- 24 Jul - 30 Jul, 2021
- 02 Feb - 08 Feb, 2019
Billy was shocked to see Cornelius leave them. He realised that he had double crossed them all. He turned and looked at Kennedy who had just stood up.
“Did you see that?” he
“I am as shocked you are but I’m also angry as to why you kept the painting inside before yourself.”
“Hey, that’s not my fault. I didn’t have the instinct that he would betray us!”
“Well, what should we do now?”
They heard and saw Ashton coming towards them along with Nicholas. Ashton was supporting Nicholas while walking as he had kept his arm over Ashton’s shoulder.
“Is he okay?” Kennedy asked regarding Nicholas.
“He got shot on his leg.” Ashton replied. “Where is Cornelius?”
“He dumped us. He just abandoned us”
“Oh my God!” Ashton
He left Nicholas and walked forward. Nicholas fell on the ground. Kennedy went to pick him up. Ashton was looking at the direction through where Cornelius must have escaped. Billy asked him:
“Do you think we can follow him?”
“We won’t be able to catch him this way. But I do know another way.”
“What is that?”
Ashton turned and looked at all the remaining partners. He instructed them:
“You three go home and arrange a spot. I’m going to go and kidnap his wife Linda.”
“Linda?” Nicholas asked forgetting his pain for a while. “You’re going to kidnap her?”
“Yes, and I will bring her to your home. Cornelius loves her sincerely and that rat will definitely come for her release”
“Fine, good.” Billy commented.
“You guys go home quickly and drop him to the hospital on the way.”
“We’re on it.”
Twelve Hours Later
Inside Jacob’s bungalow, the cops had arrived and they were looking at the dead bodies of the guards outside the house. And inside the house, the police inspector was looking at the dead body of Jacob. The chef was standing next to him with a white bandage on his head. The police inspector asked him:
“So do you remember the face of the criminal who attacked?”
“I don’t, he knocked me out completely.”
“Was there one or more than one?”
“I don’t know. More than one probably.”
“So do you know any possible rival or enemy of Mr. Jacob?”
“There were many” the chef answered. “However, there’s one thing that can give us a clue. The alarm that rang means that someone stole the painting. The painting’s thief’s photo must be captured in our secret CCTV cameras.”
“Can you show me?”
“Yes I can. Come with me I will take you.”
During late afternoon at Nicholas’ house, Kennedy and Billy were seated at the garage. Billy asked Kennedy:
“Is Ashton coming?”
“Yes, I just talked to him. He said that he had kidnapped Linda from her house and he is bringing her over here.”
“Yeah and as far as Nicholas is concerned he said that he shall collect him on his way from the hospital.”
“Do you think Nicholas is ready for that? Can he be discharged so easily?”
“I hope so.”
Kennedy felt his cell phone vibrating. Kennedy answered Ashton’s call:
“Kennedy, open the garage’s shutter. We’re outside here.”
Seconds later as the shutter opened, they both saw their usual wagon entering inside the garage. Ashton was in the driver’s seat. Nicholas was sitting next to him. Billy went to get Nicholas and help him in stepping outside. Ashton came out of the car and spoke:
“Linda’s here, in the back seat of the car. You guys make sure she doesn’t escape.”
“But where are you going?” Kennedy asked him.
“I’m going to call Cornelius and demand what’s our right!”
Kennedy agreed and looked at Nicholas walking with the support of a metallic stick. Ashton secretly picked up the keys of some bike without letting anyone know. He left the spot and sat on the bike at some distance that belonged to Nicholas.
Inside the garage, Billy turned down the shutter again as the vehicle was parked inside completely. Kennedy said to Nicholas:
“We haven’t slept since a long time.”
“What time is it?” Nicholas asked.
“Turn on the news channel. We need to see what the cops are up to.”
Billy turned on the news channel immediately after switching on the television. Nicholas sat on the sofa. The news channel displayed the headlines:
“Mr. Jacob Found Murdered in his House. The Cops Claim to have Captured Pictures of Two Criminals through CCTV Footage”
“Oh my God…” Kennedy uttered. “That must be us!”
The news channel displayed the picture of Billy and Kennedy holding the painting together.
“Oh no!” Billy exclaimed loudly.
“That’s not good” Nicholas commented.
“But we shot the cameras!” Billy spoke.
“That doesn’t make any difference,” Nicholas replied. “The pictures are saved somewhere else.”
Billy angrily left the room. Nicholas said to Kennedy:
“I have something really important to tell you guys.”
Hours later, Cornelius was sitting deeply upset at some public bench outside his house. He had just realised his mistake.
I shouldn’t have done that. Cornelius spoke. Because of me, my wife’s life is on risk. I need to rescue her by all means.
His phone began to ring. He answered Ashton’s call standing up:
“Yes, where do you want me to come?”
“First you tell me about the whereabouts of the money and the painting.”
“They are here at my house.”
“Oh good, well if you want to see Linda alive, then you’ll have to come here at the warehouse where we used to hide our money.”
“Oh, you mean the large one near the stadium?”
Back at Nicholas’ house, in their guest room, the three of them were seated. Nicholas stood up:
“Don’t!” Kennedy suggested.
“What are you doing?” Billy asked. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”
“I’m fine. But what you guys need to know right now is more important than my safety.”
They both paid attention to his words.
Meanwhile inside the large warehouse’ upper portion, Cornelius had arrived and he called out:
“Ashton! I’m here.”
He looked around and waited. After no response he yelled:
“Ashton! Where are you?”
Back at their home, Nicholas began speaking:
“Do you guys remember what I told you before entering inside the bungalow?”
Billy and Kennedy remembered his words:
I know about the traitor in the gang. And I know what you guys won’t believe.
Billy spoke up sarcastically:
“Yes, but it’s a little late now. I suppose we all know who the traitor was all along”
“Yeah…It’s Cornelius,” Kennedy added.
“No,” Nicholas replied. “The traitor was someone we can call evil genius.”
They also remembered Ashton’s words:
There is a traitor in the gang. Someone among is planning to backstab us.
“I’ve been following both of them.” Nicholas revealed.
“My best guess is that it’s Cornelius.” Kennedy spoke. “What he has done is front of us now.”
“Guys, hear me out please! For the whole month I’ve been following them and I have discovered a horrifying truth”
Billy remembered his own words regarding Nicholas:
He goes beyond limits to find the truth.
“So tell us what you know.” Kennedy said to Nicholas.
“Guys!” Nicholas exclaimed. “Ashton Flair is an undercover cop.”
Billy and Kennedy were left badly astonished. Nicholas explained:
“He planted everything. And everything was being done for him. The mall robbery, the painting heist and even Jacob’s murder.”
Outside the large warehouse, Ashton parked the bike and looked at his badge and identity card that proved him as an undercover police officer. Then he looked at the main door and spoke:
Cornelius… Here I come.
Nicholas continued explaining to his friends:
“Ashton wanted his revenge. And he wanted his father’s money. So he used all of us. The cops arrival at the mall and at Jacob’s house were all done on his order.”
“Oh my goodness.” Kennedy uttered getting upset.
“So he used us, that’s one thing,” Billy spoke. “What do you think he’s planning to do further?”
“He’ll keep the money and the painting.” Nicholas answered. “And he’ll hand us over to the cops.”
Kennedy stood up and held the glass of water tightly and threw it on the wall angrily saying:
“Oh damn it!”
“So why didn’t you tell us yesterday or before the heist?” Billy asked Nicholas.
“I was planning to keep the painting, hide it and then expose Ashton in front of everyone. Unfortunately, we were betrayed again.”
“Oh… Of course.” Billy mocked angrily.
At the same time inside the warehouse, Ashton who was climbing up the stairs took out a grenade bomb from his pocket and prepared to throw it over Cornelius.
“Guys there’s more,” Nicholas spoke after a moment of silence. “Both of these guys were unreliable.”
Kennedy remembered Nicholas’ past words:
I don’t think that we can trust them. They both might be hiding a lot more than we think.
Nicholas finally revealed something shocking:
“Cornelius and Ashton were brothers!”
Kennedy’s and Billy’s eyes were left wide open.
Inside the warehouse, Cornelius called out loudly:
“Linda, are you here somewhere?”
He kept on walking and looking around.
Shocked Billy and Kennedy heard Nicholas speaking:
“They were estranged brothers. They separated after their parents’ murder and they both blamed each other for it.”
“Oh dear Lord…” Kennedy uttered.
“They both were hiding and they could have saved their mother when Jacob and his men attacked inside their home.”
“Who told you all of this stuff?”
“The poor innocent woman locked inside our garage. I think we should release her.”
Cornelius was walking backwards until he heard and felt a bomb blast behind him. The explosion was big enough to make him fall forwards hitting his own face. He was unconscious for a while. Ashton came and stood next to him. He had handcuffs in his hands. He looked at the metallic pipe on the wall nearby.
At the garage of Nicholas’ house, Billy and Kennedy opened the wagon’s doors. Billy released Linda from her ropes and said:
“You’re free to go. But I need to confirm one thing. How are Ashton and Cornelius related?”
“They’re brothers” she replied with terror. “Ashton is older and Cornelius is younger.”
Kennedy walked towards Nicholas who was standing at the door and asked:
“So the two brothers were in a race?”
“Exactly. They were competing for their deceased father’s wealth.”
Cornelius who was handcuffed to the pipe heard Ashton saying:
“So Cornelius? We’re finally coming to an end.”
“Listen Ashton, your rivalry is against me, keep women out of this.”
Several minutes later outside Nicholas’ house, he was standing on the footpath with the support of his stick. He waved out to the taxi that was coming his way.
At some distance, Linda was running helplessly as if she was fleeing for her life. She was terrified as she was just released from the criminals.
Ashton dialed the cops’ number looking at Cornelius. As his call got answered, he spoke:
“The criminal is here with me. I have to leave. You guys may come here and arrest him.”
After disconnecting the call, he declared:
“Police is arriving here any moment.”
Billy and Kennedy were in the kitchen, talking, when they heard the police sirens and the voice in loud speakers:
“Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Billy! This is the police department. We have surrounded your house.”
They both looked at each other with tensed looks.
“Surrender yourselves to the cops,” the police warning continued.
“We’re finished.” Billy said to Kennedy.
Ashton’s voice was heard at the warehouse:
“I have defeated you. I was a better and smarter criminal than you ever were.”
Several minutes later, Kennedy and Billy were sitting inside the police vehicle with hand cuffs on their arms.
Ashton had reached Cornelius’ house through the bike that didn’t belong to him. He stepped out of it and walked towards the house saying:
My mission is finally complete. I have finally defeated my brother and I am now a multi billionaire.
He was about to step on the porch until he heard two gunshots and felt two bullets hitting him on his back. He fell down turning around and falling backwards. He was in extreme pain. He looked up and saw the man who had just shot him.
It was Nicholas.
“You traitor!” Nicholas exclaimed. “I knew everything about you!”
Ashton was left speechless with pain.
“If we weren’t entitled to any reward,” Nicholas spoke. “Then you weren’t either.”
Ashton tried to speak but his head fell and his eyes closed.
One Month Later
Nicholas was sitting alone at some restaurant. He was having a coffee. He wondered by himself:
So finally… Ashton dead. Billy and Kennedy awaiting trial in prison. Cornelius missing or in jail and Nicholas…well left all alone with no money at all. Doesn’t sound like a happy ending to me.
He looked at the sun that was shining quite bright. His eyes dropped down and he saw a couple approaching towards him. He looked carefully and saw.
It was Cornelius with his wife Linda. Nicholas got a bit shocked and stood up. Cornelius came close and shook hands with him:
“Hey, how are you?”
“I’m fine but you? How come you’re not in jail?”
“I was never arrested. The cops labeled me as missing”
“Really, how come?”
“Two cops came to arrest me. Now they both are millionaires each.”
“Wow,” Nicholas smiled. “You bribed them!”
“Yes, and secondly I want to clarify one thing. I never intended to betray you three. It was Ashton, my brother. I didn’t want to share a single penny with him. I’m sorry for what happened.”
“It’s ok!” Nicholas replied touching his shoulder.
“Guess what Nicholas?” Linda spoke. “You are going to get one billion dollars.”
Nicholas got excited and raised his hand up. Cornelius raised his hand as well for a high five.
“We are still partners!” Cornelius declared. •