Jesus Christ I should have gotten a different lawyer.

Not the best time to be thinking this as I sit in the waiting room of Wagner Easton. I probably should have just canceled the appointment when I was on the website and saw her photo. And definitely should have canceled it once I sufficiently stalked her online.

To distract myself, I look around the swanky office. I had a feeling it was going to be nice. I should have dressed better. Actually, forget that. I’m paying her. I need to remember that. I’m paying her. Anything outside of legal counsel is not happening.

Not that she’d be into it anyway. I saw her photo. She’s hot but she looks every bit the part of a buttoned up, heterosexual lawyer.

She probably has a husband at home who works in software and takes care of their two kids.

None of this is my business, I have to remind myself. I’m here because my boss told me she’s the best. And I need the best.

She’s also the most expensive. Which isn’t a problem, in fact, for me it’s a good thing. Lawyers can only charge as much as they’re worth. Or that’s what my dad says. He’s a lawyer.

There are various employees walking in and out of conference rooms. It’s a busy place. And they all look they came out of some law show. There are too many good looking people in suits. My god, even some of the men are attractive. I mean, for men.

I tell myself to focus on why I’m here and to stop ogling these poor junior associates.

I pull out my folder so I can review it all again. I have all my financials laid out clearly. I even printed out texts, phone records, and friend testimonies — everything that will help support my case. I’d rather not waste time with some introductory meeting where this place can charge me $400 for an hour.

Looking at all this makes me sad. It always does. I’m not in love with her any more. But I was. And I married her. And now we’re here. Well I’m here. She’s at some other law firm doing this same thing.

I guess nobody knows how things will change. But we really were happy for a few years. Or I thought we were. She apparently didn’t.

But after five years of being with someone, you think you know a little about who they are. And I never thought Mia would go to this level. For money.

Which is crazy since she has no need for money. She’s a highly sought after project manager in the tech space and money was never one of our issues.

Plus her new boyfriend isn’t doing too badly for himself either. He owns some construction type company that has its hand in a lot of Los Angeles projects.

I’m relieved to be pulled out of the road my mind is taking me. I don’t want to think about him. Or my ex for that matter.

The receptionist lets me know that Ms. Parker is ready.

Natalie Parker.

I don’t know much outside of what she looks like. I know that she’s a partner here and is very young to be one. And she’s won some awards that I know nothing about. She specializes in LGBT law, primarily focusing on marriage and adoption rights.

My boss, who’s very well connected, knows her through some high profile judge in the LA court system. Natalie Parker came highly recommended.

The receptionist leads me through the building until we reach a large conference room that looks out on the smoggy downtown area. The room could probably seat 30 people, but this meeting is just with the two of us.

“Can I get you some water?” the receptionist asks me as I choose one of the many seats.

“Yes, please.”

I wait some more as she brings in the water and sets it next to me.

“Ms. Johnson, hello,” I hear as I look up to see Natalie walking in to the room. She’s holding a file, most likely full of the things I had sent her prior to this meeting. But I can’t even remember why I’m here.

The first thing that goes through my mind is that her photo online does not do her justice. This woman is beyond beautiful. In a tight grey blazer, matched perfectly with a slimming black pencil skirt, she looks like she’s walked off a print ad showcasing a lawyer’s office.

The second thing I notice are her eyes. Her eyes are the color of nature itself, the exact shade of amber. But it’s not the color that makes me pause. It’s their intensity. She seems to be assessing me with the same unsubtle hunger that I probably showed when she walked in.

Before I can even process it, she’s sitting down, and smiling calmly at me from across the conference room table. The hunger in her eyes is gone, replaced instead by a calm professionalism.

The silence draws on for a second too long to be comfortable and I’m about to break it when she speaks.

“Thank you for coming in Ms. Johnson, I wish it was under better circumstances, but people never seem to come here for that.”

“You can just call me Reese.”

“Reese it is”.

“And thank you for seeing me. I know you’re busy. But I’ve been told you’re the best.”

She smiles at that as she looks over the file she’s now opening.

“I don’t know about that, ardahan escort but I’ll take the compliment.”

In a way, she’s not what I was expecting. I mean, she’s even more beautiful than I thought. But there’s something else. When I saw her photo, I saw this almost arrogant air about her. Someone who drips confidence when she walks in the room. Natalie changed the air in the room the second she walked in, but she’s not that arrogant lawyer I was expecting. She’s calm, but warm, and maybe even a little nervous.

“So for this first meeting, we’ll only take about an hour. I have all the info you sent over and have been through it. But I’d love to ask some questions and get some answers from you directly. My assistant has let me know the retainer and disclosure forms are all set. So we can begin today if you want to move forward.”

She doesn’t break eye contact as she talks to me. And her quiet intensity is so alluring, I have to remind myself not to lean forward as she talks.

“I want out of this marriage. If you can do that, then please, let’s do it.”

“Great,” she replies. And there it is. There’s the smirk. I feel myself redden slightly at my slip of words. But I swear, she does too.

“So, Reese. We don’t need to go through all the details. I know them. What I want to know is, what does success look like for you? Walking away from this, what do you want?”

I’m almost taken aback. I figured she’d make me go through all the things I already sent her, like most corporate monkeys. Or maybe I’m just super judgmental.

“I don’t know. I mean, I want out of this marriage. But I also don’t want to give her everything she’s claiming she deserves. I worked my ass off for this family for five years. I’m not trying to screw her, I just want it to be fair.”

“The good thing is you made comparable salaries. You weren’t supporting her. So her claim that she should receive more is not logical. Anything else Reese?”

I suddenly notice her tongue catches on the “s” of my name a little. Almost like a lisp. And it’s so fucking cute I have to squeeze my legs together.

“Actually she makes more than I do. Plus, I put more in to the house. Because when we bought it, she didn’t make much money. It wasn’t really my money, but it was my parents’ money.”

“You have a solid case. I don’t see any reason why you won’t get what you deserve. I hope this can be resolved through mediation.”

“And if it’s not?”

“We go to court. But again, she really has no case against you. She makes claims, but she doesn’t support them in her declaration with any proof.”

“Right. She’s saying I cheated on her.”

“None of that matters to the court, Reese. It can’t turn in to a ‘he said, she said’. Or ‘she said, she said’. It’s based on facts. Financials.”

“Ok well there’s just one thing that’s important,” I say.

She raises her eyebrows urging me to go on.

“My dog. Our dog. Well he’s technically my dog. She has him still since she’s in the house. But I want him. She doesn’t even care about him. And he’s…I care about him.”

“Your dog. I think I saw something about that in here,” she says looking down at the file. “Dogs can be tricky, sometimes people almost treat them as children. Will she fight for…?”


“Albus? As in Dumbledore?”

“Not the real one.”

She lets out a quick laugh and closes her mouth as if it almost surprised her. And I feel an unjustified amount of pride in being able to make her laugh. I want to hear that sound again.

“We can bring that up in mediation. If she fights for him, we’ll go from there.”

She looks down at the folder again as she thinks. As she does, she casually put the tip of her pen in her mouth. I can’t believe I didn’t notice her lips before. She’s not even wearing lipstick and yet the color of her lips are an unnatural pink. I can’t help thinking about kissing those lips. Pressing mine against them and opening them with my tongue…

Lawyer. Lawyer. Lawyer. I repeat to myself over and over again.

“Reese? You ok?”

She’s smiling at me as if she knows where my head was. Maybe she does? Fuck. Where was I even looking just now? I was so distracted by that mischievous glint in her eye.

“Uh yeah. Fine. So what happens now? We just prepare for mediation if they agree to it?”

“Yes. Hopefully they agree to the date we throw out. If not, we go to trial. But I don’t want you to worry, she has no case. And I’ve never lost.”

The arrogant smirk is back. And I’m finding that I don’t hate it. It’s kind of sexy.

“So that’s it for now?” I ask.

“At this point, the less you see me, the better for your wallet. I’ll send out the mediation request and we’ll go from there.”

She stands up and gathers her papers into the folder. I take this as my cue that the meeting is done and stand up. We both walk to the door of the conference room. She pauses at the door before opening it.

“We’ve got this, Reese. Mia will regret the day she ardahan escort bayan didn’t value you.” She flashes me a smile as she opens the door. “Thank you again for coming in, my team will be in touch soon.”

She reaches her hand out to shake, which is actually the first time we’ve touched. I reach my hand over and try to control my voice as I feel her warm skin touch mine.

“Thanks again, Ms. Parker. I appreciate the time.”

“Natalie. Ms. Parker makes me feel old.”

“Well, you’re actually surprisingly young.”

“Am I Reese? For what exactly?”

“I think of most lawyer as old, white 50 year old men I guess. And you’re definitely not that.”

I realize what I said after it comes out of my mouth. But she simply smiles and continues the banter. Or is it flirtation?

“We have some of those if you want me to find you one.”

“No thanks. I get attached easily. We’ve already established something,” I smile back at her.

“Well in that case, I will be in touch soon. Have a good day Reese.”

Natalie walks the other direction, leaving me in front of the conference room confused. I’m pretty sure I just had a full-on flirtatious conversation with my lawyer, 33 floors above the city.

I quickly leave without looking back. I mumble a goodbye to the receptionist as I head to the elevators that take me down to the lobby.

There is no reason I should feel this turned on after a meeting with a lawyer. But she was so sexy. And I would put money on her feeling the same about me. There was just something in her eye. I obviously know that can’t happen, but a friendly flirt at the tune of $300/hour isn’t the worst thing.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

As I put the final touches of my make up on I can’t stop myself from thinking about her lips again. Why does the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen have to be the most untouchable? Most likely she isn’t even in to women and this is all a moot point.

But deep down I know she is. I saw the way she looked at me at times. This is an award winning lawyer, I have to assume that’s out of the norm for her.

My phone buzzing takes me out of my thoughts. I put the mascara away as I look down at the text from Dillon. She’s always paranoid I’m going to bail on these parties. Which to be fair, is usually what I do. I’m not saying 33 is old. But I feel old when I’m at a club with 22 year olds trying to get laid and find their “authentic” selves.

But its Dillon’s birthday and I promised her I would go. Dillon’s been my best friend since I moved to LA. I dated one of her best friends for about a week and met her one night out. We both are graphic designers and she helped get me a job at her company. We’ve been close since.

Her text is letting me know she’ll be here in 10 minutes. Dillon doesn’t drink, so she’s usually the designated driver, I’ve offered numerous times since that seems unfair, but she always insists.

I finish getting myself together and head out to the curb to wait for her. It’s a warm night so I didn’t even need to bring a jacket.

As I wait, I begin to rethink my outfit. I went for a dress because of the heat and it’s LA — I never know which friend of Mia’s I’ll run in to. It may be petty and immature but I don’t want them reporting that I’m wearing cargo pants and a vest.

Tonight I’m wearing a dark blue dress that’s flowy and comes down to just above my knees. It cuts in at the chest so my cleavage is noticeable. It’s always gotten me compliments before and the fact is I’m still slightly turned on from my meeting earlier today with Natalie and I feel like getting some female attention.

Not that I don’t usually get that. I’ve found I have a look that goes over well in LA. Not everywhere — in Portland I got called Skipper by a bartender at a Pride party. Who I had to be told is Barbie’s little sister. Like, I didn’t even get to be Barbie.

Dillon pulls up in her BMW and rolls down the window.

“How much for the night?” She calls out.

“You’re an asshole,” I respond as I open the door. “In no world could you ever afford this.”

“You’re right. I’m going to be alone forever.”

I smile as she drives us off in to the night. “We can be spinsters together,” I assure her.

“But you’ve already been married. I haven’t even done that.”

“That’s not an accomplishment, Dill. I’m getting a divorce. That’s like saying, ‘it’s OK that you got an F on that test, at least you took it’!”

She ignores my comment with a small laugh and pulls the car in to a spot down the street from the bar.

“How was the meeting with the lawyer? She as hot in person?”

Dillon was there when I stalked Natalie online. And has been bugging me about setting her up with said lawyer ever since. Even before I met her. Dillon can be obnoxious at times, but it’s also part of her charm.

“So much hotter it’s ridiculous. I couldn’t concentrate.”

“Well good. Maybe she can help you forget about escort ardahan bitch-face McGee.”

I smile at the nickname. It’s always a new one, but I appreciate how loyal Dillon is.

“I can’t do anything about it. She’s my lawyer. I think there’s some rule against that.”

“Good point. Which again brings me to the idea that I can date her instead!” We both laugh as we get out of the car, mainly because we both know she’s being serious.

Dillon puts her arm through mine and pulls me in to the club behind her.

The Saturday lesbian party is always at the same club, Anthem. It’s not a girl bar on most nights. Just Saturday’s.

Our crew have been coming here for a couple years, but it’s only recently that it’s been as a single person.

I’ve dated a couple women in LA since my marriage ended last summer. But it’s been fairly casual and the sex hasn’t been great. There’s certainly been no one that makes me want to go on a third or fourth date.

As always, we head to the bar as soon as we get there. Our friends Hayley and Jen are already at the bar holding beers.

Anthem is actually a cool bar. It has a medieval sort of feel with dark areas that look like caves. But their drink selection is limited. It’s not safe to get much outside of beer, shots, and water. And I’m not even sure if the water should be trusted.

I get my beer and join my friends at our spot. We like to watch the dancers out on the dance floor at the end of the bar so we have a good view and a place to set our drinks. I don’t come to hook up. If it happens, great. But I don’t put my hopes in it like some women here do.

You can see them all over the club. Clutching their drink like a lifeline and darting their eyes around until they can make significant eye contact with anyone.

I’m sure I was like that in my early 20s too. I berate myself for suddenly sounding like a grandpa who had to walk to school in snow to hit on lesbians.

I mainly come to these to support Dillon, plus I love to dance. I also don’t get to see Jen and Hayley much outside of our Saturday excursions every once in a while.

Jen is single and loves anything- men, women, I don’t even want to know what. I actually introduced her to the other two. Jen went to my high school and moved out to LA soon after I did.

Hayley is full on gay but she has a girlfriend named Heather. Heather is a successful scenic designer and is usually traveling. She makes all these cute “H&H” crafts while she’s gone as a gift to Hayley and it’s disgusting.

I finally tune in to the conversation to catch Jen talking about a recent date with a firefighter only to leave him at the end of the dinner with the female bartender. Jen doesn’t discriminate based on gender. Or anything really. She’s kind of like Dillon in that sense.

This is pretty typical for our Saturdays now. Hayley and I listen to Dillon and Jen talk about their sexual exploits. Hayley doesn’t usually contribute out of respect for her girlfriend. And they know I’m generally sad and mopey about my divorce and don’t push me.

“I took you more for a cocktail kind of girl,” I hear someone say behind me. A little too close than is comfortable.

I turn around ready to say something snarky to the too forward woman. But my jaw slaps shut when I see Natalie in front of me. She looks even hotter than this morning. She’s in tight skinny jeans and a black tank top, her hair out of its confines and rolling down her back.

“Natalie,” is all I manage to get out and I feel my face redden for no reason.

“Hello, Reese,” she smiles back.

“What’re you doing here?” I ask her before realizing that it may come off as rude.

Honestly, I just didn’t expect her to be here. Or any lesbian bar. She sticks out here, among all the hipster LA lesbians with their half shaved head/half long hair looks.

“I suspect the same thing you’re doing here. Drinking. Dancing. Conversing.”

She still sounds like a lawyer. A little too formal and buttoned up, but unlike earlier where she was friendly but professional, she has some kind of glimmer in her eye. And I’m pretty sure it’s attraction mixed with alcohol.

“I’ve just never seen you here before,” I respond as I take a sip of my beer, mainly so my hands have something to do. Something was telling me this was going in a very specific direction.

“You may have and just didn’t notice. I’ve been here a few times.”

“I would have remembered.”

It’s out of my mouth before I can even stop myself. Natalie’s eyes widen for just a second at the remark.

“So you think I’m noticeable then?”

She asks it almost nervously. Probably because we’re entering into dangerous territory. But I can’t help but smile back. She’s just so fucking pretty.

“Am I allowed to think my lawyer is noticeable?” I banter back inadvisably.

“You can think whatever you want, Reese.”

The conversation stalls but it doesn’t feel uncomfortable. I look up from my drink to see her looking at me with her head tilted to the side, a question in her eyes.

But before she has a chance to ask whatever it was, Dillon pops her head over my shoulder. And I remind myself to yell at her later for being such an annoying clock block. No. Not cock block. This is your lawyer.

“Well, hello. Do you two know each other?” Dillon asks.