The Imprint Ch. 09: Boundaries

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I’m Sam Pauling, Attorney at Law. Behind me in the County Courthouse’s deposition room, an old tick — tock clock clicked away. Time is money I chuckled to myself. As I sat on a plastic chair alone in this oversized closet in the old Granite County Courthouse planted in the mud flats above the North River, I reflected time was money, but not always.

I was lured with the promise that this case could make my imprint. However, I found myself defending the million dollar malpractice case against Dr Rebecca Barton on behalf of an insurer stingy about providing the ready cash I needed. I had just received an interim payment from my client’s Dr Barton’s insurer. My fees were slashed so badly that I might have abandoned the defense, but for `Becca eh–here in court that’s Dr Barton.

Was my relationship with `Becca wholly ethical? Where should I draw the line?

Whatever the issue, a malpractice case or a personal relationship with a client, every problem was puzzle. One had to sort as many of the pieces as you can find out, arrange the pieces, stand back and come to a conclusion. This process leads some people to believe we have mystical powers. That belief might help us along in forming a conclusion or even give us the aura of wisdom that over awed the client.

I’m sure `Becca did not believe that I was all — knowing. I didn’t overawe her. She tolerated me. Where was the conflict?

Oh, I guess people would think that for such a conflict to arise, the object of affection had to be tall, long legged and thin waisted. My ‘Becca was none of that: she was short and plump with a butterball shape. Even so, I was in love. To me she was soft, warm and beautiful. Life was beautiful, so I thought.

Soft might be a misleading way to describe `Becca. Oh, as a chubby little thing, her fleshy body was comfy, but as one inclined to take charge, she presented as a tough customer with a bovine hide. She liked to have me keel before her to lather her vaginal lips, but refused to accept my penis in her mouth. “You do me, not I do you.”

Still, it was nice to have her waking me up by stretching to reposition her butt in bed, spreading her legs to wrap them around my rib cage to prompt me for an early morning poke before we ran on these wintry North Country pre – dawns to the shower.

It was fun to watch her boobs bounce and her belly flop as we scurried like mice across the fine parquet floor of her apartment. Pinning her face crushing her nose and her breasts into the tiled wall of the shower, I praised her as “warm and wonderful.”

A detached look appeared on her face as I jiggled my pecker inside her. In a didactic tone, she prated in medical – ese, “That warm — and — fuzzy feeling is a byproduct of Sexual stimulation itself which releases dopamine, the happy hormone.” I shook my head. `Becca had an interesting way of linking business with pleasure.

Much as I wanted to take ‘Becca from behind, she waited for her moment. As soon as we were wet enough, she’d playfully slip out of my grasp but would position herself to restore the connection, face — to — face. “Men prefer doggie style for the depth of penetration and control. I prefer to maintain my superiority. We link up if I’m on top.”

Yet what marked that invisible line drawn between personal and professional life? `Becca seemed to have no such problem. Stood in line naked as she examined a row of male crisis actors next to the pool, I looked in vain for a flicker of recognition when `Becca announced, “Thank you for volunteering for an emergency rescue drill. To distinguish participants males in the resuscitation simulation will kaynarca escort remain naked in the pool; Females participate topless.”

The line burst out laughing at one of the guy’s witty remark, “Saves money on costuming.” The round of good cheer subsided when `Becca proceeded down the line twisting jaws hard to the right as she fondled balls and ordered men to cough. Upon grabbing my nuts, `Becca displayed neither a flicker of recognition, nor a hidden gesture, such as tickling the underside of the scrotum. Eyes glazed, blank expression, Dr Barton moved on to the next man in line. Swaggering in passing each male by, `Becca, teasing each patient, snickered, “I’m as gentle as possible yanking on soft tissue.”

In my profession, standards of that time were unclear. Many lawyers boasted of “couch cases” in which attractive clients “paid in kind.” But I had no office. Except for one or two days a week, I slept with `Becca at her apartment, though I kept my rooms. `Becca was away those days. Where? She never said. I had no need to know.

However, a free feed and romp under the covers were more than a fringe benefit. They were an important part of the bargain. I rationalized that if ‘Becca wasn’t so much fun in bed, I couldn’t afford to continue in the defense. Otherwise, I would have been forced to ask the insurer to find someone else.

Though the deposition of Dr Baron’s accuser Erica Ehrlich wouldn’t start until 11AM, I had arrived early to study the file. It had been a short walk from University Hospital where I participated in an early morning medical study, one of the fringe benefits of my relationship with `Becca.

What did the file state: October 25 last year Erica Ehrlich then age 25 was found naked lying face down on the sidewalk in a desolate area of Central Avenue. Her clothing expertly sheared away from her body was found nearby. Hospital records reveal subject claimed to have been attacked walking in on staged emergency response drill and raped.

Employed by University Hospital as an atomical model, Ms Ehrlich subsequently was summarily fired not long after the incident. Employment file reflects conflicting reasons for discharge.

Her treating psychologist reports Ms Ehrlich can speak clearly about the incident, as if it happened to someone else. Police dismissed the incident as a college sorority prank, even though they received anonymously photographs of Ms Ehrlich lying naked on the sidewalk.

After carefully reviewing the file, I looked up at the tick toc clock. I still had time to idly skim the Capital land newspaper. The Capital land Post — Herald reported that few people tuned into the Presidential debate last night. “Most people,” the writer commented, “regard the election as a duel between light weights, pitting the amiable but wholly inept Gerald Ford against a pious but ineffectual Jimmy Carter.” The state legislature was in a special session to discuss Medical Malpractice reform. The more interesting controversy this morning was the flap over the usage of the new honorific Ms in referring to an adult woman. Some women clung to the old titles Mrs and Miss.

At that I heard the wheels of a luggage cart echoing off the marbled floors of the courthouse, announcing the approach of Mrs Jill Adams, in her own words, emphatically a Missus, proud of having been “married to and impregnated in the proper order by the father of her child.”

Before me on the table I spread out some photos of the plaintiff Erica Ehrlich laying naked on the ground, butt in the air, legs splayed, dark hair reaching between her shoulder blades. Not an unattractive girl from an angle which, though explicit orhanlı escort in their exposure of her anal and vaginal cavities, were as tasteful as an exhibition of museum piece nude photography.

I sighed as I turned the photos downside up on the table just as the wheels of Ms–I mean Mrs Adams’ compact luggage cart lugged the stenographic machine into the room. Taking up position, Mrs Adams set up her machine at the end of the rickety table. “On TV,” she, green eyes gleaming, declared, “the lawyers just stand up and preach to hushed audiences. In real law like this case,” the court reporter looked down at a paper on the table, “Erica Ehrlich against Dr Rebecca Barton and University Hospital, the decisive scenes are played out in private in bandbox rooms lie this. Little of the thespian dramatics thunder off these walls, Mr Pauling. Do they?”

I thought to myself that the photos certainly packed enough thunder to create an explosion if this case ever went to trial.

“Are you troubled, Mr Pauling?” Mrs Adams asked, “My trouble at the moment I suppose I is that I must invent a key to automatically type Ms for all women, unless another title is indicated.”

“You may be the last Missus I know of,” I teased her.

“Standing out from the crowd,” Mrs Adams, proudly patted her belly, boasted, “is a trademark I share with you, Mr Pauling. Stand and make your mark!” Taking a breath, she raised the business at hand, “Why not tell me what melodrama the Capital land ikons REMPH, SPARKS no signs of dirt on the butt or legs; hands at her sides.”

In the deposition room at the County Courthouse, with the old tick — tock clock on the wall clicking away, I wondered, would Ms Ehrlich simply not appear and let this case go to a dismissal? I’d be sorely disappointed. As if reading my mind Mr Remph entering the room, plopping his file on the table, and crunching his paunchy belly against the table, assured me, “It’s still early, Sam. Ms Ehrlich not appear in a case like this? No such luck.”

Greeting Mr Remph, Mrs Adams noted, “I see you’ve lost your heaviest hitter, Sam Pauling. A man of his talent should be your right-hand man. Don’t tell me you’re unloading your secret weapon,” Mrs Adams winked at me, “to make room for an equal opportunity candidate!”

Patting me on the back, Mr Remph assured her that the parting was amicable. “We needed a heavy weight to defend poor Dr Barton who caught this case from this downstate girl Erickson,” Noticing my reaction, Mr Remph corrected himself, “Ehrlich. Up here in Capital land going to law school, this Erickson, huh–Ehrlich showed her gratitude to Dr Barton for taking her in and getting her a part — time job at the hospital by suing Dr Barton and the hospital too. I’m sure branching off on his own Mr Pauling will make an impression with this case.”

I raised my eyebrows. I’m sure I was expected to feel honored that Mr Earnest Remph, the descendant of the River barons who had founded the state, had some weeks ago personally called on me in to hand me the defence of Dr Rebecca Barton.

Condescending to enter my cubicle, Mr Remph was full of praise. “I’ve been told that you have some interesting ideas on handling this case of this downstate girl, a law student, Erica eh–Ehrickson,” My reaction prompted Mr Remph to check his file for the name, “Erica Ehrlich who says she was eh–injured during joint training with the University Medical College and the Fire Department for training in an emergency response for the sick and injured in a mass disaster.”

“That’s quite the understatement, Mr Remph,” I shook my head. “This is a disaster training exercise that turned into a disaster,” tepeören escort I replied. “Ms Ehrlich says she came upon the scene, the urban renewal zone on Central Avenue to pick up her roommate Dr Barton and was assaulted, left helpless on the street and later raped by one by a participant in the drill.”

“Police investigation was sketchy …” Mr Remph reviewed the photographs, “They made no effort to trace the person who might have taken the photo. Nonetheless, your proposal to deflate the plaintiff’s case intrigues me,” Remph started, “by offering to settle the claim for a civil rights violation. Firing an injured person suffering a disability is a civil rights violation for a hospital that takes federal funds. Unfortunately, University Hospital would never want to set a precedent … Imagine this particular civil rights law only applies to institutions accepting federal funds! Real business can get rid of non — entities.”

“Sometime in the future, I’m sure this law may apply to all businesses from the local lemonade stand on up. My concept of an offer is pure posturing,” I replied, “I don’t expect the plaintiff would accept the sum I’m thinking. It’s part of evolving the defence.”

“Evolving a defence out of a tactical offer of compromise! Subtlety! Tactics!” Mr Remph enthusiastically declared. “I need a tactician on my side, but to take up the defence of Dr Barton, you’d have to leave the firm and go on your own. Win the case you’d make an impact.”

I sighed. Promises of insurance or hospital work thrown my way never materialized. Fortunately, I had not expanded my expenses when I took the job at REMPH, SPARKS Dr Barton elsewhere.

I had not expected from my initial meeting with Dr Barton that she would ride me like she did last night like a wild cowgirl breaking a bronc, crying out “Fuck me, fuck me. Are you man enough to fuck me?”

In our first meeting on my last day in my cubicle at REMPH, SPARKS & HARKER `Becca eh–Dr Barton would have imperiously dismissed me. What did she say? “I’d like to report back to Hospital’s General Counsel that my interests need to be served in a more established firm, rather than with a rogue starting up on his own. Sorry to sound eh–heartlessly clinical but you are flatly unacceptable.”

“Rogue,” I grinned, “interesting word! your employer and its insurer will cheer their freedom from responsibility for your actions and your defence! Your employer will call you a rogue employee who acted contrary to policy, injuring this,” I showed her the photo of Erica Ehrlich lying face down on the sidewalk naked butt in the air, “Erica and abandoning her helplessly on the street. You’d bear the entire loss on your own. Ask your brother Josh. He was in my law school graduating class. What’s he been doing since graduation?”

Strangely, `Becca had shown no reaction when I showed her the photograph. I felt her cold, distant stare as she examined the photos. I dismissed all the misgivings I may have felt at the time. Perhaps, she had seen the photographs before.

Somehow, a physical relationship was generated out of that stark initial encounter.

Maybe `Becca was testing me. She liked to tease me in bed. While straddling me, seesawing on my penis, she’d describe the process clinically, “Fucking is a simple matter of biological hydraulics. Palpate the Corpus cavernosum. The penis hardens and elongates, the scrotum tightens and is drawn against the body, prompting the testicles to an emission of seminal fluid.”

As I was about to come, she’d lay her head on my chest and whisper, “To perform a bilateral orchiectomy, ie to castrate a male, it’s most effective to arouse him to tighten the scrotum and secure the testicles in place before the scalpel falls on the testes to excise or sever them from the male body.” Reaching, she plucked my member out of her body. “Right now, I’ll simply sever the connection.”

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