Beyond the Western
Money and power. Men will go to great lengths to have it and even greater lengths to keep it. For some, the compass of morality no longer applies.
Alex Caldwell and Emmett Schmidt were partners. Caldwell & Schmidt Attorneys at Law. Representing the rich and famous. It was a lucrative clientele and as long as the clients kept coming through the door, life was good.
Today, a beautiful young woman named Hanna walked into the office. Her legal name was Hanna May Levine. She was an Ex-Broadway stage actress who had married into money.
Her marriage had gone south and she was planning to leave right behind it. Seems her husband wasn’t the man she expected. She thought he actually loved her, but it was only a facade. All he really wanted was a plaything. A toy he could mold and manipulate at will.
She was better than that and she knew it. Now she wanted out… of the marriage, not the money.
She had grown accustomed to the filthy rich lifestyle she was living and wanted to keep it. It was her husband she no longer wanted. She needed a first class attorney to represent her.
As Hanna explained her situation. “I’m the wife of a second class aristocrat named William Holt the Third.” She chuckles at the thought. “The Third, what a joke. He thinks it gives him some sort of class. The man has no class. He’s a spoiled rich kid. A playboy with a dirty mind and a bad temper.
I’m nothing more than his sexual plaything. A kept woman for whatever his mood dictates at the moment. He treats me like I’m his personal slave and I want out. The problem is William isn’t having any part of it. I’m his until death do us part as far as he’s concerned. Believe me, I’ve been seriously thinking about the death part.”
“Well you won’t need to go that far,” commented Alex. “We can get you out if you don’t want to be there. Seems like a simple divorce case as far as I can tell.”
Hanna disagreed. “It’s more than that. As far as I’m concerned, he owes me and I want every last cent I can get out of him. I want to squeeze him dry and watch the bastard cry like a baby. Thing is, his parents will fight for him. They have high priced attorneys on retainer.
He’s family and I’m not. They don’t want me to walk out of this marriage with one thin Holt family dime.”
Alex and Emmett weren’t concerned. They were excited to take the case. They thought they could get an easy compromise somewhere down the line and pocket some quick cash. Plus, the publicity from a well placed leak to a popular tabloid about the divorce would be good for business.
They drew up the paperwork and sent a copy to the Holt family attorneys, then waited for a response. It didn’t take long. They came back at them with an unexpected blind fury. They refused to give Hanna even one cent.
What Hanna was asking for was Holt money and they planned to keep it in the family. They threatened to file paperwork against Caldwell & Schmidt for even representing her. It would tie them up in court proceedings for “Decades” as they put it. Fighting it would cost them a fortune and ultimately drive them out of business.
It was all hyperbole. Caldwell and Schmidt knew the Holt attorneys didn’t have enough fortitude to pull it off.
Caldwell and Schmidt had a reputation of never backing down from a fight. Fair or otherwise. They decided to dig deep, looking for incriminating dirt on the Holt family. It wasn’t hard to find. They had plenty of skeletons buried in shallow graves. The digging was easier than expected. They shot back with their findings and a few threats of their own.
The war of words escalated from there. Becoming more brutal and personal with every volley. Not one paper had been formally filed and yet both sides were feeling the heat.
This had evolved into more than just a simple divorce case. It had become personal.
The day Caldwell and Schmidt threatened to formally file, Hanna, flanked by two Holt family attorneys, paid them a surprise visit. She seemed… distraught as she spoke up. “William and I have settled our differences. I will no longer require your services.” She quickly turned and abruptly left the room.
“That’s bullshit,” remarked Alex.
“Bullshit or not, we’re done here,” replied one of the Holt attorneys. He handed Alex a check. “Burn the file.”
Alex looked at the check. “Yes, I believe we are done here,” he replied as he passed the check to Emmett.
Emmett took a look. “I can smell the smoke already,” he replied with a smile.
The attorneys walked out.
The check was for $500,000.
© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.