Brina Shepard looked in the side view mirror, saw it was clear, put her blinker on and passed the car. She glanced down at the number on her dash. She was going twelve miles over the speed limit. On this stretch of Central Avenue people went even faster so she’d be fine.
And if she wasn’t fine, too damn bad. She needed to be in court in twenty minutes. It was going to take her fifteen minutes to get there. That didn’t count traffic or finding a parking spot.
Damn her for being caught up meeting her client. She should have put it off until after court, knowing she’d be sucked in like she always was. She had a bleeding heart at times and couldn’t walk away.
She was just getting ready to turn off onto Wolf Road to get to the Town of Colonie courthouse when she noticed the red lights flashing behind her. No!
Maybe they weren’t for her. She hoped. She prayed.
It didn’t help when the state trooper car got on her rear bumper and turned the siren on.
She put her blinker on again and turned on Wolf, and then pulled into the first parking lot, the trooper right behind her.
Her head dropped back against the seat. Since she was in a hurry she opened the glove box up and was pulling out her registration, while she hit the button to roll down the window.
She waited for the trooper to come to the window, knowing she was definitely going to be late now. The judge hated when people were late in his courtroom and she knew that.
“Do you know why I pulled you over?” the trooper asked. She hadn’t even heard him walk up to the car and almost jumped out of her seat.
“Sorry,” she said. “I’m in a hurry to get to court. The judge doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”
“You’re a lawyer?” he asked, lifting an eyebrow.
She put a smile on her face. “I am,” she said back. She had her registration in her hand along with her license now but was hoping she wouldn’t need it.
“Then you won’t have any problem getting out of a ticket,” he said, his hand held out.
Her smile dropped when she placed the documents in his palm.
Shit, shit, shit. When would she learn? Instead of being most likely to succeed in her senior year of high school she should have been voted most likely to be late to her own funeral.
The trooper came back faster than she expected. She looked up and couldn’t really see much of his face with his sunglasses on. He was tall, at least she thought he was since she was in an SUV and he was bent over to talk to her.
He smelled good. What the heck? How could she tell that when she was in a parking lot on a summer day?
“Here you go,” he said, handing her back her registration and license and another piece of paper.
“My ticket?” she asked.
He tilted his head and, damn, if he wasn’t extremely hot too. She should be completely annoyed right now, not noticing how good-looking he was. If it weren’t against every principle she had, she’d flirt with him.
Nah, she’d said she was going to the courthouse and he didn’t care. Not that she said it to get out of the ticket because she didn’t really want to do that either.
“You broke the law,” he said. “Lawyers know all about that.”
“Yes, I do,” she said, tossing it all on the passenger seat. “Have a great day.” She wanted to add, “jerk” to it but wouldn’t. Like he’d said, she’d broken the law. She may be a lawyer but she was an honest one.
“You too,” he said, smiling…no, it was a smirk.
She rolled her window up, put the car in drive, and pulled back into traffic.
She was running into the courthouse eight minutes later and through the doors. At this point she was just shy of being ten minutes late. She supposed it could be worse.
“Counsel Shepard,” the judge said. “You’re late.”
“I am. I’m sorry. I was rushing to get here and, well, I was pulled over by a trooper. I was trying, I really was, to get here on time, but traffic is crazy today.”
The judge smirked at her like the trooper did. “Did you get a ticket?”
“Yes, sir, he gave me one.”
“Did you tell him you were an attorney?”
“I mentioned I was on the way to the courthouse and the judge didn’t like me to be late.”
“And you still got a ticket?” the judge asked, laughing this time.
“Can I see your ticket or is it in your car?”
She pulled it out of her briefcase where she stuffed it when she grabbed everything moments ago. “Sure,” she said, wondering what was going on. Was he going to take care of it for her? Not that she’d ask that.
“What’s the name of the officer?” he asked when she moved closer to the bench. She felt like she was the main act at the circus right now with all eyes on her.
“Trooper N. Randal.”
The judge took his pen out and wrote something down. “Good to know for future reference if he’s ever in my courtroom.”
“Why is that, Judge?”
“Because he isn’t swayed or doesn’t back down. I like men like that. It reminds me of a younger me. Now, can we please get on with your case and client?”
“Yes, sir,” she said, walking back to the desk where her client was waiting. She hoped she didn’t chip her tooth with as hard as she was grinding her teeth. The only way this day could get worse would be if she lost her case.