Everyone arrives at Christian and Ana's suite the following morning as scheduled. They listen intently as Taylor runs through the security protocol. Margaret and the Conner family are overwhelmed at the military precision. The entourage head to the elevator and go down to the parking garage where Haddad, Reynolds and Carpenter are waiting with SUVs near the elevator.
Taylor opens the door of Haddad's vehicle for Margaret, Ana and Christian to enter. He closes the door behind Christian and gets into the front passenger seat. Ryan does the same for Elliott, Kate, Carrick and Grace and Jackson for the Conner family. The procedures are reversed when the vehicles pull up in front of the court house. At first Taylor is relieved that the media seem to be unaware that Christian Grey is attending the trial and no one is accosted by any reporters as they exit the vehicles and walk into the court house. Taylor narrows his eyes when he notices that several of the media start chatting to each other and looking in the direction of the entourage. The drivers return to the hotel with the vehicles until they are needed to drive everyone back to the hotel.
When the entourage enter the court room, the Grey family, led by Christian, take seats in the back row. Firmly holding each other's hands, Edna and Margaret walk to the front row and sit behind the DA's table. Edna's family follow with Richard sitting on Edna's other side.
When the defendants are escorted into the court room, Edna, before she can stop herself, lets out a gasp when she sees how frail her elderly father appears. At the sound of her gasp, Frederick Senior looks up and pales when he recognizes his daughter. He quickly averts his eyes. Although he has not seen her for over two decades, Edna looks like his late wife. Frederick Junior also looks towards the sound of the gasp. He also realizes the woman would be his sister and his gaze hardens as he holds her stare. Their defence attorneys, Jonathon Thorne and Samuel MacDonald, also turn to see what had captured their clients' attention. Both lawyers frown when their clients inform them who the two women are. Thorne's eyes widen when he recognizes Christian Grey sitting at the back of the court room.
When Felix Henderson enters the court room, he stands in front of the Conner family to talk to Edna. When she confirms that she does want to have a meeting with her father, Henderson calls Thorne aside to talk to him. Before Thorne gives his assent, he consults with his client. Frederick Senior glances at Edna when Thorne tells him that his daughter wants to meet with him. Senior agrees and Thorne reports back to Henderson.
There are very few people in attendance when the judge, Sheila Consuelo, enters and takes her seat on the bench. Besides the Grey/Conner entourage, there are only a handful of media people sitting the courtroom. Henderson asks for a side bar and when the Judge agrees, Henderson and the two defence lawyers approach the bench.
"Your Honor, Edna Reynolds, the daughter of Frederick Reynolds Senior, has requested a meeting with her father." Henderson states.
Judge Consuelo raises her eyebrows. "Why involve the court. Could she not have visited her father during the past few months?"
"I'm not sure, Your Honor." Henderson responds. "Ms Reynolds has lived in Chicago since college and has been estranged from both her father and brother since that time."
"So she wants a family reunion?" Consuelo questions.
"No, I don't believe that is the case." Henderson answers. "I believe she wants to try to get some closure concerning her relationship and past history with her father."
"Why should the court indulge this request?" Consuelo asks.
Henderson sighs. "I ask the court's indulgence and give some leniency for this request. The woman is struggling coming to terms that her father and brother are responsible for the death of her twin sister's boyfriend."
Thorne quickly jumps in to say "Allegedly responsible."
Henderson glances at Thorne before turning back to look at the judge. "The woman is struggling to come to terms that her father and brother are allegedly responsible for the death of her twin sister's boyfriend."
Consuelo looks at Thorne. "Your client is okay with this request?"
Thorne nods. "Yes, Your Honor." He says. "He wants to hear what she has to say after all these years."
"Okay." Judge Consuelo says. "When the court breaks for lunch, they can have their meeting then in one of the meeting rooms in the court house. Of course there will need to be a guard present as well. And the afternoon session will be delayed by one hour."
"Thank you, Your Honor." Henderson says. "May I have a moment to inform Ms Reynolds of this?"
"Yes." Consuelo says.
Henderson turns and walks to stand in front of the Conner family to speak to Edna. "Ms Reynolds. With his lawyer's consent, your father is willing to meet with you. The Judge has agreed to delay the afternoon session of court by one hour for the meeting. One of the rooms in the court house will be made available to you and there will need to be a guard present."
Edna gives a slight smile. "Thank you Mr. Henderson. I doubt I will need the full hour."
Henderson turns and steps back to his table. He looks up at the judge. "We are ready, your Honor."
The Judge commences the trial and the morning is spent dealing with various formalities. The defendants sit quietly while their lawyers and the District Attorney deal with the various procedural issues. During the course of the morning, other people enter the court room and take seats. Christian and Taylor exchange glances when they notice that most of the new arrivals appear to be members of the media.
When the judge calls a recess for lunch, Henderson approaches Edna and calls a bailiff over to escort her to the meeting room. Christian and Taylor walk to the front of the court room to see what the problem is.
"Can my husband go with me, as well?" Edna asks Henderson.
"He can accompany you to the room, but the arrangement had only been for you to meet with Frederick Reynolds Senior." Henderson responds. "I believe he will need to wait outside."
Richard squeezes Edna's hand. "It's okay, Darling. I'll be right outside the room if you need me."
"Do you want Taylor to arrange for one of the security to stay behind to escort you two to the restaurant afterwards?" Christian asks.
Edna shakes her head. "No, I think we will be okay to find our way. I don't believe any of the media will recognize us." She smiles at Christian. "After all, we are not Christian Grey."
"Okay." Christian says. "We'll see you at the restaurant. It is just across the street." Christian and Taylor turn and leave the court room. Ryan and Jackson have already escorted the others to the restaurant. As they step out of the court house, Christian is bombarded with questions from members of the media who were waiting. "Mr. Grey!" "What is your connection to this trial?" Taylor sees Jackson crossing the street back to the court house. Once he joins them, Taylor and Jackson flank Christian and the three men force their way through the crowd. Several of the reporters follow the men across the street and into the restaurant.
Once the men enter the restaurant, Jackson leads them to the private room at the back of the restaurant. "We saw the media waiting to pounce." Jackson informs Taylor.
"Although Ms Reynolds and Mr. Conner said that they wouldn't need a security escort, I think we should plan on it." Taylor says. When Taylor enters the private dining room, he calls James aside to ask him to call his father and pass the phone to Taylor.
James calls his father. "Dad, Taylor wants to speak to you." He says when Richard answers the phone. James hands the phone to Taylor.
"Sir." Taylor says when he takes the phone from James. "We were accosted by media lying in wait outside the court room. We were able to ignore them and get to the restaurant without incident. I would feel more comfortable if you have an escort to the restaurant." He pauses while Richard responds. "The situation has changed. More and more reporters had shown up during the course of the morning, so word must have spread that Christian Grey was in the courtroom. I know you feel that you and your wife are unknown to the media, but they have figured out that you have some connection to the defendants since the DA spoke to you and had a bailiff escort you out of the court room. When Ms Reynolds is finished talking to her father, please call and wait for me to send an escort for you." He pauses again. "Thank you Mr. Conner." Taylor disconnects and hands the phone back to James. "Thank you James."
Everyone is busy looking at the menu and placing their order once the waiter arrives. Kate looks across the table at Christian. "Christian, you won't be able to totally ignore the press at the court house. The longer you ignore them, the worse it will get."
"I know, Kate." Christian says. "Can we just issue a press release, or should I give them the satisfaction to answering their impromptu questions?"
"Give them the satisfaction of answering their questions on the spot." Kate says. "You have no problem thinking on your feet." She adds with a laugh. "If you need a press release, it would go to their offices and the reports on site, wouldn't necessarily get it right away. Plus it still wouldn't stop them from hounding you."
Christian runs his hands through his hair. "Okay. I will take their questions when we return this afternoon."
Ana runs her hand down the sleeve of Christian's suit. "I'll be with you, Christian." Christian turns and gives Ana his best mega-watt, panty-melting smile. He takes her hand and lifts it to his lips and kisses her fingers.
At the court house:
The bailiff escorts Edna and Richard out of the court room and leads them down a back hallway to a small meeting room. Another bailiff is standing outside the room and opens the door to the room. Richard squeezes Edna's hand and gives her a brief kiss. "I'll be right here waiting for you, Darling." He says.
"Thanks." Edna gives him a weak smile. "I love you." She takes a deep breath and enters the room, followed by one of the bailiffs. She is surprised that her father's lawyer is in the room.
"Ms Reynolds." Thorne says. "I'm Jonathon Thorne, your father's lawyer." He extends his hand and Edna shakes it. "I was just discussing some things with my client. I will just sit here to be on hand if my client needs any advice."
Edna raises her eyebrows. "Shouldn't I then have Mr. Henderson present?"
"Is it necessary?" Thorne questions. "My understanding from Henderson is that you wanted to confront your father to air the past, not to interview him."
"That's true." Edna admits. She sits down in the chair across the table from her father. "Hello Father."
Frederick Reynolds Senior looks at his daughter. "Edna." He says as he nods in acknowledgement.
Edna's lips thin as she stares at her father. "I am not going to ask whether you are guilty of the charges for which you are currently on trial. I have my own theory, but it is up to the jury to decide your guilt on the charges." She bites her lip and continues to stare at Frederick Reynolds Senior. "I cut you out of my life over twenty years ago when I was finally able to escape from the house by going to college.
"Having been a parent for a number of years now, I realize that your controlling and abusive ways is not the normal behavior for a parent. Both my husband and I demonstrate, not just our love to one another, but to our sons every day." She continues to hold her father's stare. "You never once showed any love to either Ella or me, let alone our mother. You have certainly never been a perfect man, so what right did you have of disowning your pregnant teenage daughter? A parent's obligation is to be there for the child, not just if the child lives up to one's expectation." Edna takes a deep breath and continues. "When Ella found herself pregnant, not only did you turn your back on her, but you fired your housekeeper. Mrs. White's only offence was that she happened to be the mother of the boy that got your daughter pregnant. Ella was entitled to your love and support, but since you never showed that to us prior to that, it certainly wasn't a surprise. But Mrs. White certainly didn't deserve to be fired. She should have sued you for wrongful dismissal."
Reynolds Senior face got redder and redder in anger as Edna continued with her tirade. As she stopped to take a breath, he exploded. "How DARE you criticize me for my past actions. Your sister behaved like a slut, so she didn't deserve any support from me. She was old enough to get pregnant, she was old enough to deal with the consequences. As for Mrs. White, it was her son that violated my daughter. There was no way in hell that I would allow the hired help to improve their station in life by impregnating my teenage daughter."
"So you cut all of them out of your life?" Edna hisses.
"Of course!" Reynolds Senior answers. "Edna refused to have an abortion or give up her boyfriend. She chose him over her own family."
"She chose to create her own LOVING family!" Edna yells. "She should have had been able to have both."
"NO!" Reynolds Senior shouts. "The grandchild of the hired help could NEVER be my grandchild." He glares at Edna. "When Ella escaped from the abortion clinic with her no-good boyfriend, she made her choice."
"Ella was going to have an abortion?" Edna asks in disbelief.
"I arranged for your mother to take her to the clinic. Of course your mother wasn't able to stop her from leaving when that boy showed up. I knew I should have taken her to the clinic myself. Never could trust your mother to do anything." Reynolds Senior says with disdain in his voice.
"That still didn't justify you firing Mrs. White." Edna says.
"Of course it did!" Reynolds Senior responds. "She couldn't be trusted. She was responsible for that boy to be in my house. After he violated my daughter both she and that boy had to go." He glares at his other daughter. "And Ella couldn't stay as there would have been the constant reminder that she had been violated by the hired help's son."
"She wasn't VIOLATED!" Edna shouts. "Ella and Bobby were very much in love."
"Love?" Reynolds Senior shouts back. "What would teenagers know about love?" He glares at Edna. "What is love anyway? It is for fools."
"AARRGGHHH!" Edna shouts. "There is NO talking to you, is there?"
Reynolds Senior shrugs. "I have my beliefs. And I'm too old to change now. NOT that I feel there is any need to change."
"Your actions all those years ago have deprived my sons of a grandfather. But since you left a lot to be desired as a father, I can only assume you would not be any different as a grandfather." Edna's eyes harden even more than they already are. "I came to terms with that long ago. But what I cannot come to terms with is that your actions caused Mrs. White. Within a few months, she not only lost her job and home but also her son, daughter-in-law and grandson. She did not deserve any of that. And I hold you responsible for all of her losses."
As she stops her tirade to catch her breath, Frederick speaks. "I did what I thought was right at the time. Mrs. White was responsible for her son being in our home. If she and her son were not living in our house, Ella wouldn't have gotten pregnant."
"But Ella did get pregnant. Regardless of the circumstances, she deserved the support of her father, not to be disowned." Edna hisses.
"She disobeyed the rules, so she needed to deal with the consequences." Frederick snaps back.
"And what about her baby?" Edna shoots back. "When authorities notified you of your orphaned grandson, you refused to acknowledge his existence. That child was innocent and you refused to have anything to do with him – your own grandson."
"Of course I wouldn't have anything to do with Ella's bastard child." Frederick hisses. "He was the product of her indiscretion with the son of the hired help. It would be a constant reminder." Frederick sighs. "How was I to know back then that the child would become one of the wealthiest people in the country?"
"THAT is your only regret?" Edna shouts. "You now regret not acknowledging your own flesh and blood because he was able to overcome his adversity and became a very successful businessman?" Edna stands up so quickly, she knocks over her chair. "You are UNBELIEVABLE!" She leans forward, using her arms on the table to support herself as she leans forward. "Christian Grey is fortunate to have been adopted by the Greys. He grew up in a loving family. God knows if you had manned up and taken in your orphaned grandson, he probably wouldn't have turned out any better than Freddy." Tears are starting to form in her eyes, and Edna doesn't want to break down in front of her father. She turns and strides to the door. She opens the door and turns back to glare at her father. "I hope that both you and Freddy ROT IN HELL! I will continue to be in the court room to support Margaret as she will, hopefully, finally get disclosure on what happened to her son. I certainly hope both you and Freddy are found guilty and, to throw your words back at you, 'deal with the consequences'. Good riddance!" she tosses out as she turns and storms out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
In the hallway, Richard pulls his wife into his arms and rubs her back as she sobs. By the time Edna's sobs finally subside, Richard's shirt is soaked. "Are you okay?" he asks softly.
Edna sniffles as she pulls her head back from Richard's chest and nods as she accepts a tissue from him. "Yes. It was cathartic. It's been building for years and I finally had an opportunity to blow up at him."
"Are you ready for lunch?" Richard says. He laughs when Edna's stomach growls. "I take that as a yes." As Edna steps out of his arms and starts to walk down the hallway, Richard says "Just a minute, Darling." At her questioning look he elaborates. "We need to wait for Taylor to send security. Apparently there was a mob of media waiting outside and I don't think you're up to having to deal with any press right now." Richard pulls out his cell phone and dials. "Hello James. Your mother and I are ready to go to the restaurant now. Is Taylor able to send someone over to escort us?" "Thanks." Richard disconnects and puts his phone away. "Should just be a few minutes. Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yes, Richard I am." Edna assures her husband. "I just hope the trial isn't prolonged. I don't know if I can handle the stress."
"We can go home at any time, Edna." Richard says.
"No. I want to be here for Margaret." Edna says. "She has suffered enough because of my family, the least I can do is be here now to support her."
Richard lightly brushes her lips with his. "I love you Edna Reynolds."
"I love you too Richard Conner." Edna replies.
A few minutes later both Jackson and Ryan appear to escort the couple across the street to the restaurant. As the group exit the court house, there is a group of media standing outside who quickly spring to life when they recognize the woman who had been escorted out of the court room. "What is your connection to the Reynolds?" someone shouts, trying to shove a microphone into her face. "What is your connection to Christian Grey?" someone else shouts. Richard pulls Edna close to him and she buries her face into his shoulder. Ryan leads the way, and Jackson the rear, as they walk as quickly as possible across the street and into the restaurant.
Edna and Richard both give a sigh of relief when they reach the private dining room at the back of the restaurant. Richard looks at Christian. "Is the hounding by the media normal for you?"
"Yes." Christian says.
"How do you manage?" Edna asks in amazement.
Christian shrugs. "It's normal now. But that is why I insist on having security."