American library books » Other » The Cartel Lawyer by Dave Daren (ebook reader below 3000 TXT) 📕

Read book online «The Cartel Lawyer by Dave Daren (ebook reader below 3000 TXT) 📕».   Author   -   Dave Daren

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Chapter 1

“Mr. Torres,” the large black security guard at the Miami courthouse greeted me with a bright smile. “I see you still haven’t cut your hair.”

I ran a hand through my longish locks and grinned at the guard. The older man had short, gray hair and dark-brown eyes that glimmered with mischief as he teased me.

“It’s on the to-do list… eventually,” I replied.

“At least you shaved, though,” he chuckled.

The wide lobby of the courthouse was bathed in early afternoon light that poured in through the two-story windows along the front of the building. The black and white tiles were already baking in the sunlight, and the heat they gave off warmed the arena-sized main entryway. The air conditioners worked overtime to push away the Florida heat, but it was a losing battle on a bright, hot day like today.

There were three long lines of lawyers, convicts, and visitors that stretched all the way to the doors and down the stairs that led to the busy streets of Miami. Many people talked to their companions or on their phones, but some stood in mute silence while they stared at the metal detectors that separated them from the rest of the courthouse.

“What can I say, John… the women love to play with my wavy tresses,” I gave my hair a little flip as I pulled my keys, wallet, and phone out of my pocket, and laid them in the gray plastic bin next to my battered brown leather briefcase and thin, black framed glasses.

“Sure, sure,” the beefy man nodded his head as he rolled his eyes at me while he waved me through the metal detector. “At least it’s not long enough for one of those terrible man buns my daughter keeps going on about.”

“Is she single?” I joked with a wink while I started to gather all of my stuff and put my glasses back on.

We’d had an easy banter ever since I’d first come to visit the courthouse during my first year of law school. It was an annual rite for all first year students, and John had cracked wise with the line of students as we’d waited for our chance to pass into the hallowed halls of justice. It always amazed me that out of all the students the guard must see every year, I was the one that he’d remembered and greeted when I’d returned as a full-fledged attorney for the Public Defender’s Office.

“Not for you, she’s not,” the jovial man laughed.

“Hey! I’m a good guy,” I exclaimed with feigned hurt as I put my hand over my heart.

“Oh, I know,” the security guard shrugged. “But she’d break your heart. That woman takes after her mama when it comes to men. Still love her, though.”

The older man shook his head and sighed as he waved the next lawyer through the metal detector, though he still had a warm smile on his face as he thought about his daughter.

“Thanks for looking out for me,” I laughed as I waved goodbye and then headed toward the courtroom. “See you later, John.”

“See ya, Mr. Torres,” John replied as he spared a quick glance in my direction.

But his usual grin turned into a frown as he saw one of the snootier DA’s in his line, and I couldn’t blame him. The man was an ass, and even as I watched, he ignored John and the other guards as he bullied his way through the security checkpoint without even putting his phone down.

I shook my head, and then I made my way to the courtroom where my current case had been assigned. Every conversation and footstep echoed around the large atrium, and in the early afternoon, when the morning crowd was heading out while the afternoon crowd moved in, the place was especially noisy. It made it difficult to talk to other people, but there were plenty of attorneys and their clients who were trying. They huddled by the walls and stood in the corners, and I nodded to a few that I recognized as I walked by.

My own client that day was a rough guy with a long rap sheet that featured an impressive array of offenses that ranged from drunken disorderly to assault, but he’d managed to avoid any serious felony charges before now. His luck had changed with his latest indictment, though, and that’s how his file had landed on my desk. The charge currently stood at possession with intent to sell, though I had a plan to get the felony charges dismissed entirely.

“Torres!” my client, Diego, called when I turned the corner, and he waved his tattooed hand at me as he broke into a bright smile.

His short black hair was styled with wax, and he had on a pair of dark blue jeans with a clean light-blue button-up that covered the sleeve of tattoos he had on both arms.

“Mr. Perez,” I said with a nod of my head. “You seem pretty happy today. Did you forget you’re being charged with a felony?”

“I have a good feeling about this,” my client replied as he raised his coffee cup to me in a toast and then took a long swig of his drink.

“I’m glad,” I said and gave him a small grin as I sat

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