The days that followed became hectic for Lucia as she was constantly being prepped for trial. Scott Daniels advised that everything was told him so there were no surprises at court. So she left work earlier than usual to meet Scott at his firm and then arrived home later.
“Hi, I’m back,” she said breathlessly and kissed Ted on the cheek. Ted simply nodded. She put her bag down.
“If you consider potato chips as something, then yeah.”
“Okay…are you okay?” Lucia asked curiously.
“Yeah I’m fine.” His eyes went back to the tablet he was amusing himself with. Lucia knelt down in between his legs and bit her lower lip. Ted lifted his head to look at her after some seconds passed without her saying anything.
“Are you angry with me?”
“No, I’m not. I’ve no reason to be angry with you, honey.”
“But you’re not happy; that I’m sure of. Tell me, what is it?”
“This whole trial thing has got you all riled up that you don’t get time for yourself, for us. You get home late and all we get to talk about is the trial. I really wished we could have settled it outside the courtroom.”
“That was the initial plan but we couldn’t meet her demands and she decided to take it to court.”
“We could still settle it amicably if only…”
“If only you could talk to Anita,” Lucia finished the sentence and got up.
“She would see to reason, I know she would if I go talk to her.”
“So if you feel so strongly about this, why haven’t you done so?”
“Because my mum forbade me to do so and you seem to be against that as well.”
“With good reason. History has proven that you can’t seem to keep yourself together when you’re around her. By some unknown fate, the product of your one night stand with her is out of the picture and you want to have another round?” Lucia said, justifying her stance.
“That’s not fair, Lucia,” Ted said as he got up.
“What is not fair is you making me look like the inconsiderate one for not letting you go into the devil’s lair.”
“I just don’t like the whole idea about dragging this to court. Remember we are not just individuals, we also represent our parents’ companies. Do you think it’s fair to drag their names into the mud along with ours?”
“But our parents are okay with the court decision.”
“But this is our fight, Lucia,” Ted said, taking hold of her hands, “I got her pregnant and you destroyed it. We did this, not our parents. We should leave them and their reputations out of this.” Lucia sighed.
“So what, you want my permission to go see her?” He bit his lower lip in response. Lucia let go of his hands and sat down.
“And what’s your plan exactly? What offer are you going to make her?”
“I’ll apologize and tell her I’d give her anything she wants.”
“Anything? You do realize you’d be signing your death warrant, right?”
“No, not necessarily. I can get through to her.” She nodded.
“Fine, whatever you want,” Lucia said and got up. He stopped her by holding her. He rocked her gently in his arms.
“It is going to be okay…I know you don’t trust her but you can trust me.” She looked into his eyes.
“Of course you can, baby,” he said sincerely, holding her face in his hands.
“I just hate the fact that she feels she still has a hold over you. She still has a say in how we live our lives.”
“That’s not true; she doesn’t. If it were up to her, we wouldn’t be husband and wife but we are. She can do all she wants, but she’ll never succeed coming in between us,” Ted assured her. She nodded. He kissed her forehead.
Allen walked over to where Lucia was seated. She acknowledged him with a nod and took off her dark shades. He sat down.
“Hello Lucia,” he greeted.
“Thank you for coming, Allen. Want a drink?”
“I’m fine; I’ve only got half an hour. I have to get back to work.”
“Oh sure; then I’ll get straight to the point. The reason why I asked you to meet me…”
“Is because of your trial; you need me not to testify against you,” he finished it for her.
“It might get ugly; things might come up and I’m sure she’ll bring up the tape thing and that could be scandalous.”
“I kind of liked her, you know. I actually thought I could move on…with her.”
“I’m sorry that it didn’t work out.”
“I still have a chance with her…if l testify in her favor.” Lucia gaped at him.
“You’re married, Lucia and happy. You’ve moved on…I’m still stuck where I was. This is my chance to move and be happy too, Lucia.”
“Not with Anita, I can assure you Allen. She is not who you think.”
“And I’m not the guy you think I am, Lucia. I’m a changed man but that didn’t stop you from jumping into another man’s arms, did it?”
“Allen, enough! I don’t know what’s about her that gets all the men hooked up but trust me, the charm will definitely wear off.”
“It is my life and you have no right to tell me who to spend it with, Lucia!”
“Fine but I know Anita and she’s not the kind of woman to go out with…”
“Me, an ordinary man who works at a carwash, right?” he asked angrily as he got to his feet.
“That’s not what I was going to say, Allen but come to think of it, she is an opportunist. She goes for the rich and sticks to him with manipulation. I’m sure she came onto you to get to me,” Lucia explained.
“Seriously, Lucia? Come on, the world doesn’t revolve around you! You chose Ted over me and I understand. Now I expect you to do same when I choose Anita.”
“So what, you’re going to testify against me?” Lucia asked, alarmed.
“I’m going to do what I need to do to keep the woman who actually wants to be with me,” Allen said and walked off.
“Allen!” Lucia was so shocked to her bone that her hands started shaking. She remained seated for some time to regain her composure before she got up. She put on her dark shades and walked to her car.
“Come on in, Ted,” Anita said sweetly when she opened the door. He entered.
“I knew you would come. Have a seat. Can I offer you anything?”
“Aha! I bought the wine that you like so much just in case you stopped by. I’ll get it.”
“Come on Ted, we’re not strangers to each other. Can we at least share of glass of good wine for old times’ sake?” Anita asked. He conceded with a sigh.
“Good; I’ll be right back.”
She returned with the bottle and two glasses. She uncorked it and poured the wine into the glasses. She gave him one.
“You want me to drop the charges so we can settle it amicably?”
“You took the words right out of my mouth.”
“You forget that I know you and I know how you think.”
“You really do. So, what do you say?” He asked, sipping his wine.
“So let’s pretend for a moment that I’m interested in what your proposition, what do you have to offer?” Anita asked.
“I don’t think money is what you want…”
“You think well.”
“The thing is I’ve no idea what you want; that’s what I’m here.”
“You know what I want, Ted. You just don’t want to admit it.”
“Don’t play smart with me, Anita. I am here and I want us to agree on something.”
“Let me guess, your wife is all jittery because of the trial and sent you here to calm the waters?”
“On the contrary, she was totally against the idea of me coming here. But I convinced her that the two of us can reason things out.”
“Huh.” She sipped her wine thoughtfully.
“So, what would it take for you to drop this case?”
“Give me my life back.”
Ted entered the bedroom and sat down.
“Is that you, Ted?” Lucia called out from the bathroom.
“Yes honey; I’m back,” he replied, taking off his shoes. Lucia came out of the bathroom, wrapped in a towel.
“How did it go? Did she melt at the sound of your voice and give in to your demands?” she asked teasingly.
“Why don’t you come here and I’ll tell you all about it?” She smiled as she walked towards him and took the hand offered her. She sat astride him. He smiled when she touched his face.
“What did she say?” Lucia asked softly.
“Don’t worry about it; it’s been taken care of,” Ted assured her.
“So no trial?”
“No trial; it’s over.” She kissed his forehead.
“Thank you,” she said.
“Thank you,” he said back. She giggled when he lay back on the bed, pulling her down with him.
“Thank you for choosing me,” Lucia said.
“Thank you for availing yourself to be chosen.” They both chuckled.