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Shortman’s partner on seeing what happened began to shoot into the toilet from where he was as he called the attention of the other guys around.
‘Tap this red button if you need me,’ Tarasha whispered to Stephanie, handing her a small device which had a switch on it. ‘Don’t leave this place until I come back for you,’ she instructed before rising up from her squatting position and proceeding towards the door. She stopped just before she got to the part where the reflection of the light would reveal her shadow and squatted, she took some seconds to observe the shooter’s manner of shooting and listened carefully to the sound made by the soles of the shooter’s shoes. The shooting stopped for a while and she noticed a shadow of a man approaching slowly with a gun in his hands. The shadow stopped and she could see notice the owner trying to change his gun. She used the opportunity and surfaced at the entrance, a bullet entered into the guy’s forehead before he knew it.
Tarasha took Shortman’s gun before dragging away his body from the doorway into the toilet properly, she turned on the toilet light and could hear Stephanie let out a scream as she closed the toilet door. She ignored Stephanie’s scream and proceeded towards the opened door by the wall at her left hand side. A guy rushed in from the place she was headed to, she sent a bullet straight to his right knee, he staggered and fell down but with his gun still in his hand, he turned and attempted to shoot at Tarasha but she was faster, her bullet had hit the hand holding the gun, just at the wrist. The gun fell off his hand and he let out a loud cry. She approached him hurriedly and pulled him up with his collar, careful not allow his blood stain her clothes. She made him rest his back against the wall and she placed a knee on the ground. She pointed her gun to his nose, ‘Where are the couples you kidnapped?’
The guy refused to give an answer at first and closed his eyes, pretending to be weaker than he actually was. She cocked her gun and pointed it backwards, sending in a bullet to the chest of another guy who was approaching slowly and carefully from the opposite door.
‘Tell me where they are,’ Tarasha used the tip of the gun to hit his nose and he opened his eyes, looking bewildered as he saw the person he thought would have shot her laying lifelessly far behind.
He was still too confused to talk as he wondered how she had seen the other guy coming behind her from the corridor leading into the door at the opposite side but she surprised him again. She pointed her gun towards the door at the right side and the door flipped open almost immediately, with the man who opened the door receiving a bullet into his chest from her gun.
‘Where are the couples?’ she hit his nose hard with the tip of the gun again
‘The building behind,’ he said in a weak voice, vibrating fearfully. She must be using a sort of black magic, he thought to himself.
‘How many people are there with them?’ she asked.
‘We have two boys each assigned to stay with the different couples, one stays at the door,’ he answered, his body and his voice was growing weaker, his vision more blurred. The bullets in his body and the bleeding were making their effect on him.
‘That means five people are in the building behind?’ she asked and he nodded weakly in affirmation. ‘Any other person in the whole facility?’ she asked another question.
‘Five of us were looking for you in this building and we have one person who is supposed to be outside,’ he replied, now gasping for breath.
She paused for a moment to listen, she could hear some footsteps and tried to figure out where it was from. She then turned and look towards the toilet where she came out from, three seconds later, the door of the toilet opened slightly and Tarasha could see Stephanie peep out frightfully. Stephanie was terribly scared as their eyes met.
‘I told you to stay in there,’ Tarasha slammed angrily at her and the door was hurriedly closed.
The guy before Tarasha was still gasping when she turned back to him and she hastened his journey to the great beyond by slamming her gun against his forehead before she rose up. She pocketed the revolver and took out another as she entered into the next corridor through the door in front of her.
She stopped for a minute to think and strategize. She took her time to observe the building walls and roofs, it was made of materials which were natural sound absorbers which meant the people in the other building may possibly not be aware of the gun exchange except the buildings are connected to each other with a wall or unclosed roof.
Aisha knew better than to wait for Don to unleash the fury in his eyes, so she used the opportunity to run since she was already some steps away from him.
Don shot at her once but missed, he chased after immediately but couldn’t continue shooting as she quickly mixed up with the guys and half naked girls previously dancing who had now also fled for the lives at the sound of the gunshot.
‘After her guys! After her!’ Don screamed aloud in anger at the rest of his boys who already joined in the pursuit. He shot twice into the air as he spotted Aisha running towards the opposite side of the DJ stand, he followed immediately.
Aisha did not know where she was running to but she kept on running, the last time she looked back, she saw Don standing and screaming at his boys. The DJ and his assistants had fled the place before she got there, she bent her head to dodge the bullets as she ran past the platform. She could see Don’s men coming after her but she kept running towards the toilet where they were just returning from. She ran past the restroom and entered the laundry area of the Bolevian hotel which had no crowd except for the few laundry workers doing late night jobs.
The laundry workers who had also heard the gunshots and were already alert quickly hid themselves as they saw Aisha run pass their blocks through the window. One who was ironing clothes flung the pressing iron away and hid himself under the ironing board. Two ladies in the washing room also hid themselves behind the washing machines.
Aisha followed a narrow path between two walls to the back of the laundry block and found a very dark room on turning back. The wide room had the door ajar, she entered into the room and closed the door. Then she proceeded futher inside to find a perfect place to hide herself. She couldn’t see well because of the darkness as she tried to navigate but she was still able to figure out that the room was the store for finished laundry works.
‘You dey craze, leave me jor.’ Don slapped the face of a huge man who was trying to stop him from running.
‘What the f**k are you doing?’ the big bouncer shouted as he squeezed Don in his big arms, trying to take the gun from Don. But Don was also a fighter, he hit the man’s groin hard with the back of his feet, making the man release the grip on his body. He turned and shot the man in the belly. He turned back to face the DJ stand where he was running to before he was grabbed from behind by the bouncer. He couldn’t see Aisha or any of his men around, the partyers had already fled the place and the only people he could see coming towards him were security officials of the place.
Tarasha knocked twice on the door after covering the peephole with her palm. She looked around briefly again before turning back to the door. The building looked more like a quarters for living. She heard someone shout to her in response to her knock but couldn’t make out what was said. She took out her phone while she waited, it had made several short vibrations some minutes ago and she had not yet checked the messages that came in.
Aisha’s number was the first thing her eyes saw when she unlocked the phone, she had received up to seven text messages from Aisha alone, each message carrying not more than the standard one hundred and forty character limit. She began to read from the first;
‘I’m sorry Boss, I never meant to lie to you. I was forced into it. These people would not hesitate to kill my parents if I don’t dance to their tune. Please, instruct Henry not to come to the Bolevian garden, they have men there waiting to capture him. Our base is…’
She had to stop reading and keep the phone as she heard heavy footsteps approaching the door from inside. There was a pause as the footsteps got to the door, Tarasha could tell that the person was trying to check who was knocking though the peephole.
‘I said the door is open, can’t you…’ a stout man was saying as he opened the door but couldn’t finish his statement. With a kick on his chest, Tarasha pushed him back into the house and followed him in, rendering a shot in through his forehead.
Another guy inside the entrance hall of the building turned from his seating position and tried to raise his gun but Tarasha sent a bullet into the arm he lifted, rendering the arm useless and making the weapon drop to the floor.
She approached him slowly, with her eyes alert and observant. ‘Get up, where are the rest of your boys?’
As if in response to Tarasha’s question, two guys came walking out through an opposite door. They were without guns and had only come out to make enquires about the recent gunshots they heard, thinking it was one of their men shooting to terrify a captive of theirs as their custom was. Tarasha turned towards them and shot them down before they could make any move to turn back. The guy whom she was interrogating on seeing she was distracted by them attempted to pick a gun with his other hand but the second hand was rendered useless too as soon as his fingers touched his gun in the pocket. He let out a loud cry.
‘Now don’t play games with me. How many more people are still in?’ Tarasha asked, placing a foot on the chair, in the space between the man’s thighs.
‘Two,’ he muttered, quivering in pain.
‘What about the couples you kidnapped?’
He was yet to answer the new question when his phone began to ring, the screen light drew Tarasha’s attention to his pocket. She took out the phone from his pocket and checked the screen.
‘Who’s this?’ she asked, turning the screen to him.
‘The guy in,’ he said weakly, nodding his head in direction where the two dead guys had come out from. He was bleeding so much that his trousers had changed color.
Tarasha answered the call and put it on loud speaker. ‘Guy, what is happening?’ a gruff voice barked from the other end.
The guy stared at Tarasha’s face helplessly, not knowing what response to give. Tarasha shook her head to indicate and pronounced the word ‘nothing’ silently, expecting him to read her lips.
He clearly understood the message but did not speak, he frowned and stared at her face thinly before he spoke. ‘Guy, there’s …’ Tarasha who already read his possible response from his demeanor hit his forehead with the butt of her gun and flung the phone away. She turned and proceeded towards the door, changing her gun and equipping her two hands as she walked. She entered into a well lit long corridor and as she took two steps forward, a guy showed up with a long iron rod from the last room at the far end. She immediately shot at him but he was alert and fast to enter back into the room. Tarasha walked faster and broke into the first room, the corridor led to a closed end with four rooms at the right hand side.
She reached for the switch and turned on the light in the room. It revealed two terrified old couple, clinging to themselves fearfully. They placed their gazes on her as the lights came on like they had seen a terrifying monster erupt from the ground. Tarasha heaved a sigh of relief, she knew she had gotten the parents of either Cole or Aisha. She turned off the light and moved away from the area of reflected light through the opened door from the corridor. She could hear footsteps approaching slowly and carefully and she guessed it would be the man who had appeared at the other end before, maybe he had come out with a gun now.
Tarasha remained quiet as possible where she was, she could hear some muttering from the corridor but the voice was too low for her to hear what was said. The sounds of the footsteps seized, then Tarasha assumed what was mutterred in her mind. The men were two now obviously and one must have warned the other about her being in the first room. She tried to calculate the distance where she was from them, making use of the closeness of their footsteps sounds the last time she heard it and their muttering.
‘Who the hell are you? Get out and talk to us,’ one of the men yelled, pointing his long gun in readiness towards the room with the opened door. His partner, the former man stood beside him holding the same long rod. There was total silence for more than one minute. ‘Come out and face us, stop being a sissy.’
‘If you want us to talk, drop your weapons first.’ They heard a lady’s voice emanate from the room.
The men exchanged quick glances. ‘I told you, I saw a lady figure.’ The man with the rod whispered to his partner.
‘You drop your gun first and throw it outside,’ the guy with the gun replied Tarasha.
There was ten seconds silence and then a pistol was thrown out through the door of the first room.
‘Did you see her?’ the men asked each other in low tones, staring intently towards the opened door and trying to observe the direction the gun came from.
‘It came out straight, she must be by the walls or by the bedside where the old cargos are seated.’ the man with the rod answered.
‘Are you going to drop your weapons or waste my time discussing with each other?’ the lady’s voice sounded again, without giving them the opportunity to think of what to do.
‘Ermm… How many… How do we know if that’s the only weapon you have there?’ the man stammered.
Tarasha let out a sigh at his reply, she was tired of their time wasting talks, she took out the tranquilizing pin launcher and proceeded out of the room.
Don kept on shouting commands at his men as he followed the way he had seen Aisha take, ignoring the security men who were after them.
‘Where’s the b**ch?’ Don asked one of the boys he met as he entered the laundry area.
‘We’ve not seen…’ he couldn’t complete his statement because Don shot him angrily.
He stepped on the balcony of washing area and took out his phone, he could see the abandoned works from the opened window. He hissed and stepped down from the balcony again on hearing approaching voices.
‘Stainless, where the hell are you?’ Don shot angrily at Stainless.
‘Exactly where you sent me,’ Stainless replied.
‘The godamn girl is escaping man, there’s a tracker on her cloth. Provide me her location,’ Don said as he turned towards the back of the building.
Don was well familiar with the laundry section of Bolevian as he was a regular customer there before, he knew where the back of the building led to.
He hurled curses aloud as he hurried through the narrow space. Things had really gone messy and all in a twinkle of an eye. He hadn’t anticipated that Aisha would turn back against him. Getting out of Bolevian at the right time was his worry now, he was sure that Aisha would be found again, sooner or later, before she discovers the tracker on her cloth. The greatest of his worries was of how he was going to tell Rex how messed up things were.
He stepped out from the narrow corner and stopped to think for a while. For some reason he turned back and saw the store for finished laundry works, he knew it because he had been there to collect his clothes before. An idea came to him, he could find a cloth to change into to perfectly disguise himself. With a quick light steps, he climbed the short steps up and pushed the door open. It opened with lesser force than he exerted, making him almost fall. He hid behind the door for a while, waiting for the Security men running around to pass. After some minutes of waiting, he turned on his phone’s screen light and began to search around the clothes hung in the room.