ransom demand that came in a mail yesterday ...."
"how much." Izu cut him off roughly.
Ise frowned "Two million dollars which was paid in full today, I...."
Izu snorted "I'm sure that wasnt a problem for you."
"No, it was none at all, I did it to save my fiancée, not like some people who disappear for six months, having a love feast with some other girl and then blackmail their girlfriends into doing what they want, you're a real piece of work, you know that, don’t you?" Ise replied back and could tell he'd hit the nail right on its head because the other man was quiet for a few seconds. What? no wise come backs? Ise wondered.
"Okay, look, I'm not proud about what I did, I made huge mistakes and I paid for it, you got the girl in the end, didn’t you? Let’s leave all that behind and call a truce, I'm really sorry about what I did to Kite and the role I played in your relationship with her. She's a wonderful girl and I know you'll treat her right, so let’s just focus our energies on finding this son of a b'itch. Okay.”
Ise agreed, no use rustling up past issue, not now “okay.”
Izu continued “You might have paid for their release and they might be released but I want the motherfu'cker found and dealt with seriously. Did you find out anything else? How about the account number, can it be traced to a bank here in the country?"
"It can't, it’s an account number for a bank in the Cayman Islands, its untraceable."
Izu whistled " The Cayman's, then we are talking someone quite influential?"
"Yeah.... one of my IT guys was able to trace the IP address of the computer used to send the mail to a cyber cafe in Jabi, it was like the person expected we'd trace it, it didn’t lead to much. We found out a woman was the one who used the computer. Tall, really light complexioned, pretty, could be anybody."
"yeah, I found out something similar too, some woman with that description you just gave is involved, my source said she came asking for guys who could do this sort of operation. I'm still trying to find out if someone has an idea where they are being held."
Ise sighed, they'd made a bit of progress but were stumped once again.
Izu continued " I'm sure I'll come up with something, it will just take a bit of time."
"Time is an accessory we do not have, we need to get them back as soon as we can."
"yeah you're right, but right now there’s really not much we can do, is there?"
"No there isn't." Ise agreed with a sigh.
***********
6.15 pm
Kite glanced at the corner where Jeje was bundled up. The poor girl, she was finally asleep. Kite knew she would be tired after all the fear and weeping since they'd been abducted. She didnt blame her, she was confused and didn’t understand what was happening. Kite understood very well, that was why she'd saved her strength, she hoped Ise would come to the rescue but incase this thing went south, Kite had promised her self she wouldn’t go down without a fight. She'd been calm since her arrival but if any of those fools tried her, she would unleash her madness upon them whether they held guns or not. She might get shot or even die but she wouldnt go down easily, might even take one of them along with her.
She wished she'd eaten what one of them had offered earlier, a plate of jollof rice with chicken in a Drumsticks take away pack, it had looked really inviting but she'd been scared it had been poisoned. Now her stomach was beginning to protest quite loudly. Maybe she should ask for the meal? No, she would ask for water instead but she didnt want to wake Jeje. As she was contemplating what to do, the door was unlocked and three masked figures came in, the one in the middle was definitely a woman.. Kite wondered who she was, she already knew she was the master mind behind the whole operation. She hardly ever talked and when she did her voiced was muffled beyond recognition. she gestured with her hands most of the time, passing her message across to her accomplices, like she did now, pointing at Jeje.
The two men walked over to the corner where Jeje lay, she seemed to be coming to. They dragged her up roughly and began to carry her out. Kite watched eyes open.
"No!" She shrieked, where are you taking her?"
The woman turned and regarded her for a while, and Kite imagined she had a sardonic smile on her face under that dark cloth that acted as her mask and Kite had an ugly feeling that she knew this woman and this abduction was personal.
**********
7.15 pm
Ise wished he could take over the wheels from Sal, maybe he should have ignored Sals plea not to drive in the state he was in and set off on his bike alone while Sal followed behind in the car.
"Sal move this damn car, will you?" He yelled at him but all he got for his trouble was a calm reply.
"I'm sorry, Sir but I cannot go above the speed limit."
"Speed limit, who cares about the speed limit at this time?"
"Sir, I dont think it would be wise getting into an accident now that we finally have them back, besides we are almost there."
In resignation, Ise sat back in his seat sulky "I swear sometimes you piss me off, Sal." He muttered under his breath but he knew Sal was right, it was better they spent a little more time on the road but got there in one piece than not to get there at all. He was just so impatient to confirm for himself that his sister and fiancée had finally been set free. There had just been an address in the mail that had been sent to him.
PLOT 234, IDU INDUSTRIAL LAYOUT
Princess had notified him of the mail the very second it had come in and he’d all but ran out of the house, Sal and the others barely keeping up.
When the message had come in, he'd been with his parents in their private suite of rooms, seeing how his mother was coming along and giving them the news that the driver was going to make it after all while his father had told him he’d received a call from the president of the country, he had expressed his sympathies.
His mother was doing well, recovering slowly but seriously scared for Jeje and quite surprisingly, Kite's safety also. His mother might be a snob but she wasnt wicked, she'd told him about Kite's bravery when they'd been attacked. She'd kept a cool head and had told the attackers they would co operate without hassle, pleading that they left his mom behind because she was in no condition to be moved and that was when his mother had heard the muffled voice of the woman.
His mother had spoken so highly of Kite, how she’d taken charge of the situation, she’d been impressed at her bravado. In her words, ‘that your girlfriend is something else.’ He had almost smiled on hearing her say that, if only she knew the half of it and even though she hadnt come out and said it, Ise knew that his mother was finally accepting Kite, she didn’t have to spell it out any clearer. Ise had gotten the message.
Princess’s message had come in then and he’d placed a call to his friend Ola immediately, telling him to hang on till he could confirm where to meet them. Ise was planning on having the family doctor going over them first before anyone else did. Goodness only knew what they had gone through in the hands of those thugs, he had to be sure they were alright.
“Sal, are you sure you can find the place?”
“Sir, I’m quite positive .......” Sals voice trailed and Ise sat up.
What is it?” Ise asked looking out the dark tinted glasses of his G-wagon and Sal didn’t need to reply. There road was congested with a mob of people, many who seemed to be reporters. The car couldn’t move any more forward.
“Sir, I suspect we found the place.” Sal said as he brought the car to park, Ise jumped out of the still moving vehicle, not caring if his security detail were following behind or not.
He made his way through the crowd, pushing and shoving roughly. Getting curses for his trouble but he didn’t care, he needed to know. “God, please let them be alright!” He prayed silently as he continued shoving people to create space from himself to move through the crowd. “Let them be alright.”
As he got closer, he saw a police van, that was a good sign but who had called them? He wondered. He’d painstakingly kept them out of the loop but he didn’t dwell much on that.
He finally got through the crowd but saw the police were holding off people, he had to get to that van. Breaking away from the crowd, he dashed for the van.
“Hey! You!” One of them called grabbing him by the arm “Where do you think you are going?”
Ise turned on him with all the rage he was presently going through, the only thing that held him back from punching the irritating officer was that it was against the law and Ise was a law abiding citizen but he didn’t trust himself if he was provoked.
“If you don’t to lose your job right this second, you’d better leave my arm now.”
Maybe the officer recognised him or maybe the mad look in Ise’s eyes was what got to him but the man instantlyleft him to make his way to the van. The other police men turned, their questioning glances directed at him but he paid them no heed.
He had only one focus, the van. He could see someone sitting in it, female, she was talking to who looked to be the commanding officer.
He took in a harsh breath, it was Jeje!
He felt weak with joy and his knees felt like they would buckle but he willed himself to keep moving.
“Jeje!” He called not recognising his own voice choked with emotion.
She turned her eyes meeting his, recognition forming in them. She sprang up from the seat and ran into him. Knocking the wind out of him, holding on to him tight.
“Ise, oh Ise, I cant believe i’m seeing you. Oh Ise!”
“Jeje” He pulled her back to look into her face, as if to confirm he really had his sister back.
“Ise, I thought I would never see you again!”
“Me too. Are you okay?” He searched her all over “Those bastards didn’t hurt you, did they?” She shook her head and then suddenly he
remembered Kite.
“Where’s Kite?” He looked around “ Is she in the van too?” He began making his way to the van but Jeje called him back.
“Ise!” Her eyes began tearing up and Ise feared the worst.
“No!” He didn’t want to believe she was dead, His lungs constricted and he feared he would faint “No! Dont tell me she’s dead!”
Jeje shook her head vigorously, sobbing now “I don’t know Ise.”
“What do you mean?” He asked holding her shoulders and desperately searching her face as if answers were written on it. “What do you mean you don’t know? Talk to me, Jeje!”
“ Ise...I don’t know... when they took me, Kite began to yell and shout...asking where they were taking me to.....I don’t know what happened but....one of them stayed behind in the room with her.....a woman...and the next thing I heard, was a gun shot.”
******
7. 35pm
Moss woke up with a head ache. Vicky had tricked him, that damn girl, what was her game? She’d made him come back on the pretext of having sex but she’d drugged his drink and he’d been asleep for the past few hours.
He got up from the settee in the living room where he’d nodded off. The television was on and there was a live broadcast going on. He read the alert scrolling at the bottom of the screen.
[center]‘Kidnapped sister of billionaire tycoon fieased’[/
center]
“what the ....” He cursed sharply as he watched the screen silently for a few seconds getting the whole picture, he had to call Vicky, what had she done?
Picking up his mobile, he speed dialled her number, she picked up on the second ring.
“Hey babe, you’re awake finally.” She said laughing.
“What the fuck have you done, Vic? What fucked up game are you playing at?”
“Oh Chill Moss. I haven’t done anything so bad that you have to yell your lungs out. I’m just having a little fun.”
“Fun? You want fun Vic? You’re playing with people’s lives here!”
“Oh please,” she brushed it aside “It wouldn’t be the first time. Rich boy deserves this, I intend to make him suffer! Why should he have the good life? Why....and with some low life tramp?”
“Vicky....please, I beg you, release the girl. She did nothing to you, they did nothing to us. The plan was to make some money off them and run. Dont do anything st’upid... please!” Moss begged his girlfriend hoping for once she’d listen to him.
“No!” She simply replied “they will all pay! They all have to lose something!”
Moss shook his head, Vicky had finally lost it to all the coke she smoked “So thats your decision?”
“Yes it is, and what s yours?”
Moss kept quiet and she asked again.
“Whats your decision Moss? Are you with me or not?”
“I’m with you, babe.....I’m always with you.”
********
Tbc

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