Tuesday, March 17, 2009

At Long Last by Shawn Lane

The right wall of Preston Reynolds’s office vibrated and
shook the framed awards and diplomas hanging there. Loud
bass and percussion warbled from the direction of the room
next door.

Across from his desk sat a little old lady with perfectly
coiffed gray hair, twisting her gnarled hands and casting
glances at the moving wall. Biting her lip, Mrs. Windham
shifted in the chair.

Preston cleared his throat and attempted his best reassuring
smile. “Sorry about that, Mrs. Windham. Now, then, you
needn’t be concerned about your grandson. I’ll go and see him
in lockup this afternoon. Everything will be okay.”

She nodded. “I’ve been told Trask and Reynolds is the best
at what they do. My grandson is completely innocent, but
naturally our family is concerned. So many get railroaded by
the courts.”

“I’ll make sure he gets the best defense possible, Mrs.

The wall jumped with a particularly loud blast of bass.

Mrs. Windham’s startled gaze went once more toward the
room next door.

Preston stood and approached her chair, helping her up.
“I’ll be in touch as soon as I’ve been to see him. You can call
me anytime with that number on the card I gave you.”

Mrs. Windham allowed herself to be ushered out of his
office and down the hall to the reception area.

“Wendy, see that Mrs. Windham’s parking charges are
waived,” Preston said to the pretty, African American

“No problem, Mr. Reynolds.”

The double glass doors of the front office opened and
Preston’s law partner and best friend, Jack Trask, walked in.

The tall blond man dressed in a pinstriped navy suit similar to
his own smiled warmly at Mrs. Windham.

“Good Morning. Good morning, Preston, Wendy.”

Wendy murmured, “Good morning.” She cast her eyes
down at the parking ticket Mrs. Windham had handed to her,
but not before Preston noticed the sparkle in her dark eyes
when her gaze briefly met Jack’s.

“I’ll talk to you later, Mrs. Windham,” Preston said, then
walked toward his office. He took a few steps farther and
stood outside the closed door of the office blaring rock music.

“Hey, what’s up?” Jack came down the hall, removing his
suit jacket. “Something wrong?” He nodded to the closed

“This is your brother’s first day and already he’s a pain in
the ass.”

“Yeah, I know it’s going to be an adjustment. Dad insisted
we give the kid a chance.”

Kenneth Trask was the third partner in the law firm, but he
was semi-retired now. He’d been the one to hire Scott, Jack’s
little brother, as a private investigator and accountant for the
firm. Preston had been somewhat surprised as Ken seemed to
feel his youngest son was something of a flake.

“You want me to talk to him?” Jack asked.

“No, I’ll handle it.” Preston reached for the door handle.

“Um, something going on between you and Wendy?”

“Why would you ask that?” Jack raised a blond brow.

“Office romances are never a good idea, Jack.”

“Duly noted, but nothing is going on.” Jack rolled his eyes
and headed for his own office.

Shrugging, Preston tapped on the door. After a few
moments of silence he figured it was unlikely Scott even heard
him. He pounded his fist.


Preston supposed that was Scott’s version of “come in.”
He twisted the handle.

Scott Trask was flung across the desk in the room on his
stomach, his jean-clad ass sticking up, the tops of his cheeks
clearly visible. The white T-shirt he wore had bunched up
underneath him. His head was missing.

“What the hell?” Preston walked to the stereo on a small
table against the wall their offices shared and pushed the off
button. Silence at last.

Scott’s head shot up from the other side of the desk, by the
chair. His face was bright red and he held a box of paper clips
in his hand.

“Oh, hi, Pres.” Scott lifted himself on his two muscular
arms, then scooted down the desk, his ass prominently
displayed. His feet touched the ground and he turned to face

“Mind telling me what you were doing?” Preston asked,
ignoring the way his mouth went dry at the display. He was
not going to analyze the absurd way he reacted to Scott. No

Scott grinned. “I dropped a box of paper clips.”

Available from Amber Allure: www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure

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