Jolan's Path - Chapter 66
The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
Jolan drove down the gloomy dark streets, the van slow and quiet.
He'd arrived in Cutter's Bluff at around four thirty, the night dark and cloudless.
It had been a long, emotional night for Jolan, a night of trembling uncertainty and accepting reality.
He'd never really slept, laying in the darkness, his loving Justin against him.
At midnight his feelings had overtaken him.
He'd risen up, slipped into his clothes, and in the silent darkness of their bedroom, written Justin a quick note, placing it on the nightstand beside Justin's phone.
He'd kissed his lover goodbye, slipping silently out of the room, the note there to ease his worry.
The darkness of my thoughts make me too restless to sleep.
I need to get there, to go on alone.
For just a few hours I need the silence of my own mind, and the darkness of that town's emptiness.
I need to drive through its silent streets, reclaiming some sense of reality for what it means to me.
It's calling me to face my missing life.
I love you and don't worry, your love is with me.
I'll meet you all at nine o'clock where we are to meet Cory.
I love you and your love always surrounds me.
In the darkness of the early night he'd silently left Shelly's home, taking one of the minivans and driving on alone to Cutter's Bluff.
He knew there were more than enough vehicles for the others to get there.
The GPS in the van had guided him easily to his former home town.
Now here he was four hours later, alone in the heart of his childhood.
For all outward appearances it seemed like any other small town in colonial America.
The welcoming sign at its southwest entrance welcoming everyone to the historic town of Cutter's Bluff.
Jolan, on the other hand, didn't feel welcome.
Even in the solitude of the empty night he felt the presence of something.
His mind had focused on the silence of the empty streets.
Not a movement was seen, not a single light or sound emanated off its cobblestone streets.
He'd been driving around for almost forty five minutes, not encountering a single person or lighted home.
That in itself seemed strange, as if the town was shrunk back under its protective coverings against the darkness of night, awaiting the dawn of safety.
Jolan's eyes took it all in, the normality and quaintness of his home town.
A town he still felt no connection to.
But he felt that quaintness was a facade, an underlying uncertainty bubbling underneath.
It took only a few moments for him to realize what he felt buried beneath the surface of that facade.
A trembling flow of searching evil.
His eyes took in every detail of his surroundings, Jolan's senses bristling.
The van slowed, Jolan looking towards the town square, seeing a small park in the center of town.
He stopped the vehicle, Jolan quietly stepping out.
The morning air was filled with a blast of coolness, Jolan zipping up his jacket.
His eyes looked around, Jolan taking in the serenity of the park's beauty.
He sensed that in the dawn of summer it would indeed be a beautiful, flowery place.
Here now in mid November it was succumbing to the eventuality of the approaching winter.
Jolan walked forward, walking down a stone path, taking in the silence of his surroundings, his soft footsteps the only sound.
The path widened into a circular garden, a statue standing in its center upon a marble block.
Jolan walked to the garden's center, looking up at the statue.
It was of a man in colonial clothing standing erect, one hand raised forward, a flag in that hand.
His other hand was lowered, a sword in it.
Jolan's eyes adjusted to the gloom, reading the inscription on the marble block's front.
James Alison Cutter
Protector of Cutter's Bluff
Through his courage our hearts unite
Go forth with courage, the darkness brightens
Go forth with truth, thy soul lightens
Jolan stared in silence at the words, finding his own meaning in those old words.
For he felt in his heart they were written there for him.
Jolan stared at the statue for a moment, lost in his own thoughts.
The founder of this town had lived a long life, uncommon for that era.
He'd lived until the founding of his nation, dying two years after independence in his ninetieth year.
Jolan felt a deep respect for the man, although having never known him.
His thoughts and the silence were broken by a soft sound.
Jolan's mind focused, a faint sound coming to his ears.
Jolan heard the soft tinkling of a bell, the noise close to him.
The he heard the sudden rush of feet, that sound instantly diminishing.
He listened intently, the sounds gone as quickly as they had been heard.
Jolan's eyes scanned the area, only clouded shadows in the softening darkness seen.
He slowly walked around the area, no sign of anyone.
His eyes searched the ground, focusing on something.
He stared at it for a moment, his head raising, looking around into the now brightening gloom.
"Follow and watch me as you must. You shall not deter me. I have returned." he softly said, no reply coming in the darkness.
Jolan quietly walked back to the van, his eyes and senses alert.
He climbed back in, starting the vehicle, driving towards the next empty street.
Four hours later, a group of new arrivals sat in a small family restaurant, one person surrounded by their concerning love.
Justin's eyes looked out the restaurant's window, seeing no one.
"He'll be here soon, Jus. He promised." Cory said, sitting beside Simus, the older man's arm around him.
The two lovers had united, everyone smiling at their embrace of love about twenty minutes earlier.
Justin smiled at the young man, looking around the small cozy restaurant they were nestled in.
Cory had arranged this place for its privacy and for its special place in his heart.
He'd worked here every summer when he was a teenager as a short order cook.
Jolan had been a waiter and both had done just about every job here.
Georgina Beaumont had run this restaurant for over thirty years.
The large robust woman walked up again to their table, smiling at Cory, then Justin.
"Land sakes! My old diner stocked full celebrities!
If my boy Leopold were here, he'd be fainting right away!"
Cory laughed, smiling at the older woman.
"Where is Leo? Still in Los Angeles?"
"Yep, been there almost five years now. What he's doing I have no idea, but I'm going to find out soon. He's wired me a ticket to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with him. Imagine that! Me under the sun for a month! Why, I'll look like a lobster for sure!"
Cory laughed, Georgina winking at him.
"That's a good son." Lynn said, smiling at the woman, the woman pouring her another cup of coffee.
"That he is. Cory, he and Jolan practically ran this place for me for years. All three are my special boys!"
"Thanks for opening up just for us, Auntie Gee." Cory smiled, the woman's face filled with a wide smile, her hand ruffling Cory's hair.
"For you Cory--and especially for Jolan--it's no
trouble at all. The rest of the freeloaders in this town can wait for their
Justin smiled, looking towards the closed sign on the restaurant's locked front door.
Several people had tried the door, walking away with forlorn looks on their faces.
He'd have to make sure they all left a large tip for the woman's hospitality and for the inconvenience.
"So Jolan worked here as a teenager?" Justin said, wanting to find out all he could about his lover's past.
"Yes, son. That boy was one of a kind. So organized, skilled and so detailed. Nothing in this place ever went haywire. No matter how much Leopard and Cougar tried to throw a wrench into it."
Cory blushed, Simus smiling at the woman.
"I take it Cory was Cougar?"
Auntie Gee smiled widely, looking at Cory.
"Yelpers. My boy was Leopard, Cory was Cougar and Jolan was Tiger. The Three Crazy Cats!"
Cory laughed, everyone looking at him.
"We had dreams of starting a jazz band. It didn't
Auntie Gee ruffled his hair again, Cory smiling at her.
"Hey, it was all fun, right Auntie Gee?"
"That it was Cory, that it was." she said pulling a Kleenex out of her apron pocket.
"I can't believe Jolan's come back home. And you too, Jennie."
Jennie smiled up at the woman, her mouth showing a chocolate milk ring, her second glass before her .
"You're the image of your loving mother, Jennie. If
your hair were blond you'd be twins."
Jennie smiled wider, the compliment making her heart soar, Lynn wiping her face.
"Thank you, Mrs. Beaumont."
"Now child, none of that. I've known ya since ya started crawling. It was then and will always be Auntie Gee."
"Alright, Auntie Gee. Thank you."
The woman wiped her eyes, looking at Lynn watching Jennie.
"It's so nice to see you surrounded by love, Jennie." she said, wiping her eyes again, Lynn and Jennie making eye contact.
"I'm always surrounded by love now. Jolly's made
that wish come true."
Everyone smiled around the two tables, Jennie going back to her milkshake.
A knock came to the restaurant's front door, Auntie Gee looking towards it.
"Strangers. I'll shoo them away."
"No, Auntie Gee, I think they're our friends." Cory said, walking towards the door.
He unlocked it, smiling at Alexandra and Jordan.
"You found the spot, excellent! Please come in." Cory smiled, the others walking in.
Everyone greeted Jordan and Ally, Cory introducing them to Auntie Gee.
Lonnie smiled widely at Ally, pulling a chair out for her.
Ally smiled at him, sitting down at the table, Auntie Gee heading back into the kitchen for more food.
"So where's the man of the hour?" Jordan asked, sitting down beside Trace.
"We're waiting for him to show up." Justin said quietly, looking out the window again, Josh looking at his friend beside him.
"Show up? You mean he's not in Cutter's Bluff?" Ally said, looking around the table in surprise.
"No, he's here. He's been here long before us." Justin said, his voice softer.
Josh sensed the worry flooding Justin's soul, his arm going around his friend.
Joey and Lance explained the note Justin had found that morning and the events of the night before, Ally's eyes going to Shelly and Henry.
"So, he's been here just driving around town all night. That sounds strange, Justin." Ally said, Justin looking at the lawyer.
"Jolan's mind is full of thoughts, so many troubling thoughts. He needed some time alone. Some total alone time." he said, lowering his head, picking at his half full plate.
Josh looked at Chace, both men feeling for Justin.
They knew that Justin was upset that Jolan was away by himself, and the fact that he wanted to be totally alone.
Lynn looked at her son, sensing the same thing.
"Jolan just needed some time to focus on everything, Jus. You know he loves you deeply. Perhaps he needed just a little time away from all of us to clear his mind. He's coming back." she said, patting his hand.
Justin smiled at his mother, knowing she was right.
"I know, Mom. It just doesn't make me feel any better without him here by my side."
Auntie Gee walked out of the kitchen carrying a couple of filled plates, setting them down in front of the two new diners.
"Thanks, but I can't eat all of that." Ally said, Lonnie smiling at her.
"Hush now, child! That's the start to a good morning. Dig in and put some meat on those bones. You're our Jolan's lawyer, now isn't ya? You need to have lots of energy to wipe them smiles off them accusers' faces." she said, folding her arms.
Ally looked around the table, Cory smiling at her.
"Dig in, Ally. Auntie Gee won't take no for an
Ally and Jordan both dove into the warm food, their faces flooding with smiles.
"This is delicious! I'll take seconds, please!" Jordan said, heading back to his plate.
Ally looked up at the large woman, smiling at her.
"Thank you. It is delicious."
The woman smiled, walking back into the kitchen.
Everyone filled them in on her past with Jolan, the group talking amongst themselves.
Justin's eyes were looking out the window again, Josh's mind on his friend's worry.
Twenty minutes later, just before nine, Justin's eyes sparkled.
"He just pulled in!" Justin said, rising up from the table.
Auntie Gee, who'd sat down with all of them, regaling them with tales of Jolan and Cory's past, smiled at the young man's happiness.
She looked at Lynn as Justin headed towards the door.
"Isn't love grand?"
Lynn's eyes widened, the woman smiling at her.
"His eyes give him away every time anyone mentions Jolan."
Lynn smiled and nodded, the woman patting her arm.
"No worries. Their love is theirs. I'm not one to
gossip. Especially about people in love."
Lynn smiled, Auntie Gee getting up, Cory standing as well, leaning over and whispering in her ear.
She listened with a smile, then nodded.
Justin opened the restaurant's front door, Jolan walking into the restaurant.
"Are you alright, Jo?" Justin said, his arms going around him.
Jolan looked around the restaurant, seeing the large woman looking their way.
"Decorum, love. We're out in public."
Justin broke their hold, Jolan smiling at him.
"Thanks, my friend. I missed you too." he said, Justin smiling at his attempt to cover.
"You've got time for breakfast, Jo. Sit down and tell me about your night." Justin said, Jolan seeing the yearning in Justin's blue eyes.
Auntie Gee walked up to the two men, looking at them both.
"Now breakfast can wait. You two need a moment of
love. Well, don't just stand there, Justin! Kiss your man!"
Jolan looked surprised, Justin grinning widely, pulling Jolan against him, their lips meeting.
Jolan's surprise gave way to Justin's erupting love.
They both became lost in the moment, everyone at the table smiling, Auntie Gee's smile the widest.
"Now that's how ya show the sunshine of a new day. Love makes
any morning shine a little brighter."
The two men broke their bond, looking into each other's eyes, Jolan turning and looking at the large woman.
"I know you don't remember me, Jolan. But I remember
you! My name's Georgina Beaumont, but everyone just calls me Auntie Gee. Sit
down and maybe my good food will brighten that darkness in your mind."
Jolan smiled at the woman, liking her immediately.
Justin pulled him to the table, Josh getting up to give Jolan a seat.
The two hugged, Jolan sitting down and saying hello to everyone.
"Walking the midnight trails, my friend?" Joey said, Jolan smiling at him.
"Walking the paths to enlightenment. The darkness holds much." he said, Lynn pouring him a cup of coffee, kissing his cheek.
"Are you sure you're okay, my love?" Justin said, Jolan smiling at him.
"I'm sorry for leaving last night, Jus. It, in no way, was
because of you or anything from yesterday's revelations. I just felt a need to get here.
To see the place for myself. I've been driving around for hours in the darkness
that eventually gave way to light. This town is as I thought it would be."
"And how did you think it would be?" Simus said, Jolan meeting his uncle's grey eyes.
"It's shrouded in evil, Uncle. I sense it in every corner of this small town."
Jolan quietly told them of his morning, of sensing the underlying evil.
"That's an astute observation, Jolan. I've felt the same for years. Like a sense of being watched." Auntie Gee said, Jolan nodding at her.
"You've lived here all your life?"
"Yep, I was born here. And in the past ten or so years I've felt the difference in this town. Call me an old fool but it's true."
"You're not an old fool, dear lady. You've hit the nail right on the head. This town is different. And I think I found out what that difference was four years ago."
Auntie Gee looked at the young man, Jolan seeing the caring in her blue eyes.
"You haven't changed, Jolan. You're still so determined, forthright and direct. And I see your giving love has increased." she said, Jolan blushing, everyone smiling at him.
"You were such a wonderful giving child, Jolan. I
see that hasn't changed. Your love has drawn all those around this table to you.
I've never seen you so surrounded by love. Makes this old heart feel good to know
you're well taken care of."
Jolan smiled at the woman, she smiling back.
"I wish I could remember you, and my time here. You
feel like a breath of warmth on a cold winter's day. Your kindness is just as
The woman blushed, looking at Cory.
"Family is family, Jolan. You were always accepted as one of mine."
Jolan smiled, Justin smiling as well.
Ally looked at Jolan, Jolan's eyes meeting hers.
"So the day is finally at hand, Jolan. Are you ready
"Yes, Alexandra. I am ready."
"Good. Today is jury selection day. Unfortunately, the rest of you won't be allowed in the courtroom. Only Jolan and I will be present. It's best if you all stay here or go back to your rooms."
Justin looked surprised, a look of concern on his face, Jolan's hand going on top of his.
"It's the due process of law, Jus. I'll be alright. Today, my peers are selected. They shall be judged as I will be."
Everyone quietly looked at Jolan, his grey eyes scanning all their faces, stopping on Simus'.
"The path leads as it must. I'm ready to face my
Simus nodded, his eyes glistening with tears.
"I would give myself in your stead to see you not face these
accusations, my Nephew."
"I know Uncle. I know. But there's a reason I'm here, a reason this trial has come about. The path is as it should be."
Simus nodded, Justin looking at his lover.
"So where are our accommodations, Cory?" Jolan said, looking at his friend.
"Well, I've booked the last three cottages at Hampton's Point. It's a tourist getaway just outside town. One can house you guys Josh, Chace, Lance and Joey. The second Shelly and Henry, Trace and Cindy. The third can be for Jordan, Domo, Daphne and Rachel. My aunt's opened our home to Lonnie, your mom and Jennie, Justin."
Everyone nodded, Ally smiling.
"I've got a hotel room booked for the next two
weeks, just in case."
Jolan nodded, Lonnie smiling at Ally.
The lawyer smiled back at him, Jolan smiling to himself.
"And Justin and myself, Cory?" Jolan said, Cory looking at him.
"Our old friend Bill Carson--who's also a deputy here in town--has offered you sanctuary at his place, Jolan. He lives alone with his brother."
"Sanctuary, Cory?" Jolan said, Ally looking at him.
"That's what it will be, Jolan. You're going to be in the center of a media storm for the next few days until this trial ends. This is big news. You won't believe the media circus awaiting you down at that courthouse. I'm hoping the judge puts a gag order on everything."
"Will he do that?" Trace said, Ally looking at him.
"Only time will tell. But I like Cory's way of
thinking. It is a good idea to keep you under police protection. And where
better than in a policeman's home?"
Jolan nodded, looking at Cory.
"How is Sid, Cory?"
Cory froze, staring in shock at Jolan.
"You. . .you remember Sid?"
Jolan's eyes scanned out the window, as if he was lost in his thoughts for a moment.
"Yes, Cory. I felt his soul while I drove around.
He's been waiting for me."
"Yes, Jolan. I've sensed that, too. Do you remember what happened to him?"
"No, Cory. That part still remains hidden to me. But I sense it's very close."
"Who's Sid?" Justin said, looking at Cory, everyone else staring at him as well.
"He's Bill Carson's younger brother. He was one of
our good friends, Jolan."
"Was?" Jolan said, Cory's hand going to his shoulder.
"He's been in a stroke-like induced state for over four
years. He can't move, speak or do anything. It happened two days before you
Everyone looked shocked, Henry looking at Cory.
"A paralyzed state of inertia?"
"Yes, Henry. He's totally immobilized. Bill and I found him that night, in the town's central garden."
Jolan's eyes met Cory's.
"And I was with him?"
Cory's eyes lowered, then met his again.
"Yes, Jolan. You were covered in his blood. He had a lot of lacerations, bleeding quite badly. Bill always thought that you'd attacked him. That you had tried to kill his brother that night. He's hated you for the last four years."
"Then why, now, is he welcoming me into his home?"
Cory looked at his friend, Jolan staring into his green eyes.
"Because Sid says you saved him that night. You
saved him from evil."
Everyone sat in silence, Cory telling them all his findings while he'd been in town.
Of his being made deputy again, and his investigations into the town's records.
Of Sid's moment of reality and the struggling words he'd said.
Of his statement of Jolan's saving him.
"You don't remember that night at all either, Jo?" Justin asked, Jolan shaking his head no.
"Boons and In chills? I wonder what that refers to?" Calen said, everyone thinking about it.
"It could mean anything. You said his speech was slurred and labored. The words might not be totally correct in their pronunciation. I've seen it many times in stroke patients." Henry said, Jolan nodded at him.
"Well, the only one who knows is Sid." Cory said,
looking at Jolan. "Can you help him, Jolan?"
"Yes, Cory. I can help him. But not before he helps himself."
"Himself? He's totally invalid."
"That's not what I'm talking about. That will happen soon enough."
Everyone sensed Jolan's reluctance to talk about it further.
"Well, that breakfast hit the spot wonderfully. That would make a fitting last meal for a condemned man." Jolan said, Auntie Gee looking at him with surprise.
"Jolan! You always said that after every one of my Sunday brunches!"
Jolan smiled, Justin smiling at him.
"Slowly it returns. My memory's just so close."
Justin's hand went into Jolan's, squeezing it reassuringly.
"Did you bring my suit, Jus? I should change." Jolan said, standing up.
"Yes, love. Mom pressed it this morning."
"You can change in the employee washroom in the back, Jolan." Auntie Gee said smiling, Josh handing Jolan a garment bag that had hung on a hook by their jackets.
"Thanks, Josh." Jolan smiled, Josh smiling and patting his shoulder.
"Need some help, love?" Justin said, Josh smiling at Justin's puppy dog face.
"Seems someone needs some loving. Take your time, Jo. He's been lost all morning." Josh whispered into Jolan's ear, Jolan smiling.
"Sure, thanks Jus."
Justin beamed, the two men walking towards the kitchen doorway, soft laughter and conversation flooding the dining area.
Jolan was pulled into Justin's arms the moment he closed the bathroom door.
Justin's lips were on his, Jolan lost in the love that flooded his soul.
They kissed deeply, Justin's arms around Jolan, settling on his ass.
"Mom, I missed that this morning." Justin said softly, kissing him again.
"Mom, yes indeed. My man's love I hunger for always." Jolan said, his hands on Justin's hips.
"Me too, lover."
Jolan kissed him again, pulling back and looking into Justin's blue eyes.
"Josh told me you were lost all morning without me.
I'm sorry, Jus. I didn't mean to hurt you last night by leaving."
Jolan pulled him into his arms, Justin's head going to his chest.
"I woke up around three, and you were gone. I
waited, thinking you were in the washroom. When you didn't come back, I got up
turning on the light. That's when I found the note."
Jolan hugged him a little tighter, Justin sighing.
"I felt so alone, Jo. Like you didn't need me with
you. That you didn't want me with you."
"Oh, Jus. I'll always need you and want you with me."
Justin raised his head, Jolan looking into his glistening eyes.
"And I'll always have you with me. Your love was
with me, Jus. It will always be with me."
Justin smiled, Jolan lightly kissing him.
"Justin, there will be times when you and I are
apart. In those times, I'll always feel your love, and I'll always remember that
you're waiting for me when I come home."
Justin began to cry, Jolan pulling him close again.
"I'm so sorry, Jus. I didn't realize it would affect
you this deeply."
"I need you so much, Jo. I love you so much!"
"I know, Jus. I know. And I love you even more."
Justin's lips were on his again, the two lost again in their passion.
Justin's fingers began to roam, hitting buttons.
"Justin, we can't!"
"Please, Jo. It's been so long!"
"It's only been like one day, horn dog." Jolan said, moaning when Justin's hand went down the front of Jolan's pants.
"Well, I have to help you get dressed. What's wrong with a little manipulation along the way?"
Jolan moaned, Justin smiling.
"Nothing at all, Jus. Absolutely nothing!"
Justin grinned, sinking to his knees, Jolan's pants going with him.
Jolan gasped, his lover starting their passion.
Jolan and Justin walked out of the kitchen area, everyone looking at them.
Josh smiled, seeing the smile on his best friend's face.
Jolan's love had sent Justin's heart soaring, it was so easy to see.
Everyone picked up on Justin's happiness immediately.
Jolan turned, kissing him deeply.
"Into the lion's den I must plunge, Jus. Our passion will have to wait
till later. I'm off."
Justin nodded, Lynn wrapping her arm around her son.
"I'll be at Bill's place when you're through."
Jolan nodded, everyone giving him a hug, Jennie the last to do so.
Jolan smiled, kissing her cheek.
"I have your courage, angel. And I have all of your love." he smiled, everyone smiling at him, Jennie going into Justin's arms.
Jolan smiled, Jordan, he and Ally walking out of the restaurant.
Justin stood in the doorway, watching his man climb into the van, Jordan driving.
"Onward to your truth, Jolan. And I've realized my own truth."
Jolan looked around the courtroom, taking in the old colonial workmanship in the room's carved wooden accents.
Jolan felt the history in the building's facade.
Getting into the courthouse itself had been a chore indeed.
Ally had been correct, a media storm now was in full gale.
Four policemen had to surround Jolan to guide him into the courthouse.
Jolan had seen a few now familiar reporters from New York in the crowd, the trial now of obvious national interest.
He and Ally had weathered the storm, both a little frazzled by the time they'd reached the courtroom doors.
Jolan now sat waiting, looking around the room.
Ally was sorting through papers, Jolan's eyes looking across the table at the prosecution's side.
Henderson Sutcliffe was glaring right at him, Jolan taking in his steady stare.
The lawyer broke the stare, Jolan's eyes remaining on him.
"Where is Theresa Iranian?" Jolan softly said, Ally looking at him.
"She's not required here, Jolan. She's the
prosecution's witness, not a defendant. You are."
Jolan nodded, so wanting to see her, just to zone in on her aura.
He sensed within himself if he could meet her perhaps all of this might fall into place.
"When will she appear?"
"When she has to take the stand. She'll appear at their star witness, then I'll have my turn at her."
Jolan nodded, Ally looking at him.
"You know what I have to do to save you, Jolan. To
free you from this entrapment."
"Yes, Ally. And I think I know what I'll have to do."
Ally stared at him, unsure of his meaning.
Her thoughts were broken by a voice bellowing through the courtroom.
"All rise for the Honorable Judge Barrington Wentworth, presiding judge for Fulton and Sherman counties."
Everyone rose, the judge's chamber door opening, a man walking briskly out of the room.
He walked quickly to the judge's bench, sitting down.
Jolan looked at him quietly, taking in his features.
He looked around fifty, his black hair slightly graying at his temples.
His face was clean shaven, a pair of small framed glasses covering his piercing blue eyes.
In those eyes Jolan saw a man of deep intellect and acute determination.
This wasn't a back hills country lawyer.
This was a man who commanded the utmost respect .
Jolan looked over at Henderson Sutcliffe, sensing the man was in for a surprise.
"What's the case on the docket, Charles?"
"The state of Massachusetts versus Jolan Dragos, your honor. The defendant herein is charged with bodily confinement, rape and attempted murder. " the bailiff said, the judge nodding.
Jolan sensed the man knew well what this day was going to unfold with.
"Is the defendant present?"
Jolan stood up, Ally standing at his side.
"Yes, your honor. Jolan Dragos is here." she said, the judge looking at both of them.
"I assume you have a tongue in your mouth, son?"
"Yes, sir. I am Jolan Dragos."
"I know. In fact the whole town knows. That in itself will make this trial perilous for certain. I've lived in this area for all my life and I've never seen the circus that's presiding outside my courtroom's doors. You've brought the world to Cutter's Bluff, son. And perhaps that isn't such a good idea. Is the prosecution ready?"
Henderson Sutcliffe rose, looking at the judge.
"I am ready, sir. It's good to see a man of worth
judging this trial. Truth and vindication shall prevail."
"Spare me the flattery, counselor. Only justice prevails in my courtroom. Let's get to this."
The lawyer was taken aback by the judge's quiet rebuke, sitting down in silence.
Jolan smiled, his eyes on the judge.
"You understand the seriousness of these charges, son?"
"Yes, sir. That's why I'm here to defend myself against them."
The judge nodded, leaning back in his chair.
"These crimes carry a penalty of serious
consequences. You could face the rest of your life behind bars, Mr. Dragos. What
is your plea, counselor?"
Ally looked at the judge.
"My defendant pleads not guilty, your honor."
"Register the plea on the books, Charles. Very
well, counselors. This trial moves to jury selection. Our defendant needs twelve
tried and true jurors plus the usual four alternates. How many have been petitioned, Charles?"
The bailiff looked into the book, looking back at the judge.
"Eighty five in total, your honor."
The judge looked surprised, looking towards Jolan.
"Your future seems to have ignited the judicial heart of this town, Mr. Dragos. I've never heard of so many petitioning for duty." the judge said, Sutcliffe smiling to himself.
"Well, time is wasting. Let's get on with this. Begin, Charles." Judge Wentworth said, sitting back in his chair.
Four hours later, and sixty three jurors later, eight had been selected.
For various reasons, Ally and Sutcliffe had rejected many.
The eight chosen so far seemed to be reasonably intelligent people, although four of them Ally wasn't particularly happy with, but her legal objections were unjustified.
Jolan had sat back in silence, taking in all the questions leveled at these townsfolk.
In a lot of them Jolan saw regular people, hard working people.
And in a few he saw outright hatred directed at him.
Jolan remained in his chair, rubbing his eyes.
For four hours he'd watched sixty three people staring at him.
Quite a few revealed their knowledge of him from his youth, that usually destroying their chances.
"Number sixty four, your honor." Charles said, opening the holding room door again, a small elderly woman walking into the room.
"Good morning, Barry." she said, the judge smiling at her.
"Good morning, Mrs. Whitaker. What brings you here
to this circus?"
"Oh, you know me and my inquiring mind. I just had to see what the fuss is all about."
The judge smiled, directing Charles to help the woman to her assigned seat.
Charles smiled, helping the woman sit down.
"Thank you, Chuck. How's Miriam?"
The woman smiled, looking towards the lawyers' tables.
"My! A room full of strangers! Fascinating!"
Henderson Sutcliffe stood, looking at the woman.
"State you name and occupation, please."
"Well, my name is Clara Whitaker. I've no job to speak of, having at this late stage in life given up doing strenuous tasks. But in my heyday, well son I was a circus star."
"Alright. An interesting occupation. Do you know the defendant who stands accused of these charges?"
Clara looked towards Jolan, their eyes meeting.
"Well, directly, no. I've lived here for almost
twenty years, and I haven't met all of the children. Although quite a few have
visited me, just to see Jingles."
"Jingles? Who's that?" Henderson said, looking at the woman strangely.
"Why, Jingles is my dearest friend. My huggable ole
Ally smiled, captivated by this woman's refreshing manner.
"A bear? You mean you live with a real bear??" Henderson said, surprised.
"Why, yes. He and I have weathered many years in the
circus together. He's the only family I have left."
Henderson shook his head in disbelief, looking at her again.
"That's not important in this case. Do you know the
"No, sir, I don't. I knew his parents to say hello to, but he came from the other side of town. I only saw him at a glance."
Henderson nodded, continuing.
"Have you heard the details of what this trial is
"Yes, I have. I do read the papers and watch a bit of television."
"So what is your take on this whole situation?"
"Well, I don't really have a take on it, as you call it. I've always had an open mind. I'll gather all the facts before I decide on that."
Henderson nodded, looking at Ally.
"Your turn, Carmichael."
Ally stared at him, then looked at the elderly woman.
"Do you think you could be fair and unbiased in deciding this young man's fate?"
"My late husband always called me the Rock. For
nothing could sway me from something until I'd decided it on my own."
Ally smiled, looking at Jolan.
"I'll accept this juror, your honor. Sutcliffe?"
Henderson looked at Ally, then at the elderly woman.
He smiled, nodding to the judge.
"She's fine with me."
Clara smiled, Charles helping her towards the other holding room.
"I'll bring cookies for everyone, Barry."
Ally and Jolan smiled, the judge blushing a bit, but saying goodbye to her.
"You'll have to forgive her. She's a sweet lady, and a wonderful person."
Ally nodded, the judge looking at Charles.
"Bring in the next one, Charles."
Three hours later, the sixteenth juror was finally selected.
He turned up as the eighty-first candidate.
His name was Sheldon Cooper, the local pharmacist.
He knew Jolan, having given his mother medical prescriptions for various childhood illnesses.
His son had played baseball on Jolan's little league team.
That in itself almost cancelled him, if not for one question Henderson had asked.
"Do you feel that the defendant is capable of the
attack he's been charged with?"
"I only knew the man as a young outgoing teenager. At that time in life he was like any normal young man."
That sealed his inclusion for Ally.
Henderson couldn't substantiate any reasonable objection, the sixteenth juror decided.
"Alright, we have a jury and our alternates." the judge said, once the courtroom was cleared again.
"Your honor, I'd like to level a writ to have the defendant held in protective custody until this trial is concluded." Sutcliffe said, standing up.
"On what grounds, counselor? I read in the affidavits that he was released on bail in New York and didn't break that bail. What makes you think he'd flee here?"
"The time is at hand your honor. It's coming down to
the real drama. Once our evidence is leveled this man will feel the surrounding
reality of his predicament. I have full confidence in my intuitions that he'll
"I already feel the surrounding reality, counselor." Jolan said out loud, but intended only for himself.
The judge looked towards him.
"And what reality is that, son?"
Jolan's grey eyes raised, meeting the judge's blue.
"The reality that I was destined to stand here. To
face these accusations. Evil surrounds me, I feel it. And evil is trying to
destroy me. I won't let that happen. I have full intentions of clearing my name,
and regaining my lost life."
The judge nodded, looking at Alexandra.
"If I were you I'd take it upon myself to talk to my
client, counselor. Speeches like that can make a jury think about a man's
The judge looked at Henderson Sutcliffe, then at Jolan.
"The defendant is cleared to remain free under the court's jurisdiction. You must remain in Cutter's Bluff, son."
Jolan nodded, looking at Judge Wentworth.
"Court is adjourned until Monday morning. I suggest
you take the weekend to focus your mind on what's about to happen, Mr. Dragos."
The judge banged his gavel.
"Court's in recess until Monday.."
Jolan walked out of the courtroom, a police officer guiding him and Ally towards another room.
"You can wait in here until Chief Walker has your
transportation route organized."
"Transportation route?" Ally said, the officer smiling at him.
"Cory's taken care of everything. We have to make sure you disappear relatively easy after each day. I don't think you want reporters following you all over town. Bill's waiting at his place."
Jolan smiled, thanking the officer, who introduced himself as Deputy Steve Meadows.
"I cut your lawn for six summers, Jolan. You and your family were good people."
Jolan smiled, nodding his thanks.
"There's someone waiting to talk to you anyway, Jolan. She asked me if she could have a few minutes with you. Isn't you the lucky stiff?"
Jolan looked at Ally, both looking at the officer with a confused look.
The man smiled, opening the waiting room's door.
Jolan walked into the room, Ally behind him.
Jolan stopped, focusing on the woman who's back was turned to them.
She turned, Jolan staring into her mesmerizing blue, icy eyes.
"Hello, Jolan. We have to talk."
Ally stared in surprise at the woman standing in front of her.
Jolan on the other hand, stared into a sudden, clear reality.
Jessica Biel smiled, sitting down.
End of Chapter 66
Oh, my! She's back!
And what does she want?
Is she here to gloat or for another reason?
Seems Jolan's not that surprised to see her.
What does this mean for him and Justin?
What will Jolan do over the weekend, in his former home town?
Seems he does have a lot of forgotten friends rallying to his aid.
Let's hope it lasts when the trial begins.
Will Jolan find the secret to his past and the town's dilemma?
Only I know that answer.
I'll let you know as soon as I figure it out myself.
I've got it all thought out, now just to borrow some of Jolan's magic to sort it all out.
I hope I have some Dragos in me!