“Why did you walk,” Heather asked, “When we have perfectly good transportation?”
Garison, turning his back this way and that in the universal motions of “getting the kinks out” told her, “Because I started the day stiff as a board and thought a bit of a walk would do me good.”
“I’m going to take a wild guess and say it didn’t,” she chuckled sardonically.
“We’ll never know.” At her skeptical look, he defended, “We have no way of knowing if my back would have been worse if I hadn’t walked, now would we?”
“Always the lawyer,” Heather mumbled, then gave him a smile.
Jody came in just then and, seeing Garison’s contortions, turned to Heather and asked, “He walked, didn’t he? And now he’s trying to tell you that walking actually helps his back, isn’t he?”
“Am I that transparent?” Garison asked them, looking down at his hands as if he could see through them.
“No, you’re that predictable,” Jody told him, then kissed him on the cheek. “Good morning, Boss.”
“Good morning, Employee,” he replied in a mock-serious voice.
“So, what’s on the docket today, Mister Barrister?” Heather, she of the black hair that shone in any light as if it were made of glass, asked.
“Retirement,” Garison replied, surprised that Jody said the word in perfect harmony. Whether with a flute or just her voice, Jody always had had perfect pitch. Garison cocked and eyebrow her direction and said, “I really need to work on my repertoire, it seems.”
“Why?” Jody chided him with her arm around his ribs in a loving embrace. “When we all have our lines memorized so perfectly.”
Garison returned her squeeze and walked over to his desk. Sitting down behind it, he took up a sheaf of paper recently set down by Heather. Eying the well-worn top page, he sighed and asked, “Tell me again why we continue to allow ourselves to be … retained, by the Honorable Jobab V. Fitch?”
“You used to say it was because you were honored that, upon receiving his pardon, he changed his name to Fitch because of his admiration for you,” Heather, who rarely understood the concept of the rhetorical question, told him succinctly.
“I knew from the first time he walked into my office that I should have given him the name Cottage, or maybe Garrett,” Garison grumbled, running a hand through his dark and thick hair.
“I think it’s sweet that he took your name after you saved his life in the war,” Jody injected.
“If only I had ducked,” Garison said wistfully. Then, looking at the two ladies, quickly amended, “I’m joking.”