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Title: Return To Me
Author: Michele Arris
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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“Can I take your jacket?”
“Thanks.” Evie shuffled out of the trench while catching last sight of the poor soul struggling to breath as the elevator doors sealed him within. “Is this a bad time?”
Jasmine dashed to the closet at the right of the receptionist’s desk, then returned. “You were to see Mr. Rosati— I’m sorry. One moment.” She tapped her headset once more.
The atmosphere hummed, conversations intersecting. People went about their business—Jasmine included—as if they hadn’t just witnessed a man getting carted off on a stretcher, as though it was merely another day at the office.
Jasmine ended her call. “Sorry about that. My counterpart on twelve is out sick today. His calls are rerouted to me. Now, as I was about to say, I’m afraid Mr. Rosati has taken ill. That was him you saw with the EMTs.”
Evie’s eyes bulged. “Oh goodness!”
“We’ll get an update soon on his condition, I’m sure. In the meantime, alternative arrangements have been made. Please follow me.”
“I can postpone. Clearly, this isn’t a good time.”
“I assure you the firm has everything under control.” She extended a hand toward the stairs and started off.
Evie kept in close step as they moved through the bustling activity of power-suited professionals and took a set of glossy pine stairs up to the next floor.
It was a luxurious suite of spotless glass, high-polished finishes, and rich ivory leather furnishings. The décor said the retainer fee would bite deep into her wallet. If her attorney did his job right, Patrick would be footing the bill. On that note—
“Is Mr. Rosati all right?”
Jasmine glanced back while never missing a strut. “His assistant will provide an update when it becomes available. With his absence, the senior partners understand the concern you have as well as the rest of Mr. Rosati’s clients when news of his abrupt departure is made known. But no worries. They’ve decided to divide his roster among them.” There was an excited lift in her otherwise monotone voice. “In other words, you’ll get to work with one of the four top legal counsels here. You can’t go wrong; they’re all amazing.”
That familiar knot coiled in Evie’s belly. She touched Jasmine’s arm, slowing her determined stride. “Senior partners? Which senior partner?”
“I’m not sure. Everything happened so fast. The four are meeting as we speak to decide who gets which case.” Jasmine continued forward.
The twelfth floor was even more posh than the one below. Wall upon wall of glass separated spacious executive office suites. They entered a rather large conference room.
“Hope you don’t mind; this is the only meeting space unoccupied. It’s been a crazy day. Please have a seat. Can I get you some coffee? Tea?” She gestured to three Keurigs and a host of condiments that lined the credenza on the other side of the room.
“No, thank you.”
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Powell.”
They turned, and Evie’s stomach did yet another roller coaster-quick drop as she stared back into the very eyes she didn’t wish to see. Why did her damn luck always have to misfire? “Afternoon, Mr. Scott.”