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The General (Professionals #4)
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Everyone in Navesink Bank knows about Senator Ericsson’s son, his wife, and the story that hit headlines that eventually led to one of the Mallick boys going to jail for assault.
What became of that woman after being coerced into lying on the stand was unknown.
That was until late one night when a phone rang in the offices of Quinton Baird & Associates.
And her voice was on the other end of the line.
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The light above him was flickering like they always did in the bullpen at a police station, supposedly to create some kind of rough, gritty ambiance, but in reality, all the viewer could think of was why the fuck someone didn’t grab a ladder and fix the damn thing instead of sitting there with the flick flick flickering day in and day out.
I didn’t want to get a ladder, so I guess I could understand the cops’ grim acceptance of the annoyance too.
It was something Quin would never stand for – something not working like it should. Which was why he was the one who owned and ran the place and I was just an employee. And if Finn came in, he would likely have a stroke over the fact that there was dust and what looked like a moth carcass up under the plastic. I was tidy enough in general. My office didn’t become the collection of clutter with haphazard piles teetering ominously on every surface like Kai’s did on occasion, but I didn’t exactly wipe down the surfaces every night like Jules was known to do in the main area of the building.
Absentmindedly, I swiped a finger across the cherry red of my desk – a color that drove Quin crazy since it didn’t match the black and gray theme of everything in the office. But thanks to a grandfather who made it clear that painting a nice slab of wood was practically sacrilegious, I had been adamant about my office. The desk, the storage cabinet against the wall, the legs on the leather armchairs across from my desk were all cherry wood. The walls were also a concession on his part – not gray, but a warm cream. I’d gotten more than enough of grays and blacks and cold, supposedly masculine things while I served. I wanted something warmer, cozier at the office I spent more time in than my own place.
There was the distinct ringing of a phone out in the lobby – not the shrill, ear-piercing kind of ring you would hear on a house phone, but that subdued, rolling ring of office phones, likely specialized that way to keep administrative assistants or front desk workers – or whatever the PC word was for people who used to be known to do secretarial work – didn’t lose their fucking minds while on the job.
Not that Jules was capable of losing her mind. People who micromanaged the way she did so effortlessly had things way too put-together to ever lose it. She’d calmed down a bit since finally shacking up with Kai. She didn’t stay as late, didn’t come in on the weekends unless there were jobs and the office was hopping.
I was actually surprised she was still out there to answer the phones when Kai didn’t have an active job.
Maybe she felt bad for me.
Shit, I almost felt bad for me. This behemoth pile of files and paperwork and order forms was going to keep me chained to the desk until well after midnight from the looks of things. If it was possible for someone to actually die under a pile of paperwork, I would be the case that hit the news.
How the hell did Quin handle this?
There were three sharp raps on the door, Jules’ telltale knock that was usually wholly unnecessary since she somehow managed to wear high heels all day, every day, and the steady click-click-clicking down the hall always gave her away.
“Yeah, what’s up, Jules?” I asked, watching the door open, seeing her peek her head in before fully stepping into the doorway, shaking her head a bit.
“I’m sorry. I know you have a lot on your plate, but…”
But Quin was out of town for the entire month on vacation.
And I was in charge.
So this – like the paperwork that made me worry about the state of the rainforest – was my responsibility.
“What’s the job?” I asked, figuring there was no reason to get down about it since there was nothing to change the situation. Maybe I’d dump some of the paperwork on Lincoln’s desk. That bastard weaseled out of it far too often anyway. He was due.
“You aren’t going to believe this one. Not to offend you or anything, but I am going to make a call to Quinn after I tell you.”
“I’m not offended; he’s the boss.”
“You know Senator Ericsson?”
“The very one. And you know he has a son.”
“Who makes him seem like a saint.”
“Yes, well. He doesn’t have a son anymore,” she told me, squaring her shoulders a bit. “And his wife needs us.”
That was a Quin-level job.
But Quin was half a world away.
So, it was a me-level job.
And I silently prayed I would have what it would take.
“Call Quin,” I agreed, getting to my feet. The drawer to the desk slid out with the smallest amount of friction – testament to the hours I spent trying to get them right. I grabbed my gun, loaded it, slipped it into a shoulder holster, then threw on my jacket. “And wake up Finn, just in case. I have no idea how we can swing this. Was she hysterical?”