|A Way Out
Author: Devils'Darling PM
"In my haste to put together a defense, I left out a suspect." An idea for Daniel's trial that was suggested but never played out.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense - Emily T. & Daniel G. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,678 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 12 - Follows: 41 - Updated: 10-09-12 - Published: 09-08-12 - id: 8508243
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"In my haste to put together a defense, I left out a suspect." Victoria's rich voice intones. Daniel's eyebrows knit together, his expression is quizzical.
"What are you talking about?"
"Doesn't it strike you as odd that the bullets that killed Tyler came from Emily's gun? He threatened her, and she had reason to kill him. How do you know she wasn't there?" Daniel remains silent; a part of him that he hates is processing the idea. "You see, that little bit of doubt? It's enough to get you acquitted." Her lips are pursed, her eyebrows raised in suggestion. Daniel realizes immediately what his mother is insinuating. His eyes widen, voice firm despite the injuries from his jailhouse beating.
"No. You bring Emily into this, and I swear to god, I'll confess to the whole thing." He returns his mother's icy glare with one of his own, though it couldn't hold a candle to hers. She stalks away, quietly dignified as always. Daniel turns, facing the sky, disgust at the idea creeping up on him. How could his mother stoop to low? He doesn't even know the half of it.
The next day, the family is gathered in the Graysons' impressive living room. Mr. Brooks has called a strategy meeting to ensure Daniel has the most competent defense. As he relays to the family the problem of a certain "Juror #3," Victoria immediately gets an idea to fix it. It's one she'll execute discreetly, to protect her only son. She won't let some prejudiced woman destroy her child's life. Mr. Brooks has moved on to the subject of painting Daniel as sympathetic, pulling Victoria out of her vengeful thoughts.
"…which is why I've decided to put Emily on the stand." Immediately the queen is offended. Emily? That girl does not love Daniel nearly as much as she does. She tries to protest in a polite manner, as is the Hamptons way: cutting down your enemies with disguised insults, complete with a patronizing smile.
"Mr. Brooks, this is an enormous responsibility. Emily isn't even family yet." Mr. Brooks explains that Emily loves Daniel "by choice, not by obligation." Victoria stiffens. The lawyer stresses that it's incredibly important that the jury connect to Daniel, and what better way than through his fianceé? They have lost their hooded man theory, what with the Treadwell Report having gone viral. This is one of their last resorts.
After the meeting is over, Emily kisses Daniel goodbye and retires to her beach house, overwhelmed by the massive amount of notes Brooks has given her to study before her appearance on the stand.
Two hours later, she is buried in the paperwork when she hears a knock on her door. Puzzled, Emily glances at the clock before slowly approaching, her eyes darting to the gun. Nolan would just break in, and Daniel is on house arrest. She apprehensively pulls back the curtain to reveal Jack Porter. He smiles at her warmly, and it's Amanda who smiles back. She opens the door to let him in.
"Jack. I thought you were chasing after Amanda." At his curious look she replies, "Nolan told me. Did you find her?" He takes in the caring way her eyebrows are raised, her lips slightly open. He sees her true concern and feels comfortable to tell her all about his disappointing mission. She lights a fire and they sit in front of it, absorbing the warmth radiating through the house. As they share updates of their lives, providing a listening ear and a shoulder for each other - that's all they can offer – neither is aware that next door, a storm is brewing in Daniel's mind.
Being confined to house arrest makes one restless, and Daniel Grayson is no exception. He steps out onto the balcony from his parents' bedroom, taking in the serene view. Waves ripple the surface of the ocean as their crests brush the sand below. He breathes in the salty air, feeling oddly at peace for an incarcerated man, until his eyes drift down to his fiancee's porch. He can make out a shadowy figure at the door, smiling at Emily. Nolan? The man is peculiar; Daniel means to ask how she and the young billionaire know each other. He slips off the edge where he is perched and walks to the side of the balcony facing her beach house. His teeth grit in frustration and envy when he realizes it's Jack. The do-good bartender has been gone for months – god knows where – much to Daniel's relief. He does not consider himself a paranoid man, unlike his father, but feels that it is justified tonight. Prison can change a man. He reaches into his pocket, but resists the impulse to call Emily and demand an explanation. He is a better man than Conrad. Or so he thought.
It is barely ten minutes later when Daniel is roaming through Grayon Manor, still fuming, searching for his mother.
"Daniel, why are you still awake?" He hears her regal voice bouncing off the walls, turns to see her clicking down the stairs in a silk dressing gown, still in her ridiculously high Jimmy Choos. The sight brings a smile to his face in spite of it all.
"I've reconsidered your offer." He feels terrible about how he left it with his mother earlier tonight, dismissing her idea. She only wants to help. He sees the surprise register on Victoria's face.
"About Emily? Daniel, are you sure about this?" He nods. "What changed your mind?" He hesitates to tell her about Jack, knowing the news will be fuel to her fire of distrust against his fiancée. He wants to handle this on his own; he knows he can. It is his own personal form of vengeance; an outlet for his jealousy. In the end, he resorts to telling his mother,
"I talked to her about it, and she says she's ok with it. She wants to help me." Victoria suppresses the feeling of disgust that overwhelms her.
"How loyal of her." She comfortingly touches her son's shoulder and says, "I'll tell Brooks tomorrow. Now go to bed, Daniel. You need your rest." She gives him a signature Ice Queen smile that he takes as loving.
"Goodnight, darling. Sleep well." Victoria clicks her way up the stairs to her bedroom, seething. What is this woman's game? Emily cannot possibly deserve the moral high ground she puts herself on. She removes her earrings, pausing to study them in the mirror, her mind flashing back to the night he gave them to her. Her fingers reach out and touch the reflective glass. "I miss you, David." She is relieved Conrad is not there to hear her. Her love for David is something she will express in private, similar to questioning her son's innocence. If Daniel is truly guilty…no, she refuses to complete the thought. She doesn't want to believe that by implicating Emily as a line of defense, she is turning her into a female version of David Clarke, using her to cover up the crimes of another Grayson; Conrad's son, no less. She is unaware of how frighteningly ironic that is.