A ChrisEffe Bliss
Effe was excited.
This was the adrenaline that always drove her!
There was the broad map of a crime scene, and her joy came with finding the right dots on the map and connecting them to form a clear, concise diagram that led to a final success.
She had always been fascinated by puzzles, and even when she was just a child of five years, she had been able to piece together giant jigsaw puzzles that had beaten older people. Going through school and the university had been a breeze. She had not allowed herself to be distracted in any way because her mind had always been on a higher intellect, and she had found other aspects of growing up – dating, going out, partying, night clubs – all exceptionally boring and unproductive.
They had held no interests, no challenges!
And so, she had branched into forensics, and discovered her passion!
She had formed a network of similar-interest people around the globe, and together they pieced evidence to solve some of the most complex crimes in the world!
No criminal had ever been able to beat Effe!
She always got her man, even when she had been driven purely by professional duty and the adrenaline the chase afforded.
But this was different!
There was no thrill now, only the one wish to run Chris Eden Bawa – codename Prodigal – to the ground.
It was personal!
Chris had murdered her brother, and he would pay!
She was back on the hunt, this time with a bigger score, and nothing was going to dissuade her.
You don’t even know how to kiss…
Yes, you pervert, I don’t know how to show brazen lust I have not been indulging in it like you, bastard!
She should have shouted that in his face! It rankled her exceedingly that she had been tongue-tied when he gave her that crap. He had kissed her, and dumped her on the grass like a discarded tissue, the bastard! She should have bitten him, yes!
And she hated that tingling feeling on her lips anytime she thought of him! She could still feel those hands on her, travelling up her hip, touching the curve of her breasts! Dear Lord, that audacity of that devil could just drive her mad, it would! How the hell had she allowed him to go that far with her when, all her life, men had quailed inside just to even touch her finger!
She had erected that perfect barrier that allowed her to dictate where passion went. Before Tony, she had gone out on a few dates which had never gotten physical because none of them dared to cross that border, to broach that physical barrier and restraint she kept. It was not that she was aloof, but that was how she was.
Effe knew she was beautiful and had something extra men would always crave, and if she had not let herself develop that air of immunity, she would have experienced many instances of physical abuse for sure.
And then he came along, that hateful, terrible Prodigal, grabbed her, kissed her, and dropped her on the ground with deliberate insult, and that sardonically hateful voice had become an earworm she could not drown out.
You don’t even know how to kiss…
Sir Lance had called her; the plan was simple.
Effe would drive to Palace city and would be met by SPF operatives who would bring her to the SPF headquarters. After being introduced to the relevant people, she would accompany Sir Lance to the palace to officially brief King Henry Okraku and his family about Chris Bawa’s escape from prison.
And then, the hunt would begin again for real!
I would get you, Prodigal, and smack that smirk off your handsome… hell to that, not handsome, to hell with that… off your bloody face, bastard!
She took a bath and got dressed in a fetching blue-black trousers suit with a smart pink inner. She looked amazingly beautiful as she said goodbye to her parents, got in her car, and quickly left home.
As always, as she did for all criminals she was hunting, she had opened an OpenNet for Chris on her Profiler.
An OpenNet was a fresh page on her personal hand-held gadget, called a Profiler, given to her by the CIA after she helped them capture a rogue American arms and drugs dealer who came to hide in Eden.
The Profiler was a case builder, a handy asset that helped to put all the anagrams, dots, and algorithms together and connected them in a concise manner after permutation of all possible odds. Over the years at BKI, she had customized it to suit her needs, and she was now adept at it.
As soon as she woke up that dawn after just four hours of sleep, she had begun to profile Chris by feeding her Profiler with information she had garnered so far about him, and already the algorithmically-correct progression had given her about four dots to connect!
“Chris Bawa!” she said softly to herself as she approached the traffic lights where, earlier on, Eyram had gotten down from Tony’s car. “I’m coming for you!”
The lights were green when she turned around the bend, and not willing to wait for too long, she stepped on the accelerator, but to her utter confusion the green changed to amber suddenly, and a second later the red came on, forcing the speeding cars around her to break abruptly.
Effe applied the brakes with a deep scowl, wondering if the traffic light was faulty. An old man was walking on the sidewalk wearing huge black sunglasses and using a white cane.
A blind man!
He was dangerously close to the side of the street and Effe slowed down, wondering why such an old, blind man could be on the roadside all by himself. When Effe slowed down and finally stopped, the old man suddenly lurched towards her car and reached out to steady himself on her car.
Effe quickly rolled down the passenger window.
“Sir, be careful, please!” she said anxiously. “You’re right inside the main street!”
The blind man suddenly pressed a black object to the upper right side of her windshield, turned, and suddenly broke into a run!
“Hey!” Effe said with confusion, and then suddenly the black object stuck to her windscreen lit up! It was a red digital counter, and it began to count down from five… like a bomb would!
Immediately, her phone began to ring!
It was in her handbag on the passenger seat!
Effe’s heart was thudding as she saw the supposed blind man mingling with the pedestrians and quickly running down the subway!
He was not blind after all!
He had been waiting for her!
Effe tried to open her car door and get out of the car, but the doors would not open! Frantically she tried, and then the countdown on the digital face of the gadget changed to a strange message:
Pick the call!
Her telephone was still ringing!
The message flashed two times, and then the counter began from three!
Effe pulled out her phone. The number was unsaved.
She fixed her earpiece and picked the call.
“Hello!” she said desperately. “Who is this?”
“It is a bomb,” came the calm, slow, deep voice of Chris Bawa. “You have less than three minutes to die.”
Her heart pounded with great sudden terror, and she tried unsuccessfully to open her door.
“The gadget has locked down your car,” Chris said calmly. “You can only drive. You can choose to die, or you can choose to listen to me and live.”
“What the hell do you want?” she screamed loudly.
“No one can save you from this,” he said calmly.
The gadget beeped once suddenly, and then the countdown began from one.
“Fifty-five seconds for you to die, Effe,” his calm voice said.
“Alright, alright, alright!” she said as she forced herself to remain calm. “Okay. I choose to live, you bastard, Prodigal!”
The gadget beeped, and the counter began from four.
“In ten seconds, the traffic lights will change to green,” he said in his infuriatingly calm voice. “Drive to the roundabout, take the third exit to the overheard bypass. Stop at exactly the palace signboard.”
And then the traffic lights changed to green.
Effe began to drive fast as the counter hit three. She shot past cars and hit the roundabout with the counter at two. She overtook a car recklessly inside the roundabout and by the time she exited at the third, the countdown was reeling down two.
Effe sped up the overpass, overtaking recklessly as drivers blew their horns in anger, and by the time she levelled it up on the overpass, the device was counting down from one!
“No, no, no!” Effe cried with horror as she stepped on the accelerator and the car bounced forward with the billboard a few metres in front of her.
When she stopped directly under the huge billboard of King Henry Okraku, the countdown was on twenty seconds!
“Where are you, bastard?” she screamed with horror because the timer was beeping and flashing now! There was a commotion behind her, and then one of the back doors opened, and he slid into the backseat of the car.
There was a beep, and the timer on the bomb reset to five minutes.
Effe spun around fiercely and found herself looking into his cold face.
“Be calm,” he said softly, but his eyes were very cold and deadly.
Even in her confusion, she admitted that he was simply the most handsome man she had ever seen! He was in all black; jeans, polo-shirt, baseball cap. He was cleanly shaven, not like his mugshots in the folder where he had had whiskers and a faint beard.
The symmetrical planes of his face were set with such fine precision that she found herself wondering how a face could be that handsome without any notable flaw. She stopped the trail of her thoughts as her hand inched to her bag where her small automatic gun was nestled.
“What do you want from me?” she asked with the acute hatred she was feeling as her hand went into her bag and she surreptitiously unzipped a compartment of the bag where her gun was nestling.
At the same time her left hand went to her left earring and she pressed it.
That earring contained an Alert Device, a powerful gadget that could send a distress signal to the nearest police station together with GPS coordinates. By pressing her AD, as it was called by personnel in the security organizations, she had sent a distress alert to all patrolling police cars within three kilometres radii, and sent the same signal to all the nearest police stations.
Very soon, the bridge would be crowded with so many police personnel that Chris Bawa would not get anywhere to step.
At the same time Effe gripped the butt of her gun, whipped it out, and suddenly pointed it at his handsome face.
“You’re under arrest, Chris Bawa,” she said coldly. “Now listen very carefully. Lace your hands carefully behind your neck, and stay seated. I’ll get out of the car, and I’ll handcuff you. if you make any sudden movements, or you do not follow my orders explicitly, I’ll shoot you. Do you understand?”
“You talk too much,” he said calmly and a moment later he moved so fast that she barely saw him moving.
An iron hand clamped itself on her hand and forced the gun down as he pulled her through the small space of the seats, and a moment later he forced her neck across his arm and his lips claimed hers.
Effe gasped and fought desperately against him this time, but he was too strong, too powerful, and she only succeeded in hurting her ribs. She clamped her teeth tight, unwilling to admit him, but she could still taste his prodding tongue.
Desperately she clamped her teeth sharply down on his upper lip and bit hard, then she moaned a second later as his teeth clamped on her lower lip and bit.
Scared he would bite through, she released his lip, and then went pliant in his arms as he kissed her.
As the fight left her body, he kissed her gently, slowly, tenderly!
Her heart hammered so loudly in her ears that it almost drowned out any other sound. She had never been kissed like that before, not even by him when he kissed her at the abandoned railways.
He kissed her as he would a dear one, with such tenderness and passion that she moaned softly and remained helpless in his arms.
When he lifted his head, her beautiful eyes were closed, and she opened them slowly, her heart still beating and racing, her lips open, her eyes stunned.
He pushed her back gently until she was sitting comfortably again, and then he leaned back in the seat and smiled darkly at her.
“Beautiful girl,” Prodigal said calmly. “Lousy kisser.”
Trembling, unsteady, Effe lifted the gun and pointed it at his face again.
“Bastard!” she grated out with passionate tears in her eyes. “You bloody bastard, Chris! I hate you, oh how I hate you! Don’t you ever dare put your dirty paws on me, do you understand? I detest you, pig! And I hate you with every drop of blood in my body!”
“Your nipples sure do not agree with you,” he said calmly.
Effe gasped with horror and confusion at this most horrible man in the whole wide world!
“Are you mad?” she hissed with latent fury.
Trembling with impotent rage, Effe groaned with sheer revulsion and leaned forward to press the tip of her gun into his forehead!
She just wanted to kill him!
She stared at him balefully for a moment, and then her lips pressed together with disgust.
“I get it now, Prodigal,” she said tightly. “I read it all in your profile. You have been trained to use everything as a weapon, including seduction, haven’t you? This is a part of your game, right, trying to seduce me and weaken my mind, right? This is all part of it, to get into my mind with your kisses? Well, damn you to hell, Chris! You’re pathetic! Kissing me each time you see me? You think that will work on me? On me? Then you must be joking! Any seduction attempt you try on me won’t – and never will – work on me!”
He leaned back from the tip of her gun.
“I believe you,” he said gently. “It normally works on real women. You’re just inexperienced, like a little girl. I don’t think you would even know what to do with a naked man.”
She stared at him with eyes that held pain even though she fought the pain of his veiled slurs and attacks on her femininity and appeal as a woman. In all her life, she had never hated anybody so completely and with such latent rage as she did Chris Eden Bawa, codename Prodigal.
“I don’t care about your opinion of me, Chris Bawa!” she hissed furiously. “You killed my brother, and I’m going to send your damn arse back to prison, or kill you, if you dare me!”
“I dare you,” he said calmly. “Shoot me.”
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