EFFE’S RESIDENCE – NIGHT
Effe gets out of Steve’s car, murmurs her thanks, and flees into the house.
She meets her startled father in the living-room, and he holds her as she tries to go upstairs.
Hey, hey, Princess. What’s it? Why do you look so upset?
I need to go upstairs, Dad. How’s Junior? Is he asleep?
Yes, he’s fine. But what’s it? Why are you so stressed out?
The door opens and Steve comes in, looking stressed-out himself.
We had a little misunderstanding, Mr. Kedem. She’s angry I kissed her in public, and I’m trying to convince her to marry me because I can’t wait any longer.
Mr. Ken Kedem looks from one to the other, and then he shakes his head, exasperated.
You two should be matured enough to solve your problems without behaving like a pair of kids. Well, I’m off now. Good night.
Thank you, Dad, for looking after Junior. My greetings to Mom.
She makes a move to see him off, but he points a finger at her.
I can see myself out, Princess. You solve your misunderstanding.
He goes out, and he has almost driven for ten minutes before he realizes that he has simply forgotten to inform Effe that Chris is in Junior’s room. He takes out his phone and calls her, but she does not answer. As he drives he keeps on trying to reach her on the phone. When they are alone Steve approaches Effe, and his eyes are dark.
Come on, my love. For how long is Chris going to be between us?
For as long as you allow him to! I would’ve been okay if you had kissed me because you wanted to! But you kissed me because you wanted him to see it! That is calculated, Steve, and I don’t like it one bit!
(hissing with fury)
So what if I did? That guy has refused to sign the damn divorce papers. What’s wrong with making him see we’re in love and we want to get married? What do you care if he sees us intimate if you don’t love him anymore? Or you do? Do you still have feelings for him?
Effe’s hands are balled angrily at her sides, and her eyes are fuming, but she holds herself in check, and sighs tightly.
Steve, you better leave. You’re pushing me to the wall, too hard, and I don’t want to ride with that fury.
She turns and races upstairs past Junior’s room straight to her bedroom. Steve pours himself a drink and goes to the kitchen for some ice cubes. He takes off his coat and necktie as he returns to the living-room area. He is convinced that Chris’ return is making Effe get cold feet, and he doesn’t like it one bit. She had been his, and Chris took her away from him. He is not going to lose her a second time to that beast.
Slowly he climbs the stairs, and when he gets to Effe’s room he realizes that she is in the shower. Yes, this is it. They have never made love. At first it had been because she wanted Chris to sign the divorce papers, and when Steve had eventually pointed out that the divorce was official, she had told him she wanted them to get married before making love. Well, that is going to change. That nonsense will end right here, right now, tonight!.He loves her with all his heart, and he wants her to be his forever. It is time to consume that love, and when that is done it will bring her mind around.
Quickly Steve sheds his clothes. Wearing only his boxers, he empties his drink just as the bedroom door opens and Effe comes in. She is wearing a fluffy bathrobe which is not belted, and he catches a glimpse of her incredible naked body before she drags the ends of the bathrobe around herself.
Steve? Don’t do this, please.
Steve approaches her, and she sees the fear and love and concern on his face.
Come on, Effe, my love! Please! Don’t do this to me! You know I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life making you happy! Just marry me, my love! Stop playing games with me!
She sees that the front of his boxers is distended with his erection. She takes a tentative step back.
Steve? I mean it. We’ll make love when we get married-Not now, not like this.
No, no, my love! Now! Today! Not when you are looking this beautiful. I’ve watched and wanted you all night. I can’t take it any longer! I love you, Effe! With every fibre of my soul! Prove to me you love me too. Be mine!
He catches her and draws her to him.
He clamps his lips on hers, kissing her feverishly. His breath is hot, laboured, frantic. His lips trace a blazing path down her throat. She knows that she cannot stop him now.
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Maybe he is right. In the past, the thought of his hands on her had made her flinch. She has been with only Chris, and his love is etched in her soul. She had never felt like giving her body to any man. But Chris has trampled on her love. He has betrayed her, cheated on her and disappointed her woefully. She has been trapped in the restraining web of his love. She has denied Steve with the pretext that she wants to get married first, just to put off that moment of intimacy. She had thought she can love him, and accept him, but still she has not been able to crave him physically, not like the way her whole body had melted each time Chris put his hands on her.
Maybe, she needs to make it happen. She has to force herself to have another man, to experience a physical expression with Steve. Maybe that will break the straightjacket hold of Chris on her. Maybe that can make her stop lying to Steve that Chris has not signed the divorce papers… and finally give her the chance of knowing happiness with another man.
She kisses him back, forcing the image of that handsome jailbird out of her mind. She runs her hand down, but she cannot bring herself to caress his manhood, not like the way she always grabbed Chris and guided him into her very core! He is moaning now as his hands flick the bathrobe apart and his fingers feverishly dart over her skin, unsure, hesitant, disbelieving, seeking reassurance.
Effe closes her eyes to blot out seeing Chris’s face. She is comparing Steve and Chris unconsciously.
Chris always knows where to touch to make her surrender! Chris has fire and ice in his fingers. His touch always drives her screaming mad with wanton desire!
Steve is leading her to the bed, and she is walking backwards. And then her phone rings. It is the personalized tone she has saved her father’s number with. She pushes him on the bed and stands back. Steve pulls his boxers off, and lies naked on the bed, his erection an angry pole that is stabbing the air with anticipated malice. He is panting, his desire making him look almost ridiculous.
It’s Dad. Let me pick the call. I’ll be with you in-
She is reaching for the phone when she hears Junior’s loud shout, and she dashes towards the door with concern. Steve hears it too, and he bounds off the bed and goes after Effe. Effe comes out on the landing, races towards Junior’s door and comes to a sudden stop, her face crumbling with consternation.
Her bathrobe is still unfastened, and she is completely naked underneath.
Steve comes to a halt besides her, naked, erection now beginning to wilt with dread at the sight of Chris.
Chris is standing in Junior’s doorway, smiling, but when he sees his naked ex-wife and her new lover he looks into the room with a terrible pain on his face.
Stay there, Champ. Don’t come out now.
Junior’s happy voice comes from within the room.
Is it Mommy? Is she back?
Yes, Champ. But stay right there. She’ll be with you presently.
Effe cannot breathe. She sees that Chris is trembling violently, and although he is trying so hard to sound happy for the sake of his son she sees the sudden sweat on his face, and sees how his soul is being torn out of his body. He is a crushed man!
She pulls the robe around herself and ties the belt in a jerky movement, her horrified eyes suddenly filling up with tears.
He cannot look at her. His agonized eyes turn to Steve, and there is murder in the depths of his eyes. Chris Bawa is a broken man. Here they are, Effe and Steve, both naked.
Evidently they had been making love.
It is as if Chris’ heart is being forcibly torn out of his chest.
He cannot breathe….he wants to tear Steve into pieces with his bare hands!
Life, at that particular moment in time, is hell. For the very first time he wishes he had remained in prison.
Because life has suddenly become hell.