Hey guys! Wow... it's been a while. Nearly three months. Oh, the joys of high school. I really, sincerely hope that I didn't leave you guys hanging for too long, and I take full responsibility if I did. All the kind reviews I got last chapter make me feel all the more guilty. I hope that this chapter at least somewhat makes up for the delay. And of course, this author's note is waking you wait even longer. I'll stop talking. Chapter 3, everybody!

The judge's booming voice echoed throughout the room as the chatter slowly died down. The news of my arrest had picked up a lot of media attention, so there were tons of reporters at my trial. I swear I saw at least twenty cameras still flashing.

All the attention I was getting really surprised me. I thought I was washed up in their eyes. A has been. Maybe there'd be a passing mention in a few papers or something, but this? Man, just one misstep and they don't miss a beat.

Courtney (and therefore myself) had declined comment throughout all this. She had told me that she didn't want me "to say anything stupid" but I'm pretty sure she meant something else by that. Not talking to a certain someone perhaps? Not telling her that I was extremely sorry and that she was always on my mind? Not telling her how much I loved her? I could only wonder what Gwen was thinking. She'd definitely be disappointed, yeah, but what else? Would she give up on us? No doubt she'd at least be considering it. What about Courtney being my lawyer? I could never betray her, and I made sure she always knew that. I wished I could just get into contact with her, someway, somehow. But no way Courtney was gonna let that happen. All Gwen could do was just sit there and wonder. Again, I swear sometimes…

The judge began to speak again. "We are here today for the trial of Duncan Matthews on the counts of escaping his juvenile detention center. The prosecution will now make their opening remarks."

The lawyer on the opposite end of the room stood. He was a lawyer in every sense of the word. He was rocking a briefcase. His suit was so pressed I'm amazed he could even move. Hell, this guy had more product in his hair than I did! After probably a minute of opening the briefcase, searching the twenty pockets inside, straightening his papers, slicking his hair back, straightening his papers again, and of course, the throat clearing, he finally began.

"Your honor," he began. "This case against Duncan Matthews is about as clear as a case can be. There were multiple witnesses at the scene. The act was caught on tape. He explained his motives while on the tape. Furthermore, he has confirmed these motives multiple times, both on and off camera. There was even a contract, signed by Matthews, that clearly stated that he escaped from his detention center and that any further infractions of the law would send him back to that very location. Such an instance never occurred, but the contract does serve as a written confession to his offense. The evidence in place here is clear as day. Duncan Matthews broke the law and never served his full punishment. Now he will."

With that he sat down with a smug look on his face. The dude next to him (the warden, I guess) had a similar look on his face. Then again, so did Courtney. Ugh. This is why I hate the legal world. Everyone feels so entitled.

The judge recognized the opening statements and turned to Courtney. "The prosecution has made their opening remarks. It is now the defense's turn to do so. When you're ready."

Courtney put on a plastered smile. "As always, your honor."

Again. Ugh.

After the minute with the briefcase, the pockets, the papers, the hair, the papers again, and the all-important throat clearing, she began.

"We, the defense, cannot argue against the evidence that my client, Duncan Matthews, escaped from his juvenile detention center. The witnesses, the tapes, the confessions. They all serve as sufficient evidence. What we can argue, and what we will argue, are the circumstances, and how my client's situation is applicable. Had he simply broken out of the center in the face of the law, then yes, my client would be guilty. But as we'll display, the circumstances are far, far more complex than just that. Thank you."

She sat down, the judge acknowledged her remarks, and the trail got underway from there. I didn't really pay attention, because it was just Courtney and that other dude going back and forth for the most part (I did hear at least six "I objects!" from the both of them.) I was never called to the stand because the evidence against me was sufficient (no shit) and most of the trial was boiling down to the contract.

Most of the reporters had stopped flashing their cameras. They seemed bored. They were all playing with their phones or their Kindles or something. I guess this being a human interest story - yours truly being the interest - they felt no one cared enough to actually listen to the whole trial. But hey, I was fine with that. Anything to get those stupid cameras out of my face.

I'm not gonna lie, I spent most of my time thinking about Gwen. Specifically, how on earth I could get into contact with her. Courtney had hidden my cell phone (shocker) and from the looks of it she didn't have landline. The laptop was obviously off limits. Writing a letter would involve me sneaking out of the apartment to mail it, and considering the amount of times she woke up when her PDA vibrated, that was out of the equation. As was my personal favorite, seeing Gwen personally. Having a heart to heart talk with her. Telling her just how very sorry I was…

I was finally brought back to reality by the sound of cameras flashing. Looking up, it seemed to be around four or five (again, I had no means of telling the time.) Someone who looked like a witness or an expert was just exiting the stand, and the judge looked ready to speak. After a few bangs of the hammer for good measure, he addressed the room.

"The matter has been discussed at length, and the jury feels they have heard enough to make a decision. After your closing remarks, they will go the back room and decide the final verdict. We will start with the prosecution."

The lawyer stood up. He seemed much less confident than before. He almost seemed afraid. Courtney was shooting daggers at the guy from across the room. Despite the fact he was prosecuting against me, I felt kinda bad for the dude. Courtney probably tore the poor guy up.

Once again, he went through the while routine before finally beginning his closing remarks.

"Your Honor, for all intents and purpose, the issue here is whether Mr. Matthews' audition tape can be considered as a part of the Total Drama series and thus his actions exempted from the full punishment of law. Yes, the tape did air as a part of a recap episode. But the tape itself was not a part of the show's production. You must factor the thousands of audition tapes that were sent in for people who didn't make the cut. Those were of their own production, not the shows. The tape is that of Duncan Matthews and Duncan Matthews alone. His actions took place outside of the protection of the Total Drama series, and therefore, he must be held accountable and punished accordingly. Thank you."

He sat down, still looking a bit nervous. Courtney looked like she was exercising all the restraint she had.

"And now, for the defense's final remarks." the judge said, motioning to Courtney. "When you're ready."

I don't think I have to tell you that, once again, she did the whole routine.

"Your Honor, it has been discussed at length that as part of the process of being accepted to Total Drama Island was subjugating their tape into the production team's hands. They countered that since Mr. Matthews made the entire tape himself that the point is irrelevant, but we have clearly shown that it is not. The tape was made specifically for the purpose that he get on the Total Drama series, so it is implied that any tape made for such a circumstance has its rights turned over to the series, especially when considering he never officially claimed the tape to be his own. It is clear the artistic license of the production team overrides any initial ownership - which I reiterate was never official - of said tape. Any laws Mr. Matthews may have broken are protected by the show's rights, and therefore my client must be exonerated. Thank you."

She concluded with a smug look on her face, and then took a seat next to me.

"I know you were at least somewhat impressed by that." she whispered in my ear.

"I wasn't paying attention to most of it," I retorted. "All I picked up were a lot of big words."

"Ugh! You're a Neanderthal!"

"Who you can't seem to get over."

The judge interrupted our little exchange. "Both sides have made their closing remarks. The jury will now step outside and come to a verdict."

I don't know how long the jury was out there, but it didn't seem like very long. The room was silent except for the sounds of, you guessed it, cameras flashing. God, they wouldn't shut up! How many pictures do you need of the same damn thing? I got in a bit of trouble, so what? Everyone had probably found out on the Internet anyway.

The jury stepped back into the room, and they sent a middle-aged balding man to read off the verdict.

"We, the jury, find the defendant, Duncan Matthews, not guilty of any charges."

The room exploded after that. Everybody seemed to be talking at once, but I heard a few people saying they'd run a story about the ineptitude of our jury system and how too many crooks like me were avoiding jail time. I even heard a comparison or two the OJ trial. Jeez, I guess the general public can never get enough of this crap.

Courtney and I had at least fifty cameras shoved into our faces as we exited the courtroom. Unsurprisingly, most of the questions were just bullshit.

"How do you feel about being let off the hook this easy?"

"Do you plan on continuing to use such loopholes to avoid consequences?"

"Does your getting off on a technicality make you worried about your other impending criminal trials?"

I know. Such a lovely picture they were painting of me. If I wasn't in the predicament I was in, I would have no issues socking these clowns in the face.

"My client has no comment." Courtney intervened once again.

"But what about-"


The reporters pretty much let us be after that outburst. We made it to Courtney's car without further incident. (Except for those stupid fucking cameras...)

Once we departed from the swamp of reporters, Courtney turned to me. "Ok, our first trial is down, and the next one is in two weeks time. Do you have any questions?"

"Yeah. Can I see Gwen now?"

"No, you cannot! It's Section 1, Paragraph 1 of our new relationship contract. When we are in a romantic relationship, you are forbidden, in any circumstance, from seeing Gwen!"

"It was worth a shot, I guess."

I sighed. It was going to be a long two weeks.

"What are we gonna be doing in that time anyway?" I finally asked.

She gave me a toothy grin. "That, Dunky, is a matter we shall discuss as soon as we get home."

I was starting to have a really bad feeling about said discussion.

Lol... lawyers. Again, my knowledge of our legal system is pretty basic, and I have no idea if anything here would actually be accurate. I hope it is, but feel free to point it out if it isn't. I want this story to be as accurate as possible. Again, I apologize for the long wait, and while I make absolutley no promises, I hope that I can get another chapter or two up during holiday break. As always, suggestions are always welcomed, and please review!