I never thought a pecker would get me in so much trouble.
I mean, sure" if you"re talking about a certain anatomical feature of mine that the ladies just love. Given my bachelor status and appreciation for all things curvy and feminine, I could absolutely see that. But a different pecker is making my life much harder than it needs to be.
My name is Ford Daniels, partner at the law firm of Knight & Payne, and my latest case has me wading through the finer points of peckers"woodpeckers that is. Specifically, the red-cockaded woodpecker. I swear, I can"t make this stuff up but that"s what the sexy-as-hell blonde chained to a tree told me this morning.
Her name is Viveka Jones and she is so much more than a pretty face. She"s got wit, charm, and razor-sharp smarts. Turns out my client is looking to bulldoze the red-cockaded woodpecker"s natural habitat in favor of a multimillion-dollar subdivision and the sexy attorney with legs for days (and days), just happens to be counsel for an animal rights group looking to put a halt to construction.
My client"s pissed, but all I can think about is getting Viveka across the table from me. And then on the table underneath me. Perhaps up against the wall. And then"
Well, let"s just say when it"s all said and done, I"m hoping the red-cockaded woodpecker isn"t the only pecker that gets some attention from Miss Viveka Jones.Books in Series:Legal Affairs Series by Sawyer BennettBooks by Author:Sawyer Bennett Books
Normally, the sound of an incoming text"that tiny, single note"doesn"t cause me anxiety. But when it"s followed by another "ding," then another, and finally another, I can feel my pulse pick up slightly. It takes a lot to rattle me, even though I"m not rattled now.
I snag my phone off the passenger seat, letting my fingertips briefly drag across the buttery leather. Drawing in air through my nose, I let the scent of brand-new Mercedes wash through me and it makes it palatable when I see Alison is the one texting me as I thought. She has the most annoying habit of splitting up whatever she wants to say in a flurry of multiple texts.
My glance at my phone is brief, because I"m not about texting and driving. I"ve represented far too many people injured, maimed, or killed by some dumbass who believes they have the mental and physical acuity to operate a vehicle and carry on a conversation with their fingers at the same time.
After tossing the phone back down on the seat, I drum my fingers lightly on the steering wheel. It"s wrapped in the same, supple black leather as the seats. I"d just bought this AMG G63 three days ago, and it"s absolute perfection.
Five-point-five liters, V8 biturbo with 563 horsepower under the hood.
Totally puts Alison and her annoying texts out of my mind, although I will have to deal with her at some point. I"d cut things off with her over two weeks ago, and she just doesn"t seem to understand. I still get perky snippets from her several times a week"split into multiple messages of course"and despite the fact I stopped responding five days ago, she doesn"t seem daunted.
I might be concerned she was stalker material except her texts are nothing more than friendly greetings or funny little things that happened to her. Friendly, light, and in no way suggestive that she"s upset we"re not dating anymore.
Whatever you want to call it. I"m sure she saw things differently than I did, but I was never anything but honest with her from the get-go. I"m just not long-term boyfriend material.
Don"t get me wrong.
I"m a monogamous man. Loyal and focused on the woman I"m with"for the time I"m with her.
But that time often isn"t very long. My interest always wanes, and it could be for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it seems like no reason at all. Leary says I"m merely in a rut, and I don"t want to put forth the real effort.
And I disagree with her wholeheartedly. While I don"t give her the down and dirty details"because that"s not the way our relationship is anymore"she knows me well enough to know that when I"m with a woman, I"m with that woman. I give it my all.
Until I just can"t anymore.
Or don"t want to, rather. That would be the honest thing to say.
My phone rings, but I don"t need to grab it from the seat to answer. I tap a button on my steering wheel. Through the convenience of Bluetooth, I answer, "Ford Daniels."
It"s a formal greeting, but most people who call are clients or business associates. I don"t recognize the number, so whoever it is gets my best "attorney" voice.
"Ford"" It"s a rumbling voice with a thick southern drawl. "I need you to get down to the site."
No need for me to ask what "site". Drake Powell is the president of Landmark Builders and one of my larger clients. He"s referring to a sixteen-hundred-acre tract of land he"s breaking ground on today to build a new subdivision on the north side of Raleigh.
"What"s going on"" I ask as I approach a red light. I slow my vehicle, enjoying the purring vibration as my G63 idles.
"What"s going on is that some crazy bitch has tied herself to a pine tree, claiming it houses some fucking endangered species of bird. I can"t very well just run her over, so you need to get down here and handle it."
He grinds those words out with almost an anticipatory relish because Drake Powell likes to run over people.
Metaphorically, that is.
"Or can I run her over"" he asks, undisguised hope in his voice.
"No, you can"t run her over," I say sternly. "But can"t you just" I don"t know" cut her out and gently escort her away""
"She says she"s got legal papers. An injunction," he mutters, and then he yells at someone. Not me. "Can you go any slower, you jackass""
"Where are you"" I ask.
"On my way to the site," he growls, laying on his horn for several seconds. "That"s right, Grandma" get out of the way."
My eyes shift briefly to the dashboard clock. My first appointment isn"t until ten, and it"s not even eight yet. It would be a very short detour to meet Drake and help him with this. Plus, I charge him attorney fees of $575 per hour, so I can"t really complain.