Bailed Out (The Anna Albertini Files #2) - Rebecca Zanetti

Chapter 1

“You’re an idiot,” I muttered, not too quietly, to my boss.

Nicolo Basanelli shrugged, his shoulders powerful beneath his killer black suit. “Look at the situation as great job security, Anna.” He turned and strode up the marble stairway in the courthouse building toward the district courtrooms.

“Ha,” I muttered, taking the stairs down to the world of misdemeanors and traffic tickets. I meant the insult. Nick was being a moron. It had been two weeks since he’d fired the entire cache of lawyers in the district attorney’s office in our medium sized town, and it was time he rehired them. Cleaning house on his first week as the prosecuting attorney had been his strategy, and right now, it was killing me. “I need a vacation,” I said to nobody in particular as I pushed open the double wooden doors to the smaller courtroom, furnished in 1980’s salmon colored accents.

“I’m with you.” Clark Bunne stood from the back bench and straightened his Monte Carlo style gun-metal glasses. “Is Nick any closer to rehiring people?”

I switched my file folders to my other arm and took a quick glance around the courtroom without making eye contact with anybody. “He seems to be holding strong for some reason.”

Clark gestured me toward the two tables in front, and I turned on my red kitten heel and strode down the aisle to push open the gate and wait for Clark to come through before closing it. Oh, the gate was attached to railings on either side that only rose to my thighs, but at least they would slow down an attacker for almost a second before he or she could get to us.

I flopped the files on the defense table and drew out a chair.

Clark already had his file folders neatly stacked, and he took the chair he’d keep for the preliminary hearings. “What’s up with the red shoes?”

I settled my light-weight blue skirt with a red border of poppies around my legs. The skirt reached just above my knees and was both casual and smart. “The shoes match my outfit.”

Clark leaned back, his dark brown gaze taking in my legs and the shoes. “You only wear red when you’re in a mood to kick ass.”

Huh. I hadn’t realized that fact, and since I’d only worked with and against Clark for a month, his attention to detail should be a warning. “I haven’t had a chance to look at our cases today, and to be honest, these were the first pair I came across in my closet. I’m running on fumes here.”

He shrugged, and I decided to study him. The guy was good looking, but I’d already noticed that. He was maybe an inch over six feet tall, thin, well dressed, and had a smile that no doubt mothers loved. His skin was dark, his eyes an intriguing blend of different browns, and his hair black and short. A month ago he’d shaved it, and either way looked good on him. “What do you wear when you want to kick ass?” I asked.

“These glasses.” He reached for the first file folder and flashed me a grin. “Unlike you, I have looked at these cases.”

I sighed. “All right.” Quickly, I read through the first one. It was a misdemeanor vandalism charge against a junior in high school who’d painted his girlfriend’s name on a local water tower. “Mitch Styles. First offense. How about we scare him for ten minutes and then let him off with a fine?”

Clark nodded. “Sounds good. You be mean, and I’ll look worried on his behalf until cajoling you into accepting the plea?”

I set the file aside. “I do like being cajoled.”

Clark laughed, and I started, looking up at his handsome face. He had a great laugh.

He caught my gaze. “No.”

I blinked. “I didn’t ask anything.” Then I frowned. I had enough on my plate without dating anybody else right now. “I’m not interested.”

“Thank God,” he said, and truth to heck, it sounded like he meant it.

“Hey.” I tugged on my navy blue jacket. “I’m a catch.”

He grinned. “Keep running. You’re pretty and interesting and smart, but you’re a whole boatload of trouble, and I don’t need that right now. Or ever.”

How had this conversation gotten so out of hand? I really wasn’t interested in Clark. “This is a weird conversation.”

“Agreed.” He flipped over the next manila file folder.

I did the same. Should I be a little bit insulted? We were around the same age, had both just started as lawyers, and seemed to Copyright 2016 - 2023