He was going to confront her, Sunny decided after an hour and possibly more of torturing himself with the thoughts that Onyi was back with Craig. There wasn’t any need anymore to wait for confirmation from the private investigator before taking action. This evening, when she returned home from work, he would confront her.
But why wait until this evening?
He snatched up his phone, slipped on his sandals and stalked out of the room. He was facing her now and demanding an explanation from her.
At the hotel, he first stopped at the receptionist’s desk to inquire if she was in her office.
“No, sir. She went out like five minutes ago.”
“She’s not on seat? And did she say where she was going?”
It took him half a minute before he asked the next question. “Did she leave here in the company of a guest?”
“No, she was alone when she left.”
He strode back to his car. Inside, he called the private investigator.
“Where is my wife at this moment?”
“Driving down the Maryam Babaginda Way, sir. She left the hotel seven minutes ago.”
“Keep me informed. I want to know her destination.”
“Very well, sir.”
He pulled out of the hotel and into Nnebisi Road, his sole intention to go after Onyi.
Four minutes later, the private investigator called him.
“She’s now at the Stargate Hotel, sir. At the reception, she took a key and then aimed for the top floor.”
“Is she still alone?”
“She is, but she made a call after receiving the key and said, ‘I’m here.’ That was all she said.”
She was informing someone, Craig possibly, that she was at the hotel? What was going on? What was Onyi doing?
He accelerated the car, pushing through the traffic as fast as he could. If Craig was meeting her, he wanted to be there when he did. He wanted to catch them together. He wanted to know from both of them what they thought they were doing.
The phone rang again and Sunny punched on his hands free. “Yes?”
“She’s in Room 12. She’s used this room twice before and to meet same person. She never stays longer than thirty minutes in the room with the man.”
“Man?” He’d known it was a man she was meeting, knew it was Craig, and yet Sunny’s heart clutched with pain and panic.
“A young man, I’m told. Somewhere in his mid-twenties. Lean and athletic of build. Dark skinned and has some sort of brown tinted hair.”
“Mid-twenties?” That couldn’t be Craig. “Are you sure? Are they sure?”
“A man of such description just strolled in and aiming for the stairs. I’ll keep you informed, sir.”
Mid-twenties? Did that mean it wasn’t Craig Onyi was seeing? But if it wasn’t him, then… his heart lurched painfully in his chest and Sunny wondered if he was going to suffer a heart attack. His wife… dear God, his wife was seeing another man, a much younger man.
He drove through the gates of the Stargate Hotel, saw Onyi’s car at the parking lot and chose to pull up beside it. Then Sunny sat there on his seat, his hand pressed hard against his chest, willing his skittering heartbeats to settle. He was never going to live through this. He wasn’t going to survive the utter pain of confronting his wife and finding out she truly had a lover.
Another lover other than him.
Cowardice tempted him, for the briefest second, to restart the car and drive out of the hotel. But Sunny crushed the thought. He wasn’t going to be a wimp, or a fool in love, about this. If his wife was cheating on him, then she was already playing him for a fool and he had to prove himself not one.
So, puffing short breaths through his lips, he got down the car and headed into the hotel.
He met the private investigator at the reception and he guided him to a corner beside the stairs.
“He joined her in the room, came out a minute later and down the stairs. Then went back up as if he’s just recalled something and has been in there the last four and half minutes.”
Sunny started forward. But he stopped him.
“Sir, I promised the receptionist no confrontations or trouble here. I had to tip him big for all the info he gave me. But there can be no trouble as that might cost him his job.”
“If he loses his job, I’ll give him another.”
“Sir, it doesn’t have to be today.” The private investigator still stopped him. “Now that I know what room she uses, I can return and plant a camera inside, and also install myself inside before her next visit. Which, according to the receptionist, would be next week, as she’s been doing this weekly on a Thursday.”
“All that drama is no longer necessary. This ends here today.” Sunny shrugged off the hand on his shoulder and marched up the stairs.
Although his feet seemed to drag rather than stomp, he continued until he reached Room 12 and his hand felt heavy when he knocked on the door.
It was Onyi who opened the door, fully dressed, smiling and the man behind her clothed as well and staring straight at Sunny, his face expressionless.
“Hello, Sunny. Do come in. Oh, but you’re alone. Did you not bring your private investigator along?”
Though he was shocked that she knew about his private investigator and didn’t look the least bit perturbed, Sunny only frowned as he asked. “What are you playing at, Onyi?”
“You will know as soon as you come in, sit and listen.” She stepped back from the door.
He walked in because walking away wasn’t an option. But he did not sit. Instead he stood in front of the other man, stared at him. And was vaguely irritated that young fool’s gaze did not falter from his.
“Who is he?” He demanded.
“Rowland. I do not think you know him, but he is Craig’s cousin.” Onyi gestured to an armchair. “Won’t you sit? I’m sure we’ll all be more comfortable if we sat.”
She strolled to the other armchair and sat. The young man, Rowland, back stepped to a stool and sat on it. Sunny briefly wondered if he was afraid to look away from him.
“Do you have to call your private investigator to dismiss him or have you already done that?”
He looked at Onyi, frowned anew because he could not understand her calm and nonchalant air.
“What is going on here, Onyi?”
A smile flashed across her face. “Payback, what else?”
“Payback?” He repeated the word and couldn’t understand it. “For what?”
“Would you like him to be here or do you prefer we deal with this between us at this point?” Her gaze flicked to Rowland before moving back to him.
“I want the truth, Onyi. And I want you to stop playing this game with me. What is going on?”
“Well, since you don’t care one way or the other if he stays, then he will stay for the second part of this game.” She smiled her soft, easy smile, leaned back on the chair and crossed her legs. “What is going on, you ask? I am finishing what you started, Sunny. You started this game thirteen months ago, played me like a string on your guitar, now I will finish the music.”
She knew. He had known–guessed–that she finally knew what, or a part of what, had gone down but it still scared him to hear her confirm it.
“Onyi, you don’t understand why I did it, why everything had to happen the way it did. You don’t know the whole of it.”
“No, I don’t. But we’ve not gotten to that part of our game. Where we are now is where I tell you the little story of how I found out that my husband falsified information to break up my relationship with the man I loved and deceived me into marrying him.”
“Deceived you into marrying me? Is that how you see it now, a deception?”
She shrugged. “Well, it was one, wasn’t it, since I wouldn’t have married you, dated you even, if I’d known the truth about Craig.”
His heart squeezed with pain. “Then I must be the one operating under misinformation because I thought that you married me because you finally came to love me as I did you.”
“Please, let’s do away with the pretense at last. We no longer have use of it.” The look on her face was scornful. “You never loved me. You couldn’t have when it was you who set me up to be robbed and raped.”
“Actually, I set you up precisely because I loved you.” Sunny said, holding her gaze and refusing to let the derision in her eyes hurt him. “I did it to protect you. But you were going to tell the little story of how you came to know the truth, so please tell it. It seems to me though that Craig is still in the habit of sending minions to do jobs he lacks the courage to do.”
“Craig didn’t send me. I contacted Onyi on my own after I found out the truth.”
Sunny looked at Rowland, hated that he used Onyi’s name so familiarly and didn’t trust one bit his unreadable expression. “Oh really? And what truth did you find out, the one your cousin told you?”
“No, the one the note you sent to Craig telling him that you’ve arranged men to rob and rape me and there was nothing he could do to stop it told him.” Onyi said.
“I already confirmed I made the arrangement.” It destroyed him to see not only derision in her eyes now, but also loathing.
“Ah, yes. But are you going to confirm that you hired same men to kill Craig when he threatened to go to the police with the truth?”
“Ha, I knew you would have just that expression of absolute shock on your face when I told you that.” Onyi said and chuckled, though the sound wasn’t one of amusement. “And this is where my little story begins.”
Sincere apologies for missing yesterday. I was quite busy with some work. Hope you enjoy the episode now. Cheers.