Even though they spoke weekly, Noah and Sharlee still missed each other. So Sharlee asked her parents if she could go to Bridgeport a few days before the start of Noah’s trial. She would not be permitted to sit in the courtroom before she testified and possibly not even afterwards. So she wanted to take what might be her last chance for a long time to be with Noah.
Sharlee was planning to stay with Miki because Bronson was out of town. She didn’t feel comfortable staying with her grandparents because her grandmother had given an interview about Noah’s case in which she spoke badly of Noah, Alissa and Dale. Rather than defending Sharlee, she had given a bad impression of her too.
Surprisingly, Sharlee’s parents agreed to the visit. She found out why when they took her to the airport to catch her plane. Her Grandfather Matthew was there to fly to Bridgeport also. He was going to Bridgeport to take care of some business.
Sharlee had to be available to testify and of course Alissa wanted to be with her. Matthew and Dale wanted to be there too. So they had decided to rent a house for the duration of the trial. It was expected to last for several weeks. Matthew was going to Bridgeport a few days early to take care of that too. Sharlee couldn’t help but laugh.
Sharlee did not even intend to visit her grandmother. So after helping Matthew decide which house they should rent, she took a taxi straight to Noah’s house.
“Well it’s good to see you again Sharlee. However, there are some rules for your visit. You are not to go into the bedrooms, and you and Noah are not to be alone together.”
After a few moments, his mother said, “I know that your parents are very liberal Sharlee, since your mother is in show business, but here things are stricter. I expect you both to limit your physical contact. No kissing and that’s enough hugging too!”
“Noah, you didn’t listen to me before, but you have to listen to me now. You know that I could have you locked back up in a heartbeat. If you had obeyed me before, instead of running off, then you would not be in the trouble that you’re in now! “
Noah took a deep breath to calm himself. He knew that there was no point in trying to reason with her.
“David apologized to me for helping Jonathon pass around those flyers. He says that he wants us to be friends.”
“I think he means it, but my Dad wants to meet him and his parents before I can associate with him.”
“For once I agree with your Dad. Please be careful Sharlee.” Noah felt uneasy about David’s interest in Sharlee and wished that he wasn’t living so far away from her.
Noah wanted to talk to her too. He wanted to tell her how he loved the way that the light made her hair look like a ray of moonlight, and the way that the green shade of her dress made her eyes even more beautiful. As he looked at her lips, he longed to press his own against them, but he couldn’t because his mother was sitting right there with them.
“Mother can’t Sharlee stay for dinner? She’s come a long way to see me, and we’ve hardly been able to spend any time together.”
“Alright, you’re welcome to stay for dinner, Sharlee. Just make sure that you remember the rules while I’m cooking dinner!”
“It’s okay Noah.” Sharlee laughed. “I didn’t know that there was anyone stricter than my Dad, but I guess that I was wrong!”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“I know what you meant. Thank you Noah. You look so good too!”
“So, Sharlee how many beaus do you have now?”
“How many what?”
George laughed and Noah was fuming. “I’m just teasing little gal. Simmer down both of you!”
Neither of them was sure that Will was teasing, but they let it go. Sharlee stayed for dinner and then left afterwards. The next day both of Noah’s parents had to work and so Sharlee wasn’t able to see Noah again until that evening. Noah felt almost as though he were already in jail with the way his mother treated him.
Although not allowed in the courtroom, Sharlee was expected to be at the courthouse prepared to testify. She was told that she would probably have to testify during the first week. Because of Sharlee’s age, Alissa was allowed to wait with her. Matthew attended the trial, and Dale was expected to join them in Bridgeport later in the week. Kaye was staying at home with Cara and Shawn. She would be bringing them to Bridgeport on the weekends.
Noah’s mother allowed Sharlee to see Noah only twice before the trial.
Sharlee and Alissa were taken to a small room to wait until the time for Sharlee to give her testimony. Since they might have to wait in there during the trial for several days, it was good that neither of them was claustrophobic.
Before the trial began, the judge called the attorneys up to the bench. “Mr. Thorne, this is your first time appearing before me. I trust that you will remember your oath and not use your vampire abilities to compel witnesses or the jury to favor the defendant!”
Dedric was offended that the judge would think that he would stoop to such measures to win a case. Prejudice against vampires still reared its ugly head from time to time. However he just assured the judge that he would conduct himself professionally just as every other lawyer appearing before him.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury. The evidence will show that the defendant, Noah Hall with reckless abandon took the life of Mickey Parks. The defense is going to claim that Mr. Parks’ murder was an act of self defense. However, you will hear witness testimony proving that Mr. Hall seized this as an opportunity to rid himself of a man who stood in the way of his progression in the criminal community.”
“Noah Hall is a killer , and the evidence in this case will show you that the people in the world who think they know him best know him the least. He is a young man with a violent temper. He is an example of the underbelly of our community. We must show him and all those like him that we are a law-abiding society and we will not permit them to prey on us!”
Finally Edwin Starke ended his statement. “Mr. Parks as you know is deceased and is unable to tell us what the real motive is, but based upon what you hear from witnesses and physical evidence, I ask that you return a guilty verdict on all counts.”
“A country’s greatness is judged by how they treat their elderly, their prisoners and their children.”
Dedric continued. “If you have turned on your television or picked up a newspaper over the last several months, then you have witnessed the extraordinary means which the state has used to inflame the public’s passions and to direct the fury of resentment against this boy Noah Hall. They have tried to stir up hatred, revenge. When such emotions are created, they are not easily subdued. However, I believe that you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, can do so!”
“We anticipate that the evidence will show that Noah Hall acted in self defense, and this other stuff that the prosecution is spouting is just to make Noah Hall look bad in your eyes. We want a fair trial. That’s all we want, a fair trial on the evidence.”
After some preliminary questioning, the DA asked Bones to describe events leading up to the night of Mr. Parks murder, and what he saw that night.
“Noah was always trying to get under Mickey’s skin. He was always mouthing back to him.”
“He was like a father to me.”
Noah looked up at him surprised. The guys didn’t like Mickey anymore than Noah did. Philip touched Noah, reminding him silently of their instructions not to stare at the witnesses so that the jury would not think that he was trying to intimidate or influence them. Noah went back to taking notes. Mr. Thorne had told him to do that in order to remain calm and look interested in the proceedings.
The DA asked Bones, “Have you ever seen any instances of Mr. Hall’s violent temper?”
Mr. Starke continued questioning him. “Those fights were not with Mr. Parks, but did you ever hear him threaten Mr. Parks?”
Bones looked at Noah and squirmed in his seat before answering. The DA moved to block his view of Noah.
Bones finally answered. “Yeah. Noah said that one day he was gonna stick him.”
“No further questions your honor. Your witness Mr. Thorne.”
“Under what circumstances did Mr. Hall make that statement Mr. Duncan?”
Dedric continued to question him and get him to explain those comments, but Bones couldn’t do it. However, Bones wouldn’t admit that Noah had never made that statement. He wouldn’t admit that Noah had not been the aggressor on that fatal night. Dedric released him from the stand. Finally, the first day of Noah’s trial ended, and he returned home.