When Dale found out that charges were also being brought against Noah for the fight at school, he was angry. Even though Noah was not one of his favorite people, he knew this wasn’t right. He went to see his attorney.
“I thought that was settled. We didn’t press charges with the agreement that Jonathon would be transferred to another school and have no further contact with Sharlee. If they don’t drop those charges against Noah Hall, we will institute charges against Jonathon and David.”
His lawyer made some calls. They were able to get the assault charges against Noah dropped. At least Noah wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.
After finding out about Sharlee’s influential family and after several meetings with her attorney, the DA decided not to pursue charges against her. However, the prosecution’s case against Noah went forward.
Noah’s arrest and the charges against him was not as widely covered by the media in Mesa Valley as it was in Bridgeport. So Dale and Alissa hadn’t felt it necessary to tell Shawn and Cara about it. That turned out to be a mistake.
“My Mama says that your sister is a slut and her boyfriend killed her pimp!”
“YOU TAKE THAT BACK!”
“Alissa, what happened with the children today made me think of something. How much have you told Sharlee about your past?”
“What do you mean?”
“Before I was missing, she wasn’t really old enough to understand the things that happened during your childhood with your mother and in the years since. Did you tell her about those things while I was gone?”
“No, I’ve only told her things in general. I didn’t think that she needed to know.”
“In Bridgeport this is a high profile trial. When they find out that Matthew and you are involved, the national media will cover the story too. I’m sure that the DA will investigate Sharlee’s family and they will uncover the things that have happened in your past. I think that it would be better if you tell Sharlee about these things yourself.
It would be bad if she heard for the first time that her grandmother was a Madam and a drug dealer from the DA while she is being questioned in the courtroom. It would be awful for her to hear for the first time about your being abducted or pursued by a hitman while she is watching the news.”
“Honey, I know you’re wrong about that. It will make her appreciate having you even more. She will see that despite everything you turned out to be a wonderful, loving person. She will be even more proud that you are her mother. She will feel so much closer to you and love you even more.”
“I hope you’re right Dale.”
“I know that I am. This will probably be the most difficult thing to tell her, but you also need to tell her about being raped and losing the baby.”
“Yes, I am sure that the prosecution will be very thorough in their investigations. There are police reports and hospital records.”
Alissa knew that Dale was right. She had to talk with Sharlee.
The next evening, she sat down and had a long talk with Sharlee. As Sharlee listened to her Mother, she cried, and at times they both cried. Especially when Sharlee heard about Alissa being raped and losing the baby.
Although the doctor had said it would be a while before she could do gymnastics again, Sharlee had returned to her other classes at school. As she sat at a table in the cafeteria with some friends, someone sat down to join her.
Sharlee looked at David doubtfully. She had no desire to talk to him ever again.
“I want to apologize for the way that Jonathon and I treated you and Noah. I can’t believe that I ever let him talk me into doing that! I am so sorry Sharlee.”
David was shocked. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Neither me nor my parents would do that. My ears are still ringing from the lecture that they gave me when they brought me home that night. I was grounded for a month. They were very disappointed in me and ashamed of what I did. I feel the same way. Maybe Jonathon and his parents were behind it. We’re not buds anymore, but I hear that he hasn’t been doing well since he moved. He wasn’t allowed on the football team at his new school, and he’s been getting into trouble ever since they left.”
“Sharlee I hope that we can be friends. I really liked you from the moment when we first met. I was stupid to listen to Jonathon. I hope that everything works out for Noah. Since he’s gone, you’re welcome to go out sometime with me and Beth. Isabel is welcome to come too. You need to get out and have some fun now that you’re well again. You need to get your mind off of the trial, so that you’re not worrying about Noah all the time.”
“Yeah. Believe me it wasn’t easy to get her to go out with me after what Jonathon and I did. I finally managed to convince her that I was sorry for doing it, and now we’re dating!”
“That’s great David. Maybe I will go out with you guys sometime. I’ll set something up with Beth and Isabel.”
“Good Sharlee, and again, I am truly sorry.”
Settling back into living with his parents wasn’t easy for Noah. They just did not see things the same way that he did. Even though her parents had thrown her out after she became pregnant with him, Noah’s mother had their same attitude and unbending beliefs. Expecting perfection from everyone else, but not themselves. She never smiled anymore.
He also noticed that there seemed to be a lot of tension between his mother and stepfather. His stepfather just went along with whatever his mother said. No matter how unreasonable she was. She told Noah what time to get up and what time to go to bed. Just as if he was five years old.
He had tried to protest, but she wouldn’t listen. She also insisted that he remain in the room with them while he spoke with Sharlee. She bought him a new wardrobe. Of course it wasn’t his style. It was hers.
Although miserable, Noah knew that the terms of his bail meant that he had to remain with them and follow their rules. If it just effected him, he wouldn’t care. He would leave and not worry about the consequences, but this time he withstood it for Sharlee’s sake.
He spent a lot of time in the garage, working on his bike. At least his mother didn’t bother him there. If by some miracle he could win his case in court, he didn’t want to make things worse now. He was only permitted to go to his lawyers office. Other than that, he had to remain at home.
“Edwin Starke is really fighting hard for re-election to a new term.”
“Does the fact that Noah Hall’s girlfriend is the granddaughter of Matthew Hamming make a difference in how you will handle this case?”
“All defendant’s cases are given equal treatment in my office. Whether or not his girlfriend belongs to an influential family will make no difference in Mr. Hall’s trial! No more questions!”
Phyllis Thorne was a successful actress, and she had starred in several films with Matthew Hamming. They were friends. During Sharlee’s visits with the Littlers, Sharlee had spent time with Matthew. She’d also attended dinners and parties at the Thorne house with Matthew. So they knew her as well.
“I’m calling Matthew to find out what’s going on!”
“So Noah is Abigail and Taylor Hall’s grandson?”
Phyllis answered. “Yes. Melina kept her maiden name after she married Will Sikes.”
He continued, “It was shameful the way that they turned their backs on Melina and their grandson. I imagine that now that their grandson is in so much trouble, they are distancing themselves as much as possible. Their name means everything to them. They and their cronies continue to fight every piece of legislation that the vampire council proposes to bring our community greater equality. I still believe that the DA is on their payroll.”
Dedric Thorne was a successful attorney. His clientele was mainly from the vampire community nationwide.
“I’ve heard of him. I think that is an excellent suggestion! I usually take mainly vampire cases, but this will make a great crossover opportunity. Beating Edwin Starke will also be a huge bonus! I”ll call Matthew now and talk with him about it.”
After talking with Matthew, Dedric called Philip Rivera and set up an appointment with him to confer over Noah’s case. Philip booked an earlier flight to Bridgeport so that he could fully brief Dedric on the facts of the case, and how they were going to proceed. He was looking forward to teaming up with Dedric. He began to feel more optimistic about Noah’s chances of winning.
Jacqueline, thank you for giving me the Thorne family to use! They are a great family!