[previous chapter] [start from the beginning] The courtroom was packed to the rafters, and so was the overflow room. Journalists were ready to tweet the verdict. The accused was wearing his best suit, and he’d just given himself a fresh shave.

He was ready. For anything.

“Have you reached a verdict?”

“We have.”

“Tell us.”

“We find the accused, Jean-François Toussignant, guilty on both counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents.”

Silence in the room. Jeff’s jaw tightened visibly, but otherwise he did not move. He took a deep breath and prepared to hear his sentence, which he already knew. He would spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years.

He was OK with that. Because for the first time in his life, he felt free.

[epilogue]