“Have you tried the cheese plate here? It’s amazing with a good bottle of wine.” He lifted his arm, and a server came over. The attention he received was impressive, as if he owned the place. I had been sitting there for at least ten minutes and no one came over to take my order. Not that I’d waved for their attention.
“William, can you make a cheese plate for us with a bottle of that ninety-three pinot that came in last week?” Jordan said. “Oh, and some waters.”
I watched as Jordan took charge of our snack. He rearranged the table, ensuring there was room for the food that was coming. His forearm muscles flexed as he moved, something I’d never noticed on a man before now. I never thought I’d notice a man again.
William set down two waters and hustled away. Jordan raised the glass of water and handed me the other. “For the dehydration.”
He took his hydration duty very seriously.
We studied the people as they walked by. Jordan took out his sketchbook and drew a few people. The wine and cheese came. William started to open it but Jordan took it from him, opened the bottle expertly and poured us each a glass. While we sat there, he drank a little. He said he had to work today.
“How was the Jefferson Memorial today?”
“It was relaxing, thank you.”
“How about the National Gallery? Did you see my friend Robert?”
I had forgotten already. “Yes. He was so nice. He took me to the corner of the room and showed me the piece hidden. I loved it. Thank you for sharing the local secret. I would’ve missed it. I’ll make a point to go there every chance when I’m in town.”
His eyebrows shot up. “You’ll be back?”
“Yes.” I sipped the wine. “I have a few more cases that are on the fast track. I’m not presenting them by myself, but I’m part of the team.”
“Maybe that will change soon and you will lead the team yourself.”
“Maybe.” The thought of arguing my own cases would be amazing. I’ve already proved myself in the lower courts. A few cases at the Supreme Court would be a dream. Especially if we won. My heart quickened thinking about Monday’s opinion.
Jordan stuck around and helped eat the cheese plate. He drew a few more pictures and showed them to me. Pensive faces, young children’s enthusiasm and parents exhausted from the day at the museums. He looked at his watch.
“Well, I’ve got to get to work. Stop by later.”
I didn’t want him to leave. I liked his company, he distracted me from the weight of the work I should be accomplishing. He was easy to talk to and made me feel good.
* * *
Ispent Saturday night wrestling with my upcoming cases in New York. They weren’t very interesting, and I was sure we would win. I’d done all the work on them, I was ready.
On Sunday, I devoted the entire day to Matisse. I had lunch in the National Gallery’s courtyard fountain, then strolled through the mall and back to the Willard. As I entered the hotel, I peeked into the Round Robin again. I was leaving tomorrow afternoon and expected there to be bad news. A little of that Japanese whiskey would be a pleasant end to the evening.
The bar was empty except for Jordan, who was drawing in his small sketchbook.
“Evening, Katie. What sort of adventures did you have today?”
The sound of his low voice was intoxicating. Why did he affect me so much? When did this happen?
“Much of the same. I’m a creature of habit, I’m afraid. I’ve got a bit of a cloud looking over me for tomorrow. I know we’ll get the majority, but it’s still a little nerve wrecking.” I leaned up against the bar.
He nibbled at his lips and waited for me to order something.
“Can I try one of those mint juleps?” I asked.
“Ummm… okay. Are you sure you want one?”
“What? Aren’t they good?”
“Oh no, I make the best. It’s kind of touristy drink. I want to make sure you’re pleased with our service.” He teased.