Status: Completed, after eleven months and four days. XD

Baby Just Say Yes

Chapter Forty-Eight

The defense will call Mrs. Rayleigh Haner to the stand," Toole said, a smug smirk of satisfaction on his face the next morning at ten thirty. Rayleigh sighed, and squeezed Brian's hand hard one last time before standing up and beginning to walk to the witness' chair. Why was she so scared of her father now? She'd spent her entire life fighting him and his system, and now that the time had finally come that she could be rid of him forever, she was just a scared little girl in a woman's body. She took her oath, and then sat on the chair, crossing her hands delicately over her lap and looking at he father’s lawyer as he moved to stand in front of her.

"Mrs. Haner, in your estimation, are you a teenage delinquent?" Toole asked her. Rayleigh had had a feeling that her questioning was going to go this way, and she knew how to answer it as well.

"No." She told him, trying to keep her tone professional and emotionless. Alex Cabot, the prosecuter, had told her to only get emotional when it came to a very hard question, so the jury would know she wasn't vying for attention. "In my estimation, Mr. Toole, I am a rather well-behaved teenager compared to a lot of others.”

"But you're seventeen and pregnant, are you not?" He asked her, looking at the jury, who just looked her over, taking the lawyer’s words into their minds as they studied her.

"Yes, that is correct. But I am also married, and the last time I checked, it’s perfectly legal for a married woman to have her husband’s children." She told him briskly, looking over to see Cabot and Brian both smiling at her.

"And that makes everything better, doesn't it?" He asked the rhetorical question. "Tell me, Mrs. Haner, how did you meet Mr. Haner?"

"Relevance, your honor!" Alex called out. The judge looked at Toole.

"Move on, Mr. Toole. You're testing my patience,” the judge sighed. She’d had Toole in her chambers before, and often didn’t like his approach to the witnesses.

"Can you tell me about the incident when you were fourteen, Mrs. Haner?" He asked her. Rayleigh froze, knowing exactly what he was talking about. She didn’t know how it had relevance to the trial, however, and faltered in her reply.

"Answer the question, Mrs. Haner," The judge told her softly, turning to look at Rayleigh. Rayleigh played with her fingers, nervous about the direction the questioning was taking, and looked back up at Toole before answering him.

"I was caught carrying pot in my pocket," She told him. "And me and my friends spent the night in jail."

"Oh, but that's not teenage delinquency, is it?" Toole asked her in a sarcastic tone of voice, causing Alex to glare hard at him before standing and looking at the judge.

"Badgering the witness, your honor!" Alex said to Judge Burwood, who slammed her gavel down before peering down at Richard’s lawyer over her glasses.

"Move on to your next question, Mr. Toole, or be done."

"Very well, your honor." Toole said. "Would you describe yourself as happy when you were living with your mother and Mr. Coslov?"

"No," she told him. "I was very unhappy."

"Unhappy enough to, say, mutilate yourself?"

"I never hurt myself, Mr. Toole," she said, meeting his gaze and refusing to look away. The lawyer's face lit up.

"Oh, is that so?" He asked her. "My client says—"

"Your honor! This is completely irrelevant to the case at hand!" Alex shouted out, causing many murmurs to stir up in the courtroom.

"Order! Order!" The judge called out. "Mr. Toole, you are done examining this witness. Would the prosecution like to cross-examine?"

"Yes, your honor." Alex smiled, standing up and walking over to stand in front of Rayleigh, giving her a reassuring smile before she began speaking.

"You love your husband, don't you Mrs. Haner?" She asked. Rayleigh nodded.

"Yes,” Rayleigh answered, a small smile forming on her face as she thought about Brian.

"And you've loved him for a very long time now, correct?"

"Yes," she replied. "I've loved him for a long time."

"And yet your father still refused to let you see him, right?"

"That is correct."

"Can you tell us all why?"

Rayleigh shook her head. "I don't know why he never liked Brian. I assume he thought he wasn't good enough for me."

"Has your father ever deliberately hurt you, Mrs. Haner?" Cabot asked sympathetically, looking over at the jury before returning her gaze to Rayleigh.

"Yes," Rayleigh told her. Cabot walked over to a tripod holding up several cardboard pictures.

"Are these photos of bruises your father left on you, Mrs. Haner?" She asked Rayleigh, who's eyes started to fill with tears when she saw the pictures on the tripod, turning away so that she wouldn’t have to look at them before looking over at Alex, who was standing beside the tripod.

"Yes. That was when I was going to leave the first time," She said of the bruises her father had put on her the day she'd gotten out of the jail cell. "They didn't fade for about a month."

"And is this," Alex said, picking up another cardboard backed photo. "Another time he hit you?"

"That was during an argument with him about Brian." Rayleigh said shakily, looking back on the police photos that had been taken of the bruises. "That was also the same night he tried to rape me."

"And this," The prosecuter said, picking up the third and final posterboard. "Is from when, Mrs. Haner?"

"T-that's the night he sent a hitman after me, Matt, and Brian." She said. "The pictures on the left are injuries I sustained, and the ones on the right are the wounds Brian and Matt recieved."

"Anymore questions?" The judge asked, looking at the prosecuter, who shook her head with a small smile.

"No. That's all," she said. The judge looked at Rayleigh.

"It's five PM, ladies and gentleman. Court is adjourned until tomorrow at ten."
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Edited for grammar errors and other inconsistencies.