Chapter 6.

Ripley was at her apartment early the next day, and Patrick seemed glad to hear that he would be going with her to the office. Kathleen had heard from Will Sunday night and talked with Dan – and even heard from Terry as well – and she explained that she would be go there with Ripley.

They dropped Patrick at school first. Then Kathleen drove on to work. As she got closer her heart began to sink, and her concern grew. But she said nothing to Ripley. When she finally stopped and she shut off the car, she reached for the door handle – and he said, "Wait a minute."

Kathleen looked at him. "What?" she asked.

"What are you thinking?" Ripley asked.

"That I have a ton of things to do today," she said.

"About going back in there."

"That I have to do it."

"OK, but you don't have to be too strong to talk to me."

Kathleen smiled. "OK," she said. "Let's go."

* * * * * * * * *

Will and Trish both hugged her when she arrived at the office, and both congratulated them on the engagement. When Kathleen went to her desk she could feel their eyes on her, but she ignored it as best she could.

Terry gave her a brief hug too when they meet for a brief plea discussion. Kathleen could see that he wanted to go easy on her, but Kathleen told him to play this however he had planned. She didn't want anyone's pity.

When the time came for the bail hearing she met Ripley outside the courtroom and sat with him in the back. Judge Brennan was presiding. Ripley held Kathleen's hand tightly in his, his leg pressed to hers. Kathleen smiled…but then she spotted the man who attacked her sitting at the defense table, and the smile faded. The new ADA was on the other side, a woman named Myers whom Kathleen had heard good things about – that she was smart and fair. The defendant was represented by a public defender, a haggard man named Tyler whom Kathleen knew to be good but perpetually overworked.

As the hearing got underway Tyler tried to present his client as someone who could be trusted out on bail, but Myers made good use of his priors and the idea that he was a menace to society. In the end Brennan ruled quickly: Bail denied. Kathleen released the breath she was surprised to find she had been holding; Ripley squeezed her hand.

There were reporters who wanted to talk with them, but Ripley led Kathleen past them and on to his chambers where they came together and embraced for a long time. "I should let you get to your business," Kathleen said softly in his ear.

"This is the only business I care about," Ripley said. Kathleen smiled and held him closer.

* * * * * * * * *

Coming next: Kathleen defends a heartbroken fan accused of smacking the moronic network bigwig responsible for canceling her favorite show.