Home > Misadventures with a Lawyer

Misadventures with a Lawyer
Author: Julie Morgan

 

Chapter One

 

 

Ainsley

 

 

On Friday, I woke with excitement for Ashley’s wedding. My best friend since childhood, Ashley of course had asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, and I couldn’t wait to get the weekend started.

Today, we had a full schedule of hair and nail appointments and other fun plans before the rehearsal dinner tonight. It was time to get my bridesmaid duty on.

I bounced out of bed toward the kitchen as my phone rang. I predicted it to be Ashley, but instead it was Amy, our law firm’s receptionist.

“Hi, Ainsley,” she said.

“Hi,” I answered, trying to hide my apprehension about why she was calling me.

“Mr. Newstrom is wondering when he should expect you at the office.”

“But I’m supposed to be off today,” I told her.

“Well, according to him, you’re still working on Mr. Vanderbilt’s case, and you’re expected to be at the office and, shortly after that, court.”

She wasn’t short or curt, but she got her point across.

Chase Newstrom, my boss and the owner of the law firm I worked for, knew I had a full weekend of wedding plans with my best friend. I had it on both of our calendars. He had said he had no issue with me taking Friday off, yet here we were, with me expected to work after all.

“Thanks, Amy,” I mumbled. “I’ll be there in an hour.” And I hung up.

It hurt like hell that he didn’t care about plans I’d made for my own personal time and he’d had the receptionist call to break the news. Should he have cared about what I had been planning to do? No, not necessarily, but what if it were something important like surgery? I couldn’t have canceled that just because he needed me in the office.

This wasn’t surgery, though, nor my wedding. Thank goodness. I was so not ready for that.

I phoned Ashley and the other bridesmaids and broke the bad news about not being able to join them for the hair and nail appointments. Ashley wasn’t happy. In fact, she said she’d disown me if I skipped any of the other wedding events.

I would disown me as a friend too.

 

 

Sitting.

Waiting.

Anticipating.

These three words have become my life. Good things come to those who wait? What a lie. Whoever came up with that didn’t understand law students waiting for their bar exam results or a girl wanting to meet up with her best friend on the eve of her wedding.

I knew from the moment I was a little girl that I wanted to be an attorney. I wanted to stand up for those who had no voice, to help victims of crimes who could not help themselves. Our professors had always encouraged us to follow our passion, so it was a surprise when I had sat in on my first court hearing and realized prosecution might not be for me. Instead, it was defense.

Surprisingly, I found many cases were tried where the defendant was actually innocent. They needed someone to hear their side of the story and fight their fight. That was where I wanted to stand, next to the falsely accused.

It was the middle of May in Dallas, Texas. The sun made it feel like we were in Satan’s backyard while he grilled dogs and invited the demons and hellspawn over for sweet tea. It felt so hot that I wondered if one could potentially cook bacon on the sidewalk—not that I’d ever try that, of course.

I was thankful to be spending the day in the air conditioning of the courthouse, even if I wished I were somewhere else entirely. Still, this was my professional passion, so things could be worse.

The law firm I was working for—until my exam results came through—represented many of the high court cases. Rich, deep pockets crossed our threshold and often said, “Money is no object.” They demanded our representation, and they received it…most of the time.

Alleged crooked politicians, extortionists, and financial advisors who stole money from their clients—we represented them all. The only clients our firm would turn away were cases having to deal with serial killers, serial rapists, and abuse of children. If the evidence was enough to prove innocence, however, the firm would consider the case. More often than not, though, there were some lines even we wouldn’t cross.

The courthouse atmosphere was chilly inside, and that wasn’t from the air conditioning. The judge looked bored. His eyes were half-hooded, and he rested his chin on his hand. I picked at the corner of my binder, where one day it would hold my own business cards, which would say Ainsley Speire - Attorney at Law.

I’d looked forward to this day since I was a little girl. I loved a good debate and would argue until my face turned blue. The only thing on the walls of my small office was my law degree from the University of Texas. My father had it framed a bit larger than it needed to be, and it took up much more wall space than it needed to. I didn’t care. I loved it.

I turned through the notes in my binder. Everything was leading toward a win for us. It was a matter of time before the prosecution rested their case and we took over and wrapped it up.

That was where Chase Newstrom, lawyer extraordinaire, always came in. He seldom lost a case, and as a defense attorney, that was a golden flag one would want to fly at the top of their pole.

He sat back in his chair and pressed the tips of his fingers together like a steeple. They rested against the tip of his nose, his thumbs pressed against his chin. His dark-brown hair was styled perfectly, his lashes long and thick, and his baby-blue eyes stared straight at the back of the city attorney’s head.

Chase was a beautiful man, and he knew it. He’d done a photoshoot for his firm, and I was honestly curious when GQ would come knocking on his door. Women hung on to every word he spoke, though more than half had no idea what the man was talking about. He was a tour de force of masculinity and brooding good looks. He was a successful defense attorney, wealthy, and had the beauty of a fallen angel and body of a Greek god.

Hell, beautiful didn’t describe him. I could have easily drooled over the man, but he had no idea who I was, other than an intern hoping to make a career for herself. I suppose I should feel fortunate he took me on, and I am grateful, but what I wouldn’t give for five minutes with the man.

While he was at the office, he was clean-shaven and took his appearance seriously. The man wore top-of-the-line clothing attire, whereas I bought my dresses and pantsuits from stores like Ross and Marshalls. It was what I could afford. Chase had every article of clothing custom-tailored to him, while with some of mine, the waist was too big or the pant legs or skirts were too long. I dreamed of the day I’d be able to have custom-tailored clothes.

Doubtful, but a woman could dream.

“Never miss a chance to make a perfect first impression” was one of the first things he said to me during my interview, while he took in my choice of clothes. He didn’t undress me with his eyes, though. He was more or less judging me for my lack of fashion sense. But I was here to hopefully practice law, not make a fashion statement.

I closed my eyes and thought about all the delicious things I would do to him and how he would ruin me for anyone else. I cleared my throat and opened my eyes once more to try to focus on the case instead of the scent of his cologne. It hypnotized me. I could bathe in it.

Some of the women I had seen coming and going through the office looked as if they were models who had just stepped off the runway. Tall and very slender with clothes that flowed from their toothpick bodies. Some were clearly fake and took an interest in Chase just because of his looks and money. It was sad, really. They reminded me of marionette dolls on strings, puppeted by an ego so thick they couldn’t see the idiocy of their own being.

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