31 - There Has Been An Accident

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This chapter is dedicated to EliciaHyder. Thanks for writing The Bed She Made. For all of you who haven't read this great book, head on over to her profile and check it out. The story is class.

31 – There Has Been an Accident

"So what's your favorite movie of all time?" Sam twirls the spoon with the last bit of ice-cream in his mouth, his eyes sparkling with mischief. I know whatever I will reply, he will make fun of it.

"Donno." I wrinkle my nose, pretending to think about his question. Secretly, I study him. He is wearing casual clothes today – jeans and a Superdry hoddy – which makes him look even younger.

He showed up about half an hour ago, interrupting Noel's and my lunch during our hearing preparation in one of those secured attorney interrogation rooms that don't allow surveillance. Noel had an urgent phone call at reception from his mother and with a growl, abandoned the pizza he had ordered. Sam felt it was a shame to let the food go to waste, first devouring the pepperoni pizza with mushrooms before moving on to Noel's desert. I am already curious about my lawyer's reaction.

"I think mine is Back To The Future," Sam says when I still evade his question.

"Time travel – seriously?" I arch an eyebrow. "I took you more for a history buff."

"Why?" His tone is almost challenging. "Because Asian people are all about studying and couldn't be possible interested in anything non educational."

I blush slightly. "I don't believe that," I claim, even though the thought occurred to me. In hindsight, it sounded totally stereotypical.

He laughs. "Don't worry about it. It's a common misconception." The last spoon of ice cream disappears in his mouth. "A lot of Korean parents are actually very ambitious. My mom always wanted me to become a lawyer and go into politics."

"And you didn't?" I ask.

"I'm still undecided." His eyes turn thoughtful. "To get anywhere in the Bureau, you really need a law degree, even if you never practice. On one hand, I could see myself making a career there, but sometimes, I don't know if I'm cut out for law enforcement."

I wiggle my brows. "Why? Is it because you like to hang out with criminals like myself too much?" The words are out before I can help it and I clutch my hand over my mouth. That could be easily interpreted as flirting and was totally inappropriate.

He doesn't seem to mind, laughing again. "That could have something to do with it."

My cheeks burn even more than after the blunder with the time travel and I lower my gaze. I blame his stupid outfit for my bluntness. Dressed like that, he doesn't appear like an FBI agent at all, especially since he isn't even wearing his badge. That I find him really cute doesn't help the matter either.

"So what are you doing here on a Sunday anyways?" I ask. "Don't you ever have a day off?"

"Not during an active case. After the hearing tomorrow, I'll probably take a few days off. If you win."

A lump builds in my throat. Noel and I have been prepping all day yesterday and today, but according to him, our chances are dire. Pam's private investigator has still not found any credible evidence of Ryan's abuse which can be introduced in court and Detective Tate hit a dead end after Charlotte had refused to cooperate. She still believes that Ryan was somehow involved in his son Jared's death, but evidence in a cold case is hard to come by.

"What if I lose?"

"Then things will get tricky." His face is tense all of a sudden. "If you still refuse to disclose Noah's whereabouts after losing permanent custody, the case will be classified as parental kidnapping. There will be more charges and you will likely be turned over to the US Marshalls to be held in a federal detention center. A senior agent of my unit will become the main investigator, and trust me, you don't want to be questioned by him. Briar is a pussy cat in comparison."

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