Lightning - By Danielle Steel Page 0,1

up you could hardly see it, and her black suit in sharp contrast to the vivid natural colors of her red hair and green eyes. She was a striking woman. “Just what I went to law school for, to become a decoy.”

“Hell, if it works, go for it.” He laughed, teasing her again, as one of the defense attorneys drifted back into the room, and they lowered their voices.

“Do you mind if I leave now?” she asked Matt politely. He was, after all, one of the senior partners. “I've got a new client coming in at one, and I've got a few dozen cases to cast an eye on.”

“That's the trouble with you,” he pretended to frown at her, “you don't work hard enough. I've always said that about you. Just plain lazy. Go on, go back to work. You've served your purpose here.” His eyes twinkled at her then. “Thanks, Alex.”

“I'll have my notes typed up and sent to your office later,” she said seriously before she left. And he knew that, as always, her careful, intelligent notes would be delivered to his office by the time he got back there. Alex Parker was a remarkable lawyer. She was efficient, intelligent, capable, wily in just the right ways, and beautiful in the bargain, not that she seemed to care about her looks particularly, or notice the attention they brought her. She seemed to be completely unaware of herself, and most people liked that about her.

She left the room quietly, with a brief wave at him, as the defendants came back into the room, and one of the attorneys glanced admiringly at her retreating figure. Unaware of it, Alex Parker hurried down the hall, and down several corridors to her office.

Her office was large and well decorated in quiet grays, with two handsome paintings on the wall, a few photographs, a large plant, some comfortable gray leather furniture, and a splendid view up Park Avenue from the twenty-ninth floor where Bartlett and Paskin had their offices. They occupied eight floors, and employed some two hundred attorneys. It was smaller than the firm where she'd worked before, on Wall Street, when she'd first graduated from law school, but she'd liked this a lot better. She'd worked with the antitrust team there, and she'd never really liked it. It was too dry, although it taught her to pay attention to details and do thorough research.

She glanced through half a dozen messages when she sat down, two from clients, and four from other attorneys. She had three cases ready to go to trial, and six more she was developing. Two major cases had just settled. It was a staggering workload, but it wasn't unusual for her. She loved the pace and the pressure and the frenzy. That was what had kept her from having children for so long. She just couldn't imagine fitting children in, or loving them as much as she did her law work. She adored being a lawyer, and thoroughly enjoyed a good fight in the courtroom. She did defense work primarily, she enjoyed difficult cases, and it meant a great deal to her protecting people from frivolous lawsuits. She loved everything about what she did. And it had eaten most of her life up. There was never time for anything more than that, except Sam, her wonderful husband. But he worked just as hard as she did, not in law, but in investments. He was a venture capitalist, with one of the hottest young firms in New York. He had come into it right at the start, and the opportunities had been remarkable. He'd already made several fortunes, and lost some money too. Together, they made healthy salaries. But more than that, Sam Parker had a powerful reputation. He knew his stuff, took amazing risks, and for twenty years now, almost everything he touched turned to money. Big money. At one point, people had said he was the only man in town who could make fortunes for his clients with commodities. But he was smarter than that now. Sam was never afraid of a risk, and he rarely lost funds for his clients. He'd been deeply involved in the computer world for the past dozen years, had made huge investments in Japan, done well in Germany, and had major holdings for his clients in Silicon Valley. Everyone on Wall Street agreed, Sam Parker knew what he was doing.

And Alex had known what she was doing when she married Sam.