Okay everyone, this is it! I want to thank all of you for being such faithful followers of me and my stories. This one got a little difficult for me in the later chapters, but I can't thank you enough for sticking with me.

I'll start on a new story when I get some time. It might not be for quite away, so make sure to add me to your alerts so you'll know when I post it.

Thanks again everyone! :) Enjoy!

Chapter 20

A few long, miserable days later, the trial of Jason Morgan versus the state of New York commenced. Maxie changed her outfit multiple times, finally deciding on a knee-length black skirt, a lilac blouse and black cropped jacket. Her heels matched her clutch, of course, and her hair was pulled up and held in place with bobby pins.

She sat a few rows behind Jason, next to Spinelli. At the last minute, Diane had decided to not use either of their testimonies. Maxie was relieved to say the least. She was dreading getting up on the stand. The last time she'd been on the stand, Ric Lansing had brought up many past events she didn't want to relive.

The courtroom was rather quiet, with only a few hushed whispers from the audience. Maxie looked around for a few moments before turning her attention to the back of Jason's head. She hadn't spoken to him since their time at the PCPD and she had tried to follow his advice and relax, but she hadn't been able to.

She'd gotten the chance to talk some things out with Spinelli as well and so far, they'd been able to start getting back to normal. It still felt a little forced on Spinelli's part, she'd noticed, but she was confident that would change.

"Jason Morgan has never been viewed as an innocent man in this town…" Diane began her opening statement and Maxie paid close attention. She crossed her fingers in her lap and took a deep breath as Diane continued.

Everyone on the defendant's side of the courtroom was nervous. Like Diane had mentioned, Jason was always presumed to be guilty, no matter what the crime. Her own father was practically the president of that large club of Jason-haters.

Spinelli noticed Maxie's nervousness and reached over to squeeze her hand gently. Maxie squeezed his hand back and gave him a small smile.

Diane finished her opening statement, making some very good points about Jason and about the night of the murder. She sat back down and Maxie watched as Jason took a deep breath. He was scared, she could tell.

The prosecution started off strong and didn't seem to stop. They had brought in witness after witness and Maxie started to doubt Diane's ability to pull this off. There wasn't much physical evidence to go on, but the prosecuting attorney managed to do fine without it.

Maxie watched the judge's reaction to what was being said, as well as the jury. It wasn't looking good.

After about another hour of questioning from both sides, the judge called for a recess. Maxie rose from her seat and walked up towards the table where Diane and Jason were.

"How do you think it's going?" Maxie asked. She wasn't sure if she was allowed to be talking to them, but she needed to be reassured.

Diane sighed and Jason took a small sip of water. He didn't look over at her.

"I have a few things up my sleeve, but I have to admit that the prosecution is pulling out all the stops. It will be difficult, but I believe there is still a chance we can pull this off." She set her pen down on the table and looked over at Jason. "I need to take a restroom break, are you good?"

Jason nodded his response, still keeping his head down.

Maxie felt the urge to cry. Jason Morgan was a strong, unemotional man, but he was faced with something that could change his life forever. He was terrified and she couldn't do anything to help him.

Diane escorted Maxie out of the courtroom and Spinelli followed as well.

"Do you honestly believe they'll find Jason not guilty?" Maxie asked again, hoping the answer wouldn't change because they weren't around Jason.

"Like I said, it will be difficult, but there is a lack of evidence that will be hard to forget about. Now if you'll excuse me, I've been dying to use the restroom for the past hour." She laughed softly and headed off in the direction of the nearest one.

Maxie sighed and wrapped her arms around herself. "I'm really scared, Spinelli. I don't think Jason is going to walk…"

"The Jackal too fears for his Master's future." Spinelli sighed as well and led Maxie over to one of the wooden benches outside of the courtroom. "The Brusque Lady of Justice is very talented in her field and we have to have faith in her ability."

"I'm trying to keep up hope, you know? But you've heard what the prosecution has brought up. How can Diane go against all of that? And you know all those jurors already are against Jason…all of Port Charles is."

Practically from the moment Jason Quartermaine became Jason Morgan, he was thrown into the mob lifestyle. Countless attempts had been made to end the violence associated with that life, but few had done any good. Jason had been at the center of a lot of those, especially recently. It didn't help much that he wasn't willing to talk when questioned, but then again, he knew everyone assumed he was guilty anyway.

Spinelli did his best to calm his friend down, but Maxie was almost too far gone to soothe. They shared a hug before heading back inside the courtroom again and taking their seats.

The judge banged his gavel to start the trial again and the prosecution continued their assault on Jason. Finally, the last witness came off the stand and Diane was given the chance to present her case.

Both Spinelli and Maxie sat vigil as they listened to Diane's evidence and the witnesses she called. Maxie was extremely grateful she didn't have to be up on the stand. The prosecution lawyer was worse than Ric Lansing, if that was even possible. His cross-examinations were practically frightening and she said a silent prayer of thanks to Diane for taking her off the list.

More long hours passed before the final arguments were said. Diane finished strong, but Maxie still doubted the outcome. She watched the jurors as they listened to the arguments and she wasn't sure how any of them felt. From her perspective, it could have gone either way.

Maxie waited and waited along with everyone else for the jury to return. When the jury finally came back in, Maxie looked at the large clock on the wall. They were only gone for a little over one hour and Maxie assumed that couldn't be a good sign.

As the jury foreman stood, Maxie grabbed Spinelli's hand and listened to him speak.

"We the jury find the defendant…not guilty."

The crowd erupted in emotion, most of it shock. Maxie and Spinelli on the other hand let our screams of joy. Jumping up out of their seats, they hugged each other tightly.

Maxie looked over at Jason and saw him hugging Diane. He was free…there was nothing in their way any longer.

She moved from Spinelli and walked up the aisle. Jason spotted her and smiled as he made his way towards her.

He opened up the small gate and let himself through before Maxie jumped into his arms. Jason held her close and closed his eyes. He heard and felt her start to cry and gently rubbed her back.

"I love you…" Jason whispered softly into her ear.

Maxie pulled back quickly, her eyes wide as she looked up at him.

"What?"

"You heard me…" He smiled and cupped her face in his hands, stroking her cheek with the pad of his thumb gently, wiping away some of her tears. "I love you."

A slow grin formed on her face. "I love you too…"

The End