Not in Her Storm~Chapter One~ Calm B4 The Storm

May 5, 2010
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Calm Before The Storm
Ch. 1

Ten Years Later…..

"Daddy I really can't stay here any longer, I really think it's a good idea for me to take this transfer." I said sitting on the edge of daddy’s desk, fiddling with a framed picture of me when I was seven years old. I smiled down at the floral print on my dress and my unruly curly hair.

"I don’t know about that baby girl. You’re all I got left. It’s been pretty lonely since you moved out in November." Daddy whined, throwing a stack of files into a drawer not even bothering to glance at them. Five long years had passed since he had taken a case and ever since he had helped to bring in the only man I had ever truly loved most detectives had wrote him off. Daddy had never gotten any of the glory though he put in the most hours. Now he just did small task, though there was plenty of that to do. I didn’t want to leave him but I had to grow up someday.

"I know daddy, trust me, I know but it's time for me to go." I said looking out the window at the crowded New York streets. I sighed and looked daddy in the eyes.

His eyes avoided the mines, before asking, "Where are you thinking about going?"

"I don't know really, but I do know that its time to for me to leave the nest.”

"And me too, huh?" He replied looking down at his desk. I got cold shivers at the sight of daddy’s sorrowful face. I did not want to leave him by any means and I suppose I could earn a good living as a lawyer in New York but this place held too many memories that are bound to haunt me for the rest of my life.

I looked at Daddy a moment before answering, "Truthfully, yes. I love you Daddy but you can’t keep me sheltered for the rest of my life. I’ve gotta grow up, I’m 29 years old with dreams and goals Daddy and maybe they’re too simple for a place like New York.”
“I know, you’re right baby girl. I just feel like…” His voice dragged off a little bit.
“What is it Daddy?” I said placing my hand on his broad shoulder.
“I feel like we’re just starting to get back close again, ever since, well you know.” I stopped breathing for a few seconds and closed my eyes in order to regain all sense of my being. My eyes started to fill up with tears.
“Daddy I’ve forgiven you a long, long time ago. I think it’s time for you to forgive yourself.” He smiled partially and pulled me into a bear hug.
“I love you baby girl, more than air.” I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.
“Don’t’ forget Dad, you’re all I have left too.” I took in a long grad of air and pushed away from his grip. “This won’t change our relationship Dad. I promise.” I rubbed my finger over his face and kissed him on the cheek before getting up to leave.


“I wish you really wouldn’t look down at me that way Ace.” I sighed holding a cigarette in between my fingers. I pulled it to my mouth and took a long drag before coming up for air. Ace snickered before joining me on the bed.
“I can’t help myself. You’re just so damn beautiful.” He reached over and caressed my face. I smiled a little and ran my fingertips over the back of his hand. “You know, I haven’t felt this way about a woman in a long time.” I rolled my eyes, here we go again.
“Look Ace, I like spending time with you and whatnot but you is so full of s**t.” I put out the cigarette and pulled the thick blankets away from my naked body getting up and walking into the bathroom.
“What is that supposed to mean?” He yelled from the bedroom.

“It means, don’t fill my head with your BS and expect me to believe your a** Ace.” I snapped turning on the hot water faucet.
He was quiet for a long time giving me enough time to jump into the shower. I didn’t have time for his games and I had to be at work within the next hour. When I got done showering he was dressed and sitting on the edge of my bed rolling up a blunt. His eye brows were furrowed and concentrated on getting it right the first time. I didn’t even move to speak until he had it lit and up to his lips.

“I have to go.” I said applying lotion to my body. He didn’t even look my way as he stood up and walked out of the bedroom.
“Imma hit you up later Shae.” He called before damn near slamming my door close. I stumbled over to the window, slightly pulling back the blinds watching him get into his Caprice and drive off. I followed suit only fifteen minutes later.

It was 8:30 when I briskly walked into my office at Meyers Terri Law firm. My black Dolce suit hugged my hips as I strutted in six inch heels. My hair was swept back into a bun with a few strands hanging in front of my face. After stepping out of the elevator onto the fifth floor, I sashayed down a long narrow hallway until I came into contact with a large Oakwood door. I swung it open without bothering to knock first.

"You’re right on time, welcome Miss. Jacobs." Tom greeted me as he always had when I barged into his office uninvited, with that same patronizing tone that he carried with him like oxygen. His lip was slightly curled and his blue eyes twinkled with anger. “I see you’ve failed to pick up some manners within the last 24 hours.” I chuckled at his smart a** comeback and strutted over to his desk. It wasn’t until I was five feet away that I noticed the small brown skinned girl sitting in front of Tom. She turned her head slightly to greet me and smiled only showing the bottom of her top teeth. Her pressed hair hung down to her shoulders and her bedroom eyes seemed to keep me in a trance. There was so much within her eyes, so much that anyone could read just by looking at her.
“Hello, Miss Jacob’s I’m Nicole Clayton.” She extended her hand out to me which I took and shook throwing her back an equally polite smile.
“Nice to meet you Nicole.” I replied then focused my attention back on the 50 plus aged man sitting behind the desk. “You called to wake me up at 6:30 in the morning in order to tell me to be here two hours later, what is up?” I sat down in a chair symmetrical to Nicole and leaned back slowly crossing my feet at the ankles.

"Well Miss Jacobs, I just got word in from deputy Sanders over in the fifth precinct that your witness Jamal Blakely is not cooperating with his officers.” He said folding his white leathery hands on top of his desk. “Something or someone has gotten to him.”

I shook my head slightly trying to hide my irritation. "So what are you saying? This is nothing I can’t handle." I said with my eye brows furrowed, throwing a pensive look at Nicole out the corner of my eyes. She was sitting beside me just as curious as I was.

"Well I was just explaining to Nicole when you barged in that since she is so new to the firm I have decided that she can partner up with you on her first major case; in order to broaden you narrow horizon of course Miss Jacobs." My eyes drew south to the floor than back up to Tom. I know that there is something swimming around in his simple little brain.
“Can I speak with you outside Tom?” I said through gritted teeth. Nicole looked at me and folded her hands across her lap.
“I’m not slow Miss. Jacob’s anything you have to say about me, you can say in front of me.” I leaned back and looked at her as if she were crazy.
“Fine, I think you are inexperienced and young for such a tough case.” Nicole raised an eye brow. “On top of that, I’ve been working at this for almost six months.”
“First of all, I’m 29 years old, hardly any younger than you are and you’re right I don’t have ten years of experience but I know how the game works and I know how the law works. I am good at what I do and I’m more than positive that I can handle this.”

“So what do you have in mind?” I said breathing loudly focusing my attention back on Tom who was slightly smiling.
“Your witness is connected with Duke’s drug empire, so you might want to brief Miss Clayton. Basically If he talks he’s dead. So we’ve decided to take what you may call drastic measures in order to ensure that he will be taken down just in case your witness is willing to go down for contempt of court.” The room fell quiet.
“Just exactly what are these drastic measures?” Nicole chimed in, biting her bottom lip.
“I want you to go under--” My eyes shot open and I stood up in defiance.
“To hell, when pigs fly!” I said catching on before the sentence could leave his lips good. “It might be my job to go sneaking around for dirt but not he kind that the detectives should be doing, my job is to defend or prosecute either or…take your pick Tom.” He looked more than agitated.

“Fine then… Miss Clayton, I am assigning you to do it.” And with that he stood and walked over to the door, opened it and there stood there for a brief moment. He looked back at Nicole who looked petrified. “I want you to get as close to Duke as you possibly can, Nicole, do whatever it takes to bring him down…whatever it takes.”

I stepped outside into the cool air taking in a large breath. Shaelynn was walking just a few feet behind me puffing on a cigarette. My stomach was churning with butterflies, not knowing what to expect. I don’t quite know why he would have a lawyer go undercover, that was not our job to do. But I guess he knew that she would say no from the beginning. Maybe this was my job all along. If I go under I will not be able to appear in court and this was way much more than I actually bargained for.
“What’s on your mind?” Shaelynn asked me after putting out her cigarette. She was now walking beside me with her hands on her hips.
“I’m still trying to figure that out myself.” I sighed and stopped when I reached my black Toyota. She smiled and rolled her eyes.
“I know what you’re thinking….”
“Well enlighten me please.” I said leaning against the hood.
“You’re scared.”
“No, you’re wrong.” I said with every drop of faith I could muster up. “I’m confused.”
“I guess I was close.” She said smiling at me, I didn’t smile back.
“This was just definitely not something that I had in mind when I became a lawyer. I don’t even know if this is legal.” Shaelynn looked down at me condescendingly.

“Well you better prepare yourself for battle because this is how we play down here. You have to get your hands dirty if you want to get the dirt off the streets.” With that she turned and walked away. I opened the door to get into my car when she called out to me.
“What?” I called back standing halfway out of my car. She smiled.
“Tomorrow morning at 6:30 we will be briefing the case.” She paused. “By the way, if you’re trying to be Duke’s main chick you need to get real familiar with New Orleans streets; we’ll meet at Escalade on Friday night.”
“I don’t drink.” I said firmly. “And I don’t’ know where that is even at.”
“You do now.” She stated bluntly and scribbled something down on a piece of paper from her purse handed it to me and turned to walk away. What the hell have I gotten myself into? I left New York because of things like this. I guess you don’t have to go looking for trouble to find you.

I drove home in silence trying to take in all of my thoughts at once. I’m strong enough to do this, without a doubt, the love doesn’t have to be real anyways…right? Either way it goes like Shaelynn said; I have to prepare myself mentally for this. I don’t really agree with tricking criminals especially if I have to fall in love with one in the process. I worked hard to put Marcus in the back of my mind; I didn’t want to bring the situation back to life. That would not be good for anyone.
My small one bedroom apartment was decked out pretty nicely. It was fully furnished when I got here thanks to Daddy. It had a relaxing aura to it that seemed to wash away the stress. It didn’t take long for me to get into the shower and climb into bed with a briefing folder in my lap and a mug of coffee on my night stand. I was becoming Daddy Slowly but surely. It wasn’t long before I felt my eyes closing and slumber creeping over me.
I jumped out of my sleep the next morning to the shockingly loud alarm clock on my night stand. The manila folder was neatly placed beside my neighboring pillow and the partial sunlight from the sun rising poured into my open window. I lived just outside of the city in a three story apartment building that over looked a large landscape of trees and hills. The area was peaceful and farm-like. Since the hurricane, New Orleans had not been the same and because I was so unfamiliar with the inner city, staying away only felt right. I would gradually have to move closer because I refused to be an outsider by my own will for long.
I stretched and glanced over at the alarm clock pushing the silence button and jumped out of bed practically running into the shower. When I got out it didn’t take me long to throw on a black pant suit and tie my damp curly hair into a bun with a few loose strands resting on my cheek. Before leaving I grabbed the manila folder tightly in my hand and practically jogged to my car.

I got to work just in time, though that didn’t matter because I was still ten minutes earlier than Shaelynn who didn’t come strutting into my office until damn near a quarter to 7:00. She looked hung over and tired and I wouldn’t put it past her to show up here drunk.
“Long Night?” I questioned pulling the manila folder open and clicking my pen on. She rolled her eyes.
“I just had a few drinks, nothing major.”
“Nothing minor.” I said causing her to chuckle.
“When you’ve been doing this as long as I have you realize that if you can’t have a few drinks and still show up for work in the morning…”
“You’re officially on my time Miss Jacobs and unless I’m wasting it I would advise you not to.” Shaelynn looked at me through the slits of her eyes though she was slightly smiling.
“I see what you’re saying Miss Clayton.” She coughed into her hand.
“I would love for us to be friends Miss Jacobs but we need to have some respect for one another.” Shaelynn looked professional and classy though her insides were all jacked up.
“Well first of all if you want us to be friends you have to stop calling me Miss Jacobs, my name is Shaelynn.” I smiled and nodded my head at her request.
“I see you’re a little spitfire yourself. Duke might have met his match.”
“I hardly think so.” I retorted. “What do you mean he’s a spit fire?”
“Duke is running things so with that comes a lot of ego, a lot of women and a lot of fire. So you have to be just as hot or your a** will get burned.”

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