Treachery EPISODE 2
Luke stood there waiting for Doctor Jordan to reach their table. He could barely feel his legs, and his palms were starting to get wet. He’d never been good with lies, his boss would figure this out in a minute. He turned his attention to Elizabeth, she was smiling; she had no idea what he had done. Maybe he could still back out of this deal with Engineer Lawal. Was it worth all this tension?
Doctor Jordan arrived at their table and he smiled.
“Luke, my son.” Doctor Jordan said and stretched his right hand out.
“Sir.” That was the only word he could manage as he shook the hand. There was no way he could look this man in the face or say more than a word without betraying his betrayal.
“Can we sit, please?” Elizabeth said.
“Sure.” Luke said, forcing a smile.
They sat, Luke opposite the father and daughter. Maybe if he kept his eyes on Elizabeth throughout the night, he could focus on her beauty and not the ugliness of his own behavior.
“Betty said you wanted to give her a rundown of what has been going on in the company.” Doctor Jordan said.
Luke nodded and said a strained. “Yes.”
“That’s a good idea.” Doctor Jordan said. “But I hope you’re not trying to teach her so you can run away.”
Luke cleared his throat. “What? No, I was just…”
Doctor Jordan burst into laughter and Elizabeth joined him. Luke watched them for a couple of seconds before his nerves were calm enough to let out a few laughs.
“You need to have seen your face Luke.” Elizabeth said. “You looked like you were caught with your hand in the pot.”
“I’m sure you will never catch Luke with his hand in the pot, just as I’m sure he’s not leaving us. Not now.”
Luke grinned, revealing too much teeth.
“Right? Luke?” Doctor Jordan said.
“You’re not leaving us now.”
“Of course not.” Luke said and swallowed.
There was no way he could survive five more minutes of this. He was dying inside and the death was soon going to become very evident outside. He needed to escape this dinner, cut his losses and go stop the deal with Engineer Lawal.
“I’ve never been here.” Elizabeth said. “What’s their specialty?”
“You are about to order food?” Doctor Jordan asked. “I think it’s time to leave then. I’m done eating today.”
Luke sighed. Finally.
“I’m so sorry to see you leave.” Luke said.
“I’m sure you don’t mean that.” Doctor Jordan said.
“Of course, of course sir, of course I mean it.” Luke said, his face more squeezed than an orange in a juicer.
“I’ll let you kids talk.” Doctor Jordan said. “She must be home before midnight.”
“Of course sir.” Luke said.
“That was a joke Luke. What? Is she Cinderella?”
“Of course sir.”
“Are you okay Luke? You’ve been saying a lot of ‘of course’ tonight.” Doctor Jordan said with a frown.
“Of course I’m okay sir.” Luke said. Oh crap, he’d said it again.
Doctor Jordan and Elizabeth looked at him, a little more closely and seriously than was good for his nerves at the moment.
“That was a joke sir.” Luke said and let out a nervous giggle.
“Of course it was.” Elizabeth said. “See? I did it too.”
“Good night Daddy.”
“Good night sir.”
Doctor Jordan walked out of the restaurant. Luke leaned back in his chair and sighed.
“Is it me, or are you relieved he’s gone?” Elizabeth asked.
Luke paused, smiled, he could be himself again. For now. “No, I love your Dad. Why will I be relieved he’s gone?”
“Honestly, I am relieved he’s gone.” She said.
“Nobody wants their dad going on a date with them.”
Luke smiled. “So, this is a date?”
“I’m not stupid, Mister Bassey.” She said. “We could have used the office if all you wanted to talk about was my father’s company.”
Luke put his hands up. “You got me. Apparently, I’m not as subtle as I thought. I had no idea your dad was going to show up as well?”
“Was that why you were all nervous and shaky?”
“Sure you were. I was afraid you were going to pee on yourself.” She said and laughed.
This was not good. If she had noticed, Doctor Jordan definitely would have noticed too.
“Well, asking your boss’ daughter on a date isn’t a very smart move.” Luke said.
She nodded. “Usually it is a terrible move. But not in this case.”
Luke sat up. “Really?”
“I wasn’t going to tell you this, but my dad has tried to set us up so many times.”
“Oh wow, that’s good then.”
“So Luke, tell me about you. The things my dad hasn’t already told me, I mean.”
He wanted to say ‘I am a traitor who just betrayed your father.’ But instead he asked;
“What do you want to know?”
Luke sat at the head of the table watching the projector screen with disinterest. One manager after the other, stood before the group to discuss their progress. Days like this always pushed him to the edge. The few times he’d considered resigning were after these horrendous and boring meetings. He considered canceling them when he became the boss but he couldn’t, they were necessary. His days of sitting through them were probably over though. Somehow he couldn’t feel happy about that.
“We have a little problem.” Lekan Abisoye, one of the managers said as he rounded off his presentation.
“I’ve told you before Lekan, I don’t want to hear all your little problems, solve them yourself.” Luke said.
“Actually, it’s not a little problem.”
“No? What’s going on?”
“We have a problem with Law Engineering.”
Luke swallowed and leaned back in his chair. “What is the problem?”
“They are dropping us.”
“They are?” Luke asked.
“According to their CTO who talked to me, they are moving on to another company. Some new consulting firm called L.B. Consulting.”
Holy Molly, the dumb CTO had given them a name? It was only a matter of time before everyone realized L.B. was Luke Bassey.
“Did he give you a reason?” Luke asked.
“No, he didn’t.” Lekan Abisoye said. “But this is not good sir. We have to deliver this news to the Chairman as soon as possible.”
Luke shook his head. “Nobody tells the Chairman about this. I will deal with it myself.”
“Sir, only the chairman deals with Law Engineering. Most of us don’t even know what they do.”
“Are you my boss now, Lekan?”
“No sir. I just think…”
“Will you leave this to me then?”
“Nobody tells the Chairman about this until I say so. Is that clear?”
“Yes sir.” The puzzled manager said. “Finally…”
Luke stood, that was about as much as he could take. “We’ll finish this later.”
He walked out of the conference room and headed for his office. His phone vibrated in his pocket. He removed it and checked, he didn’t recognize the number.
“Hello?” He said.
“Mister Luke.” The voice on the phone said.
“You already recognize my voice, I always like that in people I work with.”
“I need to see you now.”
“Right now?” Luke asked. “I’m kind of in the middle of an important morning.”
“This can’t wait. Meet me in the same restaurant in twenty minutes.”
The call ended. Luke looked at his phone and shook his head. If he wanted to be in the restaurant in twenty minutes, he had to leave now. He walked into his office, picked his car keys and his jacket and hurried out of the building.
He was about entering his car when his phone rang again. It wasn’t even five minutes yet, why was the Engineer calling back? He looked at his phone, it wasn’t the Engineer; it was Doctor Jordan. Luke stared at the phone; why was he calling? Did somebody tell him about the Law Engineering problem? That Abisoye fool. He could not take this call. He was not in a proper mental state to answer the Chairman’s questions. He would call him later.
He started the engine of the car and drove out of the Eden compound. He was just pulling out into the road when his phone rang and it was his boss again. He clicked the ‘silent’ button and continued on the road. This was crazy. He loved and adored this man for the seven years he had spent working for him, he could not believe he was now hiding from the same man.
Fifteen minutes later, he pulled into the restaurant’s parking lot. He looked at his phone, it was still just the two missed calls from his boss. He would figure this out later.
He entered the restaurant and like the last time, it was empty but Engineer Lawal was waiting this time around. Luke walked to his table.
“Are you going to buy off this restaurant every time we meet?” Luke asked as he shook the Engineer’s hand.
Engineer Lawal looked around. “It’s getting boring, right? Maybe next time I’ll buy off a hotel.”
Luke sat. “So what was so urgent you had to pull me during working hours?”
“You work for L.B. Consulting now, and L.B. Consulting works for Law Engineering, have you forgotten that?”
“No, I haven’t.”
“Alright, very good. I need your account details, we want to make our first deposit today so we can get this show on the road.”
“Oh, wow. I wasn’t expecting any payment today. I’m yet to set up my corporate account.”
“I have a guy who can do that for you in less than thirty minutes.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
“Alright Mister Luke, it’s time you know what we do.”
Luke felt a huge weight lodge in his chest. He had a bad feeling about this. It was probably just nerves though. Who wouldn’t be nervous on their first major job?
“At Law Engineering, we do a lot of manufacturing but the place where the real money is in weapons manufacturing.”
Luke shifted in his seat. “Weapons? You mean like… real weapons?”
“Yes Mister Luke, real weapons.”
He knew this was going to be something terrible. He was been dragged into an arms deal? He couldn’t do this. But then arms dealers weren’t likely to just allow walk away. Why would Doctor Jordan be involved with arms dealers though?
“Doctor Jordan knew this was your business?”
“Of course he knew.’ Engineer Luke said. “I know what you must be thinking but we don’t do anything illegal. We deal with the government only. The federal government is our biggest sponsors actually.”
Luke sighed. Okay, this wasn’t an illegal arms deal with terrorist groups or drug dealers.
“If Doctor Jordan has been working with you since and working well, why would want to leave now?”
“That’s a good question Mister Luke. You see, it’s time for our business to expand outside of Nigeria. We have gotten links with the government of Cameroun and they are ready to deal with us. We want to work with a young, active and non-bureaucratic firm. Is that you Mister Luke?”
“Of course it is.”
“Great, I believed you were.” Engineer Lawal said. “It’s time to discuss numbers now. How much are you charging us?”
Before he could open his mouth, Luke’s phone rang. He looked at the phone, it was Doctor Jordan. He would talk to him later, he was about to get on the ride that would take him into his future quicker than he expected. He would deal with his past later.
Luke entered the Eden building walking midair. At least that was how he felt. He’d just made his first million dollars. The money was not all his, but still he had just closed a very huge business. Everything looked too good to be true but he was not going to worry about that just yet.
He still had to call his boss.
That thought brought him crashing to the floor. This was not going to be easy but there was no going back now.
“Hey boss.” A feminine voice called behind him.
He turned around and stopped; it was Elizabeth.
“Elizabeth?” He was happy to see her but nervous at the same time.
“I didn’t know you were going to be out. My dad said you spent twenty two hours every day in the office.”
Luke chuckled. “Looks like your dad was trying too hard to sell you on me.”
“He was. That was not a good point to add for his pitch though but he didn’t know that apparently.”
“So, Miss Elizabeth Jordan, what can I do for you today?”
“I was here to continue my education.”
“I was thinking maybe today, you can tell me what a big CEO like you does during his lunch hour.”
“How about I just show you?”
“That will be awesome.” She said.
Luke smiled. His boss’ calls aside, today was turning out to be very good.
“Wait here, let me drop my jacket in my office and grab my wallet and I’ll be right back.”
Luke had just entered his secretary’s door when he looked through the glass walls and saw a figure seated in his office.
“Welcome back sir.” The secretary said.
“Who’s that? In my office, who’s that?”
“It’s the chairman, he’s been waiting for a couple of hours.”
That was not very good, not very good at all.
Treachery EPISODE 2