DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters. No copyright infringement intended. STORY BY MEG CRAMER ©opyright 2003

MY MUMMA SAID TO STAY AWAY FROM GUYS LIKE YOU

Lynn had decided she was not going to defend the man, and that was the end of it. She was not too happy about one of her partners taking the case, but since Damian Beck had thousands of dollars in his bank account she was sure that Rex would try to woe the man into doing business with him. It might give the firm a bad name, she would argue, defending a man who was accused of such a horrific crime, but it might also help them through the rainy days, Rex would argue.
Joe was busy doing pro-bono, as always, and she expected he couldn't care less about the upcoming court case. It involved a rich guy doing bad things, and when it came to this, Joe was easily distracted. It seemed as if he could smell it when injustice was being done and he would offer his services almost like the typical ambulance chaser would. But Joe was doing it for the greater good. And Rex was the ambulance chaser she had grown to like. She avoided the word love. She had grown to love him, but she wasn't ready to admit this to herself, or to anyone else for that matter. Loving Rex was a very hard thing to do: it had taken her years and years and even when they were physically attracted to each other she had a hard time imagining there could ever be more than that. She felt the physical attraction formed the basis of their relationship, and she wasn't at all pleases with herself for letting her standards slip. She expected better from herself. She expected to fall in love with some decent lawyer, or maybe even someone from the DA's office, or a dad from Rupie's school. She had had a crush on her dentist, but that didn't last very long. Her teeth were in a poor state, or so the dentist kept emphasizing, and her interest in him started to fade after his umpteenth lecture on brushing teeth and the use of dental floss. And Joe. She had had a terrible crush on Joe. She thought he was the kind of guy she should have bumped into in college: they could have changed the world. But Joe wasn't the man she thought he was. He was a terribly overworked guy, easily obsessed with something. He worked and worked and worked and worked. That, and he loved someone else. Which had been a disappointment to her, even though she had already decided he was not the man she could spend the rest of her life with. He'd drive her crazy. But still, she wanted him to love her, so that all the agonizing on her part hadn't been for nothing. It was better this way. She was probably destined to be single, to remain single for the rest of her life. As she picked up the files of the Beck case she was drawn to the door, where she saw Joe arguing with Rex over something. She called for Patricia. "What are they talking about?" Lynn asked, while re-organizing the files. Patricia shrugged. "I'm used to it now, and I try not to listen." She looked at Lynn, waiting to be of assistance. "Yes," Lynn said, "uh, ask the others if they want this case. Put a note on the case file asking them to get back to me, and put it on their desk." Patricia left and Rex barged in. He looked angry, which amused Lynn. She smiled at him, vaguely, and looked down at her desk, but Patricia had taken the file and she had nothing else on at the moment. She looked up again and Rex was still standing there, angry, his arms folded. "Joe, Joe, Joe Ce-la-no! I hate that guy!" he exclaimed and rolled his eyes. "I'm telling you, Lynn, if we ever go down, it will be because of him!" He nodded vigorously and sat down on the couch in Lynn's office. "We're not gonna go down Rex," Lynn said as she put on her glasses and studied another case file. "There's an interesting case coming up," Rex said, as it seemed to no one in particular. Lynn didn't look up from her reading material. "I saw him, you know, and my guess is you turned him down."
The fact that Rex was interested in cases like these was something she'd never be able to understand. Of course, it was perfectly legal, and Rex himself even considered it to be a noble act, because no one else wanted to defend the guy. And every person has the right to be defended in court, but Lynn drew a line at some point. She felt drawing a line was important. It kept her from finding outrageous things to be normal, to view them as occasional mishaps of society. Lynn wanted to be outraged and troubled when she encountered crimes like these. It was not her field, and the crime had been committed years ago, but the fact that she felt uncomfortable made her decide not to take it. And now Rex was sitting here implying that he would like to defend Beck, albeit for the money. "Money, Lynn! The guy's loaded! You think I like him? 'Course not. But there's no reason not to take his money."
To Lynn, there were plenty enough reasons not to take his money. It would be like buying something you knew was stolen. It was immoral.
"Lynn, it's immoral not to help Beck. He has a right to be defended in court. He hasn't been convicted yet. All those basic rules.you are simply oblivious to them when you are personally convinced of something."
"Take the case," Lynn said, "and be careful with statements to the press. Don't want them coming down on us like sharks." She continued reading a case she herself would be taking on: a divorce, with assets to be divided, and children to be pointed to someone. Oh, and they were fighting about who would get the cat. She saw Rex sitting in his office fretting over legal documents. He signaled to Lynn, asking her to step into his office. "It's a tricky case," he said, his mouth filled with a bacon and cheese sandwich. "The most tricky part is that his daughter is suing him. She can really nail the guy." He smiled at Lynn. She hated him. She had to keep telling herself that. Otherwise she would start loving him. He could act despicable all day long and still he would make her smile, make her soften up and go for drinks with him. She saw further than the apparent personality clash. She saw that Rupie adored Rex and that Cassie loathed him for the very same reasons she herself did. Which brought about another dilemma: who was she to listen to? "Lynn," Rex said teasingly. "I know you don't like me for the cases I take on, but can you get past that? Soon? I wanna be able to look you in the eye without being afraid I've pissed you off again, somehow." He let his hands rest on her upper-arms and carefully moved them towards her shoulders. "Please?" She wanted to tell him that those cases marked his character. She wanted to say that she thought he was immoral at times, when it came to that. She wanted to let him know that she liked him nonetheless. She said: "I'm sorry. Take the case. You are taking the case right? That's good. Really. Someone's gotta do it. I know." She waved her hands desperately, emphasizing that she knew. "I just wish I could get it out of the way." She looked at him and he was still smiling at her. Not that smug grin he would carry after winning a case that involved thousands of dollars, but a sweet and sincere smile. "You're on a moral crusade," he said, "and that's admirable, really, it is. But you have to know where to draw the line, Lynn. Fighting injustice is good, it's something you want to do and that is what I love about you. Don't overdo it or you'll end up like Joe. And I'll end up like Viveca: desperately seeking your attention, and not getting it." Lynn punched him. "I'm just sayin'" he added and opened his arms to embrace her.