Reasonable Doubt: Volume 3
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“That would be perfectly fine…” I nodded, but then it hit me. “No campaign talk, though.”
“No talking about me going back to law school, either.”
“I can live with that, too.” She nodded.
“And no talking shit about ballet.”
She hesitated, but she nodded again. “Okay, fine.” She hugged me. “Can you hail us a cab so I can book a room at the Four Seasons?”
“Why? You can just stay at my place.”
“Oh, please.” She slid a pair of shades over her eyes. “I looked up what professional ballerinas make. I know what type of apartment you can afford in this city, and daughter or not, I refuse.”
I didn’t want to laugh, but I couldn’t help it. I knew making up would be a long process, but I was willing to give it a try.
She walked over to a newspaper stand, and I held out my hand for a cab.
“Oh, The New York Times always picks the best cases to cover.” She flipped through the paper. “There’s one hell of a trial going on this week.”
“Criminal or corporate?” I asked as a taxi flew right past me.
“Both,” she said. “And I actually know this guy. Well, I know of him anyway…Absolutely incredible lawyer…”
“We’re never going to get a cab at this rate.” I shook my head at being snubbed again.
“I doubt he’ll ever get recognition for that government case…”
“What are you talking about?”
“Liam Henderson.” She held the paper in front of me, pointing to a picture-less article. “Remember? He’s on me and your dad’s list of lawyers who’ll never be given the credit they deserve because they went against the government. This guy was your favorite, I do believe.”
“Oh, yeah.” I remembered. “So, why is he in the paper now? Did he mess up because he didn’t receive his due fame? Is he in trouble?”
“No, looks like he’s just testifying in a case. Article claims he’s been living down in the South and even partnered at some firm, but that can’t be true. Any firm down there would be bragging if they had him, and I haven’t heard anything.”
“I’m sure they would.” I finally waved down a cab. “We can go now.”
“It’s quite weird though.” She tapped her lip. “In all of his career, I’ve never seen a picture of him—maybe one or two, but they were stock pictures from his college days. I’m sure he looks different now.”
“Mom,” I said, opening the car door. “The cab charges by the minute.”
“Now the article claims he’s been living in North Carolina under an assumed name for the past six years. But of course, they’re not revealing that name. They need to get better researchers, don’t you think? How could a lawyer of that status manage to change his name, switch states, and still practice the law?” She handed me the paper as she stepped into the cab. “He’d have to erase his entire identity and start all over. Who would do that?”
I gasped and flipped to the article as I sat in the backseat. I read it word for word, over and over, and everything around me became a blur. I could practically feel my jaw dropping as I flashed back to my first interview at GBH:
Miss Everhart, are there any lawyers that you wish to model your own career after?” Mr. Bach smiled at me.
“Yes, actually,” I said. “I’ve always admired the career of Liam Henderson.”
“Liam Henderson?” Andrew looked up at me with his eyebrow raised. “Who is that?”
Suppression of Evidence (n.):
The improper hiding of evidence by a prosecutor who is constitutionally required to reveal to the defense all evidence.
Former Partners to Finally Appear in Court Opposite Each Other:
Hart Case Continues This Week.
That’s what the headline in the judicial section of The New York Times read this morning. To those who knew nothing about the case, I was sure that it was simply another story to pass the time, another superficial scandal to devour with their morning breakfast.
But for me, it was the end of a six year chapter that had gone on for far too many pages. It was part of the reason why I left, part of the reason why after I testified in a few days, I would leave this city for the very last time.
I looked outside the window at the Waldorf Astoria’s restaurant, wondering how it could possibly be raining so heavily in the dead of winter.
“Mr. Hamilton?” A woman in a suit stepped next to my table.
“I’m Vera Milton, the general manager,” she said. “You’ve had several calls from a Miss Ava Sanchez… She keeps telling us that it’s important and that she needs to speak with you. She’s on the line for you now…”
I sighed. “Could you patch her call to my room in two minutes please?”
I left the newspaper on the table and headed straight for the penthouse suite. As soon as I unlocked the door, the phone in the parlor room rang.
“Hello?” I answered.
“It’s me…” Ava said softly.
“I’m aware. How did you find out where I was staying?”
“Really?” She scoffed. “I need you to do me a favor…”
“No, wait.” She sounded frantic. “I really am sorry for everything I did to you, Liam.”
“What did I tell you about calling me that?”
“I remember when you visited me when I was being held in jail—before all the hearings started…Remember?” She paused. “I know how hard seeing me must have been back then, how lonely you had to be to come and visit me of all people…You even told me you were contemplating changing your name to Andrew and leaving New York…And then I begged you to save me. Remember that?”
“I’m really not in the mood for story time right now.”
“You were such a softie back then…So compassionate, so caring—”
“Get to the f**king point, Ava.”
“At the trial this week, I know that Kevin—”
“I.e. my former best friend that you f**ked?”
“Yes.” She sighed. “Him…”
“What about him?”
“He’s not the monster you think he is.”
“Are you calling about a favor that’s never going to happen, or are you calling to be his f**king character witness? I’m confused.”
“He’s still sorry for what he did…He was—”
“Which one is it, Ava?” I snapped. “I’m not a fan of this vague shit.”
“Do you really want to hurt him?” Her voice softened. “I think you’ve already punished us enough. I’m already behind bars, so there’s really no need for him to suffer at this point. ”
“The two of you will never suffer enough.” I hung up and sent a text to an old contact I had at corrections, telling him that Ava had contraband in her cell.