TITLE: Trial and Error
CHAPTER/WORK IN PROGRESS/COMPLETE: Work in progress
RATING: R (Language)/ NC17 (later)
SUMMARY: Last day of court, dinner in the stars, partings, verdict
CONTENT/WARNING: Some swearing/sexual references
DISCLAIMER: This story is 100% fiction. These events never happened. Lyn is a fictional character based in fact.
AUTHOR’S NOTES: Thanks to the encouragement of all and to Billy who makes himself so easy to write and imagine.
They woke with the sunshine, still early even for court, and lay in the tangled shirts gazing at each other. Lyn’s red hair picked up the sun, making her glow around her edges. Billy smiled sleepily and brushed a strand of hair out of her face.
“Good marnin Ms. Walker.” Billy said in his best accent.
Lyn grinned from ear to ear, “Mourning, Mr. Boyd” she drawled in her best Southern accent.
Lyn leaned over and gave Billy a quick peck on the cheeks, her own cheeks flushed with the memories of last night. Her body felt like it was playing violins. An easy calm took over her body, feeling safe and secure in the moment. They cuddled until the wake up call, then each dressed and ready for what they hoped was the last day in court.
It all went as expected, the testimony continued filled with ineptitudes and lack of evidence. Lyn had resigned herself to the fact of just riding it out, see how the jury took it. When the closing arguments were about to begin, Lyn excused herself from the courtroom for a break. She stood on the courthouse steps, stretching and smoking a cigarette, glad to feel the sunshine coming down. The last piece of evidence had been Lyn’s spoken and written accounts given to the police about the ordeal. The jury was given opportunity to read every word. Lyn felt this was a positive thing. For the defense rested without ever presenting any evidence, leaving Lyn’s own words as the last impression on the jury. Now only the closing arguments were between Lyn and the verdict.
Billy slipped in behind Lyn without her realizing it. He slid his arms around her gently, pulling her to lean on him.
Lyn nodded, still taking respite in this rare moment. Billy brushed back her hair and gave a fatherly kiss on the forehead.
Back in the courtroom, things once again out of her hands, Lyn watched the closing arguments. She felt the DA did well, summing up the charges that the jury would have to decide on, giving his proofs for a guilty verdict. Placing in front of them the blown up pictures of Lyn’s beaten and bloody face and bruises all over her body, reminding them again of the terror and wits that Lyn had used to escape, retelling of testimony that Lyn had been visibly shaken seeing the defendant enter the hospital right behind her, and speaking of the police, not doing their job, not in this case, and how the jury shouldn’t blame Lyn. Lyn trembled throughout, letting tear after tear roll freely down her face.
Then the defense rose, and made a mad dash of reason. He questioned everything, her therapy, her words, her statements. He put words in her mouth that had never been said by anyone’s mouth other than his own. He dashed every last molecule of her self, and beat the story in that she was a bitter “little girl” looking for revenge on an innocent man after she had partied all night and got more than she wanted. Lyn felt Billy tensing beside her; she just grabbed his hand and squeezed it, trying to let him know, “it’s ok”. Finally, the jury was released. Lyn let out a deep breath, suddenly aware that she had been breathing shallowly for the past hour. Billy hugged her tight.
The jury was soon brought back and read the instructions for deliberation before being told to begin. The foreperson spoke up.
“Your honor, we have been talking and would rather wait until Monday to deliberate since it is so late. Start with a fresh mind.”
The judge, clearly displeased, relented, and court was adjoined until 10:00 AM Monday morning.
Lyn sat shocked. You mean I’m going to have to wait a whole weekend to find out? She looked over to Billy, testing his reaction. The DA wanted Lyn to stay till next week, thinking it was best for the jury to see her there, best for them to see someone cared about the outcome. Lyn weighed her job and the decision, deciding to go with the latter. She would just have to call in and make the bosses understand. They all filed out of the courtroom, feeling the pressure of a weekend of the unknown, promising to meet again on Monday.
Once outside, Lyn and Billy walked slowly back to the hotel, holding hands. Lyn got an idea, and stopped suddenly in the sidewalk to face Billy.
“Would you like to go to what used to be one of my favorite places here? It’s nothing super special but it has a feeling about it.”
Billy seemed interested, “Sure, if you feel up to it. Lead the way.”
They walked, half jogged down to the parking lot, finding Billy’s car. Lyn unrolled her window and quickly directed Billy on the right path. Heading out of the congested city, Lyn pointed out sights along the way.
“Over there is where I finished college. That building right there! That was my apartment for two years. ….I used to climb down the hill path there, and walk to that market a couple times a week, for a paper, cigarettes, maybe a little snack.”
Billy would look where she indicated, but mostly would look over at Lyn, smiling broadly, occasionally closing her eyes, surfing her hand out the window with the wind. They drove into increasingly wilderness settings, with the sun beginning it descent. Finally taking one bend bordered by a cliff and trees, Lyn directed Billy to pull in to a little park. Lyn rushed out of the car and pulled Billy through the trees to a little dirt clearing by a gurgling creek. Lyn sat down, patting the spot beside her for Billy.
“I used to come here a lot, sometimes reading, picnicking, just grounding myself, you know. For me, there’s nothing better than the earth at picking me up, making me feel better. I don’t know if it’s growing up in the wood that does it, or just my love of nature….it just makes me feel more like myself, you know?”
Billy breathed deeply, smelling the leaves, the grass, and the water. He did know what Lyn meant; he had to be dragged off some of the scenes while filming Lord of the Rings, reluctant to leave the pristine territories. After his parents’ death, he would often wander out of his grandmother’s house finding himself in the park at Glasgow Green. How often had he walked around in the green through the tough moments of life? Lyn could have been asking herself the same thing, but already knew the answer. She had walked many parks in life.
When it began to get dark, and hunger began to take hold of them again, Lyn made moves to get up, walking the edge tentatively, but then her foot began to slip and with a startled little yelp, Lyn slid partly down the slope, mud and dirt covering her left side. Lyn looked surprised, checked out her mud covered hands and then began to laugh. Billy reached out a hand to her; her laughter infected him, and shaking with guffaws, pulled Lyn up the hill. They leaned on each other giggling, ignoring the bewilderment of passersby, stumbling their way to the car. A little boy walking with his mother asked what they were laughing about. Billy and Lyn looked at each other and burst out laughing again. The mother gave them a dirty look and dragged the boy away from the crazy laughing people. He waved at them from the back seat as she pulled out of the park. Lyn smiled sweetly and waved back. Billy touched her cheek and leaned in to kiss her.
“Come on; let’s get you a change of clothes.”
“What about your car? I’ll get mud all over it!”
“Bugger the car, that’s why you pay for cleaning afterwards.”
They took it easy on the way back to the hotel, stopping only once for Billy to stop at her old market. He came out with a paper sack, refusing to let Lyn see what he’d stopped for, just giving a knowing grin at her questions, saying “It’s a secret.”
They showered and changed separately at the hotel, making plans to meet again at Lyn’s room in an hour for dinner. Lyn took her time in the shower, wondering at Billy’s secret plans, and dressing in her most flattering dress that she had brought with her, a sexy little black number cut in angles and thin flowy layers. Putting the finishing touches on her makeup, Lyn slipped on her shoes, feeling a bit like a princess. Hearing the light knock on the door, Lyn opened it without a second thought.
Billy stood in a dashing striped black jacket over jeans and a green shirt that played off his eyes. He had a modest bouquet of flowers, which he presented to Lyn with a half bow.
“Would you mind doing a little twirl for me Lyn, so I can get a good look at you?”
Lyn blushed; but did a little twirl for Billy, laughing.
Billy came forward, and with a lovely gaze, “Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.”
“You’re definitely breath-taking yourself Mr. Boyd.”
“Come, let’s us two beautiful people take on the city, what say you?”
Lyn looped her arm around Billy’s elbow, and reached back to grab her purse. “Yes let’s.”
Billy walked, half waltzed Lyn to the car, which he already had cleaned, and drove a distance away to a restaurant in the hills. Lyn looked around at the nearly empty parking lot.
“Billy, is this where we are going? It looks quite empty.”
Billy wouldn’t answer, just pulled up to the door and walked around to let her out.
Lyn looked up at the room once they entered, the light was low, candles everywhere, and she couldn’t see another patron in sight. Before she could comment on that, a host came out to great them.
“Mr. Boyd? Yes, we were expecting you and your guest. Everything has been prepared.”
Lyn turned to ask “What preparations” but Billy was smiling mischievously at her. She decided to just go along with the ride. They were escorted to a little open-air patio, more candles here than in the rest of the restaurant combined, a breeze blowing lazily through ferns that were potted and hung along the railings. The view they were welcomed to was of the misted mountains, nature surrounding the entire vista. One table was set out under the white Christmas-like lights, covered with two settings and with a bottle of wine chilling. A woven basket sat off to one side.
Billy thanked the host, sending him away. Lyn tried to catch her breath, walking to the rail, looking out over the view.
“Billy, this is just perfect, absolutely romantic.”
He swept her up in his arms and began to gently sway her into a dance. As if on cue, Lyn heard the beginning strains of “O Mio Bambino” begin to play over hidden speakers. Billy swept her across the open patio, moving to the music under the lights. Everything felt magical, majestic. He bent her down in a dip, and then slowly pulled her to his mouth, kissing her in the last strain of the song. With her head spinning, he stepped her over to the table and began to pull out food from the basket. He had planned an elaborate picnic, setting each exquisitely prepared dish out after another. They wined and dined uninterrupted except for more wine at one point, serenaded by classic opera. Lyn’s head was spinning, but she knew it wasn’t the wine. Billy played the part of the perfect gentleman; the staff came in discreetly and made a few photographs. Ending dinner, Billy excused himself to pay the owner, and once back walked her to the car.
The drive back was serene, neither having the words to speak. They retired to Billy’s room for the night.
Lyn woke with the sun again, turning over expecting to find Billy. She turned with a smile, quickly fading when she found no one there. Lyn sat up bewildered, but then got sleepily out of the bed, deciding he had just stepped out. She went through her morning routine in the bathroom, walking out refreshed. She discovered her clothes on the floor, and having nothing else, decided to look through some of Billy’s clothes to find something else to wear. Opening the closet door, she jumped back seeing only empty hangers. Now worried, Lyn whirled around looking for anything that would be Billy’s. She found a piece of hotel stationary lying out on the desk with an envelop. Lyn’s heart lurched; surely Billy would not have left without saying goodbye? She raised the note with a trembling hand, the other covering her mouth in worry.
I received a call this morning from my agent. My film schedule was moved up and I had to leave right away to meet up with the director. I’m sorry to leave you so suddenly, but I didn’t want to wake you, you looked so peaceful. I left a kiss for you…. I can never forget what this week has meant to me, or what you’ve meant to me. I promise this isn’t goodbye. I left you an envelope; I hope you didn’t think I forgot.
Lyn picked up the manila envelop with interest, and dropped it with a sob when she saw what was in it. Billy had put one of his publicity photographs in it, with the inscription “You are the strong one, All my love, Billy Boyd”. Lyn thought with a smile, I slept with Billy Boyd and all I got was this autograph. He remembered. Then noticing something else in the envelope, she turned it upside down. Two more pictures dropped out, both from the night before. Billy had obviously paid for the pictures at the restaurant and had sent them out for a quick developing. One of the pictures showed the two dancing under the candle and star light. The other was a close-up of Billy’s face, showing him smiling adoringly, with the light bouncing all around him. Lyn pressed them to her chest, feeling the hole open in her heart. Once again, she was left feeling Well that’s that.
Monday didn’t come soon enough. Lyn sat through the day at court, missing Billy’s support, waiting for the deliberation. She took no lunch, just walked the park around the courthouse, trying to feed her strength from the outside. Finally, minutes before five o’clock, the jury sent notice that they had made their decision. Lyn could hardly contain her tension, watching each juror file back into their stand. The foreperson stood up and began,
“We, the members of the jury, do find the defendant, Mr. Franklin Keller, guilty on the charge of unlawful imprisonment….”
“….guilty of 2nd degree rape…”
“….guilty of common law robbery….”
“…guilty of the second charge of common law robbery…”
“….guilty of cocaine possession….”
With each verdict, Lyn collapsed more into herself, crying after the first, continuing to cry through each one with relief. She was so elated, so thankful, yet so emotionally raw that she couldn’t stop her tears. The jury looked over at her, coming over one by one to offer hugs and to receive the wet thank yous that Lyn could muster. Lyn even hugged the DA, telling him how happy she was, how thankful that she was finally seeing justice. The DA, a pretty stiff fellow, accepted the hug, but disengaged quickly. He began to walk away, but turned and spoke to Lyn.
“You know, after 17 years of practice, I can tell you that it’s very hard to make 12 people believe something beyond a reasonable doubt, and in this case you did it by yourself. You should be proud of that, I was very impressed.”
Lyn reeled a little, realizing the enormity of his statement. She would have to think about that later. Sentencing was to occur in two days, Lyn wasn’t going to be there, but made arrangements with the DA for the result. She gave one last look around the courtroom, resting her eyes on the defendant. He locked her eyes, then looked away defeated. I did it, I finally took control back. What do you think of that, you bastard? Suddenly feeling very strong, Lyn walked out head high, and returned to her empty hotel room.
A few days later, after Lyn had returned to home and job, she received the call that the defendant was sentenced to 20-27 years without the possibility of parole. Lyn was satisfied, finally free.
One day bleed into the next, Lyn finding it easier to deal alone, finding it easier to forget how nice it was with Billy. She still got out the pictures, would stare at them awhile, lost in thought, before pulling herself back in, putting the pictures away, and going about her work. She did write it all down, for prosperity she said, but otherwise tried to meld back into normal life. Billy was all but forgotten, feeling she couldn’t hold to that dream.