I sat there in my seat with my elbows on my knees after hearing the verdict and sentence. The guards came to read my sire, my father his reprimands and statues before cuffing him. I heard Pandora, my sire-mother, yelling and screaming and Marius yelling back to her. Lestat stood there and when they turned Marius around he wrapped him a hug. I couldn’t even look at him. If I had I would have broken down.
The High Council came in and sat at their respective chairs. Chancellor Gray shook her head once at our David and I knew. I just knew. I stood up and placed my hands flat onto the bulletproof glass that separated me from the forum; from him. He looked up to me and smiled his usual smile, one that always made me feel like we could face anything. My eyes started to rim with tears that I fought so hard to blink away. They asked all parties to stand, and Chancellor Grimm read the verdict and sentence.
Counselor Windsor was first at bat with Va’lis. I knew this was a huge gamble on our part. We all know how volatile Va’lis can be. None the less, here we go.
I decided to leave Natasha up at the box to continue questioning Va’lis so that he’s prepared for every possible question they might throw at him. As they sworn in Carrie, she seemed strong… undoubtedly gaining some strength from her sister’s encouraging words. Counselor Windsor stood up but did not approach the witness.
Couns. Windsor: “I have nothing for this witness, Chancellors.”
Chancellor O’Connor: “And why is that, Counselor?”
Couns. Windsor: “She brings nothing useful to our case here today.”
Chancellor Gray: “But you are basing your charges against Mr. Romanus on the fact that she and Mrs. Romanus are, or rather were, rogues. How is it that she brings nothing to this case?”
Chancellor Grimm: “Counselor Windsor is within her rights. Duly noted.” *looks to Counselor Talbot* “Any cross examination from the defense?”
Couns. Talbot: *smiles* “For certain.”
I listened to what Natasha and David had to say, “Absolutely not. I actually want my husband to come home. If you put Va’lis up there he’ll blow up the minute Draco hollers anything at him. Then everything will go to pot. No. Hell no.”
Va’lis looked at me, “Let me do this Pand, I can keep it together at times you know. I know I can get them to see how we were tied together long before I was ever registered to this stupid Order.” I turned to him, “And that’s exactly what I mean, this “stupid Order” has been around for thousands of years. We respect it. We abide by it. To you, it’s just a joke.” He sat for a minute there thinking long and hard, shielding his thoughts from me.
On the way back to the others I caught carrie in a tight hug. “Be strong sister, I’m with you, do us proud.” I kissed her cheek and watched her go to the stand to take her place. As I entered the room with the others I Immidiately hugged Va’lis. I hate the man sometimes but when I’m strong for too long I need my sire’s arms. I then sat with Pandora and hugged her. “I hope what I said was enough.” Her smile told me I did them proud. That was enough for me, The door to the box opened to reveal Maharet. I jumped into her arms immidiately, feeling her comfort. “You did well. David and Natasha have called a comfirment. Something is up their sleeves.” I looked to her and tilted my head. “What could it be?” Maharet shook her head, ” another witness perhaps.” I glanced at Va’lis for a moment and thought…well…this could go two ways.
Merida was being escorted from the private boxes where the families were being held by the Order guards. She looked defiant and slightly annoyed at the whole process. Armand seemed to be talking to her, to which she smiled at him, placing her hand over her heart. The love between these two was quite obvious to anyone that was around them. It was the first time I had seen Armand so settled and the first time I had ever seen a couple of our kind live life so… normally. It was as if this affliction wasn’t something that was ever going to hold them back or keep them from being human beings. Quite refreshing to see. My maker smiled and looked over to Armand, giving him a wink. I think he rather liked Merida and you could not have guessed that at one time Armand and Lestat were mortal enemies fighting over the love of a man that could not love either of them back because his heart had been so broken; our dear Louis. As Merida moved past Marius she turned to him and she smiled at him too… Marius nodded with a wink. I witnessed pride in him for this woman. How fatherly of him.
The deputy took his position and went to swear Merida in. She promptly replied, “Tell the truth… yada yada… so help me god… yada yada. Can we get on with it?” So much like Maharet. She sighed dramatically and said, “I do.” Then sat down in the chair, crossing her legs, looking very much like the noblewoman she now is. Counselor Windsor would go first.
I watched my wife walk in, fully dressed in a slate Prada skirt suit that hemmed well above the knee, Dolce ruffle shirt that showed off her amazing rack, and Louboutin maroon heels that accentuated her toned legs. I couldn’t help but smirk. Long gone was the little girl I had met at the Brew… Baroness Merida de Romanus stood firmly before us rolling her eyes at the guards escorting her. Even Lestat looked at me and winked in full approval of her attire. She turned to look at me and I mouthed to her, “I fucking love you.” She smiled then looked at Marius who gave her a nod and a wink. The old man was proud of her. Not just for this but of how she had stepped up to help Cherry care for Carrie in the aftermath of her rape and torture. She was now a full grown woman. When we got home I was going to spend hours making love to my woman. Mine. All mine.
I smirked as my name was called, at least they said my married name this time. I stood and hugged Carrie, “Stay strong, don’t let them see fear.” I turned to valis and was surprised with a fatherly hug. “Don’t worry old man, I won’t burn the place down. Take care of Carrie.” I kissed his cheek and walked to the stand. I would sit as calm and poised as a Baroness should be. If they considered me a rogue, I would prove them wrong. I was strong, fuck those old bastards.
My husband and I entered the room together right as Merida was walking down to testify. Carrie was on her feet wanting soooo much to go with Merida but she was not allowed. Va’lis could do absolutely nothing for Merida but hug her. He had to let her go do her thing. I simply just confidently kissed her cheek. I knew my daughter would give them hell the likes of which they had never seen.
I looked over to Carrie and she had moved to the front and damn near pressed her face to the glass wanting to see everything and for them all to see her. She was getting stronger by every minute. She wanted to be sure Merida could see her through the glass. I squeezed her shoulder before passing through and sitting down next to Falke. My husband stood by Carrie’s side for a while before sitting on the other side of me, next to Rich. Rich was bouncing his knee up and down. You could tell he was anxious and there was a sense of overprotectiveness to him. Va’lis put his hand on Rich’s knee to stop the motion. Rich gave him a haphazard smile. The two of them were getting along fabulously. At least one thing was going right for Va’lis.