The Affair rolls now…
It was a beautiful morning.
The wind was soft and the sun was bright. Henrik strode confidently into his office after a three-week vacation and saw Shanel busy behind her desk. He greeted her pleasantly and entered the comfort of his ultra-modern office.
He put down his briefcase, sat behind his desk and logged into his email.
First he regulated the flow of the air-condition, setting it to room temperature, and then he scanned through the mails taking time to reply the urgent ones and flagged the ones that would need his attention later. To say he loved his job was an understatement.
Henrik was a partner at Legal Fields, the number one law firm in the country. The firm had an impeccable record as the best ever. The main reason for its success was the firm’s policy to invest in its staff and technology. It was, therefore, an honour to be part of the Legal Fields’ team.
Henrik had worked for the law firm almost all his career life.
Legal Fields had an arrangement with the Law School he attended and every year the best five students were absorbed for Internship. He had been one of the lucky five in his year group.
He had fallen in love with the firm from day one and worked to his bones to get to the top.
In his entire career, Henrik was yet to lose a case. He was intelligent, handsome, focused, fun to be with and very responsible. You could say everyone liked him. He was lucky to have been assigned to the Managing Partner at the time he joined the firm. He had taught Henrik everything he knew.
Henrik had worked with determination and helped to a large extent to get the firm to where it was now. It did not come as a surprise when he was made partner of the firm after five years of hard work and dedication. He was indeed a great asset.
He shifted his attention to his pending tray and flipped through the documents taking out the ones his dutiful assistant had labeled ‘urgent’ for his action. With pursed lips, he brought out a heavy document and winced. He had to review the summaries for a case the firm was handling before the end of the week. He opened the document and started to read.
A tap on his door interrupted him.
Shanel, smartly-dressed, walked in with an iPad. She went through Henrik’s appointments for the day with him and enquired if there were any other appointments scheduled that she had not captured.
“I think that should be all for the day, Shanel! Thanks for the good job done.”
“You are most welcome, Sir.”
Shanel reminded Henrik that the appointments were synced with his phone and he would as usual be receiving reminders thirty minutes before each appointment.
“Will there be anything else you would like me to do for you, Sir?” Shanel asked politely.
“I would like you to put the Thompson’s Case file in the Firm’s shared drive. The rest of the things I would need you to attend to are in the synced memo,” he explained.
She thanked him and hurriedly added that she would be at her desk should he need her to attend to anything else. She courteously asked to be excused and left Henrik’s office.
Henrik got up from his seat briskly and walked to the coffee maker that was brewing with hot coffee just the way he liked it. He fetched a cupful. He took a sip and walked back with the coffee to his desk. With a deep breath he set it on the table and continued with his morning duties. He took his notepad and jotted down points whiles looking through one of the documents. His phone dinged and he took a sneak peep. It was a reminder that his mentee would be reporting for work at ten that morning. He smiled to himself remembering his own story. He was amazed at how far he had come.
Henrik got up and walked to the visitors’ side of his office. He admired the family photo he had on the shelf and smiled. He dropped into the sofa and took the newspaper to read. It was a practice of his to take a few minutes from his work every time he had an appointment coming up just to clear his head. He scanned through the dailies without much interest.
The intercom rang and he picked up from his cell phone. That was another thing he loved about the firm. The investment in technology was priority. Every staff’s cellphone was linked to the intercom so one could be reached anywhere as long as you were within a certain radius of the office building.
“Miss Audrey Forson is here, Sir!” Shanel intoned.
“Let her right in,” he instructed.
Miss Forson, five feet eight, and elegantly dressed walked in seconds later with a broad infectious smile on her face. She greeted pleasantly and asked politely if she could sit. Henrik nodded and she took the seat facing him. He admitted she was beautiful and pleasant.
“Welcome to Legal Fields!”
“It’s an honour to be here, Sir.”
“Just relax, would you? It’s not a job interview,” Henrik said smiling.
“Is it that obvious that I’m nervous? I must say it’s not easy meeting with a successful lawyer like you face to face,” Audrey replied, trying to calm her nerves.
“Well, I’m just human, nothing extraordinary. Would you mind telling me a little bit about yourself?”
“My name is Audrey Esi Forson. I am the only child of my mother but the first of my Dad’s two kids. Actually, I am one of the five students selected for an internship this year from Kings Law School. I graduated with First Class Honours. That about sums it all up.”
“I see. What are your expectations for the Internship?” Henrik asked.
“Well, that is a tough one. But I think I would like to be able to advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, get to know all about prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations. I would be happy if at the end of the twelve-month stay at Legal Fields I could interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses, analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents, present and summarize cases to judges and juries, evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases, and gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions, by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case,” Audrey enumerated fluently.
“Well, I believe you can do all that. I must add that it comes with commitment and dedication. If I can find those traits in you, then you and I will get along just fine. Otherwise, I will send you packing in no time. I believe in people giving off a hundred and ten percent of their abilities for their jobs. That is the only way we can succeed. Let me welcome you, once again, to Legal Fields. I really hope you enjoy your stay,” Henrik said seriously.
Henrik remarked on her punctuality and joked about it not being a nine-day wonder.
He went over his schedule with her and added that she was supposed to keep a tab on it since she had to be with him on virtually all his assignments. He laid the rules and his expectations of her and finally dispatched her with some books for her to read and summarize by close of work that day.
Henrik went back to his desk to the document needing his urgent attention. He was able to address all the urgent tasks for the day and even had time to take Audrey and his P.A. for lunch.
The day went well and so did the next two months after his return from vacation.
A week into the third month from his vacation, the need arose for Henrik to travel to Kumasi on a case. As was the practice, Audrey was to come with him. Shanel had gracefully organized the trip.
Audrey was really excited about the trip.
Finally, Henrik and Audrey had travelled on that assignment. They were to be gone for two nights. Everything went well on the first night. Then, in the middle of the night in the second night, Henrik heard chilling screams from Audrey’s room which was just next door. He quickly got up and dashed out. Before he could knock on Audrey’s door she came rushing out as if someone was after her. She ran into Henrik’s arms really shaken.
“What’s going on?”
“I had a terrible nightmare and it scared the living daylights out of me!”
“Oh, thank God it was just a dream,” Henrik said, relieved.
He stayed out with her for a while and then they decided to call it a night. Henrik waited till she had entered her room and left for his. Thirty minutes later, a knock woke him up. He grudgingly got out of bed and answered the door. Audrey stood in the door way.
“I’m sorry to bother you, Sir. But I’m scared to sleep alone after the nightmare. Can I just come and sleep on your sofa? I promise I won’t disturb you.”
Henrik looked into the pleading eyes of Audrey for a long while. He noticed she was still beautiful even without makeup. He let her in and went straight to bed. Audrey squeezed her long legs onto the sofa and fell asleep almost instantly.
Henrik, however, could not sleep. He was very uncomfortable Audrey was in his hotel room. He tossed several times and decided to read the case file.
Thirty minutes into the reading, Audrey started screaming again. He rushed to her side to assure her it was just a bad dream. He took her in his arms and noticed she was trembling badly.
Audrey drew closer. Henrik inhaled her sweet perfume and realized he was enjoying the closeness. He pushed her off gently and sat down on the other sofa. Audrey also sat up and looked like she was staring death in the face.
“Do you have nightmares every time you sleep?” Henrik asked rubbing his eyes to wipe out the sleepiness in them.
“Sometimes. It so terrifying most of the time. My mom always says I carry my worst fears to bed that why I have them,” Audrey replied.
Henrik looked up at the clock and realized it was almost 2.00 in the morning. He offered his bed to Audrey and stretched out on the sofa to sleep. He tossed several times in a bid to find a comfortable position to fall asleep but sleep just eluded him.
Actually, he always had that problem. Anytime he was forced to wake up from sleep it was practically impossible for him to fall asleep again. He stared at the ceiling and wondered what his wife would say if he told her he offered his bed to his mentee.
A smile crossed his face at the thought of how she would react. He knew she was going to throw a fit. Kiara-Joy was his dream woman. He loved her more than words could say but she was extremely sensitive and jealous. Not that he didn’t like the attention and the feeling of being loved and protected by her fits of jealousies, but sometimes it made him feel like she didn’t trust him enough.
Thinking about it, it struck him that it was not really her fault. All his life he had been surrounded by women. He was quite the ladies’ man and his friends had nicknamed him the ‘Smooth Operator,’ He had been naughty a couple of times but he couldn’t be described as a womanizer, at least not after he met Kiara-joy.
He sat up and picked up a book he had put on the coffee table earlier and started to read. After a while, he put the book down because he really couldn’t concentrate on it. He looked over to the bed and saw Audrey sleeping peacefully. Her cover cloth had shifted slightly to show her left thigh which glowed in the dim light of the shaded bedside lamp he had left on to make her comfortable.
Henrik rubbed his eyes vigorously in an attempt to shake off the thought. He got up and walked to the bedside to pick his briefcase. He hesitated a moment when he saw the top of Audrey’s breasts showing. The sight of her breasts triggered a need to touch them. He realized how beautiful and innocent she looked while she slept. He bent over to touch her but withdrew almost immediately.
He hurriedly picked the briefcase and went back to the sofa. He pulled out the case file and perused it. He flipped through the papers with no concentration. Heaven knows just how much he wanted to touch Audrey and make love to her but that would not be good for him. He had a reputation to keep. It wasn’t like he was a saint but something deep inside him told him Audrey was a test of faith.
He had engaged in two casual affairs since he got married but he had settled down for a while now. He had been completely devoted to his wife for more than two years now. It wasn’t like he lacked anything in his wife. He had been lucky to find an incredibly beautiful and cultured wife. She was sweet, devoted, respectful, caring and dotted on him like her only most priceless jewel in the world. He couldn’t understand what else he wanted that made him do the things he did in the past. His last encounter was with an ex which almost turned sour. Moreen had read too much into the intimacy they had shared and didn’t want to let go. He had to take very drastic measures to end it. He decided from then on to be of good behaviour not only for his wife’s sake but for his career too.
Henrik looked over to the bed when Audrey muttered something in her sleep and turned. The cloth covering her had completely come off and he could see her in full glory in the dim light. His heart missed a beat at the sight. Her negligée exposed most of her thighs and he could see her red underwear from where he sat. He got to his feet and headed to the bed. Halfway through, he stopped and turned back.
Henrik picked his phone from the coffee table, pulled a shirt from his wardrobe which was near the door and dashed out of the room like lightning.
To Be Continued…
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