The man she assumed to be Sawyer stood beside the table. He was a little shorter than Chase and had blond hair. His light complexion and blue eyes made him look at least ten years younger than she expected. He appeared to be just a kid.
"Mrs. Andrew," he said as he walked towards her.
She shook his offered hand. "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Sawyer."
He shook his head. "It's just Sawyer, if you don't mind."
She nodded. "And Madison will do just fine."
He bobbed his head. Stepping aside, he ushered her to join them at the table. She sat across from Chase as Sawyer sat at the head of the table. He had a thick file set between himself and a blueberry donut with a single bite taken out of it.
"First things first," Sawyer began. "I put in a few calls this morning and we have an appointment scheduled to speak with Mr. Andrew." He looked to Chase. "Unfortunately, only Madison and myself will be allowed a visit. I tried, Chase, but they wouldn't agree to any other visitors."
"Is that normal?" Madison asked.
Sawyer shifted. "Not usually. A visitation is just a visitation. Sometimes they limit who is permitted to speak with one being held, but only if the judge has said so."
"So the judge has been keeping Skyler from having visitors?"
"Yes, and no." He shifted again. "It's difficult to explain. Part of it is because the courts see him as a possible informative …"
"He is an informative," Madison spoke up. "He's the reason they have Morgan in the first place.
Sawyer nodded to her. "Yes, but they are careful with their informants in cases like this one because they are such a major piece in the game. They won't risk someone getting to him to keep him quiet."
Madison frowned. She did not let herself think about that possibility. Would someone use his testimony as a ploy to shut him up? "Have there been threats?"
"No," Sawyer answered. "But I have a theory."
Both Madison and Chase leaned forward. They waited for him to continue.
Sawyer matched their posture. He leaned in, tapping the file in front of him. "The stuff they filed against him is not necessarily a felony. There have been some charges that would make it so, but the judge dismissed them. Skyler is not doing much to fight the system. He is working with it. He skipped the jury. He asked for a judge to hear his case. Pleading no contest keeps his innocence, but allows for sentencing. But with such a plea, he sets himself up for a lesser punishment.
"We cannot avoid some sort of disciplinary action against him. They have evidence, he hasn't denied anything, but he is being cooperative and has helped enormously with the case against Mr. Bristow. That will play to his advantage.
"But that is also his downfall. Mr. Bristow has some amazing connections. Even though he is not even close to getting an easy punishment, most likely facing a lengthy jail time and fines to match, he is too calm if you ask me. He knows too many people. He's rubbed shoulders with some big names. He's not even worried."
Chase drummed his fingers on the tabletop. "Do you think he’s planning something?"
Sawyer wagged his head. "There is not too much he can do, to be honest. He is locked up. Yes, he has lots of freedoms for a man with so much against him, but that may not mean anything. He might just be a cool cat."
"Do you think Skyler is worried?" Madison posed.
"Mr. Andrew is definitely playing it safe," Sawyer said with a nod. "I think he knows what he is up against. He is not doing anything to frustrate anyone involved. And I think he has friends on both sides of this."
Madison nodded. She knew Skyler was good at gaining people's trust. He could read into their behavior as if it was written on their faces. He would know what to do if someone was less than savory.
"We go at one this afternoon," Sawyer went on. "His attorney has insisted on being present. This will be your chance to relieve him. But, Mr. Andrew has to agree to it. He has the final say."
Chase reached for another donut. "The guy is assigned by the state, right?" Sawyer nodded to him. "It shouldn't be a problem."
Sawyer held up a finger. "Not usually. As I said earlier, they are being very careful with this case. Someone has orchestrated this to a point. The arrest warrant was issued late in the case. It was not pushed by anyone directly involved in the case against Mr. Andrew. It was frowned upon his not being in the country, but his statement held up even without his presence. Someone else pushed for that arrest. They were not happy with a summons, but went for an arrest."
Madison took a turn. "And the hearing was so quick. He was brought here right as it started. The timing was too convenient."
"I agree." Sawyer looked to her. "That does not sit well with me. There was no way he could have been prepared to give a defense. But I can't do anything about that while he is working with his current attorney."
"Well then," Chase said with a clap of his hands, "we'll have Madison go in and fire the guy, introduce you to Skyler, and you take control of this mess."
Sawyer nearly smiled. "I would love for it to be that simple."
"One way to find out," Chase said. "Let's do this."
They both looked to Madison. She glanced between the two, trying to decide if they were as ready as Chase claimed them to be. He was right. She gave a faint nod. There was only one way to find out.
Chase saw Sawyer to his car when they all agreed to move forward with their plan. Madison told herself to relax and trust in the new attorney. He seemed to be knowledgeable. He seemed sincere.
But there was still that feeling of dread that settled in the pit of her stomach. She ignored it earlier thinking it would eventually pass. Yet, no matter what or how much she ate or how the day progressed, it remained unchanged.