“Let’s go!” Andrew yelled, “I want to see this SOB face to face!” His face reflecting anger, his fists tightly balled he stomped toward the door.
“Not so fast, Andrew,” Paul admonished. “We want to take our time play this by the book. We don’t want him slithering away on a technicality.”
For the first time since he’d met Eilea and her family, true relief and jubilation were clearly evident. His own spirits soared too. Wrapping his arms around Eile and the kids he said, “Finally, an opportunity to freely behave and misbehave. I can’t wait to get this party started!” They laughed in unison.
“Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet,” Christina promised with a wink.
“I will say, I’m relieved I’ve been a part of all this. I’ve seen you under extremely difficult circumstances and now I want to enjoy your company free of stress and concern. I really need to applaud both your actions and control which have been admirable throughout! First-hand experience has shown me the opposite is often too.” He exchanged a deep heartfelt look of admiration at each one.
“Welcome to the whacky world of the Martin family.”
Paul couldn’t have wished to hear more welcome words. “Thanks, kiddo.”
To pass the time, they cleaned and straightened before eating dinner. An hour later Paul’s phone rang. They were welcome to come to the office before the prisoner was placed in custody.
“We’ll be there in 10!”
Walking in unison through the front door, they were taken down a hallway leading to the interrogation rooms containing one-way glass and they got their first glimpse of the pervert who’d created such havoc. Paul turned the speaker on so they could listen in.
“I want to see Eilea!” He continued yelling the same refrain over and over every few minutes while the officers in the room tilted back against the wall, feet and arms crossed. “You’ve caused Ms Martin her family and friends enough grief.”
Eilea looked at Paul. “I want to talk to him. I have something I need to say.”
Paul understood she needed to get her control back. Knocking on the adjoining door, she entered.
He jumped to his feet then slammed down into the chair as the cuffs would only allow a foot of movement. “Eilea, I knew you’d come that you’d tell these idiots it’s all a mistake!”
“Mistake? Hardly! Taking pictures of me, sending unwanted cards and letters, calling me throughout the night and at work, threatening my family my friends, harming my daughter? That is no mistake. It’s a choice! One you made and it is your last mistake involving me and anyone close to me! I’m here simply to put a face to the f@#$@# asshole whose caused my family grief, hardship and bodily injury. As far as I’m concerned, the penalty you’ll receive couldn’t be harsh enough!” She stopped short of spitting on him, something she desperately wanted to do. Instead, she turned walked through the door and slammed it behind her. She hard heard him call her name and smiling, grabbed Christina and Andrew’s hand to walk away, a spring in their steps, their heads held high.
“I would have punched his face in,” Andrew freely admitted. “It would have been worth it.”
“It’s a new day! We have our lives back and we’re free to do as we wish.” Eilea’s voice held jubilation.
“I’ll never take freedom for granted again,” Christina remarked. “I guess some things we take for granted until they’re gone.”
“It’s a lesson he’s about to learn, an ongoing lesson for the rest of his life.” Paul said with conviction.
“What sort of time will he get?” Andrew asked?
“Attempted murder (which is what we’re going for) is considered an indictable offence and will give him five years to imprisonment for life. Not only did he fire on civilians and your family in particular, but he fired on both off-duty and on duty cops, which the law severely frowns upon. He fired on officers in the precinct, at my house and on the boat. That’s three consecutive 10 to lifetime sentences. Even though there weren’t any subsequent injuries, there was absolutely no provocation. The maximum penalty for stalking is 10 years to life without parole and we’re going to fight for consecutive sentences back to back for each phone call and letter.”
“We’ve rounded up enough evidence at his place to secure a good long incarceration. Doubt he’ll see the light of day again. On top of which, he’ll never be allowed phone call priviledges or a computer.”
“How long before the case goes to trial?”
“Again we’re pushing this before a local judge who seriously frowns on stalkers, attempted cop-killers and attempted murder. It won’t take long and the court will inform you. It’s unlikely your testimony will even be required owing to the mountain of eye-witnesses and incriminating evidence which suggests he’s been following your family for three years.”
Stopping to take Paul in her arms, Eilea said, “Welcome to the family.”
Andrew slapped Paul on the back. “So your place or ours?”
Paul grinned broadly. “I guess that’s something we’ll have to discuss.”
“Much as I love Hardy, I gotta say your place comes fully loaded, with extras!” He couldn’t have held back his smirk if he’d tried.