AN: well hell, aint I the slacker. Wow. I have not updated for awhile. Shame on me. Maybe, just MAYBE!, I can focus more and finish this sum-biatch before the snow flies, eh?! And since I'm in Minnesota that would be like next week. Hm I know that wont happen... sooo I'll finish when the snow flies in um... a place that doesn't get snow till um December. Sounds good. Rock. Like I have said before I really appreciate you taking time to read my words so hugs and cookies to you all! And as always, read and review; make me smile.
The alarm sounded and was promptly thrown across the room as the early morning light entered the bedroom. In total unlike-me movement, I threw the quilt off and jumped up eager to start the day.
"I can't believe I just witnessed you of all people jumping out of bed like that," Brock turned over and climbed to his feet, stretching.
I laughed and threw him a towel, "Yeah well its not every day I get to prance into court and back out again with my kid in tow. Just don't get used to it, tomorrow, its back to normal."
Yawning sleepily he grinned, "Great can't wait." And promptly feel backwards on the bed.
Showered, dressed, somewhat awake, the three of us walked with into the courthouse with purpose and newly formed attitudes of victory. Sarah was standing in the main entry looking at her watch.
"5 minutes early, Mags you're slipping." Her opening line was delivered with a wink, "Well kids, you ready?"
"Excellent, Grayson and his entourage is in. Jimmy slinked in a little bit ago and I've all ready talked with the judge and she's allowed us to bring the evidence forward even though we've closed. I had a few of my paras' dig up the original documents so we have those, and Friday's also agreed to let you address the court Maggie, like we discussed last night."
I inhaled deeply, butterflies had started to flutter, "You do good work."
"Yeah I know," was her reply, "That's why you pay me the big bucks."
Brock took my hand and squeezed it as Sarah led the way to the courtroom.
As we arrived, Jimmy had been standing in the hallway and caught my eye,
"You guys go ahead I'll be there in a minute," I said giving Sarah a wink, "I gotta talk some business."
Jimmy gave me a sly look as I approached, "Well babe, you got cash or you gonna write me a check? I got the power to make this all go away and you better play nice. You wouldn't want anything unfortunate to happen to the brat now would you?"
I smirked, "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy....You are in such big trouble."
I backed away from him still smiling, "I'll see you in side tiger."
His look was enough for me. It was shock, and a hint of nervousness, "Now c'mon babe..."
Wiggling my fingers at him I entered the courtroom and took my place by Sarah. Brock, Anna sat behind us. The others couldn't make it because of practice and set up times for the house show that was tomorrow. Hopefully was would be in and out of here since Brock had an appearance to be at by 10am at the capitol building.
"Please stand, Judge Friday presiding," the bailiff said as we did as told and Jimmy sulked to his seat next to his equally as slimy lawyer.
"Good Morning," the judge started, "I believe the defense has new evidence, Sarah you may begin."
"Thank You—"she started with but was stopped by Johnny's objection.
"Your honor, this is the first I ;'ve heard of new evidence, and if I may respectfully remind the judge the defense rested their case."
"Mr. Catonni, you are overruled and I recommend you sit down and listen."
Looking defeated Catonni did as he was told.
"Thank you your honor, last night we made new discoveries on this case that I would like to enter into evidence." Sarah walked around the table standing in front of it, "Exhibit A, is the remains of Becca Danial's jewelry box which had a secret drawer. Exhibit B, a photograph of the plaintiff holding a newborn Grayson. The photo proves Jimmy Preston lied about not knowing he had a son."
Johnny Cantonni jumped to his feet, and attempted to back peddle "Your honor, the case is about who should have rights not about who lied or not."
Judge Friday just waved her hand at him motioning for him to sit down. "Continue please."
"Thank you, Exhibit C, is a copy of the police report and a signed affidavit by the arresting officer in the beating of Becca by Mr. Preston. Originals were destroyed when the case was dropped unexplainably, but the officer remembered the case well and can be called as a witness."
I snuck a glance at Jimmy, he was so low in his chair he would be heating the floor with his butt soon. His eyes met mine and I sent him a victorious smile. He knew what was coming, there was no way for him to escape this time.
"And finally your honor, Exhibit D is the original 'Declaration of Termination of Parental Rights' signed by the plantiff, My James Preston." Sarah paused letting everything sink in, "If it would please the court I make a motion to dismiss this case and start prosecution of Mr. Preston for filing a false law suit."
Judge Friday sat back in her chair, and mulled everything over, "That is one hell of a discovery, Mr. Catonni what say you?"
At a loss for words he stood, "I knew none of this your honor, I have um, no objection."
Friday turned to Jimmy, "Mr. Preston, this is a serious matter, you lied under oath, you lied to everyone in this courtroom, you dared to break up a happy home for your own gratification of a personal vendetta against Ms. Danials. Do you have anything to say in the matter?"
Jimmy glowered in this chair not looking up.
"Mr. Preston, these are serious allegations, Ms. Danials, your lawyer says that you have something to say about his punishment?"
"Yes thank you," I stood and looked back at Brock and Anna for courage, "It would be too easy to say lock him away in jail for a punishment, it would be too easy to think that would be enough punishment for him, he attempted to break up my family, he abused my sister, he made her life hell. But also your honor he unintentionally gave me a gift of my little boy whether he likes it or not, Jimmy Preston did one thing good in his life." I walked forward and faced Jimmy, "Now it would be easy for me to say lock him up and throw away the key, but how can Grayson learn from that? How will it effect him knowing he has a drunk, a drug addict and a jail bird for a father?"
I paused again, now facing the judge, "I don't want it to be easy for Jimmy. I propose for his punishment that he becomes sober, drug free and hold down a steady job."
Inside I grinned, knowing how hard I was making this for him Jail was too good for him, I wanted to see him suffer.
"He should undergo weekly and random drug testing, and weekly AA and NA meetings. If he is unemployed for longer then two weeks, missing any meetings or fails a drug test then he should be put in jail to serve a sentence named by the court. Thank you Your Honor, for letting me speak."
As I turned to sit down I caught the look on Jimmy's face, his eyes were bugged out and beads of sweat were forming on his forehead. It was at the moment, I felt satisfaction and peace.
"Thank you Ms. Danials I will be taking that into consideration. Regarding the custody hearing, I dismiss the case, The child is free to return to his mother. Bailiff please put Mr. Preston in custody." Friday banged her gavel.
I flew out of my chair and met Grayson half in the aisle. He flung himself into my arms and I squeezed him tight.
"Am I yours now?" he whispered in my ear.
I stood up pulling him with me, "You're all mine, baby, you're all mine."
"You're crying. Are you sad?" He asked in perfect child like innocence.
I smiled, and wiped the tears away and gave him a kiss, "I'm very happy. You make me very happy. Wanna go home?"
He nodded happily and the reached for Brock as he came close. Anna followed close behind.
Dorothy and Connor waited in the back of the room. I walked towards them with a smile and hugged Dorothy, "Thank you for taking care of my boy."
"Oh Hon, you're welcome."
Going to my knees I hugged Connor, "Thank you for being Grayson's friend. Would you like to come over and play sometime?"
He nodded as Dorothy said, "Oh that would be lovely. They can mess up your kitchen for a change."
I laughed, "Why don't you come over today? I think we need to celebrate."
Dorothy beamed, "Connor would like that. We'll bring Grayson's things with."
I hugged her again, "Thank you."
Small arms reached around my neck as Grayson came up behind me being carried by Brock.
"Happy?" Brock asked softly in my ear, his arms wrapping around my waist.
I smiled and started to cry, the relief was so great. I turned with my head resting on his chest as Grayson and I looked each other in the eye.
"Can we go home?" he asked
I touched his cheek, "You better believe it."