Chapter 2: The Situation Has Changed

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"I'm not following," Alyssa stated, pushing up the sleeves of her argyle sweater, which showed the rose gold Apple Watch her parents gave her for Christmas. "You said it was an open and shut case." 

She wasn't really fond of the high-tech device that counted her steps, the temperature and needed charging every night but she promised her mom she'd wear it

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She wasn't really fond of the high-tech device that counted her steps, the temperature and needed charging every night but she promised her mom she'd wear it. It was the only way to only way to stop her parents from lobbying for her to go to Berkley.

Detective Jensen exhaled loudly, puffing out his cheeks. "Mr. Richards' lawyer is one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Austin." He steepled his hands atop his generic desk, neatly organized. "They sent the skin that was found under your nails to another DNA lab and found that someone else's DNA was co-mingled with it."

Alyssa jumped from the chair, bringing it off its front legs momentarily. "Okay so...I scratched someone else but that doesn't change what he did to me."

"I'm not saying that it does." He stood up and for the first time, Alyssa realized he was taller than her. "This just means we have to go about things differently."

"I don't want to go about thing differently." She bit out the started pacing.

She glided her eyes over his office, everything was the same but the bookcase. He'd added more novels to the collection. The Descent, she'd read that. Mr. Mercedes, it was on her must-read list. The King of Lies, she hadn't heard of it.

Alyssa chewed on her thumbnail as she spun around on her heels, "I just want this to be over."

"And it will." Detective Jensen dropped his palms on the desk. "You just have to testify."

"In court." Alyssa stopped her footfalls looking at him. "In front of him." Her chest rose and fell rapidly, "Going over every detail." She bit her lip, dragging a shaking hand through her onyx hair that now fell on her shoulders.

Detective Jensen nodded with worry carving lines in his forehead, "You can do this." He stood up, flexing his shoulders back. "I'll be there...your friends will be there."

"But he'll be there." Alyssa rebutted with a shiver.

She hadn't seen Jacob Richards since she pointed him out in a lineup, her restraining order made that possible.

"But once you step out that courtroom, you won't have to see him ever again."

Alyssa liked the sound of that. The vibration against her wrist prompted her to look at her watch.

"I have an appointment to get to," Alyssa told, grabbing her purse off the back of the chair. "I'll think about it."

"The trail is in April."

Alyssa knew that she received the notice in the mail a couple of days ago. She stood in the doorway, pulling down her sleeves preparing for the unseemly cold January air. "I said...I'd think about it." 


Should Alyssa testify?


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