02-09-2013, 04:11 PM
Kris Lee hoisted her backpack onto her skinny shoulders. "Sorry I can't stay, Mama D," she said, "but I got to get to class." She stooped down and gave the old woman a kiss on the cheek. "I'll be back this afternoon."
"Have a good day, honey," Dimitra said, smiling.
Kris Lee left the tent for school. Many of the other Loyals had left for school or work that morning, leaving Dimitra pretty much alone again in the tent. In a way, it was a relief; too many people in one confined space made it too stifling inside. She smiled to herself, pleased that she had so much support in her cause to save Holy Trinity Church from demolition. If only that injunction would be served--then she could return to the comfort of her suite in the Luxor. A nice hot bath would feel good right about now, but she was on a mission, and nothing could dissuade her from it.
Father Stefan poked his head inside the tent. "Good morning, Dimitra," he greeted her. "How are you this morning?"
"Good morning, Father," Dimitra returned. "I'm doing fine, thank you."
"I see you generated more support for your protest movement," Father commented.
"Our protest movement," Dimitra corrected. "We're all in this together."
"Of course." Father sat down beside Dimitra. "Can I get you anything? Tea? Breakfast?"
"Well," Dimitra began hesitantly. "I do need to use the ladies' room. Could you save my place?"
Father smiled. "Of course I will." He pulled the key from his trousers pocket and unlocked the padlock resting on her hip. "There you go."
Dimitra stretched her limbs, grateful to be standing again. "I'll be right back, Father," she said.
Father nodded and sat down in Dimitra's chair. Dimitra walked into the church and headed for the ladies' room. Once she had finished her personal business and tided herself up a little, she made her way outside to resume her post. No sooner did she step outside the giant wooden doors than she came face to face with two members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
"Dimitra Sarantakos?" one of the officers asked grimly.
"Yes?" she responded, bewildered.
"We have a warrant for your arrest for trespassing on private property," the officer said. "You'll have to come with us, please."
"But this is my church!" Dimitra protested. "I have every right to be here! Ask Father Stefan--he's right in the tent over there!"
"Father Stefan is also being taken into custody," the officer explained. "Please, Ma'am, come with us peacefully, or we'll have to put you in handcuffs."
"Who put you up to this?" Dimitra demanded. "Who issued that warrant?"
"This property belongs to SilverStar Enterprises," the officer answered, "and the court issued the warrant." He took Dimitra by the arm and pulled her to the waiting police cruiser. "You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to waive that right, anything you say can and will be held against you..."
Criss, George, JD, Costa, and the rest of the MindFreak crew had gathered in Criss's suite for the nine AM production meeting. There was none of the usual banter or horseplay that morning; Criss and his brothers were still concerned about their mother chained to a tree outside Holy Trinity Church. Try as they might, none of them could focus on planning the next episode of the show, so worried were they about Dimitra.
George turned to Criss. "You ain't still mad about me taking those chains from the warehouse, are you?"
Criss hesitated, then shook his head no. "That doesn't matter any more," he replied. "I'm glad you were up front about it at the beginning, though. If I'd found out after the fact, I probably would have, well, you know..."
"Kicked my ass?"
Criss smiled. "Yeah, probably."
"Any word on the injunction?" JD asked.
"Oh, yeah, they filed it all right," Criss answered, brightening. "In fact, they told me it's gonna be served first thing tomorrow. They said SilverStar has no legal claim whatsoever to any of that property. And we got another card up our sleeve as well."
"Like what?" JD wanted to know.
Criss leaned forward. "Holy Trinity Church is seventy five years old, right? Well, that practically makes it a historical landmark, 'cause it's one of the oldest churches in Las Vegas. And the law says you can't tear down a historical landmark."
"Doesn't it have to be a hundred years old to be a historical landmark?" Costa asked.
"Hey, what's twenty five years?" Criss replied, shrugging. "The point is that being as old as it is and still functioning, they can't tear it down. And if they can't tear down the church, they can't tear down the rest of the neighborhood either. We win."
"Great," JD said. "Now go and tell Mom that so we can bring her back home."
"I'll see her after the production meeting," Criss said. "I promise."
The meeting slogged on: ideas were suggested, refined, discarded, sketches made for future demonstrations, then scribbled out and resketched. This whole tedious process was interrupted by the sound of Criss's cell phone in his pocket. Everything was put on hold as he pulled it out to answer it.
"Hello?" A pause, then Criss brightened. "It's Mom!" he told everyone in the room.
"Is she giving up?" JD asked eagerly. "She want to come home?"
Criss waved for silence. "Yeah, Mom, what's up?" he asked casually.
The entire company watched as a look of horrified outrage spread across Criss's face. "Arrested!?" he exploded. "You got arrested? For what?!"
"Mom got arrested?" Costa echoed. "What for?"
Criss's jaw dropped to his chest. "Trespassing on private property? Whose private property?" he demanded.
The answer made him even more furious. "They have no claim to the church, and they know it!" he stormed. "Look, where are you right now?" A pause. "Okay, I'll be down there in a few minutes. How much is your bail?" Another pause. Criss calmed down a bit. "Okay, no problem, I'll be by to pick you up. Just sit tight, okay. Love you. Love you more. 'Bye."
Criss flipped off the phone, cursing under his breath. "Damn that (bleep)! I told her if she so much as laid a fingernail on Mom, I'd sue her ass big time!" He rose from his seat. "Come on, guys," he said, "we gotta pick up Mom from the lockup." He turned to the production crew. "We'll be back later, okay?" he told them.
"Sure," Dave Baram said understandingly. "We'll be here when you get back."
"Thanks, Dave." Criss turned to his brothers. "Come on, guys, we gotta spring Mom."
The three brothers left the suite, Criss muttering a steady stream of profanities directed at SilverStar's CEO all along the way. He couldn't wait until that injunction was served to that self-centered (bleep)! He made a mental note to call that same law firm again later that day. Monique Wesley had a slew of class action suits against her already; now she'd be facing wrongful arrest charges on top of that. The Clark County District Court is going to have a full docket from this one case alone after this, he thought.