The line of dignitaries waiting to get inside the Bridgewater Country Club for the honorable Judge Daniel Lehmann’s retirement party, stretched around the block. The New Jersey native, after 30 years on the bench, was retiring into private practice at the prestigious Lehmann and Goldberg law firm that his grandfather founded.
Judge Lehmann with his wife, Judith, and his daughter Katherine standing by his side, greeted the guests as they arrived.
“Thank you for coming, Walter,” he said, shaking Mayor Curry’s hand. “Your wife is as beautiful as ever.”
“There was no way I was going to miss this, Daniel,” Walter said. “Judith would never let me forget it when she shows up next week for Bridge with my wife.”
“Where the hell is your brother, Kate?” Daniel asked, looking at his watch.
“Where else, Dad,” Katherine said. “He’s over there at the bar with one of his buddies from college.”
Mark Lehmann was already doing shots with his college buddy, Paul Vanzetti. They made an odd pair. Paul was a tall, well built, Italian from Brooklyn, New York who only wore tailor-made suits. No matter where he was, women noticed him the minute he walked into a room.
Mark, on the other hand, was a few inches shorter, bespectacled, frail in build, and if his mother hadn’t picked out his clothes, he would have shown up in jeans and sneakers. Mark was also an exceptional student, despite the amount of alcohol he consumed daily. It was because of Mark’s academic achievements that Paul sought him for help in the second year of law school after failing several exams.
“I didn’t know your father had a law firm,” Paul said. “And one of the most prestigious law firms in Greenwich, Connecticut.”
“Then you’re the only one in that school who didn’t know,” Mark said. “Why do you think those idiots over there are waving and paying for our drinks? They’ve been begging me to introduce them to my father for months. For some reason, they think I have some influence on getting them an internship.”
“I wonder what, or who gave them that idea,” Paul said, laughing.”
“Probably some Jewish kid who wears glasses,” he said, gulping down his drink.
“What happens when they realize you’re full of shit?” Paul asked. “I might not be around when they throw you a beating.”
“I’ll just pretend I was too drunk to introduce them,” Mark said, ordering another round of shots.
“Pretend?” Paul quipped.
“Who is that tall, beautiful, brunette talking to the black girl over there?” Paul asked.
“What beautiful girl?” Mark asked, turning around.
“The one with her hair pinned up, wearing a painted-on little black dress, 3-inch heels and pearl necklace, standing next to the black girl,” Paul said.
“Oh, that ugly thing is my sister,” Mark said, turning back to the bar.
“She’s gorgeous,” said Paul, sipping his drink.
“And you’re drunk,” he said.
“Well, she’s coming this way, and she doesn’t look happy,” Paul said.
Katherine walked over and tapped Mark on the shoulder.
“Dad wants you to get your butt over there, now,” she said.
“What for?” Mark asked. “You were there.”
“Because most of the guests are either clients or future clients of the firm that he hopes you’ll take over one day,” she said.
“Gawd, you know how I hate being around those stuffed shirts,” Mark said.
Katherine glared at him.
“Oh, alright, one more drink,” he said.
“I’ll save it for you,” she said, taking his drink from him.
Mark stomped away pouting, which made Katherine and Paul laugh.
“Forgive my brother’s poor manners,” she said, extending her hand. “I’m Kate, his ugly sister.”
“You heard that from over there,” Paul said, taking her hand and kissing it.
“No, but that’s the way he’s been introducing me ever since we were kids,” she said. “And you are?”
“Paul Vanzetti, at your service,” he said, bowing and kissing her hand.
“Well, you’re a refreshing change from the usual drunkards he associates with,” she said, downing Mark’s drink. “Jesus, what is that?”
“Oh, he mixed gin with vodka,” Paul said. “He calls it a gin zombie. I’m surprised he can still walk.”
“I’m surprised he doesn’t have a bleeding ulcer,” she said. “So, how did you two hook up?”
“I was having problems with Constitutional law, and he offered to help me,” he said.
“My brother offered to help you study?” she asked with a surprised look on her face.
“Well, not exactly,” he said with a chuckle. “It was on condition that we met every Friday at Coogan’s, and I paid for all his drinks.”
“Now that sounds like Mark,” she said.
“So, did you follow in your family’s law tradition?” he asked.
“No, I broke tradition and became a doctor,” she said. “I work at Brighton Community Medical Center in Purchase, New York. And this person hitting me with her elbow is my best friend, Jeanette Davis. She also works with me as the resident consulting psychiatrist, but she has a private practice in Manhattan. Jeanette, this is Paul Vanzetti.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Jeanette said, extending her hand.
“Likewise,” Paul said, kissing it.
“Oh, girlfriend, here comes that skank, Cynthia Barnes,” Jeanette said, looking at the approaching blonde bombshell. “Of course, she’s not wearing a bra. I can’t stand her.”
“Hello Kate,” Cynthia said, extending her hand to Paul. “Who is your charming friend?”
“Paul Vanzetti meet Ms. Cynthia Barnes,” Katherine said.
“Nice to meet you,” Paul said. “Do you two work together?”
“Oh, heavens, no, I don’t work,” she said. “I live across the street from the Lehmanns. Oh, I’m sorry, Jeanette. I didn't see you standing there.”
“How could you with all that silicone blocking your view?” Jeanette said.
“That was classy,” Cynthia said.
“Speaking of class, your father wants you to take your seat at the table, Kate,” Jeanette said. “He said you could invite your gentleman friend and only your friend. Cynthia, don’t you have some old geezer to seduce in the men’s room?”
“Ahem, would you care to join us?” Katherine asked, elbowing Jeanette in the side.
“Ouch,” Jeanette said. “What did you do that for?”
“I’d be delighted,” Paul said, taking Katherine on his arm. “It was nice meeting you. What was your name?”
Jeanette looked at Cynthia and laughed.
“It’s Cynthia Barnes, Mr. Vanzetti,” she said. “Maybe I’ll see you on the dance floor later.”
“Not likely, slut,” Jeanette said, taking Paul’s other arm.
“Jeanette, you are incorrigible,” Katherine said, laughing. “Don’t mind her, Paul. Jeanette has had a few drinks already.”
“If I didn't know any better, I’d say you two had a rocky history, Jeanette,” Paul said, pulling out the chair for her.
“No, that bitch didn't do anything to me,” she said. “She screwed over my girl here.”
“Jeanette, please, that’s in the past,” Katherine said.
“It sounds like an interesting story,” Paul said, taking his seat in between Jeanette and Katherine. “I’d love to hear it.”
“It’s nothing, really,” Katherine said. “We were kids in high school.”
“Nothing my ass, girlfriend,” Jeanette said. “Can I tell him?”
“Sure,” she said. “You’re much better at gossip than I am.”
“Whatever,” Jeanette said, laughing. “Kate was dating this guy for the last three years in high school. They had made plans to go to the same medical school. One day, when he didn't show up for a date, she went to his house out of concern. Who did she catch sitting in his car with her head in his lap? That skank over there.”
“What did he say when you caught him?” Paul asked.
“Oh, she didn't say anything to him,” Jeanette said. “Kate just walked away and cried on my shoulder for a week. The jerk never asked her why she stopped calling. Long story short, Cynthia went to the same medical school he did, and when he flunked out, she dumped him. Cynthia’s daddy yanked her out of that school when he discovered she was sleeping with one of her professors.”
“They both sound like real winners,” Paul said. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
“I’m not,” Katherine said, smiling at Paul.
“Yes, that would have been a waste of your virginity,” Jeanette quipped.
“Oh, my God, Jen,” said Katherine, turning red with embarrassment. “How many drinks have you had?”
Mark came over and sat across from Jeanette.
“How come Cynthia is shooting daggers at this table?” he asked. “Did you bitch slap her again, Jen?”
“What do you mean by again?” Katherine asked.
“Bigmouth,” Jeanette said, sipping her drink.
“Oh, I thought you knew what happened the day after you caught her talking into the mike in Dave’s pants,” he said.
“No, what happened?” Katherine asked, eyes widening with curiosity.
“You know they both shared third-period gym class, right?” he asked. “So, they were playing dodge ball when Jeanette hit her in the face with the ball. While she’s bleeding profusely from the nose job her daddy paid for, Jeanette walks over to her and tells her she should be used to taking balls to the face. That’s when Cynthia called her a black bitch and accused her of aiming for her face on purpose. Before Cynthia could blink, Jeanette had slapped the shit out of her.”
“Language, Mark,” Judith said, taking her seat next to him.
“Sorry, Mom,” he said, kissing her on the cheek.
“And who’s this handsome gentleman sitting between these two beautiful ladies,” she asked.
“Mom, this is Paul Vanzetti,” Katherine said. “He’s in one of Mark’s classes. Paul, my mom, Mrs. Lehmann.”
“Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Lehmann,” he said, standing and taking her hand.
“Oh, my, and he has manners too,” Judith said. “Don’t let this one get away, Kate. Oh, your father is about to speak.”
Katherine was amazed at how quickly her father took to Paul. For the better part of the evening, he and Paul discussed famous cases he presided over. By the end of the evening, Daniel had offered Paul a conditional internship with his law firm upon graduation from law school.
“May I see you home, Kate?” Paul asked, draping her wrap over her shoulders.
“Yes, I’d like that,” she said, handing her ticket to the valet.
Paul followed Katherine through the automatic gates of her parents’ estate. When she parked at the end of the circular drive, he rushed over and opened her door before she could get out.
“My mom was right,” she said. “You do have good manners.”
“I have to give my mother all the credit for that, Kate,” he said, moving closer to her. “She told me to always walk on the street side of the sidewalk when with a lady. A gentleman should never let her open a car door, and always pull out her chair for her in a restaurant.”
“What if the restaurant only has booths?” she asked, looking up into Paul’s dark brown eyes.
“Then the gentleman seats her first before following in kind,” he said, leaning forward.
When his lips were less than an inch away, Katherine turned her head and placed her hands on his chest.
“You know all about me and that I’m single,” she said, fanning herself and stepping a few feet away. “I don’t know if you’re single and if you are, then why? I don’t want a wine driven kiss, Paul.”
“Yes, I’ve had a few girlfriends,” he said. “But I’ve never met any that I wanted to build a future with. I wasted a few years chasing skirts, and now that I’m approaching the big three-oh, I’m ready to settle down with someone special.”
“Did you sleep with any of them?” she asked.
“A gentleman never kisses and tells, Kate,” he said. “Don’t you know that?”
“You’re right; forgive me for asking,” she said, completely embarrassed.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I can tell you’re not very experienced with the intricacies of dating.”
“Is that a turn off for you?” she asked sheepishly.
“There is nothing about you that turns me off,” he said, leaning down again.
This time Katherine lifted her chin and accepted his lips. Paul took her face in his hands and pressed his lips firmly against hers. Katherine parted her lips as his tongue entered her mouth and began sucking greedily on it.
Paul slid his hands down to her buttocks and lifted her off the ground. Her legs dangling, she wrapped her arms around his neck, maintaining the lip lock. Paul squeezed her bottom, which caused a trembling sensation in her throbbing vagina. She could hear her heart pounding in her ears. Paul could feel it also.
“Whew, I need air,” she said, prying her lips from his.
Paul lowered her and grabbed her by the arm as she faltered on her feet.
“Are you okay?” he asked, lifting her chin.
“Yes, I just got a little dizzy for a second,” she said. “It must be the wine. I better go in.”
Paul walked Katherine to the door. He stopped and looked around.
“I plan to have a place like this one day, Kate,” he said, stepping closer to her.
“I sure you will, Paul,” she said, looking at his lips.
They were engaged in a feverish kiss when the chauffeur pulled the family limo into the driveway. Mark was the first one to jump out as the pair looked on in shock. He was laughing as he walked up.
“You two look as if you got caught with your hands in the cookie jar,” he said, patting Paul on the back before staggering into the mansion.
“Thanks for seeing my daughter home safely, Paul,” Daniel said, walking in behind Mark.
“It was my pleasure, sir,” he said.
“Of that, I have no doubt, young man,” Daniel said, looking at Katherine’s smeared lipstick on his lips.
“Don’t stay up too late, dear,” Judith said, kissing Katherine on the cheek. “Why don’t you ask your young man to join us for dinner on Sunday?”
“I will, Mom,” she said.
When Judith had closed the door behind her, Katherine grabbed Paul’s hands and looked up at him.
“I want you to promise me something, Paul,” she said.
“Anything, Kate,” he said, sliding his thumb across her lips.
“Promise me you’ll leave me before you ever do anything to hurt me,” she said.
“Why would you even think I would ever hurt you,” he said.
“Please, it’s not about you,” she said, pressing her fingers to his mouth. “It’s about me and my heart. After David, I buried myself in my studies and never dated anyone seriously afterward. I don’t ever want to feel that pain again. Promise me that you’ll tell me it’s over and walk away. That I could handle. Deal?”
“Okay, I promise,” he said, kissing her on the lips. “When can I see you again?”
“Your mom invited him for dinner this Sunday after she caught him with his hand up your skirt,” Jeanette said. “And your father didn't shoot him?”
Jeanette and Katherine were at the local Starbucks, enjoying a cup of cappuccino. This was their favorite place to meet and gossip.
“I didn't say he had his hand up my skirt, Jeanette,” Katherine said, punching her in the arm.
“Ouch, you hussy,” she said.
“I said we were in a passionate kiss when they rolled up,” Katherine said.
“That must have been some kiss if you didn't hear a limo pulling up,” she said. “His tongue must have been so deep in your mouth it was coming out of your ear.”
“You are so silly,” Katherine said. “No, but I did have to change my panties.”
“Before or after you took out your toy?” she asked, laughing.
“I don’t have any toys, thank you very much,” Katherine said.
“You forget that I found that scud missile vibrator in your drawer two years ago,” she said with a giggle.
“Oh, I forgot,” Katherine said. “Trust me; I didn't need it last night. So, what’s your impression of him, Dr. Davis?”
“You know I’m going to start charging you for my evaluations,” she said. “I figure you owe me about $3,000.”
“When have I ever asked you to analyze anyone for me?” Katherine asked, while adding three packets of sugar to her coffee.
“Let me think about that,” she said, looking up at the ceiling. “How about the councilman who you wanted my opinion about, and I told you that I thought he was married. A week later, his wife was blowing up your phone, and you had to change the number.”
“Okay, but I didn't go on one date with him,” Katherine said. “All I did was give him my number, and we talked on the phone twice.”
“And what about Mr. Sticky-fingers?” she asked.
“Who the hell is Mr. Sticky-fingers?” Katherine asked.
“The son of that senator who came to your house for dinner,” she said. “The one arrested for shoplifting. When you brought him to my office, I said he looked as if he was casing the place. But as usual, you didn't believe me. Did you ever find the gold bracelet your mom gave you, which mysteriously disappeared after he visited your house the second time?”
“Okay, Jeanette, I’ll listen this time,” Katherine said. “What do you think about Paul? And be honest.”
“Have I ever been anything but honest with you, Katherine?” she asked. “You’re my best friend, and I care about you. Anything I’ve ever told you was in your best interest.
“I’m sorry, go ahead,” Katherine said.
Jeanette rarely called Katherine by her first name. When she did, it was either because she was very angry, or she was very serious.
“I think that he’s probably passionate in bed,” she said. “But I was listening to him talk, and I could tell he was hiding something. I think becoming successful is especially important to him. So much so, that you would find yourself coming in second. Has he told you anything about his family or childhood?”
“Jesus, Jeanette, I just met him last night,” Katherine replied.
“I guess it is hard to ask questions with the suction cup grip you had on his tongue,” she said, laughingly.
“I got the impression he’s very close to his mother,” Katherine said. “He told me she taught him a lot about how to treat a woman with respect.”
“That’s interesting,” Jeanette said. “Usually it’s the father that advises the son on dating etiquette. I would suggest that you find out more about his family and pay attention to what the relationship was like between his parents. He could be close to his mom because his father was distant from her.”
“Mrs. Katherine Vanzetti,” Katherine said, staring dreamily out the shop window.
“Jesus, Kate,” Jeanette remarked. “I’d hate to see what you’ll be doing after you get the dick from him. I’ll probably have to put you on a high dose of sertraline.”
“I hate you,” Katherine said, laughingly.
“I love you, too,” Jeanette said, raising her cup. “Here’s to you and Romeo. Tell him if he hurts you, I’ll cut his balls off.”
“You’ll have to get in line,” Katherine said, raising her cup. “Cheers!”
“Good morning, Ms. Barnes,” the butler said, opening the door. “Ms. Victoria is on the tennis court.”
“Thank you, Rufus,” Cynthia said, walking down the hall.
Rufus was in his late seventies but still couldn’t resist staring at the 5-foot, 9-inch blonde bombshell as she sashayed down the hall. She wore a black dress that ended slightly below her butt cheeks. With each step, it threatened to reveal more, but never did much to his chagrin.
When Cynthia graduated high school, her breasts were a size 38B. Today they were 38D. Her idol was Marilyn Monroe, and she patterned her behavior after her. She even adopted the way she spoke. After a few sentences, men were putty in her hands.
Victoria Wentworth was on her private tennis court with her instructor when Cynthia walked out. She ran over and gave her a big hug. Victoria, as were all of Cynthia’s friends, was also extremely attractive, wealthy, and spoiled.
“I love that dress,” Victoria said. “You’re going to give Rufus a heart attack.”
“I doubt if there is enough Viagra to get him hard,” she said, laughing. “And if he did get a heart attack, make sure you get someone younger and white.”
“Rufus has been with my family since before I was born,” Victoria said, walking over the tennis instructor. “He’s like one of the family. Henry that’ll be all for today.”
The tennis instructor kissed her on the cheek, grabbed his gear and left.
“Are you fucking your tennis instructor?” Cynthia asked.
“I most certainly am not,” Victoria said, pretending to be insulted.
“You are fucking the help,” she said. “And you call me a slut.”
“Let’s not talk about my love life and go sit in the gazebo, tramp.” said Victoria, grabbing a towel.
When they were seated, Victoria pressed a button on the table, and Rufus came out.
“Yes, Ms. Victoria,” he said.
“Rufus, bring us some lemonade and oatmeal cookies,” said Victoria.
“Yes, Ms. Victoria,” he said, walking away.
“We’ll be dead by the time he returns,” Cynthia said. “Is that the fastest he can walk?”
“I’m old but not hard of hearing you suck-a-dick for a happy meal, slut,” Rufus said under his breath.
“I’m sorry, Rufus, did you say something?” Victoria asked.
“No, Ms. Victoria,” he said, walking away.
“Jesus, you’re wicked, Cynthia,” Victoria said. “That’s why I love you. Speaking of wicked, I heard what that black bitch, Jeanette, did at the party last night. How the hell did she get in the front door?”
“She’s best friends with that bitch, Kate,” she said. “You should have seen the gown and necklace she wore. She probably cleaned out her bank account to buy it.”
“I bet Kate let her rummage through her old clothes to find something to wear,” Victoria said, laughingly. “You should have slapped her.”
“I didn't want to make a scene,” she said. “Besides, if you saw the hunk sitting at their table, you’d understood why I chose to remain a lady.”
“I heard about Casanova,” Victoria said. “I heard he is Italian and was well built, upstairs and downstairs.”
“How the hell would you know what?” Cynthia asked, watching Rufus return with the refreshments.
“Wait, I’ll tell you in a minute,” she said.
“Will there be anything else, Ms. Victoria?” asked Rufus.
“No, thank you, Rufus,” she said.
When Rufus was out of earshot, Victoria moved closer to Cynthia.
“You know how Lisa gets when she’s had a few drinks in her,” she said.
“Yes, she was there last night,” Cynthia said, sipping her lemonade.
“Well, the Italian Stallion was at the bar with Kate's geek brother,” she said. “It was pretty packed, and she had to squeeze through to get to the bar. Now you know she’s only 4-feet, 10-inches tall, so you won't notice her unless you were looking down at your knees.”
“You leave her alone, you witch,” Cynthia said, laughingly.
“Oh, you know I love her little ass too,” she said. “Anyway, she squeezes in and is pressed between the bar and this stallion. Suddenly, while she’s waiting for her drink, she feels his cock getting hard. She said it ran from the top of her ass to the middle of her thighs. She thought Trigger was standing behind her.”
“Woof,” Cynthia said.
“Woof is right,” Victoria said, sipping her lemonade. “And get this; she said he kept talking to Mark and slowly increased the pressure against her ass. She looked up at him, and he pretended not to notice her. So, guess what she did?”
“She told him to back off?” Cynthia said.
“We’re talking about Lisa, Cynthia,” she said.
“Oh, that’s right,” said Cynthia. “Don’t tell me that she…”
“No, she didn't unzip it and suck it,” she said. “That’s something you would do.”
“Fuck you, hag,” Cynthia said.
“You did already,” Victoria said, grinning.
“I was drunk, bitch,” Cynthia said. “What did she do?”
“She reached back, ran her hand down the length of it, and then squeezed the head of it,” she said. “Then, she got her drink and left.”
“That’s it?” Cynthia said, giving her a disappointed look. “First off my dear, Lisa’s midget hands would think a crayon was huge, and second, she was probably so drunk it was probably his cell phone she was feeling. Tell me that is not all you called me over here for.”
“No, that’s not all, genius,” she said, poking Cynthia on her forehead. “Don’t you see? If you want to get back at Kate for having that black bitch beat you up in school, you can take this man from her.”
“I’m not sure she put Jeanette up to it,” Cynthia said. “Kate is too much of a chicken to do that.”
“But I heard she was laughing at you when Jeanette insulted you,” she said. “And now you know that if he were such a perfect gentleman, he wouldn’t have dry fucked Lisa at the bar.”
“You’re right,” Cynthia said.
“Of course, I’m right,” she said. “A Wentworth is always right. So, what’s your plan?”
“I need to get him to notice these babies again,” Cynthia said, grabbing her breasts.
“Oh, you’re going to bring out the big guns,” she said. “Well, if you need any help handling the big gun in Casanova’s pants, call me.”
The girls broke out in gut-busting laughter.