The living room’s quiet was only broken by Toba’s intermittent sip of his beverage, sitting on the sofa, while Bolu contributed to breaking the silence each time he finished a page of the novel he was reading.
Bolu had those headphones on as he read “The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger Born” but didn’t seem to be listening to the music it served him, assuming there was any music being listened to Toba thought.
There was power, along with the home entertainment system that should have livened the room up. But it was rare that they were indoors for a stretch of time, together.
It had been four days since Bolu drove out of the Palingenesis with a badly injured Toba. Mere getting the bonnet open that night had taken a bit from Toba, who was barely conscious when Bolu got home.
Now the shoulder was healing well, though still heavily strapped from the ‘procedure’ Bolu carried out on it, slightly awkwardly yet necessarily, in the reflector.
“You want to know who Jade is?” Toba asked softly, gazing involuntarily into his mug. He sipped a bit of his beverage when he got no response from Bolu, who had just turned to a new page.
Blinds of the windows, either side of the house’s entrance where shut. The living room was well lit from the flourescent bulbs at the corners and two more right at the middle of the room, some steps from the entrance.
It would have been nearly suicidal looking up in there, which was the duo’s intent from the onset. Toba stood, mug in hand, and made for the dining area on the inside left of the entrance.
He stopped on his way as a loud thud resonated from the door. Bolu dropped the novel, picked a controller to dim the lights and had his gun in hand already. “Could only be some boy’s ball kicked onto the door” Toba said, when what he really meant was there was no need for the gun.
Bolu was having none of it and approached the blinds facing the living room. Toba went to that facing the dining area, mug still in hand. He had a fair idea who it was but needed to be sure it was the person.
“Probably here to apologise” Toba said when there were three knocks on the door. Bolu’s eyes went Japanese on Toba, narrowing as that of a blood thirsty Samurai’s would.
Toba ignored his partner’s countenance and looked out. It was her. “Okay, nevermind me Bolu.” Toba began as he made to open the door, “But you really won’t be needing that”.
Bolu got the message. Neither of them was expecting anyone but Toba knew who this person was. He relaxed his stance and put his gun hand behind him, finger ready on the trigger however.
“Jade!” Toba greeted as the fair skinned, slim, tall woman in her late twenties smiled at Toba and Bolu. The latter didn’t notice as he was still perplexed at the knife stabbed into the oakwood door.
Jade would’ve apologised if Toba wasn’t there but since he was, there was no need for that. “Well come on in” Toba invited. She removed the knife with a bit of effort and made her way to the living room.
“How did you know we were here?” Bolu asked even before she sat. Jade raised an are-you-for-real brow at Toba, who could only chuckle at the unfolding episode.
A bit flustered, she told Bolu of the house being in the midst of trees, with the blinds closed and the type of door at the entrance being the marker for her.
Toba laughed. Bolu sighed. “You knew she was coming… ” he said. There was no need for an answer. “I’ll have to be brief here” Jade said after the lighthearted mood had fade away.
“At the hotel, we didn’t think someone that good would be sent there but… ” she was cut short, “Hold that thought!” by Bolu, “what’s this about?” he asked, facing Toba with a finger pointed at Jade.
“Good? No. Stubborn youth? Definitely.” Toba responded, to Jade. Bolu hated when Toba was like this but if he wanted to be in the know, he would have to be patient.
“Anyway,” Jade began, putting her knife on the table, “she was one of a new group and… ” she looked over at the dining table, sniffing, “… it appears this group of young ones really want in.”
Before Toba could respond, “What’s that?” she asked, sniffing one more time. “A beverage, with ginger tea, powdered milk, two shots of vodka and honey.” replied Toba, before adding “Yes, THAT beverage.” as Jade was about to ask.
Jade shook her head, as did Bolu, before proceeding. “You realise we have to know who they are?”
Toba said nothing but knew what was coming. “The COO of the sugar conglomerate’s been marked” she said, producing an envelope from her sling. “All you need to know’s in there and… ” she brought out another envelope “… this is for the last job and total for the coming one.”
“Why will you pay all in advance?” asked Bolu, to Toba’s little but welcome surprise. “If they send another, and I reckon they will, she will be much more… a ‘stubborn youth'” Jade said.
A moment’s silence ensued. Jade smiled at the novel Bolu was reading. Toba made to get his mug and Bolu broke the silence, “You two were partners.”
Jade picked her knife, smiling at Bolu as she stood to leave. “Have a good day gentlemen” she said, “and sorry about the door, bad habit.”
Toba smiled as he sat to have his beverage at the dining area. She’d apologised to Bolu, that was a good sign.
Bolu meanwhile watched her go, without a car. He was thinking, the next job was his to do and he considered what stubborn youth he would face.