Mucho thanks to Actizera for her usual stellar beta.
So maybe it turns out that Lady Luck was really just some sweet tranny bitch that owed him a favor, Jason Cramer thought, listening to the clank and roll of the gate shutting behind him. Because suddenly he was standing outside the walls of Oswald State Correctional Facility. He had nothing, save the clothes on his back and seventy-five dollars of “release money” for the bus in his pocket, but he was O-U-T out. No joke, no shit. His pretty little ass was free as a fucking bird, thanks to that crazy zealot Kareem Said's screw-the-system truth and justice crusade.
Cramer still couldn't quite wrap his brain around the way it had all come together over the past few weeks. Weird enough when that Mrs. Lazarus lady had come forward with the news that his jury had been bullied into a guilty verdict by that faggot-hating redneck guy, Jacobs -- that was like a lightning bolt out of the clear blue sky. But when Cramer had gone to Said with the news, asked him for representation, it had been half done as a joke. He sure as hell hadn't actually expected Mr. High Holy Man to take him up on it -- not given Said's feelings about cocksuckers in general (and murdering cocksuckers in particular). But amazingly enough, Said had taken the case. Not only that, he pursued it hard and argued it well, winning a new trial. It had all felt almost too good to be true. Cramer had tried hard not to get his hopes up. After all, a new trial would still have to dredge up all that shit about Tommy again.
Tommy. Cramer really had loved him once, or close enough to it, anyway. Cheating bastard. If Tommy's lying, cheating, bastard mouth really wanted to be across town at that asshole Alan's place so badly? Well...
But damn, Tommy's head had bled a lot. They always say head wounds bleed more than you'd expect, but holy shit, it just kept bleeding. The polyethylene bag Cramer wrapped the fucking thing in was supposed to be waterproof, but the blood had seeped right through, soaking the box and dripping incriminatingly onto the scale at the Airborne Express office.
And right then, in that moment, Cramer had realized just what a horrible mistake he'd made. It was all over, his life ruined. If only he'd sprung the extra few dollars to ship FedEx, at least their packing materials might have done the job right. It was what he got for not thinking. Crime of passion, and all that. La-di-da.
It should have put Cramer down for good.
The new trial should have -- would have -- ended with the same verdict as the old. Life, without the possibility of parole. Except then freaking Robert Stransky of all people had shown up, wheezing out his near-deathbed confession of evidence tampering back during the original investigation -- how he'd gotten his buddy in the forensics lab to lay Cramer's fingerprints onto a random kitchen knife Stransky had pulled from a drawer and smeared with Tommy's blood. And it all kind of made sense then, because Cramer had always thought he'd done a better job of cleaning things up afterwards -- although he'd sure been dumb enough about shipping Tommy's head, so who really knew anymore?
And even though Said had bailed on him then (aw, poor Brother Minister, getting hit with a shot of conscience), that was like, whatever. Too little too late on the recusal -- because even that half-wit legal aid attorney he'd had to scare up at the last minute was able to add up Mrs. Lazarus' testimony about the jury tampering with the fucking lead homicide investigator's admission of evidence fabrication and get Cramer released.
It was almost too perfect to believe, almost surreal. Boom, boom, boom, one piece falling into place after another, and suddenly, instead of feeling resigned to a lifetime of gray walls, gray food, and drudgery, Cramer was grabbing the first bus back to Adamsville to start living again.
Oh, hell yeah. He was gonna make up for that lost two years in a motherfucking hurry.
That night: Adamsville. Home. Quick visit to some old friends for a shower, new clothes, a haircut. A loan. And it wasn't until he was really dressed again, looking sharp, feeling good, that it all sank in completely. He'd done it. Gotten away with it. Gotten clean away. In the eyes of the law, he might be guilty as sin, but they couldn't touch him now. No matter what. He started to laugh.
More than two years since he'd been to a club. To this club. He'd almost forgotten what it felt like, what music felt like, pulsing under his skin. The freedom was almost unbearable, intoxicating, like too much oxygen in the air. Sensory overload. He was on the verge of turning around and leaving when... Hello, sweet thing. There at the end of the bar, waiting, almost like he was expecting Cramer's arrival. And why wouldn't he be? Cramer was leading a charmed life now, apparently. Things like this happened.
Cramer made his way back through the club. He stopped about halfway down the bar, not wanting to look too eager. It was a good vantage point for watching, for being watched. All part of the fun.
The guy was built a little bit like Anthony, Cramer thought, tilting his head to get a better look. Poor Anthony, stuck there back in Oz with nobody to look after him now. Anthony was a peach, it was nice while it lasted, but there wasn't anything Cramer could do about that now. And anyway, Anthony gave head like a champ -- he'd find another boyfriend in Oz quickly enough.
Meanwhile: eyes. Now. Yes. Eye contact, eyefuck. Oh, pretty, pretty. He was built a little like Anthony, yeah. But his neck was long and smooth, more like... Tommy's.
Cramer leaned in to yell his beer order to the harried bartender. He slapped down his money, picked up the frosted bottle, and took a long drink. It took a moment for the cold beer to turn to warmth, seeping through his veins. Ah, but that was better. It was all coming back to him now: the pulse of the music, the pulse of his dick. The mojo. He took another look at his intended and flashed a smile before moving in for the kill.
God, it was good to be home.