Chapter 51 Bad News

I’m out for my morning run, when I get an eery feeling.  I slow down and look behind me, but see nothing.

I keep jogging and then hear a crash behind me. I stop suddenly and swing around.  It’s only a cat jumping out of a trash can and knocking it down. “God, I’m so paranoid.”, I say to myself out loud. I laugh with relief and contine on.

Not noticing the shadow behind the house I just passed. I finish my run and walk into the house, “Rob! I’m back. You won’t believe what happened while I was running. I’m sure a scaredy cat!”, I laugh and tell him the story. “I want you to either run on the treadmill for now or at least take one of the security guys with  you”, he says seriously.  “What? Are you serious? Why?”, I ask.  “I just got off the phone with the police department.

They have been getting reports of a man sneaking around houses and trying to peer in windows. Some things have been disappearing from people’s yards too.  It’s probably nothing, probably just some homeless guy, but I don’t want to take any chances.”, he says.

Rob goes into the backyard, he’s installing new locks on the fence. The girls play out there all the time and we want to keep them safe. We start keeping an even closer eye on the girls and make sure the boys stay together when they go back and forth to school and work.  We don’t want to completely put them on lock down, they will be young adults soon and need to be able to take care of themselves.

I become a complete mess again, I’m constantly checking up on everyone. I call Merri and Robyn at least once a day. I’ve started popping in at the store while the boys are working. I’m so paranoid that something is going to happen to one of the kids, it’s not healthy. I can’t let go of the feeling that Moe is back and he’s out there just waiting for an opportunity to hurt me again. I check and recheck all the locks on the doors and windows.

I keep scanning the newspapers and watching the mail. There are only a few more days that Lauren has to advertise for Moe.  I know Chad wants to adopt Lance, but I feel like we are playing with fire.  I check the mail and notice an envelope with an official looking seal on it.

My heart drops, I quickly open it up,  it’s a subpeona for dna testing from the Court house in Lucky Palms. I drop the paper and scream. Rob runs out of the house and yells, “What’s wrong? Are you ok?”.  I cry into my hands and can’t answer him.

He notices the paper on the ground and picks it up.  He quickly reads it and his face goes white.  He puts his arm around me and pulls me into the house.

The girls come running in from the backyard, “What’s wrong, Mommy? Did you hurt yourself? We heard you scream!”, they say almost in unison.  “Mommy’s ok girls, run back out and play.”, Rob says to them.  They take back off into the yard busy with little girl things.

Rob and I sit on the couch and just stare at each other.  Suddenly, we hear a knock on the door.  I jump and Rob runs to the door.  He peers through the window and opens the door. It’s Lauren, she’s been crying. She has a paper in her hand also.  “How can he do this?  He should be in jail, not petitioning for DNA testing. He knows Lance is his, why is he trying to torture us even more!”, she crys.

Rob pulls her to the couch and gets her to sit down, “Where is Lance and Chad?”, he asks.  “Chad took Lance to the park this morning.  They should be back any time, I just checked the mail and had to come over when I seen this. It isn’t right. He should have no rights to any of these children.”, she says.  ‘Rob, how could he file this when he has warrents for his arrest in Barnacle Bay? It doesn’t make any sense. He should have gone straight to jail.  Does  this mean that he really is in Lucky Palms?”, I ask. “I would say that yes, he is here in Lucky Palms and he has either found a dishonest judge or LP doesn’t recognize the warrents from Barnacle Bay. They are from the local PD, so that could be the problem.  Don’t worry, I’ll get to the bottom of this. I’m going downtown as soon as Chad gets back. He can stay with you all, while I go.”, Rob says. A few moments later, Chad comes rushing over and pounds on the door. “Rob, Merrilee!! Lauren isn’t home.  Open the door!”, he yells.  Rob rushes to the door and lets him in, “It’s ok, she’s here. You better sit down because we have some bad news.”

Rob fills him in on what we know so far and then heads down to the courthouse. I run after Rob, “I want to come too, I need to tell them how wrong this is”, I say. He agrees, but tells me to let him do the talking.

We walk into the courthouse and ask where Judge Cole’s office is.  The receptionist points us in the direction and hurridly answers the ringing telephone.  We walk down the hallway and knock on the door.

“Come in, it’s open”, we hear a loud voice yell. A large man sits behind a small desk. He pounds on the computer and slams down his phone.  “I’m here about some papers we receieved in the mail today.”, Rob starts off.

He hands Judge Cole the papers. “Yea, so. Everything looks in order. You need to present the child to the hospital for DNA testing.  Nothing confusing about that.”, he says smartly.  “Well, the problem is that this man kidnapped my wife, raped her and left her for dead. Now he wants to claim that her children are his? I don’t think so. He has numerous outstanding warrants. I want to know why he wasn’t arrested immediately.”, Rob says. Judge Cole looks startled, he taps on his computer and says, “Well, Mr…. um, Land,  you are in Lucky Palms now and not Barnacle Bay. Those orders hold no truth outside of their jurisdiction.”

Rob is starting to loose his temper and he leans on the desk and looks Judge Cole in the eye, “I think you should look into this some more. He also is guilty of kidnapping my daughter, holding myself and my wife hostage for years, deceiving and lying to another daughter.  This man is evil and has been out to hurt my family for years.  Call the Chief of Police in BB and talk to him. I think you will reconsider.”

“Don’t threaten me young man.  I run this town and will do whatever I think is right. You will be arrested if you don’t back down right now.”, Judge Cole says. Rob’s so mad, he is shaking so I touch his arm.  “Sir, you don’t understand. He has done everything in the past to terrorize our  family.  I have 7 children and 1 Grandchild, we all moved here to start fresh and get away from him.  We love it here in LP, but we can’t stay if our children are threatened by Moe. Please, sir understand that we just want to live here and contribute to this town. We bought the Grocery store right after we moved in, the previous owners were going bankrupt.  We gave them more than asking price, just to help them out.  We’ve also bought the park around the corner from our house. We have upgraded it and made it really nice for people to visit now.  We want to have roots here, we love this town. Please!”, I plead with this man.

“Oh, I see how you are. You rich celebrity types think you can throw your money around and get everything you want. Not gonna happen here.  Now, it’s time for my lunch, if you will escort yourself out.”, he says. He pushes himself away from the desk and up from his chair.

“I didn’t mean it that way, I was just trying to show that we want to live here and help the community!”, I say.  He doesn’t even notice as he waddles down the hall, apparently to the cafeteria.  “Come on Merrilee, it’s no use. We will have to contact an attorney. There’s no way that we are submitting our kids to this and neither is Lauren.”, Rob says.

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