The Proposition

  1. olanshile

    olanshile Member

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    class captain badoo,i hail you o
  2. sage

    sage Member

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    Thanks, i've corrected the oversight
  3. ife

    ife New Member

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    Luvly piece....continue
  4. sage

    sage Member

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    Sorry for the delay guys....been very busy and my phone developed some issues, but the update is here
  5. sage

    sage Member

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    His eyes scanned the area carefully, if he wasn’t mistaken, Adun’s office was somewhere around here. He had only been there a couple of times the past two years he had known her, but his memory didn’t fail him in such things.

    Kenneth drove slowly down the road, looking for some sign to direct him to Adunni’s office, he planned to give her a surprise visit today….and maybe a peace offering would follow depending on how she received him of course.

    It was almost a month since the incident at the company’s anniversary party, granted, he had been more than a little inebriated hence his rather reckless behaviour, but that was no excuse in his books. He feared his actions had further damaged his character in her eyes, something he didn’t need for now. And it didn’t help that some forward guy had come from nowhere to steal his thunder. He couldn’t quite remember much of the stranger, but he knew he was some really big guy and maybe he would recognize him if he saw his face again.

    Yes, he was mad at the fellow for playing the hero, but he was just a little grateful that his poke-nosing had averted any form of stupidity on his part. He probably wouldn’t have a career or his freedom by now even if he had executed his plans that night. He had to watch his alcohol intake, that was for certain.

    He noticed a familiar signboard as he passed by a building, if he wasn’t wrong, the office was just a few metres away from this signboard. He pressed his foot harder on the accelerator and soon spotted the imposing building, bearing the sign of ‘Oche & Oche Legal Chamber’…it was easily the biggest building on the row, while the Chamber was located at the top of the four-storey building, the y had rented out office spaces to various other establishments that equally had their signs on various parts of the building.

    The Oche family was one that had quite the reputation, not just in Lagos, but also in Benue and most parts of Nigeria courtesy of Adun’s father. He was quite a prolific lawyer while he was alive and had won over 30 high profile cases in his lifetime. The man was a true lion in the field in every sense of the world and the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Adun was also a brilliant lawyer in her own right, her career was still young in every sense of the word as she was only four years old in the practice, but she was gaining quite a reputation so far. She hadn’t picked up from where her father stopped by venturing into criminal law, but was beginning to carve a niche for herself in property law and dabbling into company law as well. that was how they had met.

    Kenneth wasn’t a big city boy by any means, no, he was a rural product having grown up mostly in Gboko, Benue state, where he had heard all the3 stories there was to hear of the Oche family from when he was as young as 10-years old, he had only seen the beautiful daughter of Albert Oche a couple of times while growing up and it was only on the television whenever her father was being honoured. He had only left Gboko when he got the opportunity to attend the prestigious University of Lagos and he would be lying through his teeth if he said he hadn’t been influenced to apply for the school because of the patron of the Oche family.

    So, imagine his excitement when he first laid eyes on the irresistible daughter of his role model 3 years ago when she was first introduced to the staff of the Company where he had worked for six years as their new lawyer.

    He would admit, he had seen grown an unhealthy obsession with Adun, but who would blame him? she was a vision of beauty, and even more than that, she was an intelligent young woman with a name in society, what was not to desire about her? He wanted to make her his Mrs, he had made that clear to her from the first day he had approached her and yes, maybe, his method of going about it may have been unconventional at times and straight up insane at other times, but he had a mission to accomplish and as far as he was concerned anyway was a way as long as it was successful….and it would be successful eventually.

    He parked his car in the parking lot, turned off his A/C and after making sure nothing was out of place in his outfit, he got out of the car. Standing at an impressive height of 6ft2”, Kenneth thought he was quite an attractive man. Not to hoot his own horn, but he had received compliments from various women on his looks and so, he wasn’t in any way insecure about himself. Hell, he had closed a ton of deals on behalf of his company using his good looks and irresistible charm, he thought his eyes were his best feature; they were a very light shade of grey, when he was younger he had been a little self-conscious knowing that his eyes were a different colour from what was common place with the negroid race and he would admit that at certain points of his life, especially when he was going through puberty, he had resorted to wearing dark shades to avoid the curious stares and questions from nosey people, but when he got into the University, he found that women liked his unusual eyes and fawned over him because of it- amongst other features, so he had ditched the glasses and embraced his features and he hadn’t regretted his actions since.

    So, yes, maybe he had been a little forward with Adun, thinking she would fall for him in record time as most of the other ladies he had wooed did, and he had thought coming from her state would at least have upped his value, so they got off on the wrong foot with her thinking he was an arrogant prick with a bloated ego, but he had since worked to change such a view….he couldn’t say he had completely redeemed himself in her eyes because of course, old habits die hard, but he was working towards it and hopefully, before the end of this year, he would earn her trust, after all, the third year was the charm.

    He walked into the building in his usual confident swagger, flashing his signature smirk at the receptionist on the down floor who greeted him with a blush, he got into the elevator and pressed the button for the top floor. As the elevator ascended, he used the glass panes to once again check himself out, to ensure that nothing was out of place. He had on his favourite navy-coloured suit paired with a white shirt and some sleek, black Italian leather shoes on. He was a believer of the saying that looking good was good business and he made sure to always reflect that saying, yes, sometimes his beliefs got him in tight financial situations, but sacrifices had to be made in this business and he was always willing to make such sacrifices.

    The elevator dinged to signify that he had gotten to the floor and then the doors slid open, he stepped off the elevator and walked down the short hallway to get to Adun’s office, but he knew well and good he would have to first pass through her mouthy friend to get to her. The jury was still out on what he really thought of Chika, she tended to be the stumbling block between he and Adun more often than not and he wouldn’t say it was mostly the woman’s fault, somehow Adun always found a way to use her as an excuse as to why she couldn’t go out on dates with him, she always had ‘plans’ before he asked, and these plans more often than not were linked to Chika. So, he was just a bit jealous of their relationship, his only respite being that as much as Adun tried to use her as a distraction, there were only so many things Chika could offer her being female, he could offer her much more, top of which were protection and a family of her own. She was 26 already, it was about time she started thinking of settling down and she couldn’t settled down with her best friend.

    He walked into the Secretary’s office to find Chika’s head buried in a book, from the look of the cover, it was a leisure read- there was certainly nothing educative within the pages of a book with what looked like a man and a woman in an embrace on the cover. He snickered to himself, one would think women would have left dreams of a charming, wealthy and handsome man coming to sweep them off their feet and declare his undying love and unwavering allegiance to them back in their teenage years, apparently some of them were adamant on sticking to such foolishness.

    His snicker earned him her attention as she raised light brown eyes to him. Kenneth had always thought of Chika as a beautiful woman, there was no innocence or naiveté to her beauty though unlike her friend, hers was mire of the smoldering kind; there always seemed to be a fire in her eyes that pulled his attention even when he would rather not pay it any mind, it shook him to his core sometimes when he would find himself staring at her and wondering what could have been. She was certainly the sort of beauty he would otherwise have been attracted to if she had more ambition and of course, a name society recognized. He wouldn’t deny, she had starred in more than a few of his fantasies, which was more than he could say for her boss, another time maybe, she would have been his target, but the idea of landing the only child of a man of prestige like Albert Oche, was much too alluring to pass up on

    She eyes him for a while, causing him to straighten his back as if seeking her approval, the scowl on her face was unwavering as she assessed him in a manner that reminded him of the sanitation prefect during weekend inspections back when he was in boarding school.

    Feeling unnerved by her lengthened silence, he chose to break the ice as she seemed unwilling to, “Good afternoon, Miss Okalla.” He began civil.

    Her expression remained passive, much to his chagrin, “Do you have an appointment?” she asked pointedly, failing to acknowledge his greeting.

    He gritted his teeth, she had some nerve speaking to him in that manner, such insolence from a mere secretary! She was nobody compared to him and she dared to address him like he was some lowly errand boy in her establishment, “I’m sure you’re aware I’m not here on the grounds of business.” He replied stonily, just barely keeping his temper in check. Sometimes, it escaped him, but another reason why he would never make a play for Chika was her repulsive attitude that was thankfully omitted in his fantasies.

    She regarded him briefly and then pursed her lips, his eyes zeroed in on the glossy pair unwillingly, Christ! If she wasn’t so annoying and had no ties whatsoever to Adun, she would make for a great lay, the desire pulsing through him while he remained in her presence caused him to worry, he needed to feel this way about Adun without alcohol coursing through his veins.

    “Oga, this is an office, we only attend to business related matters here, so, if you’re not here for business and you don’t have an appointment, nwoke m, locate the exit and make use of it.”

    He was only slightly irritated before, but now, he was damn near enraged, how dare he dismiss him in such a manner? He watched her pick up her book and bury her face in it once again as if he were invisible and couldn’t stop himself from reaching out and snatching the book from her grasp.

    “Are you okay?” she spat at him as she shot him a glare.

    “You should be asking yourself that question as you seem to have forgotten your place as secretary in this establishment.” He replied with equal venom.

    She rocketed off her chair at his words, “Firstly, I am a Personal Assistant, NOT a Secretary, thank you. Secondly, I do remember my job description includes screening out of unwanted visitors from this establishment and considering you neither have an appointment nor a valid reason to be here, I do believe, you fall under such a category and should leave unless you need me to call the security to do their job.” She all but screamed at him

    He was all set to give hr a scathing reply when Adun’s door flew open, “For Heaven’s sake Chika….” The words got stuck in her throat when she saw the cause of the disturbance. Her features hardened considerably as he waited for some form of approval from her. He could only hope his actions so far hadn’t totally discredited him in their eyes.

    “What are you doing here?” she asked, from the clipped tome of her voice, he could tell she was just as miffed to see him as Chika was.

    He straightened his posture, “Hello Adun, I’m here to apolgise for my disgraceful behaviour some weeks ago, if you would grant me audience so that we may speak privately, I will be very grateful.” He implored. It was a rehearsed speech, but he was glad he pulled it off impeccably

    She fixed him a wary look briefly, her eyes darted to a surprisingly quiet Chika and then back to him before she relaxed her stance, “Be brief.” She acquiesced hesitantly.

    He caught Chika’s horrified look as he walked past her desk with a cocky gait, he ought to flip her the finger for effect, but he would save that for after the meeting, when he would be walking out this office with his prize; Adun, in his arms.

    “Adun, are you sure?” the annoying little twat asked as if Adun were some indecisive child trying to pick out a prom dress.

    “It’s fine Chika.” She assured her as she stepped aside to grant him entry into her office.

    Chika harrumphed and dropped back into her chair with an indignant scow as the door closed effectively shutting her out.

    Inside, Kenneth’s eyes roamed the entire office that used to belong to Adun’s father, he had only been inside here a couple of times, but it never lessened the effect the ambience of the room struck in him, it was only a shadow of the place Albert Oche spent so much of his time in while he was alive, as expected, but the room still carried his presence, he could feel the man’s aura within this space.

    Adun didn’t care much for beautifying a room, she was a simple person through and through, a stark contrast to him; he was loved the finer things in life and his taste reflected upon his work space. Save for a few changes here and there like the wooden desk, the office chairs and her plaques in a new shelf, Adun had left the space largely as her father liked it, even his picture still hung on the wall while hers was conspicuously missing. Sometimes, he found her ways rather strange.

    “So?” she asked as he rounded the table and stood by her seat.

    He cleared his throat, “As I said, I’m here to apologise for the way I harassed you at the office’s anniversary party, it was highly unprofessional and disrespectful on my part and I’m sorry.” Kenneth didn’t particularly like apologies when they were coming from him, but this situation was different, Adun was the core ingredient in his plan and she needed to fall in line like everything else, what was a little, harmless apology?

    Her expression was stoic as she replied, “Apology accepted, anything else?”

    It was evident he would have to make use of some items in his bag of tricks to clear this obstacle, her lips were saying one thing, but her demeanor seemed out of tandem with her utterances, “Well, I was hoping you would join me for lunch to seal that.” He spoke cheerily with a smile to knock the garters off any woman.

    She eyed him warily, almost like her friend had done earlier and then shook her head, “No thanks, I’m actually kind of busy here.”

    He shook his head, “Come on Adun, what’s a harmless lunch? Just one hour and I’ll let you get back to work, you never let me take you out.” He protested, hoping to sway her

    She regarded him for a bit, as if contemplating his request, her lengthy silence filled him with some hope that maybe today was his lucky day….and then her phone rang.

    The sound of the object seemed much louder in the silent room, “Let me get that.” She said as she reached for it.

    He watched er features contort in confusion, perhaps she was unfamiliar with the caller, hopefully, she would discharge of the nuisance soon enough and give him a positive reply, “Of course” he replied with a tight smile

    She nodded at him absent-mindedly and then answered the call, she put the phone to her ear, “Hello?” her face remained confused, “Yes, this is she, who’s this?”

    He watched her features change from confusion to recognition and then a smile broke out against her face, who the hell was on the other line?

    “Mr. Umeh, good afternoon, how are you?”

    Who in heaven’s name was this Mr. Umeh and why was he making Adun blush like some naïve teenager?

    “I’m fine, I didn’t expect your call so soon.” She replied to something he said.

    He was getting increasingly irritated with this call, it didn’t even seem like she remembered he was still in her presence.

    A sharp giggle from her caused him to scowl.

    “Really? You’re….you’re here?” she only acknowledged Kenneth’s presence once again as she raised her eyes to him, a look of guilt flashed across her face, she quickly turned her back to him and edged closer to the window, “Oh, I….” she glanced at him and then moved closer to the window, she peeked out of the blinds, “…um…sure, it’s no problem, give me some minutes and I’ll be right with you.”

    He got an eerie feeling that he was about to be ditched for some other plan.

    “No! no, there’ll be no need for that. I’ll just meet you downstairs. See you in a bit.”

    The horror call was thankfully over, but a sinking feeling told him the horror was just beginning.

    She turned to him, with what she probably thought was a look of regret as he spoke the words he had been expecting since she giggled at the other caller, “I’m so sorry Kenneth, something just came up. I won’t be able to join you for lunch today.” She said

    He wanted to demand she cancel whatever plans she had made with the idiot on the other end of the line, he had asked frist apparently, but as usual, she always felt the need to push him aside for some other person, he never got this sort of treatment from the other ladies he wooed, hell, they were at his beck and call, why was this one proving so difficult? And who the hell was this other man pulling strings she wouldn’t even let him touch?

    Rather than raise hell like he was itching to do, he schooled his features and gave her a tight smile, “It’s fine. Another day then?” he asked.

    She nodded, “Sure, another day.” But even as she said it, he could tell she meant nothing of it.

    “Have a nice time then.” He replied and then walked out of the office without another word, he only glanced at Chika who sat up on seeing him walk out, he would have to save that middle finger for another day unfortunately, today, he was looking forward to at least seeing this other guy he would have to compete with. If memory served him right, Adun wasn’t particularly a fan of men. He couldn’t remember a time she was taken by any, so whoever this guy was, he thought he must be something special.

    He got into the elevator and used the short ride down to scheme some other way to out do this new competition….well, he would have to know who he was working against first.

    The elevator came to a stop at the down fllor and the doors slid open, as the down floor came into view, he saw a man stand up as if waiting for someone- a rather tall man. The stranger eased back into his seat finding that he wasn’t this person he was waiting for, but even as he did, Kenneth found the man’s gaze remained on him and he couldn’t look away either.

    He knew this man, his face was vaguely familiar. Normally, Kenneth didn’t care much for men or what they looked like, especially if he thought they looked just as good as he did or better, but this man….he found himself walking towards the man, maybe this was the person Adun had ditched him for.

    The man stood on his feet again as he saw him approach, well, he was a damn tall motherfucker that was for sure. he didn’t get to meet people taller than him a lot, so this was different, and the man had some broadness to him as well, he was built like a lumberjack. Just as that thought came to him, he remembered where he had seen him- at the party. This was the fool that had inteerupted he and Adun that night.

    “Hello.” He began courteously.

    “Hello.” The man replied, his tone far from friendly.

    “You’re the guy from our office party right?”

    “Yes.” He replied warily.

    “Wow, you’re pretty big. I didn’t get your name that night, I’m Kenneth Agbo.” He said as he extended his hand out for a shake.

    The man hesitated a little, but he eventually grasped the offered hand in a firm grip, “Patrick Umeh”

    “It’s nice to meet you….you’re here for Adun?”

    “Yes, I am. You?”

    He shrugged, “Just came for a courtesy visit. See you around?” he asked with a tight smile

    “Sure” big, tall and burly replied

    “Good.” Kenneth replied and then walked away just as he heard the ding of the elevator.

    Pride wouldn’t let him turn around when he heard Adun and the man exchange pleasantries. His thoughts were filled with how this guy crashed into Adun’s life, yes, his stupidity may have been responsible to some extent, but still, how Adun was taken by a man this quickly certainly piqued his interest. He thought he would have to put aside any plans of wooing Adun, not while this distraction was in the way. He would never make any progress if the reincarnate of Hulk was hovering over his target and for all intents and purposes, getting a huge chunk of her affection. No, rather than focus on chasing after Adun, henceforth he would make it his goal to find out who exactly this guy was and how he even found his way to the anniversary party to begin with. He had a funny feeling that something was off about his guy and if his guts were right, he was sure to uncover some juicy information on the mystery man.

    Patrick Umeh was going to find out what happened to those who got in the way of Kenneth Agbo, and he would make sure he came out the hero in all this.
    Jasny likes this.
  6. Jasny

    Jasny Member

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    yay! Sage is back
    Thank God....#Dancing alingo

    SUNKANMI New Member

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    thank jah u are back...hope u won't keep us waiting dis time?
  8. sage

    sage Member

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    Adun tossed her head back in laughter as Patrick regaled her with tales of how he managed to take care of a little girl after they were orphaned by their father’s death. Rather than harp on the sad aspects of a difficult situation, he managed to twist up the story and present it in a funny light rather than a pitiful one.

    She couldn’t remember the last time she had so much fun from a mere conversation with a guy. This man had to be from another planet or something, he was such a breath of fresh air and was filled with so much wisdom it awed her. The best part of him was that he wasn’t into himself unlike the other jerks she had the displeasure of having dates with. He barely spoke of himself or his achievements, rather, he focused on his little sister. From the way his eyes brightened and his demeanor took on a spark when he spoke about her, it was clear he loved his sister with everything in him. She would admit, she had been a little jealous at certain points. Being an only child, she didn’t have any siblings with whom to share fun memories, Veronica was one lucky lady to have an elder brother who cared this much about her and if she was anything like Patrick had described so far, then he was also lucky to have someone so sweet in his life. She could only imagine what two of them had gone through since the death of their parents, surely it was a tough task.

    He had told her he had to put off a lot of things to focus on caring for his sister, it warmed her heart that he was so caring. She didn’t know many young men who would put their lives on hold to take care of a little girl with ulcer, she had a new found respect for him with that new information, even she couldn’t imagine what she would have done if she was that young and had been flung into such a precarious position.

    So far, he had ticked a lot of boxes in her form; attractive, smart, compassionate and funny. There had to be some flaw in this man, he just seemed so unreal, nobody was this….perfect, of course, she wasn’t complaining, but still….

    “So, you never told me how you found out where I work.” She said, it was a question that had been gnawing at her sine he picked her up almost thirty minutes ago, she didn’t remember giving him her office address. The only contact information he had was her phone number, so, she was dying to know how he figured her place of work.

    He smiled at her question and shrugged, “You’d be amazed the kind of information one can get off of LinkedIn.” He replied with a gleam in his eyes.

    She gave him a goofy smile, damn it, he brought out the girl in her. There had to be some set record today on the amount of times she had blushed in his presence, even when he didn’t mean to, he made her blush. LinkedIn, of course, she wasn’t particularly a regular on there, but she had opened the account three years ago because Chika said it was a good idea, she left the running of the account to her more internet-inclined friend and had mostly forgotten about it’s existence save for a couple of updates she got via Chika once in a while. She’d be sure to buy her suya on their way home today as gratitude for a job well done.

    “LinkedIn huh? I see you’ve been investigating me.” She teased as she forked some chips into her mouth. They had ended up in the closest eatery to her office, it was just a ten-minute drive, funny how she wasn’t quite familiar with the place despite its proximity to her office. She usually didn’t take notice of these places because Chika was the one who got them lunch more often than not while she worked and she never passed by this route when coming to work or going home.

    “Hardly, but I will say I’m very curious as to how you’ve become so successful at such a young age, how do you do it? Most women your age are more concerned with landing a man than building a career, you seem to be different.” He replied.

    She wasn’t sure if that was just a statement or a compliment, but she chose to think of it as the latter, “And what makes you think I’m different?” she asked as she cocked her head to the side in curiosity.

    She didn’t understand why, but she felt this urge to hear him praise her for refusing to do as society pleased. She knew he wouldn’t condemn her, but for once, it would be nice to hear someone actually tell her she was choosing the right path. All she got from most people was flack for not chasing after an ‘eligible bachelor’. They thought she was mad for putting her career first and pushing away any thoughts of a husband or a family aside, she was a Nigerian woman after all, society said she should end up in a man’s bed, satisfying his needs, not mulling over legal matters in an office, even her mother peddled such jargons with the rest of society. If her father was alive, she would be getting nothing but praises and commendations from him for taking the tough road and damning society. He always taught her to ignore what the public endorsed and do what she thought was right for her and she was living by that motto, sometimes though, it was hard to turn a deaf ear to the maligning statements. It was much easier to live by her father’s rules when one was a male, she supposed her father never saw her as a female child. He wasn’t one who discriminated, he thought a girl was just as good as a boy and a child should be treated as a child irrespective of their gender….so he taught her everything he should have taught a male child and more.

    “Are you not?” he asked, mimicking her posture.

    She smiled and shook her head at him, “What do you think?”

    “I already told you what I think.” He replied.

    True. She thought to herself.

    She maintained eye contact with him as if searching for a sign that he was bluffing her, telling her these words to score some points perhaps, but all she saw was sincerity. She marveled about him, how had he captured her attention so quickly? Yes, he was dashingly handsome, but weren’t the others? She may have disagreed with her mother’s methods, but the woman certainly had a good eye and had set her up with men who belonged on the pages of magazines, and not just any magazines, but top fashion and fitness magazines in the world. But t never took long for all of their good looks to fizzle out in her eyes because their personalities simply never matched their looks, more often than not, their heads were so far up their asses, they couldn’t acknowledge that there was more to life than whatever was going on within the small bubbles they couldn’t see out of.

    That was a very large point for him on her part, unlike the other men, Patrick never came off as conceited, he had seen life, he understood suffering in ways even she couldn’t comprehend, he had values one could only acquire after traversing valleys of strife and forests of darkness. It was refreshing to find a man of his calibre within her circle. She rarely had time to socialize, hence her choices were usually limited to the annoyingly rich with bloated egos. To come across someone like
    Patrick was a rarity.

    “You intrigue me.” She said thoughtfully.

    He smiled at her words, “I can say the same about you, not many women in Nigeria share your ideals.” He replied.

    That was another thing he did, even as interesting as she found him, Adun was well aware he was withholding some information about himself. Fine, she didn’t particularly expect him to spill his guts out to someone he barely knew for all intents and purposes, but he was giving away much less information than the situation permitted. He only let her know things he thought she would be fine with, every other time she tried to pry, he would either turn her questions back at her or somehow manipulate the answer till he made it about his sister.

    She was curious

    “Flattering as that may be, I think we’ve heard enough about me, some more of you would be appreciated.”

    “Considering I can only steal you for about half an hour, I doubt that’s enough time to hear even a quarter of the life of a 26-year old, and it certainly won’t cover mine. But I’ll tell you what, if you grant me a second date, a real one this time, you can really get to know me and vice versa, what do you think?” he suggested

    She thought he was bloody smart bouncing the questions off himself like that. Certainly a lot smarter than any man she had conversed with in a while. He almost reminded her of her father; he had an uncanny way of avoiding questions he didn’t particularly like, perhaps if she wasn’t raised by the master of the art, she wouldn’t have noticed the trick.

    “And then will you answer my questions?” she asked as she took another sip of her mocktail.

    He laughed at her question, exposing perfect dentition to eyes filled with admiration and a smidgen of curiosity, “Okay, 28 questions, one for every year I’ve lived, how about that?”

    Well, she certainly wasn’t expecting such generosity on his part, it assuaged some suspicious feelings on her part, “And you’ll answer each?”

    He placed his right hand against the left side of his heart, “To the best of my abilities.”

    She had to stop herself from giving a large smile as she reached out her hand to him across the table, “You have a date then.”

    He received her hand, “You won’t regret it.” he assured her.

    She had a feeling she wouldn’t as she let the smile come forth.
    Pearl likes this.
  9. sage

    sage Member

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    How are you guys doing? Hope your Independence celebration was cool

    Having a very shitty holiday so my mind is kinda haywire. Apologies if the updates look that way at any point.

    Please please please, drop your corrections and criticisms. Thanks
  10. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Always worth the wait, thank you @sage for this wonderful update.
  11. sage

    sage Member

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    28 questions. 28 bloody questions

    Who in their right mind gives a lawyer permission to ask them 28 questions? Aren’t they supposed to have some Grade A sleuth senses to weaken even the most strong-minded people? Their ability to badger people with questions always gave them the upper hand in interrogative situations and he had just unwittingly thrown himself right in the line of fire by more or less offering his head to her on a platter of gold.

    28 questions. His head certainly hadn’t been screwed on right when he made that offer.

    It was all her fault.

    He couldn’t begin to break it down even to himself, but whenever he was in Adun’s presence, it seemed like his brain was in another galaxy. It surprised him greatly that he hadn’t blurted out every single detail of his life down to how he was only with her because her mother made him a great deal. He supposed those intricate parts would be revealed at their next meeting…or was it a date?

    A smile danced along his lips, he had made some admirable progress which Folashade would be ecstatic to be intimated with, but even more seriously, he found he was becoming increasingly enamored with Adunni and he wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. Wasn’t this supposed to be a job? What was the end game here?

    When he had taken this deal, he hadn’t allowed his thoughts get that far, he was too immersed with the thought that he would finally get himself and Veronica out of their shared hellhole to ask shade a vital question- what would happen if perhaps he fell for her daughter? Would the plan end? Would he have to reveal himself to her? Would they just keep up with appearances like nothing ever happened? It was hard enough looking at her and knowing their entire meeting was all part of a grand scheme to get her attached to a man, could he just continue on with her and shelf the entire circumstances of their meeting?

    Those questions were what caused him to drive towards Shade’s house, he needed to settle his mind before he got home, if al he got from her was some closure on where exactly he was heading with this whole plan, it would do a great good to his restless mind .

    Indeed, she made his mind restless.

    He hadn’t quite had the pleasure of having female company in a comparison with his peers, most of his relations with those of the opposite sex had come during his Service year, while in the University, he was far too occupied with his education to pay much attention to women, save for a brief relationship he had with a girl a level below him when he was in 300 level, he couldn’t recall any other relationships with the opposite sex in school. His consequent experience therefore, was as a Corps member, with two other females, none of which lasted because….well, his father thought it was wise to end himself while he was serving.

    That was just about all the experience he had with ladies in an intimate sense, but none of those here women had enthralled him as much as Adun had so far. That could be attributed partly to the fact that he was stilla green horn in every sense of the word as at that time, but he didn’t recall any of them being as captivating both in looks and intellect.

    Even his memories of his mother was nothing like Adun, his mother wasn’t one of those women who defied society’s expectations, no, she was a disciple of society’s many idiosyncrasies in every sense of the word, many times, she harped on the many privileges men were given in the society and insisted that he know where he stood and never be intimidated by a woman, she believed a woman’s place was next to a man. He had read enough about certain women to question that stance over the years, but he had never encountered an embodiment of it’s defiance until Adun.

    He thought it was both brave and admirable that there was a woman within a largely misogynistic society, who didn’t feel the need to modify herself to please society’s expectations, a woman with enough strength to leave many men petrified. A woman who wasn’t a programmed robot only doing as she was told and not as she wanted.

    She was refreshing.

    He parked his car by the roadside, driving in wasn’t an option, he wasn’t going to spend a long time here, he had to return home and prepare something for himself and Veronica for the evening. Before he left the house, he always made sure to leave her something to eat whenever she returned from school. It had been a while since she had her attack and he wanted to keep it that way.

    Just as he got to the gate, the security guard opened it with a smile, “Patrick, welcome” he gleamed at him.

    Suffice it to say, being a regular visitor here had certainly done a world of good to his relationship with the otherwise grumpy security man compared to how their first meeting went. He certainly hadn’t envisioned that they would be this friendly after about a month of meeting, hell, he had thought the man would never like him, but Bolu- the security man, was a much nicer person than their first meeting allowed him to be.

    Patrick returned his smile, “Thank you, is madam around?” he asked as he stepped into the beautiful compound that still had a great effect on him. It didn’t matter how many times he walked into this compound, it’s beauty would always dazzle him, it was the stuff of dreams

    “Yes, she’s expecting you.” He replied.

    Patrick nodded, “Thanks.”

    With that, he made his way to the front door and opened it, Shade always left the door unlocked whenever he told her he was coming over. She thought he didn’t need to be so formal with knocking or ringing a bell, he had earned the right to walk in like Adun would if she were visiting.

    The sweet smell of pines hit him as soon as he entered the cool room, he had long learnt that Shade just loved a cold atmosphere, it still wasn’t his thing and he doubted it ever would be, but he was fine with only having to deal with it when he came here.

    “Mrs. Oche, it’s Patrick.” He announced as he walked through the hall way.

    “I’m in the living room dear.” Shade called out.

    He made his way to the comfortable living room and found Shade on a couch watching a soap opera, “Good afternoon ma.” He greeted

    Her face brightened up once she saw him and she got on her feet, “Patrick, what a pleasant surprise, how are you?” she asked as she approached him and wrapped him up in a warm hug. Her arms didn’t quite get around him because of his size, but she did try.

    “I’m fine, thank you.” He relied, disengaging from her embrace.

    “You certainly look fine.” She teased as she assessed him.

    If he was lighter, he would be sporting a very noticeable blush at her compliment, he found he liked being around Shade, he enjoyed her generosity with words, he didn’t know many women her age who spoke their minds without a care in the world. He supposed she equally had a uniqueness to her like her daughter.

    “How’s Veronica?”

    “She’s doing very well, she loves her school.”

    “I’m glad to hear that, starting a new school can be very trying for a child. Come, sit.” She invited him as she reclaimed her position on the couch and patted the empty seat next to her.

    He joined her, sinking into the delicious comfort of her very soft couch

    “You seem happy, anything you want to share?” she asked with a mischievous glint on her eyes.

    He gave a small laugh at her inquisitive nature, she never had time to beat around the bush, “Well, I don’t know if it’s anything to be happy about, but I went to see Adun today.”

    She perked up at that information, “Did you now? And how did it go?”

    “She actually wasn’t expecting me, but she let me take her out for lunch. It was…nice.” It was more than nice, but he didn’t want to sound too excited

    “Was it?” Shade asked, wiggling her brows suggestively.

    Patrick had to suppress brimming laughter, “We talked, and she agreed to go out with me during the weekend?”

    “She did?” Shade asked, sounding and looking genuinely surprised

    He wasn’t sure what to make of her reaction, was that a good or a bad thing?, “Yes.”

    “Wow, that’s….wow…” she was now smiling at the information and it eased his frantic mind, “…she’s never….how did you do it? she doesn’t even like surprise dates. Wow, why didn’t I find you soon enough? At this rate, you’ll have her reciting vows in a couple of months.”

    That comment from Shade reminded him of his purpose for being here to begin with, “Um…I wanted to ask, I don’t know…I’m not sure, but….” He paused to collect his thoughts and come up with the best possible way to ask his question without sounding offensive.

    She cocked her head to the side and studied him, “ Go on, just spill it out, I won’t mind.” She encouraged him.

    “I like her.” He blurted out and almost immediately wanted to smack himself for being so forward, he had imagined approaching this in a much better way.

    The smile on Shade’s face though, told him that he was perfectly on the right lane, “Is that so?”

    “Yes, and….i don’t know….”

    “You don’t know if you like her?” she asked with a playful smile, but he was far too gone in his thoughts to look at her, even less notice her smile.

    “No, I do…I…I don’t mean that I don’t know if I like her, i….” he sighed to himself, even to his own hearing, he sounded like a blubbering mess, he could only imagine what he must sound like to her.

    “What are you driving at? You can tell me anything Patrick.”

    Letting out a long whoosh of air, he gathered his thoughts once again, “If I..if we fall in love, will I have to tell her about the entire plan?”

    Shade couldn’t stop the grin that was plastered on her face, she reached out and took his clasped hands in hers, “Patrick, look at me.” She spoke softly.

    He raised his eyes hesitantly to look at her smiling face, “When the time is right, I trust you’ll make the right decision for both of you. You needn’t bother your little head on such things for now, although I will say I’m glad you’re thinking in that direction.”

    He maintained eye contact with her briefly and then nodded his understanding, “Thank you.”

    She smiled at him “No, thank you.” She replied, she leaned back into her seat with a sigh, “Now, where did you say you were taking my daughter for the weekend?” she asked, she was in the mood to talk about the many possibilities that lay ahead between Adun and the man she was coming to look at as her son
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  12. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    Thank you.
  13. Ayodeji

    Ayodeji New Member

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    Cool story
    An update is long overdue
    Are you alright?
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  14. sage

    sage Member

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    Happy New Year people....I know I haven't been here in months...i have no excuses and a ton of apologies as usual.


    The weekend arrived much too late for a very agitated Adun, the entire week she had been looking forward to Saturday, she had spent every conscious moment thinking of the many questions she could ask this man she was coming to both admire and grow other unfamiliar feelings for and even how he would answer them. Twenty-eight questions didn’t seem to be enough, she had over fifty, from intelligent and important to mundane and uninspiring, she was ashamed to say she spent more time drafting these questions than paying attention to the cases she was building. It was an unusual character for her, sometimes she worried that she was letting a man she only had basic knowledge of, take control of her senses, other times, her fantasies of what could be effectively blocked such worries.

    Chika had noticed her lack of concentration and asked a couple of times, but lucky for her, her best friend wasn’t one to prod at her concerning her matters. Yes, she could get nosy, but Chika could take a hint when she wasn’t ready to talk and this was no different. She knew she would have to talk to her very soon because her mother was a no-go area with these things, she feared the woman would overreact and be all up in Patrick’s face before she even got the chance to fully come to terms with her feelings, besides, her mother was big on family and Patrick didn’t have a particularly large family, that part of his life would be a little contentious to deal with if her mother got wind of it. Chika was the safe person to confide in pending when she understood fully, the dynamics of what she had with Patrick.

    Finding an appropriate outfit to wear for a picnic date wasn’t as easy as Adun had envisioned, especially as she had to do it alone. It would have been nice to have Chika’s input, but she was keeping this to herself till after the second date, which was today. She rummaged through a rather impressive closet, finding much to hr dismay that she couldn’t settle on a particular outfit. She wanted to impress him, but she didn’t want to look like she had put too much effort in the process, she was aware one could overdo something unintentionally, there was no need to give herself away.

    She spread out three outfits on her bed and gave each one consideration, settling on a pair of carton-colored cropped shorts, a sleeveless floral print chiffon top and a bowler hat of similar color to the shorts. After putting on the outfit, she studied her appearance for over ten minutes, only stepping away from the mirror when she realised she was running out of time, her wristwatch and generous spritzes of her favorite perfume rounded off her preparation and she was sprinting out the door. She wouldn’t be making use of her car as he would be driving them to the park. It had been a while since she made use of public transport of any sorts, but she had gotten an Uber taxi figuring it would be much less stressful. The car pulled up at her gate just as she was stepping out her front door. A quick glance at her wrist watch showed she had less than twenty minutes to get to his house, if there was one thing Adun was particular about, it had to be punctuality, she figured she could get to Apo within that time barring any incidence.

    By the time the taxi pulled up to her destination, Adun was a bundle of nerves, she quickly handed the driver his pay and exited the car. She took her time to study the neighborhood first ,it wasn’t as glamorous and luxurious a neighborhood as she normally visited which was a welcome surprise, there were no large mansions or intimidating duplexes , just modest, beautiful bungalows that looked much more homely than those mansions, it was largely quiet with well manicured lawns and paved walkways, much like a neighborhood one could raise a family. The thought of a family surprised her, where di that come from? She shoved it aside telling herself she would take this one step at a time, the man was gorgeous but she didn’t know him well enough to start considering having a family with him.

    She let out a breath and focused on the house she was here for. It was similar to the other houses in the neighborhood. She considered walking up to the cream-colored gate to knock, but instead, settled on making a call. The phone only had to ring twice before it was picked up.

    “Hello, you’re on to Patrick Umeh’s phone, who’s speaking?” a small female voice asked from the other end.

    Adun couldn’t help the smile that sprung on her face, Patrick’s sister was certainly adorable, “Hello, this is Adunni, am I on to Veronica?” she asked, playing along

    “Yes, this is she, how may I help you Adunni?”

    Adun’s smil grew wider, “Well….”

    “Veronica, did you hear….Veronica!”

    Adun listened as Patrick’s voice could be heard from the other side, “Brother, you have a call.” Veronica said

    “Why didn’t you bring the phone to me?” he asked. He let out a groan before his voice finally came through the receiver, “Adun? I’m so sorry, that was my little sister.”

    Adun had a grin on her face as she replied, “I know, I just wanted to let you know I’m at the gate.”

    “Really? You’re on time then.” He commended, “I’ll be right out.” He replied, “Give me a minute.”

    The line went dead at that.

    It didn’t take him up to a minute to open the gate, he had his signature smile on when he opened and Adun found herself smiling at the mere sight of it. He stepped out of the compound, much to her delight, he was dressed in an almost similar outfit as she was; carton-colored cargo shorts that exposed muscular calves, a fitted, short-sleeved navy blue polo and navy blue sneakers finished off his simple look. she liked that the only piece of jewelry on him was a wrist watch, she had long developed a distaste for neck-chains on men, much of that had to do with Kenneth’s affinity for that piece of jewelry. She supposed a person really could make you hate something you otherwise wouldn’t have cared for.

    “Hello.” He greeted as he walked up to her.

    “Hi.” She replied

    He wrapped her up in a warm hug that reached her bones, she basked in the feel of his body against hers and the heavenly scent that wafted off him courtesy of his cologne, the man really did know how to use these things, Kenneth’s cologne was much too strong and offensive, smelling more like he dipped himself in it, with Patrick, it was more subtle. For some reason, her thoughts wouldn’t stop comparing the two men.

    She held back her words of protest when he detached himself from her, “how are you?”

    “I’m well, thank you, you?”

    “Never better. Come in and meet my sister, then we’ll be off.”

    “Of course.” She replied enthusiastically, she was pumped for the day’s activities, it promised to be fun in a way she wasn’t used to and she couldn’t help the feeling of delight that zipped through her knowing she would be able to actually go out with a guy and not spend the entire time drowning her boredom in alcohol.

    They went into the modest-sized compound; it was obvious they were the sole occupants of the property, it was probably rented as well, but none of that bothered her in the least, it was commonplace for a young man to rent a house, considering his background, she thought he was doing very well for himself. The compound was neat, the ground was covered in inter-locking bricks, his car was parked by a side of the compound. There was nothing flashy about the place and that fact appealed t o a side of her. Maybe she had spent too much time surrounded by flashy things that spoke of wealth and luxury, so much it was all starting to choke her, there was a freedom that came with being surrounded by normal people and normal things. At least the entire world wasn’t immersed in superficial things like the world she was used to.

    Patrick stopped at the door and turned to her, “Before I open this door, I want you to know you shouldn’t expect too much, I’m just a bachelor trying to get his feet off the ground.”

    She smiled at him, “Stop, you make it sound like we aren’t all struggling to get our careers off a good start.” She teased.

    “I’ve seen some of your records Adun and your name is pretty popular out there, so no need to be modest. I know when I’m in the presence of royalty.”

    She laughed at his words, “Flattery will get you everywhere Mr. Umeh” she replied with a wink.

    He winked back at her before opening the door

    Inside of the house was also a reflection of the sort of man Patrick was, the first thing she noticed as she steeped in was the air, there wasn’t a mixture of various fragrances that choked her whenever she steeped into her mother’s house, she had tried to talk her mother out of mixing so many scents, but Folashade wouldn’t hear of it, she liked the way her house smelt just fine…and she liked the coldness of her house. Thankfully, this house was warm and smelt more like food than some artificial fragrance.

    Before she could assess the sitting room, Veronica sprung off the couch she had been occupying to jump right in front of her, “Hello!” startled by the quick movement, Adun stumbled back into Patrick who was right behind her, he took hold of her shoulders to steady her

    “Veronica, you shouldn’t jump at people like that.” Patrick scolded as he glared at his sister.

    Unperturbed by her brother’s scolding, Veronica only spared him a glance before her eyes returned to Adun, “I’m sorry Miss, hello” she stretched her hand out to Adun, “I’m Veronica, I was the one who picked your call.” She added with a slight blush

    “Hello Veronica, I’m Adunni. I’m….”

    “Brother Patrick’s girlfriend.” Veronica interrupted.

    This time, it was Adun’s turn to blush as Veronica barely missed Patrick’s attempt to grab her, “Veronica, don’t embarrass her.” He warned unwilling to engage his sister in the cat and mouse game she just loved to draw him into

    “Do you know you’re his first real girlfriend? He doesn’t have any female friends.” She continued, again, ignoring Patrick’s glare

    “Really?” Adun turned surprised eyes at Patrick who avoided her gaze adorably, it was hard to imagine a guy as attractive and intelligent as he seemed wouldn’t have a girlfriend for any reason, men like him were usually popular among the ladies or at least that’s how she saw them. She couldn’t say if she was ecstatic or wary, there had to be something off about him, people who were this….perfect, usually turned out to be incredibly disappointing. Adun wanted so much to not fall headfirst for him, but the more she got to know him as a person, the weaker the knot she held herself up with became. As far as breaking her many barriers went, he was doing an amazing job, even her mother would give him a medal for his achievement.

    “Veronica, I swear if you don’t stop talking, you’ll stay in this house alone the entire day.” Patrick threatened, she seemed to calm down at that threat, her smile wavering slightly.

    “Come on Patrick, let her spill. Maybe she’ll answer one of my twenty-eight questions before I get to ask them” Adun teased.

    “28 questions? Are we playing a game?” Veronica perked up once again.

    “You’re not invited.” Patrick shut her down before she got any ideas, “Besides, we’re running late. Veronica, have you turned off everything?”

    She nodded at his question

    “Alright then, let’s all go to the car. No need to keep the park waiting.” He joked as he ushered them out of the house.

    Adun laughed at his antics, perhaps it would do her some good not to overanalyze anything for just one day, she would take everything in good stride and not freak him out with her paranoia. There was no harm in just taking his word, especially as he had proven himself to be nothing but trustworthy so far. She would keep her mind open and not paint him with the same brush she used for men with his looks, yes, she wouldn’t kill if something good with her terrible preconceived notions on what he was supposed to be like.
  15. sage

    sage Member

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    Tosan sifted through the pile of pictures on his desk, once he found those he needed to send, he put them into an envelope and dropped it aside. He picked up one of the spare pictures he hadn’t included with the rest and studied it. he would never understand why some men chose to ruin something good with foolishness.

    Another client had come to his office two weeks ago, asking the usual questions most female clients he had the opportunit to attend to asked; was her husband unfaithful? When Jemila Makinde entered his office though, he hadn’t expected such a question from her. The woman was a walking dream, she was pretty, classy both in her dress sense and carriage, her eyes were expressive in a way he was sure she didn’t even know, not a hair was out of place in her looks, and she was softspoken to boot. Any man with half a brain would treasure such a woman.

    She had told him she suspected her husband of infidelity, he was tempted to debunk such suspicions because of course, he had wondered what man would cheat on such a beauty, but his professionalism prevented him from making such an error….and what error it could have been. Four days of tracking him and Tosan had every shred of evidence to prove that Shola Makinde really was the silly, cheating dog his wife thought he was. The hard part would be breaking the news to her, it didn’t matter how many times he had to do this or with how many women, there would never be an easy way to tell a woman that her husband was indeed unfaithful. The woman he was cheating with was no match for his wife even, so, what was the allure in messing around with some two-bit prostitute?

    A light knock at his door distracted him, it was a slow day so far, he hadn’t had any clients, but that never bothered Tosan, he was lucky enough to have a decent inheritance from his maternal grandparents, enough he could live off on without steady income. He just loved his job as a Private Investigator, the on field work gave him a rush.

    He packed up the pictures and put them in a cupboard before answering, “come in.”

    The door opened slowly and soon, the figure of Kenneth Agbo came into view causing a small frown to come upon Tosan’s face. he had worked with Kenneth a couple of times, before that, they had met during their Service year, back then, Kenneth was easy to talk to and they had become fast friends. These days, it was a chore just listening to the man, somewhere along the line, after they passed out from the scheme, Kenneth had developed a false sense of importance and was now filled with an arrogance Tosan couldn’t stand. And then there was his obsession with Adunni Oche, the first time Kenneth sought his services, it was to track her down, consequent requests had been of similar pattern and he didn’t doubt that today’s unscheduled visit would also be for the same person.

    He had tried unsuccessfully to talk Kenneth out of following the woman, it was obvious she didn’t care much for him, but Kenneth was adamant. It was either Adunni or no one.

    “T-boy!” Kenneth greeted in usual fashion as he approached Tosan’s desk, “My guy, how you dey now?” he asked, both men shook hands and Kenneth took his seat.

    “Guy, I dey o, how you?” Tosan asked

    “You know now, still balling hard and breaking hearts.” He winked mischievously.

    “Take am easy sha, before pesin kill you for this Abuja.” He warned, he was well aware of Kenneth’s promiscuous ways, another thing that made him wonder why Adunni was so important. The man could get any wealthy woman he wanted, he had seen the type of women Kenneth had the pleasure of dating and while Adunni offered so much more, the women were no pushovers themselves,

    Kenneth waved off his friend’s warning, “Guy, bone that thing, dem never reach.” He dismissed

    “hmm, this one you remembered my office today, I hope all is well.”

    “Ahn ahn, T-boy, so I can’t just come and see a good friend?”

    “You, Kenneth? You’re not that caring my friend.”

    Kenneth placed a hand against his heart and feigned a pained expression, “You wound me with your callous words Tosan.”

    “I hear you, oya, spill it, wetin carry you reach my domot this afternoon?” he was eager to dispense of Kenneth in record time, he had a drop off to make in about an hour anyway.

    “Well, since you’re so eager to know….there’s this guy I want you to help me look into.” He began

    Tosan sat up slightly, this was new, “What guy?”

    “His name is Patrick Umeh, he’s this new guy hanging around Adun, I want to know what his deal is.” Kenneth replied

    As soon as Tosan heard Adun’s name, the excitement fled him. he should have known even this new entrant would somehow be linked to Adun ultimately, did Kenneth ever bring anything unrelated to Adun to him? He sat back in his chair and regarded Kenneth for a brief moment, “Guy, you still dey stalk this girl?”

    Kenneth frowned, “I no dey stalk her, which kain talk be that? I dey tell you say make you help me check this guy wey just dey hang around my woman you dey yarn beans.”

    “she don gree for you?” Tosan fired at his friend

    Kenneth frowned, “See ehn, forget that one for now. Forget say I even like her, I’m telling you, this guy isn’t legit. He literally popped out of nowhere, yeah? You know I’m a baller, there’s nobody who’s somebody I don’t know in this town, and you see this guy? I don’t know him, never seen him in my life. Does that not make you raise a brow?” Kenneth inquired

    Tosan gave him a blank stare, “No, no, not really” he said in a deadpan voice.

    “This is just you being difficult. I understand that, but Adun could really be in danger with this guy if he turns out to be as dangerous as I think he is.” Kenneth went on

    Tosan’s resolve was unwavering however, “since when do you care what happens to Adun? Maybe you just feel threatened that this guy is about to steal your thunder and you want to get him out of the way.” He countered

    “Fine, think whatever you want. Just look into him, okay? I have to run now, got some place to be in an hour.” Kenneth said as he stood to his full height, “Please, Tosan, don’t forget his name, Patrick Umeh. I don’t even need you to give me much of a feedback, you can just tell me if he’s safe or not.” He added in his most sincere voice.

    “I hear you.” Tosan replied, he stretched out his hand and shared a handshake with Kenneth.

    “We’ll see.”

    “No problem.” He replied, finally he saw Kenneth’s back as he walked out of his office.

    Tosan sat a while longer, thinking of Kenneth’s words, he knew there was no genuine concern for Adunni’s safety on his part. No, Kenneth was as selfish as they came, he wouldn’t come all the way down here to just make a plea on behalf of Adun, he had ulterior motives and his guess that this new guy was a threat to Kenneth’s ambition was definitely not far from the truth.

    He sighed to himself and rose from his seat, he would have to get to Mrs Makinde’s house in less than thirty minutes, Kenneth had stalled him, but it was time he went on his way. As he slid from the desk corner, he paused briefly in his movements. The man’s name rang in his head even though he thought he had no right snooping into Adun’s private business. Curiosity won out though and he found himself scribbling the name down on a piece of paper before exiting his office.

    Patrick Umeh….hopefully, there was no fire to this smoke Kenneth blew his way.
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  16. Gertn

    Gertn Active Member

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    The update worth the wait, thank you @sage
  17. ife

    ife New Member

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    Nice...expecting more updates

    SUNKANMI New Member

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    When are we getting another update???
  19. Naana

    Naana New Member

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    We hope to get an update this month :)

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