“I object, your honor,” Attorney Emery Moore demanded; standing to her feet and shooting a harsh look towards her opponent’s table. “His objection is baseless, factless and immaterial to this case.” Emery stood firm in her conviction, showing no sign of weakness.
Damn she fine, was Attorney Evan Stanton’s only thought as he watched Emery Moore work. The navy pinstripe pantsuit she wore, graced Emery’s curves in all the right places. The satin steel-gray blouse with the high collar, accentuated Emery’s elegant neck. She was a commanding, sexy presence and Evan couldn’t keep his eyes off her no matter how hard he tried. And he did try. This wasn’t the first time the legal-duo sat at opposing tables fighting for different causes they both wholeheartedly believed in. That first time, he was victorious. Emery was gracious in defeat. That was the first time he touched her, when they shook hands. There was a moment, neither of them could deny; an electric magnetism that piqued his masculinity and made Emery quickly draw her hand back. She smiled to cover her movement, but Evan knew she felt it, too. Yet even through her smoldering smile, Evan could see she detested losing. She’d been gunning for him ever since. He liked it, a lot.
“Sustained,” Judge Marlon Beckham replied. A smile eased across Emery’s lips as even a small victory against Attorney Stanton was worth celebrating. His reputation as a skilled and stealthy attorney preceded him. Emery returned to her seat, but this time when she glanced over at the prosecutor’s table, she still wore a slight smile. When Evan turned in response to her gaze, their eyes connected for the briefest moment before Emery felt heat rising in her cheeks and turned away. Attorney Moore’s second chair assistant Deneen Simmons saw the exchange between the two but didn’t comment as Judge Beckham addressed the court.
“I have heard arguments from counsel and the jury has been instructed. The jury will now be excused for deliberation. Court is adjourned.”
Both attorneys stood as the jury members filed out. Deneen gathered Emery’s notes from the table and prepared their team to leave. Emery watched the jurors, attempting to make eye contact with as many of them as she could. Emery hoped that her closing argument had been powerful enough to sway those who might be on the fence. This was a precedent-setting case for her clients, worth millions of dollars in civil and punitive damages. She did not want to lose this one. Emery felt a rushing in her cheeks again, stemming from the fluttering in her heart. She felt his eyes on her and tried not to respond overtly. But the quiver that trailed up her spine was undeniable. No sooner than the door to the judge’s chamber closed, Emery turned sharply, moving into the center aisle and headed toward the exit.
He’s watching my ass. She dared not turn around to catch Evan in the act. That would give him too much credit. Emery wasn’t willing to do that. Deneen fell in line behind her boss and momentarily interrupted Evan’s penetrating stare. Just as Emery approached the exit door, she turned her cell phone on. This judge was notorious for making an example out of anyone who didn’t honor the silence your phone rule in his courtroom. Immediately a text message came through.
Don’t forget about dinner this evening and don’t be late. Love ya.
Simultaneously, Emery smiled and rolled her eyes. She hadn’t forgotten. Their family dinners were legendary, and she didn’t need her mom to remind her like she was still a school girl. Maybe she did because Emery had been gone so long. Or at least that’s the way her mother, Felicia described Emery’s five-year stint in Washington D. C.
“Let me get that for you.”
Emery didn’t have to look up to recognize the timbre of his baritone voice. She’d been so focused on her phone and mom’s text, she hadn’t noticed Evan gliding up beside her. If nothing more, Emery should have recognized the quickening of her heartbeat and the sensation of heat she felt around her. Deneen smiled and made no bones about looking up into the handsome face of Attorney Stanton. He was six feet of chocolate deliciousness that no woman willingly resisted. Well, with the exception of her boss apparently.
Evan opened the door and stepped slightly aside to allow the women to pass in front of him. Instantly, there was an onslaught of flashing lights and high-beam lights from the media who lurked outside the courtroom door. The assaulting lights were matched by a barrage of questions hurled at the lawyers.
The questions were coming so fast, there was no way a single question could be deciphered. Emery fully expected Evan to stand there, in his glory, and field whatever questions were pointed in his direction. Some called him a media whore because he loved the spotlight, or the spotlight loved him. The crowd started to close in on those trying to leave the courtroom. Attorney Moore, which her much slighter frame, was getting boxed in and tussled. Then, Emery felt a firm hand to the middle of her back that damn-near buckled her knees. Again, it wasn’t necessary to turn around to identify that touch. It was Evan. Emery flushed internally and heard her heart pounding in her ears. She shook her head slightly and hopefully undetectably, trying to stave off the sensation. One touch Emery, really? Her inner chastisement rang out. She would like to deny how a touch from Evan made her body feel; rule it out as the crowd pressing in on her or anything other than what it was, but Emery couldn’t. She couldn’t deny it no matter how hard she tried.
Even with the pushing and shoving of the people around them, Evan looked down to the small of Emery’s back. His hand fit perfectly there. It felt familiar and right. With his other arm, Evan put up a muscular block to keep the crowd from impeding Emery’s space even more. His natural instinct was to protect her, even though she was the opposition. Evan took charge, ushering Emery and her assistant to the back of the courthouse where the press was prohibited.
Once they were safely inside, Evan’s touch remained. When Emery turned to face him, they were but a lean in away.
“Thank you,” she uttered; her eyes pulled upwards into his dark-brown eyes set against even darker, smooth chocolate skin.
The two lingered there; entrapped in a gaze that set their souls on fire. It was only when Deneen loudly cleared her throat did the entrancement end."
"She remembered how he made her feel, how his hands eased her tensions, and soothed her aches; pains she didn’t even know she had. His hands were powerful and magical and tranquilizing putting her in a transcendental mental space of pure peace and bliss. He knew how to apply just enough pressure to assuage her ills, making any discomfort comfortable and unburden her in a way she didn’t know she needed. He dulcified any hurt, manipulating her flesh in such a way that she welcomed the manipulation. He made it easier for her to move and breathe, relaxing her mind, body and soul. He was a balm in her present-day Gilead.
He was sweet relief.
And every time Trinity looked at the phone number he gave her, she thought about calling him, Mr. Esau Amir Knight, masseuse extraordinaire. She laughed at the moniker she gave him, extraordinaire. But he was extraordinary with his hands. Yet, when Trinity entertained calling Esau, she hesitated. First, she wasn’t the kind of girl to make the first move. Second, just because he knew what to do with his hands wasn’t enough.
Enough for what, was the question that immediately followed. Calling Esau didn’t mean marrying him. It was just a phone call. But the reason Trinity automatically jumped to matrimony was because all her sisters, all eight of them were either planning a wedding or already married. She was the lone single sister, the only one left without a man. And she wasn’t getting any younger! Her family never said that or put any kind of pressure on Trinity to settle down, but that didn’t stop other people from doing it, reminding her that she was getting older, that she was the only one unbetrothed. Sure, it was 2020, but there were plenty of people still professing the notion of a woman being a spinster if she were not affianced by a certain age.
Most times, without a second thought, Trinity could blow the person off or, if necessary, put them in their place. Other times, though, not having that special someone and being reminded of it, hurt a little. Everyone wants to be loved the right way, despite what they say. Trinity was no different. Sitting in her car, Trinity turned Esau’s business card over and over in her hand. Should she call?
“Whew, chile,” Trinity sighed as she picked up her cell phone. Slowly, she punched in the numbers, nervously looking back and forth between the card and her cell. When she pressed the last number, Trinity hesitated again before hitting send. “Lord, what if he answers? What am I gonna say?” Was this technically making the first move? Was it a move at all? Trinity’s perfectly manicured finger stood poised over the send button.
Trinity pressed the button, and the phone started to ring. She contemplated hanging up. Why was she so nervous?
Then, the like cracked.
Trinity felt like her heart leapt into her throat, blocking her ability to speak. She remembered that voice and how it reverberated through her core the first time he whispered in her ear.
“Hello?” He repeated.
“Uhm, hi,” she was finally able to say. “May I speak with Esau?”
Trinity knew that, but it was still polite to ask. She didn’t want to give Esau the impression that she thought about him past that initial massage.
“This is him.” She could easily get lost in the mellow croon of his voice, but Trinity needed to remain focused. She still wasn’t sure what the hell she was going to say.
“I’m sure you probably don’t remember me. I mean, I’m sure you give hundreds of massages a week,” Trinity rambled. “But this is Trinity.”
“I do remember,” Esau chortled. “Trinity Moore, you were with your sisters if I’m not mistaken. I’m glad you called.”
She could feel his smile through the phone. His voice was just about as enticing as his hands. Trinity was speechless. He remembered her! Oh, my God!! Seriously?? She was shocked.
Before she could figure out what to say, Esau spoke.
“So, Trinity, are you ready for another massage?”
She was nodding even before she could speak.
“When are you available?” That’s all she could think to say.
“Whenever you need me,” Esau crooned.