"Ellen, I need the Walberg files on my desk by three, along with the case files that are going to the audit committee." Fucking bureaucratic bullshit, but it had to be done. At least those pencil pushers at the Nevada state auditors agency thought so. See him. See him be a very good D.A. and not just set all that shit on fire and start over. Hell, as much as he lectured on safe, sound and secure legal practices, there was a ninety percent chance there was nothing to find.
Phillip sighed and smoothed his hands over his close-cropped hair, sleeves already rolled up and ready for the day. Christ, he needed to get into the gym again -- his arms were losing that gee-I'm-a-stud look and heading into pencil neck geek territory. It didn't work for him.
Like not at all.
"I also need you to schedule a hair cut and a few sessions with the trainer. Maybe twice a week for two months, hmm? Check with Steve to make sure my speech for the opening of the children's wing in Peccole is ready. Did you RSVP to Bill for his daughter's wedding?"
"Yes, sir. The governor's assistant asked if you would give a toast for the bride."
"Of course. Get me the files on them, and we'll write something. Order them something suitable." He synced his calendar and sorted idly through his mail. Junk, junk, politics, junk. Blah blah blah. "Anything else right now?"
"No, sir. You have a staff meeting at four p.m. and dinner at the Olive with Dr. Barton and his wife, Madeline."
"Ellen, Dr. Barton's wife name is Sylvia."
He chuckled, hung up the phone and tossed a half dozen social invitations, kept a dozen more for Ellen to schedule for him, including a rather swank-looking private invitation to discuss fund raising for a certain D.A.'s possible run for the Senate.
Phillip grinned at himself, shook his head a bit. Good thing the neon lights around here had hidden his rough edges long enough for him to file them off. The sunlight bounced off the toe of his loafer and caught his attention, even as his emails neatly filed themselves into the pertinent folders. Damn, he'd need to make sure his tux was cleaned for that wedding. Ellen would know to get a gift that was suitably expensive, yet useful. Something the newlyweds could use. She was brilliant that way.
A knock on his door and John McIver, assistant D.A., tennis freak and father of six wandered in, two cups of coffee in hand -- one cafe au lait for him, a low-fat latte with a shot of caramel for John. "Hey, man. We got a new case."
Phillip waved the lanky blond into a chair, leather coasters at the ready. "Anything good?"
"Depends on what you think is good, I guess." John gave him a tired smile and handed over the coffee. Not bad, even if it was too weak.
"Homicide with a murder weapon, a body, and irrefutable DNA evidence?" That always looked good for their office.
"Not even." He got a wink, and then a grimace as John tasted his own coffee. "Man, they always make it so bitter."
Lord, he missed good coffee. Even after twenty years. "So? Move to tea like all the other poor lawyers with ulcers."
"I am not a prissy git, Phil. Anyway, it's an armed robbery, assault with intent, yadda ya."
"Put Jeff and Linda on it. They're competent enough." For babies.
"Okay. They could use the practice, huh? Oh, hey, did you get a thing on that cocktail party at the Simms'?"
Lord, that man was all about the social climbing. Of course, any man who had six kids needed to have lots of money and ambition. Lots of money.
"Probably. You should go, get some media." Get bothered and questioned and photographed. Give him some space. "Sue would absolutely love to go."
"You think?" The half-empty paper coffee cup hit the trashcan. "Well, then I will. Anything else you need from me right now?"
"Don't forget the staff meeting, and make sure your shit is ready for that audit." The last thing he needed was for shit to hit the fan this far into the game.
"I'm ready, man. Really." He got the patented John who looked a like a tennis pro smile. "Going before you get really growly."
"Kiss my ass, Johnny." He grinned back, knowing that years of practice had given him a non-threatening smile that was effective, if completely unnatural.
"Now, now. Don't get personal." At least the man remembered to close the door when he left now. That had taken two years.
Like he'd get personal with that ass.
He sorted the rest of his mail, leaving aside one plain envelope with the return address of a correctional facility in Baton Rouge.
Who the hell wanted a Nevada district attorney from down there?
He slit the envelope open, staring down at the signature. Joe Boudrain.
No, it couldn't be.
Phillip looked again, not reading the letter yet, just staring at a rough, messy signature with a name he hadn't heard in twenty years.