Home > Never Saw You Coming

Never Saw You Coming
Author: S.L. Scott





Lochlan Westcott

I hate Tuesday.

More specifically, Tuesday afternoons are the worst.

We’re past Monday, not quite to midweek, and nowhere close to the weekend. I’ve never liked Tuesdays, and today is no exception.

“I laid the facts out in black and white. A delay granted at the last minute is utterly ludicrous.” As if it can relieve the frustration congested in my chest, I grip the phone tighter ready to crush it.

“It’s a setback, Loch,” my dad says, “not the end.”

I didn’t bother calling my driver, Brady, and telling him to bring the car around. I called my dad as soon as I pushed through the courthouse doors instead, choosing to walk back to the office. I had no choice since he’d been messaging me for the past hour, wanting to know the outcome of the case. Walking toward the offices with my briefcase in one hand and the phone in the other, I press it to my ear like my dad does.


My younger brother’s right. Noah called it last Christmas; I am turning into our father. Who holds their phone to their ear anymore? Dad. That’s who. But currently, finding an earbud is the least of my problems.

“The judge is open to an appeal, but there are stipulations—” I say.

“You know this before the case has been decided?” I tense from the suspicion infiltrating his tone, making me wonder if I’ve fucked up.

I’m secure in every part of my life, except when it comes to getting my dad’s approval. “I know the judge . . . well.”

There’s a distinctive pause, one that sucks the air out of the conversation entirely.


“How well?” my dad asks. I hear the question he’s really asking without saying a word. He’s one of the East Coast's most sought-after corporate litigation attorneys. I was never able to slip one by him—not as a kid or even a grown fucking man running the Manhattan branch of the family law firm.

“Well enough,” I reply, hoping to move this to a different topic than the woman who threatened to rule in the plaintiff’s favor simply because I forgot—read that as on purpose—to call her for a second date.

I had good reason.

First, showing up at my apartment unannounced and without an invite with nothing but a gavel under her robe (don’t ask where she had tucked it) and trying to seduce me by repeatedly calling me bailiff didn’t work in Judy’s favor.

And yes, she insisted I call her Judge Judy. That was another big no from me.

As she tugged at the front of my towel to loosen it, I thought of the woman waiting in my bed for me to return. I’m certain she wouldn’t have appreciated me inviting a guest to join us. Though maybe it was a missed opportunity.

Not wanting her to fuck me over, non-sexually speaking, on my next case she’s presiding over, I tried to play nice. . . As nice as I could, considering the uncomfortable and precarious situation. I told her my docket was full, but I’d slot into her next opening I had.

Judge Judy loves dirty talk.

What can I say? I’m not into role-play, but I’ll do it to save my ass in court.

“What are the stipulations?” He asks exactly what I preferred he not.

“She’s stringing this along to keep me front and center. The judge has . . .” I can’t believe I’m discussing this with my dad. “She has fantasies I refuse to fulfill.”

A grumble travels across the line and then a sigh. I’m sure he’s rubbing his temples and shaking his head. “The trouble you boys cause . . .” He doesn’t bother finishing. Among Harbor, Noah, and myself, we were called everything from the three musketeers to little troublemaking shits. We make our sister, the baby of the bunch, look like an angel. She’s not perfect, but we don’t snitch on our siblings.

In this case, though, I reply, “Can’t help that we got our old man’s looks.”

“Nice try, kid.

“It was worth a shot.”

“I have to admit,” he starts with a chuckle underlying the tone he’s trying so hard to hide, “that not only have I never had a case dependent on if I would go on a date but I also never found myself at the judge’s mercy. I’m not getting into your sex life, but if it continues to affect the firm, we’ll need to put some rules in place. That’s not something I’ve ever had to discuss with Smith.” There’s a good reason he would never have to discuss that with Smith, but let’s just say, at least Smith is a good attorney.

“This needs to get wrapped up,” he adds.

“There’s no denying the facts. My client—”

“My client,” he corrects. “All clients of Westcott Law are ultimately mine and should be represented as such.”

I stop on the sidewalk, more annoyed than before. Not wanting to get into this with him right now, I take a deep breath and continue like I wasn’t interrupted, “The Reinhold Group holds the patents and copyrights, and filed everything two years before the defendant’s brand existed. We shouldn’t even be in court. It’s a settled case already.”

“The plaintiff claims they found a loophole. It holds no weight from what I’ve read.”

“They’re stalling since they have no evidence to back it up.”

What a fucking mess.

“If you’re not back on the docket for tomorrow, you need to find out what’s going on. We shouldn’t be playing games in court when the facts support our side. Wrap this disaster up, Loch. Make the Reinholds happy, and let’s move on.”

After realizing I’m still blocking others in the middle of the sidewalk, I start walking again. “I will.”

“I know you can get a favorable outcome. You always do, but don’t sleep on this, Loch. Time is money, and we have millions on the line, so close this case.”


What’s that?

Getting sleep is foreign to me these days. I should be accustomed to the endless hours at the office with the weekly rotation through the courthouse, but I’m not. I’m exhausted. That’s not something I voice, not ever. I won’t risk losing the trust he’s placed in me.

I’ve done everything I can to prove my dad can count on me, but here I am, still working round the clock like I started yesterday. I don’t consider myself a perfectionist, but I have tendencies. It comes with the territory of expectation—what I expect of myself and the weight of expectation from my family.

“I’ll button up the case.” Aiming for the coffee shop on the corner, I reply, “I won’t let you down.”

I’m about to hang up when he adds, “You never do, son.”

I pause because emotions don’t win cases. Evidence wins the case. Nobody forced me into the family business, but I headed straight for law school as if my path was determined long before I was born. Maybe it was.

Feels like it.

“Thanks, Dad.”

Pulling the phone away from my ear, I disconnect and shove it into my pocket, knowing my plans are shot for the night. I’ll be drinking caffeine instead of whiskey. Eating something delivered instead of keeping a reservation I booked more than three months ago.

The worst of it is that I’ll be buried in files tonight instead of my date.

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