Here it is: 'Justice for Dessert' by Markee Anderson
When foodie and lawyer Scott Bailey criticizes paralegal Ella Justice's dessert blog as 'DoubtingScotty,' she has to take action. What will she do when she finds out he's also the prosecuting attorney on the other side of her current court case—the man she's fallen for?
DoubtingScotty hated Ella Justice. From his comments on her blog, he really was out to get her. She could tell he was a man, hiding behind a mask like others online. This guy, though, not only wore that mask, but was a troll, stopping at nothing to be mean.
Good. She really needed a bad guy for her blog. It gave it credibility.
She read DoubtingScotty's comment aloud. "Don't give up your day job, because this is an awful recipe. If I had a dog, I wouldn't feed this to him because it might kill him." She laughed. DoubtingScotty was both her nemesis and her hero, if that was even possible.
Her blog, 'Justice for Dessert,' had close to a million followers. Even though she was a paralegal by day, by night, this blog was her passion. It was also part of the grade for her required class project.
In the big scheme of things, it didn't matter what DoubtingScotty thought, because his biting comments helped drum up more onlookers. She loved to cook, dreaming up strange desserts to keep her readers interested. This blog, though, wasn't just to share recipes, but designed to prove a point.
"I guess he didn't like sponge cake with shrimp and grits." She chuckled. "His loss. It was one of my better awful concoctions." She shook her head. "This guy must have refined taste buds. He's definitely not the fast-food type." She rested her fingers on the keyboard, ready to reply. The more controversy, the better. But before she could type a single letter, six other people posted comments, all disagreeing with DoubtingScotty, proving her point about herd mentality in a blog. People always followed a strong leader, which she seemed to have in spades for the blog. They all seemed to agree with her, no matter what she posted. However, if truth be told, she agreed with DoubtingScotty. The cake tasted awful, but she had to keep up the charade. The grade for this project would be better than she thought.
"JoeMan, you're so right," she said with a chuckle. "'Don't knock it until you try it. Grits go with everything.' Yep. Tell it like it is." She read over more of the comments, laughing as she went, since they all beat up the poor new guy. "Time to pay the piper." She poised her fingers over the keyboard, talking aloud as she typed. "DoubtingScotty, I think JoeMan said it best. 'Don't knock it until you try it.' From all the comments, 'Justice has been served…for dessert.' The jury has spoken. See, Dawg, you just don't know good eats." She chuckled as she pressed enter and then waited.
Her cell phone rang, so she grabbed it and glanced at the caller ID before she answered. "Hey, Cher. What's up?" She put it on speakerphone.
"I'm reading your blog right now. Dawg? Seriously?"
"I don't want anyone to know I have any college background. I want them to think I'm a sous chef or something and learned everything on the job. I want to have street cred." She chuckled, because she, of all people, barely had street cred, whatever that even meant. She'd been raised in an upper-class, white-collar home, with every whim taken care of. But she wanted to prove to herself that she wasn't above anyone and was trying to make it on her own. Her independence was her street cred.
"Yeah. Right." Her friend chuckled. "You're hardly street anything. You have too many legal terms on the disclaimer that you're definitely someone who went to college and are still going."
She put her hands over the sides of the laptop's monitor. "Shh! Don't say that too loudly. Someone online might hear you."
Cher laughed at her. "You're crazy. I think DoubtingScotty has a thing for you."
"You're hilarious. He's probably one of our clients, being charged with murder or something nefarious. For all I know, he could be a serial killer, out to get me. You'll help me if he's a criminal, right?"
Cher was a lawyer in Ella's law firm who was fighting to become a partner in their plush Washington, D.C. office.
Ella, on the other hand, was going to school during the week to become a lawyer. It would be a while until she could take the bar exam, so she put it out of her thoughts and concentrated on one class at a time. Since this was her third class, she had a while until she could finally become a lawyer. Was it her dream job? No, but it would pay the bills and make her family happy.
Cher chuckled. "Sure, I'll help you, along with a few dishy cops. If DoubtingScotty's a murderer, I think it'd be fitting to feed him the recipe on your current post for his last meal. I'd make sure he gets it, too. If he keels over from shrimp and whatever, then it'll save the state a bundle from killing him off."
Ella just laughed. Cher wasn't the type to send someone to their death for any reason. She was more of a bleeding heart, willing to take on any sob story.
"Sure," Ella said, playing along. "I think we should force feed him."
"You read my mind." Cher paused. "Hey, he's talking to you."
Ella looked back at the blog and read aloud. "Dawg, you're no gangsta, so don't go there. You're probably some snotty soccer mom who thinks she can cook because she knows how to make hotdogs in a microwave."
Ella couldn't believe it. "That guy has a lot of nerve, but thank you, DoubtingScotty. I'm sure my ratings just went up." She placed her fingers on the keyboard.
"Don't type yet," Cher said. "We have to make this guy put his money where his mouth is. Make him show that he knows better. Take this off-blog, though, because you don't need a shouting match between you and him. Tell the guy to email you. It looks more mysterious that way."
"You're the boss." Ella typed as she spoke. "Email me. Harassment online isn't nice." She stopped typing but didn't press enter yet. "Is that okay?"
"Yep. Your blog's email address is on there, so hopefully, he'll be able to find it. That is, unless he's an idiot."
Just as she pressed enter, a loud noise in the hallway made Ella turn toward the door. "They're at it again." It was in the direction of the nasty apartment down the hall. All they ever did was yell.
"Is he hurting her?" Cher asked.
Ella listened. "Not yet. But he's screaming. He sounds drunk."
"I'm calling the cops. This is ridiculous."
"Thanks." Ella pushed up her sleeves, ready for a fight. "I'm tempted to go over there."
"No. You stay put. My buddy Rodney will handle it."
Ella couldn't believe her boss. "You just want to flirt with any cop. Admit it."
Cher chuckled. "Yeah. I'm wearing this guy down. Listen for the sirens." She ended the call, so Ella pressed end.
With her phone still in her hand, Ella headed for the door. She put her eye to the peephole and watched. No one was in the hallway, but Dwayne's voice grew louder.
"You don't know?" he screamed. "Let me show you how to chop onions then. Give me that knife."
Ella had to do something. The cops were taking too long and she couldn't let Dwayne kill his mousey wife, Janie. The woman was six months pregnant. They had a five-year-old daughter, Isabel, who was probably in the same room.
"No, Daddy," Isabel screamed. "Don't hurt Mommy!" She cried, along with Janie's loud sobs, confirming Ella's worst fears.
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