One year later……..
A burst of laughter erupted from the living room and Jennifer glanced over her shoulder as she was placing the plate she had just finished drying back into the cupboard.
“It’s so fucking great to have the family together like this” Deb said handing her a wet coffee cup.
“It is isn’t it?” Jennifer answered “there was a time when I……” she stopped, suddenly choking up and Deb quickly dried her hands on a dish towel and placed a comforting arm across her shoulders squeezing slightly.
“It’s been a year, hasn’t it?”
Jennifer nodded and looked at her friend through tear blurred eyes “I can’t believe a year has gone by already”
“It’s been a challenge, that’s for sure” Deb said quietly, then took her arm from Jen’s shoulders, turned her toward the crowd of people in her living room and gave her a gentle push “why don’t you go on in; I’ll finish this”
“Are you sure?” Jennifer asked then gave her friend a grateful smile as the other woman nodded. Debbie stood there for a moment watching the tall blond go in and sit next to Lindsay. Then, instead of turning back to wash the last cup, she leaned against the wall and crossed her arms over her chest, thinking back over the past year.
Several months after the incident, numerous charges had been brought against Glen; amongst them were forgery, fraud and kidnapping. The trial that followed only lasted five days and Brian had flown them all to Los Angeles to support Justin, Molly and Jennifer. During the trial, it was discovered that Craig had been the one who notified the private investigator of Justin’s where- a- bouts. When asked by the judge why he would do that to his own son, Craig had glared over at Justin, coldly declaring that the only son he had was five months old and still in diapers. That the blond he was looking at now was nothing more than a dirty faggot and lower then the dirt beneath his feet. His nose had risen in the air then and he had stared at Justin with a superior attitude, proclaiming that this particular faggot wasn’t fit to breathe the same air as Craig. After the trial was over for that day, Craig’s young wife had walked right up to her husband and had soundly slapped him across the face, telling him that he wasn’t fit to breathe the same air that either one of his son’s did and that she was taking the baby and moving back in with her parents. They were now divorced and his ex wife literally walked away with everything, the house, both cars, the business and the bank account. Last they had heard, Craig was living in a homeless shelter.
After very little debate by the jury, Glen had been found guilty on all accounts; unfortunately nothing could be done to the man. Glen was now confined to a wheelchair, permanently paralyzed from the neck down. Steve’s sniper rifle had jammed when he’d tried to pull the trigger that day and it had been Joshua’s bullet that had slammed into the man’s shoulder. The impact had sent Glen careening into the dresser, breaking his neck when his head had snapped backwards. Glen’s own gun had discharged, hitting Justin in the leg, fortunately that particular injury was a minor one and Justin had been released from the hospital within a week.
Her eyes fell on the two sitting together in a chair; Justin was curled up on Brian’s lap, wrapped lovingly in the brunets’ arms, the rings on each man’s ring finger gleaming brightly. A commitment ceremony had been held the month before and after a three week “honeymoon” in the Bahamas, the two had returned to the family fold.
A high pitched squeal over by the TV set made her smile as she watched Molly playing with Gus, making the youngster squeal with laughter as she playfully ran a small toy truck up and down the childs back. That was one strong little kid she mused, maybe not physically, but she was strong minded. She had shown more courage that day then most people had in their pinkie finger and Debbie was damn proud of her. The girl had also made steadfast friends with the three FBI agents, earning their respect with her daring escape, if not for her, Debbie was sure the outcome would have been much different.
Then her eyes shifted over to the couple on the couch. Sitting close together, holding hands and with his head resting on the southern man’s shoulder were Emmett and Andrew. Now that, she thought with a slight chuckle, had been one hell of a surprise, especially for Andrew.
Andrew had relocated to Pittsburgh eight months ago at the invitation of Brian and Justin and until just recently he had lived with her and Vic. She thought back to the day Emmett had first laid eyes on the shy young man, Em had taken one look at him and had fallen hopelessly in love. But the road to happiness hadn’t been an easy one, to say the red head had been deeply affected by the prolonged abuse suffered under that asshole Glen’s hand would have been an understatement. His scars, both physical and mental ran so deep that even after one year, he still suffered from panic attacks, but the support of the entire family had gone a long way in helping Andrew’s recovery. It had taken some time, but Emmett had finally broken through the protective wall that Andrew had built around himself and the two had become inseparable. When Jennifer mentioned she had a small two bedroom apartment added to her listings, it had been Andrew who had approached her about it, and after a hefty down payment provided by Brian as a housewarming gift, the two moved in together. With Emmett’s gentle, caring nature and continued love, she had no doubt that Andrew would continue to heal.
As Deb turned back to finish washing that last cup, a happy smile crossed her face, things were back to normal and her family was whole again.
It couldn’t get any better then that.