-Friday – July 24, 2026

-Billie White-

It is a small miracle when both Nathan and I wake up before Daisy. A typical morning is me greeted with the big blue eyes of my four-year-old. I would blink a few times, and she will ask for breakfast before saying good morning. This morning I open my eyes and see my closet door. What an incredible change of pace.

I roll to my side, and see Nathan lying flat on his back. He had kicked the blanket off in his sleep, but the edge of the sheet was resting on his stomach. I watch his chest rise and fall, and the outlines of the muscles on his abs. I see the morning stubble he will likely shave within the next hour. His infuriatingly long eyelashes.

In high school and college, I hated men like Nathan. Something about the testosterone infused nature of a guy like that rubbed me the wrong way. That was mostly my young feminist mind after reading Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex when I was a high school sophomore. Simone started a tidal wave of feminist reading material. I experimented plenty, but my sexual urges always defaulted to men against my best efforts.

When I conceded that I was straight during my freshman year of college, I tended to date less than masculine men. Vegan men in skinny jeans with man buns who ask for soymilk in their lattes. In retrospect, I should have reevaluated my dating choices when I have been cheated on twelve times.. I did not learn the lesson as fast as I should have, but the last one I dated like that was my ex Leslie. I think it made me feel stronger to be around men who I felt were weak. Then I realized it was camouflage for assholes.

What started my transition was meeting Jill, the kind of woman I thought I was. She never pretended to be someone else, and she always exuded authenticity. I was not surprised in the least when the first time we really talked in any significant way she was asking to borrow clothes because she did not have anything professional. She was a uniformed police officer, so never had to worry about that. I would see her leave her apartment looking like an undergraduate going to a frat party. I had a good idea of what she was doing, and she looked rather pleased with herself.

My mind shifted when I saw that her being with Derek, did not make her look weak. If anything, it made her stronger. Derek was not someone she needed; she just wanted him. They are both such dominating forces, I am still amazed how they could ever agree on anything. I could not comprehend how they did not make each other feel inferior. Then I met Nathan and started to understand.

Nathan was the very thing I had intentionally avoided dating my entire life. Oozing charisma, physically in shape, more traditionally dressed and groomed, with a pinch of liberally inserting the word fuck into every other sentence. Basically, a frat boy. My worst nightmare. Or was it my darkest desire?

We met at the courthouse. I was there for the sixth public defender case of the day. He was exiting the courtroom after testifying for a drug case. He was the first person who interacted with the suspect who attempted to shoot him. Nathan threw the guy into a wall and out the next room. His statement went well enough and he loosened his tie before sitting down to check his phone outside of the courtroom.

I looked up from my case, then back down at the folder. I somehow always got stuck with the gangbangers. When I met him, I saw the face tattoos and the charge, and immediately said to myself, “This mother fucker better plead guilty.”

“You representing the gang I rolled up last week?” Nathan asked, and I raise my eyes to him. I knew Nathan was SWAT when he asked that, because the case stated who the arresting unit was.

“Some of them,” I said, then look back down at my folder. “I’m trying to go over the case.”

“No you’re not,” Nathan said, and I look up fully this time. “You made up your mind the moment you saw them. Clean arrest, clean warrants, unlicensed weapons, prior arrests, and fucking face tattoos. They’re pleading guilty for the street cred.”

We looked at each other and say nothing for long enough to blink five times.

“Nathan,” he said to introduce himself.

“Lawyer. Busy lawyer,” I said, then went back to pretending to look at my file. He was one hundred percent correct. He knew he was. Nathan walked across the hall and sat next to me. I was so accustomed to men who ask to kiss me, right before they all cheated on me, that I did not know how to react to his forwardness.

“Let’s try that again. I’m Nathan,” he said, holding out his hand for a shake.

“Still a busy lawyer,” I said.

“Named?” That natural charisma did not take long to break me.

“Billie,” I said, and shook his hand. “Billie Brooks.”

“Nathan White,” he said. “Pleasure to meet you.”

That is not when we started dating, or even when he asked me out. It was a year before we even had coffee. It set the foundation. Sometimes we saw each other at the courthouse. Sometimes I saw him at the Police HQ. I had been single for two years and incredibly horny for something not a dildo, that I ended up asking him for coffee, which he happily agreed. Was that his plan all along? Make me ask him?

I learned Nathan was former Air Force Pararescue and left the military after six years. He was a patrol officer for three years, before he was selected for SWAT where he had been for the last eight years. He was thirty-five, and I was thirty-six. He did not look it, but he had a bachelor’s degree in Education he finished in the Air Force. Like me, he had never been married, and did not have any kids. That he knew about at least.

We still did not start dating, but we did become friends. Shortly after our first coffee, we both attended a party to congratulate Derek being promoted to Lieutenant. Jill saw me looking at him and told me to stop putting it off. We arrived at the party separately, but we left together.

We did the deed at my apartment. It was a fun balance of being controlled and being in control. It did not feel like a power imbalance either way. I told him I was on birth control, but he still pulled out and jerked himself off on my stomach and bush. He told me to keep the bush because he preferred it. In truth I had just been single for too long.

Five months into dating, we needed to have a serious conversation, because I was pregnant. Jill had been telling me for years to get the shot. She said I was too busy, and too scatterbrained from my career that I would forget a pill or get out of cycle. I should have listened, if only because Jill is nearly always right.

This was a true test for him though because this was not my first time. Very few people know I had an abortion when I was in college. Not because I have any guilt. It is just not anyone else’s business. I told that guy, and he ghosted me, so fuck him. He tried to come back after I had the procedure, but I kicked his ass to the curb. What did Nathan do with this news?

Nathan smiled and asked how I felt about certain names? I declared Daisy Jillian for a girl, no discussion. Boy I was open to names. The news did not scare him in the slightest. I was not ghosted. If anything, he became more affectionate. Nathan was something I was not used to; Nathan was a real man.

We decided to not rush a wedding, but we did get married when Daisy was nearly one. We have been married for over three years now.

Because I wake up and do not see Daisy staring at me, I assume it must be early in the morning. When I check my phone on the nightstand, I see it is seven. Daisy is usually here by now. I will not complain. I roll back over and look at Nathan, and run my finger down his abs. He is very ticklish, so he wiggles in his sleep. I go a little further and grip his morning wood.

This snaps him awake, and he turns to me, drowsy, but rapidly becoming aware.

“We have minutes,” I say, and he immediately notices Daisy is absent. He looks toward the door, which is still shut.

Nathan lifts the blanket so I can straddle him. Taking off my underwear would take too long, so I tug it to the side while Nathan licks his fingers and moistens me. I lower myself onto his dick. His hands grab my hips so he can thrust up harder to get the most of the time we have.

“Pull out, I have court and I don’t want you dripping out of me all day,” I say.

Nathan’s thumb is rubbing my clit, and I can feel it getting close. Just a little bit more.

“Mommy?” Nathan and I flinch, and we see Daisy at the foot of the bed. The door is now wide open. Our daughter is a ninja. “What are you doing?”

“We’re, uh…” I say, stalling to think of something asexual. “…wrestling.”

“Can I play?” she asks, then starts climbing on the bed.

“No!” We both say at the same time, and she freezes. She looks about ready to cry, but I think she is more confused.

“You want breakfast?” I ask, and she nods. “Meet me in the kitchen, I’ll get you breakfast.”

“Okay,” she says, and leaves the room quickly.

“Good save,” Nathan says, and I lift myself off him, and reset my panties. “And the defense, does not rest.” After I orgasm and roll of his dick, I sometimes say ‘and the defense rests’.

“I’m a prosecutor now.” I say, picking up a pair of shorts next to the bed and sliding them on. “And the prosecution rests, doesn’t feel the same.”

“No, it doesn’t,” Nathan says, and we both laugh a little. “To be continued?”

“God, I hope,” I say, then make sure our daughter is fed.

Nathan says I can shower first because he is teaching a combatives class this morning. It does not make much sense to shower before he exercises. After I make Daisy breakfast, Nathan stays with her while I bathe and get ready for work. Today I will be in court, so I take extra care to make myself presentable. I wear pants at the office, but skirts in court. I do not wear jewelry in the office, but I wear a necklace with a matching bracelet in court. Today is a grey Yunclos single button blazer that will be left open with a matching skirt. White shirt with my gold necklace and bracelet. Lastly, my pair of go-with-anything heels.

“What kind of court do you have today?” Nathan asks when I find him getting Daisy dressed for daycare.

“Shouldn’t take long, just an arraignment. I am hoping it doesn’t go to trial because it’s a mess of a case. I don’t know what Daniel was thinking with trying to prosecute this,” I say, placing my heels on the ground and using the doorframe to help me balance as I put them on.

“Scare the defendant into pleading guilty?” Nathan asks, Daisy kicking her feet as he is trying to tie her shoes. “Stop.”

“Why do you think we have you guys kick down doors?” I ask. We talk plenty of shop around the kid, we just leave some words out. Much of the legal process happens before you ever appear in court. Everything up until you submit a plea, is to encourage you to plead guilty. Having a SWAT team raid you, very much included.

“Stop kicking,” Nathan repeats, and she finally listens. “Thank you.”

“You got her?” I ask, and he nods.

“The combatives gym is at Precinct One. It’s like three blocks from her daycare,” Nathan says, giving her shoelaces one last tug. “Ready?”

“Mmhmm,” Daisy says with an exaggerated nod.

“I need to go. Hugs,” I say, Daisy wrapping herself around my legs. “See you later, love you.” I kiss Nathan and whisper into his ear. “To be continued, don’t forget.”

“I won’t,” he says, and I bite his ear to make sure he knows I am serious.

By eleven in the morning I am sitting next to Senior DA Daniel Huddleston, and across from the defendant and her lawyers. Because of the law firm she hired, I know there is no way this woman is pleading guilty. Not when you hire Hugh Willard and Zillah Calvin. These two defend white collar criminals and the mob. This woman is not fucking around.

The room is stifling as we wait for the judge. Hugh is whispering something to his client. I sigh, looking over at Daniel who is not reading anything or talking to me. He is quiet because he already knows what is about to happen. She will plead not guilty, and off we go.

“All rise, the Honorable Judge Davenport presiding,” the bailiff says, and we all stand up.

Judge Lisa Davenport appears mid-fifties and has had some cosmetic work done. Botox on her forehead at a bare minimum. Horrid case of resting bitch face and is unpleasant to prosecutors. Her reputation is a criminal’s favorite judge. She is not guaranteed to be the judge for the trial, and I hope she is not.

“Be seated,” the Judge says. She opens a folder, then reaches into her robes to find her glasses. “How are we all doing this Friday?” We all say we are well in some form. “Good to hear. Let’s begin.

“Ms. Black,” she says, her eyes tilting up to the defendant. “This is your arraignment for, by the looks of it for several interconnected allegations. I see you have acquired legal representation. Please state your names, and then I will have the state do the same.”

“Hugh Willard your honor, this is my co-counsel Zillah Calvin,” Hugh says. He is a billboard lawyer. ‘Hurt on the Job? You are owed money, and I will fight for you!’ I would not be surprised if he literally bribes ambulance drivers. His suit is expensive and tacky. Perfectly shaped hair combed to the side. I swear he got a tan just so his teeth would appear whiter.

“Morning your honor,” Zillah says. Zillah is gorgeous the same way a porn star is. She looks good doing her job but is still sucking dick with both hands. Perky fake breasts, tight suit and skirt, fuck me pumps, with the haircut Marcia Clark had at the end of the trial.

“State,” Judge says. She knows who we are, as it is not our first time in her courtroom. This is a formality for the record.

“Daniel Huddleston, Senior District Attorney. Co-prosecutor Billie White,” Daniel says, and I say good morning.

“Thank you all. Let’s get into it…” the Judge begins, but Hugh stands up for a moment.

“Before we begin your honor, I would like the consideration of a motion to dismiss,” he says, and Daniel remains silent with his arms crossed.

“Very well. What’s your argument?”

“My client is no longer a resident of this state and hasn’t been for nearly a year. These are unsubstantiated allegations against my client that are quite frankly defamatory. The state has provided no material evidence to the courts…”

“…as far as I can see here,” the Judge interrupts. “This case was seen by a Grand Jury who did indict your client, who was then extradited from the state of North Carolina. This ruling was met with a writ of Habeas Corpus, which my counterpart in North Carolina dismissed. Due to this, I believe there is grounds for this case to move forward, and your motion of dismissal, is hereby, denied.”

Daniel smirks a little as Hugh sits down with his pride bruised. She cut him off and did not let him monologue. So much for the criminal’s favorite judge.

“Moving on with the accusations. Is your client aware, the accusation includes the pursuance of a conviction on seven charges? One charge of violation of state penal code two-nine-o-three point zero-one, aggravated murder. One charge of violation of penal code two-nine-o-three point zero-two, murder. Three separate charges of violation of criminal code two-nine-o-five point eleven, extortion. This is extortion in the context of compelling others to commit a crime, so assume special circumstances as a third-degree felony. Lastly, the indictment included violation of code two-nine-o-three point two-eleven, menacing by stalking.

“I shouldn’t have to tell you Ms. Black, these are serious allegations, but for now, that’s what they are. Allegations. You have the right to be tried by your peers, who must find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The allegations of aggravated murder and murder carry a sentence of twenty years and fifteen years, respectively. Minimum. The extortion carries thirty-six months as a third-degree felony. The stalking charge is being pursued as a fifth-degree felony, or twelve-months.

“These charges are interwoven. The lesser charges are alleged to have been committed in pursuit of the greater charges. Does the defendant understand these charges?”

“She does, your honor,” Hugh says.

“Very well. Is the defendant ready to make a plea to the charges?”


“What is the defendant’s plea for the charge of aggravated murder?”

“Not guilty.”

“What is the defendant’s plea for the charge of murder?”

“Not guilty.”

“What is the defendant’s plea to the charges of extortion?”

“Not guilty on all charges.”

“What is the plea for the charge of menacing by stalking?”

“Not Guilty,” Hugh replies.

“Ms. Black, I am going to now ask you, are you entering these pleas with full understand of the consequences and with a sound mind?”

“Yes, your honor,” the defendant says.

“Very well, the plea is accepted. A court date will be scheduled. Are you the legal representatives just for this hearing, or will you continued to be employed by the defendant?”

“As of right now, she is retaining the services of Calvin & Willard,” Hugh says, and we wrap this thing up after a discussion on discovery.

Hugh and Zillah give us a courteous smile and escort their client from the room. Daniel uncrosses his arms and sighs.

“We need to start prepping Detective Kramner. I’m not sure he’s ready to go up against Zillah,” he says.

“She barely said anything here?” I ask.

“I’ve gone up against her a few times. It is Calvin & Willard for a damn good reason. She’s a mean fucking cross examiner. Thomas Mesereau caliber,” he says.

“Thomas who?”

“Mesereau. He got Michael Jackson acquitted,” he explains. “How were you a defense attorney and you’ve never heard of Mesereau?”

“I don’t follow celebrity bullshit,” I say, and he laughs. “What do we need from discovery?”

“Correspondence as far back as we can go. Bank statements, taxes, anything travel related, and her work emails. Anything the cops could not get. They’re about to find out we have the picture of her in the mustang.”

“I’m surprised they didn’t just argue that because the stalking crossed state lines it was a federal crime, so not prosecutable at the state level,” I say, and he nods.

“That’s a good point, which is why I downplayed that to a fifth-degree felony, though I could have charged as a fourth. The problem is, the victim had no knowledge she was ever stalked, so any measure of harm is negligible. Considering Chase’s connections in DC, I don’t think they want to risk it going federal.”

Daniel and I leave the courtroom to head upstairs and get to the work. This case is going to be a headache.

Monday – July 27, 2026

-Chase Kramner-

I guess I own a cat now. On Sunday, I enjoy reading on my balcony with a cup of coffee. I did a little bit of shopping, and before I returned to my apartment, it started to downpour. One of those storms that come out of nowhere. I rushed back inside and opened my sliding glass door to retrieve the book I left outside. The moment I opened the door, a stray cat jumped onto my balcony and dove into my apartment.