Loan Some: Legally Bound by Olivia Batker Pritzker

Loan Some: Legally Bound by Olivia Batker Pritzker

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Previously… While cross-examining Melanie about her relationship with Sibyl Downing, William produces Exhibit A. Readers voted that Exhibit A is the transcript of a voicemail message left for Melanie by Sibyl. 

Episode 14

“Exhibit A,” William continued. “The transcript of a voicemail message left for the witness by the defendant’s sister, Sibyl Downing, one week before Mr. Carver’s death.”

A murmur ran through the courtroom.

“What?” Melanie looked shocked. “How did you get that? You had no right to go through my voicemail!” She looked at the prosecutor.

William smirked. “Perhaps you should have prepared your witness better, counselor.”

The prosecutor sighed. “Mr. White did obtain a warrant for your phone records, including texts and voicemail, Ms. Davis,” he said in a low tone. “I apologize, I thought you were informed.”

Melanie looked outraged. Sebastian looked smug. Jade watched the proceedings from her seat with baited breath.

“May I go on?” William asked the judge. She waved a hand somewhat carelessly. “By all means, Mr. White.”

William cleared his throat. “Ms. Davis,” he began, is this the voice of Sibyl Downing, your former sister-in-law?” He clicked a button and a woman’s voice filled the air.

“Melanie, it’s me,” the voice began. “We need to talk.” William clicked the recording off.

Melanie sighed. “That sounds like her, yes.”

“And just to remind the court, it was your testimony that Mr. Carver and your ex-husband met several times shortly before Mr. Carver’s death?”

“Yes, that’s right,” Melanie said slowly.

William clicked the recording back on, and Sibyl’s magnified voice returned.

“This is happening sooner than I’d expected. They’ve met a few times already, which means we need to act fast. Meet me in the usual place tonight, usual time. You know I don’t like leaving you messages, Melanie.”

The message ended abruptly. Melanie looked pale. But a moment later she rolled her eyes and gave a half laugh that almost passed as genuine.

William raised his eyebrows. “To what is Ms. Downing referring in that message, Ms. Davis?”

“Oh, it’s really so silly.” Melanie’s eyes darted from William to the prosecutor and back. “Sibyl and I were playing matchmaker for her younger sister Ava. Sibyl has a doctor friend she thinks would be perfect for her, only he was interested in someone else, another of Sibyl’s friends…Apparently they had been on a few dates already and so we had to act fast introducing him to Ava. She was asking me to meet her at a coffee shop to chat and strategize.” She laughed again. “Quite frivolous really.”

William nodded slowly. “May I remind you, Ms. Davis, that you’re under oath?”

Melanie, seemingly emboldened by her own words, continued more confidently.

“That’s what happened,” she said firmly. “Both Sibyl and Ava can verify it.” She nodded toward the back of the courtroom at a woman in her mid-twenties with a long strand of pearls around her neck. She had dainty, birdlike features, long straight brown hair, and was unmistakably Sibyl and Sebastian’s third sibling. William flicked his gaze in her direction before returning to his witness.

“And why, if the mission was so frivolous,” William continued, “does Ms. Downing say she doesn’t want to discuss it in a voicemail?”

“Oh, Sibyl just prefers communicating in person,” Melanie replied smoothly. “She’s very old-fashioned that way.”

William smiled again, although Jade couldn’t see why. It seemed like a perfectly plausible explanation for the message. Sure, Sibyl’s serious tone was slightly suspicious, but maybe she was just an overdramatic person. In any event, it was more than enough for reasonable doubt, and wasn’t that a major thing in a murder trial? Jade looked around. Speaking of Sibyl, where was she anyway? Shouldn’t she be in court? Jade thought back to William’s insistence that Sibyl was framing her brother. Surely Sibyl would quash that idea with her testimony. Could she really be missing? WIN $50 Amazon gift certificates by voting WEEKLY! Enter your address each time to be eligible to win. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading by email click view poll.

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