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Flipping the last page of the decision he had been reading, Sam Pope rose from his chair took a deep, satisfied breath, and let it out in a sigh of intense pleasure. He twitched his mustache en route to a smile. The smile broadened. He straightened his shoulders, felt his chest fill with excitement. Unable to contain himself, he growled an exuberant, "Way to go, Sam," and strode out the door.
"We did it, Joy," he said without breaking stride.
His secretary's eyes lit. "That explains the media." Even as she held out pink slips for the phone calls Sam had refused to take while he was reading the decision, her phone buzzed again.
But Sam was off, heading down the hall. There was a spring in his step. He felt on top of the world. He passed office after office but didn't slow until he reached the one at the very end. He wanted J.D. to be the first of his partners to hear the news. John David Maxwell was his oldest and closest friend.
The office was empty.
"He's at Continental Life in Springfield for the day," his secretary called from her station.
Sam felt a moment's disappointment, but it was gone in a flash. He was too elated to be weighed down for long. "When he calls in, tell him we won Dann v. Hanover."
The secretary grinned. "He'll be thrilled. What a victory."
"Yeah," Sam said, and tossed his chin toward yet another corridor. At its far end was a large corner office with generous views of the State House, the Boston Common, and the Public Garden. It was the office of the founder of the firm, the senior Maxwell. "Is John Stewart around?"
"He's in New York for board meetings. But he'll be impressed."
As he should be, Sam thought. Twelve years before, John Stewart hadn't wanted a litigation department in the firm. If money was the bottom line, as J.S. seemed to think, this justified it. No one could sneeze at a contingency fee of a cool six million.
Striding back down the hall, he knew he looked smug, but he didn't care. He stopped at the office two short doors from his own and rapped a hand on the jamb.
Vicki Cornell was the associate who, over four years' time, had worked most closely with him taking Dunn v. Hanover from the Superior Court to the Appellate Court to the Supreme Judicial Court. One look at Sam's face and she grew wide-eyed. "Yes?"
He grinned and nodded.
She let out a whoop. It had barely left her mouth when she was on her feet and at the door, extending a hand in congratulations. Sam threw political correctness to the winds and gave her a hug.
She didn't seem to mind. Stepping back, she looked as excited about the victory as he was. "We did it. Wow! Have you seen a copy of the decision?"
He nodded. "It's on my desk."
"Does Marilyn Dunn know?"
"And the others. They're coming in at three for a press conference. Do me a favor and call Sybil Howard? Channel Five has given us good coverage along the way. I want Sybil to have first dibs on questions. And call Locke-Ober's. Let's book a private room." He turned to leave. "Have your husband join us. And Tom and Alex, and the significant others we kept them from while they were working on this case." On his way out the door he said, "We've earned a celebration. It isn't every day that precedent-setting cases are won." To Joy, in passing, he said, "See you in a couple of hours."
"Where will you be?"
"At home. Or at the college. Wherever I find my wife." He had no intention of telling Annie the news on the phone. Not the way he was feeling. Winning Dunn v. Hanover was a coup. He had to see her face to face, had to hold her. No celebration would be complete without that.
More Than FriendsBy: Barbara Delinsky