Unbreakable
“She’s a tough old bird.”
    “Coping mechanism,” I said in a lower tone.
    “How can you tell?”
    “When you pick as many juries as I do, you get a sense for people. What they’re like.”
    “Oh yeah?” Cory shifted toward me. “You think she’s…what? Playing possum?”
    “Maybe. I think she puts on a tough front to cover her fear, but now she’s just escaping the best—and only—way she can.” I shrugged. “Or I could be completely wrong and she just really needed a nap. Being scared shitless is draining.”
    “Yeah, I guess it is. So how do you pick a jury, anyway?”
    “It’s called voire dire,” I said. “I question potential jurors and try to keep or cut those I think would be best for my case. Opposition does the same.”
    “Okay, so how about us?”
    Inexplicably, my heart tripped a little over that word as it came out of his mouth. “Us…?”
    He gestured to indicate our fellow hostages. “We’re in your jury pool.”
    “Oh, right,” I said, mentally kicking myself. Damn, Gardener, get a grip.
    “Just to pass the time. How about Roy?”
    “Are you sure I’m not interrupting your conversation with Miss Patel?” That came out much more bitchy than I’d intended. Possessive. I struggled to come up with a recovery but Cory didn’t seem to have noticed.
    He glanced at Frankie on the other side of the door and said in an undertone, “She’s on the phone with the cops.”
    “Right now? How…?” Then I remembered Amita had been talking with her Bluetooth device. “She’s been on the line with them since the beginning?”
    He nodded.
    “What if Frankie finds it? He’ll go ballistic.”
    “Maybe. But if they take her cell phone too far out of range, it’ll go dark anyway. So far, she’s been able to give the police a bunch of information on our hosts. Pretty damn smart.”
    “Yeah,” I muttered. “Very.”
    “Hey.” Cory nudged me gently with his elbow and said quietly, “So let’s hear it. Mr. Roy Morgenstern is in your jury pool. Do you keep him or ditch him?”
    “I, uh, well, it depends,” I said, refocusing my attention. “If I were suing a corporation for some wrongdoing, especially if the company could stand to pay huge damages, I’d dismiss him first. Before he even sat down.”
    “When would you keep him?”
    “If I represented the corporation. In that instance, I’d pray they make him foreman.”
    Cory’s smile slipped. “Do you often take cases like that? Big corporations against a little guy?”
    I shifted against the wall. “I take the cases I believe I can win.”
    “What if the winning side isn’t the right side?”
    “There isn’t right or wrong, except in the eyes of the law.”
    “Yeah, but come on. There’s a gray area…”
    “There’s no gray area, ” I said, trying to keep my tone neutral. “You can’t let emotion get in the way, or sympathy. You have to put all that aside and look at the letter of the law. Period.”
    “Okay, but what if the little guy is right—morally speaking—but his case is weak. You know? Where the deck was stacked against him. David and Goliath, that sort of thing.”
    “Yes, I’ve seen that,” I said slowly. Munro vs. Hutchinson, I thought, although in this case David was a family-owned hardware chain and Goliath an odious little man who barely cleared five-foot-four.
    “What I’m asking,” Cory said, “is who do you fight for?”
    I stiffened. Don’t let him rattle you. He has no idea how hard you work or how complicated it all is. Yet the details of my Munro case scratched around my mind like nettles. “I told you I fight for the person who hires me. If I agree to take their case, that means I think they have a good one.”
    “No matter what?”
    I crossed my arms over my chest. “It’s a lot more complicated than what you see on TV or in the movies.”
    Cory nodded, mulling this over. “Okay, so what about me?” he asked finally.
    “You mean in a David vs. Goliath

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