Claudette

Claudette, the Female Bank Robber?

Featured Photo: depositphotos_171820406 #Claudettebankrobber

“Am I going to be the first female bank robber in this city?” Claudette asked Lennox.

Obviously aware of a strange early morning presence, Claudette turned and rubbing her eyes, she looked up at him. With an unexpected move, she dropped her head back on the pillow, covering her face with the sheet. Lennox spoke jovially, “Can’t hide from me Missy, nor the roasted coffee beans – can you smell the fragrance…. Aaah! smell the coffee…tempting, yes?”

“I didn’t want you to see me like this,” she yelled from under the sheet, “anyhow, this is how it’s going to be, get used to it, “she cried out.

“I just have,” he answered. “But yeah! The coffee is giving me a repeat of what I felt last night, Doc,” Claudette continued.

“Hey! I thought we’d graduated to Superman.” he shammed annoyance.

“I just woke up stupid!” she said, her voice gravelly. “Plus, I got a serious kop on me – your fault, trying to turn me into a souse!” She pulled the sheet down and stuck a tongue at him.

“Eat, the hangover will go – promise,” he offered. She sat up pulling the sheet around herself. They ate and drank in silence. Claudette broke the hush, “You are really a lifesaver, not just Superman. Thank you, Lennox.”

He got up and lifted the tray from her lap. With some urgency, Claudette cried, “I’ve got to go someplace and quick, turn your head, no peeping.” She smiled; momentarily he closed his eyes, but the temptation was too much, and he opened his eyes to catch a fleeting glimpse of a perfect pair of firm white buttocks disappearing into the bathroom.

She returned a while later, a towel wrapped around her, displaying only a slender athletic pair of legs. “What are you staring at Superman?” “At the magic behind the towel; wouldn’t I like to know!” He said rakishly. In one rapid smooth move, he dropped his dressing gown and made for her – she squealed with delight but made no attempt to run. “Superman, you are naked and what’s that?” she yelled with delight. He lifted her off her feet and headed for her bed, she feigned resistance, but soon they were entwined into one another.

They lay together breathing heavily. “Lennox, my Superman I love you” She looked deeply into his eyes.

“This is what heaven must be like,” he replied softly.

“Excuse me Doc, I must point Alice at the chalice,” she laughed, heading for the bathroom “And then we need to do some serious talking mister,” Claudette continued.

“Come sit with me,” she whispered. They faced each other on the carpet at the foot of the bed. “We have resolved your disquiet, now we must deal with mine,” she continued. He looked at her puzzled. “After last night and this morning, I am accepting that we have entered into a serious relationship, right?” What’s coming next, he wondered?

“Well, have we? “Answer me!” she demanded.

Lennox stuttered, “Yes, of course, Claudette, we are in a serious relationship as of last night, agreed.”

“This means I could well be marrying a bank robber, making me the first female bank robber in this city!” she said, raising her voice. He was shocked at her return to the real world and was about to explain when the small voice of his ego said, “Don’t let on fool!”

“Look at it logically Claudette, you cannot be implicated in this situation. We dated for the first time yesterday, our colleagues will testify to the fact that we have had no relationship before this. I have been given an opportunity to come up with a solution for the bank and even if I can’t achieve that, they cannot prove anything against me”.

“How can you be so certain?” Her voice now raised, and he realized she was really upset. “You will have to accept my word for it, please, I am appealing to you. No relationship can survive without trust Claudette. If you love me you will join me in working for a solution, or I will have to ask someone else to work with me and I will know that you don’t love me sufficiently to risk trusting me. I am not going to discuss this anymore Claudette.” He stood up and, going into the bathroom, got dressed.

He could hear Claudette sobbing softly.

She was still sitting on the floor when he walked in. He lifted her up and she gripped his shoulders. “I will go with you if you’ll have me,” she whispered.

“I want you to come with me Claudette,” he responded. They kissed.

Among raised eyebrows – especially those of the CEO, Denise – at his choice of assistant, preparations were set into motion for the trip. Denise spoke, “By the way, Doctor Maree, Mister Snyman, head of the forensic team would like a word with you in the meeting room. Oh, you do understand that no word of what has happened about the investigation must leave your lips. It is strictly confidential. I’m sure you do not need to be told of the effects resulting from the shareholders and the press hearing about this.” She looked at Lennox with piercing eyes. Lennox looked up at her and felt a sense of pity for her predicament.

“I understand, Miss Coulthard.”

“Doctor Maree, this is an informal chat, most definitely off the record,” Snyman began. “I am sure you are aware that investigations of this nature are huge in terms of costs: not just money, but people’s reputations, in some cases their lives as well. The bank, especially your CEO, will be in the slaughter queue when this information is released to the shareholders and public at large.

“If there is anyone that could have perpetrated a crime of this nature, both in terms of knowledge and skill, it is you. That’s not to preclude outsiders, I accept; but for an investigator like myself, the golden rule is, a bird in the hand’ – a bird that I can see; work with that bird first – until you’ve plucked every feather.” Lennox stared at Snyman with direct eye contact. Lennox compelled himself to look relaxed, though he was anything but. The taste of fear was acid in his mouth. This was no man to fool with and he hoped his body language wasn’t betraying his innermost feelings to him.

Snyman continued, “I am known as ‘Die Rottweiler’, Doctor Maree – I never let go, I always get my criminal.” He spoke slowly and softly, his posture like that of a tiger about to spring.

I am going to ask you only once – confess to this crime, return the money and we can bargain a deal. If not, I will bring you down – I stake my life on that.” 

By now Lennox felt that he must have paled considerably, and he could feel the sweat beads gathering on his upper lip. What should I do he asked himself.

Lennox took a jug of water and slowly poured himself a glass. There was silence between them. He gulped the water down and recalled some words during his early training, “First to talk after a close – loses”. I am not going to let him close me, Lennox thought. He was frozen with fear, pouring and drinking the water gave him time. He looked intently at the glass for what seemed hours, not just two seconds. Lifting his eyes from the glass, he made eye contact with Snyman. Not saying a word, he pushed his chair back, got up, turned, and began slowly walking out, wishing Snyman would speak. “Doctor Maree, have you nothing to say?” Without turning, Lennox heaved a quiet sigh of relief. He’s just lost, he thought to himself. Without looking back at Snyman he said softly, but in a firm tone, “No!” and walked out the room.

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