“Seriously, cousin, what she saw us doing should have made her commit suicide, and most definitely, make her quit,” Uka huffed in impatient frustration.
Nkakad sighed wearily. He wished his over eager cousin would shut up about getting caught with her legs up in the proprietor’s office. He loved her like family, but she was undeniably a whore and proud of it, which is why she was perfect for getting close to the proprietor.
“I know, Uka, you’ve told us plenty times. But seriously, why does this woman have to quit? You have told us that the proprietor is currently in love with you; how does this woman stop you from getting closer to find out more about his money? Remember, we only have days to go…”
“She’s important because she basically runs the school. Cyril didn’t want her again as a girlfriend, but he couldn’t miss her expertize either, so he made her a partner and signatory to the school account…”
“So you know the account?” Nkakad interrupted impatiently.
“There are three accounts. There’s one that has no activity, he never uses it and there’s one that all the parents have and pay school fees into and then, the other one…I suspect the last one is the one we want.”
“How do you know?”
Uka’s expression turned sly, she twisted her body sensually on the tattered couch she currently laid. A coy smile lifted her lips and she reached out to touch Ikpa who sat close to her.
The perpetually frowning second in command swatted her hand off his thigh as though dealing with a disgusting fly.
She chuckled and Nkakad sighed heavily, expressing his impatience.
“…because, a commissioner recently visited him at school for something clearly not academical. After the meeting, I was sent to go with the commissioner to the bank with the last account number.”
“My eyes bulged at the several Ghana must go bags of money that was transferred into the bank, it took hours to complete the counting, and it was confirmed the full amount was seven million naira.”
“I took the teller back to him and that night I casually asked how much he was worth, and he laughed and said ‘millions, my dear, a lot of millions’,” she concluded.
“But there’s a new signatory now,” Ikpa pointed out calmly.
Uka huffed in disgust, “Yes, but I’m trying to get her signature, that shouldn’t be difficult.”
“You’ll get it before the D-day?” Nkakad prodded, his eyes looked serious.
“Of course,” she smiled coyly again, stretching her body sensually and trying to reach out to Ikpa again, but the stout, unfriendly guy sighed wearily and got up from his seat beside hers.
They were inside the tarpaulin building in the forest, though not everybody was present for this briefing.
Drogba sidled up to Taurus as Nkakad continued asking Uka questions, he leaned in to Taurus and whispered, “She seems to be giving everybody the pussy but me,” he griped jokingly.
Taurus smiled but the humor didn’t reach his eyes, “It’s balanced, because you seem to be getting every pussy but hers,” he said before moving closer to where Nkakad currently sat, he vaguely heard Drogba chuckling behind him but it wasn’t important.
What was important was making sure that Nkakad accepted the new plan that he’d brought up. He pulled an envelop of glossy pictures from his back pocket and shifted himself into Nkakad’s lines of sight.
“I have a small on side plan,” he begun and took Ikpa’s former seat, then he dropped the envelop on the dirtied plastic table, carrying cigarette and smoked marijuana butts.
Nkakad reached for and picked the envelop with a frown, “What’s this?” he asked while studying each picture one at a time. Ikpa walked up and studied the photos over Nkakad’s shoulder.
“Who are these guys?” Nkakad asked and Ikpa lifted his head and pinned Taurus with a fixed stare which probably meant he was concurring Nkakad’s question.
“Why didn’t we see these pics when you tendered the others at Java’s house earlier?” Ikpa added.
Taurus cleared his throat and explained, “I did the surveillance on Morgan Ekpembe as you asked. And while following him about these past two weeks, these are the only guys I’ve seen him with regularly, like, everyday.”
Nkakad sighed when he finished looking through the glossy photos and Uka yawned, stood up and sashayed out of the sitting area, her destination was Nkakad’s bed stored in the back divided by a single ply wood wall.
Taurus ignored the obvious disinterest and ploughed ahead, “They are really close, it almost felt like it was a brotherhood.”
“And how is this important?” Ikpa prodded again.
“I decided to look into them, Nkakad, and they are filthy rich,” Nkakad leaned back in his seat and lighted a wrap of marijuana, his eyes narrowing as the fingers of smoke drifted up.
“Get this, all their kids attend the same school,” he reported excitedly and was glad when Nkakad sat up again, interest slightly etched on his formerly bland face.
“Tell me your side plan,” Nkakad prodded and Ikpa stood straighter, folding his muscled arms over his muscled chest.
“Well, seeing as Java’s plan for King Edem is kidnapping Morgan and his children and just plain punishing and killing them, this does not profit us in anyway.”
Nkakad grunted in agreement while sucking a deep drag from his joint.
“My surveillance is tight and I don’t mind recruiting a few more guys to help with the kidnap, then pay them off from…”
“This is kind of late in the game, Taurus. The plan has already been laid down. You’re just bringing in complications,” Ikpa snapped.
Taurus huffed impatiently, “Don’t you see, we can’t put all our eggs in one basket. We don’t know how the bank thing is going to turn out, I mean, it’s the bank, nonsense complications always come up.”
“I know you don’t give a shit about Java or his money, but this side plan is just to make sure we get paid at the end of the day. We’ve done the ransom thing many times, so it isn’t even an issue.”
“Their kids are in the same school, so they can be grabbed at once, you’ve seen their pictures. Since you’re sending me into the school, it will be easier for me to recognize the kids.”
“By the time me and my team have the kids, you should have been able to threaten the proprietor into withdrawing his money…I actually like the plan of catching him at home before he goes to school. This can work out, Nkakad, I can feel it in my bones.”
Nkakad grunted and thought for a while after Taurus had completed his plea. “Ikpa?” he prodded enquiringly.
“I don’t like it,” he snapped unequivocally.
“The plan is too busy and uncontrolled,” Ikpa said in brutal honesty.
Nkakad nodded, “But he has a point about not putting our eggs in one basket. And if he can bring in more guys…”
“I can…” Taurus rushed to affirm.
“…then picking these extra guys won’t be a problem,” Nkakad concluded lazily.
Ikpa wasn’t deceived by how lazy Nkakad looked. The boss obviously liked Taurus’s plan despite all the pitfalls inherent in it. But even as his second in command, he couldn’t really change Nkakad’s mind about what he was already convinced was right.
So he shrugged, “Whatever you say. You command and I do,” was his curt reply.
“Good,” Nkakad exhaled together with the marijuana smoke. “Let’s hope Uka can get that woman’s signature on several checks. And when you, Ikpa, has the proprietor on lock down, he will have no excuse but to sign the checks and at gun point call his account officer to readily make the money available to Uka when she goes to the bank.”
“The operation shouldn’t take more than an hour. By eleven am, you Taurus and your team would be on standby to enter the school and pick the kids.”
“And I’ll do my thing with the extra guys you bring when picking their daddies,” he joked and the guys present laughed.
“I have to warn you, it will be better if you use sedatives. Morgan is really a fierce guy and I don’t think a gun pointed at him will be enough,” Taurus said.
“Good idea, that will not be a problem at all,” Nkakad said confidently; he felt good about this operation, in fact, if he played his cards well, he might even retire big. He might not be as well known and wealthy as King Edem, but this was definitely the biggest operation, cash wise, he would be running.
“What about Java?” Ikpa asked.
“Hmm, Java…Java, I don’t know what to do with that boy. Some how I pity him, he has no idea what his cousin has gotten him into. I don’t know whether to set him up or just kill him.”
Nkakad sighed as though he was having trouble deciding on what color of tie to use, “But he has to be taken care of, one way or the other,” he pronounced.
“Tell us more about these extra rich guys,” Ikpa requested and sat down in one of the empty seats around the dirtied plastic table.
Nkakad nodded his support and Taurus launched into an elaborate explanation of Morgan Ekpembe’s friends and their routines.
Ebong watched Cecil shiver uncontrollably under the blanket. He was helpless as to how to help her, even though she continuously murmured that he shouldn’t worry.
Her fever seemed to always come in the night. He checked his phone and sighed at the lateness of the hour, no pharmacy would be open by this time. Should he take her to a hospital?
“You were supposed to go for a test today,” he griped worriedly, partly exasperated with her for working too hard and partly worried out of his mind. “This is possibly typhoid fever since this shivers have only been bothering you at night.”
Cecil shivered but murmured belligerently, “I was perfectly fine this morning and the whole day. I felt no fever or weakness.”
“And yet, for the past three nights, you’ve been shivering and burning hot under the blanket,” he snapped while his hand tenderly caressed her hot brow.
“I’ll do it tomorrow,” she promised.
“That’s what you said yesterday,” he scoffed but smiled, leaning down to kiss her cheek.
Cecil smiled at him too and then a particularly severe shiver wracked her body and his frown returned.
“Let me bring the towel and bowl, the cold sponge bath I gave you yesterday seemed to have helped a bit. And maybe a bottle of water to drink would be a good idea,” he said and got to his feet.
“I am thirsty,” she agreed.
Ebong nodded, “I’ll be right back,” he walked out of his room.
As he gathered the simple things he needed for breaking Cecil’s recurrent fever, he thought with a smile to himself, that he was so domesticated now and he loved every moment of it.
At fifty-three, he was living the dream. If someone had told him he’d be playing house with Cecil a few months ago, he’d have probably punched the person, since he hadn’t even wanted to hear her name in that time.
Until she had approached him with the crazy idea of donating his sperm so she could get pregnant through IVF. Shaking his head in wonder, he applauded her for being that courageous; she had always been that way though, even before he’d proposed and she’d rejected him.
He had consciously learnt to leave the past behind, and he was learning to forgive her for not having had faith in him a decade ago. He needed to let go that she’d gone ahead and married another man a year later, it was difficult but he was trying.
Ebong wondered how he would tell the boys that he and their new boss were a romantic item these days. He chuckled quietly at the shock they’d get while he moved towards the room to give his lady some tender loving care.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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