(Continued from The Age Factor)
Timothy is seething because Silvia has publicly made a fool of him by dumping him. Worse, she has been spreading malicious rumors about his allegedly poor bedroom skills, and now everywhere he goes people are staring at him. Those rumors have even surfaced online.
“I need to teach her a lesson,” he mumbles to himself, pacing around the private bar at his mansion. His six most trusted thugs are there.
Timothy suddenly throws a bottle of wine at a wall, smashing it with a loud bang. None of the men flinch. They are used to his tantrums.
“Calm down boss. I have an idea that you will like.”
Timothy looks at the speaker. Jared is the most intelligent and most lethal of the gang. Timothy is actually privately afraid of him. But so far Jared has been a loyal lieutenant and has not shown any ambition beyond serving his master.
“I am listening.”
“Easy. We kidnap that woman Silvia. Ask for a huge ransom. That foolish ex-husband of hers will pay and it will ruin him financially. Then after getting the money we will kill her and dump her body near their farm and spread an anonymous rumor implicating Silas. I have pictures that we can use. If we get Silas thrown into jail we will have killed three birds with the same stone: Richard, Silvia and Silas.”
Timothy looks at his lieutenant with both admiration and silent fear. One day this boy Jared will be his waterloo. He should find a way of clipping the boy’s wings before it is too late. But for now, the younger man’s solution is brilliant. Silas is Timothy’s bitter rival in the criminal underworld. They have many times in the pat to destroy each other but without success.
“Do it,” he tells Jared.
Jared quickly gets three of the other five men to form a hit team. Their instructions are simple: get the woman when she is alone and take her to that warehouse in Isinya. The other two hooligans remain and stand guard as Jared and Timothy start working on the plan to get Silas in jail for a crime they are just about to commit.
Timothy is the opposite of Richard in almost every aspect. Richard has the mould of a patrician. He is not tall; he is probably 5’6, but he has an athletic body that has neither fat nor a heavy muscle anywhere. He has a handsome face that lights up when he smiles and darkens aristocratically when he is irritated. His hair, which has a sprinkling of grey, is well trimmed. He dresses simply but classily, and wherever he goes, he leaves a faint whiff of a pleasant scent that could be from a brand of luxury soap, lotion or a very mild perfume. Most importantly, he has a very restrained temperament. Richard is a well educated and a very polished gentleman.
Timothy, on the other hand, is a semi-domesticated orangutan. He is also not tall, just slightly taller than Richard at 5’7. But he is not fat either: his heavily muscled legs, thighs, hands and torso resemble trunks of 150-year-old Meru Oak trees. His obsessive gym habits are well known. He does not have a neck. His head sits peculiarly at the centre of his broad shoulders and the fact that he is able to turn that head is a modern day miracle. His face bears two scars that he carries with pride, because they are the evidence of a hard street life: two nasty knife fights that he has survived. He wishes there is a way to display the many fist, knife and gun fights where he vanquished his opponents without even getting a scratch.
Timothy wears oversize casual clothes, always keen to display the designer labels. His huge gold chains and rings are a spectacle to behold. He wears a massive gold ring on each of his ten fingers, and three massive gold chains around his non-existent neck. He has a massive gold watch on his left wrist and gold bracelets on his right.
He has a massive ego and an extremely short temper. This probably stems from insecurities that he will not admit exist, but which gnaw at his soul every day. He resents people like Richard; people who have grown up in wealth and who have not had to taste the knocks of street life.
When young Timothy was living in a shanty in a slum with his single mother, rich kids from a neighboring suburb would pass on the main road riding on their expensive bicycles while speaking accented English. He borrowed a bicycle from one of them once, but they all ridiculed and laughed at him mercilessly before riding away to their gated compounds. Later, as a teen, he tried wooing a rich girl but she simply sneered and walked away. She did not even utter a single word to him. It was one of the most humiliating days of his life.
Timothy is not book smart. Okay, he did not exactly care about school, so his academic abilities are unproven. He spent a large part of his school life serving suspensions at home or doing punishments in school. He finally managed to complete High School with a D minus. He completed secondary school from a juvenile prison, where he was serving a sentence for habitual shoplifting.
Getting a D- was not disastrous, he convinced himself. Even if he had managed to work hard and join any of the so called prestigious professions, there was no guarantee that he would make money and earn respectability. There are so many broke lawyers, doctors, and engineers walking in the streets these days.
The key was to make lots of money. Respect would follow the money.
He did make the money. Nobody knows how but he did. Some say he is a drug dealer. Others say he smuggles gold from the Congo. Others say he is illuminati. The consensus is that he did not make money from his legitimate businesses because he started those businesses after he already had money. He launched his first six supermarkets and restaurants in six towns within a span of three months. Someone needs money to do that. Besides, Timothy’s extravagant lifestyle suggests that he spends more money than his businesses can cough and still remain solvent.
Much to Timothy’s irritation, money did not earn him the same respect as the old money folks like Richard. They still treat him like a pariah. The rumors about the source of his wealth have not helped matters. He has joined two elite sports clubs, but they still treat him like a malignant tumor in spite of the fact that he is now wealthier than some of them. He is still not invited to their circles. Their daughters still treat him with contempt.
True, he has a harem of women feeding off his palm. And he can get more if he wants. But they are all social climbers selling their bodies to him to get a slice of his millions. In fact, that is all he seems to attract: loose women, male good-for-nothing scoundrels and overzealous politicians all sniffing around for his money.
That is why he really wanted to marry Silvia. She is ten years older than he is and is a shameless social climber, not any better than the others in his harem, but she is also the wife of one of the old rich. Marrying Silvia publicly would have been his revenge against all these arrogant fools. He had enjoyed his secret trysts with her, knowing that while Richard generally ignores him, he (Timothy) was at least having his (Richard’s) woman. Having that woman publicly would have been the ultimate coup. But then the woman has backstabbed him.
She has made a fool of him. And she needs to be punished.
Jared’s mobile rings and he picks it casually and puts it on speaker.
“We have a problem,” a voice on the other side says. “We were grabbing Silvia at a parking lot of a supermarket when the ex-husband and his mother suddenly showed up. The man was armed and started firing at us. We returned fire. The old woman is dead, I think. I shot the man but I am not sure if he is dead or not. We have Silvia with us. She is unharmed.”
“That is okay boys, good job. Go to Isinya, lie low and wait for further instructions,” Jared says calmly.
“Okay Jared. But just so you know, that man Richard shot and killed Eric. Jeff is injured but he has managed to get into the car. The shoot-out attracted the police and we heard sirens before I could grab Erick’s body. The police are on our tail right now, but that is not a problem. We will lose them easily. The problem is that they have Eric’s body.”
Timothy curses again.
“Did Eric have anything incriminating on him?” Jared asks calmly.
“Of course not. He was a professional.”
“Good. He was a good soldier and we will mourn him at the appropriate time. But now you need to focus on not getting caught by the police.”
When Elizabeth gets to Margaret’s school, the receptionist informs her that Richard had come an hour earlier and picked his mother. She sighs in frustration. When her phone rings, she answers it absentmindedly. But when a police officer informs her that Richard and Margaret have been involved in a shootout with thugs, her senses wake up in a flash. She runs out of the school reception area like a mad woman, hops into her car and flies out of the compound, pushing the speed limits of her Demio. In less than an hour, she is at the Aga Khan University Hospital.
The good news is that Richard is fine. He was hit on the chest but the bullet missed both his lungs and his heart. Doctors have successfully extracted the bullet, and they are upbeat about his recovery. The bad news is that Margaret is dead.
The old girl has survived for over eight decades, beating cancer once and successfully battling diabetes, angina and blood pressure, only to be felled by a bullet from a senseless thug. Elizabeth is fighting tears. She liked the old lady, and Margaret always made it obvious that the feelings were mutual.
The kidnappers decide against going to Isinya largely because the road to Isinya is fairly straight forward and the cops will catch up with them easily. Instead, while still on Mombasa Road, they exit the highway and maneuver around the roads in South B. They zigzag around for a while before entering an abandoned warehouse in Industrial Area.
An old man smiles at them and opens the door of the warehouse. They drive in while the old man closes the door behind them. The three walk to a dark room on one end of the warehouse. The healthy thug is holding his injured colleague by the shoulder and pushing Silvia forward with his gun. The room is stuffy and smells of weed, cigarettes, and cheap alcohol. Silvia twists her nose. The healthy thug switches on the light.
The injured thug, Jeff, lies on the only bed and groans loudly. He is a lanky youth, not a day older than twenty years. His thin frame makes him look taller than he actually is. His wide eyes show fear: the genuine fear of imminent death. The healthy thug, whose name Silvia doesn’t know yet, pushes her to the filthy mattress on the floor.
As he starts tearing her blouse open, Silvia’s pulse quickens.
“If you co-operate, this is going to be a heavenly experience for the both of us,” he mumbles.
“Remove the handcuffs from me, and I can make this worthwhile for you,” she replies sweetly.
The thug hesitates. This is a new one. His victims usually do not cooperate; and he has raped many women in the course of his work for Timothy. Is this a trap? He looks at the woman. She is licking her lips invitingly, and that drives him crazy. His thought process is hijacked by the urges in his groin. He stands up and goes to lock the door. Then he hides the keys under a pile of dirty clothes, beyond the Silvia’s eye view.
He puts his gun beyond Silvia’s reach and approaches the mattress. Hormones are by now racing in his body. He kneels astride her, puts his hand gently around her torso and brushes his lips against her lips. Her cologne intoxicates him.
“Untie me, and we will have some fun,” she murmurs, her scented breath inches away from his face. He unlocks the cuffs and holds her in an embrace, feeling the softness of her embrace with every part of his body.
Suddenly Silvia turns and head-butts him in the face sending a stream of blood gushing out of his nostrils. While he is still stunned, she knees him in the groin, then rises quickly and kicks him twice on the face in quick succession. Jeff tries to rise and help his colleague but he is still too weak. Silvia slaps Jeff twice, sending him back to the bed.
She picks the handcuffs and cuffs the wrists of the would-be rapist.
The rapist’s phone rings. It is a familiar number, and it takes a moment for Silvia to realize that it is Timothy’s number.
She takes the call and listens.
“Where are you Sam?” he demands. “Do you still have Silvia? Sam? Are you there?”
“Hi darling,” she coos on the phone. “Sam is here alright, but he cannot talk. I may have done a few unpleasant things to him. So babe, where was Sam supposed to take me?”
Timothy is stunned.
“Where are you?” another voice asks, one that Silvia recognizes to be Jared’s. Jared is Timothy’s handsome right hand man. One of her delights, while she was living with Timothy, was sneaking around with Jared. The boy is not only good looking, but he is also brilliant and dangerous; and a passionate lover too. Silvia knows that Jared will not be working for Timothy for long. The fact that he was willing to sleep with his boss’s woman only proves that he has what it takes to sit at the table of the big boys. He only needs a little time and a window of opportunity and he will have a criminal empire of his own.
“Hi handsome. You haven’t overthrown my half-witted husband yet?” she says smoothly, knowing too well what that statement will do to the egos of both men. She wishes she could see their faces.
“Come on, Jared dear. Don’t tell me you don’t know that you are smarter and more dangerous than my husband. I am sure you already have a plan on how to knock out both him and Silas?”
The Silas bit is inadvertent. Silvia has no idea that her kidnapping was Jared’s plan of cutting down Silas. But Timothy loses his cool and starts quarreling his assistant. Silvia hangs up, takes Sam’s gun and shoots both Sam and Jeff dead. She places the gun in Sam’s hand. She is not worried about the old man at the gate. She is certain that he is used to people being shot dead in the warehouse, and would not get alarmed. She finds the keys to the handcuffs and removes the cuffs from Sam. Then she finds another unlocked room in the warehouse and gets in. She calls the police then handcuffs herself. She waits for the cops while forcing herself to shed tears and trying her best to look like a helpless victim.
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