Life was good for Willow Rosenburg. At the young age of twenty-five, the young attorney had built a reputation as one of the most promising up-and-comers in the State of Texas. Solo, she held a record of six to one judgements in her favor, and numerous victories as co-consel in the firm that currently employeed her. She felt herself incredibly blessed that she had the good fortune to work side by side with her former teacher and mentor, Jenny Calender. She had addmired Jenny, not only because of her incredible knowledge and love of practicing law, but her dedication to helping those she felt needed and deserved representation beyond anything they would receive from any court appointed attorneys, but could never afford to hire.
Jenny often would represent them for little to no pay when she felt that they would not be represented properly or they were innocent of the crimes they had been accused of. Many of these cases were automatic appeals cases, in which sentencing of capital punishment was given. She was one of the few people who believed no matter the crime, everyone deserved forgivness.
Sitting here now, the reallity of what was happening hit Willow full force. She drew in a deep breath, held it for a beat and exhaled. Only then could she find the strength to open her eyes again. She found the light that hit her eyes was far to bright, it stung them and she had to squint against the bright sun it till they adjusted.
Willow looked around at the faces of those who were in attendance. Most of them she recognized. Jenny's family and friends , passing aquantences and colleagues, and of corse the media. They wanted there pictures and film footage, heartbroken and distraught attendees be damned. This was the big story after all. It horrified Willow. The heartlessness behind their actions vicious and cruel. The clicking of their cameras, the sounds of their voices as they gave narratives to their film footage of a grieving mother and father, the sight of an inconsolable husband, collapsed and broken, as they lowered the body of his beloved wife into the ground. All great stuff for the five oclock news.
Everyone deserves forgivness. That was Jenny's belief. Willow wondered if ever she could forgive the woman her killed her dearest friend and mentor. Could she ever understand why? And what of the person whom Jenny saved from death in the appeal hearing? The one who killed the eight year old son of the mother who felt that someone had to die for his crime?
"If not the murderer himself, then the one who saw to it that his life was spared. Someone needs to pay."
That's what she said outside the courthouse right before she emptied the chamber of the .45 into Jennys back. How could she ever forgive them?
"I don't think I can" Willow said to herself in a whisper. "But I have to try, It's what she would want."
THREE MONTHS LATER
"Hey, Willow, Giles wants you in his office," Andrew called out as he walked past her to the office break room, masking tape and black sharpie in hand, prepared to label all of his food and drink items in the fridge.
"You out of post-its Andrew?" Willow asked as he past her.
"No, but apparently they don't stick to things in the refrigerator due to like condensation or something, and some people have a hard time remembering what is theirs and what's not," he answered, throwing a dirty look at Anya who was eating a moon pie and drinking a red bull that she claimed she thought she had brought in.
"Calm down you little monkey. If you're that pissed of about it sue me. You're an attorney right? Oh wait, I forgot,.You aren't an attorney are you? It's that pesky Bar exam that you cant seem to pass that's holding you back right? What is it now, your fourth try? Well if it's any consiltion I hear Guiness Book is looking for its 2008 entries. You might want to call them. I hear you get fifty dollars and a free copy of the edition your record is in."
Andrew stopped, turned towards Giles's office and yelled, "Mr. Giles, Anya is instigating animosity in the work place and I'm getting ready to call HR on her." Then he turned, glared at her with his arms folded across his chest, and continued on his way to the break room.
"Dear Lord would you two just please grow up. This is a law firm not a daycare," Giles yelled through the open door of his office as Willow stepped inside.
"Ah yes, Willow, please come in and close the door behind you," Giles said as he turned to her and placed his glasses back on his face .
"So, whats up Mr.Giles? Got something good for me?" she asked smiling and wiggling her eyebrows as she rolled back and forth on the balls of her feet.
"Well Willow, that would depend on your definition of good. Do you remember the case Jenny had right before she, umm," his voice catching slightly on the last word, he paused and once again removed his glasses and began to clean them, clearing his throat and trying to continue he went on, "well um, before?"
Willow knew that it was still very hard for Giles to think about work and what happened to Jenny. He had only come back about two weeks ago and she knew that he was still having a difficult time being at the office. Hell it was still hard for her and it been almost three months since she returned..
"Yes. I think that was the case where the girl shot her father and her brother. They where both lawmen I beleive. The father died but the brother survived. Maclay I think was the name. Is that right?"Willow asked.
"Yes, Tara Maclay to be exact. Her date of execution will be coming up in about four weeks time and it's clear that there's not a single court appointed attorney who will put any effort into trying to get this girl a stay due to the nature of the murder and shooting. Jenny had a file on her case and I know from reading her notes on this one that she felt something was amiss here. It's quite clear that she doesn't, or um... didn't I should say, feel that this woman was guilty. She had met with her a number of times, and although this Tara insisted that she was guilty, went as far as brag to others that she did it, Jenny still didn't buy it.
"I will tell you Willow, this is a case that looks like it's a million to one to be given a stay, mainly because Maclay has shown not a stitch of remorse, and it's her own brother that is the most damning witness. This is also Texas, and killing a officer of the law? Here? Well I'm sure you know she has a snowball's chance in hell to win a stay let alone a new trial."
Giles turned then to his desk and picked up the file. He looked at the file in his hands for a long moment before he turned to Willow and handed it to her. "There's another reason she's unlikely to win any sort of leniency. She's a troublemaker. Spends 75% of her time in solitary. She attacks other inmates and the guards, refuses to obey orders and is almost daily caught with some form of contraband."
"Everyone deserves forgiveness..."
Willow remembered Jenny's words. Maybe, just maybe this could help Willow to get over the anger of her death and find the forgiveness she needed to let go of the resentment.
"Willow, I wont blame you if..."
He was cut off mid sentence
"I'll do it," Willow said. "I'll do it for Jenny."
"Thank you Willow. I'll call Warden Summers and set up an appointment for you to go and meet with Miss Maclay."
With that Willow nodded to her boss and walked out with the case file in hand.
If anyone would have asked Buffy Summers six years ago where she would be, and what she would be doing career wise, the last thing she would have said was warden of the woman's facility at Huntsville State Penitentiary. Police officer, gym teacher, kickboxer, hell lion tamer for that matter would have been closer to what she would have said. Ask her again if she thought she would actually like being warden? That was even harder to swallow. Yet, here she was, doing that very thing and loving it.
There were aspects of the job that she could do without of course, but the good outweighed the bad hands down. Unlike the perception in most peoples minds, being warden didn't mean that she saw these women only as criminals and thugs, nor did it mean that she sat in an office giving orders to guards and never be bothered with having actual contact with the inmates herself. Buffy had met each and everyone of them personally. She knew why they were there, what their sentences where, how many visitors they had weekly and who the visitors where. She listened to their complaints, asked them for suggestions and rewarded good behavior with what small privileges she could give them. Poor behavior was also dealt with in kind, usually resulting in the loss of privileges or a stay in solitary. This rule applied to the guards she worked with as well. If ever a guards was found to be abusive or disrespectful to an inmate without warrant, they were reprimanded, suspended, or in severe cases, terminated.
This system worked. It was evident in Buffy's unit.
The majority of the inmates where respectful and cooperative both with the guards and among themselves. There were those of course who just wouldn't play nice. Tara Maclay was one of those whom Buffy just couldn't seem to influence.
It was a daily battle with Maclay, and the worse the reprimand, the worse her behavior became. She had tried to set her up with counseling, allowed her to attend church services, even spent hours talking with her one on one. The more Buffy spoke, the less she would say. That is unless it was to tell Buffy what she thought Buffy should do with her counseling, church services, and to herself.
Tara was a master at finding new ways to use the word "Fuck," often as a noun, adjective, and verb in the same sentence, occasionally offering to give a visual demonstration if Buffy were interested.
It was difficult not to laugh at some of the things she would say, and the head guard from the death row unit, Faith, would often have to bite the insides of her cheeks to keep from doing just that
Buffy had noticed that Faith would often start writing things down on the note pad she kept in her pocket of her uniform shirt after Maclay would be returned to her cell after these failed meetings and asked her one day about it.
"Oh come on B ," Faith answered . "When she gets on a roll? Where does that shit come from? These are wicked funny lines. I can't wait to use one of 'em."
"You know Faith, that's just wrong on sooo many levels. And ... let me see that...hehehe.. Did you make a copy for me?" Buffy laughed.
"Right here B," Faith answered handing her a small sheet of paper.
Still, Buffy didn't know what it was, this young woman was so hard on the outside. She seemed so full of hate, yet she was beautiful to look at. Her eyes seemed to tell such a different story from what came out of her mouth and the way she acted. Buffy felt compelled to try to find some way to reach her. The only thing was, she was running out of time.
When Buffy had first learned of Jenny Calendar's death, she figured that was that. Tara's last hope was gone.
Only it wasn't really Tara's hope.
Buffy sensed Tara wanted just what she was probably going to get. Tara Maclay, it seemed, didn't want to be saved... and Buffy knew Tara would do her best to see that she wasn't.
Now though, Buffy found that there was still a chance. Mr. Giles had called yesterday and informed her that Willow Rosenberg had picked up the case and would like to meet with Tara as soon as possible.
Now came the hard part. Trying to keep Willow Rosenberg from fleeing in terror, vowing never to practice law again after their first meeting.
The drive from Houston to Huntsville was beutiful. Once past the city limits and through Conroe, it was long open stretches of rows of Cedar pines, firs and grassy meadows covered in wild flowers and Texas Blue Bonnets. They went on for miles through I-45, only broken up by the occasional small local town which usually was no more then a small country store, gas station, one or two fast food joints and possibly a small family style sit down restaurant. Willow loved the drive. She felt at peace on these drives. There weren't a lot of distractions to break up the calming feeling she would find on this road trip.
Nothing could interfere with her serenity at this point.
"So, Willow, do you think there'll be many lesbians there?"
"What do ...what?" Willow asked completely confused by Anya's bizarre question.
"Lesbians, at the prison. Will there be many?" Anya asked.
"Why are you asking me that question Anya?" Willow asked. "What does it have to do with anything at all?"
"Well you see, I'm thinking that it's the perfect place for you to get potential dates," Anya said feeling rather proud of the idea she was cooking up in her brain.
"I know I shouldn't do it, but here it goes," Willow said. "How do you figure?
"Well, do you remember last year when you went out on a date with that UPS lady you meet at the Bronze?" Anya asked.
"Yes. What about it?" Willow asked.
"She came to the offices to make a delivery about a week after your date and since you would never tell me how the date went I asked her how it was," Anya continued. "She told me you kept her waiting for thirty-five minutes getting ready."
"Okay, still not seeing the point here Anya," Willow said
"I figure that if you can get a date here, you'll have about 5 to 7 years to get ready. And then you wont keep them waiting," Anya chuckled.
Willow said nothing.
"Come on Willow," Anya said, "that was funny, you know it was"
"It was fifteen minutes and she showed up ten minutes early," Willow said. "She really said thirty-five?"
Then they both looked at each other and laughed.
A minute later Willow saw the exit to the prison and took in a deep breath. "Here we go," Willow said.
"Yep, there it is," Anya answered.
"Thanks Anya, for coming with me," Willow said sincerely. "And that was funny."
"I hate this place," Anya said.
"Me too," Willow replied
Driving in through the gates at Huntsville you would think you had just arrived at a state park rather than a corrections facility. The prison itself is about a two mile drive in from the first guard post. There is a picnic area, complete with a kids' play area that includes swings, a slide, seesaw and jungle gym. Willow could see why they would put this so far away from the prison. The prison itself is a a tremendous size and something about it makes you feel very uneasy. There a set of six armed guard towers that surrounded the main housing which is a minimum security facility, and two sets of four guard towers that surround the men's and women's maximum security facilities respectively
Once they pulled up to the main gate, you are asked by the guard, your name, which building your going to, and who you are to see
Once the questions are asked you're asked to step out of your vehicle, which is then thoroughly checked. Once cleared you are asked to get back into your car and directed to the main building. Once there you are wand scanned and patted down then directed to the front desk where your driver's license is run through the system, and checked for warrants and that they are valid.
Once this is done you are sent to one of three entrances, depending on the reason for you're visit. One entrance is for inmate visiting, one is for persons who are there on a voluntary basis to lead twelve step groups, church services, bible study, etc.
The last entrance is for legal council, police investigator and such.
At this point you are wand scanned yet again and then asked to step back behind a set of yellow painted lines on the floor and photographed. It's much like you do when getting a driver's license.
After Willow and Anya where cleared, they were escorted through a large hallway that the look and smell of reminded Willow of a high school hall. It was brightly lit with fluorescent lighting, and there seemed to be surveillance cameras everywhere Willow looked. They arrived at a large locked door with a window that was about twelve by twelve. The young man who was escorting them through the building then pushed a button on the wall next to the locked door and by way of intercom told the voice on the other end that they were there to see Warden Summers.
There was a buzzing sound and the door slid open and they made there way through. They stood in the hallway for almost five minutes before they saw a young, blond haired women coming down the hall in there direction. She was dressed sharply in a charcoal colored dress suit and Willow immediately thought that this women seemed far to young to be a warden.
She leaned over to Anya and whispered, "Do you think that's her? She seems way too young to be warden don't you think?"
Anya leaned down ad whispered into Willow's ear, "Well Willow, you seem far too young to be an attorney handling a death row case." Then she added, "Don't you think?"
Before Willow could answer back with some kind of snark, Buffy came over to them, put out her hand and said, "Miss Rosenberg, hi I'm Buffy Summers." Then she turned to Anya and said, "Miss Jenkins, pleasure to meet you both. Okay, then come with me." Buffy directed them towards her office.
She could hear the crying, she recognized it right away. She ran through the open field, the rain and wind slowing her progress, trying to follow the sound, trying to pinpoint its location.
"Where are you?" she called out.
She was frantic now. It seemed the sound was coming from every direction, circling around her.
"Please just tell me where you are." She stopped for a moment and tried to listen. She had to move, if she remained still the mud would hold her in place and it would surely catch up.
"Keep moving, keep moving,whatever you do, just keep moving," she repeated in her mind.
"Where are you? Please answer me," she cried out.
No answer. She hadn't expected one, but she was compelled to call out anyway. "Oh please, please tell me where you are."
Tears where streaming down her face as her mind desperately tried to focus on the sound of the crying. She heard it again, and she gasped, "Behind me, it's behind me."
She turned and ran to where her mind told her the sound was coming from. It was growing louder and a small sound, the beginning of a relieved laugh escaped her lips, as she allowed herself to believe she would get there in time.
This time she would save her.
"I'm coming, don't be scared, I'm right here," she yelled out.
The sound was growing still louder and as she continued to run toward it.
"I made it, I've made it this time," her face broke into a smile and the small laugh was growing with each step she took. There. There she is.
"I see you, I can see you," she called out to the small figure who stood at the foot of a freshly dug grave, dressed in a white night gown, holding on to the small stuffed bear with one hand as the other reach out toward her.
She was there.
Only steps away, she held out her hands to the small figure preparing to grab her up into her arms.
She felt it then, it wrapped around her ankles and pulled violently causing her to fall forward into the mud. Her face and chin hitting the ground as the rope pulled her legs and lower body up just enough to where her torso and face remained in the mud, and began to drag her away.
"No, not again please!"
Her hands clawed at the ground as she desperately tried to get away, her face turned sideways and eyes closed in a automatic reaction to protect her eyes from the mud fllying up as she was being pulled along the ground.
"Why are you doing this?" she screamed. "You said you'll let her go! I've done everything that you've asked, why are you doing this?"
She was sobbing now and she felt her feet hit something stationary and the dragging stopped. She lay there, face down in the mud, exhausted, her voice barely audible, she repeated, "Why, why is this happening?"
She heard footsteps come toward her and a hand reached down, grabbing hold of her hair and pulling her head up violently. Her eyes shot open and a voice answered her question, "Because were not finished yet, we got one more job to do." She felt her head fall back down as the hand let loose its grip on her hair and her face hit the mud.
And then it was gone.
She woke with a start, desperately sucking air into her lungs, her heart pounding in her chest. She was covered in sweat and her lungs felt afire... her whole body aching. She sat for a moment eyes closed trying to clear her mind. She pulled her legs up to her chest and wrapped her arms around them. She let her head rest on her knees and moved it back and forth, letting the friction of the material of the bright orange pants scrap across her forehead, hoping it would relieve some of the pain as her head was throbbing.
Why is it that the simplest things in dreams suddenly become the hardest things? She hated them. She hated them because it was always the same. The ground always turned into quick sand and no matter how hard she tried, she could never run away from the monster. It was always right behind her, waiting for her stumble. Waiting until it was impossible for her to run anymore. Waiting for its chance to pounce.
What made it worse for her was the fact that monster from her dreams didn't go away when she woke up. It followed her into conciousness, reminding her at every opportunity that it was still there.
It would destroy her, of that she that was certian. It would not be satisfied until it did.
Willow and Anya followed Buffy down the hall and into her office. The room was smaller then she would have expected and seemed cluttered. Buffy directed them to sit in the two chairs that faced her desk, and stepped around to take her seat behind her desk.
"First, I want to tell you how sorry we all were to hear about Jenny. She did so much for so many of these girls. They all miss her visits, I know," Buffy said.
"Thanks," Willow answered. "I think she felt they did a lot for her too."
"What are all these trophies for?" Anya asked.
"Those are mine. I use to compete in woman's kickboxing till I shattered my knee cap skiing about seven years ago," Buffy answered.
"So how did you end up here?" Anya asked.
"Long story, too long for now." Buffy smiled hoping she hadn't sounded too rude. "If you come back again, maybe then we can all have lunch or something but today I have three more appointments so time is not my friend right now."
Buffy leaned down and pulled a file out of her desk drawer. She put it on the desk and said, "This is Tara's file. I think it might help you to look at it a bit before we go down and talk with her. She's had some disciplinary difficulties as I'm sure you already heard. I've got my own theory on some things and if you feel at anytime you would like me to share them with you, let me know. I know Jenny told me that she wanted to go down there at first and make her own assessment before we talked."
"Yeah, I think I agree with that. I do want to look at this file first. Do you have a place that I can go and look this over? I would do it here but I do better with this kind of thing if I'm by myself, somewhere quiet."
"Sure. The library is just down the hall here. There's no one in there right now so it's all yours." Buffy looked over to Anya and then asked. "Will you both be going down there or..."
"Oh, no. I think I'm just going to go down to the cafeteria and wait if it's alright?" Anya answered.
"Sure, that's no problem. It's over at the minimum building so you'll need to get someone to walk you through. There is one thing that you'll need to know though. To get there you'll have to go through the men's housing so we ask women to keep there heads down when you go through. If anyone says anything to you just keep walking. Don't answer. Don't look."
Anya sat quietly for a second and then said, "I'm not going to see Anthony Hopkins somewhere around here am I?"
Buffy laughed, "No, it's not that bad. You're perfectly safe. It's just that they can get a little rowdy. Alright then,Willow I'll take you down to the library and I'll get someone in here to take you down to the cafeteria. It will only be a minute Anya."
"Not a problem," Anya answered.
Willow sat in the chair and looked around the room. There were twelve cubicles all facing straight ahead to another room the mirrored the one she sat in. Each cubical had its own phone and a Plexiglas window separated each one. She had assumed that the glass was meant to be soundproof but she could someone talking in the backround. "Well that's effective," she thought to herself. "If you talk loud enough anyone could hear."
She had spent about an hour going through the file that Warden Summers had given her and had jotted down some of the things that she felt see wanted to address with the woman.
She had also spent the better part of last night going through the file that Giles had given her.
She had questions about those too.
She was worried that she may not have enough time to get to all of them in the hour that she had with Tara today.
She was looking them over and marking them as to which ones she felt were going to give her the most information so that she could write up her request for an extension on her appellate hearing. She had to try and find something in this case that would show that there was reason to further investigate the possibility that this woman was innocent or deserved to have a sentence reduction.
It wasn't going to be easy, but she felt that there was definitely enough to buy her an extension.
She was busy going through the questions when she heard the sound of the door on the other side of the wall slide open. She set down her pen and tucked a strand of hair that had come lose from her pony tail behind her ear and focus on the approaching bodies.
Tara entered the room and the door behind her slide closed again. She then backed up against the door and put her handcuffed hands through the small latched door where the guard on the other side released her hands from the cuffs. Once freed, she began to rub her wrist that where just a slight bit sore from having them in what was an awkward position.
Willow watched as the young woman walked over to the chair on the other side of the glass and sat down.
Tara had yet to look up at Willow but she could see already that she was attractive. She had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach that she couldn't identify as nervous or... something else?
'Get a grip Willow,' she told herself. Willow leaned over and picked up the yellow phone and waited for Tara to pick up the one on her end....and she waited and waited and waited, but Tara never looked up and never picked up the phone.
'Okay, this should be a blast,' Willow thought to herself.
She tried something else. She knocked on the window trying to get Tara's attention, but she didn't budge.
"UM, TARA MACLAY," Willow shouted, remembering that she could hear the sounds earlier through the glass and hoping that it would get the woman to respond.
"I'M WILLOW ROSENBERG AND I'M GOING TO BE REPRESENTING YOU IN YOUR APPEAL AND REQUEST FOR STAY."
'Oh this is just rediculous,' Willow thought.
"TARA , IT'S IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO PICK UP THAT PHONE AND TALK TO ME."
"I REALLY FEEL THAT I CAN GET YOU A STAY IF..."
Just then a guard came running into the room, pepper spray in hand ready to use it and said, "What's wrong is everything alright? I heard yelling."
"Oh, yes, it's fine, I just, phew, sorry," Willow said flapping her hands in front of her face as if shush herself.
'Oh God,' Willow thought. 'How embarrassing.'
"Really, I'm fine. We were just, umm, talking? Well not we, more like me, and not so much talking as yelling. Which I'm sure is a big no-no here right? Hehehe...I mean obviously with you running in with the spray out and all. I'm sure there's not a lot of yelling that goes on in here. I mean with the phones and stuff. Most people just use those I'm sure. Plus they would like privacy when they talk, what with the sound proofing and all which, by the way, isn't as effective as I thought it would be, but she won't pick up the phone so hence the yelling."
The guard just stared at Willow, shook her head and said, "So you're okay then?"
Willow hung her head down and said sheepishly, "Umm...yeah I ...I'm good. So you can put that away," she said pointing to the small can in the guard's hand. "Sorry," she added.
The guard nodded at her and left the room.
Willow let out a sigh and looked up and that's when she saw it. A smile. Not a big one but a smile nonetheless.
Tara's head was up and she was looking straight at Willow.
Tara then reached over and picked up the phone and put it to her ear.
'Oh my God,' Willow thought. 'She's beautiful.'
"Hi again Tara, I'm Willow and I'm going to work your appeal. I have some questions for you and I think with the short amount of time we have we should get right to it...Okay?"
Tara just sat, not a word, just staring at Willow.
"So what do you think? Does it sound like a plan to you?"
"Tara, please talk to me. I just want to help you."
Then Willow made a very big mistake. She said, "Come on Tara. There has to be something you want to say to me?"
And then Tara began speaking and with ever word Willow's eyes grew bigger and her face turned brighter. Then with Taras last sentence her jaw dropped. Tara then shot Willow a look that could melt icebergs.
'Oh God,' Willow thought, 'she's trying to test me. She has to be.'
Then she said it out loud. "You're testing me aren't you? I know because some of the things you just said, I think are just physically impossible. Not that they didn't sound fun and all, but hey its a moot point right? What with you in there and me out here? Not to mention the whole lethal injection thing coming up. If you don't talk you may never find out."
This time Tara blushed.
'Oh, score one for my side,' Willow thought.
"So then, let's start with the easy stuff okay Tara?"
"Well," Tara said, "that's a coincidence. Easy is my middle name."
Willow looked confused for a second and said, "Well that's strange cause I remember here it said it was...OH," Willow looked up at her, "joke. I get it hahah." Tara just sat smiling at Willow.
'Oh Lord help me,' Willow said to herself. She took out her files and realizing she would need two hands propped the phone between her shoulder and ear.
"Willow, I do believe your hands are shaking," Tara said. "Are you feeling alright?" she asked giving Willow a lopsided grin.
"Oh, um yeah they they do that sometimes, you know they're naughty that way."
Willow then wagged her finger at one hand and said, "Naughty, naughty, hands."
Then the horror of what she had just said hit her. "No, I didn't mean that they or that I you know..." 'Oh God,' she thought, 'just kill me please.'
Tara just smile that lopsided grin and said, "Don't be to hard on them Willow. Wouldn't want them to get performance anxiety right when you need them most."
There went her file folders, dropped to the ground, documents sailing in all directions.
'Oh Lord this just can't get any worse,' Willow thought. She was bending down to retrieve her files, forgetting she had the phone between shoulder and ear. It dislodged, crashing loudly to the wooden partition of the cubical.
'Or can it?' She added to her previous thought.
Then after picking up her papers she went to stand up and her head smacked into the underside of the partition with a thud.
'Yes, I believe it can,' she answered her mental query.
She quickly regrouped wiping the palms of her hands onto her slacks and sitting down. 'Shake it of Rosenberg, just shake it off.'
"Well Ms Maclay, or, Tara, seeing as a the original trial you plead guilty, there was a confession, yours, and there was a witness who was present, your brother, there was a lot of evidence that wasn't presented. I'm just wondering here, did you find this attorney in a Cracker Jack Box? Cause I mean duh!"
Tara stared up a Willow. All signs of the smiling, flirting Tara now vanished. Tara was now back to stone faced Tara.
"Okay then," Willow said, "here's the first thing I'm wondering. It says here that you father, who was armed at the time of the shooting, was a state trooper with twenty-three years under his belt, numerous decorations and previously a sharp shooter for SWAT, yet he never drew his weapon? Now here's where I wonder about things. How is it that you managed to overpower your brother, take his gun, fire three clean shots at your father, then turn around and fire on your brother. Even if you had overpowered your brother, being a police officer with as much experience as he had, he would have had more then enough time to regroup and stop you before you turned around and shot him. I'm also wondering why he didnt call out a warning to your father."
Tara looked straight into Willows eyes and said, "I'm quick, and I'm a good shot."
Willow shook her head and said, "No, no you're not. Even if you were, it also says here that you had been out drinking with friends at a local bar. The bartender said that you had three gin and tonics, and seven beers. He also said he cut you off after you fell backwards off your barstool. Is that right?"
Tara still remained silent.
" Look Tara, I don't care how good a shot you were, that intoxicated you couldn't hit a side of a barn."
Tara sat staring coldly at Willow.
"You shot your brother in the hand Tara. You stated in court you wanted him dead too. Your father was standing eighteen yards away from you. You fired three clean shots with dead on accuracy, two to the chest and one right between the eyes. Now, here's the other really strange thing here. Your brother was standing directly behind you, maybe two or three feet away? Yet you missed that shot?"
"Believe whatever you want , the bottom line here is this, I killed my father and shot my brother. End of story," Tara said coldly.
"Who shot your father Tara? Was it your brother? Is he the one that did this?" Willow continued, "Did he shoot your father and then shoot himself?"
"Are you just fucking stupid or hard of hearing or what? I shot my father and I also shot my brother. I don't care what bunch off bullshit you think you know. I did this. Me, not my brother,me." Tara put her head down and shook it. "You know, I don't want you coming here anymore. You were fun to fuck with for a hour, but the thrill is gone. Now you're just a pain in my ass. A bitch and a pain in my ass. I'm going back to my cell now. I find the air more interesting then you. Now get the fuck out of my sight."
Then Tara dropped the phone stood up and called for the guard.
When Tara stood up and the guard came over to her Willow yelled out her phone still in her hand, "I'M GOING TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH TARA. I'M GOING FIND OUT AND THIS IS GOING TO END."
Tara stopped walking, she turned around picked up the phone and faced Willow and said, "You are so wrong Willow. This is never going to end. Not until I do." She gave her a good long stare and then turned and walked away.
"Well, that went well," Willow said to herself. She closed her file folder, picked up her things and walked toward the exit.