A Lawyer For The Devil
A LAWYER FOR THE DEVIL
A ChrisEffe Bliss
“She’s Miss Effe Kedem, daddy!” Sisi said as she brushed tears from her eyes. “Our new mathematics teacher!”
“The one who has made you so good in maths lately?” Chris asked with a smile, and Sisi nodded with a giggle, her fear and worries forgotten for a moment.
“Yes, daddy!” Sisi cried with a happy giggle. “I like her very much! She does not have a husband! Marry her! I want her to be my new mommy!”
And this brought laughter from the staff and students present, and a gentle smile to the face of Effe.
“Thank you, Miss Kedem,” Chris repeated and held out his hand.
She smiled as she dropped a beautiful hand into his big one. It felt so soft and silky, and he wondered briefly why he almost loathed to let it go, but he thought about Elaine, and miserably thought that he had never reacted to any other woman like this since Elaine came into his life.
“I’m glad I was able to help,” she said, and her voice was soft and melodious, gentle and sweet. “Actually, Sisi left the class to go to the washroom, but I saw a man leading her towards the gate and panicked, so I chased them.”
Chris scowled and looked down at Sisi.
“Why, princess?” he asked quietly. “You knew you were not supposed to go out of here without me, or Uncle Reuben.”
Sisi looked sad immediately and dropped her eyes.
“I’m so sorry, daddy. The man… he said you and Aunt Elaine were organizing a birthday party for me. He gave me a teddy bear and made me listen to a message on his phone telling me to go with him immediately. And he was with Mrs Rosemond Arthur.”
“Was the message in my voice?” Chris asked with horror, and Sisi nodded emphatically.
“But how did he get through security?” Chris asked, and he was beginning to get angry. “It was not closing time, and guardians are supposed to have pick-up badges before they can take any child outside!”
“They did have badges, Mr Bawa!” said an unsteady voice behind him, and Chris turned to see the assistant headmaster, Mrs Rosemond, standing behind him. “They came to my office and told me that you needed to have Sisi for her birthday party. The man introduced himself as Paul Bawa, your cousin from the United States, and he had your authority pass. I went ahead and called you, and you picked. I spoke to you, Mr Bawa, and you confirmed it. That’s why I let them take Sisi!”
Chris’ body was cold now as it dawned on him that he was not dealing with ordinary kidnappers. These guys were organized and had seized the perfect moment to make a move on him and his family. But why? And why had that man warned him to stay away from Elaine? Was there something Elaine was not telling him?
“You mean you don’t know them, and it wasn’t your voice on the note, or the one Mrs Arthur called?” Effe asked softly.
“No, that was not me, on all instances!” he said, dazed.
“Don’t’ worry, Mr Bawa,” she said with a smile. “The police would be here soon.”
“Yes, thank you for calling them,” Chris said gratefully. “And that contusion on your head seems to be getting bigger. Needs attention.”
“Perhaps we can retire to my office,” Mrs Arthur said quickly, her voice still unsteady. “We’ll have the nurse take a look at that, Effe.”
“Oh, I’m fine,” Effe said hurriedly. “I’ll just find some ice packs for it.”
“No, please, you must be there, in case the police need to speak to you,” Mrs Arthur said. “Please, do come. This was quite unfortunate, simply unfortunate.”
“Alright,” Effe said with a smile of resignation, and they followed Mrs Arthur when she began to walk quickly towards her office.
Siss walked between them, holding one hand of each.
“You were like a movie action hero,” Effe said gently as they walked. “They way you handled those thugs was impressive, Mr Bawa. I thought you are a lawyer. Are all lawyers Kung Fu experts too?”
“GojuFist!” Sisi cried suddenly and broke into giggles. “Daddy fights GojuFist goosh, goosh, goosh!”
“What?” Effe asked, baffled.
“It’s not Kung Fu,” Chris supplied quickly. “I know GojuFist. It is a form of African martial arts and self-defence discipline. My father was a master, and I was his most ardent student, his choice, not mine.”
Effe laughed softly, and again he was impressed by her gentle laugh.
“Well, it served you beautifully today and saved his granddaughter. Did you say was? He’s no more?”
A dark shadow crossed Chris’ handsome face for a moment, and when he spoke his voice was suddenly filled with pain.
“He passed on,” he said quickly.
“I’m sorry, Mr Bawa,” Effe said, contrite.
He smiled at her.
“Call me Chris.”
“Only if you call me Effe,” she said with a sweet smile.
“That’s agreed then.”
“Are you going to marry her, daddy?” Sisi asked enthusiastically, and they laughed.
“No, Sisi,” Effe said gently.
“But why?” the girl cried with an unhappy face.
“Your father already has a fiancée!” Effe said with a smile. “And I’m sure she would make you a very wonderful mother!”
“But I don’t like her!” Sisi cried, almost hysterically. “Daddy, leave Auntie Elaine and marry Auntie Effe! I want her to be my new mommy!”
“No, Sisi, please stop that!’ Effe cried with horror and shook her head with a smile. “F.F, remember?”
“Friends forever? You promise?”
“I promise, my dear,” Effe said, and Sisi smiled back and nodded.
Chris looked down at his daughter with a mixture of surprise and bafflement. He had thought Sisi didn’t want him to marry anybody, and that was why she had been throwing tantrums when she learnt Chris wanted to marry Elaine. To know that she would rather have him marry her new teacher, therefore, made him wonder what had actually happened between her and Elaine to make the girl so entrenched in her position not to have Elaine as a mother.
He stopped his train of thought when he heard a siren in the distance; the police had arrived.
Three policemen began the investigation.
Two were in uniform, and their leader was in a black suit, black sunglasses and a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. He was dark, lean, intense and coldly professional. They measured distances outside and interviewed most of the staff who saw the incident.
Eventually, the leader came to the office of the assistant headmistress. He introduced himself as Chief Inspector Steve Hollison. Chris was impressed with the policeman as he posed questions to Sisi, Effe and Mrs Rosemond Arthur. He was holding a small notebook. He scribbled in it as he asked them questions.
Finally, when he was done, he stood up and looked gravely at Chris.
“Would you come outside with me, Mr Bawa?” he asked politely. “I want to ask you a few questions privately if you don’t mind.”
“Of course,” Chris said and stood up. “Effe, would you keep an eye on Sisi for a few minutes?”
She smiled warmly at him.
“I will, Chris.”
Chris followed the Chief Inspector to the corridor outside the office.
“I won’t mince words, Mr Bawa,” Steve Hollison said. “You’re a famous lawyer, and over the years I’ve seen you going against some of the biggest companies and powerful people, and beating them. Just today, you won your case against EternalGold. Cutting to the chase, you have enemies.”
Chris Bawa scowled.
“You think the attack on my daughter could be premeditated, from a sore loser?”
“Can’t rule anything out, Mr Bawa. Tell me, have you been receiving death threats? Anonymous calls? Someone after you?”
“No, not recently,” Chris said carefully.
“Meaning there had been incidents like that in the past?”
“Yeah, some calls, some physical attacks, but the last one occurred nearly three years ago. Won a case against a man whose son became vengeful. But that was settled, and since then, I haven’t received any threats.”
The Chief Inspector rubbed his forehead with obvious puzzlement.
“This attack can’t just spring out of the blue, Mr Bawa,” he said thoughtfully. “There’s always a motive, no matter how remote. Are you saying the attackers said nothing at all? Mentioned no names?”
For a brief moment, Chris remembered one of them warning him to keep away from Elaine. But he was not going to mention that to the policeman yet. If anything, he wanted to clear up that issue with Elaine first.
“No, not that I remember,” he said calmly.
“Right then,” the cop said, flipped open his wallet, extracted a complimentary card, and handed it to Chris. “My direct cell numbers. Call me if you remember anything – no matter how trivial. We’ll get on this quickly. For the time being, please take all necessary precautions.”
“I will, sir, and thanks for everything.”
They shook hands, and Chris went back to his daughter as Steve Hollison stared thoughtfully after him.
Effe Kedem accompanied them to the car, and made sure Sisi was securely seated in the back and strapped in.
“Auntie, come with us, please!” Sisi said miserably. “I want you to be there with me at Planet Kids!”
Effe smiled and touched the young girl’s cheek fondly.
“Sorry, Sisi. I didn’t know. And I have something planned already. Don’t worry, I’ll make it up to you soon.”
“What about the weekend?” Sisi persisted. “Would you go to the Children’s Park with me? They brought a digital Sky Walkway, and I want to try it out. Daddy promised to take me there.”
Effe raised her eyebrows and chuckled, and it was obvious that she was feeling a bit nervous.
“But you’ll be there with your father and his fiancée,” she said quickly. “Seems like family time, and I don’t want to intrude.”
“Oh, Aunt Elaine would be going to Takoradi for a fashion show, so it’ll be only me and Daddy. Please come along, please, please!”
Effe straightened and looked at Chris Bawa who was lounging against the driver’s door, and she thought desperately that he was indeed a handsome devil, a self-assured, amazing man whose eyes seemed to undress her.
“You don’t mind?” she asked with a worried look. “I don’t really want to be a bother.”
“Would like to have you with us, Effe,” Chris said with a smile. “Do come along.”
Effe sighed and nodded.
“Alright, Sisi. Saturday then.”
“Yippee!” Sisi shouted with happiness.
Effe watched them driving away, and the expression on her face was a bit puzzled.
“Well, we’ll see how it pans out,” she whispered and sighed again.
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