Breaching the Contract(6)By: Chantal Fernando
“Why don’t we start from the beginning. Can you tell me about everything that has happened so far?” I ask him.
He starts telling me everything, from start to end, and I write it all down for Jaxon. I also take initiative to write down any notes or ideas I have for the case, things I need to look into and research.
“Thank you for explaining all of that,” I tell him, placing my pen down.
“Do you think I have a chance of proving that I’m innocent?” he asks, and it’s the first time he’d admitted that he didn’t do it.
I’m about to reply when Jaxon walks in, saving me.
“Sorry I’m late,” he says to the both of us. I stand from his seat and gesture for him to take it.
“Do you need me to do anything else, Mr. Bentley?” I ask him.
“No, I’ve got it from here, Kat,” he tells me, his eyes thanking me for covering for him.
I nod and quickly exit the room, closing the door softly behind me. I head to Yvonne’s desk to see what she’s up to before I get back to work, only to see her having a chat with Tristan.
He’s suddenly everywhere.
“Your client canceled,” Yvonne tells him, tapping her long red nails on the desk. “And the rest of your day is free.”
“So I get to go home and actually spend some time with my kids?” he asks her, brow rising.
Yvonne smiles and nods. “Enjoy the rest of your day.”
“Oh, I will,” Tristan says, smiling at her and then leaving.
He has kids?
And even more surprising, he smiles like that?
With his eyes?
Maybe there’s more to him than I think.
WHEN I HEAR MY door open the next morning, without looking up, I say, “I’ve made a breakthrough on the Curtis case, Jaxon,” referring to the one he gave solely to me to take care of. “I’m confident there will be enough evidence to prove his innocence.”
“Jaxon isn’t coming in today,” Tristan says, making my head snap up. He sighs and sits down opposite me. “Or tomorrow.”
“What do you mean?” I ask him, leaning back in my seat and studying him. “Is everything okay?”
“He’s had a family emergency,” he explains, expression blank. “He’s taking some time off, and has asked me to take over his cases until he returns. Including the ones you’re working on.”
I grit my teeth together. While I feel awful Jaxon clearly has something bad enough for him to take some time off work, the thought of Tristan being my new mentor is like a bad dream.
A worst-fucking-case scenario.
“I see,” I murmur, clearing my throat. I glance down at the case file longingly. “Will I still be working on his cases, and the Curtis case? Or . . .”
“No, you’ll be working on mine, with me,” he states, standing. “I’ll only be taking on some of his cases though. I’ll give his more high-profile clients the option to come to me or to find another lawyer to represent them.”
“Right,” I say, shoulders hunching. I’d already put so much work into the projects Jaxon gave me, and now they’re being taken away from me. Still processing this big change, I take a deep breath and dare to ask him, “What would you like me to work on today?”
“I want you to get me a coffee, black, two sugars, and then come find me in my office so I can give you further instructions,” he says, heading to the door. “I’ll see you in ten.”
He leaves the room, and I scowl.
Jaxon never sent me to get coffee, unless I was getting some for myself anyway. Jaxon would actually bring me coffee, not the other way around. He treated me like an equal.
I have a bad feeling about this.
TAPPING MY FOOT ON the grass, my jaw tighter than it’s ever been, I wonder how the fuck I got here. To this moment. Standing in front of an elementary school. I worked my ass off in law school. I graduated at the top—not the top 5 percent or the top five—the very top of my class. I had offers from every prestigious firm in the state and had every opportunity presented to me as a law school graduate. And after all that, instead of working on interesting cases and saving the world, I’m picking up kids from school. Kids who aren’t mine. Basically, today, I’m a nanny. When Tristan had told me his nanny had called in sick and he needed me to pick up the kids and take them home, I’d thought he was joking. I’ve never even met his kids before, for one, and second, this is most definitely not in my job description. I’m not his assistant; I’m his employee and here to learn from him so I can be the best lawyer I can be. I’m not here for this.