A Lawyer For The Devil
A LAWYER FOR THE DEVIL
A ChrisEffe Bliss
Chris looked guilty as he held the shivering Sisi in his arms.
“I wanted to have a word with Elaine first,” he said. “Didn’t want any trouble for her.”
“I know, Chris, and I admire your good heart,” Effe said gently. “But, if she’s involved in this, or if she’s the catalyst for the attacks, I think you ought to let the police know so that they could map out an effective response. Those two attacks could have turned out worse, you know, especially for poor Sisi. She’s going through a horrific time, and it tears my heart to see it.”
“You’re right, of course,” he said with a great sigh. “When Elaine comes back, I’ll have a talk with her, and then we’ll both go and see Chief Inspector Hollison. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
“Are you not waiting to speak to Chief Inspector Hollison?”
“No, Effe, I’m not,” he said grimly. “Let me get Sisi to safety first, then I’ll go and see him after he’s had a chance to speak to the man in we captured today.”
Effe didn’t say anything more.
She led the way to where Chris had parked his car.
“Get her home then,” she said quickly.
“Aren’t you coming with us?” Chris asked. “We would love to have you over at home, Effe, even if for a few minutes.”
Effe smiled wanly and opened the front door of the car for him.
“Another time, Chris. Now, I have to let a doctor see to my arm, see if everything is alright.”
“I’m so sorry about that,” he said with genuine remorse on his face. “Why do bad things happen anytime you’re with me?”
She laughed softly.
“Not all the time, Chris. Today was fun and exciting.”
Chris lifted Sisi and put her in the seat, strapped her with the seatbelt, closed the door, then turned abruptly and swept Effe into his arms. She gasped, startled, and looked at his chest with a troubled look on her worried face.
His eyes searched her face frantically as his heart thudded.
“You’re growing in me, Effe Kedem, flowing right through my veins.”
“Don’t, please, I beg of you,” she said in an unsteady voice. “Chris, don’t do this, please.”
“I move on from here, Effe,” he said calmly enough, but there was a note of regret in his voice. “Perhaps, things would have been different if I had met you at an earlier time.”
“But you didn’t,” she said and tried to push out of his arms, but he tightened his arms. “Chris, you have Elaine. You can’t betray her like this, and I’m not going to allow you to!”
He sighed tragically.
“Goodbye, Effe,” he said, and his voice was uncharacteristically unsteady. “I will tell Elaine, and try to be the faithful man I was before. But this I have to do before I say goodbye.”
He kissed her then, just like a swift brushing of her lips. She tasted so agonizingly soft and sweet that for a moment, his kiss began to intensify, but she firmly pushed out of his arms and took a troubled step backwards, shaking her head with dismay.
“No! Don’t do this to me, Chris! Just go!”
She turned hurriedly and almost fled to her car.
He watched her go with pain on his face, a pain that was mingled with confusion.
How had this happened? He had never felt this strongly about any woman, ever. His had been a stance of aloofness, choosing his partners with care and growing to care for them, and most of them had been dispensable, as cold as that sounded.
To him, love had been about commitment and a conscious effort to be faithful and unflinching. So where from this strong surge of alien emotion? Christ’s sake, this was only the second time he had seen this girl, and already he was doing things he had never done with anyone before. How could this be? Was it true after all, this crazy thing called love? And was it possible to have such feelings… feelings that bordered on the outrageous, like wanting her in his life for eternity? How did it seem like without her, life itself was going to be hard?
Was that even sensible?
And, for the first time in his life, he had betrayed the love and trust of a woman he was engaged to! How horrendous was that? In the heat of the moment, he had grabbed Effe and kissed her! So, what if Elaine had done the same thing? And what happened to his hardcore principles of never involving himself with two women at the same time?
Effe, Effe, Effe… I need to be free of you! You’re driving me outta ma frigging mind!
He sighed, troubled and finally turned away.
When Chris got behind the wheel, Sisi had tears on her cheeks, but she was smiling goofily.
“Bad, bad, bad daddy!” she said with a giggle. “You kissed Auntie Effe!”
He could not say anything.
He knew he was lost.
Effe was in his blood.
It was that simple, and yet, that was highly complicated with Elaine in the fray. He could not bear to disappoint Elaine, or hurt her! So, what the hell was he doing? And, most importantly, what kind of picture was he showing to his young daughter? What kind of life was he teaching her?
He knew as he drove away, that he had to cut ties with Effe. As painful and unpalatable as the thought was, and the action would be, that was what he should do.
Dear Lord, help me out!
Chris wanted this maddening mystery to end.
The fact that the hidden faces behind the attacks had traumatized his daughter filled him with rage. He took Sisi to see a doctor, who immediately suggested a session with a psychologist. Seeing Sisi lying on the coach had driven Chris into a cold rage, and if he had had his way, he would have torn whoever was responsible for it into shreds.
Luckily, Sisi kept on chattering and showed little signs of the devastating experience she had had when they got home later. She took her bath and ate a huge portion of her favourite cocoa drink with digestive and shortbread biscuits.
Later, when Chris was trying to read her a story before she slept, she demanded to speak to Effe and forced her father to call. Chris sat beside the bed and watched his daughter speaking to Effe. The little girl was soon giggling with happiness, her face alight, and he sighed, wondering how that strange woman was having such an effect on him and his daughter.
They spoke for close to thirty minutes, and then Sisi said goodnight and suddenly proffered the phone with a broad smile.
“She wants to speak to you, daddy.”
Chris Bawa took the phone and stood up. Sisi smiled and turned comfortably in bed as her father walked out of the door and drew it shut.
“Effe. Hello. How’re doing? Did you get a doctor to take a look at your arm?”
“Yes, Chris,” she said softly, her voice so rich, so melodious, so hauntingly sweet that he wished she was standing in front of him. “Said the stitches are clean. A couple of days and I’ll be fine.”
“I’m sorry again, Effe.”
“Wasn’t your fault. But, I probably won’t be seeing you again.”
“Because I kissed you?” he asked quickly, horrified by the sudden pain he felt at the prospect of not seeing her again even though he had taken that decision too. “Listen, Effe. I’m not usually like that, do you understand? With you, I lose all my principles and sound reasoning.”
“Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it?” she asked softly. “I also lose myself, and today I found myself wishing your kiss would go on for eternity. I’m an adult, Chris, and I’m not going to hide this. You do affect me in ways no man has ever been able to. Maybe, if you had been single, things would have been different. But I can’t do this to another woman, no.”
He leaned his free hand against the wall and put his forehead on it as he felt a pleasant thrill coursing through him; so, she felt it too, and it wasn’t him alone. It was almost like being a child again and experiencing the thrill of love.
“Feeling’s mutual, Effe.”
“I know, you tell me every second with the look on your face.”
“If you know, then you must realize that not seeing me is not an option. We can be friends, for now, and see how it goes.”
“It should be a commitment, Chris, please. I won’t hurt another woman’s relationship. She’s wearing your ring, and this is not the time to be sentimental about issues. She expects happiness from you, so you should give it to her, and let me go.”
“Why are you talking like this? You said it, we’re adults. Surely, there’s a better way of handling this. Just give it a little bit of time, let’s see what would happen.”
“Nothing is going to happen, Chris, please. Do just this one thing for me, I beg of you. Maybe, one day, we can rekindle our friendship, but now is not the time for that, not when such raw chemistry flares between us. Anyway, goodnight.”
“I’m not done talking, Effe.”
She laughed softly.
“I have, and I’m feeling sleepy. Goodnight, Chris.”
She cut the call.
For one wild moment, Chris felt like calling her back, but he restrained himself. When he checked up on Sisi, she was already asleep, so he went to his bedroom and took a shower.
He had a difficult time sleeping because he kept seeing her face, and feeling her against him, and reliving that blissful moment his lips touched hers.
He had decided not to see her again, at least for a while. But, coming from her, his heart had rebelled, and he had wanted to fight it. It was a good thing she had decided to be resolute, and he admired her honesty and principles.
It was going to be hard and painful, but the wound had been laid bare, and that would facilitate the healing process. Yes, the best thing he could do was cherish that kiss and made sure they did not see each other again.
But, first, he was going to have a soul-to-soul talk with Elaine. She might not be directly responsible for the attacks, but he could not hide from the fact that her name had been mentioned twice by the attackers. Thankfully, one of them was in custody now. Maybe, after this was over, and he had received reassurance from Elaine, he would set a wedding date and marry her immediately. When he was tied down, he was sure his heart would finally stop bleeding for that Mathematics teacher.
He tossed around with frustration for a while, then drifted off to sleep eventually.
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