Judge Cooper's Chambers --
Ric glanced around the room to see who was in attendance and then focused back on his mother who still had his hands in hers. He pulled a chair from the corner of the room and sat down next to her. She latching onto his hands once more as she stared at him, memorizing every inch of his face.
Judge Cooper introduced everyone in the room to each other and then opened the case file that laid on his desk in front of him. Ric noticed that Sonny's attorney was not present and began to wonder if she had been called to the meeting or if the judge was not going to to give in to his request to let his mother testify.
"Are we all in agreement here about Mrs. Smith testifying in chambers instead of open court?" Judge Cooper asked of those in his office.
Ric looked at his mother wondering who had made the decision for her to testify in chambers, but he thought too it a better solution then in open court where she would be amongst strangers and the press.
"I have one request your Honor, that is if my mother agrees to it as well." Ric began and looked towards his mother sitting next to him.
"And what is your request counselor?" Judge Cooper asked as he looked over his wire rimmed reading glasses.
"If my brother and I could have some time with her before she goes back? My brother has yet to see her and I think we need to have some time spent together as a family, just the three of us." Ric's request didn't sound unreasonable to Judge Cooper.
"I have no objections. Mrs. Smith?" Judge Cooper replied and gave it to Ric's mother now to decide.
A smile came over her face as she thought of spending time with her two sons. "Alex is here?" she asked of Ric.
"He will be, I told him and it was his request to see you."
Elenore was elated to hear that her other son would be arriving soon, and she agreed to meet with them after her testimony. Ric knew Zander would be overjoyed with the news of meeting with their mother afterwards, it was what he wanted.
"Okay, I guess we're all finished here, we'll get her testimony on record and we'll reconvene in say 30 minutes." the Judge ordered as the others stood from their seats and left his chambers, leaving Ric and his mother sitting in their chairs still.
"I'm going to see if Zander's here yet." Ric said as his mother left go of his hand reluctantly. Ric got up from his seat and left the judge's chambers to go look for his brother.
Ric wasn't looking for his brother long, before he found Zander and Emily sitting on a bench outside the courtroom waiting. Zander stood up from his seat as Ric approached.
"So, did you see mom yet?" Zander asked anxiously.
"I did. She's in with Judge Cooper now. We're going to take her testimony in chambers and she's agreed to spend some time with us before they take her back home."
A smile came across Zander's face. "So .. is she alright? Tell me ....how does she look?" Zander anxious to hear all about his mother.
"She's fine. I didn't get to talk with her much, but she's very anxious about seeing you." Ric told him. "I have to get back to chambers, but I'll be back out soon to get you." Ric added as he led his brother back to his seat with Emily.
When Ric returned to the judge's chambers, he saw Sonny's attorney enter and he followed her in. His mother still in her seat, and she turned to see Ric come in and sit back down beside her. Ric saw the look on her face of concern. "He's fine, mom....." Ric said and his mom cracked a smile.
The stenographer took down Elenore's lengthy testimony word for word. It had taken a little longer then expected, so Judge Cooper was ready to reconvene his court as soon as they had finished. Ric had decided that he would care on the case before Judge Cooper and allow his mother to spend some time alone with Zander in one of the empty witness rooms down the hall from the courtroom, Ric would join them later after the Judge's ruling.
The tall gentleman in a suit escorted Elenore to on of the witness rooms to meet with Zander, and Ric went back to the courtroom to let him know he could meet with her now. Ric approached his brother who sat waiting for him outside the courtroom and Zander stood once again from his seat. Ric accompanied by an officer that would take Zander to meet Elenore in a room down the hall. Ric explained to Zander that she was waiting for him and that he'd be there as soon as the judge gave his ruling.
Zander went with the tall man down the hallway to the room where Elenore was waiting for him. Zander's insides were tied in knots, his palms were moist, his heart was racing, it was the first time he would see his mother in 10 years. He took a deep breath and opened the door of the witness room. As he did, she turned to see who was coming into the room and as she recognized her son's face, a smile came across hers. Zander stood in the doorway, not sure what to do, but his instinct was to rush over to her and embrace her as any son would.
She reached out her arms to him and he rushed to her, falling into her loving embrace. Tears welled in his eyes as he wrapped his arms around her and held her close to him. She latched on to his upper arms and pulled from him to take a better look at her son.
"It's really you isn't it, Alex .." she sniffled back the tears and smiled..
"Yeah mom, it's really me."