“I’m so sorry for you, Adele. I can’t imagine being so heartless that you could take away a child’s legacy from their dead parents and still look at yourself in the mirror every day.”
“I have a feeling that James Hunter enjoys looking at himself in the mirror.”
“I have to say that sadly, I agree. He is definitely one of the most narcissistic people I have had the displeasure of knowing. Have you found anything out that will help you in your cause yet?”
“Nothing solid, but Seth has told me some things… what he can remember, but I honestly don’t think he knows what James did, exactly. He was a kid too when it all took place.”
“I can see that you are very fond of him.”
“I am, but I’m afraid I may have realized too late that his fear of his father runs a lot deeper than whatever feelings he might have for me.”
“I want to help you,” he said.
I felt a surge of hope once again. I was getting nowhere… I needed help. “Thank you, I can’t even tell you how much that means to me.”
“I can imagine. I loved my parents too and if anyone had tried to take what I had left of them when they were gone, I would have fought to the death for it. I have the good fortune as a shareholder to have access to a lot of private documents. I’ve never had reason to look through the old ones before, but I will be doing that now.”
I lost my head for a second and threw my arms around the portly little man. I felt his body shake as he laughed. When I let go of him my face was hot with embarrassment. “I’m sorry. I’m just so grateful.”
“Don’t be sorry. It’s been a long time since a fat old bald man such as myself received such an affectionate hug from a pretty young lady.” He took two business cards and an ink pen out of his breast pocket and handed it to me. “My numbers are on there. Write yours down for me on the other one.”
I did as he asked and he said, “I will be in touch. If you need to get ahold of me before that, A—Erin,” he said with a smile. Calling me that let me know that he was willing to keep my secret safe. “Feel free to call me anytime.”
“Thank you so much. I will always be grateful.”
“I hope I can help you,” he said. “I will do my best.” I stood rooted to the spot while he left. I felt like the stars were finally lining up on my side.
I stood there looking around the room I was in for a full five minutes after Phillip left. It was definitely a library. It was filled with classic and out of print titles that were probably worth more than all of James’s executives yearly salaries put together. I had to look at all of this excess that he seemed to flaunt and wonder how much of it came from illegal or immoral gains. I hardly doubt that his taking advantage of me was the first or the last time he took advantage of someone. Shaking my head in disgust, I moved on. No one was in the hall so I headed in the direction I had been going in to begin with and slipped into the next room I came to. It was some kind of office, or study. There was an oversized cherry wood desk in front of a plush looking leather chair. Behind it was a set of shelves that contained gold framed photographs of James Hunter with various public figures and even a few celebrities. I didn’t see any of him with his own son… imagine that. To the left of the shelves was a large wooden filing cabinet.
I went back over to the door and looked out into the hall once more. It still appeared that I was alone. I closed the door and went over to the filing cabinet. Sliding the top drawer open I saw neatly organized files with dates written across the top of each of them. It appeared that they were in chronological order. The drawer I was in appeared to be recent files from this year. I knew that I didn’t have time to stand here and go through all of them right now, although I would have liked to… for no other reason than to see what other evil things this man had been up to. I closed that drawer and opened the one on the bottom. I found the year I was looking for and pulled out the first file. It had documents in it… original documents for the purchase of an apartment building on Park Avenue. I put it back and pulled out the next one. This one was a court document and I saw the name I was hoping for: Morgan Corp.
It listed my father’s company as the “Plaintiff” and the “Respondent” was listed as the one and only James Hunter. My father was suing James? I turned the first page and began reading. It looked like my father was suing him for a breach of confidentiality. It also said that James Hunter was filing a countersuit against my father for slander. James was a lawyer during that time. Was he my father’s lawyer before the civil suit? I began to turn to the next page when I heard the sound of footsteps on the smooth wood floor in the hall. Damn it! I’d left my bag up front with my coat. I didn’t have anywhere to put the papers in the slinky dress I was wearing. I shoved the file back in the drawer and closed it. I would have to figure out another way to get back in here. I stood up just as I heard the doorknob turn and acted like I was looking at the photos on the shelf.