Write What You Know, Part 22
By Stephanie Thompson, 1,509 words
Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21
He was going to a cafe where he worked. At first she just thought it was a pit stop. He ordered a grilled sandwich and an orange blossom tea and sat at a table and read a newspaper. When she saw that he was endeared to him immediately. Bronx of course wouldn’t be so attached to modern technology, he was centuries old. He didn’t eschew it entirely just preferred analogue when he had the chance.
She order a hot apple cider to warm up her hands mostly and sat across the cafe from him waiting for him to go. She didn’t even consider she was about to spend the next four to six hours there or that over that span of time she would have to come up with some reasonable activity to do. No, instead she watched him eat, sip, and read and imagined what it would be like to cuddle up in bed on such frigid night. Or maybe on a sunny Saturday morning after breakfast in bed.
She hadn’t thought like that in a long time. If she wasn’t she, she’d slap herself.
Once again I’m severely regretting my lack of research. I’ve never had much need for research before and I’m a pantser after all. I knew there would be a police investigation or at least a detective in the story but I didn’t know it would be this involved or that it would include a cop viewpoint. At least not a cop view point while he was working. Damn me and my self-challenge to eschew typical romance cliches and not have the number suspect strike up a sexy love thing with the male cop investigating her. Also, damn my eyes for making this shit so crazy and a twist so juicy that I basically have to include a heavy investigation pov to make it work. But fuck, I’m really not looking forward to trying to do the research to make this shit work.
Okay enough complaining and damnation, here’s what needs to happen here: Christie’s lawyer needs to be there. I’m going with Stella found a criminal defense attorney and got him on retainer and had him no her come down to the station but she can’t actually see her client because Christie has not requested a lawyer at all. So she basically goes in with her client as soon as she asks but she wants to get her out and stop having her talk to the police or at least immediately end the interview to the next day. For suspense I guess or to thwart Christie’s desire to talk. So I guess I need to figure out how soon bail hearings occur, or can you get an emergency one if you’re a celebrity, or does she have to spend the night in jail and then . . . What exactly kind of jail or detention center would it be? I also really, really, really need to figure out if she is arrest for something like obstruction of justice for not coming in voluntarily or can she actually be charged with murder at this point OR can she really be held without being charged for 24 hours and hat exactly that entails.
I also need to know if a lawyer would encourage a “I’m being framed” approach with the cops or if she we would hold back the crazy fan theory. Because Christie definitely has to tell somebody that the victims all resemble tertiary and quadrary (is that a word) characters from her novels. All people who get killed by Nikki or the other fictional characters/criminals of her novels. I really want her to tell Stella, especially first but short of getting out of custody that same day, I don’t really know how to make that happen.
So, let’s go ahead and write some of these scenes and let’s just avoid the super police/law ones. Or Just write the bullshit and write all the possible scenarios. Fuck yeah, that’s a ton of words.
A lawyer was there sooner than she expected like they just had some waiting in the wings at the station. She didn’t have to call anyone or do anything.
“Officer I’d like to speak in private with my client.”
Officer Roderiguez who’d been staring her down for minutes now left but left the residue of her judgmental silence behind.
“Well Christie, I’m Lindsey Sawyer, I’ve been retained on your behalf by Stella, your agent, and I’ve already been working on your behalf. First, I want to ask, was it clear that you could ask for a lawyer at any time? Or did you ask for a lawyer sooner and was either ignored or told one was on the way but you could keep talking in the meantime?”
“Um, I don’t know. I mean, no I didn’t ask but no it wasn’t clear to me that I could ask for a lawyer at any time.”
“But you did sign the waiver, waiving your rights?”
“Yes, but I didn’t exactly read it. I mean, I thought I was here just for questioning. I mean, obviously but not really as a suspect but maybe as a witness or maybe. I don’t know, I don’t know what I thought it was all very sudden. Just quite sudden.”
“Ok. Did anyone explain them to you or offer to help you understand them?”
“I don’t know maybe, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too scared.”
She was saying whatever came into her head to not make her sound like a total airhead. This lawyer was so professionally intimidating in her black and navy pantsuit her, leather branded lap top bag, and high heels that made her as tall as a modern amazon, even when sitting down. In comparison, Christie, who was dressed for travel, looked like . . . Well like she could barely dress herself. She was competent enough to make it through her own contracts but too rattled to take care of her own rights.
“Ok. Well, first off well be getting you out of this station tonight. You have a bail hearing later this afternoon where I’ll likely be able to get you bail but probably due to your history and wealth is bound to be pretty healthy. On the hand we where able to rent you a place to stay while this gets cleared and and if you’re amenable to it we can maybe get it down if you wear tracking gear (I have no idea if this is a thing but it sounds good) Is that ok?”
“Sure, that’s perfect, anything to get me from staying a night in holding or detention or whatever they have here. Never again, please. I need to be somewhere sane.”
“Great. Do you have a passport because you’ll probably have to surrender it.”
“I don’t carry it around with me. It’s in a desk drawer back in Virginia. But I’m not going to go anywhere. I want this solved and if it is Helen. . .”
“She’s the one who had the phone. . .”
What prep was she doing if she doesn’t know anything about the case?
Oh no, don’t you dare. You shut the fuck up and I’ll deal with you later.
Some people are so touchy.
You are impossible!
“Um what. . . What was I talking about?”
“A phone and snd someone named Helen.”
She was taking notes on phablet, swiping across its surface, scrolling down to look back at her notes, and barely breaking eye contacts.
“Right, Det. Riley found a phone registered to me near one of the Ripper victims, but it’s not my current phone, it’s an older one I gave to a friend, Helen. So, I know I didn’t commit murder and I don’t want to beleive that Helen did either. Whatever it is, I want to help her. So I have no intention of leaving town, Ms. Sawyer.”
“CAn I get another hot apple cider and I think a shortbread cookie this time.”
“No problem, That’s $7.50.”
She paid with money she picked from someone’s pocket (or something, if she can do this why didn’t she do it earlier?).
“Do you mind if I ask you something,” he said
“No not at all.”
“Are you waiting for some one or did you maybe get stood up? I don’t mean to be rude or anything but you’ve been here a while and, well it just looks like you’re waiting.”
“Oh, yeah, I was meeting a blind date but I guess he chickened out or something. Now, I’m just a little to sad to go home alone.”
“Oh, I’m sorry I shouldn’t asked. What a jerk, you know. He could’ve at least texted. And…
“ He handed her her drink. “It might be, well whatever to say, but you’re very beautiful.”
She a faked a demure humility she didn’t posess. “Oh thank you, you didn’t have to say that.”
“He’s missing out.”
Her smile, her blush, the flutter of her heart was real enough and years since the last time she felt that way.
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