Caleb couldn’t get his encounter at the pool with Preye out of his mind.
He tossed and turned all night, restless. It wasn’t because he was uncomfortable, far from it. The bed in the one-room apartment he had been assigned in the workers quarters was comfortable—not too hard and yet, not too soft. From the moment he had first sunk onto it with a moan, he felt like Goldilocks, lucky to have found a bed that felt just right.
Who says money doesn’t buy happiness? Caleb thought. If a worker’s bed can be so nice, imagine what the beds in the main house are like!
Thoughts of beds in the main house brought Preye back to Caleb’s mind. He had been on her bed before, for just a few seconds, as long as their first kiss had lasted. But he had been too immersed in the smell, taste and feel of her to remember what the bed had felt like. He had been in Preye’s room only a few more times since then, on nothing but casual errands, but now he had to think up an excuse that would give him a chance to thoroughly search the bedroom undisturbed.
He had to get into Chief Hanson Briggs basement. And that meant he had to get the card which gave Preye entry to it. It was his best plan.
“Actually, it’s my only plan.” Caleb admitted to himself as he rolled over in the bed. His body felt tired, but his mind was alert. He sighed and got out of the bed. It was already five a.m. and he had to take Preye to work at seven. There was no use searching for sleep anymore.
He pushed down a feeling of anticipation as he stepped under the shower in his small bathroom. These days he looked forward to seeing Preye too much. His mind filled with images of the different shades of her smile—teasing, cheerful, sensual… he remembered how she had looked like in her swimming suit, sleek and yet curvy.
Caleb groaned as his bod tightened with desire. Preye had wormed her way into his head and loins, and that was a very bad thing. He turned on the shower, gasping as he deliberately let cold water sluice over his head and aroused body. He needed to keep a clear head. Considering what his ultimate purpose was, it would be stupid to let his feelings for his target’s daughter develop any further. He was in Chief Hanson Briggs’ home to steal.
There was no time for matters of the heart to intrude.
“No rest for the wicked, right?”
Caleb jerked upwards with a muttered curse, his heart racing. He squinted out the closed window where the taps had come from and saw Preye smiling down at him, the afternoon sun lighting up the back of her head, giving her a halo.
“I’m sorry about dozing off like that.” He said, smiling ruefully as he wound down the car window. One moment, he had been sitting in the idling jeep, waiting for Preye to come out of her office building and the next, he was snoozing.
Preye waved his apology aside. “I noticed you looked a little tired this morning. You’re human, it happens. However, I don’t want you to fall asleep at the wheel and wrap my jeep around a NEPA pole…”
“It won’t happen.” Caleb assured Preye hastily. “I’m always a hundred percent alert behind the wheel.”
Preye stared pointedly at the steering wheel on which Caleb had rested his head while dozing. “If you say so.”
Caleb groaned. “No seriously, I promise I won’t doze off…”
“What if I drive us home?” Preye asked.
Caleb hesitated. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, Preye.”
“I haven’t skipped my medication or taken any alcohol. There’s no danger.” When Caleb still looked unconvinced, she continued. “It’s just one short drive. I miss driving my jeep, Caleb. Pleeease? Pretty please?”
She beamed happily as Caleb sighed and relinquished the driver’s seat to her. “I hope I don’t regret this.”
About ten minutes later, he already did.
“Caleb, I swear I’m not being paranoid. There’s a car following us. A red Nissan.” Preye said for the second time, frowning into the side-view mirror.
Caleb’s heart thumped. The men who usually followed them in the Nissan were not aware Preye was driving and so would be more aware of traffic behind her.
“Really? I’m sure it’s nothing.” He said dismissively.
Preye threw him an odd look. “You’re not even going to check?”
Caleb made a show of craning his neck to check the traffic behind them. “Nope, I don’t see anything suspicious. Port Harcourt is a tiny place, Preye. They may be heading our way.”
Preye raised a brow, but said nothing. Instead, she suddenly flicked on the indicator and turned into the car park of a fast food outlet. “Let’s see if they follow us.”
Caleb held his breath as the Nissan slowed down, then he let it out as the car sped up and drove on. “See? They didn’t stop.”
Preye looked piqued, then sighed and opened the driver’s door. “Oh well, there was no harm in being careful. Look, since I’m here, let me just go in there and buys something.” She stepped out of the car, still talking. “I’m in the mood for some junk food. You want anything…oooof!”
The gasp was because she had backed up into someone. There was an explosion of paper as a folder the man was holding flew up into the air and emptied itself of its contents. The man threw up his hands in exasperation and began to pick up the flying pieces of paper.
“Couldn’t he watch where he was going?” Preye asked irritably, but a look at Caleb’s raised brow made her retract her words. “Wait, it was my fault. I’m sorry.” She went after the man and then bent down to help him gather the scattered paper.
When she looked up into his face to apologize, her words backed up in her throat. She was looking into a pair of grey-colored eyes, in a face so handsome it was almost pretty.
The handsome man smiled, causing Preye to blink hard. “It’s okay. I should have been watching where I was going anyway.” He straightened up and offered Preye a hand, helping her up to her feet as well, an appreciative look in his eyes. “I admit it helps that it was such a pretty lady who bumped into me though.”
In the parked jeep, Caleb squinted in the direction of Preye and the other man. There was something vaguely familiar about him.
Caleb gasped as the man turned and glanced at the car; he was instantly recognizable, there was no mistaking that handsome face. He scrambled out of the vehicle and hurried towards Preye, his eyes darting around for signs of danger, all his mental alarms ringing. What the hell was going on?
Why was Pretty Boy talking to Preye?
Check back at 6:00pm to read the next episode.