“I’d say one point six or so million dollars worth of trouble,” the singer said in a subdued voice.
“One point six MILLION DOLLARS? How the hell did he get his hands on one point six MILLION DOLLARS?” Loren blurted out unable to believe the amount.
“Well,” Jamie stated. “He does handle most of my business arrangements, I trusted him and now,” she said shrugging her shoulders, “I know I shouldn’t have.”
“Ok,” Loren said taking a deep breath, “how did you figure this out?”
“Two weeks ago I had dinner with a friend of mine who is the Chairperson of the Kids Wish foundation, when she mentioned she had noticed that my usual bi-monthly donation hadn’t been received. She was wondering if I had decided to withdraw my support. I assured her I hadn’t but would look into it immediately.
“I’ve sort of been out of the loop for awhile, so I called one of my accountants, Gerry Saunders. Gerry gave me a run down on donations of various charities...that I make on a regular basis. That’s when I confirmed something was wrong, you see I make monthly donations not bi-monthly.”
“I looked over the bank statements that I’ve sort of let slip for the last little while, actually,” she hesitated, “the last year. The statements show the money as being withdrawn for donation, but its not going to the charity.”
“Some business woman I am huh.”
“Nah,” Loren replied squeezing Jamie’s arm, her eyes looking compassionately into green emeralds that were shimmering with unshed tears. “Just a trusting soul, with more important things on her mind.”
Jamie stood up to go to her desk when a wave of dizziness overtook her causing her to stumble forward. Reaching out to try to steady herself, she felt Loren’s arm around her waist supporting her. Jamie placed her hand on her grumbling stomach and wiped a film of sweat off of her upper lip.
“I’m sorry,” the singer mumbled, “I keep forgetting I haven’t been out of the hospital very long, foolish of me isn’t it.”
“Here, take a seat, have you eaten today?” the lawyer said eyeing her with concern, while leading her back to the couch.
“Actually, I wasn’t hungry.”
“Unhuh,” Loren said shaking her head looking at her watch, “Where’s the file, I’ll get it then we go get something to eat its a little after seven.”
“Its in the second drawer, the silver key is on my key ring, by the phone.”
The lawyer took the keys, retrieved the file, then carefully locked the drawer, she dropped the keys into Jamie’s purse. Azure blue eyes regarded Jamie’s pale face with concern, she wanted to reach out and wipe the dark smudges away from the tired singer’s eyes. “Come on,” she whispered holding out her hand, “lets go.”
Jamie hesitated outside, the evening air cleared her head, she felt better. She was very aware of the dark haired beauty standing next to her, she found herself looking into concerned deep blue eyes. “Loren, thanks,” she said, putting her hand on the lawyer’s arm, “I think I’ll just take a rain check on dinner and go home.”
Loren noticing the singers still pale face, replied, “Its no problem, let me drive you there.”
“Yes?” she responded.
“Thanks for letting me eat crow.”
“Oh no problem,” the singer said with a smile, “Its nice that its someone else for a change!” She chuckled and continued on.
Loren turned with a smile and headed to her dark blue Mercedes SUV which was parked two spaces over from the singers. She placed the file in a special holding box in the rear compartment that was installed to transport documents safely. As she closed the rear door, the lawyer watched as the singer turned around and placed her back against her car and slid slowly down to the ground. Loren walked quickly over between the vehicles and saw the singer with her knees bent and her head resting on folded arms lying across her knees. She looked so lost and lonely, her shoulders were shaking slightly.
Loren bent down beside Jamie and took her gently by the arm. “Come on,” she said. “I won’t take no for an answer, you’re in no shape to be driving, I’ll take you home.”
“I’m just so tired.”
“I know,” the dark haired woman said helping her to her feet leading her over to the SUV and placing her gently in the front passenger seat. Loren closed the door firmly and walked around to the driver’s door. She slipped in and started the vehicle and drove silently out of the parking lot.
“Oh the usual,” Jamie groaned with distaste, “they stalk me night and day, I can never seem to get away.” The singer slumped back in the seat. “Must be a new rumor out,” she whispered softly. “Its media night, they get to interview the band and ask questions...you know where there’s smoke there’s fire but usually not this many show up.”
“Hmm, sounds like fun, although I think I’d rather jump into a snake pit,” Loren stated her brows drawn together in thought.
“Me too,” Jamie replied in a small exhausted voice. “Me too.”
Loren now deep in thought nodded her head slightly, making a mental decision, she put the SUV into gear and with a mischievous grin on her face said, “Get down out of sight.”
With Jamie hunkered down near the floor of the vehicle, they drove by the front gates, when Loren called the all clear, Jamie sat up comfortably in the seat. “Where are we going?” the singer asked.
“You’ll see,” the lawyer said with a smile as her blue steady gaze collided with dark trusting pools of Jade. They drove down out of the hills headed east about ten blocks then turned up into the hills again. A few minutes later they pulled up and stopped at the top of a circular driveway.
Putting the vehicle in park, Loren got out and walked around opening the passenger door. “Come on little one, time to rest up.” Putting her hand out to the singer she gently whispered while leading her into the house, “Welcome to my home and your sanctuary.”
“I’m fine,” Jamie said, “honestly.”
“Just making sure,” Loren responded. “Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Yes, that would be nice.”
“Ok, give me a second,” the lawyer grinned, “your wish is my command.”
Jamie leaned back and relaxed into the soft couch, God this feels good, she said to herself. I feel so fragile, she thought, too many things happening at once, I have to get control back.
She relaxed letting the solitude surround her as she took in the ambiance of the room. Rich cream colored walls, contrasted with navy blue furniture. A stone fireplace with a natural gas insert, bookcases on either side which filled the entire wall. Honey oak, glass topped coffee and end tables accentuated the room. Lamps softly spilled tentacles of light throughout the large living area.
Loren had switched on a tape of instrumental music, soft muted tones of tenor saxophone filled the room. Jamie let the music overtake her, closing her eyes she slept an easy peaceful slumber.
When Loren returned with a tray of soup, sandwiches and tea, she noticed her guest was dozing peacefully on the couch. She placed the tray on the table in front of them and sat down beside the singer.
God, Loren thought as she let her eyes sweep over the beautiful woman letting them come to rest on her lips, I wonder what it would feel like to ... Shaking her head she reached over and awakened the sleeping princess gently. “Hey there little one, c’mon, eat this, no arguments.”
Blond eyelashes blinked rapidly, tired green eyes darted around the room trying to comprehend where she was.
She struggled to sit upright, tucking her feet under her, taking the bowl of soup Loren offered, she spooned a tentative taste, “Mmm, its good, very good!”
Loren watched in amazement as the singer polished off two sandwiches with her bowl of soup.
Placing her dish and utensils on the tray Jamie leaned back, “That was delicious, I really enjoyed the soup.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it, I made it last night.”
“Well, well, well,” the singer said softly with steady eyes fixed on Loren, “Hidden talents, if you ever need a reference let me know.”
Loren blushed, feeling a warm rush at the compliment.
“So, feeling better?” Loren enquired, regarding the singer.
“I feel much better, thank you,” the rocker said reaching over and squeezing Loren’s hand briefly. “I don’t think I could have faced the crowd at the house tonight.” The lawyer felt the warmth from Jamie’s fingers, Loren had wanted to curl her fingers around the smaller hand and hold it, but refrained from doing so.
“Your home is beautiful, very comfortable, is that a collectors piece?” the singer asked looking at the painting resting above the mantle on the fireplace.
Following the singers gaze Loren laughed and said, “Nope, I painted it on a dare a few years ago.”
“Wow, must be great when you get together.”
“Unreal, you have to have sharp elbows to get past this crew at the table.” Jamie picked up a photo of Loren sitting on a grassy hill, her arms wrapped around a dark haired man of about twenty five. He had his head tilted back smiling at her, you could tell there was a bond between them. “That’s my baby brother Alex,” the dark haired beauty said with affection, “We are very close.”
“Your family is lovely do you see them much?”
“Actually they all live here in the city, so I’m lucky, they are in and out all time.”
“Are you related to the banking Wynfield’s?” Jamie enquired with interest.
“Yes, that’s us”, Loren grinned, “Although Alex is the only one who is following in Dad’s footsteps, he’s the investment banker. Mom and Dad are very supportive of us, they let us make our own choices so the twins picked law enforcement, Alex business, and well...here I am.” Silence covered the two women as they looked at the photos.
“I’m not interfering with any plans you have for tonight am I?” the singer asked. Loren looked at her perplexed.
“I mean with your family, or perhaps your friends?”
“Oh, no, no, not at all, Loren replied. “Everyone is tied up for the next couple of nights and I have no other engagements.” Standing up, Loren felt the need to move around, “Would you care for a tour?”
The master bedroom contained a king sized sleigh bed, with a large stone fireplace against one wall and an adjoining Jacuzzi en-suite. Next to the walk in closet was a second door which Loren opened taking Jamie through to an almost hidden part of the house. It was a private gym, complete with all the necessary workout equipment, one wall lined with mirrors. The room was decorated in bright blues and yellows, large green plants were interspersed taking away the sterile appearance of a usual workout room.
“Oh Loren, this is wonderful”
“Yes,” Loren responded, “I’m in here everyday.”
“I noticed the Gis hanging by the door, do you have a particular discipline in the martial arts?”
“I study two disciplines, karate and judo,” Loren said with a shrug. Actually truth be known, she was a fourth degree Dan in one and a 3rd degree in the other.
Again Jamie couldn’t help but feel amazed with the many facets to this dark haired beauty.
Loren explained that each room had been customized with computer controlled stereo surround sound features throughout the home. A simple voice command could turn any room into a soft sultry den of iniquity with soft strains of Bach performing a pre cursory search of intentions.
“Again thank you,” the lawyer said glowing from the compliment, she was proud of the home she had designed.
The pool was the center piece of the garden, it was accentuated with low level ground lighting which reflected off the still water. Soft music played out of hidden speakers, a Japanese waterfall in the corner of the yard made a faint trickling noise over a stone Garden. The lush plant life was perfectly designed to provide maximum privacy and beauty for anyone wishing to relax at the pool side. Just outside the patio doors leading out from the kitchen was a stone barbeque pit and a well stocked bar.
“Can I offer you a drink?”
Jamie’s eyes twinkled, “A beer if you have one, I’m full up on rum.”
Loren chuckled as her cheeks tinged a slight red, she removed two bottles from the fridge and passed the singer one. Loren placed her hand on Jamie’s elbow to guide her around the pool.
Jamie could feel the warmth of Loren’s hand on her arm and the closeness of her body, it felt good as she let herself absorb the feelings. When was the last time someone touched me, the singer thought to herself, she tensed remembering the last time she allowed someone this close.
The lawyer indicated to the blond to walk through a small lattice archway located at the end of the pool. It was the beginning of a very large well manicured lawn with various benches and trees scattered throughout. One rather large section of the lawn looked at though it had turned to mud.
“Is there something wrong with your lawn? Are you planting a garden?” Jamie asked perplexed.
“Yes,” she chuckled, “The bi weekly family football games! There never seems to be enough time between matches to let the grass grow back.”
Jamie chuckled at the thought of the elegant woman in the family photo playing football.
Returning to the pool, Loren gestured towards the motionless water, “Listen, I have some paperwork to go over, go ahead and take a swim if you wish, I’ll be inside if you need anything. Um, I don’t have any spare swim suits, but if you’re not shy go ahead....” Loren’s voice trailed off.
Seeing the smile on Jamie’s face, Loren smiled in return and went back inside the house.
Jamie couldn’t help but feel the loss, as she watched the lawyer walk away. She wanted to call Loren back, then shook her head. What are you doing, what the hell is wrong with you. Turning her flushed face away, she decided to take a swim to cool off, she attributed the warm flush of her body to the warm evening. Jamie started to undress deciding since she in fact didn’t have a swimsuit, “au natural” would have to do.
Loren went out to the vehicle to retrieve the file folder, walking back through to the kitchen she placed her empty beer bottle in the trash on the way to the study. Stopping suddenly she watched as Jamie slowly and sensually pulled off her light blue leather pants then her white t-shirt. My God, the lawyer thought as she felt a warmth radiate throughout her body centering in her very core. She is stunning, absolutely stunning, she thought as she watched the beautiful naked woman dive into her pool.
Loren turned and headed into her room, she picked up a robe and a towel, then headed out to the patio. The singer was doing laps when Loren approached. Trying not to stare at the nude woman swimming in the water, she laid the items on the lounge chair and went back into the house. She headed straight to the shower, the only thing that would allow her to concentrate on the file would be a cold, very cold shower.
Loren decided to let her sleep, it was a warm night and the yard afforded complete privacy. The lawyer went back to her work in the study.
About thirty minutes later, Loren heard a noise and got up to see what it was. She walked out to open patio doors fully expecting to see the singer had woken up and was coming into the house. Instead she saw Christina, the woman she had been dating over the past several months standing with her hands on her hips staring down at Jamie.
What she saw next mortified her, Christina bent down picked up the side of the lounge chair that was parallel to the pool and tossed Jamie into the cool water.
Loren yelled stop as she ran out to the patio passing Christina. Reaching down she grabbed hold of Jamie and helped her out of the water.
“Just fucking great!” she heard Christina say, “I invite you to dinner and you don’t return my calls, now I find you here with some blond bimbo! Obviously you were too busy to think of me.”
Jamie was standing next to the pool looking like a drowned rat, hair plastered to her head, the robe hanging heavily on her cool, slightly shivering body. She had a look of complete, utterly, complete shock on her face, her jaw hung open. Loren had her arm around the singer’s waist once again holding her up.
Loren surfaced first, grabbing Jamie and pushing her to the edge of the pool. They looked up at the fuming woman as she shouted at Loren that they were through and not to bother to call her. She turned and stalked out, pausing at the door long enough to take Loren’s house key off the key ring and throw it into the bushes.
The two women climbed out of the water and looked at each other, one in total shock the other in complete embarrassment. Jamie glanced at the patio doors then back at Loren, she turned back to the patio door and said in a calm polite voice, mouth drawn in a half smirk, with a raised eyebrow. “Nice meeting you too Christina.”
The lawyer doubled over in laughter, causing the blond to also start to snicker with suppressed chuckles as they sank to the ground holding their sides. “That’ll teach me to fool around huh,” the dark headed beauty said her voice filled with mirth.
“I’m sorry Loren, I didn’t mean to cause you any problems,” Jamie said in a sobering voice concern radiating out of her eyes as she shivered slightly.
“You didn’t, we weren’t going anywhere, anyway,” the lawyer said, softly as she got up, pulling the singer to her feet. “I didn’t know Christina was so possessive, glad I found out now,” her voice echoing with relief. “Look I’m sorry,” she said embarrassed, her eyes downcast running her fingers through her dark wet hair.
“Don’t be,” the singer said, “its actually kind of funny and really no harm was done to me, besides, I’m more worried about you.” she confessed, sadness tinting her voice.
“No harm done to me either, come on.” Loren took her by the hand, “a hot shower and a real bed, for you, and Jamie,” she muttered with a teasing tone to her voice, as she led her into the house, “its not a water bed!”
On the way to bed she saw the open door to the singer’s room. A soft light was on allowing Loren to see the sleeping blond. The bed sheet was tucked under her arm, exposing a smooth bare shoulder. Loren closed the door quietly, and walked her thoughts slowly to her room.
The alarm clock went off at six thirty. God, Loren thought as she hit the sleep button, Five more minutes. A minute later her eyes opened wide as she heard a soft knock on her door and realized she wasn’t alone in the room anymore. Jamie stood in the doorway, with a thin sheet wrapped around her body. The lawyer’s breath quickened as she realized she could see the singers slender body outlined through the sheet.
“Is something wrong?”
“Sorry, I knocked several times, I couldn’t find where you kept the towels, the one in the bathroom is wet. I was going to take a shower when I heard the alarm. I assumed you were up, I’ll...ahhh, I’ll” she stuttered as her eyes were transfixed on the lawyer’s body. The sheet had fallen away from the raven haired beauty exposing a smooth shoulder and outlining two perfectly shaped breasts.
Jamie blushed right up to her hair line, and averted her eyes. “I’ll come back when you’re dressed,” she mumbled as she turned away.
The lawyer looked down at herself and quickly grabbed the sheet and pulled it up to her neck blushing furiously. “Ahhh sorry, I.... in the laundry room I’ll get you one, I’ll be right out.”
“Its ok, I’ll get it, ahh thanks.”
Jamie went into the laundry room and picked up clean towels on the way back to her room thinking, That’s what you get when you enter a room without being invited. Damn, nothing ever goes easy with you Jamie does it…then she grinned evilly at the memory...but it was worth it!
Loren swung her long legs out of bed, stretching like a cat. Hmm, she thought, as she strolled towards the bathroom. Yes, another cold shower, this is getting to be a habit.
Loren stopped outside the singer’s room and rapped lightly on the door. Hearing a muffled come in the lawyer open the door and stuck her head in. “Are you hungry, I’ll make breakfast. Anything in particular that you like?”
“Oh, coffee will be fine,” Jamie said as she stood with the sheet wrapped around her body in the doorway of the bathroom.
“Hmm, that won’t be enough, I’ll whip up something a bit better. By the way there are some sweats and t-shirts in the dresser drawer, they’ll probably be a bit big, but help yourself, ok,” she said with a smile. “Sorry I forgot to tell you about them last night.”
Loren softly closed the door and headed into the kitchen, the image of the singer wrapped in a sheet, burning in her memory.
While in the shower Jamie reflected on her current emotions, since the loss of Sam over a year ago, Jamie had dated only a few times. The singer hadn’t planned on it happening but it had. She had known immediately after each altercation that she had made a mistake, she had tried to find Sam in each meeting. She had come to the decision that what she had shared with Sam, could never happen for her again. She hadn’t been attracted to any of the others until now, her reaction to the lawyer disturbed her.
Jamie came into the kitchen just as Loren was cooking bacon and eggs. “Here,” she said passing the singer a cup of coffee. “Enjoy.”
Jamie sat at the table and looked up at the lawyer, “Do you treat all your guests like this?”
“Nope,” the lawyer grinned wiggling her eyebrows, “Only the ones I have thrown into the pool by extremely jealous lovers, or I should say “ex lover.”
Jamie laughed out loud. “Then I’m honored,” she said her eyes twinkling.
The blond sat back in her chair sipping her coffee, she watched the tall dark haired woman put the food onto plates. She is gorgeous, Jamie thought as she let her eyes play over Loren’s body.
Tanned bare feet poked out under cream colored chinos, the blue Ralph Lauren shirt was unbuttoned at the neck showing a tanned cleavage. The sleeves were rolled up displaying well toned muscular forearms. Her shoulder length black hair was pinned up loosely in the back.
“Loren, you are so lucky, what I wouldn’t give for privacy like this,” Jamie said with a sweep of her arm. The dark haired woman placed a plate in front of Jamie and sat down with her own.
“Jamie,” she said softly, sincerely, looking into green eyes. “You’re welcome anytime, anytime at all. Consider this a place to escape, a place you can let down your hair down and take a dip in the pool any time you want and don’t want,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
They ate their breakfast slowly talking quietly trading amusing stories from their respective careers. Loren was sipping her coffee listening to Jamie tell her a story about an overly zealous fan who sent her an Emu from his farm as a gift while she was on tour. The courier people actually tried to deliver the package to her hotel room.
Loren snorted her coffee out of her nose, laughing so hard. Jamie jumped up from the table, tears streaming down her cheek from laughing and began to pat the lawyer on the back. “Are you ok?”
Loren nodded her head, “God Jamie, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see everyone’s face, especially your manager’s!” There was no doubt that the two women had established an easy going rapport. They were fast on their way to becoming friends.
“So,” Loren said as she got up to put the dishes in the dishwasher, “I guess I get to meet this manager of yours sometime today huh?”
“He returns this afternoon,” Jamie said passing Loren her plate, her voice void of emotion, “He was in Los Angles handling some business regarding the upcoming tour.”
The lawyer paused in her task, she looked up at the singer who was now leaning back against the cupboard watching her stack the dishes.
“Jamie, do you want to keep him on to represent you,” Loren asked not sure of the response.
“NO!” the singer responded emphatically, shaking her head and frowning at the thought.
Loren nodded her head firmly, turning her back to the singer. She moved quickly shutting the door to the dishwasher. “Great,” she said with exaggerated enthusiasm, “we’ll stop at your place let you get changed, then we’ll head to the bank to see a friend and get started.”
The singer led Loren in through the kitchen door, “Can I get you something before I go change?”
“Ah, no thanks,” Loren replied, “I’ll wait here for you.”
“No, come through to the library its much more comfortable and besides Sue will appreciate us not messing her kitchen.”
“Sue?” Loren queried,
“Yes, Sue, and her husband Jim, my friends slash caretakers, Sue manages the house, and Jim doubles as my driver bodyguard, gardener, gate keeper etc., etc., I couldn’t do this without them.”
Just as Jamie finished a young couple Loren estimated to be in their late forties entered the kitchen.
A smile covered the older woman’s face. “JJ, are you messing in my kitchen?” she said with mock anger, her eyes twinkling, winking at Loren.
The lawyer instantly felt the rapport between the two women, there was a genuine warmth and caring.
“No ma’am, just on my way to get changed and head to the studio, by the way Loren meet Sue and her better half,” she paused with a wink and a smile ”Jim.”
Sue made a growling noise and playfully elbowed Jamie while extending her hand to Loren. Loren grinned and accepted the gesture from both Sue and Jim. It was obvious that Jim was a man of few words, he regarded Loren openly.
Jamie noticed the actions of her friend and bodyguard, “Its ok, Jim, Loren is my lawyer,” and as she looked at Loren she added softly, “and my friend.”
“Out of my kitchen JJ, and away from my man!”
Jamie grabbed Loren by the hand and dragged her out of the kitchen. “Run, quick” Jamie shouted. Both women burst out of the kitchen laughing, running literally straight into Jamie’s younger sister Jen knocking her backward.
Loren reached her arms around Jamie and managed to steady Jen back onto her feet. “Geeze JJ, when I tell mom you’re running in the house you’re gonna get your ears boxed.” she whined as she rubbed her chest area.
“Oh, Jen I’m sorry,” then loudly over her shoulder in a voice she knew would carry back to the kitchen, “we were escaping the wrath of Sue in the Kitchen!”
A high pitched voice yelled from the behind the partially closed kitchen door, “Don’t you dare blame me JJ, you were trying to take advantage of my Man!”
Jen was chuckling loudly now, “Boy JJ, mom is gonna skin you now.”
Loren was watching the exchange with amusement.
“Damn!” Jamie muttered as she sidled up to her sister and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Tell ya what shrimp,” her voice a low whisper as she gave an exaggerated look from side to side to ensure no one was listening.
“Sue is making coconut cream pie for desert...”
“No way JJ, it’ll be gone before I get home as usual.”
Jamie hadn’t realized but she had stepped back into relaxed arms that held her upper arms loosely. Now she became aware of the warmth and realized she was leaning back resting against Loren’s tall strong body. Feeling acutely embarrassed she blushed furiously and stepped away.
“Ah sis, have you met Loren.”
“Actually,” the lawyer spoke softly, “yes Jen and I met at the studio, the first day you kicked me out.”
Jen tilted her head she regarded her sister and Loren curiously, this was the first time since, well, since Sam and Christian.... Jen wasn’t sure, but, was JJ blushing? Was she really seeing Jamie lighthearted and laughing. I’ll have to talk to her and see what’s going on here, she thought amazed.
“Kicked you out?” Jen repeated zoning back into the conversation.
“Ah, er, its a long story sis”
“Ok,” Jen shrugged her shoulders. “By the way JJ,” distaste evident in Jen’s voice, “IT, is returning this afternoon and wants to see you at the studio.”
The singer sighed, “Yeah, well I want to talk to him too.”
“Oh goodie.” Jen’s face broke out in a smile. “To tell him he’s fired?” she asked hopefully.
Jamie chuckled. “You never know Jen, you never know.”
Jen opened the front door, then turned back and said, “Oh by the way, Kelsey is looking for you, you’ll be happy to know she poured a lot of water on the smoke and fire show last night. In fact, she has some good news for you, which was definitely bad news for the media.” Jen grinned, “You won’t be doing them anymore.”
Loren looked at Jamie, “Is it always like this around here?”
“It used to be,” the singer said shaking her head sadly, “I hope it will again, its what kept me sane.”
“What keeps Jamie James sane now?” the dark haired beauty’s husky voice enquired.
Jamie locked pain filled emerald green eyes onto deep blue, and replied seriously with a shrug of her shoulders, “Nothing, sometimes my music.”
Loren felt her heart go out to the younger woman.
“Come on, you might as well join me in my room while I change. I’ll give you a quick tour on the way.”
“Ok,” she said with a grin, “lead on.”
The singer explained that the ranch was sectioned into an east wing occupied by her parents and Jen, and the west wing being Jamie’s private rooms. The kitchen was central to both wings as was the formal dining room and library. Loren was impressed with the elegance and simplicity of the house. Someone had taken a lot of time to ensure the rooms reflected warmth with a restful relaxed atmosphere.
“Did you decorate the rooms yourself?” Loren enquired curious.
“Ah, no,” Jamie said with a wistful smile, “No, I didn’t.”
Loren remained quiet not sure she should say anything. Jamie turned and led Loren towards her rooms. As they approached Jamie’s private area the lawyer noticed a door at the end of the hallway.
“Does that lead outside?” Loren asked indicating the door.
The room was decorated in shades of green with cream trim, the carpeting was also cream giving the room a cool controlled look during the day, and at night, a warm romantic sitting room.
“Nice,” Loren said, “very nice.” Wiggling her eyebrows she looked up at Jamie, “So, entertain in here much?”
Jamie looked at her curiously, then realizing Loren was teasing replied, “No, I don’t entertain, actually I’ve just moved into these rooms two months ago. So not much entertaining.” She paused and grinned at the lawyer, “Or anything else!”
Loren burst out laughing. Ok, she said to herself, I’m busted!
“Make yourself comfortable while I go change.”
Go change, Loren thought looking around, she watched as Jamie opened French doors that led into her private bedroom.
It too was painted in various shades of green, a king sized bed dominated the center of the room with coverings of different shades of cream. A full bathroom painted in muted shades of cream matching the trim in the bedroom was off to the side. Next to the bathroom another door led to a sauna complete with hot tub.
Jamie came back into the room dressed in a white short waist tee shirt that showed off a tanned tight stomach complete with a pierced navel ring. Soft worn blue jeans torn at the knees with soft tan cowboy boots finished the look.
Loren laughed self consciously, turning away to cover the blatant desire which radiated out of her eyes, “A touch...lets go.”
They were seated in the assistant manager’s office when Selby Gilbert came into the room.
“My My My, its been a long time Lorie, I was really surprised to hear from you last night.”
Jamie looked from one to the other her eyes resting on Loren’s an eyebrow raised in a questioning manner. She had known instantly that a history existed between these two women.
“Unnhh, Jamie James meet Selby Gilbert, assistant manager of the bank.”
“Pleased to meet you Ms. Gilbert,” Jamie said extending her hand.
“Call me Selby please, really nice to meet you Ms. James,”
“Ok, Jamie it is. Please have a seat.” She turned her attention back to Loren.
“I went over the facts and figures you faxed me last evening Lorie, and you’re right, its actually one point eight million that’s been misappropriated. I tracked down the account numbers you provided and its all there in five different accounts. Do you have the paperwork with you?”
“Yes,” Loren said as she stepped up beside Selby at the desk.
Jamie quietly observed the two women working together, Loren seemed unaware of the looks that Selby kept sending her way. The dark haired woman seemed oblivious to the way the banker kept leaning in against her. It wasn’t hard to see the banker was still interested.
“I’ll wait outside if you don’t mind,” swinging towards the door, she yanked it open and stepped out into the hallway. The singer felt angry, but why, what right did she have to get angry, she had no claim, nor did she want one on anybody. Shrugging her shoulders she muttered, Who cares I don’t, if that’s what she wants so be it.
Jamie distractedly worked her way down the hallway until she found herself in the main lobby of one of the busiest banks in Los Angeles. Her thoughts were brought down to earth by a screeching voice crying out. “MY GOD ITS HER, ITS JAMIE JAMES.”
Jamie was startled out of her reverie and saw the crowd coming. She turned on her heel and started to walk quickly back the way she had come.
She realized at that moment every door in the hallway looked the same, Damn, which door did I come out of. Hearing the main door open just behind her she took off running around the corner, yelling for Loren at the top of her lungs.
Upon hearing Jamie yelling her name, the lawyer strode to the door and opened it just as Jamie ran by. The tall woman reached out a hand grasping Jamie by her arm and hauled her into the room. Loren shut the door quickly, she had just completed the task when a hoard of fans swept past the office.
Selby was standing up behind her desk, her mouth wide open. “What happened?” she asked.
“Damn,” Jamie said. “I forgot and walked out front,” and with a sheepish look on her face she looked into laughing blue eyes, “I was recognized.”
The lawyer grinned at Selby and handed over the keys, “Sorry Sel, and thanks, my SUV is out front.”
Turning to Jamie the dark haired woman said with a twinkle in her eyes, “I think we are finished here, we should get going, don’t want you being recognized.”
Chuckling she looked at Selby, winking, “Hey Sel, we could always pick up the extra’s and get a date out of it all.”
Selby laughed, “No thanks, I can get my own dates, or at least I used to be able to.” She looked directly into familiar blue eyes.
Loren had the graciousness to blush and appear uncomfortable.
Putting on a professional facade, Loren gathered up the papers from the desk. “Alright, when these are signed, I’ll call you, then you’ll complete the transactions immediately. If he refuses to sign, then you’ll freeze the accounts, right?”
“Yes, ma’am, all set,” Selby nodded. “But, my dear legal beaver, DO NOT FORGET TO GIVE ME THE PAPERWORK!”
Loren laughed at the comment. “I will hand deliver it to you personally.” she said with a bow of her head.
“You had better Amazon!” Selby replied.
“Thanks Sel, without your help I couldn’t do this, how can I make it up to you?”
Selby looked up into blue eyes. “I’ll definitely be there.”
“If I can tear you two apart, I have to get back to the studio,” Jamie said with thinly disguised annoyance.
Loren looked at her sharply. I wonder what’s wrong with her, she thought as she left the office behind the singer.
On the way out of the building the lawyer asked, “Jamie, is something wrong?”
“On the contrary,” Jamie smirked, “obviously everything is fine.”
Loren slipped into the drivers seat with awareness dawning in her brain, I wonder, she thought, is she upset over my asking Sel out?
Kelsey her PR rep looked over and smiled, “Jamie!” she called. “Over here.”
Jamie walked up to Kelsey and hugged her, “Hi sweetie, what’s up.”
“You tell me JJ, you’ve been missing for hours with your new friend, in fact, don’t remember you being at the media roundup last night,” she said with a chuckle. “You didn’t miss anything by the way.”
“Actually, I let it be known this would be that last one for awhile. I never did feel this brain child of Tony’s was a particularly good setup. Now,” she said teasingly, as she peered over Jamie’s shoulder, “who is this gorgeous hunk of woman behind you.”
This was said loudly enough for Loren to overhear. Both women grinned widely as they walked towards Loren, watching the embarrassed scowl on the lawyers face deepen.
“Kelsey meet Loren, Loren, Kelsey, my public relations rep and friend.”
The two women shook hands with Loren mumbling, “I think its nice to meet you.”
Kelsey laughed delightedly, looking at Jamie she quipped, “Don’t let this one go honey, she looks like a keeper.”
“Oh Kels,” Jamie said with a flush, “there’s nothing....”
“I know,” whispered Kelsey into Jamie’s ear as she moved over to where the band members were chatting. “There’s nothing between you, or should I say, nothing between you yet!”
Jamie flushed a bright red, a little upset with Kelsey, how could she say that, she knows there will never be anyone else except Sam.
“Is she always this, well, bold?” asked Loren a little uncertain about the interchange.
The singer grinned, “That’s Jen’s pet name for Tony.”
“I can’t wait to meet this guy,” Loren said with a grin.
Jamie was sitting on the front of her desk, her legs swinging back and forth her hands on either side of her legs. Loren was seated on the couch going over the file when the door burst open, a short, dark haired swarthy figure strode into the room. He came to a stop directly in front of Jamie, standing between her open legs. Pressing his body up against her seated one, his hands went around her waist trying to draw her closer.
“Hey babe, miss me,” he whispered into her ear. “You know,” he said, shifting to the side trying to place his lips on the singers, “One night with me and you’ll forget you’re on the wrong team.”
Jamie tried to push away, gagging slightly on the strong smell of alcohol coming from the man. She turned her head to the side to avoid the inward bound kiss, but being off balance she had no room to maneuver.
“Get off me Tony!” she said with disgust, as he pressed forward further, pushing the singer back against the top of the desk.
“C’mon party girl, party with me, I’ll give you what .... “
Tony only registered for a second someone had their hand on his shoulder dragging him back. He heard a low feral voice laced with cold steel tell him, “You heard what the lady said. “Get off her.”
Tony turned completely around, “What the fuck!”
“NO, she didn’t say that,” ice filled blue eyes stared at him menacingly. “She said, get off her, now, I’m telling you, get off her.”
Jamie jumped off the desk, “Stop Loren, don’t hurt him.”
Loren stepped back from the man on the floor as he scrambled to his feet.
“Jesus Christ Jamie, I was only fooling around!”
“And I told you I didn’t like your type of fooling around, ever,” the singer said anger radiating from her like smoke around a flame.
Tony took a step towards Jamie putting his hand out to take her by the arm when he felt himself falling backwards, slamming into a chair he heard the voice say, “Hold up Tony, have a seat.”
“Oh and Tony, don’t get out of it until I tell you,” the voice growled.
Tony looked between the women and with an air of affected nonchalance said, “I was going to have a seat anyway. What the hell is going on?”
“Glad you asked,” Loren said as she sat on the desk top. “First of all where are my manners, let me introduce myself, I’m Loren Wynfield, Ms. James’ new attorney. We, as in you and I, have business to discuss.”
Tony’s eyes darted to Jamie’s and then back to Loren, awareness starting to creep into his subconsciousness.
Just then the phone rang, Loren picked it up listened to what was said and replaced the receiver. She looked at Jamie and grinned. “Have a seat, option number two just arrived and is waiting outside your door.”
Jamie looked perplexed as she sat on the couch, she hadn’t a clue what the lawyer was talking about, but she trusted Loren knew what she was doing.
Loren sauntered over to the couch and picked up the file she had dropped on the floor earlier when she had helped Tony to behave somewhat like a gentleman. She resumed her seat on the front of the desk. Opening the file she extracted several legal sized papers. Tony watched her warily.
“I’d like you to take the time to read these papers Tony, before you sign them. Don’t want you coming back and saying I didn’t go over them with you.” the lawyer said with a smile.
Jamie was watching the scene unfold in front of her. Note to self, she thought, don’t ever piss off this lawyer girl.
The color faded out of Tony’s face as he read the sheets of paper. Shit, she knows, Christ I have to talk her out of this. “Look Jamie I can explain.”
Loren cut him off, “Buzzzzzzz, timers up Tony, no chance to explain.” She leaned over and put her face only inches from his.
“You stole money Tony, lots of it, in fact one point eight million dollars from your client, that’s misappropriation of funds, embezzlement.”
“...let me see according to the last case I tried, and the Judge was lenient,” this she said in a matter of fact voice, turning her head towards Jamie “Did you know the guy got seven years, and that was for almost a million.”
“NOW!” she said very loudly snapping her head back to Tony shoving the papers in front of his face making him jump, “SIGN THE FUCKING PAPERS.”
He stopped realizing the ruse wasn’t working, he turned spitting his words at Jamie, “You’ve always had more than you needed, if you would have stopped giving it away to those god damned charities, we could have had so much more.”
“I didn’t want more for me Tony, but I want more for those charities one point eight million more to be exact, just what they were supposed to get. Why?” she asked in a disgusted voice, shaking her head at her manager, “Why? You were treated well.”
“Yeah, well to hell with you, I made you Jamie James, I did all the shit jobs for you, covered your ass in the media, and” he said, narrowing his eyes “I can break you! When the media finds out about you, you’re finished. You’ll be yesterday’s news when I’m done with you.” He smirked as he signed the papers and threw the pen on the desk and sat back smugly in his chair.
Loren picked up the papers went behind the desk, picked up the phone and dialed Selby.
Tony got up out of the chair Loren tensed watching the situation carefully. If he made a move towards Jamie she would take great pleasure in assisting him to the floor again.
“By the way star,” he said looking at Jamie while jerking his head toward Loren, “you can call off your watch dog,” he sneered. “Or is she your latest lay?” he spat out.
Turning to walk to the door he stopped and looked over at the singer, “You gonna fuck this one over like you did Sam and the kid, maybe drive this one to her death too?” he laughed harshly. “Just remember,” he sneered, “I can show you how to feel like a real woman if you change your mind!”
Tony grinned, knowing his words had struck home, he now had to focus on getting out to make his call. Loren leaned back in the chair, “Un un unhh,” she waved her finger, shaking her head. “Sit Tony, we haven’t finished our business yet.”
“Fuck you bitch!” he said as he swung open the door to come face to face with option number two. Two hulking uniformed LAPD officers were standing blocking the doorway. Both were over six feet and weighed two hundred and fifty pounds. Tony looked up into a double set of ice blue eyes, the cops were identical twins, the first thought in Tony’s startled brain was, oh shit!
Tony slammed the door and returned to collapse into his chair, Christ, I’m done he groaned inwardly.
“While I’m on hold here Tony let me outline the clauses in the agreement so that you understand them completely.”
“Oh, hello, yes Sel, I have the papers signed. After I’ve finished my meeting here with Tony I’ll bring you the copies. Sure I’ll hold until you confirm.”
“Now, clause one states, let me put this in lay person’s terms for you Tony, so that you understand. Number one states, you are forbidden from undertaking any business on behalf of Jamie James, her family or any productions, investments or business dealings past or present that you were involved in or were to be involved with.”
Dull brown eyes spewed hatred towards the lawyer.
Tony looked like he was going to explode at any minute, putting the phone closer to her ear the lawyer said, “Yeah, I’m here.” She listened for a minute then said, “Thanks Sel, see you in a bit, oh, ok I’ll give them to you tonight, bye.”
“And lastly Tony,” she said hanging up the phone, continuing as if not interrupted, “I spent a lot of time with an accounting firm and an internet company last night tracking you down. I did manage to find the money in five separate accounts. I arranged with your bank manager today to make arrangements to have you return the funds immediately.”
Tony jumped to his feet, “You bitch, I will not ....”
“Oops stop there Tony,” Loren said as she jumped to her feet leaning across the desk. “Its not a case of you won’t, its already done.” she imparted the information with a smug grin on her face.
Incredulous brown eyes stared at Loren, “Wha....ho....wher....,” he blustered.
“Well didn’t you read what I told you to? Now Tony,” she sighed shaking her head. “You didn’t sign a document without reading it did you? Well did you?” Loren asked. “Oh,” she said snapping her fingers as if remembering something, “incase you were interested, that phone call I made, it was your bank manager, I went there earlier today and told them you were returning the money and that I would have the signed papers from you to well sorta make it all legal.” She held up and waved the signed documents in front of his face and grinned.
“So I had the bank wires prepared in advance to return the funds contingent upon you affixing your signature to these.”
Tony felt totally deflated, he fell back into the chair.
Tony cast hatred filled glazed eyes on Loren’s shining blue ones. “What else is in there,” he said knowing immediately by her demeanor that this wasn’t all.
“Ohhhhh,” Loren cooed as she clapped her hands together glancing over at Jamie, “I love when people are interested in what I do,” she said sarcastically with a huge grin on her face. “Well, at any indication that you’re causing, or let me clarify, an inkling that you’re trying to cause trouble will result in my turning the documentation over to the LAPD for investigation.”
Tony sunk further in his chair, barely breathing “you bitch, you’ve ruined me!”
“No Tony, you brought this on yourself, now you pay the price.” Loren looked over at the singer, Jamie had her arms folded tightly over her chest, her lips drawn in a tight line.
Loren moved from around the desk and practically pranced to the door, never taking her eyes off Tony. She didn’t trust him at all.
The lawyer opened the door and said, “Officers, will you escort Mr. Vigliary off the property, he is no longer welcomed here, either socially or legally.”
“With pleasure counselor,” the two police officers crossed the room and lifted Tony out of the chair. Without his feet touching the floor once, they removed him out of the building and off the property.
Loren closed the door and leaned against it allowing a grin to show her satisfaction with the events that had unfolded, “Well I’m glad that’s over.”
“Well, I better not keep you, you probably have things to do.”
“Jamie,” Loren spoke, starting towards the singer wanting to tell her she could cancel with Selby, that she would much rather celebrate with her.
Jamie turned and walked to the window, “I’ll be in touch, thanks again just send me the invoice and I’ll make the appropriate reparations for your services.”
Loren was completely taken aback, who was this cold individual that had effectively dismissed her with such hollow cold words. Shrugging her shoulders the lawyer scooped the paper work off the desk and placed it in the file folder. “I’ll file the papers shortly and deliver a copy to you,” she herself said coolly.
“Thank you,” the blond said in a soft whisper over her shoulder.
Loren turned and thoughtfully regarded the singer, trying once again to break through the tension in the room she said. “Jamie, if you’d like to join Selby and I for dinner tonight, I mean, a celebration dinner of sorts....”
“I really don’t think Ms. Gilbert would like to celebrate with the three of us,” Jamie sighed she turned from the window, “Loren, I really am grateful, maybe sometime soon we can have lunch or a drink and celebrate, but for now, enjoy your evening.” With that Jamie quietly walked across the room and let herself out.
Loren walked to the window which overlooked the parking lot, she watched the younger blond get into her car. Loren couldn’t help reflecting on Tony’s earlier words, “Are you going to drive this one to her death too?” Running her fingers through her hair the lawyer left the office, thinking, I need to talk to Harry and find out what the hell is going on.