“It can’t go on this way, Cass,” my partner, Adam Jensen said.
We were both lawyers and started a law firm a few years ago.
While his career was flourishing, mine hadn’t gone so well.
According to Adam it was because I couldn’t keep my personal feelings out of court.
Of course I didn’t see it that way.
I knew I was a good lawyer, and that I worked hard.
It wasn’t my fault no one else saw things my way.
If only they could. It would help in the case I’m working on right now.
“All I’m asking you is to stop letting your feelings influence what you do in a case,” he said.
“You know how I think, Adam,” I said. “Things are black and white to me. There is no grey.”
“We’re dealing with people,” he said. “Not robots. There is always a grey area.”
I shook my head.
“Not to me,” I said. “You’re either guilty or you’re not. Laws are there for a reason.”
“If you’re going to have that kind of attitude I’m going to be forced to take you off this case,” he said.
“You can’t do that!” I said frowning.
“It’s not what I want to do,” he said. “But you’re giving me no choice.”
He leaned in and sighed.
“This is a big case for us, Cass. This can make or break us.”
“So, what?” I said crossing my arms. “Am I just going to be stuck on small cases now?”
“For the time being at least,” he said.
“Unbelievable!” I said and slapped the table with my hand.
“I know things haven’t been easy for you in your personal life...”
“This has nothing to do with my personal life!”
“But you can’t let it affect your job, Cass. People are counting on us. This isn’t a game, it’s people’s lives on the stake.”
“I know how to do my job, Adam!” I said.
“Maybe you should take off for a while,” he said. “Just get your head cleared.”
“I don’t need to take off!” I said. "Just let me finish this case. I know what I’m doing. I’ve got this one in the bag. All I have to...”
“No way,” he said. “I’m sorry. But you’re off the case.”
I stared at him shocked.
I balled my fists, stood up and gathered my files and left the room.
“Fool!” I said under my breath as I stalked down the hall towards my office.
How could he do that?
Just take me off the case! I’d been working my ass off for this firm and on that bloody case.
I had it in the bag.
I know I did!
This was such a mess. And no matter how I begged I knew he wouldn’t give it to me again.
It was humiliating. Being told I wasn’t fit to do my own job.
And my personal life had nothing to do with it!
I mean, he was right.
My personal life wasn’t the best.
I was still nursing the heartache of my engagement ending and my now ex-fiancé, Chandler Price, getting married in a couple of days to another man.
Yes, sometimes I self-medicated.
Sometimes I was too tired to focus because I’d been crying the whole night and struggling with insomnia.
But I knew how to do my job.
I was a good lawyer.
It didn’t matter if Adam saw that or not.
He might not agree with my principals but I knew I was right.
People who do bad things go to jail.
People who do good things are set free.
I refuse to defend someone who’s a criminal. Which is why I changed my strategy in court.
My client was a guilty woman.
I wasn’t going to pretend as if she wasn’t.
If she didn’t want me on her case, then fine.
But as long as I was a lawyer I was going to stand by what was right and wrong.
If you told me I’d be chased by the police through the crowds in the busy city center, I probably would have thought you were missing a few screws.
But here I was being chased out of the building I used to call my job and running and dodging in a sea of people.
Luckily for me I managed to disappear through the crowds and the cops couldn’t get me.
Then suddenly one cop saw me and chased me all the way through a bunch of ally ways.
I almost got hit by a car which pulled out of a parking lot.
But I managed to swerve out and run away from the cop.
I was thanking my lucky stars while leaning against the wall of an alley way still watching the cops run passed…
“Suckers,” I said.
…when suddenly I heard a sound of something clamping shut.
I looked down at my wrist now cuffed with one handcuff.
And then towards the cop smirking at me and a feeling of dread formed in my mind.
“Gotcha now,” he said while cuffing my other hand.
The cop called over the radio,
“Dispatch, this is Unit 5-Alpha. We've got the suspect in custody.”
I’d been assigned my new case and to say I wasn’t happy was an understatement.
The guy I was to defend was an absolute menace to society.
He used to work for a company in a laboratory when he released all the animals in the building and tried to get them transported in a truck during night-time.
He worked as the security guard so his plan would’ve worked perfectly if it wasn’t for him accidentally being caught on one camera that he didn’t disconnect.
The owner of the building realized what was going on and contacted the police.
He was soon caught by them and taken into custody.
So basically I had to defend a criminal that should be in jail.
Who knows what he was planning on doing with those animals.
For all we know he was planning on doing experiments or trying to sell them on the black market.
Whatever was his plan, I didn’t have a good feeling about this man.
And when I sat in front of him at the jail, that feeling became even stronger.
I looked the guy up and down.
He didn’t look like the type to do a crime like this. In fact, he looked like he was a decent guy.
He was quite handsome.
His hair fell around his face in beautiful curls. He had a five o’ clock shadow and these piercing blue-green eyes.
I had to admit I was staring a bit.
And that was partly part of the reason I felt uncomfortable around him.
So, yeah, I guess I found him attractive.
But that didn’t matter!
He was the scum of the earth and I would treat him as such.
I wasn’t that friendly with him.
In fact, we didn’t get along at all from the beginning.
I told him in as much detail as possible that what he did was wrong. And that I wasn’t pleased with defending a criminal like him who abuses animals.
He didn’t take that lightly and started defending himself.
“I was trying to help those animals, not kill them!” he said.
“Sure,” I said. “If that makes you feel better. I’ll be back for another meeting with you. Try not to get in trouble while you’re here.”
With that I got up and walked out of the jail cell.
The last thing he said to me was,
“You’re gonna help me, aren’t you?”
“I’ll try my best,” I said giving him a cold look.
“Please,” he said. “You’re my last hope.”
“We’ll talk soon,” I said and walked down the hallway with the police.
I knew I had to do my job. But I wasn’t looking forward to it.
I’d defend him as much as I could.
But if he was found guilty, I wasn’t planning on fighting for him.
I could see it in his eyes.
He thought I was scum.
Just the way he looked at me.
But I know I did the right thing. I was trying to help those animals not kill them.
This was really a problem.
If he wasn’t going to defend me right, I might lose in court.
And who knows what will happen to me then.
I can’t go to jail.
I don’t belong in jail.
They’d eat me up for breakfast in there.
I’ll need to convince him of my innocence. Maybe next time I can talk to him about what happened. Tell him everything from my side.
But it didn’t seem like he wanted to talk to me much.
I kind of felt angry at first.
He literally just came in and immediately treated me like dirt.
He seemed like the rich type.
I didn’t grow up rich, heck, guys like him would never even give me a second glance if they’d walk passed me.
I have to admit, though.
He was an attractive guy.
And he looked great in a suit.
But that look in his eyes.
I’ll never forget it.
Still I was really curious about him.
I wonder what made him the way he is.
Why did he come off so cold and distant.
But it didn’t matter right now.
All that mattered was getting out of here.
And I’d have to do it, with or without his help.
After that first meeting I had quite a few meetings with Jeffrey about his case.
Still he didn’t give me the vibe of an evil criminal.
I just couldn’t figure out this guy.
And then today the first hearing of the case happened.
It was a rough one.
And he was sentenced to house arrest for the time being.
And that should’ve been it.
I would see him again for the next appearance in court and then finally the case would be over and I could move on with my life and forget he existed.
No, things didn’t go that way.
Because something came up.
Apparently Mr. Animal guy currently lived in a shelter and didn’t have a house to live in.
I asked about his sister but the court said he couldn’t be moved to another state while the case was going on.
Which I found ridiculous of course.
“What are we supposed to do then?” I said.
“Find him another place,” the judge said.
“Where are we going to find another place?” I said. “With all due respect your honour there’s no place else he could stay. “
“If you can’t find a place for him to stay he’ll have to be kept in jail instead.”
“But your honour...”
“That’s my final decision!”
The judge sentenced me to house arrest for the time being.
And I was relieved at first that I didn’t have to stay in jail for the time being.
Until I realized I didn’t have a place to stay.
I was staying at the shelter down town. There was no way the court would agree to me serving my sentence there.
I do have a sister, though. I’d told Cass about her a little so he knew about her too.
But when Cass had a meeting with me again in my jail cell, he didn’t look very happy at all.
He told me the court decided not to have me moved to my sister’s.
“Then where do they want me to go?” I asked confused.
“At mine,” my lawyer said.
“What?” I said surprised. “What do you mean at yours?”
“At my apartment. What else?” he said. “Look I’m gonna be honest with you. I’m not very pleased with you staying in my personal space.”
He shot daggers at me with his eyes.
“But we don’t have a choice here. It’s either this or you stay in jail.”
He took a step closer.
“So first off don’t think of getting comfortable. It’s still my apartment not yours. You will follow my rules or you’ll just have to serve your sentence in jail instead. Is that clear?”
Shocked by everything he said all I could do was nod my head.
“Good,” he said. “You’ll be moved tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” I said but he didn’t stay to listen.
I stared at the closed door after he slammed it shut.
Does this mean...
He offered to let me stay with him so I didn’t stay in jail.
I arrived at Cass' house with my possessions in a sports bag, feeling nervous about staying with my lawyer.
Cass greeted me at the door with a quick nod and showed me to my guest bedroom.
The room was clean and spacious, but it lacked any personal touches that might have made me feel more at home.
Over dinner, I tried to make small talk with Cass, but Cass was distant and uninterested. I felt awkward and out of place, like I was imposing on Cass' hospitality.
I tried to keep the conversation going, but Cass cut me off and said he was tired, then retreated to his bedroom.
I stood in the hallway, feeling disappointed. I'd hoped to establish a rapport with Cass, but it seemed like he didn't like me.
I wondered if I had done something wrong, or if Cass was just naturally unfriendly.
Either way, I knew I had to find a way to make the best of the situation.