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The Young And The Reckless

The Young and the Reckless
Ginny — 1 Oct 1998, 9:31 AM

(I haven't had time--I just bought a house, you know--to read all the other new stories before I wrote this next installment of Clare Darrow, Western Lawyer, so forgive me, if I step on anyone's storyline or characterization.)

Clare set her teacup down and leaned back in her chair to try and get a better look at whoever was causing the commotion outside the Nemesis. She could hear one voice raised in agitation and a series of modulated, strangely logical, thumps and grunts in response. However, even balanced on the two back legs of her chair, Clare still couldn't see or hear anything clearly, and she wanted to know what was going on. Where was her waiter?

The young man appeared immediately. "Ma'am?"

Startled, Clare nearly tipped her chair over, but the waiter stretched out a steadying hand, and the chair came to rest gently on the floor again. Slightly embarassed, Clare cleared her throat and said, "Thank you--" Clare paused, looking at the young man's chest, ostensibly for a name tag.

"Namon, ma'am," the waiter promptly responded.

"Thank you, Namon. So, what's all the commotion?" Clare gestured toward the door of the restaurant.

Namon looked briefly in that direction and drew closer to the lawyer. My, he smells nice, Clare thought absently.

In a low voice, Namon said, "I fathom that things do not go brightly for Benson Vorick, the hotel's former maintenance engineer. He has just returned from a sojourn in Marshal Tuvok's jail and is clashing with the hotel manager about getting his job back."

"Why was he in jail?" Clare asked curiously.

Namon smiled slightly. "Benson is ordinarily very sharp, but he becomes a motherless Krady beast around the ladies on occasion. Although," he added hastily, "only once every seven cycles of the sphere. This time, he laid bothersome hands on Miss Torres, and she, overtaken by the rages, cold-cocked him."

Clare gasped in astonishment, mentally reassessing her picture of B'Elanna Torres. "She knocked him out?"

Namon nodded vigorously. "And fractured his mandible, as well. Then the Marshall arrested him for him own safety." The young man sighed and shook his head in concern. "I tremble for Benson. If he is without employment, he may have to cease drilling to become an advocate."

Clare looked at him sharply. "Mr. Vorick is in law school?" Namon again nodded his head in the affirmative, and Clare glanced speculatively at the door. "Please have him stop my table, Namon, after he finishes speaking with the manager."

With a polite, "Certainly, ma'am," the waiter was gone.

A few minutes later, a slim, dark-haired young man approached her table. Clare was fairly certain that he was cute, but it was a little difficult to tell under the wide white bandage that was wrapped beneath his jaw and tied at the top of his head.

"Benson Vorick?" Clare inquired politely. The young man inclined his head and grunted in response.

Clare raised one beautiful eyebrow at him and then smiled. "I'm attorney Clare Ensfriggen Darrow, and I have a proposition for you."

To be continued in All My Chitlins