Foto bij 048 - Emma

The best of luck Lucien wishes me will definitely be needed, because I feel like pretty much all of the other people are rooting for Callum.
It's a weird twist of fate, putting the two of us up against each other. Maybe it isn't fate, maybe Callum got his dirty little hands all over the raffle and made sure to be able to annihilate me in the trial.
If that's true, then I'm willing to let it happen. I won't shed a tear over it, I promise myself then and there.

All night, I either dream of winning big, or losing even bigger. Sometimes, Callum cries and yells, storming out of the building.
Other times I'm the one crying, but at least trying to hide it a little.
And then, in other dreams, I don't hide my tears and find myself in Lucien's office, him comforting me. He holds me in his arms, pours me a glass of whiskey and...
I sit up straight, startled wide awake by the sound of my alarm, immediately trying to forget the end of that dream.
However, the entire time of me getting ready, I find my mind drifting off to the last few seconds of that dream.
When I stare at myself in the mirror, I see Lucien softly kissing me, curtains in his office drawn shut, lights dimly lit.
"I'm just lonely," I whisper to my own reflection, looking at her strictly. "It's just my brain trying to tell me something. It means nothing. It's just a dream."
The girl in the mirror doesn't really seem to believe me.
      I show up to the office dressed to the nines, a cup of coffee from the amazing place down the street in my hands. Coffee in the office is alright, but nothing beats a truly good cup of black gold handed to you by a barista.
There's some kind of weird tension in the room, everyone is slowly starting to get ready for today's mock trial.
I sip my coffee while going over the case for the billionth time. I haven't had a lot of time to prepare, but I'm pretty sure I could win this trial in my dreams.
If only dream-me wouldn't have been so busy kissing my boss, maybe I could have prepared when I was asleep, too.
My computer dings, and I'm ready for my mind to be taken off of both the case and my dream for a while when I see the name above the e-mail.
            Ms. Middleton,
            Are you ready for the mock trial?
            Du Castellon

I don't turn around to look at him, first have to get the image that immediately popped up in my brain out of my mind.
            Mr. Du Castellon,
            As ready as I could be. Is it too late to put laxatives in Mr. P's coffee?

I laugh to myself, quickly clicking on another e-mail when Sasha walks in.
"Morning, Emmeline," she smiles. "Ready for today?"
I nod, trying not to seem too self assured but also not too insecure. "As ready as one could be to compete against Callum Pritchard, I guess."
When she sits down, I focus on my screen again, just as another mail comes in.
            Ms. Middleton,
            You never know if you never try, but I'd say it's not quite legal.
            Wishing you the best. L.

"I'd ask if you're preparing for your case, but you wouldn't be smiling that much if you were," Sasha tells me, looking curious as ever. "Good chat?"
I shake my head. "Just..."
"Right," she says when I won't finish my sentence, smiling, "don't tell me, enjoy your secrets."

I'd like to walk into Lucien's office right now for some last minute, professional, encouragement, and also to ask him how he's doing.
Yesterday's e-mail worried me a little, because I'm not used to Lucien, or men in general, admitting they're not feeling great.
I don't want to give off wrong signals though, to the rest of our colleagues or to Lucien. I'm afraid what people might think if they see us together too often.
Besides, I have to give my brain a small break from Lucien, maybe then I won't dream about him kissing me then. I can't even imagine what would have happened had I not woken up.
I splash some water in my face in the bathroom, staring myself right in the face and trying to feel ready for the trial.
It's almost time, and the closer it gets, the more nervous I get. I feel like my heart could pound out of my chest right now.
That feeling only gets worse when I see a woman exit one of the stalls, and the worst when her eyes meet mine.
"Emmeline, right?" she eventually breaks the awkward silence as I'm drying my hands. "I'm Elizabeth."
I didn't know what her name was until now, and I would've lived a happy life never knowing, but here we are.
All I do is just nod. I don't want to talk to her, because just seeing her face sends shivers down my spine and imagines into my brain I hoped I'd forgotten about.
She's wearing clothes now, and her hair is done nicely, but she surely is the girl I caught in our bed with Callum.
"I'm here for Cal," she tells me, washing her hands, "you're going up against him, right?"
Right now, I'd love to take my hand and intertwine my fingers with her blonde extensions, ripping them out one by one.
I just smile, though. "I'm in the mock trial against Callum, yes," I take one more look in the mirror, trying to fix my hair.
"Isn't it.. like, awkward?"
Well, it is knowing you're here, and especially now you've asked this question. "Not really. We're all professional adults, aren't we?" I grab my bag and take a deep breath. 10:45. "Enjoy the trial."
      Okay, yes, I'm truly terrified. There's a big difference between the Callum standing in front of me right now and the man at my door a few nights ago, but he's still the same man, and I'm about to either kill or be killed.

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