“Hurry Alison. We are already leaving thirty minutes later than I planned”. Renee’ Cohen had been waiting for this night for about a year.
“Why do you think this night is different from all the other nights you guys have gone to dinner with some high ranking diplomat? You know even the office is talking about how much time Bruce spends with you and how much he seems to know about what goes on at Wilson and Wilson, Attorneys at law.” Alison said to Renee’.
“I can’t explain it, he just seems to understand how high pressure my job is and offers ideas when he can. I know Mr. Wilson isn’t overly fond of Bruce hanging around, but so far he hasn’t said anything.” Turning into the drive way of her stately manor house on Ridgley near the Capitol.
“Come on, I want you to put my hair up with some ringlets hanging around my ears. Those Diamond drop earrings Bruce gave me for Christmas will pop right out with the midnight Blue tea length dress. I am so excited, Alison. You know, I believe this is the night he will give me a diamond ring to match the earrings from Christmas. Then I will be the future Mrs. Bruce Anderson.”
While Alison was working with Renee’s hair, both ladies heard a faint sound from the den. Renee’ called out, but they heard no other noises so went on with the beauty session. They both continued to feel a nagging in their stomach though.
Bruce Anderson slipped out the side door and toward the brick fence in the back. “I should have had someone else do this last piece of work for me, but it was just too important.” Bruce hopped he was talking to himself only.
Climbing over the fence, he met up with his sister, Krista Anderson. They drove to the coffee shop on the corner, and Krista started asking questions. “What is in the file that is worth breaking and entering when you have the powerful Ms. Cohen eating out of your hand?” Krista asked.
“Look, Krista, with you helping me it has made this job easier and faster than I ever thought it would be, but the less you know, the more space you have for deniability.”
After thumbing through the file, he said, “My boss, Mr. Patterson, Attorney At Law with one of the most prestigious firms in Washington, needs the information in this file to stop one of the biggest cases to hit Washington in a very long time from going to court. It can bring down a few highly influential people, people who do not want to be caught.”
He turned to Krista and said, “here put on this gray coat and hood and walk the three blocks to your office. Don’t look back. I will bring the white parka with me. Here, don’t forget your coffee. I’ll call you later.”
As he glanced at his watch, he said to the Batista at the counter, “Thanks for the coffee. By the way, do you remember a lady with Red hair coming in to get a large coffee traveler this afternoon? Is it ready now, I’ll just take it for her.” Thanks again.
As he got into his car, his cell rang. “Hello, this is Bruce Anderson. Oh, hi Renee’, is everything okay? You are getting ready, right. We have to be at the senator’s place in an hour. Yes, I think there will be dancing and cocktails before dinner, but you do remember we have a meeting after?” Okay, I will see you in about forty five minutes.
He got home and dressed in his tux, made sure he had the file in his brief case, and the ring box in his pocket. He locked the door, feeling on top of the world. Humming to himself, he said, “tonight I am going to ask the most beautiful, intelligent woman in the world to marry me, and I’m going to get the promotion of the decade.”
When he saw Renee, his stomach did flips. She really is gorgeous, “maybe I should just ask her now. No, I will follow my plan and ask her during the dance,” he said.
They walked in, hand in hand. Bruce could feel all eyes watching them as they enter the ballroom. “Would you care for something to tide you over ’til dinner,” he asked?
“No thanks, Bruce. My stomach has butterflies already. Please stay beside me until this dinner and meeting is over.”
“Don’t worry beautiful, I won’t let you out of my sight. When we are done here you will be so surprised and all of Washington will be thanking us for our dedication and hard work.” Bruce truly believed she would love him even more.
Bruce took two glasses from a tray as it was passed and they circled the room, talking to various people. Most Renee’ didn’t know.
“Bruce, who was that guy you just spoke to, the one whose ear you whispered into? Why the whispering and why did you not introduce me?” He turned around for a moment and then told her, “He is someone I work with, my boss actually.”
Renee’ also looked back, “you know Bruce, you know almost everyone in our office and I don’t even know what it is you actually do. Maybe I should be a little less accepting of men with gorgeous eyes and pay just a little more attention to who he is.”
“Renee’, honey, you are stunning in that dress and I love the way it flares around your ankles when I twirl you around. Soon you will be thinking about other, more romantic things than what I do. Besides, you are a huge part of this evening.”
“Dinner is being served in the dinning room, everyone needs to start that way.” Bruce’s boss was announcing.
“Please let us have our guest from Wilson and Wilson and their guest come first, then those of us from Patterson follow.”
Renee’ felt breathless as she was seated at Bruce’s left. She had never attended such a gala. “Bruce, why all the pomp and circumstance? I feel so out of place.” Bruce turned to look at her with pride, and said “stop worrying, you are radiant”
Dinner was served and between the last course, before the wonderful dessert and coffee, Bruce stood. “Mr. Patterson, sir, may I have a moment to introduce someone who has been a major factor in the endeavor we have completed. My introduction is two fold, may I present to our Board of Directors, Ms. Renee’
Watson who with her acceptance of this ring, will become my wife as well.”
Somehow this was not the proposal Renee’ had expected. They were standing in front of all the Directors of both companies. “Well, hum gee Bruce I am astonished. Do you mind, sirs, if I have a few minutes to discuss this with Bruce? After the meeting, I will give my answer and you will all be the first to know. It is a pleasure to meet you all in such beautiful surroundings.”
Mr. Patterson had walked around to stand behind her and gave a small chuckle. “Of course Ms. Watson and it has been a pleasure to be present at your wedding proposal.” Changing the subject, he ordered dessert and coffee and decided to start the meeting.
“Mr. Wilson, I know your firm has taken the case against several of our esteemed Senators in congress. I would like to give you the opportunity to concede your case and be a part of helping to exonerate these outstanding representatives of this wonderful country.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Patterson, I don’t think this is an offer we care to accept. We have, in our possession, the proof of their extortion of funds from several agencies and groups who represent a large section of our country. Why would you think, a week before trial, we would accept an offer of such negative proportions?”
“Because, Mr. Wilson, with the help of our Mr. Anderson and his soon to be finesse, Ms. Wilson, we have been able to form a counter attack and give reasonable doubt to your case. These would be a very damaging accusations, if they were to be brought to light. We at Patterson’s will accept a lesser plea.”
Renee’ looked at Bruce, her face nearly white, as Mr. Wilson look at her, his face was so red she thought he might have a stroke. “Ms. Watson, I feel under the circumstances, we have no need of your continued services, and don’t bother requesting a reference. You, Mr. Anderson will be arrested if you ever set foot within five hundred feet of our offices. Now we must thank you, Mr. Patterson for the meal and you will be hearing from my office.”
Renee’ left with her former employer and staff, not even looking back at Bruce. He excused himself and tried to catcher her in the hallway. “Renee’, wait, wait, please talk to me before you leave. Please accept my proposal. Let me explain!”
“No Bruce, there is nothing for you to explain. You used me to get information the firm you work for is going to distort and use to get these men off, scott free. You have disgraced yourself and me in front of my EX employer and now you still believe I would marry you? Never in this lifetime. Oh, by the way, here are your earrings back. You can use them, along with the ring when you need information from your next promotion. Good bye Mr. Anderson!”