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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59. ✗ fifty-seven ✗

SHAY

4 October

"Does the prosecution have any other witnesses?"

According to the time on my watch we've been in this courtroom for a little over an hour. Fawn has called the first officers on scene, the officers who arrested my attacker, the officer who took evidence off my person at the hospital, and finally Damian only a few short moments ago.

He told the jury and everyone else of his credentials as well as the evidence in which he used to find Mr. Morgan. He was very thorough, very professional, and a bit cocky. He gave the people what they want, the absolute truth. Mr. Schmidt had nothing to ask of him at the end of Fawn's questions. He did a great job on my behalf.

"We do Your Honor. The People call Doctor Amanda Barnes to the stand."

I watch as Doctor Barnes enters "the ring" and goes to the stand, getting sworn in before taking her seat where I had been a little over an hour ago. She glances to me before glancing to my attacker on the other side of the room.

"Please state your first and last name."

"Doctor Amanda Barnes."

"Please spell your last name for the records."

"B-A-R-N-E-S."

"Dr. Barnes," Fawn begins as she stands from her position beside me, "where exactly do you work?"

"Bupa Cromwell Hospital, located just north of Cromwell Road in Kensington."

"And how long have you been practicing at Bupa Cromwell Hospital?"

"A did my rotation at Bupa a little over nine years ago and was hired permanently at the end of my rotation around eight years ago."

"What is your title at the hospital?"

"I am one of the lead doctors in the emergency department."

Dr. Barnes is one of the most poised witnesses Fawn has called up today. She sits confidently and speaks clearly, acknowledging the entire courtroom, not just my lawyer who stands before her. She speaks to the jury at her side with a soft smile. Dr. Barnes also does not shy away from making eye contact with the men on the other side of the courtroom, sending them a stern look. I wonder if she's done this before.

"What was the condition of Ms. Nichols when she was brought in on the 22nd of April?"

"Ms. Nichols was in and out of consciousness, muttering cries for help when she was rolled into my care at around two forty-five in the morning. She had tachycardia, elevated heart rate, and her blood pressure had dropped tremendously. Ms. Nichols was in fact in shock when she came into my care. Shortly after her arrival, Ms. Nichols was taken to a private room after I had an assumption that she had been raped."

I have absolutely no recollection of any of this occurring. The last I remember from that morning was passing out in Harry's entryway and the next was being examined with the presence of officers in the room and then being questioned by said officers. I don't remember the ambulance ride or meeting Dr. Barnes in the emergency department.

"What gave you that assumption Dr. Barnes?"

"Whilst in the emergency department I discovered bleeding from the vaginal area and after removing the article of clothing covering the area I discovered lacerations and bruising of the upper vagina. There was also bruising and lacerations along her hips and upper thighs. At this point, I notified the correct authorities and stayed with Ms. Nichols until they arrived."

"At this time it was whom that arrived?"

"Officer Lynn Colfax."

"What tests were taken under your care that morning, Dr. Barnes?" Fawn asks as she takes a couple steps closer towards the doctor. Dr. Barnes licks her lips to moisten them before continuing, addressing everyone in the room.

"After careful examination with an officer present in the room and after the rape kit and evidence had been collected, we performed a few tests. We performed a pregnancy test and serologic tests for some STIs. These tests, unfortunately, can only tell us if these complications were present before the rape but they cannot detect, at the time, if they develop after the rape. We also did blood tests to screen for any drugs or alcohol in the system."

"What were the results?"

"All tests were negative at this time. We took multiple pregnancy tests, all negative, and the serologic tests were negative as well. Ms. Nichols had zero traces of alcohol or drugs in her system."

"Since Ms. Nichols was discharged have you taken any other tests?"

"We have, yes. At six weeks, or ninety days, and most recently at six months, STI tests were done. All came back negative. As for pregnancy tests, Ms. Nichols came into the emergency department four weeks after the rape beyond ill. At the time of her arrival we took blood and urine samples as a precaution, but also to clarify a suspicion I had."

"And what suspicion would that be?"

"That Ms. Nichols was in fact pregnant."

"Interesting," Fawn says, turning and giving me a quick glance before bringing her attention back to Dr. Barnes. She knows that she's got this in the bag. She knows she's going to win, that we're going to win, "what were the results of the pregnancy test?"

"Positive."

"I see, so let's flash forward four and a half months, which would be a couple weeks ago. Ms. Nichols came in for another test, is that correct?"

"It is indeed correct."

"What exactly was the test for?"

"We took a paternity test, where we drew blood from Ms. Nichols along with her boyfriend, Mr. Harry Styles, to identify the baby's father. We were also given a sample of Mr. Morgan's DNA to run against the DNA of the unborn baby as well."

Fawn walks over to the desk and picks up a couple sheets of paper, the papers that have the results from the paternity test on them. I know exactly what they say, so does Harry, and so does everyone else in this room that believes that Mr. Morgan is responsible for what he did to me.

"Are these the results of the paternity test?" Fawn questions, showing Dr. Barnes the papers in her hands before slowly turning to show the jury and everyone else in the room.

"Yes, they are."

"Can you tell me, as well as everyone else in this room, what these two say?" Fawn sets two of the sheets of paper down onto the desk before holding up the other two beside each other.

"On the right you have the child's DNA and on the left you have Ms. Nichols' DNA, it shows that she is in fact the mother from the markers on the sheet."

Duh, I'm growing her in me!

"Okay, and what about this one?" Fawn sets my DNA sheet down and picks up the next one.

"This is the DNA taken from Mr. Styles. As you can see there is no match, whatsoever to the child's DNA, meaning that Mr. Styles is not the father."

Fawn smirks to herself before placing Harry's sheet down and grabbing the last piece of paper. I find myself fighting off a grin as well, knowing that Fawn's basically done it. Once this result hits the eyes of the jurors they'll have all the proof they need in the world to put my attacker away.

"Would you be so kind as to explain this result for us all today, Dr. Barnes?"

"Certainly." Dr. Barnes says with a bit too much joy in the undertone of her voice. "The DNA results on the left were taken from Mr. Morgan at the time of his detainment at Scotland Yard. They clearly show that Mr. Morgan's DNA matches that of the unborn child Ms. Nichols is carrying."

"Can you clarify?" Fawn asks.

"It means that Mr. Morgan is the father of Ms. Nichols' unborn baby." Fawn turns a 180 so that she's facing myself and the desk of Mr. Morgan and his attorney across the room. "I rest my case. No further questions, Your Honor."

The Judge raises a brow and turns towards Mr. Schmidt, before taking a peek down at Dr. Barnes. She sighs and gazes at the attorney that can question her next. She doesn't seem fazed; she actually looks as if she can't be touched. It's incredible.

"Does the defense have any questions?" I take a peek around Fawn to see Mr. Schmidt stiffen and glance to my attacker before shaking his head.

"No, Your Honor."

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am now going to read to you the law that you must follow in deciding this case..."

&&&

"Baby!" I turn around quickly and am immediately captured in Harry's warm embrace. He hugs me as tight as he can without causing the baby or me any harm before pressing a kiss to the top of my head and releasing me. "You did so amazing in there, my love."

"Thank you, but it was all Fawn." I say, motioning to the woman standing near the doors of the court. She's got a cuppa in her hand and she's speaking with someone I've never seen before. I think they're attorney friends or something. "Without her there's no way I'd be able to get through it."

"Awe, you don't know-"

"There's absolutely no way this arsehole is ever seeing the light of day!" Louis announces, joining us near the edge of the corridor. I chuckle lightly at his words before I, again, am being pulled into another embrace. "Who's idea was it to take the paternity test?"

"Fawn's."

Louis looks over my shoulder at the woman chuckling lightly with the woman at her side. He bites down on his lip and reverts his eyes a little too slowly.

"Say, do you think you can hook me up with her after all this has passed." Harry and I look at each other in disbelief before looking back to the man who is yet again staring over at my lawyer. "What? She's proper fit like and did you see the dedication she showed in that room. She's an animal, a sexy, sexy animal at that."

"Wow." Harry mutters before patting Louis on the back. "Just go talk to her."

"No way."

"She doesn't bite, I promise. And she's not as intimidating once you get to speaking with her." I add in. Louis contemplates it for a moment as Harry wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me in.

"If you don't go now I'll start making out with Shay furiously until you go over there."

"Noted, wish me luck." He says, straightening out his suit before fixing his hair. We wish him luck and watch as he smoothly glides over to Fawn. Her friend leaves the moment Louis shows up and though we can't hear what he's saying, Fawn looks to be amused.

Harry and I remain quiet in the corridor as we watch Louis put his charm on Fawn until Harry's mum and Gemma approach us. Gemma hands me a cup of water that I immediately sip on as they strike up a conversation about something to get my mind of worrying about the verdict. It doesn't work though.

I can't help but think my attacker's attorney is somewhere bribing the jury, although I can see him on the opposite side of the corridor speaking on his mobile. There's also a possibility that someone on the jury knew my attacker and is in there swaying the decision. Someone could be in there-

"What are you thinking about?" I startle out of my trance and look up at Harry.

"Uh, nothing, just about how nice it'll be once this is all behind us." He sends me a small smile and opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted by the clerk coming out and announcing that the jury has reached a verdict.

"Well, that didn't take long, now did it?" Anne says to us. "I'm sure it's because the decision was clear." I nod along with her and walk hand-in-hand back into the courtroom.

I drop Harry's hand and go along with Fawn to our seats as the jury enters the courtroom and Mr. Morgan enters from the opposite side of the room. We rise when the judge enters and sit when she tells us to. There's an eerie silence in the room and everything seems to be occurring in slow motion.

"Has the jury reached an unanimous verdict?" She asks the jurors. The lead stands from his chair and without looking into anyone but the judge's eyes, he answers.

"Yes, Your Honor."

We all watch in silence as the clerk gathers the verdict from the lead's hands and walks it over to the judge. She takes it in her hands and opens the paper, reading what's written there before handing it back to the clerk. I try to read her expression, but it's completely blank from any emotion.

"Will the defendant please rise for the reading of the verdict?" I watch from the corner of my eye as Mr. Morgan stands tall, looking smug.

"Against the charges of rape against Ms. Shay Nichols, the jury finds the defendant, Anthony Morgan-" I hold my breath and grip onto the side of the desk, unable to relax until the words leave the man's mouth, "- guilty."

The amount of relief at the single word that left the clerk's mouth brought a body-shaking sob to leave my parted lips. I kept it quiet hoping that no one would hear, but unfortunately everyone in the room did hear it, including the curious onlookers from the jury to my right. Fawn grabbed my hand from the corner of the desk and gripped it tightly with a smile on her lips.

"It's over, Shay." She whispers to me, pulling me into her embrace. "It's all over." And though we've only known each other for the past couple of weeks, I wrap my own arms around her waist and hold onto her whilst I sob. She hugs me back tightly, rubbing my back and repeating, "we did it" into my ear.

The judge clears her throat at the front of the room and I pull my face from Fawn's shoulder. She eyes us and everyone else in the room before speaking directly to the defendant.

"The defendant is to remain in custody until sentencing. Court adjured."

And with that- I feel free. 

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