Chapter Twelve:

………she thought to herself, "When did this happen? What has he done to me?"…………

………John thought, "When did this happen? When did she become such a central part of my life?"…………

Evangeline awoke on that Wednesday morning all energized and ready to take on the world. She felt so much better after the conversation she had the night before with John. She was in a relationship with someone that excited her and that she couldn’t wait to share more of herself with. He had followed her home after they finished eating their dinner to make sure she made it home safely. He walked her to her door and gave her a kiss goodnight. He told her that he’d be in the court room on Wednesday morning to see her defend Antonio.

Evangeline got to the courtroom a little early to prepare her opening comments. She knew that if she stated her points correctly and affirmatively, then there would be no trial at all. The charges would be dropped. She’d subpoenaed Carlotta, Duke, and Adriana, just in case she needed them to testify on Antonio’s behalf about his whereabouts at the estimated time of Isabella’s death.

The Assistant DA arrived a little after her and he seemed a little nervous. Antonio and Sonia arrived right after him. RJ Gannon entered the courtroom and sat on the ADA’s side of the room. Tico Santi entered the courtroom after that and sat right next to RJ. As Evangeline watched the ADA, she told Antonio, "I think he realizes that he has no case at all. Look at him. He keeps looking back at Tico. Do you think Tico was able to put pressure on the top and get these charges filed?"

Antonio replied, "I wouldn’t be surprised. Tico is up to something. I think he has more to do with Isabella’s death than he’s admitting".

Sonia heard part of their conversation and piped in, "Tico had nothing to do with Isabella’s death. She was his Mother for God’s sake. You two need to just accept that it was an accident and try to move on."

Antonio and Evangeline both looked at each other and then at Sonia. No comments were made.

Jessica walked in to the courtroom to see Evangeline’s, Antonio’s and Sonia’s heads together. She just couldn’t believe how Antonio was treating her and she was mad that she still didn’t know everything that was going on. At this time, John walked into the courtroom and caught Evangeline’s eye. As she smiled, he winked at her and sat down on her side of the courtroom. Jessica noticed the gesture and that just added to her being upset.

Kevin Buchanan entered the courtroom with his son Duke as Dorian Lord and David Vickers entered with Adriana and Carlotta. Kevin and Dorian made sure that Duke and Adriana didn’t sit together. Kevin watched Tico out of the corner of his eye. He thought to himself, "Has Tico threatened this judge to get the outcome that he wants? Exactly how much power does he have and what have I done by throwing in with him? I sure hope Duke doesn’t have to testify because I don’t want him going against something that Tico wants."


Court was convened and the Judge informed the room that this hearing was to present evidence for and against the plaintiff to show whether a full trial was required. The ADA’s opening statement said that he’d present the testimony of an eye witness, the Santi mansion butler and that he’d show the erratic behavior of the accused.

Evangeline’s opening statement was like at succinct story. She included that the butler changed his statement twice and that she had witnesses that placed the accused in a different area of town during the estimated time of death of Isabella. Before the ADA was to show his evidence, Evangeline asked to approach the bench to help shorten the court’s time. When the ADA and Evangeline approached the bench, Evangeline presented them both with signed affidavits of the coroner’s estimated time of death, statements from Carlotta, Duke, and Adriana placing Antonio at the diner at that time and copies of both of the butler’s statement. The judge looked at it all and then at the ADA.

The judge said, "Do you have anything that counters all of this information?" The ADA just nodded his head no. Evangeline looked at the ADA in amazement. She couldn’t believe that they had gotten these charges filed. Something weird was definitely going on.

The Judge told Evangeline and the ADA to back away from the bench and go to their seats. When they were seated, the Judge said, "In light of the overwhelming evidence that Attorney Williamson has presented, I have no choice but to drop the charges against the plaintiff, Antonio Vega. Case dismissed." And with that statement, he banged his gavel and court was adjourned.

Antonio let out a sigh of relief, stood up and gave Evangeline a big hug. He told her, "Thanks Evangeline. I know I was stubborn at the beginning, but I do appreciate that you are always fair with me."

Evangeline said, "You’re welcome, Antonio. I was just glad to be here to make sure that justice was served. Watch your back though; I think something else is going on here." She said that last sentence as she looked over at Tico Santi.

Sonia noticed that she was looking at Tico and once again stated, "Look you guys, Tico has nothing to do with any of this. He’s really broken up about Isabella and he’s just lashing out to cover his pain."

Once again, Evangeline and Antonio just looked at each other and said nothing.

Jessica walked up at this point and said, "Congratulations Antonio. Can we talk?"

Antonio said, "Not now Jess, I have to go. Come on Sonia."

Jessica just watched in amazement as Antonio walked past her, Carlotta, and John and left the courtroom with Sonia.

Tico was furious with this result and had to use everything in him to control his anger. He balled his fist at his sides and gritted his teeth. He thought to himself, "Evangeline Williamson has messed up my plans for the last time. If she insists on getting in the way, I’ll have to do something about it." Tico was also furious that Sonia left with Antonio and didn’t even acknowledge him. He knew he had to find out what she was up to also.

Knowing that he’d need something else now to distract Antonio from finding out that he was El Tiburon, he had to quickly enact another plan. He made a passing comment to RJ, "I’m really surprised Social Services haven’t taken his child away from him. I know he’s my brother, but he is too volatile. Anyone around him will eventually get hurt." He was hoping that this comment was just enough of a seed to get RJ thinking about custody of Jamie again.

After his comments to RJ, Tico walked over to a dejected Jessica and asked her to go back to Lions heart with him to work on the Heart Ball he had planned in Vicky’s honor.

Tico’s talking to RJ didn’t get past John. He was watching everyone in the courtroom because he felt like something fishy was going on when Antonio was arrested for the murder of Isabella also. He even wondered why RJ was there. He didn’t know where Evangeline’s plan of getting information on RJ and Sonia stood, but he remembered that he saw Evangeline talking to Sonia at the station the day that Antonio was brought in. He didn’t know how he should act with RJ there and decided he’d just go and talk to her later.

As he turned to walk out, he heard Evangeline say, "John, wait up".

When he turned back at the sound of her voice, she walked up and took his hand and walked out in the outer courthouse with him. At this point, RJ was the one that didn’t let that scene get past him. RJ thought to himself, "Obviously they are back together. Is it time for another beat down of the Quantico trained Lieutenant? What does she see in him and why does she keep defending Antonio? Maybe Antonio needs to be taken down a peg or two." He left the courtroom with ideas swirling in his head.


Once in the outer courthouse, John noticed RJ’s snide look as he walked past him and Evangeline. That prompted John to ask, "Are you not trying to find out what’s up with RJ and Sonia anymore?"

That statement caught Evangeline off guard because she knew she couldn’t tell John that Sonia is INL. She just said, "You were right, it was a silly thing to do and I’m not going to worry about it any more."

With a shocked look, John said, "Did you just say I was right? Huh? What’s going on? You found out something, didn’t you? I saw you talking to Sonia on the morning they brought Antonio in."

Evangeline just smiled and said, "Yes, this once, I did say you were right, but just about that ONE THING. Yes I talked to Sonia, but that’s all I can say."

John said, "Okay, I’m just glad you’re not going to be snooping around RJ and Sonia. I still say you should watch your back though, around both of them."

Evangeline said, "I will. Now, for why I stopped you from leaving. Can you go ask around about Judge Hernandez? I still need to know what happened in Kelly’s trial."

"Man", John said, "You don’t let any moss grow on you do you? You go from one case to the next."

"You have a problem with that Lieutenant?" she asked.

"Not at all", he said. "I’ll ask around and meet you at the station around noon. We can have lunch?"

"That would be great", she said. "I’ll see you at the station later".


As John was going to ask around about Judge Hernandez, he saw Kevin Buchanan leaving the courtroom. He stopped him and said, "Uh, what are you doing here Kevin?"

"Is it a crime to come to a hearing John?" Kevin replied.

"Is it, Kevin? From what I hear, a crime happened at your custody trial. Let me ask you. Did you find Judge Hernandez’s decision strange at all?"

"Of course not", Kevin replied. "Kelly’s not at all mentally well and she’s not capable of taking care of a child. Now if Evangeline could have accepted that fact from the beginning, maybe she wouldn’t have suffered her first loss."

That comment hit John like a brick. He just stared and Kevin and then finally said, "Nice talking to you Kevin." He then just walked away.

Kevin stood there a few minutes and thought to himself, "I don’t think I should have thrown that last comment in. I hope he’s not going to snoop around to find out what really happened."

Too late Kevin, John asked around about Judge Hernandez at the courthouse to different clerks and court workers. He got the same responses that Evangeline had garnered. He was stonewalled. Between that and Kevin’s response, he was more determined now than ever to figure out what happened. He headed back to the station for lunch.


Tico received another call from the courthouse letting him know that John McBain was asking around about Judge Hernandez and that he was spotted talking to Kevin Buchanan. Tico clicked his cell phone shut on the side of his head and growled angrily. "Now she has him doing her bidding for her. I must come up with a plan to neutralize her."


When John got to the station, Evangeline was waiting in his office for him with Greek food. He smiled as he walked in and kissed her on the cheek. As he sat at his desk across from her, he told her that he was stonewalled too. "There is definitely something going on with Judge Hernandez", he said. "I’ll get to the bottom of this somehow."

"Oh yeah", he said, "that Kevin Buchanan is an arrogant son of a gun."

"What did he say?" Evangeline asked. "Did he mention how I shouldn’t have taken Kelly’s case and that I should have listened to him?"

"Something like that", John replied. "Just ignore him though. We’ll get to the bottom of this."

"Thanks John," she said. "I really appreciate you helping me with this." As she was saying that, she flashed back on the fact that Kelly, nor Kevin are Ace’s biological parent and she made a mental note to find the birth mother to set up a proper adoption for Kelly when she got the verdict appealed.

After finishing their lunch and as they were cleaning up, Evangeline asked John, "Are you busy this Sunday afternoon?"

John gave her an inquisitive look and said, "No. Why do you ask?"

"Well", she said, "in an effort to share more of my life with you, I want to take you on a special date."

"Really", he smiled. "In that case, I’m definitely not busy."

"Good", she said. "I’ll pick you up at your room at 12 pm. Dress casually and don’t eat ahead of time because lunch is part of the date."

"Okay", he said.

"Alright", she said as she got up to go. She kissed John on the cheek and said, "Call me later." She then left his office.

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