Jasper came into work in an amazing mood as he had just received the news from Stella that they were expecting baby number three. Both the children they already had had long since moved out and started lives of their own so Jasper felt great excitement over raising another with Stella. Their alone time was amazing but children just add something to a home that nothing else can. His secretary looked just as timid as normal at her desk. He wasn’t sure why she was so afraid of him or why she wanted to work for a man that scared her as badly as she seemed to be scared of him. He knew his reputation and the fact that his demon status was out in the open now since beings like him didn’t have to live hiding who they were any longer but he had made great strides to try and make his human and very sweet secretary comfortable working with him.
“Morning, what’s on my agenda today?’ he said as he sat a smoothie on her desk “whats this sir?” she asked and he smiled “I wanted to treat you. You like smoothies right?”
“then enjoy it”
“th..thank you sir”
“so, whats on my agenda?’
“Oh, sorry. Um, for starters some walk ins are in your office. I told them you don’t take walk ins but they begged and were just so pitiful sir. Please don’t be angry at me.”
“I’m not angry. I’ll see them. Enjoy your smoothie” He walked into his office “morning, I hope you weren’t waiting long. I know I’m late coming in”
“we’d wait on you no matter how long it took sir” the woman said and he picked up on right away she was an emotional wreck. “what can i help you two with?” the woman was obviously having trouble speaking so Jasper just waited patiently. The silence hung for quite awhile before the man cleared his throat and said “As a demon I’m sure you can tell we’re zombies.. As a lawyer you also know that while we have many rights that when it comes to being murdered people can get away with it easily since we need human flesh to live. Everywhere we go if its known what we are we run the risk of getting killed even if we’re just trying to.” he fought of tears a few moments before continuing “we were taking our daughter out for her birthday and she accidentally bumped into another girl ever so slightly, I’m sure there are tapes to prove that it was an accident and my daughter instantly tried to apologize. ”
There was another silence that wasn’t broken until the woman continued the story “the girl started screaming and freaking out and next thing we knew the other girls boyfriend had blown our daughters head off…he killed her because she was a zombie and accidentally ran into his girlfriend while she was trying to walk to the bathroom. It was murder Mr Bookchild but the cops didn’t see it that way. If she was anything but a zombie that would be murder and that racist man would be in jail where he belongs paying for the life he took.” It was the young man Jasper guessed was their son that finished “he killed her while we still have few rights so we know you can’t do anything about that man getting off without even a slap on the wrist but we know your reputation in the court room and we were hoping you’d fight for our rights and make it to where people cant just kill us for upsetting them. My family has never once eaten human flesh that wasnt from a donor. We could never kill a human sir. We also could never afford your fees Mr Bookchild but we come here begging that you’ll fight for our rights out of the goodness of your hearts. Let my sisters death actually change somthing, please”
“Don’t worry about the fee, I’m going to win this for you no matter what, I promise.”
“Really?” They all said at once.
“Yes, I’ll get started right away.”
The woman came to her feet and hugged him. “Thank you so much.”
“There’s no need for thanks, everyone deserves the right to live a full and happy life.”
He could only begin to imagine the turmoil this family was going through. He didn’t want to think about what he would do if he lost one of his children or Stella because of needless racism. He was going to do everything in his power to win this case for this family and make a change for all zombies. He wasn’t going to let their child’s death be in vain.
He spent a good portion of his morning asking the family questions and having his assistant type it all up on her laptop. When he had all the information he could get from them he asked for a picture, liking to have pictures of victims he was defending. It also would help him humanize her as he talked to the people he needed to talk to. Most people think horror movie with rotten flesh when they think zombie. Having a picture of a beautiful young woman would help his cause greatly. “we only have pictures in our cellphones with us”
“with your permission I can email one to myself so I can print it”
“By all means, you can even pick.”
“Just give me one you like best. I know that can be a hard pick but I need to humanize your daughter” As he waited he looked over his assistants notes, approving of how well she kept up “good work, thank you.”
“anything else sir?”
“finish that smoothie before it’s bad and email me those notes”
“yes sir” she hurriedly walked out and sat at her desk. It was the father who handed Jasper his cell “I think it should be that one”
“who is that girl with her”
“Her best friend, a human girl”
“Good choice, could I have this young ladies number along with any other humans she was close to” the brother pulled out a purple phone and handed it to Jasper “That’s…her cellphone. Her five best friends are on speed dial, 1 through 5. Just hold the number down.” His mother was looking at him “sorry mom, I took it yesterday..”
“It’s okay, I’m glad you had it here”
“you don’t happen to have her charger handy right?”
“thats no matter” he called his assistant in again “yes sir?” Jasper held up the phone “your last cellphone was this right?”
“it’s Jasper, please call me Jasper”
“sorry Jasper but yes, thats my last phone”
“still have the charger?”
“Yeah, it works with my new phone”
“charge this so I don’t have to worry about it dieing. I’ll be using it later” he looked back at the family “I’ll return that as soon as I can”
“Thank you again.”
“Go home okay and if I need anything else I’ll call and don’t be afraid to call me.”
“We just want justice, no matter what the form may be.”
Jasper saw them off then went back to his office. He looked up the police report for the incident and printed it out, reading over it a couple of times. He couldn’t believe how negligent the police had been. He needed to make some calls. He dialed the number of the reporting officers precinct and waited. When the phone was answered he gave his name and asked to speak to the police chief. He was immediately transferred and he could he could hear the man clearing his throat.
“Jasper Bookchild, to what do I owe the call?”
“Don’t play stupid, I need to talk to Officer Jacobs about his misconduct on the zombie case.”
“Jasper, come on, they’re not even…”
“Human? Oh but neither am I, you know that. Also, don’t call me Jasper, I don’t remember us being friends.” He heard the man swallow. “Now, I suggest you find a good time for me to talk to that officer.”
“I also need to talk to the little shit who pulled the trigger.”
“We can’t just arrest him.”
“Find out how he got the firearm, if it was illegally, bring him in or else.” He hung up, feeling a form of satisfaction at scaring the police chief. Next he need to call the girl’s friends and then the Zombie League. They were working hard to get rights for zombies and he would need them to back him.
Jasper called each girl, thankful they all picked up but he felt bad they had to go through getting a phone call from a friend they knew was deceased. He was having them all come in with their parents and whatever pictures they had with her. He would also try and get the permission of each of the parents to let him put their girls on the stand to testify on what kind of person their friend Calliope was. He looked over his notes from the phone calls then gave them to his assistant to write clearly so he wouldn’t be confused by his own speedy handwriting later.
With his assistant working on that he made his next call. “Jasper! Hey!” The woman on the other end greeted cheerfully. It sounded like Megan “Hey, what are you currently working on?”
“Still pushing hard for zombie kids to be allowed to go to sleep away camps mainly”
“I’ve got something even better for you guys to concentrate on” Jasper told her about the family and what happened to their daughter. It left Megan silently crying on the other end of the phone “How can people be so horrible….on that poor girls birthday…
“I’ve taken the case pro bono. The way zombies are treated is still horrible and it isn’t right. Nobody should get away with murder, nobody.”
“Let me talk to some people and we’ll come to your office tomorrow. Any particular time?”
“I’m having her five best friends come in tomorrow whenever its easiest for them so the day after tomorrow is probably best. I really want to build a strong case so I’m going to take my time with each family.”
“good, so the day after tomorrow. Call me tomorrow evening with a good time.”
As soon as he hung up, his phone rang and he quickly answered when he saw it was Lupin. “Baby brother?”
“I want to work with you on the zombie case.” He replied. “I saw it on the news and some reporters got pictures of the family coming out of the office. Brigid says she’ll do any leg work you have and I can help with putting the evidence together.”
“It’s going to be a tough case.” He knew that Lupin knew this was a test. He had learned that if he wanted to be anything like Jasper, he had to be willing to man through the toughest of cases. Being a shark meant never backing down from a challenge.
“I want to do this.”
“There’s no pay this time around.”
“I don’t want any money.”
Jasper smiled. “You and Brigid come over for dinner tonight, I’ll have Stella set extra plates.”
“I’m proud of you Lupin.”
Jasper was sure there was a look of boyish delight on Lupin’s face at being praised by his older brother, but Lupin just said. “I’ll see you later.”
“Bye.” They hung up and Jasper sent a text to Stella, explaining what was happening and that they would be having Lupin and Brigid over. His phone rang soon after and he smiled as he answered.
“Are you okay Jasper, I mean a child.”
“I’m perfect now that I get to hear you and I’m going to win.”
“I know, I love you.”
“Love you too, angel.”
“I’ll let you get to work then. I’m sure you have a ton to do”
“yeah, I promise I wont be late for dinner though”
“Good, I’m going to head to the store. I had already planned dinner but I want to make something better since we’ll have your brother and his wife over.” They got off the phone and Stella got ready to head to the store. She wondered if she should announce her pregnancy over dinner tonight with such a sad case. She would talk about it with Jasper when he got home if they had time before Lupin and Brigid arrived. If not it could wait. She had already called Jessica and Cade as soon as their father went to work. They were ecstatic and were now just waiting anxiously to know the gender.
She was so proud of her children. Jessica just out of college and ready to start her career and Cade had become a Soil Conservationist with four children of his own. None of which were biologically his. One night while he was there for dinner he announced he didn’t plan to have any kids of his own. Since he had eternity he wanted to spend it doing good for the world. Aside from his career choice he wanted to adopt children in the 12 to 15 year old range. The ones that were almost never adopted because people wanted babies and toddlers. Only a select few would go older than a toddler and even with those few if you were 12 and in the foster system you were pretty much there until you aged out.
He wanted to give them families and help them through whatever trauma might have placed them there if they were taken away from bad parents or maybe lost their parents in a tragic way. He’d help them grow then adopt more, giving them a family and helping them aswell. The bookchilds and their extended family had so much love to offer and wisdom to share. If they were anything they were definitely an eclectic group so he knew each child would feel welcome and find people within the family to connect with. Stella, being as emotional as she was, cried and hugged her son. He had a truly good heart and she hoped this baby would turn out just as good and smart as her first two.
She didn’t bother to decide on what she was cooking before she left. Stella wanted the store to inspire her. It didn’t take long for an idea to pop in her head and she began collecting what she needed. Brigid arrived before the men were even off work so fate would have it she couldn’t talk to Jasper before anybody got there about the appropriateness of announcing their new child. “Hey” Brigid said with a tight hug “Hey!”
“I came to help cook. Jasper is done with me for now so I came right over to see if I could do anything”
“sure, thank you so much” They talked about what Brigid knew of the case so far and worked together to make Cocoa-Cured Lamb Loin with Olive-Pear Relish. “this seems like its going to be amazing. You seriously make the best stuff Stella”
“I love cooking, especially for company. I’m hoping Cade brings those kids over again soon.”
“They really are great kids. He’s a good dad. Think Jess is going to give you some grandkids soon?”
“We’re closer now that shes out of college. She really wants to establish herself in her career first”
“smart, she literally has all the time in the world after all” Stella giggled “yeah” she touched her stomach, something she always quickly got in the habbit of when she became pregnant. Brigid caught it “Stella, are you pregnant?” she asked with excitement and surprise. Stella blushed “Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I should announce it with the case” Brigid hugged Stella again “what’re you talking about. Oh my gosh, how excited is Jasper?”
“very, he was over the moon when I told him”
“awww, another little Bookchild running around”
“What about you and Lupin?”
“We both want more, but we’re waiting until he’s as established as Jasper so he can leave whenever he feels the need.”
Stella laughed. “You know Jasper only has to give their boss the look and Lupin can do what he wants.”
“I know, but he’s trying really hard to catch up to his brother. He may not say much about it, but the look in his eyes when Jasper praises him is just so endearing. He really looks up to him the most. He wants to be Jasper 2.0.”
“I bet if he asked, Jasper would let him come help on more cases. Hands on experience is the best.”
“I think that would make him really happy.”
They chatted about the baby and how their children were doing until Jasper walked through the door tailed by Lupin who looked excited about working with his brother. He had finally let his hair grow back out and looked like his old self. Stella had been so confused when he shortened it, not even recognizing him at first. “Something smells amazing.” He said as he hugged Stella then went and pulled Brigid into his arms.
“Dinner.” She replied with a smile then to Jasper, “How was work baby?”
“Oh you know, same old same old.” He kissed her, all the tension he had been feeling that day instantly draining from him.
“So Stella, do you want to tell Lupin or should I?” Brigid asked with a big smile.
“Tell me what?” He looked between them. “Is everything okay?”
“That depends, are you ready to be an uncle again?” Stella asked.
He smiled widely “congratulations! No wonder Jasper seemed so happy at work. He’s normally a lot more serious there but it seemed like something had his spirits high”
“You should have seen him when I first let him know this morning” Stella bragged. “well let us finish up with dinner. You two set the table” Jasper and Lupin got to it while the women finished up with dinner. Once they were eating it was all work talk. This was one of those cases that would have Jasper especially passionate. Racism was bad enough but when children got hurt or suffered for it Jasper wouldn’t rest until he felt justice had been served. Jasper rarely lost a case but he never lost a case like this and she knew he wouldn’t start now.
After they finished eating Stella began clearing the table. Brigid got up to help but Stella said “No, they need you hearing this stuff too Brigid. I’m fine, I’m so newly pregnant it barely makes a difference”
“yeah, please, this case is important. You all talk about what you need to talk about. I mean it Jasper” she said to her husband before he got up and started trying to help. He smiled “Okay but I’m massaging you later”
“I think thats fair” she said with a playful smile then took the dishes she had in her hand to the kitchen.
“How about you and split the friends that way we get them all interviewed in a timely manner.” Lupin said. “Brigid can interview all the witnesses as well as the girlfriend of that ass.”
“Sounds good, I also want you there when I interview the officer and the boyfriend.”
“The officer should be easy, you’ve got such a reputation.”
“You will too if you watch closely.”
“Since he’s the type of kid who carries a gun around, he might be into other things like drugs or gangs.” Brigid added. “Once you get any info on him just text it to me. I know most of the less than reputable citizens of this fair city.”
Lupin took her hand. “Some of them may know me and if I have to I’ll talk to them.”
Brigid gave him a loving smile. “We both know how uncomfortable they make you, I can handle them.”
“As long as you’re sure.”
Stella came back once she had the dishes clean and Japser immediately pulled her onto his lap and kissed her cheek. “I also want you with me when I speak to the Zombie League representative and if that asshole Flint gives you any shit about working on this you tell me and I’ll put the fear of me into him.” Lupin started to open his mouth and Jasper held up his hand. “I know you want to handle him on your own, but it’s okay to ask for help.”
“He’ll never respect me if I dont speak for myself” Jasper smiled, feeling proud of his brother again “First we have to show him what a good lawyer you can be. Do some big cases with me then we’ll start sending you in to him on your own. Just have confidence. The justice system runs in our blood. Our mother and father were in it, now we are and maybe one of our children will someday follow our footsteps.” Brigid chortled “and then we’ve got Chthon who seems to be the Justice department where ever he goes” Lupin smiled “Okay, you always know what you’re doing”
“well, lets all rest up. I want to start early in the morning. I want to be in the office two hours earlier than normal okay Lupin?”
“I’ll be there”
“good, one of the parents said they might need to come in earlier in the day than we normally open and I told her that was fine. Being a good lawyer is being a lawyer around the clock. You go in when you need to to get the job done. Remember your family and make sure you’re giving them time but being the best lawyer is going in early and staying late if it helps win the case.”
Jasper showered with Stella, his hands gentle as he washed her. He rested his hand on her stomach and she turned her head, smiling lovingly up at him. “I’m so happy.” He said as he brushed his nose against hers.
“Me too, I love you.”
He couldn’t help but kiss her and kissing lead to him carrying her to bed still wet and giggling so he could make love to her. He knew he was going to be super busy starting tomorrow and he wanted to make sure she knew how loved she was. He took his time with her, whispering how beautiful and wonderful she was until she was tearing up. When the finished he just stayed there for a moment, giving her kisses. He lifted her off the bed and took her back to the shower where they washed each other then got out and dried. They didn’t bother dressing and Jasper pulled Stella tightly against him once they were covered. When his alarm went off the next morning, part of him wished he could stay with Stella, but he knew he would never forgive himself if that girl didn’t get justice.
“Let me cook you breakfast.” Stella said sleepily and started to set up.
“Sleep baby, you need it, I’ll grab something on the way.”
“Yeah, rest.” He kissed her then dressed and grabbed his keys and phone. He sent a message to Lupin and was happy to see he was up. He told him to head to the office, that he would bring bagels and coffee, then headed out himself.
Lupin grabbed his suitcase and hurried out to his car. This was the biggest case he had ever worked on with his brother and he was determined to impress him and observe how Jasper handled everything. He eagerly stepped out of his car and hit the lock button on the remote before approaching the office. It was already unlocked so either Jasper was already there or his receptionist was. When he arrived on their floor he saw Jasper wasn’t there yet “Morning”
“Morning, anybody else here yet?”
“Martin is here. He slept here last night so he really never left”
‘Oh, I guess he’s fighting with his wife again”
“Probably” She turned back to her computer. It wasn’t long before Jasper came in and handed his brother and receptionist a bagel and coffee. When the first family came in Jasper and Lupin talked to them together since the other ones wouldn’t be in until a bit later. It was a good opportunity to help Lupin learn the important things to talk about. Jasper was surprised at how many pictures this family brought and all the stories they shared about Calliope, the zombie girl who had lost her life. Typically people wouldn’t bring all he asked for our offer so much of their memories with a person but Calliope obviously meant a lot to these people and they really wanted to see just as much as her family did something come of her death.
They were still talking about photos and what he needed in the courtroom when the next family came in, had they really been talking that long? Jasper left his brother “You can finish with them. I have the next family” Lupin felt nervous but just nodded and took over the conversation. Jasper introduced himself then guided them into his office. Brigid wasted no time getting started on what she needed to do. She took the witness list, figured out where to find them then set out to talk to them all.
Around noon Stella cooked a big lunch and packed it in some tupperware. She knew Jasper would be so busy, he probably wouldn’t notice he was hungry and Lupin would be just as vigilant as his brother. She sent a message to Brigid, asking if she wanted to meet at Jasper and Lupin’s office to eat lunch with them. She knew Brigid was also busy, but she couldn’t help but smile when Brigid sent a message back saying she would be there. She wanted to surprise the guys so she didn’t send a message to Jasper. When she got there Brigid was waiting for her outside and they both smiled and hugged.
“They expecting us?” Brigid asked.
“Of course not.”
Brigid laughed. “Good.”
Jasper was just finishing with another family when there was a light tap on his office door. It pushed open and his assistant poked her head in. “Sorry to interrupt, but your wife and sister in law are here. They brought lunch for you and Lupin.”
“Tell her I’ll be out in a bit, go let Lupin know.” It was good they came in, he could spend a few minutes with Stella as well talk to Brigid about any information she had.
When Jasper could get out to his wife, Lupin and Brigid he met them in their lunch lounge. He gave his wife a long hug and kiss then sat close to her before getting all the information Brigid had. “So I still have people to talk to but thats everything so far. Has the department that handled this talked to you yet?”
“Nope and I’ll be going there with Lupin when we’re done with these families. I’m going to be a hell of a lot more pissed with them if they dont try to contact me before I go. I think they might be forgetting a little bit who they are dealing with.” Brigid suppressed a laugh “You’re probably going to make those officers wet themselves”
“good” Jasper answered. Stella rubbed his leg and smiled at him. Jasper smiled back, calming some at the affection. They all finished their meal and hugged eachother bye before separating again. Stella found herself wanting to help and wondered if maybe after this kid starts preschool she should go to college and get a job in the justice system. Jasper probably wouldn’t like her dealing with criminals but she was starting to find herself wanting to be a part of what Jasper, Lupin and Brigid do. Even his parents had seemed to love their work, they had talked about it at almost every dinner they went to.
Jasper and Lupin had one last family to go and the son seemed to be grieving the hardest. Jasper guessed the boy had either been in love with her. He had brought his cell which had pictures of he and Calliope. He said his favorite was of them on a skiing trip with her family. Jasper had them printed out then asked the family some questions. Like every one of her friends, they spoke highly of her. She was a good girl with good grades who loved everyone. She had been a hard worker and was very giving. His phone rang as he was concluding the meeting and he smirked at the precinct’s number.
“I take it you got that idiot with a badge waiting for me?” He asked, his voice carrying a chill.
“There’s no need for name calling Mr. Bookch…”
“How about the killer, you have him or not?”
“We’re working on it.”
“Work harder and my brother and I will be coming over in a few minutes so I suggest you have Officer Jacobs waiting for us. Now, do you need me to repeat myself?”
“No, of course not, we’ll have him in an interrogation room.”
“Get the boy or I’ll have your badge.” He hung up and almost laughed when he saw how Lupin was looking at him. “Don’t worry, you’ll be scaring people to death in no time.”
When they arrived at the precinct Jasper and Lupin were guided to the interrogation room Officer Jacobs was in. Jasper first took note of his lawyer. She was a good one but he had proven time and time again he was better. Mr Jacobs started speaking instantly “I did nothing wrong, even if the girl wasn’t”
“Mr Jacobs please” His lawyer tried but he ignored her. “trying to eat Mrs Bonnette the fact remains that thing was a zombie. Her boyfriend”
“Mr Jacobs be quiet!” she snapped but Jasper just chuckled “so you admit ti was racism that made you so quick to pardon a murderer”
“well no bu”
“No buts, you just admitted to me that regardless of the circumstance you thought he was within his rights to kill Caliope simply because she was a zombie.” Jasper pulled a tape recorded out of his pocket and the female lawyer groaned, she was trying to silence Officer Jacobs because she knew Jasper came in recording. “you can’t deny you said it. Even if I dont get to play this in court I’m sure the zombie league can get something out of this. The department doesn’t need another scandal in racism. How many times would this be now?”
“Lupin would you be so kind as to give me the file with all of his arrests?” Lupin flipped open his case and pulled out the manila folder then handed it to Jasper who flipped it open. “Last year there were three muggings on zombies, all of which you brushed off as self defense of the human’s part. There was also the attempted rape of a woman who had no choice but to bite her attacker to get him off of her then he beat her into a coma. Another one you chocked up to self defense on the assaulter’s part. This year another mugging and then now a dead girl.” He sat the open folder down and slid it toward his lawyer. “So you say you’re not a racist?”
“What about demons? Do you hate my kind?” Jasper leaned forward, his hands planted on the table. “Do you think I might come over the table and eat your soul?” Officer Jacobs swallowed in fear and Jasper pulled back with a grin. “Now, are you or are you not a racist?”
Officer Jacob’s balled his hands into fists and looked at the table. “Yes.”
“I thought so.” He looked at the man’s lawyer who was sitting there with her mouth hanging open. “Have fun defending him because I’m going to make sure he pays for his negligence and if anyone knows what I am capable of, it’s you and all those other lawyers who don’t know how to do their jobs.” He picked up the recorder and tucked it away. “I’ll be seeing you both in court.”
Jasper next went to the chief “where is the boy?”
“he had the gun legally. It’s his fathers”
“so he’s over eighteen then?”
“well no but Mr Bookchild”
“Under eighteen in this state it doesnt matter if his father gave him permission. He shouldnt have been carrying that gun. You will bring him in and you’ll arrest the father for giving a gun to a minor” he looked pissed as he stared back at Jasper. When the chief wouldn’t speak he said “I know you hate me but you do your job or you find another one. I’m going to have you looked into because I’m tired of shit like this happening. You best pray my investigator doesn’t come up with anything because believe me, it will find it’s way into the papers and wherever else it needs to go. If you want any mercy you will bring the boy and his father in”
“good, we’ll wait here” You could feel the testosterone in the air as Jasper and the chief gave eachother dirty looks. “jesus” Lupin said and Jasper responded “and thats how it’s done brother” Jasper and Lupin really did wait right there until both men were brought in. He talked to the father first in a separate interrogation room, wanting the boy to sweat. “so you’re into giving teenagers guns”
“He’s my son. Lots of fathers give guns to their children in this day and age. All these monsters going around, they need to protect themselves”
“Monsters? Hardly, Calliope was a sweet girl” The man scoffed further enraging Jasper “Her kind can’t be sweet. This worlds gone to hell. Letting demons like you and things like her walk around loose among humans. You all need to get back where you came from. I plan on suing the state for bringing in my boy when they’ve already cleared him”
“You obviously don’t know who I am do you…talking to me like this”
“I don’t care who you are” Tension was thick in the air, Lupin and Jasper were boiling. “No matter what you believe, in this state even with parental permission minors cant have guns”
“The laws are wrong.”
“doesnt make them different. You will be spending time in jail. I promise”
“we’re going to take our country back demon, you just wait” When they concluded with the father Jasper and Lupin went back to the cheif “I’ll be back, you leave that boy in that room” They went to a nearby Starbucks so Jasper could calm down. If he would have went straight to the son there was a good chance he might kill somebody today and that wasn’t an option. Calliope and her family needed him. “a good rule brother…if you need a second to calm down take it” Lupin nodded, taking another sip of his hot drink.
When Jasper was calm and done with his coffee he asked Lupin “you good”
“yeah, I’m ready to see what prick jr has to say for himself”
Stella was reading when her phone rang. She reached for it, missing it twice since she was so into the story. She actually wound up giving it a dirty look as she pulled her eyes away from the book. She picked it up and smiled when she saw it was her mother in law. “Hey mom.”
“Hey sweetie, a little bird told me my son is taking on his toughest case yet.”
“A little bird huh?”
“Well, one of the bailiffs heard about it from a police officer. Plus it’s been in the news.”
“It’s terrible, I can’t even begin to imagine what that girl’s parents are going through. Jasper is pretty heated and he has Lupin working with him.”
“Oh lord do I feel sorry for the accused.” She sounded so proud of her sons. “And how are you doing?”
“Good, I actually have a surprise for everyone, but I want to wait until Jasper wins this case so he can be there with me. I can’t pull him away from this one, he has to beat those monsters into submission before things get worse.”
“You know he will, one look and they practically fall to their knees begging for mercy.” She gave a small laugh. “Well I just wanted to check in and see how everyone was.”
Stella sat her book down. “I do have a question actually. Could you help me pick out a law career? I kind of feel like I should join in.”
“Of course, have you talked to Jasper about it?”
“Not yet, I’m letting him focus on this case.”
“I’ll email you some information and you can go from there. There are so many things you would be good at, but I want you to talk to Jasper as soon as you get a chance. He spends the most time with you and will probably be better at narrowing it down.”
“Oh honey, you know it’s never any trouble.” Stella heard voices in the room with Shante. “Well I have to go, love you.”
“Love you too.” They hung up and Stella went back to reading, her mind whirling with what field she might be best in.
Jasper sat quietly across from the young man, his eyes staring at him unblinking. The kid was obviously nervous. Sweat beaded on his forehead and he kept swallowing. Lupin could tell Jasper was making the kid uncomfortable on purpose. It was a type of mental warfare and Jasper was the best at it. Lupin remembered trying to play poker with him and he never blinked, never frowned, never looked like he had a good hand, he was just stone faced, his eyes like a predators. Lupin hoped someday he would be able to make people sweat this bad without even saying a word.
When Jasper decided to speak his voice was calm, hiding the storm of anger inside of him under a smooth yet intimidating voice. “You really thought Calliope was trying to eat your girlfriend?”
“Don’t answer that” his lawyer said. Jasper sighed, this one listened to his lawyer. Lupin spoke up “Just be honest, your girlfriend was screaming and panicking. Did you prematurely shoot in worry for her safety because your dad is so racist?”
“I wont blame this on my dad”
“Not telling you to, I’m just asking if between his attitude and the natural protectiveness we all have of our loved ones did you maybe have a lapse in judgement?” The young man stayed silence but as demons they could see remorse and embarrassment coming off of him. Silence stretched again and his lawyer spoke “if we’re just going to waste the day away why should he be here? These intimidation tactics aren’t going to work Jasper. The young man spoke “I protected my girl. That’s all I’m going to tell you”
“You’re in trouble for at least the gun”
“and you can’t own one until you’re eighteen. If you were a month shy you’d still be in trouble”
“But that’s not…”
“What? Fair?” Jasper leaned forward just a little, his eyes locked with the boy’s. “Neither is a young girl’s brains being blown out. Fair would be life imprisonment, fair would be Calliope still being alive, fair would be none of this ever happening, but the world isn’t fair and as much as I hate it all I get to give you is two years and a fine. Maybe in those two years you’ll learn to take responsibility instead of hiding behind someone like her. You are a murderer, no matter what anyone says, it’s the truth, but I will get justice for Calliope so next time someone decides to mug, rape, or murder a zombie, they’ll be put away for good like the feral dogs they are.” He stood and looked at the other lawyer. “I’ll be in touch.”
He and Lupin turned to leave the room and just as they stepped out they both heard the young man whisper a sorry. “How can he be sorry and just sit there?” Lupin asked as they headed out of the precinct to go back to the office.
“He’s a coward just like daddy.”
“So what now?”
“Tomorrow we see the representative of the Zombie League. We give her a copy of everything we have and she’ll back us on this.”
“We could use some basic anatomy to show that zombies are indeed human. I think people like that boy’s father believe there is something physiologically different about them when in fact they’re built just like regular people. They eat, they sleep, they love and feel pain. It doesn’t matter if they were born that way or made that way.”
Jasper smiled. “Look at you.” He couldn’t help but reach over and tussle Lupin’s hair. His brother glared at him, but still looked like an embarrassed little boy. “We’ll call in a doctor to talk about anatomy for us. The jury loves charts.”
They went back to the office, finishing up so they could go home to their wives. Stella was listening to music on their desktop when Jasper came in the door. He chuckled when he saw her. She turned smiling back and taking off her headphone. “How’re things going?” she asked. “I really think I can get zombies more rights with this case.”
“You look tense though, want to cuddle in front of the TV? We can order somthing so we can just be together”
“That’s just what I need. How about Jimmy Johns?” Stella sat back down and they ordered their subs. Once their order was confirmed they went into the living room to find something on TV. Before he could switch it on Stella said “I’d like to talk to you about somthing after we eat and you’ve had time to relax”
“Nothing, I promise”
“I wont be able to relax unless we go ahead and talk about it.” Jasper set the remote down and Stella began to speak again “when this baby gets in school I want to go to college and pursue a career in law enforcement like you and a good portion of your family” It scared Jasper to think of his wife in such a field of work but if it made her happy he wanted her to do it. “What were you thinking?”
“I was hoping you would help me decide”
“You’re going to tell me if anybody tries to threaten you right?”
“of course I would”
“No matter what they tell you they’ll do you call me as soon as you can if anybody threatens you”
“I will baby”
“Okay, let me think on it. I’ll give you a few jobs I think you’d do well”
“This case is more important. Take care of it first”
“You should know by now that nothing is more important than you.” She went to protest and he kissed her to silence her. It was a technique that always worked and she always sat there looking a bit starry eyed. “Now let me think. You are incredible with children so you could work for child protective services or be a juvenile lawyer. You could also be a judge like my mother. Sex crimes would be another good one for you, but be warned it can get very dark.”
“Juvenile lawyer sounds good.”
“I think you would be incredible at it. I could even give you lessons on how to scare the crap out of people.”
“Well yeah, what other kid are there?”
She rolled her eyes and he kissed her again, making her blush. “You don’t play fair.”
“I’m not supposed to when it comes to my wife. It’s my job to make you absolutely crazy for me.”
The next day Megan came in to see Jasper with a couple other representatives for the Zombie League. Jasper filled them in on what was going on. “I’ve already scheduled a few television appearance to get this more attention. We’ve set in motion another bill that would give zombies so many more rights. Hopefully between media and you it’ll pass this time.”
“it’s going to be my personal mission to make sure it does” Jasper said in such a way that said no matter how much time it took him to get it done the zombie population would get more rights.After about a week of prepping witness’s and getting ready for trial the big day had arrived. Jasper and Lupin went into court with full confidence they were going to win.
When the defense came in they looked a bit shaken from the crowd of people outside the court. The Zombie League had gotten this more attention than Jasper thought they would. There had to be hundreds of people out there, some supporting the zombie population while others were there supporting the police department and the young man who killed Calliope.
Jasper made his job seem so effortless as he humanized Calliope for the jury, showing she was a kind and promising young woman who loved everyone. Lupin was amazed that he actually seemed to have some of the jury member tearing up. He wondered if they were parents, if the had lost children of their own. Jasper’s demeanor changed when he had Officer Jacobs on the stand and manipulated the man into confessing once again that he was a racist for anything non human. He asked how the officer found out if someone was non human since it wasn’t like it was on their i.d. The man was at a loss and Jasper asked him if he had ever let a crime go because he thought someone might not be human. The officer was so nervous, shaking like a leaf as Jasper looked at him. When he admitted that he had everyone looked horrified. Not even the cross examination could save him.
Next came the witnesses who had seen the shooting. they were all very cooperative and Jasper’s demeanor changed once again. It was amazing to Lupin how he could change depending on who he was talking to. He was like a chameleon. Stella watched him proudly, loving her husband’s need for justice. Watching him in person was so awe inspiring, even the jury and the families were amazed by how he seemed to control every aspect of the courtroom. Having a doctor show that zombies were the exact same as human with the exception of their food seemed to really help. He even used himself as an example. He was a demon, but he was just as human in body as everyone in the room. It was when he finally got to the young man who had pulled the trigger that the air around him seemed to darken. He was the definition of calm on the outside, but Stella could tell there was a storm building inside him at the sight of the boy.
“So, Samuel or do you prefer Sam?”
“Sam is fine.”
“Alright, Sam. Witnesses say that you pulled the trigger. Even Officer Jacobs, our courtroom racist, says you did indeed pull the trigger. Now from what they say, Calliope didn’t lunge at your girlfriend, she didn’t try biting her, she simply bumped into her. Is this true?”
“And you pulled out a gun, one that you shouldn’t have even had, and you blew her brains out. Correct?”
“You looked right into her eyes and just…” He held out his fingers like a gun and pretended to shoot Samuel.
The boy’s face filled with remorse. “I…I did.”
“Now I’m sure as a show, your lawyer is going to ask you why, so why Samuel? Why did you kill a young woman who hadn’t so much as spoken to you?”
“I thought…I thought…” his eyes filled with tears and he looked at Calliope’s family. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just reacted and I…I…”
“Killed her?” Samuel’s lawyer stood up and Jasper help up a hand, silencing her. “I’m done with him.”
Jasper’s reputation held up, not only did he get guilty verdicts against the father and son but he helped get the bill passed so zombies had all the rights humans did. They couldn’t bring that little girl back to life but Jasper felt comfort at knowing there was a law named after Calliope and that she helped get rights for all her kind. Now there was calm, now he could just help his wife through her pregnancy then see her grow as a Juvenile lawyer. He knew his wife was going to be amazing at it. Stella was such a warm, caring person. Kids needed a woman like her on their side.
~ The End