At the hospital --
Zander stopped in his tracks and looked down at his brother in disbelief. He didn't want to believe what Ric said to be the truth, he was at the funeral, he saw the casket being lowered into the ground. His mother was dead. Ric pulled him back down to the couch and had Zander sit with him once more.
"What you mean she isn't? She's dead Ric, I know, I was there."
"I know, so was I but trust me, she's not dead. Our mother is alive, Zander."
"No Ric, you're lying! Why are you telling me this?" Zander replied not believing what Ric was telling him, he saw what he saw, his mother was dead.
"I'm telling you this, Zander, because if all goes right, she's going to testify this afternoon. And I wanted you to be prepared when she enters the courtroom."
Zander looked at Ric in shock. "She's what? How could you let her testify, Ric?" Zander asked as it seemed now to be sinking in that his mother really was alive and he needed to protect her like he had always done before.
"I need her Zander .... she's an eye witness for this case against Sonny! I have to put her on the stand! You don't get it, do you?"
"No I don't, why don't you explain it to me?" Zander said as he sat back down with his brother waiting for an explanation.
"After Frank died, our mother went into hiding, you were quite young yet, so I doubt you'd remember, but she went into protective custody, you know, new identity, place to live ...." Ric's words drifted off as he noticed Zander drifted off to some far place as he remembered the life after his father was killed.
"I remember we moved around alot, we never really had roots anywhere after Frank died." Zander remembered.
"Right, you were moved around alot because Sonny had his men hunt you down, Zander .... you and mom ... Zander, she's been on the run ever since."
"Then Sonny knew about me the entire time, he knew I was his son when I came to town. But if he wanted us so bad, why am I still here, why hasn't he killed me yet if that's what he wants?" Zander was so confused at Sonny's actions against he and his mother.
"I don't know Zander, you're going to have to ask him that. I can only imagine that he enjoys the thrill of the hunt, and keeping you around perhaps he thought mom would re-surface one day."
"I remember after we left the house in Florida, they moved us to upstate New York for a while, near the Canadian border someplace, and I was about 15 when I left home, I couldn't handle it anymore. I had read in the newspaper that mom had died and I returned to our home in New York for the funeral. Dammit Ric, how could you keep this from me? We're brothers!"
"I'm sorry I had to ... I didn't know how to tell you and I didn't know if I should tell you. I didn't want you going looking for her, Zander. She's been hidden for the last few years, I didn't know where she was till a few days ago."
"You knew this entire time she was alive?" another blow to Zander hearing that his brother knew about their mother being alive for the past 10 years.
"I had my suspicions, but I had no proof. I didn't want to bring any more danger on her by looking for her, Zander. And she's still very much in danger until Sonny's behind bars .... which is why I need her in that courtroom today, so we can put an end to this once and for all."
Ric and Zander sat and talked awhile about their mother, till Emily appeared at the nurse's station. Ric had to meet Judge Cooper about his mother testifying, and hadn't much time to get to the courthouse.
"Look, I have to meet with Judge Cooper in 20 minutes about this situation, but I will see you in about hour back at the courthouse." Ric said as he got up from his seat.
"I want to see her Ric, I want to see her before she takes that stand .... you owe me that much." Zander demanded from his brother.
"If there's time, I'll see if I can get in to see her before she testifies."
"Before who testifies?" Emily said as she came upon the tail end of their conversation.
Ric said his goodbyes and left Zander to explain things to Emily about their mother. Zander led Emily to the couch and sat her down. A worried look came across her face as Zander sat down next to her.
"Before who testifies, Zander?" Emily asked again and Zander sighed heavily not sure how to tell her about his mother.
"My mother .... Ric's making the arrangements to have my mother testify against Sonny this afternoon."
Emily giggled. "Well, that can't happen Zander .. your mother's dead, she has been for sometime."
Zander looked at her still not quite believing it himself. "No, she's not ... my mother is alive ..."
At the courthouse --
Ric walked down the dreary corridor towards Judge Cooper's chambers, he was expecting just a meeting between he and Judge Cooper but when he opened the door to the office, he was surprised to see who was sitting there waiting for him.
He stepped into the office, and she turned around to see him stand before her, she smiled at him when she recognized her own son. Ric dropped his attache case on the floor and went to her. He looked at her, his eyes focused on her every feature remembering everything about her. It had been so long he had seen her, he was hoping he hadn't forgotten, and he didn't. She grabbed onto his hands, her hands were cold as ice, and then they reached up and touched his face, as if she was remembering him as well.
"Is it really you, Ric?" she asked as Ric stood before her in disbelief she was really there with him.
"Yeah mom, it's me."