Home > The Spark(5)

The Spark(5)
Author: Vi Keeland

“You do know why you couldn’t find anything wrong with that one, right?” Trent sipped his wine. “Because she blew you off. If she hadn’t, you would’ve found some test for her to fail. Maybe what you need to do is add not blowing me off to your list of tests. That way you aren’t pining after a woman who ghosted you. What happened with the one you met at McGuire’s last week, anyway?”

“We went out to dinner the next night…no red flags. So I asked her if she liked hockey. She said she was a big fan and came over to watch the game the next day. Played with her phone the entire first period. She didn’t even know how many quarters were in the game.”

“You know, you think it’s a problem that she stretched the truth a little. But I think her telling you she liked hockey was a good thing. It shows she’s willing to compromise and sit around while you watch a game just to spend some time with you. Does she have to love sports and watch every minute?”

“No, not at all. But when I asked her if she liked hockey, her response was, ‘I love it. Watch it all the time.’ That’s a consistency problem right there. If what she says and what she does are inconsistent off the bat, that’s a red flag.” I sucked back my beer. “Plus, the next day, she sent me a picture of her tits.”

Trent shook his head. “Only you would count that as a strike against a woman.”

No naked selfies for at least a month. Even if I ask for them. Now, I realize that asking for something and then holding that against a woman who gives it to me might make me an asshole, but it is what it is.

I shook my head. “I like naked selfies as much as the next guy. But if a woman is sending you one when you’ve known her less than a week—that’s a big red flag.”

“Whatever. I’ll take a naked selfie whenever a woman wants to send it.”

I smirked. “The problem with that is the only women you attract are ones who look your age, so it’s considered child pornography.”


As usual, our conversation shifted from our pathetic social life to sports before it eventually landed back on the firm. We could talk shit about that place for days. But lately our focus had been on whether I’d make partner.

“So how’s the vote tally going?” Trent asked.

I was up against some stiff competition. Once every five years, our firm opened the partnership doors to two of its best-performing associates. The average time on the partnership track was ten to twelve years. I’d been with Kravitz, Polk and Hastings for just shy of seven when old man Kravitz told me I was up for consideration a few months ago. If I made the cut this year, I’d be the youngest person to make partner in the firm’s history—something I really wanted. Being the first to break that record meant more to me than the extra money I’d be pulling in. I already didn’t have enough time to spend all the cash I made.

“I think I only need Rotterdam and Dickson to get the two-thirds I need.”

“The Dick should be easy to bag. He’s in your division.”

“I know. But he hasn’t presented his bare ass for me to kiss lately. I also just found out that if he votes for me and I make partner, I’d be breaking his record. He made partner in eight years.”

“Shit. Well, you better hope his ego is smaller than yours, then.”

“Don’t remind me.”

It was almost eleven o’clock by the time we left the restaurant. On our way out, my phone buzzed. I looked at the caller ID and shook my head. “Speak of the devil.”

“Who is it?”

“The Dick.”

“It’s pretty late for him to be calling, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, no shit. Guess puckering up doesn’t have a quitting time.” I swiped to answer. “Donovan Decker.”

“Decker. I need a favor.”

“Of course. What’s up, boss?” I pumped my closed fist up and down in the universal whacking off motion as Trent looked my way.

“I need you to pick up another pro bono case.”

Fuck. I’d already done my annual allotment. What I needed was to bill every last hour I could before the partners’ vote, not spend hours on an unbillable case. Yet…I needed Dickson, so I sucked it up. “No problem. Send me the file, and I’ll look at it first thing in the morning.”

“I need you to jump on it right now.”


“Can you get down to the seventy-fifth precinct?”

That was the last place I wanted to go at any time of the day. I frowned, but answered, “Yeah, sure.”

“The kid’s name is Storm. He’s a minor.”

“First or last name?”

“Pretty sure it’s his last name. He goes by Storm, so I’m not sure what his first name is. His social worker is on her way and will meet you there.”

“Okay. No, problem.”

“Thanks, Decker. I owe you one.”

I swiped my phone off. The fucker better remember that in two months.




I hadn’t stepped foot in this place in more than thirteen years, yet the minute I walked in, I recognized the familiar smell. Trying to ignore the memory, I headed right to the desk sergeant.

“How you doing? Do you have a kid named Storm here? I’m not sure if it’s his last name or first.”

“Who’s asking?”

“I’m his legal counsel.”

The old timer looked me up and down. “I’m guessing this is pro bono for some fancy firm.”

“Good guess. I take it he’s here?”

The cop picked up the phone and punched in a few numbers. “I got a pretty boy out here for Storm. Looks more expensive per hour than my ex-wife’s asshole divorce attorney I had to shell out for, so…no rush.”

The police weren’t exactly fans of defense attorneys. I shook my head. “You should try a more original hobby. Being miserable to all lawyers is pretty cliché. But regardless, I shouldn’t have to remind you that all questioning stops now. And I assume you’ve made the requisite good-faith attempt to contact the kid’s parent or guardian before asking him anything.”

“Are you sure you’re not related to the kid? You have the same winning disposition.” He motioned toward the other side of the room and went back to staring at his computer. “Make yourself comfortable on the nice wooden bench. I’ll call you whenever we get around to it.”

I sighed, but I knew arguing at a police station was generally pointless. So I did as told and parked my ass on the bench. A half hour later, I was engrossed in answering emails when I heard the station door open and close. I didn’t bother to look up until I heard the sergeant say Augustus Storm. He was talking on the phone again, while a woman stood in front of him at the desk.

Augustus, huh? I smirked. No wonder the kid stuck with Storm. It was hard enough to gain respect in this neighborhood without being saddled with a name like Augustus. I straightened my tie and stood, intending to walk over to the woman I assumed was the kid’s social worker. But one look at her profile and my step faltered.

I froze.

The side of her face looked awfully familiar…

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