AatW – 67

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The frozen ground stung Damon’s bare feet as he was escorted to the police car in handcuffs, so he hopped to get inside the warm vehicle as quickly as possible, not wanting to pause to hear what he was being arrested for – it was his third time within a year, and all the fight was going out of him. As dramatic as it was to be ambushed and hauled away, it was shortly followed by a long wait in a tiny room.

He requested a lawyer, and was assigned the same one that had represented him before Miranda had gotten involved. After an eternity, someone finally came in to talk to him.

“So, Mr. Rake, you want to tell us why you were living at Ms. Grainey’s house?” the investigator asked.

Damon stared sulkily down at the table in front of him, then answered quietly, “She forced me, okay?”

“And how did she do that?”

He fidgeted and looked around uncomfortably as he said, “Ms. Grainey told me that she would help me get visitation with my kid … in exchange for sex. She’d only help me if I slept with her, and I can’t afford any other representation.”

The investigator folded his arms and leaned back. “Are you aware that we found drugs on the premises?”

“No, sir.”

“Were you using?”

“No, sir.”

“There was a memory card with them, and we are currently looking at the contents. Do you have any idea what’s on it?”

“No, sir.”

“So you were only there because Ms. Grainey wanted a sexual relationship with you, and offered her services as a lawyer in exchange?”

“Yes, sir. My ex-girlfriend had my baby, and she’s doing everything she can to keep me from knowing my own kid. I wanted visitation, and the only option I had was to go along with Ms. Grainey.”

“The good news is, there might be some truth in your story. Your drug test came back clean.” The investigator looked up at the camera in the corner of the room and nodded, then said, “We have a witness who placed you at the scene where an undercover officer was murdered last year. Tell me about that.”

Miranda trembled slightly as she finished writing down her statement, doing her best to guess at what sort of story Damon had come up with to explain his presence in her condo so early in the morning. She signed her name, handed it over to the secretary, then pulled on her coat and picked up her bag to leave. However, she was stopped at the door, and informed that she was being placed under arrest.

She protested and argued, and almost refused the drug test until she thought better of it. There was no way she could avoid the positive result, and the lawyer part of her knew that it was better to cooperate. Then she was put into a room to wait, alone. It was agonizing to not fully know what was going on, and she wondered where Damon was. Aside from the little bit of coke that she had used to pick herself up every now and then, she hadn’t done anything illegal, and she prayed that it wouldn’t be long before she was released.

When an officer came in, she gave him a scornful look and asked, “Can I go home now?”

“Not yet,” he replied, sitting down across from her. “You probably know that you tested positive for cocaine.”

“I experimented with a tiny bit to get me through a crunch, and I deeply regret it,” she answered.

“Along with the drugs, we also found a memory card with a video on it. Do you know anything about that?”

Miranda went pale. “No,” she retorted.

“You’re in the video.” The officer was watching her closely. “Along with Mr. Rake.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. As his lawyer, we had a number of discussions, so a video of the two of us doesn’t mean anything.”

“Then why would it be hidden inside your mattress along with the cocaine?”

“I don’t know.” Miranda chewed on her lip as her mind raced. The officer sat and watched her, his eyes unwavering as he waited and studied her every muscle twitch. She had never been the subject of an interrogation before, and it was unexpectedly different from what she was used to as a lawyer. Her mind was freezing up.

“Mr. Rake has accused you of coercion.”

“Excuse me?”

“He said that you utilized your position as his lawyer to demand sexual intercourse with him.”

“That’s …” Her voice cracked. “It’s absurd. He was blackmailing me.” As soon as the words were out of her mouth, she wished that she could take them back. She had said too much.

“Is it true that you had an inappropriate relationship with your client?”

Miranda didn’t know what to say. The police had the video that proved that she had crossed that boundary with Damon, but she didn’t dare admit that she knew about it. The worst part was the thought that Damon had threatened and exploited her, only to then accuse her of doing the very same thing.

No, that wasn’t true. The worst part, the one that hurt inside her chest as if she had been stabbed, was the thought that he had so quickly turned against her after they had fostered something of a relationship together. After everything, he really did see her as nothing more than a temporary distraction.

“I want a lawyer,” she whispered.

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