Chapter 29

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Important note: I've never been in a court hearing and I've only seen a few on TV. I tried reading about them online but my wifi has been screwy recently and normally shuts down while I'm researching. So, this chapter probably won't be an accurate portrayal of court. Please don't hate.

Chapter 29

"Are you nervous?" I asked Laughlin as I buttoned up his shirt. He tried, but his shaking hands were preventing him from doing so.

Laughlin nodded, taking a shaky breath as he ran his hand through his hair. "I'm worried that they'll still think my dad is fit to raise them and will keep them in his care, which would mean my mom still gets to watch them."

"But you and your grandma have been raising them for five years," I said. "And even when your mom came back, you still raised them. Then the incident happened yesterday. The court should look at your parents as one, not two."

Laughlin looked down, biting his lip. "That's not all I thought of. What if the court finds both me and my parents unfit? What if my brothers get put into foster care? They could be separated."

I finished buttoning up his shirt and fixed his collar before cupping his face his my hands and forcing him to look at me. "Everything will be fine," I assured. "And if both you and your parents are unfit, they will probably go under the custody of your grandparents. Since your grandpa is back from Africa, it should be easier raising your brothers. But there isn't a reason you would be unfit."

I reached for his tie that was hanging on the couch and began tying it. "Ellie, thank you so much. You're the only one I could really trust outside of my family."

"You're welcome," I said, finishing the tie and giving Laughlin a kiss. "Now come on. We should be leaving." I reached for Laughlin's hand as we walked outside at to his car.

Laughlin's grandparents and brothers were already at the courtroom. Some other people were there, mostly to watch but one person stood out the most. "Mary?" I asked as she walked up to us. "What are you doing here?"

She scoffed. "Apparently my dad has this case that he's going to win, so he's dragging me along." Mary's dad was a lawyer, so he must be representing Laughlin's parents. "What about you two?"

"Well," Laughlin said. "I'm....The case is actually mine. I'm fighting to get custody of my brothers because my parents....Well, you'll find out in court."

"So is my dad fighting for you or against?" Mary asked.

"Against," I said. "I met the lawyet fighting for Laughlin yesterday and he wasn't your dad, so...."

Mary nodded. "Well, if you ever need a witness to help, even though I haven't met your brothers, I'll be here. My dad has been getting me so annoyed lately. I hope you win, Laughlin."

"Thanks," Laughlin said.

As Mary walked away, I was feeling even more worried, but I didn't show it. I had met Mary's dad before and he was one of the best lawyers in town. He rarely lost a case.

The hearing started once everyone was seated. I sat behind Laughlin, giving him a quick hug before doing so. His brothers sat beside me, both looking scared, especially Munro. Ever since his mom hurt him, he must have been terrified of her.

Everyone rose as the judge walked in and sat down after he did. "We're here for the custody of Munro and Nick Wilde. The defendant, please proceed."

Mary's dad, Joseph, stood and walked to the front of the court. "My clients are more than qualified to raise their own kids. Mrs. Fifi Wilde has a well-paying job and can give her children all the necessities they need. A shelter. Food. Clothing. Whereas Mr. Laughlin Wilde, who just turned eighteen and is still in high school, cannot. I'd like to call Laughlin Wilde to the stand."

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