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Chapter 45

Shayla and I looked at each other. We were both stressed out about this whole ordeal. She told me before that she didn't trust this family and I didn't believe her. I did things on my own and now that very same family she told me she couldn't trust has lied on me. And because this is such a sick accusation, I have to do whatever I have to do in order to make sure my name isn't smeared with this crap.

We followed Anthony into the Westwood Marquis Hotel. Anthony handled just about all of my cases and this was a case I really needed him to put before the others right now. He led us to a hotel suite where Evan wanted us to meet. We haven't seen Evan since the debacle at the ranch and while we wanted to keep it that way, his stupid accusations kept us in the loop with him.

Anthony knocked on the suite door. Shayla and I stood hand in hand, waiting for the door to open. I'm not anxious or anything. I'm just hurt because these were people I practically considered family. But family doesn't do this... A real family at least.

Evan opened the door and smiled as soon as he saw us. "Michael... Shayla... I haven't seen you all in a while. Come on in." As soon as we walked in, I spotted Jordie sitting on the couch. Why was he here? He shouldn't be here. He's a child for Pete's sake! It's like they use him as some pawn. Do they not realize how much this is affecting their son? "Have a seat. Make yourselves comfortable."

Anthony sat down in the loveseat adjacent from Jordie and Evan. "Evan, you called my client here to address a serious matter."

"Yes..." Evan nodded at Anthony then switched his gaze to me. "I believe Michael has been acting inappropriately toward my son."

I scoffed, "what are you talking about?"

Evan reached inside his pant pocket and pulled out an envelope. "I took my son to a psychiatrist to be evaluated. And from the doctor's observation, my son is in danger when he's around you."

"Danger?" Shayla asked. "Danger of what, Evan? Come on now. We let y'all have our entire ranch to yourselves. How was Jordie in any danger?"

"Exactly, Shayla. You let us have the entire ranch to ourselves. Which means while I was probably playing with Nikki somewhere on the ranch, your husband took my son to the side and did God knows what with him wherever he wanted. Did you ever think about that?"

"No, Evan, because Michael was always with me and when he wasn't, he was too busy assisting you until you got on his nerves about that stupid screenplay. Don't pull that with me, Evan. You know you're lying."

Evan sighed and glanced back down at his paper. "The doctor thinks your husband had sex with my son, Shayla. What does that tell you?" Evan looked up at me. I matched his glare. He can't accuse me of something I didn't do. There's proof I didn't do it. I have cameras all over the ranch. Does he think he's going to get away with this? "You had sex with my son, didn't you?" Evan asked me.

"I already told you, I didn't. Stop carrying on with this narrative because I told you no on your screenplay and the ten million you asked me for. I have cameras all over the ranch, Evan. We all know you're lying. And even though you have Jordie sitting back there, he knows you're lying too. I don't know why you're over here teaching your son how to lie and most importantly, why you're letting him witness this."

"Exactly. This meeting is over." Anthony stood up. "Let's go."

"Wait," Evan said as he continued to read from the same paper. "'A thirty-four-year-old married man who desires the company of a thirteen-year-old boy, concludes that perverse activities have occurred.'"

"Are you serious, Evan?" Shayla asked him. "Seriously? You know Michael wasn't around Jordie alone for more than two seconds. Now you're just making stuff up. When we invited Jordie, we invited the whole family, whether it was June and Dave or you and Nikki. It has never just been Jordie. I can't believe this." Shayla shook her head. "Jordie, baby, are you okay? It's not right for you to have to live with people who lie like this."

Jordie opened his mouth to speak only to be cut off by his father. "Do you hear what I'm saying? Michael, you've invited Jordie over one too many times."

"At the request of you." I calmly retorted. He wasn't about to break me no matter how much he tried. I didn't do anything. He knows it. Jordie knows it. Everyone knows it. I don't know why he's spewing out this lie that has been debunked all too many times. First June, now him? And he's taking this too far. Can he just give it up already? This is sick. I would never accuse someone of doing something so sick to my child.

"That's it!" Anthony shouted at Evan. "Who do you think you are accusing Michael of something like this? Have you lost your mind? You listen here, Michael did not molest your son and we will take you to court."

Evan smirked. "You know what? This could all go away if you'd just give me the twenty million dollars for the screenplay I've been working on. Michael and I have discussed it before."

"Excuse me?!" Shayla looked at Evan as if he had lost his mind. "First ten million and now twenty million? Evan, you're tripping. Ain't nobody giving you money to film that screenplay that looks like it was written by a fifth-grader. You have to work for it just like the rest of us. As much as my husband and I have done for you and your kids and you're just gonna request money like that from us as if we owe it to you? Did you hear that, Anthony? It's all for the money."

"I know." Anthony nodded. "We'll see you in court for extortion, Evan. Let's go."

Evan nodded with that same stupid smirk on his face. "Good. We'll see you in court. I'll need you all to leave before I call security."

Shayla shook her head and laughed. "Call security? On me and my husband? Who do you think you are?" We stood up to leave.

"I'm going to ruin you," Evan said as we exited his suite. Ruin me? He said that when he spoke to Dave. Was that his plan all along? To ruin me? For what? What does he have against me so much that he feels the need to ruin me? Because I was more of a father to his kid than he'll ever be? Because I treated his entire family as if they were my own? As Shayla and Anthony talked about the different ways we were going to combat this, I stayed to myself. I'm happy I have such a great support system but being accused of something like this is really starting to get to me. What if the media gets wind of this? My entire career will be over and Evan will have gotten his wish to ruin me.

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