11 - A Victory Is Another's Downfall

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This chapter is dedicated to dionneeckstein who managed to put a smile on my face with week - thanks for all your support XD

This chapter has undergone a major revision to draft I since the original contained a plot hole, however, the beginning and ending are the same.

11 - A Victory Is Another's Downfall

Charlotte's POV

The emergency hearing was set for 9 am and I barely slept all night. Ever since I called Tivon and told him about the tantrum Rena threw in front of me, I have been on an emotional roller coaster. There was guilt that I tried to take Noah away from his mom, but in the end, the prospect of having him live with me fulltime was just too tempting. Tivon said it was too good of an opportunity to pass which was the final motivation to toss my reservations out the window.

When I arrived at the courthouse the next morning, Rena was already there and glared at me like she wanted to claw my eyes out. Both Fallon brothers kept her in check, but her angry eyes still managed to send shivers down my spine. It was a new violent side to her that made me seriously doubt her sanity and fear for Noah's well-being. Somehow, she reminded me of a ticking time bomb.

Ryan was stuck in Oklahoma which brought a grin on Tivon's face. "Even better. Having your husband here is like a constant reminder of the abuse allegations and his absence could really work in our favor. Judges don't like having mud thrown on parties which aren't present - goes against their sense of justice."

The courtroom was unlocked five minutes before the hearing and we all filed in, taking our seats at the respective tables. In the last minute, Marcus slipped into the back. I was surprised to see him, as was the judge, who addressed him right after greeting us and swinging his gravel.

"This is a closed hearing, Mr. Forrester. May I ask what brings you to my courtroom this morning?"

Marcus threw Rena a smug look. "Your Honor, the petition alleges violence against the child by his mother which might rise to the level of an assault, or at least an endangerment charge. My office was put on alert and we are investigating whether to bring new charges against Ms. Cooper or report this incidence to her probation officer."

Rena muttered something to Noel with tears in her eyes who squeezed her hand reassuringly. It had to be hard to have every step and word measured on a scale, walking through life with the constant fear of waking up in jail the next day. I felt a fleeting flicker of sympathy, but when she gave me a pouty look full of attitude, I realized she didn't deserve any better.

Tivon had watched the whole exchange with slight amusement in his eyes. "I wonder what she did to piss Marcus off," he whispered while leaning in quite closely.

I could smell the scent of his cologne - Jean Paul Gaultier without a doubt. I bought a bottle a couple of years ago for Ryan on his birthday because I loved the smell, but he hated it and tossed it in the bin. It was too feminine for his taste.

Yet, the scent of the cologne was temporarily forgotten when Tivon's breath kept grazing against my neck which made the world around me a little fuzzy on the edges. My cheeks flushed slightly when he didn't move, apparently expecting some kind of response. "He was the prosecutor on her case."

"Still." His breath made my insides tingle. "Usually, he has underlings for that type of stuff. This is personal to him. I should ask him about it - he would be a good ally to have." His eyes narrowed slightly when he gazed at me. "Are you okay? You're a little red in the face."

I could feel the blush intensify. "It's just really hot in here."

He gave me a crooked smile before his attention was drawn to the judge.

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