“M-M-Miss Patty, you have a visitor,” Pops stammered.
Behind Pops, the familiar face and form of Trent Leary emerged from around the tent. Trent was dressed in his typical fine-tailored suit and tie, his medium-length chestnut hair styled perfectly. Patty often thought to herself that the 28-year-old would be better suited to be an underwear model than a lawyer for the Berns and Stein Circus. Berns and Stein was the largest and most well-known circus in North America, but Pops’s Kaleidoscope Circus had a solid reputation in the Southern U.S., which is what kept them in business. Berns and Stein wanted to increase their market by buying the Kaleidoscope name and capitalizing on the Kaleidoscope reputation along with it. Although it was Pops’s circus, Patty was the legal decision maker, as her father had been before her, ever since Pops’s mind had begun to fail. The young lawyer had approached Patty three times already with offers from his client. All three times, Patty had answered firmly in the negative.
“I’m sorry Miss Patty, I told him not to come back here,” said Pops. The elderly ringmaster hung his head in defeat.
“It’s okay Pops,” said Patty.
The slender young circus manager crossed her arms in an irritated manner, shaking her head and giving the young lawyer a quick up and down scan before speaking.
“Aren’t you sick of being rejected?” she asked, making no effort to hide her irritation at the sight of Trent.
“What can I say? I guess I’m a masochist,” Trent replied.
The dashing young lawyer completed his statement by cracking a smile. Patty’s aggressive demeanor hadn’t fazed him.
“You must be,” Patty responded.
“Look, I know you’re sick of seeing me, but I work for my client…they’ve told me to come to you with a new offer,” Trent said, more serious than before.
“The answer is NO!” Patty stated.
“You haven’t even heard the offer yet,” Trent tried to reason.
“I don’t care what the offer is. Pops entrusted my family with the care of his circus and I will not sell it out from under him. I will not let Berns and Stein profit from the name that he and my father spent a lifetime building,” Patty hissed.
“Listen, my client will promise to employ as many current staff as possible and ensure that adequate care is found for all of the animals…,” Trent bargained.
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