(This is the third installment of a story I started on this blog a few days ago. I think the first but was on April 28 and the second on April 29. If you want to read this in context (I hope you will) just back up a few posts on this blog and then read forward.)
Megan Morris had never said no to him. Owing in part to his allegiance to Helen Hartfield and owing much more to mistakes he had made and thoroughly regretted with other women and girls in the time between Helen and Megan, he had not asked Megan any ultimate questions. Their relationship had started at work. In his law practice he had included a gig as an administrative law judge with jurisdiction to hear grievances of employees at the Veterans Hospital. Megan Morris had been hired at the hospital as a clerk and because there was no one else there who had the intellectual capability or gumption to handle the hospital’s side of the cases, she often appeared in the hearings where he presided.
There was no denying their mutual interest. She was very good looking and very bright and articulate. Nonetheless, she hadn’t seen much of the world and so the measure of wisdom and sophistication he demonstrated in the courtroom was enough to impress her. He did undertake to set things right and often his rulings actually left things a little better than they were before. Who else had she ever seen who was able and willing to do that?
The fact that he was the judge and she a party who often appeared before him gave him the kind of buffer he needed and wanted to allow him to get to know her slowly and in proper ways. He did not want to ask her out and set things rolling on the same road that every other relationship he had known had crashed on. That was his real reason but he allowed her to believe that he never crossed certain lines with her out of a sense that to do so would pollute the professional relationship they had to continue as he judged and as she advocated for the hospital in the regular hearings.
On the days he presided in the hearings, they ran into each other in the hospital cafeteria and talked, often in the presence of others, about anything unrelated to their business. They were both fans of the Cincinnati Reds.