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Beatrice composed herself, shuffling, and then held up her hand, aiming the accusing finger directly at Mikey, as though she was aiming a gun. "It is that man, sitting over there, wearing the blue shirt."
Baskin closed his eyes knowingly, whilst still displaying a fabricated smile. "Yes. Now, Mrs. Ingles, before you took this photograph, did you know who that man was?"
"Objection, Your Honour. The witness has testified that she saw the Defendant, indeed photographed him. Is it necessary to question her knowledge of him?"
Sour Face actually appeared to contemplate, "No, I don't believe so. Sustained. Mr. Baskin, the relevant facts only, please."
Mike exchanged a worried look with his lawyer.
He dropped his head, trying to blot out the rest of the world, but he could still hear, as though they had installed a mini speaker in his brain.
"I'd like to draw your attention to the photograph, once more, Mrs. Ingles. Can you describe what the man is doing, in as much detail as you can, please?"
"He's waving." She rolled her eyes, almost imperceptably, at Sharkie's resulting face. "Okay, okay. He's smiling, and waving. From the picture, it appears that he's walking away from someone, and waving goodbye. Happy?"
"Very, Mrs. Ingles. Would you say it was normal behaviour for a pedophile to wave goodbye, in such a manner?"
"I wouldn't know, Mr. Baskin. I don't generally assosiate with that sort."
"Okay. In your opinion, Mrs. Ingles, would you attribute such behaviour to someone of 'that sort', generally?"
"That would depend on their level of remorse, Mr. Baskin. But, not generally, no."
"Would you care to look at the photo again, Mrs. Ingles, particularly the raised and gesturing left hand."
She fumbled with her glasses and the picture, before returning her attentions to it once more.
"What do you see, Mrs. Ingles?"
She squinted, bringing the picture right up to her face, so that it almost touched her nose.
"A ring, Mr. Baskin."
"A ring. Could you describe the ring? For instance, is it possible that ring is a wedding band?"
"I suppose it could be."
"A married man, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. Why, Mrs. Ingles, would the Defendant still be wearing his wedding band, if it meant as little to him as you have previously implied?"
"I...I don't know."
"Why, for that matter, if my client had intended to dupe the child, Ethan Reynolds, would he have returned with him to his home? Why not simply return to his prebooked hotel room, with the child?"
"I don't know."
"No further questions for this witness, Your Honour," said Sharkie, returning to his seat, next to Michel.
Beatrice Ingles stepped down from the witness stand, looking truly ashamed. So embarrassed, in fact, that she didn't even take pains to play up her old age aflictions, fleeing from the court room, the wheels on her zimmer hardly skimming the floor.
"The Prosecution calls the the stand, Dr. Susan Woods, Child Psychologist."
Mikey didn't even look up, his eyes pressed firmly into his arms, as they lay crossed on the table. He wanted to draw his knees up, feeling the rusty rods on his back, once again. He could amost smell the damp peeling walls, hear the mutterings of incarcerated insanity using a voice all too like his own.

This just isn't happening, Mike. It can't be.
This is a Movie, right. Someone yell 'Cut!'. Please.
Grip it, Mike. You don't want to go nutsiod in fornt o' all these people, right?
Right. So. Here I am. In court.
And, Doctor Know-it-all up there is going to show how everything Ethan did was so out of character, that I must have put him up to it, right?
Shit. Where's the Producer? This plot angle sucks.

"So, how do you know Mikey? Are you his body guard or something?"
"Or something," he chuckled. "Mike Mackenzie and me go back a long way, Miss Reynolds."
"You were at school together?"
They were two people exchanging gossip over coffee.
It was not long after Bea Ingles had flown from the building, feathers ruffled at the lack of respect she felt she and her views had deserved. The sight had cheered Pam up a great deal, actually, and it was then that Mr. Nails had suggested a trip to the vending machine.
They were sharing the same bench too. Pamela was poised on the edge of the arm rest, her feet on the seat. She felt comfortable seated there, eye to eye with the rogue. He didn't seen quite so intimidating from a face on angle, and the jacket he'd lent her to cover herself with helped, to not only do so, but to install a sense of trust, understanding between the strange drinking partners.
"No, at least, not at the same school. But we did know of each other back then. Hard not to. We were both in the junior boxing leagues. The best our respective neighbourhoods had to offer.
"Man, they was stupid to pit us against each other, that day. Made us enemies for life. Hollywood. What a waste of mother fuckin' talent."
"You lost?"
"Fuck no, Lady. Told you he owed me money, right?"
She nodded, intrigued by the primal tones.
"I had his ass whooped good that night. Bloodied him up real good. There weren't no way he was coming out that ring on his own feet.
"Now, don't get me wrong, Lady, he was good. Small assed little shit, but he knew where to hit a guy. How to hit a guy. S'anyway, I had the fight tied up, was just about to land the last punch, so sure it was in the bag. Turns out the sneaky Son' Bitch was fakin' the whole time. Not the blood, couldn't fake that, not against these killers," he paused, demonstrating by clenching his fingers.
"They certainly do look deadly, Mr. Nails."
"They're s'posed to. Like a beat up Mother s'posed to fall, but not Mikey. Stubborn assed punk comes back at me. Aims straight up. Y'ever have your nose broken from a straight up hit, Miss. Reynolds?"
She eyed him, one brow raised.
"That's a no, huh? Hurts like fuck. But thing about a hit like that is, it don't just hit the nose, it goes right up there into the skull. Ain't much fun havin' your brain rattled, Lady. He'd have hit any harder, I wouldn't be here.
"So, there's me, trying to stay up right, win the match. I mean, fuck the pain, this Asshole gonna pay. Trouble is, I can't see so good no more, on account the blood and head trauma, right? So, Mikey keeps dancin', keeping out of my way, cause he knows if I get him, he's a dead man. He puts in a few more ok punches, but the damage is done. Man's brain can only take so much rattlin', Miss. Reynolds.
"Son' Bitch stole my life. He owes me."
Pam gulped, mentally noting never to piss this giant off.
"S'ok, Lady. I'm not an animal.
"Don't make a habit o' strappin' up any more. There's better way to hurt a man."
She gave a knowing sigh, "His wallet, right?"
"Haha, too right."
"You are...that is, you're not thinking about," The wooden arm rest was becoming a little uncomfortable now, and her plastic cup was nearly empty. She stared into it, swirling the last dregs around the bottom. When she looked up, her eyes shimmered, dolefully. "Mr. Nails-"
"Tony," he said, laying one of those telling hands on hers, which all but disappeared beneath its bulk. It was giving off a savage heat, and she wasn't sure if he even realised how his hand, but for the jacket, was stroking her thigh.
"Tony, you aren't going to, you know, stitch him up, are you?"
"Now, Mrs. Reynolds, he's worth more to me if he can work for me. You get what I'm saying?" He stretched out his fingers, effectively, feeling a little further up her leg.
"I..I think so." She slid from the bench, under the falsehood of binning her empty cup, effectively putting an end to the underhanded advance. "Not everything is for sale, Mr. Nails."
He laughed, wildly, the sound reverberating through her chest as she walked away, and she wondered.

She-it, Mike. What the fuck you doin' with a fox like that?
Damn, if that Son' Bitch didn't hit her with everything he ain't got, he is a damned fool.
Come on back, honey. Nails got. And, shit-boy, does Nails want?

He thought of following. Chances are she'd hide out in the rest room for a few minutes to compose herself. Tony Neilson was not fussy, he'd had his against worse things than a sink unit before.
His nostrils flared, and he hardly realised the bared teeth, watching Pamela Reynolds climb the stairs, in that winsome outfit, pretty heeled shoes, trotting up the carpeted staircase, resolutely away from him.
He didn't mind, he needed a better reason for visiting Britain than saving Mike 'Kenzie's ass. Challenges were fun, made life more interesting.
He rose, and gathered up his jacket from the floor, where Pamela had left it when it slid from her knee. He slipped his finger into the loop, and flicked it over his powerful shoulder. He tossed his head in the same gesture, breathing in the vixenish vapors which had settled into the coat already.

[b]Word Count:
40,826 [/b]


------
It's not easy having a good time. Even smiling makes my face ache.- Frank N. Furter.

--Jasmine


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