Excerpt from Exposing Justice - Hope's POV
“Denby! Get in here!”
Ooh! Hope Denby shot up, sending her rickety government-issued chair sailing against the back of her cubicle. She peeped over the wall in front of her at her cubemate, Rob. “Ohmygod, she’s insane today.”
Rob didn’t bother looking up from whatever he was reading on his computer. “Seriously fucking deranged. You’d better get in there.”
Because experience dictated she had thirty-point-two seconds to appear in front of her boss or she’d be bellowed at once again.
Hope scooped up her legal pad and a pen and hustled to the boss’s office just twenty-five feet away. Working at the Public Information Office of the U.S. Supreme Court meant each day brought something new. It could be working with reporters wanting to cover a case, preparing transcripts, or press releases, all of it fascinating and tedious and ripe with possibilities.
Today was no different. Eight hours earlier, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court had been accidently gunned down on the Gaynor Bridge while trying to resolve a road rage dispute.
And now, it was all over the news and her boss, Amy Ripling, the Public Information Officer, had been in full-blown crisis mode all day.
“Denby!” Amy screamed again.
Hope kicked off her sky-high heels, left them sitting in the corridor—no time to stop—and picked up her pace. She swung around the doorway, grabbing the frame to slow her down. “I’m here. Sorry.”
Amy sat at her desk, random files and papers and notes strewn across the top. Two ringing cell phones sat on top of the mess joined by the incessant beeping of the desk phone. Amy picked up the handset, tapped the hold button and handed Hope a note. “Call this guy. He’s bugging the shit out of me and I’m trying to deal with the networks.”
She glanced down at the name. The First Amendment Patriot. Interesting. But, woohoo! Finally, her boss ponied up an assignment on a major case, albeit a tragic one. “Yes, ma’am. Who is he?”
“He’s a blogger.”
The Journalism major in her wailed.
“Damned, bloggers. I am on it, Amy.”
“I knew you’d love it. You’re an animal, Denby.”
“Thank you. I think.”
Amy waved it away. “Yada, yada. He wants a statement, but be careful. He’s one of the those conspiracy theory nutcases. Tell him something that won’t hurt us. Until we have more on what happened on that bridge, we’re going with what we know.”
Amy glanced at the still beeping phone, beep-beep-beep, then came back to Hope, her taut skin barely restraining her impatience. “What, Denby? What?”
Ignoring Amy’s tone, she stood a little straighter. “Yes, ma’am. What is it exactly that we know?”
All day long, Hope, like everyone else in the office, had been monitoring the news channels to see who was saying what. For their part, the Public Information Office had released very few details. Mainly because they’d been given very few details.
The police and the FBI were handling the press on this nightmare.
“What we know,” Amy said, “is that the Chief Justice and his security detail, consisting of one Supreme Court police officer, were en route to work today and got stuck in a traffic jam on the bridge. The FBI is looking into that. Apparently, there’s some confusion as to why that lane was closed. They’re talking to DDOT. Anyway, two cars ahead of the Chief Justice some whacko jumped out of a cab and started arguing with the driver of the car next to them. The argument became heated and the judge’s officer got out to diffuse the situation. Justice Turner—God rest his soul—defied his security officer’s order to stay in the car and got out to see if he could help. While the officer tried to convince the judge to get his ass back in the car, the guy who jumped out of the cab fired a gun; the shot missed and accidentally hit the judge. The shooter ran. That’s what we know. But you’re not telling our blogger friend that. For him, you’re keeping it simple. Road rage, two men arguing, gunshot. D.C. Metro and the SC police are handling it from here.”
“Got it. No problem.”
“Good. I’m heading into a meeting with the Justices. I’m guessing it’ll be a while. Make sure everyone knows they should only disturb me if the building is on fire. Or someone else is dead.”
Ew. “I’ll handle it.”
She spun toward the door.
“Where the hell are your shoes?”
* * * * *
To read an excerpt from Brice, go to Misty Evans Page!