Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*

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56. ✗ fifty-four ✗

SHAY

13 September

After five of the longest days in my entire life, Harry is coming home to us.

We've kept in touch over the phone and even "FaceTimed" a few times before I went to sleep and as Harry got ready for work.

He hasn't had the best business trip over in Sydney this time as his last. He had to deal with a few incompetent workers, fire a couple staff members that apparently didn't know what they were doing, and after many long board meetings and sleepless nights the company figured out the problems with the expansion and set a date for the unveiling. 29 November 2016.

But now he's coming home and all stress from the days before can be forgotten, or so we thought.

"Louis, I can handle scrubbing the counters clean, it's an easy job."

"Yes, for a normal twenty-two year old woman, not a woman who is five months pregnant."

I groan loudly and stomp my foot childishly against the hardwood floor. I've been acting like this since Louis has been staying here. He literally will not let me do anything.

Go outside and read? Nope, not without Louis' accompanying me after applying a hefty layer of sunscreen.

Take a relaxing bath? Not without Louis checking up on me every five minutes to make sure I haven't drowned in my bath bombed water.

Do the laundry? Nada, Louis is handling the washing.

Now cleaning the kitchen to look spotless for Harry's arrival? Apparently no as well.

"Louis' you're suffocating me. I'm pregnant not crippled alright! I can, and will, scrub the counters." I say, snatching the scrubbing brush from Louis' hands. He stares back at me with his jaw dropped and I know he's getting ready to begin an argument with me. "Can you unload the dishwasher? I don't think I can handle carrying glass plates." I try to reason with him, knowing that he won't even let me near the dishwasher.

"Fine, but if you pull a muscle scrubbing, I'm not taking the blame for it."

"Noted."

Whilst I do not appreciate the tight leash Louis has had me on since Harry's departure, I do appreciate the company he's been. We've gotten to know each other on a more personal level and now I feel as if he's my friend, not just Harry's.

I've learned that his mother is very close with Harry's; the two work well together at Harry and Louis' foundation and even play tennis together some weekends in the spring. I also learned that Louis is the proud big brother of six sisters and one brother, the youngest being a set of twins age two. That news has me glad to have him around, hopefully he'll be able to help with the baby if Harry and I have troubles. I also learned that Louis has a talent in music as Harry does. I found him playing the piano one night after my bath. To say I was impressed would be an understatement.

"What time does Harry land?" Louis asks. I check over my shoulder at the clock and sigh.

"Like three hours from now."

"Are we meeting him at Heathrow or just meeting here?" I shrug.

The initial plan was to surprise Harry at the airport where he will be expecting his driver, but with the weather delay because of our drowsy rain that might not be the case. He'll already be landing late, eleven in the evening, if the flight gets pushed back any further I may not be awake enough to go to Heathrow.

"If the rain seizes and his flight doesn't get pushed back we'll go to the airport to surprise him." I promise, continuing to scrub the counters clean.

I want the house to look spotless when Harry arrives, not that it's too terribly dirty. Harry always says I'm a clean freak, I guess he has a point.

"Is that your phone?"

"Huh?" I shake out of my own world to hear my phone vibrating against the table to my left.

I drop the brush down on the counter and wipe my hands off before rushing to answer the phone. For all I know it could be Harry saying that he's stuck somewhere like France or India; and lord knows how he gets when he's stranded in a foreign country.

I barely answer the phone and greet the unknown caller before the man on the other line starts speaking. As soon as I hear his name my heart drops in my chest and I fall into the chair at the end of the table. Louis rushes over to my side as the caller waits for my response.

"Yes, detective, this is she." Detective Briar.

"Hello Shay, I hope you've been well."

I was until you called.

"As well as can be expected when you're stressed and pregnant." I say, trying to lighten my nerves. Louis looks absolute scared out of his mind, as if the person on the other line is demanding ransom for Harry or something like that. I reach out and place my hand on Louis' arm motioning for him to calm down. "What can I do for you, Detective Briar?"

Louis' face relaxes ever so slightly at the mention of Detective Briar before worry etches itself back onto his features.

"Please, call me Chris, Shay. I'm calling today to inform you of the trial revolving around your case; the trial that will hopefully put Mr. Morgan behind bars for the rest of his life." I can feel my chest constricting tightly over the mention of his name, a name that I didn't think I would ever have to hear for the rest of my life.

"Why hadn't I been informed of a trial before?"

I guess I should have known that there would be a trial in the future for my case, but I blocked it out. I thought if I didn't think or worry about it that the day would never come. I just assumed that my attacker would go behind bars with the evidence provided and my statement against him.

"I tried to make you aware the day you came to the precinct, but we didn't get that far. We thought this trial would be taken to court within the first couple of weeks after identification and detainment, obviously that didn't play through. There were complications with the system, nothing to do specifically with your case; it just pushed the timeline back. In four weeks time you will have to appear in court to testify against Mr. Morgan for his wrongdoings."

"Oh God." I gasp, my hand flying up to cover my mouth. I have to see this man, face to face, in the state that I'm in. As soon as he sees me, pregnant, he's going to know.

He'll try to be in her life, he'll try to hurt her; he'll try to hurt me again.

"The baby, he's going to know. He'll figure it out. My boyfriend, Harry, wants to adopt her and if he-" The words can't seem to tumble from my lips, just fade into an uncomfortable silence with dread and fear seeping in through the cracks. Louis' sat at my side, rubbing my back comfortingly as I freak, the only context he gets is from my side of the conversation.

"Because of Mr. Morgan's nature, his parental rights will be terminated at the time of birth due to unfitness, among other reasons that our court system will see. You can go over the information pertaining to that with your own lawyer as well as a judge and myself. As for this trial, Ms. Nichols, he will not be able to harm you. There will be multiple detectives and bobbies in the room, as well a full jury and many witnesses. He won't be able to physically get near to you."

"But I have to be in the same room as him."

There's a pause on the other line and I already know what it's for. I know the answer that is going to leave Detective Briar's mouth.

"Yes, you'll have to be in the same room as him, unless we make other arrangements, but -"

"What if the jury finds him not guilty?" I wonder, interrupting the detective from spewing more unneeded information.

I can't imagine with all the evidence that my case has that a jury would ever find him not guilty, but what if?

There's no way in hell I will stay in London if that's the case. I will move out of the country to escape the possibility of him showing up one day. I will leave as soon as the announcement is made if it happens. I'll drag Harry with me, even if it affects his work. I'll do anything to escape this.

"Normally I would say that that verdict being reached is a possibility, but with your case I don't foresee a sane jury finding Mr. Morgan not guilty. We have DNA samples, your eyewitness accounts, and his criminal priors. There's no way Mr. Morgan is going to be set free."

A sigh of relief leaves my lips at the determination set in his voice. I believe him. I believe that he won't let this happen.

"When is the trial?"

"The 4th of October." I take a glance at the calendar hung behind Louis' head and quietly curse to myself.

The entire summer flew by in the blink of an eye. My attacker being arrested, the banquet, our trip to the zoo with Lux, and my birthday highlighting the summer. It seems as if we didn't take any time at all to sit back and enjoy it. With it being in the midst of September I feel like this year is flying by and the date of our daughter's birth is approaching fast.

"I'll send more information your way about pre-trial and preparation for the trial at a further date, when I know more myself. In the meantime I would get into contact with your lawyer and get he or she caught up with everything."

"Okay." I mutter, already beginning to stress over this stuff.

"I don't want you to stress too much about this, Shay. We've got everything under control. Is there anything else I can do or explain for you?" Detective Briar asks.

I shake my head no before answering slowly and trying to contain the sob that wants to let loose.

"No. I'll speak to you later Detective. Thank you for calling. Goodbye." I mumble, hanging up the phone.

As soon as I've dropped the phone onto the table before me, I'm a sobbing mess in Louis' arms. I cry out against his chest and allow him to hold me tight as I let the most heart aching sobs leave my lips. I need Harry at a time like this, but alas he's not here and he won't be here for hours.

"It's going to be okay, Shay." Louis' assures me, though he only heard half the conversation. I have a feeling he put two and two together to figure out the detective I was talking to and the trial that I mentioned had to do with me and that night last April.

"I need Harry."

"I know, I know." Louis' coos, rubbing my back and shifting in his seat so we're in a more comfortable position as I cry in his arms.

"He'll be home soon, Shay. Everything will be okay."

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