Patricia was waiting for us when we got there, and she waved us back, bypassing her assistant.

"Okay, so I've been analyzing Cornerstone's basis for their case," she said, as the two of us took a seat. "It's solid work."

"That's uplifting," Parker muttered.

"Yeah, well we have something we don't have," Patricia reasoned, picking up one of her papers and glancing over it as she sat perched on the edge of her desk.

"What's that?" I questioned.

She glanced over at me, a smile playing on her lips. "You hun. Cornerstone is building their case against Parker, but they aren't expecting you to be there to testify. So when-"

"If," Parker corrected.

"If," Patricia agreed. "If you were to testify in the courtroom, the case would heavily sway in our favor."

"But if you don't that's okay too," Parker added. "I can still testify."

"Well you will still testify," Patricia corrected. "But yes, it's okay if this isn't something that you're comfortable with doing. I'm not going to sugarcoat it for you, it greatly reduces our chances of taking this case. But I still have a few maneuvers I can pull."

I ran the palms of my hands down my jeans, letting out a long exhale. "Okay, so what are we doing today?"

"So today it's just the three of us," Patricia explained. "We have a mock trial room here, and I just want you to sit up on the stand, see how it goes. I'll ask you a few questions, from both my side and then emulate some that Cornerstone's lawyers may ask."

I slowly nodded.

"If today goes well, then in a couple of weeks we'll run a full-scale mock trial, with another team of lawyers here in the building and someone to sit in as a judge and a bit larger-scale just to see how that runs."

I nodded again, feeling my chest begin to tighten.

"And then if that runs smoothly, we'll be golden for trial."

"But if it doesn't, we're pulling the plug," Parker spoke up.

"We'll talk strategy," Patricia reasoned. "See what we can do to improve. But at the end of the day, it is your decision Lee."

"It's my decision," Parker corrected. "But Lee can have a say."

I rolled my eyes, and Patricia let out an impatient sigh. "I am not going around this bend with you again Parker. Are you ready?"

Parker glanced over at me.

"Uh, yeah," I said. "Okay."

Parker handed me a bottle of water from the mini-refrigerator. "Remember that you do not have to do this."

"I'm okay."

I followed Patricia to the mock trial room, my eyes roaming the set-up as we walked through it.

It reminded me of being in court post-suicide attempt, when the court was trying to relocate me to Social Services.

I cracked open my water bottle, taking a long sip.

"Parker, you'll sit there," Patricia said, nodding towards the prosecutor's table.

Parker took a seat, his eyes trained on me.

"Lee, you'll take the stand."

I did as she told me, my heart erratically beating in my chest.

Deep breath in, deep breath out.

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