As I have announced, I am in the process of rewriting Power of Attorney based upon input from my readers. It will be a full length novel, with much more development, tension, passion and emphasis on the relationship between Abby and Jacob. Look for it in May. I am asking Amazon to just replace it for those who have already bought it. Keep your fingers crossed that they’ll actually do it. Below is an excerpt from the new and improved Power of Attorney.
The next day, we all had cases at the federal courthouse and so we decided to meet up for lunch. I rounded a corner, headed for the lobby when I encountered a mass of people. Seeing Dana and Lena in the crowd, I made my way over to them, noticing that everyone seemed to be gathered around a podium with a microphone.
“What’s going on here?” I asked, noting that the seal of the United States Attorney’s Office was hanging on the podium and that the press was amply represented.
“Press Conference,” Dana replied. “Word has it that the U.S. Attorney herself has something profound to impart to us.”
“Wow, Lynn Davis doesn’t descend from her sacred mount for just anything,” I noted with exaggerated awe, checking out the size of the crowd.
“She had better hurry up and do it,” Lena said with a growl, echoed by her stomach. “I get cranky when I’m hungry and I can’t be responsible for my actions.”
“Well, technically that would …” Dana began but Lena’s glare stopped her short. “… Be diminished capacity,” she concluded quickly.
“Any word from Trog?” I asked Dana with a laugh.
“Nothing yet,” she answered and started to say something else, but she was interrupted as a hush fell over the crowd. Brad Hughes, the press liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s office took the podium and made a few brief comments in a very solemn and serious sounding voice. I guess this wasn’t about the annual Court Holiday Party. He then went on to introduce his boss, who I noted, was not standing there with him. It figured that Lynn Davis would want to make an entrance.
“They forgot to play the theme from Rocky,” I joked and I watched the crowd separate like Moses parting the Red Sea as Lynn Davis came striding in looking as abundantly confident as usual.
She was young to be in the Top Job, probably only early-forties. She was very attractive in an “executioner” kind of way, with well-defined leg muscles that screamed “gym membership” and coal-colored hair cut into a sharp bob with pointy tips. She often wore black suits and Lena had ungenerously nicknamed her Bat Girl.
Rumor had it that her personality was as warm and fuzzy as her look, and that she was ruthlessly ambitious and obsessed with power, but that would describe plenty of people in positions of authority. There had also been other rumors though, the kind only repeated in hushed tones over too many gin and tonics at bar association events.
Some had apparently hinted that Davis had gotten her position by “questionable means,” whatever that meant, but I had never heard any details. Frankly, I suspected that those rumors only floated around because she was a woman, and a fairly young and good-looking woman at that. Obviously, she couldn’t just be, you know, intelligent, skilled or worthy of holding a man’s job.
My eyes did not linger on Bat Girl for long, though, because walking directly behind her, and with every bit as much confidence, was another familiar prosecutorial figure. Much to my annoyance, I felt a flutter in my tummy. I was a fully-grown woman, and a busy one too. I had no time for tummy flutters, especially not related to egotistical male prosecutors. I was no Nancy O’Brien, perky reporter, for cryin out loud.
“Check it out,” Lena whispered. “Bat Girl and Boy Wonder in the same room.” Lena had come up with “Boy Wonder” because Sachs, at thirty-two, was the youngest superstar federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office. I understood the nickname; I had to say though, that while Lynn Davis’ hair did make her look a little bat-like, he did not look like a boy. And by that, I also don’t mean that he looked like a girl. As impossible as it seemed, he was so much hotter in person.
The well-tailored navy suit that he was wearing fit him perfectly and hinted at the fact that he probably hit the gym too. And his eyes… hazel, they were hazel, and what you couldn’t see on TV, was that that they gleamed with intelligence. Uh oh, I was noticing eye gleam. That was a bad sign. Note to self, must find date soon. I would not become infatuated with Boy Wonder. I reminded myself that not only did I not even know the man, but he was also an egocentric prosecutor, whom my brother disliked, and my sister-in-law had slept with.
I pulled my gaze away and turned it on the crowd. Nancy was there, of course, looking like she was awaiting an audience with God. She wasn’t the only one though. You could see the impact that he had on all of the people around him, and not just females either; both men and women seemed transfixed in the presence of the almighty Sachs, their enraptured facial expressions and tense body language betraying them. I half expected a middle-aged woman in the second row to toss her panties at him, and the guy behind her looked like he might swoon. It dawned on me then that I didn’t want to look like that, and I stood up straighter and squared my shoulders, trying valiantly not to ogle.
I glanced over at Lena to see if she had noticed me eyeing Sachs up in a way that could get me arrested in some states, but her attention was fixed on the podium. My thoughts were interrupted at that moment as the U.S. Attorney began to speak.
“Hello everyone, and thank you for joining me,” Lynn Davis said.
“You’re blocking the only exit,” I mumbled distractedly and Lena bit her lip.
“It is with deep concern that I wish to report that a member of my staff, federal prosecutor Randall Greene, has gone missing.” A murmur passed through the crowd.
“Missing?” I mouthed to Dana and Lena.
“I got locked in a restroom once,” Dana whispered helpfully. “I wonder if they checked there.” I think she was serious. I could see Dana getting locked in a restroom.
“He was last seen leaving this building seventy-two hours ago,” Bat Girl went on.
“Probably not in the restroom,” I mumbled.
“If anyone has any information on Assistant U.S. Attorney Greene’s whereabouts, I ask that you share it with my office immediately. Anything you tell us will be held in the strictest confidence.”
“So it’s perfectly safe to confess it if you killed him. Just tell us where the body is hidden and we’ll let bygones be bygones,” I whispered and Lena elbowed me. I couldn’t help it; my whole family was like that. Sarcasm was in the Roth DNA.
“I have assigned Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jacob Sachs, to work with the FBI in this matter.” At her announcement, some of the groupies in the crowd looked like they might start to cheer. Brad Hughes actually got a little misty-eyed. Good grief. Yes, he’s a hot guy and a talented lawyer, but he didn’t ride into this lobby from Valhalla, folks.
Before she stepped away, she turned and gave Boy Wonder’s arm a friendly rub, very friendly. I suspected that it was more for the crowd’s benefit than his. It said, “Look at how warm and supportive I am of my prosecutors, especially the really sexy male ones. And if Randall Greene ends up floating in the Delaware River, I’ll rub this handsome man beside me here even more.”
Sachs gazed at her with deep gratitude. They were acting like characters in a Lifetime movie. I rolled my eyes as he took her place at the podium, leaned forward and gave the crowd a solemn, but determined look.
“I just want to add that my thoughts are with Randall’s family at this difficult time and I will do everything in my power to help find him,” he began.
“Right after this press conference and twenty interviews,” I whispered.
“The FBI is following up several leads,” he went on.
“He’s probably in Cabo with some chick,” Lena murmured cynically.
“You’re such a romantic,” I murmured back.
“We’re optimistic that Assistant U.S. Attorney Greene will be back with us soon.”
“Hopefully not in several packages,” Dana said somewhat quietly, but not quite quietly enough. That was a Dana quirk too. She didn’t have great volume control.
I saw Boy Wonder’s eyes travel over to where we were standing. They quickly passed Dana and then lingered on me. Hey! It wasn’t me that time! Figures I would get busted not for my own smart mouth, but for someone else’s. To my chagrin, I felt heat spread across my chest and up my neck into my cheeks.
“In the meanwhile, I will also personally take over Randall’s cases, so that justice will progress as scheduled.”
“Glory, Glory Hallelujah,” I sang quietly and Dana snorted, covering it poorly with a fake cough. She was so smooth. Sachs’ gaze returned to me once more, and there was a gleam in his eye again, but this time, it looked a little different.
“Are there any questions?” he asked with a somewhat insincere looking smile. Hands shot up all around him, but he didn’t turn toward them. Instead, he held my gaze. Neither one of us would look away. I could imagine that ominous whistle sound they always play before gunfights in Westerns. Out of the corner of my eye I saw that Nancy was becoming so desperate to be noticed that she had practically climbed over her cameraman, but Sachs was still looking at me. Not really wanting to chance making Lena wait too long for lunch, I decided to oblige him. I smiled back and raised my hand.
“Yes?” he asked, with an undercurrent of sarcasm.
“Have you checked the restrooms?” I asked politely.