“I think your green eyes and red hair are very attractive,” he said.  “I hope you don’t mind my saying it.”

“Why would I mind it?” I said.  “Any woman likes to hear compliments.  You’re kind of nice looking yourself.”  He looked away, obviously embarrassed.  I studied his face.  The black skin shone under the elevator’s fluorescent lights.  His nose was short and wide, and his lips were enormous and just a bit lighter than his black skin.  He had a strong chin, and his hair was cropped close to his skull.  His arms, where they protruded out of his short sleeved shirt, were huge, so his bulging biceps stretched the short, white sleeves to their limits.

Nick opened the passenger door of his mini van for me and I slid into the seat.  He handed me the envelopes and asked me to hold them.  He went around to the other side of the van and got behind the wheel.  He made a quick note on a clipboard and off we went.  He drove smoothly through the light traffic and turned up one of the city’s most prestigious, tree-lined streets.

“What a lovely neighbourhood,” I said.

“Yeah.  That’s one of the reasons I like the night deliveries,” he said.  “The houses look great with the lights on inside, and it’s a nice contrast with the dusty, noisy industrial and office buildings I get during the day.”  He turned between two tall stone pillars into a long circular driveway.  “Here’s your boss’s house,” he said.  He stopped at the foot of a wide stone stairway that led six steps up to the massive oak door.

“Shit,” I said.  “I should go back to criminal law, if this is what it can buy.”  The big, handsome, black face smiled at me, his dark eyes penetrated mine.

“I thought you were too smart to just be a receptionist.  But criminal law is not for softies like you.  You don’t have the killer instinct for it,” he said.  “It’s in your nature to be fair and considerate of the other guy.  That don’t make for good criminal defence.”

“How do you know,” I said.

“It’s pretty obvious,” he said.

“Well, I could learn to be tougher,” I said.

“Yes, you could,” he said.  “But it wouldn’t be easy.”

“How do you know,” I said.

“I could show you, if you really want to be a tough, successful criminal lawyer,” he said.  “I’ll be right back.”


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