"The alimony claim hearing is declared open. Miss Dark, you can start with your initial argument of the situation in hand." Says the judge. She has an uncommon surname because her father is American and her mother is African. She has brown complexion with the type of a body that makes anyone envy her, with defined and turned curves that she takes from her mother's side. It's like God made them the perfect and gifted women, not only in a career as well in the physical appearance department.
"Thank you, Your Honour. I want to state that my client resigned from the company from which he was working for an agreement that he reached with Miss Sasha a few years ago. By the time my client decided to resume his professional career, they don't want to hire him because of his age. That's why we're applying for a pension." Leonora points out.
"Your Honor, bear in mind that for 4 years my client's ex-husband has not shown any real intention to get a job. And he intends to get money from my client." Sasha's lawyer says looking at Leonora.
"That's true. My husband doesn't want to work, he just wants to take money from me."
"You know that's not true, Sasha. You have what you wanted because I sacrificed my career for my love to you, and now that you don't need me, you want to leave me with nothing."
"Please. You have always been worthless."
"Silence. That's not how you conduct a hearing."
"How much do you earn monthly?" The judge asks.
"Tell the truth." Sarah's lawyer tells her.
"$60 thousand a month," Sasha tells the judge.
"And how much are you willing to give your ex-husband?" The judge asks.
"$10 thousand per month," Sasha replies.
"Here it is, Your Honour." Sasha's lawyer hand over a file to the judge.
"You, Ms Dark, how much are you requesting?" It's not easy to be a lawyer, even more, a successful lawyer, beautiful, humble and intimidating.
"$20 thousand a month," Leonora answers the judge.
"What? Forgive me, but that's a robbery." Sasha yells across the room.
"Ms Dark, I don't need that much money." In court, Leonora is known by the name of the Ice queen and several other nicknames, as she always seems to show coldness toward her opponents when defending her cases.
"Arthur, remember that when you were busy taking care of the children, she was cheating on you on every trip she made. Be grateful that I didn't ask for more. Leave it to me, please."
"Yes, Ms Dark."
"Yes, Your Honour, if the other party doesn't agree, I prefer that you stipulate the amount of alimony according to the margins that mark the law."
"Your Honour, we're willing to pay Mr Arthur 20 thousand a month."
"We agree with that figure," Leonora says smiling. She has never lost a hearing because she's good at what she does, of course, with the help of almighty.
"If both parties agree and there are no more properties in dispute, I've come to the verdict."
"No, it can't. It can't be." Sasha yells as Leonora smiles in victory. The case was so easy to win.
"Ms Dark, you're an angel. Thanks to you I won the court today." Arthur says in appreciation as they exit the courtroom.
"No. I only acted under the right." Leonora smile as she stops and looks at him.
"With this, I'm able to rent an apartment and little by little I'll get back to--" Arthur is cut off by his ex-wife who is working towards them.
"You're quite the man, aren't you!" Sasha yells, grabbing the attention of the people around them.
"I gave you my life," Arthur says calmly.
"Take advantage of it while you can, okay, because you will never stop being a useless man." Sasha insults Arthur.
"Madam, don't insult my client. The judge has already handed down a sentence and there's nothing else left to do, so accept it."
"You all suck! I saw the way the judge looked at her. Who knows what kind of agreements you had with him." Sasha accuses Leonora and she has to hold the urge to slap him.
"Mr Omar, explain to your client what is a public defender attorney so that she understands that I don't earn absolutely nothing from this, but to do justice." Leonora finish staring at Sasha, and when she's about to answer, her lawyer grabs her hand dragging her out with him.
"I'm so sorry, Miss Dark," Arthur says sadly.
"No, don't worry. Nothing happened." Leonora assures him.
"Please, I would love it if you pass by our restaurant tomorrow or one of these days so that you can try my mother secret recipe." Arthur offers.
"That's so sweet of you, but tomorrow I'm going to be very busy. I promise as soon as my schedule is free, I'll give you a call to tasty your mother's food." Leonora tells him.
"Alright, thank you again for helping me with my case."
"No, Arthur. Your wife deserves it and more. Now be good and don't get into trouble. Only talk to her when it's related to your children and nothing else. If you need anything related to your wife, call me before you approach her."
"Yes, Ma'am," Arthur replies.
"Good, I'll get going," Leonora says and walks to her car. She gets in, starts the car and waves at Arthur who was still in the sidewalk looking at her. He gives her smiles which she returns and then she starts driving to her mother's company. A few minutes later, her phone starts ringing and she connects it to the Bluetooth device.
"Hello. Yes, I'm back. three weeks ago. I had to settle down and organise myself first. I know you would, but I had a professional interior designer, so she did everything for me."
Outside of the building, disconnecting ver phone from the Bluetooth device, she switches off the engine and gets out of a car still talking on the phone. She waves at the security as she enters the building.
"I was busy with a case. Yeah. It was like walking on the sidewalk. No. I've been busy convincing my parents to let me off the hook."
"Good morning." She hears once the elevator open. She smiles at the young man in recognition and goes back to her phone. Inside the elevator, with her friend who is talking and non-stop, she patiently waits for the elevator to come to a stop.
"Not if she wants nothing to do with him. I can help, but she needs to be 100% honest with me. No. I'm not taking her case if she won't be honest. No. I don't want her money. Great."
"Good morning." She says to the receptionist as she walks past her and some other people.
"Good morning, Ms Dark. Shall we check your schedule?" Leonora assistant asks, following her behind.
"Good morning, Beatrice. Yes, please. I have lunch later with a client, please make sure you clear my afternoon meeting with the excuse that I have a family emergency," Leonora says.
"Yes, ma'am. We started with a weekly meeting with Mr Gomez. They're all here." Beatrice tells her. "Excellent," Leonora says.
"What? That's impossible. I know. Okay, I'll see you after work. Nadia, I have people waiting for me. Yeah, I missed you too." Nadia is Leonora's mother little sister, she's her auntie but she doesn't like when Leonora calls her that and Leonora herself wouldn't if she was two years younger than her. She hangs up the phone as she enters the meeting room, a group of executives waiting for her. Her assistant who is following behind put Leonora's file on the glass table and takes her bag.
"Well, let's see what changes you have made," Leonora says, clapping her hands.
"Thank you. Leonora, we have been working on the traditional summer collection following these guidelines and we hope you like it as much as we do." One of the designers tells her.
The elegant and attractive brunette curl hair and brown eyes woman turns her chair towards the screen, where a video with fashion images is shown, Leonora watches the video and makes a condescending gesture of disapproval. She turns around and when she's about to give them feedback, her phone started ringing and she looks at in contemplation. When she's about to cancel, the person disconnected and a few seconds later, she receives a text from Marcella which reads You won't believe who just walked into the company. Well, I'll let you know everything about it later. Love you.
She shakes her head in disbelief. Marcella is her best friend, they met in high school and after that, they become inseparable, at least until Leonora went to study aboard. Marcella is the craziest and most clown person Leonora's have ever meet in her entire life. Marcella is a fake blonde - that's is a secret she's supposed to keep, but its just hair. Marcella is tall with brown eyes, and recently became a model for Dark Agency.
"Yes, Beatrice," Leonora says giving her attention. Yes, Leonora is a lawyer, but she manages her mother's company. That was the agreement Leonora made with her father before she accepted the scholarship to study aboard. She first studied the law from her county, then she applied for a scholarship so she can study international law - her dreams is to be a generalist lawyer. That's why she works at Dark's Agency. Leonora parents blackmail her to do whatever they want.
"Mrs Dark wants to talk to you,"
"Tell him I'll call back when I'm done with the meeting."
"Okay." Beatrice goes outside and Leonora continues with the meeting. Leonora knows that her mother is only calling to remind her to attend dinner at their house later in the evening. Leonora is not a bit excited about it. They only invite her when it's work-related matters.
"Very good. As you can see, most of the cases we have are family law, so I'm considering hiring another lawyer specialised in family law."
"Sorry, do you have someone in mind?" Liam asks, then glances at Deborah.
"Yes, I do. I was looking for a very good lawyer who is the daughter of my friend Martin. You will be so impressed with her."
"I know Martin very well and he is the best law teacher that I have ever had. Of course, apart from John." Patricio says which makes John cracks a smile. John also know as the CEO of the firm, can be strict when it's come to work, but out the work, he's the best person to be around.
"What about that attorney? What does he say? Are you going to hire him?
"We have to wait for him to return from his honeymoon because he is precisely getting married this weekend. Patricio, are you coming to the Martin fundraiser?"
"Yes, I'm meeting a friend of mine there and besides I want to greet Martin." That's was not the only reason he wants to attend that fundraiser, his main focus is to see the woman who once belonged to him. He hears she has come back a while ago, but they haven't crossed path yet, so this is a good excuse. He smiles at John.
"We'll see you there. Let's get back to work. There are so many cases to check out." Mr John says and they all get up and start John the office after their boss.
When Leonora is off work, Marcella calls her and tells her about seeing Leonora ex-boyfriend at her workplace, but Leonora quickly changed the topic. Later in the evening, Leonora is seated at the dining table having dinner at her parent's house.
"Do you remember John?"
"Yes, I do. What's wrong?"
"He owns a law firm and he thought you had wanted to work with him. He's looking for a lawyer who specialised in the family law to fill the position of senior and since you studied l the local family law and you're a generalist lawyer, I think you should consider it."
"What's in it for you, dad? Working with him means I've to be there full time and I can't take care of mother's company with a full-time job as a senior attorney."
"Leonora, this a good opportunity. You can't say no because of a clothing company." Her mom says, catching Leonora off guard.
"You're the one who said that I had to take over your position." Leonora reminds her mother.
"Sure, but thing changes." Leonora's father agrees as he looks at his only daughter. Besides their difference, he loves his daughter and only wants the best for her and nothing more.
"Who will take care of the company? Will you go back to work?" Leonora asks her mother raising her eyebrows at her. Leonora can't imagine her mother going back to work, not that she couldn't. It's just hard for Leonora to see her mother, who is in her late 50s, yelling at her workers.
"Of course not, but you will until we get a suitable person to act as CEO. All I want from you is to go there twice a week to see how things are going." Leonora's mother says pushing her empty places to the side.
"Mom, are you sure you want a strange running your business? That doesn't sound like you."
"I know, but I don't want to hold you back. You love your work, so why should you take a few cases working as a public defender when you can work for a private company? Just take the offer and make us proud."
This is the first time her parents did something good for her without blackmail, but she couldn't help but wonder if John didn't want her to work with him because of her dad. That's something she couldn't accept.
Things indeed are changing.