Author: Colton Aalto
Release Date: December 18, 2017
Format: ePub, Mobi
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Word Count: 21900
Sex Content: Explicit
Colton Aalto© 2017
All Rights Reserved
I arrived early for our law firm’s celebratory dinner at the Museum of Modern Art, so I had a few minutes to people watch. The crowd entering the building was happy and excited, contemplating a festive night on the town. Decked out for the holidays, the museum was enchanting. The night promised to be memorable.
I wondered if I’d have an opportunity to see some of the museum’s spectacular artwork during the evening. Not that I couldn’t come during normal hours, but when did I have time for that? During my six plus years in New York, I had yet to venture through the museum’s doors.
Regrettably, my approach was the same many people adopt when deadlines are nonexistent and time seems endless. During my parents’ last trip to New York, they made a point of visiting the museum and half a dozen other places in the city on their list of “can’t miss” experiences. It was fortunate they took advantage of their visit. They wouldn’t be coming back. I wondered if they somehow had a premonition of that when they visited.
The young man who greeted me at the door gave me a wide smile and cheerily directed me to the sixth floor. His smile was engaging, his body alluring, and his inviting manner…well, his interest was obvious. Once I would have pursued the whispered hint of a hot hookup. But I was beyond that stage.
Jana, the founder and managing partner of the law firm, had gone all out for the firm’s celebration, pulling strings to secure a spectacular event space at the museum on short notice and cajoling one of the top catering firms in the city into handling the affair. The event promised to be stunning.
I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t black tie, forcing me to stuff myself into a tuxedo. But at least the outfit still fit, thanks in part to the last-minute efforts of the Chinese seamstress down the street from my apartment. She’d deftly taken in the pants so they didn’t slide off my waist and then pressed the suit to remove wrinkles that had accumulated from years in the back of my closet. Miraculously, I managed a passable effort on my bow tie after only three attempts.
The event was an extravagant celebration of our law firm’s victory two weeks earlier in a complicated patent lawsuit. Our client was so delighted with the outcome—and the firm’s hard work on the case—that he’d doubled our legal fees, on top of a huge fee contingent on success. The payday meant the firm’s financial performance for the year was well above any previous year; hence the celebratory party at the museum.
As dinner concluded, Jana rose to congratulate the team working on the case. One by one she introduced the staff and lawyers who were instrumental, until only I remained. I anticipated she’d say something flattering about me. She liked my work.
“Last,” Jana said, as the happy crowd quieted in anticipation, “I would like to honor a lawyer who was involved in the case from the beginning. Through brains and hard work, he mastered the facts and the law in stunning fashion. He, more than anyone, was responsible for the outcome, having run the case during the trial. For those of us who admire the talents of great trial lawyers, his performance in court was nothing short of fascinating—even aside from being profoundly important to our victory. His commitment to excellence is unmatched, and his wisdom and maturity far exceed his thirty-one years. Ladies and gentlemen, Zane Anders needs no further introduction.”
The crowd applauded and cheered wildly, and I rose to my feet, smiling and shaking hands with those nearby. My years of hard work on the case had paid off, and the recognition was great, although I felt awkward being in the spotlight.
“Please take your seats; I have one final announcement to make,” Jana said to the crowd.
“As you know, our firm considers associates for partner after eight years, seven in extraordinary circumstances. But the firm committee met this afternoon and unanimously decided to make an exception to the rules. We can do that, you know.” The crowd chuckled and Jana smiled. “We elected Zane as a partner of the firm today. Our action is effective immediately, which means Zane will participate in our year-end partner distributions from the case. We believe it’s only fair. Congratulations, Zane, and well deserved.”
I was in a bit of a fog as the firm’s lawyers congratulated me. I didn’t know exactly what the financial implications would be, but at a minimum, I was about to make more money, at an improbably young age, than I’d ever anticipated.