Free for today only on Amazon Kindle is Dangerous Obsessions, so I thought I would take the Fly on the Wall Sunday post back to visit Clair and Greg.
Dangerous Obsessions Excerpt:
Ten years was a long time to sit in a cell on death row and plot revenge. Hell, he’d actually had twelve if he factored in his first two years before the appeal trial. Maybe he’d spent those ten years thinking of ways to get to Clair. Maybe that’s why he was able to shout his threats, his promises, so confidently. Levins was a man who knew what he needed to do, what he wanted to do, and he wouldn’t settle for a breech in his plan.
Levins, now that was a man of contradictions. He looked like a collage prep fraternity boy. He didn’t look a day over twenty at the time of his arrest, but Levins was actually two days shy of his twenty-seventh birthday at the time. He had boyish charm; charm that could have swayed the jury in his favor had Clair not taken the stand. Just hearing the accusations and the fact that they’d found the bastard running from the scene, found his DNA all over both girls, should have been enough, but the DA knew most of those upper class jury members would have taken one look in Levins’ face and seen their own sons staring back at them. Levins walked around with his polite charm in the court room, smiling at the mothers in the courtroom right on cue. It was if he were telling them the DA was lying. He hadn’t committed those crimes.
Greg had been disgusted by the look of compassion on those women’s faces, by the almost understanding look they gave. There was almost an atmosphere that they didn’t believe this boy sitting in front of them had committed such a heinous crime. The DA must have seen the possibility that evidence wasn’t going to be enough in this case. His eye witnesses to the actual abduction hadn’t seen the man’s face. They had seen the truck, somebody managed to get a plate number, but nobody had a clear indication of his face, height, weight, hair color or anything else that could be helpful. They needed Clair to testify. Her testimony was the only sure thing that could ensure a guilty verdict. One look at Clair would have been enough, but she hadn’t been in the courtroom during most of the trial. She hadn’t had the strength to go and her father hadn’t exactly been the rock of support that she needed. None of the family was there for the trial. The DA had spun it. The mother was in a mental hospital, the father was trying to cope still with the loss of his daughter, and the victim was too traumatized to sit in that courtroom and see the evidence being presented.
The spin had only worked so much and then, then they decided they needed her. Her testimony of event, in her words with her voice…no mother, no human, could ever deny that pain.
Clair had gone through hell. He had seen the way she tensed on the stand, the way she tried to avoid looking at Levins. The DA had asked if she saw her attacker in the courtroom, if she could point to the person. With great fear in her eyes, she finally looked over to the defense table and pointed out Levins. She was so rattled by the time she got off the stand she could barely walk down the courthouse stairs. He had taken her home, helped her calm down and relax the best he could. Tomorrow was another day and she’d be back on the stand again. She would be on there for the rest of the week he had been told. A week of that type of debilitating fear could have broken her, but she hadn’t let it.
He thanked God when the defense attorney hadn’t cross examined her. He got the feeling the defense attorney’s stomach was turning just like everybody else’s in the courtroom after the testimony Clair had given. Unfortunately that one act of mercy, of not putting her through another week of testimony, had been the root of Levins appeal. Two years later and Clair had to go through it all again.
Two years later and she was stronger, marginally, but not so strong that the case hadn’t ripped her apart on the inside. This time the new defense attorney grilled her as if she had done something wrong. He hadn’t tried to dispute the evidence so much as he had tried to say Clair had enticed his client. The bastard! It took all Greg’s resolve not to jump the banister dividing the spectators from the players in the court circus and beat the snot out of that rat faced fool.
The appeal trial was over almost as quickly as it began, and the verdict from the original trial was upheld. Clair was free. Levins was going to die in prison and she wouldn’t have to worry about him ever again.
When Greg decided to take time from work to protect Clair he hadn’t asked if he could, he hadn’t even asked himself if he should; he just did it. His superior Jordan Andrews knew the case. He had been there while Greg tried to stand by Clair in court, had given him the time off for her hospital visits and for her therapy sessions. Her father wouldn’t take her and he knew she wouldn’t get there on her own if he didn’t go pick her up and take her.
This time, when he told Jordan he was taking the time off, Jordan told him to take as long as he needed. “Paid leave,” he said. Greg didn’t care if his leave would be paid or not. He would take the time unpaid if he had to. He just needed to be there for her, to protect her, to save her this time.
He hadn’t been able to save her from the hell she endured twelve years ago, or the hell of having to sit through an appeal hearing ten years ago, but he would save her from this; that was his silent promise to himself, and to her.
Dangerous Obsessions is available now on Amazon Kindle.