Home > Appealed (The Legal Briefs #3)(17)

Appealed (The Legal Briefs #3)(17)
Author: Emma Chase

“And then there’s the golden hue over the whole thing that makes it almost ethereal. Like it’s lit from the inside.”

“Yes.” She nods again.

I stop swirling the glass. And say softly, “That is the exact shade of Kennedy Randolph’s eyes.”

Her breath hitches—almost a gasp.

“That’s what I thought the first time I drank it, and it’s what I’ve thought every time I drank it since.” I turn to face her, my voice dropping lower. “I’ve never forgotten you, sweetheart. Not even close.”

She wasn’t expecting that. She looks surprised; small and suddenly vulnerable. Then she shuts it down and her face goes blank. And hard.

“That pisses you off.” I try to catch her eyes again. “Why does that piss you off?”

“You know why.” She moves to stand.

I grasp her hand. “No, Kennedy, I don’t. I never did.”

She jerks away and sets her glass on the coffee table. Then she backs up a step—putting space between us. “I’m not doing this with you again, Brent. You’re not sucking me back in.”

My jaw tightens. “Okay. How about you explain what that means?”

“How about you go fuck yourself with a lacrosse stick?”

Hello, Square One—long time, no see.

I tilt my head, like I’m thinking it over. “Sports equipment is a hard limit for me. But if you want to play with toys, count me in.”

She doesn’t appreciate my humor. “I’m leaving.”

“You’re running.”

Her lips pinch and her eyes glare—and goddamn if she isn’t cute when she’s fired up. I can’t wait to see what full-out furious looks like, and something tells me I’m gonna have my chance pretty soon.

One hand braces on her hip, the other stabs the air in front of me. “Chair or no chair, your ass better be in court tomorrow or I’ll make your life hell.”

“As opposed to the delight you’re making it right now.”

She throws up her hands and moves to the doorway.

“See you tomorrow, angel,” I call to her back.

A minute later, Harrison steps sedately into the room after seeing her to the front door.

“Angel?” he wonders.

“Sure.” I raise my glass to my lips. “It was an angel who brought the plagues down on Egypt.”

“Ah, I see.” He nods. “But something tells me the frogs and locusts were easier to handle.”

And I don’t disagree.

6

The next morning, I get to the office early to make up for being sidelined yesterday. I get lost in motions and appeals and before I know it, the building comes alive around me—midmorning sunshine streaming through the windows, the sound of Mrs. Higgens’s footsteps, the smell of coffee in the air . . . the resounding thump that comes through the wall, rattling my desktop dart game in its box.

What the hell?

Before I reach my door, the thump comes again, this time accompanied by a muffled yell—shocked, pained, and distinctly male.

What the fuck?

I jump up and run into the hallway, and realize the sound came from behind Sofia’s office door. Jake and Stanton come out of their offices at the same time, their concerned expressions matching mine. When another thump sounds, Stanton’s mouth presses into a hard line and his eyes look like two nukes about to detonate. He takes the lead as we burst through Sofia’s office door.

Sofia’s always had the Brazilian bombshell thing going on, but now she’s sporting an extra curve—the seven-month baby bump across her middle. Which makes the fact that she’s holding a guy facedown across her desk, his arm pulled unnaturally far behind his back, even more disturbing. And . . . kind of awesome.

“Aaaarrrgh, you’re gonna break my arm!” the guy moans.

“Are you all right?” Stanton asks her.

“Dandy.” She actually smiles.

He steps up just as Sofia steps back—then Stanton grabs the guy and pins him to the wall, his big hand wrapped around the guy’s throat.

“What the fuck did you do?” Stanton growls.

The guy’s eyes bulge “Me? She almost broke my goddamn arm!”

Stanton pulls him a few inches from the wall and slams him back against it. “What’d you do that made her almost break your arm?”

“I told him he was going to have to do jail time.” Sofia pushes her long, dark hair back, fanning her sweaty neck. “That there wasn’t a deal I could make that wouldn’t include two to four years, minimum. He didn’t appreciate that, and took a swing at me.”

“You took a fucking swing at my wife?” Stanton’s fingers clench around the guy’s windpipe. “My pregnant wife!”

Sofia becomes the voice of reason. “I’m okay, Stanton. Really. Please just get him out of here.” Then she gives the piece of shit a look that may kill him faster than Stanton’s grip. “I’m dropping your case and keeping your retainer. Whatever lawyer you end up with won’t be good enough to get you even two to four, so have fun with that, asshole. Get out.”

“Let me help you,” Jake says, low and dangerous. Then he takes the bastard off Stanton’s hands—literally—and drags him out the door.

Stanton’s hands run over Sofia’s stomach, her shoulders. “You sure you’re okay?”

“Totally fine. He didn’t even touch me.”

   
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