June 10, 2016

Haley: Week Twenty-Eight, Day Seven, AM

Johnny headed downstairs, dressed in his nicest clothes for the mediation.  He'd buzzed his hair down so that he didn't look like the criminal element he'd pretended to be for the last 15 years of his life.  It was good to let Remmy D'Argent go...
"Worried?" he asked his nephew, Rio.

Rio clasped and unclasped his hands, his jaw working nervously.  "She hasn't called," he said, his voice full of agitation and disappointment.
Rio knew exactly who Rio was talking about.  She hadn't called him either.  He took a seat beside Rio. "It's going to be okay," he said, trying to impart confidence that he didn't feel.

Rio rolled his eyes, burying his head in his hands.  "You don't know that," he said gruffly.  "What if she doesn't show?"

That was exactly Johnny's fear, too.  He reached out and cuffed Rio's leg.  "Come on? Not show up for Shayla's mediation hearing before the trial? She'll show."

"Yeah, because she's been such a stable influence in our lives!" Rio said bitterly, clenching his hands into fists.
Steps sounded behind them.  "She'll be there," Haley said confidently.  "She might not always show it, but I know that she loves you both very much."  She looked at Johnny.  "Do I look alright?" she asked, fussing with the silk knot at her neck.

She was running late because she'd been fussing with her appearance.  She'd raided the back of her mother's closet, finding a few things that she'd worn during Eva's political career.  She'd also swept her hair up into a professional bun.  She wanted to appear proper and dignified.

Johnny stood up and squeezed her hand.  "You look great."

Haley gave a small smile, reaching up to run her hand over his buzzed hairline.  "You cut it off," she said, slightly sad.  "I liked your hair like that."

Johnny smiled crookedly. "I can always grow it back."
Haley walked past him to address the boys.  "The mediation should only last for a few hours.  The lawyers have already worked most everything out, so it's just a matter of working out the little details.  There's nothing to worry about," she stressed, hoping to shake the concern from Rio's eyes.
"Tia, I want to go," Rio said, sounding more like a scared kid than she'd ever heard him.  "I'll be good. I won't say anything, I promise!"
"I know," she said, pulling him up to give him a huge.  "But it'll be better if you wait here," she said firmly.  "We'll be home before you know it."

"Please, have a seat, Mr. Albright.  The other side should be here momentarily," Shaye's attorney said in clipped, cultured tones.  "Can I get you anything? Some water?"

Shaye and Kelli shook their heads.  "I just want to get this over with," Shaye said.
"Remember what we talked about," Rayne counseled her client.  "Don't play into Miss Vasquez's emotional blackmail.  Leave the talking to me."

Shaye swallowed nervously and glanced at Kelli.  How the hell had this gotten so out of hand?  He was in the middle of a mediation meeting about to fight Rachel for custody...

Rose was pacing near the door when Haley and Johnny made it up the stairs.  She flicked her phone up and looked like she was checking her messages again.

"Hey squirt!" Johnny said.

At the sound of his voice, Rose's head shot up and her frown turned into a beaming smile.
"Johnny! I'm so glad you're back in town!" she said, giving him a hug.

Johnny smiled fondly at his kid sister.  "I haven't seen you since you were about this big," he said, gesturing to his hip.  "Looks like you haven't grown that much."

Rose playfully glared at him.  "I'm not that short!" she grumbled. 
A frown crossed her face again.  "Tell me you guys have heard from Rachel," she said, the worry evident in her face.

After a quick consultation, Rose headed inside behind Johnny and Haley.  "Good morning, Miss Davies," she said with a friendly nod. 
Haley left a spot for Rachel, leaving her in front of Shaye.

"Haley," he said in greeting, nodding his head.

Haley smiled wanly, prepared to say hello.  But his attorney leaned over, whispering something to him.  His gaze immediately returned to the table. 
Rayne turned back to her opposing counsel.  "And where is Miss Vasquez?" she asked.  "It is now 15 minutes past starting time."
"She's on her way," Rose lied smoothly, flashing a bright smile.

Rayne fiddled with her watch.  "It will look very bad for your client if we are forced to reschedule this mediation," she warned.  "We'll wait another few minutes."

*tick* *tock* The minutes passed.

Shortly before time was up, Rachel and Mr. Keaton breezed into the meeting room as though they owned it.  Rachel gazed around the room with aloof calm.  Until her gaze met Haley's.
"What is she doing here?" she snapped angrily, her hand on her hip.

Rose twisted in her seat, a smile plastered on her face.  "Good! You're here!" she said, "Come, have a seat."  She stared a moment longer at the man standing beside here.

"I don't want her here," Rachel said stubbornly.  "She's not family."
Shaye and Kelli glanced at each other with raised brows.  What the heck was going on?  Haley might not be family, but she'd helped raise both Rio and Shayla since they were babies!
Johnny threw his hands up in the air angrily.  "For Christ's sake, Rach!" he exploded. 
Haley touched her hand to his leg and shook her head slightly.  "That's okay, I'll just wait outside," she said.  The most important thing right now was Shayla.
She slipped from the room, looking away to avoid meeting Rachel's eye.

Rayne Davies raised an perfectly manicured eyebrow.  "If you're quite finished with your version of musical chairs..."
She wasn't sure how it was possible, but Rose widened her smile.  She waited a moment while Rachel and her mystery man took a seat.

"Sorry we were running late," he said glibly.  "I had a business call I had to address."
Rose nodded, flashing Rachel a look of annoyance, then began the mediation.  "In front of you is the draft we've prepared for shared joint custody.  We'd like to suggest a yearly rotation of holidays so that everyone..."
"Actually," Rachel announced, cutting her sister off, "I'd like to make a few small changes."

Rose's jaw clenched and she turned to face her sister.  "What changes?" she asked, nearly growling.  Really, what was Rachel trying to pull her?

Rachel glanced across the table at Shaye and smiled.  "I'm actually going to be moving to Monte Vista.."

All hell broke loose.  Shaye stood up and slammed his hands on the table. "You're not taking her out of the country!" he said angrily.  Kelli reached up and tried to pull him back to his chair.

"This is really very unprofessional," Rayne said, speaking over her client. "We've had these details worked out for weeks.  To make a change like this at the last minute underscores Mr. Albright's claim that Miss Vasquez is unreliable and unfit as a parent!"

Rose was about to reply when Rachel spoke up again.  "In light of this, I'd like to sign over full custody to Shaye," she announced.
Shaye stared, stupefied.
It only took a moment for his counsel to pull it together.  "Wonderful! We can make all the changes right here!" Miss Davies said eagerly.

"Miss Vasquez, a moment please," Rose said, standing up and grabbing her sister's arm and dragging her a few feet away.
"What the hell are you doing?" she whispered harshly.  "You breeze in here almost 20 minutes late with some strange guy I've never seen before, after avoiding my calls for the last week, and suddenly announce that you don't want custody anymore.  Is this a joke to you?!"
"What? Something came up. I can't pass this opportunity up!" she said defensively.  "She'll be fine with Shaye!"
Rose shook her head, stunned and angry.  "You don't even care! I never should've taken your case! I would've expected this kind of behavior from Keely, but not you!" Maybe insanity ran in the family, Rose thought. 
Rachel sniffed, glaring at her sister.  "Is that all? Or can we get this over with?"

"No. That's not all! Why? Why are you doing this? And who is that man? I'm half-inclined to say you're suffering from a mental episode and have you committed!" Rose snapped.

Rachel put her hand on her hip. "It's my life and my choice," she said forcefully.  "You wouldn't understand! You're not a mother!"

Rose walked back to the table with a sick feeling in her stomach.  Mother or not, she didn't understand.

While Rose was having her private conversation with Rachel, Rayne had been busily updating the contracts.  "So, what spurred your sudden move our of country?" she asked pleasantly as Rose looked over the paperwork.
Rachel beamed, grabbing the document from Rose before she could finish reading.  "Oh, top secret!" she teased with a smile as she signed the papers with a flourish. "Isn't that right, Logan?" she asked, glancing at him with a smile.
"We're working on a very lucrative deal, but have to keep the details under wrap," he said in a slightly condescending manner.

"Oh, for Christ's sake," Johnny muttered darkly. 
Fed up with his sister and her smarmy companion, he pushed his chair back and stood.  He couldn't watch his sister sign away her parental rights so ambivalently.
He stormed out in the hall and Haley popped up, sensing waves of anger resonating off of him.  "What is it? What's wrong?" she asked, rushing after him as he began to pace.

"She's given up custody. She's moving to Monte Vista," Johnny snapped angrily. "Who is that guy?"

"Mr. Logan, her boss," she answered automatically. "Wait, what do you mean she's giving up custody?" she asked in a rush. "She's moving? Out of country? What's going on?!" She grabbed his arm and tugged on it.

Johnny swiped his hand across his face.  "Christ, she's leaving." 
Tears filled Haley's eyes.  "No!" she sobbed, squeezing her eyes shut. "This is all my fault," she whispered brokenly.
Johnny reached out and crushed her against his chest, resting his cheek on her forehead.  "Shh.. it's going to be okay," he told her, stroking her back.  "We'll make it right..."

"Isn't this touching?" Rachel said caustically, leaning against the entrance to the conference room.  "The two lovers can't keep their hands off each other."
Haley pulled herself from Johnny's arms and faced her best friend.   Her ex-best-friend.  "Why are you doing this?" she demanded.  "Are you doing it to hurt me? To punish me? Why?!"
"This isn't about you, Haley! It's about me! I'm finally going to be able to live my life!" Rachel said.
"What a line of shit!" Haley exploded.  "You've been whatever you wanted to do all along, not even caring how it affected Rio and Shayla!"

"They'll get over it!" Rachel said, bitterly adding, "It's not like they consider me their mother anyways.  There was always someone else trying to play that role!"
Haley was so angry with Rachel that she did something she never would have thought was possible.  She reached up and slapped the smug smile off her face.  Rachel gasped and reached up to grab her cheek and glared as Johnny pulled Haley away, trying to separate the two of them.
Logan stepped forward, putting his arm around Rachel and leading her away.  "Just walk away.  This stage of your life is done now."

Rachel smiled.  He was right. She was moving on to bigger and better things.  She flicked her hand in farewell.  They'd never understood her anyways.

*AN - I can already hear everybody yelling at Rachel behind their computer screen. :)  It's no wonder that Haley slapped her!
Also, a little fun fact - opposing counsel, Rayne Davies is Farrah Black & Seth Davies only daughter.  Technically that makes Rayne and Haley cousins, although they are completely unaware of that fact.  The separation between the mothers kept them from knowing anything about each other!


  1. I know there's another chapter up already and I don't have that much to say: but... whaaaaat? Never saw that coming. Wow.

    And mr Keaton has a firstname. That was almost as shocking.

    Then Haley lost temper and slapped Rachel. Just.. Yikes. Well deserved, but still yikes.

    1. Yay! A surprise! LOL. I'm surprised she didn't call him Mr. Keaton in bed.:) Typical Rachel - thinking only of herself!

      I'm so glad Haley slapped her! Rachel has deserved it for *years*!

  2. Wow. That's the best summary of all of this, I must say. I don't think Haley's ever sworn at anyone before, not even Gage! Poor Rio. Poor Haley and Johnny. I have to wonder, is Maritza explaining what is happening to Darryl Jr. or does she try to keep the drama away from him? I feel like she would try to protect him, but not lie.

    Rayne and Haley both have their mothers' hair in this chapter, haha. They both look good! Also what are Rose's and Rayne's in-game occupations? I could imagine them both being serious, very professional business women or even politicians.

    Oh dear. Rachel has really outdone herself with her flippancy and irresponsibility. I think it was good that her sister told her off, and maybe it will sink in someday. And ouch, being compared to Keely (is she still with Ellis?) I feel like Rachel will take a long time to really evaluate everything she's doing.

    1. Yeah, a lot happened that morning! Rachel definitely pushed Haley past her breaking point.

      I think Darryl is young enough that he's oblivious to the undertones. You're right, if he does notice, I definitely see Maritza explaining it to him straight.

      It was so weird looking at Haley with the dark black bun! I kept wanting to type Eva. Lol. Rose is engaged to Mason Black-Goth & is in politics. Rayne is unemployed and living with her boyfriend Aaron Legende-Wolff & half-brother Bryan Gibson.

      I'm convinced it will never sink in for Rachel. She consistently blames everyone but her for the mistakes in her life. I think Rio & Shayla will be much happier without her negative influence! Hehe.. it did kind of suck being compared to Keely, huh? Lol.

  3. Go.Haley. Just give me a moment to pixelize so I can join in. >:( And then maybe Rachel is right and this really is who she is. Poor Rio. She might have made sure Shayla was taken care of, but she's completely abandoned him. :(

    1. Haley enjoyed the slap. Immensely!

      Rachel drives me crazy. Haley spent years trying to help and covering for her. Makes you wonder what would have happened if Rachel & Rio hadn't come to live with Haley!

      I think the only reason Rachel did anything with Shayla was because she was already in the middle of a custody dispute. Otherwise, I could totally see her just walking away. Neither child got a farewell.

  4. I knew that Rachel was irresponsible, but this...? Wow.
    Well, it's definitely going to be better for Shayla this way. But poor Rio! As if he hadn't been through enough with his mother already...

    Grr, Rachel! And then accusing Haley of trying to play her kids' mother? The nerve!

    Grah. Too angry to remember anything else now.