'In a landmark case, convicted rapist Barry Cunningham has been sentenced to fifteen years jail today, on a sentence of no-parole for three years basis. The decision came as a shock to few, but a relief to many.

William Cunningham, the son of the accused recently recovered from a horrific bus crash that took the life of his half-brother, made his slow and painful way from the courthouse escorted by girlfriend and partial plaintiff Jessica Coulsen.

Jessica has been the driving force and face of this court case, rallying Cunningham's victims to speak against him, including herself and her best friend, who would have been the mother of William's brother.

The case has been heavily publicised and followed by the media, in light of Barry Cunningham's status in the community as a trusted and respected dance studio owner and teacher. The outrage over the case has caused parents and families to look more closely at who they trust their children to.

Full story on page 4'.

I put the paper down with a sigh and leant back against the comfortable couch in Will's living room. Will didn't respond and continued staring out the window, seated in the recliner, where he had been for the better part of the day. I studied him, his pale, tired face, and the lines of hardship that had taken up place on his forehead. He had been living at home for almost a year, released from the hospital not long after the first signs of recovery in his legs.

New medical procedures had been timely in assisting his rehabilitation, and he now had 70 percent of the function of his legs. The doctors were optimistic that in time he would regain full use, although he would always have some pain. It was good news after what we had been through. There had been no improvement for many months after the accident, and Will had lost much of the little hope he had started with. But after the breakthrough there had been some more life in his eyes, and that had given me the strength to keep going. I had been running very low on hope and support myself for a while.

Now, there were signs of the old Will in his eyes. He could laugh, and he could tease, but it would still be some time before we could dance.

'Will,' I said quietly, and he turned to look at me. 'We did it. It's over.'

'Over,' Will echoed. 'Yes.'

I moved across the room to him and slid my arms around his chest. I rested my head against his black hair, and kissed the top of his head.

'It's going to be okay,' I told him, following his gaze outside.

'You know,' he said slowly. 'I think today is the first day I truly believe you when you say that.'

I breathed.

'Good,' I said quietly. 'I love you.'

'I love you too,' he said.

Ruby waved from the lawn.


All right. This is the best I can give you. This is the summary chapter, and what you can unfortunately assume is going to be the last chapter. I know it's not what any of you wanted, but perhaps it'll give you a bit of closure on the story. If I find some time, and some energy, I will do a better job of it, but please don't hold your breath.

Thank you all so much for staying with me, and for your encouragement, and your kind words.

And this is not, actually, a completely random update. I got a lovely review from someone that brought the story to my attention again. Thank you PredictablyMe.