Dear Diary – Habeas Corpus
September 17th, 2019
Where to start? How about I can’t stop smiling? How about I’ve never been so thoroughly fucked in all my life? How about for the first time in years I feel wanted, desirable, and do I dare say it… sexy?
My pussy was so sore this morning I could barely walk, but damned if I can’t wait for Ryan to get here so we can do it all over again. What started with me moping into a glass of wine turned into, well, the best night of my life. He took me back to his place and fucked me, and fucked me, and then fucked me some more. Sex has never(!!!) been like last night, even when I was younger. He absolutely ravaged me, and I loved every minute of it. It’s a good thing today is Saturday. If I’d had to go into the office today, not only would everyone wonder why I was walking bowlegged, but I wouldn’t get shit done for thinking about why I was sore, and how much I wanted to feel him inside me again.
He’s going to pick me up about six and we’re going to dinner. People will probably think I’m having dinner with my son, but I don’t care. Despite what he said, maybe he’s living out some kind of mommy fantasy, or maybe he’s bragging to his friends right now about how he banged an MILF. I don’t care about that either. I deserve to have some fun and last night… well… last night and this morning was the most fun I’ve had in years!
I’m getting sleepy after my soak in the bath. I think I’ll take a nap. If he can stay up all night, like he did last night, I want to be well rested, so I can stay up all night myself. God! I’m getting wet just thinking about it! 52 years old and I’m panting over some guy just because he fucked me stupid and blind last night.
If I knew being divorced was this much fun, I’d have kicked Bob out years ago!
I jammed my laptop into its case. It was Friday but that made little difference to me. It was just another shitty day in another shitty week in my shitty life. I shrugged into my coat and slung the laptop bag over my shoulder.
“Have a good weekend,” I mumbled to Rachael on my way past. Just because I was in a bad mood didn’t mean I had to take it out on the help.
“Thank you, Ms. Burkes! You too!”
There were still a few clerks and paralegals in the office, doing the grunt work that kept the office running, but I was the only partner. We didn’t like close on Friday afternoons because if something went wrong we had no time to recover before the weekend, so the other partner, Paul Chelsey, always took advantage of the dead office and left between eleven and noon. Because I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, I stayed, but doing so invariably put me in a bad mood.
Well, a worse mood than normal, I thought to myself.
Work had been my life for the past five years, but never more so than the last three, and most especially the last year. For the past year I came into the office, worked, and went home to an empty apartment. It sucked, and I hated it, but I felt like the classic third wheel. Since my separation and divorce I’d all but stopped seeing friends. Bob and I hadn’t been social butterflies even before things turned completely sour between us, but we did occasionally go to dinner with friends. Now, however, being the single woman out with a married couple just felt wrong. Maybe it was my imagination, but it seemed that wives who were once my friend were now looking at me differently than they had when I was still married. Maybe they thought I was going to try to steal their husband as mine had been stolen from me.
I chucked the laptop into the backseat of my C 63 before I dropped into the driver’s seat, started the car, and sat as the air conditioning blasted to cool the interior from the late summer heat. I stared at the featureless brick wall of my office. My divorce had finalized almost two months ago, but I was still smarting, even though I’d tried to put Bob’s treachery behind me from the moment he told me he was leaving me. I could have fucked him good in court. I could have tried to extract my pound of flesh, could have demanded half of his constructions company, which was worth two or three times what my half of the practice was, when splitting our assets, but I just wanted it over. After we’d signed the agreement where we’d agreed to keep our respective businesses, split the house and the rest of the property fifty-fifty, and ask for no spousal support, I’d turned my back on him. I’d moved out of our house into a nice apartment, bought myself some new clothes, and decided to extract my revenge by living well.
I shook myself out of my reverie and placed the car into reverse. Except it hadn’t worked out that way. When I’d decided to move out, wanting to get away from the memories contained within the wall of the big empty house, I had visions of dating rich and handsome men and traveling to exotic locations. A divorce in North Carolina required a minimum of a year’s separation, and rather than dating and traveling, bahis firmaları I’d spent the year working longer hours and hiding in my apartment. I kept telling myself that as soon as the divorce was finalized I’d start going out more. My routine hadn’t changed since I signed the papers that made me a free woman.
What’s your excuse now?
As I rolled to a stop at a light, I could feel the tears trying to start. I willed them away with a soft, sighing gasp. I’d cried exactly once after our split, and that was all the tears that asshole was getting from me. I’d heard through mutual friends that Bob already had a live-in girlfriend who, according to the gossip, was at least twenty years younger than him, and they’d been waiting for the divorce to finalize before they married.
More power to them. I hope they live happily ever after.
Except I didn’t. It wasn’t fair that he was the one who destroyed our marriage because he couldn’t keep his manhood in his pants, and yet he was the one who had moved on and was enjoying life. Bob had always been a selfish prick. I still couldn’t believe that it took him cheating on me for me to realize that.
The light winked to green and I pulled away. I didn’t want to go back to my lonely apartment, but I had nowhere else to go. I had nobody to share a meal or a drink with. I didn’t even have a cat at home. I drove past De Jure—Latin for In Law—which was the local watering hole for the legal crowd. I rolled to a stop at the next light and glanced into the rearview mirror, watching a well-dressed couple open the door to De Jure half a block behind me before my view was blocked by an approaching pickup.
A polite toot of the horn from the F150 behind me brought my attention back to the moment and the green light that glowed. I waved my hand in apology as I pulled away. I drove another couple of blocks, leaving the downtown area where the law and investment firms had congregated.
I couldn’t get the image of the couple out of my head. Were they dating, or were they coworkers enjoying an after-work drink before leaving for separate lives? Why was I so alone, unable to connect with friends? Nobody blamed me for what happened. Most said I was better off without him, but I wasn’t sure. I surely didn’t love the prick anymore. Any love I’d had for him had died along with the marriage, but living alone was no panacea.
Pinching my lips tight, I signaled and pulled into the center turn lane, waited for traffic to pass, and then made a left. A quick loop around the block and I was headed back to De Jure. As the three blocks passed, I considered turning around again, but instead of continuing past, I slowed and turned into the establishment’s parking lot. I’d been to De Jure before, but after I claimed a parking space I sat in my car, the engine idling, wondering why I was there. Percy Sledge crooned away about how a man loved a woman on the radio and I snapped off the stereo in annoyance.
I placed my hand on the gear selector, almost selecting reverse and backing out of my space, but instead I switched the car off and opened the door, forcing myself to step out of the car. I tugged my jacket smooth as I made my way to the door, holding my head high.
De Jure was a low-key place, a cross between an Irish pub, mid-scale restaurant, and a pickup joint. I hadn’t darkened De Jure’s door in over a year, but nothing had changed. It still had the oak and brass that reminded me of a pub, the long bar occupied by young men and woman chatting each other up, and the double row of tables with the red and white tablecloths to the right side. The walls were covered with fake law degrees from various universities, pictures of the local courthouse through the years, and photos of stern looking judges glaring at the patrons.
It was a nice, upscale place, but as soon as I’d stepped inside, I immediately remembered why I didn’t frequent the place often. The men and women at the bar were already engaged in the slow dance of seduction, with their too loud laughs and over bright smiles. I changed my mind about staying and turned to leave, but a pair of men entered before I could turn. I was causing confusion and bottling up traffic as three well-dressed women opened the door immediately behind the men and waited for the traffic jam I was causing in the door to clear. Flushing, I muttered an apology as I stepped away from the door and continued deeper into the room, claiming the table farthest from the door and deepest in the corner.
“Hi! I’m Jenny, and I’ll be taking care of you this evening. What can I get’cha?” the waitress asked as she glided to a stop at my table.
I glanced up and forced a smile. When did they start letting sixteen-year-olds work in bars? “Chardonnay?”
She smiled. “Coming up. You want a menu?”
She dropped the laminated sheet of paper on the table before turning and hurrying away. To pass the time while I waited on my glass, I glanced at the wine kaçak iddaa selection. I’d never heard of Cloud Break, the Chardonnay listed. My gaze traveled the bar, recognizing several members of the legal community, before my gaze returned to the menu. There were a few older patrons, most of them occupying a table as I was, but the bulk of the traffic at the bar proper were in their twenties and thirties.
I recalled the food was good, so I glanced over the offered selections. Baby steps… baby steps. Eating out. Whoo-hoo! Next thing I know I’m might say ‘hi’ to someone in my apartment building.
I was debating between the grilled chicken salad and the chef’s salad when Jenny returned and placed my glass in front of me. “Ready to order?”
I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay long enough to eat. “Can you give me a few minutes?”
My gaze swept the bar again. There was a young guy chatting up a woman with big breasts, and she was defiantly telegraphing her interest with the way she leaned in close and placed her hand on his arm as she laughed. The thing was, he was looking at me instead of her. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d seen him. Maybe I’d done the closing on his house or something. I took a sip of my wine and then stared into the glass as if I expected to find answers in the liquid.
“Ready to order?” Jenny asked.
I wondered how long I’d been staring into my glass. It seemed like she’d just delivered my beverage. I handed her the menu. “Not tonight, I think. Just the wine.”
She smiled as if that was the best news she’d had all night. “Okay. I’ll check on you again in a few minutes.”
I stared at the glass again, slowly spinning the container by the stem. I took another sip, but nothing changed. Like at home, time seemed to grind to a stop as I stared at nothing, my mind empty of thoughts. It was this feeling, the feeling of being disconnected that I hated the most. More often than I liked I would sit and watch some inane program on the television, and when it was over, I couldn’t remember a thing I’d seen.
“Doing okay?” Jenny asked, pulling me back to the present.
I glanced at my glass. It was half empty, and I couldn’t remember drinking any of it. “Fine. I think this is all I need, except for the check.”
“Already taken care of.”
“What?” I asked, not certain I understood what she was saying.
Jenny jerked her head toward the bar. “Someone picked the tab up for you.”
Jenny turned. “The guy there in the middle, wearing the dark suit with the loosened red tie.”
It was the man I’d noticed before. When our gazes met, he smiled and raised his glass to me. There were considerably more people clustered around the bar now than before, but Ms. Big Boobs had moved on. I nodded at him and smiled in acknowledgement.
“Thank you, Jenny.”
As Jenny left, the man heaved himself off the bar and started toward me. It took real effort for me to not to roll my eyes. I didn’t want to have to deal with some pickup artist. Still… I know I’ve seen him before… somewhere.
He eased to a stop beside my table. “Ms. Slatterly?”
Not anymore. “I’m sorry, but do I know you?”
He didn’t try to sit. “Ryan Kirkwood. I assisted your husband’s divorce attorney.”
The moment he said ‘husband’ his face clicked. I tried to be pleasant. It wasn’t his fault Bob was a dick. “What can I do for you, Mr. Kirkwood?” I asked, and despite my efforts, I heard the coldness in my voice.
He held my gaze for a moment. “Nothing. I only wanted to say… thank you.”
‘Thank you’ wasn’t even on list of things I was expecting him to say. “Thank you?”
He nodded slowly. “Yeah. Your divorce was my first-time flying solo.” A faint smile touched his lips. “It was so straight forward that the partners trusted me to handle the separation agreement by myself. Thank you for not taking advantage of me and making me look like a total idiot.”
“Why would I make you look like an idiot?”
His tiny smile grew a little more. “I’d just been hired by Valverde & Kobelt, and after observing and assisting on a few cases, they let me take a more active role with your divorce to see what I could do with it. I know you’re a lawyer, a partner at Chelsey & Burkes, and I appreciate you not… making me go beg for help… or slipping something past me and embarrassing me.”
“Well… you’re welcome… I guess.” I paused a moment and he began to turn away. “And thank you for the wine.”
He turned back, his lips graced with a true smile this time. “The least I could do to show my appreciation.” He turned away again, but after taking only one step, he paused and turned back. “I’m sorry, and I hope you don’t mind me saying so, but your husband—”
“Ex-husband,” I interrupted.
“Your divorce is final?”
I nodded. “About two months now.”
He nodded as if he found that bit of news pleasing. “Your kaçak bahis ex-husband is an idiot.”
I held my glass up in salute. “On that, we agree.”
He nodded once and pivoted again.
Ask him to sit down! the devil on my shoulder shouted.
Don’t encourage him! He’s too young for us! the angel on my other shoulder countered.
My angel didn’t put up much of a fight when the devil bitch-slapped her into silence. “Ryan!” He stopped and turned back to me. “Would you like to sit down?”
He beamed at me as he slid into the booth across the table from me. “May I get you another?” he asked as he nodded at my glass.”
“No, but thank you.” I jerked my chin at his glass. “What are you drinking?”
“Coke and what?”
“Nothing. Just Coke.”
“You came into a bar and ordered a Coke?” He bobbed his head. “Why?”
His eyes danced. He was no male model. He didn’t have the brooding eyes and dangerous air that models always seemed to have, but he wasn’t unattractive. He had a friendly, open, boy next door kind of charm. His dirty-blond hair was carefully trimmed and styled, and while he wasn’t bulging with muscles, he was well built and glowed with the vitality of youth. He also had the most amazing hazel eyes that seemed to peer directly into my soul.
“So I’d remember in case I met someone interesting.”
“Think you will?”
“I already have,” he said, his tone as frank and straight forward as if I’d asked if he planned to put on pants.
I flushed and looked into my glass, but I forced my eyes up. “Why did you say Bob was an idiot? That’s not a very professional thing to say about your client.”
“He’s not my client, never was technically, and I think the reason is self-evident.”
I watched him, my curiosity urging me to demand more explanation. I had my reasons for thinking Bob was an idiot, but I wondered about Ryan’s. After an awkwardly long silence I couldn’t stand the tension anymore. “Do tell,” I murmured.
“He had you, and he threw you away for Ms. Rankin.”
I held his gaze. His tone was as honest and open as before, and I had no sense he was trying to flatter me. “Happens all the time,” I grumbled.
“Maybe, but it doesn’t change my opinion.”
I grunted. “You’d prefer me over Bethany. Right…” I drawled.
He didn’t smile. “In a heartbeat.” I snorted as I picked up my glass. “She’s not my type, but maybe she really does love your ex. I saw her eyes light up once, in my office, when she looked at Mr. Slatterly.” He paused for effect as I took a sip. “Then I realized it was just sun shining through the window and into her ear.”
I bubbled and spluttered into the glass and then coughed once as he smiled, probably pleased with my reaction. I dabbed at my lips as I snickered again. “Isn’t that what men want, the pretty but vacuous bimbo?”
“See, that’s what I mean. ‘Vacuous.’ If you asked Ms. Rankin that, she’d ask if that was a type of vacuum cleaner.” I snickered again as he continued. “If I wanted to have a conversation with a houseplant…”
“You have to admit, though, she’s beautiful.”
He nodded slowly in agreement. “Yes, but so are you, and you have an IQ that’s higher than room temperature.”
“Really? You think I’m beautiful?” I asked, but my tone said that I didn’t believe him.
He again nodded slowly. “You’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met.” This time I did I roll my eyes before I looked away. “You don’t think you’re beautiful?”
“What do you want?” I demanded. “Why are you feeding me that line of bullshit?”
“It’s not a line of bullshit.”
“I’m old enough to be your mother.”
He held my gaze for a moment. “Maybe, if you were just a kid yourself. That doesn’t make you any less beautiful.”
“How old are you?” I asked.
I sniffed as I looked away. “Hardly a kid, then.”
“Bull. You can’t be much over forty, forty-five at the outside.”
I held his gaze for a moment. “I’m almost ten years older than that,” I murmured, preferring to round down from forty-five to rounding up from forty.
“Bullshit!” I smiled at my glass but said nothing, secretly pleased by his reaction. After a long pause, maybe waiting to see if I’d say I was kidding, he spoke again. “Even if that’s true, it still doesn’t change my opinion. In fact, it only reinforces it.”
“That Bob is an idiot?” He nodded once. That seemed to be his style, a single, simple, nod to show he’d heard. Sometime Bob wouldn’t shut up, uncomfortable with silence, but I liked Ryan’s simple indication that he was listening. “Why?”
“Same as before.”
I held his gaze. “Why are you doing this?”
“Trying to flatter me.”
“I’m not trying to flatter you. I came over to tell you thank you. Maybe I shouldn’t have said what I did about Mr. Slatterly, but it’s what I think.” He didn’t say anything else, and as the silence lengthened, I looked up from my drink. “And you looked like you could use a friend,” he added softly.
“That’s why you bought my drink? Because I looked like I needed a friend?”
“No, that’s not it at all.”