Dancefloor Dust

Chapter 13

"Hey, sis." Owen greets me at his apartment door.

"Hello, Owen." I say as I pass by him into the hall.

"Did I know you were coming over?" he asks surprised as he follows me to the living room where I slowly sit down as I shouldn't be walking around for too long. Actually I shouldn't be walking around at all. The promise to stay off my feet for the most time was the only thing that kept my doctor from admitting me to the hospital. I had some bleeding again a few days ago. It had occurred once before and that was the reason I needed to stop working. I know if it happens again I won't be able to avoid the hospital and so I've been staying at home for the last few days. But with the news I received earlier I had no choice but to come over to my brother's apartment as I knew he would lie over the phone.

"Should you even be on your feet?" he asks, raising an eyebrow at me.

"I wonder how you know that since I haven't heard from you in a few days." I reply not able to hide the reproachful tone from my voice.

"Will told me yesterday when..." he trails off casting his gaze to the floor. I'm not surprised as I already know the answer when he saw my husband.

"When he bailed you out from jail, you mean, right?" I snap watching his eyes widen in shock.

"Who...told you?" he stammers stumbling backwards a few steps before he collapses in the armchair opposite me.

"Will." I state not taking my eyes off him.

"But he promised me he wouldn't tell you, that jackass. I knew it was a bad idea to call him. I knew he wouldn't be able to keep his mouth shut. What was I thinking?!" he exclaims.

"He accidentally told me he saw you yesterday. So I dug deeper because I was wondering why you hadn't called me since Friday." I reply, defending my husband.

"And I guess he crumbled under your cross-examination, didn't he? The wimp! What about my attorney/client privilege?" Owen snaps back angrily and even though I am glad that Will told me the truth I have to admit my brother has a point.

"I'm sorry, Owen, but why didn't you call me? What made you think you could trust Will more than me?" I ask not able to hide my disappointment.

"I don't trust Will more than you. You know that." he says in a low voice as he stands up to walk over to me, sitting down on the armrest.

"I didn't call you because I didn't want to scare you and cause any more troubles with your pregnancy. Actually I didn't want to call anybody but Peter..." he trails off, putting a hand over his mouth.

"Peter? What does he have to do with this? Is he prosecuting you?" I ask shocked, hoping I'm wrong.

"No, he was there when I got arrested and came with me to the police station. He insisted I call a lawyer and made me realize I really was in trouble. He even called Will for me. He's been great to me Alicia. I still don't understand why..." he trails off again but I know what he wants to say. I close my eyes for a few moments and can picture all of that far too well. That's the Peter I got to know, caring and being there for others.

"...I left him for Will? That's what you wanted to ask, right?" I finish his question for him and see my brother nod slightly, avoiding my gaze.

"There were many reasons, Owen. The main one being I still love Will and I'm not sure if I was falling in love with Peter. Ouch!" I cry out because the baby has kicked me hard. I put both hands on my stomach and can't help the big smile from spreading on my lips. I've been so afraid for my unborn child during the last few days so I see that kick as a sign that the little one is alright.

"Are you ok?" Owen exclaims as he turns towards me, his face full of concern.

"Yeah!" I nod. "It kicked, Owen." I beam at him and see a smile play on his lips as well.

"You still don't know what it is?" he asks, raising an eyebrow at me.

"No, I told you. I don't want to know." I smile back, my hands still covering my belly, hoping the baby will kick me once more.

"But that's not the first time you felt it kick, is it?"

"No, but since I had the recent bleedings I have felt nothing, so this is good."

"Yeah, it is." he nods putting one of his hands on top of mine.

"I know you probably don't want to hear this now, but for what it's worth, Peter still loves you." his expression becomes serious and I have to take a deep breath at his words.

"I never questioned Peter's feelings for me, just mine for him, Owen. It wouldn't have been fair to him if I'd stayed. Can we let this go now, please? I'm glad that Peter helped you and I'm ok with it if you want to stay friends with him, but please understand that this chapter is closed for me." I tell him and my baby just chooses this moment to kick me again. This time I'm more prepared for it but Owen pulls his hand, that was still lying on top of mine, back in surprise.

"Was that the baby?" he asks me slightly shocked.

"Yes, that was your little niece or nephew." I chuckle at his astonishment.

"Amazing. I can't wait till it's born. I'll spoil it rotten." he winks at me.

"I can imagine. But we should make sure you won't be in prison then. So, will you tell me now what happened? Why exactly were you arrested?" I reach for his hand, squeezing it gently.

"Didn't Will tell you that already?" he replies in a cynical tone, the smile fading from his face.

"I want to hear it from you. Owen, please." I watch him pleading with my eyes not to shut me out until he finally shrugs and I sense a hint of a smile on his lips again.

"Ok, sis, you asked for it." he stands up from the armrest to sit down on the floor in front of me. And after he told me exactly what happened I know that Peter is right; my brother really is in big trouble.

I step out of the elevator into the reception area of Will's new Chicago offices. I feel a little lost looking around the room. I've never been here since they opened two months ago though Alicia wanted me to come to the party they had celebrating the start of business. I declined as I knew I'd feel out of place there and standing here now I'm proven right. The urge to turn on my heel and step into the elevator again is strong but unfortunately I can't. I have an appointment with my brother-in-law to discuss how to go ahead with my case. Case, that's the word Will uses. I'd rather call it a tragedy, an injustice that will likely ruin my life. At least I acknowledged that by now. I remember even while I was already interrogated at the police station I thought this was a big joke and any moment some of my students would come burst through the door to tell me they played a prank on me. Unfortunately that never happened and as I told Alicia earlier I got the first sense that this would turn into a nightmare when Peter continued to insist I call someone to represent me. I'm still not sure if it was a mistake to call Will. We never got along and though I think he's good at what he does I doubt he'll give me the best he's got as I can't shake the feeling he'd prefer me out of his and Alicia's life. I can only hope Will is going to do all that's possible to keep me out of jail for my sister's sake. The thought not to be around when her baby will be born pains me and I count on Will not to let that happen. I sigh deeply before I direct my steps toward the reception desk.

"Hi, I'm Owen Cavanaugh. I have an appointment with Mr. Gardner." I greet the receptionist.

"Hello, Mr. Cavanaugh. Mr. Gardner is out at the moment but he should be back shortly. Would you mind waiting over there?" she smiles at me pointing towards a couch on the other side of the room.

"Thank you." I nod, trying not to show my rising resentment towards my brother-in-law. My misgivings regarding him seem to come true if he can't even be in time for our appointment. I slowly stroll toward the couch where I sit down. I pick up one of the magazines that lay on a side table, flicking through it aimlessly. But nothing gets my attention and so I toss it back on the table and watch around the room. But as it seems to be a slow afternoon here nothing interesting happens that could distract my thoughts from my own misery. I think back to my talk with Alicia earlier; her shocked and concerned face still vivid before my eyes. Maybe I should've brought her along. But given her condition this was out of the question as I was glad she let me drive her home after our talk and didn't object when I insisted to go with her upstairs to make sure she got off her feet immediately. She surprised me even more when she didn't tell me to get lost as I brought out drinks and snacks from the kitchen and put them on the table to keep her from getting up too often once I left. She just thanked me and smiled. And I couldn't help to think how calm and happy she appeared to be, finally at peace with the fact she needs to take it slow from now on for her child's sake. She didn't mention it but I know my sister well enough to realize that the recent bleedings scared the hell out of her and she really is afraid to loose the baby. The more I feel guilty now for worrying her even more with my legal troubles and not being upfront with it from the beginning. I can only hope the trip to my apartment didn't do any harm and this situation won't upset her more and comes to a good ending soon. I wish that for the both of us.

"Excuse me, Mr. Cavanaugh." the receptionists voice startles me and I look up.


"Mr. Gardner called to let you know he'll be another half hour late and to show you to his office to let you wait there. Would you follow me?" she smiles at me.

"Sure. Thank you." I get up and follow her to Will's office.

"Please. Can I get you anything while you wait? Coffee, water?" she opens the door for me.

"No, thank you." I pass by her, returning her smile. She just nods and closes the door behind her as she leaves.

I look around the big office and am not surprised at how much this room reflects my brother-in-law. I walk over to the desk where I find an old baseball sitting next to a wedding photo of him and my sister. I chuckle as I look over to the couch where I see a baseball bat leaning next to it in the corner. I can picture Will walking around here swinging that bat or playing with the ball. I pick up the picture and smile sadly at my sister's happy face as I wonder when the last time was I saw her smile like that. I have to think for a while but then I remember but I keep my mind from going there as I promised her earlier not to mention Peter again. Sighing I place the picture back on the desk, wishing Will is going to be worth all the trouble he put my sister through.

I glance at my watch and realize only 5 minutes have passed since I entered the room. I look around, searching for something to help me pass the time until Will hopefully gets here but nothing attracts my attention. I walk around the desk towards the window. But we're too high up to even spot the street and aside from some other office buildings and a few birds circling before the grey sky there is nothing interesting to see. I turn to finally sit down on the big leather couch on the opposite side when a partly open desk-drawer catches my eye. I walk over to the desk to close it when I spot the folder that blocks it. I open the drawer completely, retrieving the folder from it. I put the file on the desk to smooth it so it'll fit into the overstuffed drawer when I read it's labeled private. I know it is wrong but before my mind can think that I rather shouldn't open it my fingers have developed a life of their own flipping eagerly through the contents of the file. Most of the papers aren't interesting and I sift through them faster as I am aware that someone might come in any second. I'm at the last few pages when some words catch my attention and I open the file fully to read the whole document. I gasp when the full meaning of the words hit me. I blink and repeat reading the page but the significance hasn't changed. My first impulse is to shut the folder and place it back but then I see the small copier on a filing cabinet. I stand still for a second listening for approaching footsteps outside but all I can hear is my heart thundering in my ears. Before I can think any further I have made my way to the xerox machine and copied the document. I hurry to place the original back into the file and put it back into the drawer which I close shut. I fold the copy, stuffing it into the inside pocket of my jacket while I rush to the couch and sit down. I still try to calm my breathing when Will enters the office a few minutes later.

"I have good and bad news." he says without greeting me or apologizing for being late while he sits down behind his desk. I stand and hope he can't see my shaking knees as I walk over to take a seat opposite him.

"The good news is I finally have the lab results of the marijuana stack. They didn't find your prints on there." he looks at me, nodding slightly.

"Well, that's good." I sigh, a little relief rushing through me.

"Yes, that is good but as I said I have bad news as well." he opens his briefcase, taking a file from it. For seconds the happiness of the news that they didn't find any of my prints on the marijuana overshadowed the impact of my recent discovery. But as I see Will flip through a similar folder as the one I just found brings all of that back and I have trouble to grasp the meaning of his next words.

"They have a witness who will testify that you are a dealer, Owen."

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