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CHAPTER FIFTY SEVEN


It's been almost a month since I got that call from Marco and theres still no sign of Rafael and that just drives me nuts. If it was any other person I wouldn't be stressing this much but this is Rafael he is calculating and evil. All that he does is always planned from A to Z with room for contingencies. I have had to up security for both Lando and Kazi. I was even able to convince Lando to take her maternity leave early.

I drive into the lounge parking hoping that Sbu has an update on Rafael and his whereabouts. I walk in and it's already packed. It's not even nine o'clock and people are already partying up a storm
On a Wednesday Nogal. I guess our Woman Crush Wednesday events are coming along good.

I walk into the office and he is on his laptop doing only he knows what. I look at him and he doesn't even notice I am there. I pour myself a drink and take a seat on the couch. I decide to let him be cause clearly he is busy. After a few minutes he whispers a yes and punches the air with his fist. He then swings around on his chair before his eyes land on me. I smile when I see the shock on his face.

Sbu: "Bafo. When did you get here?"
Me: "About ten minutes ago. You were so engrossed in your work I didnt want to disturb."
Sbu: "I guess it's a good thing you are here. I just got an email from an associate of mine in Durban. Apparently Rafael has been spotted there." I sit up and put my elbows on my knees while playing with my hands. This is great news.
Me: "And when was this?"
Sbu: "About an hour ago."
Me: "Good. Make sure they dont lose him."
Sbu: "So what are you going to do with sis Lando and Kazi?"
Me: "I dont know man. I just hope I can keep them safe."
Sbu: "The safe house in Limpopo is still available you know." A lightbulb goes on in my head. I have been so consumed with wanting my family safe that I forgot the most important thing keep them safe! The safe house in Limpopo is perfect the security is state of the art and its impenetrable.

I take my phone and text Kazi to pack her staff and get ready to leave. I know she won't even argue about this cause she knows Rafael and what he is capable off. Lando on the other hand is a different breed of stubborn. I cant tell her via text I have to sit her down and convince her to go.

I leave Sbu and drive back to my place. I find Lando sleeping on the couch with Theo right next to her on the floor. I decide to just pack their stuff. I rush upstairs and pack Theo's clothes first and I make sure his favourite toys are in there too otherwise we will be faced with world war three. Once I am certain I have all he will need I go to our bedroom and pack Lando's clothes which is mostly dresses since my little princess has grown almost double overnight but I am not complaining as long as they are both healthy I am grateful. I finish packing and head downstairs.

Just as I am about to wake Lando up I hear a knock on the door I open and Kazi walks in with her luggage in tow. Anyone who saw her would assume she is going on vacation perhaps.

Kazi: "Hi Bhuti." She gives me a hug and walks to the kitchen. She's not her usual bubbly self. I follow her to the kitchen.
Me: "Hey are you okay?" I ask her while she has her back to me and facing the sink with her head down. She looks up takes a deep breath and turns around to look at me.
Kazi: "I am sorry."
Me: "For what?"
Kazi: "For everything. If I had listened to you If I had listened to dad we wouldn't be here right now looking over our shoulder all the time." I walk over and stand next to her.
Me: "If you had listened to us then we wouldn't have Theo." I say trying to lighten the mood. She gives me a faint smile. "Look we can't change the past but we can look forward to the future. The should haves would haves could haves will not help us now. Besides theres a silver lining for every cloud. And ours just happens to be a naughty stubborn little boy that we all love." She smiles and this time it's a genuine smile. She gives me a hug.
Kazi: "Thank you for always protecting me and him."

We hear a car pull up outside and I know the guys are here. We break the hug and walk into the lounge and find Lando already up.

Lando: "Why didnt you wake me up my back hurts." She says trying to stretch her tired muscles. I walk over and sit next to her.
Me: "Babe I have to tell you something."
Lando: "What's wrong?"
Me: "Nothing. But you have to go. I've already packed your stuff." She looks around the room and her eyes land on the suitcases standing by the door.
Lando: "You found Rafael?" She asks as her eyes come back to me.
Me: "Sort of. He's been spotted in Durban so I think it's a matter of time before he shows up here. That's why you are leaving. I need to make sure that the three of you are safe." She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes.
Lando: "So where are you taking us?"
Me: "The safehouse in Limpopo. It's the only safe place I can think of." She opens her eyes and looks back at me.
Lando: "Are you coming with us?"
Me: "I cant. I have to find him and end this once and for all."
Lando: "What if something happens to you? What if he hurts you? What then? Philani I am not ready to be a widow." I can hear the panic in her voice. I put my hands in her face and let her face me. Her eyes are glistening with tears that she is trying so hard to blink away.
Me: "Baby nothing will happen to me. I promise you."

The guys walk in as her tears win the battle with her eyelids and they fall down her face. I bring her in for a hug.

Lindani: "Its time to go."

Lindani and Sizwe take the suitcases and walk out while Kazi follows them. I pick up the sleeping Theo and carefully place him in his car seat. I hold out my hand to Lando and she takes a deep breath before placing her hand in mine. We walk out and I place Theo in the car next to Kazi. Good thing its an SUV and all three can fit in the backseat. I give Lando one last hug and it lasts a little longer than usual. After a while we break apart. I kiss her forehead and she gets into the car and they drive off.

My heart starts beating a little faster than normal. I'll admit I am scared. I know in my line of work fear shouldn't even exist but its easier to be fearless when you have nothing to lose. I should be celebrating my one year anniversary instead I am spending time trying to find a psychopathic narcissist who is on a wipeout mission. This past year has shown me that theres more to life than drugs or diamonds or heists. This year I finally got a high that I never wanna come down from. I finally got to understand the saying "love makes the world go round". My life has been on a never ending spin since Lando slapped the shit out of me and I wouldn't have it any other way. And now all that might end unless I find Rafael and put a bullet in his head.


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NARRATED


The girls drove out with a convoy of atleast ten cars each with a minimum of three guards each. They both fell asleep as soon as the convoy hit the freeway. It was almost morning when the sign 'Welcome to Limpopo' stood high and strong on the side of the road. Unbeknownst to them their convoy had grown to fifteen cars.

Lando woke up when she heard a phone ringing in the car. The driver answered using the bluetooth speaker.

Driver: "My man what's happening?"
Man: "There's about five cars following us. They've been behind us for almost forty five minutes now."
Driver: "Are you sure about this?"
Man: "Certain. What should we do?"
Driver: "How did they even know?"
Man: "Beats me."
Driver: "Decoy?"
Man: "Yep." He hung

They drove on until the next offramp. Some of the cars went left and others went right while the rest kept going forward. The cars with the girls inside kept going till they got to a garage. They parked next to a Quantum and the driver went to it. He came back and made a phone call still unaware that Lando was already up.

Driver: "We have a spy among us. The driver of the Quantum is dead and that means Rodriguez knows where we are going. I think we need to change direction."
Man: "The problem with that is we dont know who this person is and if we change direction what makes you so sure the person is not in your convoy."
Driver: "Any suggestions?"
Man: "We let the boss know we've been compromised."
Driver: "Okay then you call him. We'll keep going." He hung up and they drove out of the garage. They made it to a long narrow road that had forests on each side. The tall trees hid the rising sun and made the road dark.

As they drove amid the dark natural tunnel gunshots were heard from the back. Before long their car tyres were shot leading to the car driving off the road and into the forest and hitting a tree waking Kazi and Theo started to cry.

Kazi: "What's happening?'' Kazi asked with her voice in a panic.
Lando: "He found us."
Kazi: "Oh God." Tears flowed down her face as the driver got out of the car firing shots too.
Lando: "We need to get out of here."
Kazi: "Where will we go?"
Lando: "I dont know but I am not letting that monster take my son. It's not happening."
Kazi: "You are right. Take Theo and run into the forest. If Rafael is here I will try and stall him to give you a headstart."
Lando: "Kazi I am pregnant how will I run with a baby on my back and another in my stomach."
Kazi: "Lando I know you

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I know you you are stronger than this and I know you will make it. Please you have to save yourself and the children. Please."
Lando: "Fine." Kazi opened the door and they got out. She helped Lando strap Theo on her back. Lando ran into the forest while the gunfire seemed to be far from over. Kazi went up to the road and sure enough Rafael was there. He ordered his men to cease fire before he walked over to an injured Kazi who was bleeding from a cut in her forehead and another on her arm.

Rafael: "Mi amor. (My love). I finally found you. Where is our son."
Kazi: "You dont have a son Rafael."
Rafael: "True but my brother's son is just as good as mine. So where is he?"
Kazi: "Hopefully as far away from you as possible." He chuckles.
Rafael: "You and Raul thought giving his son to your brother would keep him safe? I have worked hard and trained harder to be able to take over the Rodriguez empire my dad literally taught me since birth all I needed to know. But the moment he found out about Raul's son he willed all he owns to him as the heir and future of the Rodriguez family. All my hardwork all my dedication to that son of a bitch and he thanked me by giving everything he owns to a bastard."
Kazi: "Clearly he didnt think he was a bastard. You are the only one who feels that way." He laughs.
Rafael: "If I didnt know better I would say you and Raul have some telepathic shit going on because that's exactly what he said before I put a knife in his chest. It's such a pity I didnt get the opportunity to do the same thing to my father I would have loved to look in his eyes as he took his last breath unfortunately for me that unknown sniper beat me to it."
Kazi: "So what are you going to do with him? Use him to claim your "inheritance"?"
Rafael: "I dont need to claim my inheritance I will take it. Your son on the other hand will be six feet under."
Kazi: "He's a child." She says with her teeth clenched.
Rafael: "I know that's why he needs to die now before he even knows what's happening." He signals to his men to go into the forest and find Lando while he grabs Kazi by her hair and drags her to the car.
Kazi: "Rafael please dont do this. I will do anything but please dont hurt Theo." He laughs before smacking her on the side of her head with the back of his gun. She falls to the ground unconscious and bleeding. He picks her up and puts her in the car where he ties her up before locking her in. He follows his men into the forest.

Meanwhile Lando has been running for almost half an hour. She makes it to a little stream inside the forest. She bends down to drink before she continues on. Soon the sounds of footsteps coming behind her propel her to run even faster. She is almost at the end of the forest when someone puts their hand on her shoulder stopping her. She turns around to find a man she doesn't know.

Lando: "Please let me go." She pleads but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Soon Rafael catches up with them. He bends over with his hands on his knees as he catches his breath. After a while he looks up at her.
Rafael: "For a pregnant woman you sure can run Mrs Biyela."
Lando: "What do you want from me?"
Rafael: "Don't act dumb you know exactly what I want. I want my brothers son."
Lando: "Theo is not your brother's son he is mine." He walks over to her and lifts her face with his hand.
Rafael: "You are feisty I like that. However I prefer my women meek and submissive. That's why Kazi and I were always at each others throats. I thought I could tame her but she's like a wild animal. She's untamable." He takes a step back from her. "But let's save the stories for the afterlife. Give me the boy."
Lando: "No. You'll have to kill me first."
Rafael: "That's easy." He takes his gun and fires two shots at her before taking Theo from her.


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PHILANI

Someone once said when we make plans God laughs I am not sure if that saying applies to this moment but it sure feels like it. With all the plans I had made to protect my family all it took was Rafael planting one person into my camp to dismantle all those plans.

I trust my man I always have they've been loyal and I would have easily bet my last dime on their loyalty so getting a call and being told that Rafael was right behind them spooked me. I know how heartless he can be and the thought of him hurting Lando or Kazi and even Theo scares me.

We got into our cars soon as the call came through and we drove to Limpopo. A drive that in some instances would take five to six hours took us less than three. I used the cars tracking device to find them. We drove into this narrow road and sure enough there were cars abandoned on the side of the road and just a little inside the forest was the car Lando was in crashed into a tree.

All the other cars were left with doors open and riddled with bullets except for one. Nate and Sizwe walked to it with firearms drawn. Sizwe tried opening one door but it was locked. Nate decided to break the glass but it was bullet proof. I walked over to the car and tried to open the door too but it was locked. I walked around to the front of the car and I was about to shoot the car when Sbu stopped me.

Sbu: "I can hack the cars system and disable the doors." He said with his iPad in hand. I just nodded and let him do it and before we knew it the doors were opened. I looked in and Kazi was laying on the backseat with her hands tied I picked her up and took her out of the car and handed her to Sizwe.
Me: "Get her to a hospital. Please." He took her and got into his car with Razor on the driver's seat and they drove off.

We decided to follow the trail into the forest to find Lando and Theo. We walked for a while before we heard a baby crying. I knew it was Theo. We followed the cries and we found Rafael and his men surrounding a crying Theo who was sitting on the ground. Lando was behind them sprawled out on the ground. I signalled to my man and they shot Rafaels men before they noticed we were there. Rafael quickly turned around and picked up Theo and put a gun to his head.

Rafael: "Biyela."
Me: "You have nowhere to go Rafael. Let my son go."
Rafael: "If I were you I would be more worried about my pregnant wife with bullets in her body who knows maybe one of those bullets went through your unborn childs body. But you are more concerned about my brothers son. You need to get your priorities in order Biyela." I felt the saliva in my mouth turn sour. My jaws clenched and my unoccupied hand balled itself into a fist. There was so much I wanted to do to him but he had my son in his hands with a gun to his tiny head and my wife laid unconscious or even dead behind him.

Rafael: "Tell your men to put their guns down I will walk out of here and you can help your wife. But the boy comes with me."
Marco: "The boy is not going anywhere Rafael you on the other hand are going straight to hell." He said sneaking up behind Rafael and putting a gun to his head. I walked over to him and took Theo from him before going to Lando. I turned her over and she was bleeding. She was covered in blood and that just turned my insides.

I handed Theo to one of the boys and picked Lando up. I was about to walk away with her in my arms when Marco spoke.

Marco: "What do you want us to do to him?"
I wked over to Nate and handed him Lando. He carried her out of the forest together with Theo. I took my gun and shot Rafael in one knee before moving to the other until he was kneeling down screaming in pain.
Me: "Take him to the safehouse we'll deal with him later. I ran out and found Nate waiting for me in the car. I got in and Lando was still unconscious in the backseat. I sat next to her while Lindani sat in the front with Theo in his arms.

I texted Sbu as soon as we drove off and told him to burn everything the abandoned cars Rafael's men and to make sure our men get help and those that lost their lives get a proper burial. I held on to my wife hoping and praying that she and our baby are okay. Although at that moment I knew if I have to save one of them I would die inside. I pray to God that both leave. 

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