Court of Lies (MF)
[BookStrand Romantic Suspense]
Brooke's attempt to start a new life is shot to pieces as her ex-husband lurks around every corner of change. An advancement in her career begins with a contract offered by the charismatic Scott Marshall who also wants to contract her heart.
Her plans are shattered as a bullet rips through her shoulder.
Falsified evidence and twisted statements infiltrate the courtroom as a case of attempted murder multiplies its victims. Brooke's psychic friend furtively supplies clues to the detectives as they work against the corrupt local police force.
Brooke's conscious filters the evidence as she attempts to clarify her relationship with Scott Marshall and the possible manipulations of her ex-husband.
Both men have motive and opportunity and are suspects in her attempted murder.
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
“What the hell are we doing here?” Ty demanded with a slight slur.
“Calm down. I have a reason for getting you in here this quickly. It’ll work to your advantage,” District Attorney Sabin said.
“You need to get me out of here, now. I have patients to see in the morning. Their needs don’t go on hold for emergencies,” Marla’s rattled voice added.
Remaining low key, District Attorney Sabin responded, “You both know you’re on the list of suspects?” He turned his attention to Marla, didn’t wait for an answer, and continued with a severe look. “You may have to give up a couple days of work, but this will be better than a whole lot of years.”
After a minute’s delay, Marla wiped the worried look from her face and said with defiance, “Many years? You sound as if you already have it figured out that we’re responsible for this horrible shooting. Maybe I shouldn’t be here period.”
Ty followed her lead. “I don’t want to be here long, either. Considering what we’ve been through, Attorney Sabin,” he stated snidely, “What makes you think you have the right to bring me in here without payback?”
“Trust me. I know this seems backward, but it’s in your best interest.” District Attorney Sabin stood and put his papers back into a brown and tattered brief case. He shoved the steel chair underneath a rickety, matching table provided in the bleak conference room of the county jail.
Frustration replaced the smugness on Ty and Marla’s faces as the guards surrounded them to lead them back to their separate cells.
Sabin approached Ty’s escort. “Leave him behind. I need a few minutes with him yet.”
The guards left the room with Marla in tow. As their footsteps faded, Ty shot out of his seat and turned on District Attorney Sabin. “I want that piece-of-shit Marshall away from Brooke.”
“Hey, I’m working on keeping you from being committed for attempted murder. I don’t think I owe you anything else.”
“I don’t care what you think. I have your job and your life in my hands right now. There’s no limit to what you owe me for not turning your ass in.”
District Attorney Sabin scowled and shook his head. “Okay, you tell me how I’m going to keep Marshall away from Ms. Bellin. You’ve got me there.”
Ty spoke slowly, enunciating his demand. “I don’t care how you do it. Charge him for trying to kill Brooke. Then you can arrest him. If you can’t do that fast enough, put a restraining order or something on him.”
“That’s impossible. I can’t charge him right now and she has to petition for a temporary restraining order.”
Ty glared and slammed his fist on the desk. “Then fake it.”
“Can’t do that.” Sabin paused and looked over Ty’s head, thinking. “I’m not the only one dealing with the evidence for the shooting, and the only way we can get a TRO on Marshall without her consent, would be if she had a guardian and that person petitioned. Marshall doesn’t have to be charged or arrested to be served a restraining order. We just need the right person to file for it.”
“Get her a guardian then.”
“Not that easy. It would take months and a mental or physical reason to have one.”
Ty calmed before he asked, “How does a person get a guardian?”
“The purpose that would best fit Ms. Bellin is to have a court order based on a referral by a psychiatrist claiming she’s incompetent. The court would appoint a guardian. The guardian can petition that she’s an individual at risk against a certain person, Marshall for instance.” Attorney Sabin shook his head. “I don’t see it happening.”
A sly smile escaped Ty’s lessening anger. “I can do that.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, what do you think I did for the last two years when I was recovering from a stroke? I played games. Games on the computer, and not the kind that you buy at the store to download.” Ty rubbed his jaw. “Get me a pass to the computer lab, and I’ll be back in a couple hours with a form making me Brooke’s guardian.”
“Not gonna work.”
“Sure it will. I’ll get the form, scribble a psych’s name on it, and then you call in a quick favor from your buddy the judge. How long will it take to get Marshall the news?”
“If it works, which I doubt, the TRO has to be executed within one day.” Sabin’s mind began to whirl as he realized Ty was serious. If the document appeared authentic, he considered how long it would be until someone figured out the game. Wiping his hand across his forehead, he prayed that it would last long enough to convince Ty to keep his mouth shut.
“Perfect.” Ty locked stares with the district attorney. “Get Marshall away from my wife.”
Sabin adjusted his briefcase under his arm. “She’s not your wife.”