Evangeline had been waiting awhile for John to get off duty. She was nervous. She’d made a decision earlier in the week to not tell John what she knew about Kelly. She hadn’t wanted to put him a bad position, while she was trying to find out how to help Kelly. She knew he was worried about her. She hadn’t been herself all week. She’d wanted to tell him, but she couldn’t until she had a way to get Kelly the help she needed. She was afraid of how he would take it.
She also didn’t like the guilt she felt at having kept Kelly’s secret when a baby was involved. A baby who had been stolen from its birth mother. A mother who thought her baby was dead. She’d been working late all week in hopes of finding the birth mother and getting Kelly some psychiatric help. Dorian was helping her with Kelly and Kelly finally understood that there was no way she could keep Ace. Evangeline had agreed to help with a proper adoption for Kelly when the time was right. That would be a little more difficult now, because Kelly had to spend some time in care. However, Dorian and Evangeline were confident that she would get a handle on her problems and fears.
Evangeline was in the kitchen making dinner for John and was so engrossed in her thoughts that she didn’t hear him enter the room. He walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her.
He felt her tense and quickly said, “It’s just me.”
She relaxed immediately. She looked over her shoulder at him, “You scared me.”
She looked back at what she was doing without kissing him hello. He frowned at the back of her head and moved the hair that was resting on her shoulder so he could see her profile.
“I see. You were pretty deep in thought. I just thought you were trying to ignore me. I was pretty loud coming in the house.”
“I was thinking about you.”
“Really? Well you don’t look happy about that.”
“It’s not that I’m not happy thinking of you. I just have to talk to you. And I have a bad feeling about it.”
“I don’t know how you will take it.”
He turned her around to look in her eyes. “You can tell me anything. You know that.”
“I know, but you’re going to be angry. I’m just not sure how much,” she said with a touch of fear in her eyes.
He picked up her left hand and turned the ring that sat on her ring finger. “This means I love you. We’ve had arguments before. We’ll be okay.”
“I hope so.”
“Okay, you’re scaring me. What does this thing have to do with?”
“Me and work.”
“Okay. Tell me know.”
“You might want to sit down.”
He grabbed her hands and pulled her to the kitchen table. He sat down and pulled her toward him. She wouldn’t sit down, but she did hold onto his hands.
“Earlier this week I found out some information about one of my clients. I held that information while I worked to get my client some help. Some of the information could be considered attorney client privilege, but I’ve convinced the client that she has to do the right thing. Kelly’s baby Ace is not her baby. Her brother took the baby from someone in Pine Valley and gave the baby to Kelly when her baby died during delivery. Kelly understands that she can’t keep the baby and I’m making arrangements to have the baby returned to the birth mother. Kelly also understands that Paul has to be held accountable for what he’s done. I just needed this week to make sure that Kelly gets the help she needs, especially since there’s a chance that she will be charged as well. I wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t until I’d taken care of her.”
John sat for a moment, before he rose from the chair and released her hands. He walked to the bay window in the den and looked out into the back yard. He just stood there for a moment.
“Paul kidnaps someone’s baby. Your client continues to keep that baby and pass him off as her own. You keep that knowledge for a week so that you can take care of your client. Is that the way it works?”
“Yes, that’s about it.”
“So, this is why you’ve been so quiet this week. I knew something was going on, but I didn’t want to push. I knew you’d tell me when you were ready, but I had no idea that you’d keep information that was a police matter to yourself. I knew the promise you made to your dad would ultimately come back and bite us in the butt.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about this obsessive need to win. When you lost your first case months ago, I thought that, while you always strive to be the best, you had at least come to terms with the fact that the promise you made was impossible to keep. You can’t win every case.”
“John this is not about winning. This is about helping a distraught woman who lost her baby get some help, while in the process getting the baby back to his rightful parents.”
“Right!! And what if your client hadn’t been willing to listen to reason, then what?”
“I don’t know. I would have handled it.”
“You’re client committed a crime for which she should go to jail.”
“Kelly was distraught over losing her baby. She wasn’t thinking straight. She still isn’t. She needs psychiatric help not jail.”
“What about Paul?”
“Paul isn’t my client.”
“My point exactly. You don’t even try to defend Paul and his actions, because he’s not your client. Kelly and Paul were both in the wrong. I got to get out of here,” John said as he walked out of the den.
“John, please. Can we just talk about this? Don’t leave while you’re still mad at me.”
“I can’t talk right now. I might say something I’ll regret and that won’t be good for either of us. I’ll call you later.”
“When will you be home?” she asked in a tentative voice.
“I’ll call you later,” he said as he brushed a kiss across her forehead before walking out the kitchen door into the garage.
At least he’d touched her as he was leaving. She read that as a positive sign. He didn’t hate her, but he was furious with her, she thought as tears filled her eyes. She should have forced Kelly to go to the police when she’d first found out, but Kelly hadn’t been strong enough to face them. Now she would be. She’d voluntarily admitted herself to the psyche ward at Llanview Memorial. She had some time before anyone could question her.
Paul was another story. She was sure that as soon as John walked out the door, he called the station to have Paul picked up. She would not defend Paul, but she would recommend a good attorney for him. She could in no way condone what he’d done to Babe Chandler. He had understood when he talked to her that there was no attorney-client privilege involved. She’d already told Dorian what would happen. Dorian could be charged as well for her knowledge of the crime and not coming forward. Hopefully, she fully believed Dorian would get off with community service and a fine. Dorian had just been trying to protect her niece. There appeared to be so many people involved in the case. Todd. Kevin. They all knew some of the circumstances. It would be interesting to see how it all played out.
Her biggest worry was John. She didn’t know how he would deal with what she’d done. She’d known sooner or later they would be on different sides, but she hadn’t known it would be like this. They’d only been engaged for a few weeks. They hadn’t even had time to set a date for the wedding, yet. They had just been basking in fact that they were engaged. She didn’t want to lose what she had with him and she felt awful that she was the one to jeopardize what they had.
John just shook his head as he headed to Rodi’s to meet Michael. He’d called his brother right after he’d called the station to have someone pick up Paul Cramer. He was pissed at Evangeline for trying to handle this situation alone. She was an attorney and a darn good one, but she did not get to make these types of decisions. She couldn’t just withhold information. She’d only held it a week and maybe that was reasonable, but she’d kept it from him. It felt like she’d put her job before him and he didn’t like that feeling. Maybe it was an irrational feeling, but that’s how it felt. She obviously felt it was wrong too, based on the way she’d acted this past week. He hated when they fought, but he couldn’t talk to her right now. So he was going to use his brother as a sounding board and see if he could make sense of his feelings.
Evangeline was sitting in the window seat in the den when the phone rang. She rushed to get it. “John?”
“No, I’m sorry. Is Ms. Williamson in?”
“This is she.”
“This the blood bank at Llanview Memorial Hospital and we would like to have you come and donate some blood if you could.”
“Is there something wrong with the blood that I have in storage?”
“No, ma’am. There was an accident earlier tonight and the injured party has your rare blood type, so we were hoping that you could come and make a donation.”
“Sure, I’ll be right down.”
John was sitting with his brother at Rodi’s having a beer giving him a brief description of the situation. It felt really funny talking to his kid brother about relationships, but Michael appeared to have that area of his life in harmony. So here he was spilling his guts, as much as he was allowed too since this would lead to an investigation. It was easier to talk to Michael since he was now working for the police in Forensics.
“So, what should I do?”
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to forget I know what she did.”
“Was what she did really so wrong?”
“She covered up a crime for her client.”
“Is that what she really did? It sounds like she was legitimately trying to help the client before bringing the police into the situation. She obviously wasn’t really hiding it from you or else she wouldn’t have told you that she’s known for a while. She might even have been trying to save you from being in an awkward situation, where she needed some time to get some help for her client and you needed to do your job. She is a defense attorney. There are probably going to be times when she can’t share information with you.”
“Maybe you’re right, but I still don’t have to like it.”
“Do you love her?”
“Of course, I’m marrying her, aren’t I?”
“Well, you have to forgive the wrong you feel she’s done and talk to her. Move on. You guys are too happy together to let a job get in the way.”
“You’re right. When did you get to be so smart?”
“I don’t know. Marcie helps me with the hard stuff. She keeps me grounded.”
“Tell her thank you for me. I’m going home. I’ll see you around,” John said as he was rising from his chair.
“I’ll follow you out. Marcie and I have a date that I pushed back when you called. She’s waiting for me.”
Evangeline arrived at the hospital and went start to the 2nd floor where the blood bank resided. The technician was already waiting for her. They prepped her for the donation. She didn’t anticipate any problems because her blood count was always in the normal range. As the technician was finishing up, he looked at her and said, “I hope your brother is okay.”
“What are you talking about?” she said with a frown.
“Mr. Manning. I hope he’s okay.”
“Why did you originally call him my brother?”
“Because he is, isn’t he?”
“No. Why did you think he was?”
“Because the two of you share the same rare blood type and have the same blood markers. That’s impossible unless the two of you are family. Most likely sister and brother or parent and child. You can’t be his child, so I assumed you were his sister.”
“Can I see the information you are talking about?”
“Sure it’s not held under confidentiality. It’s just basic information and it’s yours for the most part.”
Evangeline left the blood bank with a stunned look on her face. How was it possible that she and Todd had the same blood type and the same blood markers? She could ask Michael about it, but maybe she should go straight to the source. She couldn’t think about that right now. She went to the general information desk and asked for Todd’s room. When she got to the 5th floor, she saw Blair standing at the nurse’s station.
“Hey, Evangeline. What are you doing here?”
“I got a call to donate some blood for Todd and just left the blood bank. Before I left, I wanted to check and see how he is.”
“He’s doing fine. They thought for a while that there was some internal bleeding, but it turned out to be a very nasty bruise, so he won’t have to have surgery after all. What’s this about you donating blood for Todd? He has a really rare blood type.”
“So do I. Small world, huh? Tell him that I said hello and to get well.”
“I’ll do that. Hey, are you okay? You look upset.”
“I’m fine. Just tired and John and I had a fight, earlier.”
“Well, he loves you. It’ll at least be fun making up.”
“Yeah. I’ll see you later.”
As soon as Evangeline got into her car, she pulled out her cell phone. She dialed a number she normally only dialed once a week.
“Mother, its Evangeline.”
“Hi, angel. How are you?”
“I don’t know. I need to ask you a question.”
“What is it, honey?”
“Whose daughter am I?”
“Angel, what are you talking about?”
“I want to know whose daughter I am. Is Robert Williamson my biological father?”
There was a pregnant pause and then she heard sobs coming through the phone.
“Angel, Robert never wanted you to know. If you hadn’t moved to Llanview against my wishes, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“What didn’t Daddy want me to know?” she said softly as tears flooded her eyes and rolled down her cheek.
“That your biological father is Victor Lord.”