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Typed fantasies inspired by Jack Davenport

Cat & Bird Corp.


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Abyss (R) (Smash) Part 14
JackDav-8
blackpoetcat_2
Title: Abyss
Author: blackpoetcat
Rating: R
Character: Derek Wills
Disclaimer: NBC owns all, just playing drama with
Summary: Everyone knows he doesn't give a shit about anything but the show. So when Derek's life capsizes, will anyone give a shit about him?

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10,
Part 11, Part 12, Part 13

"Mr. Sundaram, you used to be Ms. Cartwright's fiancee. Tell us what happened to your relationship after she joined 'Bombshell'."

Though Nichols spoke in a quiet, civilized tone, Derek was well aware what he was up to and that every last syllable the deputy got from Sundaram would find its way to publicity. The fact that he himself had successfully avoided the views of the present reporters wouldn't change their eagerness to spread all details all over the media.

"It started even before Karen got into the cast," Dev began. "The evening after the callback audition, Wills summoned her to his apartment for a so-called private casting session."

His derogative snort was interrupted by Bellamy's cold voice.

"Your Honour, I would thank you to remind the witness to call my client either 'Mr. Wills' or 'the defendant' when referring to him."

"You heard him,"Judge Salamon addressed Dev, who clenched his jaw and shot a vengeful look at Derek before he continued.

"From that day on, everything changed. He demanded more and more work from her, kept her increasingly longer after rehearsals for extra training. He practically consumed Karen, we barely saw each other. And on top of that, on the verge of going to Boston, she told me what really happened that evening in his apartment -- that he sexually harassed her!" Dev spat out, visibly still furious.

"Objection! Hearsay." Bellamy's sharp voice cut in, loud enough to drown out the murmuring spectators. "Mr. Sundaram didn't attend the casting, therefore he can't know..."

"Karen told me and she never lied to me!" Dev countered in the same piercing tone. "That man is a voracious, reckless --"

"Mr. Sundaram!" The beginning of the battle of words was interrupted by the cold voice of Judge Salamon. "I strongly advise you to change your tone in my courtroom, or I'll have you penalized. And you will testify only what you have personally experienced. Objection sustained."

Though it was rather satisfying for Derek to watch Karen's ex cut down to size he didn't feel any better or less concerned in general. As he had feared, the incident of that private casting session was out and neither Nichols nor the reporters would miss the opportunity to dig the Dark Lord's grave even deeper.

After some moments, Dev managed to calm down enough to go on.

"Well, then... Only a short time after Karen told me about that private session, Wi... the defendant came to our apartment. I was on my way home and met him in the street when he left the house, so I took him to task. He just shrugged and shoved me away, showing not the tiniest sign of regret or even recognition that he not only overstepped every limit, but was well on his way to destroy Karen's and my relationship. He just didn't care!"

The still-seething anger was clearly audible in Dev's voice, but he now focused on Nichols instead of shooting daggers from his dark eyes at Derek who bit his lip and then bent over to his attorney, quickly whispering the details of their fight to him.

"I see." The deputy nodded and inquired:

"Did you ever talk to the accused after that argument in the street?"

"Indeed. Right here in Boston, when I tried to get Karen back. We ran into each other at the theatre's back door. He demanded that I back off, that she would be his now..."

"His? He claimed your fiancee for himself?"

"Yes. And only a few days later, he picked up that other poor girl ," Dev added derisively.

"That he did. What about you and Ms. Cartwright? Did you make up?"

Some ten seconds passed, before Dev finally confessed:

"Not yet, but we're working on it.

Rolling his eyes, Derek barely managed to keep back any remark on that. God, how he hoped that Karen would get rid of that dead weight for good!

"Thank you, Mr. Sundaram. Your witness."

With a short gesture to Bellamy the deputy went back to his seat while Derek's attorney slowly approached the stand.

"Mr. Sundaram... Did Ms. Cartwright ever accuse my client of anything but asking hard work of her before she told you about the private session?"

"Of course. She said he was extremely rude in his behaviour and forced her and the others to exhaust themselves far above limit without as much as a 'thanks'."

"Aha. But she didn't complain to you about any sexual offences, now did she?"

"Er... No... But..."

"And when you met Mr. Wills in the street and took him to task, as you phrased it -- what happened after he shoved you aside?"

"We... Well, we kind of struggled with each other." Dev's eyes went small and started to flicker.

"And then you punched him in the face."

The piercing gaze belied the quiet matter-of-fact tone Bellamy used and Derek's eyebrow slightly rose when he saw Sundaram speechless for some seconds.

"I..."

"Let me tell the whole story, Mr. Sundaram," Bellamy pronounced and looked at the jury. "After Mr. Wills shoved you aside, you went after him again and when he tried to free himself and leave, you lost control, landed a punch to his cheekbone and would have hit him again if Ms. Cartwright hadn't interfered and pulled you back; am I right, Mr. Sundaram?"

With that, the attorney focused on Dev again who seemed to struggle with an answer.

"We're waiting," Bellamy dug deeper, never letting his eyes off Dev who finally got out:

"Oh for Heaven's sake, yes! I did punch him. He more than deserved it!"

"Very interesting point of view, Mr. Sundaram, especially for someone working on a political career. You should call yourself very lucky that my client didn't file charges against you for assault and battery."

"He didn't dare, because he knew that he deserved it and wouldn't win," Dev claimed with a short, scornful laugh and by the look of pure hatred in his direction Derek got the impression that Sundaram desperately longed to repeat that blow here and now.

"As I doubt that you had cared to ask my client about his reasons for sparing you such public attention, I move to strike the last comment from the record for speculation. That will be all," Bellamy declared and turned away from Dev.

"Strike the witness's last remark," Judge Salamon ordered the clerk. "But add a $50 fine imposed on Mr. Sundaram for repeated contempt of court. I've warned you," she continued before Dev could say anything, and slammed her gavel on the block. "You're dismissed!"

***

Just as during the moment Derek looked at her before the trial started, Karen came across as very nervous when she took the witness stand. She still avoided gazing in the direction of the defendant's area but focused on either Nichols or her hands clutching around her bag. Though he expected her testimony to effect even more damage on his reputation, he felt sorry for the shy girl he built up to become a Broadway star. It was quite a difference to get public attention for brilliant performances or being associated with a crime, a fact Derek knew well enough, though he had not yet personally faced that attention.


"Ms. Cartwright, please tell the jury how the accused lured you into his apartment the evening after the callback."

Karen swallowed visibly before she answered. "He texted me that I had to come over for a recall."

"A recall; aha. Is it usual for audition recalls to take place in private apartments?" Nichols inquired.

"Not sure; it never happened to me before," Karen confessed. "But I guess not."

"Then why did you go?"

She bit her lip and lowered her head for some seconds and then replied in a rather desperate voice:

"Because... I... It was Derek Wills! The most famous director of Broadway asked me, the green girl from Iowa, for a recall! It was a chance to get the part and I didn't want to blow it!"

"Of course not. So you did not expect to get into a precarious situation?"

"No! I just... I didn't know what to expect, what he would probably expect from me. I just went over to prove I'm capable of performing Marilyn."

"Understandable. And what happened when you arrived?"

"He offered me a drink, and then explained that he wanted to see if I would be able to express the erotic side of Marilyn."

The audience started to murmur, but stopped almost instantly when Judge Salamon banged her gavel just once.

"Very interesting. And you did as demanded?"

"Well, at first I was anxious and even a bit angry; but then I performed 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President'. I got very close to him during the song, but left his apartment right after I finished. I felt so... so..."

"Abused?" Nichols suggested with a seductive smile which Derek would have loved to beat right off his face.

"Kind of," Karen whispered.

"Were you fully clothed during that little private show?"

Again, she hesitated and bit her lip, finally shook her head.

"I... I wore only a shirt and my... my panties..."

Of course this raised another wave of mumbling, which the Judge ended with another, sharper knock of her gavel, but still she didn't need to address the audience for silence.

Nichols' expression changed to a worried frown so easily that Derek began to wonder if the deputy might have had any acting lessons in his life. But his focus remained on Karen, because his concern for her was still growing with every minute she tried to fight her visible uncertainty about what she was doing here. At least this was exactly what Derek believed -- that Dev jumped at the chance to take vengeance, reported to Nichols and the deputy seized the opportunity and summoned Karen right away to back up Sundaram's testimony, leaving her no choice. Karen's entire appearance was too unlike the preceding witnesses for prosecution, lacking the same apparent determination to present his character as bad as possible. After working with her so often, Derek knew her well enough to see the difference.

"Ms. Cartwright... I'm very sorry I have to ask," Nichols began, and Derek had to bite his lower lip to suppress the sarcastic snort he would have loved to add to the man's faked worry. "Did the accused touch you? Or..."

"No!" Karen's answer came quickly and she shook her head, eyes wide. "No, he neither touched me nor tried to do anything like that!"

"Astonishing enough, given his --"

"Objection!"

Bellamy's voice was even colder and more piercing than a few minutes ago towards Dev.

"Your Honour, I strongly object to the prosecution's behaviour towards my client! This is a twenty-first century court with rules of respect, not some medieval inquisition tribunal. The way Mr. Nichols acts, I wouldn't be surprised if he would apply for burning Mr. Wills at the stake!"

His words made people in the audience laugh, but Judge Salamon's strict "Silence in my courtroom!" ended the noise abruptly.

"Mr. Nichols, you will refrain from personal remarks against the defendant. And Mr. Bellamy -- I won't tolerate any further barbaric historical analogies, understood?"

Both lawyers nodded and apologized, and then Nichols addressed Karen again.

"Did the accused touch you at all?"

"Yes, of course," Karen replied, but to Derek she seemed somewhat less uneasy with this question than before. "During rehearsals, when he showed me how to step or gesture the way he choreographed the scene."

"And above that?" the prosecutor inquired further.

Again, she flinched slightly and hesitated a moment.

"Well... Yes, but..."

"Thank you, Ms. Cartwright. I have one last question," Nichols interrupted her. "Is it correct that the accused claimed such an amount of time and energy from you that you lost the prior harmonic and loving connection with Mr. Sundaram?"

Derek saw the first tears glistening in Karen's eyes, her lips trembled and she finally just nodded, apparently unable to speak anymore.

With a short smile Nichols said "Thank you, that will be all," and returned to his seat without as much as a gesture to Bellamy.

Just before the attorney could start the cross examination, Judge Salamon glanced at her watch and pronounced: "Lunch break. Court will resume at 2:30 p.m.," slammed her gavel down and everyone hastily stood to respect her leaving.



Continued in Part 15

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(Deleted comment)
Thank you, dear; still happy you like it :)

As far as I got it, Derek didn't know about Ivy and Dev (because neither Karen nor Ivy told him) and there's no reason for anyone else to talk about, so Bellamy couldn't know either. But you're right, he would have prepared a splendid feast of roasted Dev on such information.

I'm sorry you're sitting uncomfortable *offers a fluffy pillow* -- but it's still not Derek's turn to enter the stand.

*hugs you*

I'm still enjoying this!
I can't wait to hear Karen's croos-exam either.

Glad to know you're still hooked, too :)

Thank you!

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