Disclaimer: This is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to anyone, living or dead is purely coincidental. The characters are fictional and of my own creation. The place, time, and incidents are purely fictional. Copyright © March 2004.
This work is rated as adult material because it involves a relationship between consenting adults of the same gender, and because anything can happen in my stories. If you are easily offended please read something else. If any of this is illegal where you live, stop reading. Beyond this you may wish to take the following immediate actions. First, move. Second, if it is your wish, resume reading. Let no one dictate what you may or may not read, except you, the only person who should be in control of your life.
Warning! This section contains violence and extreme language.
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Inevitable Destiny 14
Inevitable Destiny 15 Ė Setbacks
By Ken Rogers
Doctor David Sutton, tall and thin with a fringe of dark brown hair, graying at the temples, and thick unruly eyebrows, closed the door behind himself. His dark blue eyes blinked owlishly at the nurse through thick glasses, the thick glasses and eyebrows making him look forever surprised.
Sandy Holmes, a short, stocky, blue eyed blonde, glanced up from the reading she was taking and smiled in relief.
"Sorry we had to get you out so late, Doctor Sutton.
"Howís she been doing?" He had already been briefed on what had happened and was very puzzled by her sudden hysteria. She had always been very self-assured and calm. Apparently, out of the blue, she had just gone off the deep end. He couldnít blame her, really. He had been keeping up with the disaster her familyís lives had become and wondered that she hadnít snapped sooner. Still, she had always seemed so strong; it was a real shame.
"Not good, Iím afraid."
As if to emphasize her words, Angela cried out, a short unintelligible burst, thrashing her head from side to side.
Doctor Sutton stepped to the her side and pried her eyes open, flashing a light into them. He could see that her eyes were jerking nervously around, the pupils changing dilation even as he watched. He felt her forehead then dug out his stethoscope and listened to her chest.
"No!" She jerked violently against her restraints, startling the good doctor.
"Has she been like this since you called?"
"Yes. It goes in spurts."
He picked up her chart. His eyebrows climbed comically, making him look rather bewildered. "She should be comatose with all those drugs." He looked back at her again as her back arched against her restraints and she groaned.
"Okay, wake her."
Sandy already had the syringe ready and injected in into the saline line. The doctor spent the time recording his findings. He didnít have long to wait.
She gasped and her eyes flew open. She tried to sit up but she was bound to the bed. Slowly she reentered reality from the horrid dreams and she calmed. Only a single soft light pushed the gloom from the room, the sun long gone. Her doctor was standing next to the bed, his hand on her shoulder trying to force her back down. A nurse on the other side held a syringe, waiting for the doctorís instructions. Concern was etched on both of their faces.
"Angela, are you understanding me?" He kept his voice soft and soothing.
"What happened?" she asked in mild, drug induced confusion, wanting to lift her hands to her pounding head, but they were restrained.
"Weíre not sure. How do you feel now?"
"My head hurts. Major headache."
"Iím wondering why you have me strapped down?"
He smiled reassuringly. "Thatís for your own safety. We were afraid youíd hurt yourself."
"Why would I do that?"
He looked concerned again. "Angela, you were hysterical. Donít you remember?"
And she did. Suddenly. Painfully. She gasped. "Oh, god," she whimpered, tears coming to her eyes. "Samantha."
"What about Samantha?"
"Sheís been hurt. I need to go to her. She needs help."
"Youíre talking about Samantha Coulter? Your lawyer?"
"Yes. Sheís hurt. Please let me up."
"Iím sorry, Angela, I canít do that."
"But Samanthaís hurt. I need to go to her!"
"Calm down, Angela. Iím sure Ms. Coulter is fine. You just had a bad dream."
"No, sheís not! Let me up!"
The doctor nodded and the nurse injected the sedative into the line.
"No! Please donít! I have to go to Samantha! Let meÖ up." Her vision began to fade and she suddenly felt heavy. "Please," she whispered. "LetÖ meÖ."
The doctor watched her until she stopped fighting the sedative and was fully asleep, then turned to his notes. "I think Iíve seen enough, nurse. Keep her sedated. Iíll admit her tomorrow."
"Yes, doctor." She began straightening the bedding, tucking the patient in.
Angela cried out feebly.
"Make sure to keep her well hydrated."
The door opened and Carla Aveno, the woman in charge of Angelaís security, entered.
"Oh, I was just coming down to see you, Ms. Aveno."
"What about, doctor?" She glanced at the bed to see that Angela was sleeping. "She out for the night?"
"Yes. We had to sedate her."
"Thank god. I was scared to death sheíd still be awake."
"Why is that?" the nurse asked, while the doctor continued to write.
"Because if she saw the news sheíd really freak."
The doctor looked up, his concentration broken. "Why? What happened?"
"Her lawyerís car was bombed. Itís in a ravine and they havenít been able to get to it yet."
The doctor very carefully seated himself, his legs suddenly shaky beneath him, while Carla tried unsuccessfully to catch the nurse as she fainted.
What the hellís wrong with these people?
* * *
She raised her head looking dazedly around. She was lying on top of Tanya, partially on the ceiling of the car, partially on one of the windows. It was dim, almost dark in the car, and smoky. She could see Russell hanging from his seatbelt in the front of the car. She was soaked in strong alcohol from the bar and quite a bit of blood. She righted herself, her head spinning so badly she almost vomited. When the spinning and nausea settled to a tolerable level she turned to Tanya shaking her frantically but there was no response.
Something bumped the car then a light was shining through the window into her eyes. A pistol appeared, pointed right at her and fired. She screamed. She watched in horror as the pistol fired at her face at point blank range, but the bullets never reached her, simply starring the already cracked window. She went back to trying to wake Tanya, ignoring the man trying to get into the car, crying again, but for very different reasons.
She heard more shooting but not as close then silence again. More shots, some from near the car, several bullets striking the heavy car, then silence returned.
She cradled Tanya in her lap rocking her and crying.
Another face appeared in the window above her, shining a light inside. There was no shooting this time. It was Lesha.
"Samantha, unlock the door." The voice was faint, barely understandable.
She stayed there rocking Tanya, apologizing over and over for hitting her.
"Samantha, please open the door so we can help you!"
Dimly she realized if they wanted to help her, they would help Tanya too and that got her moving. She gently kissed Tanyaís cheek and lay her down then crawled up and unlocked the door. It was then, for the first time, she became aware of the pain.
* * *
Angela opened her eyes into her usual room. She was alone, the only sound the slight rattle of one of the windows as the rain lashed violently against it. It was fairly dark in the room, but the single faint light the nurses left on was enough to let her see that it was nearly eight oíclock, but she wasnít sure if it was morning or evening. She lay without moving trying to get the vague images that had been troubling her just before she woke to come back, but they were already fading away, mere vague shadows. She had raised her hand to run it through her hair before she realized that she was no longer restrained. Then she remembered. Something had happened to Samantha and no one would believe her. She tensed, expecting the fear that she had felt to return, but it was gone. That brought a sickening feeling to her stomach and she pressed the call button, waiting impatiently for the nurse to arrive.
The door opened and her day nurse, a tall buxom woman with short graying blond hair entered the room. She smiled at Angela and spoke before Angela could.
"Your lawyer is all right, Angela. She has some minor injuries, but nothing serious."
"Thank you," Angela said, the relief releasing the tension she hadnít known she was under, and suddenly she was tired, very tired. "I need to sleep now," she murmured, her heavy eyelids sliding closed.
The nurse busied herself making sure that Angela was comfortable. She had been surprised when the call buzzer sounded because the dose of sedative given her should have kept her out for at least another four hours. She watched her for a moment pleased to see that she seemed to be sleeping peacefully for once. She had been so restless throughout the night. When she was sure that Angela was back in a deep sleep she silently left the room.
* * *
Samantha looked up as Tanya stepped into the room a little surprised, but deeply relieved, the woman would have anything to do with her, relieved, but very nervous. Tanya stopped, staring down at her, her emotions hidden behind hard eyes and somber features. She was dressed in her old manner, jeans and pullover, without makeup, her hair combed straight and pulled severely back in a short tail. She had a sling on her left arm, the lower half, including her fingers, in a hard cast. There was also a stiff brace around her neck and the hard shell of a body brace bulged her shirt in strange places. She waited, her hard eyes locked on Samanthaís eyes, making her very nervous.
"Tan, IÖ Iím so sorry. I donít know what happened to me."
"You through using me for a fuckiní punching bag?" Her voice was as hard as steel, and as unyielding.
Samantha swallowed nervously at the hard voice. Her own voice was little more than a whisper. "Yes."
"Then let me give you a piece of advice, Ms. Coulter. You ever want to take me on again, you better learn how to fight, because I will beat the living shit out of you, got me?"
"Yes. Iím sorry." Tears clouded her eyes at the harsh words and the stinging formality.
Tanyaís face dissolved into a huge grin. "I mean, Christ, Samantha, at least lead with your left and jab with your right. Now get your ass out of that chair and give me a hug."
Samantha would have flown out of the chair but her injuries kept her to a gentler pace. Tanya gathered her into as tight a hug as she dared while Samantha cried her grief and relief into her neck.
* * *
Judge Wendover leaned his arms on his bench and looked over his glasses at the sad assemblage before him. The audience seemed to hold its breath, waiting to hear what he would say today.
The defendant was still in her wheelchair but she was the healthiest looking of them all. Samantha Coulter had a bandage on her forehead, a nasty bruise on her right cheek, and there was a cane resting against the barrier behind her that he knew went with the back brace she was wearing. Next to her was her co-council, for the first time. He admired the redhead nearly as much as he did Ms. Coulter and was surprised to see her so soon, given just how bad her injuries had been. Other than the wheelchair, she still had a small bandage, barely visible because she had her hair styled a little differently to cover it. Her slacks and suit coat covered the other bandages that only slightly bulked her clothes.
He was surprised to see Samanthaís bodyguardósomeone he had bucked heads with a number of times but still considered one of his favorite peopleówith a cast on her left arm and a brace on her neck and back. Heíd always suspected she was indestructible and it was a little disappointing to learn she wasnít.
Samantha was another of his favorites. He was always well entertained when she was in his court.
"Ms. Coulter." She started to rise. "No no, please, remain seated. I will excuse you from standing today. Might as well, youíve disrupted just about everything else in my court." The natural sarcasm in his voice was less biting than his normal demeanor. "Now, I started to ask, are you sure the lot of you shouldnít be in the emergency room?" Laughter flitted nervously around the room.
"It was touch and go and I seriously thought about it, your honor, but the thought of another continuanceÖ."
"Yes, well, continuances have become the norm with you lately. Itís been, what, eight days now since you last appeared in my court, assuring me that continuances were at an end?"
"Yes, your honor, that would be correct."
"Think you can honor us with your presence for a few hours, Ms. Coulter?"
"That is our intention, yes, your honor."
"Um. Well, lets put it to the test, shall we?" He picked up the top sheet and glanced at it. "Ms. Coulter."
"Yes, your honor?"
He chuckled. "Charlie, if you blow this one you might want to be updating your resume. Ms. Coulter, please explain why you have sued the state for the sum of one hundred and thirteen thousand dollars and change, for locating your client?"
"Iíd be glad to, your honor."
* * *
The judge sat back, looking at the stunned audience, the dejected state team, and the smiling team behind the defense table. He glanced at the back row, now exclusively dedicated to a smaller contingent of news media, who were dying to leave, but now restrained to only one at a time, for presumably restroom visits, and that wasnít going to happen. He could see that the one that tried to leave would probably pick up some bodily injury from a few colleagues. Pandora could not be stuffed back in her box after today. Win or lose the little blonde dynamo and her co-council had dropped a huge load of dynamite into the news on this day.
"I believe weíve done enough for today, ladies and gentlemen. Ms. Stephanos, I apologize for keeping you this late. Iím pleased to see that you have been fully released to Ms. Goronovich and her security forces. Your council has done well by you today. Ms. Donovan, up to your usual standards today, and good to see you recovering so well. Ms. Coulter, your allegations today will certainly cause some controversy. I applaud you for anticipating my objections to you presenting the cases that your co-council handled for you. I would have thrown two of them out if you had said one word." He swiveled his chair slightly. "Mr. Pearson, Iíll see you in chambers. Courtís adjourned until one oíclock tomorrow. Ms. Coulter, do try and keep yourselves together until then."
* * *
"Iím impressed, Ms. Coulter; two days in a row. Perhaps we can finish up today so the real work can begin."
"That would be most satisfactory, your honor."
"Mm, my sentiments exactly. Now, Tony, I understand you are petitioning to take Mr. Pearsonís place on the state team."
"Yes, your honor."
"Ms. Coulter, any objections?"
"Yes, your honor. We were not informed that there would be a change in the state team, or given any reason why the team is changing.
"Black mark against you already, Tony, but Iíll allow it, if you can tell me why you are changing your team."
"Mr. Pearson resigned, your honor, indicating pressing family matters."
"Very well, let it be recorded at this date and time that the state lead council has been replace by Anthony Danielís, said appointment objected to by the defense due to insufficient notice." He picked up the first charge sheet. "Mr. Danielís, fasten your seatbelt. Ms. Coulter."
"Yes, your honor?"
"I have here before me a suit by Ms. Samantha Coulter, for reckless endangerment by personnel of the state penitentiary, naming seventeen officials of that institution."
"Yes, your honor."
"Bailiff, are the accused in the courtroom?"
"Yes, your honor, with the exception of Corporal Kristen Jeffrey and Lt. Sandra Devlin."
"Just why are those two individuals not present?"
"Lt. Sandra Devlin collapsed this morning and is in the hospital. Corporal Jeffrey has disappeared."
"I see. Ms. Coulter, will you hold your charges in abeyance on these two individuals?"
"I will hold the charges on Lt. Devlin, but not on Corporal Jeffrey. Corporal Jeffrey is already fugitive from two hearings yesterday, your honor. Lt. Devlin was present for the one she was charged in."
"Very well, continue."
"Your honor, I must again excuse myself from these proceedings, since they are a suit brought by myself. My co-council, who is also my attorney of record, will handle the case."
"Very well, you are excused as council, but will remain as defendant. Ms. Donovan, you have the floor."
"All right. Thatís the last one." He leaned back in his seat, studying the attorneys. "Again it has been an unusual and very disturbing day, Ms. Coulter. I think itís safe to say that some of these petitions, win or lose will turn this state inside out. I know the ladies and gentlemen in the back row are praying for me to shut up so they can try to scoop each other again. I hope you and your legal staff are prepared for the backlash some of these suits will probably generate." He turned to the state team. Mr. Martin, your team has, in my considered opinion done an abysmal job on the stateís behalf. My god, man, how could you assign Danielís to lead your team when he was one of the accused in one of the cases for today, especially after your track record so far? Iím sure your office will suffer, perhaps unjustly, when the media releases that story tonight. I would strongly advise that you and your colleagues get your house in order before either of these attorneys meets you on any of these cases. Members of the press and members of the audience, I applaud your patience and behavior today. This court is adjourned."
As soon as the judge was out of the room, the place dissolved in an uproar, the press racing for the door while the audience became a mass of incomprehensible sound and motion. Samantha stood and began putting her things together, ignoring the chaos around her.
Phyllis looked up at her speculatively but Sam ignored her. Angela reached over and began helping Phyllis fill her briefcase since she was having trouble without the use of her left arm. She was half finished when Samantha jerked the briefcase away from her and began tossing things into it, slamming it shut and placing it on Phyllisís lap while the other two women stared at her in amazement. Her face was set in stone as she worked.
"That was uncalled for, Sam," Phyllis remarked softly.
"Fine. Get her to help you out of here, then." Samantha grabbed her briefcase and cane and left, both women watching her out of site. They turned a little further as Tanya swore and both she and Lesha took out after her, fighting their way through the crowd.
"What the hell did I do now?" Angela asked in frustration.
Phyllis turned to her and sighed. "Nothing. Anything. Everything. I donít know anymore. SheísÖ I donít know what to think. We had a bit of an argument on the way here and she bit my head off. I hate when she gets like this, but itís happening more and more often. Iím sorry she took it out on you, Angela."
Angela smiled at the distraught redhead. "Itís okay, Phil. Iím getting use to it. She hardly speaks to me at all anymore and when she doesÖ." She sighed. "Iíd just as soon she didnít. If we werenít so far into this mess Iíd look for another lawyer. She justÖ hates to be around me."
Phyllis could easily see the hurt that caused Angela. She was so good at hiding her emotions, at being all business, except when it came to Samantha.
She placed a hand on Angelaís arm. "You donít have to do that. I know itís hard, but no matter how she acts when you two are together she is doing an outstanding job for you and your family. I know itís hard to understand; god, I have trouble myself, but Samantha is dedicated to you and your family to the point of obsession. She wonít let you down, Angela."
Angela smiled but it was a sad smile. "I know. I can sense that, butÖ itís so hard. SheÖ I think she really hates me, Phyllis."
"Iím not sure about that, Angela, but I do know she is angry. It nearly killed her when you left her."
Angela felt a stab of guilt and pain deep within herself. Her eyes wavered, then dropped. "IÖ I had not choice, Phyllis. Leaving her was theÖ."
"You two ready?"
Phyllis mentally swore as Mikey spoke. It was the first time Angela had ever said anything about that time, but the spell was broken and she could see her withdraw back into her shell.
"See you later, Phil," Angela said as Mikey wheeled her away.
"Something wrong, Phyllis?"
Phyllis looked up briefly at her new shadow and shook her head as she sighed. "No. Iím okay, Kim. Letís go."
"On our way. You guys clear a path," she said to the two bodyguards and they plowed ahead of the wheelchair as Kim pushed her out of the courtroom into the even greater chaos of the media.
* * *
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