Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Settling comfortably into her new highrise apartment wasn't an option at the moment. Opened and unopened boxes lay scattered around the various rooms. The disorganized closet was another story on its own but dwelling on such negatives did her no good. She had to get dressed and prepared for work around 7 am the next day.
From the shoulders down to her feet, the look included a pink silk blouse, black blazer, pencil skirt, and black leather pumps. A YSL black tote and Dior bracelet watch complimented the outfit. Then add in the subtle makeup with hair styled in a low ponytail the impression was now complete.
"Looking good Evangeline." She winked at herself in the hallway mirror.
Upon arrival, she strolled confidently past the huge glass doors of the S & L building. Soon her gaze focused on a slender middle-aged woman with a stern expression on her face standing stoically in the lobby. She wore a navy blue pinto dress with a matching blazer. Her lustrous salt and pepper hair styled into a tight bun.
"Welcome to Shuster and Lewis Ms. Williamson," she expressed while extending her hand in greeting. "I'm Mary Allen, Legal Administrator for the firm."
"Nice to meet you, Ms. Allen."
"Being that this is your first day, I'll be introducing you to Mr. Thomas Myers, he is one of the firm's partners and your immediate supervisor. Your office has already been set up along with your phone number, Rolodex, and email account. Later on, an orientation will introduce your associates, put perspective on the inner workings of the firm, and its billing hours. Do you have any questions so far?"
"None so far."
"Well then let's move along. Mr. Myers is waiting in the conference room. Sometimes I'm not sure if time is his enemy or friend." It was the first time Evangeline saw a genuine smile on her face.
A sun-tanned Tony Goldwyn modeling one of his famous Brooks Brothers suits became the first thought that sprung into Evangeline's mind when introduced to Mr. Thomas Edison Myers Esq. The resemblance was uncanny.
"Ms. Williamson, great meeting you in person." The handshake was firm, the voice ultra-suave, and the smile infectious.
"Likewise, Mr. Myers."
"Ms. Allen I'll take over from here since I have some time on my hands before the big meeting."
Ms. Allen gave a quick nod in agreement with the new arrangement. "It has been a pleasure, Ms. Williamson," she stated. "Whenever you need any further assistance, don't hesitate to call on me."
"I certainly will."
After Ms. Allen exited, Evangeline took a calming breath.
"Mary is one of our most indispensable employees. She has worked at the firm for the past twenty years. She knows a great deal about our history and what it takes to succeed
in this environment. This firm has built up prominence through decades of hard work and due diligence."
"Indeed, its reputation is well known. The firm was founded in 1910 by Edward Shuster and Norman Lewis, two recent Harvard Law School grads. It made perfect sense at the time. Their families were well known in the Washington area and had close ties for many years. Both young men were attracted to the legal field and decided to pursue degrees in criminal law at the university. In fact, in 1915, Norman married Edward's sister Emily. Shuster and Lewis prided themselves on providing the best representation by having the needs of its clients as the main focus. After all, they are the people keeping the firm in business."
"Well done." He smiled. He retrieved a manila folder from the conference table and glanced through its contents. "Your impeccable reputation proceeds you, Ms. Williamson."
"I say reputation can only get you so far. It's the results in the courtroom that count in the long run.""Precisely. As long as you stick to that motto, you should fit in perfectly here. Ms. Williamson, please take a seat. The other members of our team will arrive shortly."
While taking her seat, she inquired, "Mr. Myers, may I ask you a rather personal question?"
"I think I already know what it is. Did it bother me at first? Sure especially when Scandal took off but a lawyer can always use a potentially embarrassing coincidence to his or her advantage. It has been great for my bottom line."
And hard on the wife whomever she may be, Evangeline thought, smiling to herself.
Soon the doors opened and one lady and three gentlemen strolled in. They introduced themselves as - Molly Akord, James Bishop, Ethan McClaren, and Kent Ford. All greeted her.
"So you are the N.K.O.T.B," Molly commented rather blase, moving a strand of hair behind her ear. Her colleagues looked at her quizzically.
"What did you just say?" Evangeline asked very seriously.
"Ah nothing," Molly said. "Just trying to add a little humor before any serious conversation commences."
"Well the rest of us don't see the humor so quit while you are ahead," Thomas scolded.
Evangeline appreciated Thomas' reprimand even if Molly's cheeks turned red from embarrassment. Navigating a new environment didn't mean that you wouldn't come across the same irksome human behavior.
Two Months Later
Victor always looked forward to the weekends. He made sure to clear his schedule because Sam was coming over. His son Sam -the little boy with sandy blonde hair and crystal clear blue eyes. One of the few remaining bright spots in his life. Blair having full custody of Sam not only devastated him, but it also put everything else into perspective. The life he knew, the business and the family were all gone. He struggled to forget and not want to reclaim that identity. The fatherly connection with Starr and Jack was another casualty in the reshuffle. Their random meetings these days were too short and awkward. Words were left unsaid. It proved best to move on. Although those moments spent together were not easily forgotten. He wondered if they thought about themas much as he did. Imagine his surprise when Jack showed up with little Sam at Angel Square for the drop-off.
"Daddy, daddy!" Sam exclaimed running straight into this father's arms.
"There's my boy. I'm so happy to see you too, buddy. Man, you are getting heavier. Soon I won't be able to carry you."
"Mom says I'm a big boy."
"And that you are." Victor gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Hey, I've got big plans for my big boy this weekend. Are you ready?"
It didn't take long before Victor noticed Jack lingering, rocking back and forth on his heels in the foreground.
"It's great seeing you, Jack. How is everything?"
"It's okay." He replied lackadaisically. Afterward, there was an awkward silence. He hated it. Things shouldn't be this way.
"Is there something else?"
"Victor, can we talk?"
"Sure. Sam, go and play on the slide while Jack and daddy talk."
"Okay," Sam replied as he scampered off. Angel Square park was full of parents and kids playing.
"What do you want to talk about?"
"Why don't you fight for custody of Sam again?"
That threw Victor for a loop. "Now is not the right time."
"When is it ever the right time? You can't keep dragging your feet!"
"Jack back off!" Sam's gleeful sound in the distance was in stark contrast to their intense conversation. Victor briefly glanced over at Sam. He was happily climbing up the slide with a little girl directly in tow. "What's going on? I don't get it. Do you have something against Sam? I didn't expect that our conversation would be about this."
Jack took a moment to collect himself. " I don't have anything against Sam. He's a great kid born into a screwed up situation. I hate this. I hate this situation," said Jack running his fingers through his hair and turning from side to side. "Mom acts like everything is normal. When have our lives ever been normal? She expects me to build a relationship with Todd. I don't want to. Todd has disappeared for most of my life. I know you. You are my dad, not this impostor." Tears started falling down his cheeks.
"Come here," Victor implored, pulling him into an embrace. "Whenever you need to talk, I'm available. I'll never shut you and Starr out of my life. Both of you are forever a part of me. Do you believe me?"
"Yes...yes I do dad."
Then it suddenly hit him. He hadn't heard the word dad from Jack for a long time. It affected him. A dam was starting to break. Those concrete walls blocked him off from the only life he knew. Jack pushed through another ray of sunshine. There was no holding back his tears.
"So you're telling me that Jack will be spending time with you as well?"
Victor leaned back and rolled his eyes. "Evangeline, don't sound so supportive."
"You gave me this information for a reason. I'm just going to lay down a couple of facts."
"Okay, Williamson Esq."
They usually chatted during the week whenever possible. Often it was pretty late at night. Evangeline was fast becoming a rising star within the firm. Soon these conversations would become few and far in-between. He certainly wasn't looking forward to that at all.
"Jack is going to lean on you more and more instead of going to his parents. Blair and Todd will believe you are doing this unpurpose."
"I don't care what they think Jack needs me and I won't turn my back on him. If you could have seen him, Vange, with all the sadness and rage rolled into one. The kid is hurting pretty bad. He's a confused teenager. He needs an outlet for those emotions."
"I get it, Victor, but prepare for the storm that's about to come your way. Whatever uneasy truce there was between you guys, consider it null and void."
"If it comes to that, so be it."
An idea came to him.
"Evangeline, let's change the subject before we bid each other adieu."
"I have a question to ask. Will Llanview see you for Christmas?"
"Humph...I'm not sure. I do know that I'll only have a couple of days off and I sure don't want to deal with the nightmarish holiday commute."
"Will my private jet suffice? I'm extending an invitation to spend Christmas with Sam and me."
"Victor..." The invitation touched her deeply but she wasn't thinking about flying out to Llanview for Christmas. Layla planned on vacationing in Cancun while her mother was away in Europe for an extended stay.
"Don't you dare say no or come up with arguments against this perfectly great idea."
"Or else what Victor Lord Jr.?" Evangeline challenged.
"I can think of a couple of embarrassing things. Humph..." Victor tapped his cheek with his index finger. "Let me see...I can call your boss..."
"Okay, I accept." Evangeline knew he would do it too. "Sometimes I don't like you."
"I'm doing this for you."
"Evangeline sometimes I think you don't like yourself. You need to take a break from the hustle. Consider this as my gift to you. All you need to do is show up, relax, and enjoy yourself."
Soon a thought sprang into her brain. "Victor, I've been your friend for many years and have never been offered a ride on your private jet. Humph, why is that?"
"Well..." Victor thought about it but didn't have a valid reason.
"Cat got your tongue, Mr. Lord. Since you're offering, I'll certainly take full advantage of it. All the amenities better be available."
"Yes, ma'am." Victor chuckled. "It's always nice catching up with the Superstar Williamson."
"Shut Up," replied Evangeline playfully.
"I miss you still."
"Me too...I can't wait to see you and little Sam."