Chapter Ten:

ÖÖ.John gave Evangeline a ride homeÖÖ

When John dropped Evangeline off at her townhouse, he walked her to the door and carried in her bag for her. As he sat down the bag, he gave her an intense look and then pulled her into a soft, lingering kiss. As their lips parted, he held her in his embrace for a little while longer. He said into her ear as her head lay on his shoulder, "I donít really want this date to end, but I know you have things to do and so do I."

Evangeline just exhaled a deep breath and said, "Yeah, me either. I wish this date could have lasted even longer."

They stood in their embrace for a little longer and finally, John backed away, said, "See ya later", with a smile and told her that heíd call her tomorrow.

Evangeline stood in the door and just watched him as he walked to his car. She waved goodbye as he backed out of the drive way and then closed the door.

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Over the next few days, Evangeline was really busy getting all her evidence together for Antonioís evidentiary hearing on that Wednesday. John was busy too and so they didnít get to see each other; however, they talked every night just to catch up with each other and to hear each otherís voice. Those talks in the late night hours were what each of them looked forward to at the end of the day. Even though neither one expressed it verbally to each other, those talks just made them even closer. They were each otherís calm in the storm, just like they had discussed the first time they were together in Johnís room.

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While Evangeline worked on her case to get Antonio exonerated, Tico Santi gathered information on her that he could use if she became more of a nuisance. When he realized that his threatening Judge Hernandezís grandkids lead to Evangeline losing her first case, he knew sheíd be trouble defending Antonio. The investigation heíd had done on her brought up some very interesting information. (1) She had come to town defending Mitch Laurence, the previous owner of his home, Lionheart, and Jessica Buchananís biological father. (2) She defended Todd Manning, a convicted rapist, on a second set of rape charges and when it was all over, proved that he was innocent. (3) She went up against Antonio in a custody battle of Jamie and somehow managed to make it where Antonio finally got partial custody of his child. (4) She seems to always back Antonio and help him out. (5) She was involved with RJ for over a year and left him for John McBain, one of RJís enemies, along with Antonio and the whole Vega family. He especially noted this last bit of information and thought to himself that he might be able to use that at some point if she gets in the way even more.

*******************************************************************************************Tuesday morning, the day before Antonioís evidentiary hearing, and Evangeline came walking into the Llanview Police Station. She thought that she might see John and that made her heart skip a little, but she was primarily there to read Tico Santiís butlerís account of what happened the night of Isabellaís death as it referred to Antonio. She was sitting at a desk going over the report when Jessica Buchanan walked in.

"Hello Evangeline", Jessica said in a snide voice.

"Hi Jessica", Evangeline replied.

Jessica said, "Evangeline, I need you to tell me exactly whatís going on with Antonio and his case."

"I canít do that", Evangeline said. "Antonio has to be the one to tell you".

That just made Jessicaís blood boil and she spit out, "Either you tell me, or Iíll get John to tell me".

Evangeline looked shocked and stated, "First of all, if youíre implying that Iíve told John anything, youíd be totally wrong. Second of all, itís Antonioís information to tell, not mine".

"Oh come on", Jessica said, "You expect me to believe that youíve told John nothing! Natalie told me that youíre sleeping with John. Also, the fact that Natalie wouldnít always tell John everything is one of the reasons that they arenít together today".

At these words, Evangeline started to lose it. She replied, "Jessica, my personal relationship with John is really none of your business and I donít appreciate you and your sister talking about it. Just what is your problem with me? Would you just tell me already so we can clear the air?"

"Fine", Jessica said. "I just think that if youíd back away from John, heíd go back to Natalie where he belongs. Natalie has broken up with Paul because she realized it was wrong and you are the only thing standing in the way of her and John getting back together".

Evangeline stood stunned by what Jessica had just said. After a few seconds, where she gathered her thoughts, she said, "Jessica, of all people, I canít believe you just said that to me. For all practical purposes, Iím in the same situation you were in when Keri came back to town. Keri came back to town with Antonioís baby and all she wanted was for you to back off so that she and Antonio could get back together. Yes, sheíd made a mistake by faking her own death, but letís face it, Antonio had made mistakes too. They may have been a happy family today, but if I remember correctly, not only did you not back off, but everywhere Keri went in town, she saw the two of you together. Now Iím guessing that Antonio told you that it was over with Keri and he wanted to be with you. So, why would you think I should be backing off from John if heís shown me no indication that heíd rather be with Natalie? Maybe you should take into account your own actions before questioning mine."

Jessica raised her voice and said, "My situation has nothing to do with what youíre doing."

Just at this moment, John walked into the station and noticed the tension between Jessica and Evangeline. He said, "Whatís going on here?"

They both turned to look at him and Evangeline said, "Iíve got to go". She turned and walked out of the station.

John was flabbergasted and asked Jessica, "What did you say to her?"

Jessica said, "All I asked was what was going on with Antonioís case and I told her that you should be with Natalie."

"What? How is my personal life ANY of your business!" he exclaimed. "Also, she canít tell you anything about Antonioís case, he has to. How many times do I have to say that to you?"

"Oh come on John", Jessica sarcastically replied. "Just tell me whatís going on with Antonio or Iíll go to my Uncle Bo".

"Go to your Uncle Bo, go to Carlotta, go to Sonia for all I care, just butt out of my business and leave Evangeline alone", was Johnís answer as he walked away from Jessica and went into his office and slammed the door.

Jessica was left standing there in a stunned state.

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As Evangeline was walking to her car to go back to her office, she could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck. "Of all the nerve!" she thought. "Who does Jessica Buchanan think that she is? Why are her words about Natalie bothering me?" She called Nora and asked her to meet her at the Angel Square Public Tennis Courts around 5 pm. She really needed to blow off some steam.

Nora said sheíd be there.

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"My God!" John thought as he sat at his desk. "Why is Jessica always all up in my business? What gives her the right? How mad is Evangeline? Why did she walk out of here without talking to me? Should I go find her or let her cool down a little?"

Before he could decide, an officer came in and John had to go out on a case. Even as he worked, thoughts of Evangeline and the look on her face were in the back of his mind.

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