Devastation Ė Chapter 5

Van had just finished a brief that she had to get to Judge Lee by the following morning. She was getting good at focusing on work while her mind was in turmoil. She knew John was close by, but she hadnít spent any time with him since right after Todd left. She didnít want to think about the new changes to her life and focusing on that brief in Kellyís case had helped. Seeing John would not help.

Whenever she looked at him, she saw the future. And even though John had done all he could to reassure her that their future was set, she couldnít help but be concerned about how this new development would change all their plans. She also hadnít wanted to give him the chance to bring up her mother and she knew it was only a matter of time before it happened. Well, she had to take that chance now, because she wanted to see him. Sometimes just being in the same room with him gave her a peace that she couldnít describe.

She walked into the Den where she could hear the baseball game playing. She actually liked baseball now that John had taken the time to explain the game to her. It was still a little slow, but she watched games with him pretty often. Sheíd even gotten him to watch tennis with her. Sheíd played in a benefit game a few months ago and heíd been in the stands cheering her on. She hadnít won, but sheíd played well and she was getting better with accepting defeat. John had even complimented her on her good sportsmanship.

She glanced around the room for John and finally saw him sprawled across the sofa asleep with his shirt unbuttoned. She walked over to the sofa and sat on the floor in front of him. For a few minutes, she just watched him and smiled. It was funny; she had to restrain herself from touching him.

"Are you just gonna sit there?" John asked from his reclining position on the sofa.

"I thought you were asleep. I didnít want to wake you."

"Did you need something?"

"Just to be with you," she said with a smile.

He opened his eyes and looked at her. "What?" he asked with a confused look.

"I just needed to be with you. I donít want to do anything especially. Just be right here with you."

He reached out his hand with the palm up. She placed her hand in his and was pulled to him. "Come here," he said in a low voice.

She climbed on top of him and he wrapped his arms around her. She rested her head on his chest and snuggled into him. He rubbed his hands up and down her back.

"Youíre a good pillow," she said with a smile.

"Thanks," he said and then he chuckled, "youíre getting heavy."

She lifted her head up and glared at him. He had a smirk on his face.

"I am not," she said and he just laughed.

"Youíre easy to provoke," he said.

When he stopped laughing at her, he asked, "How are you? I checked on you earlier and you had your head in a law book, so I came in here and turned on the game."

"Iím fine. How are you? Are you okay?"

"Iím fine. Why wouldnít I be?"

"John, you are the one who doesnít talk very much about your feelings. Youíve been here for me, but we havenít talked about how you are taking all of this."

"I guess I donít know how to answer that question. Iím worried about you. I know youíre concerned about how Viki is going to take you being her sister and youíre worried about us. I donít know why. Nothing is going to happen to us. You love me. I love you. Weíre a family."

She placed a kiss in the center of his chest. He smiled at the top of her head. He pulled her up and into a kiss. They pulled apart after a few moments. They smiled at each other and Van rested her head on his shoulder.

"Van, I know youíve been avoiding this subject, butÖ" Evangeline cut him off before he could complete the statement.

"Donít go there yet. Please."

Sheíd known it was only a matter of time, but sheíd been hoping for a little more and didnít look like she was going to get it. When he talked to her about her mother, he rarely let it go.

"Youíve got to talk to her sometime."

"John, what am I supposed to say to her? Oh, hi, Mom. I know you lied to me my whole life, but thatís okay. No big deal."

"Van, itís not completely her fault."

"John, donít take her side right now, okay?"

"Iím not taking sides. You told me a long time ago that I could trust you with the truth about anything," he said. "Did you mean it?"

Evangeline sighed deeply, "Yes."

"I know youíre not ready to talk to her, but you have to forgive her. Not for her, but for you. Sheís your mom. The only one youíll ever get. Youíve got to move past it."

"I just donít know how weíre supposed to do that. We havenít been especially close since the divorce."

"Whose fault is that?" he asked and waited through a few moments of silence, and then he continued, "Youíve kept her at a distance because you thought it would be betraying your dad. You canít blame her for that."

"John, I really donít like you right now."

"I know, but thatís why Iím here. To keep you in line," he said with a smile and tightened the hold he had on her. "You know Ameliaís been calling since this morning."

"I know, but I canít talk to her yet."

"Okay, when?"

"Tomorrow? Will you be with me when I call her?"

"I canít think of anywhere Iíd rather be," he said just before lifting her chin and kissing her.

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Todd had gotten to Llanfair before Viki. Heíd rehearsed how he was going to tell her about Evangeline, but he still wasnít sure how it was going to play out. He was sitting in the car thinking when a knock came from the passenger side window. Heíd been so distracted that he hadnít seen Viki pull up.

"Todd, why are you sitting in the car? Itís burning up out here. You just got out of the hospital."

"I was sitting here thinking."

"Okay, well come into the house and think. Itís too hot to think out here."

"Yes, maíam," he said with a smile. Viki cut her eyes at him.

"Why did you want to see me?"

"Well, I found out some information about Victor. I thought I should be the one to tell you."

"That is all I need. What is it?"

"I think we need to go inside and sit down."

"Is it that bad?"

"It depends on how you look at it."

"Okay, Iím not sure what that means, but I guess Iíll find out," Viki said as she walked through the front door.

Once they were seated and both Todd and Viki had something to drink, Todd turned to Viki.

"Todd, just tell me whatever it is."

"Okay, I found out that Evangeline Williamson is Victorís daughter."

"What?"

"You heard me," Todd said, before he gave Viki the story as he knew it. Viki sat stunned as Todd gave her all the information that he had.

"How is Evangeline taking all of this?"

"I donít know. Sheís understandably upset. She really loved her dad. I think sheís scared of how this will change her life."

"I canít say that I blame her. Iím shocked, but not surprised. Victor was capable of anything."

"I agree. Well, my deed is done. I told Evangeline that I would tell you. She was afraid of how you would take the news."

"Why?"

"I think she was afraid you wouldnít take it well."

"I thought she knew me better than that. Iím always here for my family, even if Iím forced to dish out some tough love. I need to see her and let her know that sheís welcomed to the family. Who else knows about this?"

"You, me, Blair, Evangeline and John McBain. Oh, yeah, some of the staff at Llanview Memorial know as well.

"We need to plan how we are going to announce this. If people at the hospital know, itís only a matter of time before the rumors start. If Evangeline was concerned about my response, Iíd really like to save her from being the butt of rumors and innuendo."

"I agree. While sheís an attorney and I know sheís dealt with publicity before, it will not compare."

"Iíll give her a call to set a time to talk tomorrow morning. That should give her some time to get used to the idea."

"That should be fine. I know you will handle her exactly right. You have a knack for people. Evangeline is going to need you through this."

"Iíll be there for her."

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Evangeline hung up the phone with a sigh after finishing her conversation with Nora. The DAís office was investigating the Ace situation and wanted as many details as Evangeline could share. She had divulged the information that she had about Ace in a timely manner and she would not be recommended for any reprimand. Kelly and Dorian wouldnít be brought up on any charges, because they hadnít been aware that the baby had been kidnapped. That was good news.

Paul on the other hand would be. There was still the issue of all of them knowing that the baby wasnít Kellyís and that no adoption had taken place. There still might be problems from that standpoint, but that would be something else with which to deal. In the meantime, Kelly was getting the help she needed. There were so many other people involved and the authorities were working to connect all the dots both in Llanview and in Pine Valley. Nora had already talked to the DAís office in Pine Valley about the case to take care of jurisdictional issues.

John glanced up from the book he was reading as Evangeline entered the Den.

"Hey."

"Hey."

"What are you reading?" She asked as she moved to the sofa beside him.

"James Patterson, Cat and Mouse," John responded as she leaned into him and he put his arm around her shoulders.

"You and your police thrillers."

"Well, Iím a cop. I might pick up some pointers," he said with a chuckle.

"I doubt it. Youíre such the professional," she said with a smirk.

"Ha, Ha, very funny," he said and then he laid the book down on the coffee table. He looked back at her and asked, "How was the talk with Nora?"

"About what I would expect, Kelly and Dorian are not going to be charged with co-conspiracy to commit kidnapping, since they didnít know anything about a kidnapping having taken place. There may be some other things to deal with later. So, weíll just wait and see."

"Are you okay?"

"Iím fine. I just hope that Kelly will make it through this. I told her when I found out what could happen. I also advised Dorian of the same thing. This is the better of the possible results, so weíll just have to see how it plays out."

"You know Iím proud of you."

"Why?"

"Because, you could have kept the information and knowing how important winning has always been to you, it would have been understandable. But you being the professional woman of integrity and compassion that you are, you talked your client into admitting the truth and helped catch the bad guy. A baby will be reunited with his birth mother and Kelly is getting the help that she needs."

"Thank you," she said with a smile. Then she asked, "Speaking of catching the bad guy, are you catching any flack because of me?"

"I donít know what you mean."

"Are you being questioned, because Iím Kellyís attorney and I happen to be your fiancé?"

"Bo mentioned that he wanted to talk to me tomorrow when I come in."

"I want to be there. I need to explain that I kept this from you."

"No, you donít. Iíll talk to Bo and everything will be fine. He knows that while I love you with all my heart, I would still bring in Cramer if I was aware he had committed a crime."

"I would never ask you to do anything different."

"Bo knows that, too."

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