“Have you talked to Stan Brewster yet?”
Colt Baxter looked up at Janet Steele standing in his doorway. She was a partner in the firm he’d been employed with since he’d passed the bar. He had high hopes of moving up and becoming a partner here and in the past few years they’d been squashed more than a kid’s fist hitting their first birthday cake.
Dangling the carrot in front of his face? Yep, been going on for longer than he cared to admit. If he could work up the nerve, he’d leave this all behind him, but starting over was daunting too.
“No. It’s on my list of things to do this week.”
“You need to do it today. Put some pressure on them.”
He put the pen down that was in his hand and stared at Janet. She was probably in her fifties and attractive. Hard not to be with the amount of work she’d had done over the years.
She’d gotten to the top by being ruthless, heartless, and finding a lot of bedmates.
She’d wanted Colt to be in that bed of hers at one point and it’d been a tricky situation to get out of, with her casually hinting his partnership was on the horizon.
That was almost two years ago and he’d managed to slip away without ruffling too many feathers.
Or so he thought until he started to get handed what he felt were some cases challenging his morals. It was one thing he’d never wanted to do in his career and lately it seemed like it was all he did.
“This is getting out of hand,” he said. “Did it ever occur to you that there was a reason Stan was representing himself?”
“Partnerships are offered to those that bring in the money. This was an easy cash cow in your name,” she said, smirking at him.
So she thought she was doing him a favor? Hardly. More like she knew he hated frivolous lawsuits and this was one that was killing him inside. Was it a punishment for not warming her sheets? He had no clue and didn’t want to even think of it now.
“It’s not easy when it’s the guy’s livelihood. He’s representing himself because he can’t afford a lawyer.”
“Colt,” she said in that condescending voice of hers, then moved into his office and took a seat across from him. “There is no reason to go to court for this. That is what his insurance is for. Easy peasy and move onto the next.”
“He doesn’t want his rates to go up or to go bankrupt trying to pay this out,” Colt said. “He’s barely holding it together with the bad press now.”
“And he wouldn’t have had the bad press if he’d just settled months ago when this happened. You knew our client was going to leak this if Stan held out too long.”
He narrowed his eyes. “At your suggestion.”
“If it gets the case closed then it does. You should have been the one to do that. He’s our client and yet you sound like you are working for the Brewsters.”
“I know who I’m working for,” he said. “Now, let me get it done.”
Janet got up and walked out of his office with a shit-eating grin on her face, knowing she got her way. Like she always did.
But unless he wanted to walk out on his job, he had to do it. When had he become such a coward afraid to take that risk? Had he gotten so comfortable here? Or was it the thought of losing everything he’d worked for, all the progress he’d made toward that partnership where he’d be able to choose his own cases?
He picked the phone up and placed the call to the man he dreaded talking to because the truth was, he wished he were working for the Brewsters and could nail his own firm’s ass to the wall for this bullshit. He wondered how much longer he could go on like this when he hated everything this place seemed to stand for.