The Defendant

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Chapter 3. The Savior

Last Weekend....

I swirled the cocktail straw through my drink, listening to the ice cubes clink against the side as Lauren droned on. “...and I’m just not sure what to do about it you know?” My eyes snapped to her face, realizing she’d asked me a question.

“Yeah that seems like a hard situation,” I said nodding. In truth I hadn’t really been listening and had no idea what she was talking about. The office had been stressful this week. When my coworker had asked me to come grab drinks I hadn’t been thinking. Desperate to escape the mounting pile of case files I had and avoid another night of take out and Netflix, I’d agreed. Now I was regretting that rash decision.

“I mean, there is nothing that forbids an interoffice relationship right?” The memory of talk in the break room of an attorney and a paralegal being seen making out in the supply closest resurfaced. No wonder Lauren had asked me to drinks, everyone else in the office was probably avoiding her.

I took a swig of my drink. “I don’t recall anything specific in the rules but it is strongly discouraged. If the partners found out it could be detrimental to your career.” Her delicate face crumbled.

“I think I’m in love with him,” she practically mumbled as she tucked her mouse brown hair behind her ear. I felt sympathy wash over me. Resting my hand on hers I gave her a small smile.

“I’m going to go grab us some more drinks and we can discuss it a little more.” She nodded before I turned and strode off to the bar.

The room was dark and packed. Being a Friday night all manner of professionals had come in to have a drink and celebrate the end of the work week. I slipped through the crowd, a mix of men and women in suits and the young party crowd in more casual clothes. I leaned against the bar, trying to get the bartenders attention when I felt someone pressing up against me.

“Hello beautiful, mind if I buy you a drink?” I looked over at the man beside me. He had shaggy brown hair and a slightly crooked smile. His suit looked bought off the rack and didn’t quite fit his medium build. I sighed loudly before turning my eyes back to the bartender.

“I’m not interested buddy,” I said loudly, sure he’d get the message. Instead he pressed closer to me, dropping his head so his mouth was near my ear.

“I just wanna buy you a drink pretty lady.” He reached up and ran a finger through my loose blonde hair. I pulled away, disgust clear on my face.

“Do not touch me!” I said loudly and firmly, trying my best to step back against the crowd. “I said no, so drop it.” I turned to find another spot along the bar to wait when the creep grabbed my arm.

“Hey don’t be like that! I’m a nice guy and I just wanna buy you a drink! You don’t have to be a bitch.”

I opened my mouth to let loose the flurry of curse words building inside me what someone stepped up to my side. “I suggest you let her go.” His deep voice tumbled across us and I glanced over at the towering man next to me. My arm dropped as the creep let me go, his hands flying up by his head as he backed away.

As that man disappeared I turned to the new arrival. “You ok?” He asked, his eyebrows knitted in concern.

I nodded once as I cleared my throat. “Thanks for your help but I had it under control.”

He smiled, his teeth were dazzlingly white. “Oh I don’t doubt it. Some of these guys can be real creeps. Just wanted to make sure you were ok.” He took a swig of his drink, his Adam’s apple bobbed and I found my eyes glued to him. This man was gorgeous. His slightly unkempt dirty blonde hair trailed over his forehead hiding what looked to be cloudly blue eyes. He was very tall and made me feel small in comparison. His arm muscles were impressive and on display in his short sleeved black shirt. Despite myself I drew closer to him.

“Thank you. Can I buy you a drink as a token of my gratitude?” His smile widened as he nodded.

“Scotch please.” I turned toward the bar, hand raised to flag down the bartender. He finally made his way over and I ordered a drink for me and my strange savior. I grabbed them both and turned, gesturing for him to follow me through the crowd. We made our way toward my table and it wasn’t until I saw Lauren there waiting that I remembered I didn’t grab a drink for her. We came to the table and I set the two drinks down.

“I’m sorry Lauren, I had an incident at the bar and forgot your drink. I’ll go get it.” Her eyes widened at the man standing next to me. She looked between the two of us before smiling slightly.

“Actually, I think I’m going to go home and text Ryan. I think I should talk with him. Thanks for listening though Liv.” She gathered her purse quickly and with a small wave headed toward the door.

I felt my shoulders relax slightly. Lauren was a sweet girl but I wasn’t used to having to make small talk with others. My circle of friends was small, consisting of my sister, my childhood friend Adrienne, and the one new person we’d allowed in, Sofia. Even growing up I’d never been one for friendship, most people offput by my no nonsense manner and relatively dry humor. Now I could finish my drink and go home to peace and quiet.

“Thanks for the drink, Liv,” the man I’d brought over said as he reached for his glass. The way my nickname rolled off his tongue sent shivers across me. “I’m assuming that’s short for Olivia?”

I nodded and glanced up at him. Even through the darkness I could now see that his eyes were a stormy grey, not the blue I’d originally thought. “And can I know the name of my rescuer?” I asked dramatically, batting my eyelashes.

He chuckled and leaned forward over the table. “I’m Wes.”

The rest of the night flew by. Somehow, Wes got me talking. We talked about our childhoods and our families, my sister and parents. I told him I was adopted. Then he told me about his father and mother. They were divorced and apparently it wasn’t an amicable one. I could tell this wasn’t the happiest of topics for Wes and we switched it to sports teams then eventually to Netflix shows. Our conversation came easily and it grew easier with each glass of alcohol. “You can’t say that! There is no way The Last Kingdom is better than Game of Thrones! The dragons, the imagery! A whole new language!” I practically yelled as I laughed.

His eyes seemed to sparkle as he grinned at me. “The Last Kingdom is based on true events! It’s gritty, it’s real. You don’t need the fantasy to make it spectacular.”

I shook my head as I smiled. “Agree to disagree.” He chuckled slightly as he downed the rest of his drink. The space around us was loud but it felt like we were in our own little bubble. Warmth bubbled through me as the alcohol raced through my system. I’d lost track of how long we’d been here and for once I wasn’t in a hurry to leave his company.

As if reading my mind he asked, “Mind if I see you home Liv?” My stomach fluttered in excitement. I chewed my bottom lip slightly to hide my smile.

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt,” I shrugged as I finished my cocktail. I grabbed my purse and slid off the high top chair. My ankle buckled slightly and a warm strong hand wrapped around me, keeping me upright. “Saving me again?” I asked with a giggle.

Wes placed his lips against my ear, his breath warm. I felt my nipples peak as heat rushed through my body. As we’d talked I’d watched him. The muscles flexing in his arms, his tongue licking his lips after taking a sip of his scotch. Each motion he made had made me shift in my seat, heat flushing my cheeks. “Just call me your personal superhero. Let’s get you home beautiful.” And get me home he did.

Today

“I can’t believe you waited this long to tell me this!” El yelled as she bounced in her seat.

“It’s only been a week...”

“You had sex with a complete stranger! That is so not like you. These details should have been disclosed immediately! And now he’s your client? This whole thing is crazy. So, when are you seeing him again?”

I sighed as I reached for another slice of pizza. “I’ll be seeing him at work, whenever we need to discuss the case.”

Her eyebrows rose. “So you’re not going to sleep with him again?”

“He’s the son of my boss, El. If he found out I was sleeping with his son, his still MARRIED son, I would be fired. I have to be professional. I am his attorney.”

El sighed before taking a bite of her pizza. We sat there, both chewing our pizza and lost in thoughts. Those hours I’d spent with Wes had been great but never at the cost of my career. Here I was, almost 30, and I had reached the status I’d always dreamed of. I’d worked hard to be where I was and no man was going to ruin it for me. No matter how good he made my body feel. As if I cue my core clenched and I grew slick.

The doorbell rang, pulling me from dirty thoughts. I set my pizza down and headed to the door. As I opened it I popped my finger in my mouth to suck off some sauce that had landed there. Then I froze, door half open and finger in my mouth. Wes stood before me making my arousal from minutes ago flare up. I became acutely aware of the tank top and shorts I was wearing, and especially my lack of bra. As if on cue my nipples pebbles and I swear his eyes dropped instantly. Before I could manage to form words his hand wrapped around my neck, pulling me forward.

It happened so fast yet his kiss was soft. He gently pulled my bottom lip with his teeth and all I wanted was for him to devour me. Behind us, El cleared her throat and I pulled away. I turned to my sister, eyes wide and face flushed as I tried to regulate my breathing. I took a few steps away from Wes before turning back to face him. “Wes, I didn’t expect you. What do you need?” I crossed my arms over my chest, nearly rolling my eyes as I rubbed against my needy nipples.

He looked back and forth between me and my sister. Then he stepped forward, hand extended. “You must be Liv’s sister. So great to meet you, I’m Wes.”

El shook his hand with a smirk as she glanced over at me. “So glad to meet you Wes! Funny we were just talking about how you two met and then you appeared! Were your ears burning?”

Wes smiled slightly as he shook his head. “No just needed to talk to Liv about a few things. Didn’t mean to interrupt girls night.”

“You have Mr. Prescott’s number. You can direct your questions to him. Have a good night Wes.” I stepped forward, ushering him towards the door. El jumped forward and grabbed his arm, pulling him further into my living room.

“Actually Wes, I was about to head home. But help yourself to some pizza and I’m sure Ollie would be happy to answer your questions!” El turned to me with a smirk as she grabbed her purse. I couldn’t believe she’d used my stupid childhood nickname in front of him.

As she brushed past me I mumbled, “Traitor.”

She mumbled back, “You’ll thank me later. As usual, I’ll need details.” She bumped me with her hip before breezing out the door.

Wes stood in front of me, hands buried in his pockets. I didn’t know why he was here but I needed to make this short. I couldn’t be tempted by him again, especially now that I knew who he was. And he obviously had other ideas with that kiss. “What can I do for you Wes?”

His smile made my knees shake slightly. He moved forward slowly as he pinned me in place with his stare. “The question is, Ms. Baser, what can I do for you?”

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