* * *
“Ihaven’t been up in the suites for a while. These are nice.”
“Yeah. They always try to put me in the bigger room, but I don’t need all that space. I usually meet my team on the other side of the mall.”
I showered and changed into some comfortable black linen pants and a linen blouse to match. I found him sitting by the window sketching in his small book.
Jordan kept his eyes on his work. Perhaps he didn’t hear me. I watched him for a bit, concentrating, the pencil moving fast on the sketchbook. I stepped behind him. He was drawing a picture of Eleanor painting, focusing on her hand. He captured her paper thin skin but her face showed an inner determination. Everything I had seen with our brief visit with Eleanor.
“It’s amazing what you can do,” I said, touching his shoulder.
He stopped moving the pencil and stared at his work. He smudged a few spots on the hand and closed the book, covering my hand and standing up.
“Not as amazing as what you do. I just capture people’s images. You protect the people who need it. I’d say in the list of accomplishments, you win.”
I flushed. “I didn’t know we were competing.” He was making me sound like a hero, I wasn’t. I was just a… lawyer.
“We aren’t. I’m just really proud of you. When we first met, you were angry about someone named Cook. You went back, took his place, and now you’re running the firm, winning cases.”
“Yes, but you may remember from my breakthrough earlier, I sort of fell into this because I have nothing else.”
“You fell, but you got back up and kept moving forward.” His lips tightened. I knew what he meant.
“Not until last night and today. I feel lighter,” I said, nibbling on my lip.
“You look beautiful, lighter,” He agreed, scanning me, pulling me to him, his hand spurring a small fire up my back.
I blushed again. Perhaps it was because the weight had lifted off or it was Jordan. I couldn’t be sure.
He took my hand. “Do you have everything you need?”
I grabbed my bag, wrapping it around my body and threw my wallet in it.
“Are we walking or taking a taxi?” he asked.
“Oh no, we can walk. It’s close.”
He cocked his head, “The closest cathedral is about five miles.”
“We aren’t going to a cathedral. I’m a lawyer. Where do you think I might worship?” I laughed as we walked towards the elevator.
We got to the ground floor and walked towards the mall, turning left on an empty Pennsylvania Avenue. I hoped that meant the place we were headed wouldn’t have a long line.
“Did you grow up here?” I asked.
“Not in the city. My family has a house in Waterford. It was kind of like a farm, but we didn’t raise animals. My dad was into real estate and did well. He’s retired now and still lives at the house with my sister and her husband.”
“How far away is that?”
“Less than forty minutes.” He squeezed my hand.
“What about you? Did you grow up in LA?” he asked.
“Yep. My dad was the mayor of Burbank, but he died when I was twenty-two from a heart attack. I was just starting law school at Berkeley.”
“I thought your family died in the earthquake?” Jordan asked.