Grey Continued: Season 5 Episode 23

As promised, a little bit of salve for this corona quarantine…

This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Season 5 Episode 23

ANASTASIA

“If it’s not too much trouble, would you please meet me at the hospital?”

I’ve happily spent Saturday with me and Sophie happily introducing my babies to my love of aquariums, then taking pictures with the Wax figures at Madame Tussauds before coming home and having a junk food/romcom night with all the girls since Gail and Sophie will be leaving tomorrow. I thought about sending the twins back, too, but decided against it since I’d rather have my babies here with me.

I had decided to take a trip to the chocolate factory this morning, but I have Dr. Lee on the line smugly requesting my presence at Summerlin. You wanna go that route, Doc? Fine by me.

“Save the sarcasm, Dr. Lee,” I retort, “and you can shove that judgmental attitude right up your ass. I’ve taken all I’m going to take from you and that self-righteous gaggle of nurses you have up there.” He’s silent for a moment, then he clears his throat.

“I apologize,” he says stoically. Save it.

“What have you decided?” Get to the point. I’m not making a trip out to Summerlin for you to throw more bullshit at me. He pauses again.

“Will you please come to the hospital and sign the documents giving us permission for Mrs. Morton’s psychiatric evaluation?” he replies. It’s about fucking time.

“I’ll be there as soon as is convenient,” I reply. “And Dr. Lee?”

“Yes?” he replies, his voice sounding a bit petulant.

“Anastasia Rose Steele, date of birth 10/18/85. You have my permission to obtain my medical records from UMC from March 2001, and I know that you can. Take a good look at what happened to me. Share it with those sanctimonious, critical nurses that keep giving me the side-eye and disrespecting me when I show up on the ICU. And as you’re reading that stuff, calculate how old I was when this occurred. Consider the fact that I was a straight-A student who did nothing at all to deserve what happened to me except allow myself to get raped by the most popular boy in school. Maybe that’ll answer some of your questions, if it’s not too much trouble!” I disconnect the call.

When I raise my head, Christian is standing in front of me.

“Do you need me to go with you?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say. The hell if I’m going into the enemy camp alone. He nods.

“So, what’s the verdict?” he probes.

“He’s going to request the psychiatric evaluation,” I reply. “He needs me to sign some papers.”

“That’s what we wanted, right?” he asks.

“Yep, that’s what I wanted.”

It’s sometime in the afternoon when I get to the hospital. I don’t go to my mother’s room. Instead, I go to the nurses’ station on the main floor and have them page Dr. Lee. My hope is to have this meeting in his office and avoid as much confrontation as possible. However, he sends word back to have me meet him at the nurses’ station on the second floor. I give Christian a knowing look.

“It’s gonna be that type of day, I see,” he says. He places his hand in the small of my back and leads me to the elevator.

I’m still hoping that he’s going to escort me from the nurses’ station to the second floor. He does not. He doesn’t even suggest that we go to a private area in the hospital—the corner of a waiting room or even into my mother’s room, which I really didn’t want, but it would have been better than being out here in front of the whole world. No, he just starts rattling away right there at the nurses’ station. The only privacy that I’m afforded is that if someone even approaches who is not medical personnel, he stops talking.

“I talked to Mrs. Morton yesterday. She was extremely detached, which I would expect under the circumstances. When I tried to discuss the details of the accident with her, she was very evasive, to say the least. This could have been a result of her injuries and the brain’s protective measures to forget the trauma, but I don’t think that’s what this is.”

He stops speaking for a moment to allow someone to pass.

“It wasn’t like she didn’t remember. It was as if she was deliberately avoiding answering the question. When I mentioned speaking to someone, a therapist, perhaps while she’s in the hospital, she didn’t respond. I went further to tell her that we wanted to be sure that she wasn’t a danger to herself and she just shrugged and looked out of the window.”

Another pause.

“I’m still not completely convinced that she’s not a danger to herself. However, she didn’t protest enough when I alluded to the possibility of being committed. So, what we’re going to do is called a Legal 2000. Because she was first admitted to the hospital for medical treatment, we will have her evaluated and observed by a psychiatrist over the next 72 hours. If the psychiatrist finds that there is no underlying psychiatric condition, the…”

Another pause. This is ridiculous.

“… The mental health hold will be discontinued after that time and a safe discharge plan will be developed. It may turn out that Mrs. Morton was overwhelmed by sadness and depression at the time and just made a hasty but drastic decision. As a mental health professional, I’m sure you know that there are ways to deal with that as opposed to committing her long term for fear that she’s a constant threat to herself.”

“I do,” I acknowledge coolly.

“She won’t be able to have any visitors during that time. She will be on restrictive care. This means that your guard won’t be necessary…”

“My security is not leaving that door,” I interrupt him. “We live a life where our privacy is constantly invaded and violated and her relationship to me exposes her to the same inconvenience, not to mention that since she’s in a public hospital, she’s even more vulnerable than she would be if she were at home. She could be exploited for a headline simply by someone walking past her window and snapping a phone pic. My security detail has specific instructions that no one gets into that room without permission, so you should actually be glad that they’re posted there to be sure that no one breaches the perimeter.” He sighs heavily.

“Very well, Dr. Grey. She could have agreed to the treatment herself, but she was too impassive and didn’t consent, so we contacted you…”  which means he wouldn’t have called me had she consented to treatment on her own. He’s going to be a thorn in my side

He hands me the forms and I read them over quickly, noting all the wherefores and whatnots before I sign them.

“We’ll give you some time to talk to her before she’s on restrictive care. ‘No visitors for the next three days’ means you as well,” he says.

“Is there anything else?” I ask.

“Not at this time,” he says. I nod. Since you want a fucking audience, you got one, Doc.

“I won’t bother asking why we didn’t have this conversation behind closed doors, but I will say this. If I have to encounter that high-handed attitude of yours one more time because you don’t approve of my behavior because I’m not falling all over the floor in tears, I’m going to have my mother moved, and there’s nothing you can do about that without a court order proving that I’m abusive or negligent, and we both know that I’m neither.” I glare at him and await his response.

“Understood,” he replies.

“I can’t help but wonder if the hospitals treated her this way when I was in a coma and she clearly didn’t care,” I shoot. I watch his face blanch a bit. “I’m assuming you read my medical file.”

“I… did, yes,” he responds.

“Good,” I say, turning to the nurses. “Since you’re all so hell-bent on treating me like crap because I’m not falling out in dismay over my mother’s condition, I want all of you who have children to imagine that was your 15-year-old daughter lying in that bed in a coma mutilated that way. And if you don’t have children, do what you’ve been doing all this time and imagine that it’s your mother.” I turn back to Dr. Lee.

“My mother treated me like vermin for years—the worst when I was in that hospital bed. I’m giving her a whole hell of a lot more than she ever afforded me!”

Without another word, I turn around and walk back to my mother’s room with Christian behind me. Abe is standing outside her door when I get there.

“You’re committing her?” Abe accuses, his eyes like fire. “Are you punishing her for what she did to you as a child? Is that what this is?”

“Not at all,” I respond. “What my mother did to me when I was a child is over and done. We can’t go back and change it. And she’s not being committed; she’s being evaluated. And she’s not being evaluated because she sucked as a mother when I was 15. She’s being evaluated because she possibly drove her car off an overpass. When I talk to her, she still wants to die. She sees no reason for living, nobody that she’s useful to, and now, she can’t walk. She’s even more useless in her own eyes than she was before.

“She may have tried to kill herself, Abe. If she gets the chance again, she’s going to succeed. She needs to heal from her guilt; she needs to heal from loving a man that she’ll never have again; and she needs to come to grips with her new way of life. She’s worth nothing to you, herself, or anybody else in the condition she’s in now. She needs help. I have to make sure that she gets it.”

“Is it me?” he asks, desperation in his voice. “Is this a test for me? I love her, Ana. I truly do. I’m not going anywhere. I swear I’ll stay by her side until she’s over that man, until she’s over this. She has a beautiful heart and she doesn’t know it. I don’t know what’s happened to her in her life. I don’t know your terror besides what she’s told me and what came out in court. I just know that right now… right here, right now… she has a big beautiful heart, and I want it. I want to fill it with all the love it can hold. Please… if this is a test for me…”

“It’s not,” I interrupt his shaking voice. “Abe… Carla. Needs. Help. If you love her like you say you do, be there for her. She’s going to try to send you away. Don’t let her. She’s going to need someone once this is over, but this is not going to be a quick or easy process. If you have any other intentions besides the pure and unadulterated love of that woman, walk away now. Spare yourself and her any further frustration and heartache. If this is going to be too much for you, walk away. Carla is nearly 50 years old and we’re literally going to be trying to teach an old dog new tricks. This may not be what you want, and no one will hold it against you if…”

“I’m not. Going. Anywhere,” he says firmly. “I refuse to leave her. Do what you must, but I’ll be here.” His eyes pin me, implore me, but demand that I hear what he’s saying.

“How long… have you been seeing my mother?” I ask. He swallows.

“I’ve known her since before my daughter died, of course, but I’ve been seeing her intimately for about a year.” Intimately…

“Have you…?” How do you ask a grown man that you don’t know about your mother’s sex life?

“Only a handful of times,” he admits, without me having to ask the question. “She’s a very… private person. Our relationship, as it were, is not public knowledge.” I touch his arm.

“My life is not here,” I tell him. “My life is in Seattle. I’m going to need some eyes and ears here in Nevada, and some backup to help with her care and recovery. If you’re really serious…”

“I’m dead serious,” he interrupts.

“Let me finish,” I say. “If you’re really serious about wanting to be with my mother and wanting to help her through this, then I can really use you on my team. But understand this, Abe. I don’t hate that woman. I only want the best care for her, and I’m not trying to make or watch her suffer. She’s extremely vulnerable to the degree of being helpless. Know for a fact that I will not stand by and allow her to be mistreated or misused, especially right now when she really can’t fight for herself.” I pull out my business card and hand it to him.

“If you’re serious, you’re going to have dinner with me and my husband tonight. If you’re not, walk away. If you want to help with her recovery, we welcome your assistance. However, if your intention is to take advantage of her or abuse her in any way, there’s nowhere on earth you’ll be able to hide from me, and that is a promise.” He examines me carefully.

“You’re serious,” he says.

“I’m very serious,” I reply frankly without taking my eyes off him. He takes the business card.

“We’re staying at the Waldorf,” I add. “Six o’clock.”

He takes my hand with both of his and kisses it for a long moment, a tear falling on my skin.

“Thank you,” he says, his voice barely above a whisper. I nod once and he releases my hand and walks to the elevator. Christian has said nothing during this entire exchange. I look at the door to my mother’s room for a moment. Then I drop my head back, looking at the ceiling, and take a deep breath. I let it out, dropping my head and my shoulders dramatically, and closing my eyes. This is starting to become way too much, and I’m ready to wrap things up.

I raise my gaze and straighten my back. I look to my right at my husband standing next to me. I look to my left and do a double take when I see Dr. Lee still standing at the nurse’s station looking at me. His expression is unreadable, and I don’t know if he’s close enough to have heard my conversation with Abe, but so be it. I turn and go into my mother’s room.

*-*

Dinner has been delivered to our suite at the Waldorf. I thought we would meet in the restaurant downstairs, but Christian thought it would be better to meet in the suite where we could have privacy. Alex did a rush preliminary background check on Wendy and Abe for us in preparation for this meeting. I considered having Wendy present as well, but I think it best that we meet with them separately.

My husband has done most of the talking for us. I only interject if I have specific questions. Abe has been accommodating so far, declaring that his life is an open book and nothing spectacular. Christian has not let up on him, though, and Abe appears to be getting a bit defensive.

“I can’t imagine what you must think of me,” Abe says. “Yes, Carla is older than I am, but she’s very beautiful… a trait she has obviously passed down to her daughter.” He looks at me, but his gaze doesn’t linger. He immediately goes back to talking about my mother.

“There was concern that my affections for her were… displaced—transference or infatuation. I assure you, that’s not it. Yes, it’s very admirable how much of herself she chooses to give to others. She’s the reason I decided to become a caregiver myself.”

“Yes, I see that you decided to become a hospice caregiver shortly after your daughter died,” I say. “That must have been a very tough decision.”

“Losing my little girl was the hard part,” he says, “harder than you’ll ever imagine, but Carla was there to make her transition as smooth as possible. She was kind and caring and very attentive to my Amalia. She sat with her when I could not. She talked with her and put her heart at ease about death. She did not speak of heaven, but she spoke of peace and an end to her pain. I appreciated that more.

“She did not desert me when my Amalia died,” he continues. “She contacted me often to make sure that I was okay, that I would not slip into despair. One day, I asked her out for coffee. Then she allowed me to take her to dinner. I always thought that the responsibility was met once the patient healed… or died. Carla showed me that I was wrong.” He raises tear-filled eyes to me.

“I miss my Amalia,” he says, “every day. I miss my Amelda, too. She was my wife. Cancer took her from me just after Amalia was born… the same cancer that took my Amalia.”

He catches a tear that falls down his cheek.

“I know that Carla loves her Stephen,” he continues. “I know how that feels. It will never go away. I still love my Amelda, and I always will. This is why I am willing to wait. I know that the love will never leave, and I would never disgrace his memory that way… but I also thought I would never love anyone besides my Amelda and look what happened.

“She lost her husband… and her daughter, even though her circumstances are much different from mine, but same. We are two pilgrims on a journey to find purpose after losing everything. She has taken me on a journey for which I will always be eternally grateful—that of being able to care for others and give of myself, to provide the comfort to them that was given to me during one of the most difficult times in their lives, and mine. Now, her journey begins, to find love when you think there is none, to see that she is not useless even in the depths of her despair when she thinks she has nothing else to give.

“So, you see, Anastasia, I know that you and your husband are very powerful, but as long as I’m alive, I’m going to be here, and I’m not going away. You said that she would send me away. She’s done that many times before. She hasn’t been very successful. I don’t know or care what you can do to me, but know that you won’t be successful either if that’s your intention.”

“Our intention is to make sure that she’s taken care of and not advantage of,” Christian interjects firmly.

“Is that what you think I’m doing?” he asks.

“I don’t know you, Mr. Cicci, that’s why you’re here,” Christian retorts.

“That’s strange, I thought I was here in the best interest of Carla, not to be put under your microscope or to seek your approval,” Abe retorts fearlessly. Christian straightens in his chair.

“My biggest concern right now is this woman right here,” Christian warns. “Her concern at the moment is her mother, so by extension, she’s my concern as well.”

“Well, Mr. Grey, let me assure you that my biggest concern right now is not Anastasia. My biggest concern is Carla. My presence here tonight is only to assure her daughter that my intentions are pure and that I will not desert her in her time of need. I’m not here to interview for a position to be subjected to your scrutiny. I love that woman. I’m going to see her through this. I’m going to be there for that woman, and I’m not going to let anybody stop me.” He looks from Christian to me and back to Christian.

“And if you try to hide her from me, I’ll find her. That’s what you do when you love someone—you never give up. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve suddenly lost my appetite.”

He pushes back from the table and strides out of the suite without another word.

“Christian, I really think you were picking a fight with the wrong person,” I say.

“Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?” he says. “The last thing you need to be worried about is someone coming in exploiting your mother’s weaknesses. No matter how much you distance yourself from the situation, that’s still not going to make things any easier for you.”

No, it won’t.

“While I appreciate his situation, game time is fucking over. If he’s in it for the long haul, great. Nothing I said tonight will make any difference whatsoever. But if he’s bullshitting around, the sooner he gets his ass off this boat, the better!”

I sigh heavily. He’s right. Abe doesn’t have to love or even like us, but he does have to be there unendingly for Carla even when we’re not. So, if he’s full of shit, it’s better that he gets pissed and walks away now. And if he’s the real deal, it’s better that he gets pissed and digs his heels in now.

My conversation the next day with Wendy was nothing like the conversation with Abe. She gave me a little more insight on the relationship, that she knows that my mother is very fond of Abe, but she clearly feels guilty for having feelings for someone else besides Stephen. Maybe this is something they can help her overcome during her therapy.

Wendy cried often during our talk. She has three children and she’s divorced, a little older than my mother. They met on the job and hit it off immediately. Wendy’s phone is full of pictures of her and my mother throughout their friendship. My mother appears to be genuinely happy in several of the pictures. It’s clear that over a short period of time, they have formed quite the bond.

She even has a picture that she took of her and Abe. The adoration in his eyes towards her can’t be faked.

Wendy and I exchange numbers, addresses, and emails, and we discuss a lot of what will be needed for my mother’s care. This is what Wendy does for a living, so it’s quite fortuitous that she happens to be my mother’s best friend. I let her know that we will set it up so that she receives compensation for helping to take care of my mother. Though she assures me that it’s not necessary, I tell her that it is, because we would be paying someone else if we weren’t paying her. This way, she can give the best care possible to her best friend without having to worry about her livelihood.

She cries again.

Both Wendy’s and Abe’s preliminary background checks are unremarkable. Alex assures me that when it comes up with the basic stuff—credit reports, traffic tickets, education—it’s usually a good sign and a safe bet that they won’t find anything else. For me, that’s one less thing to worry about.

The next few days fly by with no Sophie to talk to and not having to go back and forth to the hospital to check on my mother. I spend the days recuperating from everything Las Vegas by spending every possible waking moment with my children and giving Keri and Chuck some time to enjoy Las Vegas before we leave.

It’s Wednesday now. Two big things happening today. First, I finally hear the sentence for Vincent Sullivan, and I can put that one thing behind me. One down, 15 or so to go. Second, I get the results of my mother’s psych evaluation and I can finally make some decisions about her care.

And then I can go home!

For now, it’s time to head to the battleground. I’ve known from the moment I knew that I was coming back to this place what I would be wearing should this day arrive. I’ve won now. I don’t know what kind of sentence Vincent Sullivan is going to get for his role in what happened to me, but someone has officially said that what he did was wrong. Someone convicted him, and I’ve won!

I’m wearing a plain tan mock neck cut-out fitted dress that hugs all of my curves from my Anastasia Steele days and a pair of nude Louboutins from my Anastasia Grey collection. I’ve accessorized with earrings, a necklace, a ring, and a bracelet from my Australian opal and white gold collection. A tan wool office lady style cloak with Batwing sleeves and faux fox fur collar and cuffs protects me from the elements. My hair is set in beautiful curls flowing down my back and I look every bit the Seattle socialite.

When I step out of the car with Christian, I hold my posture like I’m walking the red carpet. Donning my Jackie O’s, I take the stairs slowly and deliberately.

Print this, you bastards.

I don’t feel so defeated when I step into the courtroom. I see Larson do a double take when he sees me. I don’t know why because with his shenanigans during this trial. He could have been one of them instead of one of us as far as I’m concerned. Some of the courtroom murmuring ceases when I step in, and I’m tempted to stop in the middle of the aisle and take a bow. I immediately lock eyes with the bitch who asked how I could “do this” to Vincent in the hallway that day. I don’t stare. I just make note of where she’s sitting, intent on adding a little salt to my statement. I take my seat, my gaze fixed coolly on the bench and nowhere else as I wait for the proceedings to begin.

A few minutes later, the court is called to order and the defendant is led into the courtroom in shackles and his DOC navy blue scrubs… at least that’s what they look like. He’s not polished and cleaned up like he was during his trial. No, he looks like he’s resigned to his fate. Today, he marches in and takes a seat at the defense table, no remorse or anguish in his face and no anger—just another day in the life, it seems. He rests his hands in his lap and does the same thing that I do, concentrate on the bench.

The judge says a few words and explains what’s going to happen during the proceedings. When he opens the opportunity to make a statement, Larson first rises to illuminate the reasons why Vincent Sullivan should receive the maximum sentence allowable on all counts.

Having lost his case almost completely, Blake stands to ask for leniency as the defendant has had several years to ponder his actions and has become a valuable and productive member of society.

How fortunate that he has become a productive member of the society to which he has yet to repay his debt!

But that’s not all…

In lieu of Vincent making his own statement to the court, the defense presents a video. A video! This is Blake’s last trump card to try to get his client off.

The video is heart-wrenching. It looks to be professionally done. There are pictures of Vincent when he was a kid; him with his ailing mother before she passed away; current pictures of him doing volunteer work in the community, all set to the narration of several members of the community asking for leniency for this outstanding citizen who made a “horrible mistake” when he was a kid. There are tears and expressions of complete disbelief that Vincent will be required to do any jail time. There are even some people begging that the judge has mercy on the actions of a misguided teenager who has since seen the err of his ways. There’s even sad, emotional music playing in some portions of the video.

In his portion of the video, Vincent denies any personal vendetta when he participated in the incident, painting himself as a frightened and misguided child at the time. He still refuses to take responsibility for any wrong that he did during the attack, stating repeatedly that he maintains that he was afraid for his life and safety.

I didn’t even know that they were allowed to present videos like this, but apparently, they are. It doesn’t sway me, though. Whether it sways the judge or not, we’ll have to see, but I’ve got my statement ready.

When the judge asks if I want to make a statement, I nod and move to the podium. I’ve made some notes so that I don’t go off on a tangent, but I know exactly what I want to say…

“Had I known I could’ve done this by video, I would have saved myself the airfare,” I begin. “However, I believe my point will be driven home more adequately by speaking to you face to face, your honor.

“I’ve waited for this day for nearly fifteen years. I never thought it would come. I never thought I would see anything that even resembled justice for what happened to me… a young life destroyed, an innocent life ended before it even began… and a group of self-important, pumped-up, lethally-entitled rich kids running around like nothing happened, certain—just like I was—that they would never pay for their crimes. And now, here I am finally able to address the situation openly.

“I’ve lived with the horror of what happened to me for over a decade. I’ve lived with the dismay that these monsters not only got away with what they did to me, but also that they are now raising children with the same sense of entitlement and disregard for human suffering in the same world where I’m now raising my twins. I’m living with the disillusionment that one crime can go unpunished forever while another goes unsolved for what feels like a lifetime… against a child… an honor student, a good kid who didn’t bother anybody, whose only crime was that she was a poor girl trying to survive in a rich world, put upon by one, lied on by another, and attacked by many.” I shake my head. “What am I supposed to tell my children about being good people when this is what happened to me?

“Most of all, I’m still horrified that such atrocities can come from children the same age that I was at the time. What kind of breeding must there have been for these kids to feel like this act was in any way justifiable? These were teenagers… teenagers who planned one of the worst hazing and assault rituals that I have ever seen in my personal and professional life, fact or fiction… and for a mental health MD to say something like that, believe me, it means a lot.

“I’ve had to study some of the most horrific things in my plight to understand the human mind and to this day, I still can’t fathom how teenagers could choose to utilize a method so unthinkable and inhumane that even though it was used as punishment for high crimes in the dark ages, it was banned in the early 19th Century as cruel and unusual.

“What must this child have been thinking?” I continue as I gesture to Vincent Sullivan. “He sits here before you now as an adult—they’re all adults now—parents and respected members of the community, mingling with you in your country clubs and PTA meetings, their children attending the same schools that yours attend, the same social functions, blending in just as cool as you please… monsters hiding in plain sight. What must they have been thinking all those years ago when they planned this whole thing—a simple hazing ritual that got out of hand, right? No—a premeditated assault on someone just because they were different. Premeditated… think about that. How premeditated must this act have been for someone to order custom brands and wait for delivery to spell out a word on another human being’s skin?”

There are audible gasps and murmurings in the courtroom when I bring this point of premeditation to the forefront. I’m hoping to give the prosecution a bit more firepower the next time they have to bring one of these monsters to trial.

“How much time did they have before their weapons of torture arrived in the mail—making UPS or FedEx an unwitting accessory to murder—to allow them to change their minds and rethink their plans? I mean, seriously think about that… did they wait for standard three-day shipping or did someone pay special express delivery so that the brands could get there sooner?”

I really want to drive home the extent of the atrocity that these people are getting away with. An entire community basically turned their heads on what happened to me, because I refuse to believe—even now—that someone else didn’t know what was going on. Melanie kept a recording for twelve years, revealing what happened during a death-bed confession. Sullivan knew the entire time that his brother was involved and no matter how well he hid the incident, there was forensic evidence, the location where I was found, the fact that the baby’s DNA could have been traced… There was too much stuff to hide; someone had to help him.

“Even now—today—there are people in this very room who accosted me in the hallway of this building and after seeing the vicious, brutal, stomach churning violence that he inflicted on me still accused me of ruining the defendant’s life.”

I turn around and look the woman in the eye who confronted me in the hallway the day that I fled the courtroom after the “Vincent’s So Great” parade. She shrinks a bit under my stare, but I don’t linger. Instead, I return to my statement.

“But I thank God that justice has prevailed and that this ungodly act will no longer go unacknowledged and unpunished. I thank God that someone looked at this behavior and said, ‘No, this is unacceptable, and something has to be done about it’ even though some people would have you think I deserved it. Nobody deserved what happened to me… nobody—not then, not now, not ever… not even the monsters who did it to me.

“These starry-eyed teenagers who should have been practicing for the big game, doing their homework, and planning for the Sadie Hawkins dance gathered somewhere and thought out this plan of torture—pondered it, waited for it, savored it, anticipated it, then put it into action. We’re going to cause irreparable physical and emotional damage on another person just as soon as our brands arrive. Those same someones accepted a plea for pointing out the other participants in their sadistic little ritual—rewarded with a lighter sentence for being tattletales when they were the ones who orchestrated the entire thing in the first place! And now he’s sitting here hoping that he’s not going to get the book thrown at him for executing two of the three horrific scars that I must live with for the rest of my life.” I sigh.

“Rest assured that I’ll be present at every trial for every one of these monsters who robbed me of my peace and innocence for several years. I’ll celebrate triumphs and I’ll lament defeats, and I’ll probably regurgitate every time I have to watch that damn video, but I won’t stop. I won’t rest until every person involved in my torture and the death of my unborn child is called to task for their actions.

“I’ll be honest and say that I’m glad that something will happen so that they won’t be walking the streets anymore, but I’ll also say that I hope the future is not so merciful on someone who premeditates a violent crime so thoroughly that they mail-order a murder weapon!”

When I’m finished with my dissertation, even the judge is taken aback by my explanation of the extent of the premeditation. I take my notes, turn from the lectern and return to my seat.

The silence is so thick that it sounds like white noise.

“Thank you all for your statements,” the judge says. “I must say that I have never seen anything so heinous before in my life as I have seen in this trial. To exercise objectivity throughout this case was a feat fit for Mr. Universe. And while I commend myself for being able to stick to my duty and maintain order throughout these proceedings, I must admit that I take great satisfaction in being able to now speak my mind freely as a human being, a father, a man, and a member of the judicial system.

“In my opinion, this is one of those times where the justice system worked exactly how it should have, even if nearly 15 years later. The bad guy was caught—one of them, anyway—and is now required to stand here and atone for his actions.

“However, this is a lose-lose situation as far as I’m concerned, because although Dr. Grey was able to pick up the remnants of her life, move on and become a successful doctor and businessperson, without doubt, her life was never the same after what happened to her. Her innocence was ripped from her; her peace was stolen. No one, and I mean no one came to her rescue. Simply as a member of the human race, that horrifies me. As a member of the judicial system, that befuddles me beyond belief. As a man and a father, that enrages me more than words can say.

“In addition to that, we have a young man here who has not yet reached the age of thirty and who is apparently a respected and productive member of society whose actions 15 years ago will forevermore shape what the rest of his life will look like. No just man can blindly swing a sword and not feel the cut of his blade on another man, and yet that’s what I must do today.

“Emotional evidence has a way of swaying a case, but not nearly as much as factual evidence and the facts speak for themselves. The sheer magnitude of the details of this case sends chills down my spine to consider that a group of adults could do something like this. It’s nearly unimaginable that a group of children did it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and I’m still having a problem absorbing the fact that a group of teenagers committed this crime.

“Dr. Grey, let me begin by offering you a long overdue and heartfelt apology. The system failed you—miserably. For that, I am deeply, deeply sorry. There are no words that can express how appalled and disappointed I am that it took this long for you to see any kind of justice. It happens that some cases may slip through the cracks, but that’s not what happened here. I may not be able to speak on other open cases, but the right against self-incrimination does not excuse any of us from obeying, and in some cases, enforcing the law. This was a blatant disregard for the law—it’s malfeasance and mishandling in almost its worst form, second only in my eyes to law enforcement unjustly shooting or harming an unarmed person. To that end, hopefully, today, I can bring you some small, miniscule measure of closure for the injustices done to you.”

“Thank you, Your Honor,” I say quietly.

“I’m of the firm belief that shaking my finger at or scolding attorneys usually comes to no avail, but I will say this. Mr. Drake, I hope you don’t have any daughters, because the sins of the father have a way of coming back to bite the children. What’s more is that one day, you may find yourself in a position where you have to explain to them how you villainized a young girl who had already been victimized beyond reproach in one of the worst ways humanly imaginable. For that, I do not envy you, sir.

“I’ve often heard it said that with great power comes great responsibility. To me, that means that it’s important that someone in my position does not get so caught up in their power that they forget their duty and responsibility. Bearing that in mind, I have the responsibility to pass sentence on a situation here that will have a great impact on future cases similar to this one. That’s a mighty burden to bear and a heavy load to carry, knowing that if I make the wrong decision today, that it could impact similar cases in the future. Having said that, I thought long and hard on the facts involved in the case and the circumstances surrounding it as I pondered my decision.

“I must be mindful that not only is this man at my mercy, that I hold someone’s life in my hand, but also that nearly 15 years ago, he held someone’s life in his. He was responsible for what happened to her, and now I’m responsible for what happens to him.

“Mr. Sullivan, I, like the jury, do not feel that you were afraid for your life at all. There are many other motives that can be attached to why you did what you did to that 15-year-old girl, but your team failed to prove mortal fear in any way, shape, or form. Even with the bad lighting, I could see malice and intent in your expression and I’m certain the jury saw it, too, in the four times that they viewed the video. In you, I saw one of the kids on the edge—on the very edge—of the popular crowd. Your brother was working to take care of the home, but you had just enough to fit in with the affluent kids. Is that why you tortured a young girl for sport? To fit in? Only you know the answer to that, Mr. Sullivan, but know that I have no problem sending a message loud and clear that that type of behavior will not be tolerated in this jurisdiction.

“In addition, I feel that you would have grounds for appeal based on that production that your attorney just presented to the court in your defense. I saw nothing in that video that would sway me to be lenient on you in any way. All I saw was a theatrical production for the purpose of taking the court’s time. There was nothing in that video that hasn’t already been said during the proceedings by many of the same people. The only thing that video was missing was a walk off into the sunset and closing credits. The case against you is so strong that as far as I’m concerned, Mr. Blake’s coup was actually a Coup de grâce, and you would have done better to make a statement on your own.

“As such, having been found guilty by a jury of your peers, your sentence stands as follows.

“On count one, assault accompanied with acts of extreme cruelty and substantial bodily harm, I hereby sentence you to serve the maximum term of 10 years with a possibility of parole after seven years served.

“On count two, battery with a deadly weapon with substantial bodily harm, I hereby sentence you to serve the maximum term of 15 years with no possibility of parole, and a fine of $10,000.

“On count three, battery without a weapon with substantial bodily harm, I hereby sentence you to serve the maximum term of 5 years with a possibility of parole after 3 years served, and a fine of $10,000.

“On count six, manslaughter for fetal homicide, I hereby sentence you to serve the maximum term of 10 years with no possibility of parole, and a fine of $10,000.

“On count seven, attempted murder, I hereby sentence you to serve the term of 20 years with no possibility of parole. As indicated in the Nevada Revised Statutes, I am imposing an additional 10 years on this count for the use of a deadly weapon, also with no possibility of parole.

“These sentences are to be run consecutively and are to be executed forthwith.

“In case there’s any doubt about my judgments, let me make them clear. I’m sending a message to any defendant in this matter, any attorney who chooses to defend them, and any judge who sits on the bench. Take heed that when the justice system works the way that it should, no one group of people anywhere, anytime, or at any age is allowed to become judge, jury, and executioner. It doesn’t matter to me that we’re talking about a group of 15 and 16-year-old kids. What they did to this girl is reminiscent of the lynchings of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

“Anyone who can look at that video and see what happened to that girl and listen to her scream and somehow say that’s okay by any means or for any reason needs their head examined. And anyone who can participate in that kind of barbaric display deserves the highest sentence that can be imposed by law. So, Mr. Sullivan, be glad that you have been granted opportunities for parole on some of those sentences, because that means that you didn’t get the maximum. I doubt that you’ll ever see parole, however, considering that your sentences are to be served consecutively.

“At the end of sentencing, by rote I often say, ‘I wish you luck,’ or if it’s a death sentence, ‘May God have mercy on your soul.’ I do not wish you luck, Mr. Sullivan, not because I’m a bad person or because I wish any ill will upon you, but because I know that luck won’t help you. You have no hope of seeing daylight outside of prison walls for 65 years. Luck isn’t going to do a thing for you.

“I won’t say, ‘May God have mercy on your soul, because unless you acquire some horrible disease or some serious unfortunate event befalls you in prison, you’re very likely not to meet your maker for a very long time. I will, however, combine those two and wish you mercy.

“You’re going to a place where friendship has a cost, Mr. Sullivan, where if there is a smiling face, there’s a price behind it. You find opportunities for education and rehabilitation, but you’ll never find the friendships and freedoms that you’ve enjoyed on the outside. For that reason, I wish you the mercy that you did not grant Anastasia Steele. I hope it was worth it. This court is adjourned.”

I can only say that I’m glad that each time I’ve been in the courtroom that even though I felt that the trials were harrowing and the defense attorneys were rude, unfeeling, and utterly insane for thinking that they would be able to get their clients off, the court always came back with sentences that I felt these bastards deserved. Even though Vincent Sullivan wasn’t found guilty on all counts, they got him on most of them, and he’s going away for a long time.

His attorney is leaning over whispering something to him and he turns mournful eyes to me. We stare at each other for several moments as his attorney chatters away, and I’m waiting for whatever hateful gesture he’s going to hurl at me because of the situation that I put him in. His mouth forms the words…

“I’m sorry.”

His tearstained face is now full of remorse and regret—for his fate? For what he did to me? I don’t know which. I close my eyes briefly and take a deep breath. When I open them, he’s still looking at me. I nod once to acknowledge that I heard him, and moments later, he’s led away out a door on the side of the courtroom to serve his sentence.


CHRISTIAN

“Sir, I need to take a few days off.”

Shortly after we hear the sentencing for Vincent Sullivan, we’re in the car headed back to the hotel when I get a call from Alex.

“This is new,” I say.

“No, sir, it’s not,” he says. “You’ve just never known when I’ve done it before. I need to go to DC to secure a couple of my clearances.”

“When?” I ask.

“Immediately, sir.”

“Why so last minute?” I inquire.

“It’s not really last minute,” he replies. “I knew that the clearances had to be secured… again, but there are some details that I didn’t expect that I need to tend to personally and as soon as possible.”

“What type of details?” I ask.

“I think you already know that’s classified,” he replies. Of course, it is. What was I thinking?

“Do you need the jet?” I ask. He pauses.

“No, I’ll go commercial,” he replies. “It draws less attention.” He’s right about that, too.

“Will the fort be secure while you’re gone?” I ask.

“I’m never really gone, sir. I think you know that.”

“Jason knows?”

“Yes, he’s aware. I should have everything wrapped up by the weekend.” Why do I suddenly feel a wave of panic that my head of corporate security and one of the most important people on my team won’t be at the helm?

“Very well, safe journey,” I reply.

“Thank you, sir. Oh! And I’ve forwarded the background checks to you and Ana for Abramio Cicci and Wendy Scorcio. Easily traceable. Very much your average Joe and Jane,” he says.

“That’s good to know,” I reply. “I’m sure that Butterfly will be happy to hear that.” She raises her gaze to me from the seat next to me.

“I’ll let you know as soon as I return, sir,” and he ends the call.

“Glad to hear what?” Butterfly asks.

“That Alex has forwarded the background checks for Wendy and Carla’s beloved Abe to both our emails.” She examines me.

“You don’t like him,” she says.

“It’s not that I don’t like him, Butterfly. I just have a natural distrust of people that I’m not going to apologize for, and I don’t care who doesn’t like it. If he proves to be on the up and up, which Alex thinks they both will, then all is well. Like he said, he doesn’t have to satisfy me, but if he turned out to be a swindler, for your sanity, I would have made sure he didn’t get near Carla.”

My wife smiles and shakes her head. She looks at her phone and swipes the screen, opening windows and scrolling.

“He’s right,” she says, scrolling slowly through her screen. “Absolutely nothing remarkable—pretty boring except that he lost his wife and daughter. He got a payout from his wife’s life insurance policy, but he only paid for her final expenses from it. He’s pretty well off—not wealthy, but well off, enough to not have to work at that rehab center. So, that must be a total labor of love. He’s a Mason, but that’s about it.”

“Masons… wow, I haven’t heard of them in a while,” I observe.

“That’s because you don’t associate with any, honey,” my wife says, still scrolling through her phone. While she’s scrolling it vibrates. She swipes it again.

“Hello… This is she… Yes… oh… Okay, well, I’m just leaving the justice court, so I’ll be there as soon as I can… Thank you.” She ends the call.

“Dr. Lee?” I ask.

“No, a Dr. Hamlin,” she says. “He’s a psychiatrist. He examined my mother and oversaw her observation. He wants me to come to the hospital to meet with him.”

“Any indication on Carla’s diagnosis?” I ask.

“He wouldn’t tell me that over the phone, Christian. You know that.” She’s right. I forgot.

“Did you want to go now?” I ask.

“Food first,” she says. “I’m not going to deal with this on an empty stomach.”

*-*

“Dr. Grey?”

“Yes?” A gray-haired man is in Carla’s room when we get there. He proffers his hand to my wife when she enters.

“I’m Dr. Hamlin, ma’am. We spoke on the phone.” She shakes his hand.

“Dr. Hamlin, a pleasure to meet you, sir.” He turns to me.

“Mr. Grey?” he says, proffering his hand to me as well.

“Yes, doctor,” I reply, shaking his hand.

“Mrs. Morton, I’ll be discussing our meetings and my findings as I indicated to you. Who would you like to be present?” he asks.

“Just my daughter,” she says without raising her gaze. That’s my cue. I put my hand on my wife’s waist.

“I’ll be outside,” I say. She nods. I kiss her on the cheek and leave the room.

“Has she had any visitors?” I ask the detail at the door. “I know that no one can get in, but has anybody come?”

“A few have come from her job. They signed in, but of course, they couldn’t see her. Her two friends come every day and just sit in the waiting area over there for an hour or so.”

“Which two friends?” I ask.

“Wendy Scorcio and Abramio Cicci,” he says. I raise a brow.

“You know them by name without looking at the log?” I ask.

“They’re here every day,” he replies. “I think I should.” I nod. He’s right, he should. I take a seat in the waiting area and start going through my emails. After I’ve deleted more than a few, my phone rings.

“Hey, Elliot, what’s up?” I answer.

“Nothing much,” he answers matter-of-factly. “Did I call at a bad time?”

“No, we just got to the hospital and I got kicked out of the room so that Butterfly and the doctor and the mother could talk.”

“Yeah, that’s one of the reasons I called,” he says, “just checking up on Montana.”

“She’s doing as well as can be expected. This whole thing with her mother has been more of a trial than the trial, I think.”

“Well, that’s got to be pretty big, because that dude’s sentence has already made it to the Pacific Northwest.”

“It has?” I ask.

“Yeppers. Sixty-five years, Jesus! I bet he regrets the day he ever laid eyes—or brand—on Montana.”

“No shit,” I confirm. “He looked sick as fuck being led out of the courtroom, and he wasn’t even found guilty on all charges. The two that pled to all of the charges got less time than he did.”

“Speaking of which,” Elliot says, “the predictions on the court and news channels is that a lot of the people in custody are going to start taking pleas. The word is that they’re reviewing the evidence to see what they can be charged with and possibly convicted of, then they’re going to start taking pleas so that they don’t end up doing 65 like your boy.”

“I don’t know how Butterfly’s going to feel about that,” I say, looking at the door to Carla’s room.

“Honestly, if I were you, I would tell her so that she’s not blindsided. They’re expecting some pleas to be accepted by Friday.”

“Shit, that soon?” I lament. “Jesus, I don’t even know what they’re going to tell her about her mother! This shit never fucking ends.”

“Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Bro,” he apologizes.

“It’s not your fault,” I tell him. “Inconvenience is never timely. That’s why it’s called inconvenience.”

“Well, let’s talk about something not so serious. You’re not going to believe this,” he says.

“Believe what?” I ask.

“I got a dog,” he says.

“No shit,” I say.

“Yep. Our therapist suggested it. She said that a pet will help us heal from losing the little nugget. Dogs are used like this all the time. It won’t replace a baby, of course, but it’s helping already. Angel loves him.”

“And you?” I ask.

“I like him, too,” he says. “He’s a rescue… a mutt, but he’s so damn lovable. I take him running with me on his leash in the mornings, and then he spends his days with Angel.”

“Wait a minute—how did you get a dog and you’re still living at my house?” Elliot laughs loudly.

“We went home, Christian,” he says. “Why would I bring a dog into your house with all the columns and marble?” My turn to laugh.

“It sounds like a good idea for you guys, and speaking of which, you’re not going to believe this.” There’s silence on the line.

“You got a dog, too?” he asks, and I think he’s being facetious. I shake my head as if he can see me.

“No, but we’re getting one,” I say, “with all the columns and marble.”

“A rescue?” he asks. I shake my head again.

“Butterfly has requested a pit bull puppy.” Silence again.

“A pit?” he says. “Those are dangerous dogs, Bro. Are you sure about that?”

“I felt the same way you do. I didn’t want any vicious dogs around my babies, but she assured me that they’re family dogs and only dangerous if they’re bred and raised that way. So, I agreed, but I did my research and she’s right. Pits have really gotten a bad rap. There are some really pretty ones in fact, and if you train them properly, they really are excellent family dogs. That’s why we’re getting a pup—thorough-bred—and we’re all going to be trained.”

“You’re all going to be trained?” he repeats.

“Yeah. I want to make sure that we know the right commands and that he respects us and the family, because if he steps wrong and attacks one of my kids or my wife, I’ll have to shoot him.”

“Thorough-bred? So, you’re buying one? Aren’t you concerned about getting flack for buying a dog instead of adopting one from the shelter?” he asks.

“Not at all,” I reply. “I’m not trying to be politically correct when it comes to a pit bull that’s going to be around my family. My wife says she wants a pit, so we’re getting one. But in all honesty, you’re right about the fact that pits can be vicious dogs—if they’re not raised properly. A rescue pit? Around my kids? I don’t know what that dog has been through, how he’s been raised, or who its parents are. And if it mauls one of my children, well then, I’m going to have to put it down. Nope, not taking that chance.”

“That’s a chance you’re taking with any dog, Bro,” he says.

“Well, then, maybe you should keep an eye on your dog,” I say. Silence.

“Point taken.”

A/N:  Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/grey-continued-misadventuresseason-v/

Pictures from the trip to Las Vegas can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/grey-continued-las-vegas/

The new question and answer thread is always open for questions about the story. Be sure to read it and please adhere to the rules when asking questions. You can find it on the left, second from last on the menu or you can click HERE.

There has been yet another development where if you feel the need to talk to fellow readers about personal issues, you need a sounding board, or you want to vent about something in your life, please feel free to visit the link on the left in the menu entitled “Do You Need To Talk.” No subject is taboo. I just ask that you approach the link with respect for those who have concerns as well as those who respond. You can also get to the link by clicking HERE

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

~~love and handcuffs

64 thoughts on “Grey Continued: Season 5 Episode 23

  1. asunder73 says:

    Both of Carla’s friends have Italian names… Are we seeing the return of Sunset?

  2. LisaKabb says:

    So happy with the verdict. Interested in hearing what the Doc tells Ana about her Mom after the eval. Glad it looks like they can finally head out.

  3. Justice at last! What a great chapter (oops, episode :))! Thank you so much for writing this wonderful story! I am having a difficult time imaging Christian being trained…..much humor should ensue from that endeavor.

  4. Teri says:

    I’m glad Ana stared that lady down when she was testifying. Love the judge’s comments about the video. Sad to think the other assholes might plead out for lesser sentences. Excellent chapter as always!!

  5. Vicki Mcdaniel says:

    Sometimes I don’t appreciate your talent enough and then i read Anastasias statement . Girl how do you come up with this. Remarkable just remarkable.

  6. ejanepyle54 says:

    I feel like I’ve been to court with Ana. I’m so happy for the outcome. 65 years isn’t enough. But it’s a start. I loved everything the judge said. Finally somebody on Ana’s side. Thank God Ana is a strong woman and also she has Christian. Without him she’d be lost. Quite a journey this has been. You tell a story so real to life. You are marvelous and I can’t wait for the next chapter

  7. falalalynx says:

    My Goddess,

    First my Goddess I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me forget, if only for a little while, what’s happening around me. To me you are a treasure beyond price. XOXOXOXO

    Now on to the fun stuff. giggle

    I was wondering just when those awesome opals were going to show up. lol Beautiful armour Ana. Way to go ladies. Goddess/Ana grin I read that opals are actually more expensive than diamonds due to there scarcity. Drip away in them my sister. evil grin

    65 years. Sounds about right to me. vindictive bitch falala thinks as she stands to the side rubbing her hands together and looking entirely too much like the wacky witch in that OZ movie. Don’t care not sorry nope nope nope.

    My opinion about Carla has not changed but I can’t lump Wendy and Abe into a ball with her. They sound like nice people who have been influenced by this alternate Carla. Okay whatever. I don’t want to waste anymore of my thought process on the likes of Carla. I’ll be content when she’s in out rear view mirror. Perhaps she has changed but nothing she ever does will erase what she did to my girl Ana. Nothing nada zip the end amen.

    Goddess I am requesting permission to bitch slap or drop kick this Dr. Lee person. Rue rue rue the day doc that you treated my friend so poorly. I’ll get you you doctor twit you. falala is still channeling that wicked witch person.

    You would think something all warm and happy (talk of puppies) mixed with something chilling and ominous (Alex headed for DC) would leave me somewhere in the middle like lukewarm but no. The chills are running up my spine. I dunno Goddess. Alex, he’s like the cornerstone of my Grey security blanket. There is no other Christian. There is no other Jason. There is no other Chuck. And there sure as hell is no other Alex. Even Chocolometes doesn’t come in a close 2nd. I don’t know how I would feel if he wasn’t there. grin I hope I’m just borrowing trouble. I’ll have to wait and see and ‘then’ I’ll scream my head off. lol

    These past couple of days have been the lightest for me in the last few weeks. You and all my friends here have done my old heart a world of good. I love you all. Thanks for being here for me to read.

    XOXOXOXOXO Peace, falala XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

    • Thank you my dear, so glad to be of service. Try not to fret too much. You got to let the story tell itself… 🙂

      • falalalynx says:

        Yeeesss Mom, I mean Goddess, I mean Butterfly, okay friend. grin I was just really needing the distraction ya know?. I am way invested. giggle Can’t help myself. It’s your story I know I know. I will attempt to not figure it out. lol Well I won’t write it at you if I can help it. lol

        Thank you thank you thank you. I’m off to dreamland. I have a date with my girlfriends husband. Hey Cwis. lol Sweet dreams. Peace, falala

        PS Just joking Ana. grin

  8. naturallyblonde1221 says:

    great as always

  9. darla says:

    Thank you for another great chapter

  10. S. Hodgson says:

    Most excellent. Poor guy got 65 years but that’s justice. I thought the judges grandstanding a little over the top and Ana’s beef with the doc. It seemed a little out of character for him to go from professional to catty like the nurses. And I thought the other nurses were transferred to a different floor??? Anyway other than that a brilliant chapter. And I’m stoked about the dog!!!

  11. JN runner says:

    Thank you for a great story. I just love the way your mind works. JN

  12. Christian618 says:

    Hmm I hope Wendy Abe and Carla are not trying to scheme some money out of Ana and Christian. Or Wendy and Abe are not scheming and preying on Carla’s vulnerability right now. Finally some justice for Ana’s suffering came her way. Even if everyone else makes and takes a pleas the truth came out and she was compensated for her suffering. This story line keeps getting better and better!

  13. seralynsmom says:

    I know plenty of people with rescue pits that are and have been the best damn puppers until the day they die. Just sayin’ Christian. Lol. And Elliot isn’t wrong, any dog can turn.

    Vincent Sullivan is going to die in prison. 65 years, he’s nearly thirty. If he doesn’t die in prison I will be surprised as hell. As for the pleas, I expected that. They’re going to panic and start begging for deals. I hate that she won’t get the same type of justice as she did with Sullivan but frankly, going through that many trials? I’d prefer them take the pleas so I didn’t exhaust myself. The only one that hasn’t seemed to actually understand he did something wrong is Whitshit and I’m hoping he says something wrong to the wrong person and that situation takes care of itself. Does that sound horrible? Yup! Do I care? Nope!

    Lee is an ass, I can’t wait to see what the findings are on Carla. Abe seems genuine, which is nice, doesn’t make me want Carla to have good people around her when she was such a shit, but whatever I guess. Lol. At least they’ll ensure Ana doesn’t have to worry about things. She can hand over the reins and the checks and be done with it.

    • seralynsmom says:

      Also, what’s up with Alex? I wonder if this has anything to do with Myrick or Sunset. I know there’s no way we’ve seen the last of them, but them right on top of all the rest of this? That would be a lot. Lol. But the rarity of Alex telling Christian he has to take time off when he hasn’t before? That screams something is up up up!

    • I know that if prisoners become too infirm for the prison to take care of them that they get released to their families, but I don’t know what the conditions are of that. His family is George… and where is George? You’re right — if he lives to even be nearly old enough, he’ll die in prison or they’ll put him in a state nursing home if he sticks around long enough to be infirm.

  14. Tina says:

    You are a goddess thanks for the read as always and the next episode could not come quick enough for me. I don’t like this doctor Lee person I think he’s got the same type of character as the ones that maimed her in her teenage years. I’m a man your a woman who has no power so be submissive as you don’t know what your talking about, wrong attitude to have with our Butterfly she’ll eat him up and spit him out.

  15. Dee says:

    Vincent Sullivan said he was sorry, after receiving his sentence and Ana accepted his apology. She’s a lot stronger and compassionate than I would have been. Boy did she deserve that apology!
    Good episode. Thank you for your time and hard work.

    • Entitled assholes usually don’t think they owe you an apology. So, yeah, she accepted it because she most likely won’t get one from anyone else. What’s sad here is the underlying point of his apology. Yes, he wanted to get off and not have to do any jail time, but there is the slightest chance that the video was right and as an adult, he has seen the err of his ways… and now, it’s too late.

      • seralynsmom says:

        I feel like if he’d truly seen the err of his ways, he would have taken responsibility and not Continued with that, “I was scared” bs. Now do I believe it’s possible that he changed and grew as a person over the years? Yeah, it’s possible. Hell, even probable. But unfortunately it’s too little too late. And now he has to pay for what others did and planned. Had his brother not hidden that shit, he might have gotten a lesser sentence because he was a 15 year old. His brother screwed him over hard in the name of protecting him.

  16. Junebride says:

    Oh, Goddess, thank you! Loved this chapter. Agree with Falala and Ash. However, anything can happen in jail and he might not make the 65 yrs. if you know what I mean. I’m sorry, he doesn’t deserve less. He can also find Big Bertha and he won’t like it (devilish grin).

    Don’t know much about law but even if they want to make a deal/plea bargain, does the court have to accept it? That would be too easy for these monsters. But again, anything can happen in jail. How soon will the other cases be heard, do we know? Can’t think how she’ll go through with the others.

    I’m concerned with Alex having to be away. Don’t like it one bit. Will we know what he will have to do in DC, what kind of clearances. Sorry, I’m sort of ignorant in this matter.

    I like the way Falala called him Chocolometes. Where is he? I didn’t “see” him during the trial except a couple of times. Did he go home and I missed it? Don’t like that guy one bit!

    Our Ana is a very strong woman, she’s been dealing with a lot lately (more than usual). The stress of the court case, her children being away (thank God Christian brought them over), GEH being his first love, her mother, the doctors and nurses, etc. is not easy. I’m glad Christian is with and for her 110%. Forgot what Christian calls his Butterfly when they’re doing a scene. I guess they didn’t practice any of that during their stay in Vegas.

    Hope Wendy and Abe are the real deal. Even if Ana/Christian have to pay for her care, at least Butterfly will not have that on her list of things to take care of. Not that Carla deserves it, but Ana has a great heart.

    Goddess, I’m transported to another dimension when I read this story. Thank you for that, you’re the best! Have barely finished this one and waiting for the next one. Not rushing, I know you’re working from home. It’s just that it’s that good. You have a great gift, thank you for sharing it with us.

    Sorry for the newspaper. Take care and stay safe.
    xoxoxoxoxoxo

    • Yes, the court does have to agree to accept the plea.

      You just have to wait for Alex. 😉

      Colostomy did go home after he bumped into the family at Caesars Palace with the engagement ring for Ana, Jr.

      They had one scene in Vegas (Episode 17), and he calls her “Pussycat.”

      Thank you for the encouragement, my friend. I get transported when I write it, too. 😉 ❤

      • Junebride says:

        Thank you, Goddess, you’re a life saver. You are very much loved and appreciated.
        xoxoxoxoxo

  17. asunder73 says:

    I think Sullivan apologized because the verdict opened up a montage of hell for him and he finally realized what he be facing. I don’t think he’d allowed himself the belief that he would actually be in prison. Somehow, he managed to persist in the hope that all of his good works and character references would save him.

  18. Debbie says:

    🙋👑,
    📖📖📖🎇.
    🌹🙏
    (G-kids r here😊)

  19. falalalynx says:

    The other day my angel baby granddaughter asked if her Daddy had to go to war. (to fight the war against the covid 19 virus) And today another granddaughter I dare not call a baby (she’s 10) brought me a puzzle and left it on my porch. We waved and threw kisses at one another through the window. I wish I could be with them. I need a hug soo bad. The number of cases here more than doubled overnight. I have enough food but I may lose my mind long before I run out. I keep flashing on that scene in I am Legend when Will Smith walks through the empty streets of NYC. I’m all settled in but I can’t relax. I’m sorry I just needed to talk to someone. Sad sad falala

    • I miss my babies, too. My grandson was coming over every day, and then nothing. I do have Daddy, but I miss the hugs and my daughter calling me, “Mommy.” I bug them every day and keep up on Facebook, but it’s not the same. 😥

  20. I saw a couple of comments and even got a couple of emails referring to the judge’s comments and his speech. I just want it to be known that I do a lot of research when it comes to things like this. In my research, it’s been about 65/35 that the judges do react this way. Here are just a couple of the judges/cases that I researched to get the flavor of the judge’s speech. I failed to save the one that impacted me the most, but it was given by a father who sentenced a serial child molester and laid into the attorneys who tried to villainize the victim’s mother in the case. Judges often become verbose and emotional in harrowing situations like this and these are just a few examples. There are plenty more.

    I know this judge personally. 🙂

  21. falalalynx says:

    Hey my Goddess,

    I had this bizarre dream last night or this morning. Ana was beating the crap out of this character who didn’t look like a person but in my dream I ‘knew’ it was the corona virus. Then I woke up to more restrictions. The county and the city both have stay at home restrictions. The police can now fine people $2000 for breaking the stay at home order. And yet my ex thinks the wedding should go on. This is tearing the family apart. And here I was always told I was the careless one. I ‘want’ to see my son get married. But I also don’t want to risk my life. No matter how many people we whittle off the list the gathering will still be over the limit. Groom side of the family alone is ten and that doesn’t include the minister or her side of the family. Why can’t they see reason? How will this breech ever be mended? They are going to be pissed at me for the rest of my life. I’m so disappointed in this choice they’ve made. I can’t find the recipe for lemonade from these lemons. sign (not not those kind of lemons)

    XOXOXOXO Peace, falala XOXOXOXOXO

    • It’s coincidental that you should say that because I’m playing with another story that I’m not sure I’m going to write. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea and nothing like this one or Golden, so I don’t know.

      Your ex is a real piece of work. I feel like if I have to be in contact with anyone like that for an extended period of time, it’s a lose-lose situation and I have to eventually do what’s best for me. At the risk of comparing you to one of my characters, it’s like Marilyn’s situation. There was no way that she was going to get out of that situation unscathed, but she ultimately had to do what was best for her. Both decisions had consequences. One decision would have been done to satisfy someone else; the other decision was what she felt was best for her, but someone else got hurt. She toiled over them both, and no matter what decision she made, she would have been wrought with regrets, second-guessing, and some kind of discomfort.

      That’s where you are right now. You literally have to pick your “poison.” You’re waving at your grandbaby through a window, but you’re going to subject yourself to 20 or more people from various locations at a wedding? Why, Falala? I’ve pretty much been of a “grin and bear it” kind of opinion up to this point, but now I’m going to say what I feel.

      You have been lamenting going to this wedding ever since you knew where it was going to be, who was going to be there, etc. You don’t want to be around these people anyway, because the interaction is going to be emotionally toxic for you. Now, the interaction has the ability to be PHYSICALLY toxic as well! Possibly life-threatening! I love you dearly, Falala, but why are we debating this? Because your ex who really doesn’t give two shits about you and the wife whom you clearly don’t have a relationship with might get upset and say something bad?

      The rules have changed! We’re in a pandemic here. Have you talked to your son? Do you think that he would really feel slighted if you didn’t want to expose yourself to a life-threatening disease while local governments EVERYWHERE are enacting shelter-in-place orders and fines for people leaving their homes? That’s an actual question that I want you to ponder — if you really think your son would be upset. Even if they have a small gathering, everyone who attends that wedding is going to be at risk, Is that really what they want?

      If that’s the case, and I’m not saying that it is… but if that IS the case, then you’ve got a bigger problem here. You’ve got a group of people who are more concerned about themselves than they are about anybody else, and under the current circumstances, they’re not really that concerned about themselves! They’re just concerned about what they want! You’ve got “stay at home” orders with fines; the family is being torn apart… what point are we trying to prove here?

      I’m not going to even suggest that you offer any alternatives in this because you’re clearly a bystander. If you haven’t already done it, you’re not going to get a dress or a haircut at this point (yes I remember). Even if the bare minimum of people are at that wedding, you’d still most likely break the 10-rule. And for what? Why can’t they wait until the quarantine is lifted? If they must get married, why can’t they have just a ceremony where the two of them say their vows in private and then have a big wedding later? With a “stay at home” order in place, is the preacher even going to show up?

      I’m sorry, my beloved. I’m really, really sorry. I thought about deleting all of this and not posting it, but I love you. I really, really do. I haven’t met you personally and I still love you as my sister and my friend. I’m crying as I write this because I know how much you’ve been going through and I know how it feels to have a wretched, wretched “other side of the family.” So, I completely empathize with what you’re going through and clearly see the impossibleness of the situation. I couldn’t keep quiet. Please forgive me. I’ll only make one last point.

      You’re in a lose-lose situation. PLEASE think of self-preservation. I wouldn’t be your friend if I didn’t give it to you straight.

  22. falalalynx says:

    My sweet Goddess,

    You have just re-enforced for me what I’ve been struggling with this entire time. I was going to go even though I didn’t want to be in that woman’s home to support and share in the wedding of my son. I took your advice and shopped a dress online. It’s only passable but I am not the focus. Never got shoes or my haircut. Time just ran out on me. My oldest son had to drop out of the wedding due to travel restrictions. Also his wife is a doctor and she was desperately needed at there hospital. They live out of country. My 2nd son is still a part of the wedding party and angel baby granddaughter is set to be the flower girl. He is so stressed about the situation he is trying to not talk about it. He is hoping they will see the light and make the right decision and postpone the event. He doesn’t want to damage his relationship with his brother. The ‘ex’ dick is in that stupid minority who believe it’s no big deal. It’s just a cold. Let’s not change our plans because of course it’s not happening to us. It’s happening to them. sigh ‘Just a cold!’. What cold has ever caused the things I am seeing anytime I turn on the tv? And the couple of times I have attempted to talk to my son the groom, it’s it’s it’s I don’t know. I can’t grasp his motivation at all. He and the bride seem to believe like the ‘ex’ that it’s everyone else’s problem not there’s and it’s full steam ahead, wedding on. So I could manage to warp (I do mean warp not wrap) my brain around having to be present in the enemy territory for the wedding but I am appalled that they feel I should be okay to risk the rest of my family, my other son, his wife and the three girls and in the end even myself. I am not okay with it. I can’t talk them out of it. They think it’s all sour gapes on my part because of how I feel about the ex and that woman. It has nothing whatsoever to do with that. I will not be attending the wedding. I will struggle with forgiving them about endangering the other part of my family. I don’t know that I can. If there was just ‘one’ good reason for going ahead with it then perhaps I would understand. There is none. I’ve looked and looked. I will tell him in as few words as possible that I won’t be there. I’m afraid I might say something I will live to regret because I am soooo fucking pissed right now.

    Thank you my darlin Butterfly Goddess. I felt like I was standing alone. But I’m not. You, an individual I so admire has got my back. Thank you for letting hear your opinion. I’m making the right choice. No retreat baby! No surrender. Now I need to go and have a good cry. I love you too my amazing friend. Peace, falala

  23. falalalynx says:

    Good evening my Goddess,

    I have some news. grin The minister got sick and the wedding got moved to a twelve acre cow pasture at her great grandpa’s homestead. lol I couldn’t make this stuff up. No one is expected to turn up and no feelings will be hurt if you choose not to come. I had already told them I wasn’t coming but I was suffering with the thought that they would never forgive me for not coming. I feel lighter than air. All my worries flew away. My 2nd son, daughter-in-law and the girls are safe. Poor Mommie she just heard the social distancing is extended until the end of April. grin She sent me a crying and head exploding emoji. I wonder if the girls will finish this school year with online schooling. They have been doing that this past week, taking test and getting graded even.

    So I was on my sixth or seventh pop in, my maybe I’ll get lucky fly by and I thought I would share my good news. Finally good news and the family didn’t completely implode. Happy happy falala XOXOXOXOXO

    • Oh. My. Goodness!!!! I’m sorry about the minister, but I knew something had to give!! A cow pasture at her great-grandpa’s homestead. You’re right… you can’t make this stuff up! Dear God in heaven. I’m trying not to laugh, but some of this is stranger than fiction!

      • falalalynx says:

        Goddess,

        Go ahead and laugh. giggle I did after I got over being relieved. Practice social distancing. Put a cow between yourself and anyone else. lol It still makes me laugh.

        Peace, falala

    • seralynsmom says:

      Sorry about the minister, but frankly it’s for the best. And I’m sorry to say it, but you can’t make selfish people see the light on this thing. People are dying ffs. They’re dying and are getting sick at a rate we can’t stop anymore. My daughter is not going back until at least the 1st of May if at all and they’re going to do online learning here in Indy. It’s like that in most places I’ve heard. I’m sorry you had to go through this when you should be thinking about your health and safety and not whether you’ll lose your child’s opinion of you. At least your other two boys understood your motives. Like I said, unfortunately selfish people don’t like to hear opinions that don’t parallel their own. Look at the idiots in Florida that went to spring break and then ended up getting the virus. Your ex sounds like an asshole, I’m not sorry to say. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      • falalalynx says:

        Hey Ash,

        I don’t think the minister actually got sick with the covid19 virus. It was something else.

        And my ex is an asshole. grin That’s why he’s my ex.

        I’m glad your’e okay. Kiss Seralyn for her fairy grandmother.

        Peace, falala

      • seralynsmom says:

        I didn’t think it was COVID that got the minister but either way, at least it led to something? Sounds horrid to say but, small miracles? I’d have laughed my ass off if fines were issued to all the guests that attended the wedding and they demanded you ex pay them because it was his fault. That would have been poetic justice. I’m hoping by no one going you mean including the bride and groom and your boy with his kids? I’d have hated to see those little loves have to be out. And I sure will. She’s getting bored, but it beats being in a crowded school worrying that she might catch the virus you know?

      • Is it mean of me to think that the minister may be fudging a sickness to keep from performing this wedding? (There, I said it.)

      • seralynsmom says:

        Kudos to him if he is. *shrugs*

      • falalalynx says:

        Morning Ash,
        I think the gathering is down to 5. No my other son and his family are not going. My daughter-in-law was as relieved as I was. Both of my sons have ‘essential’ jobs so they are still going to work. The one has a letter from Homeland security that he carries with him.

        Where I live there is a $2000 fine if you go out to a gathering. That would have been $10,000 for one family alone.

        I heard thru the grapevine that one of the reasons they are so determined to have the wedding when planned is several really nice gifts have been engraved with the date and there names. This is not a very good reasons imo.

      • Okay. Stop… back up. Gifts engraved with their names and the date? You’re going to risk your life for gifts engraved with your names and the date? Did I miss something here? I read that wrong, right? That’s not what that said. Lynn’s eyes are playing tricks on her, that’s what it is…

      • seralynsmom says:

        That’s the dumbest reasoning I’ve ever heard. What in the actual hell. My husband also has a letter for travel, I’m not sure if we have fines happening here though. I haven’t heard anything of that nature, but I do know he has to have the letter to travel to and from work if he’s not getting groceries. He’s considered essential because he works in an auto parts store that sells parts to the shops that service first responder vehicles. So yay us, I guess? He’s also diabetic which makes him immunocompromised so I worry.

      • seralynsmom says:

        Glad your sons are not going though. Let those five get fined I say. It’ll be on them.

  24. falalalynx says:

    lol Okay Goddess I did say it was not a very good reason. And this info came thru the grapevine, d-i-law from that woman from ex and so on and so on. I kind of understand having your heart set on a date that means something to you but yeah no so not worth the risk. grin I hope someone takes a picture of these 5 people and they are surrounded by cows. lol Or someone ends up standing in a cow patty. lol slaps a hand over my mouth. Did I say that out loud? falala don’t cover your mouth. Grab your fingers. lol

  25. Junebride says:

    I was not aware of this situation and just found out by coming back to check for comments on the chapter. I agree with all your comments and reasons for not going, Falala. I personally would not have gone, not at a time like this. They could have gotten married on the date at court and have a wedding celebration once the restrictions have been lifted. It is not worth risking anyone’s health over engraved names and date. Poor excuse, sorry Falala, my opinion. Don’t mean to put anyone down but so happy things took care of themselves. It would have been a disaster, especially taking the kids. Someone up there is casting light on the situation and I’m glad things happened the way they did since they were being stubborn about it.

    I’m not going to rehash the situation because all that has been said I agree with. Maybe the minister said he was sick and he really wasn’t, just wanted to get out of it.

    Ash, those people on Spring Break, are they the same that went to Mexico? I just read a couple of days ago that there were like 2 dozen that went “celebrating” and upon return it was found they had the virus. Crazy people and crazy parents that financed the trip. Do they think that they’re immune from getting sick? What about if they don’t come down with it but are carriers and their families get sick? That happened to someone I know who was visited by a friend who was leaving and went by to say good-bye. He was a carrier and did not get sick but she did and was in confinement and sick. People don’t think!

    Glad it worked out for you, Falala. Sorry you had to go through all this stupid, yes, stupid nightmare. And don’t ever fret, in cases like this, always think of #1. Love you. And while it might not be my place, thank you ladies for supporting Falala at a time like this. You are good friends, and we all need some love and support on hard times.

    You all take care of yourselves and stay safe, don’t know how long, but this too shall pass. Love you all.
    xoxoxoxoxoxo

  26. Valentinesgenie says:

    Awesome chapter see you next time take care.

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