Chapter 31

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Two weeks later

Hailee

We walk into the courtroom and I look around. They haven't brought out Brianne yet, relieved, I settle into my seat. I'm still wearing the arm sling because the doctor wants to make sure that my arm is completely healed before taking it off. I adjust myself in my seat and Samson turns to me quickly, "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Just adjusting myself in my seat." He has always been attentive, but he's been more so since the last fight and me getting shot. He puts his arm around my shoulder and gives me a soft kiss on the lips.

"That's enough you two. You're getting on a plane after we leave here and you will have two full weeks to do all of that you want." Mel laughs. I giggle and lean into Samson.

I see Brianne and the other three guys being escorted out of the back. They put her on one side of the courtroom and them on the other. Then we all rise while the judge enters the courtroom.

We sit down and he starts to explain why we are here today. Then he asks me to speak first. Samson helps me up and I approach the podium that's been positioned in the middle of the two tables.

"Thank you your honor for allowing me to speak. This kidnapping by these three has hurt me more than anyone realizes. I have nightmares of what happened that day almost every night. I have nightmares about being sold into the sex slave trade and not being able to get away. I'm working with my therapist to help me through this and everything else that I have gone through in the past year and a half, due to those gentlemen over there." I point to the two guys who did the bombing.

"Due to their actions, I lost my memory for a whole year, not knowing who I really am and who my family or friends were. They also killed forty people by bombing the clinic that day. One good thing came out of it, if I have to admit it. I found some wonderful friends and a man who loves me to distraction and I love him the same way." I clear my throat.

"Under normal circumstances, I would ask you to give Brianne as much time as possible. But I'm not the true victim here. Brianne has a four-year-old daughter that needs her. Raven is one of the cutest and sweetest little girls that I have ever seen. She lights up when her mom walks into a room. She loves her mom in spite of what she did to me. That little girl is the reason that I'm asking for leniency when it comes to Brianne's sentencing your honor. Thank you." I walk back to my seat and slide into it, with assistance from Samson. "You did wonderful sweetie." He puts his arm around me, pulling me to him.

They call Ray up next. He walks up to the podium and clears his throat, "Your honor, thank you for allowing me to speak today. When I married Brianne, I never would have thought that she would have done something like she did to me. We were married, forsaking all others and all of that. But she actually did drug me and had strange men in our house with our young daughter there, to drag me out and take me to my company and leave me there. She doesn't know what they could have done to me or to our daughter."

"When Hailee first came into our group, she told me that she didn't like her. When I asked her why, she wouldn't tell me. She became colder and colder towards her and I would try to talk to her, but she wouldn't listen. Then she started to thaw towards her and she would invite her out to lunch and treat her like a friend. All of us were relieved, thinking that she finally came around. But it was all a trick. Your honor, I want you to give her the maximum sentence, because honestly, I don't want anyone like that near my daughter." He turns and walks over to his seat and sits down, glancing at our stunned faces on the way.

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