After going through all the evidence, witness statements, road traffic incident report, preliminary impairment testing and drug testing we were ready to proceed with the trial. Our client Lyla Golding was prosecuting Carson Duggar for drink driving resulting in the hospitalization of her boyfriend. Aire Webster who is currently in an induced coma due to the severity of his injuries.
We were at the crown court for the plea and trial preparation hearing. Jake was dressed in a smart dark grey suit with a crisp ice blue shirt. He looked drool worthy with his blonde, brown hair slicked back, he wore black oxfords that matched his briefcase. His silver Rolex watch hung around his wrist, he oozed power as we entered the crown court.
With us was Lyla Golding she dressed in a formal knee length black dress with shiny black court shoes. Her long chestnut hair was pulled into a sleek ponytail as she wore a black blazer over the top. Her face was make-up free, and you could see her eyes were slightly red as were the corner of her nose. Indicating how upset she was.
I’m not saying she wasn’t sad but in one of our pretrial meetings Jake had informed her to exaggerate how upset she was by not putting on make-up and if possible, adding a red purple tint so the judge wouldn’t miss this. He advised this would help her case.
Theodore Matthews was the judge in question overseeing the case, he was a young man, eager to make a name for himself proving his youth isn’t a setback, he was rumored to have a strict zero tolerance for misconduct, horse play between the defense and prosecution. It also meant that he wanted everything to be too the letter. Not unlike other
judges but he held no wriggle room having only graduated a few years priory this meant if a lawyer did not proceed by the book, he would favor the opposing lawyer.
At least that was the rumor.
There was another lawyer to assist Jake, Todd Webb same age as Jake I believe they studied together at oxford university. Todd has dark curly hair dark brown hair with light tanned skin. He is slightly shorter than Jake but still around 6ft. His personality is significantly warmer than Jakes, he always takes the time to greet everyone in the office, he is also the only person I’ve seen stand up to Jake. One Wednesday he silenced the office by telling Jake he was being a di ck head and to get his head out of h is ar se.
Sadly, I don’t know what the context of the conversation was having been in the filling room sorting out all the boxes of evidence we needed. These days if you want to put someone in jail you need all you I’s dotted, and t’s crossed.
My mind drifts back to when I was in Lyla’s position, she at least has managed to precure Jake Summers as her lawyer, a shark in this industry that no one likes to mess with, and I can see why. The lawyer I had was no where near the same caliber. The defense lawyer for my parents and sisters’ case was indeed a shark a great white that tore through the evidence, like a hot butter knife.
I felt sick at the thought of being involved with something like this, ever from this side of the desk. This case was going to be a struggle and I prayed it would end quickly.
The opposing lawyer arrived he was dressed in a navy three-
piece suite, a crisp white shirt underneath, he had dark hair and light stubble gracing his strong jawline. His eyes were what struck me the most, a piercing emerald green which held a menacing glint behind them. This guy meant business, he strutted through the court as he too waited to be called in before greeting Jake.
‘Jake didn’t realize you were the lawyer for this case?’ he had a deep voice holding a cold expression as they shook hands.
‘Carter, I could say the same, except I did my research. I hope your prepared for this case, I’d hate to crush you before we’ve even began,’ Jakes soothing masculine voice took on its usual cold edge, as he raised an eye brown sarcastically at the end. The broke their handshake and Carter just gave a tight nod his eyes flashing menacingly.
‘You remember Todd Webb, he’s my 2nd for this case,’ they both shook hands the polite informalities out the way.
‘Yes, Todd I think I saw you at one of my other cases a few years back, which one was that?’ he strummed his fingers. against his chin as he stared Todd down.
‘The fraud case, yes I remember let’s hope you win this case Carter,’ he gives him a cheeky wink which causes Carter to click his jaw. His cold eyes turn to me and I’m thankful to all the files I’m holding that I won’t be able to shake his hand.
‘Who’s this, lost another assistant already? Love you can come and work for me instead of this piece of work anytime. you like?’ his tone was softer almost a purr as he looked me up and down openly checking me out. I gave a tight smile in response as he eyes stared at my exposed legs.
‘This is Stephanie, and you can’t have her.’ Jake announces his eyes flicker to me as he turns shielding me from Carter’s gaze. The guy gives me the creeps there is definitely something off with him. I felt a flutter in my stomach when Jake said my name not missing the possessive tone at the end. I smile seeing his protective stance but there is no way I would ever go with this creep. I catch Todd watching me out of the corner of my eye with a confused frown before his face tuns smooth.
Carter introduces his entourage he too came with another ́lawyer and an assistant. I look over at the small blonde woman in glasses and button-down cardigan, she wears a tight bun at the back of her head her expression appears hollow, she twitches as he calls her before jumping and rushing through the court room doors.
We all take our seats, Jake, Todd and Lyla are sat at the desk and chairs set up for the prosecution, I’m sat behind, where the public and anyone else attending the trial sits, I see Carters assistant has taken a similar position as my own. The pretrial is closed from a jury and audience so it is just the eight of us, plus Judge Matthews an usher and clerk are already present as we wait for the judge to arrive.
‘All rise for Judge Theodore Matthews,’ the usher announces as we all stand.
In walks a tall slim man, his gown and wig adorn his person, he has dark brown eyes that they look almost black. His sharp pointy features make him look sever, his whole person is intimidating, it a completely different way to Jake and Carter. Theodore has that watchful calculating eye that makes you feel like he can see into your soul.
‘Lawyers approach the bench, the rest of you can be seated,’ his voice holds authority it resonates around the room as we take our seats, Jake and Carter approach the bench and I try not to stare at Jake a s s. Although now that I’ve seen it, I struggle to look away, it’s defined the muscles of his long legs visible as he walks. His broad back and shoulders taking up the room as he stands next to Carter, I need to suppress a giggle looking at the two of them is chalk and cheese.
In these types of cases the prosecution starts, Jake begins talking and bringing the case against Carson Duggar. It’s not an opening statement as such, more proving that the case deserves to be heard at the crown court with a jury or if a plea deal can be made.
I watch Jake articulate the case trying to focus on what he is saying but the image of him wiping my lips with his thumb and sucking it into his mouth continues to pop up. I shake the thought away when suddenly Jakes gaze snaps to my direction his dreamy blue eyes hold my gaze, and I don’t even realize I’m biting my lip until he looks away.
Stop it Steph you can’t go there.
Jake finishes his speech summoning up his points before walking back taking his seat, his usual cold glare on his face as he looks at me, I feel my cheeks heat up my heart fluttering with nerves. This is the Jake I know and I’m dreading what he is going to say to me.
Carter lays out his defen
to the judge, he talks for far longer than Jake and circles back to points he has already made. His eyes flicker to me they hold a hunger in them that makes me uneasy, I ignore his glances at me and watch the
judge instead, his calculating gaze remains he gives nothing away, he would make a great poker player with that face.
Carter finishes taking his seat when his 2nd whispers something in his ear his gaze turning round to me, and I unconsciously shuffle in my seat. I reason with myself that it’s nothing I only just met these people today, I smooth out
hair trying to ignore the sense of foreboding that looms
‘We will take a quick lunch whist I review both your cases, resume at 1pm sharp,’ with that judge Theodore gets up making his way out the door behind him. Carter discusses. with his colleague as Carson Duggar is taken back into custody.
Jake stands along with Todd and Lyla as they make their way out the courtroom, Jake signals for me to follow, I grab the files I have with me and catch up to them as they exit. Jake turns to say something to me but before he can al woman rushes over wrapping her arms around his neck.
‘Baby!’ she mewls as she presses her body against him before pulling him into a kiss. Jake wraps his arm around her waist, the woman is: short; slim; with a perfect hourglass figure, she wears 9″ heels and a short lace black. dress with her dark brown hair cascading down her body to the base of her spine.
They break away and a pang of jealousy flares through me, get it together Steph he’s not yours, he’s your boss what is wrong with me, I turn walking away not wanting to watch anymore, perhaps I’m just hungry that’s what’s causing this reaction… right?
‘Tara I’m at work what are you doing here?’ I hear Jake say.
‘Baby I wanted to meet you for lunch,’ she coos.
I’m too far ahead now to hear his response and I don’t care.
Steph he’s your crazy boss that drives you up the wall and makes you cry on a daily basis. I try to reason with myself that the incident returns to me and I can’t seem to remember his usual behavior.
I make my way to the Starbucks around the corner, I need coffee and something to eat.
I browse the shelves looking for something to eat that’s not going to bankrupt me. at this point I feel like a packet of crisps would do that. I decide on a cheese and ham panini.
Going over to the till I place my order handing the panini across to be heated up just as I’m about the pay I see a hand reach over, their credit card held between their fingers as they pay for my food and drink.
‘I’ll get that,’ I turn sharply recognizing the voice, I swallow the nerves returning once more as my stomach knots seeing Carter is the one who has paid for my food.
‘You don’t have to do that,’ I state but I’m too late hearing the contactless beep signally the transaction has already been made.
‘Too late now, besides I wanted to have a word with you,’ his voice is low not wanting to be overheard.
‘I don’t think that’s allowed I can’t be speaking with you,’ I
rush trying to grab my drink and food whilst Carter waits for his order.
‘Nonsense were both just grabbing lunch besides what I want to discuss isn’t to do with the case,’ he grabs his drink as I grab mine, I try to brush past him to get out, but he grabs my arm pulling me to the back of the coffee shop to two seats secluded in the corner.
‘I need to get back Jake wanted to speak to me,’ I turn looking at the door my exit, my escape. Carters grip tightens on my arm holding me in place, fear creeps up my spine.
‘Stephanie Bridges sit down, I just want to have a little chat with you, besides Jake seemed a little preoccupied,’ he smirked at me, releasing my arm once I was seated. I was steel hung up on the fact he knew my whole name, Jake only mentioned Stephanie how does Carter know who I am. My name isn’t on any of the documents for the case as I’m not a lawyer. I take a sip of my coffee barely tasting it as the question I’m dying to ask burns in my brain.
‘How do you know my name?’