Oliver looked off toward what might be the bedroom door, then back at me. He was going to say something when I reached the last button of my blouse, revealing a rather boring white work bra. I raised the blouse over my shoulders and let it drop to the floor. His mouth began to move again, his eyes glued to my chest, nothing came out. I reached behind my back, unhooking the bra and unceremoniously let it drop to the floor. 'This is me, the normal me, in the bright light, take me or leave me,' I thought boldly. Oliver's eyes took me in. I saw something click behind his eyes, triggering his smile loaded with desire. I had just left work, probably a mess, and I never felt sexier in my life. Oliver moved toward me, lifting his shirt off over his head. On his trim waist, just above that pants line, there was an adorable small tattoo of a purple flower bloom. I tried to pretend not to notice, but a giggle escaped from my lips. He looked down at his flower, his smile deepening.
"Lost a bet," he said, "I have a sordid past." I reached down and ran my fingers along the purple ink. His stomach reacted in a ticklish manner. I could see the shadow of another reaction between his legs.
"Any other secret art?" I asked, my lips moving toward his.
"Damn," I said, just before my mouth found his. I pushed my breasts into his chest, enjoying his skin. Oliver's hand ran up my waist to cup the side of my breast. Tingles ignited wherever his fingers travelled. Our tongue entwined as we explored. I could feel his heart beating as it fought to be louder than mine. Impatience got the better of me. I reached between us and began undoing his belt. Oliver's hand left my breast and moved to my pants. We separated slightly, trying to remain kissing as we raced to get the other out of their pants. Kissing turned to laughter as we fumbled to undress each other. Everything was backward and neither of us was particularly deft at the task. Neither of us was going to give up either. I was slightly disappointed when Oliver claimed victory by sliding my pants down my hips.
Dropping to one knee, Oliver lowered my pants toward my ankles. I lifted up my foot and he removed my shoe and sock. He repeated the process with my other foot. I stepped out of my pants and stood before him in only a conservative white panties. He reached up and sank his fingers in the elastic and slowly removed my last bit of clothing. I had no idea why I wasn't running to hide. There was something about Oliver that I trusted beyond good sense. I had never braved the light with any man before. With him, it felt like a requirement. A level of trust given. Trust that his eyes told me was well received. Oliver ran his hands up the back of my legs sending wonderful shivers through my body. His fingers teased along my backside as he leaned forward and kissed the top of my mound. His lips left wet trails has he kissed his way up my body, stalling on my breasts as he slowly stood.
"Absolutely beautiful," he whispered. I combed my fingers into his hair, pulling his lips to mine. I loved how his hands explored, sending pleasant waves across my skin. I have hidden nothing, me at my worst and he wanted more. I tried to get closer, climb into his skin. I no longer wanted to just touch. I wanted to join completely. My hands moved quickly, finishing what they started with his pants. I felt animalistic, tugging anxiously, lowering his pants and briefs together. I paused when I felt his arousal. I was rather pleased my body had that quick of an effect on him. I turned him and pushed gently. His feet tangled in his pants and he fell back onto the couch. We laughed as I struggled to de-shoe and de-pants him. Oliver tried to rise when he was fully naked. I gently put my hand on his chest and held him down. Well, in truth, he let me. I slowly climbed up his body, my lips caressing what they found. His erection jerked when I gave it some attention. His desire like mine, was wound tight and I heard him gasp. I rose higher, smiling at how excited he was. He looked so delicious as he reached out to help me up.
"You want to lead?" he asked. His smile told me he would be happy either way. I nodded as I dragged my breasts along his chest, our lips meeting again. I did want to lead. I had felt so out of control for so long, the idea of controlling things, however briefly, was exciting. I felt him shudder and knew he didn't mind at all. I straddled Oliver's waist, never breaking our kiss. He helped me, guiding my hips with his hands. I reached between us, grasping his manhood and lowered myself. Foreplay was for next time. Neither of us had the patience or the need. I separated from his lips and watched his eyes as we joined. We exhaled simultaneously as we became one. The glorious sensation of completion made my stomach curl and Oliver moan. It was deeper than my past experiences. Meaning, I wasn't prepared for, emerged. I saw Oliver's eyes water. I stopped when he was fully in me and stared in awe at how it felt.
"You're perfect," he said. He was so wrong.
"We're perfect," I corrected. Alone I was a mess.
"We," he whispered. Drawing our lips together again. Every movement became a new sensual experience. A hand down my side, my hand in his hair. I didn't matter how trivial, every touch ignited a new flame. I began to move my hips, desiring the wonderful internal friction that sent pleasure through us both. His hips joined mine though the leverage was all mine. I wanted it to last forever, but my body wanted more. A tingling began, his eyes, the way he looked through me, the heavenly feeling between my legs, traveling deeper than I thought possible.
"Let go," he said, sensing my need, "my love." His words, the sunrise over the water, the perfect us. My insides blossomed. Pleasure surged, following my bones to my extremities and I began to shake uncontrollably. Oliver held me as his legs stiffened. His eyes found mine was we lost ourselves together. I collapsed into him, my muscles becoming happy rubber. I could feel him twitching inside of me, his breathing heavy with his release. We were perfect.
"My love," I whispered into Oliver's ear. I kissed the lobe and felt his chest rise and fall in a chuckle.
"I meant it," he returned. I bit his ear with my lips and felt him tremble. I liked the reaction it generated.
"So did I," I whispered. he held me tighter. We stayed that way for a long while, enjoying the comfort of being as close as we could get. I learned how his heart beat in those minutes. Two quick beats followed by a pause. Slowly it degenerated to single steady beats. Each time it beat, I knew it was for me. It had to be. My heart was beating for him. I remembered a bigger shower in high school, but it was built for entire GYM classes. Oliver's was the largest I had been in since then. It had a digital thermometer to set water temperature, a long bench along one side and many nozzles that shoot water in all directions.
"It came with the condo," he said as we stepped in. He set the temperature and pushed the on-button. It took a few seconds before the water began. "It doesn't start until the water is at the desired temperature."
"Such luxury," I complimented.
"You'll love this," he said, pushing a few more buttons. A large, overhead shower head began to gently sprinkle water. He took my hand and pulled me under the warm rain that seemed to be everywhere. It was a soft summer shower and we were naked in it. Kissing in the rain was a beautiful thing. We spent a long time in the shower. Our after play more than made up for the lack of foreplay. It was if we had always known each other. I loved how he washed me in such a cherishing way. The way he would make me moan when his hands found my more intimate areas. The way I could make him squirm with my own fondling. The laughter that ensued from jokes only we could appreciate. It was by far, the most enjoyable shower I ever had. Oliver's phone rang while we were in bed. I was snuggled into him, enjoying the comfortable pillow he had become. He lifted the phone and gave a faux groan.
"Hello, mother," he said in a strained tone. He smiled at me so that I knew he was toying with her. I could hear bits of Rebecca's voice, but couldn't make out the words.
"I don't know what you thought you were trying to prove," Peter said firmly, "but it went horribly. A yelling match in the middle of the street. I tried to hold her for the authorities." There was a pause as Rebecca's voice chimed in. I could hear the desperation.
"No.. No, she scratched my face to get loose," he continued, "I'm sure it will scar." I couldn't take it anymore. I tried to grab the phone and he pulled it away. I scooted on top of him, my breasts in his face and used both hands to pin his arm and grab the phone. I was laughing so hard I could hardly speak when Peter finally gave in and let me have it.
"He's torturing you," I laughed into the phone. Oliver tickled my side, making me drop the phone on his chest. He grabbed it quickly and put it on speaker.
"You're on speaker, Mom."
"I gather things went well," Rebecca said. I could hear the glee in her voice. I am sure he only heard 'I told you so.'
"Very well," we replied in unison. More laughing.
"You don't know how pleased that makes me," Rebecca admitted, "you two belong with each other. I saw that from the beginning. I am sorry I used deceit, but you both seemed intent on screwing it up."
"That reminds me," he said, his face becoming serious, "I'm still trying to arrest you. I mean have you arrested."
"You haven't dealt with that?" Rebecca asked.
"We...were talking about...other things," I said. Oliver and I shared a smile. I could swear he was blushing.
"Oliver, where is your head?" Rebecca scolded. Oliver immediately buried his head between my breasts. I tried not to laugh, but it leaked out anyway.
"Mom, we'll take it from here," he said, then softened,” and thank you." There was an apology buried in those words.
"You call me if he gives you any trouble, Ella." I could hear the humor in Rebecca's words.
"I will, Mrs. Peterson," I answered. I was naked in her son's bed. Using her first name seemed wrong. It was some kind of high school impropriety flashback.
"It's Rebecca, Dear."
"Goodbye, Mother," he said. His hands were getting amorous again. Our wrestling for the phone must have set him off. He ended the call before Rebecca could say goodbye. I let him take me, and joyfully he did. As far as I could tell, dancing was his only weakness.
"So, tell me everything," he asked softly. My head was tucked into his shoulder, one leg over his torso and my hand was making sure his chest didn't have any imperfections. I couldn't remember feeling so good. "In the beginning God created..." I teased. "Smart ass," he laughed, "everything about how and why you hacked my firewall." I should have been prepared for the question. I was too busy being naked to think of much else. I lifted my head and looked at this eyes. There was nothing but trust in them. Lying would have to be saved for the authorities. "I can't," I said, "I'm protecting someone." Oliver's eyes widened. There was no admonishment, just a strong curiosity.
"Someone else hacked my systems?"
"As a favour to me," I said, then quickly added, "He’s never done it before. We didn't think anyone would find out."
"He?" Shit, I let that slip. "I'm in trouble either way," I paused for a moment, "a family I love very much will be destroyed if this goes past me." Oliver's eyes were shifting back and forth between my left and right eye. I waited to see if my trust was well placed. He smiled and kissed me. There was a mountain of trust in that kiss. I hadn't gambled at all.
"Tell me what you can," he said. I did. Everything about my father's death. Jeremaine and the will. How I let my pride and envy of my stepsisters drive me to choose an illicit outlet. He listened, his hand played with my hair as I spoke. At times, I wondered if he was really listening or thinking of us instead. He was a computer guy, so I assumed multitasking was ingrained. "Jeremaine is a bitch," he surmised. He had been listening. "You had no idea that it was my firewall your friend hacked?"
"Nope," I replied, "I was avoiding you at the dance because I thought you might recognize me from the flat tire. I thought it would be embarrassing." he laughed. I slapped his chest. Not hard, just enough so he knew my feelings were important. "I recognized you immediately," he admitted, ignoring my slap, "that day in the rain was all I could think of. I was kicking myself for not asking for your number when it happened."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I was waiting for you," he replied, "I didn't feel right announcing that I already knew how beautiful your breasts were." that earned him a quick kiss, "for a while, I thought you were avoiding me because you remembered and thought me...well...not your cup of tea."
"Not true, my love," I said, stroking the side of his face. Oliver was my cup of tea. Green tea. The kind that not only tasted good but was good for you. He was good for me in so many ways. A few kisses later and I was satisfied he was as sure as I was. "You get some rest," he said, untangling from my arms, "I'll get on the phone and see about undoing what I started." It was actually way past my normal bedtime. His too, I suspected. Visions of falling asleep in his arms were painfully thrust aside. After he leaned down for the last kiss, I watched his naked ass as he left the bedroom. It was a cute butt. I closed my eyes and thought of how the day had progressed. I learned that you can fall asleep smiling. Not my alarm woke me. It was an annoying chirp that kept repeating at an ever increasing rate. A warm body reached across mine and slammed down on top of the clock. I felt Oliver's naked form pull against me under the sheets.
"It's going to go off again in seven minutes," he whispered. His lips were so close to my ear it sent a shiver down my neck. "Mmmm," I moaned as I tucked my butt into him. he was a wonderful way to wake up. He wrapped his free arm around and pulled me in tight.
"The SCID is looking for you," Peter whispered. My eyes opened. I was awake. "The military thinks the breach was a test for a foreign intrusion into our nation's digital infrastructure."
"Ah..it was a charity dance," I stuttered. I felt physically safe in Oliver's arms. Mentally, I was changing my name and running to Bora Bora. "I know," he said, "I guess I was pretty angry when you left and I said things." I turned my head to see his eyes. He looked like a four-year-old who just broke his mother's favourite lamp. "I'm trying to undo it, but the wheels have been turning for a few days."
"What did you say?"
"I thought you deceived me," he confessed, "I didn't know you were...you. I was a little irrational."
"Olly, sweetie, what did you say?"
"Something to the effect of; only a foreign government would have the necessary resources to mount such an attack." He shrugged his shoulders guiltily, "I used other words to describe you that I hope you ignore if they get repeated." I was in a world of trouble and all I could do is smile at my four-year-old who was trying to glue the lamp back together.
"Will you visit me in prison?" I joked.
"Ella, this isn't funny," Oliver's guilt was hurting him. I rolled my body around, breasts to chest.
"Will you stand by me?" I asked.
"Then I don't care about anything else," I smiled, "I don't care about my inheritance, the SCID or my stepmother." His eyes turned loving, "I hear they have conjugal visits in prison," I teased. His lips were just as wonderful as earlier that morning. I looked at the clock and did some quick math. If I got going right then, I could make to work on time. I looked back at Oliver.
"I'm going to be late," I decided.
"So am I," he said. We made love, interrupted briefly while Oliver beat the snot out of the snooze alarm.
"You're late," Jeremaine said, her hands on her hips as I got out of the elevator. I smiled at her and ignored her comment. All I could think of was Oliver. My body felt light as a feather and the thought of cleaning offices was not depressing. "No excuses?" she stated as I passed by her. I was going to let that comment go, but I was too happy not to share. I turned, my smile growing opposite to her frown.
"I'm in love," I said and then I added something completely inappropriate, "mother." I made it sound like more like 'bitch.' I watched her face turn red. It was incredibly pleasant. Her mouth moved, but nothing came out. I had caught her by surprise. A pre-emptive sneak attack. I would pay for it later, but right now, I could still smell Oliver on me and didn't care about later. I left her there, stunned, and started my night's work.
"You and Oliver Peterson?" Arun verified.
"He's wonderful," I said, my euphoria hadn't faded even after cleaning twenty offices. "Is this how you feel with Anita?" I smiled.
"That the rest of the world could fall into a bottomless pit and it doesn't matter?" he returned.
"Yes, that's it."
"Anita makes me feel that way," he said, "Arya brings us right back to caring that the world doesn't fall away." The thought of a family drifted into my mind. It was too soon to think of such things though the idea of sharing Oliver with a son or daughter was not unpleasant.
"The SCID is looking for me and I don't even care," I said, letting my joy fill the room.
"The SCID!" He said as he turned quickly from his workstation, "That is the worst thing that could happen. I never wanted it go this far." His face was losing all its color.
"It doesn't matter, Arun. Oliver will stand by me and that's all that matters." I had a humorous vision of Oliver standing before me, swinging a sword to protect my honor. I had no idea where all the thoughts were coming from, but they were wonderful.
"SCID means prison," he continued, "I can't let you do that."
"You can and you will," I said firmly, "This whole mess was my choice and I got Oliver out of it. There's no way you are going ruin it by getting your family deported."
"I don't feel good about this,"he rambled on, "it is not right and honor says I step in."
"Your honor is for Anita and Arya," I said, "I will be fine. If anything does come of this, it is my first offense. I doubt it will amount to much." And Oliver will stand by me.
The SCID is looking for me and I could do nothing but smile. My phone vibrated. It was a text from Olly.
I would really love to skip breakfast again
Pick me up?
Hard to work - too happy - see you at 6
I just scheduled sex. I had never done that before. I had accepted dates that I figured would become sexual, but never a flat out naked appointment. I laughed at my phone. If it was anyone but Oliver, I would have thought it slutish. With him, it was so damned perfect and felt absolutely appropriate. It was all too much fun. The rest of the world could fall into a bottomless pit for all I cared.
"Is that Oliver?" Arun asked. He still seemed depressed about the SCID.
"Yes," I said, then added a white lie, "he wants to pick me up for breakfast this morning."
"Does he know about me?"
"Not you personally, but yes, he knows I don't have the knowledge to hack the firewalls," I replied.
"He must think me a coward," He said, his eyes finding the floor.
"No," I said softly, "he thinks I value your friendship enough to not destroy your family."
"I will not forgive myself if you end up in prison," he mumbled.
"You must," I said, "for Anita and Arya. If it was just you, I would have told the SCID long ago." He looked up and saw my smile. At least my joke lightened the mood. I changed the subject to trivial things. I knew he hadn't forgotten about the SCID, but at least he was willing to let it go for now. I spent some time in the bathroom trying to clean up before Oliver arrived. I felt rather pleased with myself and the way life was going. I thought my life wouldn't really begin until I was thirty-seven with my freedom from Jeremaine. Now, that was merely another birthday. My life began the previous morning, when Oliver was too close to hate me.
I undid my pony tail and ran a feeble comb through my hair. It took a while to break through the tangles, creating organized lines that looked softer. I suppressed a laugh knowing it would soon be a mess again. I touched up my mascara and brushed the lint off my clothes. I liked the smiling woman in the mirror. It had been a long time since she was my friend.
Jeremaine was waiting for me when I exited the bathroom, wearing a superior smile. That I could ignore. The men in suits next to her, I could not.
"You have surprised me," she said, then she added, "Daughter." It was laced with as much bitch as she could muster. "These gentlemen seem to think you have an alias. Now, I said, not my little Ella. Tell me it's not so." Her smile grew as she stepped off to the side. Out of everything that happened, her glee was the most irritating thing.
"Ella Okoye, you're under arrest for wire fraud and espionage," the taller suit said. My eyes widened. "Please turn around and place your hands behind your back."
"I need to make a call," I said. An unexpected begging invaded my voice. I felt fear. Espionage. That was quite a bit more serious than I had expected.
"Sorry, ma'am," the shorter suit said, "the warrant is explicit. No communications or contact with any technology."
"I have rights," I demanded.
"National security trumps those rights," tall suit said. He moved toward me. I thought he intended to forcibly cuff me if I didn't comply. I turned and put my hands behind my back. I couldn't help it, my hands were shaking.
"I haven't seen a badge," I stammered. What rights did I have? Tall suit turned me around once my hands were secure.
"Agent Jason, SCID," tall suit said as he held his badge so I could read it. I guess I had some rights.
"Agent Phillips, NSA," the shorter man said, holding up a different badge. My knees went weak. I was in more trouble than I knew.
"It was only a dance," I whimpered.
"This way, Ms. Okoye," Jason said. Jeremaine was covering her mouth. She was hiding a smile. I no longer cared about her little victory. I was concerned for my freedom.
"Jeremaine, I need a lawyer," I stated as Jason took my arm and led me to the elevator. She was my purse. My finances were drained by a flat tire and shoes I only wore once.
"I'll see what I can do," she said with a chuckle in her throat. I was sure she was going to hire someone straight out of school. The elevator opened and the agents and I stepped in. When I turned around, Arun was standing down the hall, his face ashen. I straightened up and tried to look strong. I subtly shook my head. Thankfully, he didn't move. At least his family would be unscathed.
Agent Jason read me my rights on the way down. It was more frightening than I could have imagined. There was no innocent-until-proven-guilty in his tone. They placed me in the back of a blue sedan and, once I was buckled, pulled out into traffic.
"Where are you taking me?"
"SCID offices, Ms. Okoye," Phillips said, turning in the passenger seat to look at me, "it would be in your best interest to cooperate, though you can choose to remain silent." He shook his head, "I would think that unwise for a person in your position."
"I went to a dance," I repeated, "it was stupid, but I'm not a spy or anything."
"We can recognize a trial run," Phillips continued, "you purposely compromised a military grade firewall and tried to ingratiate yourself with its creator." He shook his head again. "It is my understanding that you laid the seeds for you conquest by flaunting yourself prior to the dance. A seemingly random encounter that defies coincidence."
"It was a flat tire," I begged, "I didn't plan anything."
"What was it that turned you?" Phillips continued, "Tired of waiting for your inheritance." My eyes widened at his knowledge, "Yes, we have an extensive file on you. Impatient spoiled rich girl. As we speak, your home and car are being searched. It would better for you if you came clean and told us who you work for."
"No one," I insisted quickly, "I was envious of my stepsisters. I'll admit that, but I would never do anything against Nigeria."
Phillips turned to Jason and shared a smile. "They are all suddenly patriots when it's time to pay the piper." Jason chuckled. I was in over my head.
"I want a lawyer," I begged, "you said I could have a lawyer present." At least that's what Jason said when he read me my rights.
"Then they go all stubborn," Phillips chuckled. He turned back to me. "I dislike people like you. You trample all over your country then demand the same rights you work so hard to destroy." There was an unwavering hate in his eyes. My eyes began to well up. Handcuffed, I couldn't even wipe the shame away. Phillips rolled his eyes, "and then they try the crying thing."
Unbidden, my eyes began to drain down my cheeks. I needed Oliver.
Waiting was the hardest part. I sat on a hard metal chair, handcuffed to a metal table that was bolted to the floor. The room was empty except for an empty chair on the other side of the table and two cameras mounted on the ceiling in opposite corners. Not even a clock to know how long I had been there. I only knew it had been hours. I was strip searched when I arrived by two rough female agents who thought less of me than Phillips did. With rubber gloves, they probed to find secrets I didn't carry. The humiliation brought more tears. I tried desperately to remain strong, but each time I found my backbone, they crushed it again. I was hungry, thirsty and I really needed to pee. Instead, I sat on the rock hard chair and tried not to break down.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Okoye," A woman said as she entered the room, "I am Agent Stiles with the SCID." She smiled and placed a thick folder on the table. Her dark brown hair was cropped short and she had an athletic build. Unlike the suits earlier, she was more casual in her brown slacks and tan blouse. Her badge was hanging off her belt.
"I have to use the bathroom," I said desperately. Surely, a woman would understand.
"We'll get to your needs after you answer a few questions," Stiles stated as she sat in the empty chair and opened the folder. On top of the papers was my pink phone in a plastic bag. The more I thought about it, the more I needed to pee.
"I am confused," Stiles continued as if my bladder wasn't her concern, "you have little money," I watched her removing papers from the folder, my bank statements among them, "yet you were able to finance a $5,000 a plate ball." She chuckled a little, "I thought my finances were bad until I got a look at yours." They hadn't traced the money back to The Impact, Inc. Arun had hidden his tracks well. I could never tell them where the money came from. "I really have to pee," I said. "I really need an answer," Stiles said, leaning back in her chair. Her smile told me that she meant to hold me there until I complied. I remained silent and pushed my legs together to try and quell the urge.
"Whatever government you're working for will deny you even exist," Stiles continued, "your loyalty to them is now unfounded. We are the only ones who can help you now."
"Don't I get a lawyer?" I asked. Maybe a lawyer could get me the bathroom.
"In time," Stiles said, "but do you really want to give up your chance at leniency? Speak to us now and it will be taken into consideration at sentencing." They already had me convicted in their minds. "Who financed this operation? Who compromised the firewall?" she looked back down at the folder full of paper and waved her hand over it, "there is nothing here that even indicates you know how to turn a computer on. We know you are working for another organization." I crossed my legs and squeezed them tight.
"It was a dance," I pleaded, "I hacked the firewall myself. I just wanted to go to the dance." My bladder felt like it was going to burst. "Please let me go to the bathroom."
"Give me the password to the phone," Stiles said, holding the phone up. "They tell me the encryption is something new. Are you trying to tell me you created it as well?"
"I...I forgot the password," I stammered. I hated lying, but Arun's texts and voicemail were on the thing. "Where did you get the money?" Stiles yelled, slamming the phone down. "Do you think we're stupid?" My eyes betrayed me again. I didn't want to break down in front of her, but I couldn't think quick enough to stall the fear. "Do you know what prison will be like? Traitors are dealt with harshly." I dropped my head down to my cuffed hands to wipe away the tears.
"I have to go to the bathroom," I cried. "Who are you working for?" Stiles yelled louder, "You tell me what I need to know or you will rot as a slave to 300-pound dyke in prison." The floodgates opened and I lost control of my bladder. Stratford scooted back quickly as the puddle grew beneath the table. I no longer knew if I was crying for my freedom or the fact that she made me pee myself. I never felt so weak in my life.
The door opened and a man poked his head in. "Shit," the man said, "Get her cleaned up fast." I lifted my head. "Get those damn cuffs off her."
"Give me ten more minutes," Stratford said, her smile was bordering on evil. I prayed he wouldn't give her ten more seconds.
"I doubt you have thirty seconds," the man warned, "her lawyers are here." Plural? Jeremaine sent more than one. A ray of hope. "Keep them out!" Stiles argued. "You do it," the man complained, "they're from the top firms in the city. I got the division head wanting to know why they haven't seen their client. I can't fight politics." Stiles looked at me with anger. I think she saw herself saving the free world. I was strengthened by the thought of lawyers and firms. I couldn't believe that Jeremaine pulled out all the stops. Maybe I misjudged her.
"It was just a dance," I said stronger. I liked that some sense of control had returned. "I'm going to need some clean clothes, or is that against the rules." I wiped the rest of my tears away. The fear in man's face gave me courage. I had lawyers.
"Uncuff her," a man in a very expensive black suit with a blue tie demanded. He looked at the floor and I saw his temples pulse. "Is this your idea of proper procedure?" he said, looking at the two agents. He had a touch of gray on his sideburns with perfectly groomed short black hair.
"Rotimi Adegoke of Goke, Bode, and Thompson," the man introduced himself to me, "I have been retained as part of your counsel team, Ms. Okoye. That is, of course, if you agree." Stiles was moving with acuity, ignoring the mess on the floor in an attempt to get the cuffs off. I smiled as relief washed over me. "Yes, please," I replied. I could have kissed him if I wasn't sitting in a pool of urine. Stratford released me from the cuffs and I resisted the urge to stand. Rotimi recognized my hesitancy and took a step back.
"Please secure an unmonitored room so we may confer with our client," Rotimi ordered. He had an authority about him that made you want to comply. "I expect her there shortly after she has had a chance to freshen up. I also expect a copy of the video of the interrogation," he added pointing to the cameras. Stiles's face lost its color. I felt better.
Stiles hustled to get me into the bathroom. There was no apology or contrition, but a definite shift in power had occurred. I was innocent until proven guilty again. It was the agent's bathroom, complete with lockers and showers. Stiles supplied me with a towel and some soap. After grunting out some instructions about not touching the lockers, she left to get me some dry clothes. The shower was heavenly warm. I was human again. It took a few minutes before I was sure the last traces of the accident were gone. I succeeded in keeping my hair mostly dry which was surprising since I had an urge to douse myself and let the warm water shield me from the world. Stiles returned with brand new, still in the package, SCID sweats. I would have to go commando, but clean and dry was better than wet and smelly. I dressed quickly and asked politely to be brought to my lawyers. Stiles complied without verbal acknowledgment. I could tell that the situation was killing her on the inside.
"I am sorry we did not get here sooner,"Rotimi said. I looked at the four faces of obviously successful lawyers. Three men and one woman dressed as if they had just stepped out of a catalog.
"I am so happy you came when you did," I said, "I'm just surprised my stepmother responded at all." There were a few confused looks.
"We have been retained by the Petersons," Rotimi responded, "is there a problem with that." I think my smiled convinced them there wasn't. Screw Jeremaine. Oliver loves me.
"Let's see about getting you out of here," Rotimi said. Introductions were made and my interrogation discussed. I informed them that I did request to go to the bathroom multiple times and did request a lawyer. Dollar signs ignited in their eyes, but all I wanted was to get out of there. I didn't want to sue the SCID or anyone else for that matter. I especially didn't want a courtroom full of people see me pee myself. There was a knock at the door. A female agent I didn't recognize entered with a folder and an uncomfortable expression. "The recording equipment didn't seem to be working during the interview," she said. I rolled my eyes. My attorneys saw red.
"You disallowed my client an attorney, chained her to a table and didn't allow her to use the bathroom for what...three, four hours?" Rotimi seethed, "and now you tell us you have no record of it."
"I am not aware of any illegal or inhumane treatment, sir," the agent claimed, "I am only stating that the recording equipment was not working."
"I wonder if agent Stiles would like to be subpoenaed," he added.
"National security allows us great leeway," the agent said.
"Not that great, and certainly not with Nigerian citizens on Nigerian soil," Rotimi informed her, "If you wish Ms. Okoye to not pursue the issues involved with the interview, I suggest you move quickly on a bond hearing. I am sure there are judges that will recognize Ms. Okoye has no priors and isn't a flight risk." My lawyers all glared at the agent. There was no fear in their eyes, but I saw plenty in the agent. I folded my hands across my chest and added my confident stare as well. It was four hours later before I found myself exiting SCID headquarters. About twenty years earlier than Agent Stratford would have preferred. The judge found the espionage linkage weak but agreed that the wire fraud charge was relevant. A $10,000 bail was paid by Rotimi on behalf of the Petersons. I had to agree to stay off all computers and not leave the city without informing the SCID. I would have hated the building itself if it wasn't for what I saw slumped in an uncomfortable chair in the foyer as I was leaving. A tired, frustrated and oh so beautiful Oliver. His eyes brightened and a smile emerged as he saw me approaching. His arms and lips were just as I remembered.
"Why are you in SCID sweats?" Oliver asked.
"Can we get out here first?"
"Yes...Yes, we can," Oliver said enthusiastically. My hand in his, he led me out of my mini nightmare.
"So, they think you're a spy?" Oliver asked. He was scrambling eggs while I was laying bacon across a pan. I hadn't realized how hungry I was until he mentioned food. I liked that idea of cooking with him. It was wonderfully domestic and a little charming that he thought of my needs.
"You can't imagine how happy I was to see the lawyers," I said, leaning over to kiss his cheek. I liked making him smile. "A few more minutes in that room with that woman, and I would have claimed to have shot Kennedy." I didn't think we could be any closer. Our shoulders kept rubbing against each other was we worked. We weren't even taking the trouble to make it look unintentional.
"Arun wants to confess," Oliver said. I sucked in my breath.
"How do you know about Arun?"
"He found me on the street looking for you," Olly admitted, "I guess he knew we were supposed to meet this morning. He told me what happened and pretty much told me everything else."
"Oh, Oliver," I begged, "you can't let him confess. They will deport his family and things won't go well for them in India. They are the best friends I have and I don't want to lose them."
"Deport him?" he smiled, "I want to hire him. He's brilliant and thinks way out of the box. The way he tricked my firewall into thinking the packet streams were authorized was ingenious. He sees holes where the rest of us see solid walls."
"You like him too," I summarized.
"Yes," he said, his eyes looking up as he thought, "I think I do."
"Good," I agreed, "his wife and daughter don't need to be brought into this. I am in trouble either way."
"I think my ranting made this worse," he said as he moved to the stove and poured the eggs into a pan.