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Data dołączenia: 24 mar 2022
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Maggie leaned back in her chair and smiled thoughtfully at the collection of photos that had gathered over the years on the credenza behind her desk.

There was one of Ben and Nate at the housewarming of their new apartment. Who would have thought that nearly five years later they’d still be together?

She looked at a photo of herself and Des in pale green bridesmaid dresses at Casey’s wedding. Now Casey and John had a toddler and another baby on the way. Behind that picture was one of Des and Jacob with their son Eli, who was about three now.

Then there were photos of Michael. Some were from office functions, others more casual, including a few from Doc’s. Over the years Michael had made a tradition of stopping by the Orphans and Misfits Christmas at her place before jetting off to whatever fabulous tropical destination he’d chosen for that year. Maggie’s gaze fell on a handful of photos featuring the Christmas crowd wearing those silly paper crowns that come out of party poppers.

She picked up her favorite picture of herself and Michael. They were dancing together and were both laughing about something. It had been taken at a charity event years before and had actually appeared in an issue of Vanity Fair. Michael had ordered a print and given it to her as a gift once. She smiled fondly. How was it that time passed so quickly?

The firm had changed here and there. Dan had moved on to start his own firm in Brooklyn. Nate was brought up from downstairs to work with Stan. For the last few years, Maggie had accompanied Michael to the job fair at NYU where she helped him interview new candidates. Last year, they’d hired Amy Tranh. She was a bright and eager young lawyer who was just now beginning to accompany them to court on occasion.

“Hey, we’ve got to go,” Michael said, popping his head into her office. “Jean-Luc is being arraigned in an hour.”

Maggie looked up, startled. “Sorry! I lost track of time.” She grabbed her bag and followed Michael to the elevator.

Jean-Luc LeRoi, professional hockey goalie and notorious bad boy, had been accused of sexual assault by a escort woman listed at devozki he’d met after a game one night about a month earlier. The previous night, he’d been arrested at his hotel and was at Manhattan Central Booking awaiting arraignment before a judge. He’d contacted Michael immediately. Michael met with Jean-Luc at the jail, advising him to keep quiet and wait for the judge.

Now the District Attorney apparently felt there was enough evidence to proceed with charges against the star known as The King. LeRoi’s handlers met Michael and Maggie outside the courtroom.

“No worries,” Michael assured them. “The judge will outline the charges, ask for a plea, and set bond. With these charges, you’re probably looking at about $50,000. That’s what I told him last night. Hopefully we’ll have him out by dinner time.”

Maggie stayed with Jean-Luc’s manager while Michael appeared before the judge alongside the hockey star. The judge sifted through a stack of paperwork. “Mr. LeRoi, you’re being accused of sexual assault. Do you understand the charges against you?”

“Yes, your honor,” Jean-Luc replied in his thick French Canadian accent. “And do you have a plea?”

“Your honor, my client would like to enter a plea of not guilty,” Michael answered.

“Noted. The court will set bond for Mr. LeRoi in the amount of $50,000. Mr. LeRoi, you will immediately surrender your passport. You are not to have any contact with the victim. Mr. Rannigan, can I rely on you to keep your client in line?”

“Absolutely, your honor. My client intends to fully cooperate with the court and so prove his innocence.”

An hour later, Jean-Luc emerged from the holding area, meeting Michael and Maggie along with the rest of his entourage. He shook hands with Michael. “Thank you so much,” he said. “What a terrible place.” He turned to Maggie. “And thank you, mademoiselle,” he said, his eyes resting briefly on her breasts before traveling down her body and back up again.

Maggie clenched her teeth together and said nothing. Jean-Luc LeRoi came off as a man who was impressed with himself. He was tall, with longish blond hair and pale blue eyes. He was clearly accustomed to being the center of attention.

“Okay, so go home, Jean-Luc. Stay in for a while. The media will be everywhere looking for you to fuck up. So don’t. You hear what I’m saying?” Michael advised his client.

“Oui, I understand,” he said, rolling his eyes. “I will be a good boy.”

“Good. We’ll meet next week and start on depositions,” Michael said. “Call me if you need anything.”

“I will look forward to it,” Jean-Luc said, his eyes once again on Maggie’s breasts.

On the ride back to the office, Maggie shivered. “That guy gives me the creeps,” she told Michael. “Seriously, he’s not right.”

Michael chuckled. “Aw, he’s okay. You know what happens to professional athletes. They go out, meet a girl, it’s consensual, and then afterwards it’s not. It’s always a shake-down.”

Maggie crossed her arms and shook her head. “I don’t know.”

Three days later they were seated at the small conference table in Michael’s office preparing for the deposition that Jean-Luc would be giving the following morning. Documents were spread before Michael and Maggie as they speculated the types of questions that would be asked. Their client truculently refused to stay seated, choosing instead to pace between the windows and the table, answering their queries with insolence and irritation. “This whole thing is stupid!” he said.

“Jean-Luc, the charges against you are very serious. You could do significant jail time, spend the rest of your life as a registered sex offender,” Michael cautioned. “You’re paying me a lot of money to ensure that you’re ready to face the questions you’re going to have to answer.” Maggie shot him a look and he rolled his eyes.

She watched the hockey pro as he moved around the office. He was handsome, tall and athletic, with Gallic features. If you weren’t aware of his nasty temperament, you’d find him attractive, she thought. She just couldn’t shake the feeling that he was dangerous.

LeRoi moved back to the table and sulkily opped into his chair. “Do you have nothing here to drink except water?” he whined.

“I’ll call my assistant to bring you something,” Michael said, picking up his phone.

“I can get it,” Maggie volunteered, happy for an excuse to get away from their client for a moment.

Michael smiled slightly. “Thanks, Mags.”

As she walked past Jean-Luc, she suddenly jerked to a stop. There was the sound of fabric ripping. She turned and glared at the hockey player, who’d grabbed the hem of her skirt.

“Oops,” he said, grinning like a schoolboy. Maggie turned her glare toward Michael before leaving the room.

As the door closed, Michael stared down at his notes while he stroked his chin and shifted his jaw before looking back at Jean-Luc. “I will say this one time.” His voice was intensely quiet. “Do not ever touch my staff again. Because the minute you do, I will quit your case and do what I can to see that your ass rots in jail.” LeRoi looked at him in surprise. “Am I making myself clear? No language barrier giving us problems here?”

Maggie returned with a can of ginger ale and a glass. Michael took them from her and walked her back to the door. “Thanks again, Mags. Why don’t you go work on that other matter?” Maggie frowned at him questioningly. “Don’t ever meet with this guy by yourself,” he said quietly.

Her eyes widened and he winked at her. “Go on home, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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