DISCLAIMER: ABC Daytime owns all. I just took BAM out to play.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a very, very, very long serial that has been in progress since 2005. So, stick with it, because it's good... it's just lacking regular updates.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Jackson Montgomery once again found himself hunched over his desk in his cluttered office. Despite his general tidiness, his office was in complete disarray. He'd practically lived there since Maggie's appeal was denied, only going home for a shower and a change of clothes. Erica had tried to get him to rest or to eat a hot meal, but he'd have known of that. All he wanted to do was find a get out of jail free card for his daughter's love.
He watched Bianca's reaction in the courtroom and the press conference. Since then, she'd isolated herself with becoming familiar with every single function Cambias Industries oversaw. Trying to get a hold of her was a nightmare, she wasn't returning calls, and she was rarely out her own penthouse nowadays. Miranda constantly shuffled between Kendall, Erica and the nursery Bianca had built-in next to her office. Miranda was the only constant Bianca allowed in her life, barely uttering words to her mom and sister when they came to pick up or drop her off during the day.
Erica Kane tried everything in her power to pull Bianca out of her well of depression, but it wasn't working. She enlisted Kendall's help, and Greenlee offered to kidnap Miranda yet somehow that seemed so out of place in that particular discussion at Fusion that Kendall never asked her for help again. Erica and Kendall teamed up, using Miranda as fodder in some cases, but to no avail. Bianca was trapped by her routine, and nothing short of a miracle was going to bring her out of it.
"Why is this not working?" Jack asked aloud, stood and stretched his legs. He was beginning to develop the early symptoms of cabin fever. He opened up the blinds in his corner office and the bright afternoon's sunlight drape over him, he squinted, looking out into the goings-on in one of the busiest sections of Pine Valley. That's when his eyes fell upon the one woman taking a walk in front of his office building, he knew what he had to do.
"Judge McLaren!" he shouted, briskly walking to her, "Miss McLaren!" She turned, sighed and waited for him to catch up. When he did, he put his hands on his hips, caught his breath slightly, "Judge McLaren..."
"Mr. Montgomery, what a pleasure." The disdain in Elizabeth McLaren's voice was apparent, she didn't want to deal with anyone let alone Jackson Montgomery right now. "Is there something I can do for you?"
"As a matter of fact there is," he smiled. "I'd like to talk to you. Mind if I join you?"
"I do mind, I was trying to enjoy my day." He knew this would be harder than it should be. McLaren was known to be a stickler for the law along with a low tolerance for appeals. A criminal is a criminal despite circumstance was her motto. She'd seen Pine Valley degrade into a place where money bought judges, rulings were overturned and people who should be behind bars hanging out around town with the best and brightest of them.
"I just want to figure out what I have to do to get Maggie Stone out of prison," he said flatly, knowing he'd get nowhere today. 'This was a bad idea,' he thought, 'She'll think I'm desperate.' He was desperate, but so was everyone else in the town. What more could this do to make matters worse?
"There's nothing you can do, Mr. Montgomery," she replied, "It's what Maggie Stone has to do that matters." She smiled, bid him a good day and continued on her walk back to the courthouse. Jack stood there, watched her walk away after exchanging similar platitudes, and then it hit him. He knew what she meant: The only way Maggie was getting out of jail was if Maggie wanted to get out of jail and meant it.
Jackson Montgomery hurried back to his office, made a few phone calls and arranged a visit.
"It sounds simple enough," Maggie sat back and thought about what Jackson had planned out. It all sounded good in theory, but she knew what good theory did in this town. It amounted to a big fat nothing. So far, all she wanted to do was go back to her cell and finish reading the latest romance novel she snagged from the library. It was some preposterous story of a young maiden her fell in love with some well-muscled and well-oiled guy who looked like Fabio on the cover. She tossed it aside at lights out and laughed before thinking about Bianca tucking Miranda in for the night.
"It is simple," Jack said, "No wonder I hadn't thought of it before."
"But what if the judge doesn't think I'm being sincere? I mean, she did suggest this... she knows what's coming next..."
"That's all up to you, Maggie, I can't lie and say this is going to be easy. Or that it'll even work. All I know is that it may just be the only way to get out of here," he sat back, too, and tried to relax. Everything made him uneasy about this, it was out of his realm. He was used to argument, point, counterpoint in the courtroom not just letting his client go at it alone. This was out of his league, but he was willing to give it a chance.
"I'll think about it, Jack," she leaned forward and smiled, "I'll let you know." He nodded, smiled and stood, extending his hand for a shake.
"I think we've long since passed the handshake phase," she joked, standing.
"I guess we have." She hugged him, said goodbye and was escorted back to her cell to think.
"What am I going to do?" she asked herself, staring out into the corridor obstructed by the bars in her way. She leaned against the concrete and just let her mind wander for a bit over what she would say in court to get out. She just didn't know, she just didn't know what she could say to convey how sorry she was for hurting Bianca. That's what this all came down to in the end. She didn't want to hurt Bianca any more than she already had and to put her through another trial would be icing on the last appeal cake if it went horribly. And so far, it had all gone horribly. How much more did Bianca deserve?
Maggie sighed, sat on the edge of her bed and just sat their lost in thought until dinner time.
"Bianca," her name caught in Maggie's throat. A guard had fetched her, saying she had a phone call, and the warden allowed it. She figured it was from Jack or maybe Anna, who always managed to pull strings with extra calls and care packages here and there.
"Maggie, it's so good to hear your voice," she smiled. She was sitting on the sofa in her living room, Miranda was down for a nap. "Uncle Jack pulled some strings."
Maggie was beaming.
"Miranda would say hello, too, but she's sleeping," Bianca added.
"It's okay," Maggie leaned against the wall, one hand on the phone holding onto it for dear life. She was afraid it was all a dream, and that if she sat down, she might just wake up and forget what transpired. "It's good to hear your voice, too."
"I love you," Bianca said, holding back tears.
"I love you, too, Bianca," Maggie said through a smile. If she wasn't so surprised, she'd be holding back tears, too. Maggie could tell by the few words Bianca said that she was ready to cry, but she was trying to be strong. They both where. "How's work?"
"It's... work." Bianca went on for awhile about the ins and outs at Cambius and how she had a nursery put in next to her office. She went on about how Erica and Kendall would fight over who spent the most time for Miranda, she also noted how she was pretty sure Erica had already taught Miranda how to get what she wanted by causing a scene. So far all Miranda could do was cry her way to whatever she wanted, before she knew it, she'd be old enough to just whine her way to whatever she wanted just like Erica did now. Miranda sure was her granddaughter's girl.
Maggie shared some of the goings on in the prison, but there wasn't much to tell. She wasn't about to divulge the meeting between her and Jack earlier that day. She wasn't even sure if anything would come of it just yet. After another fifteen minutes of exchanging stories, they said their goodbyes and parted ways once more.
That night, Bianca and Maggie both cried themselves to sleep.
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