(Continued from The Boss Lady III)
As Silas jumps out of bed, his mind is in turmoil. He doesn’t want to imagine what that wretched woman is likely to do to Christy. He dashes to the shower and within minutes he is ready for work. Silas lives in a rented house in King’eero, so he simply stands by the roadside and a matatu picks him up.
Traffic is light, so within twenty minutes he is in Westlands. He walks quickly across the road and boards a Kilimani bound matatu. He has made this trip every morning, six days a week for the last eight months, but today there is urgency in his stride.
Once inside the matatu, he keeps looking at his watch as the matatu fills up slowly. Finally, the vehicle gets moving, and fifteen minutes later he is in Kilimani. From the matatu stage he literally runs to the salon.
“I am here,” he tells Silvia breathlessly, after bursting into her office without knocking. Silvia’s office is large and luxuriously furnished. Her desk is a massive mahogany piece. She sits on an elevated, leather swivel chair like a queen on a throne. There are two mounted graduation photos on her desk. In one, she is alone, flashing her charming smile at the camera man. In the other, an older man is standing behind her, holding her shoulders. Silas presumes that the man is her father. There are no photos of Kadong anywhere in the office, although Silas remembers that there were several in her house.
In the middle of the room there is a white, leather, five seater sofa set, arranged around a glass coffee table. On the extreme left side there is a kitchenette. The kitchenette has no door, so Silas can see a sink and a working table, a fridge, a microwave and shelves. On the extreme right side, there is a door that leads to Silvia’s private washroom.
This office was someone’s master bedroom once; and that person must have had loads of cash.
SilvHair Parlor is housed in a standalone, one story, six-bedroom mansion. The house has been remodeled to fit its current purpose. Silvia’s office was quite obviously the master bedroom. The porch has been remodeled to create a reception. The former sitting room is now the main working room. The washrooms and one more room, which was probably a bedroom, are also on the ground floor, alongside Silvia’s office and the main working room. The extra room is now used as a barbershop.
The kitchen and dining room are on the first floor. This floor also has four bedrooms. SilvHair’s cooks use the kitchen to prepare meals for the staff. The salon opens its doors at 7.30 am, but staff members are expected to be at the dining room by 7 am for breakfast. Tea is offered at 10 O’clock and is served to everyone, including the clients being attended. The same applies to lunch, which is served at 1 pm, and 4 O’clock tea.
Two of the four bedrooms on the first floor are used as massage rooms: one for men and the other for women. The third bedroom is now the accountant’s office. The fourth one is a disposal room. This is where you find broken chairs, old driers, cartons and other rejects. There is a balcony off the dining room, and here there is a couch there where staff members can relax for a while after standing for hours working on clients’ hair.
Silvia is actually a very considerate employer. She pushes her employees to the limits, but she also takes care of their needs. She pays well, and she doesn’t insult or demean employees in any way. As a result, her staff members are very loyal. The working hours are 7am to 6pm; anybody who works beyond 6 pm gets an overtime allowance.
Silvia used to braid hair, but now she focuses primarily on the administration side of her business.
Silvia smiles at him sweetly.
“Did you come running? Do you love her that much?”
“Yes I do. Please do not harm her.”
“If you do everything I say, then I can promise you that no harm will befall her.”
“I will do anything you want, but please do not harm her.”
Silvia stands up and locks the door.
“I want you to do a couple of things for me. The first one is that I want you to make love to me,” she says, and starts undressing.
Christy is still in shock, although she has slowly understood her situation. After spending time with Silas yesterday, she drove to her apartment, picked clothes and other personal effects and drove to her parents’ home. They were surprised but delighted when she informed them that she would be staying with them for a few weeks. Her mother asked what had informed the decision, but Christy deflected the question over and over again.
“Am I not welcome mother? Am I a bother?” she finally asked.
“No of course not, dear. You know you are always welcome here. This is your home. You shouldn’t even have moved out in the first place. Feel free to stay for as long as you like. If you feel like you should move back in, you are also welcome.”
That was the end of that discussion.
Her parents’ home has ample security with CCTV cameras, alarm systems and armed guards. There is no way anybody can get her there, including Silvia. Christy planned to avoid moving about for a few weeks. She would be going straight to the office and straight back home. According to her plan, she would be accompanying her parents to church for the next few weeks. She would be safe. Or so she thought.
This morning, she left the house at 7.30 am. About a kilometer from the house, she slowed down to allow the vehicle in front of her make a U-turn. That is when it happened. It happened so fast that she did not have enough time to process it until much later. All the three passenger doors of her Mazda Demio flung open and three men hopped in. The man sitting at the front pulled out a gun and pointed it at her.
“Drive,” he said. “And do not even make an attempt at screaming.”
Christy was too stunned and scared to even speak. So she obeyed the instruction. The vehicle that had been making a U-turn abandoned that plan and sped away in front of her. She and her abductors drove around for a minute, with the gunman pointing out directions. Finally, when they got to a deserted patch of the road, the gunman ordered her out of the car. He and his comrades blindfolded her and tied her hands and legs with a rope then they pushed her to the back seat of the car. All the three men wore black jeans, black t-shirts, masks and gloves.
The men drove for a while longer, and then stopped the car. They carried Christy up a flight of stairs and dropped her in a couch. When they finally removed her blindfolds, she found herself in a tastefully furnished room. The room could be someone’s sitting room but is also very impersonal. There are no photos on the walls or anything to indicate that anybody lives here. It could quite easily be a hotel room; perhaps a suite in a high end hotel. But Christy knows that she cannot be in a hotel. How would three masked men explain dragging a blindfolded woman through the lobby of a hotel?
No, this is not a hotel. It is someone’s house. The men have not spoken to her since she arrived. All this while she has been sitting on the couch, with her legs and hands tied. But they offered her tea and mandazi at 10 am. They untied her hands and watched her eat and when she finished, they tied her up again and continued with their game of poker, which they are playing on the dining table across the room.
At first Christy thought that they were hijackers. She thought they would dump her somewhere and drive off with the car. But now she has figured out that she has been kidnapped, and that her kidnapping can only be connected to Silvia. That means that her only chance of living depends on whether Silas will agree to be Silvia’s boyfriend or not. Christy’s heart is torn. She doesn’t want Silas to bow to the whims of that woman, but she also wants to live.
But there is another reality. A criminal like Silvia is very unpredictable. She might decide to kill her (Christy) even after Silas gives in to her demands.
Silvia smiles as she towels his body. After their love making session, she guided Silas to the washroom, which also has a shower and insisted that they shower together. After dressing up, she points to one of her guest chairs while she slides behind her desk.
“There are two more things I want you to do for me if you want your ex-girlfriend to live. First, I am appointing you as my Deputy CEO in this salon. You will be helping me to run this place so that I can have more time to run my other businesses.”
She pauses and looks at him to see whether he will react. But he doesn’t.
“I also want you to move in with me.”
“I am sure you heard me clearly. If you want Christy to live, you will be my live-in boyfriend from today onwards.”
(This is the end of the free part of the story. To find out what happens to Silas and Christy, kindly follow the instructions below to purchase a copy of the novella.)
Image by Lubov Lisitsa from Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-silhouette-sunset-girl-5585332/
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