Gravity (Greenford #2) - Romeo Alexander


Leaning back in his seat, Samuel looked out on the remaining heads still bowed over the tables. The soft clicking of keys and occasional shuffle of clothing were the only sounds that punctuated the silence of the lecture room. With just under half the allotted class time already passed, only a handful of his students were left.

Normally, surprise quiz days were a bit of a double-edged sword for both him and his students. While it meant having to take a test, it also meant that class time could theoretically be cut short. Well, if the students got their tests completed early, that was. From the looks of the remaining group, he might end up sitting in the lecture hall for the full ninety-minute period anyway.

Sighing softly, he pulled his laptop closer, tapping in the access code. Some of the more observant students occasionally teased him about his unconscious habit of locking his computer whenever his attention was pulled away from it for even a second. It was a good habit when your computer contained a great deal of information on upcoming legal cases, but not such a great one when you did it during a class presentation.

An icon flashed on the screen and he opened the message. His friend and occasional partner on cases, Lucas, had shot him a message.

You busy at the moment? I know you’re in class right now.

Samuel looked up, scanning the half a dozen students left over. Two of them he knew were just fastidious test-takers and would probably be the ones who stayed until the very end of class, just to make sure. Another couple were infamous for turning in assignments late and usually with incorrect answers. Those ones he knew weren’t going to pass, even with repeatedly offered help. The last two he suspected would be finishing their test soon.

Not busy. Just watching students sink and swim during test time.

Ha. How many of them are in your program?

I would have to check. But this is only Criminal Law.

Ah, a hodgepodge then.

Pretty much.

It was the sort of class that could be used as a requirement for an elective and not just for people trying to practice law. The occasional student of law enforcement passed through as well. Those weren’t as common, but he’d seen them, including during the current semester. Admittedly, he’d noted that the one student who was aspiring to enforcement in one of the government alphabet agencies was absent, which was unlike the usually punctual student.

Lucas fired back quickly.

Was wondering if you could look over this brief. I’m seeing double today and can’t focus on anything.

That caught Samuel’s attention. Not that Lucas was asking for help, Samuel had lent his brain to Lucas and other attorneys in Greenford more than once before. As one of the few professors of Law at Greenford University, and the only one actively practicing law, it wasn’t uncommon for attorneys he was on good terms with to consult with him.

It was more surprising that his friend was struggling to concentrate. Lucas was by far one of the most hardworking and dedicated people Samuel had ever known. If there was anyone who would complain about being unable to focus on something, it would be Samuel himself.

Something wrong?

Not really. Just haven’t been sleeping well, and this case is all over the place. You always do better with the crazier cases anyway.

Which Samuel thought was a really nice way of saying that his own brain was typically chaotic. Not that most people who dealt with him would know that, as he’d long ago learned how to present a completely reasonable facade to the rest of the world. Samuel lacked the steadfast focus Lucas had, with his thoughts prone to wandering off in directions that were beyond prediction. The upside was that it meant he could sometimes catch patterns or signs that others missed, and other times he just missed everything.

He liked to think it’s what made him both a good professor and excellent consultant on cases. If only because it meant he could keep up with a constantly shifting environment and juggling several different facts and ideas at once. It gave him a certain flexibility and kept his eyes open and his perspective fresh.

At least, that was his hope.

You can send it over. Something keeping you up at night?

No. Just the normal insomnia, it comes and goes. Sending the file over now.

Samuel nodded at the screen absently as he downloaded the sent file and began to look over it. The brief was