Home > Egomaniac(8)

Egomaniac(8)
Author: Vi Keeland


Just then, a FedEx deliveryman appeared with a hand truck full of boxes. Drew moved the phone from his ear to speak to him. “Give me one minute.”

Deciding the least I could do was help him out, I signed for the delivery and asked the nice delivery man to stack the boxes on top of the plastic-covered reception counter. Drew mouthed thank you and continued his call.

While he was semi-yelling at whoever was on the other end of the conversation, I took a minute to check him out. He wore what I assumed by the fit was a very expensive suit. The sleeve on the arm holding the cell was pushed back, revealing a big, expensive-looking watch. His shoes were shiny and his shirt crisply pressed. His hair was dark and too long for a man who shined his shoes, and his skin was tanned from his recent vacation, which made his very light green eyes stand out even brighter.

But it was his lips that were impossible not to stare at—so full and perfectly shaped. He really is beautiful. I wasn’t sure I’d ever thought of a man as beautiful before. Handsome, yes. Hot, even. But beautiful fit the bill to describe Drew Jagger—no other word did him justice.

He finished up his call. “Seriously, Max, how many cases have you been on the other side of the table staring at my pretty face? You don’t know when I’m not bluffing by now? Look at the photos, then let me know your answer on the offer. I think you’ll find it more than fair after things are put in perspective for you. Her twenty-year-old ski instructor was teaching her a new kind of snowplow. Offer’s on the table for forty-eight hours. Then I have to make another phone call to you, which means my client gets another bill and your offer goes down by a fuck of a lot.”

Drew pushed a button on his phone and looked up at me, about to speak, when it started to buzz in his hand. “Shit.” He sighed, eyes flicking to his phone again and back to me. “Sorry. I need to take this, too.”

A Poland Spring delivery guy wheeling big jugs of water knocked at the front door. I looked at Drew. “I got it. Go take your call.”

Over the next fifteen minutes that Drew was on the phone, I turned away a solicitor, answered the ringing office phone buried under a tarp—twice—and signed for some legal documents served to the Law Offices of Drew M. Jagger. I was bluffing my way through a prospective client call when Drew reappeared.

“We’ll have to thank Mr. Aiken for recommending you.” I listened for a moment and then added, “Our rate is...” I caught Drew’s eye. “Seven hundred an hour.”

The corner of his mouth twitched.

“Sure. Why don’t I make you an appointment for an initial consultation? Let me put you on hold for just a minute so I can look up Mr. Jagger’s calendar.”

I pressed the button and held out my hand, palm up. “Is your calendar synched on your phone?”

Drew pulled his phone from his pocket and handed it to me. “It is.”

Opening his mobile Outlook calendar, I scanned for the next opening. There was nothing for a solid month. “Can you move your dinner with someone named Monica from six to eight, and I’ll book Mr. Patterson for four-thirty next Wednesday? He said it’s urgent. He may need a restraining order to protect his assets like you did for Mr. Aiken.”

“Done.”

I reconnected the call. “How about four-thirty next Wednesday, the eighth? That’s perfect? Great. And our standard retainer is—” I looked to Drew, and he held up ten fingers. “Twelve thousand…Okay, thank you. We look forward to seeing you then. Goodbye.”

Drew looked amused as I hung up. “Did I raise my hourly rates from six seventy-five to seven hundred?”

“No. That extra twenty-five dollars is mine. For every hour you bill him, you can take it off of what I owe you. I figured out that my bill for eight hours yesterday is fifty-four hundred dollars—I pay the standard rate, of course, not Mr. Patterson’s inflated rate—so if you could bill Mr. Patterson for a few hundred hours, that would be great.”

Drew chuckled. “There’s the spitfire who attacked me with her mad Krav Maga skills a few nights ago. Your lack of tenacity had me concerned yesterday.”

“I was arrested and almost thrown in jail.”

“I’m heartbroken. You had such little faith that I would get you off?”

“That woman was out for my blood at first yesterday. What did you say to her to get her to change her tune anyway?”

“We made a deal.”

I squinted. “What did you have to give her in return for lightening up on me?”

Drew looked me in the eyes. “Nothing important.”

The office phone began to ring again behind me. “Do you want me to…”

He waved me off. “The answering service will pick it up. Come on, I’ll show you your furniture.”

“I thought it would be in the lobby.”

“Tom thought he was helping, so he had them set it up in my office.”

I followed Drew down the hall, and he opened the door to the large office next to the file room I’d been working in. The other day when I was here, it hadn’t been done—moldings and trim still needed to be hung, and everything was covered by tarps. The contractor must have worked all day yesterday to get it finished.

“Wow. It looks beautiful in here. Except…” I thought better of sharing my thought and shook my head. “Nothing. It looks beautiful.”

“Except what? What were you going to say?”

“The office is beautiful. It really is—tall ceilings, wide crown moldings, except…everything is white. Why didn’t you paint any color? It’s kind of boring all white.”

He shrugged. “I like things simple. Black and white.”

I snorted. “Good thing you came back when you did, then. I’d already picked out a bright yellow for your office. Copy room was going to be red.”

My beautiful desk actually did look amazing in his giant office, even with the boring white paint. The top was a thick tempered glass, and the bottom had dark mahogany legs shaped like a workhorse. I wasn’t generally a modern furniture person, but the desk was so beautiful and serene-looking that I had to have it.

“The furniture company wouldn’t give me a time, but they’re supposed to come today to pick it back up. They wanted to charge me a forty-percent restocking and pickup fee. Took me an hour on the phone with a manager to explain they’d violated their own delivery contract by letting an unauthorized person take delivery.”

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