'Like strangers?' she asked inquisitively.

He gave her a strange look and said uncertainly, 'I guess that's right.'

'Well, you're right about forgetting the past. And I'd like to make it a clean break, through and through. That way we can both begin again.'

Casey removed a document from her purse and unfolded it. She handed it across the table to him along with a gold pen.

'What?' he said.

'It's our divorce,' she told him pleasantly. 'That way we can really start over.'

'You mean get divorced and get remarried?' he said with a confused grimace.

'No,' she said. 'I mean get divorced and start over, like strangers.'

'You want me to court you?' he said, annoyed.

'No,' she told him with a straight face. 'I don't want you to court me. I don't want anything from you. This document gives you everything but my personal bank account and my car. I don't want anything from you, Taylor…'

'I'm not signing any goddamned divorce!' he said, raising his voice and drawing stares from the surrounding tables. 'It's not going to be that easy for you, little miss lawyer. You don't just lead me on and-'

'I never led you on,' she said forcefully.

'You asked me here!' he shouted. 'You said you had a proposal to make!'

'Of course I did,' she said, seething. 'And I do. This is my proposal. You sign this paper here and now or I'll dig in and fight you for every penny, every piece of art, and every stick of furniture I ever laid my eyes on. My deal is a clean break and you keep your money and everything else. All I want is my life. I want my life to start over… This is your last chance at a deal like this, and you know me well enough to know that I'm not bluffing.'

Taylor 's face twisted with rage. He snatched the document and looked it over before violently scratching his name on it and throwing it down on the table in front of him. He stood then and grabbed his glass of champagne, raising it to douse her.

'You see that man at the bar?' Casey said firmly before he could do it. 'He's a police detective, and if you so much as spill a drop of that wine on me, he'll throw you down on the floor, handcuff you, and drag you out of here like the punk you are…

'So go ahead, Taylor Jordan,' she said defiantly. 'Make a move…'

Bolinger saw his cue and stood, pulling back his coat to reveal his badge, his gun, and a gleaming set of handcuffs.

Taylor fought for composure, and actually managed to drink the wine with trembling lips before setting it down and striding indignantly out of the restaurant without another word.

'Would you please ask that gentleman at the bar with the gun and the badge if he'd like to join me for some champagne?' Casey said to the gaping waiter.

Bolinger sat down and everyone else returned to their lunches.

'Classic,' he said to her, holding up a freshly filled glass. 'I wish you were on the right side of the law.'

'Meaning?' she said archly.

'Meaning I wish you were helping put people away rather than keeping them out,' he told her gruffly.

'What about people like Donald Sales?' she said, adding, 'and Catalina Enos?'

'No, I know about them,' he said, 'I'm not talking about them. They were innocent. I'm talking about the bad guys.'

Casey laughed at him, her mirth filling the space between them like a brilliant bouquet.

'So what next?' he asked.

'I'm off to Dallas,' she said. 'Everything's packed and on its way. Patti is already there.'

'How is Patti?' he asked. He knew that after Lipton's attack she'd only been in the hospital for a short while, but it had always seemed strange to him that after what he saw there were no complications.

'She's fine,' Casey said. 'There never was any critical damage to her internal organs. She's got an ugly scar, but the doctor's told her that was all.'

'So she's in Dallas?' Bolinger repeated.

'Yes, hopefully with my office all set up. All that's missing is me. I figure a new life needs a new place to begin.'

'More lawyering?'

'Of course,' she told him. 'There's a regional branch of the LDFU in Dallas and they've offered me a very prestigious position.'

'LDFU?' he asked. 'Never heard of that.'

'It's the Legal Defense Fund for the Underprivileged,' she told him. 'Trust me, it's prestigious. A lot of people just don't know about it.'

'How can it be prestigious if a lot of people don't know about it?' Bolinger asked dubiously.

Casey smiled for a long while, thinking. Then she said, 'Because I know.'

Tim Green

***
Вы читаете The Letter Of The Law
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