Current Month:May 2011 Weather: Its starting to feel like summer. The highs on the thermometer are reading between the 60s and the 80s. Sunshine, flowers and some scattered showers. Summer is on its way.
Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
Generally when she was dressing for business – whether in the office or in the court room – Victoria opted for trousers with her suits. It was something that had changed in the time since her divorce. A woman in trousers gave an air of authority, rather than the impression of a fallow, young girl in a skirt. She was prone to jeans on the weekends, plaid pajama bottoms around the house, but business was always strictly formal. The very fact that she had turned up at the Free Life Behavioral Rehabilitation Center in a knee-length brown skirt was an indication that this was not, strictly, an official business call.
Not that Jacob Strauss would know any of that, of course.
Victoria had called ahead the day before to make sure that the doctor was available to see her. The facility receptionist had booked her an appointment in the morning, between two of Dr. Strauss’s regularly scheduled patient sessions. When she’d inquired what it was about, Victoria had implied that it was related to a case the District Attorney was working on. It wasn’t entirely untrue, of course, but Victoria was not assigned to the case herself. She was on an errand for a friend of hers, a friend that just happened to be opposing counsel…
“Good morning, my name’s Victoria Renault – I called yesterday to make an appointment with Dr. Strauss?” Victoria smiled politely at the receptionist across the desk but the woman merely waved a hand towards the small waiting area. She didn’t even look away from her computer screen. Ah, yes. She had forgotten just how cheerful the staff at Free Life was. It had been over six months since she’d been, however, and there were certain things one tended to want to forget.
Settling herself in a chair to wait, Victoria crossed her legs and pulled a manila folder from her purse. For a minute or two, she busied herself with reading over the papers she’d acquired from her friend. She’d read them very intently when she’d first gotten them so there were no extra details to pull from them. Eventually, Victoria closed the folder and merely tapped it against her knee. She was early, yes, but she was feeling impatient. Perhaps anxious would be the better word for it. She really shouldn’t have been here at all…
Jacob was never fond of meeting with any suit that came from a courtroom, especially an assistant to some corrupt monster who sent innocent people to prison. It grated on his nerves to be forced to see such people, to play...friendly with them, but when said 'guest' was the very person who had sent Santi here, never caring why he was how he was...that took the cake. Jacob, were it possible to do without being caught right now, was the sort who could be violently protective of 'his people' and people under his care and was generally known as a rather unfriendly man to the court system. Oh, yes, he was an expert witness on myriad things, but Jacob always played the part of the cool and detached scientist, not interested in doing anything but answer stupid questions so a judge could feel less guilty with pronouncing death - or nearly that - on some poor soul who didn't deserve it.
It did not, of course, matter that the guest today - Victoria Renault, assistant D.A. - was an attractive woman with quite the moxie in the courtroom. No. Jacob could appreciate strength in beauty in the woman, even if she were..."A harlot of the Beast," he murmured, rage showing in his face as he jerked his shirt collar straight. His hands were shaking, something Jacob would allow while he was alone in his apartment, but they would still when he made his way into his office. "Its people like this who will be the death of me."
When his clothes were straight Jacob turned away from the mirror and snatched his cell phone up off the table near his door along with his apartment keys, movements sharp as he jerked the door open and stepped out. The moment he was outside the apartment however, Jacob's tension melted away and he shut the door quietly, seemingly serene now. The actions continued on his walk where Jacob smiled at nurses or patients - and even at Frye - and never slipped once as he went into the building.
And there the woman was, dressed in nothing close to professional wear and looking almost lost. Fingers drifted to Jacob's mouth for just a moment as he came to stand in front of her. "Ms. Renault. Good to see you again," Jacob said softly, a smile curling his lips. It didn't meet his eyes. "I trust you weren't waiting too long? This meeting is good news, I hope. I've had enough of bad." It wasn't a threat, not really, but it was a message - hopefully clear enough - that Jacob had no interest in playing politics today. "Here, my office." The door opened soundlessly and Jacob gestured the woman in, no hint of his growing annoyance showing his face.
Save, perhaps, that his eyes were cold.
(words - 478) (outfit - This shirt, dark trousers, black belt and shoes) (tag - victoria)
Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
Victoria would not have taken kindly to being referred to as just a “suit.” She may well have gone so far as to deck Doctor Strauss if she had known he was personally referring to her as a “harlot of the Beast.” To be quite frank, she did not deny the fact that the district attorney was a beast. He was a zealot of the worst kind and was using his background in putting deviants away as a platform to run for mayor. Victoria found him to be repulsive. She, however, was not a harlot in any sense of the word and woe to the man who saw fit to call her so to her face.
She was not, however, ready to go on a rampage that morning. Not yet, at least. When Doctor Strauss spoke, Victoria actually jumped a little. She had not been paying attention and he’d rather appeared out of nowhere. Getting to her feet, she started to smile at him and held out a hand for him to shake. “It's good to see you, too, Doctor Strauss. I hope that we can make the news good, as well.” Though he took her hand, the smile she got in return did not seem to reach his eyes. It made Victoria's own falter slightly. She would not be so easily chased off, however, and she went into his office when he gestured.
“I do appreciate you sparing the time to see me. I'm sure you're incredibly busy.” Victoria took a moment just inside the door to survey the office space. She needed to know if she could trust him... though at this point, it was really too late for worrying about that. Either she could or she couldn't. Either he would agree to help or he wouldn't. Either she'd get fired or she wouldn't. This was a step she had to take, she couldn't go back. Sitting down in one of the chairs that faced his desk, Victoria crossed her legs and tried to look at ease. She wasn't exactly successful.
“How is Santiago? If you don't mind my asking, that is... I hope he's doing well.” She remembered the boy, of course – young man, really, though he had looked like a lost child when he'd taken the stand. It had broken her heart to cross-examine him. It was foolish of his attorney to even put him up there when Victoria could exploit his past crimes. If Doctor Strauss had not been brought in, Santiago surely would have been sent to prison. Likely he would have been dead by now.
Jacob was used to people like Renault showing up attempting to 'do their job' which of course was code for checking in on patients and assessing whether or not they would be take to 'better facilities'. Jacob wasn't stupid though, and he'd never believed anything they'd said about better places. Some people disappeared and would stay disappeared and there hadn't been a damn thing Jacob had ever been able to do.
Oh...but he was planning on changing that. Soon.
Renault's words grated on Jacob's nerves as he took a seat, his fingers finding their way up to his mouth to press there, forcing him to stay quiet, to not show just how much he disliked this woman. "Don't worry, Ms. Renault. The news will be good." Obviously Jacob assumed she was here to talk about Santi, and well, Jacob was happy to tell any lie to make sure the boy stared here in Jacob's control; he needed Jacob, that much was obvious.
"Not so busy. I'm not a director like Doctor Frye, at least not yet," the chuckle Jacob gave was almost genuine and Victoria would be hard-pressed to hear the threatening tone behind those words. Jacob would be a director soon...and things would change. "You caught me on a slow day, Ms. Renault. I wouldn't have seen you otherwise." Not, 'I wouldn't have been able to see you' and not any other explanation that sounded friendly. Jacob had said what he meant and meant what he said. On days that mattered, Jacob didn't talk to people like this woman. Period.
Sure enough the woman mentioned Santi, asking if Jacob minded, hoping that he was well. Jacob chuckled again. "That's not something I discuss, now is it, ADA Renault?" He shrugged, smiling...apologetically. "Doctor and patient confidentiality. Unless you took me to court of course." Thank God rights like those still stood. Tired already of having this...snake of a woman around, Jacob gestured. "I hope you didn't come to talk to me about my patients. There's nearly nothing I can say to you, you do understand?"
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Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
The longer that Victoria sat in Doctor Strauss' office, the more certain she became that she ought not to have come at all. He had delivered his testimony well, for all intents and purposes as a doctor should. But Victoria could have sworn... she had been sure that there was more than clinical analysis behind his words. Perhaps it had been her own daft hope, trying to find some way out for this young man who had already suffered so much.
Santiago Romero had been bullied and beaten down by a system that didn't want him and that system had cared so little for him that it would have seen him in prison for the rest of his days. For being... lost. He was little more than a child, at least emotionally, yet no one had cared. His mother had been at the judgment, had wept silently the entire time, and Victoria had wanted so badly to yell and scream and beg for that poor soul's freedom. She could only pray that he was happy at Free Life, it was the best anyone could have hoped for...
“Yes, of course,” she answered hastily, realizing after the fact that it had been stupid to ask. “Obviously you can't share details, I had only...” Victoria had not felt as unsure of herself in a very long time as she did with Jacob Strauss' eyes on her. The stone wall that seemed to be between the two of them ordinarily would have made her scoff and roll her eyes, demand an acceptable response from him out of sheer stubbornness. Not so today. Today, she was treading on very thin ice.
“To business, then.” Clearing her throat, she placed the manilla folder on his desk and slid it towards him. Immediately, she linked her fingers together, resting her hands on her knee. She could not fidget. “Inside you will find a file of information on a man named Reginald James. He has been charged with the rape and murder of a young woman. The district attorney is handling the case personally.” As she spoke, Victoria seemed to slowly regain the confidence which usually infused her performances in the court room. With a deep breath, she launched into the meat of the story.
“Mister James recently moved to a rather upscale neighborhood of Washington in order to be closer to his work. He moved into the same building as the victim, two floors down. He had opportunity. The DA is quite certain he can find motive. He is also certain he can work on peoples' prejudices.” Up until this point, Victoria's eyes had been focused on the manila folder but now she lifted her gaze to meet Jacob's. “Mister James is African-American. He comes from a poor background. Mister James' only alibi is the word of his lover... his male lover. He needs your help, Doctor Strauss.”
It was obvious that Victoria Renault wasn't a stupid woman, no matter who it was she worked for. She was aware of the tension between them, of the walls Jacob had put up and doubtless she was aware of the fact that those walls wouldn't be coming down. Just because she had gotten Jacob to save Santi didn't mean she truly was a hero among villains. There were plenty of the people in the world who had soft spots for drug addicts and people who had had hard lives, but that didn't mean they had any love or compassion for a woman who was hated because she had been born a man or a man who wanted only to be with the man he'd fallen in love with.
The truth was that this woman was government and she would do as her bosses and betters said. She would say what they wanted her to say, put away people they wanted her to put away. Regardless of her 'soft' heart for drug addicts and the 'unfortunate' of the US, this woman was nothing like Jacob, nothing like his people. There was no way to say that to the woman's face of course, but Jacob figured if he were...cool enough she would leave before he got annoyed. Renault was even trailing off just now, saying, 'I had only...' as though she had no idea how to verbally stand against Jacob's demeanor; which of course was a plus in this situation.
"Yes, I think to business," Jacob agreed softly, fighting down the silly urge to cross his arms which would, of course, show just how uncomfortable and defensive he was; and how the hell would that help the situation? The folder Renault dropped on Jacob's desk looked a bit thick and as Jacob tugged the manilla thing toward him, Renault began to speak again. It was a story Jacob had heard over and over again, some 'freak' being accused of rape because he was slightly different. It was truly amazing what - "Excuse me?" Jacob said as his thoughts were interrupt. Male lover...he needs my help. He blinked at Renault, a bit of shock showing in his eyes and Jacob flipped the folder closed, tossed it back onto his desk.
"Are you telling me he's a homosexual, ADA Renault? An African-American homosexual who has an alibi but only if he reveals his deviancy. And...you think I would help him?" Immediately red flags began to go up and Jacob's face went hard like stone, eyes glinting dangerously. "And what are you expecting me to help with? Getting him sent here instead of simply...disappearing into a prison? I'm afraid I've no idea what you're asking of me, ADA Renault."
That, of course was a lie. Jacob was rather sure he knew what this woman was asking but...hell. He wasn't going to just trust the woman. Jacob wasn't stupid.
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Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
The tension in the room was thick, like the air on a humid afternoon in summer. Or maybe it was just Victoria. She could feel a knot in her chest, a knot of fear and anticipation. She had promised her friend that she would enlist this man's help. They had been friends since undergraduate school but had gone their separate ways once they had their degrees in hand. The woman had turned up quite unexpectedly with this request but she still knew that despite Victoria's position, she did not uphold the ideals of the men in charge. The thought of failing this friend, of failing Reginald James, made Victoria anxious.
Doctor Strauss, on the other hand, appeared as cold as ice.
“Was I not clear?” she asked uncertainly as he tossed the folder back onto his desk. The sound of it hitting made her flinch. He continued speaking, apparently insulted by the idea that she would even suggest that the accused was worthy of help, especially his. Victoria sat up a little in her chair, a hand going to her chest to touch her necklace. It was a nervous habit she'd always had and the moment she realized she was doing it, she regretted even wearing the damn thing. Clearing her throat, she tried to regain some level of control.
“I think you understand exactly what I mean, Doctor. Mister James is an innocent man. His one fault is loving the wrong person. Wrong according to some people, anyway.” Rising to her feet, Victoria gathered up the file from Doctor Strauss' desk. She did not walk away, however, instead remaining in front of him with the folder in both hands. Her determination was clear on her face but so was a faint inkling of uncertainty. It made her stand straighter than was entirely comfortable, knees locked and shoulders stiff. She felt like she'd been brought to the principal's office to confess to a crime of which she was all too guilty... guilty of caring...
“A friend of mine is first chair for defense. She asked me to bring this to you, knowing I would be able to get an appointment easily.” Turning the file over, she extended it to Doctor Strauss once more. “Without your intervention, an innocent man will go to the gallows. There is little doubt in the District Attorney's mind that he will see Mister James dead before the year is over – before the November elections, that is.” The look she gave him was significant. “Please say you'll help.”
While Renault sat stiff and still, weighed down by tension, Jacob sat easily. Oh, he was tense, of course he was, but he had lived with this sort of tension for years, working through situations like this using only his ability to say just exactly he needed to so that he was never found out. Yes, he toed the line but in a way that people thought just made him 'radical' in his treatment...and radical doctors, psychologists even more so, were rather praised for their 'radicalness'. But right now, in this situation, clever wording wasn't going to help anything. This woman was either putting her career on the line - not to mention her life - or she was a very, very good plant.
Jacob's arrogance didn't let him believe that anyone could be good enough to fool him.
Renault's response was clear and firm and she stared right at Jacob, never wavering in what she said. And what she said...oh that was grounds for so many, many things...he could have had her job in that second, the moment she said, 'His one fault is loving the wrong person...wrong according to some people, anyway'. Those were were cementing to Jacob, hard and clear and truthful. He did not, however, say anything, simply let Victoria continue.
The last hurrah of her brave speech was getting to her feet, telling Jacob what she knew would happen as she handed the folder out to him again. "Thank you," Jacob said, his posture easing immediately the moment Victoria was silent. With the ghost of a smile Jacob took the folder and dropped it to a knee, flipped it open. Something earnest came into his eyes and Jacob's fingers began to caress the pages inside the folder, jaw clenched. "I don't make a point of trusting just anyone who comes into my office, Victoria."
The use of her first name was the sign that Jacob was now willing to...talk.
"I happen to be Jewish, Victoria, if my last name didn't let on. It's rather well known that when I'm brought in as an psychological expert, I tend to get more than just a little upset about the idea of racial profiling. Your boss is a jackass and I've never liked him, nor have I ever voted for him. We have a bit of a...rivalry I suppose. He enjoys building up cases with bias. I enjoy making fun of him for his low-brow discrimination."
The folder was dropped onto Jacob's desk, open, and he sighed, a hand going up to his chin to scratch. "Please, sit down. I'll get my little noise maker going so no one can hear outside and we'll have a real chat, hmm" Another faint smile and Jacob stood, gesturing to a little cabinet near his desk. "I've a bit of a chocolate problem, if you'd like to indulge." With that the older man made his way over the his noise contraption.
(words - 496) (outfit - This shirt, dark trousers, black belt and shoes) (tag - victoria)
Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
Victoria had always been a good girl. Granted, her parents tended to be more than a little bit liberal but she had followed all the rules. The idea of doing something against the law, no matter how unjust said law might have been, made Victoria nervous. The friend that had asked for her help had been a roommate in undergrad; they had been friends for nearly ten years. She knew which way Victoria's sympathies tended and she had known that in the end she would have no choice but to say yes. It was a dangerous game to play but Victoria had a feeling about Jacob Strauss.
He smiled and took the file from her and she felt a surge of triumph – not to mention relief. Her called her by her first name and she had to smile a bit. “I can imagine what it must look like,” she murmured, “My coming here, I mean. Like a crusader into Jerusalem.” If Victoria had not been correct in her assumptions, she would have found herself on the other side of the witness stand. Yet there he was, telling her how he was upset by racial profiling. It was rather standard procedure, these days...
“If I was unaware of your, ah, formidable reputation, Doctor, I would not have come to you in the first place.” Never mind she had been on the receiving end of said “reputation” once before. It had not exactly been pleasant but she was not displeased with the result. He made an unkind remark about the district attorney and she could only frown again.
“I must admit that he is not the most pleasant man to work for. He wasn't exactly my first choice...” Not that Victoria was going to volunteer information about why that was... Jacob told her to sit and Victoria realized just how tense she was. Lowering herself back into the chair, she concentrated on relaxing. She watched with more than a little interest as he moved to turn on his “noise maker” and crossed her forearms over her knee. He seemed to have been prepared for just this sort of a conversation... It made Victoria wonder what else he had up his sleeve. He offered her chocolate then and she might have been even more surprised.
“Well, I... yes. Thank you. I actually haven't eaten today...”
The comparison to the crusades into Jerusalem made Jacob chuckle and pause in his perusal of the documents, his gaze turning toward Victoria. There was amusement in his eyes, a softened sort, and he gave her a little smirk. "You've far too much class for that, Victoria. I'm rather sure of that. Besides, the crusaders were hardly a government. I would be more inclined to compare the buffoons in power to the Reich, but. Well," he shrugged. "People get rather upset when you mention Hitler." Jacob had compared them to the Reich many times with the people in his organization, to the point that people only rolled their eyes and made a joke about it all, but that was to expected of people who had never heard stories, had never seen numbers on the arms of loved ones.
Not that Jacob judged them. They followed him despite their believe he was a bit cooky, and that was all that mattered.
"As for my reputation," Jacob murmured as he stood, made his way to the door. "There have been plenty of people who have tried to catch me in illegal or unsavory work. None so beautiful, perhaps, but I was sure they'd switched tactics."
The idle flirtation and compliment came easy to Jacob mostly because he had no reason to doubt himself as a man and because he felt rather certain that Victoria, being so young, would no doubt see it as harmless. But she was a lovely woman, one with fired and spirit, which Jacob appreciated greatly. Very much his sort of woman. You old dog, Jacob told himself, chuckling quietly under his breath a Victoria continued to speak and he turned on his little machine.
Victoria made a comment about her boss, one that obviously had a lot of meaning behind it but Jacob let it go, instead blinking at her next comment as he took his seat. "Haven't eaten? That's hardly acceptable. I can have someone get something from the cafeteria for you, if you'd like, Victoria," Jacob made a face. "Although I have to admit its rather awful food." He gestured toward the cabinet again, a vague smile on his lips. "I'm the sort to indulge any small victory, Victoria. I usually take myself for a nice meal if I accomplish something. You're welcome to join me after our chat, if all goes well."
Old dog indeed.
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Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
As Victoria watched Jacob, she could actually see all the little walls coming down bit by bit. The small amount of relief she had felt grew and she relaxed a bit more in her chair. The plain fact that he was smirking at her like that was a good sign, she was sure of it. His comparison of the government to the Third Reich had her nodding slightly. “One has to hope it hasn’t gotten quite as bad as that,” she replied softly. As far as she knew, there were no internment camps – at least, not strictly speaking. Then again, the rehabilitation center itself did not seem too far off.
“I should have realized ahead of time that it would seem suspicious. I guess that was a little naďve of me – hard to imagine that’s possible, considering.” Victoria was not unaware of the compliments that he was paying her: both classy and beautiful within the span of two minutes. It had been some time since she’d gotten a compliment that was not immediately followed with an invitation into the man’s bed. She was fairly certain that Doctor Strauss was not going so far as that. She would simply assume that he was merely trying to make up for how brusque he had been initially…
“Oh, no. I don’t think that would be necessary,” she answered with a wave of one hand. Cafeteria food would sit in her stomach like lead for the rest of the afternoon. That was hardly what she wanted. She gave him a reassuring smile. “I wasn’t even hungry, really. Nerves, I suppose. But thank you, Doctor Strauss.” His interest in her personal well-being surprised Victoria a little – though he was a doctor – but it also pleased her. Perhaps this would not have to be a business relationship that ended until the next case came along. Victoria thought she might find a good friend in Jacob Strauss.
When he invited her to share a meal with him, she laughed.
“Small victory? I wouldn’t want to jinx it but I think this would be a slightly above-average sized victory.” Feeling far more comfortable than when she had first come in, Victoria got to her feet and helped herself to a little bit of his chocolate stash. She took a moment to savor it before running her tongue over her teeth to be sure there wasn’t any left behind. She smiled again. “If you are busy, please don’t feel as if you have to indulge me. If not, though, I think I would enjoy that.”
It was amazing how unaware even the ADA of DC could be.
True, the American government wasn't so bad as what the Reich had proposed, supported and tried to put into action, not entirely, but there was a level of discrimination, a level of thought that led Jacob to believe eugenics were only a step away from the way the joint mind of the USA determined things. Soon it would be the desire to isolate some gay gene, some deviant gene - they already did genetic screenings for God's sake - and once that happened...
Jacob saw barbed wire, striped clothes and colorful patches float across his vision as he gave Victoria a tight smile that never reached his eyes. "I don't have much hope left, Victoria. Once you know of how places like this," he gestured around him, "work, you find that humanity is capable of anything. There are some doctors who believe they can shock someone into being a heterosexual, or brain wash them so they forget they are the wrong physical gender." Something like rage showed in Jacob's eyes. "Naive, perhaps, but we should be allowed naivete, Victoria. Allowed innocence. It shouldn't be ripped away the moment we reach an age to realize our God-given sexuality and our God-given freedoms."
It was hard to be anything but tense and angry as Jacob shared his mind, but he managed to calm himself as Victoria stood up and helped herself to chocolate. Jacob was able to smile just a bit as he watched her eat, happy that she could have a bit of joy during a day - and life - that was so hard; Jacob swore by the healing properties of chocolate, proven or no.
"Nerves. Mm. I'm well-aware of such things. Not so very much now, perhaps, but over the years, as I worked my way close to this place...built my...relationships." There was no need to explain his little resistance, not yet. Just because Victoria could be trusted didn't mean that she could be brave enough or useful enough for his cause - no matter what she'd done today.
As Victoria brought up the concept of victory Jacob stood and went to his little sink, began to fill an electric kettle with water. "Yes, perhaps this is not such a small victory. We have found each other, mm? Kindred spirits meeting in a desert land. God's providence I think." He gave Victoria a small smile when he said this, chuckling after when. Victoria said that she thought she would enjoy his company for dinner. "By dinner I'm very sure my schedule will be clear." Jacob left it open to interpretation of course as to whether or not he would force such a thing or if it would simply happen in such a way.
"Would you care for coffee, Victoria?"
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Member No.: 54
Joined: 2-March 12
Victoria would prefer to think of herself as hopeful, rather than as completely unaware. It was difficult to draw the line between optimism and idealism, however. People believed what they wanted to, even when concrete evidence to the contrary was right in front of them. (This was how they got such a government in the first place, after all.) As she listened to Jacob's brief rant, Victoria could only think that it was not all in vain. She would do whatever it took to keep her optimism from crumbling.
“I cannot imagine that all is lost,” she said after a moment. “With people like you and I in the world, there must be some hope.” She returned his hard look with a tentative smile. It was utterly sentimental and probably a bit of a cliché but Victoria did not think ti any less true. “I realize we've barely met and it's rather of me to say such a thing but...” She shrugged. “One person helping is more than none.” Briefly, Victoria wondered what Doctor Strauss thought of her. It was an odd feeling, truth be told, to really wonder such a thing but she could not deny the niggling desire for him to approve of her. Perhaps she only wanted to feel as if she was justified in all this.
“It's been a while since I've felt this nervous,” she admitted, reaching for a second piece of his chocolate. She hoped he wouldn't mind. The man simply had a good taste in sweets. She felt reassured as he said the words “kindred spirits” and found her smile strengthening a little more. “I do hope you are right. Amy didn't seem to think that prayers would do Mr. James much good but I believe she's wrong.” To some people, it was odd for Victoria to be so opposed to the ultra-conservative laws yet consider herself a Christian. Victoria disagreed entirely. Her faith was faith in love and goodness, not hatred. The laws she detested came not from belief in a kind and loving God but from fear. Faith and religion could be two very different things.
“Oh, dear. Coffee and chocolate?” Suddenly, Victoria found herself laughing. “Well, why not? I suppose I deserve it.” Still smiling, she returned to her seat. The tension seemed to have gone out of her completely. It was a wonderful feeling.
Jacob wasn't a pessimist, at least he didn't think he was. He was a realist, someone who saw the world without rose-tinted glasses and didn't pretend that he believed the world was beautiful. Although when Victoria spoke and gave him a tiny smile after her hope-filled words, Jacob could only stare at her, a little shocked. It wasn't often that Jacob readily - readily in his head at least - admitted to being sorely wrong about his own thought process, but watching the woman across the desk from him was proof enough that his realism was far less real and far more depressed.
"Ah...yes," Jacob said, a bit shaken by the woman's apparent natural and unconscious ability to prove him wrong so easily. "I have to say, Victoria, you're a breath of fresh air in a place so full of stagnate air." The smile he gave her was small, secretive, but kind as he turned his attention back to making coffee. He was rather snobbish about how he liked to make coffee. Grind the beans himself, use a press, etc. Never coffee from the commissary because, well, it was more than just awful. Victoria admitted to feeling nervous as Jacob readied their coffee and he looked over at her, ready to say something until she mentioned prayer.
Another shock that showed in Jacob's eyes as he watched the woman take her seat after Victoria took his offer of coffee. "You pray," Jacob murmured, a genuine smile coming to his lips. "I find that despite the way of this country, true prayer is rather lacking in people. I'm glad to hear that you aren't such a person."
Two cups, milk, sugar and the press were put on his desk. Jacob began to spoon sugar in, a rather large amount, more than most people would use. "There's power in prayer. The men who make decisions in this country have stepped outside the will of God. God will have his justice. Revenge. And America will be better for it in the end."
Saying such hard, shocking words so casually was what made Jacob the intense man he was. "Do you take cream or sugar?"
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