A/N- So this chapter jumps on in time from the last one. Chapter 28 was set in November but I couldn't think of a way to deal with Christmas without making it too samey or too boring. So I have skipped to January and the court case. I may flashback to Christmas though during the trial. Enjoy.
'Wake up Jeffrey we need to get ready.'
'Just five more minutes.'
'No bloody way Collier I know what you are like. Now shift that gorgeous butt of yours.' Dixie instructed lightly slapping Jeff on the backside as she moved off the bed and out the door.
'You are such a cruel woman Mrs Collier.' Jeff replied rubbing his bottom before getting up.
(Like Dixie, I didn't want the day to start either. We had had an emotional night talking about what could happen and the questions we could be asked. I cradled her in my arms as she cried telling me she didn't think he would get found guilty and the fact that she would have to relive the whole attack. She still thought she wasn't strong enough for that. I promised her I would hold her tight and be there for her every step of the way. We both cried for the twins though - they were innocent in all this. We sat there thinking about them, it was their due date and the court case. How were we going to cope? She woke me up as usual that morning making it clear that she did not want to talk about things and I couldn't blame her. The next few days were going to be tough enough and would test our relationship to the limits.)
Jeff walked into the kitchen taking his place at the table where Dixie had put his breakfast. He watched her move aroumd the kitchen purposefully.
'You look gorgeous Dix.'
'Thank you. You are looking handsome as well.'
'This bloody tie is going to annoy me though.' Jeff replied fidgetting once more with his collar.
'Come here.' Dixie instructed her husband as she re did his tie and straightened his collar for him.
They left the house a little while later driving to the county court. They both stood outside looking up at the building feeling even more nervous than before. They met with their solicitor to go over the formalities before they were left to sit and wait.
Dixie kept her hand locked firmly in Jeff's as she watched various people come and go. Jeff sensed that she was nervous and so placed a light kiss on her forehead.
'It will be OK baby.'
'Will it Jeff? Will it really be OK?' Dixie asked nervously.
'Trust me baby, have I ever lied to you before?'
'I am just scared Jeff really scared.'
Jeff was about to reassure her some more but didn't get the chance as they were called into the courtroom. ( It was really intimidating walking into court having people stare at you as you took your seat. We saw Karl sat with his legal team, I tried to get inbetween him and Dixie but I was not quick enough, she had seen him. I felt her shake but I was determined to protect her. I held onto her as we sat down giving her hand a squeeze before it all started. I knew by the end of the day why I should have told her I was having trouble moving on. If I had I would not have fallen apart and screwed up on the stand. Court wasn't the best place to be unsure of yourself or your feelings.)
'All rise. Court is now in session as we hear the case of Collier versus Fontayne. Please now be seated.'
'Mr Fontayne you have been charged with organising a gang rape of Mrs Kathleen Collier along with two counts of rape again of Mrs Kathleen Collier. You have also been charged with breaking and entering the home of Mr and Mrs Jeffrey Collier and causing actual bodily harm to Mrs Kathleen Collier. How do you plead to these charges?'
'He cannot be serious?' Jeff whispered in Dixies ear as she looked down to the floor biting her lip.
'Counsel you may begin.'
'Thank you Your Honour. I would like to start by calling Mr Jeffrey Collier to the stand.'
Jeff stood up giving Dixie a pat on the leg as he moved to the stand placing his hand on the bible as he was sworn in. He did not take his eyes off Karl the whole time. (I wanted to launch across the court and punch his lights out for pleading not guilty but I would only get into trouble with the courts but more importantly with Dixie. Being held in contempt of court would have been childs play compared to any bollocking from her.)
'Mr Collier could you tell us how you came to know Mr Fontayne?'
'Um yeah. It was a couple of years ago. My wife and I got a shout to the estate, a lad had been beaten up. When we got there Karl was loitering with his mates. Turns out he had been tormenting the lad and his father Joe. He had made their lives hell, even fed the dad dog foeses. Didn't see him after that until after one of our colleagues was killed. He came looking for her, I told him about her and then took him under my wing to help him out. After that I did not see him again until this all kicked off.'
'Thank you Mr Collier. Now can you tell us what happened on March 27th?'
'Its our anniversary. We went off to work together when we got a shout to Miers Lane Woods. I thought it was a hoax but Dixie thought she saw something. We went to have a look and that was when she screamed. I turned to see her being dragged away from me. I couldn't go after her. I was hit a few times by something and knocked out.
'Can I ask the jury to look at exhibit JC 1. This is a copy of Mr Colliers x ray and Doctors report on the injuries he sustained. Mr Collier what happened when you found your wife?'
'I found her sat half naked in the woods. I know I shouldnt have treated her, you are not meant to treat next of kin but I was on my own so had no choice.' (I shuddered as I recounted how I found my precious Dixie. I told them how I found her, the injuries I saw along with how I tried to calm her down in the ED. I had to fight back my own tears again as I recounted the attack in our home and the decison I had to make. I was in the dock for 45 minutes being quizzed by our solicitor but it was nothing compared to what Karls legal team had planned for me.)
'Thank you Mr Collier.' Their solictor turned to the judge 'No further questions.'
'Very well. Mr Collier you will now be questioned by Mr Fontayne's solicitor. May I remind you that you are still under oath and must reply to all questions put to you.'
Jeff nodded as he watched the solicitor stand. Jeff took a deep breath he knew this was going to be tough.
'Mr Collier I would like you to think back to your first encounter with my client. Are you certain about what happened between you?'
'You see Mr Collier you appear to have left out an incident between you and my client involving a can of petrol along with a cigarette lighter.'
'Mr Collier you attacked my client and threatened to set him on fire did you not?'
'No. He was trying to torch Joe's flat.'
'But you did intervene?'
'Yeah I tried to stop him.'
'Did you tell your wife what you did Mr Collier?'
Jeff looked over at Dixie who was sat staring at him. He could see disappointment and anger written clearly over her face. Looking down at the floor, Jeff shook his head.
'Mr Collier is it fair to say that your actions towards my client on that day were the catalyst for the situation we currently find ourselves in?'
'Are you saying this is all my fault?' Jeff asked.
'Yes I am Mr Collier and I think it is time you explained yoyrself.'
(Shit. This really was my fault. I had to now explain everything to the court. All throughout I felt like I saw another piece of my Dixie fade away. However, this was only the beginning - worst was still to come.)