- 09 Feb - 15 Feb, 2019
- 19 Jan - 25 Jan, 2019
Billy and Kennedy were curious to hear what Nicholas was about to tell them.
“Yesterday…” Nicholas began, “I went back to the mall. And as I was standing near the lid of the sewage, I saw someone coming out. That someone was carrying four bags of money that you guys left. Guess who I saw?”
“Cornelius?” Billy guessed.
“That’s right. He had stolen the first half, the moment we escaped from the cops leaving him behind. And he stole the second half after he left our house. I had followed him all the way.”
“That rat!” Kennedy uttered angrily.
“As I followed him further I saw him with his girlfriend. The woman he met was British and she was crazy mad about him.”
“You mean in love?”
“Yes, well it appeared so. So I captured some photos through my cell phone and now we need to find out what he’s up to.”
“Should we tell Ashton about this?”
“No, not at all.” Nicholas replied instantly. “We three are going to ask Cornelius about it. If he answers honestly, then we are fine with him. But if he replies otherwise then he will back out from Plan B.”
Ashton returned to their room and spoke:
“Sorry guys, it was a little urgent.”
“No problem.” Billy replied.
“So did you guys call Cornelius?”
“He’s on his way.” Nicholas lied immediately, handling the situation.
They all waited for Cornelius for a while. Several minutes passed but there was no sign of him.
“Where is he? Does he even know that he has to show up?” Kennedy spoke after waiting for a long while.
“I don’t know.” Nicholas replied standing up. “I’m going to call him.”
Ashton also stood up and walked around. Nicholas who had kept the phone next to his ear spoke to his partners:
“His phone is powered off.”
“I knew it!” Ashton said a bit aggressively.
Billy and Kennedy looked at him and hoped for a suggestion.
“I just know that there’s a traitor.” Ashton said to three of them. “And my best guess is that it’s him. I’m going to his house.”
Nicholas tried to stop him but he left the room and immediately walked out of the house.
“What is he going to do?” Billy asked.
“Hey what is going on here?” Kennedy put up. “What if his battery’s out or if he has lost his phone?”
“No Kennedy,” Nicholas answered. “This guy has the million dollars that we helped him with. He has either betrayed all of us or is planning to.”
“Either way we are going to find him and kill him.” Billy added.
Nicholas rested his elbow on the wall and held his forehead.
“I trusted this man,” Nicholas spoke in low voice. “I just can’t believe he’s doing this. I’m a little hurt.”
Billy was listening to him until he heard the doorbell. Nicholas turned and said:
“Must be Ashton. Ask him to stay here for a while.”
Kennedy stood up and walked towards the exit of the house.
Nicholas said to Billy:
“Under no circumstances we are going to tell Ashton that initially our plan was to make the robbery unsuccessful.”
They both got surprised as they saw Cornelius entering inside the room.
“You!” Billy uttered.
“Yes, I’m sorry for being late. My phone’s battery is not charged.”
“Oh I see,” Nicholas said. “Anyways, there’s something I want to ask you.”
“Sure, but first you guys need to hear me out.”
Kennedy was standing behind him and listening to him. Cornelius began like giving good news:
“The money that we went to steal is under my custody now!”
“Really?” Billy spoke with confused expressions.
Nicholas felt relieved realising his friend hadn’t betrayed him.
“Wow that’s great news,” he said to Cornelius. “How did you get it?”
“That’s a long story, but for another day. Today what you guys need to know is that we are not going to tell Ashton about this. This money belongs to four of us. We will divide it equally.”
“But why is it that you are not sharing this with Ashton?” Nicholas asked. “But with us.”
“I have my reasons,” Cornelius answered turning away his face.
“What do you guys say” Cornelius spoke looking towards Billy and Kennedy, “are we millionaires already?”
Excited and delighted Billy stood up and hugged Cornelius. Kennedy also hugged him yelling:
Nicholas was left curious and he was now thinking about the secret dispute between Cornelius and Ashton that was unknown to him.
I’m going to find out, Nicholas said to himself.
More than three hours later, Nicholas who had followed Cornelius again saw him sitting with the same woman. They were seated on some public bench. Nicholas saw a diamond ring in the woman’s finger. He wondered:
She could be his wife.
He, however, kept on observing them and in order to find the truth he waited for the woman to be alone. He hoped that Cornelius would leave her alone afterwards.
After several minutes, as Cornelius stood up and left the woman sitting alone. Nicholas immediately rushed towards her and sat next to her. She felt a bit weird and uncomfortable. He spoke to her politely:
“Ma’am can I please talk to you?”
“Ok, may I ask who you are?” she asked trying to be nice.
“My name is Nicholas. I am a friend of Cornelius. He is very secretive and he hides a lot of stuff from his friends. Can you please tell me how you are related to him?”
“My name is Linda Knightley. I’m his wife. I know him from quite a long time.”
She changed her sitting position and continued:
“You guys have no clue about what’s going on. Cornelius and Ashton are up to something different entirely. The robbery of mall and the painting they are about to steal are not their sole objectives. Their goal is to get revenge. Victor Gibbs was Ashton’s father’s rival. He stole a great amount of money from Mr. John Flair, Ashton’s father. And somebody else was also involved behind this conspiracy, Jacob Cain.”
Nicholas was badly shocked after hearing all this which was why he stopped her from speaking and said:
“Alright stop here for a moment. You’re telling me that Ashton’s sole purpose behind the robbery was not money?”
“Look, listen to me. An aged guy was found murdered inside the mall.”
“Who murdered him?”
“Ashton?” Nicholas guessed.
“Exactly. That was their plan. They were demanding Jacob Cain’s address. As the aged guy refused to give over his address, Ashton killed him. Initially he had agreed to, in exchange for money. But as he refused Ashton had to kill him.”
“Ok, but how was that aged guy linked to Jacob Cain? And secondly why were they demanding Jacob’s address?”
“Good questions. The aged guy used to work for Jacob as his driver. Jacob Cain owns the large painting that Ashton’s father once owned. His father was the one who stole that painting in Switzerland. And then brought it here.”
“So Ashton and Cornelius want to get that painting back? Cornelius wants to, he is just using Ashton. Ashton has no interest in the painting. He just wants to kill Jacob with his own hands. His purpose is revenge. And Cornelius’ purpose is money.”
“But why does he want to kill Jacob?” Nicholas asked curiously.
“Because Jacob not just stole from John Flair but he also killed him. Along with his wife.”
“Oh my God!” Nicholas felt upset for Ashton.
“Ashton was twenty years old by the time. And he is thirsty for revenge since then.”
“I see. And Cornelius? Wait tell me one thing here. Are you really Cornelius’ wife?”
“Yes, yes I am.”
“Then why are you disclosing his secrets. I mean he would never share this with me. Then how come you are?”
“Because I want to stop him. I want him to stop helping Aston and part ways. I don’t want him to risk his life with Ashton. I’m telling you this because I want you to stop him from doing this”
“Oh,” Nicholas replied feeling relieved and easy.
“So you guys need to stop Cornelius or otherwise make their plan fail.”
Nicholas stood up and said:
“Thank you for sharing this information”
He left her alone walking away.
v v v
Next day’s morning, Billy and Kennedy who were lying on their separate sofas kept in their garage woke up as they heard the shutter opening. It was Nicholas who had just arrived. He clapped twice with his hands and spoke:
“Alright guys, it’s time to get up!”
Billy opened his eyes and got excited remembering something. Kennedy sat up and spoke:
“Oh boy, I can’t wait for Cornelius to show up. He said that he shall be bringing our share today”
“I don’t think so” Nicholas responded.
“Excuse me?” Kennedy spoke.
“Come with me I have to tell you guys something.”
Fifteen minutes later, Kennedy and Billy were seated shocked on their separate chairs in the house’ kitchen and Nicholas was standing by the stove.
“Oh my goodness,” Kennedy spoke clearly turning his face towards Billy. “Can you believe this?”
“So what you’re telling us is that Ashton is doing this just to get his revenge against some guy Jacob?”
“Exactly,” Nicholas replied.
“Well frankly I don’t think that’s a problem for us”
“It’s not?” Kennedy asked.
“All I’m saying is that either way we are getting money, and we are becoming if not billionaires then at least millionaires.”
“No Billy.” Nicholas responded. “I don’t think that we can trust them. They both might be hiding a lot more than we think. I just want to make sure that we are not being misused.”
“Well Cornelius secretly stole the money that night. But he didn’t hide it from us. He decided to tell us about it and also share it with us.”
“He’s got a point Nick.” Kennedy added.
“I don’t know.” Nicholas replied changing his position. “I can’t trust them completely.”
“Well what do you suggest then?” Kennedy asked.
“I suggest that we must not risk our lives. If we’ll help them then we need their word that their plan won’t harm us any way.”
“It won’t.” Billy replied. “I don’t think that it would.”
“I’m calling Cornelius now,” Kennedy said, standing up.
“What for?” Nicholas asked.
“I’m going to ask him to bring our share here.”
“Yeah you do it.” Billy said to him.
Nicholas didn’t like it which was why he left the kitchen.
As he stepped outside, he spoke by himself:
These guys are stupid. They are just greedy for money. They are willing to risk their lives.
He turned his face back towards them and said in a low voice:
One of these guys might die because of Ashton or Cornelius.
Meanwhile at some distance, Cornelius and Ashton were sitting together at Ashton’s house. Ashton said to Cornelius while having a drink:
“You know very clearly that I have no interest in money. You guys can split it whatever way you want. All I want is revenge and I also want the painting that belongs to my late father. More importantly, I want to see Jacob pleading for his life. And I shall have no mercy on him.”
“I know I know. Just let me get those boys ready.”
“And one more thing. These three guys must never know about my true goal behind all these robberies. Or else one of them might go and confess to the cops.”
“They won’t go to the cops. I can assure you that”.
“Oh, but the cops would come to them. They’ll arrest them and just a little interrogation would be enough to extract the truth out of the boys.”
Cornelius had no answer. He changed the conversation anyway:
“My wife wants me to give up this stuff. And you should be grateful that I’m helping you out jeopardising my relationship with her”
“Oh don’t try to make me grateful. You are doing this for money.”
“But I was the mastermind behind the entire plan. I was the one who made the first plan go unsuccessful. You told me to make the robbery look unsuccessful in front of those three and I did. And yet I stole the entire money safely.”
“Look I don’t want to discuss all those details. You shall be keeping that money and I shall be keeping the painting. Now if you’ll try to change what we have agreed upon then I shall use my bullet.”
“Don’t try to scare me Mr. Ashton. I am way ahead of you. The drama that we faked after the robbery at Nicholas’ house is not in their knowledge. Within seconds I will expose both of us, they will then refuse to help us and you will have no one to help you with your revenge.”
Ashton took out his hand gun and aimed straight towards Cornelius’ face and spoke with rage in his eyes:
“Don’t you dare!”
“Shoot me if you can.”
“You know very well that if you’ll try to change our plan then only one of us would survive. I’m giving you one last chance to keep your mouth shut. If you do otherwise then I’ll just press the trigger next time”
Cornelius chuckled with a smirk on his face.