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I’m skipping ahead for reasons of editorial necessity—you could imagine orange traffic cones and person in a bright yellow tabard thingie holding a GO SLOW, GET IT RIGHT sign on a stick, if you like.
It’s too bad. Y’all missed a pretty good kiss.
So Clyota is now waiting in the Courthouse for her trial to begin . . . And it’s already been a fraught morning.
I sat on a padded bench along one wall, my back so rigid it ached.
The waiting room was cleaner and more comfortable than the corridor I had been shuttled through during my arraignment, but still had the same—not a smell, exactly, but maybe scent or sense of tension and anticipation, anxiety mixed with hope. I had set my beret to one side so I wouldn’t mangle it with nervous hands, but I couldn’t seem to stop petting it, like it was a small pet I needed to calm.
Charlie was talking to Reynard across the room, hands behind him in an easy parade rest. His dress grays were a perfect fit, I noticed, particularly across the shoulders, and around his hips—but I wasn’t going to think about that, since I had several hours of sheer stress to get through and if I didn’t relax soon, I was going to explode into a million little pieces the minute my rear hit the defendant’s chair.
The dead bodies in Charlie’s living room didn’t help.
I’d woken up early, too early, and had headed for the kitchen unit, hoping that a little breakfast—maybe some toast and tea—would settle the nerves that were already beginning to twitch.
Instead, I’d found Reynard standing over a dead man wearing a badly fitting business suit, preparing to remove his knife from just above the fat knot of the generically striped tie.
Photo credit: bjohnson, who actually has nice taste in ties.