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Story: RESTLESS-EPISODE 25(Texas Hold’em)



Restless-Episode  25(Texas Hold’em)

Story By 

Oyin Oluwatosin Emmanuel

Henry eyes widened in shock on hearing those words from Odio. Could it be true that they really had the backing of the FOX Agency? That would mean that Agent Paul Edwards was a part of the terrorist group.
“But… But,” he got up from his seat as he ran his fingers through his hair. He turned again to Odio. “Some weeks ago, the Red Wolves attacked the families of top FOX agents. How would they have done that to the FOX if the FOX was working with them?”
“I can’t explain that,” Odio replied.
Henry’s confusion increased. He remembered reading in the news how Paul Edwards grandson had been killed in a bomb attack in his school hostel. The Paul Edwards he knew was a man that valued his family so much and never would risk heir lives for anything.
“But, it’s not possible. Paul Edwards would never allow his family to get hurt for any reason,” Henry said thoughtfully, even though in a loud voice, it was more to himself than the listener. He turned and looked at Odio’s face. “I believe Eddy would have more answers, wouldn’t he?”
“He would,” Odio replied in a weak voice, nodding his head.
“Tell me, how can I easily recognize Eddy when I see him? Can you show me his picture?”
“I’ve got it on my phone, I did not take it from the office.” Odio replied him. “But you can find his pictures online if you search for his name and club DDY, he has a public profile.”

Friday Night.

Location : Club DDY, Bexford.
Time: 22:35PM

The DJ reeled out hit afro pop songs to entertain the clubbers. The music blasted through the loud speakers and the clubbers on the dance floor moved their feet to the rhythm of the music. As usual, the men and ladies were on the dance floor, the men grabbing ladies’ waists as the women in turn moved their bodies seductively.
Henry had been in the different night clubs on different occasions but he had never had a reason to come into one with a walking aid. Even though he could now walk well on the leg without the walking aid, the doctor had advised that he should avoid performing rigorous exercises that would involve the leg.
He however decided to continue using the walking aid for two reasons; the first was to reduce the stress on the leg, he knew he could possible have a need to run or do something strenuous with the leg, so walking with the walking aid would take off the stress that would result from walking on it. The second and most important reason was to maintain a perfect disguise as a man with an injured leg.
He was sitting silently at the bar, a bottle of wine and wine cup was in front of him. The wine cup was filled but he only took sips from it occasionally. He wasn’t dressed in a pullover this night. He had a simple T-shirt and leather jacket on with a white face cap covering his head. The same beards attached to his chin during his last outing was attached, but he had an additional attached moustache this time.
His eyes hovered around the place from time to time, trying to see if he would locate anyone he would recognize. The multi-coloured club lights made it difficult for him to recognize people from afar.
“Hey handsome, why don’t you come with me to the dance floor so I can rock your body all night…” he heard a lady saying in a melodic voice.
He looked up to see the skimpily dressed thick woman staring down at him with seductive eyes. He tapped his phone on to check his time and realized that it was only fifteen minutes to eleven o’clock. He made a brief chuckle as he stared the woman in the eyes. The night workers could call any man handsome as far as he looked like one whom they could get some money from, he said to himself.
He picked the wine cup and took another sip from it before answering her.
“I don’t want to dance,” he smacked his lips as he looked at her face.
“What do you want to do baby? You want a strip show or you want me to go home with you?” she asked, winking at him and biting the side of her lips softly.
He smiled. “None of that, I want to play with the best gamers tonight.”
“The game center is opened,” she replied, looking towards the entrance of the game area.
“I want to play with the best gamers, isn’t that cool?” Henry added.
She seemed less interested.
“You can go in, it’s opened.” She said and turned to leave.
“Hey! Wait,” he stopped her.
“Yes darling,” she turned back.
“I’ll like to get done with the game so that we can go home together,” he quickly put in and watched as a smile formed on her face. “But I was told that all game spots are already booked tonight,” he said to her.
“Oh! That means you would have to return tomorrow or next,” she said and then moved closer to him. She removed his cap gently with one hand and began to caress his head softly.
He stopped her and collected the cap. He put it back on.
“Can’t you help me get in there tonight? After winning some games, we would go to the hotel and we’d have a thrilling night together.” he offered.
“Hmm, I see you really want to play.” she said draggingly and took two short steps back.
“Yes,” Henry answered.
She looked at his face again and then bent over, she placed a hand on the table and the other on the armrest of his chair. Her face was so close to his, like she wanted to give him a kiss.
He didn’t move.
“How much do you have to play with? Only the big boys play on Fridays,” she asked in soft tones.
“I’m a big boy, I’ve got more than a million Bethanna dollars in here,” Henry said in a tempting tone, tapping a briefcase placed on the floor beside his feet where he also kept the walking aid.
Her eyes widened slowly as she saw the briefcase. She looked again into his eyes.
“Baby, why don’t you just lets go somewhere, you don’t need to spend much of your money and I’ll give you the best time of your life.” she offered temptingly.
“I would love to go with you but I also want to get some more cool cash from here tonight,” Henry insisted.
She exhaled and stood back upright. She saw that he was determined to play. She was sure he was definitely going to lose all the money before leaving that place, but since he didn’t take her advice to leave silently with her, he deserved to be stripped off all the money.
“I’ll help you get in, come with me.” she said and turned immediately. She turned out of the bar section and began to walk towards the gaming area, swinging her waist side to side as she walked.
She stopped and looked back to find him far behind her. She squinted as she saw him following slowly with the briefcase in his right hand and his walking aid in his left hand.
She waited for him to level up before she continued at a slower pace. They soon got to the gaming center and she asked him to wait while she went in to convince the access controllers that he should be let in. She stepped back out ten minutes after and asked that he followed her in. He followed and was briefly searched at the entrance before being allowed to proceed. He noticed that he had so many eyes on him. He knew at once that she must have told of his briefcase which he told her was loaded with cash.
“Which of the games would you like to play?” she asked him when she saw his eyes wandering about the several gaming point.
“That,” Henry smiled on locating the gaming area for cards. “I’ll love to play poker, Texas Hold’em.”
She stopped him as he moved in the direction.
“Why don’t you play something less competitive so that you can finish early and we leave together,” she suggested to him, more out of pity. She knew the gamers who were at the gaming board for cards, they were the most dangerous and skillful set of gamers there and they would show no pity until he lost all his money.
“No, I’ll play cards.” Henry insisted.
She led him to the place. A game had just been rounded up and a tall lanky man was arguing about his money. The man seated at the other side of the table gave orders and the lanky man was whisked away by the other men surrounding the table.
The attention of every man around the table was turned to the newcomer, Henry. He ignored them and placed more of his focus on the table and the cards on it.
“I hear you wanna play,” the man seated finally spoke.
Henry looked at his face. It carried an arrogant smile which annoyed Henry. He checked his phone, it was five minutes to eleven. From the information he got, whenever Eddy wanted to play games, he started around eleven o’clock. He was sure that the man seated wasn’t Eddy. He had seen Eddy’s picture online and memorized how he looked.
“I want to play with the best man, the one who has the unbeaten record.” Henry said in a strict tone. He was still not sitting. He had his weight resting through his palm on the handle of the walking aid.
The men looked at each other’s faces. They knew that by the man who had the unbeaten record, he meant Eddy. But not just anyone played cards with Eddy. It had to be a real game master.
“You have to beat me first, before you play with the man with unbeaten records.” the man behind the table said, folding in his lips in a desperate manner.
“I’ve got no time for that, I got up to a million Bethanna dollars to stake.”
The men were shocked and it showed as they looked at each other’s face. They seemed to make some non verbal communication before all their gazes fell on Henry again.
“Can we see your money?”
Henry slowly placed his briefcase on the table. He opened it and turned it to them. It contained cash, all in a thousand Bethanna dollar notes. He took out some bundles of the money and displayed to them to show that they were real.
Henry noticed the excitement on the faces of the men which they tried to conceal. He returned the cash back into the briefcase and closed it.
“So, can I get your best man?”
“I am the best man here,” the seated man answered him.
“No, you’re not. I want to play with Edwin Bill,” Henry replied.
The men flashed quick looks at each other’s faces, surprised that the man knew Eddy’s full name.
“You can just play with Eddy like that, you have to prove your worth by playing with me first.”
Henry leaned forward and narrowed his gaze at the man’s face. “I travelled all the way from Europe, not to prove my worth here but to have some grabs of your money. Do you have up to a million to stake?”
The man stared at Henry speechlessly for a moment and then shook his head. “I’ll talk to Eddy for you, come with me.”
He picked his phone on the table and rose up. Henry picked his briefcase from the table and held his walking aid. He looked back to search for the lady who had brought him in and he saw her walking out through the entrance.
“Wait here,” Henry was told when they got to a door after walking past different gaming points.
He stopped and watched the man proceed in. Five minutes after, he came back outside and beckoned on Henry to come in.
Henry’s body was searched again at the entrance before he was led through the hallway and to another small hall. About eleven people in total were already in the room, six sitting around the poker table and involved in the game while some others were just standing around.
Henry recognized Eddy immediately he stepped in. He saw him seated like the boss that he was, with some of his men around him. The game seemed to be between men of higher status. All of them were corporately dressed except Eddy. Eddy was smoking pipe and so were two other men. The game seemed to be a crucial one as nobody apart from Eddy noticed Henry’s entrance. The men apart from Eddy seemed bereaved and it was obvious Eddy had been having the wins.
It took a while for the current game to end and Eddy won as expected, the other gamers were embittered and there seemed to be an argument about the fairness of the game for a while. Eddy’s men who were present in the hall helped to move the bundles of cash won on the table into the bag to clear it for another game.
“Gentlemen,” Eddy cleared his throat and began to talk aloud. “I do have another important game tonight,” he continued, now with his eyes fixed at Henry. “This man is from Europe and has a million Bethanna Dollars to stake for a game with me. I know you will equally agree with me that the game is a very important one.”
Everybody’s eyes turned to Henry as Eddy began to talk and they began to scrutinize him with their eyes, especially when Eddy mentioned the amount.
The man on the table at the opposite end facing Eddy directly got up slowly and reluctantly after been signalled by Eddy. Eddy signalled for Henry to sit which Henry did gladly.
“So, are you ready to play?” Eddy asked.
“Yes, I hope you can give me a good game,” Henry replied, speaking for the first time in the hall. His voice sounded gruff and domineering, one that made the onlookers more interested in him.
The game soon began. The dealer shoveled the cards and placed two cards each down for both players. Henry picked his cards, he had an Ace and a 10. Eddy on the other side had a King and a Jack.
They paused to make their bets.
“Let’s take it slowly,” Eddy said temptingly. “I love it when the game is interesting and painful,” he added with a slow wink.
“So?” Henry raised a brow.
Eddy rested his back and raised his hand. He snapped his fingers as a sign to his men. One of them stepped forward with a case and brought out a bundle of fifty thousand Bethanna dollars.
“Let’s start with fifty thousand Bethanna dollars,” Eddy suggested as he placed it on the table.
“Too low, would waste too much of time,” Henry complained, surprising Eddy and the other men with his refusal. “Let’s start with a hundred, it makes more sense for matured gamers.”
Eddy smiled. He loved this man’s confidence. He didn’t look like he was high on alcohol or on drugs. Eddy loved whatever it was that was making this man so confident.
“Agreed,” Eddy replied. He made another signal and the man behind him added handed him another bundle of fifty thousand dollars.
Henry smiled on seeing the bundles of money. He placed his briefcase on his laps and took out his. He placed it in his front and stared at Eddy’s face. Eddy smiled at him and placed his fingers on his cash bundles. Both at the same time dragged their bets with a finger to the middle of the table, at the left hand side.
Three cards were then flopped – opened up and placed at the center of the game. The flopped cards were a Jack, a 7 and a 3.
They both stared at each other’s faces and at the flops in suspense.
Eddy was at advantage.
Then the turn was dealt, a 9, keeping Eddy still on the lead.
The river card was dealt, it was a King. That left Eddy with two pairs and victory in the round.
Eddy smiled victoriously as the bundles of cash were moved to his side.
Another round started, with the same amount of bet. Eddy won a second time.
“Two hundred thousand Bethanna dollars,” Henry said, putting up his stake for the third game.
Eddy stopped and rested his back in the chair, he stared at Henry’s face with a smirk on lips.
“You lost the first two games and you want to stake higher?”
“Yeah, I need something serious to stir me up. A hundred thousand isn’t doing much of that.”
The third game was tougher. Henry was confident he would win on seeing the flopped cards. The turn was dealt and Henry’s confidence grew. After the river, the cards on the hands of both men were revealed and Eddy won him again with a straight flush.
Henry clenched his fists and teeth. He had lost four hundred thousand Bethanna dollars. His anger grew with the arrogant smile he saw on Eddy’s face.
Another game began and the flop cards were placed on the table..
“Five hundred thousand Bethanna dollars,” Henry offered.
Eddy looked sharply at his face. He was now sure something was wrong with him. One would think he would have given up after losing in the game thrice and almost half of his money but here he was betting a higher amount.
“You seem to be determined to win, can you share with me your source of determination? I’d like to learn from you,” Eddy said in a bit of a mocking tone.
“Why don’t we talk about what gives you confidence to keep sleeping with your brother’s wife behind him,” Henry fired.
Eddy’s eyes widened and his jaw dropped in shock. He stared at Henry with scrutinizing eyes for a while. “Who the hell are you?” His voice sounded so low, almost like whispers.
“I’m someone who knows the real father of your brother’s first son.”
The men around widened their eyes but quickly pretended not to have heard anything when Eddy looked at their faces.
“What the hell are you talking about?” Eddy fired at him.
Henry chuckled calmly, he rested his back and placed his chin on his palm, his elbow resting on the armrest. He gave no reply to Eddy’s question.
Eddy stared at him, still in shock. He looked at the eyes of the men around him and signaled them to give them some privacy.
“Who are you?” Eddy asked again in low tones after every other person had left the table. He still had his men around in the hall, watching from where they are but they maintained a far distance where they could not hear the conversation as far as it was done in low tones.
“Do not let us get carried away, remember we still have a game to play.” Henry said with a mischievous smile.
“What the bleep are you saying, you’ve got to tell me where you got that information from.”
“We have a Jack, King, Ace and a 10,” Henry mentioned the words slowly, his eyes fixed on the flopped cards on the table. “What have you got?”
Eddy took in a long breath and tendered his cards reluctantly. Henry also tendered his.
“Damn it!” Henry cursed under his breath. He lost the game again.
“You still wanna play?” Eddy asked with a sigh after moving the money to himself.
Henry heaved a sigh. He couldn’t explain how Eddy won every game they played but he admitted silently that whatever the trick Eddy used, he was really good at it.
“Let’s play,” Henry finally said after a lot of thoughts.
Eddy stared at him suspiciously. He knew there was something else behind the man’s gaming. He was ready to find out whatever it was even if it meant forcing it out of him.
“Tell me who you are,” Eddy said, not willing to start the game without getting an answer.
Henry took in a deep breath. He took off his face cap and placed it on the table.
“You’re a man Eddy, don’t let emotions ruin our night.” Henry said in a calm gruff voice.
Eddy stared at his face intently. He tried to see if the man was recognizable without the cap but he still couldn’t recall anyone he had met who looked just like the man.
They continued the game. The flop and turn was dealt.
“After this, you surely have to tell me who you are because you do have no more money to stake.” Eddy said, looking at the cards in his hands and the one on the table.
Henry sighed. His last hundred dollars was about to go. He felt bad, having not won in any of the rounds.
They tendered their cards, and surprisingly Henry won.
“Another game,” Henry offered, a light smile now brewing on his lips.
Eddy was getting impatient. He wasn’t bothered about the hundred thousand just regained by Henry, all he wanted was to know who he was.
“Two hundred thousand,” Henry staked and Eddy agreed.
“I have some few questions to ask you before introducing myself to you,” Henry said as they played.
Eddy was silent.
“What is your relationship with Chairman Paul Edwards Of The FOX?” Henry asked.
Eddy did not react to the question even though it came unexpectedly to him. He acted as if he was engrossed with the game until it ended. Henry won for the second time.
“Chairman Paul Edwards is a man I’ve never met, I’ve only seen and heard of him on the news.”
Henry did not answer immediately. They dealt with the cards for the next game and staked another two hundred thousand Bethanna dollars.
“Hasn’t he ever given you information or details about an agent or criminal?”
Eddy looked at Henry’s eyes sharply. “Hey! You’re mistaking me for someone else. I have no business with chairman Paul, I’m only but a thug, the difference is that I’m a rich thug.”
“I see…”
Henry was silent until the end of the game which he won again.
“I still wanna play, do you?” Henry asked.
Eddy looked at his face and raised a brow. “I don’t back out.”
Eddy’s mind was full of several thoughts. His relationship with his brother’s wife was a top secret and only his very close and loyal associates knew. He was wondering how this man knew.
They already began another round, this time both staking four hundred thousand. Then he remembered Odio. He had gotten the news of Odio’s kidnap and he did not feel much concerned about it until now because he had no reason to think it was connected to him. This man however, seemed to have met one of his loyalists, and the most likely person was the kidnapped Odio.
“You led a group of men six months ago for a tough job, where did you get the information used?”
“What job are you talking about?” Eddy raised his brows.
Henry remained silent. Four hundred dollars was at stake for this round of the game, it was his opportunity to get back his money. He didn’t want to get distracted at that moment.
Henry had an Ace and a Jack in his hand, Eddy had two queens. Both of them seemed to be confident about the game.
“So four hundred thousand or more?” Eddy asked temptingly.
Henry raised a suspicious brow. Eddy’s confidence seemed to intimidate him. He thought it was wise to play safe.
“Four hundred thousand,” he insisted.
The flop was dealt. A Jack, 4 and 6 were opened. The turn card was a Queen and the river a 2.
Henry dropped his Ace and Jack and got five cards of the same suit to win the game.
Eddy took in a deep breath. “You’ve got your money back, now I want to who the bleep you are.”
Henry was not in a hurry to answer. He packed the bundle of money to his side. He opened the briefcase on his laps and arranged them back inside.
“You’re yet to answer my questions,” Henry eventually spoke and looked straight into Eddy’s eyes.
“You’re talking in parables, how do you expect me to answer you?”
“On the thirtieth day of March, you led a group of men to the Turin Province, to capture two agents of the FOX.”
Eddy widened his eyes partially in shock and in fright. “Who the hell are you? And what do you want?”
Henry let out an evil smile.
“We just played a game, you won the first rounds but I won the last rounds.”
“And what do you mean by that?” Eddy asked in a frightened tone as he began to reach for the gun in his pocket.

“I’m Agent Carl Winston, ” he paused and rested his back. “I’m back from the dead to make things right.”

To be continued


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