Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

Judd Marsden was thrilled when the judge announced he had been exonerated of all charges regarding the sale of McCafferty’s property. It was a long time coming, the courts were slow, but he’d finally had his day in court, and the proof was undeniable.

It was obvious McCaffterty had set out not only to besmirch his good name but destroy his company. As the only other major business involved in large real estate dealings in the area, it had been obvious for years he’d do anything to destroy Marsden. Although Marsden was aware of his hatred, he’d never suspected he’d stoop so low or go so far.

The judge explained he could bring defamation charges as well as several others against him and he knew they would stick. The old man would die in prison. Still, Marsden hesitated. In his mind, it would do no good; Marsden should pay for his crimes and truly deserved to do so, but if he retaliated, it might add to the speculation. It could further damage his reputation, and definitely his self-esteem. Then there was McCafferty’s daughter. The look on her face when she realized the truth, the horror, the shock, the humiliation, caught at his heartstrings.

If she were to stand a chance at overcoming her father’s actions, living under the cloud of dishonesty corruption and hatred that he’d shown, this had to stop and stop now.

The judge asked if he’d like to make a statement, and he did. “I’m thankful to the courts for clearing this matter up. It’s one thing to be rivals entering a good-hearted competition. It is quite another to besmirch someone’s name, character and attempt to destroy them and their company. That is not business as usual. “

“I’m quite sure it will take time to overcome McCafferty’s innuendo and lies. I know he did not work this scenario alone; there were others assisting him and I hope they too are brought to justice.”

“For the sake of the innocent individuals caught up in this mayhem (he looked directly at McCafferty’s daughter) I wish this issue brought to a close. My one request is that the innocent be protected and that the truth is known and all are aware justice had been carried out today. Thank you, Your Honour, for seeing the truth of the situation and for giving me this time to speak.”

The court was then adjourned and as he turned to walk away, he watched an angry and unapologetic man reach out to his daughter who immediately said something and walked away. He noticed McCafferty blanch and reach out a hand but his daughter had already turned away. As he watched, she straightened her shoulders, pulled herself together and headed toward him, her eyes never once wavered.

“Mr. Marsden, words fail me. I went into this believing that we had been wronged only to find that couldn’t be further from the truth. I owe you a debt I cannot repay. I apologize on behalf of the McCafferty Association of which I am now, no longer be a part.”

“It wasn’t your doing and unnecessary for you to handle and you aren’t beholden to apologize but I thank you for your honesty, your integrity and I sincerely thank you for this, Miss McCafferty.”

“Please, if you will, Kendra. It seems I’m out of a job. You wouldn’t be hiring, would you? I am very capable, and although I wasn’t aware of my father’s actions, or those of others in the Company, I should have been. However, having said that, I am good at my job.” She smiled, “I’m not sure where we stand at this point.”

“We stand on even ground, Kendra. You weren’t involved, you have nothing to be sorry about. You have dignity and grace in spades.” He paused, “Why don’t we have lunch tomorrow and discuss your options for my company. I know very little about your credentials, but I’d be happy to look at them.”

“That is gracious of you and I thank you. Thank you. I look forward to it. Noon at The Empress?”

“I’ll be there,” he remarked with a smile.

“Thank you. Thank you very much.”

“My pleasure. We’ll see how this goes and take it from there.” They shook hands and parted company.

The advisability of hiring her was unclear, but at the same time, she hadn’t been involved and obviously didn’t condone her father’s actions. McCafferty had created a serious problem for himself. Losing his daughter from his company, probably his home, if not his life was a blow he deserved. Time would tell whether his company could overcome the scandal. But more importatly in Marsden’s eyes, having creating hardship pain and suffering to his only daughter was unforgivable. Her response spoke volumes. Indeed she loved her father and after a time, perhaps they could heal their relationship.

He himself, was attracted to the qualities she’d shown. She was worthy of the risk, and if it proved otherwise, he only had himself to blame.

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