When the Pied Piper played his tune, the rats followed and drowned in the Weser.
When the Pied Piper played his tune again, the children followed and suffered the same fate.
‘Come in.’ Eva answered.
Her office table was littered by numerous documents, an open Black’s law dictionary and a notepad. She was bent over the Charter Party agreement between Ebuka and the Shipping Company, searching for any clause that could be used to strengthen their case. Little tendrils of hair which had escaped from the bun on her head, fell about her face. Her left hand held the dictionary open while her right hand clasped a pen hovering over her notepad.
‘Just find a space and drop the food there.’ She said absently.
‘…and over here we have the dedicated lawyer in her natural habitat.’
Eva’s head jerked up, her neck made a creaking sound and she groaned in pain as she gently massaged it. Ebuka slowly entered the office, watching her before leaning on the door. There was a soft click that went unnoticed by Eva.
‘Our meeting is scheduled for 2:00pm. Aren’t you a bit early?’
‘Check the time dear.’
‘Oh my… two thirty?! Jeez!’ She screamed.
‘Seems I’ve kept you really busy.’ He said calmly taking a seat.
‘It’s my job.’ Eva replied tilting her face to showcase a mock smile, sharp pain resonated around neck. She squeezed her eyes shut.
Ebuka got up from his seat at the sight of Eva in pain and walked to stand behind her.
‘It seems you always injure yourself when I’m around.’ Ebuka stated giving a one-sided smile. ‘Where does it hurt?’
‘No no, don’t worry. I’m…’
‘If you say “fine” I’ll pull on your hair.’
Eva chuckled, then winced in pain as she tilted her head to the left, stretching the right side of her neck.
‘Here right?’ Ebuka asked. Eva simply hummed in agreement. She was too scared to move her neck for fear of making it worse.
The feel of Ebuka’s hand on her neck was like a cool balm on her skin. She murmured in delight. Both his hands were on her neck now, massaging, kneading the pain away. Eva groaned in pleasure, tilting her neck a bit more. He took the liberty offered even further. His hand massaging where her scalp ended and going down to her shoulders and back. Her eyes opened in surprise at the feel of his hand under her silk blouse.
‘What are you…!’
‘You’re neck and shoulders are stiff. Just relax. Let me ease your pain.’
Enjoying the feel of his hands against her skin, Eva allowed Ebuka to ease the stiffness out of her neck and shoulders. His hands slipped to the front of her bra making Eva gasp.
‘Your skin is so soft, so smooth, so silky.’
Eva felt his breath against her ear and shuddered. She closed her eyes, willing her body not to react. Not to want him.
‘Ebuka please sto… ahhh.’
The words were caught in her throat as he caressed her nipples, pleasure racking her body and muffling her senses. She jerked away from him. Shocked at his audacity and ashamed of her body’s strong reaction to him.
‘I need you to leave. Right now.’ Eva demanded.
She got up from her seat and clutched her blouse, covering her chest.
‘Relax. Let me take care of you.’
‘I never thought of you as a parrot.’ He mocked coming closer to her.
‘Stop! Don’t come any closer.’
She was caught between him and her table.
‘I’m afraid I can’t do that. You see at this point, now that I’ve felt your skin against mine, I just can’t not have you. Oh come on, don’t look so surprised.’ He added seeing her shocked expression, maintaining eye contact and inching closer. ‘I did tell you that you’ll be mine or did the weeks make you forget?’ His hands were on her waist now, bending, his lips against her right ear, he whispered, ‘If indeed it did, I’ll happily remind you.’
He started kissing her neck, his tongue playing with her earlobe. Gently, he shifted her blouse to expose her left shoulder to him, nibbling and kissing as he exposed her skin to him inch by sweet silky inch.
Eva felt like her body was on fire. She whimpered, unable to stop her body’s reaction to him, almost crying out. Ebuka’s lips fastened securely on hers, kissing, tasting, drawing her out, opening her up to him.
‘Oh Eva, my sweet sweet Eva.’ He murmured against her lips.
Eva’s mind was swimming, floating in a haze. Unwilling to come out of it. Ebuka lifted her as though she were a feather and placed her on the table, their lips still interlocked. His hands go under her blouse, massaging and caressing her breast through the thin layer of her silk bra. Eva arched towards him, eyes closed, granting him more access. Ebuka kissed his way down to her navel, almost throwing Eva into a frenzy.
There was a knock and then the sound of the door handle being tried from the outside. They both came apart like a child caught with his hands in his mother’s bag.
‘I… I’m coming!’ Eva announced, trying frantically to put her blouse in order.
‘Easy. Let me help you.’
Eva started to protest but Ebuka shushed her.
‘Don’t worry. Whomever is there can’t get in. I made sure that no one would interrupt our meeting. Also…’ he continued when Eva just stared at him in surprise. ‘…stop being jittery. It’s not like you committed murder or broke the law.’
Tears stung Eva’s eyes but she brushed them away to face whomever it was at the door.
‘Good afternoon ma. I have your order.’
‘Order?’ She asked, holding the door in such a way only her could be seen.
‘You ordered food ma. Chinese.’
The delivery guy replied, glancing at the receipt before handing it to her.
‘Oh. Ohhh. Shoot. I almost forgot.’ She said running to get some money from her bag.
The door opened a bit more allowing the delivery guy a clear view of the scattered desk and a smirking Ebuka leaning on it.
‘Here you go.’ Eva said as she counted 2,500 naira and handed it to the delivery guy.
‘Thank you Ma. Carry on.’ He added as an afterthought winking, before closing the door behind him.
‘Did you see that?’ She asked turning around to meet Ebuka.
‘Yes. Yes I did. And he’s right.’
‘Please stop.’ Eva said putting her hands up to stop him from meeting her. ‘What happened… what we did, was a mistake. A horrible horrible mistake.’ Ebuka’s eyes went cold.
‘No it wasn’t.’
‘Yes it was! I’m married. I can’t do this with you.’ She said gesturing at her table.
‘I love Kosi. What we have… is just lust and it’ll burn off.’ She finished. ‘We are both adults. You’re my client and I am your lawyer. Let us keep it that way.’ Eva stated firmly.
Ebuka looked at her for a long while without saying anything.
‘This isn’t over Eva. Not by a long shot. I’m not one to back away from a challenge or a fight and you have just declared war.’
He walked past her purposefully, she could feel his anger oozing out. Without a word he opened the door and closed it behind him. Eva let out a breath she didn’t even realise she was holding. Shakily, she walked to the door to lock it before collapsing on her chair. The tears came freely now, as well as the a deep gut wrenching sob. She hit her desk and gripped her chest.
‘Why?! Why?! Why?! Oh God why?!’
Her tortured pleas came back to her unanswered as she remained that way for a while, unable to move, unable to do any semblance of work.