A Lawyer For The Devil
A LAWYER FOR THE DEVIL
A ChrisEffe Bliss
Effe lived in a middle-class community.
The houses here followed the same neat plan of three bedrooms, a big living room, porch, kitchen, storeroom, dining-hall, and a respectable compound with a small back garden.
The grass was green and well-tended.
There were cars parked along the neat streets, with clean rubbish bins standing in front of most of the houses. Well-dressed families were moving around the community because it was a Sunday. Dogs barked sporadically, music flitted from some of the houses, baby cries were heard from others, and happy voices could be heard too.
It was a neat and respectable community.
Some of the people stared at the police sedan with keen eyes. They gawked at the armed policemen that came out and followed Effe and Sisi into the main house.
Chris parked his car behind the police sedan, got out, and followed more leisurely. Sisi ran to him, and he bent and gathered her into his arms, hugging her tightly.
“Don’t worry, daddy,” she said confidently. “Everything will be fine. God will make everything okay.”
Chris smiled and ruffled her hair.
“Yes, princess, everything is going to be fine,” he said and stood up. “Now go inside. I’ll see you soon.”
“Oh, come tomorrow!” she cried excitedly. “We’re vacating from school tomorrow, and Auntie Effe says I could stay with her for a while. Can I, daddy, please?”
He smiled again.
“We will discuss that when I come back, Princess.”
“Yes!” she said and spun away from her father, raced to the beautiful woman standing silently in the yard, and threw her arms around Effe’s thighs.
“Daddy says I can stay with you for a while after vacation tomorrow!”
Effe smiled down at the little girl, and her beautiful smile made Chris sigh softly to himself. He walked towards them.
“Daddy said he’ll consider it, my dear,” she said gently, and Sisi giggled.
“I think we should go inside now, sir,” one of the cops said to Chris as his eyes scanned the streets outside. “This place is too open. We need to set up security parameters.”
Chris was impressed with their evident efficiency.
“Yes, sure, just a moment. Run inside now, princess. I want to speak to Auntie Effe.”
Sisi did not need a second invitation and raced happily to the porch. Effe rummaged inside her handbag and handed the front door key to one of the cops.
“Open the door for her, please.”
The cop took the key and walked to the door briskly. Finally, Effe raised her head and stared at Chris, and she saw the tender expression on his handsome face. It was a look without denial, a look that was both beautiful and tragic. Beautiful because he had discovered something amazing and rare, and tragic because there was a complication in the equation.
Her lips trembled when she saw that look, and slowly tears came to her eyes.
“Chris,” she whispered tragically. “Please, don’t look at me like that.”
Chris Bawa took a step towards her and stood looking down at her face with tenderness. When he spoke, his voice was low, deep, and filled with life, with meaning, and with wonder.
“I don’t know how it happened, because I barely know you. I love you, Effe Kedem.”
“Chris, don’t, please!” she cried weakly. “We’re two adults, and we know that cannot be true. You barely know me! We’ve met just twice.. well, today is the third time! Love doesn’t grow like that!”
“Until now, Effe, I believed love, at first sight, was an old widow’s tale,” he said unsteadily. “But this is the last time I’m going to say this to you because I promised Elaine this ain’t gonna happen again, that I won’t see you again.”
“That’s good advice to yourself, Chris!” she said, and when she looked up again, tears glistened on her cheeks. “This can’t go on!”
“Tell me you don’t feel the same towards me, Effe,” Chris Bawa said softly. “Tell me you don’t feel anything for me!”
“Lust!” she almost screamed, and her voice was harsh. “You’re handsome, and I have been told that I’m beautiful! Naturally, we would admire each other, and would want to enjoy a party of lust! That is exactly what it is! There’s no love, Chris, no love, do you hear me? Just two people who admire each other!”
She saw the pain on his face instantly. It was mirrored in his eyes although he looked away quickly. Without a word, he turned from her and headed for the door.
“Chris!” she groaned in agony, and when he turned around, she flew at him. She landed in his open arms, and her arms feverishly went around his neck, and she held him tightly.
Chris put his arms around her and tightened his grip. He drew her close, lost in the moment as it dawned on him that her lips were the ones he wanted to kiss for eternity, that this body – soft, firm, delicious, pliable, amazing – was what would mesmerize him as long as he drew breath.
It was as complete as that, as finite as the sands of the beach, and as powerful as a million volcanoes erupting at the same time.
But as they stared at each other, he knew this would be the last time he would hold her like this. He craved so much to kiss her, but he had promised Elaine. He also knew that if he kissed Effe, now, he would never be able to let her go again.
“Effe, Effe, my love!” he groaned tightly. “I love you so, Effe!”
“Oh, Chris!” she moaned. “I love you too! I’ll always love you, but you’re for Elaine, and you must stay with her! We both know this is the last time.”
And then, rudely, agonizingly, a voice broke into their reveries.
“Can this wait for another time?”
It was one of the cops, coldly professional as always.
Chris felt Effe stiffening, then she stepped out of his arms suddenly.
“I’m scared, Chris,” she said in a little voice. “I wish you could stay here. I don’t understand any of this. Sisi is safer with you! What if the men attack us here?”
“You know I’ll protect Sisi with my life,” Chris said softly. “But, I have a bad feeling about what is going on. I don’t like how Elaine is responding, and how the Chief Inspector is handling the whole case. It doesn’t jell with me, and I’ve learnt to trust my hunches. I only agreed to let Sisi stay with you because I’m going after them.”
“I don’t understand. Going after them?”
He nodded grimly.
“That man – whoever he is – came after my daughter and traumatized her. It tells me he is a cold-blooded hombre, and I can’t stay knowing he has Elaine in his clutches. I’m going to find him.”
“But the Chief Inspector wants you to stay put until whatever they’re going to do is over.”
“And that doesn’t make sense to me, Effe. The whole deal is shady, to put it mildly, and I have too many questions plaguing my mind. I can’t stay still. I will go after them, and that is why I agreed that Sisi stays with you.”
“Okay, I see now,” she said and suddenly put a hand on his cheek. “Be careful then, please. Do you know where to find them?”
“I’ll find a way.”
She nodded and smiled sadly.
“I believe you, Chris Bawa,” she said tremulously. “Hurry up then, and come back safely.”
She turned suddenly and began to run to the porch.
“Effe!” he called agonizingly.
She stopped and spoke without turning.
“I love you, Chris, that I do. I didn’t want it to happen, but it has, as maddening as it is. But, do we have a future? I don’t believe we do because it would be so unfair on Elaine. So, please, let us stay with the memories and the craving of our hearts, knowing that we had something that could have been.”
“What will be, will be, Effe,” he said sombrely. “I have always believed that.”
She nodded, still without turning.
“Don’t hurt your woman, Chris, please. Let this be the magic that we will keep in our hearts, but let’s move on from here. Be the best you can be for Elaine.”
“I aim to be,” he said painfully. “But I do love you. Goodbye, Effe.”
She did not look at him as she began to run again, and he watched her with a sprained heart.
And then she was gone, up the steps, through the porch, and into the house.
Chris realized he was trembling.
This was a feeling he had never felt, a fiery craving that was as exhilarating as it was scary. Suddenly, his world was messed up, and he knew it. Elaine was a woman he thought he loved but knew now that he only had very deep feelings for. He could not hurt her, that he wouldn’t even do.
He would try to be the best he could for Elaine and wait for what the future would bring. They needed to get through this dark hour first, brought on them by a mysterious, obviously-nefarious man called Big Mac.
Chris went outside, got into his car, and drove off quickly because his whole body wanted to rush back into that house and never stop kissing the woman called Effe Kedem!
It was madness, yes.
But it was a sweet madness!
Chris stopped at his plush office to review some cases and assigned his lawyers to various duties. His secretary was not in the office, but four of his attorneys were around, and they had a laugh-filled happy banter for half an hour.
They revelled in Chris’ latest victory against the imposing mining conglomerate and showed him excerpts from international media houses showering praises on the astute young lawyer whose prowess had now reached gargantuan levels.
Later, Chris retired to his office to browse cases on his schedule, dispatched those he wanted others to handle, then marched to the lounge of the office and poured himself a straight glass of whiskey.
He took a sip as he absent-mindedly flipped through his phone. He stared at the LIFE 360 app, which enabled him to know exactly where people he cared about were. The family circle he had created within the app featured him, Sisi and Elaine.
This was how he had planned all along to locate Elaine and the mysterious Big Mac when Sis was safe with Effe.
He activated the app and noticed that Elaine was about forty minutes away within Madina.
And that was when his control finally collapsed.
He had let Elaine down, in a way, and now she was all alone with a ghost from her past. What was the business between her and Big Mac? What could he be doing to her now? Was she safe? Of course, she was not safe, not from a man who had tried on two occasions to kidnap a little girl who was not related to whatever business he had with Elaine.
Twice they had warned him to keep away from the woman. Who was Big Mac? A former lover, an ex-husband? Elaine had always been a bit reluctant to talk about her life in the States. She had always been noticeably uncomfortable whenever he raised that part of her life. She always told him the modelling she had been involved in had been hectic as a career, with associated physical excesses, so she had thought it best to come home and start a fashion industry.
But the mention of Big Mac had thrown her off-stride heavily, and Chris had noticed it. Elaine had been terrified, and that had shocked him. Furthermore, whoever this Big Mac was, he had touched Chris’ child and traumatized her. He had played along with the arrangement partly because Elaine had begged him to, but now, all alone, depressed, and dejected, his fury soared. It was a hot, sizzling rage that was born from a repressed childhood of suffering, of witnessing the unjust oppressing the poor and the weak.
This past of suffering was what had pushed Chris Bawa eventually into law so that he could protect the defenceless legally. That was why he sometimes overlooked rich clients and accepted the poor, serving them justice in a world where justice was an affront to the wealthy.
Big Mac could have unfinished business with Elaine and was seeking closure. Well, that was his right, his prerogative, and he was entitled to his pound of flesh. But, a pound was all he was entitled to, and not a spill of blood more. In exacting his pound, he had touched Chris’ eye by terrorising his daughter.
That was a mistake.
A big mistake.
Chris Bawa’s wrath was complete by the time he zoned into his office. He walked to the expensive filing cabinet in the corner, worked the dials with furious movements, and opened the top compartment. He pushed a stack of crisp money bundles aside, reached into the deep recesses, and pulled out a polished, cast steel box which was elaborately designed. It had a front panel that demanded a password which he quickly supplied. The top of the box slid upwards noiselessly. Nestled on a white velvet material were a Beretta 92X 9mm semiautomatic pistol and its clip.
Without hesitation, Chris picked it up, slid the bullet clip in, and put it carefully down on the desk.
He put the case back, locked the filing cabinet and picked up a newspaper on the desk. He wrapped the gun with the newspaper and left the office hurriedly.
Five minutes later, he had Elaine’s location locked on the GPS of the powerful Jaguar sedan, and speeding towards Big Mac.
Chris made the trip in twenty-five minutes.
When the mechanical voice on the GPS told him his destination was on the left, he slid the car to a halt and looked at the huge, white building enclosed by a five-foot wall that had spaces in them filled by metal grids. It was a flat, broad structure in an area that was surprisingly free of other buildings.
He could see a beautiful green lawn through the metal bars, and a few cars parked to one side of the building, but no one was in sight. Chris pushed the gun into his waistband and dropped his T-shirt over it. He got out of the car, locked it, and walked briskly towards the black gates of the house.
He pressed the doorbell repeatedly until he heard the sound of a crashing door from inside, and soon heavy footsteps approached the gate.
“Hey, I’m coming, what the fuck!” a belligerent voice from the other side said, and a couple of minutes later, there was the sound of a key turning in the lock, then one side of the gate slid open to reveal a heavyset American in a dark suit and a dark turtle-neck sweater. His face was swarthy and furious, and his shoulders bulged with sheer muscles under the clothes. His face was bearded, and he was wearing dark glasses.
“You better have a good reason for behaving like an arsehole just now, dude!” he grated belligerently.
“Who’s it, Tito?” another male voice asked behind the mini-giant.
Chris’ hand shot out before he could stop himself, and he slammed the space between his right thumb and forefinger into the man’s throat. Tito gurgled and held his neck with both hands as he took stumbling steps backwards with sudden pain on his face. Chris’ strike inflamed his larynx such that he could not breathe for a moment, and he crashed to the ground as he gasped horribly for air.
Chris followed through and pulled the gate shut behind him.
Another man was standing in the driveway. He was tall and lanky, dressed in a tennis court outfit of white shorts, white socks, white sneakers, a white T-shirt, and a white cap. His face was tanned and lined, and he looked at the struggling Tito first, then looked at the huge, cold-faced, handsome young man who had come into the yard with fear.
With cold precision, fuelled by rage, Chris kicked Tito in the head, and the man went still. The lanky American whimpered and held up his hands with terror on his face.
“Please, please, the violence ain’t necessary, man!” he said plaintively, his fear evident.
“Are you Big Mac?” Chris asked coldly.
“No, no, please, please!” the man said as he shook with fear. “Big Mac is in there, in the living room, shooting a movie, please!”
“Take me to him,” Chris said savagely. “I won’t ask twice.”
Chris noticed that there were four sleek cars in the yard, but none of them was Chief Inspector Holllison’s sedan. He had not seen the cop’s car outside too, and his rage boiled to new heights. Steve Hollison had promised he would be there with Elaine, but he was nowhere in sight now. Or had they finished their business and Hollison was driving her back? That seemed improbable because he was sure Elaine would have called him if that was the case.
The tall American led Chris into the house, down a luxurious corridor, then towards a room where there was the sound of music and low voices.
They approached a dark–brown mahogany door, and the lanky man reached out shakily and opened it, then he hurried inside with a grunt of fear.
Chris pushed the door all the way in and stepped inside.
The sight that met his eyes almost made him drop to his knees with horror! His mouth fell open, and though he fought hard against it, he felt the sting of tears in his eyes.
At that precise moment, his sprained heart – as he called it – completely broke into pieces!
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