Chapter 13

The prosecutor and Drew stood and left out the back door. Summer gave Drew the finger as she passed, and blood boiling, Drew reached for her to yank her hair out her scalp. But Summer was already passing, grinning broadly as Drew fumed.

Just wait until the old woman reads that I'm not guilty, she thought savagely. We'll see who's laughing then. We'll see how the brat feels when she's still in juvie and I'm walking free.

"Drew!" a voice called loudly from behind her. Drew turned to see Nora pushing her way through the crowd to her, her face anxious. Rolling her eyes and steeling herself for Nora's whining, she waited for her to catch up.

"What?" she asked through gritted teeth.

"Drew, what the hell were you doing in there? Did you PLAN what you would say or just get up there and wing it?" Nora asked incredulously. "Because it looks like you made it up as you went along!"

"I did, wasn't I good?" Drew said proudly. "I know what I'm doing. It's all in my strategy."

"A strategy for what, to LOSE?"

"Hardly. Trust me, Nora, I've got it in the bag. She wouldn't dare find me guilty," Drew boasted.

"Drew, I wouldn't be so sure. You're killing yourself in there! It's almost like you WANT to go to jail!" Nora shrilled.

"Look, Nora, I really have to dash. See you after the trial!" Drew called, hurrying away before Nora could protest. Like she wanted to hang around Nora after for longer than it took to say I told you so. When this was over she was gonna do some major celebrating. Meet a guy, maybe even one over 18 and younger than 40.

She was busy plotting which bar she'd attend when an announcement came over the intercom of the court house halls, declaring that recess was no longer in session. Drew, along with the others, squeezed through the crowd to the courtroom entrance. As she settled back into her seat, she looked up at the judge, who's face was entirely blanks. She wasn't worried, though. She was so clearly innocent that even the sourpuss judge had to see.

"All present?" Judge Lorens called, then continued. 'In the case of the state of South Carolina versus Dr. Drew Malcolm, I, Judge Ilana Lorens, find the defendant…guilty."

A stir went through the courtoom, as the audience took in the news. It sounded to Drew like a murmur of approval. Someone even applauded. Adrian Terrance looked very smug, and he smiled at Summer, squeezing her shoulder. As for Summer, she positively glowed. Her pixie face went alight with glee, her eyes glinting with malicious pleasure and victory, and she turned to beam at Drew nastily.

Drew barely noticed. Everything about her seemed miles away, distant and only vaguely real, as she stared in disbelief at the judge in her seat. Guilty? How could she have been found guilty? Were they all deaf and blind? Why would anyone choose to believe everyone else over Drew? What could this mean? Guilty?

Does this mean I'm going back to jail? Drew thought in dismay. With all those WOMEN, no men in sight? No beer, no makeup, no stilettos? I might as well die!

Drew barely heard Judge Lorens as she called for silence.

"On behalf of the state of South Carolina, I sentence you to 500 hours of community service, in which during this time you must see a psychiatrist at least twice a week."

She peered at Drew over her spectacles. "Is that clear?"

Five hundred hours of community service? She, Drew, who never helped people if possible, who did in fact go out of her way to cause misery- Drew, forced to improve lives? Drew couldn't think of a greater punishment than that…except the next command issued.

Seeing a shrink? Why did she have to do THAT? Drew wasn't crazy! She wasn't even guilty! How had SHE, the psychiatrist, gone from messing with crazy people to being told to become one of the people she tortured? Drew would rather go back to jail.

"I said, is that clear, Dr. Malcolm?" Lorens repeated, and Drew's head jerked up. For once, she could think of no comeback.

"Yeah," she said finally.

"Good. Court dismissed."

The courtroom was abuzz with the noise of everyone getting up, moving at once, shouting and calling out questions, both for Drew and for Summer. Reporters screamed out comments Drew barely heard in her stupor, flashed cameras that she barely saw. She moved in a daze, not knowing where she was going. Somehow, she had lost. And to a patient, a teenager!

She didn't know how to react. When had she ever lost at anything?

"Drew!" Nora was calling. Drew noticed that she was standing before her now, her hand on her shoulder, her brown eyes peering worriedly into Drew's. "Drew, are you okay?"

Drew just shrugged. "I can't believe it," she muttered. "I actually lost. She believed Summer."

Nora squeezed her shoulder, nothing but concern in her eyes, the usual reproach and anger gone.

"I know, honey," she murmured. "And just for now I won't say I told you so."

Almost against her will Drew found herself leaning against Nora's arm, something she hadn't done since she was a preteen. What is wrong with me, she thought in dismay. First I get arrested, then I lose my court case, now I'm not even being mean to Nora? Am I really crazy after all?

The thought so frightened her she couldn't speak. Nora mistook her silence for sadness and spoke with comforting tones.

"Well it's not nearly as bad as it could have been. You're lucky to avoid jail. You never liked your job anyway, Drew, you said so a lot. You'll get a new one, that's all. And seeing a psychiatrist…well, Drew, at least you'll get something out of this."

That did it. Drew's daze was abruptly shattered. She turned to face Nora, shrugging off her arm with her face bright with anger.

"I do NOT need to see a psychiatrist because I am NOT crazy!" she said slowly and loudly. "And I don't care what that judge said, I am NOT seeing a psychiatrist because I don't NEED to!"

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Two days later Drew stomped gloomily up the front steps of the brick building with the sign above the door reading Family Psychiatry. She had not come alone, nor by choice. She was accompanied by Officer Fiona Kelly, who for at least the first month was to escort her to her sessions by order of Judge Lorens, to insure she went at all.

Drew was disgusted by the whole business of it all. She didn't need a psychiatrist. She WAS one, or had been, anyway. She had kept up a running commentary of complaints until Kelly threatened to handcuff her. Now as they entered the lobby, she was silent, crossing her arms and scowling at everyone and everything. She had made it her mission to make sure everyone, including her psychiatrist, was miserable, as long as she had to be.

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Dr. Maxine Leander sighed as she skimmed the thick file she had been given on Drew Malcolm, her newest patient by court order. She had not met the woman yet, but from what she'd read of her court case, listened to from tapes of her sessions with patients, Drew Malcolm was almost certainly a narcissist and a sociopath, and therefore untreatable. Maxine had been given similar patients before, and she had seldom had success.

Her conviction only further deepened when the door swung open and her patient entered, accompanied by a tall black woman cop, who shoved her much shorter companion into the room unceremoniously.

"Here's your patient, Dr. Leander," Kelly said, "I'll be back in an hour." She left quickly, shutting the door behind her. The two women looked each other up and down, one hostile and angry, the other appraising. Maxine took in Drew's obviously small stature, given several inches by her five inch heels, her mini skirt only hitting mid thigh, and her bright turquoise cleavage-bearing top. Next her eyes took in Drew's makeup, including vivid turquoise eyeshadow, dangly sequined earrings, and messy blonde hair, with freshly applied bright red streaks. All for a woman who had just flopped herself onto a sofa, yawning, and stretched out, closing her eyes and saying, "Hey, just wake me up when the session's over, okay?"

Maxine shook her head, groaning inside. She could tell this would be a long session…a long two years of sessions.

End