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Mercedes Monroe

A young lady clothed in an expensive red dress sat in the office, her legs crossed. Her sleek orange hair was perfectly curled and pulled to the side, giving her an attractive but professional look. She was getting impatient. She hadn't been waiting long, but it was getting late and she was ready to go home. She began shaking her foot, letting her high red heel slip on and off of her pedicured toes.

Footsteps came up to the door behind her. A black haired, dark man walked in. The girl turned her head slightly, letting her cat-like green eyes survey the man. Her bright red lips grew into a wide grin as she slowly stood up and straightened out her dress.
"I see you took your time getting here." she said as she walked up to the man.
"I think you have a rip in your stockings there, Ms. Monroe." the man said, his eyes glued to her legs.
"I didn't come here to flirt, Bill." the girl snapped, her eyes cold. "Do I have the job or not?"
The man looked up. "Yes. But it won't stay that way for long if that attitude keeps up." he said as his voice got stern. "You have an impressive record. Don't mess this up for us, Marci."
A smile grew upon her lips once more. "By the time I'm done with that jury, they'll convict a snail for man-slaughter." she insured as she grabbed the papers from his hand and walked out the door.
Bill sighed after watching her leave. What was he to do? She was a good lawyer. In fact, she was probably the best he's seen.

Mercedes walked out of the law firm and into the chill of the night. It was well passed dark. She shivered as she dug through her purse to find her car keys. She walked confidently, despite the night's cold crisp air and unusual darkness. She didn't even notice the dark figure following her every move.

She stopped in front of her overly-expensive car, still rummaging through her bag. The large figure loomed behind her. "Ugh! Where are these damn k-" Her thoughts were interrupted by a chemical-smelling cloth coming over her nose and mouth. Her eyes widened and she tried to scream, but she was out before she could make a sound.

Mercedes awoke in a dark room that smelled of mold and beer. She must have been on a cheap couch, because she could feel the scratchy fabric under her arms. She slowly pried her eyes open, it felt like she was waking up from a 12 year nap. She tried to rub her eyes, but something was restraining her arms. Handcuffs? Was she handcuffed on a cheap scratchy couch?!
"If you're going to restrain me, could you at least have a little taste in doing so?" Marci asked calmly, still a little drowsy.
"She's awake!" Mercedes heard a girls voice say. She then heard footsteps rushing over to her side.
"Mercedes Monroe? You're the prosecutor from the news, right? They say your win-loss record is off the charts!" A boy's voice said. Mercedes was still groggy, she couldn't see anything but blur. She just managed to make out the outlines of three people.
"Look, is this about money? Because it would have been much easier to just take my car..."
"No! Ms. Monroe, we don't want to hurt you-" said the girl's voice.
"Hah! Oh, right, I nearly forgot. Kidnapping somebody and handcuffing them to your couch just screams 'friendly!"
There was a small pause. "We're sorry about that. But you have to listen to us.." the boys voice seemed sincere. The third person in the room stayed quiet. Mercedes blinked a few times. The figures in the room slowly started to become clear. She was shocked at what she saw. And that rarely happens to Mercedes.
"You're....you're just kids.." Her three captors looked up at her. They couldn't have been out of their teen years.
"Yeah. This is Zach. He's 19. He's like family to us." the boy that had been talking pointed to another man in the room. He was very large, built like a football player. His head was shaved and he had a bit of scruff on his face. He had kind brown eyes. "...He's the one that kidnapped you."
"Nice to meet you, ma'am." His voice was deep and a bit rough. He only lifted his head for a second before staring at his feet again.
"And this is my little sister, Sami. She's 14." The girl forced a smile and did a little wave. She had layered light brown hair and dark brown eyes. She was very small, in both weight and height.
"I'm Jordon. Jordon Keene. 17 years old." the boy who had been talking had short brown hair and bright blue eyes. He was tall, but rather skinny. Mercedes didn't say anything. She was taking everything in. What could these kids want with her?
"Now that we've all been introduced, we need to talk. We need your help." Mercedes still didn't say anything. She just looked at the boy. She may have been tied up on a cheap couch, but she was getting more and more curious about these three.
Jordon took a deep breath before going on. "I met these people one night while I was out partying. A group of guys. We talked for awhile and they seemed cool. They offered free alcohol if they were invited to my next party." he paused for a second, looking ashamed. "It was a deal. I gave them my address and told them to swing by that Saturday. When they came over they must have set up cameras in our house or something, because a week later my dad was accused of murder. They have a perfect case against him. His fingerprints and hair were at the crime scene. He has no alibi. They even have video of him going into the man's apartment.."
Mercedes interrupted him there. "So your dad murdered the guy. I can't help you there honey, I'm a prosecutor not a defender. I know you'd like to believe that it wasn't you father, but face the facts. This happens all the time. I've seen a good father murder more than once. It's not worth kidnapping for, and it's certainly not worth my time." The boys looked at each other before Jordon started talking again.
"He didn't kill anyone. He was framed. You know that guy, Connor Thomas , that was convicted of murder awhile ago? Well on TV we saw him talking all kinds of crap about being framed by some guys. A group of guys that sounds just like the ones I met. He met them by the same place, too. He even said they offered him free beer if they could watch the game at his place."
"So you want me to find these guys and prosecute them with no evidence? No Jury is going to believe that a group of young guys are capable of framing someone for murder. I'm not even buying it. I'm not sure anyone could pull that off so perfectly. I looked at the Connor Thomas case, there was no doubt he was the murderer."
There was a long pause.
"I know. I know this hard to believe. But please...Mercedes, you have to trust us. You're the only one that could pull something like this off. You have to at least try!"
Mercedes stared into Jordon's pleading eyes for a long minute before replying. "Well, honey, you're right about that! I love a good challenge. As long as it's not on this horrid couch. I feel poorer just touching it." She couldn't deny these guys. Even if their dad was guilty, they were just kids. Desperate kids who just wanted somebody on their side.
Jordon's face lit up. "Good! We snuck the video off of our dad's lawyers desk. Take a look," he said as he pulled out a small TV and put the disk in. The video clearly showed a man, who they pointed out as being their dad, walking into the apartment building. Mercedes was ready to roll her eyes and call their father guilty when something caught her eye.
"Wait...play that back. There!" She tried to point, but the handcuffs stopped her.
"Sorry..." Jordon said weakly, as he got the keys and began to un-cuff her. Mercedes stood up and grabbed the remote as soon as she was free.
"There!" She pointed at the TV screen. The three kids looked at each other.
"Um...What? I don't see anything!" Sami cried.
"You should talk more, sweetie. You even sound cute when you whine." replied Mercedes. "See that blur around your daddy there? It's fuzzier than anything else in this picture." There was silence around the room. Mercedes rolled her eyes.
"That could be a sign of tampering."
They spent the rest of the night compiling evidence against the strange group of men. They actually had a pretty good case put together. Eye witnesses, video tampering, a detailed description of each of the men, along with a few more odds and ends. Mercedes didn't expect any of this when she agreed. She was certain it was just a few crazy kids who wanted their father to be innocent. But now here she was, a career making or breaking case in her hands.

None of them got any sleep that night. But when the sun rose that morning, it was time for action. Mercedes went straight to the law firm early that morning, without even stopping to change clothes. She even took the bus without complaining. She stormed into her bosses office.
"Mr. Powel!"
Bill was surprised. "Yes, what is it Marci?"
"I won't be able to do the Hazen case. I have a new case on my hands. A much more important one."
"What are you talking about? There is no case bigger than the Moore case right now. Marci! You said you wouldn't mess this up for us!" he paused. "..Why are you still in yesterday's clothes? Why do you smell like beer?"
"I spent the night in a teenagers basement."
Mercedes went on to tell Mr. Powel all about her little adventure. Leaving out the kidnapping part, of course. Her boss eventually agreed to let her do the case. He knew there was no arguing with Mercedes Monroe.

The case wasn't an easy one. Nobody wants to believe that the justice system could have made a mistake. It was an uphill battle alright. Marci's charm and good looks weren't going to be enough for this one. She spent countless hours every night going over each smallest detail of the case. She would not lose. She couldn't lose..

After what felt like an eternity, it was finally done. A court room full of people sat awaiting the jury's decision. For the first time in her life, Mercedes was nervous. She sat shaking her leg uncontrollably and chewing her nails. Her heart was pounding. The room was deafeningly silent. Mercedes could feel the suspense in the air. At last, a juror stood up. "And our decision is... Guilty."

The room exploded with screams and joy of the people. Marci saw Jordon laughing from across the room, throwing his hands up and cheering. Sami was crying into Zach's arm. Time seemed to freeze in that moment. Marci's heart lifted and a smile couldn't be held back from her face. She had done it. She had finally done it.



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