Romance Fiction posted October 2, 2022 Chapters:  ...37 38 -39- 40... 


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Cord and Ali continue to get to know each other.

A chapter in the book Quiet Lawyer

Quiet Lawyer Chapter 19 C

by barbara.wilkey




Background
Nothing mends a broken heart, like someone wonderful giving you theirs. Will Cordero give his heart to Alexandra? If he does, will she accept it? Will Alexandra discover who she is?
Cordero and Alexandra met 36 days ago.

ENDING OF PREVIOUS POST:

After dinner, the server placed the check on the table. Alexandra reached over and took it. "I got this."

Cordero's eyes widened. "I can afford to take you to dinner even in New York City."

A silence followed

TODAY'S POST:

Chapter 19 C

After a few moments, Alexandra said, "I didn't mean to insult you. I felt today was me showing you around the city. You shouldn't have to..." Alexandra watched Cordero.

He took the bill from her, removed his bank card, and handed it to the server. After it was returned, he said, "Ready?" When she indicated she was, he held her chair while she stood.

At the limousine, Anthony opened the door for Alexandra and after she was inside; he leaned in. "Is there a problem?"

Alexandra glanced at Cordero standing a few feet away. "He's upset because I tried to pay."

After shutting her door, he walked around and opened the other door. "Mr. Ortiz, are you ready?"

"Yeah, sure."

"What's the address for the escape room?" asked Anthony.

"I'm not sure." Alexandra exhaled. "Cord, do you still want to..."

His eyes met hers. "Those eyes of yours get to me every time." He dried an escaped tear. "Of course."

She repeated the address and then stared out her window.

The drive was silent.

After Anthony parked, he opened his door. "I'll take a walk and let you two talk."

"Cord, I'm sorry."

He took her hand. "Quit apologizing for everything. I'm the one who needs to apologize. I let my ego get in the way. It's been building since I left Texas and finally came out."

Cordero exhaled. "I flew here on your family's private jet, and then went to an invitation-only party at the Rockefeller Center. As if that wasn't enough, we drove to your penthouse in your private limousine. You grew up in a mansion. Your dress last night cost, I have no idea, but probably thousands of dollars. My tux was taken care of by your mom and probably cost about the same. A client gave you a necklace worth, who knows what because it reminded him of your beautiful eyes. We haven't even discussed the special treatment we've gotten today because of your family."

"I never thought of it that way."

"I know you didn't."

"I see our families as very similar, but different. Your family's rich in land and livestock. I don't know how many, but a lot of people rely on your family for employment. My family's firm only employs two secretaries. The rest are family members. In my eyes, it works out the same, just different."

"Your family's business is a well-respected law firm."

"Your family's business is a well-established ranch that's been in your family for how many generations?"

Cordero thought. "My great-great-great-grandparents first settled the land. So, I'll be the sixth generation."

Alexandra leaned over and kissed his cheek. "We're basically the same, yet different. I'm sorry I didn't consider the male ego."

"It's probably not only a male issue, but a cultural one as well." Cordero paused. "I've been worried about embarrassing you."

"You could never embarrass me. The night we went dancing, I felt I embarrassed you. I didn't know how to line dance and then I slapped you. You remained a perfect gentleman through that entire incident." Their eyes met. "I'm proud to be on your arm."

"Thank you."

Anthony knocked on Cordero's window. "Ready?"

Cordero opened the door but glanced at Alexandra. "We good?"

Her eyes glowed. "We're very good."

Walking around the limousine, Anthony opened Alexandra's door as she mouthed, "Thank you."

Placing his hand in the small of her back, Cordero kissed the side of her cheek. "Let's see how we work as a team to solve this mystery."

Inside the escape room, Alexandra and Cordero stood in the center and scanned the room. Cordero asked, "What's your opinion of how to tackle this?"

"I think we need to divide the room in half and each work their area, but we need to communicate what we find. If we don't, we won't know how the parts fit together."

"I agree. I'm guessing there are about twenty clues, give or take."

"I'm sure you're right. Let's get started." Alexandra pointed. "You want me to take the right side of the table and you the left?"

"Sounds good. Remember we need to talk."

"I'm good at talking."

Cordero chuckled. "I said that more for my benefit than yours."

Time passed, and they searched their area calling out clues as they found them. Cordero turned and saw Alexandra standing on a chair reaching above her. "That doesn't look safe."

As he said that, the chair swayed. Cordero rushed over and steadied it.

After a sigh, she said, "Thank you. I saw something on top of that ceiling fan."

"Why didn't you ask for help?"

"Because...I really don't have a good reason."

"I figured as much."

"Please help me down." As he did, she held out her hand. "I think I found a clue."

Cordero took the folded paper and opened it. "It looks like a combination."

"It does. I'm guessing we're looking for a safe."

When the halfway timer sounded, Alexandra said, "Let's discuss what we've found so we can make sure we're on the same track."

"Good idea."

After discussing their findings, Alexandra said, "We still haven't found anything the combination goes with." She stood in the center and slowly scanned the room. "If this was my room, where would I hide a safe?" She continued studying every possibility. "We've checked the obvious, behind pictures, desk drawers, and under furniture."

Kicking the carpet, Cordero said, "We've even checked under here."

Alexandra looked at the ceiling as she walked around the room and pointed. "Cord, there's a handprint."

"No climbing. I'll check it." He moved a chair over and stood on it.

"So, it's okay for you to climb, but not me?" He grinned as she said, "I can't catch you if you fall."

He moved a ceiling tile aside. "True, but you're not strong enough to lift this down." He removed a small safe from the rafters.

She held the combination in both hands. "Let's try it."

"Be patient. Let me put it on the table."

Cordero worked the combination while Alexandra read it to him. It took three attempts before the door opened.

Alexandra held her breath as Cordero removed the safe's contents. He glanced at her and grinned. "It's okay to breathe."

She exhaled. "Do we have motive?"

He read. "We not only have motive, but we have a list of the next crimes." His hug lifted her from the floor. "We solved the case."

*****
As they walked toward the limousine, Cordero pointed. "Finally, something I recognize. A horse."

"We do have horses. Police ride them, and we have these carriage rides."

Cordero offered his hand. "Would you like a carriage ride?"

Accepting his hand, Alexandra said, "I would. I've never been on one."

"Good, your second first today." Cordero faced Anthony and motioned they'd be back later.


~~~~~
I intentionally left off the accents on fiance and fiancee because Evil Eddie would put all sorts of strange characters in my post. Thank you for understanding.
~~~~~~

~~~~
Hola is Spanish for hello

Mi hijo & Mijo are Spanish for son. Jorge uses them often.

Bendecido is Spanish for blessed.
~~~~~

CHARACTER LIST:

Cordero Ortiz: 'Cord' runs his parents' Texas ranch

Alexandra Black: 'Ali' is a New York City corporate lawyer, is a junior partner in huge family law firm

Jorge and Rosa Ortiz: Cordero's parents who own a large West Texas Ranch

Jim: One of the ranch foremen's and best friend of Cordero. He takes care of the main house and surrounding ranch area.

Bob: One of the ranch foremen and good friend of Cordero. He works the entire ranch.

Pat Rogers: Bank owner, not a good person

Sam Bailey: Lobo's Sheriff.

Dr. Bart Barnes: Town doctor

Judge Sean Pickett: County Judge

Tonia and Brent Black: Alexandra's parents

George Black Alexandra's grandpa

Gary Hart: A young ranch hand

Luke: All around bad guy

Amy Harding: A lady who Pat Rogers raped during High School Prom, her son, Matthew

Alan Griffin Alexandra's ex-fiance

Joseph and Ruth Aaronson One of the first clients, family friends, owner of a prestige jewelry shop

Athony Alexandra's limousine driver



Recognized


If you have a problem with font size, I'm very sorry. You can use control and a plus sign to increase the size.

Thank you google an image of an escape room. As I always do, I made changes as I posted. I hope I didn't make it worse. This post is a little over 1100 words. Thank you for your kind reviews and support you give me.
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