Jolan's Path - Chapter 77


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 77


Jolan's eyes opened, sunshine beaming in through the window, its warmth awakening him.

He moved in bed finding himself alone.

He sat up slowly, stretching and looking towards the nightstand.

The clock there reading eight o'clock.

Jolan arose from his bed, pulling on a pair of sweat shorts and a t-shirt.

He walked out of the room, finding the hallway silent.

He walked to the end of the hall descending the stairs, hearing voices coming from the kitchen.

He walked into the room, everyone's eyes raising and meeting his.

Justin stood at the kitchen stove, pulling off a fry pan filled with bacon.

"Good morning, my sweet." he said, smiling in Jolan's direction.

Bill, Sidney, Jennie and Lynn all sat around the kitchen table, all showing smiles.

Jolan smiled, walking up to his lover, kissing his lips softly.

"Good morning, my angel. Good morning everyone." he said, everyone greeting him back.

"You let me sleep in, Jus. It's after eight."
"You needed rest, my love. I've got breakfast in hand, sit down at the table."

Jolan softly smiled, seeing the table strewn with plates of food.

He sat down between Jennie and Lynn, both women kissing his cheeks.

"How are you doing, Jo? Justin told all of us about last night's wandering." Lynn said, Justin's eyes meeting Jolan's.

"I'm alright, Lynn. Thank you, all of you, for your concern. Last night my Jus' love made the pain lessen."
Justin smiled at him, placing the last plate heaped with bacon on the table.

"Sheriff Walker's on his way over, Jo. He wants to talk to you before the trial starts again today. Judge Wentworth has moved it up to ten so you have a couple of hours." Bill said, Jolan nodding at him.

Jolan and Sidney's eyes met, the two old friends smiling at each other.

"How are you this morning, Sid?" Jolan said, Justin handing him a cup of coffee, sitting down at the table across from Jolan.

"I'm doing okay, Jolan. Today's the first day I can face the world as a free man. I'm not afraid of what's out there anymore. I have you and Frango to thank for that."

Bill smiled at his brother, Jolan smiling as well.

"You have four lost years of your life to sort through, Sidney. You've lost so much." Jolan said, Sidney looking at him.

"I have my brother, I have my friends, there's nothing that I've missed that can hold a candle to that. I go on, Jolan. On to the rest of my life. You and that remarkable bear have freed me from the darkness. I'm looking forward to the future. I've already decided what that future's going to be."

Jolan nodded, a tapping heard on the kitchen door.

Bill answered it, Sheriff Walker walking into the room.

"Good morning, Bill. Morning everyone." the sheriff said, his eyes on Jolan's staring gaze.

"Good morning, Stu. Have a seat, we just started breakfast." Bill said, pulling up a chair for the sheriff.

"Just a cup of coffee, Bill. Had an early breakfast with Sharon this morning." he said, sitting down at the table, everyone else returning to their breakfasts.

"You must be dog tired, Stu. I heard Bill come in around one." Justin said, Bill nodding at him.

"Yes, Justin. It was a long, emotional day yesterday." he said, taking the offered cup of coffee from Bill.

Jolan and Stu's eyes met, the sheriff taking off his hat and placing it in his lap.

"That house revealed a lot of monstrous, horrific visions, son."
"I know, Stu. I'm sure it was a haven of nightmarish revelations. "
"We've removed all the remains, the identification now beginning. Several were easily identified by clothing, rings etc. All were missing people from the town. I now know the reason why they all went missing over the years. I just don't understand why she killed them all." the sheriff said, bowing his head, everyone remaining silent.

"Clara Conrad was a woman of singular evil. Evil that was bred into her all her life. She was a true Fangoros disciple. She was a child of Fagin's."

Justin's eyes widened in concerned surprise, Jolan looking at him.

"That clan feeds on people's innocence and youth. There are many towns scattered across this earth that have their own Clara Whitaker hidden within them. She is not the only monster harvesting on our souls. One day all of them will be called to reckoning."

"I brought Jingles to the courtroom, Jolan." the sheriff said, his eyes filled with tears.

"I know, Stu. And I sense the reasoning behind it. You did it for them."

The sheriff nodded, Bill's hand going to his shoulder.

"I knew so many of them, Jolan. Young innocent youths that filled this town with their smiling happiness."

"Yes, and that was what Clara fed on. The essence of their innocence."

"I've tossed around all night, trying to grasp onto why I did it. Why I brought him there. Is it wrong that I'm happy that bear attacked her? That that bear sank his teeth into her throat and cut off her life?"

"You have been sheriff in this town for over thirty years, Stuart. They were your friends children, brothers and sisters. They were part of your heart. No one can fault you for having a heart and a soul, Stuart. You did what you thought was honorable and loving. And the result, I believe, was destiny. Frango is gone, as is Clara. That bruin is at peace, the evil one gone to judgment. Don't worry your soul over what's done. Focus now on the future."
The sheriff stared at Jolan, his words sinking into his soul.

"Life lost and taken by evil. Their souls have gone on to a greater love. I'm sure they all have peace now." Lynn said, Jolan looking at her.

"Yes, I'm sure of that too, Mom." Jolan said, Lynn smiling at him.

"I said to Thelma yesterday that today would begin the healing. You are part of this town, Stuart. They'll need your healing strength, your love and courage in the days ahead."
The sheriff nodded, rising out of his seat, staring at Jolan.

Stu pulled something out of his pocket, walking over to Jolan and handing it to him.

It was an envelope, a hidden shape bulging inside it.

"I found this in Clara's bedroom. It was hanging on her dresser, on a black chain. I instantly recognized it, having seen it on numerous occasions, hanging then from a gold chain around your father's neck, Jolan. I'm not sure what that means in regards to their disappearance. Why she had it. We didn't find them anywhere in the house. I am sure he'd want you to hold this until you found him."
Jolan took the envelope, the sheriff looking at him.

"I've never met anyone like you, Jolan Dragos. This town owes you a debt of gratitude it cannot voice."
"I, at one time, was part of this town, Sheriff. That gratitude is my own. This town will always be in my heart."
The sheriff smiled, looking at Bill.

"You're on detail guarding Jolan today, Bill. I'll take care of the town. Have a good day, everyone." the sheriff said, walking quietly back out the kitchen door.


The room was silent, Jolan staring at the envelope he held in his hands.

Jennie's hand went on his arm, Jolan's eyes turning, staring into her grey eyes.

"Fate leads our past back to us, Jolly. Destiny shapes your life."
He nodded, Jolan opening the envelope's end, turning it upside down.

The item inside fell into his hand, Jolan staring at its golden beauty.

Justin and his mother, Bill and Sid stared as well, Justin immediately sensing what it was.

Jolan stared at the ring's golden shining luster, the grey stone in its center softly shining.

"The Heart of History." he said, looking into Jennie's eyes.

"Our family's ring of honor." Jennie said, Jolan nodding.

"How on earth did it end up in Clara Whitaker's hands? That would mean that. . ." Bill said, Jolan looking at him.

"That she was there that night, the night my parents disappeared. Yes, Bill. She was, as was her monstrous son. They all played a part in that night of horror, of that I have no doubt. As did Theresa, and the man who attacked me. It was a night of challenging hatred and dawning truths. Today, most of it will come to fruition. And soon, all will be as it should be." Jolan said, rising from the table, his breakfast done.

"I'm going to take a shower and change, love." he said, Justin nodding.

"I'll be up shortly." Justin said, Jolan quietly walking out of the room, the ring enclosed in his hand.

Everyone watched him go, Jennie's eyes meeting Justin's.

"He won't put it on, Justin. He's afraid of what that would finally mean." Jennie softly said, her eyes going to the doorway that Jolan had walked through.
"That he's on the final path." Justin said, his eyes met again by her grey orbs.
Jennie nodded, looking at Lynn.

"My brother's heart is large, his love overflowing. But his soul is lost in the fear of what he thinks he's done. Of what happened that night. I wish he could only see the truth, the truth of why he did it."

Lynn's arm went around the young woman, Jennie looking at Justin.

"Today will be a day of truths unlike any he's shown so far. Today my brother's soul is laid bare. I won't let anyone hurt him ever again."
Jennie stood up, quietly walking out of the room.

Lynn and Justin's eyes met, Bill and Sid looking at him as well.

"They are brother and sister of the soul. Both love each other dearly. I think today my Jolan's going to need her and our love more than he's ever needed it."
"We'll all be there for him, Justin. We all love him." Sidney said, Justin nodding at him.

"Excuse me, I'm going to make sure he's okay." Justin said, Lynn nodding, watching her son leave.

She stared at the two brothers remaining with her.

"Get ready for another day of Jolan's amazing love." she said, both men nodding.


Jolan stood under the cascading water, the shower's warmth sinking into his tired bones.

He heard the bathroom door opening, then the shower's curtain pulled back behind him.

Two strong arms encircled him, two lips kissing his neck.

"Are you okay, my love?" Justin's voice said, his hand taking the sponge out of Jolan's hand, soaping up his back with tenderness.

"I'm alright, Jus. It's just the finality of what today now means to me. Of what that ring I just held in my hand means."
"Your destiny?"
Jolan nodded, turning and looking into Justin's blue loving eyes.

"I can't put that ring on, Justin. I'm not ready for what it entails. For the truth of what they want me to be. I don't have that courage they're expecting in me."
Justin's hands continued their touching cleanliness, Justin's eyes staring into his grey pools.

"You have a greater courage than any of us know, my Jo. We saw a lot of that yesterday, and I know in my heart even more will come to light today. But surrounding that courage is something more important. That unending love you possess. It is even more beautiful, more giving. The future unfolds as it must. What you have to grasp onto is the present. The rest will play itself out as it's destined to do."
Jolan smiled, Justin's lips moving forward, the two kissing deeply.

Jolan pulled back, staring into two blue eyes that meant the world to him.

"I love you, Jolan. I'll stand by you through all of it. Today your soul's pain shall be cleansed. Today that monster shall receive its justice. And you, my loving angel, can continue on with your life with me. With the love you'll always have."
Jolan teared up, pulling Justin against him.

"I can't walk alone through this, Jus. I need your love, I just need you."
Justin held him in his wet arms, his heart joined with him.

"I'm here, Jolan. And I'm not going anywhere."
Jolan smiled, Justin's wet hand rubbing the sponge across Jolan's chest.

"First off I need to make sure my man's clean, and then dressed. Then we'll walk forward together."

Jolan smiled, letting his man's hands clean him, and his heart cleanse his soul.


Jolan sighed, walking through the courthouse's front doors, surrounded by several policemen, Justin at his side.

Behind him, Jennie and Lynn stayed close, Lonnie behind them.

The frenzied paparazzi and reporters had seemed to double outside the courthouse, Stu's police force on full duty.

Jolan and his friends--who'd arrived before him--had remained silent against the barrage of questions thrown at them as they walked into the courthouse.

At almost the front entrance, one question seemed to rise above the others, Jolan's eyes scanning the crowd, zoning in on one man staring at him.

One reporter he'd seen here and on television throughout and before his ordeal.

Tim Baxter.

What the man had asked had caught Jolan's ears, as well as Justin's.

"Justin! Is Jolan Dragos more than a friend?"

Jolan had stopped, the man's question surprising him, Justin moving him forward, the two continuing through the throng.

Once inside, Steve had directed them towards the courtroom, Jolan stopped when they'd cleared the crowd.

Justin stared at him, seeing the look of distress in Jolan's grey eyes.

"My love, calm down."
"Justin, what that man said!"
Justin's hand went to his shoulder, his eyes scanning around.

"You need to focus on now, Jo. On what's waiting for you inside this room. We'll deal with the reporters after."
"Jus, they're starting to fish. I don't want you exposed in this."
Justin smiled at his lover, Jolan seeing the love in his blue eyes.

"I love you, Jo. Let's focus on today."

Jolan nodded, Justin so wanting to pull him into his arms and kiss him.

He settled for a hug, Bill smiling at their side.

Justin's eyes met his mother's, Lynn seeing the concern in her son's blue eyes.

"You're right, Jus. Today's at hand. Let's go in."
Justin smiled, walking beside him as the two walked into the courtroom, Lynn's eyes on her son.

They walked in, people looking towards them, the courtroom full.

On the left side were all Jolan's friends and family, Jolan's face softening into a smile.

He walked towards them, Britney standing and hugging him first.

"How ya doing, sweetie?" she said, Jolan smiling at her.

"I'm alright, Britney. The day starts."
She smiled at him, Ally hugging him and kissing his cheek, Lance's hand going to his shoulder.

"We're all here for you, Jolan." he said, Jolan staring into his green eyes.

"My heart fills with my family's love. You're all a part of it."
Everyone smiled, seeing the young man calm and focused.

"Let's get this over with." he said, walking forward to his table, everyone looking at Justin.

"He seems focused, Jus. Is he really okay?" Trace said, hugging his friend, Cindy's hand going to Justin's shoulder.

"I feel his determination, Trace. And I know what this day will mean to him. We all know that."
Everyone nodded, Justin going to his seat, Jennie and Lynn following him.

Jolan turned, motioning towards Bill, the officer walking up the aisle to him, Jolan quietly whispering in his ear.

Bill nodded, his eyes scanning the courtroom.

Bill walked back to his seat.

Jolan sat alone at his table, someone to his right standing up and walking over to him.

Jolan's eyes raised, meeting the gaze of Henderson Sutcliffe.

"A day of dramatic and surprising wildness yesterday, Jolan. You really feed on the drama don't you? Don't think that yesterday's moments shall move the jury from what's been revealed against you." he said quietly, Jolan's head moving, staring forward.

"You're welcome, Mr. Sutcliffe."
The man's eyes raised a bit, confused at Jolan's words.

"Welcome? For what?"

"For your thanking me for saving your life yesterday. Even a life so filled with self-idolizing egotism is still a life."
The lawyer's face changed, a look of reality spreading across it.

Jolan's head turned, the lawyer staring into his grey, glowing eyes.

"Sit down, Henderson. Sit down and think on what I gave you yesterday."

The lawyer's face whitened, the man returning to his seat.

Behind Jolan a hand went to his shoulder, Jolan feeling his lover's touch.


"All rise, court is in session. Judge Wentworth presiding."

Everyone stood, the judge walking into the courtroom from his chambers, sitting down at his bench.

He looked out at everyone, his eyes zeroing in on Jolan, then banging his gavel.

"Court is now in session. Please be seated everyone."
Everyone sat down, Jolan sitting alone at his table.

"I see the courtroom is filled to overflowing. Yesterday's revelations feeding the curious." the judge said, his eyes looking at Jolan.

The judge's eyes looked away, looking towards the jury.

"An alternate has been added to replace Mrs. Whitaker. The jury is back at full quota. This trial can now commence again. Yesterday's events were tragic and terrifying to all of us who witnessed them. Those tragic events revealed the darkness surrounding this town. We've all been shaken, some of us right out of the trees. But terror and evil have been called to justice. And now we go forward to continue with the trial of Jolan Dragos.

This is still a court of law, and each of you holds a responsibility that each of you were chosen for. It is your task to sort through all of this testimony.

I know you will all take into question what Mr. Dragos revealed in regards to the legitimacy of the testimony of Samuel Conrad.

That is all I will state to you, the jury, in regards to yesterday's horrific events."
Henderson Sutcliffe stood up, his eyes glancing towards Jolan.

"Your Honor. Yesterday was a day of horrific finality. A finality brought on by the defendant's theatrical posturing. This man needs to be curtailed in his blatant attacks on the state's witnesses."

The judge's eyes stared daggers at the lawyer, Henderson unnerved by his steely-eyed gaze.

"Attacks, Mr. Sutcliffe? Samuel Conrad was a hostile witness the moment he entered this courtroom. Mr. Dragos' calmness through that cross-examination was next to stellar. And Clara Whitaker was a juror exposed as a murderer. Mr. Dragos didn't attack either of them. They attacked him. You yourself have Mr. Dragos to thank for his intervention in her attack upon you. Sit down, Mr. Sutcliffe."
The lawyer glared towards Jolan, the young man totally ignoring him.

He sat back down, the judge looking out onto the courtroom.

"Today will be a day of courtroom decorum. Call your next witness, Mr. Dragos."

Jolan stood up, nodding towards the judge.

"I call to the stand, Theresa Brannigan."


Everyone's eyes turned to the back courtroom door, the door opening and the young woman walking back into the courtroom.

Justin's eyes looked towards her, his eyes picking out another face staring at him from one of the back pews.

Jessica Biel sat in one of the back pews, Justin recognizing her, even though she wore sunglasses and a large hat.

Justin's eyes widened in surprise, watching her shaded eyes go to the woman walking down the aisle.

Justin turned back forward, staring into Jolan's grey eyes.

Jolan looked at him quietly, then softly smiled, turning back towards the front of the courtroom.

The woman walked down the aisle, her eyes focused on the man whose back was turned to her, a deep breath coming out of her.

She walked past him, Charles guiding her to the witness stand.

"You are still under oath, Miss Brannigan." the judge said, looking at her.

"Yes, your Honor. I understand that." she said quietly, looking up at him.

The judge nodded, looking into her blue eyes.

"Mr. Dragos is now defending himself. You will have to look directly into his eyes during this cross-examination. Are you comfortable with that realization?" the judge said, his voice calm and fatherly.

Her eyes looked towards Jolan, the young man quietly looking at her.

"Yes, your Honor. I can face him again."

The judge nodded, his eyes staring at Jolan.

"Mr. Dragos, I shall let you cross-examine this witness. But I will not let you harass her, do you understand me?"
"Yes, your Honor. I understand the complications this entails. My questions are not going to be harassing."
The judge nodded, looking towards Henderson Sutcliffe.

"The state has every right to overrule any question you ask, Mr. Dragos. Let's not turn this into a free-for-all." he said, Henderson remaining silent.

Jolan smiled, standing up and walking towards the witness stand.

"Good morning, Miss Brannigan. Is it alright if I call you Theresa?" he said, his face showing a calmness when he looked at her.

Theresa stared into his grey eyes, seeing the depth of calmness and love staring back at her.

"Yes, that will be fine." she softly said, the judge looking at her.

"You'll have to speak up, Theresa. The jury needs to hear your words."
Theresa looked towards the jury, then nodded.

"I said that will be fine." she said, her voice an octave louder, everyone in the courtroom able to hear her now.

Jolan folded his hands in front of him, Theresa's eyes glued to him now.

She saw the calmness of his stature, the determination of his soul.

She felt a wave of calmness overcome herself.

She stared into his grey loving eyes.

"We've finally come to the day of judgment, Theresa. The day both of us judge each other's hearts."

Theresa's eyes widened in surprise, Jolan softly smiling at her.

Henderson began to rise up, Judge Wentworth lowering one hand towards him.

"Sit down, Mr. Sutcliffe. You cannot voice your own assumptions, Mr. Dragos. You are the only one being judged." Judge Wentworth said, watching the two before him.

"I'm sorry, your Honor. I just wanted her to know my feelings."
The judge stared at him, Jolan staring back.

"Calmness, Mr. Dragos. Continue."

Jolan looked back at Theresa.

"Have you heard the reports of yesterday's session, Theresa?"
Theresa looked at Sutcliffe, her eyes going back to Jolan.

"Yes, I heard the television report last night."
Jolan nodded, looking at her with quiet calmness.

"The darkened evil fermenting in this town has been exposed. Now it's time to remove it all from our hearts."
Theresa looked at the man before her, her mind flashing back to all the pain, to all the nightmarish pain.

"Who was Samuel Conrad, Theresa? Who was he to you?"

The young woman's face changed, a tremble going through her.

"He was my boyfriend." she said, her eyes now not meeting Jolan's.

Jolan quietly stared at her, the judge watching him.

"Must we continue our charade, Theresa? We both know the truth."

Sutcliffe was up, his voice filled with determination.

"Your Honor! He's badgering her!"

"Sustained, Mr. Sutcliffe. Jolan, you're still voicing assumptions. You're assuming her thoughts match yours."

Jolan nodded, the judge staring at him, marveling at the man's calm composure.

Theresa's eyes glanced towards the jury, Jolan remaining focused on her, his eyes not having once looked at the jury.

"Where did you meet Samuel, Theresa?"

"I met him here in Cutter's Bluff, that night. The night he saved me from you."

Jolan nodded, walking back to his table, picking up a file folder out of his briefcase, walking back to her.

"Alexandra Carmichael--my previous lawyer--entered your personal information into all the different police agencies, as well as through other government agencies. This is the result of that investigation. I'd like it entered into evidence." Jolan said, handing the file to Judge Wentworth, the judge nodding.

"Enter this into evidence, Charles. Exhibit E." the judge said, opening the file.

"Alexandra just received this report yesterday, giving it to me. Everything came back negative. No information could be found on you, Theresa. There is no record of a Theresa Brannigan matching your information living anywhere around here."
Theresa lowered her head, Jolan quietly watching her.

"You must be confused, or you don't have the right information." she said, her eyes raising again.

"I can't have the right information when it never existed to begin with, Sandra."

Theresa's face went white with shock, Jolan's grey eyes staring at her.

Jolan's eyes went to the judge, the man staring at him in shock.

"If you'll look at the last document, you'll see a report on a missing child, your Honor. A young girl named Cassandra Arlington. She disappeared seventeen years ago from the town of Oberson Falls."

Henry and Shelly--seated behind Justin and Lynn--gasped, Justin looking back at them, Henry leaning forward and whispering in Justin's ear.

The judge pulled out the form, reading it.

"That is your real name, isn't it Theresa?"
The woman stared at Jolan, Jolan's hands gently resting on the rail in front of her.

"How did. . .how could you. . .?"

"Something gnawed at my soul the whole time I was in the town of Oberson Falls last month. I felt a lost soul. I felt that same soul when I walked around this town the first night I came here. You were that lost soul, Cassandra. And I know who took that soul."

Theresa gasped, tears flooding her cheeks.

Jolan's hand went forward, gently rubbing her shoulder.

"Samuel Conrad wasn't your boyfriend, Cassandra. You were his prisoner."


Theresa sobbed, falling forward, Jolan's hands catching her, steadying her.

"Your Honor!! The man's harassing her!" Henderson said, on his feet, glaring towards Jolan and the witness.

People had begun murmuring, the judge banging his gavel.
"Silence in the court. Overruled, Mr. Sutcliffe. I want to hear this out. Are you alright, Miss Brannigan?" he said, Theresa's head rising up, Jolan handing her a tissue he'd pulled from his own pocket.

The woman nodded, her eyes meeting Jolan's.

"How did you know? How could you know?"

Jolan removed his hands from her, placing them again on the railing before her.

"I know everything, Sandra. All the years of pain and abuse you suffered from her. From the moment she captured you that dark night long ago at the circus."
The woman was in tears, her calm demeanor gone.

"That night the circus rolled through my town, I was so captivated by their pageantry and the animal acts. I always loved animals."

"Her bears enthralled you, she promising you a closer look."
The woman nodded, her body trembling.

"I was twelve, I. . .I just wanted to see them up close. . .and then she. . ."
Jolan's hand went to her shoulder again, the woman feeling his loving touch.

"She captured you. Clara Whitaker took another victim."
The courtroom gasped, the judge banging his gavel again, staring at the young woman.

"Yes, Jolan. She took me from my life."
The woman was in tears again, Jolan's touch soothing her, her eyes rising again and meeting his.

"You were taken by her, thrown into her clutches, the woman taking you with her that night. And for years you traveled with her, a slave beaten into submission. She spared your life for one reason only, Sandra. For the future."

Theresa's eyes stared into Jolan's, seeing the truth registered there.

The truth she now knew he knew as well.

Jolan's hand rubbed her shoulder, his calming love relaxing her.

She stared into his grey eyes, seeing so much love there.

The same love she'd seen that night so long ago.

The night she'd been forced into hurting him by them.

"I couldn't escape her. I tried once. . .she gave me to him. . .he. . ."

"I know, Sandra. I know all of it."
She sobbed, Jolan quietly calming her down.

Jolan looked towards the jury, seeing tears in quite a few of their eyes.

"Child lost from love, enshrouded in evil. My love is your salvation."

Theresa's eyes raised, looking at him.

"I've heard those words before."
Jolan softly smiled at her.

"I wrote them, Sandra. A long time ago. And I spoke them to you that night we met."

Theresa softly smiled, the words sinking into her soul.

Their remembrance flooded her mind, his voice speaking them with love.

"I'm sorry I couldn't save you that night, Sandra. My love wasn't enough."

Theresa sobbed again, Henderson on his feet again.

"Your Honor! Must we listen to this man emotionally shattering this woman?? He's reduced her to tears!!"
"The tears of truth, Sutcliffe." Jolan said, his grey eyes staring at him.

The judge banged his gavel, staring between the two men.

"Her past is emotionally tragic, Mr. Dragos. We understand now the connection between Theresa, Clara and Samuel. Why are you continuing on this path? What has it to do with her accusations?"
"Because we are all connected, your Honor. Theresa, Sandra, Clara, Samuel and others. One other who is an even greater villain in all of this."

The judge nodded, looking at Henderson.

"You're on a tight leash, Mr. Dragos. I'll let you continue, but be warned. Miss Brannigan--or Miss Arlington--is emotionally fragile."
Jolan nodded, looking at Theresa.

"Cassandra Arlington is stronger than all of us can see."
Theresa softly smiled, Jolan smiling back.

"I know what happened that night, Theresa. I know what you were forced to do, and what I was subjected to. And I know the final villain's part in all of it."
Theresa's eyes scanned the courtroom, her body trembling.

Jolan's hand went to her shoulder again.

"Clara's dead, Sandra. And Samuel will never hurt you again. And the third of that triad of fiends I shall call to justice. You're free, Cassandra. Free to love your son, and free to live from fear of his safety. My protective love surrounds him."

Theresa sobbed, her head lowering.

"I have no further questions for this witness, your Honor."

Jolan walked back to his table, sitting down.


The judge nodded at a female guard who'd stood by the jury box, the woman helping Theresa out of the witness box.

Theresa stared at Jolan, his grey eyes staring at her.

The woman was led down the aisle, people murmuring again.

The judge banged his gavel again, the courtroom quieting.

Theresa's eyes met Jessica Biel's sunglassed face, the two staring at each other.

Theresa stopped at her pew, the guard looking at her.

"I'll be okay. I'd like to remain for the rest of the testimony." she said, the guard looking at her.

"Alright. But if it becomes too much for you, signal me. I'll get you out of here." she said, the woman walking back to the front of the courtroom.

The judge looked towards Theresa, the woman sitting down beside Jessica.

Justin had followed the woman's moves, seeing whom she sat down beside.

Justin took in the two seated together, his mind going over something Jolan had told him before in regards to the two women.

Justin smiled, looking back at his lover.

Jolan was staring forward, Justin sensing his focused determination.

He also sensed the moment of justice was at hand.

The judge glanced around the courtroom again, focusing on Jolan again.

"Call your next witness, Mr. Dragos."
Jolan stood up again, looking back behind him, his and Bill's eyes meeting.

Bill rose out of his seat, walking to the back door, standing in front of it.

The judge caught this movement, his eyes staring towards the police officer.

His eyes moved back, staring into Jolan's grey softly glowing eyes, the judge's own eyes widening.

"There is only one other witness I need to summon, your Honor. He's the hidden truth in all this nightmare. A man hidden behind his own greed and desire. Today, he answers for his crimes."
The judge looked intrigued, catching a movement in the back of the courtroom.

A man stood up, turning and walking towards the back doors.

"You cannot flee destiny. Come and face me." Jolan said, the man staring at Bill who now blocked the exit.

People murmured, staring at the man who'd tried to leave.

"I call to the stand my last witness. The fleeing Richard Thornton."


End of Chapter 77


Okay, I did it again.

Hiding relevant characters in the story.

If you're not sure of who I mean, email me and I'll point you in the right direction.



And so it's come down to the final showdown.

Jolan and his monster.

I think if you read between the lines, you'll clue in to their connection.


Next up, a serving of justice.

But it may be rancid in its taste.

Jolan will walk his past for everyone to see.


Hugs, Angel.