By Karen Singer
Chapter 31 – Part 2 of 2
Ruth got out of her car with the leather case she had bought to hold all the materials she was going to turn over to the lawyer. She looked up at the big building of the Feinbaum law firm. It looked…imposing. Important. Successful. Just what her research told her the company was. Feeling nothing but resolved, she walked purposefully to the door and went inside. The large lobby of the building was decorated richly. She headed directly toward the reception desk and gave them her name, telling the woman behind the desk that she had an appointment with one of their attorneys. Her appointment was quickly confirmed, and Ruth was sent to a richly appointed waiting area nearby. Ten minutes later, another woman came out, and took Ruth back to a small meeting room to wait.
“Please have a seat,” the woman told Ruth. “Mr. Wolford will be with you shortly.”
Ruth thanked the woman and took a seat at the small table. She toyed with removing the materials from her case, but decided not to.
The door didn’t open again until fifteen minutes later. Ruth stood up to greet the lawyer. She was a bit dismayed to see that he appeared to be young, in his mid to upper twenties. The two shook hands, and they both sat down.
“What can we do for you today, Mrs. McGruder?” Mr. Wolford asked.
Ruth finally opened her case and pulled out all her materials. I want to press charges against the company I work for, Hudgens Technology, for sexual discrimination.
The lawyer shook his head. “I’m sorry, Mrs. McGruder,” he said, “but we don’t handle sexual discrimination cases here.”
“But you’re a legal firm that specializes in businesses!” Ruth countered.
“Yes,” the lawyer replied, “but we don’t do sexual discrimination cases. We mostly handle large contracts and mergers. That kind of thing.”
Ruth shook her head. She had been so certain. But she wasn’t ready to give up yet. This was supposed to be the best law firm in the city. “But…but just look at some of the material against them that I’ve collected.”
Again the lawyer shook his head. “Why? We don’t handle cases like yours.”
“But…please…just look anyway. See what I’ve got. Maybe you can advise me then on where I need to go.”
The lawyer shook his head again, but said, “Okay, what did you bring?”
Ruth passed over one of her files that was filled with transcripts. “I’ve got transcripts of lots of recordings I’ve secretly made over the years,” she told him. “Just look at any of that stuff.”
“Secret recordings?” the lawyer said, now completely uninterested. Secret recordings were rarely admissible evidence. He grabbed the folder she passed toward him, and with a totally uninterested eye, thumbed through a few pages and stopped to read a moment. Then he read a moment more, concern now beginning to creep onto his face. He thumbed further back into the stack and read part of another entry. That one he read for a longer time. He was no longer uninterested. He turned to the very back entry and read that one too.
When he finished reading it, he continued to stare down at the page. He had a problem now. A big one. Sexual discrimination cases were not what their firm handled – at all. But after reading what he had, there was a good chance that he could be held accountable for knowing about the things he had just read. Criminal things! Criminal activities being carried on by this woman’s company. Where and how had she gotten this material – if it wasn’t made up? He had a problem. As a lawyer, and as such, a semi-officer of the governmental judicial system, he was bound to do something with that kind of information.
He looked back at Ruth. “All this is for real?” he asked.
Ruth nodded. “All of it. And the recordings themselves are…” She fished the flash drive she had in her leather case out and handed it to him. “They’re all there,” she told him.
The lawyer took the drive, then looked down at the materials he had just looked through. There were two more folders like it on his desk, a thin one marked with a number one, and a fatter one like the one held that was marked with a number two. His folder bore the number 3. “This is not…sexual discrimination material,” he told her, referring to the folder he had been reading from. “This is serious criminal activity that must be reported.”
“I have the sexual discrimination transcripts in this folder she said, passing him the thinner folder with the number one on it.”
The lawyer looked at it, but didn’t open it. The less he knew, the less he could be held accountable for. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to proceed. “Um… Why did you bring me all of this, along with what appears to be a distinct amount of material pertaining to just the sexual discrimination?”
Ruth smiled and opened the folder with the number one on it. “Because of this!” she said proudly as she pulled out her list of demands. “That…is what I want. All of it!”
The lawyer looked down at the list and started reading. He didn’t get far before he blinked and looked up at Ruth. “This is…absurd!”
“But that’s what I want. That’s what I’m demanding!”
The lawyer still wasn’t sure what to do. And now he knew that he did indeed have to do something. “Tell you what,” he said. “Leave this all with me and let me have a closer look at it. Let me decide the best way for us to proceed. Okay? Give us a couple of weeks and I’ll get back to you.”
“A couple of weeks?”
“We’re a very busy firm,” Mr. Wolford replied. “And something like this is going to take some consideration. It won’t be easy. Now do you still want me to proceed and at least come up with some recommendations for you?”
Ruth was disappointed, but nodded. “Please. I know what I want. And I figure with some of the things I’ve got there, then I stand a good chance of getting it. All of it!”
After Ruth left, the lawyer carried the entire leather case back to his desk, where he threw it on top of a pile with the intention of looking at it…maybe in a few weeks. He had a pile of other things on his plate to handle before it. But he couldn’t get the things he had read off of his mind. Ten minutes later, he had the case open and was diligently reading through everything – in all three folders.
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Diane spent most of her lunch hour composing a reply for The Sorceress. It was a difficult reply to compose, mostly because it was difficult things for her to admit. But she was pleading her case in the most honest way she knew how. Not wanting to wait too long to get the Sorceress’s help, she sent it just before any of the others got back from lunch.
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Susan was about to go to lunch when she saw another email come in from Diane. She put her lunch plans on hold for a few minutes while she read it.
This is all very difficult for me to admit to anyone, and even more so to myself. But it is all things I have known about myself for a very long time now. I’m not beautiful like most of the other women are. Monica is beautiful. Carla even more so. And Ruth, despite being older than the rest of us and married, is downright pretty. But not me. I’m not built like they are. I’m skinny with almost no breasts at all, my hair is like straw, and my face and complexion don’t measure up to what the men in the world seem to want. I’m a loser. I’m hopeless.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for a man to love me. In fact, I think I yearn for that more than most since men don’t often come calling.
And then, to make matters worse, I guess I’ve got this kinky side to me. Without someone to love me, those interests have been the only love life I’ve known for many years now. More often than not, I have nobody to play those games with except myself. But I enjoy very much dominating men, binding them up in different ways, or just ordering them around. But even more than that, I absolutely yearn for some strong man to do that to me. A man who I can trust. A man who I know loves me. With that, I yearn for him to bind me and make me feel totally helpless, while he has his way with me, doing anything he wants. The one and only time I can remember experiencing anything like that, was fairly recently when I took a small chance with Steve. It was wonderful!
I know what kind of a man Steve is. He bought a gun and came to work with the intention of killing me. That’s not easy to overlook. I’ve also seen firsthand what he’s done to Monica. And everything he did to her was nothing but horrible and despicable. Carla has told me that she’s noticed in the past that he had a cruel side to him, but that never stopped her from dating him. I have no illusions at all about what kind of person he is. And yet, for some unknown reason, I find I can’t help myself. I love him.
Isn’t that what happens with schoolgirls? They always seem to go for the bad boys? Maybe that’s what I’m experiencing. I have a crush on a bad boy. But Sorceress, this feels like far more than a silly schoolgirl crush. I want him. And even more, I want him to want me.
So if you possibly can, I beg of you to make Steve love me back. I’ve seen the power of the magic you have over him. We all have. You yourself just told me you have magic power over him. So please, help me. Help him love me. Make him love me.
I beg this of you,
Susan closed the email. It was one of the more heartfelt and saddest pleas she had heard in a while. And that was in a business where she had nothing but people who came to her with problems.
She realized that there were actually things she could possibly do. Ways she could help. But they were not good choices. Not things she wanted to do. Not things she really dared do either. She decided she would have to think about things for a while before she replied back to Diane.
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Right after work, Steve headed down to the witch’s department, otherwise known as the company shipping department. As usual he’d rather not go, but since Monica had again called him a little while earlier, he had no choice. At least the only “panty inspection” he’d had to suffer through all day was once when Carla captured him and pulled him into her own cubicle to check. Fortunately, that was it.
By the time he finally got downstairs, the men were all gone. He found Carla, Monica, and Diane waiting for him. Ruth wasn’t there yet. He didn’t appreciate the amused smirk on Monica’s face.
“Hello lover boy. Or is that lover lady?” Monica said with a laugh. “Did you enjoy your weekend? I must say, that was one big guy you scored Friday night. Even I was impressed. And that’s not to mention that despite the way he looked, the guy could dance!”
“Enjoy it?” Steve exclaimed. “You’ve got to be kidding! I hated every last second of it!”
Monica smiled. “Good!” she replied, sounding very satisfied. “Tell me though, just for the record, how was he in bed?”
“In bed? Fortunately it didn’t get that far, but that’s where he was taking me…like it or not. And trust me, I did my best to get away from that…thing!”
Monica was surprised. “It didn’t get that far? Because from everything we saw, it sure looked like he was interested.
“Interested? That’s putting it mildly!” Steve complained. Then he realized something. “You didn’t hear about the gun battle at the club that night?”
“I think I heard something about a disturbance on the news,” Carla replied.
“That was me!” Steve told them. “I was there. In the parking lot. I almost got shot! I almost got killed! Did you have to force that big…monster on me like that? I was trying to do everything you told me to.”
Monica realized that Steve thought she had made good on her threat to force him to spend the night with someone of her choosing. She of course had done nothing of the sort, but Steve didn’t know that, and she would be a fool not to take advantage of the situation.
“You weren’t moving fast enough or trying hard enough,” Monica told him. “Besides, you were late.”
“You made me late!” Steve yelled back. “You wouldn’t let me leave without first doing my nails. Do you know how long that stuff takes to dry?”
Monica was very surprised and thoughts of the Sorceress flashed through her mind. But she still needed to maintain her control. “You should have done it sooner. Next time, you’ll know!”
“Well you almost got me killed. If not by whoever was shooting at us, then by that…guy. If you can call him that. He was more of a monster!”
“But oh, he could dance,” Carla teased.
Steve leveled a nasty look at her. “I nearly died that night!”
“Tough!” Monica told him. “You survived. And you didn’t even go to bed with him. Maybe next time you won’t be so lucky.”
Steve didn’t even want to think about that. “Can I go now?” he asked.
“But Stevie,” Monica replied. “You haven’t shown us your pretty undies yet.”
Five minutes later, Steve angrily strode out of the building. He had to get away from those witches. There had to be something he could do. Something! Anything! Anything at all!
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The women were all getting ready to leave themselves. But before they left, Carla had something she wanted to bring up to the rest of them. “You know,” she said. “I’m getting tired of checking his underwear every day. And in truth, it’s just getting plain boring.”
Monica nodded. “Yeah, perhaps a bit. But I want that turd kept in panties and I intend on making sure he stays in them. I already know I can’t trust him.”
“But there’s got to be something else we can do with him. Something different. More interesting. And hopefully, easier!”
“What?” Diane asked, speaking for the first time.
They all looked at each other. “Maybe we should think about it and discuss this tomorrow,” Monica suggested.
Carla nodded. “Good idea. Good night girls.”
As the others left, Diane checked her email one more time hoping for an answer from The Sorceress. She left with the others, deeply disappointed.
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That night, as Susan was preparing for bed, she saw the short email from Karen, detailing how her day went. Nothing new there, which was good. It was also good because she was still bothered by Diane’s email. There were things she knew she could do to Steve, but they would be hollow things that in the end wouldn’t hold up. But more importantly, she was concerned with something else. She didn’t really want to give Steve – love.