Status: Couldn't help it

Killer

you're the monsters

Sidney had always hated having to wear suits. Even when they were tailored to his every curve and muscle, something about them always seemed suffocating. Being the captain, he found himself in suits more than anything else, ties cutting off his air supply like color coordinated nooses. If it were Sidney’s choice, he would never wear anything but sweatpants and his uniform. But he had never felt so smothered, so unable to move, as he did sitting behind the defense table of the courtroom. He could feel every camera in the room on him, but none of that mattered.

He looked back to see Annie, sitting boldly behind him along with the team, who’d come up from Pittsburgh to support him. He saw Geno sitting on one side of Annie, his coach on the other, and nodded at them. She smiled sadly at him, and he knew she wanted nothing more than to be in his arms. He hadn’t forgotten about the promise he had made her, and knowing that the moment this way over he’d get to lose himself in Annie’s skin for as long as possible made him smile just a little wider.

“All rise for the honorable Judge Carson.” The bailiff, a tall, slender man, barked. The courtroom obeyed as a small woman walked out, and Sidney already knew he was in trouble as Allen Hayes sat beside him. Allen had warned Sidney they were facing a female judge, and the prosecution would know doubt use that to their advantage, Rylie’s mother already in the stands waiting to pour on the tears. Sidney didn’t even think the woman had emotions, but figured he needed to keep his guard up.

“You may be seated.” The judge’s voice brought Sidney back to his situation as she sat down, a stern face looking down at him. “Now, today we are going to set the bail for Sidney Crosby. Mr. Crosby, you are being charged with the voluntary manslaughter of Rylie Beckett, how do you plead?”

“Not guilty your honor.” He said. He heard a scream behind him and turned to see Mrs. Beckett, tears running down her face. He felt a cold chill run down his spine upon seeing she’d changed in her cold business attire for the most motherly looking floral dress he’d ever seen, her hair in a loose bun and her make up simple. She looked like a perfect grieving mother, and she was playing the part perfectly.

“YOU MURDERED MY BABY!” She wailed, tears gushing out of her quickly swelling eyes. “MONSTER!”

“ORDER!” The judge boomed, slamming down her gavel. “I will have order in my courtroom, is that understood?” Sidney felt a flicker of hope at the judge apparently being unimpressed by the display. “Now, before the bail and trial date are set, I understand the victim’s sister would like to speak?” Sidney’s eyes flew open as he turned to see Annie stand, her knees shaking under her skirt.

“Yes your honor, I would.” She said, pressing her lips together.

“Very well, come forward to the podium.” Annie meekly obeyed, looking at Sidney as they walked by each other. She could see all the questions in his eyes, but she had to do this. He had done so much for her, and now it was her turn. She cleared her throat nervously, setting a piece of paper on the stand before leaning towards the microphone.

“I loved my brother.” She started, her voice cracking on the last work. “Rylie and I, we did everything together, we supported each other, and I gave up my own career because he needed someone to support him at games and tryouts. Sure, we may have fought about how overprotective he was, if my skirt was too short or I thought he should call his girlfriend back, that’s what siblings do.” She felt her eyes begin to sting, but pressed her tears back. “My brother was everything to me, your honor, and when he died it was like a part of me died with him.

“I had no idea what to feel at first, I was in shock as I sat in the hospital, just seeing the hit over and over in my mind. Then came the anger. I hated Sidney that first night, because in my mind, I needed someone besides God to blame, and he was an easy target.” She took in a shaky breath, looking back at Sidney, the first tear falling as she smiled sadly. “But he never gave up on me. Sidney supported me and cared for me those first few days, he held me when I cried and he never once thought of himself doing it. He became my rock, he was the person I clung to when I needed to make funeral arrangements, pick out what Rylie would wear for his cremation, and sometimes even to just help me get out of bed and go on. It was a complete and total accident, what happened, but Sidney Crosby had no intentions of ever hurting my brother. And he has more than made amends for his actions in my mind.”

Their eyes met across the courtroom, and it felt like everyone else evaporated as three simple words fell from her lips, never having intended to be heard by another soul. “I love you.” She murmured. Then as a roar rose up behind her she slapped a hand over her mouth, realizing what she had done. Allen had told her to leave feelings out of it, to simply talk about how Sidney was atoning for his sins, and now she may have made everything worse.

“Thank you Miss Beckett.” The judge said curtly. She looked up to see the older woman looking at her with sympathy, no doubt knowing how badly the prosecution would rip her statement apart. She felt like a failure as she walked back to Sidney, but he stopped her, pulling her into his arms and gripping her tightly. She hugged him back, both ignoring all the cameras they knew were going off before the bailiff ripped them apart, leading Annie back in the direction of her seat. The judge pounded her gavel again until the room hushed and she spoke. “If that will be all-”

“Your honor,” The prosecutor, a lanky man with shifty blue eyes, spoke up. “I believe that it is only fair we also hear from the victim’s parents, seeing how Miss Beckett seems emotionally swayed.

“I’ll allow it.” The judge said. “Mr. and Mrs. Beckett, please approach the podium.” Annie just pressed her lips together, tears rolling over her cheeks. She knew exactly what her mother was capable of as she and her father walked by, and Annie fell into Geno’s shoulder, unable to watch.

“Your honor.” Mrs. Beckett choked out, dabbing her eyes with a tissue. “My son was my treasure. He had so much potential, so much passion for everything he did. His father and I did everything we could to help support him, but due to our constantly being away on business, we left him in the hands of his sister more than I would care to admit. But little did we know Annie’s carelessness would lead to our son dying on the ice.”

The courtroom became deathly silent and Annie knew it was exactly what her mother had wanted. It was a stage to her, and she was putting on an Oscar worth performance. She watched as her mother turned back to her, shaking her head. “Our daughter has always been a quitter, she had a beautiful ballet career at her fingertips, but when it became too hard to juggle that and her sisterly responsibilities, she gave up. She dropped out of school, stopped dancing, all to latch onto her brother for a free ride. She knew if he got into the league she would be set for life, first with Rylie and then with whatever hockey player she could sink her claws into-”

SHUT YOUR MOUTH!” Sidney roared, shooting up and slamming his hands on the table. “Annie is the most beautiful, incredible person and I will not sit here and listen to you lie about her!”

“Mr. Crosby you are out of line.” The judge warned. “One more outburst and I will have you restrained, do you understand?” He glared at the Beckett’s, not even hearing the judges warning.

“You’re the monsters.” He hissed. “How dare you call yourselves parents.”

Mr. Crosby.” He turned back to the judge, sitting down, his entire body tensed. “Now Mrs. Beckett, if you could try to stay on track, I would appreciate it.”

“Certainly your honor.” Mrs. Beckett said, her hands shaking as she eyes Sidney. “On the day before Rylie was killed, his throat guard, which I had insisted he wear always, broke. As opposed to going out and getting him a new one, Annie decided one game without it would be no big problem. She is just as, if not more, guilty for her brother’s death then Sidney.” There was a murmur in the courtroom, and Annie could feel each and every eye squarely on her. “That is the real reason she forgave Sidney your honor, because she knows it was all her fault. But that being said, Sidney still went for that goal and stole my beautiful baby boy from me. He knew the risks and he ignored them completely. Therefore, I beg of you, for your own children, show the world’s athlete’s what is more important than winning by charging him the highest bail. After all, how much is my son’s life worth?” With that she stepped away, Mr. Beckett setting his arm around her and walking her back to their seat.

“In light of the testimony, I agree with the charge of voluntary manslaughter. Sidney, your bail is set at $500,000 and we will reconvene for a trial April 2nd. Court dismissed.” And with the smack of that gavel, Sidney knew this was going to be one Hell of a battle.
♠ ♠ ♠
Oh no!
As some of you may have guessed
The sequel is going to cover the trial
So only one more chapter of this
Then it's time for round two!
Thank you so much for reading,
As always I would love to hear your thoughts!

oxoxoxoxox
Ashlee