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A Different Birthday
Part 45

by Graham

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Copyright on this story text belongs at all times to the original author only, whether stated explicitly in the text or not. The original date of posting to the MMSA was: 12 Mar 2018


Monday morning, Mr. Martinet called and spoke with Mike at the shop. He told Mike he had spoke with Judge Martin Fitzgerald, who had assured Mr. Martinet he would be pleased to swear me into the bar on the following Friday.

Mike said he was going to close the shop on Friday, and we would all go to the swearing-in, and afterward go to lunch to celebrate. I felt uneasy about it all, especially Mike closing his business and losing money; but I knew he viewed it as very important to all of us.

I worked Monday through Thursday with Mike. Friday, we met Mr. Martinet at the courthouse at 11 a.m., where we headed up to the 6th floor, to be met by Judge Fitzgerald, for the ceremony. As we were ushered into the Judge’s chambers, I was struck by how lavish and formal and ceremonial it all appeared.

Judge Fitzgerald took a Bible from his credenza and handed it to Greta. She held it out before me.

Place your hand on the Bible and then repeat after me the attorney’s oath, he directed. I did exactly as he told me, and repeated the oath that he recited from memory.

At the end, he shook my hand, welcoming me to the bar. Mr. Martinet did the same, seizing my arm just above my elbow, and whispering in my ear.

You be a good and honorable attorney, Clayton. Uphold the profession, be one of the ones people always can trust and depend on for the truth, for what’s right, and to be devoted to their causes. Understand?

I nodded enthusiastically and a little overwhelmed with the extent of the solemnity and somber reality of what had just happened to me. Mike came up and gave me one of his rare, engulfing, back-breaking bear hugs. I was beaming with joy and success.

Afterward, we all went out for lunch together. We invited Judge Fitzgerald, but he declined, stating he had other matters that required his attention.

About mid-afternoon, we broke up. Mr. Martinet reminded me to stay in touch, as he wanted to know how his investment was turning out. Before I could assure him I would, Mike spoke up. He will, sir. You can rely on it, isn’t that so, Clay?

Of course, I immediately agreed. We parted and Mike drove Greta and me back home. When we arrived, I asked Mike if we shouldn’t change immediately, go down to the shop, and open up for what business we could complete that day. He laughed.

You’re sounding like a chip off a block you never came from! Greta laughed, explaining that I sounded very like the Mike she knew for a long time. I was surprised at hearing that, but somehow it made me feel really good inside.

So, we did exactly that. By 3:30, Mike and I were back in the shop working, where we laboured for 3 hours, finishing up some of the vehicles. Once in a while, he would tease me by calling across to me, calling me Kid Esquire. It never failed to make me smile.

Saturday we worked all day, to catch up for Friday’s closure. Sunday we rested.

Over the weekend, Mike and Greta began asking me how I was going to go about trying to get a job in law. I told them I’d look online, contact some state agencies and district attorneys.

Mike suggested I call Mr. Martinet and ask for his advice, and also call Mike’s attorney for advice as well. As much as I hated to be so quickly back in touch with Mr. Martinet, I said I would do it.

Sunday, online, I completed a number of applications, and made myself a note to call Mike’s attorney and Mr. Martinet on Monday. Monday morning, I got up and dressed for work in the shop with Mike.

He asked me about my search for law jobs, and I told him what I’d done the previous day, and of my intended calls that morning. Mike told me to stay at home and make the calls, rather than going with him and getting busy where I might forget to call.

I said I could call from the shop on my cell phone, but Mike gave me the evil eye, which I knew I had better get in line with his wishes and directions. At 9 a.m., I called Mr. Martinet, who seemed pleased and eager to help me, and said he would give it thought, and also make some calls, and get back with me. I thanked him.

Mike’s attorney was more interrogating. How had I done in law school? What did I think I would like to do? What did I think I was most suited for? What did I not want to do? Of course, I had no knowledge to form answers to most of those questions.

When I told him I’d been on Law Review, he reacted, Oh, the bookish type, eh? You might enjoy being an appellate lawyer, he added, though you’ll have to learn how to speak on your feet in making appellate arguments.

Not knowing the realism of anything he said, I simply replied, Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. He told me he would ask around to see if there were lawyers who would look for a bright, young lawyer to handle appeals from their cases. I thanked him again.

It was 9:40 when I finished those calls and headed down to the shop to join Mike.

What’re you doing, here, Kid Esquire? he asked. I thought you were going to be looking for legal work.

I am, and, um, I just did. I talked with Mr. Martinet, and then with your lawyer. They were helpful and said they would make some inquiries and get back to me. So, Mike, I back to help you as much as I can, I concluded.

Well, I appreciate that, Clay, but you’ve got a new path of life to pursue now, so you’d better stay on it.

I know, I know, Mike, I answered, and I will. But for now, let me use my time to help you out, okay?

Okay, but don’t let me catch you working for an old grease monkey like me, when you should be starting your professional career. After all, how many lawyers start out on their legal careers with a hot, sore, spanked fanny? You don’t want to be one of them, Kid Esquire!

I grimaced and cringed at his admonishing words. We worked the rest of Monday together, and the rest of the week I worked with Mike in the shop too. Everyday he asked me when I was going to interview and seek a real lawyer’s job.

By Friday, I had a nibble of interest from the district attorney’s office, setting up an interview 3 weeks down the road. I also had a call from Mike’s lawyer, which surprised me plenty.

There’s a lawyer in the neighbouring town who tried a case in district court and won. The winning judgment is being appealed, and he doesn’t really like to do appeals. I told him about you, and he was very interested. He wanted to know what you would charge to handle the appeal, so he can obtain approval from his client, he informed me.

I told him I had no idea how or what I should charge. He suggested I use an hourly rate, and a modest one given my lack of experience; and then break it down to two parts: how much to prepare and file the briefing? How much to go and make oral argument?

That made sense to me, and I asked what a good rate would be. He told me to charge $150 per hour, which he admitted was low, but so was my experience. If I did a good job, was successful, and others heard about me, I could eventually raise the hourly rate.

I agreed immediately, telling him to let the lawyer know. He objected. Oh, no, Clay. You’re a young lawyer now. You talk with him. You know what to say, and promise him you’ll do a top-flight job. That’s all you can do, but it’s your responsibility now, not mine.

I thanked him. Later that morning I called the lawyer at the number given to me, from the little, old office of Mike’s shop, the office my mind quickly recalled where I’d been spanked so many times by Mike.

The attorney, Mr. Richards, was very friendly and kindly told me he’d hoped I’d call. He told me the notice of appeal has just been filed a week ago, so it would be at least two months before the appellants filed their brief. After that, I would have 30 days to file an appellee’s brief.

He asked me about my fee and expected total charges, and I stated $150 per hour, and said while I could not give a total, I could suggest a couple of ceilings, depending on whether there was just briefing, or also a later, oral argument.

It sounded like he was pleased with my rates, and said he would call me back to
confirm after getting the approval of his client. Exiting the office, I looked for Mike at once.

Finding him under a truck, I called out to him and briefly told hm what had happened. He sounded pleased, even amidst the stress of what was his immediate focus of concern with the big Ram he was under.

Around 3:30, my cell phone rang. I was in the midst of changing brake fluid and could not get to my phone before it went to voice mail.

Thirty minutes later, I listened to the voice mail. It was the attorney, confirming we were all set for me to handle the appeal. I immediately told Mike, who smiled, saying, Good work, Kid Esquire. I grinned back, realizing I had what would undoubtedly be my nickname for a long time to come.

It was almost two months after I was sworn in when I received the appellants’ brief and index to record on appeal. It was a Wednesday, and I did not see they were sent to me electronically until the end of the day after working with Mike in the shop.

At once, I knew I was going to need a large block of time to study the brief, the record, do research, and prepare an outline of my argument and start writing a draft of the appellee’s brief. With hesitation, I approached Mike that evening, telling him what had come in, and what I needed to do.

To my amazement, he grinned broadly and was happy. That’s great, Clay! You do it! Do a first-rate job, and let the lawyers involved on both sides know their dealing with a young lawyer force to be reckoned with. I expect you to do that, Clay! Got it?

I was taken aback and so relieved at Mike’s willingness for me to divert my time to this appellate brief. I planned to get started on Sunday, figuring I’d work Thursday through Saturday with Mike to help finish up pending projects.

Thursday morning, I was up at our usual, early time. Dressing in my old, work jeans, I started walking out with Mike to the shop. Where are you going, Kid Esquire? he demanded.

To work, to finish up the week, and our projects, Mike, I answered.

What?! he inquired. You have a brief to work on, an appeal, real lawyer work, he exclaimed.

Sure, I know, but I need to finish up our work in the shop, and then I’ll get right on the appeal, Mike.

Oh, no, you don’t, young man. You finally have some real lawyer work, and you’re not going to interrupt that with the shop work.

I was irked at him commandeering my work life and schedule, besides which I got a boost of pride in finishing work in the shop that I never would have been able to do, or be trusted with.

Look, Mike, I can do that, and I will. I can also finish up the work in the shop, and I want to. Just don’t sweat it all. I’ll handle it, I argued back.

We were near to the shop at the moment, and Mike seized hold of my arm to begin escorting me into the shop, steering me through it, into the small office. I was stunned at finding him immediately unbuttoning and unzipping my jeans, tugging them off my hips and butt, down my legs, while he lectured me.

Don’t you try to ignore what I’m telling you for your own good, young man! You have got a lawyer job to do, and that is what you are going to do, even if you have to do it sitting on a very sore, uncomfortable behind. Do you hear me, Clay?!

I was in an instant, emotional whirlpool of anger, fear, resentment, and yet understanding he was greatly concerned about me. Stop it, Mike! Stop it! You caaaan’t do this! I can plan my own schedule! Aaaaa-ummmmmph!

He sat back down on the old sofa and had pulled me down across his lap, my jeans tangled around my ankles. When he stripped off my boxer briefs, alarms of fright, dread, anger, and humiliating embarrassment sounded loudly in my head.

Noooo, Mike, please! Stop it! Doooon’t! I can choose my own work-aaaa-and ways-uhve-uh-doing it! Aaaa-ow-ow-stuh-aaaahp! Uh-ow-ow-aaaa-Miiike-uh-noooo! I cried out.

How many times had I gotten lickings with the old hair brush in that little, old, shop office? I could never calculate them all, but quickly knew one more was being added to the total.

In silence on his part, but increasingly loud screaming wails, and eventual bawling on mine, Mike lit into my backside and thighs. In frantic desperation, I feared I would never be able to use my butt and upper legs again.

I squirmed and squealed, thrashing about, bucking up and down, writhing around on his lap. Quickly, I realized that, if anything, I was weaker and more susceptible to his controlling hold and dominating discipline, than when he first exercised it over me almost 4 years ago.

He began the conclusion of my licking by harsh, rapid volleys of smacks with the brush, concentrating on my low, undercurved buttock and the backs of my thighs. As he did so, he sternly reproached and lectured me, and I wilted and buckled, surrendering once more to his superior, spanking authority.

You are going to forget about this shop, Clay! You are going to work, hard, thorough, long and determined like you eventually did for the bar exam, under Mr. Martinet. When it’s all done, you come talk to me about coming back to work in the shop.

Until then, if I so much as see you flirting with the idea of working with me, you will be right back in this came position, getting the same treatment, with same painful, disgraceful outcome. Is that clear to you, Clay Walker?! he demanded.

I was choking and gagging so much through my sobs, I could scarcely express my concurrence with what he was exacting from me. Realizing it, he ordered me to shake my head and shoulders to signal I understood and agreed. I did.

After a final, fiery round of swats to my lower rump and thighs, he stopped, allowing me to dangle and cry my eyes and soul empty. While I was still hanging draped over his knees, Mike heard a knocking at the still-locked, shop door.

Okay, Clay. You get up, young man, pull your clothes back up and on, and high tail it out of here, up to the house to work on the appeal. I’ll be checking in on you at lunchtime, so don’t even allow the appearance that you are not being diligent! Am I understood, Clay? he asked.

Crying hard, in a regressive, juvenile voice of submission, I squalled my answer assuring him I would. He grabbed my bare hips and pulled me up off his lap onto my feet. My hands flew back to tried to assuage the sizzling fire searing my behind.

Mike stood up, exited the office, calling back to me to get dressed, and get outta here, Clay! He slammed the door closed.

While he was unlocking the shop door and letting a customer in, I speedily fumbled with pulling my briefs and jeans back up, wiping my eyes, and anxiously vacating the office and the shop to avoid customers’ sight, before trudging back to the house.

Inside, Great took one look at me and knew what had happened. She walked up to me and pulled me downward and forward into her embrace.

Don’t be upset, Clay. He loves you and is crazy about what you’ve achieved. He’s determined that you establish a life as a lawyer, and not be content with working a job like his. I think you really know that, Clay, even when you’re upset with him as you are right now.

Whuh-uht’s so bad uh-uh-bout-uh-life and-uh-uh-job like he-uh-has? I cried. Mike’s done ruh-eally uh great! Huh-uh-I-uh-like whuh-uht we-uh-dooooo!

This is not the time to discuss any of that, Clay. You’ve got a real lawyer’s job to do, and you can do it, and do it well. So, just take care of that. Later on, if we need to all sit down and talk about your future work life, and residence, here with us, we can do that.

For now, go do what you are obligated to do, and do the best job you can possibly do. Sure, share parts of it with Mike, if you want to. He’ll be thrilled, and pleased, even if he doesn’t understand everything you’re telling him. Don’t sell yourself short, Clay, or short change the future, Greta finished her advice to me.

Standing all the while she spoke, I headed to the bathroom to wash my face, comb my hair, and sneak a peak at my very harshly, spank-marked bottom. Wiping away a couple of more leaking tears, I pulled my pants back up and headed to my bedroom.

Sitting down with agony on my chair, I began printing out everything I would study, organize, and use, in preparing the appellate brief. Several times during the day, when my butt would hurt so bad, I felt like succumbing to my crushed emotions.

Instead, I caught myself, remembering I had serious, legal work to get done, and also that Mike would whip my butt worse if he found me languishing in puddles of self-pity.

For over 4 weeks, I holed up in my room, working on the appellee’s brief, except for when I needed to go to the law school library to do some online research. A couple of times when Mike inquired about how it was going, I shared with him a particular concern I was dealing with.

He listened attentively, and smiled a smile I realized from Greta was one of flattered compliment, before telling me he had full confidence in my ability to solve the problem I was confronting. Finally, when it was 3 days before the brief was to be filed, I mentioned to Mike I was going to request oral argument.

Enthusiastically, he told me I should. Look, Clay, nobody else knows your position like you do. You should be willing and ready to advocate for it. There’s no negative side to asking and getting a chance to argue and defend your point-of-view.

I agreed, and so I did just that. When I filed the appellee’s brief, I also filed a request for oral argument. A couple of days afterward, I got a call from the lawyer who had sent me the appeal, enthusiastically telling me I had done a magnificent job, really great!

By that time, I had my first appellate case briefing under my belt, had learned firsthand how the appellate rules work, and my butt and upper back legs had healed up and no longer constantly reminded me of Mike’s fiats to me.

 
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