So Vivian moved in with Silas. I was ok with it. Still wasn’t ready to sell my old childhood home in Windenburg just yet, where she had been living with Finn until he was taken from her. But I was cool with Vivian living with her new husband in Forgotten Hollow. His home was surprisingly cozy, with a beautiful cottage style garden.
And then there was the day of the hearing to get Finn back. Blaine and I went too this time, after I had thoroughly threatened him with duct tape on his face should he lose his temper in court.
“Your honor, if you do not mind, it is Blackbourne now.”
Lucca laughed out loud sarcastically, earning a warning glance from the judge before he addressed Vivian again.
“Oh yes, I see a copy of the marriage certificate now, guess my staff has not gotten around to getting everything updated yet. Mrs. Blackbourne, I see here that CPS noticed that you were always present and punctual for all visitations. Very good … uh huh …and I see here that little Finn has repeatedly mentioned to the CPS agent that he would prefer to live with his mommy….”
“That is because she told him to!” Lucca exclaimed.
“Mr. Auditore, please brace yourself! Miss Camer … umm .. Mrs. Black.. ahem … bourne.. I also noticed a change of address form submitted so I assume you moved in with your husband then…”
“Golddigger!” Lucca barked.
“MR. AUDITORE! I have about enough of you! But if you are so overzealous to speak, let us speak. I see here that you have managed to get yourself incarcerated and hence we had to reschedule the original date of this hearing to accommodate you? If I were you, I would be less testy! Please tell the court why you were in jail?”
“The charges were dropped.”
“Did I ask about that? What was the reason you were being held, Mr. Auditore?!”
His attorney tried to save the day
“Your honor, there were some unfounded accusations of …”
“Thank you counsel, but I specifically remember addressing Mr. Auditore himself, and he had been so eager to speak, so now please, enlighten the court.”
“I … we… there …”
“What happened, Mr. Auditore? Cat got your tongue? Shall I remind you then? Mr. Auditore, you were charged with attempted rape. I can also see that the charges were dropped eventually, but let me tell you this much, I used to work in the criminal court before I moved myself to family court, so I know the likes of you. I know exactly what happened and why the charges were dropped and I will further tell you, Mr. Auditore, that this does not look good on your record. Speaking of record, I see that you had several brushes with the law, possession, driving under the influence, attempted rape, public intoxication, public rage, you have been in fights, really Mr. Auditore, I do not know how it could have been that your criminal record had not been pulled the last time, but I must say, I am not amused. Not one bit!”
“Your honor, having a child around has made me a better man, I have seen the error of my ways …”
“Oh please spare me! We have little Finn present in court today, he is with the court caretakers and now I would like to hear his side of the story. I will tell every party involved to stand down, nobody addresses the boy in any way shape or form or I will see to most severe punishment. Are we all clear?”
Everybody nodded or agreed and the judge had the boy called in.
Holding the hand of a caretaker he was lead to a chair next to the judge who spoke calming to the child, after he had removed his robe to look less frightening.
“So, you are Finn Cameron, you are 6 years old, is that correct?”
“No, 6 and a half!”
“My apologies, of course, 6 and a half. Do you know why you are here today, Finn?”
Finn shook his head, but kept looking over and smiling at his mother.
“I am here with you to find out, if you should stay with your daddy or go back to your mommy.”
“Oh my mommy! Please, I want to go back live with mommy, and Roxy and Maggie. Oh and uncle Silas!”
“Who are Roxy and Maggie?”
“The cats of course!”
“Of course, silly me. So Finn, do you like your uncle Silas?”
“Yeah … he is funny. And nice. And he plays with me. Daddy doesn’t and I cannot have toys out and I have to …”
“That is NOT true, the boy can play, but does have to follow a schedule!” Roberto Auditore, Lucca’s father and therewith Finn’s paternal grandfather interjected.
“Mr. Auditore Senior, would you like to spend a night in jail or pay a hefty fine?”
“No, your honor.”
“Again, Finn, if I were to ask you now, would you like to live with mommy or daddy?”
“But your daddy will be all sad.”
“No he won’t. He is never home anyway. He does not play with me and he does not like me!”
“Oh, but Finn, I am sure you are wrong.”
“No.” the little boy shook his head. “And I want to see grandma and grandpa!”
“Your grandparents? I thought they lived there.”
“Not the mean ones, those”! Finn pointed at Blaine and me. “Hi grandma!” he waved, I waved back.
“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Cameron. Mr. Blaine Cameron. I believe we have met, a long time ago, could that be?”
“I think we may have.” Blaine smirked.
“Looks like you cleaned up your act after all. I had lost all hope.”
“At some point so had I, your honor.”
“Do you know my grandpa? He plays the guitar and sings! I want to do that with him again. Do you sing too?”
“For the greater good, I do not, at least not in public. You are quite the character, little man. And you have opinions.”
“Dad said I am just like my mom.”
“OK, I think that was all, why don’t you go back out with Miss Littler and play some more, while I talk a little more with your parents?”
“OK, nice to meet you, your horror.” Finn said as he was getting up.
The entire court room laughed, including the judge.
Once the child was gone the judge, still stifling a laugh turned to Vivian.
“I have to say, you have quite a character there. Smart little fellow. So, normally now I would review all evidence, written and my notes, but truthfully, I will tell you my judgement right now. Mr. Auditore, it is clear as glass that you are not the right address for this child. I had fallen for the careful appearances you kept up, but not only has little Finn confirmed my suspicions, I had to have another attorney – a Mr. Tom Harrison – kindly point me to the … let us just call it oversight … about the pretty substantial criminal record on both Mr. Auditores. Yes, Mr. Roberto Auditore, I know about your tax evasion suit too. Interestingly, the report included some news article about Mrs. Kayla Auditore’s previous career as a ‘playboy bunny’.
As pleasing as I found the images personally, I hardly think that your household is suitable to raise a child any better than a loving mother would, which the boy so clearly prefers, backed by the reports of the CPS agent, an entire stack of them. For the reasons given I will rule accordingly and give the sole custody back to Miss Cam.. argh.. one day I will learn, Mrs. Blackbourne, but will grant visitation to Mr. Auditore. Now those will be supervised and not overnight visits. At least not right away. I need to see you put forth an effort first. But, I will make this rule with prejudice, barring this case from being reopened. So I suggest, Messrs. Auditore, you arrange yourselves with this and behave. As I stated last time, my role here is to judge in the best interest of the child, which I believe I have. Court is dismissed. Congratulations Mrs. Blackbourne.” The judge tapped the gavel, got up and left, while the bailiff went through his usual announcements.
Vivian and Silas hugged and kissed, then came to us. That same night we all picked Finn up and he loved his new big room at Silas’ house.