The doctor walked in at that moment and Jude faded into the darkness like a picture in a flame.
When he came to again, he was queried and suspended from the force. Promises were made of appeals and reinstatement, the promises were broken, and as he acclimated to civilian life, his parents became irritated with constantly having him around, He tried to explain that he was built for The Force, that he wasn't capable of anything else, the gun was the sole extension of himself but they would not listen. So it was on a sunny day, in the bowels of Ikeja, that Mr. Stanley found him, with a thin cv between his bulky arms, and an instantly identifiable gleam in his eyes.
"Good afternoon sir."
"Good day Mr. Ibru, please sit down, coffee?"
"No thank you sir."
"Okay, I hope you like the place we got for you, and the car is to your taste?"
"Yes sir, it's all very nice, but..I still stand by my words that I am not capable of running a club."
Mr.Stanley took off his glasses and turned his cup of coffee on the saucer. Then he looked at Jesse matter of fact-ly, like the look a crowd gives a comedian who has overplayed a joke.
"Mr. Jesse...Jesse, do you mind if I call you Jesse?"
He shook his head and Mr Stanley continued.
"Jude...we both know that your not here to talk about Club management."
Jesse looked to the floor nervously and looked back at his benefactor, there were few things and even fewer people who intimidated him, and this man had swiftly become one of them.
"I...I don't understand sir."
"Its been two weeks Jesse, and in those two weeks I've learned quite a lot about you."
" I know that you've trained all your life to be a fighter, and now they've ripped you of your uniform, but not of that spirit."
"And what spirit is that?."
"The spirit of a fighter Jesse.Now I am going to ask you two questions Jude, and I need unequivocal answers."
"Ok sir, I will try my best."
"Do you understand that what I do here behind this desk goes beyond the confines of the law?."
Jesse gulped and peeled his eyes away from Mr Stanley's adhesive stare.Then he returned to it, with an adhesive stare of his own.
"Good. The Second question is, and I need you to think hardly about this one. You're a fighter. Does it matter on whose side?"
Jesse did not hesitate.
"I'm going to write the check, but I need to know how many people are on the pay roll." Jude said to Jesse over a cup of Martini.
"Well, under normal circumstances I would've taken just two operatives, but such insubordination is unprecedented. Hakim must have protection, but nothing we can't handle, so I'll take four."
"Ok, you gonna choose?"
"Yes, I'd like to."
A comfortable silence ensued and Jesse imbibed his Martini Till nothing but a lemon sat in his glass. Jude's remained untouched, and like a woman without makeup, this was a tell tale sign of a troubled mind.
"The guy with the ring...."
Jude sighed and signaled the Bartender for another cup.
"We have people on it man, you know that."
"Yes, but they've come up with squat."
The glass of Martini was placed before Jude and he took a generous gulp.
"Look man, if you want to take another 3 months and look for this guy, then be my guest, but I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You have a life with us, sure it may not be legitimate, but it's still something, and I really just don't see how that guy is of any importance to you."
"It could be a girl." Jude stated.
"It could be a girl who killed six men whom I knew well enough to call brother, a girl who drove a wedge between my parents and I. A girl who let me live and yet still killed me. Man or woman, boy or girl, I will have my revenge, in blood. "
"Ok." Jesse said with an inkling of sarcasm. He was going to make a crude remark about another way he could bring his wrath upon a female arch enemy, but thought better of it.
"For now though, Hakim's corpse will have to do." Jude said and knocked down the contents of his glass in one gulp.