She raises a perfectly manicured eyebrow. “You were almost a politician.”
“Only in my father’s wet dreams,” I volley back. “Although, you always said you were going to marry a prince. Sounds like you’re on your way.”
“My mother said that—not me.”
I smirk. “Then she must be ecstatic. You’re finally everything she always wanted you to be.”
Game. Set. Match.
Something shifts in Kennedy’s eyes, and I suddenly get the feeling we’re not playing anymore. “Not everything. Mother wanted me to be a ballerina.”
Years ago, I’d heard she was doing undergrad at Brown University. But other than that tiny detail there’s been nothing. Her father is a talker, her mother a bragger, but when Kennedy dropped off the grid after boarding school, information on her locked up like Fort Knox.
“Is that what you were doing in Las Vegas—dancing? Kind of short for a showgirl, aren’t you?”
Though I’d be sitting front and center for that show if I could.
She nods slowly, smiling way too smugly.
“Yes, too short for a showgirl . . . but just the right height for a federal prosecutor.”
That stops me cold. And I suddenly feel a strong kinship to Ned Stark’s bastard son because: You know nothing, Jon Snow!
And apparently neither do I.
“You’re a . . . ?”
“The Moriotti case, the mafia capo? That was me. I transferred to the DC office last week—and I can’t wait to start playing on your home field.”
Over the last fourteen years I’ve thought a lot about what it’d be like to see Kennedy Randolph again—but I never thought it’d be on the opposite side of a courtroom.
“You realize this makes us mortal enemies? You’re now the Lex Luthor to my Superman, the Magneto to my Professor Xavier.”
“With your comic book obsession obviously still in full effect, I’d say I’m more the Wendy to your Peter Pan complex.”
I ignore the dig because I’m too busy connecting the dots. “Wait a second—your middle name is Suzanne.”
“Thought we covered that, already.”
“You’re K. S. Randolph?”
Her smile goes wide—two rows of pearly white evil. “Yep. That’s my professional moniker.”
“You’re the prosecutor on my Longhorn case?”
She golf claps. “Right again.”
“I’ve been trying to get a meeting with your office—so we can talk.”
Her features crumple with mock confusion. “What would I want to talk to you about?”
“Uh, pleading the charges down?”
Ninety-seven percent of federal criminal cases end in plea bargains. If you want a real feel for jurisprudence today, forget Judge Judy—watch Let’s Make a Deal instead.
She chuckles in a distinctly not-nice way. “Brent, Brent, Brent—I don’t make plea deals. Ever. It’s kind of what I’m known for. Oh, and I’ve never lost a case. I’m known for that too.”
I was wrong—this match isn’t anywhere near over. It’s just getting started.
“Justin Longhorn is seventeen years old,” I argue.
“Exactly,” she practically spits. “More than old enough to have known better.”
“It’s his first offense.”
“And he made a hell of a debut. I’m going for the maximum. Your boy is looking at twenty years.”
When we were young, Kennedy was intelligent, funny as hell, socially oblivious—but she was never spiteful. But looking at her now, there’s a ferociousness about her that’s new. Like a sharp-toothed Chihuahua that’s been stepped on one too many times.
Part of me finds this scorchingly hot. She’s not a girl anymore—she’s a fierce, strong, fully self-possessed woman. The kind whose hair I’d love to fist tight and pull while she’s deep-throating my cock. The kind who would moan for more while I pounded into her rough and hard against a wall.
But another part of me mourns that sweetness. The brave, innocent, beautifully wild creature who sat on a bike’s handlebars and trusted me to keep her safe while I was at the pedals. The one who took my hand and told me to dance with her wearing my unpracticed fake leg, because she thought she was strong enough to catch me if I stumbled.
Then there’s the professional in me who’s just straight-up pissed off—because she’s gonna be a pain in the ass about a case that should be an easy close.
I step in closer. “What the hell, Kennedy? The money’s been returned. It was a mistake. He’s a child.”
She raises her chin and looks at me, all fire and fight. “He’s a criminal. And a bully. He screwed with the life savings of a dozen innocent people. He messed with their heads and sense of security, just because he could. He willfully and knowingly stole thousands of dollars—returned or not—and I’m going to make sure he pays for it.”
“Wow. Hello, Inspector Javert.”
Kennedy shakes her head and chuckles. “You were always clever, Brent. So adorable. I hope for your client’s sake you’re packing more than cuteness these days.”
I bend my head, leaning down, just inches away from her shiny lips. “I haven’t had any complaints about what I’m packing so far.”
She stares at my mouth for one beat too long.
Then she blinks, shaking off her stare. “Good. Then I’ll see you in court, Counselor.”
“Bet your sweet ass you will.”
Kennedy brushes past me and struts away—leaving me no choice but to watch her go.