Karen waited just long enough to see Kira safely into the car, then shut the car’s door and watched, trembling ever so slightly as the car pulled away into the late afternoon traffic. Sharon slid up next to Karen and gently took her elbow. She looked back at the gaggle, now clustered around June, who was telling them that she couldn’t comment on the case because she didn’t want to risk violating the gag order.
“Looks like June drew the press hounds away,” Sharon said. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
Karen swallowed. “I’m supposed to go back to my parents’ place.”
“Then that’s where we’ll go. In fact, here comes June and the car’s right here.”
In the back seat of the car, Karen sank down between June and Sharon and tried not to sob.
“What the hell was she thinking?” Karen all but shrieked. “I swear, she told them she’d run away and live on the streets before living with her dad. At least, that’s one of the things they were asking me. What was she thinking?”
“That she really doesn’t want to live with her dad?” said June, softly.
“Somebody’s bound to think I put her up to this,” Karen groaned. “Oh, crud, what if the judge thinks I did?”
June and Sharon glanced over at each other. June winced – someone had asked if Karen had put Kira up to the impromptu press conference. Sharon nodded.
“I don’t think the judge will believe that,” Sharon said. “And we’ll be there to testify that Kira’s little press conference was as big a surprise to you as it was to us.”
“But what if he does and gives George custody?”
“Then we’ll fight it,” said June calmly. “Besides, it’s been going around on Facebook and Twitter that Judge Weltzer has gotten into trouble before for giving kids over to abusive fathers. He has to have heard the chatter. Nobody is that out of touch.”
Sharon thought it entirely possible that Judge Weltzer was that out of touch, but decided it was not the time to say so.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry at Kira in her life,” Karen gasped. “I’m ready to kill her. I just want to shake the living daylights out of her and ask her what the hell was she thinking?”
Sharon bit her tongue. She had a pretty good idea of what Kira had been thinking – that she could manipulate the press and try the case in the public arena. The scary thing was, it looked like Kira had succeeded. Admittedly, the teen needed some work in the finer points of massaging a story. But Sharon knew there were many, many adults who couldn’t have pulled off Kira’s little coup.
Not that Karen wanted to hear that part. Because the sad truth was, the fact that Kira pulled it off so neatly would lend credence to the idea that she’d been set up to do it. Sharon held in a sigh, looked over at June and the two let Karen vent.