Home > Built (Saints of Denver #1)(11)

Built (Saints of Denver #1)(11)
Author: Jay Crownover

It didn’t matter if she wasn’t ever going to be interested in me the way I was interested in her as long as she helped me help the kid.

Right now Hyde, and whatever I could do to help him out, was my top priority, not convincing the lovely lawyer to go to bed with me . . . even though I wasn’t one hundred percent ready to take that dream off my agenda just yet.



Rough day?”

I was sipping on a lemon-drop martini and trying to rub my temples where a dull throb has been pounding since lunch. I blushed when Quaid commented on the gesture and wondered how bad my lack of sleep really had me looking. I was typically put together in a way that could almost come across as harshly professional. I didn’t mess around when it came to my job and being a pretty woman in the legal world was always a disadvantage when it came to being taken seriously, so I made sure to have on a practiced and poised demeanor at all times.

“Rough few weeks. I haven’t been sleeping well and I’m in the middle of not one but two custody cases that are unbelievably time-consuming. One day I’ll have a client who really has the best interest of their kid at heart.”

I forced a lopsided grin and watched as Quaid pulled the knot of his tie that rested loose at the base of his throat. He really was outrageously good-looking. Several women at the bar kept glancing over their shoulders in our direction¸ and the waitress had almost dropped his Scotch on the rocks on his lap when she delivered it because he smiled at her. His hair was cut trendy and sharp, shorter on the sides and longer on top and styled like he was going to be in a magazine shoot for something expensive. Quaid was name brand all the way and not ashamed to show it off. His eyes were an unusual shade of blue that shifted between faded denim and gray. His gaze was calculating and focused. Nothing about him was relaxed or at ease, and while he dominated his space and oozed self-assurance, it was in a much more in-your-face kind of way than Zeb did.

I wanted to kick myself.

I was hanging out with Quaid specifically to keep my mind off Zeb, and yet I was having a hard time focusing on what was a lot of hotness encased in a very expensive suit across from me.

He lifted a golden eyebrow at me and picked up his drink. He grinned at me before putting the glass up to his lips and I wanted to have a serious talk with my vagina for not even kind of taking notice or perking up.

“I could never do family law. The kids are too hard, the emotion tied up in those cases seems exhausting. I deal with adults trying to manipulate the system and the law every day. Watching them do that to their own kids, using them as pawns . . .” He shook his head and I think I heard one of the women at the bar sigh dreamily all the way from across the room. “It’s too much bullshit.”

“Well, I couldn’t deal with people who are guilty getting away with things they shouldn’t be getting away with. I don’t have enough faith in a random selection of jurors to make the right decisions when it comes to law. People are too easily swayed by charm and pretty words.”

He lifted his other eyebrow to join the first. “You don’t trust the system?”

It wasn’t a popular opinion among my peers, but I had seen too much, had lived too long with what happened when the system failed, to put all my faith in a flawed construct. I finished my drink and shrugged. “I trust the system to fail, which is why I do what I do. Some of these kids have to have someone who will fight for them no matter what. The system can fail, but I won’t.”

Quaid’s mouth pulled tight and he leaned back in his chair as he considered me thoughtfully. It was a good look. Piercing, intent, probing, I bet it worked really well when he used it to pick apart a witness on the stand, but I knew all the lawyerly tricks he had in his bag because I used them, too. I grinned back at him and waved the waitress over to order another drink.

“So what about someone who is just unhappy and out for blood? What about someone who just wants to make another person suffer? How are you helping in that situation? Are you fighting for the right and the just then?”

I was smart enough to know he was talking about his ex-wife. It was no secret in the legal community of Denver that she had taken him for a ride and that he had been lucky to escape with anything left to his name. They had been high school sweethearts, and when things went south they really went south. There were rumors of infidelity on both sides, but nothing had ever been brought to light, and because my firm was the best at what we did, Quaid escaped with both his reputation and fortune intact. He still had to pay through the nose monthly for maintenance, but overall we considered the settlement a win on our end. Apparently he didn’t share those thoughts.

“Everyone deserves representation. Isn’t that what the illustrious system is built on? I don’t handle a lot of divorce cases myself for that very reason, but I do know how ugly they can get. Happy people don’t split up, so by the time the marriage has dissolved I think everyone involved is already looking for somewhere to place the blame and looking for an outlet for all that hurt.”

He chuckled, but there was no humor in it. “Been married before?”

I shook my head. “No. Engaged, and it ended amicably, but I see it every day in my office. Something that is supposed to bring couples closer, make them happy, ultimately makes them the most miserable they have ever been.”

“Tell me about it.” The bitterness in his voice was impossible to miss.

He muttered something else I didn’t hear and put his panty-dropping grin back on just in time for the waitress to slosh half my drink on the table as she put it down.

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