TARASHA 2 CHAPTER 16 PART 11
® 18 + SNVL
© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
‘What’s Tarasha up to?’ Henry asked Cole. They were both seated in the dark room where a few laptops were set up. Henry had been the one who fished out the details of Alex when she sent them the picture.
‘I’m not sure,’ Cole replied coolly. ‘But I know we are about to do some a*ss kicking at this location she just sent.’
Henry watched as Cole extracted the required details from Tarasha’s text message and typed it into the request box displayed on the map software. Cole tapped the enter button and the request began processing.
‘I think she’s up to something with Stephanie George,’ Henry hinted, staring thoughtfully. ‘I saw Stephanie George in some of the footages while clearing the NSCC records you asked me to.’
‘And what sort of information would Stephanie have that would interest the boss so much?’Cole asked.
‘We can’t tell, she didn’t sound interested when I told her that day that the lady sent a mail but I believe she reconsidered the message after seeing it.’
‘Whatever it is, the boss would let us know when it’s time,’Cole said. He looked at the laptop screen, the request had finished processing. He zoomed the result displayed and clicked one of the options he found there.
Location: Gwagalada, Abuja.
Tarasha stepped into the living room and closed the door gently. The two ladies she left there had slept off already and had no idea that she had come in.
She stopped beside the centre table and stared at both ladies’ faces for a moment. Stephanie was laying on the three seater while Madam Henrietta was in one of the one seater couches.
‘Hello Ladies,’ Tarasha began after clearing her throat. ‘Hello!’ she called again.
Stephanie was the first to stir awake and turn. Tarasha noticed again the bandage on Stephanie’s left hand as she sat up, she remembered having seen the bandage when Stephanie was serving the food but resisted the urge to ask what happened to her in order not to send a message that she cared about the girl. She wanted them to see her as a deadly assassin and not a weak lady who could be moved by emotions, but she couldn’t resist the urge to ask anymore, it felt like the injury was on her own hand. ‘How did you get that wound?’
Stephanie took a glance at her palm where Tarasha’s eyes were fixed and let out a smile. ‘I had a knife cut when I fell earlier tonight,’ she answered.
‘Okay,’ Tarasha muttered under her breath. She hated the happy smile Stephanie gave even though it calmed her mind. She moved her gaze to Madam Henrietta who was still asleep. ‘Wake her up,’ she flashed a look at Stephanie.
‘Mum,’ Stephanie called, getting up her seat to Madam Henrietta’s seat.
‘I’ll be back in two minutes,’ Tarasha said and proceeded into the inner rooms.
She returned two minutes later and met both Stephanie and Madam Henrietta wide awake and waiting for her.
‘Sorry, I had to disturb your sleep, I needed to tell you that we would be travelling tomorrow morning. You have some hours to prepare, you don’t need to worry about clothes or other similar items, I’ll cover that up for you.’ Tarasha said. ‘I’m telling you now because I want no resistance when it’s time to leave tomorrow.’
‘But why are we travelling? Where are you taking us to? I don’t even know who you are,’ Madam Henrietta opposed. She was confused and tired of listening to Tarasha’s orders. ‘We are supposed to report the attempt on our lives to the police immediately, but here we are; you locked us somewhere we don’t know and you’re giving us orders without explanation.’
Tarasha let out a devilish chuckle and kept a frowned face. She hated being questioned and her mind boiled with anger at the audacity the woman had. She narrowed her gaze at the woman’s body and stared at her face for a brief moment. She thought about leaving the Madam behind and going only with Stephanie who she came for but she also thought that the woman may have more to offer than Stephanie had. Since Stainless was the person who sent assassins to them, there could be a possibility that the Vice President also had a hand in it.
She suddenly remembered something and stared more intently at Madam Henrietta’s face. She could now tell why the face looked familiar at first. She recalled that Madam Henrietta was the lady seen beside the Vice President as he walked down the airplane on his arrival to Lagos. She realized that Madam Henrietta could be a good asset to her if treated well.
Her rage left her and she let out a forced smile. ‘I’m sorry I may not be able to explain that to you right now. But the choice is yours, you may come with me and be safe or you may chose the police and get handed back to those who tried to kill you.’
Madam Henrietta stared cluelessly at her and was troubled greatly in her mind. The strange lady whom Stephanie called a police woman spoke so boldly and didn’t look harmless, but it was still difficult to trust a lady who took out several men singlehandedly.
‘There are three rooms in this apartment, you can sleep in any room of your choice.’ Tarasha said before sitting on one of the sofas.
‘Can we talk first before I go to bed?’ Stephanie asked carefully.
‘We would talk when I say it’s time to talk,’ Tarasha replied without looking at her.
Still deep in sleep, Madam Henrietta could feel someone’s warn hands grip her left palm. The person gently shook the hand and a soft voice followed. ‘Please wake up, we need to talk.’
She managed to open her eyes but her retina struggled for some seconds to accommodate the bright light in the room. She yawned and stretched and only remembered where she was when her eyes opened fully. She sat up quickly, resting her back against the headboard as she stared at Tarasha.
‘Don’t panic ma’am, I got some few questions to ask before I allow you make the choice of travelling with me or not.’ Tarasha began, looking deeply into the woman’s eyes. ‘I want you to tell me nothing but the truth, would you do that for me?’
‘I have no reason to lie to you,’ the woman replied.
‘What’s your relationship with the Vice President?’ Tarasha asked sharply, even before the madam finished talking.
She was shocked by the question and couldn’t hide it in her facial expression. She stared at Tarasha for a while, with her lips slightly apart.
‘Chief Elvis is my friend, we met several years before he became the Vice President.’ She finally replied.
‘What kind of friends are you? How close are you? How and when did you meet him?’
‘I can’t really say what led to our friendship but I’ll say we met how other friends do meet. I think we first saw each other at an event and we exchanged numbers.’
‘How close are you to him?’
‘I used to be close to him at some point but he got married and as he grew higher in politics, we began to talk and see less.’
‘So you are no longer close?’
‘Yes, we aren’t.’
‘When last did you meet him?’
Madam Henrietta took sometime to think before answering. She wondered why the questions were being asked and what the purpose was. She decided not to open up, as she still wanted to hide her relationship with the Vice President from Stephanie. ‘I can’t remember, it’s been a while.’
Tarasha paused for a second, she narrowed her gaze and stared thinly at the woman. ‘You just broke the only promise I asked you to make, you just lied.’
Madam Henrietta raised a brow.
‘I’ll give another opportunity for you to help yourself, when last did you meet him?’
Madam Henrietta thought for some more few seconds, she decided that she wouldn’t be intimidated by Tarasha’s tactful acts and would maintain her stand. ‘I’ve not seen him for…’
‘What the hell were you doing with him in the Presidential flight to Lagos?’ she slammed.
Her heart missed a beat and then began to beat faster than usual. The look on Tarasha’s face had changed totally and Madam Henrietta knew it would be dangerous to keep lying to her.
Her lips trembled for a while. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath.
‘What were you doing with him in Lagos?’ Tarasha asked again, this time in a calmer voice. She got up from the bed and began to pace about the bed length slowly.
‘He needed to ask me something about the past and we settled it that day,’ she replied.
Tarasha stared blankly at the wall. ‘How do I know you’re not lying to me about that?’
Madam Henrietta remained in silence, trying not to be quick to answer. Another thought struck her mind. Maybe this Lady was Stephanie’s friend and she probably was the one who had seen her with the Vice President in Lagos and told Stephanie about it which made Stephanie accuse her.
‘I helped him organize a party during his term as the deputy governor of Lagos State and he wanted to find out some things about those I worked with,’ she replied.
‘Is that all you did together?’
‘Yes, nothing else.’
Tarasha let out a threatening chuckle and stared at her face thinly. Madam Henrietta looked away. ‘He didn’t discuss anything about his past sins with you?’
Madam Henrietta looked at her sharply. ‘His past sins?’ she frowned.
‘Yes, his past sins.’
She was getting more confused and she didn’t know whether to continue hiding the truth from her or tell the truth. But she still didn’t want to lose Stephanie’s trust and she wasn’t sure that Stephanie would not hear it from Tarasha if she let it out.
Tarasha took out her phone, she punched in some numbers and dialed. She turned back to Madam Henrietta and walked closer, she fixed her eyes on her face and stared narrowly into her eyes, ‘What do you know about his past sins?’
‘His past sins?’ the woman answered shakily, the look on Tarasha’s face was now terrifying. ‘He didn’t tell me anything about his sins,’ she replied.
Tarasha returned the phone into her pocket. She placed her left foot at the edge of the bed close to Madam Henrietta and placed her left elbow on it, resting her jaw in her palm. She squinted at Madam Henrietta’s face, ‘What about you? What are the past sins and secrets that you know from your association with him?’
‘I’ve not discovered any of his secrets yet, he keeps them carefully,’ she replied in shaky voice.
A knock sounded at the door and it startled Madam Henrietta. Tarasha took a quick glance at the door and spoke, ‘Come in.’ She turned back to Madam Henrietta, ‘Which of his secrets are you covering for him?’
Madam Henrietta’s eyes met with Stephanie’s as the latter moved closer to them. She looked again at Tarasha’s face. The fear in her mind increased, her heart began to pump faster.
‘I’m not covering any secret for him,’ she answered, this time sincerely.
‘Then why did you burn up the documents that prove his guilt?’ Tarasha asked in a loud threatening voice. She glanced at Stephanie who had just entered and didn’t know what was going on. Tarasha had come into her own room earlier to discuss with her but never told her that she was going to discuss with Madam Henrietta too. What Tarasha had told her was that when she saw her call, she should go into Madam Henrietta’s room and try to convince the older lady to travel with them.
Stephanie was already asleep and didn’t know when the door to her room was opened. She only she felt the reflection of light from the bulb on her eyes when the light was turned on.
‘Stephanie,’ she heard her name called softly as she opened her eyes and she saw Samantha Osman walking towards her.
She stretched and managed to sit up. ‘Good morning,’ she greeted as she yawned and rubbed her eyes.
‘Good morning,’ Tarasha replied. She sat at the edge of the bed close to Stephanie. ‘I’m sorry to disturb your sleep again. We’d be leaving here in few hours time, but I need to ask you some important questions before we move.’
Stephanie readjusted her seating position to pay more attention.
‘You said you had information concerning the murder of Lewis Andrew George,’ Tarasha said and waited for her to confirm. Stephanie nodded. ‘What information do you have?’
‘The Vice President ordered his death,’ Stephanie replied.
Tarasha frowned, ‘That’s a serious allegation girl. How sure are you?’
‘I’m very sure, my mother told me.’
‘Your mother? What does she know about the murder of Lewis George?’
‘Andrew Lewis George was my father,’ Stephanie declared.
The last statement came to Tarasha as a surprise but she made sure it wasn’t expressed. ‘Madam Henrietta was Mr. George’s wife?’
‘No,’ Stephanie replied, shaking her head. ‘Madam Henrietta is not my biological mother, she only took charge of me after the arranged accident.’
‘And who is your biological mother?’ Tarasha asked.
‘Mrs. Atinuke George.’
‘Atinuke George,’ Tarasha repeated under her breath. She remembered vividly that Atinuke George was the same person listed as the spouse for Lewis Andrew. She also had no cause to doubt Stephanie, her surname being George added more credence to her words.
‘She told me how my Dad was poisoned before the accident, they knew the poison was already going to kill him but still went ahead to arrange an accident to make the accident sound as the sole cause of the death.’ Stephanie.
‘When did your mum tell you this?’
‘Some few weeks ago,’ Stephanie replied.
Tarasha raised her brows. ‘Few weeks ago? Is your mother alive?’
‘Yes, she’s alive.’
Tarasha’s eyes widened in shock. She tried to do a quick flashback and remember what she saw on the citizen’s profile, she remembered clearly that it was stated that the woman was dead. ‘Your mum is alive? Where is she?’
‘She got terminally ill from the accident and she’s in a care center in Lagos,’ Stephanie replied.
‘The records shows that she died in the accident,’ Tarasha said.
‘Yes, the records say so but my mother is alive.’
Tarasha drew in a deep breath. She looked away and took some time to think. ‘But how do we prove your mother’s claim? Are there documents that show that your Dad was poisoned?’
‘Yes, Mum says he was supposed to survive the accident. He didn’t suffer enough injuries from the accident to kill him, the doctors knew this, so they were surprised when he gave up the ghost, they carried out postmortem and discovered that he was given a death poison.’
‘Do you have the post mortem’s documents?’
‘Yes, I do.’
‘But how did your mother know that the poisoning was carried out by Chief Elvis Richards?’
‘My Dad was supposed to have a peace talk with Chief Elvis and the lawyers that day but it did not end well, he was poisoned at the place.’
‘Does the autopsy report carry the time of the poisoning?’
‘Yes, it does carry every detail that we need to prove the poisoning,’ she replied.
Tarasha pondered on the matter for some more seconds. She looked at Stephanie again, ‘How would you prove that there was a peace talk between them that day?’
Stephanie frowned and a sorrowful look covered her face, ‘There were pictures but that’s where the problem lies. My foster mum, Madam Henrietta burned all the pictures and documents few days ago.’
‘Why did she burn them up?’
‘I don’t know, she keeps telling me she is trying to protect me…’
‘Those documents do not prove his guilt, Mr. Lewis was losing case before he died and even his lawyer encouraged me to do away with the documents.’ Madam Henrietta defended herself shakily.
‘That isn’t the answer to the question I asked you,’ Tarasha said with a thin stare. She put her feet down and took out a knife from her back pocket. She took off the blade case from the knife and proceeded towards Madam Henrietta. ‘Now, I ask again. Why did you burn the documents and the pictures?’
Madam Henrietta shook in fear, trembling at the sight of the sharp blade of the knife. Her eyes met with Stephanie who was also looking very terrified.
‘There was no need to keep the documents anymore, I had to take them away somehow.’ She answered shakily.
‘You’re still not giving me the right answer,’ Tarasha said, she climbed with her two legs unto the bed and squatted before the woman, she put the knife close to her neck.
‘Please don’t hurt her,’ Stephanie said with a trembling voice from behind.
Tarasha gave her a brief side look but did not take the knife away from the woman’s neck. She stared back into the woman’s eyes. ‘Now, tell me why you burnt the documents and pictures.’
‘I wanted to keep Stephanie safe from trouble,’ she replied.
‘How do the documents make her unsafe?’
‘I remembered Stephanie called me few days before I arrived in Nigeria to ask about the same documents, I knew she must have laid her hands on them. When Chief Elvis asked about the whereabouts of the documents, I didn’t want to tell him that Stephanie asked about them and may have taken them, so I told him I had burnt them already. He threatened to punish me severely if the documents were found to still exist. That’s why I had to burn them when I returned to Abuja.’
Tarasha withdrew the knife slowly and placed a knee on the bed. ‘What does he need the documents for?’
‘I don’t have an idea what he needs them for.’
‘How did he know they were with you?’
‘He said he already sent men to check the late Lawyer’s files and they saw it recorded in the files that the documents have been handed over to me.’
‘I see.’ Tarasha stepped down slowly from the bed and cased the knife blade before returning it into her back pocket. ‘If Chief Elvis wants the documents, it means that they really prove his guilt. And he also sent men to kill you yesterday, that means he’s trying to make sure all his tracks are covered.’
She paced around the room for some minutes before stopping at the previous position in between the two ladies. ‘Elvis Richards is up to something and he needs to move you out of the way before he proceeds, we need to find out what that is today.’ She paused to check the time. ‘The vehicle taking us to Abuja would be here to pick us in one hour time, be ready,’ she said and proceeded straight to the door.
She stopped and turned again as her fingers touched the knob of the door. ‘You may want to know why we aren’t travelling by air; the flights can be easily monitored, the Vice President would get to know about your entrance into the state not later thirty minutes after the flight gets there.’
She turned the knob and proceeded out of the room.
There was an awkward silence for the first few minutes after Tarasha left the room. Madam Henrietta was the first to break the silence.
‘Who is she?’
Stephanie held her breath for a moment. She glanced at the woman and turned to stare at the wall. ‘She saved you from the Vice President’s attempt on your life. Her name is Samantha Osman.’
Location: Rael University Area, Lagos.
Cole and three other men were seated at a table in a restaurant. The other men were part of the newly employed assassins. There were drinks on the table before them but none of the bottles were touched. The men seemed to be more concerned with their discussion.
After some minutes, Cole handed a phone to one of the men named Nicholas after dialing a number. Nicholas put the phone close to his ears and waited for the call to be answered as the other men watched him in silence patiently.
‘Hey Stain, what’s up man?’ Nicholas said into the phone, putting on a smile and hoping it would be felt at the other end.
‘Cool Nigga! Who are you?’ Stainless replied coldly from the other end.
‘Nicholas man, remember me?’
‘Which f****** Nicholas are you? The last Nicholas I saw died in a septic tank,’ Stainless replied more coldly, he seemed to be having a bad day.
‘Nicholas of the X-Gang, the one you met in Markurdi six years ago.’
‘You? You’re a crazy nigga, what do you want from me?’
‘I need to see you man, I heard you are in Lagos. I’m around your base in Rael University Area, can I come over?’
‘Who the hell told you I’m in Lagos? And what the f*** you wanna see me about?’
‘It’s complicated man, I tell you, but it involves a lot of money. Are you in your base?’
‘No, the f***** base was raided months ago when your stupid friend Don Dan met with Samantha Osman.’
‘So where can I meet you?’
‘I’m in Rael Area, meet me at BT Close. I hope what you bring really involves a lot of money.’
‘Okay, I’ll be there in few minutes and I’ll give you a call.’
Nicholas ended the call and stretched his hand to return the phone.
‘Hold the phone,’ Cole said to him. He looked at the other men’s faces, ‘It’s time, we’ll watch where he comes out from. Take him as a hostage first and then attack the base if we still find it necessary.’