She had married Maurice at the age of sixteen. In fact, to be more accurate, Maurice had married her. And marred her. Overwhelmed her with his ardour. Funny, it hadn't seemed at all incestuous at the time and, technically, it wasn't. Just, well, men of his age always seemed to have that aura of cool, easy control. She should know, having defended enough of them in the courtroom and, in Maurice's case, outside of it too. So it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise to discover that he'd gotten a new outlet for his 'needs'. A seventeen year old pony tail in this case. Trust fund possibly. Tight fanny probably. Father was a board member under duress, in need of some imaginitive book keeping and definitely in Maurice's pocket. Men.
Chantelle had always imagined that growing older would entail an increase in self-confidence. Empowerment. Esteem. You know, that knowing exactly what you want and knowing precisely how to get it deal. But no. Growing older just entailed growing more and more afraid. Power over the courtroom does not neccessarily translate into power over the bedroom. Maurice, it seemed, just hadn't wanted her any longer (and since the late blossoming of his accounting practice hadn't even wanted her money).
She wheeled herself down the ramp from the vestibule to the kitchen area. Sciatic nerve. Miriam was late. The arrangement had been that she would come by late morning after an unofficial hearing with the judge in the Daily Mail headline case re change of jury. Eight white faces in an asylum rape case was hardly conducive to success. In all probability, she would have to seduce the guy to swing it.
Chantelle felt a stab of jealousy at the thought, and it surprised her. She had never even touched Miriam, yet the unspoken promise of something between them was so strong that she sometimes took it for granted. Of course Miriam would draw interest from other suitors: at forty she was ten years Chantelle's junior and when it came down to looks you could saw off another ten.
It was raining now. heavy enough to bead the windows and make that gravel sound on the flat roof. She sighed and looked at the wall clock. 12:01. Hardly bloody late morning is it Miriam?