Falling for the Lawyer - By Anna Clifton
‘Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.’ That was Murphy’s Law. And Alex Farrer knew with absolute certainty that her life had once again become the starring jewel in its crown of truth.
‘Take charge of your life or it will take charge of you.’ That was another saying to send a shudder through Alex. She only had to glimpse it running cheerily along the top of a desktop calendar page and it would set her running—in the opposite direction!
‘Destiny is made in the decisions we make.’ She was damn sure she was the pin-up girl for that one too—living proof that if you don’t make a single decision for yourself destiny vanishes in a heartbeat.
Yet it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Just that morning Alex had vowed to become the captain of her own ship of destiny. So what if her new boss’s first job on his ‘to-do list’ was to sack her. She refused to take defeat lying down! She would seize the day, impress the socks off him and prove he couldn’t possibly do without her! Finally, once and for all, she would take control of her own future! There was just one tiny little problem: life, as usual, had gotten in the way.
Alex stood on the kerb of the busy Sydney street, convinced destiny had just sniggered in her ear as a cocktail of mud and dirty water had risen like magic from underneath a passing truck’s tyre and deposited itself all over her.
The pedestrian signal flashed green. Office workers huddling under umbrellas and lost in their own thoughts about the coming workday streamed out over the crossing. But not Alex. Alex didn’t move. What was the point? Backwards or forwards the destiny trolls were lying in wait for her—either way she could kiss her job goodbye.
“Are you in some bother there, darlin’?”
Alex jumped. A man had emerged like an apparition out of the mist and rain at her side.
“I was waiting to get some money out of the cash teller,” he went on, nearly shouting to be heard over the deafening torrents of rain tumbling around them. “I noticed you hadn’t moved in awhile. Hey, you’re right manky!” he declared suddenly as Alex turned to him and presented herself in all her muddy glory.
He began to laugh then—uproarious laughter drawing stares and smiles from passers-by as they took in Alex’s appearance.
“Is it really necessary you draw everyone’s attention to me?” Alex questioned tetchily while a remote part of her brain tried to work out what on earth the word ‘manky’ meant.
“I’m sorry.” He suppressed his laughter but was unable to repress the Cheshire Cat grin. “But do you know that you are literally covered in muck? There’s not a square inch of you that’s clean! It really hasn’t been your day, has it?”
“No, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse,” Alex thought out loud as she stared out through the rain, frozen within a miasma of panic and resignation.
“Well m’dear, you can’t stand here all morning. What are you going to do?”
His accent suggested a childhood somewhere in the west of Scotland. It was lilting and musical, seeming to lean languorously into every vowel. And despite Alex’s predicament it had a powerfully soothing effect upon her mood.
“I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do,” Alex confessed, her thoughts beginning to cascade back into her own problems again like the rain tumbling around them both. “If I go home to change and arrive late for work I’ll lose my job, but if I arrive on time looking like this, I’ll lose it anyway. Not exactly great options are they.”
She could hear the bitter resignation in her own voice yet it wasn’t really losing her job that was the problem. The problem was the train of events losing her job would trigger. If she thought her life was not in her own hands now she dreaded to think what it would be like once she was unemployed. In fact she’d been worrying herself sick about the prospect for weeks and yet fate had taken things into its own hands anyway, as it always did.
“Lose your job!” the stranger scoffed, still shouting to be heard over the dull roar of the storm which seemed to be hurtling towards them. “Don’t be ridiculous. No one loses a job over a bit of mud.”
“You do if your new boss is looking for any excuse to get rid of you.”
The stranger studied Alex intently before taking her