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.

By carpesomediem


Part 26

"It all started the first day I saw her," Maggie began, hesitating for just the briefest of seconds when she met Bianca's eyes. Bianca looked hopeful, despite her upright, uptight position. She had her hands laced in her lap, she looked like she could have her portrait painted and hung next to the Queen of England herself. "She fainted, dead away… If I hadn't been there, she probably would've cracked her head on the floor of SOS-"

"-Miss Stone, I don't see how any of this is relevant," the Judge interrupted, as Maggie stalled once again.

"It is, your Honor," Maggie piped up again, meeting her eyes pleadingly, "If you'll just let me try to explain…"

"Very well, Miss Stone," she replied, eyeing the young girl. She'd offered her this appeal as a way to test her character, to truly see if the act was selfless, passionate. So many cases in the town had tested her belief in justice. She'd seen too many billionaires walk off scot-free when they were truly guilty; she wasn't about to let this young girl off the hook for murder, even if it meant defending the sainthood of Pine Valleys' Bianca Montgomery. "But do keep on track to your point."

"Yes, your Honor," she nodded, returning her attention to the courtroom. She found her focus on the back of the courtroom, just to the right of the door. A faded, silverish plaque was mounted on the wall. She couldn't make out the words etched into it, but she felt if she focused her energy there, she might just be able to make it out. "As I was saying, she fated, and I thought to myself, 'What a weirdo…'"

"What is she doing up there?" David whispered to Anna, leaning into her ear. "She's just rambling like an idiot… What type of defense is this? I knew it was a mistake letting Jackson Montgomery-"

"-Quiet," Anna berated, turning her head slightly, "She's doing what she does best."

"And what's that?" he snapped, louder than intended. Those surrounding him looked in his direction, and he scowled in response.

"Going with her heart…"

"Then, there was this time at the boathouse, I said the stupidest thing in the world," Maggie drowned on, not weary in the least bit. Every so often, a word or phrase would elicit her attention to a face, garment or place in the courthouse. But she avoided Bianca as much as she could, she was afraid the second she made eye contact, even for the slightest second, she'd blow it all. "And I told her I was into guys. I mean, seriously? How much dumber could I be? They might as well put my picture next to the definition in the dictionary, because I truly am-"

"-Miss Stone," the Judge interrupted for what had to be the twentieth time.

"Yes, your Honor, I know," Maggie shrugged, not even bothering to meet her eyes again. She felt a flush come over her cheeks, embarrassed that once again she'd let her mind wander.

Bianca's emotions were running wild, though she hardly showed it. Every once in awhile tears threatened to spill, but she kept herself in check. She watched Maggie eagerly, reliving the same memories she told the courtroom in her own unique way. While they'd talked about many of these moments, long after they'd happened, it seemed as if they never really worked through so many of the bad moments that changed the dynamic of their relationship over the years.

Now, as Maggie told her side of the story, all of Pine Valley was reliving with her the relationship that was Bianca and Maggie. Erica and Kendall kept watching Bianca, fluttering her eyelids to keep the tears from coming. But they knew that Bianca was ready to spill over, and they did what they could here or there to keep it from happening. The last thing they needed was for Bianca to lose it, because at that point, Maggie would be sure to follow.

As the judge retreated to her quarters to deliberate, Maggie was lead through the courtroom, cuffed, and out the doors to be turned over to Jackson Montgomery. For the duration of the judge's deliberation, she'd be kept in a small waiting area. Jackson would keep her company, along with the two armed guards outside the room. She wasn't allowed any other company, even though she wished Bianca could stroll through the doors and sit with her.

"So, what did you think?" Maggie asked with a bit of fake confidence. She was trying to keep her spirits up, although she met the judge's eyes a few times throughout her testimony, it was hard to read the woman who'd sentenced her in the first place.

"I think you did very, very well," Jackson said honestly. It was rare to find someone willing to lay it all on the line on the stand, but Maggie had done just that. "Hopefully, you'll be coming home for dinner with us all tonight."

"One can only hope," Maggie turned away briefly, internally cringing at the use of the word hope. It's all she had left, and if things turned out poorly, it'd be the last time she'd ever hold onto it.

Meanwhile, while Jackson and Maggie made small talk, Bianca and Kendall paced outside the hallway much to the disapproval of the guards. They didn't say anything to the two girls but their faces said it all.

"I don't think they're too happy about us walking around here, Binks," Kendall said quietly, pulling her sister to the side. "Maybe we should hide around the corner, get a glimpse of Maggie as she comes out-"

"-We heard that," one of the guards said gruffly, rolling his eyes.

"So, what?" Kendall snapped, taking a step forward, "You have super hearing, good for you!"

"Kendall!" Bianca exclaimed, putting a hand over her mouth, "I'm so sorry, she doesn't think before she speaks…"

"I do think before I speak," Kendall batted the hand away, "And I did mean to say that!"

"Kendall," Bianca elbowed her this time, the two guards shaking their heads now at their antics, "Let's go around the corner, like you said-"

"-I know, that was my original idea," Kendall threw her hands in the air, nearly losing her purse while she was at it. Bianca steered Kendall around the corner, taking a look behind her at the door that separated her from Maggie. "Since when did you become the calm one?"

"About the same time you opened your mouth," Bianca countered, smirking.

"Haha," Kendall returned the smirk, "Very funny. Glad to see the thought of losing the love of your life hasn't ruined your sense of humor."

Bianca's face went pale, she closed her eyes.

'Oh shit,' Kendall mentally smacked herself in the face, 'Why do I open your mouth?'

"If you would all rise," the bailiff announced, signaling the judge's return to the courtroom. Maggie turned to smile at Jackson, who put a hand on her shoulder in reassurance. He was still amazed she managed to get through her entire story without so much as breaking a sweat, at least on the outside. He had no doubt she was being torn apart inside. 'If this doesn't work,' he thought, shaking his head slightly to displace the doubt.

"In all my time in Pine Valley, in all my time on this bench," the judge began, barely allowing the rest of the room to be seated as she continued, "I have never quite proceeded over an appeal like this. To be honest, from the very beginning, this has been the most difficult decision to make as a member of the court."

'This doesn't sound good,' Maggie thought, bowing her head. Bianca was thinking the same think, cementing her doubt when she saw Maggie bow her head. Bianca shut her eyes; she didn't want to prepare herself for what was going to happen, how it was going to play out.

Part 27

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