Are you yet to read part one to four? Read them below

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

(Vivian’s part of the story continues:)

‘’I guess I will have to leave you two alone. Let me go get something downstairs’’ I softly muttered after watching the two adults struggle for a while on the bed like kids. None of them said a word to me. I smiled, fetched my phone which was under the pillow and headed downstairs to the bar.
On getting to the bar, I checked my phone and was surprised to see ten missed calls from Charles. My heart instantly froze as great fear struck me. I couldn’t help but call him back after regaining a little composure but unfortunately he failed to pick my calls and after the tenth attempt I dropped my phone and ordered for drinks. I wanted to get drunk and forget my fears. Up to that moment I still couldn’t tell if I made the right decision or not by telling Clara the truth. By the look of things she was very much interested in making up with Val than caring for my well being and safety. I knew what Charles was capable of and I couldn’t help but fear the worst.

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

Yes I really was very surprised to see Val with Vivian when I walked into her hotel room that fateful evening. I thought she had invited me for a private chat, hence my great surprise in seeing Val there with her. However the explanation she gave and things that followed afterwards kind of changed my feelings, my mood and everything. I wasn’t expecting something like that to happen and somehow I found myself blaming Val for my own mistakes.
Of course we ended up fighting or should I say struggling on Vivian’s bed, leaving the poor girl with no choice than to leave the room for us.
‘’what’s your problem Val’’ I finally managed to ask Val as I broke free from him. My body was really on fire. My nipples stood erect and my heart pounding furiously like a virgin who just got her first kiss. My body was just on the verge of expulsion.
Of course I missed his touch, kiss, sex and breathe. I missed everything about him but as a woman I perfectly hid my feelings and reacted as if he was trying to take advantage of me. ‘’I don’t get you. You made the first move. You slapped me. I don’t understand you’’ he stammered, breathing heavily. I scoffed, eyed him and stood up. ‘’I’m sorry for hitting you. I guess I now have to face Charles on my own. He’s now my problem’’ I muttered, not exactly knowing what else to say. ‘’what do you plan doing?’’ he quickly asked.‘’I really don’t know yet. But I guess the right thing is to act as if I heard nothing till I get enough evidence to use on him. I can’t cancel our wedding just like that. That will put Vivian in grave danger’’ I answered and shrugged. ‘’no you can’t do that. You can’t go back to him. He’s a monster’’ Val instantly screamed. ‘’and why is that a problem to you. You told me you don’t care anymore’’ I fired at him. He breathed deeply, stood up and drew close to me. ‘’even if I don’t care anymore, that isn’t enough for you to risk everything by still being with him. What if he rapes and gets you pregnant. He’s a master schemer’’ he pushed on, holding my hands. I trembled before his touch. My legs shook. I just didn’t understand my body that period. His touch, his presence, everything from him was just crazily turning me on. ‘’I can’t break up with him like that. You know Charles, I can’t just end everything without a very good reason and evidence. Just go on with your life and let me be. It’s my life and happiness we are talking about and not yours’’ I painfully muttered, snatched my hand from his grasp and headed to the door. ‘’let’s do this together. I can’t let you do this alone. I still care. I want you back’’ I finally heard him say, stopping me with his words. I turned to face him with eyes filled with tears of relief. I needed nothing but a deep passionate love making from him that moment. I needed his breathe, his arms, his manhood inside me. My heart froze as he drew closer, kissed and grabbed me by the waist.
‘’Oh Val stop’’ I weakly pretended to fight him off, but just like I expected my pleas only encouraged him. The next second we were back on Vivian’s bed, shamelessly making love. The heat of passion between us was so strong that we cared for nothing. We never cared that we were in Vivian’s room; we never even cared to use protection on the quickie that followed.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

I really wasn’t expecting to see Clara that fateful day, talk more of playing romance with her. I equally was very much surprised with myself for going back to her. Perhaps my feelings for her were stronger than I thought. I just fell for her by the slightest touch. I really don’t know whether to be ashamed or proud of the situation I found myself. Yes sometimes matters of the heart can’t just be explained.

Meanwhile, at the hotel bar, Vivian is seen busy gulping down alcohol like someone whose world just crashed. There wasn’t any doubt she was ready for the worst.
Thirty minutes later, she is seen inside one of the hotel toilet close to the bar surprisingly kneeling on the floor and muttering incoherent words like someone more under the influence of hard drugs than alcohol. No one could tell how she got to the toilet.
what could be wrong?

After cleaning up in the toilet, Clara returned to the room and sat on the bed, breathing deeply. ‘’so how do you advice we handle this Charles’s case?, seriously I don’t know how to act it out. I equally fear for my cousin’’ she muttered with a frown. ‘’just like I earlier suggested, you guys should try meet my director. I believe he will get a way to help you guys without putting Vivian’s life at risk. For now I can’t really show up my face because I’m still on suspension. But please be careful with Charles. That guy is a snake’’ I replied seriously while she smiled and shrugged. ’’Charles will never harm me. That I know for sure. Let me call Vivian, the poor girl just left her room for us, not minding how tired she was after the long trip from Lagos’’ she breathed and picked up her phone. After few minutes she dropped it on the bed while I stared at her curiously. ‘’what’s wrong?’’ I asked ‘’she isn’t picking up. I hope she’s alright’’ she replied with a worried tone. I instantly sat up. ‘’let me go search for her’’ I offered, standing up. ‘’let’s go together’’ she added, grabbing my hand tightly.
Together we headed to the door but as we stepped out of the room, we saw two of the hotel staff approaching us. One of them was carrying a lady on his shoulder and as they drew close we recognized Vivian. I couldn’t help but gasp. ‘’what’s wrong with her?’’ I asked curiously. ‘’we found her lying inside the toilet downstairs near the bar. According to the barman who served her, he said she was served just few drinks before she headed to the toilet. He insisted she didn’t drink much. I guess she needs a little rest sir’’ the guy carrying Vivian managed to explain, leaving us with no choice than to allow him inside the room where he softly lowered Vivian on the bed before leaving. Clara drew close, sat on the bed and checked her out,slowly frowning. ‘’something isn’t right. Vivian can’t drink herself to this state. Check her pulse. Her pupils are dilated and her body temperature very high, her breathing is equally abnormal. I’m scared, I think I should call our family doctor right away. She isn’t alright’’ she said to me while I shrugged. ‘’I hope you are not over reacting?’’ I asked cautiously as I drew closer to check out the sleeping girl myself. Just like Clara said, she appeared more like someone slipping into coma than someone dead drunk but then I also knew excess alcohol intake could equally react badly to a person’s body in different ways and so couldn’t really make any good judgment. But suddenly Vivian sprang up with great energy, like someone who just transformed into a vampire, gave out a loud breathe, fell back heavily on the bed and started shaking rapidly and uncontrollably, leaving us totally stunned and confused.
‘’my God she’s having a seizure, I have to call our family doctor right away. Something is very much wrong with her’’ Clara screamed with fear but before she could finish the sentence, Vivian instantly stopped shaking, breathing faintly. We just couldn’t believe it.

Thirty minutes later we were in a private hospital at the other end of the town. Clara had to desperately call her family doctor who demanded that Vivian should be brought over to his hospital and with the help of her security team who had been waiting outside the hotel all evening, we made it to the hospital in no time where the doctor instantly started work on her.
It was a long wait as we waited at the reception, wondering what could have happened to Vivian. She looked very healthy and alright before leaving us in the room earlier in the evening. I couldn’t help but suspect foul play just like Clara had suspected all along. The doctor soon showed up, looking very serious. ‘’let’s go to my office’’ he added, leading the way. On getting to his office, he breathed deeply and studied us for some seconds. ‘’Vivian was lucky to have been brought here on time. She had excess amount of cocaine ingested in her system which caused the high body temperature and seizure that followed. The alcohol in her system equally didn’t help matters. I have dealt with this kind of situation in the past and I hope you know that I have an obligation to report my findings?’’ he muttered seriously while Clara and I exchanged glances.
Vivian was never known to be a drug addict and we couldn’t understand how cocaine got to her system, moreover she was inside a secured hotel all evening unless of course the drug was in her system before she got to town which was highly impossible. I couldn’t help but feel that somehow someone got to her when she was out in the hotel bar and injected her with the stuff. That was the only logical explanation I could come up with and there wasn’t any doubt things were going to get bad for her. Her reputation and plans were now very much at stake, because in a country like Nigeria no one takes a junkie seriously. The only remedy was to find the perpetrator of the dastardly act which equally was going to be a herculean task. I suspected it was Charles’s doing but there wasn’t any evidence to back it up, moreover I equally was yet to figure out why he left her alive after getting the record he needed from her in Lagos. ‘’what do you think my dear?’’ I heard Clara ask softly. There wasn’t any doubt she was so scared and worried.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

‘’I guess I should be going now. You know I can’t spend the night here with you guys’’ I softly said to Clara as we watched over Vivian who was peacefully sleeping like a baby. The doctor really did a pretty good job on her and had equally assured us that she would be okay to go home the next morning. ‘’ I guess I have a long night of watching over my cousin all alone. Who could have imagined things ending this way today? I’m really still confused about the whole thing. Many things don’t add up’’ she breathed while I softly embraced her. ‘’early tomorrow, I will head back to the hotel to talk to the manager. I will try to get the CCTV footage of the bar from him, with that I can check out what really happened’’ I assured her,. ‘’what if they don’t have it?’’ she asked curiously, bringing up her face to meet my gaze. ‘’come on don’t be ridiculous’’ I replied with a smile. ‘’ok very well, I will wait for your call tomorrow. Good night dearie and be careful’’ she added, and pecked me.

I cautiously headed back to my house with plans on how to follow up with the case. I had showed up from the village that fateful day on Vivian’s invitation and was never prepared for the turnout of events. I couldn’t go back to the village that evening because it was already very late at night when I left the hospital and I equally knew with the case at hand that my vacation there was definitely over. As I got to my apartment that night I couldn’t help but inspect my surroundings because I knew whoever that drugged the poor girl was still very much around following things up. I equally knew my own life could be in danger but only hoped for the best as I whistled a song. and headed into my apartment.

The next morning I headed back to the hotel to talk to a visibly surprised manager who nervously listened to my story without interruption. ‘’I really do sympatize with the poor lady but I can assure you that neither the bartender nor any of my staff was responsible for her condition. We run background checks before employing anybody and I can vouch for them. Luckily the bartender in question works two shifts and he’s at the hotel already, I will send for him right away and equally get the CCTV records for the previous day for you to see’’ he replied politely, grabbed his office phone and summoned the bartender who appeared within two minutes.
‘’this young man here is a DSS officer and he’s here concerning the lady that collapsed at the toilet yesterday. You served her drinks right?’’ he asked the young man who was probably in his early twenties. ‘’yes sir I served her like every other customer. She didn’t drink much. I was really surprised when I heard she fell at the toilet. My first thought when I heard the news was that probably her head couldn’t take the drinks she took which weren’t much in the first place’’ he nervously replied. ‘’fine, I will collect your name and phone number from the manager and get back to you if I still need you for more questioning. You can go now’’ I said to him while he heaved a sigh of relief, smiled and headed out of the office. ‘’so now I will be needing the CCTV record you promised’’ I said to the manager who smiled and stood up. ‘’I will be back shortly with it. Let me go get it at the security department’’ he breathed while I nodded. Definitely with it I could see what really happened at the bar the previous evening.

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

It really was a very long and uncomfortable night for me as I watched over Vivian. Of course I could have easily assigned someone to be with her and gone home to sleep but I didn’t do it because I wanted her to feel respected and appreciated. Yes I must confess it really took me a whole lot to be with her till morning. I wasn’t used to spending the night in such an uncomfortable small room. In fact I wasn’t even sure of making it to the next morning but I luckily did. My mum on her own part kind of disturbed all night with her calls. ‘’where am I?, what happened?’’ Vivian woke up the next morning asking like a terrified child. I smiled and held her hands. ‘’I believe someone got to you at the hotel and got drugs into your system. We still don’t know how it happened’’ I informed her slowly while she closed her eyes. ‘’I remember nothing. All I remember is having few drinks at the bar as I waited for you and Val to finish with your romance’’ she managed to mutter while I rolled my eyes as the memories of what we did the previous day played back in my head.

Two hours later we were back in the house to face my mum who was as curious as ever. I had to leave Vivian in her room to rest further while mum and I went into my room to talk. For the first time, I opened up to her, telling her everything and hiding nothing. I had no choice than to tell her everything myself because I knew she would still find out if I hid my story. However I couldn’t help but smile inside as I noticed the different expressions her face gave out as I narrated everything to her, including my rekindled relationship with val. Seriously I didn’t know what got over me that gave me the mind to open up to her as if we were mates. ‘’so you see mum, there is no doubt Charles is behind everything. I won’t marry him anymore. He’s too tricky. He has a bad heart. He’s a chameleon’’ I concluded seriously while my old lady grabbed a bottle of water which was on my table, drank it and breathed deeply. ‘’my ears are filled up believe me. Dear Lord, you children of nowadays is something else. Gosh I feel so terrible and disgusted’’ she muttered with a frown. ‘’mum let’s talk about the current issue at hand please. How do I deal with Charles?. I need your help. I need your support’’ I asked seriously. ‘’you should first ask yourself if all Vivian told you was the truth in the first place?, even according to your story she had and still has a thing for your val. Are you really sure she told you the truth?. Let’s not sacrifice Charles yet till we confront him. He called me yesterday evening, full of excitement that he finally secured the ministry of works deal he has been fighting for his father. He equally hinted of making full payment for a house he got close to ours for your sake. Do you think such a guy is capable of doing all you accused him of?’’ mum asked while I drew back in despair. I couldn’t help but feel that I made a mistake telling her the whole story. ‘’Anyway first thing first, since Charles will be showing up either today or tomorrow we will confront him together and decide afterwards. Do you agree??’’ she asked while I swallowed hard and nodded. Deep down I felt very uncomfortable.
How do I get to catch him red handed?
‘’You know what, just forget about questioning Charles. I will deal with it my own way please’’ I suddenly begged surprising my mother who stared at me suspiciously. ‘’what do you mean by that?, what do you plan doing?’’ she asked quickly while I smiled to calm her down. ‘’nothing mother, just don’t ask him anything, moreover you don’t expect him to turn up, do you?’’ I replied breathlessly. ‘’you can’t expect me to keep quiet after all I just heard. Since you are sure that Charles isn’t what he claims to be, allow me to confront him’’ she pushed on while I shook my head in disagreement. Luckily her personal assistant walked into the room before our argument could heat up and informed her that the director of state services and his wife were waiting for her in the living room. I instantly stood up as if I was the person they came to see while my mother gave me another suspicious look.
‘’what’s the matter?’’ she asked. ‘’nothing mum, just leave Charles for me’’ I breathed and ran to the living room. It really was as if God touched the director’s heart, making him show up at the house by that crucial hour. Of course his presence saved me the stress of going to his office. Yes I badly needed to see him just like Val advised. I was told he was a good man.
I had no difficulty dragging the surprised man to Vivian’s room where he listened to all Vivian had to say. ‘’are you really sure Mr. Charles did all these?. How can one man be so ruthless and still appear like a gentleman at the same time?’’ the old man queried with an excited tone. ‘’we dropped the file we had on him when he kidnapped you months back miss Clara because your father wasn’t willing to push on with the case but with the story I just heard, I guess we have to do something fast’’ he added thoughtfully
‘’Anyway I think the police should be better in handling this present case. Have you guys informed the state police commissioner yet?’’ he asked ‘’no and that’s the problem. Charles’ has very big connections in the police department. They are his buddies and there isn’t anyone we can trust than you. Agent Val specifically told us to meet you’’ I pushed in.
‘’Hmmm agent Val? why is that guy always coming up in everything concerning this family?. Assuming every other agent assigned to the governor is behaving like him I doubt if the department will still be in existence,’’ he muttered to himself while I seized my breath as I watched him.
‘’Anyway I will invite Val to my office to talk to him’’ he promised, smiled and left. ‘’do you really think he will help us?’’ Vivian softly asked. I turned to face her with a smile even though I really wasn’t sure myself because he didn’t promise anything. ‘’I fear for my family, I fear for my boyfriend. I shouldn’t have talked to you’’ She sulked like a terrified child. I softly sat on her bed and smiled deeply. ‘’I promise you nothing will happen to them’’ I assured her.

Val’s side of the story continues (4:35pm same evening):

I was busy with my laptop going through the CCTV record I got from the hotel when my phone rang. I cursed as I stared at the ringing phone. Of course I wasn’t in my best mood because I was yet to find what I was looking for at the footage. The video record of the bar was very accurate but gave out nothing incriminating. There wasn’t sign of anyone approaching Vivian’s table or tampering with her drinks. The only suspicious move I could get my hands on was when she left the bar, probably to the toilet, a middle aged man had quickly followed her but unfortunately there wasn’t any CCTV coverage of the toilet or the hallway leading to the toilet which kind of left me with only a guess.
My phone rang again for the second time breaking the silence in the room, I lazily picked it up and was surprised when the caller introduced herself.
‘’Hello, I’m Miss Chima, the first lady’s special assistant’’ she introduced herself. ‘’Hope I’m speaking with agent Val?’’ she asked
‘’Yes of course you are’’ I answered softly.
‘’my boss wants to see you at her office right away. It’s very urgent and I advice you leave whatever you are doing and head over to her office right away’’ she muttered and hung up while I drew back with serious doubts. I had no current dealings with the governor’s wife I could remember and so the invitation was very suspicious. Nevertheless I left all I was doing and headed to the state first lady’s office with a fast pounding heart.
On getting to her office I met her assistant waiting for me at the door. She instantly led me into the office where the old lady was waiting for me. I couldn’t help but wondered the reason behind the urgency and the reason for asking me to show up in her office instead of her house.
‘’Agent Val, kindly sit down I want to talk to you’’ she said softly. I silently obeyed, sat down and faced her.
‘’what is it you have with my daughter?’’ she curiously asked, leaving me totally confused and speechless. Of course I couldn’t get myself to say anything because I really didn’t know how much she knew about Clara and I.
‘’However, I invited you here to beg you to leave my daughter alone. The poor girl is not used to how things work here in Nigeria. Ever since you came into our lives it has been one problem to another. Assuming other agents we have with us are behaving like you, we would have all been dead. I don’t care what you have with Charles or my daughter but I’m warning you now to stay away from my family. It’s not your business if my daughter marries Charles or any other man. You have a good job, you are young, and full of life. I beg of you stay away from my family or I will be forced to act like an angry mother’’ she seriously appealed while I nodded like a lazy student unable to say a word to defend neither myself nor my actions. What was there to even say? She gave me no room for explanation.
Deep down I kind of felt that it was silly of me to have involved myself with Clara again but it was all the fault of love.
‘’Hmmmm! love until you finally lose your job or life’’ a second voice mused in my head.

Clara’s side of the story continues (10am, next day):

I was busy going through a fashion magazine I got from mum’s room when I heard someone knock and enter my room. I turned to see Charles smiling like an angel. As usual he was well dressed in a well fitting black suit like he always does. He equally was holding a small customized bag. I seized my breath for some seconds as I tried to compose myself. ‘’my love I missed you. It’s been quite a while. Oh you look so pale gracious me’’ he breathed, sat on my bed, dropped the bag, kissed my hand and equally pecked me. I couldn’t help but shiver as I wondered the kind of guy he really was. He was such a good actor, so perfect and convincing. I also couldn’t help but notice that he polished his approach towards me a little more.
‘’of course why shouldn’t I look pale? My parents want me to stay a whole year here doing nothing while I’m dying to go back to the U.S. I can’t take it anymore’’ I softly replied. He smiled and brought up the bag he came with.
‘’There are many places I could have taken you to but you have been very uptight towards me. I had plans to make your stay very comfortable here but you kind of preferred being with other people than being with me. Anyway I got these stones for you directly from The House of Tiffany’’ he muttered with a smile, fetching out a pave diamond bangle bracelet from the bag. I stared at him not exactly knowing what to say. The gift was really super enticing with its flawless dimensional designs. He smiled as he noticed the interest in my eyes, reached into the bag once again and brought out a small box which he quickly opened, revealing a shiny basket weave bracelet and a heart pendant with my name embedded fancily. Of course I knew they cost him a fortune to get and I had a tough time contemplating whether to accept them or not.
‘’they are all for you my dear, and yes I have a whole lot more surprises’’ he added while I dropped my eyes.
‘’thank you Charles but you shouldn’t have gotten all these for me because I don’t need them. What if I refuse to accept?’’ I asked softly.
’Hmmmm! No you got to accept my dear, it will be unladylike of you to reject such splendid gifts’’ he pushed on.
‘’Thanks,’’ I forced out a smile. He heaved a sigh of relief, drew close and kissed my hair.
‘’I have talked to your dad about the traditional marriage rites. You have nothing to worry about. You don’t even need to be present. It’s just between your family and mine’’ he added while I drew back with a frown.
‘’what again my dear?’’ he asked, looking surprised.
‘’Nothing, nothing I’m okay’’ I stammered and got out of the bed, backing him.
‘’I heard Vivian is back? I also heard that she’s still not a hundred percent okay?’’ he asked while I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, turned and faced him.
‘’yes I think someone is trying to frame her up or kill her,’’ I replied, studying his reaction but he gave out nothing away. He just only appeared surprised.
‘’seriously someone is trying to frame her?’’ he asked. I shrugged.
“let’s go see her please. After seeing her we will go check out the new house I bought’’ he added. I shrugged once again and led him to Vivian’s room where the poor girl had a hard time acting cool. Charles acted as if he knew nothing about the whole issue, and asked lots of prying questions like a detective. He even offered to call the state police commissioner. I couldn’t help but imagine what was going through his head. I also couldn’t help but imagine how he would have acted supposing we confronted him with my mother. Of course I knew he was well prepared for any scenario and probably played along with us. Moreover with Vivian’s tape he could get Val in jail any time he wanted and Vivian’s creditability and sanity could be questioned if she tries to speak out. Just like Val, she was really in a very big mess without realizing it. Yes she played into his hand very easily if all she told me was really the truth. After talking with Vivian, Charles virtually dragged me to his new house, a very spacious mansion I knew cost him a fortune.
‘’yes I paid for this house with my own money’’ he boasted as he took me round the house.
‘’you know I still can’t point out exactly what you do for a living other than running errands for your father. So are you telling me you bought this house from the salary you earned from working with him?’’ I asked while for the first time I got him a bit uncomfortable. He kind of frowned before forcing out a smile as he led me to the spacious master bedroom where he instantly grabbed me, kissing my neck.

At first I thought it was just a harmless play but unfortunately he wouldn’t let me go, instead he reached for my bosoms while I struggled to be free. ‘’come on you are my wife already, why the struggle’’ he breathed as he strongly tried to go on with his sexual play but I fought back. ‘’why are you this way my love?, I have done everything possible to make you happy. What else do you want from me?, why can’t you give me your body, heart and soul?. I beg of you my love, tell me what else you need?’’ he breathed as he tried holding me to his chest. Luckily for me, his phone rang that moment; he cursed, drew away from me and picked up his call. ‘’oh dear please wait for me, I will be back shortly’’ he instantly begged and hurriedly left the room while I heaved a sigh of relief, arranged my hair and headed to the door to leave. But as soon as I opened the door I came face to face with a six foot plus lady who kind of surprised me with her presence.
‘’Good day madam Clara , my name is Celine and I’m Mr. Charles personal secretary and assistant. He sent me to get his briefcase,’’ the tall lady breathed politely while I left my eyes on her face as I tried to remember where I once saw the face. Slowly it flashed into my head. She was the tall lady I saw at the gate of All Seasons hotel the evening Vivian was drugged. Yes I easily noticed her that fateful evening because of her extraordinary height.
‘’You look very familiar, have we met before?’’ I asked Celine, to see how she would react to the question. She smiled and nodded. ‘’of course we have ran into each other a couple of times but you probably never noticed me,’’ she quickly replied. I shrugged and made way for her to enter the room while thousands of ideas ran through my head. ‘’thank you dear’’ she soon breathed and headed out of the room while I waited few seconds before heading out as well.
As I headed down the stairs leading to the main entrance door, Charles who was with about five guys in the sitting room instantly got up as soon as he saw me. He left his visitors and approached me with a visibly worried look.
‘’where are you going my dear?’’ he asked curiously, grabbing my hand. ‘’I’m leaving. I have seen the house and it’s very beautiful’’ I muttered, forcing out a smile. ‘’so you can’t even give me few minutes to attend to my friends?, that’s not fair’’ he protested.
‘’I came here willingly to see your new house, please don’t spoil my mood by stopping me from leaving. You know what happens when I get angry’’ I threatened. He drew back and shrugged. ‘’very well then, I will ask one of my boys to take you home’’ he breathed while I nodded in acceptance.

Ten minutes later, I was on my way home in Charles’s car. I couldn’t help but think of how to follow up with the discovery I just made. Of course it couldn’t just be a coincidence that Charles’s assistant was at the same hotel the evening Vivian was drugged. She could be behind it all and yes Vivian was really right all along.

On getting home, I instantly called Val on phone. ‘’how do we see this evening?’’ I asked softly, ‘’Huh? That can be arranged now,’’ he kind of stammered. ‘’just go to a good secured guest house, send me the location and wait for me’’ I nervously said to him.
(Val’ story continues:)

I was busy going over the CCTV tape from the hotel for the umpteenth time while thinking over all Clara’s mum said to me at the same time when my phone rang and it was Clara calling. I dropped all I was doing and answered her call, smiling as I listened to all she said. She wanted us to meet again in a guest house and of course I knew we couldn’t meet in such a place without another hot sex session. I whistled happily as I tried to figure out the best guest house suitable for our meeting. Of course Owerri town is well known as a capital city with lots of hotels and guest houses.

By 4.30pm the same day, we were already in a guest house we agreed to meet:
‘’So have your director called you yet?’’ Clara asked as we faced each other inside one of the rooms in a guest house down town.
‘’No and I’m kind of worried,’’ I replied ‘’but he promised to get in touch with you.
Anyway let’s wait till Monday,’’ she breathed with a smile.
‘’Charles took me to see his new house today and while I was there I met this tall lady who introduced herself as his personal assistant. But the funny thing was that I equally saw the same lady at the hotel the evening Vivian was drugged. Oh God! I forgot asking you to bring the CCTV record you got from the hotel, I bet she was at the bar with Vivian that very evening’’ she added thoughtfully while I nodded.
‘’yes the bar had a lot of customers that evening and she could be one of the ladies there at that hour. Anyway I guess I will have to wait till I get home to check her out with your description’’ I muttered with resignation. She smiled and drew closer.
‘’you have to be very careful with Charles. There is no doubt he knows everything and could be planning something new for us. He might even be aware that we are here together and seriously I still don’t know where our relationship is leading to’’ I breathed.
‘’who cares jor. You know I feel like taking you home and screaming to everyone that we are in love’’ she giggled playfully, turning up the passion in me. I softly reached for her, dropping a kiss on her lips that ignited the flame of love between us. In no time we tore off our clothes and began another round of passionate love making that left us breathless when we were done.
I had the opportunity to tell her of my encounter with her mother, but I couldn’t get myself to open up to her even though I swore to be honest with her in everything.

I got home at 7:02pm to meet my apartment totally ransacked. My computer, some valuables and the CCTV record I got from the hotel gone. It sure looked like a break in but I knew it was no ordinary break in.

Meanwhile, back at the governor’s house, Vivian is seen arguing with her boyfriend doctor Chinedu who appeared all shaken up and sad. He was kneeling and holding Vivian who was equally in tears as if something terrible just happened:
‘’my love I can’t allow you to break up with me because of your revenge plans. Just leave everything in God’s hands and move on with your life. We can have a quiet wedding and leave this country before Monday evening. You know I came home solely to marry you and I can’t leave just like that. I also can’t allow you to continue with this madness. I was set up with drugs and you hid the real facts from me. You equally got drugged and instead of learning your lesson, you are asking me to stay away from you until you put that bastard in jail. You don’t know how much that guy is willing to go to ruin you. I can’t allow you to continue with this madness. This is insane’’ Chinedu protested while I closed my eyes.
‘’yes I’m in pain. I’m insane, I’m clueless but one thing I know for sure is that I will be in court one day testifying against that criminal. All I ask of you is to stay away from me until my aim is achieved. I don’t want you getting hurt. You can even go back to India I beg of you’’ I pleaded desperately.
‘’listen to yourself my dear. You said someday you will be in court testifying against him. This is Nigeria. He has power, he has money. The only thing you have on your side is just the family name and nothing. Forget this madness my love’’ he pleaded strongly.
‘’if you are in my position will you just leave everything in God’s hands and walk away?’’ I asked bitterly.

At the other end of the house, Clara is seen gently walking back to her room after a heated sex session with Val downtown. Due to the sex guilt she was having, she tried to avoid being noticed or questioned but unfortunately, she ran into Charles who has been waiting all evening for her
‘’where went you my love?’’ he asked while Clara froze, leaving a smile of understanding on his face.
‘’I don’t think I owe you any explanation Charles. I went out to see a friend and that’s it’’ I answered a bit coldly. He shrugged, drew closer and held me by the waist.
‘’I really don’t know what else to do to prove to you how much I love you. I have more than enough money to last three generations. I’m young, I’m not bad looking. I’m from a good family. What exactly do I need to do to prove myself’’ he asked seriously.
‘’I thought you have already started marriage talks with my family?, what again do you want me to tell you huh? Please I just want to sleep. I’m very tired’’ I replied, broke free from him and fell on my bed, breathing heavily.
‘’you went to see that bastard right? You can’t even spend up to five minutes in my house but you spent all evening with him. Don’t worry I will try my best to prove to you that he’s nothing but a gold digger’’ he breathed furiously and left while I smiled to myself.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

2pm the next day, I got a message from my deputy director to show up immediately at the department. I quickly dressed up and headed out of the house, so happy I was finally being called back. Yes I had been expecting to be called back since the beginning of the week and I couldn’t help but sing happily as I drove down to the state department.

On getting there, I was quickly directed to the conference room where I was surprised to see agent Jennifer seated with the state director, the head of operations, the deputy director that invited me on phone and two other senior colleagues. Another unfamiliar agent stood in front of a projector which displayed a crude drawing of two men. I nervously walked into the room, breathing deeply.
‘’welcome back agent Val, I guess you are fit to resume with us?’’ the deputy director asked while I nodded, swallowing hard.
‘’good, this is senior special agent Bola Davis, he came all the way from our headquarters with agent Jennifer on a new assignment. Mr Bola is an Assistant Chief Security Intelligence Officer on international operations and he has worked together with the CIA and FBI in the past. We called you in because of a special request being made on your behalf by agent Jennifer and the state director. I hope you don’t disappoint us again’’ the deputy director addressed me as I sat down before them. Senior special agent bola quickly cleared his throat and got to business without giving me any chance to answer. There wasn’t any doubt he was in a hurry to get on with the job at hand.
‘’we got a not too detailed report from Interpol last weekend on two drug barons from this part of Nigeria who are taking drug trafficking to a whole new level. Over the past six months about sixty boys have been caught with different types of narcotic drugs especially cocaine and according to the information sent to us by Interpol, more than twice that figure is suspected to have successfully made it across. With investigations, profiling and statements gotten from some of the arrested boys we got two names Charlieman and Donpatric plus a sketch of what they looked like. We have no strong evidence linking these two men to drug trafficking and we believe they run the cartel through agents, series of networks and fronts. So getting them is going to be pretty tough and that’s where your department comes in. Charlieman has been identified to be no other person than Mr. Charles, the fiancé to the governor’s daughter and I believe every agent in the state knows him very well. I brought agent Jennifer with me on the director’s request and I believe you guys can dig deep and get me results. Please my office is under fire from the presidency to get results. The image of the country has been ruined enough and the NDLEA is filled with corruption. Getting at least one of these two men could help the president save face in the international community. Thank you,’’ senior special agent Bola lectured, leaving the whole room quiet for a while.
‘’Agent Val here has a very good history with Mr. Charles and that’s why I asked for him to be brought into the case and with agent Jennifer partnering with him, I believe we will get results’’ the state director assured him while agent Jennifer nodded.
‘’Yes Mr. Charles has a very weak spot and that’s his obsession with Miss Clara, the state governor’s daughter. I believe that’s the weak point we should exploit but then it could lead to collateral damage. Miss Clara could end up being put in harms’ way,’’ Jennifer chipped in.
‘’I just need results and I don’t care how you get it; moreover the girl is already in harms’ way by dealing with a drug trafficker’’ senior special agent Bola replied seriously while my heart froze. I was unable to contribute to the discussion because I really had nothing to say. Yes I knew Charles hands weren’t clean but I never imagined he could be into drug business, moreover he was from a very wealthy home and had no need getting his hands dirty for money unless his father equally was in the business or retired.
‘’This dude is from a wealthy family. I hope we are all right in this’’ the deputy director who has been silent all along muttered.
‘’Yes and that’s a good front to hide his shady deals’’ Mr Bola replied .
‘’My only problem right now is the issue of accommodation, I don’t like staying in hotels and I will like to stay in Val’s place if he doesn’t mind’’ Jennifer chipped in, changing the topic as she threw a quick inquisitive look at me.
‘’Of course you can stay with me as long as you wish,’’ I replied without thinking twice, leaving a smile of satisfaction on her face.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

Jennifer’s stay with me was awesome all through. We were in my car for routine check to know if our assignment could be tempter when we cornered to a restaurant only to spot the same tall girl Clara introduced to me as Celine. I killed the engine of my car leaving Jennifer behind.
‘’Hello, how are you? Actually my name is Val, we have run into each other a couple of times but I don’t know if you noticed or not’’ I kind of stammered, very surprised that I wasn’t able to make an eloquent introduction. She shrugged, staring at me inquisitively. ‘’I don’t know how you will see this request but I will actually love to discuss something with you at your leisure time. Please can I have your card or phone number?’’ I asked with a forced smile. She silently studied me for few seconds before shrugging once again. ‘’sure you can have my number’’ she guardedly muttered, putting my mind at ease as she took my phone and entered her number. I smiled gratefully and thanked her.

‘’so how did it go?’’ Jennifer curiously asked with a smile when I returned to the car.
‘’it went well, we can now plan for the next stage’’ I replied happily while she shrugged. There wasn’t any doubt she wasn’t very much comfortable with the plan.

(Clara’s side of the story continues:)

On the same morning I was with Vivian in her room discussing and arguing with her over her reason for asking Chinedu to stay away when I got a call from Charles that he was in the sitting room upstairs waiting for me. I left Vivian and nervously headed to the sitting room to see him. I
wasn’t really expecting him and he never told me he was coming. . . Anyway that was his style, always showing up without any notification.
‘’My love how are you doing?’’ he asked with a smile, standing up to hug me as soon as I got to the sitting room. I forced out a smile as he kissed my hair.
‘’I came with bright news my dear. I hope this will make you smile’’ he softly muttered, leaving me
slightly curious. I brought up my eyes to meet his gaze.
‘’something came up my dear. Plans have changed sweety’’ he breathed, bringing down his hands to my cheeks and leaving me colored up with his touch. ‘’we leave for Paris in few days dearie. We are getting married there. A short ceremony and nothing more. We will complete the traditional rites when we return. I hope that suits you?’’ he muttered, trying hard to smile as if all was alright but I wasn’t a kid. I could tell he was nervous and a bit shaky. I could tell all wasn’t well. ‘’what?, this is my life we are talking about?, you can’t be making decisions as it suits you without first seeking my opinion. What happened to the old plans you were forcing on me? Anyway I’m not even going anywhere with you. You can leave for your Paris anytime you want. I’m tired of seeing you everyday’’ I replied with a raised tone while he held me strongly.
‘’my dear I’m taking you to Paris. The dream of every woman, Of course I know you can afford going there on your own but without a man it won’t be fun. Come on why are you so uptight? You never wanted a big wedding and I chose to do this for you’’ he pleaded.
‘’I can’t marry you. Forget it Charles. I used to think I know you but I don’t. Your life is filled with secrecy and confusion. Just look for another woman‘’ I breathed, breaking free from him and stepping backwards.
‘’I have already talked to your mum about it and she didn’t protest, of course they will show up at the wedding’’ he added with a smile while I scoffed and backed him.
‘’I don’t know what you have on my parents that are making them dance to your tune but it won’t work for me. I feel nothing for you. Each passing day increases my hatred towards you’’ I
breathed softly. Somehow my words made him snap and lose control..
‘’you are just a naïve girl and I’m done begging and pampering you’’ he hissed.
‘’you are running away from Nigeria isn’t it so?. What else could make you want to leave in a hurry?’’ I asked thoughtfully, turning to face him.
‘’my dear all you have to do is to go prepare for the trip ahead and not questioning me. You have a lot of packing to do and I have a lot of planning to do’’ he softly breathed, drawing close to hold my waist.
‘’get off me Charles. I don’t want to see you ever again. I can’t bear your touch anymore. You make me sick. I’m not going anywhere with you’’ I fired angrily, hitting him on the chest and provoking him further.
‘’how many times did you sleep with that idiot?’’ he strangely asked. ‘’do you really want to know?, I can’t count how many times I sleep with him and yes I don’t regret it’’ I replied bravely, very much
surprised with myself. Perhaps it really was his sudden decision to take me to Paris that got me all fired up in such alarming way. Yes and he was really having a hard time controlling the rage building up in him.
‘’Spoilt kids like you really don’t know that the world is a tough place to be. You have everything provided for you and all you dream of day and night is love and silly romance. You get your head filled up with silly books, stories and soap operas. You don’t know what your parents pass through every day to provide for you. You don’t know what a guy like me goes through to make it in a harsh economy. I’m offering you the whole world and all you do is spit on me. Now I’m going to break down everything for you the way you will understand and I call that leverage’’ he breathed furiously.
‘’I have a tape which could land your lover boy in jail anytime I want and as for Vivian and her family, just a little twist from me will make everyone of them become permanent tenants in a federal prison of my choice over drug trafficking. . . hmmm and your family. Yes the scandal it will create will be too hot for your dad to continue being the state governor. He will either resign or be impeached. And as for you, you will end up being a very miserable girl who will spend the rest of her life regretting ever making a bad decision.’’ he threatened softly, leaving me so furious and fired up. I instantly slapped him, shaking with rage. He licked his lips and smiled.
‘’yes that’s my girl. I bet you can’t live in poverty. I bet you can’t live to see all your loved ones in jail. You can’t live with nothing. I’m just offering you two books. One for happiness, the other for a life of penury and shame, it’s all left for you my love to chose.’’ He added while my eyes melted
with tears.
‘’you are a devil. You are heartless’’ I cried.
‘’no you are the one being heartless and cruel my dear. I have known you for years. I have been close to you more than any guy. I have been your friend more than anyone. But what do I get in
the end?, rejection, deception, heartbreak. You even cheated on me with an agent sent to be your
bodyguard. You never cared for my feelings. You never cared for all the sleepless nights I had, the pains I went through to struggle on my own, to make my own money so that you could be proud of me. You never cared and now you call me heartless when I open up the reality of your decision. My love I’m not heartless, you are the inconsiderate one here. So get ready. We are leaving for Paris, The city of lights. The city of love,’’ he poured out, leaving me so broken and empty. Yes he had me where he wanted. There wasn’t a way I was going to let my family humiliated and kicked out of power. There wasn’t a way I was going to let my loved ones rot in jail.
‘’dear lord why? I’m supposed to be happy as the governor’s daughter but my life is nothing but a living hell,’’ I cried.
‘’my love don’t cry, I beg of you. It hurts me seeing you like this,’’ he surprisngly begged, drawing my head to his chest as I sobbed.

(Val’s side of the story continues:)

I barely had returned to the office with Jennifer when Clara called me on phone, sounding much stressed up.
‘’I want us to see right now, will it be possible?’’ she asked softly.
‘’now?, yes, hope you are fine?’’ I asked breathlessly.
‘’yes I’m fine, let’s meet at the usual place. I will be there in thirty minutes’’ she added and hung up, leaving me a bit worried because it was the first time she was asking for us to meet at our usual
guest house very early in the day.
‘’Clara wants us to meet now’’ I opened up to Jennifer whose curious eyes were all over me.
‘’alright then I will have to wait for you at the office’’ she replied with a smile.

Forty minutes later, Clara and I met at our usual meeting point. She looked very troubled and shaky. There wasn’t any doubt something serious was bothering her.
‘’my love, make love to me’’ she begged like a possessed girl as she threw herself on me.
‘’you are not okay, what’s the matter?’’ I asked curiously.
‘’just make love to me first, I beg of you,’’ she begged with tears in her eyes. I couldn’t understand her. I couldn’t understand the reason for such outburst. I equally couldn’t get myself to make love
to her in the condition she was.
‘’what’s wrong dear, come on tell me’’ I demanded curiously
‘’Charles changed his plans once again. he wants me to travel to Paris with him. He wants us to get married there. We could leave any moment. I just don’t know what to do,’’ she poured out
solemnly.
‘’come on that’s easy, simply say no to him. He won’t carry you to Paris, Will he?’’ I asked quickly.
‘’it’s more than that. He threatened throwing you in jail, he threatened destroying my family and everything I cared for. No one can stop him. The police can’t do anything. Your department equally can’t do anything. I guess I’m destined to be with him forever and I have resigned myself to the fate. This could be our last time together’’ she sobbed, breaking my heart with the terrible words that came from her mouth.
‘’you can’t leave with him, I won’t allow that’’ I breathed fiercely.
‘’there is nothing you can do my love. Instead you could end up in jail. Think about your family. Just let me be’’ she cried.
‘’I swear you are not going anywhere with him. I will do everything possible to stop it’’ I promised…

Later that same evening, Jennifer and I traced Celine to her house. Of course the news of Charles’s intending travel kind of jolted me to my feet. I knew I had little time to save the situation. I had to do everything possible including playing dirty to stop him, hence the impromptu decision to visit Celine.

On returning to the office after meeting with Clara earlier in the day, Jennifer had suggested we talk to Celine together which left us with the decision of tracking her to her house, a low cost three bedroom building very close to Charles’s new house).

‘’what the hell are you doing here?’’ Celine asked with disbelief as soon as she opened the door to see Jennifer and I.
‘’we are here to talk to you and its better you cooperate and get immunity from what’s coming’’ Jennifer said with a smile, flashing her I.D.
She had no choice than to hesitantly allow us into the sitting room.
‘’what do you want?’’ she asked.
‘’information about your boss. We have been watching you guys for a while and I don’t think you will like to spend the rest of your life in jail while he jets out to Paris to enjoy his life and marry a new wife after using you like a rag?’’ Jennifer said softly. ‘’I don’t think you have anything on my boss or on me, if not I won’t be talking to you in my house. So I advise you guys leave now,’’ she replied seriously.
‘’my dear either way you are as good as gone. Once Mr. Charles learns that you are talking with us he will definitely discard you and we will be out there waiting for your corpse or waiting to put you in jail. We already have all the information we need. We only need you on our side to testify in court and nothing more. If you won’t talk with us, we will definitely find another person to help us. There is no need playing dumb with us. The drug deals, the recruitment, the transportation and every document is with us. It’s all left for you my dear to redeem yourself by helping us,’’ I said with a smile, praying for her to fall for my words. Of course we really had nothing strong. All I said were just made up.
‘’so that was the reason you approached me this morning huh?’’ she asked
‘’can you even guarantee my life afterwards?. Just leave me alone please,’’ she screamed.
‘’Fine here is my number, call me when you make up your mind,’’ Jennifer added, wrote down her number on a paper and dropped on the table.

‘’That was a nice show we put up with her but very risky. Do you think she will fall for it?’’ Jennifer asked with a smile as we left the house.
‘’I hope so, I believe things are no longer going fine in their camp and this could be her only way out’’ I breathed. Yes I was very desperate.

[Two weeks later, at DSS state headquarters Owerri]

Agent Val, Jennifer, the head of operations, the state director and senior special agent Bola are seen facing Celine in the interrogation room. The young lady surprisingly showed up that
morning offering to talk in return for immunity against prosecution and seizure of her illegally acquired wealth. A deal the department quickly made with her.
‘’As I talk to you now, my boss is at the governor’s house. His helicopter is waiting at the airport. He plans heading to Paris through Ghana with Miss Clara. That’s all I know about his current plans and you have to stop him before he gets to the helicopter. As for the hard drugs you can’t find any at his house. He has many off-site facilities and agents. I can give you their names but they are all ghosts. I don’t think my boss is running from the law but from his partner Donpatric who has always been against his relationship with Clara. The two men are now at war with each other and that’s the main reason he’s getting married in Paris instead of Nigeria’’ Celine revealed softly while I impatiently listened. I had many things in my head to ask but at the moment all I needed was a way to stop the idiot from leaving the country.
‘’please give us something we can use to stop him right now. We need concrete evidence’’ I interrupted.
‘’okay fine, you can stop him over money laundering for the meantime. His house has a very big underground hall, built like a bank bulk room. I bet you will find close to five hundred million naira in there” she opened up while special agent Bola heaved a sigh of relief as the head of
operations nodded to Jennifer and I.
‘’Agent Jennifer get your team ready and storm the house. Agent Val, head over to the governor’s house with five men. Keep close watch and wait for instructions’’ he ordered, leaving a smile on my face. Yes things were about going in my favour even though Celine’s sudden change of mind at the last minute was very much suspicious to me. I kind of felt she wasn’t really after the immunity she asked for but perhaps more interested in getting back at Charles. Anyway all I cared for at that minute was stopping Charles from leaving.

[To be continued]

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