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HAWK: Sound Justice
By Cynthia Hepner
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Hawk is a high priced, high powered attorney in Seattle. He will never take a case unless he knows in his git that the client is innocent. Hawk was born Stienar Blackhawk. Father Native American...Mother Norwegian. His name was derived from two words meaning stone and defender. He lives up to his name by being as strong as stone in his convictions and defender to those that are innocent. With the help of his investigator, Sloane, Hawk uncovers a murderous plot which involves powerful names in the police force and district attorney’s office. Despite the challenges, nothing will deter Hawk. He will do it for justice—and for love.
“Your Honor...I object!” Hawk stood quickly and waved his arm towards the assistant prosecutor.
“Overruled Mr. Hawk. The witness will answer the question.”
Turning to Mrs. Mills, the Judge smiled kindly and said, “Please answer the question.”
Mrs. Mills was clearly upset and looked to Hawk for guidance. His reassuring nod told her it was okay to answer the question and turning to the assistant prosecutor, she asked, “I...uh...don't remember the question. Could you repeat it for me, please?”
The assistant prosecutor let out a long pronounced breath, stood and approached Mrs. Mills. “I asked at what time did you decide to check on your husband?”
“It, uh, was about 6:30...or maybe closer to 7...no, I think it was 6—” she stammered, her wrinkled blue eyes wide with fear.
“—Well, which was it Mrs. Mills...6:30 or 7?”
“I don't remember! I don't remember!” she cried out as she covered her face with her hands leaving her graying curls to shake before those present as she began to cry under the pressure.
Pacing in front of the Jurors’ box he quickly turned to face her and said, “Is it that you don't remember, Mrs. Mills, or is it you never checked?” Raising the intensity of his voice and pointing his finger at her said, “You never checked because you knew exactly where he was all along. At the bottom of the ocean! Isn't that right, Mrs. Mills?”
A slight squeal escaped the older woman on the witness stand and she bit her index finger to stifle her own emotion.
Infuriated, Hawk stood and addressed the Judge again, “Your Honor...I strongly object to Mr. Spears badgering my client!”
“Sustained!” the Judge agreed and turning to the assistant prosecutor, he warned, “Mr. Spears, I will not tolerate this type of questioning. There will not be any more theatrical performances in my courtroom. Is that understood?”
“Yes, your Honor. I apologize to the court,” continuing in a very condescending tone he asked, “Now, then...Mrs. Mills, why don't you just tell us in your own words just what did happen the night your husband, um, disappeared?”
Clearly loosing his patience, Hawk said, “Your Honor...I have to object again!”
“Yes, I figured you would Mr. Hawk,” The judge let out a heavy sigh and rubbed his temples with his long, pale fingers. “On what grounds would you be objecting to this time?” The mood in the courtroom lightened a bit.
“On the grounds that Mr. Spears is coloring the opinion of the jury with his attitude!” Hawk replied gesturing to the twelve citizens staring at him with mirth lurking there.
“Dare I ask?” he mumbled from behind his graying mustache…then, “Just what is wrong with his attitude, Mr. Hawk?”
“It sucks, your Honor!” The courtroom exploded in laughter and lost all restraint.
Wham! Wham! Wham!
“Order...Order...Order in the Court!" The judge yelled as he pounded his gavel on the desk in front of him.
The courtroom hushed immediately with all eyes on the large oak desk. Shaking his gavel toward the Native American attorney before him, he warned, “Mr. Hawk, I will hold you in contempt if I ever hear anything like that in my courtroom again! Don’t think for a minute that I won’t. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, perfectly, your Honor,” and not being able to help himself, added, “I will definitely refrain from reminding the jury and this court about the assistant prosecutor's bad attitude.”
Leaning forward with narrowing eyes and reddened face he warned again, “You’re on very thin ice with me, Mr. Hawk. This will be your last warning, is that clear?”
“Yes, sir, perfectly.” Hawk answered with as much respect as he could muster and then asked, “At this time, Your Honor, I would like to ask the court for a recess due to the time factor of Mrs. Mills' testimony.”
“Granted! Court will re-convene tomorrow morning at 9:00 am.”
He was only too happy to oblige the impertinent attorney and with one last rap of his gavel, he stood, turned around and walked through the large oak door behind him.
Gathering up the files, Hawk opened the brown leather briefcase he carried, unzipped the side pocket, and slipped in the documents. Taking a quick moment to run his hand over the worn leather the thought of his father quickly brought a smile to his face. He was often asked why he carried such a worn and tattered briefcase. It's not as if he couldn't afford a new one, but when asked, he would just say that he liked this one and didn't see the need to change it.
He picked up the briefcase, straightened the solid oak chair, turned and went through the swinging gate that separated the court from the spectators.
Heading for the double doors, he quickly scanned the courtroom looking for his investigator. Sloane was supposed to bring him the information he dug up on the assistant prosecutor’s star witness. Without that information, Mrs. Mills didn't stand a chance in hell of getting off.
She was innocent, he knew it in his gut. There was no way in hell that she killed her husband. He was counting on Sloane to bring him the information that would free Mrs. Mills from this nightmare.
He always knew when someone was innocent and refused to take on any case where the client was guilty, and if the client lied to him, well, he would drop him in a heartbeat. Hawk insisted on the truth. Truth was very important to him in all aspects of his life. He would not tolerate deception of any kind from anyone he represented and since he was one of the top attorneys in the state, he didn’t have to.
He was known to be rigid. Told he should give the people a break. His large size and dark features could sometimes be intimidating at first glance, but Hawk's kind blue eyes showed a different side to him. Hawk felt that truth was the soul of man, that it was his integrity. A man was born with integrity, whether or not he had it when he died depended on how he lived his life. He decided a long time ago that he would die with his integrity in tact and fully expected those he dealt with in his personal life and in business to treat him with the respect that he showed to them. (Perhaps it was something that had been taught to him when he was young, something that had to do with his heritage. But it was important to him nonetheless.)
So far, it was working pretty well for him. Hawk was the top defense attorney in the state of Washington, lived in a nice building in the better part of town and although his car wasn't new, it was an SUV with all the bells and whistles.
Hawk stepped out to the hall and headed for the elevator paying no attention to the young girl that got up and followed him out of the courtroom.
Catching up to him at the elevator she said, “Mr. Hawk, my name is Cassandra...Cassandra White-Eagle, but my friends call me Cassie. May I speak with you for a moment? It's about my brother, he needs your help.”
"—Cassie, please,” she interrupted.
“Cassie,” he corrected, “I'm sorry, but I'm extremely busy right now and I need to get back to my office. Maybe you could give my secretary a call and set up an appointment for sometime next week.”
He pulled out a card and handed it to her just as the elevator door was opening. He stepped into the elevator and was gone before she could even tell him why her brother needed him, but not before he saw the terrible disappointment in her eyes.
Cassie took the card. What an arrogant jerk! Well, he’s not going to get away from me that easy. Jason needs his help and he’s going to give it to him whether he likes it or not! She looked at the address on the card. It was right down the street. She headed out of the courthouse and turned left at the sidewalk. Checking the address again, she made her way to 301 Main Street.
When the first tell tale drops hit her face, she looked up and noticed the gray skies...Terrific! Remembering she had left her umbrella in the car, said to her self ‘Just great! If there was one thing you could count on in Western Washington, it was the rain!’ She pulled her jacket up a bit to cover her head and made her way down the sidewalk reaching the 300 block quickly, stopping at 301 she went through the large double glass doors.
Checking the directory to the left of the entrance, she found that his office was on the top floor of the building. Cassie silently prayed that he would hear her out as she waited for the elevator doors to open and take her to the fifth floor. Jason needed his help and she knew in her heart that he was the only one that could help them. Natives helped each other when needed. It was expected. Hawk may have been an educated high powered attorney, but he was also a Native American and from what she heard about him, he wouldn't let one of his own be treated this way.
The elevator reached the fifth floor, the doors opened, and Cassie stepped into a very nicely decorated foyer. She looked around quickly for someone that could direct her to Hawk's office and walking up to the large ornate desk in the middle of the room she asked the girl sitting behind it if she could see Mr. Hawk.
Looking at Cassie over the tops of her black thick-rimmed glasses she said in a patronizing manor, “I'm sorry, but Mr. Hawk is in conference. Why don’t you let me check the calendar and see when—wait miss you can't go in there!”
Cassie couldn’t wait for her to finish. She knew she had to get in there and speak with Mr. Hawk at any cost and she wasn't above breaking into his office to do it either, especially if it would get her brother out of jail! Forcing through the big oak doors of his office, Cassie hurried and sat down in one of the two matching brown leather chairs that faced him.
“I'm sorry Mr. Hawk, she ran right past me.” Marcy stood in front of the desk trying to block Cassie from his view.
Hawk put down the folder he was studying. “That's okay Marcy,” smiling at the girl he said to his secretary, “Would you please close the door on your way out?” Marcy turned swiftly, with a mumble under her breath and a stern stare in Cassie’s direction, quickly walked out of the office, and shut the doors behind her.
Shaking his head, he looked at Cassie, a hint of bewilderment glittered in his deep blue eyes. Hawk closed the file that he was working on and leaned back in his chair giving her is full attention. “Miss White-Eag... I mean, Cassie,” he said correcting himself, “when we spoke at the courthouse and I asked you to make an appointment for next week, I thought you understood how busy I am and couldn't possibly accept anything else at the moment.”
“Mr. Hawk, if you would just hear me out for a moment. My brother Jason is just seventeen years old and he has been in jail for more than two weeks. No one will even give me the time of day. He needs your help. Please Mr. Hawk, we need your help!” she firmly pleaded with him, her hands pressed palm to palm before her, jaw clenched determinedly and closing her dark brown eyes for a second.
“Why is your brother in jail, Cassie?” Hawk relented sensing her desperation.
“That’s just it, I don’t know. No one will tell me anything. When I asked about him, they said he wasn’t there, to quit wasting their time. They said that they have no Jason White-Eagle in their jail.”
“What makes you think he’s there?” he asked, knitting his thick black brows together questioningly. Jotting down a few notes as Cassie went on to explain, the deep lines that showed themselves across Hawk’s forehead when he was worried started to appear.
“Because I saw the chief and that thug he calls deputy put him in the squad car,” Cassie replied crossing her arms over her chest defensively.
“When was this?” he asked.
As Cassie went on to explain, the deep lines that showed themselves across Hawk’s forehead when he was worried started to appear.
“More than two weeks ago! You see why I’m so worried. He’s only seventeen, Mr. Hawk. He shouldn’t be in jail at all, but to be there for two weeks without seeing anyone, I know he has to be so frightened.” Cassie sat in one of the chairs in front of Hawk's desk. Hawk noticed how the chair seemed to swallow her up. She looked so small and hapless, but something told him she was a very strong and capable woman.
“Do you know what he was doing when they arrested him?” Hawk continued trying not to pass judgment on the girl just yet.
“Yes, Jason was fishing for some of the elder tribe members that can’t fish anymore. He does that on a regular basis. He tries to keep some of the older traditions alive by fishing the way our grandfather taught him. I know something is terribly wrong and I can’t get anyone to help me find my brother.” She stood again, now with her fists on his desk, “Please help me…Please help my brother, I don’t know where else to turn,” she pleaded, tears welling up in her deep brown eyes.
Hawk put his pen down and gave Cassie a quick smile. “Look, I'll make a few phone calls. Is there a number where you can be reached?” he asked, his own blue eyes full of comfort that he hoped she felt from him. She was obviously quite distressed.
“Yes, 555-3223, do you think you can help him, Mr. Hawk?” she asked.
He could see how worried she was and wanted to put her fears at ease. He answered her calmly and with sincerity, “Yes, we will get him out of jail. Let me just make a few phone calls, then I will let you know what is going on, okay?”
“Okay,” she sighed, adding a sniffle as her tears that had welled up in eyes fell over her cheek. She quickly wiped them away not wanting him to think her weak.
“Oh, and Cassie, drop the Mr., it’s just Hawk,” he said as he tried to put her at ease with his ‘not to worry about a thing’ smile
As he stood, he reached for her hand to say good-bye, startled at the intense feeling he felt when their hands touched. He looked down at her and noticed for the first time what a beautiful girl she was. She looked up at him and smiled. She had a beautiful smile. It was all he could do not to bend down and kiss her. As if she knew exactly what he was thinking, she quickly retracted her hand and started to back out of the office.
“I'll…a...wait for your call then...a...Mr.…I mean…Hawk,” she stammered, turned quickly and practically ran out of the office. Feeling the electricity shoot through their hands when he touched her, Cassie couldn't get away fast enough.
When she stepped out onto the sidewalk, the rain was in full force. Pulling her jacket way up and over her head to shield her from the water that fell in sheets, she ran quickly to the underground garage where she parked her car, but by the time she reached it, her clothes were soaked and clung to her dark native skin, her dark hair plastered to her head and face. She couldn't be concerned with that now. It was Jason that needed her focus. The rain, her wet clothes, and even Hawk would just have to wait. Jason was all alone in that jail and he needed her, yet as hard as she tried, she couldn’t help but remember how blue his eyes were, as he looked down into hers.
Hawk picked up the phone hoping to speak to an officer he knew down at the jail. His contact there wasn’t in so he spoke with the Sergeant staffing the desk. When he mentioned the boy, the sergeant said too quickly, “I can’t give you any information. You will have to call back when the chief gets in.”
Taking note of the urgency in his voice, Hawk agreed to call back later. The Sergeant promptly hung up without another word. Hawk stared at the receiver still in his hand puzzled at the reaction he received to the inquiry of Jason White-Eagle. Something was going on and he didn't like it. Nope, he didn't like it at all. There wasn’t any reason the sergeant couldn’t give him the information he was requesting. He was just going to have to go down there and ask to see Jason.
He made another phone call, this time to his investigator, Sloane. Hawk was checking to see if the information he needed for the trial of Mrs. Mills was ready. He didn’t answer his cell and there was no answer at his home so he left a message on both for Sloane to call his cell when he got in. With that done, he grabbed his coat and headed to the police station to see Jason. One way or another he would get some answers for Cassie.
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