“Stop grinning,” Ashley Jessup demanded.
“What's the matter? Jealous?” Mary asked and grinned at her friend and coworker. She couldn’t help grinning, though. Jackie had been more attentive and loving this past week than she usually was, which was hard to imagine considering how loving and attentive Jackie was on a regular basis. Mary wasn’t sure what had inspired Jackie’s new insatiable spell, but she was not complaining.
“No,” Ashley snapped and then sat down at her desk. “Well, maybe a little. Jean has been so busy starting her new practice that we haven’t had much time for…” Ashley looked toward the offices of the two law partners Mary and she worked for and then said in a low voice, “Well, you know.”
Mary let her grin fade slightly and nodded. “You said that she has been working a lot of late nights.”
“I’d be worried she was seeing someone else if she wasn’t working at home,” Ashley admitted. “I’ve been trying to help her as much as I can, but there’s not much I can do when she’s mostly reading over case files.”
“Be patient,” Mary encouraged Ashley. “It will get better once she reestablishes herself as a lawyer.”
“I know,” Ashley said, “but I still want to be in honeymoon mode.”
Mary gave Ashley a knowing smile as one of the lawyers came out of his office. Ashley and she had been roommates for a long time before Mary and Jackie became a couple. The three of them had lived together for a short time until Ashley and her dominatrix, the former Judge Jean Carlisle became full-time lovers and Ashley moved in with her.
Mr. Lowry handed Ashley a stack of papers. “Please call Carlton and Bishop’s firm and have them send a courier over to get this information.”
“Right away, Mr. Lowry,” Ashley said. She put the papers down on her desk, picked up the phone and dialed.
Mr. Lowry looked up as the door to the office opened and Jackie came in with a two-wheeler loaded with boxes. “Good morning, Jackie,” Mr. Lowry said.
“Good morning, Mr. Lowry,” Jackie replied. “Do you want to sign for these, or do you want me to have one of the ladies sign for it?”
“I’ll sign for it,” he said and took the electronic pad from Jackie.
Jackie looked over at Mary and smiled. Mary returned her smile and then busied herself at her desk.
Mr. Lowry saw the exchange, smiled at the two of them, and then went back to his office. He knew about Jackie and Mary’s relationship and was okay with it. Mary had been terrified when she first started seeing Jackie that Mr. Lowry and Mr. Winslow would find out about her relationship with Jackie and fire her, but her fears had been unfounded. Mr. Lowry and Mr. Winslow turned out to very accepting and understanding of her relationship with Jackie.
Jackie unloaded the boxes. Two of which were supplies and the others were correspondence packages. She placed the supplies in the closet with the other supplies and put the packages on Mary’s desk.
Mary looked up at Jackie’s twinkling eyes. “What?”
“I have special plans for tonight, unless you have other plans,” Jackie said.
“Really,” Ashley said from across the room. “Do you two have to flaunt your plans in front of me?”
Jackie turned and gave Ashley a questioning look. “What’s the matter with you?”
“She’s not getting any,” Mary whispered.
Ashley turned her glare to Mary. “You didn’t need to tell her that.”
“I would just tell her when we get home,” Mary confessed.
Ashley sighed and sat down at her desk. “It’ll be fine. Maybe this weekend Jean will have some down time.”
“The Judge tied up with her new law firm?” Jackie asked.
“Yeah, she’s been taking as many cases as she can get so she can rebuild her name as a lawyer. She’s even doing some pro bono work for the ACLU,” Ashley said and leaned back in her chair.
“I thought the American Civil Liberties Union had their own lawyers,” Jackie said.
“They do, but sometimes people come to them and their lawyers are too busy to take the case, so they farm it out. Jean volunteered to take some cases of theirs for people who don’t have money to pay a lawyer,” Ashley said.
“That’s a good way to establish your reputation,” Mary said.
“She had a good reputation as a lawyer before she became a judge, but she was on the bench for over ten years,” Ashley stated. “I think she’s having a hard time adjusting to being on the other side of the bench.”
“I don’t think she’ll have any trouble,” Jackie said encouragingly. “She was a good judge and I’m sure people remember her being a good lawyer. I think she’ll have more work than she’ll know what to do with before she knows it.”
“It feels like that now, but I know part of it is her wanting to be extra thorough and not leave the details to anyone else,” Ashley said.
Mary couldn’t stop herself from grinning. “Well, she does have control issues.”
“Funny,” Ashley snapped.
“Maybe that’s what she needs, to have a little control,” Jackie suggested wiggling her eyebrows.
Ashley shook her head at the two of them. “I have to get back to work.”
“Yeah, me too,” Jackie said. She turned to Mary. “So do you have any plans for this evening?”
“Nope, just going home and snuggling with you.”
“Great,” Jackie said. She grabbed her two-wheeler and practically skipped out of the office.
Ashley watched Jackie leave. After Jackie got in the UPS truck, she turned to Mary, “What’s with her?”
“I don’t know,” Mary admitted. “She’s been acting weird for about a week. She’s been super giddy, singing or whistling while she’s cleaning or cooking. I mean she’s done that before, just more so this week.”
Ashley looked back at the door and watched Jackie’s UPS truck pull away from the parking lot. She wondered what she was up to and if it could be bottled and given to Jean.