David Donner was seated in an office chair, his long legs stretched out in front of him. He rose when the bailiff opened the door, smiling broadly at Shego's startled expression. “You may close the door,” he told the officer, “I want to speak privately with her for a few minutes.”
Shego had lost the smile she thought would last for at least a week. “You?” was all she managed to say.
“Yeah, small world, ain't it? They figured if the Feds wanted you free they should be willing to monitor your probation. I told Zach I wouldn't mind, in addition to my other responsibilities.”
“Zach okayed this?”
“I'm going to kill the fucking son-of-a-bitch!”
“Oh, bad thing to say in front of your probation officer. I snap my fingers and you're behind bars.”
“You worked too damn hard at keeping me out to do that.”
“Oh, I don't want to do that. But I want to make sure you know your place.”
“And that place is?”
“I'll tell you what I want. But first I want three little words from you. Oh, and contractions count as one word.”
“You're a bright woman. You'll figure it out.”
Shego thought for moment, then mumbled something he couldn't understand.
“I think you might have it, say it again,” he demanded.
“I'm your bitch,” the pale woman said softly.
“A bit louder, it still wasn't clear enough.”
“I'm your bitch,” she snarled.
“God, I loved hearing that.”
She moved closer to him and gently ran her hand up the front of his jacket. “You know, we don't have to make this an adversarial relationship,” she whispered.
“Not if I have to work closely with you. I do have to work closely with you, right?”
She was up against him now, her body warm against him. He smiled as her hands began to caress his body. He gave her another minute, then said, “I only had the one recorder on me. I'm guessing it's been slagged.”
“The mike is tiny, did you find it?”
“Yep, sends a signal to a recorder I have hooked up in a room I rented under an assumed name. Paid cash. It's been recorded.”
She dropped her hands and stepped back. “Bastard,” she hissed.
“Thanks, I've got a good learning curve. I'm definitely making some copies of that to share with friends.”
“So what do you want?”
“Nothing difficult. You know with the threat of federal charges we're holding on you we can call you anytime we want -- at least until the statute of limitations expires on those crimes.”
“Zach promised he'd only use me as a last resort. And I still won't do assassinations.”
“I know, and Zach often keeps his word. Look, outside of normal probation officer relations there are really just two things I want from you.”
“Wait, what do you want in terms of normal probation relations.”
He handed her a card, “Call my office once a week. Tell my secretary you've been good--”
“You've got an office and a secretary?”
“I told you, I've been coming up fast since I met you. You're my good luck charm. Oh, and call and say if you plan to leave the country. I will need to be able to reach you in case of emergency.”
“What are the two things beyond that?”
“First, since I'm your probation officer I'm probably the one Zach will assign to call you if we do need you. Try to not give me any crap. I'm giving you a long leash most of the time -- remember that. Don't fight me when we need you.”
“I'll try and keep that in mind.”
“Second, a man works up quite an appetite committing perjury. I think you owe me a dinner. Hell, you owe a dinner to all the good folks you had backing you in this trial. Where are they?”
“The bailiff told them to wait for me in the lobby.”
“Then let's go out there, and you tell them you're going to take us all to dinner. Zach recommended a place… The Astor?”
“Most expensive restaurant in town.”
“He said I'd love their twelve ounce New York strip with black truffles.”
Shego looked around. It was one of the Astor's larger private party rooms and it was packed solid, paying for this was meal would probably cost her five figures.
David Donner, the Colonel, and Joe were at a side table, conversing quietly. Apparently all three felt that contacts in the other security services were potentially helpful. Will and Monique were together at the intelligence table, too absorbed in each other to notice anyone else. Shego resented the fact Steve Crandall was there with the other lawyers, but Judge Forest and Alice had insisted that it was an important lesson in collegiality. When he wasn't looking the pale woman scowled at him, he looked like he was having way too much fun. Adam was there as well; Alice said he had continued to help her on the case.
Friends from classes filled a couple tables. A few less prominent character references and a number of Legals filled other tables. There was a small Possible table next to the head table with the Drs. P, Jim, Tim and Joss.
The other residents of Casa Possible were at the head table. Kim sat on Shego's right with Justine on the pale woman's left and Felix beside her. Ron was next to Kim, and Shego noticed that Bonnie had maneuvered herself between Ron and Zita. The two infants were in high chairs on either side of Kim.
Drakken and Hego were at a table with Wade and three Legals. It appeared to Shego that Wade spent more time looking at Joss than he did talking with the others at his table. And her brother looked like he had a whole side of beef on the platter in front of him. Shego looked down at her small salad. Maybe if she didn't eat again for two years she could pay for this.
Shego sighed softly, she really needed to hire an accountant and figure out how much money she had in her various accounts. The lawyer's bill was going to cost her a bundle. Work on the house was expensive, and she had no income and probably wouldn't have any for three years while she went through law school. But she would have tuition, books, and other expenses. The judge's references to civil penalties were frightening. She told herself she was probably fine, but she was more worried than she cared to admit. She caught herself wondering about a small bank robbery somewhere, just to tide her over.
The pale woman leaned over and whispered to Kim, “I feeling the urge to do something evil.”
“So am I. Can you wait until we get back to the bedroom?”
“That's not what I mean, Kim. I'm feeling broke and thinking I need to rob a bank or something.”
“I've got my Global Justice handcuffs at home, want me to keep you in custody? Do you want me to be the good cop or bad cop?”
“Kim! It's not funny. Get serious.”
“I am serious. We haven't had any fun in two weeks; this trial has been taking all your attention. I expect some tonight -- and if you're still too preoccupied when we get home I'll find someone who isn't.”
“Monique is saving herself for marriage, ask Bonnie.”
“Maybe I'll ask Ron -- find out if Jewish men are as good as Jewish women.”
“I'm serious Kim. I'm feeling broke. I don't even know if I have a card with a big enough credit line to cover tonight's meal.”
The red head stared at her, “What are you talking about?”
“The meal we're eating, the Astor expects to get paid for it.”
“My mom and dad are paying for this. It's their Christmas gift to you. Dad is really grateful for all the work you did fixing the house up.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah. Didn't Mr. Donner tell you? He told Dad he was going to see you right after the trial and Dad asked him to pass the news on.”
A minute later Shego was able to catch the eye of the Federal agent, “I hate you,” she mouthed silently.
He stuck up two fingers in what a casual observer might have mistaken for a peace sign, but Shego interpreted the gesture correctly, “Got you twice.” She wasn't sure how, but she would pay him back with interest. That, however, could wait until after she came down from the high of being told she would not be going to prison. The pale woman suddenly became aware that Kim had been speaking to her again.
“What did you say?” Shego asked.
“I said I arranged a little job for you while you were seeing Mr. Donner in the judge's chambers.”
“I hope it pays well.”
“I'm not certain it pays any cash. But I think you'll like it.”
Shego groaned, “I don't need to do pro bono work until I become a lawyer. What kind of charity work did you set me up with?”
“Well, it's not exactly a charity. The colonel is going to have you do a security evaluation of a new building in Mexico City.”
“What do you mean, no cash? It takes a week to do a job like that right. It ought to be a ten grand job at the least.”
“A week? He said you could look it over in one day.”
“You're losing me again, Kim.”
“Wade arranged a ride for the two of us next Wednesday. You've got one day to look at security. We have four days on the beach at Playa. Just the two of us, and that housekeeper to cook for us. Christmas in Mexico again, then back here for New Years.”
“Just the two of us? No girls?”
Kim shook her head yes. “Think of it as the honeymoon we're not going to get.”
“God, I love you.”
“Yeah, but not recently,” Kim complained. “I'm bringing two very large bottles of sun tan lotion with us. We may never make it out to the beach. I'm going to leave you so exhausted you'll need to get back home to rest up from our vacation.”
There were days Shego wondered if Kim was some sort of divine reward for having done something right with her life. There were days she wondered if Kim was some sort of punishment. And some days Shego could not tell the difference and didn't care.