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Thirty Three - Happy Ending

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A month and a half later

"On account of attempted murder, physical abuse to a minor, and the suspected involvement in his late wife, Linda Jamison's death from heroin overdose, the court hereby sentences ex-police officer, Mr. Gregory Jamison to fifteen years behind bars without parole, as well as a $10,000 fine to be paid to the victim. Since the victim, Xavier Hunt is not a minor forthwith, he is declared fit to manage his financial affairs, including the property at 22-D Hampton Street, Texas, which initially belonged to his biological father and will be transferred to his name by the order of the court. The court is hereby adjourned."

Smiling so wide I can barely contain my joy, I glance to my right to see my dad beaming at me. His happiness radiates off him, and I don't know how to tell him how lucky I am to have a father like him. I honestly don't know what I'd do without him.

Tearing my gaze away from him, I look to my left, at the boy sitting next to me and staring right at me with his mesmerizing, grey eyes. His fingers are still trapped in mine, exactly as they have been since we entered the court for this hearing.

I give him a wide smile, and he smiles back, looking over my shoulder at his stepfather being handcuffed and taken out of the court again, dressed in an orange jumpsuit that is definitely fit for him.

"Let's go, kids," my dad says, probably seeing the hurt flashing behind Xavier's eyes. Regardless of what his stepdad did, Xavier had always considered him nothing but a father.

Neither of us resists obeying my dad, rising to our feet as one and following him out of the courtroom.

The day outside is bright and hot, but the clouds that thankfully decided to grace us with their presence are more than appreciated.

Keeping my fingers woven through Xavier's, I lead him and my dad out into the open air, the place bustling with strangers.

Xavier suddenly stops, his fingers slipping out of mine. I have been overly paranoid since everything happened, so the acceleration of my heartbeat doesn't surprise me, neither does the fact that I spin around to look at Xavier without really meaning to.

I'm just about to open my mouth to ask him what's wrong, when Xavier glances towards my dad -- who nods and walks away. Xavier, on the other hand, reaches towards one of the flower-beds around the court entrance. Before I can say a word, he is on his knees, holding a flower out to me.

My heart pretty much dies and comes back to life again.

Xavier takes a deep breath, his eyes fixed on me as sun rays dance across his pale skin.

"Remember how I tried to say something to you last month?" he begins, and my breath catches in my throat at the mention of that horrifying day. "You told me that wasn't how you'd have me say it. That you'd rather hear me say it like this."

"I didn't mean ..." I try to speak but fail. I'm such a dweeb.

Xavier smiles. "Haley Marie-Ann Rosamond," he says, his voice especially beautiful. "I swear to God, I love you."

I could freaking die right now and be happy.

No, wait, scratch that; I don't want to die. Not now.

"I have loved you since that day when you held out a pen to me in that Classics quiz I didn't know what to write --"

I mean ... I'm sure that's a lie but ...

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