INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
ANDREW MARSH lies on his back in bed. He is a frail-looking
man in his early sixties, with thinning gray hair. On top of
him is a much younger WOMAN. Although her back is to us, we
catch flashes of her face for a moment as she turns from side
to side. We see enough to know that this is a beautiful woman.
She moves wildly, grinding her hips into him, her head arched
back, her hands rubbing lightly over her breasts. She reaches
down, grabbing his hips and jerks them upwards, forcing him
deeper inside her. They move together — faster — and faster.
The CAMERA slowly begins to PULL BACK. As it does we see what
we are watching is on a TELEVISION.
Further back still. We see TWO UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS
standing before the television watching the act.
The CAMERA begins to pan around the room. Rain streaks down
the windows of the room — LIGHTNING flashes outside. A VIDEO
CAMERA is set up on a tripod. More PLAIN CLOTHES POLICE,
looking, dusting, talking.
We continue to PAN. We can now see it is the same room on the
tape. ON the bed lies the naked body of ANDREW MARSH, a sheet
covering his lower torso. His face is ashen, mouth open, his
dull eyes looking out in a fixed stare. The last instant of
his life is etched upon a face frozen in pain.
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – NIGHT
LIGHTNING fills the night sky. THUNDER BOOMS overhead. The
wind whips the RAIN furiously against anything in its path.
The CAMERA moves slowly along rows of beautiful HOMES. At the
end is a cul-de-sac. Several POLICE CARS are in the driveway,
their RED LIGHTS FLASHING.
A four-door SEDAN pulls into the driveway. JOHN CARDENAS steps
out into the rain. He is a handsome Latin in his thirties,
with hard, chiseled features and black, slicked-backed hair.
He does not run through the rain — he walks.
DETECTIVE REESE, a man who looks more like an accountant than a
homicide detective runs out to meet him.
Is it Marsh?
Just a hint of sadness shows on Cardenas’ face. It lasts an
instant, then it’s gone.
Sir, do you mind if we get out of the
Cardenas doesn’t move. He ignores the question.
Who found him?
His Secretary. Joanne Braslow.
She was here?
No. She stopped by to pick up some
Reese starts for the house. Cardenas looks up into the night
sky. A FLASH of LIGHTNING fills the SCREEN.
INT. HOUSE, BEDROOM – CLOSE ON CAMERA – NIGHT
Pull back to reveal a POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER snapping pictures of
Marsh in bed.
Cardenas enters followed by Reese. He moves through the
FORENSIC and MEDICAL TEAMS. Anything Cardenas feels about the
gruesome sight before him is hidden behind a mask of
Standing by the bed is ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ROGER
TROXELL, a short, baby-faced man. Cardenas looks down at the
body, then over at the MEDICAL EXAMINER, DR. HENRY McCURDY, a
portly man with windblown cheeks and bloodshot eyes.
About three hours.
Not sure. I’ll have everything you
Take a look at this.
Reese points to the nightstand drawer and Troxell opens it. On
top of the nightstand is a box of tissues and a bottle of nasal
spray. Inside are ROPES, HANDCUFFS and an assortment of SEXUAL
This guy was into some kinky shit.
Cardenas looks at the various sexual devices, then walks out of
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
JOANNE BRASLOW sits on chair. Her eyes are tired — red from
crying. She is mid thirties — attractive, but her looks come
more from effort than nature — expensive hair cut — the right
cosmetics. She has a corporate look to her.
Cardenas steps into the hall and walks over to her.
Miss Braslow — I’m District Attorney
John Cardenas. You arrived at what
A little after eleven.
Why did you come by?
I had some papers to pick up.
Do you know who Mr. Marsh was with?
I assume his girlfriend.
You wouldn’t know her address, would
No — but I can get it for you.
INT. HALLWAY, CITY HALL BUILDING – DAY
Cardenas walks down the corridor with McCurdy.
Marsh wasn’t alone. We found traces
of sperm on the sheets. The
toxicology report says there were
high levels of cocaine in his blood.
What’d he die of?
The official cause of death was a
The official cause?
That’s what my report will read.
But there’s more?
They reach a door and stop.
It’s speculative at this point.
Marsh had advanced Arterial disease.
His heart attack was induced by
excessive aerobic activity — in
conjunction with the drug.
McCurdy enters the room. Cardenas thinks for a moment, then
INT. CARDENAS’ OFFICE – DAY
Spacious and sparsely furnished. The walls are empty. No
commendations, plaques or photographs to add prestige to the
office. Cardenas steps into the room and looks at McCurdy who
is already seated next to Reese and Troxell.
What are you saying, Henry? That his
girlfriend fucked him to death?
A trace of a grin shows on Cardenas’ face. He walks over to
the window and stares outside. Reese, Troxell and McCurdy wait
as he thinks. A beat. Cardenas turns back to the room.
What can we prove?
We know Marsh had a head cold. We
found cocaine mixed with water in a
nasal spray container on the
nightstand. The coke would contract
the nasal membrane the same as any
decongestant, but for a much shorter
time. He’d keep using more and more
— never knowing what he was taking.
Any prints on the nasal spray?
Marsh’s and Rebecca Lawson’s.
What if he did know what was in it?
A lot of users put it in nasal spray
bottles so they can use it in public.
Cocaine is the last thing a man in
his condition would want.
Can we put Rebecca Lawson at the
A man across the street from Marsh
saw her drive up about four thirty
Sunday afternoon. And her prints are
all over the place.
Cardenas stands and walks to a DART BOARD on the wall. He
gathers the DARTS, moves back and tosses one.
Marsh’s Cardiologist told me that
after Marsh was diagnosed with heart
disease he quit smoking, quit
drinking and started exercising every
day. Does that sound like a guy
who’d start shoveling cocaine up his
What did he say about Miss Lawson?
He can remember at least one occasion
— and the receptionist can recall
two times when she accompanied Marsh
to the office.
Cardenas throws another dart at the board.
So she knew about his heart?
Had to. I also interviewed three
women who were in past relationships
with Marsh. There’s no evidence that
he had anything but straight sex
prior to meeting Miss Lawson.
What about the will?
That’s the best part. She gets it
all — everything.
EXT. CEMETERY – MORNING
Gray clouds hang over head. A light drizzle falls. A GROUP of
MOURNERS hold umbrellas as they stand around the grave.
In the b.g. the PRESS is visible, held back my private SECURITY
A WOMAN dressed in BLACK stands in the front of the MOUNERS,
her face hidden behind a hat and veil. RAYMOND SATTLER, a
tall, distinguished-looking man in his sixties stands beside
her. He supports his weight with the aid of a CANE. The
service concludes. Sattler along with several other PEOPLE
offer her their condolences. Joanne Braslow is there. She
does not go over to Rebecca.
CARDENAS AND REESE stand off to the side by a large oak tree.
Cardenas watches and waits. He steps forward as Sattler leads
the woman by.
The Woman stops. Her back is to Cardenas.
I’m District Attorney, John Cardenas.
REBECCA LAWSON removes her hat and veil and slowly turns
around. She is in her late twenties. A deep pain fills her
face — controlled, but evident. Her eyes are tired — heavy
from crying — but no tears show now. This is a woman whose
grief is private and not displayed for others. Although
emotionally drained she is still stunningly beautiful. So
beautiful that even Cardenas’ usually cool demeanor cannot hide
how impressed he is.
I don’t think that this is the time,
or the place.
I just wanted to introduce myself and
inform Miss Lawson that there will be
An inquiry into what?
For starters I’d like to know why she
left the house and didn’t report the
Because he wasn’t dead when she left,
and even if he was, not reporting a
natural death in a timely fashion
isn’t a crime.
Did I say it was a natural death?
Cardenas and Rebecca lock eyes. Rebecca stares at him
genuinely shocked by his accusation. Cardenas nods and walks
away. In the b.g. we see Joanne staring at Rebecca with
INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Large and homey. A fire roars in the fireplace. FRANK DULANEY
sits on his couch as he goes over some PAPERWORK. He is mid-
thirties, powerful, self-assured.
SHARON DULANEY enters. She is an attractive woman in her early
thirties. She kisses him on the cheek then pushes his
PAPERWORK aside and sits down on his lap.
You’re on vacation, remember? You’re
supposed to be relaxing.
I am relaxing.
(pushing the papers
This is not relaxing.
And I suppose you’re going to show me
how to relax?
If you want me to.
I’m always open to learning new
She kisses him — soft, gentle kisses. Dulaney puts his arms
around her and kisses her harder.
I’m beginning to see what you mean.
Why don’t we go upstairs and work on
the advanced course?
I can’t. I’ve got to finish a
counter offer on the Bergman
The moment is passing by. A trace of frustration shows on
Dulaney’s face — this is obviously not a new occurrence.
Can’t it wait?
No — it has to be done by tomorrow.
The moment is gone. Dulaney forces an understanding smile. He
looks towards the door and sees his EIGHT YEAR OLD SON,
Hey, Slugger. Ready for bed?
Michael walks over to this parents.
The PHONE RINGS. Dulaney answers it.
Hello?… Hi Raymond…. What?…
Well, I was sort of planning on…
Alright… Okay, goodbye.
(hangs up; to Sharon)
That was Sattler. He thinks the
D.A.’s going to file on Rebecca
Lawson. He wants me in the office
We’re supposed to go to the lake.
I know. What can I do? He is the
He could let you have your vacation.
Dad — is it true what they’re saying
about that Miss Lawson Lady?
What are they saying?
The kids at school say she humped Mr.
Marsh to death.
Hey, you know better than that. What
did I teach you to say when someone
is accused of doing something?
She allegedly humped him to death?
Dulaney grins. Sharon is fighting the temptation to laugh.
I swear — the both of you.
Some example you set.
Some example you set.
He makes a funny face at Michael who LAUGHS and makes one back.
Dulaney grabs him and starts TICKLING him. Michael SCREAMS
with LAUGHTER as he tries to tickle him back. Dulaney then
starts TICKLING SHARON — Michael helps him. Sharon ROARS with
LAUGHTER and falls to the floor. The three of them roll around
INT. SATTLER’S OFFICE – MORNING
Sattler sits on a couch sipping a cup of coffee. Dulaney sits
across from him.
Andrew Marsh was a very wealthy man.
A trial like this is going to put
Cardenas in the spot-light.
We’ve already got press arriving from
over the country and she hasn’t even
been charged yet.
Cardenas wants to see her in his
office tomorrow at ten. I’d like you
to go with her.
I’m supposed to be on vacation.
I know — but she wants you to
represent her if Cardenas files.
Because I told her you were the best
criminal attorney we have.
Raymond, I’m the only criminal
attorney you have.
Well, I guess that makes you the
Look, Frank — she stands to inherit
three million dollars. As executors
of the estate and her attorneys that
could generate a lot of legal fees
for us. All I’m asking you to do is
talk to her.
Dulaney thinks about it for a moment.
Alright, I’ll talk to her
She’s waiting in the conference room.
Dulaney stands and walks towards the door.
You know, I knew Andrew Marsh for
almost twenty years — or thought I
did. What do you think would make a
man in his condition do the things he
Dulaney stops at the door and looks back.
I think the question is: What is it
about her that made him want to do
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
Rebecca is seated at the end of the conference table smoking a
CIGARETTE. Sunlight flows through a window and highlights her
hair. She is dressed in a fashionable business suit that
clings to every curve of her body.
Dulaney enters the room. When he sees her he can’t help but
stare. Rebecca notes his gaze.
Miss Lawson, I’m Frank Dulaney.
She raises the cigarette to her lips. Dulaney notices despite
her outward composure her hand is shaking.
Are you going to represent me?
There are no charges against you. I’m
here to decide if I’m going to
represent you should that occur.
Did you kill him?
Rebecca appears hurt by the question.
You don’t waste any time, do you?
Dulaney doesn’t answer. He studies her — his eyes probing
Do you think I did it?
I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking
You must have some feeling. Some
immediate impression. A young,
attractive woman, involved with an
older man who leaves her everything
in his will. And the things that
went on in that house. Such wild
sex. What kind of picture does that
Not a very good one I’m afraid.
And that’s exactly what the jury will
see when they look at me. That’s why
I need a very good lawyer, Mr.
You’re assuming the District Attorney
is going to file charges.
Rebecca’s anxiety begins to surface. She feigns a weak smile.
He’ll file. He’s an ambitious man.
Ambitious men build their careers on
the bodies of others.
You still haven’t answered my
She takes a long drag of her cigarette before answering. She
looks at Dulaney. Displaying emotions is not something that
comes easily. Tears well up in her eyes.
I loved him. A big part of my life
has been torn away from me, Mr.
Dulaney. A part I can never get back
— and on top of that people are
saying that I am somehow responsible
for it. They’ve taken everything
that is good and caring about two
people in love and made it dirty.
A single tear streams down her check. She knows what he wants
to hear her say — and she resents having to say it.
No — I didn’t kill him.
INT. HALLWAY, D.A.’S OFFICE – DAY
Cardenas walks down the hall, sipping a cup of coffee. Troxell
walks towards him excitedly. They walk together.
I think I’m going to make your day.
Troxell points to an Office. Through the glass partition we
can see a MAN sitting at a table. ALAN PALEY is a well-groomed
man in his thirties who makes every effort to look good.
I’ve got this guy in my office.
Doctor Alan Paley. Wait until you
hear what he has to say.
Cardenas and Troxell enters the room. Cardenas shakes hands
with Paley and listens with great interest as he starts to
INT. DULANEY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney and Sharon are in bed. Dulaney reads some PAPERS.
Sharon finishes reading her MAGAZINE. She puts it on the
nightstand and looks at Dulaney.
How can Cardenas possibly think he
can build a case against two
He must have something or he wouldn’t
be pressing so hard.
If he files are you going to take the
I don’t know yet. I want to hear
what she says at her statement
What’s she like?
Attractive. Bright. Distant.
Charming when she wants to be.
Dulaney’s description seems to bother her.
She sounds like quite a woman.
Yeah — but can she cook?
Sharon hits him on the arm playfully.
The whole thing gives me the creeps.
I mean — what if she really humped
him to death?
Dulaney grins at her choice of words.
I can think of worse ways to go–
Dulaney rolls over, gathering her up in his arms.
–and speaking of humping.
He reaches over to the nightstand and turns off the LIGHTS.
EXT. CITY HALL BUILDING MORNING
As Dulaney and Rebecca walks up the steps they are engulfed by
a CROWD of REPORTERS. Dulaney puts his arm around Rebecca and
ushers her through the crowd.
INT. CARDENAS’ OFFICE – MORNING
Dulaney and Rebecca sit on one side of a table. Reese stands.
Cardenas sits at his desk.
I didn’t know that Andrew was dead
until Mr. Sattler called me at home
We have a witness who saw you go into
the house at four thirty.
She’s not denying she was there.
Did you have sex?
What time did you leave?
Six thirty — and he was very much
Miss Lawson, do you use cocaine?
Did you use it the night Marsh died?
No. I haven’t done it in years.
Did Marsh use it?
No — never.
It had to get there somehow.
It didn’t get there from me.
Were you aware of Mr. Marsh’s heart
Mr. Marsh’s Cardiologist and his
nurse have told us that you
accompanied Mr. Marsh to their office
on at least two occasions.
That’s correct — but Andrew never
told me he had a heart condition. He
said he had a heart arrhythmia and it
was nothing serious.
He never mentioned his heart disease?
She just said that.
Why do you think he lied to you?
That’s something only Marsh would
I think Miss Lawson knew it too. I
think she slipped him the coke and he
popped his cork giving her the high-
Dulaney’s anger shows. He stands.
That’s it. My client doesn’t have to
take this crap from you.
Sit down, Frank.
No. Miss Lawson came in here
voluntarily to answer your questions.
She doesn’t have to sit here and be
insulted. So, either you charge her
now or we’re leaving.
A beat. Dulaney and Cardenas lock eyes. Cardenas shrugs his
Dulaney motions for Rebecca to get up. She stands and they
walk to the door. Reese looks at Cardenas. Cardenas nods.
Rebecca Lawson, you’re under arrest
for the murder of Andrew Marsh.
Rebecca is stunned — frightened. She looks at Dulaney in
disbelief. Dulaney looks at Cardenas angrily. Reese removes
his handcuffs as he moves towards Rebecca.
You have the right to remain silent.
If you give up–
I don’t think the handcuffs will be
necessary. You can finish giving
Miss Lawson her rights outside.
Reese grabs Rebecca by the arm and leads her to the door. She
looks back at Frank, her face filled with fear — her eyes
welling with tears.
I’ll have you out in a few hours.
Reese ushers her through the door. A beat. Dulaney and
Cardenas are left alone. Cardenas starts fishing through a can
of NUTS, carefully extracting the cashews. Dulaney continues
Lookin’ to make the papers, John?
Marsh left her close to three million
dollars in his will. That’s motive.
She admits to being there the night
of his death. That’s opportunity —
and her fingerprints are on the nasal
You can’t show intent.
Cardenas looks at Dulaney wryly. He knows that Dulaney is
trying to discover his game plan. Cardenas looks into his can
of nuts and fishes for another cashew.
Take your pole out of the water,
Frank. The fish ain’t biting today.
You’re bluffing. John, it’s me,
remember? I’ve known you since your
name was Juan Carlos.
Cardenas doesn’t appreciate Dulaney mentioning his real name.
C’mon — think about it. If she was
going to kill Marsh why leave the
nasal spray bottle there for the
police to find?
She planned this. She wanted us to
find the nasal spray.
Why would she want that?
Because she’s clever. Because she
knows that even if we didn’t find it
we’d have suspicions as to why a man
in Marsh’s condition would use
Suspicions maybe — but suspicions
aren’t enough for a conviction.
The M.E.’s report stated that Marsh’s
nasal membranes showed no sign of
prior cocaine use. Without the nasal
spray we would have still treated it
as a poisoning. We would have looked
for motive and the trail would have
still led back to her.
I don’t buy it and neither will a
We’re going all the way on this one,
Frank. Tell your client she has
until the prelim to cop a plea for
murder two — fifteen to twenty five.
I’ll tell her but she won’t take it.
Then she’s not as smart as I thought
she was. You’ve seen her in the
depositions. Tell me you don’t have
Aren’t they all?
Yeah. Well — we’ll let the
blindfolded lady with the scales
Dulaney gets up slowly and leaves.
INT. CITY JAIL, BOOKING COUNTER – AFTERNOON
Dulaney waits at the counter. A barred door slides open and
Rebecca is led out by a WOMAN JAILER. Even in these
surroundings she maintains her composure. She walks to the
counter and waits silently.
EXT. CITY HALL BUILDING – AFTERNOON
As Dulaney and Rebecca leave they are once again encircled by
REPORTERS, screaming questions, asking them to verify Rebecca’s
arrest. Dulaney plows through the crowd with Rebecca in tow.
EXT. RIVER – AFTERNOON
Gray clouds hang overhead, threatening rain. Tall birch trees
line the river, the color of their leaves hinting that autumn
is approaching. Dulaney and Rebecca walk along a jogging path
cut along the bank.
I want you to know right now that the
trial’s going to be nasty. Your sex
life is going to be dragged through
the mud. They’re going to say that
you enticed Marsh — led him down a
Andrew hardly needed leading. He was
a very passionate man. He was eager
to explore. I gave him what he
wanted. We fulfilled each others
This is a very small town — people
here have very straight views on sex.
I’m used to being on the outside
looking in. The same men who will
publicly profess their moral outrage
for my sexual tastes are the same
ones who privately rest their sweaty
little hands on my legs and talk
about weekend trips together.
Those same men will be sitting on the
I am who I am. I can’t deny it,
anymore than you can deny who you
are. I like sex different — I like
it wild. That’s not a crime.
I loved Andrew. We made love
together. We made it differently,
but we still made love. It was our
way. It was private — and now the
whole world wants to look in through
the pretense of justice. If I was
some middle-aged divorcee who screwed
him once a week do you think this
would be happening to me?
She stops walking and stares out over the River.
Have you ever seen animals make love,
Mr. Dulaney? They have such passion
— such savage emotion. They
struggle, and snarl, and claw, but
neither hurts the other. Not really.
No pain, no gain?
Something like that.
We’re not animals.
As Rebecca speaks, Dulaney seems captivated.
Of course we are. Our primal urges
are still there — but we’ve taken
sex and intellectualized it, refined
it down to its most essential
components. It’s bland, easy,
mechanical. There’s great passion in
the struggle — such craving in
denial. Do you know what it’s like
to yearn for something? I’m not
talking about wanting, or needing.
I’m talking about an urge so deep
that your skin burns and every cell
in your body pulses with desire?
Dulaney appears moved by the passion of her words — but he’s
uncomfortable by it and quickly pushes it aside.
I think we’re getting a little off
the subject here.
I thought the subject was sex?
As it pertains to you — not me.
Did you always know you had
I don’t know if it’s something I can
explain to you.
Because — it’s beyond intellect.
It’s emotion. It’s passion. It has
to be experienced — it can’t be
Rebecca thinks for a moment.
When I was growing up we had a
strawberry patch in our backyard. So
did this family down the road. I
used to sneak in their yard and steal
their strawberries. It wasn’t easy.
The stone walls were high and I’d
scrape my knees as I climbed over.
On the other side were wild rose
bushes. The thorns would dig into my
legs and cut my thighs as I lowered
If you had what you wanted at home
why did you sneak into their yard?
Because — somehow the fruit always
tasted that much sweeter because of
the pain it took to get to it.
Dulaney appears lost in her words. This isn’t lost on Rebecca.
She walks off. Dulaney stares after her intrigued.
INT. DULANEY’S HOUSE, DINING ROOM – EVENING
A light rain falls outside. Dulaney picks at his food. He
stares out the window. He seems oblivious to the conversation
between Sharon and Michael.
Albert’s got the stomach flu.
That’s too bad.
No, it’s not. Now I get to pitch.
Michael, you shouldn’t be happy when
someone else isn’t feeling well.
Not even if they’re a dork?
Not even if they’re a dork. You
should go by and see how he’s
No way. Jerry Milner stopped by and
Albert puked right in front of him.
Sharon tries to suppress a grin.
Don’t use language like that at the
Sharon looks at Dulaney. He is still staring out the window,
deep in thought.
INT. DEN – EVENING
Dulaney is at his desk, looking at PHOTOGRAPHS of Marsh and the
bedroom. Sharon enters.
Frank — I know you’re busy, but
Michael asked me after dinner if you
were angry with him. He wanted to
know why you weren’t talking to him.
I’ll talk to him later.
Why don’t you talk to him now?
Because I go to trial in seven weeks.
I’ve got a lot of preparing to do.
No one’s asking you not to work. I
just think you could make some time
for your son.
INT. MICHAEL’S BEDROOM – EVENING
Michael lies on his bed, doing his homework. The door opens
and Dulaney enters and sits beside him.
I’m sorry if it looks like I’m not
paying attention to you lately.
Michael looks at Dulaney somewhat confused. Dulaney tries to
explain it another way.
You know how it is sometimes when
you’re out playing ball with your
friends? How you’re really
concentrating on what you’re doing —
and you lose track of time and you
come home late and Mom yells at you?
Well, that’s kind of how I am right
Is Mom yelling at you too?
Yeah — a little.
Dulaney leans over and hugs Michael.
I love you.
I love you too, Dad.
INT. DULANEY’S OFFICE – MORNING
CHARLIE BIGGS is a tall, wiry black man. Street-wise, but
basically good humored. He is tossing a NERF BALL through a
basketball hoop mounted on the wall as Dulaney enters.
How you doin’ Mister D?
Fine, Charlie. You familiar with the
Yeah — I hear they had ‘em a real
dog and pony show going on up there –
– I’ll tell you, sometimes white
people are a real puzzle to me. I
mean, did this old guy really think
he was gonna be able to keep up with
a sweet little number like that?
It could’ve happened to anyone.
I’m sorry, man — but I ain’t ever
heard of no brother dying from
gettin’ too much pussy.
Dulaney grins in spite of himself.
We have to find out who else would
profit from Marsh’s death — and who
knew enough about his personal life
to know that putting cocaine in the
nasal spray would be fatal.
So — where do we start?
I want you to hit all the dealers in
town. Give them a list of people
close to Marsh and see if any of them
use. Then I want you to check out a
Doctor Alan Paley. He lives up in
Dulaney’s SECRETARY’S VOICE crackles over the intercom.
Mister Dulaney, I have Rebecca Lawson
Dulaney picks up the phone.
(on the phone)
Hi… No, I don’t… One o’clock is
fine… Alright La Brasa… Bye.
Dulaney hangs up. Biggs is staring at him with a grin.
I’m taking a client to lunch. Where
should I go, Taco Bell?
Biggs tosses the ball to Dulaney, then raises his hands
indicating he is backing off. He leaves. Dulaney shoots from
his desk. SWOOSH!
INT. RESTAURANT – DAY
Dimly lit. Dark wood and leather. Dulaney sits at a table
with Rebecca. She removes a CIGARETTE and holds it, waiting
for Dulaney to light it. Dulaney fumbles through his pockets
and removes a book of MATCHES. He lights one. Rebecca doesn’t
lean forward to meet him. He must go to her. She looks into
his eyes as she cups her hand over his. A beat. She lights
the cigarette and takes a drag, then arches her neck back and
blows a stream of smoke towards the ceiling. SHE DOES NOT BLOW
OUT THE MATCH OR REMOVE HER HAND FROM DULANEY’S. She watches
him as it burns down towards his fingers. After a long moment
she leans in and sensually blows out the match and releases his
How’d you meet Marsh?
I was at a cocktail party. Very
trendy. Andrew was in Chicago on
business. He had broken his wrist
the week before and was wearing it in
a sling. He looked so helpless.
A FOURSOME a few tables away are staring at her. Rebecca sees
— And then?
We started talking. In fact, we
talked until four in the morning. We
discovered we shared a lot of the
same interests. After that we were
together all the time until he left.
He used to call me every night after
he came back. Then after a few weeks
he invited me to come visit him.
I’ve never left.
Why didn’t you live together?
Andrew was worried about how it would
A COUPLE in a booth are looking at Rebecca and whispering.
Rebecca and Dulaney notice them.
Can we get out of here?
Sure. Where to?
Rebecca stands up. She doesn’t answer. She just walks off.
EXT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – AFTERNOON
Dulaney pulls up in his car behind Rebecca’s. They get out.
Dulaney follows her as she walks to the door.
This is your house.
(walking towards the
I don’t think this is a good idea.
Rebecca stops and turns towards him.
Because, I’m your attorney. I
shouldn’t be going to your house.
Is it against the law?
No — it just doesn’t look right.
Rebecca stares at him for a moment, then looks down the street
to her left and back to her right, then back at Dulaney.
No one’s looking.
She walks to her front door and opens it. She enters, leaving
the door open. Dulaney waits for a moment, then follows.
INT. REBECCA’S, LIVING ROOM – AFTERNOON
Dulaney enters. Rebecca is standing in the middle of the room.
Her back is to Dulaney, but she knows he is there. Dulaney
looks around the room. He stares at a group of PHOTOGRAPHS on
the wall. On the other WALL is a GIANT TELEVISION SCREEN.
DULANEY’S POV – OF THE WALL
filled with EROTIC PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS — sensual but not
Rebecca walks over and stands very close to him as he studies
What do you think?
I think the photographer’s probably a
I’m the photographer.
Oh — Well, they’re different.
That’s not an answer.
It’s not my taste.
Tastes can change.
Rebecca looks up to the top of a high cabinet. Sitting on top
of the cabinet is a WHITE PERSIAN CAT.
There you are.
She stands on her tip toes as she reaches up. Dulaney watches
her — the arch of her back — the hem of her skirt rising up
her legs. She lowers the cat down and walks to a chair and
sits down. The slit of her dress opens revealing her thighs.
Dulaney’s eyes trace along them. Rebecca notes his gaze.
What are you thinking?
Dulaney looks up quickly.
Not true. Shall I tell you what you
were thinking? You were wondering if
I was wearing anything under my
The fact that he doesn’t protest confirms that she is right.
She runs her finger lightly along her thighs.
Dulaney walks to the window and stares out. Rebecca seems
amused. She puts the cat down and walks over to him.
Sorry. I wasn’t trying to embarrass
He slowly turns towards her.
Yes you were.
Dulaney stares at her for a moment, then places his briefcase
on the table and opens it.
INT. RESTAURANT – CLOSE ON STRAWBERRIES – NIGHT
A fork digs into a large strawberry. PULL BACK as we follow
the strawberry into Sharon’s mouth.
Dulaney sits across from Sharon. His eyes are on the
strawberries. His mind is someplace else — and it isn’t hard
to guess where.
–he said it might be too expensive
to add another room. He suggested we
might convert the garage into a guest
room. He’s going to check with the
contractor and let me know. I’ll let
you know how much and we can decide.
Dulaney looks up slowly. It is not so much that he has heard
the question — it is more that he is aware that Sharon has
stopped talking. A beat. Sharon isn’t sure he has heard her.
Is that alright, Frank?
Yeah — fine. Excuse me. I’ll be
He stands and leaves the table.
INT. RESTAURANT, HALLWAY – NIGHT
Dulaney walks to a PAY PHONE near the bathrooms. He thinks for
a moment, then dials a number. Rebecca answers.
Hi. It’s Frank.
I just wanted to see if my secretary
called to confirm your appointment
Yes — she did.
Great. I’ll see you at the office at
No — not at the office. I’ve got a
EXT. CABIN, KLAMATH LAKE – AFTERNOON
An old wood cabin set on the shore of the lake. Dulaney and
Rebecca get out of the car and walk towards it.
I figured if we have to talk all day
we might as well do it someplace
(looks at the cabin)
Isn’t it beautiful?
Andrew loved this old cabin.
He always dreamed about moving to
Tahiti — living in a hut and
becoming a beach-bum.
(a sad smile)
I could never imagine myself doing
that — but somehow when he talked
about it, he made it sound so alive –
– so wonderful. Soft ocean breezes
and beautiful sunsets — leaving the
world and it’s problems behind. I
wish he’d had a chance to do it.
Her mind drifts away for a moment, locked on some distant
(snapping out of it)
EXT. LAKE, FURTHER – DUSK
Dulaney and Rebecca walk along the shore. A soft wind blows
through her hair.
Tell me about Doctor Paley?
I hardly know him. He wanted me and
he couldn’t have me.
It’s going to be hard to convince a
jury that he’s testifying against you
in a murder trial because you blew
It won’t be that hard.
She walks off.
EXT. CABIN – DUSK
Dulaney and Rebecca sit on an old porch swing.
Did you always want to be a lawyer?
No — I wanted to be a professional
That seems so far away from who you
are now. What happened?
I broke my ankle skating. That ended
It’s hard to let go of a dream, isn’t
it? To let go of what you want?
Dulaney stares at her — she looks beautiful in the warm light
of the setting sun. Their eyes meet. He starts to lean in
towards her — then stops. He gets up and walks away.
EXT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – EVENING
Rebecca’s car pulls up in front. Dulaney gets out.
I’m going to put the car away. You
can let yourself in. There’s a key
under the flower pot.
Rebecca drives to the rear of the building. Dulaney walks to
the door. He lifts the FLOWER POT — removes a KEY — opens
the door and goes inside.
ANGLE – DOWN THE STREET
Detective Reese is parked in his car, watching the house. He
glances at his watch, then makes a note in his note pad.
INT. REBECCA’S LIVING ROOM – EVENING
Rebecca walks over to the STEREO and turns on the CASSETTE
PLAYER. The room fills with soft, sexy MUSIC. Dulaney stands
in the middle of the room — his eyes following her every move.
Yes — it would be nice.
You and me — making love.
Is that what you think I was
No — that’s what I know you were
Before Dulaney can start to protest she continues. She slowly
walks behind him. Dulaney stares straight ahead.
How often do you make love to your
wife, Frank? Once a week? Sometimes
twice? There once was passion,
wasn’t there? But now it’s bland,
predictable. Tell me, when you do it
— do you always think of her? Or do
you wonder what it would be like to
be with someone else? Someone wild.
Someone who would force you to lose
Her words strip his thoughts bare. He is vulnerable.
There’s nothing wrong in admitting
that you want me, Frank.
You take a lot for granted.
Dulaney starts for the door. Rebecca’s cool exterior fades,
giving way to her vulnerable side.
Please stay, Frank. I don’t want to
be alone. I don’t expect anything
from you — no demands — no
complications. I just need to feel
close to someone.
Dulaney turns back towards her. A beat. He thinks for a
moment, then walks back into the room. Rebecca smiles warmly,
I’ll be back in a minute. Help
yourself to a drink.
She disappears down the hall. Dulaney stands were he is,
wondering what he is doing there. He walks over to the BAR and
pours a SCOTCH. He looks down the hall.
HIS POV – REBECCA’S BEDROOM
The bedroom door is open. The room is DARK — Lit only by the
moon. Rebecca slowly pulls her sweater off over her head.
MOONLIGHT washes over her body, SILHOUETTING her. She runs her
hands lightly over her stomach — working her way up to her
round, full breasts. She stops for a moment — and we sense
she knows Dulaney is watching her.
Dulaney stares at her — mesmerized. He knows he should turn
away, but he cannot control the urge that moves him to look.
One by one Rebecca unsnaps the buttons of her jeans, revealing
her sheer, white panties. She bends forward slightly and
slowly peels the jeans down to her ankles — then steps out of
We can see the desire on Dulaney’s face. He looks away. The
conflict inside him grows. He looks back.
Rebecca walks into the hall. She is barefoot — wearing a
long, slinky dress — her eyes catch Dulaney’s. If she wasn’t
aware he was watching her before — she is now. It doesn’t
seem to bother her. She moves towards him slowly — her eyes
Dulaney moves towards her. They meet in the middle of the
room. She waits — he moves closer — so close that he can
smell her. She cranes her neck back, subtly tempting him to
bring his lips to hers. The longing overcomes him. He kisses
her lightly — the kiss lingers for a moment, then she grabs
him forcefully by the hair, arching his head back. She bites
Dulaney ignores her. He tries to kiss her again. She turns
her head away.
She walks down the hall into the bedroom and closes the door.
Dulaney follows. He tries the door — it’s locked. He starts
to knock — stops — turns and walks back into the living room.
He starts to leave — stops. He looks at the bedroom door.
His passion builds — his hunger for her devours him. He moves
quickly down the hall — eyes filled with determination. He
breaks the door open with his shoulder.
Rebecca is standing in the center of the room — as if waiting
for him. He moves to her. She can see the fire in his eyes.
He takes her in his arms — kisses her neck feverishly —
feeding his craving for her.
He is lost within her now and doesn’t hear her. She pulls his
hair, jerking his head back. Her eyes command him to follow
Something in him snaps — a new door opens. He pushes her back
onto the DRESSING CABINET. He kisses her, running his hand up
her thighs, hiking up her dress. She wraps her legs around his
waist. They move along the cabinet — knocking jars and
bottles to the floor. He lifts her — carries her to the bed –
– lays her down and rips her dress from her body. Their
passion is unleased. They grope and claw for one another
hungrily. She pulls his shirt off and bites him on the
shoulder. His face tenses from the pain, but he MOANS with
INT. DULANEY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Dark. Sharon is asleep. The door opens and Dulaney enters
quietly. He walks towards the bathroom.
INT. DULANEY’S BATHROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney splashes a handful of water across his face. He
unbuttons his shirt and takes it off — wincing as he does. He
turns his back to the mirror. Several deep FINGERNAIL SCRAPES
are dug into his back. He looks at himself in the mirror.
INT. HALLWAY, LAW OFFICES – MORNING
Dulaney and Biggs walk down the hall to a water cooler. Biggs
pours himself a glass.
Before you ask there’s nothing new on
You’ve got to get me something I can
Sattler walks over with another MAN. He ignores Biggs.
Frank — this is Harvey Willows from
the L.A. Times. He’d like to ask you
a few questions.
It’s an incredible story going on
(as if quoting a
Woman accused of using sex to kill
I’ll say — it’s gonna give a whole
new meaning to the state nickname.
Biggs LAUGHS and walks off. Sattler glares at him. Dulaney
What’s the state nickname?
The Beaver State.
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – DAY
Rows of new Town Houses line the street. Dulaney drives up and
walks towards the front door of one of them. He KNOCKS.
JOANNE BRASLOW answers. She stares at Dulaney innocently.
INT. JOANNE’S TOWN HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – DAY
Sparsely decorated. Very trendy. High tech furniture and
designer lights. Joanne sits on the couch — Dulaney on one of
the chairs. There is COFFEE on the table.
I worked for Mr. Marsh for six years.
He was a good man — until she came
He did. Look, I know you can lead a
horse to water but you can’t make him
drink — but you hold a pail of water
in front of an old horse for long
enough — and well…
Joanne stops as emotion fills her. Her eyes well with tears.
You don’t really believe what the
district attorney is saying about
Miss Lawson, do you?
I don’t know. It’s incredible to
think that anyone could be capable of
doing that — but if anyone could it
would be Rebecca.
I take it you don’t like Miss Lawson
I really don’t know her that well.
We would say hello to each other when
I would come to the house, but that
was about it.
If you don’t know her that well what
makes you think she’s capable of
Andrew was a kind and gentle man, but
he was thirty years older than her.
Where’s the attraction to sleep with
someone like that — to have the kind
of sex they had.
How do you know what kind of sex they
I wasn’t lookin’ through the keyhole
if that’s what you’re thinking. I’d
come to house sometimes to pick up
papers or speak to Andrew. I’d find
their little toys all over the place.
Did Mr. Marsh use drugs?
What about Miss Lawson?
Yes — cocaine.
Dulaney is shocked by this.
How do you know that?
I was at the house one morning — I
thought Miss Lawson was upstairs with
Mr. Marsh. When I went into the
guest bathroom she was standing in
front of the mirror pouring this
white powder out of a vial.
Dulaney looks like he’s been kicked in the stomach.
Is something wrong.
A beat. Dulaney looks at her slowly.
What? No — nothing. Thank you for
He gets up and walks to the door. Joanne stands and stares
after him with a trace of a grin.
INT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – DAY
Rebecca opens the front door and Dulaney barges into the room.
You lied to me!
I just left Joanne Braslow. She told
me she saw you doing cocaine at
That’s not good enough, Goddamit!
It isn’t true. You have to believe
No, I don’t have to believe you. The
jury has to believe you and answers
like he’s lying or she’s mistaken
aren’t going to convince them.
I don’t use cocaine anymore. If she
says she saw me doing it she’s lying.
Why would she lie?
I don’t know, Frank — but don’t you
think that’s something we should find
Dulaney is confused, struggling to decide if he believes her.
INT. LAUNDRY ROOM, DULANEY HOUSE – DAY
Sharon is getting a load of washing ready. She picks up one of
Dulaney’s tee shirts and notices several thin stripes of BLOOD
near the shoulder.
INT. DULANEY’S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM – DAY
RAIN falls. Dulaney enters the room to find Michael on the
PHONE. Dulaney appears nervous — anxious.
Michael — get off the phone.
Because I’m expecting a call.
— But it’s Sunday.
I know what day it is! Get off the
(hurt; into phone)
I gotta go. I’ll call you later.
Michael hangs up and leaves the room. Dulaney stares at the
phone — struggling against himself. He picks it up and dials.
This is Rebecca Lawson. I’m not in
right now. So if you please leave a
Dulaney slams down the phone. He checks his watch.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney wears another tee shirt as he sleeps. Sharon is awake,
staring up at the ceiling. A beat. She rolls over and
carefully lifts up Dulaney’s tee shirt. She sees the scratches
on his back. She does not wake him. She just lays there, deep
INT. HALLWAY, COURTHOUSE – MORNING
Rebecca walks down the hall. In the b.g. we see Dulaney
walking quickly to join her.
I called you all weekend. Where were
I went out on the boat.
INT. COURTROOM – MORNING
The gallery is crowded with REPORTERS and SPECTATORS. Dulaney
sits beside Rebecca at the defense table. Cardenas stands
before the jury.
Dulaney and Cardenas are seated at their respective tables.
Rebecca sits beside Dulaney. She is wearing a beautiful, well
tailored dress. She looks beautiful and has surprisingly made
no attempt to down-play her looks.
JUDGE BURNHAM, a confident BLACK MAN in his fifties sits behind
the bench. He is strong-willed — tough but fair. There is a
rough edge to him from his childhood on the streets.
This trial by its very nature is
explosive. The press is going to
have a field day and I will not
tolerate any activity in my courtroom
that will fuel it.
(to Dulaney and
Both of you are going to be delving
into very personal aspects of peoples
lives. I warn you now. When you do
so — if you cannot establish a clear
line of relevancy early on in your
examinations I will stop you. Is
Dulaney and Cardenas both nod.
Cardenas stands and walks towards the JURY.
(points to Rebecca)
You all can see the defendant,
Rebecca Lawson. But as this trial
proceeds you will see that she is not
only the defendant — she is the
murder weapon itself.
(stops and thinks for
Is that possible? Can a person
actually be a weapon? The answer is
yes. If I hit you and you die — I
am the cause of your death. But can
sex be called a weapon? Yes. And
what a deadly weapon Rebecca Lawson
made of it. The State will prove
that Miss Lawson seduced Andrew Marsh
— that she put increasing sexual
demands on him while she secretly
administered cocaine. All the while
knowing that he had a severe heart
She is a beautiful woman — but when
this trial is over you will see her
no differently than a gun, or a knife
or any other instrument used as a
weapon. She is a killer. And the
worst kind — one who disguised
herself as a loving partner.
Cardenas walks back to the prosecution table and sits down.
Dulaney stands up and approaches the jury.
I know what you’re thinking — and
it’s a mistake. You look at Miss
Lawson and you see a beautiful woman
who was involved with an older man —
and you think she looks like the
type. She could’ve done it. And
that’s exactly what the District
Attorney wants you to think. Yes,
she is beautiful. So what? Does
that make her a killer? Of course
not. This case is not about
appearances. It’s about facts.
As Mr. Cardenas presents his case you
will see that there are very few
facts — that the bulk of the States
evidence is circumstantial. I’m
confident that by the conclusion of
this trial you will not just have a
reasonable doubt. You will have no
doubt at all — that Rebecca Lawson
is innocent of the charges against
INT. COURTROOM – LATER – DAY
McCurdy is on the witness stand. Cardenas stands before him.
Doctor McCurdy, what was the cause of
A massive cardiac arrest.
What was Mr. Marsh’s physical
condition prior to his death?
Very poor. He was suffering from
severe arterial disease.
Was the heart attack the result of
What induced it?
We found a high concentration of
cocaine in his blood.
So, Mr. Marsh used cocaine?
I don’t think so. The membrane in
his nasal passage didn’t show any
sign of long time usage.
Then how did it get into his body?
We found a bottle of Dristan nasal
spray on the nightstand. It was
filled with water and cocaine. Mr.
Marsh had a head cold at the time of
his death. I believe he wasn’t aware
that he was ingesting cocaine.
Cardenas holds up a bottle of NASAL SPRAY in a PLASTIC BAG. He
brings it over to McCurdy.
Is this the bottle that was found on
Your Honor, the State enters this
evidence as exhibit A.
Were any fingerprints found on the
Yes — those of Mr. Marsh and a thumb
print of Miss Lawson’s.
Dr. McCurdy, what would cocaine do to
someone in Mr. Marsh’s condition?
Increase his heart rate.
— And if he were in the midst of
making love while under the influence
It would be an added stress to his
What would be the effect if someone
secretly administered cocaine to Mr.
Marsh and then induced him to make
It would be the same as shooting a
gun at him.
Thank you, Doctor McCurdy.
Rebecca looks at Dulaney for his opinion of McCurdy’s
testimony. Dulaney gives her a reassuring glance before he
stands up and approaches McCurdy.
Can you say with any certainty that
Mr. Marsh didn’t ingest the cocaine
No — but it seems highly unlikely
that a man in his condition would use
That’s your opinion, Doctor — but
I’m asking you if there is any
scientific test that can tell who
actually put the cocaine into the
INT. COURTROOM – LATER – DAY
Cardenas stands before DOCTOR TRAMMEL, a thin, pasty-faced man
in his fifties.
Doctor Trammel, when did you first
diagnose that Mr. Marsh had heart
About a year and half ago.
Did Mr. Marsh change his lifestyle
Yes — he stopped smoking and
drinking and exercised regularly.
He did everything he could to take
care of his heart?
Did Miss Lawson ever accompany Mr.
Marsh to your office?
Just one last question. What does
the sign on your office door say?
Doctor Steven Trammel. Cardiologist.
Cardenas walks back to his seat, signaling his examination of
the witness is over. Dulaney stands.
Dr. Trammel, did you ever speak to
Miss Lawson about Mr. Marsh’s
Did Mr. Marsh ever tell you that he
had spoken to Miss Lawson about his
Did Miss Lawson ever accompany Mr.
Marsh inside during his examinations?
Then you have no way of knowing what
Mr. Marsh told Miss Lawson were the
reasons for his visits?
No. No, I don’t.
INT. COURTROOM – LATER – DAY
Joanne Braslow is on the stand. She is wearing a smart
business suit and large-framed glasses. Her hair is pulled
back tight. Cardenas stands before her.
How long were you Mr Marsh’s personal
Did you ever see Mr. Marsh use
No — never.
What about Miss Lawson?
Tell the court about that, please.
I opened the bathroom door one day
and saw Miss Lawson pouring Cocaine
out of a vial.
Did you see Mr. Marsh the day before
How did he look?
Horrible. He was tired and pale.
Did you talk about Miss Lawson?
What did Mr. Marsh say?
He was worried. He said that she was
acting stranger and stranger. He
said that if this kept up she was
going to kill him. That his heart
couldn’t take it.
There is an audible BUZZ from the crowd. For the first time
Rebecca’s confident exterior seems to fade and is replaced with
Cardenas sits down. Dulaney gets up slowly and walks towards
How do you know it was cocaine that
Miss Lawson had in the bathroom?
What other kind of white powder do
people keep in a vial?
Do you remember the date when you saw
Miss Lawson in the bathroom?
(thinks a moment)
It was on a Friday. I remember
because I was going to visit my
sister for her birthday. It would be
Could you repeat the last part of
what Mr. Marsh said to you the day
before his death?
He said that if it kept up she was
going to kill him. That his heart
couldn’t take it.
Didn’t Mr. Marsh also tell you that
Miss Lawson felt bored here and was
thinking about going back to Chicago
Yes — he mentioned it.
So, the woman he loved passionately
was thinking about leaving. That
must cause tremendous anxiety.
Sleepless nights. Incredible stress.
So, isn’t it possible that he was
confiding in you about the pain he
was feeling about losing what might
be his last chance for love? That
what he really was saying was that
the uncertainty of her leaving was
driving him crazy and if it didn’t
stop it was going to kill him. That
if she did leave his heart couldn’t
THE JURY waits anxiously for her answer.
Joanne fidgets in his chair as she thinks. She appears
I don’t know. I’m not sure.
Well, think about it. Isn’t it
Yes. I suppose it’s possible.
Cardenas leans back in his seat frustrated. Rebecca breathes a
sigh of relief.
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT – LATE AFTERNOON
Quiet and desolate — most of the city employees have left for
the day. Dulaney walks towards the back of the lot with
You were brilliant today.
It’s only the beginning.
Strong endings start with strong
I love the way you twist what people
say around — manipulating their own
words against them.
They reach Rebecca’s car.
Can I see you later?
You can see me now.
Rebecca presses against him, raising her knee gently into his
groin — as she kisses him passionately. Dulaney is lost in
her kiss for a moment, then breaks it off and looks around.
Rebecca smiles — takes off her shoes and stands on the hood of
her car. She takes one of the shoes and hits the PARKING LOT
OVERHEAD LIGHT FIXTURE. The BULB breaks sending the area in
What are you doing?
She steps down and kisses him again. For a moment he tries to
I want you inside me.
His desire fills him. He pushes her back onto the hood of her
car, hiking up her dress with his hands, as she reaches down
and unbuttons his pants.
INT. REBECCA’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
The room is dimly lit. Dulaney is in bed. He appears to be
deep in thought. Rebecca enters wearing a sheer, silk bathrobe
and carrying a tea service on a tray. He places it on the bed
and sits beside him.
Paley could be a problem tomorrow.
I’m sure you’ll be able to handle
I’m glad you have such confidence in
Don’t worry about Paley. He can’t
touch me. No one can. I’ve thought
it all out.
(sits up; very
What does that mean? You’ve been
thinking about the case? Or you
thought everything out before you
The question hurts Rebecca — it shows on her face. She looks
away from him. A beat. Dulaney thinks. He feels bad for
asking such a question.
(she doesn’t look at
Rebecca — I’m sorry. Really.
He takes her hand. She slowly looks at him and smiles. She
points to the tea service.
Sugar or honey?
She lifts a PLASTIC BOTTLE of HONEY and starts to pour it into
a cup. She stops and smiles seductively at Dulaney, then parts
her bathrobe and slowly draws a liquid line with it along her
thigh. She reaches out — grabs him by the hair and gently
pulls him forward. He kisses her knee and slowly runs his
tongue along her thigh, following the trail upwards. She
arches her back — closes her eyes — breathes deeply from the
pleasure of his touch.
INT. DULANEY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Dark. The door opens — light from the hall streaks into the
room. Sharon is asleep. Dulaney enters quietly. He watches
her. He looks over at the nightstand.
A PHOTOGRAPH of Dulaney and Sharon on vacation. Dulaney is
carrying her on a beach. He is wearing a LARGE SOMBRERO. They
are both laughing.
Dulaney looks back at Sharon. He is a man lost within himself.
He walks to the bathroom. Sharon opens her eyes and stares at
INT. COURTROOM – MORNING
Court is in session. Cardenas stands.
The State calls Doctor Alan Paley.
Doctor Paley stands and walks towards the witness stand.
CARDENAS AND PALEY – MOMENTS LATER
Paley has been sworn in. Cardenas examines him.
Where did you meet Miss Lawson?
At a dinner party — about eight
Did you ever see her again after
Yes — several times.
What eventually happened to your
relationship with Miss Lawson?
We stopped seeing each other.
Well — I realized that she wasn’t
interested in me. She was just
trying to get information out of me.
What kind of information?
She said that she was working on a
novel and she wanted to know what
kinds of drugs would be harmful to
someone with a bad heart.
WHISPERS from the crowd fill the room.
Did you suggest any?
Yes — Insulin and others.
What did she say?
She said that those weren’t any good
— because their use would be
detected and the police would know
the victim had been poisoned. She
wanted to know if there was a drug
that would induce a heart attack but
could also be used to enhance a
— And what did you suggest?
More GASPS from the crowd. Rebecca’s remains calm, but her
eyes glare at Paley hatefully.
Cardenas sits down. Dulaney approaches Paley with a smile.
Dr. Paley, where were you the last
time you saw Miss Lawson?
We had dinner at a restaurant.
Isn’t it true that later that night
you tried to force yourself on Miss
Lawson in the parking lot?
You didn’t grab her and try to kiss
If necessary I can bring in the valet
parking attendant and two customers
who witnessed the occurrence.
Paley thinks for a moment. He is nervous.
Well — as I remember it, we had an
And the argument was about the fact
that you wanted to be romantically
involved and she did not.
And after that didn’t you
continuously harass Miss Lawson?
Dulaney walks back to his desk and removes a TAPE PLAYER from a
Your Honor, this is a tape from Miss
Lawson’s answering machine. I would
like to play it now.
Objection. Your Honor, we don’t know
where this tape is from. Who made it
— or under what circumstances it was
Dulaney takes out two pieces of PAPER and approaches the bench.
These are reports from two
independent audio labs. They each
state that the voices were recorded
over the phone and that no
alterations have been made.
Judge Burnham studies the paper.
I’ll allow it.
Dulaney walks back to his desk and presses the PLAY BUTTON. We
HEAR a BEEP, then…
DR. PALEY’S VOICE
Rebecca — I know you’re there,
Godammit. Answer the phone, you
bitch! You can’t treat me like this!
We HEAR a PHONE slam down. Another BEEP.
DR. PALEY’S VOICE
You want to play games with me? Who
the fuck do you think you are? Okay –
– we’ll play. You’ll be sorry.
Dulaney stops the machine. He takes a dramatic pause, letting
the words on the tape sink in.
Cardenas is dismayed and tries to hide his frustration.
Dulaney approaches Paley who is now very nervous.
You’ll be sorry?
I was angry.
You’re still angry, aren’t you?
Isn’t it true that your whole story
is nothing more than a vindictive
attempt on your behalf to get back at
No — she asked me about cocaine.
I suggest it never happened.
You can suggest anything you want.
No further questions.
Dr. Paley’s temper explodes. He is a loose cannon.
I may have been infatuated with her –
– but I wouldn’t perjure myself.
That’s all Dr. Paley.
INT. REBECCA’S BEDROOM – EVENING
RAIN FALLS, streaking along the bedroom windows. CANDLES light
the room. Dulaney and Rebecca are on the bed. She sits on top
of him, writhing back and forth — lost in the rhythm of their
CLOSE ON DULANEY – LATER
He is asleep, laying on his back — the sheets pulled up to his
waist. LIGHTNING FLASHES outside — a CLAP of THUNDER follows.
He stirs and wakes up.
Another FLASH OF LIGHTNING illuminates Rebecca, who is standing
over him in a sexy silk ROBE. Dulaney starts to sit up but
something restrains him. He is HANDCUFFED to the BRASS HEAD
What the… What are you doing?
She sits next to him — looks at him fondly — gently strokes
his face with her hand.
Rebecca — take these off.
Tonight we open new doors.
She slowly drags the tip of her finger up his stomach — to his
chest. Dulaney follows it with his eyes. Rebecca picks up a
LARGE CANDLE on the nightstand and moves it slowly — back and
forth over his chest.
What are you going you doing?
Are you scared?
He doesn’t answer. He doesn’t have to. She can see the fear
in his eyes. She tilts the candle — a stream of WAX pours out
on his chest. Dulaney winces with pain, his body arching on
the bed, his hands straining against his restraints.
She smiles — a wicked smile, then pours more wax, making a
thin trail of LITTLE BEADS that moves down his chest towards
his stomach. Dulaney’s face cringes. He stares at her through
eyes filled with fear.
I love you, Frank. I love your
strength — be strong for me now.
She continues to pour the wax in little BEADS, filling his
navel and working her way towards his groin.
Rebecca — please. No more.
Rebecca stares at him warmly — fondly.
I told you in the beginning that it
was my way. My way can be many
things — pleasure or pain.
She lifts a bottle of white vinegar and holds it over his burn.
He tenses as she pours it on his chest. — then relaxes when
he realizes it’s water. He breathes a SIGH of relief.
You see how life is, Frank? We judge
things. We look at things from the
outside and assume we know what’s on
She takes a sip from the bottle.
Water. But you assumed it was
vinegar — because you were only
looking at the outside.
Her meaning isn’t lost on Dulaney. She watches him — as if
studying him — then slowly — very slowly, she pulls on the
belt of her ROBE. The robe parts revealing the beauty of her
body. She gently lowers herself on top of him — pressing her
breasts against him. Dulaney’s breathing quickens in
excitement. Rebecca moves her head to his chest — kissing his
burns softly while her fingers caress lightly over his stomach.
She gradually moves her head down — lower — and lower.
CLOSE ON DULANEY
he stares at the ceiling — his mind a maze of confusion. Soon
the power of her touch fills him — overpowering him. His eyes
close. The pain that only moments ago filled his body is
replaced with pleasure.
INT. DULANEY’S HOUSE – NIGHT
It’s late. Dulaney enters quietly and heads for the stairs. A
LIGHT comes on. Sharon is sitting on the couch waiting.
Her voice startles Dulaney.
Yeah — what are you doing up?
We have to talk.
That’s what I was hoping you’d tell
Dulaney enters the living room.
Sharon, it’s late. Can we get to the
Where have you been?
Working. Charlie and I were going
over some statements.
Charlie called at eleven thirty
looking for you.
You were with her, weren’t you?
Why did you lie to me?
Because I knew you’d think exactly
what you’re thinking.
Sharon springs off the couch.
This isn’t a courtroom. Don’t try to
turn this around on me.
You’re sleeping with her, aren’t you?
It’s bad enough that you are. It’s
even worse that you can stand here
and lie to me.
She starts to walks out of the room. Dulaney grabs her by the
She swings around and slaps him across the face, then stares at
him angrily, her eyes filled with tears.
You bastard! Do you think I’m some
kind of idiot? That I don’t have
fuckin’ eyes. I see. I feel. I
She walks out of the room, leaving Dulaney alone with his
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
ESTER CRAWFORD is on the stand. She is a BLACK WOMAN in her
thirties — thin and tired-looking, although we get the
impression she once was pretty. She is dressed in what is
obviously her Sunday dress. Cardenas questions her.
Mrs. Crawford, you were Mr. Marsh’s
maid for nine years?
Did Miss Lawson and Mr. Marsh ever
Like cats and dogs.
What did they argue about?
You name it — they argued about it.
Mr. Marsh tried his best to keep her
happy — but it seemed that no matter
what he did it was never enough for
Did they argue the day before he
Well — he died on a Sunday and I
have the weekends off — but they
were ripping at each other with both
barrels Friday afternoon.
What was the nature of the argument?
Could you be more specific?
She was calling Mr. Marsh an old man
— making discourteous insinuations
about his sexual abilities. She said
that she had needs and that if he
couldn’t fulfill them she’d find
someone who could.
Dulaney jots down a note. Cardenas continues.
Did you ever see Mr. Marsh use
No — never.
Cardenas sits down. Dulaney approaches Ester with a smile.
Did you go to college, Mrs. Crawford?
Your Honor, I fail to see what Mrs
Crawford’s educational background has
to do with this case.
I was just about to make my point,
Do it quickly, Mr. Dulaney.
(reading from note
“Discourteous insinuations about his
sexual abilities.” Who told you to
Ester doesn’t answer, but her eyes drift past Dulaney and focus
on Troxell. Dulaney follows her stare.
Did Mr. Troxell help you with that
Troxell and Cardenas squirm a little.
I heard him say it.
Then — those are not your own words?
What else did the District Attorney’s
Office tell you to say?
Objection, Your Honor. The fact that
Mrs. Crawford heard Mr. Troxell
reconstruct her sentence and decided
to rephrase her words in a more
intelligent manner for the court
doesn’t mean the incident never
I’m just curious to see if Mr.
Troxell reconstructed anything else.
Your Honor — please!
I’ll see both of you in my chambers.
INT. JUDGE BURNHAM’S CHAMBERS – MOMENTS LATER
Judge Burnham lights a cigarette and sits on the edge of his
desk. Dulaney and Cardenas stand before him.
Mr. Dulaney, before you cast
aspersions on the District Attorney’s
Office by suggesting they’ve coaxed
this witness to say things that
aren’t true — you better have more
than a hunch. Do you?
No, Your Honor.
Maybe you don’t know what it’s like
where Mrs. Crawford comes from — but
I do. I came from a neighborhood
just like hers. This is a whole
other world for her. She’s a poor
working woman who has been thrust
into a room full of highly educated
and mostly unsympathetic people. So,
she puts on her best dress, fixes her
hair and tries to present herself as
intelligently as possible.
Being poor and having pride is not a
crime, Mr. Dulaney — and before you
attempt to impeach another witness’
testimony in my courtroom — your
foundations better be based on
something other than semantics.
EXT. COURTHOUSE – AFTERNOON
Dulaney walks down the steps. Cardenas joins him.
I’m surprised you can walk after the
way Burnham chewed your ass out this
Cardenas grins. His comment was meant as a friendly jab
between old friends. Dulaney doesn’t see it that way.
I’ve got work to do.
Hey — the bell’s sounded. It’s
I didn’t hear it.
What’s happening to you, Frank?
You’re acting like you’re on trial
here. This has become personal to
Back off, John.
Cardenas studies him for a moment.
You’re sleeping with her, aren’t you?
Dulaney forces a laugh. It’s not a very convincing one.
I’m talking to you as a friend now.
Don’t ruin your life, your career for
her. She’ll spit you out when this
You don’t know what you’re talking
Really? What does an attorney speak
to his client about at her house
until three o’clock in the morning?
You’ve been following me?
Her. It’s an obvious move. I’m
building a case against her,
Something in Dulaney snaps. He grabs Cardenas and pushes him
up against the wall. Cardenas pushes back.
If your head wasn’t up your ass you
would have thought of it too. You’re
losing perspective. Get out while
you can — before she takes you down
INT. HALLWAY – AFTERNOON
Dulaney walks towards his office. Biggs walks quickly down the
hall and joins him.
I’ve been waiting for you to get
You got something on the coke?
No — but I got something.
Biggs steps into Dulaney’s office. Dulaney follows.
INT. DULANEY’S OFFICE – MORNING
Biggs picks up a remote control off the desk and sits on the
couch. Dulaney sits at his desk.
During lunch I was watching some of
Marsh’s home videos.
Biggs clicks the control. On the TV we see Rebecca on top of
Marsh in the bedroom.
He was really into recording this
stuff. The D.A.’s office found a box
full of tapes.
Watching Rebecca with Marsh bothers Dulaney.
This girl has really got some moves,
Dulaney stands up and turns off the television.
If you want to get your kicks go to a
video store and rent a porno movie.
Biggs studies Dulaney for a moment. Dulaney’s reaction bothers
him. He turns the TV back on and fast forwards the tape. The
screen turns to SNOW where the tape has been recorded over.
This tape was recorded over an
Biggs raises a hand signaling patience. SNOW still fills the
I would have missed it — but the
phone rang and I let it play while I
talked. It looks like blank tape —
but it isn’t. It’s been erased
without any input signal coming in.
So, what good is it to us if it’s
It’s very good — because when the
D.A’s office saw it they assumed it
was the end of the tape, otherwise
they would have buried it.
Because it hasn’t all been erased.
Biggs looks at the screen. A beat. The SNOW dissolves and a
picture fades in. The PICTURE LASTS only about five seconds.
We see Rebecca from the back as she straddles Marsh, grinding
up and down on the bed — her hair flowing down her back.
Marsh raises his hand. His WRIST IS IN A CAST. She turns her
head to the side and as she does we see that it is not Rebecca
— but Joanne Braslow. The Tape clicks off.
Dulaney stares at the blank screen.
Where’s the attraction to sleep with
someone like that.
EXT. PARKING LOT – DUSK
Joanne Braslow walks to her BMW 325i. She is about to open the
door when Dulaney approaches her.
I need to speak with you.
I don’t think we have anything more
to talk about, Mr. Dulaney.
She starts to get in the car.
You were sleeping with Marsh.
She stops — appears shocked that he knows this. There is now
a different quality to her — an edge.
Who told you that?
He video taped you.
I thought he was a kind, gentle man?
Joanne doesn’t appreciate Dulaney throwing her words back in
Yes, I slept with him but that was a
long time ago.
You’re lying. Marsh was wearing a
cast on the tape. It was right
before he went to Chicago and met
Miss Lawson. He dumped you for her,
Joanne can’t hold back the emotion that is building.
It must have been horrible. Having
to go there — seeing them together –
– knowing he was sleeping with her in
the same bed he did with you.
I was jealous. Of course I was hurt.
He switched me off like a little toy
he was finished playing with. But I
didn’t kill him.
Dulaney studies her.
I’m a practical woman Mr. Dulaney.
Killing Andrew wasn’t in my best
interest. As it is I’m out of a job
and I’m not in his will.
Money isn’t the only reason people
commit murder, Miss Braslow.
Dulaney walks off. Joanne stares after him. Her face is cold,
showing no sign of emotion.
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
Dulaney sits beside Rebecca, but he seems distant. Cardenas
The State calls Jeffery Roston.
As soon as she hears the name Rebecca’s face becomes tense,
nervous. Dulaney notices it. He checks a list.
Your Honor, I don’t see a Mr. Roston
listed as a prosecution witness.
The State’s investigation just
uncovered Mr. Roston yesterday
afternoon in Chicago.
Judge Burnham motions for Dulaney and Cardenas to approach the
Your Honor, Mr. Roston is an ex-lover
of Miss Lawson’s.
Why didn’t the State’s investigation
uncover Mr. Roston earlier?
He was away on an extended vacation
and just returned two days ago.
Alright — I’m going to allow his
But Your Honor–
That’s it, Mr. Dulaney. Take a seat.
Dulaney walks back to his chair. Rebecca appears genuinely
INT. COURTROOM – LATER
Cardenas stands before ROSTON a handsome man with salt and
pepper hair in his late fifties.
Mr. Roston, what was your
relationship with Miss Lawson?
We were lovers.
How long were you together?
For about one year.
How would you describe your sex life
with Miss Lawson?
I know this is a very personal
subject, but could you be a little
It was wild. She was constantly
trying to get me more and more worked
up — kinky things. I tried to
satisfy her the best I could, but it
was difficult in my condition.
What kind of condition are you
I had a bad heart.
There is an AUDIBLE GASP from the crowd. Cardenas waits,
giving the jury plenty of time to digest the implications of
Roston’s last statement.
Dulaney looks at Rebecca dumbfounded. He tries to control his
surprise from the eyes of the jury, but he can’t. He stares
ahead with a blank expression as he listens to the rest of the
What happened next?
I had bypass surgery.
And how are you now?
Fine. The doctors say if I keep
taking care of myself I can live to
be a very old man.
How did your relationship with Miss
Lawson progress after the surgery?
She left me.
Dulaney slowly turns and looks at Rebecca. The anger and his
sense of betrayal show on his face.
Why did she say she was leaving?
She didn’t. She just left.
Why do you think she left you?
Well — I think that after the
operation she realized that…
It takes Dulaney a few seconds to object to the question. He
is clearly preoccupied with the implications of Roston’s
Objection. The question calls for a
conclusion on the part of the
Your Honor, Mr. Roston lived with the
defendant for many months. I feel
that his opinion is valid in
substantiating the character of the
The opinion of a scorned lover is
hardly an objective view.
Did Miss Lawson ever give you any
indication why she was leaving?
Objection. The witness has already
stated that Miss Lawson left without
Mr. Cardenas, I suggest you move on
to another line of questioning.
When you say your sexual relations
with Miss Lawson were intense what
exactly do you mean?
It was like she was trying to push me
as far as she could. She called it
opening new doors.
Can you give the court an example?
It was like sex was a game to her.
She got off on the control. She
always used to tell me it had to be
This strikes a chord with Dulaney.
It’s hard to resist a woman as
beautiful as she is.
What would she do that made it hard
She’s a woman who is very much aware
of her own sexuality. Sometimes I
felt she could read my mind. It was
uncanny how she knew exactly what I
wanted. A few nights before my heart
surgery Rebecca woke me. She had
handcuffed me to the bed.
There are a few SNICKERS from the crowd. Dulaney is thinking
about the familiarity of Roston’s testimony. Judge Burnham
BANGS his GAVEL. The crowd becomes silent.
She told me that tonight we were
going to open new doors. I asked her
to stop — to take off the handcuffs,
but she wouldn’t listen.
What did she say?
Roston is clearly uncomfortable having to relate this part of
Mr. Roston I know this is difficult
for you, but it’s important you tell
the court what she did.
She said she was going to fuck me
like I’ve never been fucked before.
More noise from the Crowd. Judge Burnham is annoyed. He BANGS
his gavel again.
Due to the sensitive nature of this
witness’ testimony and the inability
of the spectators to allow him to
complete it, I am clearing the
Sounds of protest fill the room as the BAILIFFS start to usher
out the crowd.
INT. COURTROOM LATER
The gallery is empty. Only Dulaney, Rebecca, Cardenas,
Troxell, Roston, Judge Burnham, The Jury and Court Officials
What did she do next, Mr. Roston?
She started touching herself and
telling me how much she wanted me.
She reached down and put me inside
her. My doctor had warned me about
exerting myself — but you really
don’t think of those things at a
moment like that. You just think
about how beautiful this woman is —
how much you want her. How deeply
you want to please her.
At first it started off slowly — but
the rhythm built and built. Every
time I got close to an orgasm she
would stop. Eventually I started to
have trouble breathing. Rebecca just
kept going — faster and faster. No
matter what I said she wouldn’t stop.
I really thought for a moment I was
going to die.
If you knew it was bad for you why
did you do it?
I couldn’t help myself. You get lost
inside a women like her. It was like
a drug. It was the best sex I ever
What happened after that?
I woke up the next morning and she
Did you change your will while you
were with Miss Lawson?
Who was your primary beneficiary?
Thank you. The State rests.
Dulaney is stunned — deep in thought. He doesn’t appear to
hear the question.
Dulaney looks at the jury. What he sees isn’t good. He thinks
for a moment. He leans over and quickly speaks with Rebecca.
We cannot hear them — but their conversation is heated.
Rebecca says something. Dulaney looks at Roston. A beat.
Mr. Roston, you said it was the best
sex you ever had. Is that the best
sex with a woman, or a man?
Cardenas bolts from his seat.
I’ll rephrase the question. Mr.
Roston isn’t it true you are
Objection! Mr. Roston’s sexual
preferences are not at issue in this
Your Honor, I’m trying to establish
the sense of betrayal Miss Lawson
felt when she discovered the man she
lived with was a different person
than she thought he was.
Judge Burnham thinks for a moment.
The witness will answer the question.
And your sexual tastes were something
that you hid from Miss Lawson?
And didn’t Miss Lawson come home one
day and find you in bed with your
And she left shortly after that?
A pause. Roston thinks, struggling to make a decision.
No. We worked things out. It was
three weeks later when I told her
about the heart surgery that she
Roston looks around the court room. He is embarrassed, filled
Would it be fair to say that when she
did find out it was a shock to her?
No further questions.
Roston looks at the jury — their disapproving stares. He is
on the verge of tears.
INT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – LATE AFTERNOON
Rebecca opens the door. A tired-looking Dulaney enters. They
walk to the couch together in silence. Dulaney sits. Rebecca
lifts a BOTTLE of CHAMPAGNE out of an ice bucket.
What’s that for?
To celebrate how masterfully you
destroyed Roston today.
Rebecca — we shattered a man’s life
in open court.
(suddenly ice cold)
Fuck him! He tried to shatter mine.
He was only doing what he thought was
You’re too weak, Frank. When you
want something you have to do what-
ever it takes to get it. If
something gets in your way you remove
Dulaney stares at her. The person he sees has no feelings —
no empathy for anyone.
You killed him — didn’t you?
I knew you were thinking that. I
could see it in your eyes today in
the courtroom. You’re wrong, Frank.
I need you to believe that.
You don’t need anybody.
I do need you. No matter what you
think of me — I didn’t do it.
I could see the looks on the juror’s
faces. To the men I represent what
they can never have. I’m a cold,
heartless bitch — and this is their
chance for pay-back for every woman
that’s ever blown them off in a bar.
To the old women I’m a vulgar whore
and to the young ones I remind them
of what they’ll never be. It doesn’t
matter to them that I’m innocent.
They’ve already convicted me.
I’m dropping the case.
(matter of factly)
No — you’re not.
Rebecca picks up a REMOTE CONTROL from the coffee table and
pushes a button.
CLOSE ON TELEVISION
A TAPE of Dulaney making love to Rebecca fills the screen. It
is wild, passionate.
CLOSE ON DULANEY
he is dumbfounded as he watches. The implications of what this
tape could do to him run through his mind.
Something in Dulaney snaps. He grabs Rebecca. They struggle,
falling down onto the coffee table. The CHAMPAGNE bottle
crashes to the floor. Rebecca rolls off the table to the
floor. She sits up and moves away from Dulaney by pushing
herself backwards. Dulaney lunges at her. His hand grabbing
her ankle. Rebecca kicks — breaks free — stands up. Dulaney
gets to his feet — runs after her. He grabs her by the throat
and smashes her into the wall. He slaps her across the face.
A thin stream of blood flows from the corner of her mouth. She
It gets easier, doesn’t it? Once you
open the door it never closes.
Dulaney realizes what he is doing. He stares at her in horror,
then walks towards the door. He stops. Goes back to the VHS
machine. He pushes the EJECT BUTTON on the VCR, removes the
tape and destroys it.
I’ve got another copy. How do you
think your wife would feel if she saw
this — not to mention your
Dulaney’s temper is near the breaking point again, he strains
to control himself.
You can think whatever you want,
Frank — but I didn’t kill Andrew,
and I’m not going to prison for
something I didn’t do.
You’re a monster.
No — I’m a survivor.
INT. DULANEY’S HOUSE, DINNING ROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney, Sharon and Michael sit at the table eating dinner.
There is a tense silence. Although Michael does not know what
is going on he can sense the tension. The DOORBELL RINGS.
I’ll get it.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney answers the front door and Biggs rushes in excited.
I’m sorry to barge in — but I
figured after that bombshell that got
laid on you today you could use some
You got something on the Coke?
Do I? I talked to one of the dealers
I put the word out to. He’s been
following the trial pretty closely.
He said at one time he wanted to be a
lawyer before he became a dealer.
Charlie — are you going to make a
Right now. Guess who’s been buying
Coke from him for the last five and
Dulaney shrugs his shoulders indicating he doesn’t have a clue.
Marsh’s secretary — Joanne Braslow.
Confusion fills Dulaney’s face.
INT. COURTROOM – MORNING
Court is in session. Rebecca looks around the courtroom,
trying to get a feel of the CROWD’S opinion. Dulaney is not
there. She looks at the door anxiously. The rooms waits. A
beat. Dulaney enters — sits beside Rebecca — but acts as if
she isn’t there.
INT. COURTROOM – LATER
Dulaney stands at the witness stand in front of an ORIENTAL MAN
in his thirties.
Dr. Wong — what type of medicine do
–And is Miss Lawson a patient of
Yes. I’ve been seeing her for over a
Why does she come to you?
She suffers from severe menstrual
Did you ever prescribe any medication
for her cramps?
What did you prescribe for her?
Chinese peony root.
Would you describe for the court what
Chinese peony root looks like?
It’s a white powder that comes in a
There is a MOAN from the CROWD. Cardenas looks at Troxell.
How do you instruct your patients to
I tell them to pour an amount the
size of a quarter into the their hand
and mix it with water.
A previous witness stated that she
saw Miss Lawson pouring a white
powder into her hand on October
twenty-eighth. According to your
records when did you prescribe the
Dr. Wong checks his records.
One last question, Doctor. If
someone didn’t know better, would it
be easy to mistake the peony root for
Yes — quite easy.
Cardenas realizes there is nothing to gain by examining this
You may call your next witness.
The defense calls Miss Margaret
Cardenas looks worried as he watches an attractive woman in her
mid twenties approach the stand.
DULANEY AND MISS SELLERS
Miss Sellers appears a little nervous. Dulaney smiles warmly.
Miss Sellers, do you know Dr. Alan
Where did you meet him?
I’m a nurse. I used to work at
Roseburg Memorial Hospital. Dr.
Paley’s on staff there.
What was the nature of your
relationship with Dr. Paley.
We dated for about a month last year.
Then what happened?
I realized he wasn’t serious. He was
seeing other women — asking other
nurses at the hospital out, so I
— And what did Dr. Paley do after
you stopped seeing him?
He used to call me — tell me that I
couldn’t just walk out on him. He
said that if I didn’t come back he’d
make my life miserable.
Did he make your life miserable?
Yes — he did.
Cardenas stands again.
Objection! May I remind Mr. Dulaney
that the person on trial here is Miss
Lawson — not Dr. Paley.
Your Honor, I’m trying to establish a
pattern in Dr. Paley’s behavior with
Objection overruled. The witness
will answer the question.
He’d call me in the middle of the
night. Show up at my house and bang
on the door. Finally after two weeks
I went to his office one day to tell
him to stop.
What did he say?
He laughed — and basically said he
would decide when it was over.
Do you remember his exact words?
Yes. He said, “If you want to play
games, we’ll play — and you’ll be
Another BUZZ from the CROWD. Cardenas inwardly cringes.
What happened next?
While I was seeing Dr. Paley I
mentioned to him one night that
someone was stealing drugs from the
third floor dispensary. Three days
after I spoke to him in his office he
went to the Head Nurse and told her
he had witnessed me stealing drugs.
There was an inquiry. It was his
word against mine. They believed
him. I was fired.
INT. DULANEY’S OFFICE – DUSK
Dulaney is at his desk. Biggs enters excited.
Joanne Braslow is getting more and
more interesting. I followed her
today to an attorney’s office.
Joe Koehler. I know him. He’s an
estate attorney — and he’s very
What would Joanne Braslow need with
an estate attorney? She wasn’t even
mentioned in Marsh’s will.
Dulaney thinks for a moment. He grins as an idea enters his
Not this will.
INT. FILE ROOM – EVENING
Dulaney and Biggs sit at a table going through a stack of
papers. Dulaney traces his finger along a piece of paper.
Here it is! According to the old
will Joanne Braslow was to inherit
two hundred and fifty thousand
What good does that do — it’s the
Under the law a person cannot profit
from their own wrong doing. Since
Rebecca Lawson is the sole
beneficiary of the new will, if she
is found guilty the will is void and
Joanne Braslow could make a very good
case to have the old will reinstated.
She kills the old man and makes it
look like Miss Lawson did it. Pretty
INT. DULANEY’S HOUSE, BATHROOM – EVENING
Dulaney is washing up for dinner. He speaks to Sharon who is
in the bedroom.
I was thinking that when the trial is
over we’d all go skiing for a
Maybe it would be a good idea if you
just took Michael.
Sharon leaves the room. Dulaney reaches for his TOOTHBRUSH —
picks up a TUBE of TOOTH PASTE. It is empty. He stares at the
INT. COURTROOM – MORNING
Dulaney looks worn, tired — the tension between him and
Mr. Dulaney, are you ready to call
your next witness?
Dulaney doesn’t seem to hear him.
Mr. Dulaney, are you with us?
Dulaney snaps out of it.
Yes, Your Honor. The defense recalls
As Joanne walks towards the stand Dulaney looks over at
Rebecca. It’s as if he is trying to make up his mind about
her. Joanne takes her seat.
Miss Braslow, I’d like to remind you
that you are still under oath.
How often do you use cocaine?
Cardenas shoots out of his seat.
Objection, Your Honor.
Counsel approach the bench.
Dulaney and Cardenas walk over to the bench.
Mr. Dulaney, I’m getting tired of
seeing you this close to me.
Judge Burnham looks at Cardenas indicating he will hear his
Whether or not Miss Braslow uses
drugs is not an issue here.
Your Honor — the prosecution has
introduced cocaine as one of the
contributing reasons Mr. Marsh died.
How it may have been introduced into
the household is of vital importance.
Are you able to back up this
allegation — or are you fishing?
I can back it up.
Please answer the question.
I’ve tried it.
You’ve tried it? Isn’t it true that
you’ve been in and out of Rehab
centers for the last four years?
This is clearly embarrassing for her.
I’ve been to a few — yes.
You don’t like Miss Lawson much do
You don’t like her because you were
involved with Mr. Marsh before she
came along. Isn’t that true?
You resented the fact that she told
you what to do in Mr. Marsh’s house?
Dulaney moves the questions along, quickening their pace,
building a rhythm.
And you resented that he cared for
her in a way he once cared for you?
–And that Mr. Marsh paid less
attention to you?
–and that he changed his will?
She has blurted out the answer before the full implications of
the question has dawned on her. Her face reveals her mistake.
Cardenas can only watch uncomfortably from his seat.
In his previous will Mr. Marsh left
you two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars — then he cut you out. Why
do you think he did that?
She talked him into it. She wanted
Two hundred and fifty thousand
dollars is a lot of money. That must
have made you pretty angry?
Dulaney picks up a small PIECE OF PAPER and walks towards
You testified that you returned to
Mr. Marsh’s house at eleven o’clock
the night of his murder. Is that
Well – I’m a little confused.
(holds up the paper)
This is a charge receipt from Rosen’s
Drug Store where Mr. Marsh had an
account. It’s dated the day of the
(hands it to her)
Is this your signature?
There’s an item you picked up that’s
marked. Will you read it?
Dristan nasal spray.
Would you read for us the time of the
A.M — or P.M.?
You see that’s what bothers me. No
other bottle of nasal spray was found
in the house. The police looked.
There was only the one bottle. But
you say you didn’t arrive until after
Mr. Marsh was dead — yet we know he
was using the nasal spray prior to
his death. How do you think it got
I don’t know.
Isn’t it true that you stopped by the
house after you left the drug store
and dropped off the items you bought?
Isn’t it true that you put the
cocaine in the bottle?
No! Why would I want to kill him?
Because you were jealous. Because he
cut you out of the will. Because you
have a cocaine habit to feed —
because you know that if Rebecca
Lawson is found guilty the new will
is void — and there’s a very good
chance the old one would be honored.
SILENCE fills the room. Members of the JURY look at Rebecca,
they are confused — doubt fills their minds.
The defense rests.
INT. DULANEY’S DEN – EVENING
Dark. Dulaney is standing by the window, watching the RAIN
FALL outside. Sharon enters.
We can’t go on like this, Frank.
Dulaney continues to stare out the window.
Talk to me.
He shakes his NO.
Please — this is ripping us apart.
I can’t talk about it now.
She senses his pain and moves to him, wrapping her arms around
Don’t shut me out. Let me in.
He turns and faces her. She can see the pain on his face.
You wouldn’t like what you’d see.
You don’t know me anymore. I don’t
know me anymore.
We can’t pretend this isn’t
Please — not now.
Why didn’t you come to me?
I don’t know.
You used to like to touch me — to
make love to me.
It’s more involved than that.
It was a place to start.
You think that’s the answer? Sex?
Is that what you want? You want me
to make love to you?
I don’t want our lives ruined because
of this. I love you, Frank. I want
this to work — but you have to help
me. You have to come back from where
ever it is you are.
Dulaney’s confusion and emotion begins to surface. She kisses
him, softly, gently. Dulaney closes his eyes. He kisses her
harder – and harder. His passion builds — his anger grows.
He runs his arm over his desk, brushing everything to the
He grabs her and firmly pushes her down on the desk. He kisses
her forcefully, his lips pressed hard against hers. She
struggles against him. His hands tear at her blouse. It is
rough, angry sex and it frightens Sharon.
Frank — stop it! Stop it!
Is this what you want — huh? Is it?
She is crying now — struggling futilely against him.
Let me go! Godammit, Frank let go!
(racked with fear)
Daddy — stop it!
Dulaney stops and looks.
Michael is standing in the doorway, his face filled with fear
and incomprehension. Tears streak down his face.
Dulaney freezes as the full power of his actions overwhelm him.
His face floods with anguish as he tries to grasp the total
effect of his behavior.
Oh — Jesus.
Filled with pain and embarrassment Dulaney runs from the room.
EXT. BAND SHELL, PARK – NIGHT
RAIN falls in sheets. Dulaney sits inside the small structure,
huddled against one of the pillars. He is a tragic figure,
desperately trying to claw his way back to the world he once
EXT. DULANEY’S HOUSE – LATER – NIGHT
RAIN continues to fall. Dulaney is standing across the street,
staring at the house. He crosses over and is half way to the
door when he stops. He starts to leave.
The front door opens and Sharon steps out onto the porch.
He turns around slowly. He can’t bring himself to look at her.
She walks out into the rain. He lifts his head. Tears flow
down his face and he cries. When she begins to cry with him
he breaks down.
I’m sorry. God — I’m so sorry.
He slowly drops to his knees — holding on to her as if she
were a strong tree in a wind-storm.
Help me. Please — help me.
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
Dulaney sits beside Rebecca. There is tension between them. He
does not look at her.
Dulaney stands and walks over to the jury.
The Prosecution’s case is built on
theory — speculation. Could Rebecca
Lawson have done this? Is it
possible that she did that? Where are
the facts? The evidence. The State
has presented two spurned lovers and
a jealous secretary. Hardly what I
would call impartial witnesses.
Where is one shred of conclusive,
irrefutable evidence? I don’t see it
— and I don’t think you do either.
Do you know why? Because there isn’t
What’s the issue here? That Rebecca
Lawson likes wild sex? No. But the
District Attorney is trying to make
you think if Rebecca Lawson could
stray from the path of normal,
accepted sexual behavior, then she
could be capable of murder. Did she
force Andrew Marsh to make love to
her? Did she hold a gun to his head?
No. Andrew Marsh wanted her — and
why wouldn’t he? She’s beautiful,
alluring — the type of woman men
As Dulaney continues we sense he is applying his closing
arguments to himself.
It’s human nature. We want what we
want — when we want it. We don’t
think about the consequences of our
actions. When desire fills us we all
do things that we know are bad for
us. We live for the moment.
Here was an exciting young woman who
unlocked doors. Doors that led into
a new world. A world he entered
willingly — eagerly. He wanted to
please her — and so, he did not tell
her of his illness. I know it might
be difficult for you to understand
wanting something so badly that you
are willing to risk everything — but
that’s what passion does to you.
It’s a fire — uncontrollable. It
consumes you — and the only thing
you can do is let it burn. Andrew
Marsh let it burn. It was his life –
– his choice — and maybe his mistake
— but making love is not a crime.
We all have fires inside us — secret
desires. We guard them –hold them
in the cages that we’ve built. When
someone comes along and opens the
gate, they rush out and feed blindly
on their pleasure. Rebecca Lawson
loved Andrew Marsh. She didn’t kill
him — if anything did, it was his
Dulaney walks back to his table and sits down. Rebecca looks
at him warmly. Dulaney does not look at her. Cardenas stands
to address the jury.
It’s true — we all have fires
burning inside us. Rebecca Lawson
was very aware of the fire burning
inside Andrew Marsh — and she stoked
those flames — fanning them until
they burned so hot that reason and
judgement left him. Is making love a
crime? Of course not — but the
question isn’t as simple as that.
Rebecca Lawson used her seductive
qualities to entice Andrew Marsh.
She used sex as a catalyst and
cocaine as the terminus. The
combination of the two provided the
conclusion of a premeditated act.
She asked Dr. Paley about cocaine.
Her fingerprints were found on the
nasal spray bottle that contained the
cocaine — and she was the sole
beneficiary of Andrew Marsh’s will.
She planned it from beginning to end.
She knew about his heart. She
secretly administered cocaine, then
used wild and physically demanding
sex to induce a heart attack.
Making love is an act of passion
between two people to affirm their
vows of love. This was not an act of
love — this was an act of greed.
This was betrayal. Rebecca Lawson
killed Andrew Marsh — and I’m
counting on you to punish her for
INT. WAITING ROOM, COURTHOUSE – DAY
Dulaney sits on one side of the room — Rebecca on the other.
The room is quiet — tense. A MAN enters and nods to him.
They’re back already? It’s only been
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
Dulaney sits beside Rebecca. In the row behind them is Sattler
The JURY enters. Their faces betray nothing. One by one they
file into their seats.
Cardenas sits with Troxell — both of them watching anxiously.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
have you reached a verdict?
The JURY FOREMAN stands.
We have, Your Honor.
The BAILIFF walks over and takes the VERDICT SLIP from the
FOREMAN, then walks over to Judge Burnham and hands it to him.
Judge Burnham reads the decision. He hands it back to the
Bailiff who takes it to the COURT CLERK.
She waits nervously for the Court Clerk to read the verdict.
he taps his pen against the desk anxiously.
ON THE COURT CLERK
He opens the verdict slip and looks at it. He stands slowly.
The jury finds the defendant — not
Relief floods Rebecca’s face. Dulaney shows no emotion.
Sattler and Biggs shakes hands, then lean forward to
Rebecca turns to Dulaney to hug him — before she can, Dulaney
has picked up his briefcase and is leaving the courtroom.
INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT – AFTERNOON
Dulaney walks towards his car with Biggs. There is no sense of
victory or elation.
What are you gonna do now?
Take some time off.
You think the D.A.’s gonna file on
I don’t know.
Dulaney reaches his car.
You did a good job, Charlie.
Thanks, Mister D.
Biggs walks away. Dulaney takes out his keys, opens the door
to his car. He is about to get in when he senses someone
behind him. He turns around.
Joanne steps out from behind a pillar. She stares at Dulaney
hatefully. Her hand is inside her purse.
That bastard should have left me
something. I worked for him for six
years — and he goes and gives it all
Dulaney looks around the parking lot. He is alone. Joanne is
obviously very high on something. Her mind seems to wander,
her eyes drift.
You take what people say and make it
ugly. You make others believe what
you want them to. She should have
been found guilty. She shouldn’t
have gotten off.
Then you would have gotten your
You killed him — didn’t you, Joanne?
Do you think if I did I’d be stupid
enough to tell you?
Dulaney looks her hand fidgeting in her purse.
What do you have in your purse?
What do you think I’ve got? A gun?
Maybe I’m gonna kill you too. Maybe
I’ll blow your head off right now.
Her hand starts to come out of the purse. Suddenly, Biggs
appears, rushing her from behind a pillar. He grabs her hand
and pushes her against a car.
He pulls her hand from the purse. She is holding a piece of
I’m gonna go to jail. I know they’re
gonna make it look like I did it.
They gotta put it on someone.
Why’d you come here?
(holds up the letter)
To show you this. It’s a letter from
that lawyer, Koehler. He wrote it to
me the day after I saw him. He’s the
one who told me I could get the money
if Miss Lawson went to jail.
You didn’t know about it before that?
Dulaney is suddenly very confused.
Then why did you go see Mr. Koehler
in the first place?
Because he called me.
Dulaney is stunned. He looks at Biggs with a knowing stare.
EXT. HOUSE – EVENING
It is RAINING lightly. Dulaney waits at the door of a nice two
story home. It is answered by a heavy-set man in his fifties,
Frank — what are you doing here?
I need to ask you a question. What
made you get in touch with Joanne
You know I can’t talk about that.
I’m not asking for names or
specifics. I just want to know what
prompted you to make the call?
Koehler starts to close the door, Dulaney sticks his foot
inside, blocking it. His face is filled with determination.
Koehler sees it.
Please — I need your help.
Koehler thinks for a moment. He can sense Dulaney’s need.
All I can tell you is I was contacted
by an interested party on Miss
INT. DULANEY’S CAR – NIGHT
Dulaney stares through the windshield, straining to see the
road through the heavy rain. His CAR PHONE RINGS.
Frank — It’s Rebecca. I need to see
you right away. I’ve got the tape.
A calmness spreads over his face.
I’ll be right there.
EXT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – NIGHT
RAIN FALLS. LIGHTNING fills the sky. Dulaney drives up —
finds a PARKING SPOT down the street — gets out of his car
and runs to the door. As he KNOCKS as loud CLAP on THUNDER
BOOMS overhead. Dulaney waits impatiently. He lifts the
FLOWER POT, removes the key and opens the door.
INT. DEN – NIGHT
The dim glow of a DESK LAMP is the only source of light.
Dulaney moves through the room slowly.
Two CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES are on the floor by the couch. Dulaney
looks on the coffee table.
HIS POV – COFFEE TABLE
A VIAL is open and on its side. A RAZOR BLADE and STRAW lay
next to it. A pile of WHITE POWDER has been dumped out.
Several lines of cocaine have been drawn.
Dulaney starts to move towards the living room. He is almost
at the door when the BIG SCREEN TELEVISION TURNS ON. We see
the tape of Dulaney and Rebecca making love.
Is this what you’re looking for,
Dulaney turns around to find Rebecca standing behind him, a
remote control in her hand.
You killed him. You killed him —
and I got you off.
Is it? Joanne Braslow was perfect,
wasn’t she? You knew we’d see her on
the tape and find out about her coke
problem. After that, the digging
should have been easy — but we
missed the will. You knew we were
following her, so you called Koehler
and had him contact her. That put us
right back on track. All we needed
then was to prove that she had an
opportunity. The drug store took
care of that. She dropped off the
stuff and you came back and killed
him. Didn’t you?
She shrugs her shoulders. His frustration clearly amuses her.
She grins slightly, almost taunting him.
I want the tape.
Dulaney starts into the living room.
I’ve been thinking about that. I’ve
decided to give it to you after I’ve
collected the inheritance. You can
take that one if you want — but
there’s another copy.
That wasn’t the deal.
So, sue me.
(as cold as ice)
Things have changed. I think you
should go home — and after you leave
I see no reason for us to ever have
I’m not leaving without that tape.
Don’t push me, Frank. I might lose
my temper and send it out just for
Dulaney loses control.
You fuckin’ bitch!
He grabs her by the shoulders and pushes her into the wall.
Rebecca struggles, but it is little use — he is a man consumed
with rage. Dulaney continues to smash her into the wall.
Rebecca reaches onto the desk — lifts up a FOUNTAIN PEN and
stabs it into Dulaney’s shoulder at the base of his neck.
Dulaney SCREAMS and lets go. Rebecca starts to runs into the
living room. Dulaney follows.
INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Dulaney catches Rebecca — grabs her — spins her around —
then backhands her across the face, knocking her to the ground.
In the b.g. the VIDEO of them in bed plays on the screen.
Dulaney sits on top of her and grabs her by the hair. He
repeatedly smashes her head onto the floor.
Let her go!
Dulaney stops. He looks behind him.
Standing in the bedroom doorway is Dr. Paley. He is holding a
GUN at Dulaney.
Dulaney stares at him with disbelief as he staggers to his
feet, his hand holding the wound on his shoulder. A short,
breathless LAUGH drifts out of Dulaney as he starts to put it
all together. Rebecca stands up, holding her head as she tries
to catch her breath.
Are you alright?
Rebecca NODS. Her face hardens.
You’ve got to kill him, Alan.
She’s right, Paley. You’ve got to
kill me. She doesn’t have to —
she’s free — she can’t be tried
again — but you, you planned it with
her. You supplied the Coke. You’re
an accessory to murder.
Paley struggles to make a decision. The gun shakes in his
hand. Suddenly, the whole scheme becomes clear to Dulaney.
Don’t you see what she’s doing? She
needs you to kill me. She’s planned
it that way from the start. That’s
why she phoned me tonight.
You called him?
No — he’s lying.
How’s it supposed to work Rebecca?
You and Paley celebrate your victory.
You get me over here and provoke a
fight so he has to rush in and save
you — but then he’s given himself
away as your accomplice — now he has
to kill me.
After that I figure she’ll tell the
Police that you broke in. That you
were crazed because we humiliated you
Don’t listen to him. Can’t you see
he’s trying to turn you against me.
Here’s the good part. The truth dies
with me and she turns State’s
evidence against you. It won’t
matter what you say. No one will
believe your version — you’ve
already discredited yourself in
court. You’ll go away forever and
she’ll have the money all for
herself. She’s played us both
Paley is becoming more and more confused. Dulaney moves
towards him. Paley lowers the gun slightly.
Alan, listen to me. If you don’t
kill him it’s over. Everything we
did will be for nothing.
Shut up, Rebecca.
She’s good isn’t she? But maybe with
you it’s the real thing.
(points to the
I’m sure all those nights she was
fuckin’ me she was thinking of you.
Confusion crowds Paley’s mind.
I’m sure that every orgasm she had
with me was faked.
I mean she only screwed me two or
three times a night because she had
to — I’m sure she didn’t enjoy it.
I love you, Alan. You have to
believe I love you. Kill him! Kill
him and we can be together forever!
That’s right, she loves you. Just
like she loved Roston and Marsh and
me. Don’t be a fool. You’re nothing
to her. The second you pull that
trigger she’ll turn on you.
Betrayal fills Paley’s face. His eyes fill with tears.
I loved you.
Alan, don’t let him do this. You’re
everything to me.
(she moves closer)
Give me the gun. Give me the gun and
I’ll do it for you.
Paley stares at her — his mind races. Pain fills his face as
he fights to make a decision. Suddenly, his face tenses. He
starts to raise the gun at Dulaney — then just as suddenly he
turns it on Rebecca and FIRES.
The bullet hits Rebecca in the chest. The force blows her off
Paley stares at her blankly. He slowly lowers the gun and
drops it to the floor, then staggers over to Rebecca.
she stares up through glazed, dead eyes.
Paley takes her pulse. He breaks down, weeping over her body,
his tears signaling to Dulaney that she is dead.
EXT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – LATER – NIGHT
Police cars are lined up outside, their RED LIGHTS FLASHING.
INT. REBECCA’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Members of the POLICE FORCE, along with FORENSIC PEOPLE go over
the area. Dulaney sits on the couch. He looks indifferent —
as if all emotion has been sucked out of him. Troxell is
beside him, taking notes. Dulaney looks up.
A BODYBAG on a stretcher is being wheeled out of the room.
Dulaney follows it with his eyes. Cardenas enters from the
bedroom. They lock eyes.
Paley’s confessed to the whole thing.
It’s like he’s got no will to live
now that she’s gone.
(thinks for a moment)
She almost got away with it. Ironic,
huh? Do you believe in karma, Frank?
Dulaney doesn’t answer.
Well — call it what you want. Fate.
Destiny. We usually get what we
deserve in the end.
A beat. Dulaney looks at him wearily.
Can I go?
You get his statement?
Then you can go.
Dulaney gets up and starts for the door. Cardenas watches him.
Dulaney turns around slowly. Cardenas reaches into his
RAINCOAT pocket and take out a VHS TAPE.
I found this video in her room. It
has your name on it.
The two men lock eyes. There is a long silence between them.
Dulaney waits for Cardenas’ next move.
(holding it out)
I assume it’s yours.
Dulaney knows that Cardenas has seen it. A hint of a grateful
smile shows on his face. He takes the tape.
EXT. REBECCA’S HOUSE – NIGHT
A light RAIN falls. Dulaney walks out and heads towards the
street. He stops — looks back at the condo — then walks down
the street towards his car.
FADE TO BLACK[amazonjs asin=”B0001N1LRC” locale=”JP” title=”BODY/ボディ DVD”]