Fiction Friday: Tough Defense (The End)

Tough Defense Part 1

Tough Defense Part 2

Tough Defense Part 3

Tough Defense Part 4

In court the next morning, Charlotte successfully delivered her closing arguments. She did what she could to refrain from making eye contact with Lester, and the prosecution did their best to keep from making eye contact with her. While Charlotte grappled with her unease, Lester attempted to draw the prosecution into a staring match. To rattle them, he said when Charlotte noticed what he was doing. She might have put a stop to it with any other client, but she felt too scattered at the moment to say much more than, “Hmm.” Could she actually be a good enough lawyer to convince both judge and jury of an acquittal she knew would be a mistake? Her head throbbed.

When it was time for sentencing, Charlotte found herself violently (though silently) opposing Andre Lester’s acquittal. As the jury read the verdict (not guilty, just as she knew it would be), Charlotte’s glance met that of the judge. She was startled to find a look of concern, a look that said, “Get out. Get out now before you’re too involved, before he knows too much about you and you know too much about him. Just get out.” Clearly Lester was not new to this judge’s courtroom. Charlotte briefly exchanged congratulatory remarks with Lester and the other defense attorneys before retreating to the the exit. As she passed the prosecuting attorney, his eyes (finally) met hers. She recognized the sentiment she found there, one of sympathy, and she forced herself to break away before he recognized the dejection in her own.

“Oh, Ms. Malloy,” she heard Lester shout from the front of the courtroom. “I am grateful for your services. I look forward to working with you again in the near future.” The cat that ate the canary? Yes, he was.

“Just doing my job, Mr. Lester. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to the office to file the final paperwork.”

He leered after her as she left. Oh yes, he thought, as he attempted to shake a wrinkle out of his linen pants, he would be seeing her again soon. He had to.

* * *

Text only ©2011 Jessica Cocita. All Rights Reserved

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