Chapter 28

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"Logan, I don't think that driving around the city aimlessly I going to help," I exhaled.

We had been driving around New York City for the past hour in a futile attempt to calm my nerves down since our lunch date hadn't gone to well. I was still, however, a bunch of nerves because the situation at hand was disconcerting. Whilst I was busy wasting time, Bryce was probably meeting up with the best lawyer he could find to take my son away from me.

"I was just trying to pacify you, love. You basically broke down after you called your mother."

Oh, he wasn't wrong about that. I actually had a panic attack which earned me the much unwanted scrutiny of the entire clientele at El Fonçi's. I'm definitely not going to be showing my face there again any time soon.

He continued. "And now that you're calm, I'm taking you to a friend of mine ,whom might I add is one of the best lawyers in the country. A child custody battle is a serious matter, so might as well give it our all," Logan affirmed, then gave my knee a reassuring squeeze.

"I honestly don't know what I would do without you, Logan. You're honestly a good man," I murmured, laying my hand over his and he smiled at this.

"I'm just trying to be a supportive boyfriend."

Boyfriend? The word sounded so odd to my ears. Sure, we had been dating for a couple of weeks now but we hadn't worked our way around labels yet so hearing call himself my 'boyfriend' was weird. It certainly didn't evoke any butterflies in stomach.

Logan stopped the car in front of a huge skyscraper. He opened his door and jogged around to my side to help me out, then we both got into the building. The interior of the reception area was elegant and held a certain aura of a higher level of professionalism. It was a law firm after all, the best one in the state perhaps.

As we approached the receptionist, she looked up from what she was doing and recognition flashed through her eyes.

"Mr. Hunter, welcome," she all but purred, flashing Logan a dazzling smile that her red lips had taken 0.015 nanoseconds to form. I should have been alarmed by the way she was assessing him through her long, fake eyelashes but I didn't feel the need.

He gave her a nod and a slight smile, much to her chagrin. "Hi, Beatrice. Is Ryder in? I would like to see him," he said, putting his arm around my waist.

Her smile vanished, and was replaced by a slight scowl when her glacial cyan orbs landed on me. "Yes, he in but he had a client. I'll see if he's wrapping up," she said through gritted teeth, picking up the landline.

A few seconds of exchange between her and the person on the end of the line ensued before she gave us the green light to head upstairs. Logan thanked her and led me to the elevators.

Stepping into the elevator, the seriousness of all that was happening finally settled in me. I was actually about to fight over custody of my child with my ex-husband and it seemed that all the odds were against me. Would I win or would I lose?

"You're starting to panic again."

I closed my eyes and leaned into the elevator wall and exhaled deeply. "How can I not? Bryce is serious about this and I don't think I'll win. I know I've been a bad mother, and overall, a bad person. Maybe I should have just agreed to give him full custody then I wouldn't been in this shitty situation right now."

Logan grabbed my hand then pulled me into a tight embrace, which I didn't reject. He smelled nice, but not as nice as Bryce did. 

"As I said earlier, I'm here for you and I'm with you till the very end," he stated confidently, then kissed my temple.

Just then the elevator doors opened and two men suddenly appeared in front of us. The first guy was a balding man with friendly features and I assumed that was Ryder. The other man I didn't even need to try to recognize him, I'd known him for a long time now.

"Logan!" exclaimed Ryder. "Good to see you, man. I heard you had just arrived and lucky enough I was just wrapping up a meeting with Bryce Roberts over here."

I immediately detangled myself from Logan's hold and straightened myself. Bryce looked a bit flabbergasted to see us but it quickly morphed into something along the lines of disdain. He was still wearing the same outfit from earlier, but his hair was messy and his t-shirt was slightly crumpled.

Logan smiled tightly. "Great. Fancy seeing you here Bryce," he drawled sarcastically but Bryce ignored him, as per usual.

Bryce turned to Ryder and gave him a hand shake. "I appreciate that you're willing to help me out. I'll be seeing you very soon, Mr. Mitchel."

Ryder smile broadly at him. "How can I deny such a interesting case. I guarantee you that you came to the right person for the job."

Bryce gave him one last shake then turned to leave, brushing past me in the process. I called his name but he only gave me a brief sideways glance and got into the elevator. Never in my life has anyone ever ignoring me hurt me the way it did right now.

The three of us got into his office which had minimal decoration and a very businesslike setting. Ryder took a seat at his desk and started fumbling with some paperwork, whilst we took the two seats in front of him.

"So," he began. "What do you need, Logan?" He didn't beat around the bush and just went straight to the point. I already like him.

"What were you discussing with Roberts?" Logan snapped unceremoniously, earning a blank look from Ryder.

"I don't see how that's any of your business but if you must know, he has recruited me to represent him in a custody case against his ex-wife. Poor guy finds out the bitch had been keeping a son from him for over five years. Unbelievable!" he exclaimed, for the second time within a short space of time.

At his words, I felt a pang in my chest and looked away. Great, he's already found a top-notch lawyer and that same lawyer already has a bad impression of me without formally meeting me. Go figure!

"Well Ryder my find, meet Aubrey Whitlock; Bryce's ex-wife," Logan introduced us. Ryder froze for a moment and then met my eyes, an apologetic look taking over his face.

"I-I had no idea," he stammered then extended his hand for me to shake. "Nice to meet you Aubrey Whitlock, I'm Ryder Mitchel."

I took his hand and give it a wobbly shake. "Nice to meet you too," I managed to squeak without sounding too scared.

Logan cut off our introduction. "So, you're going to help that prick?"

Ryder finally put the papers down and gave us his undivided attention. "Of course, I am, you heard what I said to him. This is truly an interesting case and that man's offer is hard to resist." Well, he probably wasn't wrong about this. I bet Bryce was willing to use up to half of his fortune for this case. I couldn't even fork out a single dime.

Logan was beginning to get worked up. "Ryder, I came here to ask for your help in this case. You can't be telling me that fucking Bryce Roberts already beat me to it."

Ryder blinked. "That's exactly what I'm telling you, buddy. And by the looks of it, Aubrey might not win this case due to a lot of extenuating factors, besides my being a kick-butt lawyer."

Arrogant and pretentious, aren't we Mr. Ryder Mitchel?

"But-" Logan wanted to say something but I cut him off by standing up.

"Logan, there is no point in begging. Mr. Mitchel has already made up his mind and it seems as though we've wasted our time in coming here. Let's go," I said in a clipped tone and began to walk out of the room but not before saying, "It was nice meeting you, Ryder."

Now I was totally disillusioned. Winning this case was going to be a helluva lot harder than it was before.
  

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