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To my baby, my love, my inspiration, my soulmate. Merry Christmas.
Glen smiled to himself as he watched her work the courtroom. Both the judge and the jury seemed to be under her spell. Judge Harold T. Stone routinely shot down objections raised by the defendants’ attorneys, allowing her to continue in her line of questioning. She was definitely sexy, even without trying to be, but that wasn’t the reason that the entire courtroom was captivated. Her makeup was subtle, her dress stylish and classy, but definitely not meant to overly accentuate the sensual curves of the lithe body underneath. Her voice was warm and rich, but that wasn’t it either. Instead, her allure emanated from the fact that she was smart, witty, even funny at times, but she was also tough. Everyone in that room who had either seen her work before or who knew of her reputation knew that she took no shit from anyone. When she knew she was in the right, she’d fight tooth and nail to defend her position and her clients. Still early in her law career, she’d taken on some of the big boys at the major firms and won.
Jordan was aware of the man sitting in the back of the courtroom watching her intently. He’d attended her last three trials but they had never spoken or been introduced. He just sat and watched her every move, taking copious notes. He did not look unfriendly, but she knew who he must be. His handsome face, dark features, well-tailored suits, and disarming smile had to be a ploy to get her off of her guard. He most certainly was there as a spy for one of the corporations she had pending litigation against. It gave her a rush, actually, knowing that multi-billion-dollar corporations respected and feared her enough to send a spy to learn her style and try to gain an upper hand before facing her in court, but she also did not want to tip her hand to all her strategies. The attention certainly helped keep her on her toes, always striving to think of something new, never ending her research for legal precedents that may work in her favor.
She was greatly surprised, however, on the day the jury delivered its verdict in her favor and he came up and introduced himself afterward. She learned that he was spying on her alright, but not for another company against whom she would soon face in court. He was spying on her because he wanted to hire her himself. “Glen Arrington,” he said in a deep voice, introducing himself and standing slightly taller than her. He shook her hand firmly, enveloping her small hand in his two warm ones. The AC in the courtroom often left her hands cold, and she appreciated his warmth. His well manicured hands were large, strong. For propriety’s sake she withdrew her hand reluctantly and gave her name.
“I know who you are, Jordan. The best damn labor lawyer in the city, maybe this side of the country.”
“What do you mean, ‘maybe’?” she said playfully, feigning cockiness with a gleam in her sparkling green eyes. Those eyes were alluring and her smile was wide, obviously high off of her legal victory. Although he was anticipating working with her, Glen had no idea how much those eyes would mesmerize him in the months to come.
“We’ll see if you’re the best in the country after you take my business,” he shot back, not missing a beat.
“What makes you so sure I will agree to represent you, Mr. Arrington?”
“Because it’s a good cause, and it’s a challenge. If there is anything I’ve learned about you while watching you over these last several months is that you love a just cause and you love to be challenged, pushed to your limit, to see if you can excel beyond it. And please, call me Glen.”
Jordan was astounded that he could assess her so well having never even spoken to her before. It was a bit unnerving, but she tried her best not to show it. “And just what is this cause that I won’t be able to refuse?” she asked.
“I run a rehabilitation program for people with mental health problems, many recovering addicts and ex-offenders. By the time they’ve gone through my program, my clients have paid their debt to society, they’ve gone through an intense and thorough 12-step program, they’ve gone back to school and they’ve been well trained for jobs in the field of their education and interest. But many companies discriminate against them because of their record, or will hire them but at a greatly reduced salary scale not commiserate with their knowledge and skill set. We’re looking for a lawyer willing to take on these discriminatory practices and help put an end to them.”
“That will be very tough,” she replied, the smile on her face fading into a look of reservation. “First, we’d have to be able to prove that these hiring and wage decisions are based solely on the incarceration factor, so we’d either need documentary evidence or an inside witness. Then we’d also be dealing with societal stigma that would tend to favor the companies. You’re talking about a long uphill battle, with illegal bahis no guaranteed outcome and no promise of recovering a settlement.”
“I admitted it would be a challenge,” Glen said, acknowledging the difficulties, “but few causes are more worthy than people working hard to turn their lives around and be positive contributing members of society.” They looked at each other intently for a moment as he paused. “Listen, don’t make a decision now. Here’s my card. Come by and see the operation and meet some of the clients, then make your decision.” Glen put his card in her left hand and again shook her right. There was an intensity to his stare, and something about him that made her want to at least learn more.
“Perhaps I will, Mr. Arrington. My assistant may give you a call next week to set something up.”
“Please make sure of it,” he asserted, friendly yet demanding. “If I won’t be hiring you then I will need to start my research all over again. All I ask for is a bit of your time to give us an assessment. And again, please call me Glen.” He still had not let go of her hand.
“Well ok, Glen,” Jordan said, breaking out once again in a smile, enjoying his assertiveness with its flirtatious undertones. She had misjudged him as a corporate spy but gladly so. Just maybe his was a challenge worth accepting. She needed to do some further research first.
Jordan worked at an office out of the home she shared with her fiancé of three years. Just five years ago, she was a paralegal in a major downtown firm, now she worked for herself specializing in labor law. She was known and revered as one of the top labor attorneys in the region, fighting diligently for fair hiring practices and safe working conditions. Worker’s groups loved her and large corporations feared her. In only a short time, she had come a long way from the green junior paralegal she used to be working at Melveany & Meyers. That firm was now her major competitor, and the competition did not always play fair. It did not matter, though, she was tough, and by herself managed to hold her own against the big boys. ‘They were not all bad times,’ Jordan thought as a sly grin crossed her lips, remembering a wicked time she had while trapped in an elevator with a senior partner. But those days were long gone…
Working from home afforded Jordan quiet and serenity to balance the hectic life of a high powered labor attorney. Her office was not actually in her house, but in a small cottage on her property in which her mother had lived before passing. Though still devastated by her mother’s recent passing, it pleased Jordan to have built such a successful career out of the space that, even though converted into a legal office, was still filled with the comfort of her mother’s love. She had moved out all of the furniture but retained the plants her mother kept while living there, and they flourished in her office, bathing the space in green warmth.
Jordan also had a paralegal assistant that came in Tuesdays-Fridays. Monday was a day for herself, preparing, reading, research, or whatever else may need to get done that required privacy. It was the perfect system that suited her lifestyle well and allowed her career to flourish.
Jordan walked into her office and turned on her computer to do some background research on Glen. She quickly found a web page describing his program and his extensive experience in the field. Among the profile pages of the board of directors she found his, complete with a handsome picture of him that showed off his charming smile. ‘He does look delectable,’ Jordan thought. Satisfied that he had represented himself and his business truthfully, placed Glen’s card and a stack of other assignments on her assistant’s desk, along with a note for her to make an appointment with Glen to visit his rehabilitation center as soon as possible. She was still on a high from her major court victory. The rest of the work waiting for her that day could wait. She called her fiancé at his job to discuss plans to celebrate.
Glen thought back over his encounter with Jordan as he drove home from the courthouse. Over the past few months he came to really respect her legal intellect and her passion for justice, and he hoped she would take the cases of a few of his clients. In his mind, her eyes kept staring at him. He couldn’t shake the image. They were an arresting shade of green, but beyond that was how expressive they were. He could not quite put his finger on it, but for some reason those eyes lingered in his mind.
Glen had always recognized Jordan was attractive from his first day watching her in court. But he quickly put those thoughts out of his mind as he was in a committed relationship, which made her off limits. Besides, he noticed an engagement ring when he handed her his card, so he was off limits for her as well. It did not matter either way, he didn’t like to mix business illegal bahis siteleri with pleasure, and because she was the best, he really wanted her services for his clients. Beautiful women come and go, he thought, but a legal talent such as hers, committed to fighting the good fight rather than just being a corporate whore, made her a rare hidden gem. It had taken him a long time to find her, so he needed to keep things professional. Friendly of course, but professional.
He turned his music onto blast and zipped across town and headed home. His philosophy to life was simple, work hard to play harder. It was the main reason his girlfriend was so crazy about him. They shared an upscale apartment on the west end of the city. In their mid thirties, both of their careers had recently started to thrive. They were living the good life.
Jordan walked into the reception office of The Bridge Home community re-entry center. It was a beautiful three-story Victorian house that, just seeing it from the outside, you would never know that it was not the mansion of some large rich family. A well-dressed man greeted her from behind a reception desk in the front room.
“Good afternoon, Miss, how may I help you?” the man asked with a welcoming smile.
“I’m here for a 2:00 PM appointment with Mr. Arrington,” Jordan explained, giving her name.
“Of course, Mr. Arrington is expecting you,” the man said. “Please follow me. Are you thirsty? May I get you anything, coffee, tea, fruit juice, or water?” he asked, opening a door for her to walk through.
“No thank you,” Jordan replied, quite impressed with his impeccable manners.
“Well, my name is Michael, and if you change you mind or need anything else while you are here, just holler and I’ll come running.”
“Thank you very much, Michael. I will keep that in mind.” They came to an office door slightly ajar where Glen sat at a modest desk talking on the phone. Even casually dressed as he was on this day, he had a rugged handsomeness that Jordan could not help but notice. In just jeans, a black dress shirt and shoes to match, he looked delicious. ‘Too bad I can’t do anything about it,’ she thought, pushing the thoughts out of her head. At the sight of Jordan he excused himself and cut the phone conversation short.
“Come in, come in,” Glen said, rising from his desk and coming to meet her, shaking her hand. He eyed her navy blue and stylishly cut skirt and blazer. Matching heels showed off her tone calves. Her hair hung loosely past her shoulders in contrast to how she would typically wear it in court. The dark blue fabrics highlighted the emerald green of her eyes. She did not fit the mold of a typical guy’s jack-off fantasy: her breasts were pert but not bulging D-cups, nor was her behind a round globe of perfection. But Glen did not see them as flawed in any way. There was no denying it, he simply thought she was damn sexy. He would be in trouble if he was not careful.
“Thanks Michael,” he said as Michael excused himself to return to the reception desk. “Did you find the place OK?”
“I did, I did, and the place is gorgeous. Your receptionist is quite exceptional, too. Where on earth did you find him?” Jordan asked.
“He’s one of our best clients, actually,” Glen admitted. “One of the many true Bridge Home success stories. Why don’t I take you on a tour of the house?” he asked. “Follow me.”
“Wow, is he an ex-offender?” Jayde enquired as they began the tour. “I can’t believe it.”
“Yes, this most recent time he served 3 years before coming to us.” As they talked, they visited the industrial kitchen also staffed and run by clients of the program. It reminded her of the atmosphere of a professional restaurant. They left the kitchen and moved toward another room.
“So what was his offense?” Jordan asked softly after they were out of earshot.
“Theft,” Glen explained. “He became a world-class pick-pocket artist. Most drug-related crime is petty theft of property, which will quickly be used to buy more drugs. You see how a cycle develops.” Jordan thought about that as they continued to tour the facility. “I’m actually glad you came today,” Glen continued, “because our board members are here for the quarterly meeting. I’ve told them all about you and your credentials, and they are anxious to say hello to the talented attorney who has agreed to take on our case, or cases, depending on how it goes.”
“Now hold on a second, I have not agreed to anything yet,” Jordan countered, smiling. “And besides, I still have some more questions to ask.”
“Ask away,” Glen offered.
“For starters, you said most of the people here who have criminal records were incarcerated for property crimes, but what about the rest of them? It makes quite a difference, for instance, to be defending the rights of violent criminals or sex offenders,” Jordan said.
“There are no sex offenders here, though they are really canlı bahis siteleri all the same, actually,” Glen said. Jordan was about to disagree but he cut her off, explaining that “at the root of them both you’re talking about mental health disorders.”
“I see you point, but I still think there is a huge difference,” Jordan insisted.
“Then tell me this,” Glen countered as they stopped at the door of what looked to be the conference room. “What’s the difference between a pick-pocket and a ‘peeping Tom’?”
“I don’t know, tell me,” Jordan said, sensing a riddle.
“Well, the pick pocket snatches watches…” Glen quipped, then quickly opened the door and ushered her inside. As he introduced her to the gathered board members, Jordan struggled trying to figure out his meaning. When she got it, a flush of crimson washed over her face, just as she was shaking the hand of the head of the board. She struggled to keep a straight face, to smile politely without breaking out into laughter. She could not believe he had actually just made a reference to a peeping Tom as someone who “watches snatches.” It was lewd, and inappropriate. Internally, she could not help but laugh.
After her visit to the program Jordan took a week to think over whether she would take on this case, or set of cases, depending on what kind of evidence they could gather. In the end, he was right about her in his assessment on the day they formally met. She did love a challenge and she felt strongly about supporting a good cause. She called Glen the following Monday to tell him the news and they set up a regular meeting schedule for Friday afternoons. These Friday meetings with Glen quickly became the highlight of her week.
When Glen arrived that first Friday, she was knee deep working on a health benefit discrimination lawsuit on behalf of a lesbian couple. Jordan was frustrated. The company seemed to have the law on its side, and was only obligated to provide health coverage for its employee’s legal spouses. Gay and lesbian couples were not allowed to marry, so it seemed the company was clearly not obligated to provide anything for the woman’s partner. The question for Jordan was whether she would have to challenge the state’s marriage policy in order to make gains with the employment issue.
Glen recognized her frustration and they talked about the similar challenges they face in this respect. For Glen, policies regarding the lack of health care for mental health problems were a direct contributing factor to the very issues of substance abuse and incarceration, and the question always ultimately boiled down to at what level does one work to effect change? It was a bonding moment for the two of them, and for a second Glen forgot about her physical sex appeal, lost as he was in the intellectual attraction forming between them.
“Enough about this case,” Jordan said finally, “I’m wasting your time when you are here to talk about the work I will be doing for you.”
“Not at all,” Glen replied, “lesbians are people too,” he joked. “That reminds me,” he said, changing his tone, “do you happen to know what the difference is between a lesbian and a Ritz?”
“Oh no, not another of your naughty riddles?” she bemoaned.
“Well,” he said, pausing for effect, “the Ritz is a snack cracker…”
Jordan thought about the joke for a minute then a sly grin broke out over her face. “You are a bad man, Glen” she said, “very bad.”
“Some might say I’m the best at being bad,” he quipped.
“Hmmm, we’ll have to see about that,” she said with a nonchalant shrug. “It seems to me, then, that you would know one need not necessarily be a lesbian to be a crack snacker.”
Glen paused for a minute and smiled broadly. “Oh how right you are,” he said, looking at her in a different light, “because that would also make me a lesbian.” They laughed together then, and got down to business.
Jordan enjoyed her work, but it was rare that she got to laugh and joke all day in the process. Her radio was on softly in the background playing some of her favorite CDs. During pauses in their conversation, Glen began singing softly along with the music. Soon Jordan found herself singing along with him, which shocked her. She never thought of herself as having a good singing voice, and lord knows she never sang in front of other people… NEVA! So she shocked herself to be singing along with Glen in her office, surprised to feel so free with him. The feeling was exhilarating, though.
When they finished for the day and it was time for Glen to leave, Jordan found herself wishing he could stay. When he left, she wished he was still there. She could not resist pulling up his website again to look at his picture. The tingles of desire began tickling her insides as she looked at his lips. Just then her assistant came in from the adjoining office interrupting her thoughts with a question about a brief they were preparing. She chastised herself for the thoughts she was having and quickly closed her browser window. ‘I need to go cool off,’ she thought. It was after 4:00, so she let her assistant go home early and closed up work for the day.
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