A FEW MINUTES BEFORE ISHI WAS KIDNAPPED/ ISHI’S NEIGHBORHOOD
“Send me a picture of what you’re wearing, baby. I’ve had a rough day and I need to ease my mind.”
“You’re such a perv, Leo. I’m pregnant. That shouldn’t turn you on in any way. Besides, I’m tying that wrapper you don’t like.”
Leonel smiled. He was sitting in his Jaguar XF across the street from Ishi’s house. With one hand typing a message and the other holding a burger, he kept Kyenpia on the line via the car’s handsfree.
“So I read this stuff on the internet about something that can help your difficult pregnancy…”
“Don’t laugh.” Leonel chuckled.
“I already suspect that it’s something nasty.”
“Semen. Taken orally.”
Kyenpia hissed. “Didn’t I just call you a pervert?”
“It also helps induce labor too.”
“Leonel, it’s never ever gonna happen.
“Hey, I didn’t make it up. Google it.”
“The things you read online! Ewww! You’re so disgusting.”
“Not what you said last time.”
“I’m ignoring that. So where are you?”
“Uhm…” Leonel darted his eyes away from his phone and stared at Ishi’s house. “I’m at the office.”
“No, you’re not.”
“Okay. I lied.”
He went back to his texting.
“What are you eating?”
“Are you at a fast foods?”
“I’m held up in traffic.”
A black van came to a screech just outside Ishi’s gate and two brawny men, armed and dressed in black, with unmasked faces jumped out from the front of the van and barged into the compound. Leonel pressed his face closer to his window and gave the scene a good look.
“Butter Babe?” Kyenpia crooned on the line. “I’m waiting for an answer.”
“Uhm… Sunshine, can I call you back?”
“I hate when you do that. Do you realize it’s been happening a lot lately?”
“I’m sorry, sugar but I have to go.”
His eyes were still glued on Ishi’s house.
“Just come see me tonight. I have plans for you.”
Leonel tapped a touchscreen on his dashboard and the call ended. A pop-up appeared on the screen, prompting him to make another call or close the application.
“Rudeboy,” he uttered.
Two seconds flashed by and a connecting tone indicated the voice recognition had picked his command. The entire time, he had his eyes stayed on Ishi’s house and just as his call connected, he saw the armed men who had gone in earlier come out with Ishi. They shoved him into the back of the van, got in front and the vehicle screeched away.
“Spirit, wetin dey?” A voice broke into the car as Leonel kicked off his car engine.
“Rudeboy, use GPS track me now-now-now. I dey with the Jag.”
Leonel swerved unto the road and fired the car in the direction of the van.
“Spiro,” Rudeboy came on again when Leonel neared the end of the street.
“I don locate you. You dey Agoro Adiyan. I go catch up with you soon.”
“Stay off radar,” Leonel instructed and terminated the link.
The van was disappearing from his sight. He stepped on the accelerator and kept on their trail. From his rearview mirror, he could see he wasn’t the only one after them. There was a small Volkswagen Golf behind him which he suspected was driven by Ishi’s EPA.
“Fools. Where were you when you was taken?”
The van made a sharp turn into a narrow lane, barely avoiding a head-on collision with a water tanker that was making its way out unto the major street. Leonel stepped on his brakes and waited impatiently as the tanker took its time. When his vista was clear, he drove after the van. He picked up the pace and followed it, making no attempt to hide the fact that he was hard on their heels. Either of two things was going to happen. They could stop the vehicle and come after him, which was highly unlikely under bright street lights and in the full view of pedestrians and commuters coming back from their day jobs. The second option was to lead him to their lair; it was the option he was hoping for.
They were heading towards a traffic stop now, under a red light on the Lekki expressway but they made an illegal U-turn at a major junction despite the presence of cops. Leonel followed suit, cutting in front of a couple of cars and almost causing a crash behind him.
He put out a command on his handsfree to connect to Desire. After eight long rings, she came on line.
“Quick question, hon. Who gave orders to make off with Ishi?”
“Give me a second,” she whispered and silence followed. Seconds later she returned. “The bosses are having a meeting and everyone’s present.”
“Venue?” Leonel asked.
“Doctor B’s. Ishi was summoned.”
“Nice way to summon someone. Thanks, Dee.”
The line went dead. Leonel caught up with Ishi’s abductors’ vehicle as it drove up an overhead bridge leading them into another part of town. Leonel suspected they were cutting traffic when he saw them headed the opposite way and towards Ikoyi.
The information he got from Desire was straightforward enough, just as he suspected. It was a good time for him to turn back, having his curiosity satisfied and knowing Ishi was going to be safe. But he remembered his lunch with David earlier and all David revealed concerning 43’s current investigation on the Cabal. Leonel felt if he let Ishi get taken away, the consequences could be far-reaching and unpleasant. Therefore, he kept on his chase, matching speed for speed as the guys took a round journey and emerged at the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge. They slowed before a tollgate that was traffic free but taxed more money. There Leonel answered a call from Rudeboy.
“Spiro, I get bad feeling about this tollgate o. I dey see you from far. Abeg, reverse make I handle dem.”
“Don’t worry, man. It’s too late.” Leonel paid the toll fee and was let through.
The van was parked in the middle of the road just ahead of him in a manner to prevent anyone from moving further but he had already seen it coming and made a quick, sharp swerve to escape the ambush, stopping right in front of them.
“Boss, wetin you dey do na?” Rudeboy questioned.
“Just keep following us,” Leonel instructed as the two burly guys that had taken Ishi emerged from the van and rushed up to him.
They plucked him out of his car and one of them threw a dazing punch at him. Leonel doubled over and held his face. The assaulter lifted him up and was aiming for another blow when his eyes narrowed in recognition. He went back a step, confused.
“Why you dey follow us?” he asked.
The response he got was Leonel sending a kick into his midsection. The man bent over briefly but straightened up to jerk Leonel who was certain he would not be touched again. He prayed they played into his plan and carried him to their destination. A look passed between both men as they communicated through their eyes for long seconds. They jerked Leonel up and dragged him towards the van to shove him in the back with Ishi. The doors slammed after him and Leonel felt the van reverse, then it made a swerve and continued on its journey. Pressing his ear to the doors he listened as he picked out the sound of his car being started. He smiled. Everything was just as he had anticipated.
“Are you kidding me?”Ishi mumbled in the darkness and Leonel turned. Ishi was seated on the floor, knees raised up and spread apart with his elbows resting on them.
“This is not a good day for me.”
“I’m glad you know. Finally, I get to thrash you shitless,” Leonel smiled again.
“I dare you to try,” Ishi replied and got Leonel’s foot in his face.
He fell sideways and mumbled disjointedly. Leonel scratched his sideburn with a thumb.
“Now Eresoyen, let’s make a deal and handle this Kyenpia’s mess.
Omoayena watched Jacan pack a few of his clothes into a suitcase. She said nothing to stop him. She knew him too well to beg him to stay. His mind was made up. But she felt he had to, in any case, hear her reasons on why she cheated.
So she began to speak but it seemed her words hung in the air, dry. Jacan kept on with his packing, his constant poker face which she was used to, now causing discomfort to her.
“Jake, did you hear anything I just told you?”
“No,” he replied and zipped up the suitcase. She hurried to the door and stood before it just as she saw him heading there.
“Let me explain again, please. And you can leave after that.”
He replied nothing but stood waiting.
“Akin came from my past…” she started. “We grew up in the same neighborhood in Mushin. His house was just a few doors away from mine. We were good friends. His father was an old soldier, a father of nine and a brute. He used to beat Akin senseless but Akin on the other hand, was stubborn. He was a tout and hung with the area boys. I lived with my mother; my father and siblings were in the village, so it was just two of us in Lagos. Akin and I spent most of our time together… We were intimate sometimes.”
Omoayena broke off.
“He disvirgined you?”
“Yeah. And got me pregnant and disappeared.”
“What happened to the child?”
“My mom took me to a nurse in the neighborhood…” Tears stung her eyes. “It was horrifying. Well, I never saw Akin again until I met you in 2002 and we started dating and you introduced him as your friend on the night of your birthday. He begged me not to marry you; I insisted I would. He didn’t press the issue further until things turned bad the night when those people attacked you and took Silas away.”
Jacan fought away the memory of his missing brother and the day he also was left for dead. Silas had visited and stayed late into the night. Just as he was leaving, escorted by Jacan, a car drove into the compound and three men emerged from it with guns. Silas, having seen them first, dove to the ground but Jacan was not so lucky and got hit with five bullets before he went down. The gunmen, thinking him dead, went after Silas as he tried to get away. He was unfortunate and they made away with him. No one had seen him since then. The attack left Jacan in the hospital for months.
“Akin told me they weren’t robbers,” Omoayena continued. “He told me you were an assassin; that you killed people for money and the families of the people you killed were paying you back. He showed me pictures, gave me proof. I was weak, vulnerable. I believed him….”
“Because you thought I was going to die.”
“You had a bullet in your brain, Jake. You weren’t waking up. I was scared. But that wasn’t what made me sleep with him. It was Princess, your mother. That night of the attack, she threw my things out. She said I was bad luck. First, she claimed I made you forget her and then I brought bad luck on you. I wasn’t allowed to see you at the hospital even though I was training there. There was a guard at your door always but I had this nurse who used to go in there and take pictures of you on this digital camera I bought just so I could see how you were doing. I had to go back to live in Mushin, in an apartment near my old house. But everything had changed. I didn’t know anybody there. Akin was my only company; he visited me always and that meant a lot.”
“And so you slept with him.”
“I’m sorry, Jake.”
“But… I survived, I woke up, then what? Princess invited you back? Why didn’t you just stay in Mushin?”
“Captain told me to come back. He came to Mushin himself. I told him I was pregnant and I wasn’t sure it was yours. He said you didn’t have to know the truth, he just wanted me back. You needed me, he said. So I came back and when I met you, you were changed. The bullet they took out of your brain left you expressionless.”
Omoayena’s lips shook as tears returned.
“You used to be so jovial, full of jokes but not anymore. No smiles, no laughter, not even a frown. But I loved you still, even though you were gone from me.”
“But so were you, Omo,” Jacan stated, sounding less angry. “I thought your awkwardness around me had to do with the fact that you didn’t want me anymore because I was damaged goods.”
Omoayena’s head swiveled from left to right slowly. “No, I had guilt eating me. I dreaded the birth of Osigwe the whole time. When he finally arrived, I felt I was done for, because to me, he looked just like Akin. But you didn’t notice. You said he looked like you. I never saw the resemblance and I didn’t look forward to having another child. But you wanted more and so I… I went back to Akin to keep up appearances.”
“And that was how Oshoke came to be.”
Omoayena nodded. “Please forgive me, Jacan.”
“And Prissy? She’s Akin’s too?”
“No. She’s yours. You can tell by her eyes. But I couldn’t do it again. I told Akin and he threatened to expose me. From time to time, he’d call and ask to meet me in some hotel but I’d refuse and he’d threaten to tell you… It has been hell. He started again quite recently and the threats have been more. I’d successfully evaded him but you started questioning. I panicked and thought he told you something and so I asked to see him…”
Jacan, unable to take any more, shook his head at her dismissively. “I get the story now. You-you can stop, please.”
“He has pictures, Jake, of me and him together. Not good pictures. I don’t know how he got them.”
“He had…” Jacan corrected. “Had pictures. He’s dead now and so should all this drama. Now, move away from the door.”
“Please, Omo. Move.”
Omoayena knew it was no use arguing. She took one step aside and Jacan passed through, walking out of the bedroom.
DOCTOR B’S RESIDENCE
The black van fired through the opened gates of Doctor B’s mansion and made the distance to the main house in a few seconds. It stopped before the entrance doors with sufficient noise to stir attention its way. Leonel’s previous assaulter jumped down from the front, walked to the back, threw the doors open and was in the process of retrieving his quarry when the state of Ishi stopped him. Ishi was sprawled on the floor, unconscious and bleeding from his facial orifices. Leonel, on the other hand, was on his feet with only a little scratch above his lip.
“Na just little family problem we dey try settle,” he said to the guy.
“You dey mad?!”
Leonel pushed him aside and stepped down from the van. The guy went into an angry rant while Leonel took in his surroundings. Desire was right. The Cabal was in session. Soldiers and plain clothes guards armed with weapons patrolled the entire area and there was a row of luxury cars from the gate to the house. Leonel’s Jaguar was parked behind the van and the other hefty guy who had driven it still kept an eye on it as his colleague continuedon with his outburst.
Leonel walked towards the pool area and spied it, checking to see if the underground latch was open. He found it shut and the surroundings secured by two soldiers. He walked back towards the van where the men were now trying to revive Ishi.
Leonel stepped in. “I’ll take him to the hospital,” he offered.
The men pushed him aside and picked Ishi up but Desire emerged from the house, stopping them. Leonel thought she appeared older than the last time he saw her. Tired eyes looked over him sourly before assessing the situation. Ishi was beginning to stir as she instructed the men to fill her in with details of what happened. While they did so, she bent over Ishi, now lowered back on the floor of the van, and with skilled hands, she examined him.
She stood straight and wiped bloody hands on the shirt of the guy nearest to her, and then she got out her phone and spoke to someone, seeking orders on what needed to be done with Ishi. There was a long wait and Leonel imagined the person, contacting Captain first before getting back to her.
She muttered a “sure” and came back to them. She looked at Leonel. “Captain will kill you,” she told him. “Says you should handle your mess.”
She looked at the men and nodded at Ishi who was struggling with opening his eyes.
“Take him to his car,” she instructed and stepped aside as one of the guys lifted Ishi up easily and carried him to Leonel’s Jaguar.
She drew Leonel aside. “You dislocated his jaw and shoulder, fractured his ribs and caused a pneumothorax? Very noble but they will still get what they want from him sooner than later. They already have David and Lanre.”
Leonel raised a brow. “They’re in there?”
Desire pointed downwards. “Bunker interrogations. Lanre was at David’s when they were taken. I heard they basically agreed to follow the guys that went for them.”
“Makes sense. Dave and Lanre together are a deadly combination.”
“So you want to save them too, Dark Knight?” Her eyes teased and for a passing moment, Leonel saw a beautiful vision of what her life would have been without the Cabal.
He smiled. “Like I said, those two are good on their own.”
“Captain is pissed about their involvement with 43. He wants answers.”
“They won’t talk.”
“Smart move you made by taking out the weakest link.”
“Uhm…just curious… What’s this meeting about anyway?” Leonel asked.
Desire began a walk towards his car. It was his cue to leave; and just in time, Ishi was heard honking the horn.
“You already know why they’re meeting,” she replied as he trudged behind her.
“More attacks are coming. Get your girlfriend out of the country.”
She stopped by his car and opened the door for him.
“Advise Ishi to give them the Light Virus.”
Leonel smiled but it meant nothing, just a musing on his part. “You seem to know more than you’re supposed to know, Nafi. And the sense of authority you just displayed now… Have you been promoted? Are you a handler now?”
Desire smiled back. Hers meant a lot. “Handler? No, not really. Something else, maybe. Something much bigger. Just tell Ishi to give them the LV.”
Leonel got into the car and shut the door. He turned on the engine but kept a sharp ear on the whizzing sound of Ishi’s breathing from the backseat. He stared at him through the rearview mirror and was somewhat relieved to find him in manageable shape.
The car made a 360 and headed back to the gates.
“Try not to speak, Eresoyen,” he said in sarcasm, knowing full well that Ishi couldn’t move his facial muscles. “When all this is over, you’ll be thanking me. One, for saving you from experiencing firsthand, the wrath of Captain and two, for playing Kyenpia right into your hands. She’s going to hate me now and run into your arms because she loves a boy who needs her. Well, it’s all good as long as you keep your own end of the deal we made on our way here.”
He peeped into the rearview again.
“We’re good, right? Blink if we still are.”
The gates shut behind them as they drove into the night, huge security lights illuminating the way. Leonel waited for Ishi’s response and he got it…a slight flutter of eyelids before Ishi passed out.
Doctor B’s mansion disappeared into the night as Leonel drove back into Lagos. Following him closely behind was his bodyguard and friend, Rudeboy. Their destination was ST. Andrews Hospital not far from Leon Hotels. There Ishi was deposited and phone calls made to certain family members as regarding his state. Afterwards, Leonel got into his car and drove to Kyenpia’s.
She had just taken a shower before he arrived. Wrapped in a mini bathrobe with a shower cap covering her hair, she looked appealing to him. Drake was playing somewhere in the background and a soft glow from her muted television was the only light in the small room.
As the door clicked shut behind Leonel, he drew her to him with a greedy kiss, his hands kneading her generously endowed butt cheeks and almost lifting her off the floor. Somewhere in the middle of the kiss she found her voice. She threw a question but didn’t get to complete it when his hand held her chin and brought her eyes up to look into his.
His clutch was rough but she didn’t mind. However, she was a little unsettled over what she saw in his eyes; it wasn’t something she could interpret. Her hands resting on his chest could read his racing heartbeat easily. She was on her way to asking another question when he kissed her again. It was a crushing kiss that gave her little space to breathe but it sparked a flame in her body.
Leonel banished her shower cap to the floor with one movement of his hand and dug his fingers into her hair to pull her head back, giving him access to her neck. The moment his lips and tongue began to trail all the sensitive spots down her throat and to her breasts she became lost.
She couldn’t remember the last time he coveted her so ravenously. He had always been careful because of her pregnancy and she missed the spontaneity, vulgarity and wildness of his lovemaking. The thought alone of having the old Leonel back was too much to handle. His skin tasted salty as she dug her teeth into his upper arm to still the uncontrollable tremors coursing through her. She suppressed the need to moan out when he lifted her off the floor and buried his face between her breasts. With just one window open to the outside and hardly letting in any cool breeze, the room began to heat up. Using guarded impatience, he put her on the only couch in the room and did away with her bathrobe.
Now completely consumed by the same fire burning in him, Kyenpia went for Leonel’s zipper and freed him from his cargo trousers and boxers. She waited for him with closed eyes, knowing already how it will go yet feeling the feverish excitement of a girl about to experience her first. Leonel had always been a man too much to bear. It didn’t matter how many times or ways she got him, she always craved for more but would stop every time his delivery exceeded her demands.
Kyenpia felt a nibble on her lower lip and she opened her eyes to see him over her, face gleaming with perspiration. Again, she couldn’t read the look in his eyes, but that was the least of her concerns as he slammed into and occupied her in one single motion. Kyenpia cried out and felt her skin come alive with goosebumps, tears filling her eyes. She tried to still herself for the mad ride she knew was coming but Leonel hardly gave her a moment’s breath as he began working her body with his. They went through movements they both knew so well, their bodies completely syncing with each other’s. Judging by the pace they were going, Kyenpia knew it was one of those short and steamy affairs. It was her type of thing and she allowed herself the pleasures he gave her take her completely.
However, something didn’t sit quite right with her. She looked for it in his gaze but he stared back at her, revealing nothing still. Her body, at this point, was no longer in her control and neither was his. One of them was getting to an upsurge and she wished it wasn’t her. For his sake, she fought hard to hold her pleasure in but she erupted unexpectedly and held him in so securely that she didn’t feel it when he came to his own climax a short while after.
Almost two minutes went by before any of them said a word. It was Kyenpia who spoke first, asking why he had a split lip. Leonel licked the spot where Ishi had hit him in the van and winced. He kissed her tummy, keeping his gaze on her.
“Just because I’ve never said it doesn’t mean I don’t love you,” he spoke softly. “You do know that, right?”
The weight of the words he just uttered unsettled Kyenpia. She tried one last time to read his eyes and what she discovered startled her.
“Get off me.” She pushed him away.
“What’s your problem, sunshine?”
“Don’t sunshine me, Leonel.” Kyenpia pulled her legs up as much as her bulge could allow. “You promised me that you weren’t going to fall for me. You said, “Kyenpia, you’re safe with me. It’s just mad lust. None of that cheesy love crap.’ That was what you said! What changed?”
“Nothing.” He stood up. “I’ve loved for a long time and I think you know that. If you didn’t, it’s dumb of you. You think I’d have a baby with someone I feel nothing for? Are you alright?”
“Love ruins things!”
“Look, here’s what you don’t know. Loving you is not the problem. The issue I’m having is showing you how I feel because you’re a pig-headed, manipulative woman and you will crush my heart, stomp all over it and move on to your next victim the instant I tell you I love you ─ which is what I just did now. And I think you share the same fear with me and that is why you prefer to love Ishi because he’s the loyal, faithful guy who’ll love you even if you shit in his face which is also basically what you have been doing.”
Kyenpia stared at him as if she had been stung by something painful. He paid no heed to her reaction as he wore his clothes and went for a bathroom break and a drink of cold water. When he returned, he noticed she had shut the window and turned on the AC. The room was silent now, Drake’s voice gone. Kyenpia was sitting on her bed with an angry expression on her face.
“Are you possessed or what?”
Leonel’s eyes caught the dying light of her phone which was on the bed beside her. He surmised she had just gotten the news about Ishi.
“You wanted to kill him because of me?! Because of this baby?!” She sprang up and walked to him. “Don’t I have a right to do what I want with my body, Leonel?! This is not about you or Ishi!”
“How can you say that?”
“It is my body! It is my baby!”
“Your head is twisted.”
Leonel moved away from her and leaned on the couch.
“So you beat him up and came here to make love to me…? As in… I don’t get! That thing that just happened now was you marking your territory or what?! Don’t you know you already have me?! It’s me and you, Leonel, whether the baby ends up being Ishi’s─”
“That is what I cannot stand!” Leonel walked back to her. “Like you said, it is me and you! Just two of us! Not me and you and my cousin! Why you brought that fucker into the equation I still do not know!”
“Ishi is my friend!”
“And yet you want his baby! Who the hell are you fucking fooling Kyenpia?” Leonel was pained. “I’m tired. The love triangle is just not working for me. And I wasn’t marking my territory when I beat him up. I was simply eliminating my competition. You now belong to me. I had to make Ishi understand that. I had to let him know that no man messes around with my property.”
Leonel had scarcely finished speaking when Kyenpia struck his face. Her lips trembled in anger and red eyes fired into his.
“Leave, Leonel. And when I say leave, I mean, it’s over. Don’t come back here. Don’t call me. Don’t stalk me. We’re done. I am no man’s property. No man!”
Her voice was steely and sure. Leonel picked his phone and made it to the door. She walked closely behind him and held the door as he walked out. He turned around to face her.
“Whatever happens from here on, know that all I have ever felt for you…” He swallowed as his voice thinned. “All I ever felt for you…what I said earlier about how I feel is true.”
He watched as the door slowly shut in his face. He wrestled the urge to go back to her. It would be so easy to break down the wall she had just erected and have them back where they were but Leonel couldn’t. His heart was not in a good place. The pain was intense but he kept himself in check and let his mind hover other issues.
Back in his car, he rolled a joint and turned on his engine. As he drove the car out of The Refuge he ignored his ringing phone in his pocket, knowing it was from family members.
The journey to Victoria Island from Lekki was short but it would remain one of the most torturous journeys in Leonel’s life. At some point, under a traffic light, he had actually felt the sting of painful tears attacking his eyes. He couldn’t believe he had actually let Kyenpia go. Everything in him had screamed out against his plans as he was uttering those words to her but he had to do it. Because she was pretty much straightforward and what you saw was what you got, he had known the right buttons to press to have her walking him out of her life.
Leonel parked his car on Agoro Adiyan Street, a good distance away from Ishi’s house. After confirming from Rudeboy via a phone call that the coast was clear, he stepped out and hurried to the house.
“I keep a spare key to the kitchen backdoor inside a hole in the left plank at the roof of the dog kennel.”
Ishi’s instructions had been clear but Leonel was wary of Lanre’s guard dogs. Locked in their kennel, they went wild at his intrusion into the compound. He had come in without any stress, thanks to Rudeboy who had done some magic on the gateman and had him sprawled out asleep on the floor of his tiny room. Leonel approached the kennel with caution, ready for any sudden attack if for some reason the dogs found their way out. The closer he inched, the wilder they became. When he got closer, he spied the four main wooden planks that held the roof and went for the left plank which was close to the fence. With much effort he located the hole Ishi spoke about and sure enough, there was a key there.
He took it out and found his way into the quiet house. Save for the hum of the fridge and deepfreeze, the place was dead silent. Still he proceeded with caution, using expert eyes to search for any hidden cameras. Being that Lanre also lived there, he doubted he was going to find any.
Leonel’s first stop was a bedroom on his right but it turned out to be Kyenpia’s. He didn’t have to be told it was hers. The distinct smell of her perfume caught his attention before his eyes picked a pair of Louboutin slippers he had gotten for her on her birthday beside the bed and a copy of Madame Bovary, a novel she loved but had never really had time to complete.
Leonel left the room and faced another opposite it. It was Ishi’s. Computer gadgets and pages of architectural blueprints littered the area.
“There’s a safe in the closet, right behind the shelf where I keep my shoes. The shelf pulls to the outside and exposes the safe.”
Ishi’s closet was a tight space, yet there was enough room for Leonel to stand and pull out the said shoe shelf, revealing a small safe etched in the wall.
“The combination to the safe is 0324.”
The numbers were stuck in Leonel’s brain. 24th of March…Kyenpia’s birthday.
“There you’ll find a micro memory card with the Light Virus and a journal of tattered pages.”
Leonel picked the items Ishi had told him about but couldn’t fight the temptation to take his eyes off a jewelry box sitting in the middle of the shelf. He opened it and one of the most eye-catching engagement rings that he had ever seen assaulted his eyes. He was good with precious metals and could immediately tell he was looking at a platinum ring, which he was sure had cost Ishi a fortune. He picked it up and read an inscription on the inner slice.
I knew it’d come to this, K.
Leonel lifted one side of his lips in an ironic smile and returned the ring, shutting the safe. He stared at his watch. He was running out of time. As he hurried out of the house, he recalled the last conversation that transpired between himself and Ishi.
“Leo, you cannot take those things and just keep them with you. We can’t let them Captain finish this country. We have to expose them.”
“And what is your own now? Shey we already made a deal and you get to finally have my woman. As for me, what I do with the Light Virus is my business. Just make sure Kyenpia is not in this country when the heat comes down. But know that if the baby ends up being mine, I’m taking it.”
“You’re not fit to be anyone’s father,” Ishi had said in-between labored breaths and Leonel sent him the last kick that put his jaw out of place.
Leonel stepped out onto the lonely street of Ishi’s neighborhood and Leonel put a call through to Desire as he walked to his car. He opened his car door and got in behind the wheel.
“I need to see Captain immediately I get there.”
“He’s still in a meeting.”
Leonel pulled open his glove compartment and picked out a weapon of choice, a 9mm Beretta.
Did you hear me, Leo?”
“Yeah, I heard but I need unrestricted access to him.”
There was a break from Desire’s end as Leonel loaded the gun’s magazine with bullets and slid it into the magazine well. At the sound of a distinct click that indicated the magazine was locked in properly, Desire came back on.
“Is that a Beretta?”
“Yeah, I need to get it in without being frisked. Can you do that?”
“I don’t like the sound of it, Leo but yeah, it’s doable.”
Leonel put his phone on the passenger seat beside him but kept the gun between his legs. He was beginning to feel the first signs of tiredness with the coming of a long yawn. He started his car, held the steering wheel with one hand while the other massaged his temples. As he drove in the direction of Doctor B’s he replayed the passionate moment he had with Kyenpia earlier while Drake’s voice came from the car’s speakers.