Mid-Week Blues-Buster Week 27.

“You could say I’m a bodyguard. People hire me to make sure they’re safe.”
People hire you? You mean women work for you.”
“I’d take on a man. I’ve just never met one in need of my services.”
“And what other services do you offer?”
“I’m a coach, a motivator. I give my clients the drive to earn money.”
“What happens if they don’t earn enough?”
“That’s not my concern.”
“Well, what happens if you don’t get paid?”
“Listen, I do contract work. My clients know how much my services cost. They’re contractually obligated to pay me. Same as you, I imagine.”
“Yeah, but if I don’t get a paycheck, I don’t beat the hell out of my boss.”

“Objection! Counsel is testifying, Your Honor.” Shelton’s attorney was on edge.
“Sustained. John, get back on track. Let’s keep it to questions.”

State Attorney John Sebastian grew tired of the wordplay. Shelton was a pimp and the jury knew it. The State had failed time and time again to bring him up on prostitution charges. But now Stag had murdered Billy Lyons and Sebastian wanted his pound of flesh.

“Fine. What happens if you don’t get paid?”
“Well, I have to get paid. I have a contract.”
“So, you’ve never had a situation where one of your clients failed to pay you?”
“Is that a question?”
“HAVE you ever had a situation where one of your clients failed to pay you?”
“Nah. I’ve had a couple of late payments, but we work it out.”
“How do you work it out, Mr. Shelton?”
“Like I said, I’m a motivator. I encourage them to get out and earn. If they don’t earn, I can’t protect them. They usually realize pretty quickly they’re much safer when I’m paid on schedule.”
“Have you ever physically coerced a client into paying you?”

Sebastian knew this was going nowhere. Shelton wasn’t going to admit to anything. The charge was first degree murder. He might have to settle for second degree if he couldn’t prove Shelton was a pimp –Lyons a disgruntled customer.

“Mr. Shelton, where were you the night of December 25, last year?”
“I was at the bar.”
“Which bar?”
“The Bucket of Blood.”
“And while at The Bucket of Blood, did you see Billy Lyons?”
“I did.”
“And how do you know Billy Lyons?”
“Aw, he was a loudmouth. Seemed like every time I went in for a drink, he was in there running his mouth about how he’d bedded one woman or another.”
“Had you ever had a conversation with Billy Lyons?”
“Not outside of telling him to shut up.”
“Did you have a conversation with Billy Lyons that night? The 25th?”
“So how did it come about that you were moved to take out a pistol and shoot Billy Lyons in the chest no less than nine times?!”
“I didn’t do that.”
“Then who did?! You admit you were there. You were there when the police arrived. Bill Curtis says you shot him twice before shooting Billy!”

“MR. SEBASTIAN. I won’t warn you again. Questions only!”

“Mr. Shelton, who shot Billy Lyons?”
“How am I supposed to know? The lights were out. I didn’t see anything.”
“No further questions.” Sebastian was going to have to rely on the previous testimony of the other witnesses to make the case. “State rests.”

“Defense? Cross?”
“No, your honor. Defense calls Lovie Austin.”

Sebastian riffled through his file. “Objection, your honor! She’s not on the list.”
“Honor, she’s on the discovery list: Austin, Lovinia.”
“There were dozens of clients on the discovery list, your honor. We deposed her. Her testimony was inconsequential.” Sebastian was confused. What was Shelton trying to do?
“I’m going to allow it. It’s incumbent on counsel to depose thoroughly.”

Lovie Austin was clearly nervous, her forehead beaded with sweat, eyes bloodshot. A high-necked blouse covered all but a dime-sized part of a dark blue bruise. She was sworn in. Stag winked at his attorney, smirking.

“Miss Austin, were you at the Bucket of Blood December 25 of last year?”
“Yes. And that motherfucker will never touch me again.”


2 thoughts on “Lovie

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