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Introduction:

The Day of Our Second Wedding
The night before our mothers separated us. They wanted the traditional wedding, well is traditional as could be considering we were married three days ago. I was not supposed see Kathryn until the end of the wedding ceremony, when I lifted her veil to kiss my bride.

Early morning Mom finds me exactly where she left me the night before; my eyes have not close longer than a blink. Mom says, “JJ you need a shower make it a long one. You want to be very clean on your wedding day. Don't dress in your tuxedo yet. Breakfast will be ready in an hour.”

As I reluctantly move from the window it's almost as if I can feel Kathryn having to do the same. I am thinking how I am going to survive when she's in the hospital nine months from now. What if they don't let me stay in her room? Kathryn will not be able to sleep unless they drug her. Maybe we can use a midwife instead of the hospital, or find a hospital that allows family to stay in the room. Well we got eight months and twenty-six days to figure it out.

I wonder if Kathryn is worried about the very same thing right now, are we that closely connected, I hope so. I love the closeness we have. The truth is I would not give it up for anything or anyone, even if it does come with drawbacks like not being able to sleep without her. I love the benefits that our connection gives us.

I start the water in the shower just like I always do, when I step in I realized Kathryn always turns it a little warmer. I reached over and readjust the water slightly warmer. Warm water rehydrates the dried juices and the smell sex makes me long for Kathryn, and gives me a hard on. It hasn't even been eight hours and I want to run across the street just to give her a kiss and tell her I love her.

I wash thoroughly making sure I get all the smell of sex off me. Just to make sure I wash twice, finishing with my hair. Once my shower is done I step out shave and dry off. I comb my hair in my usual fashion. I dress in boxers and a T-shirt and cargo shorts before heading down to breakfast.

Grandma giggles at me, “You look worse each time the two of you are separated.”

Managing the best smile I can and say, “It’s why I won't ever need a prenuptial with Kathryn. We would not survive, being separated that long would kill us. We’re just too addicted to each other.”

Laughing Mom says, "That's one reason the wedding will be held at eleven o'clock this morning.” We were thinking three in the afternoon, until we saw you guys last week. By three o'clock on the first day you to looked bad, but today you look awful already. We going to blindfold you two, then let you hug a minute just to see you through till eleven.

I really doubt she actually would let me and Kathryn in the same room, until the wedding is over. So I say, “You know I love to have Kathryn in my arms right now even ten seconds, the way we feel right now we couldn’t let go.” Mom’s face shows her disappointment that her joke didn't go over like she had hoped.

I plead with her, “Mom, don't play with me about this, but I really want to call my wife right now. Just hearing her voice should be enough.”

The phone rings, and before anyone can do anything, I have already jumped over to it. I pick it up and say, “Hi Kathryn!”

I hear Kathryn's beautiful voice coming over the phone, “Hi JJ my love."

Mom has a look of surprise at the difference in me, she asked, “Kathryn?”

I shoot Mom back a look that says, like it could be anyone else. I continue my conversation by saying, “I hate this I can't stand being without you.”

Giggling Kathryn says as she cuts me off, “Me too love. I miss you already I can hardly wait till eleven so I can be with you again.

Mom and Helen let us talk for fifteen minutes before breakfast is ready. Now much more relaxed Kathryn and I both reluctantly hang up to eat. Glancing at the clock we had three hours until the wedding, this will be almost as bad. I think it can be worse Kathryn it could be seven. It's almost like a sense her respond, "Then three hours is not so bad."

The following three hours had to be the longest in my life. I must have turned to look for Kathryn over a hundred times and reached for her hand twice as many times.

It seems to take me twice as long to do anything, but I'm ready at 10:30. Mom doesn’t want me to walk out for at least another twenty-five minutes. Laughingly she says, "I know you're in a hurry, but you don't have to look like you are. Besides that it's hot out there already you standing out there for half an hour you would be a sweaty mess for Kathryn.”

Mom is right of course. But as Fourth of Julies go it's a little cooler than normal which is fine with me the tuxedo is little warm on the best days. I'm glad it won't be too hard on the guest having to sit out there in the heat is bad enough. Fortunately this time in the morning it's only in the 80s and being cooler than normal low 80s, most people around here don't mind that.

Why is it when you want time to hurry it seems to slow down, during that 25 minutes that I spent waiting, seconds seemed as minutes, which made the minutes feel like hours. The whole time felt like a day apart from my love. I only hope Kathryn was still preoccupied and not suffering the same.

Eventually Mom comes for me, this is the first time she's ever give me any instructions on what she wanted to do today. Mom says, “JJ, walk down the foot of the dock, and wait there. The Coach is going to walk Kathryn from the boat house to you. Because you've already married he's going to hand her off to you and you going to walk the rest of the way to the end of the dock with Kathryn. On the end of the dock there's a podium the two of you walk hand-in-hand stepping to the music and stand before it. There the Judge will perform your marriage vows again. When Judge Thurgood is finished, Rev. Akins will perform the marriage vowels, Father McCoy, and then Parson Jenkins will also perform marriage vowels.

Now Mom laughs she says, “Your popularity has a price son, the three clergy insisted on marrying you too. So the Judge came up with the solution. This way you have one wedding day, with four ceremonies at the same time. It's much easier than trying to remember other than for you, all your anniversaries. Besides that you didn't have a Prenuptial this way, Kathryn would have to divorce you five times.”

I said, “We wouldn't survive the first divorce.

Mom says, "Get moving or you're going to be late for your own wedding.”

A deep breath and finally calm myself, Mom and I walk to my appointed spot complete with tape on the ground. I turned to the boat house as music stars it's the traditional wedding march. The doors open held by two groomsmen dressed in tuxedos. Coming up the door arm in arm are Kathryn sister Michelle and the groomsmen with her is Michael Junior, followed by Maria and Mark, Kara and Eddie, Karen and Matt, a friend from football, and Misty and Marshall are the last two. They all walk past me on their way to positions at the end of the dock. After Misty and Marshall have reached their spot the door opens again and out steps Michael senior and extremely beautiful Kathryn. Her wedding dress complements her figure given her an elegance that all can notice. Fortunately for me Mom is there with just enough support to keep me from toppling over. Kathryn’s beauty has again stunned me.

The audience notices my reaction giving a small laugh, but turn to see Kathryn and silence quickly falls over the crowd. Kathryn's beauty is truly radiant, an Angel walking among us. In her wedding dress she seems to float to me.

The Coach is as happy as I've ever seen a man; then again I don't have a mirror at this moment. He gently places Kathryn's hand in mine, and I turn and we begin the walk down the dock. We step in time to the music or we would run to the podium. I can tell both our hearts are pounding from the excitement in the moment. Now the seconds seemed like hours as we walk the thirty feet to the end of the dock. Several photographers and video cameramen are recording our every movement.

We reached the podium just as the music ends, the Judge steps up to the podium. He begins by welcoming everyone to our wedding. Just then a large cloud rolls over head and several people look upward on fear of rain. It seems to be just an ordinary cloud, not threatening rain but gives us some much appreciated shade.

Judge Thurgood begins the ceremony the same words were said to us heard in the courtroom only three short days ago. When Kathryn and I say, I do, the sky opens just enough to provide a single ray of sunlight around the podium. Judge smiled brightly, he stopped to ceremony just before saying you may kiss the bride. He takes a half step back, the next clergyman steps forward he began the wedding ceremony in the manner he normally performs. But he stopped short of allowing me to kiss the bride. The next two clergy do the same now all four stand side-by-side in the sunlight that seems to not have moved. In unison the four say, “You may now kiss the bride.”

As I lift her veil the sunlight strikes the rubies of her necklaces, they cast a warm red glow between us that turned out to be striking in the photographs. As Kathryn and I kiss the audience springs to their feet with a roar that echoes off the hillsides.

Kathryn and I are swamped as my sister-in-law's hug her and my brother-in-laws shake my hand vigorously follow by the clergy. The Judge finally scoots us on our way by saying, “Now go open the boat house I really want a slice of wedding cake.” Kathryn and I are pointed back up the dock and we walk hand-in-hand to the boat house. It's only then that I noticed that the pontoon boats line both sides of the dock in flowers mostly roses. Walking Kathryn back to the boat house as chaperones open the garage doors revealing our reception, tables and tables of food and drink of all kinds cover the boat house floor.

It's just now that I noticed how large the audience really is, it must be all most everyone from our small-town and surrounding area here today. Nearly 7,000 people crowd into the field below my house. It easily can handle it because it's over ten acres in area. The first thing you notice about the reception is the wedding cake is huge, but I wonder if it still enough for all in attendance. The kitchen area the boat house is a beehive of activity as caterers warm their dishes to be served next.

Folding chairs, picnic tables and blankets are spread out over the field as our reception is actually a picnic for all those in attendance. Kathryn and I are directed by our mothers to begin cutting the wedding cake as is tradition for the bride and groom gets the first two bytes. We're told to feed each other a mouth full. We don't make a mess of each other but Kathryn does get a little at the edge of my mouth, which she kisses away. That kiss seemed to have a hundred photos taken both by our friends and the photographers.

The next event, Kathryn throws her bouquet to the single women in attendance. Standing with her back to the crowd of marriageable single women, Kathryn tosses her bouquet into the air is caught by one of her friends from high school girl named Sherry Johnson. Sherry has an expression of surprise on her face that she caught the bouquet. Sherry is somewhat attractive she hasn't had a boyfriend for more than a week or two all through high school. Sherry and Kathryn have a couple pictures together as she returns the bouquet to Kathryn. Within five minutes I notice one of my friends from the football team finally got up the courage to talk to her. Walt has had a crush on her as long as I've known him. Who knows there may actually be something to that tradition.

We stand on the reception line what seems like forever as Kathryn and I greet many those in attendance. Many were at the first wedding; some said they were stuck in the Hall others didn't even make it into the court house. We spend a long time greeting people, as they give their congratulations on our marriage. Kathryn and I eventually excuse ourselves to change in something a little cooler, walking into the house we find a few couples hanging around inside. As long as they respect my home I don't mind, many were waiting to greet us anyway saying they had to leave shortly. Even at cooler temperatures the heat had gotten to some, especially those that never spent much time outside.

We change quickly in our bedroom not into what we normally would, but something appropriate for the occasion dress slacks and a lite shirt for me, and attract the summer dress for Kathryn. What many would wear to church on Sunday during this time of year.

There are a few more guests in the house waiting to say goodbye as we leave a couple younger girls giggling about something they seem in one the rooms. Apparently the little girls have to go to the bathroom and wandered into the bedroom someone was using. Kathryn and I go back to our room and check out the security cameras. There was in a master bedroom, the one currently being used by grandma are a couple engage in sex on the bed. A quick scan of the room and they're not the only two there, a line of men wait for a turn. There's a man at the end of the line not watching what that you are doing. When a new man comes in the one at the end of the line insist on money from him. He digs out twenty bucks from his wallet, and takes his place in the line.

That's just wrong using someone's home as a brothel on their wedding day. Kathryn wants to go kick their ass right now. I tell her we’ll get the cops to arrest them quietly.

The cops are here by the way. I know the Police Chief and several others from some of our charity work. The chief normally helps give out Christmas presents every year. He loves playing Santa and says it's a lot more fun now that we’re his top elves. Kathryn and I usually buy more Christmas presents for him to hand out than most of the county.

Walking through the crowd with Kathryn who is obviously upset, we find him pulling him over to the side we tell the chief was going on. We find Grandma helping at the kitchen of the boat house. We inform her, what her room is currently being used for to her surprise. Grandma is just as upset, as Kathryn. The Police Chief quickly rounds up one of his off-duty deputies and makes a quick call, a car on its way with the County Sheriff. The Police Chief and deputy will assist, but the Sheriff must make the arrest.

I showed the Chief the footage from my security cameras. It's more than enough evidence he says. I burned him a DVD, for evidence. Reviewing the security footage we find that the two have stolen a few items as well. The Sheriff soon arrives and the matters handled quietly. The gentlemen paying for the service are ticketed and given court dates and the prostitute and pimp arrested and taken away to the County jail to wait bail on the fifth.

The party continues on without much to interrupt everyone's good time. A few people quickly left after the cops showed up. They were the exception to the rule. After lunch is served, an area in the boat house is converted into a dance floor. Several tables still have food and drinks but the majority of them had been cleared away. Kathryn and I spent a lot of time dancing together. Those dance lessons seem to have paid off. We do the tango and get a standing ovation.

Now as the sun was still high in the sky and the day truly entering its full heat, many of our guests leave either for someplace cool or just go home to ready themselves for the fireworks tonight. Kathryn and I walk around our meadow gatherings trash so we will not have to do it later.

I hear soft crying coming from an area brush around a few trees at the edge of the meadow. Setting down the trash bag I move closer to investigate, with her back against the tree a young girl maybe four or five cry softly. I start to wave Kathryn over only to find her at my shoulder. Seeing the girl Kathryn immediately walks to her. Kathryn bending down to see her more closely, perhaps someone we recognize. The child is unknown to us; neither Kathryn nor I have seen her before. I softly ask the girl, “Princess what is your name?”

The young girl looks up, her eyes wide and wild with fear before she can rise Kathryn place is a gentle hand on her shoulder. The young girl's stutters, “Sam, Samantha, my name is Samantha Sheridan.”

It takes a few minutes of gently coaching Samantha the find her mother went to our house earlier today with her boyfriend. She said should be back in just a little, but never come back. Kathryn and I look at each other the only person that sounds like would be the prostitute that was arrested today.

Kathryn and I stopped our cleaning duties to help Samantha, who insists on being called Sam. "So Sam are you hungry?” I ask. To which I get a hesitant nod yes.

“What would you like to eat today Princess Sam?” I gently ask.

Sam's reply is a loud growling of her stomach as she says, "Chicken."

I couldn't help but notice a few belt marks on the child's legs before I ask, “I hope there's some left but we will have to go check. Could you help me check on that Princess Sam?"

She shakes her head no before she nearly whispers, “I can't leave. If I do I'll be punished.”

I notice Kathryn stiffens and but she still managed to gently ask, “Princess Sam, who would punish you for getting something to eat?”

Looking down at her feet Sam says, “Mom's boyfriend, he doesn't like it when he has to come to find me."

I gently ask, “Princess Sam what does mommy's boyfriend look like?” I'm afraid to many questions and Sam will stop answering or even talking to us. Thankfully Sam does answer this one. You don't need to be a psychic to know he matched the description of the pimp to the last detail.

I tell Sam, “Princess he did something bad and the police took him to jail.”

For the first time during our conversation Sam expression changes, for a moment the fear is gone to be replaced by not anger or panic but by hope. Sam asks, “The cops got Lester?”

I answer, “He look just like you described even to what he was wearing so. Yes.”

Now there's a big ray of hope shining for Sam, “The cops did they get Mommy?”

I'm not really sure what to do. I am sure I will never hurt her; I don't want to lie to her. Sooner or later lies hurt, the truth can hurt too. You never lose trust in someone who tells you a truth that is painful. You may not believe it at first but eventually you’re grateful being told. As gently as I can I tell Sam, “There was a woman with him when they took them away together. But I'm not absolutely sure Sam. I've never met your mother before. Can we go look for her? We may find you some chicken when we're looking for your Mommy.”

Sam holds on to that hope, her stomach growls again, as she looks into Kathryn’s face and says, “You’re pretty. If I don't find my mommy could you be my mommy?” Kathryn immediately scoops up Sam into her arms.

We start walking towards the kitchen of the boat house grandma and several other people are still there. There several people still gathering trash around the yard, some are family some are friends. As Kathryn I walk into the boat house a few follow seeing Kathryn holding the young girl. Kathryn sets her down at one of the last tables. I placed my hand on Kathryn shoulder and she sets down beside Sam. If I hadn't done that she would've got up and found some chicken somewhere. I walk over to grandma and ask, “Is there any chicken here? Our young friend here is very hungry. We’re going to look for her mother as she eats.” I say that loud enough that Sam can hear.

I glance over my shoulder and Kathryn is taking Sam to the restroom. The poor girl probably was suffering to afraid to go to the bathroom. I did get several looks and a plate of chicken with some of the sides is quickly presented to me.

I walked back over to where they were setting and wait for them to return. In few minutes a more relaxed Sam comes back with Kathryn. Both have clean hands and are ready-to-eat. When they sit down I slide the plate in front of Sam. I'm not sure but Sam obviously has never had fried chicken this way, she picks up a whole breast and bit into it. The way she bit into it she got part of the bones in her bite. She pulls off her mouth looks at it very confused. Obviously only thing she's ever had her life are chicken nuggets.

Kathryn giggles and takes another fried chicken breast. She begins pulling off the meat showing Sam how to eat it. Sam only takes a second to copy what Kathryn is doing. I let the two of them eat. I walk away once I spot Marshall and Misty and the Judge. I quietly explain about Sam, and we need to look through the house just to ensure there's not a woman there. I also explained about the two people I had arrested earlier today.

The Judge is a little bit more than upset, and I can understand it's coming from the parent site of him more than the judge side. Judge Thurgood makes a few phone calls, first is to the County jail. He asked about the woman there and is informed that she's out cold possibly drunk or on some narcotic. The Judge orders them to take her to the hospital for blood work and observation. His next call is to child protective services and they're going to send a caseworker out here as soon as possible.

By the time the Judges finished we have search the house and no one is missing a child. I do have to ask another couple to leave. I also have our sisters and the coach help maintain the situation in the house. I have them go by the boat house and see Sam maybe one of them recognize her and knows her mother.

After Sam finishes eating and getting a large glass of milk, she's curled up into Kathryn’s lap and has promptly fallen asleep, but still holds to Kathryn. Everyone around agrees Sam is a little Angel, but no one knows who her mother might be. Kathryn is becoming more protective by the second and seeing the two of them together I know she'll be a great mother.

I pulled the Judge over to the side and tell him what Sam asked for, if Kathryn could be her mommy if we couldn’t find hers. I tell we’ll make all efforts to find the girl’s mother. But if possible could Samantha remain here until we do. The Judge tells me; don't count on child services showing up before tomorrow.

We search to grounds and locate an abandoned vehicle with out-of-state plates, looking in the backseat a notice Mom's jewelry box have hidden under some clothing. We go to my room and replay the security footage from Mom's room. Shortly after eleven we see the to come in and go through Mom's jewelry box and take the whole thing wrapping it up in clothing from her closet they disappear outer door. He takes it outside, as she rummages through the other master bedrooms. She just finished going through grandma's room when he finds her, he has two clients with him. She immediately strips and she begins to service the two. More and more men show up as each finish and leave.

The Judge asked me about how much you think the jewelry in Mom's jewelry box would cost. I tell him, “I purchased most the jewelry for Christmas and birthdays presence, somewhere between seventy and seventy-five thousand dollars.”

Judge Thurgood states, “That’s enough to make it felony grand theft against the two with the video evidence there's not much chance they'll ever get off. Let's not forget the abandoned and endangered their child, to commit a crime.”

I inform the Judge, “You should see the welts on the poor child's legs.” I explained to him, “When I first found Sam she was sitting with her back against a tree and her skirt is come down to the top of her thighs and she was crying. When she saw me she moved her legs and hides the welts under her skirt."

The Judge says flatly, “JJ, call the Sheriff again and tell them about the jury box. Show them the welts on the child's legs. You never talked about this to me at all. If I knew anything I would have to accuse myself and move it to a different county for trial.”

I say, “I do believe you have departed ten minutes ago. Theoretically, a judge being able to witness to this would make the case a whole lot stronger.”

Marshall says, “I know you are tempted to throw the book at them, but don't give them a loophole to get out of this scot free.”

Judge Thurgood chuckles, “It's just too tempting, I would love to put these people in jail for thirty years for just leaving that little girl out there in the heat all day, if it been a little hotter today the poor child could have died.”

Marshall says, “You always can get Judge Shimon, she's the hardest on child neglect and abuse cases.”

The Judge chuckles, “With my testimony and the video footage those two are going up the river until there is no river.”

I'll go call the Sheriff to get him back out here. I will make a DVD showing them taking the jewelry box for the evidence. When I was in my room I got my camera to photograph Sam's injuries.

Just as I'm ready to leave Kathryn shows up with a sleeping Sam in her arms. Kathryn whispers, “Sam won't let go, Mom tried to take her but she wouldn't let go. Mom said, then lay down with her maybe she'll let go of me then.”

Helen, Mom, Alyssa, Grandma, Misty, Joan and the rest of Kathryn's sisters slowly and quietly come up the stairs. They’re very quiet as Kathryn begins to lay back with Sam carefully lying down holding the girl to her chest. I help Kathryn lay down with Samantha, supporting Kathryn so she can gently recline. I whisper, “I'm going to take some pictures of those welts on her legs if I can.”

I raise that young girl skirt up over her thighs displaying the welts there. They are probably a day old. I move the dress completely out of the way I notice there are newer ones on her lower back. I take several pictures of Sam this way. When I finish with the camera, I go to the bathroom to get some antiseptic cream the place on the welts to help them heal hopefully without scarring. Everyone can see why I was taking photos once a step away. There's more than one look of hatred come across the family’s faces. Whoever has hurt this child has made several enemies, and I'm damn sure I am one of them.

The Judge was wrong about one thing child protective services did show up, it's at that moment as I returned with the antiseptic cream that they walk into the room led by Michael senior and the Judge.

The look of total outrage on the two men's faces I can understand, I feel that way myself. The look of indifference on the child protective service worker I'll never be able to comprehend. I don't think I could work at a job like that if it left me numb to the suffering of a child.

Child protective services worker, going by Ms. Clark, stops me from giving first aid. That child needs to go to the emergency room at the hospital. I will not be able to do anything until we have a doctor's report. I gently bring the dress back in the place, even in her sleep Sam moans from pain.

I inform Ms. Clark, “Samantha won't let go of Kathryn.” We’ll take her to the hospital, or we can call an ambulance. Which is better?”

Ms. Clark says, “You would be so kind to take her to the hospital I will follow you. Officially I can’t ask you to remain with the child. But your presence may help; already she seems to bond with you.”

Judge Thurgood suggests, “If you and CPS have no qualms with this, could I get Mr. and Mrs. Meyer a temporary custody of Samantha until permanent custody can be determined.”

Ms. Clark says, “Mrs. Meyer seems to be quite young herself, would she get assistance from her family?”

I guess Ms. Clark miss the rest of the family when she came in. Mom clears her throat, as Ms. Clark turns around and takes in the rest of the family. Mom says, “I'll speak for everyone here and say, yes.”

Ms. Clark says to the Judge, “I don't see any problem at the moment with that. Given the fact she will have no shortage of assistance.”

I carefully help Kathryn up and we support Samantha as best we can. The Sheriff arrives and Mom pointed to the car with her jewelry box. She says, “I'll take care of this you two go ahead and I'll be there shortly.”

Misty, Kara, and Karen ride with the two of us as we take Samantha to the emergency room. Kathryn reclines in the middle seat holding the child to her chest. We drive carefully to the hospital Ms. Clark following us, Helen follows Ms. Clark and the rest of the Edward girls come with her. Mom arrives about half an hour after. A little less than an hour the Judge shows up with his order for temporary custody.

The Judge also gives us the bad news, the woman we thought was her mother isn't. The doctors had just had given him the blood tests confirmed both blood types in the little girl cannot be the daughter of the woman who was arrested.

That means that little girl was abandoned and her mother never returned for her. We checked every room in the house, and no one knew anything about Samantha. Another possibility is the woman had stolen the little girl, and Sam knew her as her mother even though she wasn't. I got a feeling the story is a little more complicated than just a simple abandonment.

Samantha's voice cut the silence that had filled the emergency room, “NO DON'T TAKE MY NEW MOMMY AWAY. NO! MY OLD MOMMY IS BAD SHE LET HIM HURT ME. DON'T MAKE HER GO!

I explained to the Judge, "Samantha had said her mommy's boyfriend had punished her. Samantha's description of her mommy's boyfriend matched the pimp. Either that woman still is here who Samantha calls her old mommy. Or some woman now in hiding that we don't know or haven't seen on the videos. The only woman we saw with him is her."

Judge Thurgood says, “Once this exam is over, we will have Samantha give a description of her mommy. If they match that woman I'll have charges brought up on child neglect and endangerment. If she can't prove custodial ship of Samantha I'll see about extending your temporary custody. It will require several visits from Ms. Clark.”

I tell the Judge, “I would hate to think someone would willingly give that woman custody of a child. I'm afraid that Samantha’s real mother is out there somewhere looking for her. I'd hate to have lost that little girl; I know there's nothing under the sun that would stop me looking for her if I had.”

Smiling to Judge says, “Why do you think I am so willing to give an eighteen-year-old custody of a four-year-old girl? Because JJ you're a better man than most people that I know.”

Michelle Collins says “You won't believe how hard it is to find you some days. I was interviewing some people in town, when I heard about you finding the little girl as you were cleaning up after your party. You know how few billionaires even know how to pick up after themselves? When my photographers were still taking some photographs when one spotted you cleaning up after the party, Cissy has a dozen photographs of you actually working. Then she said you went into the brush in about five minutes later you come out with a pretty little girl.”

I laugh as an idea pops in my head. Then I look at a confused reporter and asked, “How would you like to help me come running to the rescue? I need a good investigator to help me find out who this will girl's mother really is. Course you're not going to be doing it alone. For legal help we have the Judge here, and the law firm back in Los Angeles.”

Michelle looks at me, with that what did I get myself into expression before she asked, “What do you need?”

Judge Thurgood thinking like I am says, "First we figure out, who’s sleeping beauty over there is. Then find out what happened or how it happened that put that little girl in her hands."

I continue, “Michelle Collins here can have the magazines research people track that down probably faster than anyone else on the planet. Sell it to your boss as a human interest story. Or you can just do some independent work for me.”

The Police Chief comes in carrying a folder. The fingerprints had come back, and her boyfriend had numerous outstanding warrants in at least three states. He'll spend the next two years on trial. Apparently she's also as wanted as he is she has several outstanding warrants as well. The two will stand trial here then be extradited to stand trial elsewhere. They had no information on Samantha. Nicole Smith is the woman's name; they are still trying to retrieve more information on her. There's very little in the system other than her outstanding warrants.”

The Judge shares with this what information he can, which is little more than her name, his name and their last known address. Michelle giggles, “With that my research people can give you more information on her in ten minutes then law enforcement could over three days. But they won't be in until tomorrow morning.”

I say, "The only problem I have is Kathryn is becoming more attached to Sam, and Sam is becoming more attached to Kathryn every second. I hate to see the two of them hurt. I know what it is like if she was my daughter, and I was trying to look for her. Every second apart would be agony.”

Just then Sam's voice again cuts the quiet, “Mommy it hurts!”

You hear the doctor’s mumbled voice, “Tried to hold still Princess Sam. It will be over real soon. I know it stings a little. It will make you feel much better.”

We get a glance through the door. His gloved hand is applying a medicine to Sam's back and Sam lies nude on an exam table. Although the glance was brief it will remain a painful memory for me. There are many welts across Sam's lower back, buttocks and legs. Judge Thurgood and Michelle see this as well.

Michelle says, “I will text a friend of mine who's on the research division at the magazine. When I tell her what it's about I'm sure she'll help."

Michelle sends an e-mail using her blackberry to her friend. Michelle describes a situation to her friend including sending a picture of Sam as the doctor treated her. Within a few minutes Michelle gets a phone call back. Michelle's friend informs her, she will have the information within the hour.

As a doctor walk by the Judge ask him about Nicole, he informs him that the drug screens have come back and she's on several illegal drugs at the moment. Their little concerned about the amount in her system and they have her connected to numerous IVs trying to flush her system. They have evacuated her stomach with a pump and several balloons of drugs were found, along with several damaged balloons. It looks like she was smuggling drugs in her stomach and several balloons burst. There's a bruise on her stomach where she was struck.

The Judge calls back to the County jail and asks if there were an incident with the girl. The on-duty officer informs the Judge, “She seemed to be just a little high until her boyfriend struck her in the stomach as they were being in processed. Their restraints were removed to obtain the fingerprints. It's at this point he punched her in the stomach. We have videotape of it."

It's at this moment her vitals cease, and several doctors and nurses attempt to revive her. It doesn't go well, after fifteen minutes of trying they call the time of death at just about 6:45 PM.

Judge Thurgood called the DA, he informed them of the two circumstances, the incident at the jail which was caught on videotape. The woman he struck just passing away from a massive drug overdose. He continued informing what the doctor found. The Judge said he's going to accuse himself due to the fact he witnessed so much of the events. He was willing to be a witness for the prosecution in the upcoming trial.

The Judge called the chief of police who came to gather the evidence from the doctors.

This is given enough time for Michelle's friend to gather the information from several news sources and other methods. The obituaries of her father, mother and grandmother provided the most information.

Nicole was actually Sam's aunt, half-sister to her biological mother. Although they never spend any time together growing up. Sam's grandfather had divorced her grandmother while her mother Nancy was still young. He remarried but then divorced again. Nicole had grown up without a father in her life. Nicole had been Sam's last living relative, her grandmother dying just recently, her mother and father both where the military and died in action on the same day. Sam was their only child. She had been living with her grandmother only six months when she died. Less than a week ago her aunt had taken custody of Sam.

I wonder if Nicole's death actually is good for Sam. Nicole possibly could've been a good mother if she had changed her life for Samantha. It seems she was unwilling to do that, or give up her boyfriend who used her as a prostitute. What I hate most about him is the fact he is the one who punished Sam in such a way that it was abusive. I don't feel badly about her no longer being able to take care of Sam. She obviously had done a very poor job so far of protecting Sam. Any chance she had to straighten her life up was taken away from her. I can't help but feel sorry for her because of that.
12 comments

anonymous readerReport

2013-06-20 14:51:49
Love this story and protective father series u should publish this as an actual book man great work and btw belizelarry shut up and deal with it no one made you read the story i loved it and so did his other readers so if u want it completely proof read then copy it and fix it urself and read it i for one liked the story the way it is -_-

anonymous readerReport

2013-01-22 19:31:52
This is a gorgeous weiddng set. I love all the emotions you captured so perfectly. The composition is dead on and the rich and clean and airy post processing matches the mood of the weiddng perfectly.

anonymous readerReport

2012-11-18 18:43:11
vowels are a,e,i,o,u what you hear at a wedding are vows.

anonymous readerReport

2012-08-17 23:24:58
More soon and love all your stories.

anonymous readerReport

2012-08-17 16:54:33
awesome, i have been glued to this story for 2 days now and can't wait for more. keep em coming.

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