Jolan's Path - Chapter 70


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.



Chapter 70


"Tim Baxter here reporting live from Cutter's Bluff in Massachusetts, where the trial of Jolan Dragos began earlier today.

This day of justice began with Jolan Dragos and his young heroic sister walking into the courtroom surrounded by a kaleidoscope of celebrity friends and admirers. As you can see from this clip, Justin Timberlake and his entire family were front and center in the group surrounding the Dragos siblings.

As the videotape shows you can also see singer Britney Spears, actor Chace Crawford and others--including all of the former N*Sync band members--surrounding the two famous heroes.

The group seemed charged, determined and focused as they entered the small town's only courthouse.

A ship on a sea of truth and vindication, as Joey Fatone said to me outside the courthouse this morning.

But I'm sure what awaited them when the trial began took the wind out of that ship's sails.

I had the fortune of being one of the reporters allowed into the courtroom to watch the proceedings unfold.

And to say the room was filled with shocking surprise would be an understatement.

Henderson Sutcliffe, renowned New York prosecutor, delivered an opening bombshell.

The first witness, Dr. Nicholas Bernardt, leading forensic specialist and chief coroner for the state of New York--a renowned DNA specialist--has verified a central truth in Theresa Brannigan's accusations.

Jolan Dragos has been named through DNA analysis as the biological father of Theresa's four-year-old son.

The same son that she is claiming was the product of her horrendous rape.

This reporter sees this announcement as a damaging blow to the young hero's defense.

It's now obvious that Jolan and Theresa had a sexual relationship.

Could her accusations be true?
Could this young man be a simmering monster, beguiling all of us into a false sense of pride for him?

Is a hero's soul covered in monstrous evil?

All this reporter knows is that there were some very stunned faces in that courtroom this morning.

The real Jolan Dragos may be coming to the surface.

The judge has recessed the trial for lunch, Jolan Dragos and his group of famous supporters remaining inside.

Judging by the look on Dragos' lawyer's face, it may be a very unsettling meal.

Oh to be a fly on that wall!

The trial will begin again this afternoon, and I'll be back to give you an update later this evening.

Back to you in the studio, Karen."

Jordan closed the conference room's door, everyone's eyes zoning in on Jolan as he sat down at the far end of the central table.

The young man wore a look of defeat, his head lowering.

Justin walked over towards him, sitting down quietly in a chair a few feet away from him, his eyes looking at Jolan.

Ally stood at the end of the table, her arms folded, a look of intense determination on her face.

"What in the hell just happened in that room? I feel like I was just blindsided! What the hell's going on here, Jolan?" she said, her voice sounding loud in the large open room.

Everyone sat in silence, a look of bewildered uncertainty on a lot of their confused faces.

Jennie moved from beside Lynn, walking around the table to her brother, standing in front of him.

Jolan raised his eyes, the young girl looking at him.

He moved his chair, Jennie sitting down in his lap, Jolan wrapping his arms around her.

"Is what they said true, Jolly? Do you have a son?"

Jolan's eyes met hers, the two looking into each other's souls.

Jolan softly nodded, Jennie looking at him with a soft smile on her face.

"I'm kind of young to be an aunt, but I think I'll like it."
Jolan teared up, Jennie kissing his cheek.

Her grey soft eyes looked towards Justin, then back to Jolan.

Her eyes had followed both of them, watching their every move since the doctor had spoken.

She saw the instant uncertainty in Jolan's quick gaze towards Justin in that courtroom, and his refusal to look again into those blue pools of love.

For Jennie had seen doubt and fear in Jolan's eyes, the fear of what Justin would think of this new revelation.

She stood up again, looking down at her brother.

"To walk with truth in your heart for so long makes a heart tremble with uncertainty. I think it's time Justin destroyed that layer of lingering doubt, my brother." she said, Justin looking up into her grey eyes.

She smiled at him, then looked at her brother, Jolan's head again lowered, not looking towards Justin.

"It's up to you to tell him the truth, Justin. Your love deserves that."
Justin smiled at her, moving towards Jolan.

Ally still stood at the end of the table, staring at the two men.

Justin rose out of his chair, sitting down in the chair beside Jolan.

Jolan felt his presence, his head still lowered.

"You haven't looked me in the eyes since we left the courtroom, Jo. What are you afraid you'll see there?"

Jolan's body trembled, Justin sensing his trembling emotions.

"I know I'll see uncertainty and doubt. That you'll doubt who I really am now. I'm sorry I didn't have the courage to tell you the truth."

Justin's hand went on top of Jolan's, the young man sighing, raising his head.

Justin stared into two grey pools clouded with tears.

Jolan's whole face was covered in tears.

"And what truth is that, my Jo?"

"Don't you see what this means, Jus? That child is mine. Somehow she and I.. . we. . . we. . ..we connected and brought a child into this world. A child she's saying was conceived by an evil act. By my monstrous evil!" Jolan said, his tearful face lowering, his eyes unable to endure Justin's watchful gaze.
Justin sighed, his eyes going to Jennie again.

She quietly stared at him, Justin remembering her words about truth in your heart.

"How long have you known about your son, Jo?"
Jolan raised his head, Justin seeing the trembling doubt now evident in his grey irises.

"I've known since the first night that I was arrested in Los Angeles."
Ally gasped, as did a few others, Justin continuing to look at Jolan.

"How did you know, Jo?"
"That night, after Erasmus had given me his ring, I lay in bed, my mind on you, on missing your love."
Justin softly smiled, his hand still on top of Jolan's.

"I felt a presence on the path, as if someone very small had walked onto the path behind me. I felt his soul. His innocent little soul.

And in the darkness of my sleep I was pulled along the path to him. To his small bedroom far away. And in the moonlit darkness I saw his blue eyes looking at me, and the smile on his face melted my heart. I knew then in my heart that I was looking at my son. The son of my past, the son of my truth."
Jolan lowered his head again, Justin's arm going around him.

"Look at me, Jolan."
Jolan raised his head again, staring into Justin's blue eyes, seeing only love shining back.

"That was a hell of a surprise to me, Jo. But looking into your grey doubting eyes my soul realizes my heart's truth. This doesn't change my love for you. I'll stand by you, I'll believe in you, and I'll love you even more."

Jolan looked surprised, staring into the blue eyes of his life.

He sensed no change in Justin's soul, the initial shock and surprise now gone.

Justin smiled at him, his special Jolan smile sinking into Jolan's soul.

Jolan's eyes moved, looking around the room, staring at everyone looking at him.

He saw all of their concerned eyes looking at him, the surprise lessening in their eyes as well.

And he also saw their continued love.

"How can you love me, when this proves that I may not be who you think I am?"
Justin's body straightened, his gaze on Jolan hardening.

"This in no way changes who you are, Jolan. You can't make any of us believe that you are any less than what you've already shown us. Your love is too believable, too real, to be anything but what it is."
"But I have a son, Justin! I created a child with that woman! And there's only one way that could have happened! Her accusing way!"
Justin stood up, Jolan staring up at him.

"We all have faith in who you are, Jolan. We all walked into this courthouse this morning as a family united in our belief in you. In your innocence. Yes, it's true that the lid's been blown off of this in a surprising way. But the underlying truth still remains. You are good, Jolan. You are love incarnate and you are good. This revelation will not sway me from my faith in you."
Jolan was in tears, staring at the man he loved beyond his soul.

"The truth of how this happened will be revealed by this trial, Jo. I have total faith in you being exonerated from these false charges. Someone so filled with love cannot perish with lies."

Jolan teared up, hearing the love in Justin's soft voice, in the beautiful words he'd spoken.

"Justin, I. . .I have a child."
Justin smiled at Jolan, pulling him up out of his seat.

"Yes, my love. You have a child. And being your child I know that little boy will be an angel in every possible way. I so want to meet him someday."
Jolan sobbed, Justin's arms surrounding him.

"So do I, Jus. So do I."

Jolan cried into his chest, Justin looking around the room.

Everyone was looking at the two men, Justin seeing their love still in their eyes for his man.

"Look around you, Jo. We're all still here. Yes, it's been a revealing day. Yes, a surprising one as well. But it hasn't changed us."
Jolan's head raised, his tearing face looking around.

Josh, Lance and Chace moved, walking up to him, others following.

"We're your friends, Jolan. We'll stand behind you through all of this." Lance said, Jolan seeing so much love still in those green eyes for him.
Jolan sobbed again, Lance hugging him tightly, Chace and Josh rubbing his shoulders.

Lynn stood beside her son now, Justin looking into her eyes.

He saw her unchanged love for Jolan and Jennie.

The young girl smiled at Justin, wrapping her arms around his waist, his arm going around her.

Justin turned his head, looking into Alexandra's green staring eyes.

"Alright, Ally. I sense you have something to say that you feel needs to be said." he said, looking at the lawyer.

Jolan's eyes moved, his hand wiping them, staring at the woman staring back at him with green piercing eyes.

She walked around the table, her arms still folded, her eyes moving for only a moment, meeting Lonnie's, her gaze returning to Jolan.

"I told you a long time ago, Jolan, that I wanted you to be totally honest with me. That without that bond of honesty I couldn't fight for you. And here now we stand, your relationship with that child thrown in my face by that primadonna Sutcliffe. How do you think I feel right now hearing you say that you've known since day one that Jeffrey Brannigan was your child?"
Jolan's eyes were looking at her, Ally seeing the regret in his grey orbs.

"Why didn't you tell us earlier, Jolan? I could have been prepared for this eventuality. Why?" she said, staring at him.

Jolan sighed, looking at Justin.

"Because I couldn't face the look you're giving me now. Because I felt that my love wouldn't be strong enough to stop all of you from turning away from me."

Ally stared at him, her face softening.

She sat down in the nearest chair, patting the seat beside her.

Jolan sat down beside her, Ally's hand going on top of his.

"You certainly know how to make a person's anger dissolve with just a few truthful words. I sensed the first moment that I met you that you were a man with a giving soul, Jolan. Here today, in this room I see the result of your giving love. No one has turned away from you, my friend. Even with this revelation--and its importance in what's leveled against you--our love hasn't changed."
Jolan looked into her eyes, seeing her friendship still there.

"I don't like being in the dark, Jolan. I don't like walking blind into confrontation. I need you to be honest with me if you want me to help you. Friends need to be honest with each other."
Jolan nodded, Ally leaning forward and kissing his cheek.

"I'm sorry, Ally. I should have told you this morning. But my fears outweighed my resolve. I see now it was all for naught." Jolan said, looking around at everyone, smiles on a lot of their faces.

Jolan's eyes met Randall's, Justin's father standing with his arms around his two young sons.

The older man's eyes were looking at him, Jolan feeling a sense of uncertainty still there.

Uncertainty in the worth of Jolan's truthful soul.

"Yes, Jolan. We're still here for you." Lynn said, Jolan smiling at her.

His head lowered for a moment, then raised, Ally seeing the determination in his eyes again.

"I don't know what the truth is in regards to that child. All I know is the boy is mine. I have to accept that fact. I sense I'll learn that truth soon in regards to how that happened. And I promise you that you won't walk into that courtroom blind again, Alexandra. You'll walk into it with all my truths. And with all of my admiration and love inside you."
Ally smiled, patting his knee.

"I'm certain the press will be having a field day with today's surprise, Jolan. How do you want to handle this?" she said, looking at Jolan.

"The truth has been shown, I can't deny my relationship with him."
Ally nodded, looking around.

"I'll abide by your decision. I won't contest the findings. It would be a futile task anyway. What we now have to concentrate on is the testimony of Samuel Conrad and Theresa Brannigan. We have to unravel their pack of lies."
Jolan nodded, Justin's arm going around him.

Joey walked into the room, followed by Carl and Thelma.

They carried bags of food, Joey smiling at Jolan and Lance.

"Man it's a circus out there! The reporters are chomping at the bit! Sutcliffe's right in the middle of them, the pompous airbag!" Joey said, Ally chuckling at him.

"The star prosecutor is in his glory. He thinks he's driven the first blow."
Jolan looked at her, Ally's green eyes meeting his.

"It was a hard punch to bear, but I'm still standing." Jolan said, Justin smiling at him when their eyes met.

"We brought Chinese food." Joey said, his hand going to Jolan's shoulder when he walked up to him.

"Try and eat, my friend."
Jolan smiled, Joey's eyes filled with unchanged love.

"Thanks, Joe."

The judge banged his gavel, the courtroom settling down.

Lunch was over, the trial again in session.

"Would you like to cross examine the witness, counselor?" Judge Wentworth said, looking at Ally.

Dr. Bernhardt was on the stand again for the defense's cross examination, Ally looking towards him.

"No, your Honor.  My client concedes the evidence the good doctor has presented. We accept his DNA analysis. It may be entered into evidence."
Henderson Sutcliffe's eyes widened, staring at Ally.

"And the truth shall set you free. Or imprison you." he smirked, the judge looking towards him.

"This is damaging evidence, counselor. I think it would be best if you reviewed it thoroughly."

"I concede the doctor's expertise, your Honor. We can't argue with his credentials. I have faith in his experience. He was to be my witness. Mr. Sutcliffe beat me to him. Kudos on the theatrics, Henderson. You've opened up the first ring of this circus."
Henderson glared at the young woman, standing up.

"I don't need theatrics to bring justice. Your client's revealed past will be enough."
The judge banged his gavel, the two lawyers looking towards him.

"Settle down, counselors.  Yes, the revealed past will be enough. You both need to focus on that. Call your next witness, Mr. Sutcliffe. You may step down, Doctor."

Both lawyers stared at each other, sitting down, the doctor returning to his seat in the back pews.

"I call to the stand Samuel Conrad."

A man stood up, walking towards the front of the court, heading to the witness stand, his eyes glancing at the jury.

Jolan had glanced there as well, taking in all the faces staring at the new man.

He looked each over, smiling at the last one on the back row.

It was the older woman who'd worked in a circus, the one with the wonderful view on life.

She was smiling at him, Jolan smiling back.

He thought of Ally's comment about a circus.

I wonder if your bear act would even amaze Sutcliffe.

I think it would be more beautiful than any of his acts of self-gratification.

His eyes focused again on the man now sitting in the witness box.

He looked around thirty, blondish hair, a small goatee on his face, two staring brown eyes looking directly at him.

His face looked like it held a hidden meanness.

Something else caught his eye, his head moving to Ally, talking quietly into her ear.

Ally looked at the man, staring at what Jolan was pointing out, nodding quietly as the man was sworn in.

"State you name, sir."
"My name is Samuel Martin Conrad."
"And what is your relationship to the defendant and his accuser?" Henderson said, looking over towards Jolan.
"Don't know the defendant well, although I've met him before. As to Theresa Brannigan, she and I have been together for over four years. We live together, common-law as it's called."
"Let the record show that the witness and Theresa Brannigan are in a monogamous relationship, although not married."
"Objection, your Honor. The prosecutor doesn't know the personal relationship between the witness and Theresa Brannigan. He can hardly state it's monogamous." Ally said, Henderson looking at her.

"Valid point, counselor. The jury will disregard that comment. Please keep your observations to the case at hand, Mr. Sutcliffe." Judge Wentworth said.
Henderson softly smiled, looking again at the witness.

Jolan smiled, looking at Ally.

He saw the shrewdness of her tenacity.

She wasn't going to give Henderson Sutcliffe an inch.

"You stated that you have met the defendant. How did you and Jolan Dragos meet?"
The man moved in his chair, as if he was trying to get comfortable.

"I met that man over four and a half years ago in late February. Our meeting wasn't very cordial."
"Oh? How so?" the lawyer said, his elbow leaning on the judge's bench, staring at the man, an intrigued look on his face.

Jolan could see the lawyer's theatrics shining bright.

The man in the witness box looked at Jolan, a sneer crossing his face.

"The night I met him I had to almost kick the living shit out of him! That bastard had tried to kill me!"


The judge looked down at the man, the man looking up.

"Remove your profanity out of this courtroom, sir. This is a court of law. Tell us what you meant by that statement."
The man nodded at the judge, looking at Jolan again, his face taking on a meanness again.

"I met Jolan Dragos on a deserted road about ten miles from here, on the night I was leaving this hick town."
"What was the defendant doing on that road so late at night?" the lawyer asked, looking at the man with a look of interest.

"He'd parked his car off the side of the road. I slowed down that night thinking whoever it was was in trouble, as his taillights were flashing. I parked in front of him, looking around for anyone. I didn't see him right away."
"You didn't see him right away? Where was he, in terms of where the car was parked?"

"He was off the road a bit, on the edge of the forest, standing in about a half foot of snow. I got out of my car and yelled at him. I thought the boy was taking a leak the way he jumped."
A few in the jury and in the courtroom lightly chuckled, the judge lightly banging his gavel, the room quieting down.

Henderson smiled, looking at the witness.

"Go on with your story, Mr. Conrad."
"Well, I yelled at the man in the gloomy darkness, and he jumped as I said. Then I heard another sound."
"And what sound was that?" Henderson said, looking towards the jury, seeing all of them staring at the man.

"It was the sound of someone softly sobbing. I suddenly realized the man wasn't alone. Someone was out there in the darkness with him."

The lawyer glanced towards the jury again, his eyes returning to the witness.

"So what did you do next, Mr. Conrad?"
"I walked off the road, right up to the man. I suddenly realized he wasn't really a man."
"What do you mean, sir?" the lawyer said, a look of surprise showing on his face, his eyes looking directly at the jury, all taking in his surprised look.

"It wasn't a man. I was just some little punk-ass kid. A snotty little teenager."
"Ah, I understand now. For a moment there I thought you meant he was some kind of monstrous apparition."
"Objection, your Honor! The prosecution is trying to paint my client as something he isn't. He's making accusations." Ally said, glaring at Sutcliffe.

"Objection sustained. Keep your own observations to yourself, Mr. Sutcliffe. The jury will disregard the prosecution's words."
Ally looked at Henderson, the man softly smiling at only her.

Jolan's eyes remained on the man sitting in the witness box.

"So you saw the man standing beside you, and you heard someone else. What did you do then?"
The man's hands went together, staring towards Jolan.

"As I said, the kid jumped in shock when I'd screamed at him. He seemed really nervous. And I instantly saw what he had to be nervous about. I walked into a moment of changing destiny. If I hadn't been where I was at that moment Theresa would have been a dead duck."
"Objection, your Honor! Witness is making personal assumptions."
"Objection sustained. Keep your comments to only what you saw, Mr. Conrad. Your personal thoughts have no basis here." the judge said to the witness, Conrad nodding, looking at Henderson again.

"What I saw when I walked up to the man totally surprised me, and horrified me. A woman was laying in a ditch just ahead of the man. Her clothes were tattered and ripped, her face and arms covered in bruises. She was the one I'd heard sobbing. The man had thrown her into a ditch, my stopping my vehicle having stopped her certain death at his hands."
"Your Honor?!! Objection! The witness is drawing conclusions without basis! He didn't see any such thing!" Ally said, now on her feet.

"I've told you to keep your opinions to yourself, Mr. Conrad. Stick to the facts only." the judge said, his eyes going to Sutcliffe.

"Does your witness understand the difference between hearsay and defamation, counselor?"

"Sorry, your Honor. Adhere to what you saw, Mr. Conrad." Henderson said, looking towards Ally.

The witness nodded, looking again at Jolan, Ally sitting down.

"After I saw the woman I turned to look at the young man, none too late. He had a shovel in his hand, and swung it at me. It hit me on the shoulder, the edge of the shovel hitting my head, giving me this scar." Conrad said, his finger going to a visible scar on the left side of his face just left of his eye.

"His attack sent me stumbling backwards. I feel on my ass, but was up on my feet immediately before he could throw a second blow. I wrestled the shovel out of his hands, then punched him in the face. The  young man staggered, and then I laid into him. I hit him a few times, the man finally down, laying motionless, and then I rushed to the woman. She was sobbing, gasping for breath, half covered in leaves and snow. She looked like she was half buried. I gently uncovered her, lifting her out of the ditch she was in, she was extremely emotional.

She began pleading with me to get her out of there, to get her away from him. I carried her to my car, helping her into the back seat.

That's when I heard the other vehicle starting up. The young man had regained consciousness and slipped into his car. He nearly collided with my car in his hurry to get out of there. I had to jump out of the road as he drove by. After he took off I drove the young woman away from there."
"A heroic deed, sir. You saved that woman that night."
The man smiled, looking towards Jolan.

"I only wish I'd really hurt that bastard. His escaping serious injury was the only thing I regretted. I'm glad he's here now to face the truth."

Henderson smiled, seeing all the eyes of the jury on Jolan.

"Yes, he's here to face more than truth. Justice is certain."
Henderson turned, looking at Ally.

"Your witness, counselor."


Ally looked at Jolan, then walked up to the witness stand.

"An interesting story, Mr. Conrad. I'd like to go over a few points you spoke of, if I may. So the jury and his Honor understand everything."

The man nodded, relaxing in his chair.

Ally smiled, looking quietly at the man, he staring into her green mesmerizing eyes.

"Sure thing, doll."
Ally's face changed, staring at the man.

"Mr. Conrad, decorum, please?" the judge said.

The man nodded at the judge and then turned back to Ally.

"You began your story with you leaving Cutter's Bluff, am I correct?"
"Yes, you are correct."
"Why were you here in Cutter's Bluff?"
The man smiled, staring at her.

"I was here visiting a friend. I'd hoped to find work here, the prospects not very lucrative, so I left."
"Who was that friend?"
The man straightened a little in his seat, staring at her.

"It was an old girlfriend. I'd like to keep her out of this, she's not involved."
"My! What a gentleman. So chivalrous and gentlemanly."
The man smiled, Jolan silently watching him.

"I have my moments."
"Yes, I'm sure you do." Ally said looking towards Jolan, quietly walking back to her table, opening a file that had lain there throughout the afternoon.

"I'd like to get the time line straight here, Mr. Conrad."
The man nodded, his eyes glancing briefly towards Henderson Sutcliffe, a curious look on both their faces.

"You stated at the start of your testimony that the day you left this 'hick town' as you called it, it was late February. What was the exact date, please?"
The man moved in his chair, looking at her.

"Well, as I remember it and as I stated it was, indeed, late February."
"The exact date please, Mr. Conrad. You seem so focused on all the little details, you must remember the exact date." she said, staring at him.

The man's face changed, a look of determination now on it.

"It had to be the twenty-eighth."
"The twenty-eighth? Hmmm, interesting date. It's interesting for a very good reason. What time of evening did all of this take place, Mr. Conrad?"

The man moved in his chair, sitting up a little more, the relaxed attitude now gone.

"It was around ten o'clock, pitch black dark."
Ally smiled at him, then looked at the jury.

"So, it was February twenty-eighth, two thousand and five, at ten o'clock in the evening?"
"Yes, that's what I said. I'm almost positive on that."
"Almost positive? What would you say if I told you you were dead wrong?"
The man looked at Sutcliffe again, Conrad suddenly looking nervous.

"Um. . .well. . .I'm pretty sure."
Ally smiled, walking up to the judge's bench.

"I'd like to have this affidavit entered into evidence as Exhibit B, your Honor." Ally said, handing the judge a letter out of the folder, walking over to Henderson's table, handing him a copy of the same letter.

"This letter is from Jolan Dragos' former best friend, Deputy Cory Hamilton, a deputy on the Cutter's Bluff police force." Ally said, looking at the judge, then the witness.

The witness looked confused.

"Alright, counselor. I see now why you want this into evidence. Charles, enter this into evidence. " Judge Wentworth said, after reading the letter, handing it to the bailiff.

Ally smiled, walking over to the witness, Henderson Sutcliffe's eyes glaring at her.

"This letter I handed to the judge is a written statement as I said from Deputy Cory Hamilton, Mr. Conrad. In this letter, he states that he himself was with Jolan Dragos on the night of February twenty-eighth from seven until after eleven in the evening, the two young men going to a double feature movie at the Belmont Theater here in town. Several eyewitnesses have verified this fact."
The man in the box looked surprised, Ally seeing a bead of sweat now on his brow.

"At ten o'clock that evening, Jolan Dragos was with Deputy Hamilton, Mr. Conrad. Not on a deserted road ten miles out of town."

"I. . .I must have the date wrong. . .it must have been the next day."
"Must have been? Oh, and here is another fact, Mr. Conrad. Jolan Dragos, at that time, didn't have his driver's license or a car for that matter. What make of car was the defendant allegedly driving that night?"
"It was a black car, a Buick I think? Maybe it was his parents'?"
"You think? My, Mr. Conrad, your memory seemed so very precise and zoned in. And Jolan Dragos' father drove a white Volvo."
"I don't remember every little detail that night, just the important stuff!" he said, agitation in his voice now.

"The important stuff? I'd like you to answer me another question, Mr. Conrad."
The man nodded, his eyes leering at Ally now.

"Why, after that horrific attack on that young woman, didn't you inform the police immediately?"
"Theresa asked me not to. She was terrified!"
"I see. And where did you take her after this alleged altercation?"

"I drove her to a motel about twenty miles down the road."
"Down the road? Why didn't you drive her back to Cutter's Bluff where she could have sought medical attention immediately? That would have been the right thing to do, and it was closer."
"Objection your Honor! The man was emotional that night. How can the counselor say what was right and wrong? The witness was concerned only for the victim's welfare, and he caved into her emotional demands."
The judge nodded, looking at Ally.

"Objection sustained. At that moment, right or wrong wouldn't play totally into his decision, counselor. The victim's wellbeing would be his greatest concern. The jury will disregard the counselor's last comment. Continue, Miss Carmichael." the judge said, a look of intrigue now on his face.

Ally stared at the man, Conrad staring back.

"So, you've told us that you physically attacked a young teenager on the side of a snowy road in the middle of the night to save this woman's life?"
"Yes, that's correct."
"On a road with no witnesses, in the darkness of night, on a night when that said teenager was nowhere near there. And no police, medical or law enforcement agencies were summoned to help that poor distressed woman. Interesting story, Mr. Conrad."

The man was showing all the signs of erupting anger, Ally smiling at him.

"Well your courage and resolve was greatly rewarded. You won the damsel's hand of love. But what did we win, Mr. Conrad? I think we've won a story of intentional make-believe, and intentional lying to this court."
"I'm not lying! That happened! That young bastard attacked Theresa! That little brat of hers is his!!"

The judge banged his gavel, the man in the box's anger now fully in view.
"Calm down, Mr. Conrad! I'll have no outbursts in my court! Control your temper or I'll cite you for contempt!"
The man visibly trembled, gradually calming down.

"My! You can almost feel the love." Ally said, smiling at the jury.

Henderson Sutcliffe was glaring at her, Ally glancing towards the lawyer.

"One more question, Mr. Conrad. What happened to your wrist?"

Conrad glanced at his left arm, a bandage covering his left wrist and forearm.

Jolan had pointed out that detail to Ally the moment the man had sat down.

"I scalded myself with coffee." he said, his voice edged with anger.

"Did you know Jolan Dragos' home was intentionally burned last night? Someone tried to burn it to the ground. Fortunately, they didn't succeed. Where were you last night, Mr. Conrad?"
"I was with Theresa. She and I were alone all night."

"I'd have a doctor look at that burn, Mr. Conrad. I'd hate to see you in pain."
Ally smiled, walking back to her table, Jolan staring at the man in the box.

"No more questions for the witness at this moment, your Honor. But I request the right to recall him." Ally said, smiling at Judge Wentworth.

"The witness is excused and warned to remain in this town." the judge said, looking towards the clock on the left wall.

"As it's almost four-thirty, I'll recess this session until tomorrow. Court resumes at ten tomorrow morning. Court adjourned." he said, banging his gavel, everyone rising as the judge walked out of the room.


Jolan stood under the warm cascading water, its warmth flooding his body.

He sighed, hearing a soft sound in the small bathroom, hearing someone pull the shower curtain a bit, Jolan smiling.

Two arms wrapped around his waist, a set of moist lips kissing the back of his wet neck.

"Want to wash my back, Lance?"

One hand moved, lightly slapping his wet ass, Jolan chuckling.

The man behind him turned him around, Jolan staring into two blue eyes filled with love.

"Wash your own back, sexy!" Justin said, Jolan staring at him.

In those grey eyes Justin saw a sudden trembling reality.

Jolan pulled him close, his face burying into Justin's smooth wet chest, Justin's arms going around him.

"I love you so much, Jus!" he said, a sob leaving his throat.

Justin smiled, sensing the deep love echoing from Jolan's soul.

"I know, Jo. I know."

The two held each other, Jolan gradually calming down, Justin's hands rubbing his back, one rubbing one ass cheek.

Jolan raised his head, the two meeting their eyes again.

"I have a son, Jus. I have a son."
Justin nodded, lightly kissing Jolan's lips.

"I thought your vision said his name would be Hayden?"
Jolan nodded, remembering that vision he'd had the night of Justin's party.

"I thought so too, Jus. I guess I was mistaken. But I do have a son."
Justin smiled, hearing Jolan repeatedly saying it, as if he was trying to make it seem more real than it was.

"After all this is over, after you've been proven innocent of these false accusations, I'll understand if you want to see him. You deserve to be in his life, Jo. That little boy needs to feel the love of his father."
Jolan teared up, hearing the love and support in Justin's voice.

"It's all up to Theresa Brannigan, Jus. It's her decision if she wants me to be a part of his life. I have to abide by his mother's love for him."
Justin nodded, his lips again on Jolan's.

The two kissed a tender kiss of love and hope, Justin breaking their hold on each other, picking up a washcloth.

"We need to get you all cleaned up. Everyone's downstairs, Bill's having a barbecue, everyone staying for supper."
Jolan nodded, turning around.

"I'm not as good as Lance, but I'll wash what I can."
Jolan laughed, Justin's soapy hands going to his back.

"You're the only one I'll ever want, Jus."
Justin smiled, washing his lover's back.


Justin and Jolan walked out the back door, everyone smiling up at them.

Jennie ran up to them, Jolan's arm going around her.

"Josh and I beat Joey and Chace at darts, Jolly!"
"That's swell, angel." Jolan said, smiling at her.

Jennie beamed, walking over to Josh and Chace, Chace pulling her into his lap, the three sitting at a picnic table with Justin's brothers, Jonathan smiling at Jennie.

Lynn hugged Jolan, she guiding him and Justin to another table, sitting down across from Ally and Lonnie, and Joey and Lance.

"Shower hit the spot, Jolan?" Lance said, Jolan looking at Justin, seeing a small smile on his face.

"Yep, that water did wonders. How's everyone doing?"
"We're doing fine, Jolan. How are you doing?" Chris said, he and Britney sitting with Jolan's uncles and Cory.

The last table in the backyard held Domo, Rachel, Daphne and Jordan, as well as Randall and Lisa.

Bill waved from the barbecue, Jolan smiling at him.

"I'm fine, everyone. I feel relaxed and calm." he said, Joey smiling at him, his eyes then looking at Ally.

"That was the bomb what you did to that freak Conrad, Ally!" he said, Ally looking at him.

"You can thank Cory for that. His statement came to my mind, and I immediately saw the falsehoods in Conrad's story. And Jolan pointed out the bandaged hand, I then making the connection to last night's fire. I do believe the man might have had a part in than. He's certainly not telling the truth."
"Yes, the man is an obvious liar. I hope the jury sees that now." Lance said, smiling at Jolan.

Jolan looked at him, Lance seeing something in his eyes.

"It's all a setup."
Everyone's eyes were on Jolan, Justin's hand going to his shoulder.

Jolan turned, looking into his eyes.

"Scheming minds and forged paths have a way of uniting."
Justin looked concerned, Jolan kissing his cheek, looking at Ally.

"I promised to tell you the truth, Alexandra. There's one more thing you should know."
She stared at him, her hands folding in front of her.

"Alright, Jolan. Thank you for being honest."
Jolan nodded, looking around at everyone.

"Samuel Conrad and Theresa Brannigan were paid to file these accusations against me."
Everyone looked surprised, Joey staring at Jolan.

"By who? Fagin??"
"No, Joe. This scheme isn't a scheme of evil. It's a scheme of revenge."

Everyone looked confused.

"Did you do a background check on Samuel Conrad, Ally?"
"Yes, Jolan."
"Where did he go to high school?"
"A school in Boulder, Colorado. Why's that important?" she said, staring at Jolan.

"Because it was the same school Jessica went to."
Everyone froze, staring at Justin.

"Jessica? You mean she set this all up?" Lonnie said, stunned.

"Yes, Lonnie. This was her final gamble. Her final way to get me out of the picture. To pull me away from Justin."
Justin's arm went around Jolan, Jolan kissing him again.

"She and Samuel Conrad went to school together and had a relationship. Jessica has paid him to incriminate me."

Everyone looked surprised, Jolan looking around at everyone.

"But she didn't realize that by putting her scheme into motion she's brought the truth into light. She had no way of knowing that Theresa Brannigan and I were destined to again unite on the path because of her."
"That's fantastic, Jolan! Do you have proof of that?" Ally said, a smile on her face now.

"No I don't, Ally. And even if I did, I wouldn't use it."
Ally looked surprised, looking at Justin as well.

"If you were to level those accusations against Conrad and Theresa, you would also be putting my Justin in the spotlight. I won't let you do that."
"Jo, for your freedom I am willing to take this risk. You're being maligned here, this is serious." Justin said, Jolan seeing the love in his blue eyes.

"I know you'd give your life for me, Jus. But I won't let you be forced into divulging your private life to save me. When you're ready to come out on your own, that's when you should do that. Not for me, but for yourself."
Justin teared up, kissing him, everyone seeing their love so openly displayed.

"You and I are one, Jo. It's you and me together. I want the world to see that one day."
"The world will, Jus. But it won't be at the cost of your privacy, your music and your truth."
Justin smiled, Jolan seeing the love in his eyes.

"My music will always flow free with your love in my soul."
Jolan froze, staring at Justin.

Jolan sat in a stunned silence, Justin looking around at everyone, his hand going to Jolan's shoulder with concern.

"You okay, Jo?"
Jolan stood up, staring at Justin.

"Music that frees the soul? Oh, God! Of course! Everyone stay here, I'll be right back!"
Jolan moved, rushing into the house, everyone following his sudden departure with shock.

"What's going on, Jus?" Lance said, Joey's arm around him, he also staring at Justin.

"I haven't the foggiest, Lancy." Justin said, his sentence ended by soft music filling the air.

Everyone sat in silence, hearing music fill the backyard, its beauty entering all their souls.


Jolan ran into the house, into Bill's front living room.

He stared across the room at an upright piano.

He took in the look of the instrument, sensing it had been in Bill's family for a long time.

He took a deep breath, walking across the room and sitting down at the piano.

He opened the lid, staring at the white keys.

He focused his mind, the music instantly filling his mind, forgotten for so long, but suddenly rushing to life.

His fingers touched the keys, Jolan's eyes closing.

And in the darkness he saw the young face, the soft smile of its beauty.

Jolan smiled, his fingers moving.


Everyone in the backyard stood, hearing the beautiful music enter their hearts and minds.

It was like a flight of seagulls sweeping across the sea, heading to heaven's airy skies.

They all became lost in its tranquil beauty and melodious tempo.

And then they heard a scream, a scream of deep anguish, and then the sound of rushing feet coming from the house.

Everyone stood at the sound of the scream, their eyes on the house.

The back screen door flew open, a young man standing before them.

He stood, his legs trembling, his blue eyes scanning everyone.

"The darkness. . .his love. . .where's Jolan. . ."
Sidney Carson said no more words, his body collapsing.

In a heartbeat, he was surrounded by the loving arms of his brother Bill.

"Sid, oh God, Sid! You're awake! Oh God, it's a miracle!" he sobbed, Josh and Chace helping him hold up the young man, Sid softly staring up at his brother.

Justin flew past the foursome, rushing into the house.

He made it to the living room, followed by Jennie, Joey and Lance, others following.

They stopped at the doorway, taking in the scene before them.

Jolan sat at the piano, his soft sobs heard by all of them.

His body turned, Justin seeing so much anguish and hurt in those grey, softly glowing eyes.

"I remember, Jus. I remember how to destroy it. I know what I have to do."
Justin crossed the room, his arms going around his lover as he stood.

He stared into those grey eyes, seeing that pain and anguish, and something else.

A look of buried fear.

"Jo. . .what's going on?"

"It's music, Jus! It was my music and my words! It's the key and the destruction!"
"Key and destruction?"
"Yes, Jus! The key to stopping the Shadowing, and the destruction of my soul!"
Jolan sobbed, falling into Justin's protective arms of love.



End of Chapter 70


A surprising twist, to say the least.

Sidney's awake!

What will he reveal?
What is Jolan talking about?
Can he now face his home and the secrets laying there?
Who is Samuel Conrad really?

What is really going on here?

Some questions to add to the stew.

I'm mixing it up and it's simmering.

I think you'll enjoy the flavor.


Up next: Jolan walks in the past.



Hugs, Angel.