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Gag Order – Installment 5 – Leave Your Shirt Button Open

Krasten had brought his home to his office. Proud photographs of his college days and football team competed with several trophies and a drooping miniature Stars and Stripes flag stuck into a wax apple. There were also recent pictures, taken in Singapore, with several lawyer types, and a couple of him, flushed and sweaty, beers held high and partying in clubs.

He joined Damodar & Associates and after six months made it to partner. It was a junior partnership but the trade-off was, he got his name on the sign board: Damodar, Bronn & Associates. The partnership also came with a coveted office in the new downtown that boasted a window with a nice view of Marina Bay.

‘This is good, Zinnia,’ said Krasten.

He was in rolled up sleeves and tie, and next to him stood Zinnia Welsh, twenty-something paralegal wearing a low-cut dress. She was a smart girl and worked hard but her dress sense screamed desperate at best, and slut at worst. Originally from Australia, now a foreign talent on an employment pass in Singapore, she did not have the suntanned look usually associated with people from down under.

They were going over some report, with Zinnia leaning down close, as if the weight on her chest was the culprit. A rough clearing of the throat made them look up.

Jeevan Damodar, managing partner and their boss, scowled. The belt hung low below his belly, which looked like it was on the verge of bursting out of the tight shirt holding it back.

‘Thank you, Zinnia. This is, uh, informative,’ said Krasten.

‘Mr Damodar,’ muttered the paralegal. She gathered her papers and, with head down, hurried out.

Jeevan followed her progress until she was out of sight, and turned with a questioning look to Krasten. The American held up a printout with the Singapore state crest.

‘The AG’s?’ asked Jeevan.

‘They’re hiring,’ said Krasten. ‘Looking for people young enough to mold but old enough not to wet their underwear and, guess who fits the bill?’

As if in answer, Wilona Cheah, glossy magazine attire to match her cover girl looks, and associate in the law firm, appeared beside Jeevan.

‘Yeva Tee’s interview transcribes,’ said Wilona and handed copies to the men.

‘Bastien’s wife thinks he was framed?’ said Jeevan as he scanned the report.

‘That’s right,’ said Krasten. ‘It always helps when the wife stands behind her husband.’

‘Not quite,’ said Wilona. ‘Her concern is for the children. Two kids, six and seven.’

‘Children? That’s no good,’ said Jeevan. ‘With his family expenses and all, does he have the money to pay us?’

‘Man, for a moment I thought you’d a bleeding heart somewhere in there,’ said Krasten and Jeevan returned a blank look.

Wilona quickly stepped in and said, ‘We intend to request a gag order to protect Bastien’s identity, for his children’s sake.’

‘Who’s the presiding judge?’ asked Jeevan.

‘Gurshan Singh,’ replied Krasten.

‘That’s great! Simply great,’ said Jeevan with a sigh.

‘Leave your shirt button open,’ said Krasten to Wilona, and he grinned.

‘Excuse me,’ said Wilona.

Krasten’s smile widened but Jeevan pretended not to notice.

*** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2017 ***

*** To be continued on Wednesday 28 June ***