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After lunch, the group reentered Courtroom A, semi-refreshed from what was already proving to be a long day. The hour long recess gave the next presiding judge time to review all of the videos and written notes from the proceedings thus far. Judge Lano’s packet also would include the transcribed notes from the botched trial of Christopher Hobbs. If all of them had their way, there would be no need for Justin and Brian to take the stand at all, but it was necessary, especially since neither Brian nor Justin had been called as witnesses, as they ought to have been. Although Justin wouldn’t have been able to attend, Brian was at the criminal trial everyday. There was absolutely no reason why he shouldn’t have been called, since he wasn’t only a witness to the attack but also the attacker’s attacker.

As they all settled into the corner of the large courtroom where they had been stationed earlier this morning, Brian took great care in seating himself on the outside of the row. He still didn’t trust Hobbs not to make a move towards Justin, even less so since the incident in the bathroom earlier. Even though it was a fuckwit move on Hobbs’ part, it also spoke of desperation. And that, as far as Brian was concerned, made the idiot even more dangerous. In essence, Craig and Samuel may have implanted the thought, but Chris being as reckless as he’s ever been, had no qualms about carrying out their orders. It was something that they all had to consider carefully.

Brian reached over and grabbed Justin’s right hand to begin massaging it. Justin hadn’t said anything, but Brian knew from the strained look in the blue eyes that he was in pain. The one thing they had learned about Justin’s injury was that although the extremity throbbed in pain from overwork or just in general, it also spasmed when Justin endured an enormous amount of stress. Today was most certainly day of elevated emotions, so Brian knew that Justin would suffer until the entire episode was able to be put behind them.

Concentrating on flexing each finger as he’d been trained by Miguel to do, Brian worked diligently to keep Justin’s fingers from clawing up. While doing that, he let his own thoughts drift back to the previous hearing. He was a bit overwhelmed by how his friends- his true friends- saw him and defended him. Brian was oft known to suffer in silence and would take anyone’s head off if they offered him their help. But without a second thought to anything- the danger to themselves; the fear of reprisals; not even considering how Brian himself would react- they had rallied and saved him… Justin most of all. He would have to talk to the twat about that eventually, but right now all he could feel was gratitude that he and Cynthia loved him enough to not let him lose his ass based on a lie that people who had known him for years were ready, willing, and able to believe. It gave Brian a whole new perspective on what he’d always believed… that words were worthless unless they had the actions to back them up.


A prime example of that was Lindsay and Michael’s responses versus his Personal Assistant and his bo- and just what the fuck was Justin to him now? Boyfriend was too mundane no matter how young Justin was. As Cynthia had stated during her testimony, the young man had never met Brian as a boy. He thought about the difference in how he handled Michael as opposed to the way he’s always interacted with Justin. If Brian let him, Michael would allow Brian to hold his hand and lead him by the nose through his own life. He’d allow Brian to tell him what to say, what to think, and how he should feel, while Brian went off and did God knew what with God knew who.


It was pretty much the way David and Michael’s relationship was, and how it would still be if Michael hadn’t intentionally fucked it up. Brian didn’t believe for one second that Michael wasn’t looking for a way to mess things up so royally that David would send him back to Pittsburgh for good. Michael had been taking whatever opportunity he could since he left to come back here, and when that hadn’t worked- when Brian hadn’t fallen back into the old habits that Michael thought he should have indulged in- Michael’s internal bitterness leaked out of his mouth for all the world to read.

But Justin was different. There were plenty of times that he could have hurt Brian by divulging his secrets; times when Brian was at his cruelest and hurt the blond most of all when he lashed out. Yet, Justin called him on his behavior even as he allowed him to save face in front of the world at large. The worst was after the King of Babylon incident. Yeah, Justin had told his story and it made Brian seethe with jealousy all over again, but it was later that night when Justin had asked him if he’d finally learned the lesson he should have from back in the days of ‘Hotlanta.’


At first, Brian didn’t know what Justin was talking about. But as he continued to think of it, he remembered how it felt to see Justin fucking Sean, like there was nothing in the world he would rather have been doing. It suddenly dawned on Brian that he felt the way he’d made Justin feel countless times during the time they’d known each other. And then Sheba’s last words before she introduced Justin onto the stage replayed themselves in his mind. Brian had learned a hard lesson that night… not to take Justin for granted. It was a bold and hurtful move, but Justin had gotten his point across, loud and clear. It was something that Michael nor Lindsay would have ever done, no matter how much they wanted him.

Oh sure, he knew they did, even if it was for different reasons. Lindsay would want him for status, while keeping Melanie on the side. The acceptance she craved from her parents and her WASPy world was just too strong to believe otherwise. As for Michael, he wanted a protector, someone to take care of him and his needs; to be the guy everyone envied, even if he was a comic book geek. He wanted a home and hearth with romance and all the other trappings a heterosexual female would want. If ever there was a person that should have been born straight, it was Michael! For just as Lindsay had heteronormative ideals, so did her gay and whiny counterpart.

Sitting there thinking about it, he knew that he and Justin had to have a serious conversation about where they wanted to go from here. He didn’t believe that Justin would want the same things as Lindsay and Michael right now, but he also didn’t know what to expect from Justin. This whole relationship thing was new territory to him and for the first time, he really cared if he fucked up. No way was he going to be the perfect partner, but he certainly wouldn’t be the worst. Michael and Lindsay were proving that they were. But he had every intention of being, of becoming, the perfect one for Justin. It was a daunting task amid all of his scary thoughts.

“All rise!” The bailiff intoned. “The Honorable Judge Lisa Lano, presiding.”

“Be seated. This is the Civil Litigation of Justin Cole Taylor versus Samuel Aloysius Hobbs, Sr. and Christopher Mark Hobbs. Please be advised - both Plaintiff and Defense - that I will allow no sudden outbursts before, during, or after testimony is given. If you feel that you cannot control yourselves, you know where the door is. I also would like to advise that I may have a few questions of my own, so do try to be clear and concise in your answers to avoid delay. Is the plaintiff’s side ready to be heard?”

“We are, your honor,” Mel said.

“Good. Please call your first witness.”

“I call to the stand Justin Taylor.”

Giving Brian’s hand one last squeeze as he climbed over him, and taking a deep breath, with a look at Mel, Justin climbed up the steps to the witness box. After being sworn in by Bailiff Johns, testimony began.

“Just relax,” Mel whispered to her client, smiling reassuringly at him. She was just as nervous as Justin, even knowing that Judge Lano was a fair woman. “Please state your full name for the court record.”

“Justin Cole Taylor.”

“Thank you, Justin. Now, can you tell us how you are acquainted with the Hobbs family?”

“Christopher and I attended the same school from the time we were five years old. My parents attended the same country club as his parents.”

“Why the differentiation?”

“Children under thirteen years old weren’t allowed to attend Country Club functions. From the age of five until age eleven, in addition to our regular class studies, we took part in etiquette classes. At age twelve, we attend finishing school before being allowed out in polite society.”

Melanie’s eyes widened at Justin’s answer. She could somewhat understand because of her nationality and faith, but all of this just for being born WASP? Well, it certainly explained Lindsay’s obsession with the world she supposedly left behind to be with Mel. Clearing her thoughts and throat, she continued. “Thank you for that clarification. So you basically didn’t meet Samuel Hobbs until you were thirteen?”

“That’s correct.”

“And how did that first meeting go?”

“Basically I was told that I was a fine young man and should be happy that I have such upstanding parents. I was also told that I should feel honored and privledged that I was being groomed to take over my father’s business one day.”

“But you disagreed?”

“Indeed. I’ve always wanted to be an artist and geared my electives towards that end when picking my school schedule and extracurricular activities.”

“And how were your choices received?”

“Mr. Hobbs told Craig that he needed to correct my thinking.”

“Objection! We would like the record to show that Mr. Taylor is referring to his father, Rudyard Craig Taylor.”

“And this is important why, Mr. Palmer?” Mel asked, before she caught herself.

“Well I mean, if he’d be disrespectful and untruthful about this…”

“Mr. Palmer, sit down. Based on the actions of Craig Taylor this morning alone, he should have never been allowed to have an active reproductive system. Objection overruled,” Judge Lano said as she rolled her eyes. “Please continue, Ms. Marcus.”

“Thank you, your honor. So Justin, were there any other suggestions that Mr. Hobbs made regarding your future choice of career?”

“Only that they needed to speak to Perkins and Dixon about seeing if there was a place for me on the football team.”

“So Mr. Dixon was the football coach at the junior level as well?”

“Yes, Kevin Dixon coached all the football teams of St. James. Since the school is a Kindergarten through grade 12 school, football becomes an option for extracurricular activities at age 6.”

“And have you ever shown an interests in sports, Justin?”

“No. It’s not that I can’t play adequately. I just never saw the point when it wasn’t something I wanted to eventually do professionally.”

“So you were always pretty business driven?”

“Yes. I knew from the age of seven what I wanted to do with my life, despite others plans for me.”

“Which was?”

“To become a graphic artist with my own business, primarily working in animation.”

“And this was unacceptable to Mr. Taylor and Mr. Hobbs, why?”

“Objection! Calls for speculation!” Palmer jumped up.

“Overruled. No doubt that with the controlling father-figures a reason would have been given why. Please continue Justin.”

“Thank you, your honor.”

“The reason Craig gave me was because it was my duty to follow in his footsteps. There was no other purpose that a son should have than to carry on the family name and legacy. He wanted me to attend Dartmouth College for the same reason.”

“And how did you respond to that?”

“By doing exactly what I had been doing, even when they convinced Dr. Perkins to take the art club away some years later.”

“Your honor, I believe you have the written deposition and transcribed notes from the video recording of Mr. Mitchell Perkins before you. I would like to have Justin read aloud exactly what Mitchell Perkins had to say about that situation. I believe the defense already has their copy.”

“Do you, Mr. Palmer?”

The defense attorney reluctantly nodded before verbally confirming. “I do, your honor.”

“Good. Please continue Ms. Marcus.”

“Justin would you please read the words in the highlighted areas? For the record, the first part of questioning was done by my colleague, Lawrence Spokes, and the other part was done by me. Just wanted that clarified before Mr. Palmer felt a need to object.”

“Thank you for the clarification, Ms. Marcus. The record will be duly noted. Justin, if you please…”

Justin nodded and began to read the questions and answers in a clear voice:  

Spokes: Isn’t it true that you knew, even when Justin Taylor entered the eleventh grade that he was being targeted by Dixon and his student cronies simply because he wouldn’t go out for the football team as his father demanded? Is it a fact, that you disbanded the art club for a time so that his one passion couldn’t be indulged, so that he would do his father’s bidding? Isn’t it also a fact that you received monetary compensation to do so while you told the faculty that the Art Club had to be defunded due to budget cuts caused by low-enrollment when that was anything but the truth? In fact, St. Mary’s and St. James schools respectively had received an influx of students, many of them African-American because of your prior actions concerning Leroy Wells, correct? As I recall, there were many scholarships given to low-income and middle-class families so that their children could also receive a first-rate education. What really happened to the money allotted for Art Club the school year before last Mr. Perkins?

Perkins: I… well you see… Oh alright?! What you are implying is true! I did accept the bribe from Craig Taylor to shut down the Art Club during the school year last term. Mr. Taylor’s wish was that Justin find something else to do other than having his head in the clouds with that damn sketchbook. I couldn’t see anything wrong with his request.

Spokes: Except that it didn’t stop Justin’s artistic abilities, did it?

Perkins: Obviously not. He was still drawing on whatever he could get his hands on. Printer paper, the chalkboard… instead of taking notes in class, Justin would sit there drawing. He’d ended up in detention many times because of it.

Spokes: And just who were the teachers who assigned Justin’s detention because he was drawing instead of taking notes? Let me guess that there was only one and I’d bet my paycheck that his name is Kevin Dixon.  

Perkins: I didn’t say that!

Spokes: You didn’t have to. Let’s look at the facts, shall we? Who was the coach of the football team? Kevin Dixon. Who was the only faculty that seemed to have an overt problem with Justin Taylor? Kevin Dixon. Who was the only person in the entire school that had the jocks in his back pocket and could give an order and expect to be obeyed immediately? Again, the answer is Kevin Dixon.

Marcus: Mr. Perkins, I just have a few further questions. If you knew this was all coming back to bite you, why did you continue to allow these actions against Justin? Why not just come clean with your part in it? You would have possibly received a slap on the wrist, compared to what’s happening now. So what made you decide that you could get away with it all?

Perkins: It was the money. I got greedy and the money… well it solved a lot of problems for me last year. I didn’t want to live without it again. What Craig Taylor paid me and Samuel Hobbs offered made my salary look like pittance. Now that I’m debt free, that money would have been mine, solely to do with as I pleased.

“Thank you, Justin. Now, if it pleases the court, I would also like you to read the testimony of Kevin Dixon. Again, all of the areas are highlighted and the defense has also been given a copy. Your honor, your copy should also be with you. Please take note that my colleague Acting ADA Shavonne Fuller was asking the questions.”

“It is and thank you, Ms. Marcus. You may proceed, Justin.”

Justin nodded again, amazed at how well and thoroughly Lawrence and Melanie had done their jobs. He began to read again:

Fuller: As you wish, Mr. Dixon. Tell us what prompted you to target Justin Taylor?

Dixon: I didn’t.

Fuller: But you did target him, didn’t you? According to Dr. Perkins testimony at the trial of Christopher Hobbs, he stated that you told him you had walked into the classroom during a confrontation between Justin Taylor and Christopher Hobbs, is that correct? And when taking attendance, when you spoke Justin Taylor’s name- or should I say sneered it like your lip is curled to do now- Christopher Hobbs yelled out ‘Queer’ in place of Justin confirming his presence, is that correct? And while Justin complained to you about the inappropriateness of the remark, you denied hearing that, but ordered Justin to the principal’s office after he said, ‘The Queer is here, the Queer is gathering his things, the Queer is leaving the room.’ And after a cursory ‘That’s enough’ from you, Justin Taylor called you on your selective hearing, stuck his middle fingers up at you and told you ‘Well now that your hearing has returned this Queer says fuck you’. Do I have all of the events of that afternoon’s calculus class correct, Mr. Dixon?

Dixon: I don’t recall.

Fuller: Sure you do. But I asked those questions as a warm-up to get you to focus on this one. What did Chris Hobbs get for beginning the contretemps in the first place? Was he sent to principal’s office? Did he get a phone call home? Did he get detention for being a disruption even before class began? What were his grades like that he was able to remain on the football team? And before you answer that last question, know that we have pulled Chris’ academic records from the school’s database and know that he was flunking every class, except Advanced Calculus before his grades were changed in the system. Would you care to explain how and why they were changed, Mr. Dixon?

Dixon: I don’t understand what any of these questions have to do with the civil trial, Ms. Fuller.

Fuller: Of course you do, but evasion and deflection of the questions will not work here. The longer you take to answer these questions, the longer it will be before you can meet with your attorney. And let me assure you, that until I release you, you won’t leave. Unless it’s by you being placed in a jail cell for contempt of court. Also be advised that you can plead the fifth, but based on prior testimony and the records from the hearing of the St. James Disciplinary Board, which have been released to us, our conclusions have already been drawn. So you might as well come clean with all of it, since you already have been ordered to pay the fifty grand to Justin Taylor. Right now, it’s just a matter of if I decide there is enough evidence to charge you as an accessory to Chris Hobbs’ crime. Truthfully there is, based on hearsay alone, and I would be happy to dig into all of your past dealings with not only Justin Taylor, but Craig Taylor, and a host of other students you’ve ‘taught’ throughout your tenure at St. James; those students who were tortured upon your whims, and those of their controlling parents by your merry band of mindless muscle, otherwise known as the football team. There isn’t a statute on any murder charges- attempted or completed, so you would do well to keep me from digging, Dixon. Consider this your plea deal. Now, answer the questions.

Dixon: Alright. You are correct in saying that while I targeted Justin Taylor, I protected Christopher Hobbs. You have to understand though, that I owe my loyalty to Hobbs and his family.

Fuller: Why?

Justin gasped before he read the answer aloud…

Dixon: Because we’re family. In fact, Kinney’s boss, Marty Ryder’s wife, is my aunt. She’s a Hobbs by birth. So whereas I was being paid by Craig Taylor, I was also being paid by my cousin, Samuel Hobbs. Samuel bought shares in Taylor Electronics for me, and so this was my way of paying him back.

After that pronouncement, read in Justin’s voice, the entire courtroom including the defense attorney representing the Hobbs family sat in stunned silence. Apparently, not even he knew of the familial connection.

Fuller: Were you made aware of the transfer of ownership of Taylor Electronics to Justin Taylor about two years ago?

Dixon: If we held shares, yes we were all made aware. That was part of the reason we needed to re-educate Justin. He’s what was called a legacy student, in fact we all are, or should I say, they are. I was from the wrong side of town, much like Kinney, until I went to Dartmouth and met Craig Taylor and Samuel Hobbs, only they didn’t really know it. My own mother was estranged from her family. So imagine my surprise when I found out that my aunt- her only sister was a Hobbs by birth, the result of an affair- and married well when she aligned with Ryder and voila, there’s my family history in a nutshell.”

Fuller: So basically you’re saying that because he was a ‘Legacy’ student, your job was to de-fag Justin Taylor?

Dixon: In a sense, yes. But the sissy brought it upon himself. If he had just stayed in the closet and respected the rules...

Fuller: And just what are those rules, Mr. Dixon? To be mindless, unhappy, and dumb down your quality of life, due to the ideals of others?

Dixon: Yeah. In the WASP nest, you go along to get along; it’s that simple. You do what you’re told and then what you’re expected to, otherwise you reap the consequences.

Fuller: So Chris Hobbs taking a bat to Justin Taylor’s head was completely justified in your book? The fact that he was in a coma and stopped breathing several times was okay, because he is openly gay and flouted your society’s trumped up rules? It was okay for his locker, with all of his belongings, to be set on fire because he is gay, is that what you are saying? It was okay for you to give the orders which led to the hell Justin Taylor endured his entire high school career because he’s gay and therefore needed to be taught a lesson about where his loyalty should lie?

Dixon: YES!! To all of it, yes! And I don’t regret any of it!

Justin looked up at Melanie with tears in his eyes. Her heart ached for having to have him read it aloud but it couldn’t be helped. “Justin, do you need a break?”

“No, I…”

“We can call a recess if you want to.”

He glanced over to the defense table. Whereas the attorney was looking suitably horrified, he noticed the superior smirks on father and son’s faces alike. Turning his attention to his side of the courtroom, he saw looks of despair and pity, but it was Brian’s look that made the decision for him. “No, Mel. They came for me… for us, so it’s my turn. Game on!” he whispered to her vehemently.

She smiled wide at the return of Justin’s fighting spirit and she knew who to thank for that. She turned to look at the man who would be King of their world and smiled. Brian in turn offered her a raised eyebrow and a sardonic smile in response. “Okay, Justin. Now that we have heard the testimonies of two of the co-conspirators in cahoots with Hobbs family, it’s time for some really tough questions. I won’t lie to you and tell you that they won’t be invasive, but it’s important that you remember your right not to answer. Are we clear?”


“When did you first know you were gay?”

“I had an inkling that I might be at eight years old. There was this girl named Marylou Caputo who kissed me on the playground and I just thought she was the grossest thing. Sure she was pretty, but that’s all. It wasn’t until age thirteen that I knew for sure since all of the girls were developing and I couldn’t see anything worth looking at close-up beyond their esthetic beauty. I was looking at them as I would anything else I had drawn.”

“No feelings for Daphne?”

“Not in the romantic sense. I love her, but not like I have always loved Brian.”

“But you slept with her shortly after you met Brian.”

“I did. She was seeing a fellow student and wanted to move beyond second base with him, but she didn’t trust him. So she asked me, as someone who had recently gone through the trauma of losing my virginity, to help her out.”

“Trauma? What an odd choice of words.”

“Not really when you think about it.” He shrugged. “As a friend once explained to me, you’re giving someone a part of you by letting someone into your body. It’s a gift, but in the wrong hands, it can become a weapon. Daphne didn’t want that to happen to her and neither did I. Trust me, if I was straight, there wouldn’t have been a question in my mind that Daphne would be who I wanted. She’s very special and a damn great friend.” He looked over at his best friend, who had tears in her eyes. They had come a long way since that fateful day, but neither would ever regret their actions.

“So who did you lose your virginity to?”

“Who else but my partner, Brian Kinney. We weren’t always partners and we still will have an open relationship, I’m sure. But Brian... I fell in love with Brian that first night. It wasn’t just because of the way he looks, even though he’s freaking gorgeous. But it was the fact that even after discovering that I had lied about my age initially, he still took the time to talk to me; to treat me as a person and not a trick. Then later, he let me name the most precious gift in this world to him, and that was before he took me back to his place to fu...deflower me. Sorry, your honor,” Justin said blushing bright red amid a giggle.

“No worries, Justin. You caught yourself in time. So let me ask this. If you were so into Brian, why the interlude with Christopher Hobbs?” Judge Lano asked.

“You have to understand that Brian and I have never been together in the conventional sense. It’s something that I struggled with early on, and still have issues with it every now and again. But on that particular day, Brian and I had a major argument in which there were harsh words said in front of a diner full of people, one of which was Brian’s best friend. Michael Novotny had always made it a point to tell me that I was not wanted, that I was worthless, that I would never be anything to Brian but a convenient body when he didn’t want to go out looking for the next hot guy to screw. Mostly it was done when no one was really around to hear it, or if they were, they just let Michael have his say.


"So imagine having his jealous, vicious words confirmed from the one person you thought would never agree with them. It cut deeply and I just needed soothing. I didn’t set out to make Chris the balm to heal me, he was just there. I had been attracted to him in an ‘is he in the closet or just curious’ sort of way. It just so happened that we’d both got detention, but then we’d started talking about girls and he started jerking off right in front of me, so I gave him a hand. He could have stopped me at anytime- I mean, look at him and look at me- but he didn’t. In fact, he enjoyed himself immensely.”

“Thank you, Justin for answering my question so thoroughly. Ms. Marcus, you may continue.”

“Thank you, your honor. So Justin, continuing on in the same vein, What happened the next day?”

“There was the fight in the locker room. I was changing back into my uniform from gym class when Chris walked in and asked if I was going to shower. Kept going on about how he would think that I would want to look at the guys in there. I told him that I had a paper to finish so I wasn’t. He noticed my nipple ring that I had gotten a week before. He asked me if I’d done it so that my butt-fucking pals- his words, not mine- would have something to pull on. I don’t remember my exact words but I know they had something to do with what happened between him and I while cleaning the equipment room during detention. By the time the other guys came in, Chris was shoving me and I threw the punch that blackened his eye. Of course, I got suspended and a phone call home with it all being labeled as my fault, while all I was doing was getting dressed to finish my paper for my next class.”

“Why not just walk away?”

“I turned my back on him, continuing to get dressed. I would have thought that would indicate the conversation would be over, so I could only come to the conclusion that Chris was either being really obtuse or my worthiness as a man was being tested because I’m gay. In either circumstance, walking away simply wasn’t an option.”

Melanie nodded. “So tell us about the argument on Liberty Avenue.”

“That happened the same night that I was suspended from school for standing up for another student when Mr. Dixon failed to, as a result of Chris’ continual bullying. I was coming out of the local hangout on Liberty Avenue in the company of Brian, Emmett, Ted, and Michael. We’d just finished talking about the latest round of Homophobic High when I spotted him. I asked him what he was doing there and he responded that he’d come to see the freaks. I told him that down on Liberty Avenue he was the freak and to go home. He made a move to hit me again and Brian stepped in between us. That was hot as hell, by the way… but ANYWAY, by that time I was tired of being harassed everywhere. I had been kicked out of my childhood home and was being persecuted at school, so I felt that I should have had at least one place where I wasn’t constantly being stalked, among other things. And when I get angry, I also get reckless, so I outed Closet Chris so that he could feel what it felt like for me to have to deal with his pettiness and bullying behavior every single day since my outing. No, Chris and I were never the best of friends, but we were at least cordial. And maybe I could have done things differently; I’m no angel and far from perfect. But the fact remains that I didn’t deserve to almost die because of something that I can’t change about myself.”

“Would you change it if you could?”

“No.” Justin answered without hesitation. “No, I wouldn’t because then I couldn’t love Brian the way I’m meant to. I couldn’t be accepting of people as they are instead of who my narrow and conditioned mind would perceive them to be. Sure things would have been easier, but I’ve never been one to take the easy road. And I won’t start simply because someone has a problem with the way I live my life.”

“No further questions. Your witness,” Melanie intoned, giving Justin one last wink. She had to admit that he did well. He didn’t lie, gloss over or sugar-coat and he certainly didn’t shift blame. He just told his story through the questions asked which is something that should have been done in the first place.

“No further questions at this time but reserve the right to call Mr. Taylor back in light of future testimony.”

“Mr. Taylor, you may step down,” Judge Lano told him. As he made his way over to his partner, she watched with her face carefully blank as the older man embraced the younger. To the outside eye, they would certainly look like they shouldn’t be together. But she wasn’t just an ordinary person looking at the couple. It wasn’t hard to discern their loyalty to each other despite the fact that their relationship is an open one. She’d seen more monogamous couples end up in court for infidelity than she had seen couples in open relationships break up. They were the type of couples who never let a little thing like physical need dictate how they felt and related to each other. Even though she was a one-man woman to her soul, she couldn’t help but admire them.


Shaking her head slightly, she advised. “We’re going to take a half hour break so that I can review Dr. Bethany Colbert’s collective report of Justin’s professional caregivers. Please be mindful of the gag order and that this is a court of law, not a wrestling or boxing arena. Just saying, people! Court is in recess!”



Chapter End Notes:



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