Chapter 1

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             (Please note: This manuscript is currently being professionally edited)                   


"This is cause for a toast," I said as my legal team celebrates at Mojo's Cafe

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"This is cause for a toast," I said as my legal team celebrates at Mojo's Cafe. I raised my shot glass above my head. "Another murderer on death row." Our glasses clanked.

My colleagues drink their shots or water or Corona (beer) or whatever they had to drink. I wasn't the drinking type at least not with beer. I'd preferred a bottle of wine with dinner, not at a dive bar beer foaming to the brim of cheap glass. 

We high-five like we'd won the Super Bowl. "Next stop, Disney land!" I said. That sounds cheesy as hell, I know, but old habits are hard to break. I'd talk about going to Disney land when I won a video game—never actually been there, though. 

Dizzy, my best friend, and I throw back shots of whiskey like dehydrated men. Dizzy's real name is James Miller. But ever since college, we'd called him Dizzy because of his lazy eye. Dizzy liked the nickname better than his birth name—so it stuck.

"I gotta drive home," I said, waving my hands as if to scold myself. "I can't have much more."

"What are the cops gonna do, arrest you?" Walter shouts. Jamie and Walter clap and laugh as if we were untouchable. And untouchable we were. In the past three years, I'd been stopped five times on suspicion of DUI but cops looked the other way. "Brent, we're sorry we stopped you, sir," they'd say. I'd gotten so used to being above the law that I thought I was the law.

I turned to the door and spot Peggy Johnson, the defendant's lawyer. Peggy has very red hair. One has gotta try hard to miss her. Our eyes draw like a magnet, and Peggy gives me a chilling stare and a cocky grin.

"We'll appeal it, you know?" she said loud enough for only me to hear.

"And you'll lose," I said.

"You sentenced him to death!" Peggy said.

"He did it to himself."

"The case was circumstantial at best."

"The jury found..."

"I don't give a fuck what the jury found," Peggy said, pointing inches from my face like a jaded ex-wife during a frequent fight.

"That's the way our..."

"No, it's not the way the system works; it's the way you charged him."

A waitress brings Peggy her Corona. She twisted the cap and took several quick sips.

Sore loser, I thought. Shoulda put on a better defense to prove her client's innocence.

"You're a bastard," Peggy said. "You know that?"

I glanced back at Peggy to see her crying in her beer as if she were in some country music video.

I raised my hands and clapped. "Alright, guys, let's call it a night."

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