False Pretenses (Episode Five). By Peju Amadi

Could this day get any more worse, Kite wondered as she was seated in the back of the posh Mercedez benz GL SUV being driven by that brute of a guy who’d bundled her into the car. With the way he was built and the strength in his hands she could tell he also doubled as the  bodyguard. She glanced at her seat partner who had been on the phone since he’d come out of the restaurant, talking business jargon to whoever was on the other end of the line.

She had no idea where they were taking her. She hated this, not being in control was killing her, what were the odds of running into the same person she’d swindled earlier that day? Fate could be such a bitch sometimes. Maybe the girls had been right, her con acting was going to land her in deep shit, if it hadn’t already.

Kite didn’t know she was still staring at him until his eyes turned and held hers. She looked away in embarrassment, goodness! Not only would he think she was a thief, creepy staring freak had now been added to the list also. He finally ended his call and her eyes went down to the phone he dropped in the compartment between them. It was an iphone but not with it's regular casing, this had a gold casing and what she suspected to be real diamonds decorating its edge. Didn’t these wealthy people get tired of diamonds? She should steal it just to show him he shouldn’t forcefully detain strangers who were thieves and con artists.

“Do you want to steal it too?” He asked her as if reading her mind and her gaze met his again. “It was actually a gift from my younger sister and I can assure you, unlike myself who can let things go, my sister would hunt you down if you stole from her.” He smiled then, probably at some joke in his head because for her there was nothing amusing about the situation.

Looking away from him, she realized she was starting to think those dark broody eyes were sexy, the way they crinkled at the sides when he smiled and then there were those damn pink lips of his. He wasn’t her usual type, so why this sudden feeling?

“Where are you taking me?” She needed to know.

“Somewhere we can talk.... I would like to have a frank conversation with you and even though you’re a fraud…... dupe….. con artist or simply put, a thief, I’m willing to treat you like a lady by having a civilized conversation with you. It would be so much easier taking you to the police or better still back to the jewelry store but I’m too much of a gentle man to do that. I believe we can settle our differences in a civilised way over dinner which because of you, I had to skip.”

There was nothing to settle, she didn’t plan on giving him back what she’d stolen from him, he was too much of a gentle man to harm her, she believed. She read people and she could tell he wasn’t that kind of person.“I’ve eaten, so I’ll pass on dinner.”

“Fine, but we are still going to have that conversation. Besides, you should be thanking me for saving you from the police.”

She raised a brow “I didn’t beg for your help.” She spat, sounding as brave as she could.

“Oh really? Sal,” he called, still holding her gaze, his voice calm as he said “Can you get us to the nearest police station in that case, or no better still, get us back to essenza, I guess they’ll be happy we found the lady who ran away with a million bucks worth of jewelry.”

“Yes Sir!” Sal clipped

“You’re bluffing.” She told him but even as she said it, Sal was turning the car in the direction of Aminu Kano street.

Her abductor smiled “Even if I bluff, Sal never does. The ball is in your court, you can either show appreciation for my help or face the consequences of your actions, of which I can assure you are, grave.”

She narrowed her eyes, she knew she had to play his game. There was no choice at the moment. Even though she hated it, she would play for now until she had her chance at an escape. “Thanks.” She muttered reluctantly, looking out her window.

“What? Did I hear something?” He asked

“I said, thanks. Okay?” She said managing a quick glance at him.

“Sal,” He said quietly and immediately Sal did a U-turn.

Kite looked at Sal, although all she could see was the back of his head. Sal, the ever faithful servant, she
thought wryly. So they were going to Cubana? She would make he and his boss wish they’d never forcefully detained her.
*****

“What’s your name?” He asked taking a sip of red wine from its glass, they were seated in a private room while he waited for his meal. She had declined having anything, not even water.

“How’s that your business?” She asked back determined to be as annoying as possible, the plan was to frustrate him into leaving her alone.

“I’m curious.” He shrugged

“Curiosity killed the cat.” She said.

“How did a girl like you end up swindling people?” He tried again

“Like I said, not your business.” Was her reply.

“Okay, how about my property, which you made me pay for? Can I have it back?” She smiled “Too late, sold it.”

He knew she was lying, there was no way in hell she would have sold it by now but she wouldn’t be stupid enough to be carrying it on her, or would she?

“That’s a lie.” He said, proceeding to explain “Lying and stealing go together, you can't do one without the other but you already know that I’m sure since you’re a seasoned con artist. Let me spell it out to  you this way, you aren’t leaving here until you get me what's mine and if you still prove stubborn, then I’ll have no choice but to hand you over to the police. I’ve got friends there, just one call and I don’t want to mention the things that might happen to you.”

She raised a brow, looking unaffected “Are you trying to scare me with all this tough talk? You’re wasting your time, I’ve handed it out for sale already. What’s it to you anyway, it's just a million bucks which looking at you, you can afford without breaking a hint of a sweat so why are you so adamant about it all?”

“I don’t like being played a fool and I sure as hell don’t like when someone takes what I do not give, that’s a great crime to me.”

“Well, too bad because it's already happened, you’re just going to have to move on.”

This girl was starting to get on his damn nerves. It was like talking to a brick wall, nothing was going into her head. “Move on? Okay, how about the clerk who might get fired for your actions, how do you expect her to move on?” He asked

“That’s not my problem.” She told him

“You like to appear, cold and non chalant, don’t you? Like you don’t give a damn about anything that doesn’t concern you?”

She shrugged “I don’t appear, that’s actually the way I am.”

“No,” He disagreed “That’s just what you’d like me to think. You do have feelings in there, you just keep it hidden so you appear not to have a care in the world.”

“Whatever.” She waved his words away with her hand. “Look, we all have issues of our own we need to solve and only the strongest survive, that’s life. One has got to do whatever it takes to survive.”

He narrowed his eyes “Whatever happened to you, who would have thought someone with your kind of looks would be so cold, distant and conniving. Where’s your humanity?”

She laughed “Now you believe the saying ‘looks can be deceiving’ right? My humanity is long gone, Mr Williams, there’s no hope for me.” She got up and carried her tote bag which was the large bag ladies liked to carry.

“Where are you going, We’re not done.”

To be continued…


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