"Good morning, boss," his secretary says.
"And a good morning to you," Andrew says.
He enters his office, closes the door. An hour later Mary knocks on the door. "Come in, Mary."
She gives him a folder. "It's a priority from Her Majesty," Mary says.
"Okay," Andrew says.
"Hello Andrew," Her Majesty says.
"I don't want to handle this case," Andrew says.
"I want you to handle it," Her Majesty says.
"I don't give a damn," Andrew says.
Her Majesty snaps, "wait a minute, Andrew, I'm your boss."
"I'm sorry but I just can't deal with this one," Andrew says.
"Well, you have to," Her Majesty says.
"Anything but this one," Andrew says.
"Listen Andrew, this would be good for the firm because it would give the firm a reach across the Mason-Dixie line and that is why, I gave it to you," Her Majesty says.
He sighs, sadness, anger.
"What is the problem with it, any way?" Her Majesty asks.
"Okay, okay, I'll do it," Andrew says.
"You damn right that you will do it; now, your second will be Martin and Alice will do the foot work, and the client will be here for a face to face in two days, so be ready for him," Her Majesty says.
Mary opens the door. "This is mister Peter Jenkins," she says then ushers him into the conference room. He enters then she walks away. Andrew stares at him while Martin and Alice looks at him. Not understanding Andrew's lack of courtesy, Martin stands and introduces the team then points to a chair for Peter Jenkins to sit. As he does, Andrew stands. "I'm not feeling well; my assistants knows what information I will need to handle the case," he says as he walks to the door.
Taken-aback, Martin says, "yes of course, I can do that mister Jenkins."
"I hope you feel better," Alice says.
"Wait a minute, I was informed that the best would be assigned to my case," Peter Jenkins says.
"That happened," Andrew says.
"I need this win because if I don't I'll be in the red for a long time, maybe even bankruptcy," Peter Jenkins says.
"I work primarily for the firm good reputation," Andrew says.
"I understand that but these faggots suing my family business for unfair employment practices."
Andrew interrupts Peter Jenkins. "I know the case and any further information needed, my team will gather it for me," he says then walks out of the room.
Alice stops Andrew outside of the courthouse.
"What are you doing?" Alice asks.
"What do you mean?" Andrew asks.
"Your lackadaisical bullshit in the courtroom for the past few days," Alice says.
"Listen, damn-it, I'm the attorney, okay," Andrew says.
"I'm a retired police investigator after twenty-five years and I've been with the firm for five years and in all those years my notes won cases and you're throwing this case away," Alice says.
"Go to hell," Andrew says.
"I'll go to Her Majesty, ass hole; I work for the good reputation of the firm too," Alice says.
The case goes to the jury and two days later they reach a decision that the judge decides to read the next day.
Andrew and his team wait in the corridor for Peter Jenkins. "Here he comes," Alice says.
"Looks like he has his wife with him," Martin says.
Andrew looks at Jean, after ten years, she's still pretty, shapely. The couple stops in front of the team. Jean shows her surprise to see Andrew. "Andrew, I didn't realize that it was you Peter was talking about; when did you leave Baltimore for Philly," Jean says.
"You two know each other?" Peter Jenkins asks.
"Yes, in college," Jean says.
Smiling, Jean holds out a hand for a handshake. Andrew ignores the gesture, leaves them. Stun, they all watch him go into the courtroom. Martin replaces the lost professional courtesy and escorts the couple into the courtroom; Alice follows.
The jury favored Andrew's summation. Peter Jenkins and Jean celebrate with hugs and kisses. Martin and Alice joins them with congratulation handshakes. Andrew walks out of the courtroom. Jean sees him.
Andrew stands outside of the courtroom, looking out onto the streets through a large window.
"Andrew," Jean says.
He turns, looks at her with teary eyes.
"I'm sorry; I didn't think that it would hurt you that much," Jean says.
Andrew looks at her then sees Peter Jenkins approaching, he walks away. Jean and Peter Jenkins walk out of the courthouse. From a doorway, Andrew watches them wait at a taxi stand. Alice pats Andrew's back. He looks at her.
"How long were you two together?" Alice asks.
"First year senior high school to third year of college and that's when I got the letter," Andrew says.
"How long was it since you last seen her?" Alice asks.
"Ten years," Andrew says.
"There must have been other women?" Alice asks.
"There was but they all came back to her so I just stopped," Andrew says.
In his office, Andrew studies legal papers. The door opens; he looks at Mary.
"What's up?' Andrew asks.
"Remember that case about a year ago from Atlanta, Georgia?" Mary asks.
"Yes," Andrew says.
"The wife is on the line asking for you, sounds like she's crying," Mary says.
"Put it through," Andrew says.
"Hello," Andrew says.
"Andrew?" Jean asks.
"Yes," Andrew says.
"He selected me," Jean says.
"What? Who?" Andrew asks.
"A proxy, I was a stand in," Jean says.
"I don't understand," Andrew says.
"Peter's father despised homosexuals and when he died, Peter dropped me to celebrate by dancing with his queer boyfriend that he kept secret. He never loved me back all those years." Jean says then remembers her reason why she called Andrew. "I hurt you; I hurt you bad," she cries, "I'm so sorry, forgive me, please forgive me, do that, please."
"Please, come back to me," Andrew says.
There is a moment of silence.
"Okay, I will," Jean says.