This is #2 of Endangered and is titled Father of the Year. This is also Part 2 of Volume 1.
Father of the Year[edit | edit source]
James watches while Michael enters his old, black car that sits outside, and after a minute, begins to finally drive away, after it just sat there for a few moments. Once again his step brother, Michael showed up and tried to see her. Then like always James denied him. Sure she was Michael’s birth daughter but he was not her father. He was never there for her , at least, but James was. He was always there.
After seeing Michael’s car pull out into the night he closes his blinds, and makes his way away from the door, instead heading back to the living room. However his small walk keeps getting interrupted at the thought of Michael comes into his head. He felt a small, only small, amount of regret for the man but his anger won’t leave him. The anger he caused him.
What did Michael really think? That showing up here, almost at midnight, with a girl in the backseat would help him? If Michael honestly cared he would have showed up earlier, and James wasn’t just gonna let Michael ruin Sarah’s life. Again.
“Dad?” The faint, pretty voice of young woman comes into his ears and he turns his head over toward the couch, where she comes into view. The long, ginger hair, the bright eyes, and her glowing skin made James smile, but sad at the same time. She was no longer his little girl, then again she never was. “Who was at the door?” She asks again, breaking him out of his thoughts, yet James doesn't want to answer.
“No one. Just some guy at the wrong house.” James lies as he takes a seat next to her on the couch, their movie still playing. She, Sarah looked at him with slight distrust, like she didn’t believe him, before hitting play on the movie again. Friday was always their movie night and tonight it was Olympus Has Fallen.
“This movie’s a massacre.” Sarah jokes as she reaches for more popcorn, deciding not to get into the distrust. James smirks in a gesture of a laugh.
“You mean you don’t like blood and gore?”
“I’m not a tomboy.”
“Well, I don’t know..” James says and Sarah returns by throwing a piece of popcorn at him. James only laughs at her before picking up the popcorn and eating it. This was the basic relationship between the two, but the older Sarah got their relationship slipped. She was growing into more adult stuff and although James tried sheltering it from her, he couldn’t. This world was so full of shit that it’s found at every corner.
James decides to finish the rant in his head and looks over at Sarah, noticing the gifts that were over by the patio door. Today she turned fifteen and truth was they didn’t do much to day. She got gifts from her friends at school, went to the mall with her friends, and James took her out to her favorite restaurant. But he still had some tricks up his sleeve.
“How was your birthday?”
“I had fun. Got some stuff at the mall, had dinner with you, and I’m watching a massacre on TV.”
“Stuff at the mall? I swear to God if I see you wearing slut clothes..” James jokes.
“Oh yeah Dad, you know me. Shopping at Victoria’s Secret all day.” Sarah jokes with him, keeping a straight face as she does. James just shakes his head.
“I swear to God..” He mutters with a smile. She always did love to mess with him. The time had to end however because James noticed the time and they both needed some sleep. “Alright time for bed.”
“Dad I’m fifteen. I dont think I need a bedtime”
“We’ll discuss that later but for now up to bed.” James says, standing up and gestures toward the stairs. Sarah only sighs as she gets up, he still was treating her like a kid.
“Goodnight.” James said as he watched her walk off toward her room before he too headed to his room. He wasn’t ready to get up early for work tomorrow.
And oh boy was work quite a story.
Had to be around 10:00 A.M. the next day as James drove his car through the streets of Philadelphia, and the sun was just beginning to shine through the skyscrapers. His car stood out among the others due to its black stainless paint, the scratchless windows, and the silver tinted tires. He had quite the ride, and the money, compared to other people. Being a lawyer has its perks.
James however kept glancing at the clock rather than the road, afraid of being almost late. James was always a responsible person and tended to be good when it came to things, such as being on time. He probably would have been there by now but the major traffic back in his neighborhood changed his plans. The traffic he was caught in now didn't help either, and the music he was playing failed to calm his nerves.
“Shit…” He muttered to himself as he noticed the road work going up ahead, which would only increase the traffic that was going on. James had to meet with some clients today so being late wasn’t an option.
Shifting the car’s gears he zooms out of the traffic line and steers to his left, running the red light as he does. James never was much of a law breaker but he didn’t really care about red light. Unfortunately the police officer did.
Suddenly James could hear the sirens go off and the lights flashed through his back window, causing the man to curse under his breath. Deciding to not waste more time he just simple pulls the care over onto the sidewalk, hoping the officer would just hurry up.
James glanced onto the side mirror and watched as a man stepped out of the car. The man wore a basic police uniform with a black jacket, and his pistol sat heavily in his holster. His heavy aftershave made James think he was some former drunk, but James just shook the thought out of his head as the officer made his way to his window.
Soon enough the officer knocked on his window and James lowered his window. “Morning officer.” James says with a forced smile but it is only returned with a scoff by the officer.
“You know ya ran a light back there? Someone need glasses.” Officer Karl Brody simply says as he takes out his notepad.
“Not today, sir.”
“Whatever.” Karl mutters under his breath before moving on. “License and registration.” James, nervous that he might get a ticket, quickly takes out his license and hands it to Officer Brody, before going for the registration. Officer Brody reads over the license and soon enough James hands him the registration.
“Sir this is my first offense so maybe you could just give me a warning-”
“Don’t be fucking dumb.” Officer Brody says as he hands James back his stuff before he reaches for his notepad, ready to write a ticket.
“You’re really gonna waste your time with me when there are people out there committing murder and rape right now?” James asks a little pissed off at the moment. He runs one red light and he gets shit for it, but people like Daniel Brown can shoot someone’s head off and not get any shit. With this in mind he awaits Officer Brody’s answer but he gets none as Officer Brody just simply hands him the ticket.
James’s eyes look down onto the slip of paper and listens to the footsteps of Officer Brody leaving. “Fucking seventy dollars for running a red light.” James thinks aloud before he looks over at Officer Brody’s car, which begins to drive away. “Little piece of shit.”
“Shouldn’t have ran the light bro.” A young man says as he walks down the halls with James. The man has a very similar appearance to James with a black suit, red tie and a white collared shirt. Just another lawyer.
“I wasn’t just gonna be late, Ben.” James says to his co-worker, Ben. Currently the two were on their way to their respective offices. The two of them currently had some cases, none of them good cases. There wasn’t any good cases anymore.
“Hahaha well looks like Mr. Perfect got a penalty for once.”Ben jokes to James who forms a slight smirk. James wasn’t much of a joker. ‘Perfect was quite a word.’ James thinks to himself before going back into reality.
“Yeah, yeah. Whatever.” James smiles lightly, proceeding by jokingly slapping Ben on the arm. Ben laughs for a second before taking a sip of his coffee, while James begins to adjust his tie. He was almost ready for work, yet he feels the need to ask Ben something. “Hows the relationship?”
Ben doesn’t return this question with a laugh however, this time taking a deep sigh. This was the question he always wanted to ignore but he knew James actually cared, unlike most people. “Not good. We fought again last night, in front of Jeremy this time too.” Ben takes a moment to think. “She talked about leaving again.”
James waits a minute to respond, thinking about the proper response. He remembers when him and Emily were fighting and how she threatened about leaving, which she did in time. “Don’t be like me.” James says to him “Try to work it out. Emily and I could have had it perfect but we let it go.”
“Just don’t let it go.” James says firmly and Ben simply nods. “I gotta get going. Just think about what I said.”
“Yeah. Later, man.”
“Later.” James says, giving him a firm handshake before he goes his own way. Ready for another day of work, yet he wasn’t looking forward to the upcoming case he took. Thinking of cases his client was gonna be there any moment.
Joel Ramsey eagerly taps his foot, over and over again as he sits in the lobby. He just wanted to meet this lawyer and get the whole case over with. Hell he even agreed to come here with Oscar, the one who had the police on his back. Having enough of tapping his foot he instead begins to flick his tie back and forth. “How much longer till this guy arrives?” Joel asks to his boss Oscar, who just seems annoyed right now.
“Would you be quiet? I need to think.” Oscar snaps impatiently.
“Whatever.” Joel says and instead goes back to playing with his tie. He never was much of the “teamplayer” and just wanted to get things done himself, one reason he was annoyed with getting a lawyer. Oscar however was different right now. For years he led his small gang throughout Philadelphia and his boss would always help him, but he was in over his head this time. FBI and shit was to much for him. Oscar needed help outside the gang.
Oscar soon shoots his head up and notices his lawyer come into view, James Benjamin. Nudging Joel for attention he soon stands up and reaches out his hand. “Morning.” Oscar puts on a smile and James soon shakes it, happy he doesn’t have a total bitch so far.
“Morning.” James looks between the two people, trying to get a read on them. But he had business to get started on. “Would you men please step into my office?”
“Sure.” Oscar says and he follows James over to the office, Joel tailing behind him. Now James didn’t mind talking outside but when it came to the corrupt stuff, he prefered to be in the office. Opening the door he allowed Oscar and Joel to step in, before he shut the door.
“Now what information have you brought?” James lowers his coffee onto his desk as he asks the question. He watches Joel take the papers out of his suit jacket and throw onto the table in front of James.
“The pictures, the evidence and everything is in there.” Oscar says and watches James take a look at it, flipping through pictures and reports. However within each flip James’s hope goes downward; the evidence was to strong. Pictures, reports, and even witnesses. This was some heavy stuff and James thinks about what kind of case he took.
“Jesus christ.” James says to himself, deciding to lay the papers on the table. “You got some heavy evidence against you.”
“You think I don’t know that? Not even Daniel can get me out of this.” Oscar snaps. “Just can you help me?”
“I don’t know. The FBI got drug charges, murder charges, prostitution charges and the whole seven yards pinned on you.” James admits and he is having some doubt. It’s gonna take a lot to get Oscar out of this and he’s only doing it for money? But he needed the money for Sarah.
“Look we didn’t come here for a shit response.” Joel speaks up. “We want shit done so are you gonna help us or no?”
James looks between the two men, the reports, and the picture of Sarah on his desk. He needed money and this gang pays big. Good or not he needed it.
“Give me time to look over this stuff but I’m in.”