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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Show Of Force

Olivia smiled...I could tell that she liked this mysterious insurance investigator, Bonnie Shay...She put her arms around her and said-

"Ms. Shay...I'm Hungry....How about we go to IHOP and get some breakfast?"she said...

"Sounds like a good idea... My Car is right outside..I can follow you..." she said.

"Nonsense...There is room in my car for the six of us...Come on let's ride..."I said. I had purchased an SUV recently....

We all drove to IHOP in Chris and Chess's second shopping center and sat at one large table and ordered our food...

"Ms. Shay....It's not everyday that someone offers to help me and my niece...So when you told me your story...I was naturally fascinated..."laughed Olivia..

"I'm equally fascinated with you and your niece...Of course I've heard of you...Both one time public defenders and now with your own firm.....You two are like my sheroes..I've followed your big cases in the news."laughed Bonnie...

''My Auntay is the reason I am a lawyer..."said Beverly....

"I can't believe you two are Aunt and Niece...You look more like sisters....You can't be but a few years apart in age....What ? Do you have an older sibling Olivia?" asked Bonnie Shay...

"My Brother....Her father is 12 years older than me...I was 9 years old when they brought this noisy,crying little thing into my bedroom and laid her down in a crib...and we've uh kind of been inseperable since then.."laughed Olivia,hugging her niece...
Beverly smiled..."That's right...We are joined at the hip." she said, hugging her aunt.

"Awwww that's so cute..So you're married to Mr. Donnie Ray here...Your investigator huh?" said Bonnie..

''Yeah...I used to be a cop..A Homicide Detective.." I said.

"Yeah,I figured...Most private investigators are ex-detectives...Few are like me..Practicing Attorneys."said Bonnie...

She looked at Nelson...

"Is he a lawyer at your firm too?" she asked...

"Who me? No...I just date Beverly that's all."laughed Nelson..

"We are going to steal him from Robert Foxworth one day." laughed Olivia...

"What's your story Ms. Shay?" asked Josie...

''Well..I was born and raised here...Attended Public schools...My name is  Actually...Bernadette Bonnie Williams....but I've been called "Bonnie" my whole life...I went to Temple...I remember you when you were there Olivia...I think I was a year ahead of you...Undergrad...After graduation I lived in New York City for awhile....I'm a Lawyer by vocation...Got my J.D. from NYU...I practiced law in New York City for awhile.. Was a Public Defender for three years and then I was an ADA for another three...Then I got an MBA,also from NYU...and worked at a Private Law firm for a spell.....I got married for awhile,a guy named Ronald Shay. He is also an Attorney..He was from Philly too...That's how we got close...You know...two people from the same place far away from home...Then divorced after three years and then I returned to Philly and got into Insurance Investigation...I have no children."she said.

"You said that he's handling this case and that he's your boyfriend now." I said.

''Yes...We are working on getting back together...It's a long story...We got divorced six years ago...We were both young and immature when we married...He was a good guy..a bit immature, but what young guy isn't?..We talked about buying a house and having kids and starting a practice together...but it never happened...We were both going in two different directions it seemed... He's not really a bad guy ,Neither one of us gave our marriage the chance it should have had...We both bailed when things got rough.......He was  a public defender and an ADA out in Los Angelas for awhile...and then he worked with the Innocence Project in San -Francisco..before returning to Philadelphia.

I came back here and got a job with the Cyclone Insurance...as both counsel and as an Investigator.I just bought a home a few blocks from here about a month ago.....I ran into Ronnie the day before Christmas Eve...We talked and had drinks and one thing led to another...We had Christmas Dinner together with some friends of mine and we uh agreed to give our relationship another try...He lives a few blocks from me in those new condos..." she said as our food arrived..

''Wow!That's nice that you two are working it out...I wish you guys luck..." said Beverly...

"I'm a little rusty...I haven't practiced law in close to two years...and haven't been in a real relationship in about four years....I've just been out here throwing myself into work...but if you don't mind...When you guys go back to talk to Lisa and Bryce Hemingway tomorrow...Could I tag along?" asked Bonnie Shay...

''Why sure....I love having another attorney with us...Fresh eyes...Fresh ideas..."said Olivia.

"Yeah...Old Hamilton Burger is quite a charactor.."laughed Beverly....

"Oh My God....Is he representing Lisa Hemingway?" asked Bonnie Shay..

"I take it you know him..."I asked...

"I do....I tried a case with him and one against him in New York...We dated a few years back for a brief period...Nothing serious...He's a very good litigator ,but he has roaming eyes...He loves the ladies...Ladies...wear something sexy tomorrow..He'll lose his focus and you got him..."laughed Bonnie..

"I like her already." said Beverly...

"Hey I'm not doing anything tomorrow..Can I come and watch?" asked Nelson...

"See Bonnie...I told you I'm going to steal him from Robert Foxworth one day."joked Olivia...

As we all laughed and enjoyed our pancakes!

II-
Another day found us all back in Center City at Hamilton Burger's office....

Bryce Hemingway hadn't arrived yet....but Lisa was there and she and Olivia were quietly talking in the hallway...

"Lisa, why didn't you tell me that you had an abortion just prior to you hiring me to handle your divorce...??" asked Olivia..

Lisa was short and petite and brown skinned like Olivia with a sexy body and clothes that looked like they were drawn on her..She gasped..

"Oh My God...That information is supposed to be confidential...How did it get out?" she asked..

''How it got out is not important...The fact is ,It did..."said Olivia..

"Oh My God...Does My Husband know?  He'll use it against me.."she said.

"I'm afraid he does know Lisa...He's suing the Booth Planned Parenthood Center in a seperate case."said Beverly..

"If he hasn't used it yet , My guess is..he's going to wait and see how bad things go for him in this case and then smash you over the head with it."said Bonnie Shay...

''Who are you?" she asked..

"This is Ms. Bonnie Shay...She's an Attorney representing the Booth Center...She'll be observing and helping us out today as will Mr. Nelson East, another Attorney.." said Olivia..

Just then Attorney Hamilton Burger walked in....He was dressed immaculately and had on a very nice fragrance...He was glib as usual...Cracking a few jokes with me and laughing it up....


"Wellllll Myyyy word....Is that Ms. Bonnie Shaw???" he said , smiling...and practically drooling...

"Hello Hamilton...Long time, No see."said Bonnie...

"Yessssssssssssssssss...Lawd have mercy....It certainly is nice seeing you..My..My...My..."he gushed..."What are you doing here?" he asked..

"I'm helping Mrs. Alexander and Ms. West with the case..."she said...

He noticed Nelson...

"Oh I'm Attorney Nelson East....I'm with Foxworth and Associates...I'm just observing..."he said.

"My Olivia...Such a show of force...Is everything alright?" he asked grinning...

"Just peachy....Let's get down to cases..."said Olivia..

"Fine, but first...All of you...Try this coffee and these pastries...You too Mrs. Hemingway...They are from this new Boho coffee shop that Rollie Rollinson took me to last week....Babbbbbbbbbbby these are to die for..." he said smiling...


Just then , Bryce Hemingway walked in...

Ever know somebody who literally sucks the air out of a room when they enter...He was it... He was six foot, two inches...athletic build..dressed immaculately and with a fresh haircut...There was no smile on his face at all and you could sense impending doom with every step he took...

He looked around...

''So..Lisa...You bring more lawyers to gang up on me huh? HUH?" he bellowed...

"I didn't know they were coming...They are mostly here to observe."she explained..

"OBSERVE ??OBSERVE WHAT??? YOU TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE??? he screamed..

Could this man whisper? I wondered...

"Bryce...Bryce..Relax...Like she said..Ms. Shay and Mr. East are here to observe...I have this under control." said Hamilton Burger...

"NO....I DON'T THINK YOU DO HAM!!  HERE YOU ARE PASSING COFFEE AND PASTRIES TO MY WIFE AND HER ATTORNEYS...PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO RUIN MY LIFE AND TAKE THE GOTDAMN PANTS OFF OF ME..!!!!" HE SCREAMED...

"Bryce...Sit down...Relax...You're going to have a stroke if you don't."said Hamilton.

III-

 The negotiations commenced.. Olivia and Beverly argued passionately about Lisa's need for at least one of his five cars...and the house....as well as Alimony...


They argued that she had a reasonable right to live the way she had been accustomed to for the past seven years...Until such time as she found reasonable employment...

Hamilton Burger's eyes wandered from my wife,Olivia , to Beverly and then to Bonnie Shay...All three very attractive women, all three captivating more of his attention with their looks than anything they were saying...

Hamilton argued glibly that Mr. Hemingway had suffered immeasurable psychic trauma due to his wife's ,many infidelities...
I had done a pretty thorough investigation and I couldn't find any proof that there was any man other than Bryce Hemingway in her life...She was at his hip practically all day and the little time she was free,she was with two girlfriends...He was so controlling ,she barely got to visit her family...

He was a piece of work to live with...a petty narcissistic man who appeared to have an inflated sense of his own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultra confidence , I suspected lie a fragile self-esteem that was vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

I checked him out...He had gone through 17 administrative assistants since he became chairman of the board of his particular business...Two of his personal assistants had quit and one was in fact suing him as this hearing was going on...Several members of his own family refused to speak to him and the man appeared to have very few close friends...He was miserable...His wife Lisa said she felt trapped...She had to get away from him...I didn't blame her!

IV- 
 Finally after hours of arguing...Hamilton Burger worked out a compromise...

''Look..we've been arguing the past three weeks almost...Here is what I propose....This being a community property state.....You sell the house...and split the proceeds....You give Lisa ,one car.....No Alimony...How is that?" he said..



Olivia,Beverly and Bonnie conferred with Lisa...in private...After an hour...They came back to the table...

Bryce looked furious...

"Hamilton...We have a deal..We'll take it."said Olivia just glad to be done with this..

"Good...I'll work out the necessary arrangements.."said Hamilton...

"THE HELL YOU WILL...NO DEAL!!!...NO DEAL!!!....NO DEAL!!!!"screamed Bryce Hemingway.....

"But Bryce...it's a good deal....You pay no alimony...You walk away clean with some money in your pocket....I can get that house sold just like that...And you keep four cars...It doesn't get any better than that!"said Hamilton Burger..

"THE HELL!  NO DEAL HAMILTON....I AM NOT PAYING YOU TO OGLE WOMEN ALL DAY,INCLUDING MY WIFE AND THEN MAKE DEALS......YOU ARE FIRED....I WILL GET ME ANOTHER LAWYER....OLIVIA....I WILL BE BACK WITH A BETTER LAWYER...SO GET SOME REST...YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT! DON'T BRING ALL YOUR LITTLE FRIENDS..IT WON'T HELP YOU." He screamed and stormed out...

''Damn...He's a straight fool." said Nelson.

"I'll say." said Beverly...
"God...I thought I was through....Now more of this...More of him."said Olivia...sighing..

"Let's go home...."I said.

''Wow"said Bonnie Shay.

Hamilton Burger sighed....

"I'm just glad to be done with him......He's someone else's problem now...Good Luck Lisa..."he said.

Funny coming from him.

He whispered in Bonnie Shay's ear...

''Call me Bonnie...here is my number... Maybe we can uh go out for some drinks..."he said.

''Sorry Ham...I'm uh seeing somebody..."said Bonnie.

He looked very disappointed..

He shrugged his shoulders and looked at me..

"Bad Day all around."he said.

"I feel your pain man." I said as we left.

V-

 After the day we had we all went to the new Brewery for drinks....

"What are you guys going to do now?" asked Nelson.

''We are paid to represent Lisa in her divorce...and that's what we are going to do....Donnie Ray,I know you did as thorough an investigation as you could...but we missed the part about her abortion...Go talk to her...See if she'll tell you who the father was....I sure hope it was Bryce and not any other man."said Olivia..

"You know...the way he talked...I'm guessing he doesn't know who the father was..." I said.

"If he did...He would have said so..."said Beverly...

"Or he wouldn't have....I'm convinced he was waiting to see just how much we had and holding back to use that as the real show stopper."said Olivia...

"My question is....How did that information get out in the first place?  He didn't say, but I don't think even Hamilton knew about that...HE DEFINITELY WOULD HAVE USED IT."said Bonnie Shay...



 "You're right Ms. Shay....That information was confidential...If Hamilton wasn't privy to it...Then the other lawyer was ...and we need to know who he is and how he got it..." I said.

"I'll get to work on that tomorrow." said Bonnie Shay.

Just then her eyes lit up....

"Oh Look...There is my uh ex-husband...."she said ...She motioned to him to come to our table...

"Ronnie...These are some friends of mine.." she said as he walked over... "Guys, this is Attorney Ronald Shay, Co-Chief counsel for Cyclone Insurance..."she said.

He was a tall ,thin man....

"How do you do?  You're Olivia Bennett Alexander aren't you?  And you're Beverly West, her neice aren't you?" he smiled..

 "Yes we are." said Olivia..
''Auntay...We are celebrities."said  Beverly...

 "Yeah you guys are....Bonnie, you have some pretty astute friends...I wish I had your help fighting this case..."he said as he sat down...

"Awww ,rough time baby?" cooed Bonnie...

"The attorney Bryce Hemingway has is a real snake...He's pulling information out of nowhere...Despite all of my preparation...He's stumped me quite a few times...He's good ,real good."said Ronnie..

Bonnie gave us a look...She didn't want us to say anything...

We Didn't..





Bonnie put her arms around Ronald..


"That's okay baby...I'm sure it'll be better tomorrow." she said.


(TO BE CONTINUED)




3 comments:

Toni said...

I like the idea of Bonnie Shay helping Olivia and Beverly...

Angie B. said...

I like Bonnie Shay period...Her helping Kevin on two cases and now Olivia and Bev is cool! Hope to see more of her.

Sunflower said...

Nice story~!