Amy’s hands are trembling. She doesn’t know why, she’s done this before, she’s done this a thousand times, but for some reason she can’t control her nerves. Maybe it’s Judge Norton’s flat stare, her painted on lips and eyebrows, her gravelly voice. She’s never had to testify in her courtroom before, and Boyle’s cheerful, “Good luck, you’ll need it!” as she left the station hadn’t helped matters at all.
She starts to drum her fingernails, bitten back to the quick, on her trouser leg as she waits to be called. She wants to glance at the clock again, but she’s already done that an embarrassing number of times.
The bench moves a little, and before she can react, Jake is sliding in next to her. “Heey, Santiago.”
“What are you doing here?” she whispers at him. “Did you have to testify today, too?”
“Nope!” he tells her with a goofy grin. “And thank god, I had to testify in front of Nana Norton once and…” He shudders dramatically. “I’m just here for moral support.”
“‘Cause you’re gonna need it. Whoo, man, she’s brutal.”
Amy nudges him. “Some moral support!”
He grins. “That’s what partners are for, right?” But then he slips his palm into her trembling one. It’s so warm and comforting, and the opposite of what she expects that she just lets her palm stay there, limp in his enclosing fingers.
“Right,” she says, quietly. Too quietly.
"You’re going to be fine.” As he speaks, he traces gentle circles with his thumb. “She’s a bit scary, but she’s fair. You followed procedure and filed all the correct paperwork.”
“I always do.”
“You see there? Be that certain and Ol’ Norton will have nothing to find fault with.”
She nods. And he stays there, holding her hand quite literally, all the way until the bailiff comes to get her.