“Daisy after court is over I’ll pick you up. You are going to spend the night with Mrs. Ellie. I have my date with Georgia and I’m not sure how late it will go,” Jordan explained, helping her hand up her jacket and backpack in her cubby at daycare.
“Okay, Uncle Jordan. I like Miss Georgia. She gave me a new book,” Daisy replied, and he smiled. Earlier in the week, Georgia sent her a signed copy of book seven. Daisy screamed when he showed her the book.
“I’m glad to hear. My jaguar really likes her,” he shared and Daisy laughed.
“Your jaguar purrs when she is around,” Daisy pointed out.
“Yes, thank you for your observation. Please be good for Miss Hillary and look out for Liam,” he reminded her.
“I’ll be good I promise. Liam and I are going fairy hunting.” Daisy hugged him and ran off to play with Liam in the dress-up area. He watched for a minute before Hillary tapped him on the arm.
“She seems happier,” Hillary commented, leaning into his side. Jordan did his best not to be rude and stepped back.
“We had a nice long weekend. Please let me know if she gets upset like before,” Jordan replied and left to head to court.
Today would be the end of Ellie’s trail. Closing remarks would be shared then the jurors would deliberate. Getting into his car, he texted Georgia good morning. Since their meeting almost a week ago, he’d been texting her good morning every day.
Good morning Jordan. Good luck today. I can’t wait for our date. He smiled at her text and drove to the courthouse. Once parked he sent back another text.
I can’t wait for tonight. Have fun writing today. I hope the HVAC company gets out to you soon.
They should be here in an hour.
Good to hear. See you tonight. Jordan turned his phone off and pocketed it. Cellphones were not allowed inside. The days he had court always stressed him out. If something happened to Daisy while his phone was off, it would kill him.
“Jordan!” Ellie called waving her hand from across the parking lot when he stepped out of his car. He grabbed his briefcase and smiled at Ellie.
“Hello Ellie, Marcus. Ready for this to be over?” he asked once they were within speaking distance.
“Very ready. I’m grateful for Beth being in town to watch AVa,” Ellie answered, walking over holding Marcus’ hand.
“Today is the end,” Jordan assured her.
“I hear today is an exciting day for you too.” Ellie gave him a bright smile and Jordan frowned.
“Your date with Georgia!” Ellie declared with a gleeful look on her face.
“I know. You are watching Daisy overnight for me. I’m nervous I’ll do something wrong on our date,” he admitted walking them into the courthouse.
“You two are mates and Georgia held her own against Josie last night.” Jordan raised an eyebrow at her.
“Josie was being her normal protective self and Georgia put her in her place,” Ellie explained when he said nothing.
“Georgia mentioned something about that last night when we talked. Should I talk to Josie?” he asked, wondering if he needed to be more direct with her.
“No. Georgia did the right thing,” Ellie answered. Suddenly her bright smile vanished, and Marcus growled. Jordan followed her line of sight and saw William being brought into the courtroom. He wore the traditional orange inmate jumpsuit. They had cuffed his hands and feet.
“Don’t pay him any attention. Right now, focus on the ending today. I’ll share my last remarks, then his lawyer will go and I’ll offer a rebuttal. After that, the jury leaves to deliberate and decide William’s fate,” he explained and motioned for them to sit on a bench. They would wait until a clerk let them know the judge was ready to begin. Jordan watched as Peter and Troy Whittman walked over.
“What are you two doing here?” he asked the twins.
“We came to give our support. We both testified along with Rhett, Cander, Sheriff Ling, and Ellie. I for one want to see the man rot in jail,” Troy explained. Jordan saw he still bore a limp from the attack.
“How is the leg?” Jordan asked and Troy grimaced.
“My physical therapist isn’t hopeful I’ll regain my full amount of movement. I’m looking dor another one with different techniques. I’m ready to be back to my normal self.”
“It doesn’t help our mom has been fussing over him. She’s at a loss since Tessa moved away to college,” Peter added and Jordan laughed.
“What year is she now?”
“Second semester of her sophomore year. She’s our half-sister,” Troy explained.
“I don’t think I’ve met Tessa,” Ellie commented. Jordan was grateful for the conversation, it took her mind off William and her case.
“She’s ten years yonder than us. We left for the Marines when she was eight. We love her but we don’t get to spend much time with her outside family occasions,” Peter explained.
“Makes sense. I have three half brothers. I haven’t seen them since I turned eighteen,” Ellie shared and Jordan sensed she was conflicted over how she should feel over not seeing her family.
“Jordan, they are ready for you,” a clerk announced, opening the door to the courtroom.
“No one talks,” he ordered looking at Troy and Peter. Peter zipped his lips and Jordan gave him an extra stare.
“I promise,” Peter added and Jordan nodded once more and led the way into the courtroom.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. You’ve heard several days worth of testimony My client William McPhearson is innocent of all crimes accused of him. Sheila contacted him for his help dealing with Eloise Zephyr. She wanted Marcus for her own. You have the evidence he was used for his skills and never meant any harm towards her,” Lester Browne ended his closing remarks and sat down. Jordan stood, straightened his jacket, and addressed the jury.
“Ladies and gentlemen, my colleague would have you think William is an innocent bystander. Let me remind you of his notes and gifts to Mrs. Zephyr when she was in high school and college. Sheila did not attack Troy Whittman when Marcus and his team were performing their rescue mission. He left Troy Whittman with almost certain permanent damage. He left another man dead for attacking Mrs. Zephyr at her place of work. Eloise and Marcus were already mated when the two men kidnapped Eloise and took her to William’s cabin in the woods. Please take into consideration the evidence presented to you over these days and find Mr. McPhearson guilty to the crimes brought against him. Thank you.” Jordan gave a small bow of his head and sat down.
“You’ve heard from both sides. Please follow the bailiff out to deliberate your decision. Do not take lightly your job as jurors,” Judge McWilliam put to the jury as they filed out of the courtroom.
“Now we wait,” Jordan announced to Ellie and Marcus. He prayed this would be the end and William would be given the punishment he deserved.
The wait wasn’t long, about two hours.
“Are they done?” Ellie whispered when the jurors filed back into the court.
“Yes,” he replied watching for any sign they’d decided in their favor.
“Have you made a decision?” Judge McWilliam asked once everyone was seated.
“Yes, Your Honor. We have come to a unanimous decision. We have found the defendant William McPhearson guilty on all accounts,” the head juror announced. Jordan sighed in relief as it was finally over a year later.
“William McPhearson you are hereby found guilty on the charges of kidnapping, assault, and murder in the first degree. I sentence you to life in prison without the chance for parole.” Judge McWilliam banged his gavel and the case was over. Jordan waited for William to be removed from the courtroom before speaking.
“See you next time Mr. Howard,” Judge McWilliam said and left.
“We can leave now,” he told Ellie and Marcus. Ellie gave him a watery smile and they left. AS soon as they exited the courtroom Jordan turned on his phone. He saw it was almost one pm.
“Can we take you to lunch?” Marcus offered and he nodded.
“I need to pick Daisy up around two,” Jordan answered and before he could stop himself he texted Georgia.
My case is over and we won!
Congratulations! We can celebrate on our date. Jordan smiled at her response.
“How is Georgia?” Ellie teased when he tucked his phone away.
“Just fine. Please don’t be nosey too. I can sense she has some misunderstandings about becoming mates. We will take this at our own pace,” he explained and Ellie nodded laughing at him.
“I’ll be nice,” she promised and leaned into Marcus’ touch.
“Where to lunch?” Marcus asked, turning their conversation to something else.
“How about The Diner?” Jordan suggested. His friend Declan inherited the place from his parents last year.
“Mmm, I love Declan’s cooking,” Elli gushed.
“The Diner it is,” Marcus agreed and they went to their cars. Jordan took the five-minute drive to think about his mate. Georgia was always on his mind and a soft smile came to his lips.
“Jordan!” Declan called as he along with Ellie and Marcus walked in. Declan was a tall man with ebony skin. He’d gone to culinary school and worked for several Michelin star restaurants before coming back home last year. Jordan helped with the legal paperwork to make The Diner officially Declan’s.
“Hi Declan, how is business?” Jordan asked, settling at a booth.
“Booming!” he replied, coming over to take their order.
“Good to see you, Marcus. I know you usually go to Joe’s.”
“We are treating Jordan for winning Ellie’s case,” Marcus explained.
“Congratulations!” Declan clapped him on the shoulder and proceeded to ask.
“What can I get you?”
“The special for me,” Marcus replied, closing his menu.
“I’ll get the turkey club sandwich,” Ellie answered, closing and handing her menu to Marcus.
“I’ll get my usual chicken pot pie,” Jordan replied handing his menu to Declan.
“Coming right up. How’s my Daisy doing?” Declan asked handing his order off to a waiter passing by.
“She is doing well. Her favorite author did a reading at the library last Saturday and she got two signed books,” Jordan shared and Declan laughed.
“That girl has a way with people even at four. I’ve got to go help in the kitchen. Bring Daisy by so I can spoil her.” Declan left with a wave and Ellie turned her chocolate eyes onto him.
“What?” Jordan asked leaning back in the booth.
“You make friends wherever you go. Declan didn’t know you a year ago and now he is spoiling Daisy,” Ellie commented with a smile.
“That is all Daisy. She’s an infectious personality.” Jordan enjoyed talking to people and helping others. It was why he went to college to become a lawyer in the first place.
“I don’t know your family but you are easy to talk to,” Ellie remarked sipping her soda.
“My brother was the charismatic one growing up.”
“Was?” Marcus asked and Jordan frowned.
“Scott is two years older than me and has been in jail for the past three years for drug possession.”
“I’m sorry.” Ellie patted his hand and Jordan shrugged.
“We lost touch around the time I graduated from college. I’m happy being Daisy’s uncle.” Jordan ended the conversation and they settled into their meals when they arrived talking about Daisy and Ava.