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Having been released on bail, Enzo had kept a low profile for a month, but the day of his hearing had finally arrived. Virginia was filled with exhilaration. This was the break she'd been waiting for. The Chilvatis wouldn't want to spend the time and money on a trial, and there was no doubt in her mind that Enzo would offer up details surrounding Jack's murder during a plea bargain. He was that cocky. He was that stupid.

The captain had come along, sitting beside her in the first row of the gallery. Walt was there too, on the schedule as a witness, although his testimony would cover the overall details of the shooting only, since he had not seen Enzo firsthand.

Virginia was the first to be called.

After the DA led her through opening testimony, it was Anderson's turn.

The long-time Chilvati family attorney rose from his chair grandly, as a king would from a throne, and walked across the well-worn wood floor of the courtroom. "Lieutenant Robins," he drew out with a nod of his head.

Upon reaching the witness stand, he started to pace with one hand in his pocket while the other scratched his forehead. She had come to the realization that as good a lawyer as the man was, he was an even better actor. And thanks to his Gregory Peck good looks and her dad's love of old movies, she couldn't help but feel like she was facing off against Atticus Finch.

She glanced at the people in the gallery. They weren't impervious to the man's allure. Some were even leaning forward, captivated by the live legal drama being performed outside the confines of a television screen.

And he hadn't even started.

Keep your guard up, she warned herself.

He began with, "Is it true that you are the current owner of a gym named 'Jack's' at Main and Manchester Streets?"


"And is it true that you offer both martial arts training and boxing classes at this gym?"


"This training is offered for free if the participant gives you a gun?"

Virginia narrowed her eyes, wondering where he was going with this. "Well, yes, that is a program—"

"Yes or no answers will suffice."

She wanted to reach out and smack him. "Yes," she hissed.

"No questions, no repercussions for owning these unlicensed weapons?"


"And is the nature of this training designed to teach people how to kill?"

"Objection!" The DA shot up from his chair.

Anderson looked up at the judge. "Just trying to determine why people would give up what they consider their only line of defense, just to take a class."

The judge gave it some thought before deciding. "Overruled, but hurry up, counselor."

"Yes, your Honor." Anderson nodded, turning back to Virginia. Waiting.

"No," she drew out, knowing her eyes gave away her anger.

Anderson raised his brows. "You're saying that not one of these students could kill someone with their bare hands?"

"No . . ."

"So let me rephrase the question: Technically, they could kill someone?"

He was backing her into a corner and there was nothing she could do about it. She tried not to squirm in her chair. "Yes."

The Silent Ones [✔️] (#2 in the Chilvati Series)Where stories live. Discover now