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(Roy frames Srikanth, Edwin’s protégé, for rape)

Christine Tan walked into the meeting room of the police lockup in Queenstown. She introduced herself – “Your boss, Edwin has retained my services to defend you.” – unbuckled her leather case and threw a question. “How do you two communicate?”

She spoke with a crisp voice, a slight nasal twang. A white shirt with one undone button teased without shocking.

Srikanth took one look and snapped, “By cell phone, of course!”

“Hey! Don’t get pissed with me. You got yourself into this shit hole,” she retorted. “Look, I’ve to ask you all sorts of questions over the next few sessions. Some of these will be very personal. So, what’ll it be? Play ball with me or you’d rather have your balls nailed to the wall?”

She slapped the file on the table. “That’s what they plan to do. They’re going for sodomy.”

“I don’t understand, we’re lovers.”

“Doesn’t count, not if you played leap-frog.” She completed unpacking her briefcase, pulled up a chair for herself and invited Srikanth to take his seat. He ignored her.

“Suit yourself.” She was brisk and continued. “I know what you’re thinking, every son of a bitch in that courtroom has probably screwed arses and yet they’ll be sitting in judgement of you. You think that’s strange, chew on this. You look across into an apartment; see a woman undress, you’ll be charged with peeping. You undress in your room with windows open, a woman looks, and they charge you for indecent exposure. Why? Because you’re a man and our women are sugar and spice. Didn’t you know? Now stop frigging around and work with me.” She threw her pencil on the table, folded her arms and waited.

“It’s not fair is it?” Srikanth choked.

“You’ve been banging another man’s wife and you complain about fairness?”

(An Extract from Beck And Call, A Business Thriller Set In Singapore)

BeckNCall Front Cover(5)