IRREVOCABLE TRUST: A Glimpse into my novel-in-progress

For my dear readers, who have been curious about my novel-in-progress, I’m posting the opening of the story:

 

IRREVOCABLE TRUST

 

 

An irrevocable trust is a legal agreement whose terms cannot be changed by the creator, or grantor, who establishes the trust, chooses a trustee, and names the beneficiary or beneficiaries.

 

The trust document names a trustee who is responsible for managing the assets in the best interests of the beneficiary or beneficiaries and carrying out the wishes the creator has expressed.”

(TheFreeDictionary.com)

 

 

Definition of ‘Irrevocable Trust’

 

A trust that can’t be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiary. The grantor, having transferred assets into the trust, effectively removes all of his or her rights of ownership to the assets and the trust.” (Investopedia)

 

PROLOGUE

 

Los Angeles, October 1985…

Rachel Edelman leaned toward Robert with all her feral energy, a pulse beating in her long throat like a blue spotlight shining on and off. Her five-foot, nine-inch, 110-pound body reminded him of an Olympic sprinter poised for takeoff. “You can’t ask me to second-chair the Péšek case,” she declared. “I don’t even see how you can think to represent the guy.”

Robert cocked his head, examining her. He saw a young woman with amber eyes outlined in liquid black kohl, cheekbones as sharp as a fox’s canines, carmine lipstick and a pulled-back chignon of coarse ebony hair, her extreme boniness sheathed in an expensive lavender pantsuit. Armani? Delphine could’ve told him right away; he left the finer points of women’s fashion to her. She was the one with the eye. His own went to witness “tells,” barely perceptible gestures, coughs, pauses and ticks, reveals that he stored away in a tickler file for later use. “We’re here to uphold the Constitution, Rachel,” he said mildly. “We don’t have to like our clients and invite them to dinner. We just have to defend the accused. Every citizen is innocent until proven guilty. Even my ten-year-old son knows that.”

She made an angry twist of her stoplight-red lips. “You know he raped that woman.”

He raised both brows. “And how do I ‘know’ this?”

“Because she was in his apartment, and he’d cooked her dinner. Because she ran screaming out of there at two in the morning, and the neighbors heard her and called the cops. Because the ER doc found tears in her vagina and blood on her panties, and there was semen inside her.”

Robert smiled. She was good. “That’s why you’ll make an excellent second chair. You’ll help me find a plausible explanation for an alternate scenario. I never said it would be easy, Rache.”

Tears came unbidden to her eyes. She blinked them away. “Look,” she said, “you’re the one who recommended me for the position on the board of LACAAW. You’re the who said, ‘They need a good legal mind. And it’s a great organization the firm can back as one of our pro bonos.’ Well, now you’re asking me to go against everything LACAAW stands for! We’re the L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women, Rob! —Do you know what I did last night?”

He almost said, “Went to Harry’s Bar with that cute trainer from the gym?”, but knew that any joke would be inappropriate. Instead he said, his dark eyes unsmiling, “Tell me.”

“I took a Guatemalan woman with two kids in tow to a shelter! But before I did, I took her to the police to file a report. I had them document her eggplant of a body after the son-of-a-bitch punched her all night. And I called the LACAAW doctor away from the hubby to examine and treat her. Not much she could do but prescribe painkillers and icepacks.”

Robert laid his hand briefly on the fist she’d placed, tightly coiled, on his glass-and-steel desk. “I’m sorry. I truly am. I don’t like Marko Péšek anymore than you do. But he maintains his innocence. Yes, he invited his grad student to dinner. They went over the finer points of her dissertation. He did not touch her. His live-in maid saw her leave, intact. The lady was setting him up. God knows, it was wrong of him to cook dinner for a student he was mentoring—foolish, improper, whatever you want to call it. But rape? He’s a good-looking physics professor with a superb reputation at UCLA.” He sighed. “Do I believe him? Fact is, Rachel, it’s never our job to believe or dispute a client’s story. Unless it’s so full of holes that it won’t stand up in court. And if it won’t, we just don’t put him on the stand. This guy I need on the stand. I need his gravitas. So I’d rather not know what really happened, or I wouldn’t be able to have him testify on his own behalf. Okay?”

“So you don’t care?”

“Yes,” he said. “I care. But caring isn’t what we do. We provide the best defense to the accused. Period. And if we can save even one innocent a year—even a decade! —from being falsely imprisoned, I can go to sleep at night and feel I’ve done my bit.” He gazed at his cufflinks, golden scales of justice, and for a split second, his face grew sad. Then he smiled at her. “It’s trust. I trust this country’s legal system. The clients trust us. That’s what defense work is all about.”

 

 

4 thoughts on “IRREVOCABLE TRUST: A Glimpse into my novel-in-progress

  1. Oh, what a delicious appetizer … I am SO looking forward to being able to feast on the main course! Naturally, I’m laughing about the physics professor’s name. Perfect! 😉

  2. Love it! Great beginning and can’t wait for the rest. Your work is always wonderful 🙂

    (I posted something earlier but don’t see it, so this may be a duplicate.)

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