The doorman opened the door for Jane and I, and ushered us into the brightly lit reception.
The receptionist, a large voluptous woman, sitting behind an immaculate desk, looked up and said, “Yes?”
I placed my arms on the desk. “My wife and I would like to book a room in your hotel.” Jane’s face remained expressionless.
The woman looked from Jane to me. Then back to Jane again. “At 3 a.m. in the morning?”
“Is it against the constitution?” Jane chimed in. She was in a foul mood.
The woman shook her head from side to side. “Madam, I was only wondering.” She turned to me. “Don’t you think it’s a bit odd for a man and his wife to be asking for a room at this hour?”
In other words, she was asking for an explanation, a good one.
“I blame the traffic snarl-ups. We left home early but it happened to rain and you know how bad they get in bad weather. That’s why we’re this late.”
She nodded sympathetically. “It gets worse with the rains. Last week my cousin came home from work at 5 a.m.” She looked at us again. “How long do you intend to stay?”
She smiled and proferred a hand. “Can I see your IDs and your marriage certificate?”
“What for?” Jane blurted stepping forward. “Do I look like a hooker?”
“Take it easy, Jane” I whispered into her ear, holding her back. “The hotel doesn’t rent rooms to people who are not officially married.”
“Sssh! Do not cause a scene.”
I fished into my jacket for the fake documents and handed them to the receptionist. “Sorry,” I apologised. “My wife is pissed off at having to spend the whole night in the traffic jam. I promised her that this was going to be our best night out and look at what it has come to.”
Jane was still standing transfixed on the floor. There was no way of telling what was on her mind. I took her purse from her hand and retrieved the fake ID that I had put there without her knowledge. I had wanted to tell her but I had forgotten.
I handed it to the receptionist.
The receptionist fed the details into a powerful second generation computer for verification of authenticity.
“Mr and Mrs Kong’ani,” she said looking up with a charming smile, “welcome to King’s Choice. Your room is number 4420 on the fifth floor. The doorman will take care of your luggage. Here’s your key. Should you need anything, don’t hesistate to call room service.”
“Thank you very much, Madam.” I took the key from her hand and bustled Jane into the elevator.
“When did we get married?” she asked as soon as the elevator door closed. We were alone. “I don’t remember.”
“You’re a spy. That’s your new assignment. Find out.”
“Jack, I’m not joking.”
“Okay, those are forged documents.”
“No, they are not”, she said emphatically. “If they were, the computer would not recognize them.”
Jane was not going to let it pass. I had to tell her.
“I stole the documents from a couple in Western, made duplicates and returned the originals.”
The door of the elevator opened. We walked past four rooms on on each side of a long corridor to reach number 4420. Jane opened the door and we disappeared into it. A light switch flicked on.
Jane looked tired in the bright light of the bulb. She was barely able to keep her eyes open.
“You need some good rest,” I suggested.
“Not before you tell me how you knew that those two men were fake officers.”
I smiled at her. “Instinct. Improper introduction. Too much emphasis on ‘Private’– Private Kadenge. Private Kalerwa…”
“That’s not all.”
“They were brandishing guns. That’s against the code of conduct. You don’t brandish weapons at your comrade, do you?”
“It happens sometimes.” We were standing right before the large bed. “Now, be a good girl and go to bed.”
I undid the buttons on her dress and helped her slip out of it. She looked beautiful standing there half-naked with only her lingerie to cover her body.
“Jack,” she whispered, “I know you’re a complicated man. I also know that you’ve many women in your life. Please, don’t let me catch you with one. I will blow your brains.”
“Is that a threat? You want to go against the code of conduct?”
“As a matter of fact, yes.”
“You won’t catch me. I promise.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means,” I said pulling her to myself, “that there won’t be any other.”
She laughed jokingly. “Do you expect me to believe that?”
“I don’t need to answer that, do I?”
She held me tight in her womanly embrace. “No. Unless you want us to exchange the vows.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Why?” she sounded hurt.
“Do you want an honest answer to that?”
I bent closd to her ear. “I’m a very jealous man. If we do that, I’ll kill your betrothed.”
“You’re horrible!” she said letting go, slumping down on the bed and pulling the covers over her body. I knelt on the bed and gave her a peck on the cheek. She fell into a deep sleep almost immediately.
I never shared a woman with another man. Jane was going to be mine. Yes, she was!
TO BE CONTINUED…