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Caleb hurried towards where Preye was standing with the man he had recognized as Pretty Boy, his friend and accomplice in the plot to steal Chief Hanson Briggs’ documents. Rage and confusion stewed within him. None of the other guys were supposed to approach any of the Briggs, for fear of blowing his cover. Why had Pretty Boy broken that rule?
“Preye, are you alright?” he called out.
Preye turned away from the other man’s mesmerising eyes with a feeling of guilt. “Err…yes, I was just helping him pick up his folder and the paper that was in it.”
Caleb drew up level with them and glared at Pretty Boy before transferring his gaze to the folder in his hand. “Well, it looks all picked to me.”
Pretty Boy turned a charming smile towards Preye. “Yes, it is. All thanks to the lovely…?”
“Preye.” Preye reluctantly answered the unasked question. She felt self-conscious now that Caleb was watching them. “Preye Briggs.”
“I’m Walter Ude. I’m temporarily in town, business stuff you know. And I’m lucky enough to bump into an angel like you…”
“Okay, buddy. Cool it.” Caleb growled.
Preye turned to Caleb with a frown. His possessive retort was a bit too much for her to let slide. “That’s fine, Caleb. I don’t need to be babied.”
Pretty Boy smirked again and ran his eyes down Caleb insolently. “Is this your bodyguard?”
“No, he’s not.” Preye said tersely. After the effect from her first sight of the other man’s eyes and smile had faded, she was a bit turned off by an underlying quality about him. Her eyes ran over his too-shiny suit and gaudy wristwatch.
Oily, Preye thought. This one’s probably a fraudster or just recently come into more money than he’s used to.
She gave a tight smile. “It was a pleasure to meet you. And I’m sorry about bumping into you.”
“Oh that’s alright. An angel like you can…”
“Let me go buy that stuff.” Preye cut in, turning to Caleb. “Be back in a few minutes.”
The two men both watched her saunter in through the glass doors of the fast food outlet before they turned to each other.
“Pretty Boy, what the hell are you doing?” Caleb gritted out between clenched teeth.
A passing couple stared at them curiously and pretty Boy nodded at them. When they walked past, he turned to Caleb. “Easy there, lover boy. I’m under orders just like you.”
Caleb reared back in surprise. “Lover boy? What’s that about?”
Pretty Boy frowned and pretended to be shuffling through the folder in his hand. “You tell me. Have you forgotten you’re been followed all the time? Blacky told me they saw you kissing Preye some nights ago. On the roadside, for heaven’s sake! You couldn’t even be discreet about it! Na so the konji dey hold you?”
Caleb rubbed the back of his neck, stunned. “I…. that was just…”
“That was just stupid.” Pretty Boy completed. “Now, they don’t trust your objectivity, and I don’t blame them. I think you actually have feelings for this girl.”
Caleb shook his head. “No, I don’t.” When the other young man scoffed, he continued fervently. “And even if I did, it would not get in the way of our plans. I’m close to getting those documents…”
“Well, you better get them quick.” Pretty boy said, his tone ominous. “I was sent to flirt with Preye Briggs and try to get her out alone, maybe on a date. I failed woefully, no thanks to you.”
Caleb raised a brow. “That was flirting? Bro, you sucked at it, so don’t blame me.”
Pretty boy shrugged. “Whatever. Anyway, it didn’t work, so I expect Blacky will be moving in soon…”
Anger made Caleb’s voice shake. “Blacky? But I still have a few days of grace…”
Pretty Boy’s piercing gaze speared Caleb with its intensity. “Have you not been listening to a word I said, you fool? They don’t trust you anymore. I wager you have one day, tops. Get those documents by tomorrow, or Blacky grabs your Juliet, Romeo.” For a moment there was a look of sympathy in Pretty Boy’s eyes before he walked away. “Sorry dude, we don’t have a choice anymore.”
Caleb watched as his friend hurried over to the familiar red Nissan that had just pulled up just after the parking lot of the fast food outlet. The men in the Nissan stared at him before they drove off, with Pretty Boy in the back seat.
He made his way back to the jeep, his thoughts in chaos. If Pretty Boy was right, he had to move fast. He had to accelerate his plan to get that key card from Preye’s bedroom. Whether he liked it or not, he had to take advantage of their growing closeness and attraction, but first he would have to get Preye to let her guard down. What he had to do was unpleasant, but he had no choice.
When Preye returned to the jeep, she met Caleb seated behind the steering wheel, thoughtful.
She sighed and clambered into the back seat. “I won’t bother to ask. I guess that’s all the driving I’m doing for now.”
Caleb grinned and turned on the car. “For now, but who knows what could happen later.” He caught Preye’s gaze in the rear-view mirror, letting all his desire for her show in his eyes. “Maybe even later today?”
Preye stared back at Caleb, her heart thumping in her chest. The naked desire in his yes was infectious and she could feel her body reacting. “Later… how?”
Caleb smiled and went for the kill, dialling up his intensity. “Want to go out for a drink tonight? Just you and me. Music, dancing, talking… who knows what else?”
Preye looked away, flustered, but there was no denying the feeling of butterflies fluttering in her lower belly. “Sure, why not? Sounds fun.” She said, her voice husky.
Caleb nodded and looked away, a sick feeling of guilt in his own stomach. He had Preye just where he wanted her, but could he go all the way?
Check back on Thursday for more episodes.