Jordan pulled me towards an older man that could be a mirror image of himself, a woman, his sister, holding a small boy in her arms. His family, the toddler, was Emily’s age before she passed. The boy had blond hair like his mother. I wanted to reach out and touch him. He wasn’t mine.
“Katie, this is my family. Joseph, Emery, and the wild child Benji Junior.”
The adults smiled at me, and the small toddler was asleep in Emery’s arms.
“He tried to stay up for his uncle, but it’s his bedtime and he’s like a clock.” Emery smiled. He held out a semi-free hand for me to shake. “It’s nice to meet you.”
Joseph grabbed me in for a hug. “It’s wonderful to meet you, Katie. I’ve seen his studies of you over the years. They do not do you justice.”
I blushed as he let me go.
“Dad, ease up.”
Jordan’s dad winked at me.
“I’m just an artist. I could never capture her beauty on a canvas,” Jordan mused.
“Oh good lord, you two. Leave her alone.” Emery rolled her eyes. “These two will pester you until you give them what they want.”
“What is that?” I asked, playing along with them.
“I’m not sure, but I can imagine things that their devious little minds can come up with,” Emery teased.
“Don’t let them win. Enjoy the praise and ignore their wants. It’s a win-win for you. I’ve learned the hard way.” She laughed, and I laughed with her, but I had no idea what she was talking about. I glanced at Jordan, hoping he would make sense of it for me. He only frowned.
“Don’t listen to her,” Joseph said. “She’s just mad that we’re always right.”
“Hello Joe, it’s good to see you.” A man’s voice came from behind me.
I turned to see Chief Justice Benjamin Henrick standing there. Joseph held out his hand and shook hands with him, pulling him into a hug.
“Good to see you. We’ve tired out our grandson.” Joseph paused and smiled at me. “This is my son’s friend…”
Justice Hendrick cut him off. “Ms. Jones. I know her very well, in fact.”
He reached his hand to shake mine. His wife reached out as well to shake my hand. It took me a moment to put it all together. Jordan’s sister was married to the Chief Justice’s son Benjamin the 2nd.
“I’m Clarice. His better half.” Her laugh sounded like bells. Clarice looked at Joe. “This woman is all my husband talks about these days. He was very impressed with your most recent arguments. If you were our daughter, he’d be showing your picture to all the eligible bachelors in our social circles.” Clarice eyed Jordan. “Looks like he doesn’t have to worry.”
I blushed, and Jordan smiled. “We are old friends, Clarice.” He tried to save the conversation.
“We are old friends too and have never seen you with a woman by your side or a huge smile on your face.” Clarice protested.
“Ms. Jones, my wife is correct. I was and have been very impressed with your past appearances in front of us. Perhaps someday you’ll be a Supreme Court judge.”
“Thank you, Justice Henrick. Those are kind words.” It humbled me to stand here, listening to this man give me a compliment. My father would be proud of my accomplishments.
“He won’t say it because it might be inappropriate, however, I’ve been known to be inappropriate my whole life…”
Justice Henrick smiled at his wife and then looked at Joseph.
“That’s not true, you’ve been a wonderful partner in our life together.”
“Then stop interrupting me and let me finish.” Clarice said with a twinkle in her eye. “You have a good head on your shoulders. He already brags about you as if you are his own. Maybe you could take his place when he retires.”
I was speechless. I hadn’t thought about becoming a judge before. That was too much, too big of a goal. I just wanted to win this case on Monday.