A Picture of Murder

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𝕿𝖍𝖗𝖊𝖊|3

Finally, we made it to the courthouse, and it wasn’t any better than the jail. I believe it was even more reporters here than back there. The same questions were getting thrown at me. Ms. Adams, tell me, why did you do it? Did he try to end your relationship? Or wouldn’t claim your son?

Where the fuck was they getting this shit from already? Why couldn’t I just hurry and get in the fucking courthouse?

Soon as the doors of the courthouse closed behind Ferrari and me, a wave of relief hit me, but another waving of something I couldn’t explain hit me.

“Relax, I will try everything I can to get you released until your trial.”

Why was he suddenly being nice to me? When hours ago, he was claiming I did something that I didn’t.

“Why are you being nice to me now?”

“I told you, Danielle, I have work in law enforcement for some years now. I have this thing where I can pick out the murders from the innocent, and you are an innocent. I want to prove that.”

“It didn’t seem that way back at the firm,” I said as he sighed, looking down at me, scratching his head.

“I could tell from the moment you said you didn’t do it, but everything was pointing at you, Ms. Adams. There was no video footage and no time stamp on the time you enter the building. If I let you walk...”

“I get it,” I said as I smiled, nodding my head as he walked me to a tiny cell then walked away. I don’t know what came over me, but again I cried.

I cried because I was alone. I cried because I was getting accused of something I didn’t do. I cried because the man I loved blame me and was here with another woman. And I cried until I heard my name getting called to go before the judge. In which I slowly stood making my way over to the window, trying not to trip.

“All rise the honorable Judge Nelson is entering.” The officer says, making my eye search as the judge walked in. Mr. Taggart and I worked with him many times before. Plus, I knew him personally.

“Court is now in session.” The man said as Judge Nelson’s eyes caught mines with a small smile, making me cry again.

“Ms. Adams, this is a bail hearing. I know you know this. I will not go through all the other things with you because you know the process. I do have to say this: You are being charged with the murder of Rafael Taggart. How do you plead?”

“Not guilty, sir.”

Judge Nelson hummed, looking up to Mr. Taggart’s family, all sitting in the courtroom’s front row seats crying.

“Do you have something to say to the family?”

I had nothing to say. If I said, I didn’t do it. It would only make it worse, so I chose to shake my head and say nothing.

“Detective Ferrari want would you like to add before I make my decision?”

“Sir, although all the evidence point to Ms. Adams, I don’t think she did this. She told one of the other officers and me that she stopped by the coffee shop down the law firm’s road. Their security footage confirms that unless she has two of the same outfits or a twin. Also, my question why kill a man change? Go to a coffee shop and change back into the blood clothes when she could have disposed of them.”

Judge Nelson looked over what Ferrari handed him, then over to Ryan with the look, of I thought you were the lawyer.

“With the evidence in front of me, I cannot say that Ms. Adams is the murder. BUT…. this don does not get you off the hook, Ms. Adams. As of now, I will be releasing you on a bail of $50,000. I’m sure you can post that, can’t you?”

“OH GOD! YES… YES, I CAN THANK YOU SO MUCH!” I screamed, making Ferrari and Ryan laugh, but I could tell Mrs. Taggart wasn’t so happy.

“THAT BITCH KILLED MY HUSBAND! I KNOW SHE DID, AND YOU LETTING HER GO!”

The judge looked at Mrs. Taggart, shaking his head as he turned back, looking at Ferrari lifting his gavel hitting it on the desk.

“Mrs. Taggart, you need to control yourself in my courtroom unless you want to find yourself in a cell.”

The woman hurried and sat after he made that statement, but it didn’t stop her from looking at me sideways. It wasn’t long before Judge Nelson told me I could leave and one of the officers walked me back to the room in which I came. I was happy, but still, this murder was on me. Just because I was free, it did mean a damn thing I had to find a way to clear my name.

“Danielle, is there anyone I need to call for you?”

“Call?” I said, looking over to Detective Ferrari as he stood in the door, looking back at me with the same confused look.

“Your boyfriend? Family member? Someone that can make bail for you.”

“I can make bail for myself, Detective. All I need is my purse.”

He smiled, removing his phone from his pocket, quickly dialing a number, looking up at her holding up one finger, then disappearing through the door before coming back.

“Your purse was still in your desk back at the office. One of the officers is bringing it now.” He said, walking into the room letting the door close behind him. He was about to speak, but the door interrupted him as it swung open, forcing him to turn to it revealing Judge Nelson.

“Danielle, I don’t know what kind of shit Rafael was into, but sweetheart, they framed the shit out of you. Now I know you are a good person, and any other person wouldn’t have made bail. I am trusting you, Danni, to do the right thing, and for you to do that, I need the right person to be with you 24/7, which will be you, Ferrari.”

“Wait, what? I’m a Homicide Detective, not a witness protection cop.”

I looked over to Ferrari’s pissed face, then back to Judge Nelson, confuse. He wants me to do the right thing but sitting me up to be looked after 24/7.

“Is this necessary? I mean, am I in danger?”

“I don’t know that know Danielle, but I want to make sure you are safe. I’m posting your bail, so don’t worry about that. I believe you didn’t do this; I know judges shouldn’t be biased. But I know you and have worked closely with Rafael over the years before you became his assistant, and he do not mix pleasure with business. He was hard on you, but the man thought of you as his daughter. Lorenzo, I am trusting you to protect Danielle and her son.”

I didn’t know what to think. I knew Mr. Taggart was always fussing at me about doing better, but I always thought it was because he was evil.

He could have fired me many times, but he didn’t, which I was grateful for, and my mama told me I should be.

Never once did I look at it like he actually cared. Why did he care? What made me important to care about?

“I don’t know about this, Dave. I know I have worked for this department for the last fifteen years, and I worked my ass off the get homicide detective, but you want me to look after a woman and her child. What about the boyfriend won’t he be looking for his son?”

“Maybe so, but you two will not be in Savannah for him to find you. I hope you like the cold because I arranged for you and Danielle to go to one of my vacation homes in Alaska.”

I think mine and Ferrari head whipped to Nelson at the same time. This man had to lost his fucking marbles. I couldn’t leave my mama. Hell, I was her one child. My grandma would flip, and Cameron would let me go without him.

“WHAT!?”

We both screamed as a smile spread across his face. Oh, how bad I wanted to punch in it, but I knew I couldn’t.

“Damn, are you both hard as hearing I said, Alaska. I would have someone keep you updated, Ferrari. Something doesn’t seem right about this case, and I didn’t become a judge from doing a half-ass job. I was a cop for twenty years before deciding this was for me. When I say something does feel right. Something doesn’t feel right.”

“With all due respect, Sir, I have to ask. Why Alaska?”

Nelson smiled, patting Ferrari on his shoulder as he walked to the door, stopping and turning back to them with the same smile as before.

“It far away from Georgia. Danielle, go get your son and don’t pack a thing. I will make sure the house is ready for the three of you. I know your sizes from the dress they took from you, so I had my niece go shopping for you. We know she knows your style. Also, you and Ferrari have jobs waiting for you. I made sure it was something the two of you would like.”

“I can’t just leave without telling my mama and grandma Judge Nelson. They are all I have. What about Cameron? He isn’t going to let me leave.”

That stopped him fast, and just as fast, he came walking back up to me. The look on his face said fuck Cameron almost identical to the one Mr. Taggart gave me one day.

“That man is no good for you. I don’t see why you can’t see it, Danni. Do you know how many times he has been in my courtroom over the past few months? How many times has he beaten his wife? Why do you think he doesn’t live with you full time? Although you want to think of it as he does. He and his wife see you as easy picking the little job you think he has never existed. The three nights out the week when he isn’t with you, he is with her—his wife. I hate to be so harsh, like this, but you don’t fucking listen we I tell you shit and need to know. This is what Rafael was trying to tell you.”

I was in disbelief as I looked at Ferrari, who was staring at me. I had been with this man since I was eighteen. Not once did I know he was married. Boy, was I the fool.

“H-how long h-has he been married?” I asked, trying to keep myself from crying in front of the two men.

“Danielle, that is past the point…”

“HOW LONG DAMNIT?!”

“About six years.”

Six fucking years and no one told me. Someone could have just given me the harsh truth just as he did. Why didn’t they?

“I don’t want to hear anymore. Detective, please take me to get my son.”

“He can’t do that just yet, Danni. Your paperwork isn’t done and, and I would dare let you leave out my court with that ugly orange jumpsuit on.”

That was the one thing that made me laugh today out of the whole situation. Right now, I was ready to kill for real. Hopefully, it won’t go that far.

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