“She couldn’t understand what he was saying, what with all that noise.”
Abby crossed and uncrossed her legs before pushing herself up in the chair. The direct question still echoed in her ears: Did your sister hear the victim yell, ‘help’?
“Yes.” A glance to the eight heads at her left looked as confident in her as her sister’s lawyer did, but her sister’s subtle nod reassured her. Whatever they asked, she could handle it. “What was the question? I got distracted by the cutie in the back row.”
“Answer the question, Ms. Rice.”
The chuckles that resonated from the gallery earned her a stern look. “Your honor!”
“Ms. Rice, are you aware you can be held in contempt if you continue down this path?”
Abby smiled sheepishly. “I honestly didn’t hear it.”
“Did you see the victim that night?”
“We saw him at the party.”
“Who is We, Ms. Rice?”
“My sister Kenna and I. We saw him at the party.”
“And were you with you sister when she saw him in the hall?”
“I was getting our coats?
“But didn’t you tell us you just got there?”
Abby looked to her sister who visibly paled. “We were cold. So I said I’d get our stuff.”
“And that’s when you left her in the hallway?”
“By the stairs.”
“Stairs? Ms. Rice, according to the house layout, the stairs weren’t near the area where you claim you and your sister were when you first said you saw the victim.”
“I…It was a hazy night. We were drinking and-”
“But you just got there.”
Abby’s gaze shot to her sister’s again. She brought her fists together, her palms sweaty and her heart pounding loudly in her ears. The hallway, that was where they all were. Nothing bad happened. Lewis wasn’t in a coma.
“Ms. Rice, where were you? What happened that night?”
He’s just fine.
“We’re all friends. We wouldn’t hurt each other. He just fell and we didn’t know what to do.” More lies but it was one lie or another. Either way, the truth wasn’t an option. Her sister didn’t instigate a bunch of guys to rough up Lewis for being a peeping pervert. They didn’t get out of control and beat him into oblivion.
Everything was fine. They would all be fine.