Tales from TEKville by TheEvilKaren

Photo stories featuring 1:6 scale dolls

Part 3 - Jenna & Jerri

 Late that afternoon Jenna arrives at work to find Darius deep in a conversation with Kendall, the bartender.

She waits quietly at the bar for her boss to finish.

Finally becoming aware of her presence, he turns to find her watching him with a troubled expression.

“What’s up, Little Girl?”  Darius uses the nickname he stuck her with on her first day at the NY.

“Darius . . . can I talk to you for a minute?"

Noting the seriousness of her expression, he takes her by the arm and steers her toward the new section of the bar, out of earshot of the bartender. 

Once seated, Jenna begins hesitantly.  "Darius . . . can you recommend a good lawyer?  It’s not for me,” she is quick to add. “It’s for a friend who is in trouble and needs some legal advice.”

Darius studies his waitress carefully to gauge the truth in her words.  An astute judge of character, he is satisfied that she isn’t dissembling. 

“I know a couple.  I’m not going to ask what kind of trouble, but I’m going to guess that your friend would be more comfortable with a female lawyer.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Coco's cousin.  Remember that big murder trial a couple of years back?  She’s the one who got the defendant off.”

“She sounds perfect.  Do you have a number for her?”

“I could ask Coco, but it might be just as simple to look her up in the phone book.  Her name’s Keira St. Clair.”

“Thanks, boss!  I’ll pass that along to my friend.  I appreciate it.”

“You’re welcome.  Now, get to work!”  Darius winks to show that he isn’t completely serious.  He has found Jenna to be a hard worker, and the fact that his customers appear to love her as well makes her worth her weight in gold as an employee.

****************************************************************************** 

Jenna takes a moment during a lull in the evening's activity at the NY to call Jerri.

“I have to make this quick because I have customers.  I talked to Darius when I got here this afternoon and he didn’t seem to need to give it much thought.  He recommended his girlfriend’s cousin, who is apparently some hot shot trial lawyer.  Her name is Keira St. Clair.  I don’t have time to look up her number for you but it should be in the phone book, according to Darius.”

“Perfect.  Thanks, Jen!  I’ll call her right away.”

 

"Law Office of Keira St. Clair.  How may I help you?" 

“Hi, my name is Jerri Deegee.  Ms. St. Clair was recommended to me by Darius Reid, owner of the New York Bar.  I have a friend who has a problem she’d like to discuss with a lawyer.  Can I make an appointment?  As soon as possible?”

“Certainly, Jerri.”  Kayla checks Keira's schedule.  “How about tomorrow morning, say 10 o’clock?” 

“That works.  Thank you!  We’ll see you tomorrow at 10.”

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Jerri browbeats Dani into getting out of bed, showering, dressing, and eating breakfast the next morning, and they arrive at the law office of Keira St. Clair promptly at 10.  

 

 

 After introductions are made, Keira gets down to business.  “So, Dani . . . how can I be of assistance?”

After a couple of false starts, Dani is finally able to pull herself together, and the whole sordid story comes spilling out – how she met an older, worldly man at a wedding she planned, how he seduced her, his reaction when she told him about her pregnancy. 

Unable to meet Keira’s eyes during the recitation of the sad tale, at that point she finally breaks down completely and dissolves into uncontrollable sobs.

Once again Jerri does her best to console her friend.  She meets Keira’s eyes over the head of the sobbing young woman.  “Is there anything that can be done?”

Keira sighs.  “I’m sorry for your friend, Jerri, but no, I don’t believe there is anything that can be done from a legal standpoint.  Dani is over 16, so we can’t have him charged with statutory rape.  As far as we know, he didn’t drug her . . . did he?  If so, that might be an angle to pursue.  Date rape is being taken more and more seriously as society becomes more aware of how often it occurs.  If there was no rape, date or statutory, it’s going to be very difficult to bring him up on charges.  From what she said, there was no contract, explicit or implied.  It was simply two consenting adults having a sexual relationship.”  Keira shrugs as Dani begins to regain her composure.  “I wish I could help you, Dani.  The morality of what this man did is certainly questionable, but legally we have no leg to stand on.  I’m sorry.”

Dani’s eyes well up with fresh tears as she wails  “What am I supposed to do?  I don’t . . . I don’t want an abortion!  But I can’t raise a baby myself!  I don’t even have a home of my own!”

Jerri takes control once again, thanking the lawyer for her input and maneuvering the incoherent Dani out of the office and back to her studio apartment.

Once she has her friend settled on the couch and is on her way back from the kitchen with a soothing cup of hot chocolate, Jerri notes that Dani’s phone is showing a voice mail message.

She hands the phone to Dani, who simply stares back, blank-faced. 

Sighing, Jerri sits next to her friend, pushes the “play” button and puts the phone on speakerphone, resigned to having to do everything for Dani until she adjusts to her new reality.

“Hello, Ms. Becker.  My name is Romain Perrin.  I believe you know my twin, Marlow.  He has . . . apprised me of your situation.  I would like to help, if I can.  Could you come to my office this afternoon at 3:00 to discuss your options?  This is my address . . .”

Jerri grabs a notebook and quickly jots down Mr. Perrin’s address.  “Dani, I’m going to make you some lunch now and then you’re going to take a nap.  We’re going to see your Marlow’s brother.”  I just hope they’re not identical twins, at least not as far as their character is concerned.

 ***************************************************************************** 

That afternoon Jerri again bullies Dani into making herself more or less presentable, and drags her to the office of investment banker Romain Perrin.

"May I help you?"

After confirming the identity of the two young women, Aubrey directs them to the waiting area.  "Mr. Perrin will be right with you."

Jerri directs the still-dazed Dani to the couch, and after a moment Aubrey buzzes Romain on his intercom.

After only a few minutes' wait, the girls are ushered into Romain's office.

As Aubrey pulls the door shut behind her, Romain studies Dani.  A good judge of character, his immediate impression is of naivete and the sense of entitlement that seems to run rampant among those of her generation.  He sighs inwardly but allows no hint of his feelings to show on his face.

“Miss Becker . . . may I call you Dani?”

At her nod he continues.

“Dani, I’m very sorry for the position in which you find yourself.  I’m sure you were convinced that my brother loved you and that he would ask you to marry him when you told him the news.”  He shakes his head sorrowfully.  “Unfortunately, the only person my brother has ever loved is Marlow Perrin.  There will be no marriage.  Now that he knows you’re carrying a child, I doubt that you will ever see him again.  I’m sorry, Dani, but I know him better than anyone.  He is . . . not a nice person.”

Once again Dani breaks down, sobbing out her confusion and feelings of betrayal.  Jerri looks helplessly at Romain.  He clears his throat. 

Jerri turns back to her sobbing friend and urges her to pull herself together. 

Dani’s latest bout of sobbing eventually subsides to occasional hiccups, and Romain opens his desk drawer, removing his checkbook.

Jerri’s brow furroughs.  “Wait . . . you’re going to try to buy her off???”

Romain sighs and shakes his head regretfully.  “No, Jerri, not ‘buy her off’, but on Marlow’s behalf I will help in whatever way I can.”

He turns to Dani and asks, gently,  “Do you want to have this child, Dani?”

“I . . . I . . . I don’t know!  I do, but . . . I can’t!  I’m basically homeless – I sleep on Jerri’s couch.  I’m trying to get a business off the ground so I can afford . . . but I can’t do that if I have a baby!  I’m so confused.”

“It’s OK, Dani.  You don’t have to decide right now.  But if you do decide to terminate the pregnancy, I will cover all of your costs, and I will make the arrangements.  Just leave everything to me.”

On a jagged breath – more a sob, really – Dani whispers “Thank you.”

Jerri stands and pulls Dani to her feet.  “Come on, Dani.  I’m calling in the cavalry.  Jenna and Dayle will help us figure this out.”

She looks at Romain, whose eyes convey his sympathy.  “Thank you.  We’ll be in touch.”  She leads the bewildered Dani out of Romain’s office.

Romain sits motionless for several minutes, fuming over his twin’s latest transgression.

Suddenly the silence is broken when he snatches up the phone from his desk and hurls it against the far wall of his office, shattering it completely.

Damn him!  That child, who probably imagined herself as worldly, was a complete innocent in his hands.  Romain feels powerless to stop Marlow from continuing in his apparent life goal of despoiling as many beautiful women as he can.  He drops his head into his hands.  If only there was a woman who could bring him to his knees . . .

To be continued . . .