"Hello baby," Ese’s voice rang from the other end.
"Hey big sis,"
"How are you? You seem cold"
"I’ll talk about it when we see"
"That’s why I’m calling you...thank god it’s Friday!" she said cheerfully. “Can I pick you up from work?"
"I don't mind, although I’ll be getting off work in a few minutes"
"Oh yea, I’m outside your office. I closed early today. Why is there a fleet of police cars downstairs?"
Imade sighed, how was she going to tell her sister that her ex had been assassinated..."I’ll explain when I get to the car"
"Alright...don't keep me waiting for too long"
Imade picked her things...leaving Charles earlier had been a task. He had wanted her to stay around and hold him some more. What was she getting herself into? She was drawn to Charles. And to tony too, she wasn't even sure what she felt for any of both men.
"Hey, mind if I take you home?" Charles asked peeping into the office
"errrmm...my sister is around....I had to ask the driver to take my car to the mechanic"
"Oh alright..." he said unable to hide his disappointment
"Oh Charles I’m really sorry, today is Friday and I usually spend the weekend at my sister's"
"Oh nice then....I’ll just be home...alone" he shrugged
"I’ll see you tomorrow and we can spend the day together...working on the case." she rushed the last part. She wouldn't let him get any ideas about them together
"Okay then...I’ll see you tomorrow"
"See you tomorrow Charles" in a blink she was at the car park.
"Hey sis..." she greeted half-smiling
"You don't look too good, are you okay?"
"Yes I’m fine" she murmured
"Where’s Uncle Dave?"
"He is at home"
"Okay; can we go home please?"
"Okay...hello Charles..." Ese waved at Charles who was walking towards the car
"Hello madam...." he smiled
"He looks like Ralph...." Ese said
"Yea....ralph is my brother"
"Charles...ermmmm I will call you much later" Imade cut in. she didn't want Ese to hear of Ralph’s death in this manner. They had dated and even though Ese knew nothing about Ralph, she had loved him wholeheartedly
“Yea... I know you Ese, you guys dated... he told me so much about you"
“He did....?” Ese was amazed. Ralph hadn’t struck her as someone who even cared enough to tell anyone important about her
Imade waved at Charles in just enough time to stop his next words. Charles got the memo and stepped aside for Ese to drive off. He was smart. He knew Imade didn't want her sister to learn of Ralph’s death in that manner. He shook his head and entered his car....while turning on the ignition, his eyes caught something in the backseat in the rear view mirror - a written note.....how did that get there he thought. He picked the note to read its contents
"We are watching, stay away off the case"
Imade tapped her brother in-law on the shoulder. She had sent him a text message on their way home to brief him of the happening. Going by his response, he had even heard before. She wondered how Ese hadn't hear of it; maybe because she spent so much time buried in work.
"Hey pap’s..." Ese hugged her husband
“Have a seat babes, Imade needs to talk to you about something"
"Really? How do you know that? She and I came home together" she looked from one person to another
"Well, she wanted me to be here. Whatever it is, think of the baby's health and how I would feel if anything happened to you"
"Now you guys are scaring me"
"Where are papa and mama?" she asked Imade fretting
"Your parents are fine" Dave replied stroking her face
"Sabine, your sister, her husband, chief, mother-in-law....,?
"Everyone is okay baby..."
"So what is it then?" she asked raising her voice. I just checked the books, we are fine financially- what then could be wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong with us, we are fine" Dave held her hands
"errrmmm...big sis, Ralph is dead. He was assassinated in the early hours of today"
"What? Which Ralph? Jesus Christ of Nazareth....oh my God!!!" she screamed holding her head
"shhhh babes it’s okay" he soothed as he drew her closer
"Assassinated... how why?" She cried harder
"We are still trying to figure it out, we don't know who is involved yet" Imade replied
"His father was also assassinated a few years ago" Ese said crying
“How do you know this?" Imade stepped forward
"Yes... when we were close, Ralph was secretive; he mostly spoke in parables. He told me I was his savior I was the reason his soul had been redeemed. He was in some ring back then."
"Sis, what you are saying right now might help us with the investigation"
"Imade, I don't want my wife involved in anything that will put her in harm's way.... I love her more than life itself" Dave joined
"I know big bro, I love her too...hey come here sis...." she hugged Ese who had broken down crying
"Baby I love you...I’m so sorry for your loss" Dave kissed her forehead she nodded, weeping uncontrollably. She knew so much yet couldn't speak. Ralph had confided so much in her... she knew enough to make a lot of people go to jail. Whatever the case may be, she had to protect her family, her loved ones....and her child had to stay away from harm's way. "I hope Cindy isn't back in town" she whispered
"Cindy?" Imade was taken aback
"Who’s Cindy sis?"
Cindy was an old schoolmate. Some evil maniac who enjoyed sucking blood. the one woman who stole ralph from her- the sister to her closest friend- someone she had been warned to stay away from if she wanted to live
"sis answer me!.." Imade screamed
"What’s happening?" Dave was confused
"That same girl was fingered for murder bro"
"Baby, who’s Cindy?"
"Cindy was Ralph’s ex.... Stephanie’s twin sister"
"This is deep sis... which Stephanie?" Imade shook
“Stephanie, the same one who had to put up with us for two years after losing her father back in England"
"Christ, I thought you said she stole ralph from you and all- the evil friend?"
“It’s complicated Imade...."
“Why leave Stephanie with him?" Imade was confused
“They had some sort of agreement and ralph didn't fill me in; but he was obligated to marry Stephanie"
“You knew all these yet hid it all the while?"
“I just knew they had too many dark secrets"
“So does Stephanie know anything?"
“I don't know Ima, I don't know anything besides all I have told you"
“it’s okay... shhhhh" Dave held his wife..."it’s okay"
Imade picked her phone to call Charles, they had made a headway....the truth would be unfolded... she saw a text message she hadn't had time to read since she got home.
“They threatened Sabrina, we need to drop this; they left me a
She dialed his number...she wasn't about to drop this never ever
“Hey Charles, I got your text”
“They know I am digging into the case Sabrina, they have asked that I drop it or lose my life”
“I’ll be at yours shortly" she said taking one of the car keys displayed on the shelf
“I’ll see you tomorrow sis, I need to be with Charles”
“Be careful Imade.... this mess spreads farther than we know...i can’t lose
“and you won't" she said as she walked out of the house
Ember sat on the floor, what had she just heard? She had listened in on her husband's phone conversation. Who the hell was Cindy, and what plans did they have to rip her of her finances?
She sighed as she found her phone amidst a heap of clothes on the bed. She quickly made a list of names and pieces of the conversation she had heard. Someone had to know what she was into. She had married a demon. Who would understand her better than her old time friend-Ese?
"Please keep this in your archive. If anything happens to me, take this to the police" she typed in and attached the file then sent it.
Who else could help? She thought. Her late father's best-friend's son...he was also a lawyer. Someone she should have married- Charles.
She tiptoed out of the room to the back of the house. A text wouldn't convey the urgency, they needed to talk. Something suspicious was going on with her husband. Someone had just been murdered but she didn't know who it was.
"Hello Charles....?" she spoke half crying
"Hey, who is this?"
"It’s me, Ember"
"Ember.....how are you?"
"I’m scared, I overheard Philip talk to a certain Cindy.... it was scary, they talked about a hit"
"Wait, slow down, where are you...?"
"In the house but far away from hearing"
"Okay go on..."
"I overheard him talking to a lady, someone called Cindy. They were rejoicing over the murder of one of their ring mates....I didn't hear so much but they plan on getting the documents ...I think they want to bring a lady into the picture to be his mistress so I’d react and give him what he wants"
"Ember... this is becoming overwhelming, I have our conversation recorded hope you don't mind?"
"No, no, I don't; I needed to talk to you"
"I guess your husband was involved in the murder of my brother. Ralph was murdered yesterday"
"Oh dear lord... Jesus Christ!"
"eishhhh....keep your voice down. Ember, you must never act like you know anything... take things slowly and act the way they would want you to. I was sent a threat note earlier"
"Yes, yes, Philip said something about scaring someone through the murder"
"Good; I would act like it did and keep the investigation under wraps. Someone found a link between our father's death and that of Chief Coker, she even implicated Cindy...I will call you when things unfold. For now, pretend like all is well and only call me through a secure line"
"Be careful Em'..."
"I will Charles... I have to go now, he's calling for me"
....."Ember!!!!" Philip kept calling
"Yes I’m here" she replied rushing into the house
"You went outside?"
"Yes I did...I wanted to clear my head" she swallowed hard
"Why?" Philip Queried
"I’m worried you might be cheating...”
Philip smiled.... he knew Cindy’s plan would work. "Well that's your business I’m out for the night since you don't want me, someone out there does!"
"Please don't leave the baby and I alone tonight... please"
"Whatever!" Philip said walking away
Ember shook with fear, she had to pretend... she would. Eventually, her father's death would be avenged.
To be continued...............