"Well, since you put it that way, Chief Burrell," Donna looked over her shoulder, "Jeanne, would you be so kind as to run off a copy of the Harrison election tape for "
"We'd prefer the original, Ms. Love."
"I realize that. But, it goes against WOAK policy."
"It is, however, BCPD policy." Toni smiled. "We win."
"It should only take a day or so to dub. I promise, I'll have a messenger deliver it "
"We need it now. And the court order specifies immediate turnover. We wouldn't want to risk any sort of unforeseen accident happening to that footage, now would we?"
"What are you suggesting, Toni?"
"The video you shot of Grant Harrison's campaign headquarters on Election Day might very well contain proof of a crime. As such, it is our responsibility to ensure it's been safe from tampering. We can't risk contaminating the chain of evidence. We, however, would be happy to make a dub ourselves and send you a copy for your archives."
"How very generous of you," Donna couldn't help getting in one last dig. "Please try to do so before the format it's in becomes obsolete."
"We'll our best. Unfortunately, we public servants aren't privileged to own equipment as sophisticated as that of the private sector."
Donna turned to Jeanne, "In that case, Ms. Ewing would be happy to get you all the digital tapes from the camera that shot the Harrison campaign. She was the producer, I'm sure she won't have any trouble tracking down her own footage, will you, Jeanne?"
"No..." Jeanne began slowly. "I know where all my tapes are."
"Splendid! We'll wait right here for you to return. Wouldn't want to contaminate the chain of evidence by sending any outsiders into the archives, now would we?"
Jeanne looked ready to say something else if uncertain about how exactly to phrase it. As a result, Donna repeated, more forcefully this time, "Your tapes, Jeanne. All of them. Right away. I'm sure Chief Burrell is in a hurry."
Seemingly making a decision on the spot, Jeanne nodded curtly just once, and scurried off to do as she was told. She was back within fifteen minutes, handling the WOAK tote bag full of tapes over to Toni and swearing, "That's all of them."
"Thank you, Ms. Ewing. Ms. Love," Toni bobbed her head. "We'll be in touch."
"I'll took forward to it," Donna trilled.
It wasn't until the police had left and Donna looked ready to do the same, that Jeanne caught her by the arm and reiterated, "I only gave them the footage that I shot."
"Which was precisely what they asked for," Donna reassured.
"But, Ms. Love, there was a second camera crew there that night. Shooting B-roll and other atmosphere for at least part of the time. Wouldn't the police want "
"If they want it," Donna said. "They can bring me another court order. I don't appreciate being bossed around inside my own workplace. And you shouldn't either. The nerve of them! Whatever happened to journalistic privilege? I'm telling you, this Patriot Act "
"I don't think they actually used the Patriot Act here."
"It doesn't matter what they used, it was still grossly inappropriate! We're talking about freedom of the press, we're talking about a fundamental, American liberty! I need to speak to Chase Hamilton about this. I won't have his storm-troopers running roughshod through my station, even if it is in the name of justice. You did the right thing, Jeanne, calling me in. I'm sorry you were forced to be involved in this travesty. But, we won't let them get away with it, will we? We'll fight the good fight yet!"
Donna smiled reassuringly and patted the younger woman warmly on the shoulder before returning to her office. Leaving Jeanne behind to wonder just who precisely was getting away with what. And what it might mean, down the line, for her.
"So you believed Amanda," Lila wasn't so much asking Kevin as stating a fact. "You think I sold out your granny for, what, a couple pieces of silver, or just some good, old-fashioned spite?"
"I didn't say I believed her. I said this was what Amanda told me."
"You're really something, Counselor. Can't stay away from her, can you?"
"That's neither here nor there."
"Don't see you defending my honor."
"I'm giving you a chance to tell me your side of the story."
"Not the same." She shook her head sadly. "Not even close."
"Just answer me, Lila, yes or no, and we can put all this behind us."
"I'm just supposed to forget that you took Amanda's word over mine?"
"You haven't said anything yet!" Kevin pointed out, patience beginning to wear thin.
"So you want a statement, do you?"
"Lila, come on, don't be like this. We agreed to be honest with each other. Would you rather I hadn't told you about Amanda's accusation?"
"Yeah, you're a regular Honest Abe."
"Being from the South, I take it you don't mean that as a compliment," Kevin guessed.
"Let's say I did snitch on Alice. Then what?" she challenged.
"Then..." He made a random gesture with his hand when no words proved forthcoming. "I I can understand why you did it."
"So you do think I'm guilty?"
"You just said "
"Forget it, alright?" Lila rose from the table, flinging down her napkin. "Yes. Yes, I'm the one who made that call to the cops. You happy? Now scurry on back to Amanda and give her the whole story so you can both feel smug and self-righteous about that spiteful, desperate harpy Lila, who harasses little old ladies, and still can't trap herself a man."
"Lila, wait, please, I want to talk more about this."
"Well, too bad for you. I'm done talking. I'm done defending myself. In case you need it in closing argument form, Your Honor, I... Am... Done."
"Marley?" Grant let himself into the Love house, going from room to room, starting to panic just the slightest bit damn that stupid dream with Jake McKinnon; the man was even more annoying dead than he'd been alive before Grant found her. "Why Why are you sitting alone in the dark?"
"I find it soothing," she replied, grimacing as Grant flipped a switch to flood her safe haven in the third floor library with light.
"While talking to yourself?" he ventured cautiously.
Taking in the anxious look on his face, Marley reassured, "No need to fetch the butterfly net. I was just thinking aloud. Is that alright with you?"
Grant settled in the chair across from hers and pulled Marley's legs into his lap. Plucking off her shoes, his thumbs gently set to work kneading the soft insole of each foot. "What were you thinking about?"
"Slide me a penny, and maybe I'll tell you."
"Put it on my tab," he smiled at her expectantly, despite his inner alert level going from a cool blue to prime yellow with every word.
"I went to see Jamie today at the hospital. He's in horrible, awful shape. Not just from worrying about Lorna, but from finding out about her betrayal, too." Marley smiled in bitter triumph. "I was right. She and Morgan are together. In fact, they're married."
"What?" Grant choked out with a snort of laughter.
"Apparently, Lorna's been married to Morgan the entire time she was with Jamie. And Jamie didn't know a thing about it."
Grant thought about the implications, then offered, "Some things never change. Lorna was always so insecure; classic daddy issues. It doesn't surprise me that she felt the need to hedge her bets. Jamie must be galled "
"He's in denial. Believes there's an explanation for her lies. He simply refuses to face..."
"Face what?" Grant looked to a quiet Marley, who regarded him warily.
"That Morgan could be the father of Lorna's baby."
"Well, legally speaking, Morgan is the father, even if they were to establish paternity through a blood test." Then it hit him in a glorious cascade of sweet satisfaction. "Oh, what karmic irony. Jamie appropriates my child, and now he's suffering the agonies of Morgan claiming his. Almost makes you believe in a just universe, doesn't it?"
"You never change," Marley sighed in disgust, pulling her feet from Grant's lap.
"If I had feigned sympathy you'd have been more insulted."
"How about some true sympathy, then? Some compassion?"
"For the man who stole my son?"
"Oh, give it a rest, Grant, that grievance is settled and buried. The man took in your son after you willingly left him behind, and he raised Kirkland to be a smart, caring, forgiving young man whom any parent would be proud to claim. Jamie is the one having his child actually stolen from him due to Lorna and Morgan's lies."
"If Jamie's the father."
"He believes he is. He's going to court to fight Morgan for paternal rights."
"Why? What's the point of that now? I would think he'd have other priorities."
"Something to do with Lorna's treatment. Jamie wants to save the baby while Morgan..."
Grant nodded grimly, finally feeling some twinge akin to empathy for Jamie's plight. At least Jamie didn't claim Kirkland as his own simply to turn around and kill him.
"When Jamie told me that Lorna had stabilized I felt so relieved. Then when I learned..." Marley turned to Grant. "This is my fault. If Morgan gets say over Jamie's little girl "
"Lorna's baby daddy conundrum is a mess of Lorna's own making. You had nothing to do with it. Whatever happens in court "
"They wouldn't even be in court if it weren't for me!"
"Not true. Even if Morgan and Lorna had signed their divorce papers the day of the... election, the baby would still legally be considered Morgan's. Jamie probably would have had to sue for his rights anyway. At least now, we benefit from it."
"If Jamie, Morgan, and everyone else is preoccupied with their courtroom drama, they won't have the time or inclination to focus on investigating Lorna's accident. Between the hearing, Lorna's treatment, and the aftermath... by the time they think to look into it, the case will be even colder than it is now."
"So Jamie's grief is our good fortune?"
"In a manner of speaking," Grant conceded. "Marley...."
"Don't 'Marley' me," she pulled away. "I know what you want me to do. And I will get back to wearing the mask of complete innocence and sincere concern you've screwed onto my head soon enough. Just give me a minute. I...I need to feel this. I need feel this and not lock it away or..."
"What?" He asked, alarmed, more scared of hearing her answer than the actual question.
"Or I start to scare myself. I start to wonder if there's something wrong with me that I can do this... this horrible thing, and just keep going like everything's okay, like what I did was okay."
"Nothing is wrong with you," he insisted stubbornly. "You're doing what you have to do to remain strong for yourself and the girls. But I understand. I understand that you have to feel this. I just don't want you to "
"Feel it too much?" Marley leaned over, bracing her hands on her knees until she and Grant were face to face, and mirthlessly told him, "That's where you come in."
"Hardly the epitome of serenity," Carl observed to Felicia the next morning as the two stood side-by-side before a waterfall some oblivious hospital philistine had dared dub a Zen Garden. "The Fung Shui is utterly off."
"Beats staring at the paint peeling off the walls," Felicia shrugged. "Or ripping my hair out, wondering if I'm about to go make the biggest mistake of my life." When Carl said nothing, merely continued standing there, giving every indication of listening without pressuring her to continue, Felicia looked around, making sure Rachel was out of sight, presumably still with Jamie in Lorna's room, and, for the first time, bluntly stated, "I'm going to court in an hour to support the death of my grandchild."
"You are taking action to save the life of your child," Carl re-imagined.
"How will I ever make Lorna understand that her baby is gone... because I couldn't bear to lose mine?"
Happy to play Devil's Advocate a role he was more than familiar with Carl prodded Felicia to ask herself, "Which should prove a more difficult cross to bear: the eternal loss of your daughter, or the emotional tempest of her anger?"
"I can't lose another... I can't lose Lorna...not again, not after..."
"Then you have your answer."
"I'll be asking Lorna to endure precisely what I'm not willing to. Making me the worst kind of hypocrite."
"As long as Lorna is alive, there remains the possibility of her forgiving you."
"You've met my daughter, how long do you think she can hold a well earned grudge?"
"Where there is life, there is hope," Carl quoted Cicero, thinking of his own current situation. "You owe Lorna at the least the chance to understand that you did what you thought best. That you had no other options."
"Jamie thinks we should give her more time to recover on her own."
"And you? What do you think?"
"I just want her to wake up. She can yell, scream, call me every name in the book, hate me forever..." Felicia shook her head. "The longer she stays like this, the less likely she is to pull through at all, even Jamie admits as much."
"Then you must act in good conscience. Following Morgan's course holds the potential to aid your daughter, following Jamie's..."
"I know, I know. It's just the way he looks at me... like "
"You're the enemy? You are his enemy. You are attacking his family, his child. To be sure, Jamie's is more the loss of a daydream, rather than a life in progress. But the death of a reverie, of a potential future, is most grievous to the dreamer. That, however, cannot be your concern. If you are the enemy, then this is a war."
Felicia exhaled in frustration, closing her eyes, taking a breath and setting her jaw as she came to a decision. "You're right. I'm done pretending that Jamie and Lorna's pain will be less than mine. Or that I'll be consoled with Lorna simply being alive, and accept her inevitable hate gracefully. I won't. I'll have a tough row to how once this is over. But, I'll gladly bear any load. I will do anything required of me to ensure that I won't lose my daughter. And make no apology for it, either. If people get hurt, so be it."
Carl looked on in approval. "Then I pray you God's speed."
"I brought you the clothes you need for court," Rachel handed Jamie a garment bag, taking in the dark circles under her son's eyes, not to mention the gaunt expression in them, guessing that the suit and shirt she'd taken out of his closet would be a size too big by now. Rachel estimated he'd lost close to ten pounds since Lorna first got hurt.
"Thanks, Mom," he accepted it out of her hand, dropping the bag on a nearby chair and mustering up a thin-lipped smile.
Despite promising herself that she wouldn't interfere or offer unsolicited advice, that she'd just be grateful Jamie had reached out and allowed her to do him this one small favor, Rachel couldn't stop herself from urging, "You need to eat something, honey. Just tell me what you'd like, and I'll go out and get it for you before you need to leave. You making yourself sick won't do Lorna or the baby any good."
"I already got this lecture from Alice," he dismissed.
"Alice Frame,' Rachel snapped, much harsher than she'd intended, "Is not your mother."
"She could have been," Jamie mused, not taking his eyes off Lorna and thus missing the look on Rachel's face in response to his statement. "Maybe she should have been."
She inhaled sharply, feeling as if he'd struck her upside the head, knocking the wind out of her, blurring her vision. Rachel struggled to stay calm, telling herself that Jamie was under an immense amount of stress, that he didn't know what he was saying, that he was simply lashing out at anyone and everyone in response to his own frustration. She told herself all these things, and she even believed them. It didn't, however, make the pain of hearing it any less.
"I love you, Jamie," she managed to choke out in spite of the pounding in her head. "I only want what's best for you."
"Which was never Lorna, right, Mom?" he challenged, finally turning to look at her, suddenly furious for no reason that Rachel could discern. "You made that very clear."
"Whatever I may have said that made you feel that way... I didn't... It's not relevant anymore, it never was. You love Lorna, you're having a baby, she needs to get well, and you need to stay well, that's all that matters."
"It's Carl." Jamie shrugged. "He's who you see when you look at her, isn't he?"
"Don't be silly. If you're referring to Elizabeth and the unfortunate, 4th of July "
"It was unfortunate. And not just because it shone a light on Elizabeth's utter lack of manners. But, because it made clear to you, at least; the rest of us have known it all along that Lorna is a living, breathing, inescapable reminder of every person that Carl ever exploited, every heart he ever corrupted, and every life he ever destroyed."
"I am not going to do this," Rachel somehow managed to keep her voice steady, despite the shaking assaulting every other inch of her. "I am not going to have this battle with you. Certainly not now, possibly not ever. You are in a world of pain and if it makes you feel better to go off on me then, please, Jamie, go right ahead. Anything I can do to make this easier for you, I will. Any way I can be of assistance, I'll do it. Gladly."
"I can't help her, Mom," Jamie whispered, the fight draining out of his voice as quickly as it had come up. "I'm a doctor, and I love her, and I would give my life for hers and still, there isn't a damn thing I can do."
"You're here." Rachel wrapped her arms around Jamie from the back, pressing her cheek into his shoulder, realizing that she was practically holding him upright and perfectly willing to do so indefinitely. "Lorna has to know that on some level, she has to feel it. You're here fighting for her."
"I have to go to court," Jamie swallowed hard. "I have to go court so I can prove... But, I'm scared to leave her. At least when Felicia and Morgan are here, I know that someone who cares is keeping an eye... Except they'll be in court, too. I don't want to leave her alone. Something could happen. Some change... I don't want her to be by herself."
"Then I'll stay," Rachel decided quickly. "As long as you need me, I can stay with her."
Jamie shook his head. "It's not that simple. There's a lot of subtle stuff going on with the machines and her response and... Morgan knows how to read the monitors, and Felicia actually does too, from all that time she spent with Lori Ann. But, you need to know what you're looking for and...."
"Then I'll stay." Alice appeared at the foot of Lorna's bed, having stepped in earlier when she heard Jamie's raised voice. She'd been keeping her distance when she realized whom he was talking to. "I can stay with her. My shift is done."
"The two of you?" Jamie glanced nervously from one to the other. "Together?"
"Well, Rachel doesn't actually need to...." Alice began.
"Together," Rachel interrupted. "You do what you need to, we'll hold down the fort here. Good luck, and don't worry. Alice and I can take care of Lorna. And ourselves."
"With all due respect to the court," Kevin, Rick and Mindy Bauer by his side, stood up from the defense table to address the judge. "I would like to request a postponement."
Across the aisle, sitting behind her own table with GQ, his lawyer, Mel Boudreau, sprung to her feet, "On what grounds?"
"Another case, Your Honor," Kevin handed a file to the bailiff so he could deliver it to the judge. "As you can see, it's a medical emergency. The Lorna Devon issue needs to be settled immediately. And I can't be in two places at one time."
"Then tell your clients to get themselves another attorney," Mel suggested, with just the tiniest of implied 'duh.'
"Anyone who took over for me now would need time to catch up on the intricacies of the case. In the end, Your Honor would still be obliged to grant a postponement."
"How convenient," Mel snapped. "I'm certain this has nothing to do with the fact that every day my client's son spends with Dr. and Mrs. Bauer is another day they can claim unbreakable bonding has taken place."
"Yes, Ms. Boudreau," Kevin turned to Mel. "Congratulations. You've figured out my defense strategy. I, personally, ran Lorna Devon down so that I could set this diabolical plan into motion."
"That will be enough, Mr. Fowler," the judge tapped his gavel, then inquired, "How long do you expect your other matter to take?"
"No more than a few days. Critical medical decisions are waiting to be made."
The judge leafed through the stack of pages before him, then conceded, "I'll allow the postponement."
"In that case," Mel interrupted before the final verdict could be delivered. "My client requests visitation with his son."
"We already offered him that," Mindy spoke up, out of turn. "We told GQ he could see Hudson whenever he likes."
"Unsupervised visitation," Mel specified.
"You mean," Mindy stammered. "You want to take Hudson someplace? By yourself?"
"No." Rick shook his head. "No way. What's to stop him from running off?"
"What's to stop you from running off?" Mel challenged.
"We've got a house, jobs, families, other kids," he reminded his ex-wife. "GQ doesn't have any of that. Hell, while we're on the subject, he wants to take Hudson for a visit, does he even have a place for him to sleep? A high-chair? Bottles? Toys? I'm willing to bet wherever he lives, it isn't baby-proofed."
"What do you have to say to that, Mr. Todd?" The judge inquired.
"I can get it," GQ looked nervously at Mel, who nodded encouragingly, prompting him to declare with confidence. "Just give me, like, a day, I can get Hudson whatever he needs. And I can baby-proof my place too, no sweat."
"Fine," the judge agreed. "Dr. and Mrs. Bauer are hereby ordered to deliver the minor child, Hudson Bauer, for an unsupervised visit not to exceed the span of two hours to the home of Grant Quinn Todd at a time mutually agreeable to both parties."
"Thank you, Your Honor," Mel said.
"Thank you, Your Honor," Kevin echoed. "For the postponement."
"I'll see you both back here at the conclusion of Mr. Fowler's other trial." The judge looked from Kevin to Mel. "And don't either of you get carried away thanking me just yet. I expect to see you both working your asses off for your money. And in the best interests of that child."
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