Cara was crying when she got behind the wheel of her car and sped away from the school.
When Noah came through the door, Sharlee was on the phone in tears. He walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her as she continued her conversation. He could hear Alissa on the other end of the line. Sharlee disconnected the call and turned to face him as she fought to compose herself.
Noah, didn’t ask any questions. He helped her quickly pack a suitcase and they headed to the airport. By the time Noah and Sharlee’s plane arrived in Santa Fe, Shawn was out of surgery.
“He’s okay. The surgeon said that thankfully Monet didn’t hit any vital organs. He’s lost a lot of blood, but he’s young. They expect him to make a full recovery. If not for Cara, things could have gone differently. Your Dad was able to get to him in time. He can’t have visitors other than your Dad and I until tomorrow. We’re staying here with him at the hospital tonight. Why don’t you and Noah go on to the house?“
“Thanks to you, Cara he’s going to be okay!”
Cara nodded her head, but she at first could not stop crying. Shawn almost dying had really shaken her. She couldn’t imagine losing her twin even though their interests in their teen years had caused them not to spend as much time together.
Also Shawn’s marriage had meant that they weren’t as close as before. Shawn had drawn away. Cara was determined that wouldn’t happen again. She wished that she had known about Monet before Shawn had become so deeply involved with her. She would have put in an end to it before Monet had trapped her brother.
“Mr. Stallworth, it doesn’t seem like enough to say that we are deeply sorry for what Monet has done to Shawn. We should have warned you, but we hoped that marrying Shawn would calm her down!”
“Monet has had a violent streak ever since she became a teenager. In the past she has struck her mother several times and attempted to strike me. She had even threatened to burn the house down as we slept at night. Before her marriage, we were on the verge of having her committed to a center for teenagers with extreme behavioral issues. However, we were relieved when she married Shawn, and I’m ashamed to say that we were happy that she was no longer our concern.”
He turned and left the house. Dale was furious and waited until he was calmer before he told Alissa what he’d just learned about Monet.
Alissa and Dale had rotated staying with him in the hospital so that one of them was with him every day. They knew he was bored and ready to go home. Just a few days before he was released, the police had located Monet. She had behaved as though she had done nothing wrong.
Monet had been examined by mental health and medical professionals, and it was determined that although she had a personality disorder she did not have a mental illness. The DA decided to try her as an adult for attempted murder. The judge and the DA knew that with the celebrity status of both Shawn’s mother and grandfather, the case could quickly become a media spectacle.
So because of Shawn’s youth, the judge ordered that her courtroom be closed to spectators. Only family would be allowed into the courtroom for the duration of the trial. Both the prosecution and the DA approved.
Her glare did not stop him from pointing her out as the defendant who stabbed him. Sharlee kept her eyes glued to Shawn as he testified. She couldn’t bear to look at Monet, afraid that her anger would boil over.
As Shawn testified about what had led up to the stabbing, Monet’s self control snapped. She tried to reach the witness stand, but she was stopped by the court bailiffs before she got to him. She was cussing and screaming at him.
“You ungrateful fool! You should have kissed the ground that I walk on! How dare you testify against me after all that I’ve done for you!”
The judge instructed the bailiffs to remove her from the courtroom. Shawn wished they had let her get to him. He didn’t believe in hitting girls, but with Monet he’d be glad to make an exception! They could still hear her screaming as she was led away.
She then instructed the jury to leave the courtroom and ordered the attorneys for both sides to approach her bench. Court was dismissed for the remainder of the day.
“I have spoken with the defendant’s attorney, and we have agreed upon a deal. However, it is contingent upon your approval.”
“That’s why they don’t want to go to trial. If she goes to trial she might receive a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. As a part of the deal, she would have the possibility of being paroled. However it is a mandatory minimum of fifteen years in prison, and it really isn’t likely that she would ever be paroled. It is up to you and your family, Shawn. We can go to trial or we can end this today. Do you need time to think about it and talk it over?”
“I say let’s take the deal. I don’t want to look at her everyday for the next few weeks.”
After he had healed physically, Shawn was able to rejoin the basketball team. He immersed himself in his studies and in sports. Faye had come to visit him at the house, but Shawn felt very uncomfortable.
“So, how are you really doing Shawn? My family and I have missed seeing you at the stable.”
“Yeah, you’re right.” Shawn wondered if he’d ever again trust a girl other than his sisters.
Alissa and Dale were glad to see Shawn start going out for pizza, movies and to the arcade, having fun with his friends. He wasn’t ready to start dating yet, but that was fine with them. In time he would again. He was slowly healing emotionally.
Matthew was going to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Oscars Ceremony that year. The entire family was going to attend. Noah and Sharlee flew in the day of the ceremony and intended to fly back home the next day.
“Can’t you stay longer, Honey?”
Sharlee didn’t explain further and Alissa didn’t question her. She noticed that both Noah and Sharlee were quieter, but she felt that she shouldn’t press them for an explanation if they didn’t discuss it on their own.
Noah hadn’t really wanted to come, but he knew that it was important to Sharlee. Things at home might be tough, but their love for each other remained strong. He also genuinely liked and respected Matthew. So he’d decided to come with her to Santa Fe.
The family posed for pictures on the red carpet. The rest of the family had done it before at different events with Matthew and Alissa. They had been taught how to pose and smile. It was Noah’s first time, and even though he felt uncomfortable, he forced himself to smile.
Noah enjoyed seeing Sharlee happy and relaxed. It had been a while. It was also great to see so much appreciation given to Matthew in acknowledgement of his contributions to the movie and television industry.
Aiden was excitedly sitting with Sharlee and Noah. They had told him that since it was summer vacation, his parents had agreed to let him go back with them to Bridgeport for a few days. Miki was going to bring him back home to Santa Fe when she flew out there for business at the studio.
Alissa smiled at him. She hoped she’d at least receive a nomination at the next year’s Emmy’s award show.
Matthew’s name was announced and he came to the stage to accept the award. After he thanked the academy, his wife Kaye and others in the industry, Alissa was surprised when he asked her to join him on the stage.
“While I have always loved acting, I would not have pursued a successful career as strongly as I did were it not for my need of the resources necessary to locate Alissa. From the time that I found out that I had a daughter, finding her became my number one priority and everything that I accomplished until I found her was to reach that goal. So tonight I want to give a special thanks to you Alissa for allowing me into your life and that of your family. Thank you for helping me to reach my lifetime goals.”
When the cameras zoomed in for a close up shot of her happy face, most of the audience was crying too. As Matthew and Alissa left the stage the audience rose and gave Matthew a standing ovation! It was another memorable time for all of the family.
I hope this chapter wasn’t disappointing, but I thought that it would be better for the legal system to handle Monet. I can’t promise that it will always work that way with people who cross the family though! LOL
The next chapter is about Noah and Sharlee.