Kentucky Fried Yankee Lawyer Ch. 01
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Its amazing the things the human mind can conjure given an extreme amount of boredom, misery or frustration. Given a healthy dose of all three at the exact same time, it stands to reason that even a rationale person might be tempted to stab a fountain pen all the way into their eye before puncturing their brain.
For a few tedious seconds, 27 year old Pete Finnegan had to fend of the urge to do just that as he sat at his work desk, drowning in the miserable strains of the blue grass music coming from one of his co-worker’s radio a few cubicles over.
Granted the first puncturing stab would be painful, but considering the Chinese water torture accumulation of each dreadful note seeping into his ears, quick death wasn’t such a bad option.
Dropping said pen down on the pile of files scattered across his desk before he actually did go through with it, Petey (as his friends back in Greenwich, Ct called him) leaned back in his rickety, third hand office chair, put his hands behind his head and sighed disgustedly. Staring up at the dingy tiles lining the ceiling, Pete cursed every decision, big and small, that eventually landed him in that rural, west Kentucky town.
“Maybe if I could just get my rocks off every now and then in this backwards cow pasture, things wouldn’t be so bad,” Pete groaned to himself as he surveyed the female fare surrounding him in the office.
The few attractive women were all either married or so fucking religious, it wasn’t worth the time or aggravation to even broach the subject. There were plenty of willing girls out at the bars in the area each and every night, but the last thing he needed was an STD complicating his already sour mood.
There was one girl close to his age that worked in the treasure’s office one floor down named Gwendolyn Garst who’d somewhat struck his fancy, and Pete made a mental note to swing by her desk on the way home later that afternoon just to chat her up a little. For now however, he could only lean forward and put his head back down in the pile of files littering his shrimpy desk. The work for an understaffed public defender’s office in such a meth riddled town never ended.
“If I’d just listened to some of Dad’s advice, I wouldn’t be stuck in this Dixie Hell right now,” God those words hurt to hear, even if he was only saying them inside his own head.
Pete had been an honors student back at his old Catholic high school, and his first two years at Dartmouth had gone off without a hitch. It wasn’t until his Junior year that life in the fast lane started to catch up with him. Even then, he was still able to knock his final two years of undergraduate out in five semesters.
Then came the decision about what to do for the rest of his life. While he got his degree in Economics, he knew he didn’t have the discipline to immediately look for a job on Wall Street, and given the unstable nature of the economy he decided to just cool his heels for awhile and enjoy himself.
After about a year or so, his mom and dad really started lighting a fire beneath Petey to get him out of the house. Deciding the one field where there would always be work, he decided to take stab a law school. Somehow passing his LSAT’s on the first try, he still didn’t get many bites from any Ivy League programs. Having to settle for a school decidedly further down on the list of prestigious programs, Pete did eventually earn his degree. He thought about taking the bar exam closer to home in Connecticut or New York, but for a arrogant and snot-nosed kid that finished third from the bottom in his graduating class, his immediate entry level job prospects were slim.
Another one of his law school comrades came across a couple of job listings down south and against his better judgment he took the bar exam in Kentucky and passed. Pete’s father had maintained he could pull a few strings and maybe get him on somewhere closer up the Northeast corridor, but Pete was determined to prove he could blaze a trail on his own.
It wasn’t long before he realized all that trailblazing stuff was vastly overrated.
Pete knew he was out of his element from day one but it wasn’t until he saw a screening of the ‘Wall Street’ sequel last year that it truly hit home just how much fun he could be having (Not to mention the money he could be making) if he let his dad work a few of his business connections back in New York.
Pushing through a caseload of assault charges, DUI arrests and every way, shape and form of possession cases, Pete daydreamed quite freely about how his life might look with an office overlooking Manhattan instead of the dreary and run down strip mall providing the backdrop of his current lot.
“Got one hot off the presses for ya, Finnegan,” his boss, Landon Dyer bellowed as he swept into the office. “That Stone lady is in trouble again..the one with the sexpot daughter…she drove headlong into a pick-up out on Ridge Road last night. Bitch aint had a license in years…she was drunk and had some crank on her. Lucky bastard she hit is http://www.izmirlitv.com gonna pull through but she’s facing some jail time this time around..probably be best to plea it down. Get down there to the jail to talk to her before she sobers up and starts blabbin’ everything.”
“Shit runs downhill,” Pete couldn’t help but laugh as he took the Stone file from his Boss’ hand, having grown quite accustomed to being the low man on the office totem pole.
Truth be known, you weren’t truly considered part of the club in the McCracken County public defender’s office until you’d handled a case involving someone from the Stone’s quite mangled family tree, and this was Pete’s turn.
Pete’s meeting with Rhonda Stone at the jail went pretty much as everyone at the office had warned.
First off, the woman was lucky to be alive given the havoc her wreck had caused. Scanning the police report along with the sketched rendering of how the cops thought the accident unfolded, it looked as if she’d escaped relatively unscathed considering the damage in the pictures.
The man she’d hit was at the hospital in stable condition. From the way it looked in the report, it appeared as if he’d swerved suddenly coming around a curve to miss Rhonda, and when he did, he overcompensated on the dark and winding stretch of Ridge Road, crashing into a couple of trees once he went over the shoulder.
On first glance through the police narrative of the charges, Pete could already start poking a few holes in it. There really wasn’t anything concrete to prove Rhonda was the one on the wrong side of the road when the wreck happened. Granted her lack of sobriety, and the drugs she had on her at the time of her arrest were problematic, but Pete keenly noted no such test was given to the man in the accident, and his vehicle along with his pockets weren’t searched for any sort of contraband either. All they had to go on was his groggy and less than definitive statement before they took him away in the ambulance.
There were a few other tantalizing legal loop-holes Pete spotted in the report, but something far more amusing had caught his attention as he tried to talk to his still somewhat tweaked out client.
“I know they don’t feed the inmates Krispy-Kremes or vanilla milkshakes for breakfast around here,” Pete had to stifle a knowing laugh seeing the hint of glazed residue crusting the corners of the 34 year old woman’s lips.
Making a mental note to check all the guards to see which one(s) might have a little extra pep in their step on his way out the door, Pete finished up his standard jailhouse review of the case before setting up a bond hearing for Ms. Stone
Back in his office a few hours later, night had fallen over Kentucky’s western edge and Pete Finnegan was researching legal briefs for several cases on his docket due in court next week.
His late night visits to the office had become increasingly frequent since taking the job in Paducah. It sure beat sitting home alone in his sparsely furnished apartment, the internet there was free and the atmosphere to get things done was far more calm without anyone hovering over his shoulder, not to mention no Blue Grass music cackling in the air.
He definitely missed going out, but given the ‘Hee-Haw on crack’ vibe of the area’s nightlife along with the fear of getting caught up in something messy, Pete generally kept to himself. Even though the people in the office had warmed to him, he knew he was still an outsider, and if the shit did hit the fan, Pete knew given his background, he wouldn’t get the benefit of the doubt if he got caught up in the spokes of the ‘Good ol’ Boys Wheel’.
His head stuffed inside a law book a little after 9 that Thursday night, a sound down the hallway caused him to look up.
“Just the janitor,” he immediately thought, but was a little uneasy since he didn’t hear the telltale jingle of the custodian’s keys as he made his rounds.
Trying to re-focus his attention on the case law in front of him, Pete visibly jumped back in his seat when the shadowy frame of a young woman ducked her head in the door of the dimly lit office.
“Hey…..Can I talk to you?” he heard her ask in a dreamy and somewhat disengaged tone.
Even in the scant light, Pete had a pretty good idea who the stranger was. From the girl’s slack jaw and sleepy, hound dog eyes to the wiggling gait to her walk, he would have pegged her before she beat him to it.
“My mom’s Rhonda Stone…I’m her daughter Jenny..I think someone in this office is taking on her case,” he heard her say as she slowly sauntered up to the desk.
“That would be me,” Pete managed to reply as the young girl approached. “You might want to come back in the morning though..I’m sort of busy with a few other things.”
“She was driving my car the other night when she had her wreck,” she started in a dry, emotionless tone. “I was kind nosing around to see if its still drivable?”
Pete had to lean back in his chair and shake the cobwebs out of his head for a second or two, trying to make sure he heard the Jenny right.
“I don’t know,” he drew in a deep breath. “I took a look at some of the pictures from the crash..its gonna need a lot of body work…car that old…its probably totaled.”
Pete could sense the girl’s disappointment, but before he could call her on her callousness, she changed the subject.
“How long do you think she’s gonna spend in jail this time?”
“If we can get her bonded out, maybe none,” the lawyer looked across his desk and said with measured optimism. “There are a few promising leads to work through.”
“You won’t get her off,” Jenny cracked with resolute and humored defiance. “Cyrus Ridgeway is the County Prosecutor. He never loses.”
Pete immediately felt a dose of poison ivy flowing through his blood stream when his competitive streak suddenly got tweaked. Knowing he was the lowest pee-on in the public defenders office, he hadn’t given it the first thought that he may be matched up with the county’s top dog prosecutor.
If it had just been a simple DUI or possession case, Pete was sure he’d be matched up with one of those newbies from the prosecutors office, but given the extra charges attached to Rhonda Stone’s predicament, his stomach did roll a couple of times as he tried putting on a brave face.
“Oh…I’m not worried about that..the facts of the case are the facts of the case,” he replied in his best ‘whistling through the graveyard’ voice.
“You’re new around here,” Jenny eased up to the side of his desk and assessed, much the same way an attorney might talking to a jury.
“And that accent..I know you ain’t from Kentucky, Mr. Finnegan,” she added after stealing a peek at the nameplate on his desk.
“Connecticut actually,” Pete offered without missing a beat, but could instantly tell his reply did nothing to spark any professional faith on young Miss Stone’s part.
“Cyrus Ridgeway has been the DA ever since I was born..nobody builds their resume going up against him. Even if he doesn’t have the facts on his side, he’s got plenty of people on his side,” Jenny spoke with zapping clarity.
As hard as he tried not to, Pete couldn’t help admiring the feminine form that had perched itself beside him.
Jenny wasn’t exactly a pretty girl, at least not by the standards he’d grown use to back home. She had a relatively plain, pale face adorned with a few freckles, and other than perhaps a thin layer of eye liner, she didn’t have a speck of make-up on. She wasn’t exactly thin either, but the extra weight she carried on her 5 foot 4 inch frame was proportioned judiciously.
While the tight, body hugging dress Jenny wore certainly wasn’t flattering in a classic sense, the plunging neckline along with the hem that came halfway up her thighs did stir attention in any man who still claimed a pulse.
Seeing her stare blankly out the window at the darkened downtown landscape, Pete lost himself for just a second in her alluring and voluptuous side profile. He may have even gotten away with it if he hadn’t let out an embarrassingly incriminating deep breath.
Jennifer Renee Stone wasn’t the brightest light in the chandelier. Her genetics had put her behind the 8-ball almost from the moment of conception, and if that wasn’t enough to curse her fate, the example set forth from the day she was born cemented it. Having dropped out of school before her 10th grade year certainly didn’t help her prospects for the future, the fact that she had dozens of other friends to run with who were pretty much in the same boat ultimately would define her destiny.
The one skill she’d been blessed with was the ability to see through most anyone’s bullshit. It was a gene that her Mother had passed down, but if anything, Jenny had only sharpened it even further.
Continuing to stare out the window as she sensed the young lawyer distractedly trying to keep his focus to her right, Jenny could literally smell his growing unease.
“You’re kinda cute,” she said without turning around, then took a great deal of amusement in the way Pete’s tongue twisted in his mouth.
“…I’m ….kind of busy,” he managed to mumble, but his eyes were lost in the netherworld between Jenny and the research material covering his desk.
Pete had never given the concept of pheromones much thought until that moment. Each time he tried to inhale a fresh breath, his head swooned from the invisible scent of the girl at the window’s arousal. Having already been at work for going on 12 hours that day, Pete eyes were already growing hazy. Given the way that haze only thickened each time Jenny so much as shifted beside him, Pete could feel his brain (and good judgment) beginning to disconnect.
“There are a few other people working in the building at night..I see them all the time,” Pete rubbed his fingers through his hair as he nodded towards the open door, and the well lit hallway leading in both directions out of it.
“Only saw the janitor on my way up…he let me in,” Jenny said, now turning to face Pete sitting in the chair.
“And that’s Elmer..I’ve known his family forever..went to middle school with his little brother Troy. Elmer’s sorta slow as I’m sure you noticed..he’ll do anything in the world for ya though as long as you tell him. I kinda asked him nicely if he’d stay on the first floor till I came back down.”
A baffled look froze for the moment on Pete’s face.
“Look..the last thing I need is someone stumbling in here in the middle of the night and seeing me with an underage girl in my office,” Pete sighed.
“I’m 18 Mr. Finnegan,” Jenny coyly batted her eyes.
“You can look me up on that computer of yours…I’ve got a little bit of a record. Most of it’s sealed I’m sure from my juvie file, but you should be able to find me in there..do you want my social?”
“Better yet,” she added before Pete could reply. “I’ve got a few tattoos..real nice ones..you know its against the law for artists to tattoo anyone under 18 don’t you Mr. Finnegan.”
At 27, Pete hated being called ‘Mister’ by anyone outside of the courtroom, especially when it was delivered with such playful condescension. Still, the hair on the back of his neck was standing nearly as erect as the lump of cartilage tucked inside his pants.
“No Miss Stone..I don’t want to see your tattoo,” Pete tried to return the dose of condescension, but for someone who took pride in his courtroom delivery, his voice came out a tad froggy.
“It really is great work..very unique..I’m willing to bet you’ve never seen another woman with one quite like it,” Jenny continued to prod as she took another step closer.
The bright, fluorescent light shining into the office from the hallway outside gradually faded as Pete edged closer to the abyss. Even though he was easily a half a foot taller and a good 60 pounds heavier than the girl beside him, Pete could feel the real and tangible weight of the girl’s presence. Jenny suddenly took on the persona of some sort of sexual nymph capable of paralyzing any man with the flutter of her eyelashes.
“Get up and get out of here right now,” Pete’s good sense tried to scream inside his head, but it had long since abdicated the wheel.
“You’re gonna flip your desk over if your dick gets any harder pushing up against the bottom of it,” Jenny gave a gleaming smile and giggled, once again leaving Pete speechless.
“You haven’t got laid since you moved here from ‘Connecticut’ have you?” she then chided, paying special attention to the way she pronounced his home state in her distinctive southern twang.
Unable to keep any sort of sustained eye contact with Jenny for fear of giving away just how quickly he was losing control of his good sense, it did him no favors when his gaze suddenly settled on the fullness of the girl’s ample bosom. Pete’s teeth even grinded together and he was forced to swallow hard when he saw Jenny’s nipples protruding the front of her top like two straining bullets.
The pressure only intensifying in his crotch, Pete once again tried lowering his gaze to a safe level, only to have it fall on the pale white contours of Jenny’s meaty thighs.
The lamp on his desk providing limited light, Pete’s first thought was there had to be a loose thread from the hem of Jenny’s dress dangling against her smooth, creamy skin. The longer he focused however, the less sense that made. Jenny’s dress was white and the thread-like shape was a perfect shade of black.
Instantly, Pete’s pupils narrowed as he tried to determine just what he was seeing on the inside of the girl’s left thigh.
Pete had, in fact, gotten laid several times since taking the job in Paducah, the most recent being a few weeks earlier when a guy from the office invited him up to a college party across the state line in Evansville. Hooking up with a couple of sorority sisters that weekend had quenched Pete’s appetite for awhile, but as he sat there at his desk, literally cornered now between Jenny and the window, he had the expression of a high school virgin who was on the verge of seeing a girl naked for the very first time.
“You keep looking at my fuse,” Jenny patted her fingers down to the spot Pete was staring at on her thigh.
“…Fuse?” the cotton mouthed lawyer stuttered.
“My fuse,” the young temptress repeated before casually inching the hem of her skirt higher up her leg.
In near perfect symmetry, Pete’s eyes expanded and the same rate Jenny was inching her skirt up. What he first thought was a loose thread dangling against her leg turned out to be a thinly drawn tattoo that snaked steadily up towards her crotch. Not only did Pete’s eyes expand, but his nostrils flared as well as the scent of the 18 year old girl’s sex overwhelmed his palate.
The last remaining shred of prudence in his head begging him to steal another glance at the door to make sure no one was coming up the hallway, there was nothing short of a grenade exploding in his office that was going to divert Pete’s attention away from the young girl’s methodical advances.
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