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                    Chapter 9

Raymond was obviously battling with something. Something Timaro was yet to understand. She suddenly became uncomfortable because of the fixed stare he gave her.

"Detective, are you alright?" She finally asked. Raymond stood up and ran his left hand hand through his hair as if he was releasing whatever he had held into it.

"I'm fine, are you okay now?" He asked.

Timaro nodded. "Please help me up," she said and stretched her two hands to him. He held her up and she staggered for balance. She still had a back ache because he barely massaged her, but she pretended to be fine.

"Thanks for the massage, it helped," she lied. Raymond observed her as she walked to the dining where he kept her food. He followed her slowly, trying to avoid staring at her beautiful legs.

"Timaro you are still not okay. Why didn't you allow me to massage your back?" He asked when they both sat down.

"Trust me, I'm fine," she quickly answered.

"You know, I don't bite, so if you were scared that I was going to break your backbone, you're wrong. I could be rude and all, but definitely not dangerous," he pressed on.

Timaro smiled. She felt it was the right time to ask him all the questions she had stored in her head for him, especially when he told her he'd do anything he could to get her sacked.

"So you actually know you've been rude to us?" She asked, after which she scooped a spoon full of rice that she had already mixed with stew into her mouth.

"Even if I didn't want to know that I've been rude, you constantly gossiped me to Chika of how mean I've been. Not that I've been eavesdropping on your conversations, but most of the time I passed by your office, I heard my name being mentioned by you, so, I was always forced to listen. Therefore, you made me know I've been rude, though it made me distaste you the more,"

"Distaste me for saying the truth?"

"Yeah, you know they say truth is bitter. So, everything you did irritated me, coupled with the fact that you slept too much in the office,"

"But even before getting to know us, you were rude to us right from the day you were transferred to our zone. I'm sorry, but I prayed that you got sacked or transferred because you nagged over almost everything I did. I never actually wanted working with you, if not that Sergeant Simon made it mandatory,"

Raymond smiled. "I know, right? I wanted you sacked even before you thought of mine. I didn't believe you could be this smart because I saw you as one lousy and lazy girl. I'm sorry I misjudged you. You're intelligent and proactive," he said.

"So, are you saying that you won't be arrogant and rude anymore?" She asked.

"Yeah, it's a promise. From henceforth, your ideas are welcomed. Just as you said, we are a team now, so we should have each other's back, right?"

"Sure!" Timaro smiled at the new Raymond. She was overly happy with the changes he had chosen to make. But then, something struck her mind and she decided to ask him.

"Wait, why are you doing this?" She asked. They had finished eating, but were still in the dining room.

"Because I've realized that if we must succeed in this mission, we must be in good terms," he paused, looked at her briefly and added "Also, I want to be friends with you, Timaro"

"Aw, friends, we are" Timaro said, sweetly. Raymond wanted to say more, but he realized that she looked too innocent to understand the kind of friendship he was talking about, so he stood up and started packing the plates.

Timaro packed her own plates and followed him to the kitchen. She was about to wash them when he told her to leave them and go to bed. She left the kitchen and headed to the room, but the pains in her back became unbearable that she had to bend slightly while walking.

"Come lie down again on the rug, I promise to be gentle. You are in pains, Timaro, you need to be massaged," Raymond said.

Timaro couldn't deny it anymore, she quietly went and laid on the rug. Raymond then knelt before her and ran his two hands on her waist, then roamed to her bare back. He could feel her body responding to his touch. Suddenly, she squirmed again and he withdrew his hands immediately.

"I'm so sorry. Did I hurt you?" He asked. Timaro sat up, facing him. She saw concern in his eyes. 

"Yes... sorry, no. You didn't hurt me. I just don't like what is happening to me," she said and looked down.

"What is happening to you?" He asked.

"It's nothing, never mind," she then looked at his wall clock, "it's almost 2am, we need to sleep so we could wake up early," She stood up and was happy that the backache had subsided finally. She thanked him before strolling to her room.

***
Amalia was angry at Fabian for leaving her behind when she went to visit him. She picked her phone and dialled Susan's number.

"Friendie, what's up?" Susan's voice echoed. 

"Friendie, it's Fabian again o. I came here to spend quality time with a guy who calls himself my boyfriend, but he left the house, telling me he wanted to get something. Till now, he still isn't back," Amalia explained.

"Did you guys have any misunderstanding or something?" Susan asked.

"No. Only that I met Detective Timaro in his house earlier. She said she stopped by to use his toilet. Few minutes after she left, he stepped out,"

Susan waited for a while. "Friendie, it is obvious. Fabian is having an affair with the Detective. I'm one hundred percent sure that he is enjoying himself in her house, probably finishing up what he couldn't finish up there," Susan said.

"I will tear her into pieces whenever I set my eyes on her. God, I wish I knew where she stays, I would have paid them both a surprise visit. Friendie, do you know where she stays?" Amalia asked, parading the room in anger.

"No Friendie. Just relax, I believe Fabian will return soon. When he comes back, you can ask him of her address. Just convince him you mean no harm, I believe he will tell you," Susan replied.

"Alright, Friendie. Thank you so much. Goodnight," Amalia said and ended the call.

Susan dropped her phone on the table and went back to kissing Fabian who had been all over her since he got to her house after his inability to see Timaro.

Stay tuned for chapter 10.