Authors: Evie Adams
Reasonable Doubts : (A Sexy Standalone Contemporary Romance with Bonus Bad Boy Romance!)
Copyright Evie Adams 2016
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Cover design by Evie Adams
This book is a work of fiction. All the characters in this book are fictitious and any similarity to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidence.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other non-commercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Table of Contents
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“What is reasonable doubt? Think of it this way:
You have a box, and you put a mouse in that box with a cat and you close the lid. When you return the mouse is gone, and the cat is sitting in the box. You know, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the cat ate the mouse.
The next day you do it again, you put the cat and the mouse in your box, and you leave. When you return, the mouse is gone. The cat is still there, but this time, there is a hole in the box that is large enough for a mouse to escape.
That's reasonable doubt.”
PROLOGUE - JAKE
“Maybe you can go on Workers Comp, or Disability?” He said, not being helpful at all. “Being a dick is part of your job right? But, I guess you could still
one.” He smiled at me, he was really enjoying this. “But what do I know? I'm just a Doctor. I can recommend a lawyer, he's a real huge dick, raging hard-on, let me tell you, well he
to be until recently anyways.”
“You call that a fucking bedside manner?” I yelled at him.
I come to him with a real medical emergency and he makes jokes. “Is that what they teach you at the David Geffen School of Medicine? Only a fucking quack would go to a Medical School named after a record executive.”
“His money was green so they took it. But you're right, most of Medical School was listening to Guns 'n Roses -did they do Dr. Feelgood? No, that was Motley Crue. I don't know if his label did them, but the song still rocks, I learned a lot from Motley Crue,” he said wistfully before another stupid joke. “And we watched 'Beetle Juice' for anatomy lessons. Let me ask you a real question, do you ever sing Harry Belafonte songs? Tally bananas? Anything like that? If so it could be demonic possession. We'll have to bleed you just in case, I had straight A's in possession and bleeding people, you have nothing to worry about. Pull down your pants.”
He grabbed a scalpel and kicked his chair towards me like a maniac. I should have punched him in the face but instead I stood up and backed away from him grabbing my crotch, it wouldn't be the first time he drew blood for a joke. “It's not funny Spud. This is a serious problem for me.”
“Call me 'Dr. Spud' at least when you're sitting in my office.” He stopped being an ass for a moment and became a doctor again, he leaned in close and put his glasses on his forehead. “Look Jake, what do you want from me? These sort of things happen. You're young and in fine health. I can't prescribe you anything because we're family, and I won't let anyone else do it either. It'll either take care of itself on its own, or it's a mental thing, in which case the boner pills won't help. Medicine will have you stand at attention, but if it's mental you won't be able to climax, and that's the important thing isn't it? Is it a mental block? Is that why 'Jake's snake' is more of a worm these days?”
“No, of course not.” I wouldn't admit that to him anyways. He would love it if I told him the truth. That it finally happened, the worst thing in the world.
Well, the second worst thing. The real,
worst thing was happening now because of it.
I fell in love.
And I realized it at the absolute worst time in the world. Two beautiful ladies, attacking me in the bathroom, just about ripping my clothes off, and my little guy goes away.
My heart starts beating, I start seeing her face, instead of the four tits in front of me.
I panic, anxiety and guilt hit me like a ton of bricks even though I did nothing wrong.
I realize I don't want them. My heart doesn't want them, my head doesn't want them, and my dick certainly doesn't want them.
And there was nothing I could do about it.
“I could refer you to someone who'll stick two fingers up your butt, see if that does anything for you.”
“Do you think a proctologist could help?”
“Oh Earl's not a proctologist, just some weird guy that hangs out in the locker room at my gym.”
“Funny.” I told him.
“It happens to everyone eventually. Don't take it too seriously. That's never been your problem, but I think now it is.”
I am NOT everyone.
happen to me.
If fucking were an Olympic sport I'd have more gold than Michael Phelps.
“Tell me the whole story, if not I'll call Diane and ask her.”
“What about doctor-patient confidentiality? You can't just talk to someone else about me. This is private.” The last thing I want is those two gabbing about my love life like two sorority sisters.
“Besides me, she's the only family you've got and since you're not answering questions- and I'm writing that in your medical file by the way, 'patient is combative and uncommunicative', see if another doctor will take you now- It's proper and ethical for me to inquire to close family about their concerns and observations. Besides, she's having dinner with me and Sara tonight, so we're going to talk about you behind your back anyways.”
“Don't. Ok, I give up.” I told him, him and his big potato face. He got the nickname 'spud' when my parents brought him home from the hospital and we met for the first time. I don't remember, but apparently I said, 'Potato' when I saw him, and my parents must have thought he looked like one too, because the name stuck. I should have mashed him when I had the chance.
I should have left his office, just walked away. But I sat there and told him the story. It was Laura Miller who did this to me.
And I would hate her if I didn't love her so much.
But even this humiliation is worth it. My life was off track, my perfect life, the life I always wanted, and I don't even want it back now, not if it's without Laura, and by the way it ended, it'll have to be without her.
Two cases, a miracle, and $9 million earlier. . . .
“What do you mean call him and take the million dollars? This case is worth a lot more than that.” I screamed back at Diane as I walked into her office.
“Not if you don’t have a closing argument.”
“I have a closing,” I told her, and it was true, I did, I had a good one. But it needed to be a great one. Only a great one would mean a multimillion dollar verdict for us, and a chance at eight figures, $10 million or more. “We could be looking at an eight figure verdict here. Maybe $50 million if they go crazy with the punitive damages.”
“And then we spend 3 years in appeals fighting for dime one. Take the deal. Do I have to remind you about the eight figure verdict you swore we'd get in the Falver case?”
“That was different, and you remind me almost weekly.”
“Falver cost us so much money that we're in the red for the year and no bonuses for the associates. I had to put up my apartment to make payroll because of Falver, we can't afford another Falver.”
That was a low blow, but it’s all she had to keep me in check. Falver was a mistake, but it felt so right, so good at the time.
“The jury consultant has been observing you the last couple days and she's not quite as confident as you are in your abilities or the jury's belief in you.”
“The voodoo lady, witch doctor, psychic?” No fucking way am I handing over my case to a psychologist who just happens to have a law degree. “She’s not a trial lawyer, she’s a fraud. She’s reading tea leaves while I’m telling you I have this case.”
“She helped Monroe, and she comes highly recommended.”
Monroe. Only an idiot like him would need help. “That's crazy, there's no one better at reading juries than me, I have them.”
“You had them in Falver too. Artie Johnson highly recommends her.”
“Now you're taking advice from J. Arthur Johnson? And since when is it 'Artie'?” Johnson was a very good attorney, and his firm is our biggest competitor. He was also a sleaze ball who has been after Diane for years. Her and the Firm.
“Did he offer to buy us out again?”
“As a matter of fact he did. I told him no of course, but everybody knows we lost big in Falver, and if you screw this case up, we may have to sell.”
“I have won, there’s no way I can lose.”
“Falver. You haven't won until the jury comes back and says you've won, Junior. Listen to what the jury consultant says, don't leave this office until you’ve spoken with her, that's an order. Now, I'm on my way to dinner with David and Sara.”
This jury consultant.
This voodoo lady.
This witch doctor is going to tell me what to do with my jury? No way in hell is that going to happen. Although, spending a little time going over the case might be fun. She walked around the office like a Christmas present, tightly wrapped, tantalizing, beautiful and full of promise that all your deepest wishes will come true. But the bow was too tight, and it was too difficult to open. Like the birthday and Christmas gifts Spud and I got each other, wrapped in duct tape and zip ties.
Last Christmas Spud had a friend weld a steel trap around my favorite bottle of scotch. It was brilliant. He attached a hacksaw to it and note that said, ‘good luck’, just to be an ass.
I got him a copy of Galen’s “Anatomy”, encased in 20 pounds of concrete and a sledgehammer.
She was like my bottle of scotch, welded shut, but dammit if I didn’t always have my hacksaw ready.
“Hello voodoo woman,” I greeted her.
“Attorney Hughes,” she said and shook my hand, not taking my bait, and not taking my case. I would listen to her, make fun of her, and ignore her advice completely.
“I have some ideas for the MacArthur case.”
“You should tell the defense then, MacArthur is their client.”
She ignored that jab and kept right on after me. “I just feel a little strange saying his name out loud. Joshua then, our client. I’ve been observing you, and sometimes you come off as a little too aggressive, too over confident. Too much. Too. . . .you.”
“Jurors 3,9, 10 don’t like it, they could be a problem.”
3, 9, 10 were women, there’s no way they were against me. This quack couldn’t understand that. “So what do you suggest?”
“Soften your image a little. Wear a blue tie, instead of red, wear a grey suit instead of black. Little things like that. Even a pink shirt, it's classy and fierce but also shows a softer side.”
“Real men don't wear pink,”
“Salmon then, also, your body language. Lean forward as if you want to hear what the defense lawyer is saying, take notes, those small things make you appear more likeable.”
“Blue tie. Got it. Thanks for all the help.”
“I have notes on the case too, why don’t we sit down and discuss?”
“I have 24 hours probably to put the finishing touches on my closing, and you’re talking to me about the color of my tie, this is a waste of my time. I need to do substantial work and sleep, and maybe get laid too to take my mind off this, I can see you helping me on one of those, but the rest are up to me.”
She didn’t even flinch. Pretending to be sexist didn't work. Insulting her didn't work. How do I get rid of a woman like that? She was giving me nothing to work with here.
“You need a story of the case. You started to give one with his wife on the stand, but the defense objected too much to get it all out. I think you need to tell her story, and therefore Josh’s. All the little things he can’t do. He can’t hug his wife, hold her, all of those things.”
“I tried that, but it was too prejudicial, if you had been watching the case you would have known the judge disallowed most of that. But what he didn’t the jury heard. They understand.”
“Then bring the focus back to him what he can’t do.”
“So like what? That he can’t masturbate? Is that your advice for my closing? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.” It wasn’t actually that dumb, but I couldn’t very well argue that in open court. That story was the one I was trying to find all along, but hadn’t got there yet.
“Ok, we'll try something else, sometimes letting your subconscious work on the problem while you occupy yourself with something else helps. I’ve been looking over the dog bite case, want to talk that one over?”
“Later, I actually have a pretty full day today. Catch me in my office towards the end of the day, maybe 5?”