Worth the Fight Page 2

Chapter 2


My co-workers at Milstock and Rowe are an eclectic group of people. William and I did our internship here in our last year of law school. After graduation William went on to his father’s Madison-Avenue-type law firm that was started by his grandfather more than seventy years ago. The firm is well established and caters to the elite advertising industry. Leonard Milstock, the namesake in Milstock and Rowe, offered me a position as a junior associate at the end of my internship and I happily accepted.

William and I don’t disagree often, but we argued quite a bit when I had decided to stay at Milstock and Rowe. He didn’t think it was a good career move to take a job with such a small unknown firm. But I was comfortable there and Milstock allowed me to do work that most junior associates at a big firm could only dream of getting their hands on. That was one of the perks of working for a small place, and I thought it outweighed the low salary and lack of prestige. William, on the other hand, thought the scale tipped completely in the opposite direction. Salary and prestige were high on William’s career priorities. Not so much on mine.

“Morning Regina.” I smile at the receptionist as I walk into the office fifteen minutes past the official start time of eight. No one seems to care that I’m perpetually late, especially since I usually stay until long after seven on most nights. Timeliness just isn’t my thing.

“William called, he wants you to call him back. He had me check your calendar to see if you’re available for a consultation for a new client of his.”

Damn. Now he knows my early morning deposition was a lie. “Regina, would you mind having Gigi call him back and book whatever he needs on my calendar?” I raise my eyebrows at Regina and she knows what I’m asking and smiles, excited to be in on whatever it is that I am asking her to do.

Regina has been our receptionist for almost a year. She’s in her late forties and has eight cats and way too many cat themed decorations at her desk. From the outside she looks like your ordinary middle-aged woman. A little on the heavy side, with pants that spread just a bit too tightly over her plump ass, a penchant for floral, flowing crepe shirts, and comfortable flat shoes. To the eyes, the package she delivers seems to fit the bill. That is, until she opens her mouth.

I’ve never met another woman in my life that has a sexier voice. For that matter, I don’t think there’s a man with a sexier voice either. The sound that comes out of her mouth is the purr of a sex kitten, not the roar of the teddy bear standing before you. I am absolutely, one hundred percent positive she could earn a million dollars a year being a phone sex operator, or the voice for audio erotica books. Men are rendered powerless to deny her when she asks for anything in her sultry voice. I dubbed the woman with the irresistible tone Gigi.

I’d solicited the assistance of Gigi’s god given gift on more than one occasion. Sometimes to have her call clients when I knew they would be upset with my having to cancel an appointment last minute. Somehow when Gigi called in her sexy voice, the male clients took the news much better.

No one in the office knows how Regina and I met so many years ago. They probably all think she’s a friend of my mother’s because of how different we look on the outside. But she’s not; she’s my very best friend…the woman who saved my life. Although if you ask her, she’d tell you I saved hers. Who knows, maybe we actually saved each other.


Leonard Milstock is my seventy-five-year-old boss. I’ve only met Frederick Rowe, the other half of Milstock and Rowe once. Yet his name stays on the door and rumor has it he still receives a salary each year. The two men had been best friends since grade school and partnered up together before I was even born. Apparently Mr. Rowe was the Felix to Milstock’s Oscar and kept things flowing smoothly in the office. But he’d retired a few years back due to his wife’s ailing health and now all we had was the messy half of the odd couple.

I enter Leonard’s office and attempt to find a chair under the piles of files with papers haphazardly sticking out all over. I remove three suit jackets I am positive have been there for at least two years and hang them up as Leonard begins to talk about the case we’re working on together. As he talks, I reorganize all of the files which had been left ajar on the chair and throw out a dozen Wall Street Journals that have dates more than a year old. Leonard either doesn’t notice my tidying or it doesn’t bother him at all, because he doesn’t miss a beat as he brings me up to speed while I go about tidying the place.

“You’re going to have to handle the deposition yourself this afternoon.” Leonard wraps up the discussion while chewing on a sausage and peppers hero that Regina delivered a few minutes ago, even though it’s only ten thirty in the morning.

“I can do that.” I can, but I’m surprised that he is asking me to. The afternoon deposition is for one of our largest clients and usually Leonard leads and I take a back seat. Leonard sees the question written on my face.

“I’m having angioplasty this afternoon.” Leonard waves off the comment as if he had just told me the time and not that he was having serious heart surgery.

“Angioplasty? Are you okay?”

“Yes, yes. I’m fine. The doctors today make a big deal about nothing. He probably just wants me on the table because his kid’s got a tuition payment due.”

“So it probably doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that you eat a sausage and peppers hero every day for breakfast then? It couldn’t be that you haven’t taken care of your heart, right?” I stand, assuming the lecturing daughter position that Leonard, on rare occasion, has allowed me to act out when his unhealthy habits rise to disturbing levels.

“Listen missy. When you get to be my age, we’ll see how much you give a shit about what you eat. So keep your salad-eating, skinny thoughts to yourself and go prep for our client who I’m counting on you to please.”

I laugh, knowing Leonard isn’t really mad, it’s just his way. Neither of us do warm and mushy, but he knows I care about him. “Tell Millie to call me when you’re all patched up, okay?” Yes, Leonard Milstock married a woman named Millie, which makes her Millie Milstock. I would have kept my maiden name, but I’m sure that wasn’t even a consideration when they married more than fifty years ago.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” I smile at my boss and shake my head watching him finish off the last of his hero. When they scope out his veins I’m pretty sure they’ll find whole pieces of sausage are causing the clog.

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