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“I want your day’s full report,” I enthused. This was an old defunct tradition that required junior officers to account for their time to seniors case officers.

Jane smiled and said, “I woke up beside Jackson Kong’ani, went downstairs for breakfast with him…”

I held up my hand to silence her. “Written. I want it written and signed.”

Jane’s smile vanished and I hurried out before she started protesting. I disappeared into the bathroom, ran a bath, dropped my kit and stepped into the warm water. I needed some privacy, a moment with myself to puzzle out the mystery of the big drug transaction that was taking place in less than 48 hours. Leo had used the words ‘astronomical transaction’. I had no doubt that it would be bigger than that. There was something sinister to it and I wanted to think it through, to point a finger to it and say, “This is it.”

I was about to be whisked away in a train of thought when the bathroom door opened and there, in the doorway, stood Jane, daring and extremely provocative, wearing one of her skimpy little negligees that reached beneath her waist, halfway down her thighs. She was honestly looking quite naked. In her hand was a large volume of papers; her report. I couldn’t believe it. How could she have come up with it so soon?

She sauntered towards me in small dainty steps and I wished I could vanish into the walls, become invisible or something. I didn’t and so she came to me and gave me the report. I put it on the slab of concrete beside the tub without looking at it. She went away and returned with two flutes of champagne.

“Alright,” I said accepting one. “You get in here and be still. I need to do some thinking.”

She winked. “You shouldn’t try to get rid of me using excuses. I’m cleverer than you think.”

Although that was debatable, I wasn’t about to get myself entangled in a heated argument. I just smiled and she stripped naked. I couldn’t help an eyeful of her nudity; her sexy dazzling beauty was amazing. She got into the tub beside me and wrapped an arm across my shoulders, and her softness was irresistible. I had to try really hard to ignore her. I sighed and closed my eyes.

My imagination started revisiting the events of the day. After leaving the hospital, certain that Leo was on his way to MTRH, I had visited the two prospective crime scenes whose names he had given to me. Jane had met me at the first one in the woods of the Lang’ata Cemetary and we had somehow managed a kiss. Kissing among the dead is not a half as bad as you can imagine. The only requirents are a pair of kissable lips and a tendency to forget yourself for a few seconds, imposed amnesia.

The second venue was a deserted narrow alley on the outskirts of the city. We had wanted to try something more optimistic here. We had held hands and walked around, peeking into old windowless crumpling buildings, trying hard to select one that was both hygienic and secretive. There was none that seemed to appeal to our taste. The standards were lower than any self-respecting modern woman would want to yield to. We had walked back to the car and driven away, convinced that if Noriega had stationed his goons on any of these venues, it would just be two lovebirds looking for a place from which to fix a quickie, and not two detectives examining crime scenes beforehand.

“Which one do you think they will use?” Jane asked when we got back to the hotel. I replied that I hadn’t figured out yet and she bet on the cemetary. “It’s much more easier to get away if things run out of control. But the alley is a death trap.”

“That’s a nice textbook sentiment,” I observed quietly. Jane glared at me. I wanted to tell her that crime has no formular, it’s a monster only defined by motive and nothing else. Instead, I said, “If you’re going to be a good spy, you’re going to have to learn how to look at things from all perspectives.” She asked me to explain and I told her to wait, to give me time to develop a thesis.

The first step was to get hold of files detailing criminal activities of Noriega, Singh and Kau, and their gangs. Noriega thrived on trickery and stayed away from confrontations. Singh and Kau favoured violence, killing their enemies to eliminate competition. I had no doubt that each had been tricked by Noriega into losing a fortune more than once. Again, there was no reason whatsoever why Singh should choose Noriega to replace Kau, who had a larger gang, more influnce and, most importantly, political connections.

I arrived at one conclussion: Singh and Kau wanted Noriega out of the way so they could have the coastal drug market to themselves. That’s how they had plotted the deportation of Chinedu, a Nigerian drug baron, so they could dominate Nairobi too.

I opened my eyes, sipped at my champagne and outlined this to Jane. “That’s where the death trap comes in. It’s the killing ground.”

Whether Noriega, the trickster, was going to play straight into their arms or not, was a question of time.

TO BE CONT…

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