That is how, exactly 56 minutes since Qubaisi had left his office, he walked back into it, with His Majesty now accompanying him.
Ghanumi who was sitting next to Hanif immediately sprang up from the chair and bowed reverently to His Majesty.
His Majesty nodded at Ghanumi, and asked the police officer and another clerk who were in the room to leave them alone. Ghanumi he bade him to stay. Once they had gone, he said, “young man, you are in a lot of trouble, we do not acknowledge or entertain blackmailers in this place, now where are the originals to these photographs? Give them up and I assure you leniency in your prison term.”
Hanif looked at him stoically in the eye, and said, “I am in trouble, I know that, but remember; you are in worse trouble than me. Go ahead, throw me in jail, maybe even kill me secretly, but give up all hope of ever being a ruler of this country or even being associated with it in anyway, because tomorrow morning you will be the laughing stock of the whole world.”
“And what do you want in return of these?”
“My freedom, the money, a private jet and my laptop and briefcase,” said Hanif.
“If we agree, how will you guarantee the safe and complete return of all paraphernalia in your possession?”
“No, I am not returning anything, but I give you my word that this will be the last you will ever hear from me about this matter,” replied Hanif.
“Your word, that is of no use to me, I need all this back.”
“Sir, I am afraid you have no choice,” said Hanif. “The only guarantee that I have that you will not come after me once this is all over, with Interpol or some law enforcement agency, is this evidence, I hold, and that I will not compromise.”
He continued, “Mr. Qubaisi, I hope this answers your previous question. Now if we are all ready to make the deal, I suggest it be started working on immediately. After all there is hardly any time left and a lot of work to be done.” Hanif said this whilst pointedly looking at the ominously ticking wall clock in Qubaisi’s office.
“We need more time.”
“I am sorry but there is not much left, thanks to these two idiots here,” said Hanif looking at Ghanumi and Qubaisi. “However, start the proceedings immediately, and I am sure we can work out something.”
His Majesty knowing he was defeated, reached into his dishdasha and taking out his cell called the airport to get his plane ready and fuelled.
He then told Hanif, that he will have to return to his palace and get the money ready, especially since it was to be in dollars.
“No need,” said Hanif. “If you can call for my laptop, I will give you the account number of my account in Cayman Islands and you can transfer it there immediately. After all, the entire internet is a very useful tool of the age we live in and carrying cash is always so cumbersome and dangerous.”
His Majesty nodded at Qubaisi, indicating to do as Hanif bid.
Qubaisi left and returned almost immediately, with Hanif’s laptop and...