The series follows Jade, a former waitress and seasoned Loan Some employee who thinks she’s done it all – until the lawyer of a wealthy recluse charged with murder hires her to act as the man’s sympathetic fiancée throughout the trial. As Jade gets into the role, she becomes more and more wrapped up in the case and with the eccentric defendant, whom she’s not at all sure is innocent. Previously… Sibyl testifies that Melanie is framing Sebastian for the murder of Josiah Carver. Readers voted that she is lying and that Sibyl herself orchestrated the murder and set up both Melanie and Sebastian.
It seemed as though poor Melanie couldn’t contain herself any longer. Jade heard her let out a final squeal of outrage before she pushed through the tangle of legs and bags and ran out of the courtroom. Sibyl stepped down from the witness stand looking smug, glancing over at the defense table briefly before retaking her seat next to her sister. Sebastian looked slightly dumbfounded, and William was still grinning, although less broadly than before. He whispered something in Sebastian’s ear, and the defendant’s lips twisted into a half-smile.
Excited chatter rushed through the rest of the courtroom. Was Melanie really behind the whole thing? Could she have been angry enough at Sebastian to kill an innocent man? Jade tilted her head back slightly in order to hear two women whispering fiercely behind her. It was absolutely Melanie, one of them hissed. She looked so guilty during her testimony, plus she was having an affair with Carver! Please. It would have been so easy for her to set them up. No way, the other woman protested vehemently. Did you see her reaction during the sister’s testimony? Pure shock. She had no idea that was coming.
The judge banged down her gavel, and the buzzing quieted.
“This seems like a good place to end things for today,” she said dryly. “Court is adjourned until tomorrow morning when we will hear from the defense.”
Jade gathered her things quickly and made her way over to William, determined to reach him before he left the room and was submerged by throngs of reporters. He was putting papers in his bag when she tapped him on the shoulder.
“Karen!” William winked almost imperceptibly. “What did you think of today’s proceedings, hmm? I told you that you had nothing to worry about.”
“Very interesting,” Jade said quietly. “Can I speak with you privately?”
William frowned slightly. “Is something wrong? All you did today was sit silently on a bench, what could you need to talk to me about?”
Jade felt slightly taken aback. “It’s about the case,” she said finally. “I just wanted to ask you –”
“Not here,” William said curtly. “I’ve had a very long day, Jade, but I will call you later tonight.” He snapped his briefcase shut and strode away, leaving Jade alone in the courtroom. Back in her apartment, Jade was eating noodles from her favorite take-out place and her mind was spinning. So, Melanie claimed that she had been having an affair with Josiah Carver, and Sebastian had killed him because of it. Sibyl claimed that Melanie had been obsessed with Sebastian and furious about their divorce, and so had set him up for murder, blackmailing Sibyl into helping her. And William seemed to think that Sibyl was responsible for the murder. Their hurried car conversation floated back to her:
“It’s a lot of money, Jade. If Sebastian goes to prison, Sibyl will have control over the family fortune.”
But if Sibyl had been framing her brother for the murder, why claim that he was being set up by Melanie? If she was after the family money, as William claimed, why try to get her brother off? Jade slurped her noodles. Come to think of it, it also didn’t make sense that Melanie would need Sibyl’s help, the risks seemed to far outweigh the benefit. Couldn’t she have easily framed Sebastian on her own? This time, Sibyl’s voice echoed in her head, magnified on the witness stand:
“She had a place that we would meet, an old diner by the side of the highway.”
Jade stopped eating.
What were the chances that William and Sibyl would use the same secret meeting spot? The diner was far enough out of town, innocuous enough that you wouldn’t even notice it if you didn’t know it was there. She pushed the carton of noodles away as another horrifying possibility entered her mind.
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