Lady Ada Ahaba-Briggs ended the call on her blackberry and looked into the mirror to ensure her make-up was still intact, good it was and she looked beautiful as always, no signs of the inner tension she was feeling. The plans she had just put in place were irreversible, she had had enough of playing second fiddle to men, three generations of strong Ahaba women playing second fiddle.
A maid knocked discreetly on the door.
“Enter.” She said in an aristocratic English accent that she worked hard to maintain.
The maid pushed open the door and entered dressed in a maids uniform, clutching a magazine. She curtesied before she spoke.
“Madam the magazine you’ve been expecting is here.” She extended the magazine.
“Drop it on the dresser and leave.” She instructed suppressing her excitement.
The maid dropped the magazine, curtesied and left shutting the door quietly behind her.
Ada quickly picked up the magazine and removed the wrapping bag and she grinned widely with joy. There she was, on the cover of a premium lifestyle magazine with the title; ladies behind power- Lady Ada Ahaba-Briggs. She looked stunning even if she thought so herself. Ada quickly moved to sit on the bed and opened the magazine flipping straight to the article on herself. Reading through her grin widened if it were possible, the writer really portrayed her in the light she wants to be seen and the photographs were so good. She loved the quotes they highlighted especially the one about she and her husband never having had any quarrel in their fifteen years of marriage, those little girls who run around her husband should put that in their pipe and smoke it. The highlights of her acts of charity, her social position, the writer really deserves a token of appreciation. The conclusion about her possibly running for public office herself? The world should watch and see. Her phone chimed indicating a new message and she was jolted back into the real world. She picked up her phone and read the message. She shouted for joy, the day just kept getting better and better. She rang the bedside bell to summon a maid to get her a bottle of wine, she needed to celebrate. She thought wistfully of calling up her friend Lucy to celebrate with her and decided against it. Friends can bring a person down faster than enemies. She powered on her music player and selected Neyo’s champagne life.
Deola and Peter arrived at the guest house in record time, he quickly parked in front of the senator’s cottage, and they exited, both their faces looking grim as they walked briskly into the cottage where they met Rufus, the guest house manager and the head of security. Rufus was on the phone, when he noticed Peter he said into the phone “Peter just got here, let me brief him.” He ended the call.
“Guy, what sup?”
Rufus scratched his head in frustration. “After you guys left, the senator said he had a skype chat with the Barrister, I was to return in ten minutes. I was right in the car all the time, when I returned, he was gone, the door ajar, no trace. His laptop and phones on the bed.” Rufus said his voice breaking.
Deola looked around, everything was as it was when she left over an hour ago except for the missing senator. This whole thing seemed surreal to her and she expected someone to shake her awake soon.
“Did you check all the exits?” Peter asked, he turned to the guest house head of security. “I want to speak to all the security men on duty, all the staff, from the front desk officer to the maid, everyone in this guest house, someone had to have seen something.”
“I’ve rounded them up already and called for backup security.” The head of security replied.
“Oh my God!” Peter exclaimed. “Have you called the Barrister?” He asked Rufus.
Rufus cleared his throat. “Yes, he was the one I was on the phone with when you came in. He said he’ll charter a plane and be here asap.” He replied gruffly.
“Your guest list as well, I want to know everyone who has been in this compound since last night.” Peter added.
The guesthouse manager and head of security both snapped into action and went to provide the requests.
Both men couldn’t believe this was happening, a senator of the federal republic kidnapped on their watch. Their facility catered largely to government officials and captains of industry and they had a reputation for safety and privacy, so how had this happened? As the men left the senators cottage, both men were sure they had lost their jobs and prayed the police didn’t rope them in as accessories to the kidnap.
Back at the senators cottage, Deola suddenly jerked upright as though possessed and rushed into the bathroom, she searched behind the door, behind the shower curtain as though the senator could be hiding there. Not finding him she rushed into the bedroom and pulled the doors of the walk-in closets open, it was empty except for a few of the senator’s clothes. Deola shut the doors, collapsed on the bed and began to weep, silent heart wrenching sobs.
Peter and Rufus had watched her cautiously when she went on her searching spree and when she began to sob they looked away uncomfortably, she was not their woman to comfort, the senator had instructed them to accord her the same respect as his wife and as such they didn’t know what to do with her.
Peter scrolled through his phone book and dialled a number, he walked into the sitting room and stood at the window. The call was almost ringing out when it was picked up at the other end.
“Yes?” A soft masculine voice answered at the other end.
“I need your help.” Peter said into the phone.
“My boss has just gone missing in your hood.”
“How did your boss go missing in that fortress of a guest house and under your watch?”
“I wasn’t here, anyways, we need info. We want to know where he is and who ordered the hit.”
The voice at the other end chuckled. “With your fancy P.I credentials from the U.S of A that should be no challenge, what do you need me for?” The voice sneered.
“This is no time to go into all that, we need to find him fast.”
“It will cost you.” The voice said after a few minutes of silence.
“I’m not authorised to make any offers, but you know we are good for the money.”
“You have an hour to get me 500k for calls or else I’m out.
The voice grunted and ended the call.
Peter rubbed his eyes, they were feeling gritty. He walked back to the entrance to the bedroom.
“I’ll go question the security, you stay with her.” He said to Rufus. He picked the senator’s phones from the bed and pocketed them as he left the room.
Barrister Ateke Sylva dialled his wife’s number as his chauffeur sped towards his home.
“Honey, are you still at home?” He asked her when she picked the call.
“Yes.” She replied as she was about to unlock her car door. “I was just about to leave….”
“I need you to pack a bag for me, for a few days. I’m going to Lagos, something has come up with Tom.” He hesitated to reveal anything to his wife whom he knew was an unrepentant gossip. At this stage that he didn’t know what he was dealing with, the fewer the people that know, the better.
“I was just about to call you, guess who granted a tell-all interview?” His wife went on.
“Beatrice I don’t have time for chit chat, please have the bag packed and waiting for me at the door.”
“Ok honey, but its Tom’s wife, she…”
“What happened to Tom’s wife?” Barrister Ateke asked rising to the edge of his seat.
“She’s on the cover of Top Woman magazine….”
“Beatrice!” Ateke interrupted his wife.
“Ok, I’ll go pack the bag, but I urge you to read the article, I have this uneasy feeling about the motive behind it.”
“Ok, I will.” Ateke agreed to shut her up. “I’m ten minutes away from the house.”
“Ok, ok.” Beatrice ended the call and walked quickly back into the house. Summoning a maid as she went.