The Sins of the Fathers Ch. 26
***** Writer’s note: This is one of the few chapters in the story that has no overt sex. It is seductive, romantic, and at times sexy but no actual sex. It is none-the-less essential to understanding the two stars of our story, Nikki and MacKenzie and their friendship. Nuff said … enjoy!
“All rise, for the Honorable Judge Jethro Jacobs.”
The trial was finally at hand. Jack and Paul Traynor sat at one table. Jennifer, Dr. Sam, and Chelsea had their own table. There was no jury.
The DA was outlining the case in ‘opening remarks’. Pretty much the same litany as the charges, it relied heavily on the evidence of the ‘time-stamp’ on the VHS cassette tape.
When DA Riley finished, Jack stood and quickly reviewed some notes he’d made. He cleared his throat. “Your Honor, I’d like to move for a dismissal.”
“Objection, Your Honor!” It was voiced in stereo as both Jennifer and Riley leapt to their feet, shouting over one another. Through it all, Jack merely smiled. I guess that got everyone’s attention!
Pissed as hell, Judge Jacobs pounded his gavel until they settled back down into some semblance of order. He turned to Jack. “Excuse me, Counsel. Exactly what would the legal justification for a dismissal be?” he demanded curtly.
Jack cleared his throat again. He didn’t necessarily like what he was about to do; but, he had a client to defend. One of the difficult things about lawyering in a small town is everyone takes things personally. Even a court case. And, even if the case was ‘assigned’ to you.
“God damn it, Grant, spit it out!”
“First, my client stipulates to the content of the video. It is, indeed, sex between him and Chelsea. Second, my client declares–in a sworn affidavit–that he has no recollection of the last time the clock on the VHS recorder was actually set. That would render any time-stamp of dubious reliability. This VHS version of video technology is not automatic; it requires someone enter the time. He categorically denies he ever set the clock.”
Jack looked around. Jennifer was turning red with apoplexy; and, clearly, the DA was seriously concerned about his best piece of evidence. I’ve got their attention. Now, what do I do with it?
He cleared his throat again. Looking at Chelsea, then at her father, he tightly shut his eyes for a minute. This one is gonna piss everyone off! But, I can’t figure another way to defend him.
“Is there more, Jack?” Judge Jacobs was none too happy about how the case was going; but, he realized that he’d forced Jack Grant take the case. And Jack’s a very solid attorney. He’s representing his client.
Jack spoke, “Yes, Your Honor, the case needs to be dismissed on a point of law!” Here we go!
“A point of law?” The fuck you say!
“Yes! A point of law, even if my client stipulates that the clock is accurate. In other words, even if the DA’s evidence is rock-solid–which it’s not, but even if it were–there’s a problem with the charges.”
Jack went on, “The law, in Oregon, reads in a common-sense fashion. Legally, Oregon citizens can drink on their twenty-first birthday. Purchase a package of cigarettes and smoke on their eighteenth birthday. Get a driver’s license on their sixteenth birthday, and can cast a vote on their eighteenth birthday. ‘Birthday’ is simply understood in its common usage. The day of your birth.”
Jack looked around at everyone. Their eyes told the story. They’re still clueless. They don’t see it, yet.
“Your Honor, will you allow me to clarify?”
“By all means, Counselor. I, for one, haven’t got a clue where you’re going with this.”
“Thank you. Here is what I am trying to get at. No official ever asks you for the hour and minute of your birth when you want to do any of the things I just listed.”
“We don’t have to wait till the exact hour and minute of our birth to have our first drink. We don’t have to wait till the hour and minute of our birth to take our driver’s license test. We don’t have to wait till the exact hour and minute of our birth to cast our first vote.”
“And, on the day or your eighteenth birthday, when you wake up that morning, you’re an adult. Not after the birthday party, not after the hour and minute of your birth. You wake up an adult.”
“Chelsea Traynor was eighteen on the morning of her birthday. She was still eighteen that evening at 9:23 p.m. She was an adult as a matter of law.” Eat shit and die, Riley. Don’t ever call me a ‘poor attorney’, fucker!
The judge pursed his lips, thoughtfully. Jesus, Jack, I gotta hand it to you. That’s a nice defense! Christ, it might even be a winning defense.
Then he leaned back in his seat, studying the District Attorney. “You know, Riley, this does raise serious issues with your string of charges. What’s left?” Jacobs asked.
Riley racked his brain. “Incest!”
“Rape!” Jenifer couldn’t help herself.
“The pendik escort video looks pretty consensual,” Jack interjected. At least, it is ‘arguably’ consensual.
Riley rubbed his forehead. God damn it, this isn’t what I wanted.
Chelsea broke down, “No!” Her tears started flowing freely. Jack had to look away.
Jennifer was on her feet. She was talking to the Judge, but she pointed at Jack, “Objection, Your Honor! My client did not consent; she never consented. God damn it, Jack, you asshole!”
Gaveled into silence by Judge Jacobs with a threat of ‘contempt, if you don’t shut the hell up!’, Jenn plopped back down. Her eyes never left Jack’s.
“Attorneys, approach the bench.”
Jacobs lifted his glasses from the bridge of his nose. “I think we all need a break. You guys need to hammer out an agreement as to how to proceed. Be back in two hours. Before you go, let me be clear on one thing. I’m not sitting here for a trial of incest that makes that young woman a …? Fuck! What the hell’s the word?”
“A co-conspirator–or a defendant like the dad–to the charge of incest,” Jack replied, simply stating what Riley was loathe to say. Hell, none of us want to say it.
Riley was defeated. “I’ll dismiss charges before I’d put her on the stand, not as a witness, but as a defendant.
“Damn it, Riley, you can’t dismiss the charges against that fucker!” Jenifer blurted. That smug fucker is guilty! We cannot let him walk!
“Language, Ms. Grant. Watch that mouth!” the judge warned. Actually, I agree!
Fearing he already knew the answer, Riley asked, “Jennifer, will she testify against her dad? Will Chelsea say it was rape?” If she doesn’t, my case is so screwed.
“I don’t think she’s strong enough to stand up to him.”
“Well, boys and girls, this is a fucking mess!” the judge opined. I’m gonna need more than water to wash my hands of this! This case may just require alcohol to clean my hands. Kentucky bourbon might just do the trick.
Everyone in the court got rather somber, as what was happening finally sunk in. Jack thought a second, stepped closer to the group and quietly asked, “What if my client stipulated to the incest charge, and requested mercy or leniency from the court? Meaning therapy, instead of jail time; I’ll have to think about the exact wording.”
Riley entered the fray again. “I’m not just dropping the rape charge!”
“It was consensual!” Jack insisted, physically wincing as Jennifer let loose. I should probably duck about now!
“Fucking men!” Jennifer exploded. “It was not consensual! She was not emancipated. The court emancipated her. She lived in his home. He’s her father. You know, father/authority figure?! How do you tell your own father, ‘No!’?”
Jack frowned, because he damn-well knew where that rage was coming from. But, he had one more card to play. Jack calmly laid the card on the table he’d been holding back. He looked first at Riley and then at Jennifer, but he spoke to the Judge, “What would everyone say to ‘Statutory Rape’? Then you don’t have to prove consent, because she’s incapable of giving the consent.” Think about it, everyone! If the Judge just emancipated her, then legally, she was an unemancipated minor; hence, statutory rape would still apply even though she was eighteen.
Everyone looked at Jack Grant. It wasn’t a stunned silence, but there was surprise as each one thought it through. All reached the same conclusion. Fuck me, that actually might work! Sometimes, the Law actually accomplishes something approaching Justice.
Jennifer blurted out, “You asshole!” But Jack didn’t miss the fact that she was smiling as she said it.
Never one to let an opportunity to put someone he considered ‘bad’ behind bars, Deputy District Attorney Riley pushed Jack. “Okay, Counselor, here’s the deal. If he pleads guilty to ‘Statutory Rape’ and ‘Incest’, I’ll ask for only six months jail time for the Statutory Rape charge. I’ll ask for five years for the Incest charge.”
“Not going to happen, Riley,” Jack fired back, turning to walk away.
He had a hand on Jack’s shoulder before Jack had moved two-feet, “Hear me out. Five years of court-supervised probation, with required Mental Health counseling.”
Jennifer added, “Chelsea gets counseling, if she wants it, and ‘Daddy’ pays for it! Additionally, the restraining order, keeping him away from her after the six months, gets extended.”
Riley arched a questioning eyebrow at Jack. Jack turned to Jennifer and nodded. Agreed!
Judge Jacobs announced, “Okay! Same two hours, boys and girls, so get out of my court. Jack, you need to get your client on-board for all of this to work. I’ll tell the bailiff that you’ll be using the court’s conference room. You ought to have lunch sent in.”
Looking at his watch, 11:45 a.m., almost noon, Jack nodded. As he approached his client, he set his jaw hard. “Not maltepe escort a word, Paul! We’ve only got two hours and don’t have time for any of your lewd remarks, sexual innuendos, or bullshit grandstanding. If you have any sense of self-preservation, I’m gonna talk and you’re fucking-well gonna listen; because, if you don’t, I’ll let you hang yourself. And that’s not a threat, Paul; it’s a fucking promise.”
You’re gonna plead guilty, because, you are!
Precisely four hours later, Nikki and MacKenzie got a call from their dads; Jack and Spencer were going out to celebrate. The girls knew that it had to do with some difficult case they’d been working on for weeks; and, evidently, they’d won it. They didn’t know that Nikki’s two moms had been working on the same case.
Sincerely proud of their fathers, both girls enthusiastically congratulated them and sent them on their merry way. “Have a great time, you guys! And don’t do anything that we wouldn’t do!” they giggled, as they waved goodbye into the phone’s camera.
As soon as she shut off the phone, Mac grinned. “It’s Friday night! How about we go out and celebrate our dads being successful attorneys?”
Nikki just rolled her eyes, sullenly. “Doing what? Go down to the Six-Plex for a movie? Oh joy! We can join the rest of the little kids watching the new ‘Big Friendly Giant’ CGI animated movie with their parents. We won’t even need an ID; ’cause they don’t card you when you ask for popcorn and Cokes.”
“Oh, boohoo! Aren’t you the whiny-bag? You know, I seem to remember that you enjoyed the last movie you took me to,” Mac teased, shrugging her shoulders. “Well, enjoy your pity-party. I’ll just drop you off at the Movie Theaters, if you want; but, I’m going dancing.”
“Where? Did she say ‘Dancing’?
“Anywhere I want, ’cause I’ve got my good ID! You know, the one that says I am twenty-one years old.”
“You don’t!” You totally evil bitch!
“I do!” Mac insisted, smugly. “And I’ve got yours … assuming you’re you can stop wallowing in self-pity long enough to go dancing, instead?”
Nikki’s eyes got saucer big. “Oh my god, Mac, how did you get them?”
“I just happened to find them in my dad’s bathroom drawer; they were underneath a box of condoms. I was only in there in the first place, because I wanted to check what kind he used. I thought maybe I should buy some, just in case I meet someone I wanna be with; and I figured Daddy probably buys really good ones. And … there they were.” My Daddy wears ‘Magnums’! Not too many daughters know what size condom their dads wear. Another secret to store away this summer. I rule!
Nikki grabbed and hugged her. “MacKenzie Dawn Phillips, you’re my freaking hero!”
It was a Friday night. Once more, the daring duo was armed with the best fake IDs money could buy; and, their dads were too busy to supervise them. Both girls smiled with delight, Freedom is at hand! Ain’t I a woman?
It was 10:30 p.m. when MacKenzie’s Mini-Cooper drifted into the parking lot just off the street in back of ‘The Inferno’. The girls piled out, heading for the entrance.
The plan was simplicity itself: Find the greeter from last week and get him to let them in again. They even had their IDs ready for surrender. And each had a new unopened ‘Magnum’ condom, courtesy of Uncle Spencer’s bathroom drawer. ‘Cause being BAD doesn’t happen by accident. You gotta plan it!
The line reached around the club, snaking back towards the valet parking. Smiling, they ignored the line. But as they rounded the club’s corner, Nikki grabbed MacKenzie’s arm and pulled her back.
“Is that my dad?” Nikki pointed in disbelief.
“Your dad at ‘The Inferno’, I don’t hardly think so!” Mac laughed, looking where Nikki pointed. The laugh dies in her throat, “Holy Shit! It is Uncle Jack!”
Uncle Jack was talking to some young woman in a red dress. MacKenzie poked her. “Oh My God, your dad’s hitting on one of the girls standing in the line. That’s so lame!”
Nicole’s eyes widened as she saw her dad’s hand reach down and cup the ‘Lady in Red’s’ ass, lifting and gently squeezing. The girl leaned into Jack’s chest, kissing him on the neck. Nicole squinted to see her better. Christ, she looks just like Jessica–only taller.
MacKenzie giggled at Nikki’s discomfort. “I think he knows her.”
“My dad doesn’t KNOW anyone who looks like that. He hasn’t ‘dated’ anyone, since my mom became a lesbian.” Nikki punctuated the ‘dated’ with her fingers. Nicole Grant’s eyes narrowed. Holy shit, it is Jessica! He couldn’t take me out for a date, because he had a date with HER?
“Well, I think that may just have changed.”
Nikki took in the red dress and the fucking red shoes. If looks could kill! That poster! You look like Six from ‘Battlestar Gallactica’. Leave it to my dad to date a Sci-Fi slutty girl. A fucking cylon sex-bot! I know where kartal escort you got those clothes, you total fucking bitch!
Nikki was so angry and surprised that she barely noticed the casually-dressed black man, sporting a blond on his arm, pass by. She did catch the blond’s dress. It was cut all the way down to her ass. The lack of a bra and panties was a definite statement. Whoa, nice ass!
She poked MacKenzie, pointing. “WOW! I want a dress like that one.”
MacKenzie laughed, her voice husky. “Yeah! And a boyfriend just like him, too. Nice buns. Just makes you want to walk up behind him and give ’em a squeeze. Although, I’d rather give his front a squeeze.” See, I’m not a lesbian. Now, there’s a man I could take to bed. Definitely in the yummy category. And, he’s black! That makes him just about perfect. I wonder what size condom he uses? I bet it’s a magnum. But, what is it with black men and blonds?
MacKenzie’s laugh stuck in her throat as she watched the couple stroll up to Uncle Jack. It was Spencer, with Tammy. No way! It’s my dad and Hooters Girl! Great, he finally decides to take her on a real date and where does he decide to go? ‘The Inferno’. This is so fucked!
Jack saw Spence and waved, he seemed to be introducing the ‘Woman in Red’ to Tammy; Spencer seemed to already know her.
Nikki spoke first, “Shit, we have to get out of here. If my dad catches us with these licenses, he’ll ground us till we’re old enough to start drawing Social Security.”
Mac chimed in, “This is just so fucked! Now, both of our dads have girlfriends. One is dating a sex-bot and the other a Hooters Girl. And, they’re both like horny teenage boys; all they think about is getting laid. Now, your dad will be sending you to my house. This is like some kind of freaking nightmare! What if they both want to have sex on the same night?”
Nicole sighed, “Yeah, like tonight. It looks like Uncle Spencer finally made up with Tammy. So, they’ll be headed back to your house to break the bed. And now, my dad is dating a woman, who fucks like a sex-bot; so they’ll be at my house, fucking on the couch, in the hot tub, on the stairs, in the master bath and bedroom in ‘our’ bed. I just hope they leave my bedroom alone.”
Oh, fucking yuck, yuck, yuck …YUCK!
“Oh My God, we’re homeless,” Mac whined. “We have no place to go!”
“We’ll probably end up living in a garbage dump or in one of those cardboard boxes under the Steel Bridge, the MAX bridge,” Nikki concurred, fueling their teenage-girls’ melodramatic hysteria.
“We’re going to grow to be bag ladies. Or, we’ll end up living on the MAX, itself. Trying to sleep, hoping the Transit Police don’t throw us off. Station-after-station, all night long.”
“Or,” Nikki brightened. “You know, we could just tell our fathers we need to get an apartment. To practice living away from home ’till college starts in the fall. You know, so that they could have more privacy?”
Genius! Sheer genius! MacKenzie smiled; then, she frowned as grim reality kicked back in. “Yeah. But, tonight, we’re homeless!” And, we have no place to go dancing!
She stamped her foot. “God damn it, I wanna go dancing!”
Nikki took her hands. “We can dance anywhere!”
“But, we don’t know any other clubs. Wait, if he’s here …?”
“Shush, Nikki! I’ve gotta think this through. If he’s here … then …?” A broad smile spread across her face. “Then why don’t we just go, instead, to where my dad takes Hooters Girl?”
Nikki looked doubtful. “Where?”
MacKenzie giggled; the plan was positively evil in its Wylie Coyote simplicity. “Cowgirls!”
“It’s a Cowboy Bar, the best in Portland.”
“You mean, like hats and boots and large buckles?”
“No, I mean like hats, boots, very big buckles and skin-tight jeans on guys our age.” Mac nodded seductively, gently fanning the flames of Nikki’s overactive libido.
Nikki grinned at MacKenzie. “Girlfriend, we gotta change these clothes!” Tight jeans. Skin-tight jeans! Yippee Ki-fuckin’-yay!
They rushed back to Nikki’s house. MacKenzie slipped into Nikki’s summer dress with the little sunflowers, and a pair of yellow Converse All-Star high-top sneakers. Nikki put on Nick’s faded jeans, her yellow lace-trimmed halter top, yellow-lace thong panties, and the cowboy boots.
They stood in front of the mirror in Nikki’s room side-by-side, holding hands. “Yee-hah!”
Half-of-an-hour later, MacKenzie parked the Mini-Cooper in front of a set of fake hitching posts among one of the largest collection of pickups in Portland. Some of them even had a rifle in the rear window; those were the ones that had out-of-town plates.
In his late fifties, the greeter was dressed as a cowboy, wearing a checkered shirt, jeans, and boots. He was big, broad-shouldered with thigh-size arms. His ample gut hung over his belt, suggesting that maybe he’d drunk a few too many ‘Cerveza Mas Fina’s’ over the years. His hands looked huge, as he examined the driver’s licenses of the two young ladies standing in front of him.
They tried to look older; he tried to look younger. I sure do love this job!