The Sanction

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I woke up the next morning feeling more refreshed than ever and I knew that after today my life would be headed in a whole new direction. There was just one problem, I couldn't shake the feeling that things with Aidan had to be made clear. I felt as if I had to explain the situation to him, especially after seeing him outside my window yesterday, so I gathered up all the courage I had and called my previous employer.

"Thank you for calling Edwards, Fawn, and Stone, how may I direct your call?" "This is Jessica Blackwood, I'm hoping to speak with Mr. Stone." "Mr. Stone stepped out for a moment, may I direct you to his voicemail?" "Yes, thank you."

He stepped out? He hates when people leave early, even if it's quick or for an emergency.

"You've reached Aidan Stone, leave your name, a good phone number, and your reason for calling and I'll get back to you as soon as possible." "Hello, Mr. Stone, this is Jessica Blackwood, I'd like to speak with you before you leave for the day. Feel free to call me any time today, I'm sure you remember the number. If not, I'm sure your secretary still has it on file. Thank you."

I began walking toward my bathroom to shower and get ready for the day until my phone started ringing.

My stomach dropped and my heart began to race.

"Hello." "Come outside, we need to talk." "I'm content with speaking over the phone, that's precisely why I called the firm and left you a voicemail." "Jessica, get down here, you've tested my patience enough already." "Am I honestly suppose to give a damn about your patience right now? I'm the one who has had my patience stretched thin, so how about you calm down and we discuss this situation properly." "Properly would be to have a face-to-face conversation, not over the phone where I can't tell what you're truly thinking. Just come outside and we can drive to the office and discuss everything." "You honestly think I want to be alone with you right now? I have my reasons for requesting having this conversation over the phone, I don't trust your reactions."

He fell silent for a moment and I decided that this was the one chance I would have to tell him what needed to be said. "Mr. Stone, I appreciate the job opportunity you gave me and for the brief experience of working with your firm. But right now, it doesn't seem that that is the best place for me to grow in this business. I also want to say to you that everything, in the beginning, was wonderful. However, the more time you and I spent together seemed to become more of a burden than either of us anticipated. I've enjoyed our times together, but this is what's best for both our professions and personal lives. I hope everything continues to go well for you and I hope to one day see you again, perhaps this time, in a courtroom. Goodbye, Mr. Stone. Goodbye, Aidan."

I quickly hung up the phone and took the first breath of my new life. My legs felt numb, my throat felt raw, and my eyes were stinging.

I threw my phone on my bed as it continued to ring with multiple calls, as well as multiple text messages.

After my shower, I grabbed my computer and phone and made my way to my living room to go through my emails and see if Christine had sent me any details on my first case.

Christine's was the first email in my inbox, but there was one from an email address I didn't recognize. All the email contained was the words, 'I'm proud of you.' The weirder thing is that I received that the same time I'd received Christine's.

I'd deleted all of Aidan's texts without reading them, as I was about to delete his number he sent one last message. 'You'll see me again, sooner than you think.' I brushed it off and looked over the email from Christine, but that's when I noticed why Aidan said that. I was listed as a co-defense attorney for this case, and Aidan was listed as the lead prosecutor.


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