Val’s side of the story continues
‘’Mr. Charles you have been getting my relationship with Clara wrong all these while. I have no explanation to give to you right now. If you are having doubts, go and talk to the governor but for your information, I never slept with Clara and if you have prove that I staged her kidnap, better bring it forward, moreover how did you even get to know that she was kidnapped in the first lace?’’ I muttered calmly, surprising everyone with my calm response. Perhaps they all were expecting me to react more seriously to his accusation but I never did.
‘’Vivian told me about the kidnap. I guess the best thing is talk to the governor’’ he barked fiercely and headed into the house while agent Jenifer stared at me curiously.
‘’did you actually sleep with the girl?’’ she asked.
‘’of course not, yes we were close but I never went that far with her. The dude never knew I was only a bodyguard to Clara. He saw us together and formed a silly conclusion in his head that I was having an affair with his woman. I couldn’t tell him the truth because I was ordered not to let anyone including Clara to know who I really was’’ I answered convincingly while she shrugged.
‘’let’s go eat then’’ she added breathlessly, holding me tightly.
Jenifer and I spent almost all night talking and recounting old memories. She really was fun to be with and I enjoyed every moment. By 1pm, I returned to my apartment to sleep and pray for Clara.
Early the next day which was Sunday, I got a call to report at the office immediately. I rushed my breakfast and headed over to the department to meet my director, agent mike, Jenifer and her team converged at the forensics unit.
It was just as if I kept everyone waiting.
‘’we just ran a check through miss Clara’s phone and according to the call records only three numbers called her line the morning she was kidnapped. Your call came in first but she never picked it. Mr. Charles number was the second to call her and she never picked it. The third number wasn’t saved on her phone and the caller called twice and spoke with her for five minutes on each call. Four minutes after speaking with the caller, she left the house and got kidnapped. We ran a check on the phone number and discovered it’s owned by Mr. Joe Kelvin, the governor’s special assistant on youth matters. Is there anything you know about him?. Is he Clara’s friend?’’ my director summarized and asked while everyone listened patiently.
‘’I can’t say he’s Clara’s friend because I have never seen them together, moreover a day after Clara got back to the country he tried bribing me to help him get close to her. I declined his request and never heard from him afterwards. I also never saw him approach her for once’’ I answered truthfully.
‘’let’s go get him. He could be our man’’ the director ordered. I nodded in agreement as we all quickly filed out.
Ten minutes later Jenifer and I plus ten other agents arrived at Mr. Joe’s house in four hilux trucks. We barely had gotten to the gate, when we noticed the young man driving out with an elderly passenger in his car. Two agents blocked him while a third agent pulled out the frightened guy from the car. One look at him, I felt we had the wrong guy. The surprise and fear on his face was very convincing but he relaxed a bit on sighting me.
‘’agent Val what’s wrong?. Please don’t manhandle my mother’’ he begged as he was dragged to one of the trucks while his old mother watched on in disbelief, so shocked to even mutter a word.
An hour later at D.S.S Interrogation room,
(In this scene, a frightened Kelvin is seen seated and facing the state director of DSS who of course wasn’t happy to be working by that hour of the day instead of being at home with his family. Agent Val, Jenifer and two other junior agents are seen behind him, observing keenly)
‘’how did you get Miss Clara’s phone number and what were you telling her when you called yesterday morning?’’ the old man asked seriously, watching the young man’s reaction.
‘’come on you guys prevented me from going to church because I called the governor’s daughter on phone yesterday?. I can’t believe this. I work for the governor for Christ sake. What the hell did the girl report to you?. I only wanted to be friends with her but she was very rude to me. I couldn’t say much to her. I got her number from one of the staff working in the house’’ he replied quickly while the director drew back on his chair probably unconvinced with his statement but Just that moment, his phone rang, he picked up the call and gave us a signal that it was the kidnappers calling once again.
‘’hello you are speaking with the state director of DSS’’ he breathed as the person on the other end of the line said something that kept him calm for a bit before his color suddenly changed.
‘’what two hundred million naira!’’ we all heard him scream as he got up from his chair and headed out of the room. The other agents and I all dutifully followed him to his office where he briefed us on the latest development.
‘’they are now demanding two hundred million naira since we failed to get the money yesterday. The caller said it was a price to pay for Miss Clara not losing a finger yesterday as threatened. Something is not adding up here. I have a feeling these guys are not after money. I believe the girl was kidnapped to send a message across or something else. But money no. it doesn’t look as if they are serious about the money. Check the pattern of their calls for instance’’ the director breathed with a worried look.
‘’after checking the crime scene again today, I need permission to question the governor. Maybe he knows something he isn’t telling us’’ Jenifer softly chipped in while I gave her an askance look. The director kept quiet for a while before nodding.
‘’definitely the guy we have with us isn’t our man. You have my permission to question the governor but I will go with you’’ he accepted, leaving a smile on Jenifer’s face.
‘’and you Val, this is your mess. What do you have to say?’’ he asked me.
‘’I need permission to go after Charles sir, you saw what happened yesterday at the governor’s residence?, Since we are looking into the theory that Clara may not have been kidnapped for money. Perhaps we are looking at a crime of passion here. A guy like Charles can easily have the girl killed instead of allowing her slip from his hands. He has the resources and means to pull this off. Just give me forty eight hours to focus on him please’’ I begged.
‘’we don’t have time on our hands. You have twenty hours to check the guy out. By Monday evening, you should be here for debriefing’’ he accepted while I heaved a sigh of relief.
Now Charles was mine to tackle and my prayers were for me to be right. I desperately wanted to prove to the department that I was a good agent. I equally needed to save my Clara, my life, job, everything was on the line.
Meanwhile at the other end of the state, Clara is seen lying drugged in a well furnished room which very much looked like a hotel room instead of a kidnappers den. The room looked very peaceful as if the only occupant in it (Clara) was just sleeping in comfort.
TO BE CONTINUED…