p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"emThis is gonna hurt. This is gonna hurt. This is gonna hurt./em/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"That was one thought that kept running through Jared's mind as Peter readied the bean bag launcher./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Sometimes I think that our clients don't give us enough credit for all the crazy shit we do for them./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared had another thought just then. Maybe it will be better if he doesn't know its coming, like a shot from the doctor. He glanced over Peter's shoulder where he saw Ellen Swatello with a quizzical look on her face./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"click. THUMP! Smack!/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Buddy? Jared? JARED?!/p
hr /
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Pain was the first thing that Jared felt as he slowly regained consciousness./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"There was an excruciating pain coming from the left side of his jaw, his right side felt stiff and sore, and his head was ringing something awful./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Jared" came a voice that seemed way too loud but at the same time far away ./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Jared" the same voice called out, softer and closer./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Buddy, come on, Swatello is here. You gotta look tough."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"The thought that Swatello was around sent a wave of urgency through Jared. Mustache, the trial, the bean bag launcher, the jealousy./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Oh the jealousy was already burning a hole in his gut./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""I'm okay" he slurred as he tried to jerk away./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared needed to get up, Swatello was here./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"He couldn't let her see him like this. Weakness wasn't something that she respected, wasn't something she wanted./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"But every move he made caused the pain to worsen. He let out a low groan./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Buddy…" came the low warbled reply./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Mr. Franklin, are you quite alright?" Came the sharp question from the judge, the sound causing a stinging pain behind his eyes to add to the cacophony of pain he was in./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Will you be able to continue?"/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"The stinging intensified at the second question. Jared really did not know if he could go on. Not with how his head hurt./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Maybe he should just lie back onto his nice soft pillow and wait for the pain to pass./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"No, Swatello is here. Gotta get it together./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Squeezing his eyes shut and trying to block out the pain, Jared managed to reply, "Yeah, just need a minute to get myself together."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Humph"/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Did his pillow just snort?/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""He's gonna need more than a minute to get himself together. Although I doubt he will ever actually get his act together." was the caustic follow up that answered his question./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Oh. Oooooh. Oh, God./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Realizing his pillow was actually Swatello's thighs and he was currently laid out on the Judge's chamber floor sent a wave of heat through through his body directly to his crotch./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Halfway to one of his Top Ten Fantasies and he can hardly open his eyes he is in so much pain./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Letting a breath out that he didn't realize he had been holding, Jared tries to collect himself, and say something smooth. "Life sure is bean bag to the head I guess?" Sweet Jesus that was bad./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Gritting his teeth, Jared manages to sit up and open his eyes just in time as Peter snaps a picture of his face./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""We got this buddy!" Peter whispers as his face lights up like a kid at Christmas./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"The flash sears Jared's retinas and causes a wave of dizziness that forces Jared to lower himself back down onto Swatello's thighs./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"This must be what Hell is like./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""What was that?" the judge asked. Jared could hardly think, the judges voice damaging whatever progress he made in his quest for mental clarity./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Nothing. Just give my partner a few minutes to get back on his feet, and we will be good to go."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Peter was entirely too chipper about the whole situation from Jared's perspective./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""I highly doubt that. He can barely sit up, much less defend his client." The judges acrid reply really did not help Jared clear his mind./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared took a deep breath,/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Just two minutes, that's all I need." Jared still had his eyes closed, trying to get the pain under control./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"He could feel Swatello underneath him shift subtly. Jared's head moved lower, more in between her thighs./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"It wasn't an unfamiliar position for him and the slight pressure on his head made the pain more bearable./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"The new position he found himself in was also close enough that he could smell her./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Fuuuck. All of the heat in his crotch that had been banished by the Judge earlier came doubled./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"It was all Jared could do to prevent an erection as best he could./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Swatello seemed to realize his predicament, "Humph, two minutes my ass."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Opening his eyes, he saw Ellen above him, eyes darkening and subtly licking her lips./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""You have an hour, Mr. Franklin. We will reconvene then. Is that acceptable?"/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"The judge looked exasperated. "Yep, sure thing." chipped in Peter./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"With one more look back down at Jared, Judge Sheehan winced in sympathy and said, "You may use my chambers to recover. I will see you in one hour."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Turning around and sighing loudly, she left the room./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Pumping his arm and whisper shouting a cry of victory, Peter turned back to Swatello and Jared./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""See you in an hour guys!" Peter fairly skipped out of the room with a big wink and a sly smile./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Breathing a deep sigh of relief Jared gathered his courage and looked back up towards at Ellen./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"She was looking down at him, concern in her eyes but her slightly sour poker face firmly attached./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Are you going to be okay?" Jared could hear the concern in her voice despite not being able to see it on her face./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""Not right now, but I am getting very close." Jared tried to grin to show her he was just joking but his face was stinging too much for him to do more than just grimace./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Ellen snorted, "I saw your little display in front of the judge, didn't know she was your type."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared managed to roll his eyes at her quip, "You know that only happened because I can't help myself when I'm in between your legs."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"That brought a smirk to Swatello's face. Finally feeling in control of himself, Jared slowly pulls himself up into a sitting position before crossing his arms and lowering his head between his knees./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared hears Swatello get up and move in front of him. He feels her touch his shoulder, looking up Jared sees something that surprises him./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Ellen's concern plain on her face, eyes nearly watering, chewing on her cheek as she looked him up and down, inspecting him./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Lifting his hand, Jared cupped her cheek and slowly moved his thumb back and forth. Ellen relaxed into his ministrations, closing her eyes and nuzzling into his hand. After a few moments, she started started to say something only to stop herself./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"After a few starts and stops, Jared reached his other hand up to cup her other cheek./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""El. You can talk to me." his voice low and soft./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Ellen shook her head and looked over his shoulder, rolling her eyes slightly. "It's just that when I saw you go down, I got so scared. You just dropped. And I know that… we aren't… we don't… I don't know what we have. But we have something. I know I was goading you about the Mustache. And I…" Jared reached up, grabbing her by the chin, gently making her look back down on him./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;""I get it El. It's scary…." Snorting Ellen answered "Maybe you're scared. I'm just... confused." Tilting his head, Jared slipped his hands behind her head to massage her neck, "Then talk me through it. I can help." came the quiet admonishment./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Swatello relaxed under his ministrations. "How did we even get here? You hated me, I hated you. It worked." Jared sighed, " I didn't hate you…" At Swatello's snort, he amended "If anything it was a mild distaste. And only because you were so hell bent on beating us."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Swatello laughed at that. "I wanted to beat you so badly, between your antics and your ego it drove me crazy." Jared chuckled, "I seem to still have that effect on you."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Smirking, Swatello slowly opened her eyes. "Well you are an overgrown frat boy masquerading as a lawyer."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Maybe it was the concussion that Jared was sure that he had suffered. Maybe it was because it felt his life had flashed before his eyes. But it felt right. It felt like he needed to do this and now was the best time./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Jared cleared his throat, the smile dropping off his face, "I want to make this work." Swatello's mouth dropped open at Jared's declaration./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Stuttering, "I…uhhh...what?" her mouth dropped open and started to blush. "Ellen Swatello, speechless and blushing. That's adorable. Almost life like."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Forcing her lips into a tight line and gathering her courage Swatello looked into Jared's eyes and said "I want this to work too."/p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Flashing her a real smile Jared leaned across and gave a slow sensual kiss. Swatello pulled away after a moment, "But as adults." raising an eyebrow as she looked at him./p
p style="margin-bottom: 0in; border: none; padding: 0in; line-height: 13.8px; text-align: left;"Chuckling and leaning in for another kiss, "Let's not get carried away."/p