THE GREATEST GIFT OF All

By Dawn Yzaguirre

 

It is discovered that Catherine is alive. She returns with Peter and Joe’s help to the tunnels just in time for her and Vincent’s son’s naming ceremony. But her happiness could be short lived when Diana returns from California determined to win Vincent back from her.

Vincent entered Father’s chamber after returning from the lower tunnels on a work detail. He smiled when he heard the happy babble of his beloved infant son who had been left in the care of his grandparents. “I am home Father.” He stated as he descended the steps into the chamber. Father looked up from the baby and smiled. “We were waiting for you.” He stated. Vincent took the baby into his arms. He smiled at his precious son then sat down in his favorite chair. “So was he a good boy while I was gone?” Father chuckled. “Well I might be a bit biased because I am his grandfather but he is always a wonderful baby.” Vincent chuckled also. “Father you have a right to biased.” Father took a sip of his tea and put it back on the desk. “So have all the problems with the pipes been taken care of?” Vincent nodded. “Yes, the pipes will hold David’s ideas for the repairs worked wonderfully.” Father nodded. “He is a very talented man.” Vincent looked at his parent again. “Yes, we are very fortunate to have him.” Father chuckled. “I am sure that Olivia would agree with you on that.” Vincent chuckled also. “Yes I am sure she would.” Then he sighed. Father heard the sadness in his sigh and looked at him again. “What is it?”

Vincent looked down at his son for a moment before answering. “Their relationship reminds me so much of mine and Catherine’s.” Father knew that seeing other couples together and happy still made Vincent very sad. “Yes it does.” He agreed. “Vincent it will get easier as time passes.” Vincent looked up at him again. “I know Father, but I don’t ever want to forget her.” Father smiled. “That is one thing that will never happen my son, she will always be a part of you and now you have that precious baby boy he will always be a living reminder of the love that the two of you shared.” Vincent rose. “We are going back to our chamber I need to be alone with him.” Father nodded. “That is a good idea I still have some details for the naming ceremony tomorrow night to work out.” Vincent moved over and kissed his parent on the forehead. “I am sure the ceremony will be wonderful.” With that he turned and left the chamber. Father sadly watched him go. He knew that the loss of Catherine had been hard for Vincent. And that he was still in a great amount of pain.

Meanwhile in Washington D.C. Catherine sat in the hotel room that she had called home for the last few months. She had been through a living hell at the hands of Gabriel and now she felt as if she were being held prisoner once again by her own government and the FBI. They had taken her from the coroner’s office in New York when it was discovered that she was barely alive. The coroner had wanted to contact Joe Maxwell; the new District Attorney of Manhattan, But the FBI had warned him that he could face charges of obstruction of justice if he did not assist them. He had reluctantly agreed and helped them. When they had gotten her out of the coroner’s office she was placed on a private plane and taken out of the state. They had replaced her body with that of a Jane Doe. The woman matched her physical description almost perfectly.

Now Catherine sat at the picture window of her room and wondered why Peter and Joe had not come to see her or had not contacted her in any way. After she had woke from the coma the doctors who were caring for her had told her that her friends and family in New York knew that she was alive but that she was very ill. She understood and figured that they were waiting for her to recover before coming to see her. But she had become more and more despondent as the months went on. She prayed that they did not hate her for staying away and putting them all through this horrible pain.

She was brought out of her thoughts when the door to her room opened. “Good morning Catherine.” A female agent greeted as she entered the room. Catherine looked up at and saw Agent Kristen Brooks putting a breakfast tray on the table. “Morning Kristen.” She answered quietly. Kristen looked up then moved over toward her. “I thought you might want to eat before we have to leave for the courthouse.” Catherine shook her head as she continued to look out the window. “No I am not hungry I just want to get all this over with so that I can go home to my friends and family.” She whispered. Kristen smiled slightly. “I know that this has been very extremely hard on you.” She remarked. “But you have been very brave to face those men who tried to kill you.” Catherine sighed and shook her head. “No Kristen I have not been that brave.” She disagreed. “If you think about it I was not given much of a choice about testifying.” She commented bitterly. “I was brought here while I was still in a coma then after I woke up I was told that I had to testify.” She added. “I was taken out of New York away from everyone who love me and I have no idea how long it will be before I see them once again.” Kristen sighed and shook her head. She had learned the previous night that Catherine was going to be placed in the witness protection program after she was done testifying. They had been lying to her the whole time in order to get her to cooperate. But Kristen knew how much all this was hurting Catherine. She knew that she needed to know the truth about what was really going on.

Catherine looked over at Kristen as she walked toward the door. She watched confused as Kristen locked the door. “Kristen what is going on?” She asked confused. Kristen listened at the door for a moment then she turned and put her finger to her lips to silence Catherine. When she was sure that they were not being heard she moved back toward Catherine. “Please sit down I have something to tell you.” She requested. Catherine was unsure of what was going on as she sat down on the bed. Kristen sat down on the bed beside her. “Catherine you need to know the truth.” She began. “What truth?” Catherine asked. Kristen looked out the window for a moment. Then she took a deep breath and looked at Catherine again. “I could get into a lot of trouble with the other agents if they find out that I am telling you this.” She stated. Catherine did not like the sound of this. “Kristen has something gone wrong with the trial?” She asked. Kristen shook her head. “No the trial is going just fine but I found out last night from another agent that after the trial is over you are not going to be allowed to go back to New York.” Catherine was shocked. “Where am I being taken?” She asked. The fear rising in her chest. Kristen smiled encouragingly and placed her hand on Catherine’s shoulder. “You are going to be placed in the witness protection program.” She whispered.

Catherine sat there for a few moments in shock. She was desperately trying to absorb everything that she had just been told. She looked over at Kristen again. “NO!” She exclaimed as she rose from the bed. “I will never agree to something like that!” She declared. Kristen nodded. “I know that is why I have contacted someone in New York that you know.” She then began to tell Catherine the rest of the story. “You have been lied to all this time.” She explained. Catherine looked at her confused. “What do you mean?” She asked. “Your friends and loved ones believe that you are dead.” She remarked. Catherine shook her head. “What have they done to me?” She asked as tears came into her eyes.

Kristen rose from the bed and moved up beside her at the window. She placed her hand on Catherine’s shoulder to offer some comfort. “You were taken from the coroner’s office when it was discovered that you were barely alive. The coroner wanted to contact Joe Maxwell but a couple of agents from the New York office told him that he would be charged with obstruction of justice if he did so he had no choice but to help them.”

Catherine stared at the window at the Washington skyline. Then she turned and once again looked at Kristen. “How dare they play with my life in that manner!” she exclaimed angrily. “I went through a living hell with Gabriel and now I am once again being exploited for someone else’s benefit!” She added. Kristen turned toward her. “That is why I am telling you about this.” She explained. “I have contacted Dr. Peter Alcott.” Catherine began to smile. “He knows about all this now?” She asked. Kristen shook her head. “No not yet I haven’t seen him I just asked him to come here he will meet us this morning at the courthouse.” She explained.

Catherine nodded then spoke again. “Will I be able to see him?” Kristen smiled. “Yes of course you will then after you have finished testifying he will be taking you home.” Catherine could not believe what she was hearing. “Will your superiors agree to that since they wanted to put me into the witness protection program?” Kristen nodded again. “Yes they have already agreed it seems that they were not aware of the plan to put you into the program so they agreed when I suggested that you be allowed to return to New York.” Catherine smiled brightly. “I am finally going home again.” She mused. Kristen also smiled. “Yes you are.” Catherine then hugged her. “Thank you for everything you have done for me.” Kristen shook her head as they parted. “You are a very brave woman and I would not allow some of my colleagues to exploit you because they were corrupt.” Catherine looked at her confused. “What do you mean they were corrupt?” She asked. Kristen sighed then answered. “Catherine I discovered that some of the agents who had access to you were on Gabriel’s payroll.” She explained. “They apparently had orders to get you into the program then they would let the remaining associates that Gabriel had know where you were so that they could come after you.” Catherine shivered upon hearing this. “They would have finished what Gabriel couldn’t.” She whispered. Then she looked at Kristen again. “That really frightens me now who besides you am I supposed to trust?” She asked.

Kristen put her hand on Catherine’s shoulder again. “You don’t have to worry about that anymore those agents were all taken into custody so now the agents that will be with you will be ones that I will work with until you have finished testifying and are released.” She explained. Catherine smiled then walked over to the bed. She picked up her purse and her jacket. “Let’s get going because I want to get this over with so that I can see Peter then go home.” Kristen smiled and nodded. Then the two women left the hotel room for the very last time.

Meanwhile back in New York in the tunnels Vincent was sitting in his chamber with his son in his arms. “Your naming ceremony tomorrow night is going to be very special.” He whispered as the baby watched him. “Everyone is looking forward to it.” He continued. “I just wish that your mother could have lived to be here with us but I swear to you my son that when you are older I will tell you just how she sacrificed everything to keep both of us safe.” He whispered.

Suddenly a male voice spoke from the chamber entrance. “Everyone will tell him about what a wonderful person Catherine was.” Vincent looked up and smiled as Father entered the chamber. “Thank you that means a lot to me.” Father smiled and nodded. Then he walked over to the bed and sat down beside Vincent. “He is truly a beautiful baby.” He whispered as he looked at his grandson. Vincent nodded. “Yes he is just as beautiful as his mother was.” Father nodded. “Yes but Vincent he has your beautiful blue eyes.” Father remarked. Vincent looked up at him and chuckled. “I have heard that from almost every female in the tunnels since I brought him home.” Father chuckled also. “I am sure you have.” He remarked. Then Father grew serious once again. “Vincent we all loved Catherine very much she became like the daughter that I never had.” He stated sadly. Vincent rose and walked over to cradle that was close to the bed. He gently leaned down and laid his sleeping son in the cradle.

He stood up right again and watched the baby for a few seconds. Then he walked back to the bed and sat back down. “Is there something wrong Father?” He asked concerned. Father shook his head. “No not really I just came to tell you that Peter, Jessica, Joe, Jenny, and Diana had to fly to Washington D.C. this afternoon.” Vincent looked at him again concerned. “Will they miss the ceremony tomorrow night?” Father smiled and shook his head. “No Peter told me to tell you they will be returning tomorrow afternoon.” Vincent nodded. Father then looked at him again. “Am I to presume that Diana will be attending the ceremony?” He asked. Vincent shook his head and looked down. “No I told her that I would prefer that she stay away from the tunnels for a while.” Father nodded. “That might be for the best considering her feelings for you.” He stated. Vincent sighed and nodded. “Yes I was not aware that her feelings for me had grown as much as they had.” Vincent whispered regrettably.

After a moment of silence Father put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “Son I understand that you cannot love Diana.” Vincent nodded and looked over at the cradle where his son was sleeping. “Father I don’t think I will ever be able to love another woman in my life Catherine was the only woman I wanted to love and to love another would make it seem as if I were somehow betraying her.” He stated. Father squeezed his shoulder lovingly. “I know my son I felt the same way when I became involved with Devin’s mother I loved her as much as I could but I felt as if I was betraying Margaret.”

Father then smiled. “You are aware that Peter and Jessica have taken the role of your son’s other grandparents?” Vincent looked at him again and chuckled. “Yes Peter made that quite clear the fire first time that he and Jessica saw him.” Father laughed softly. “Well you know that they are going to take those roles quite serious.” He remarked. Vincent smiled and nodded. “Yes after Catherine’s father died they became like another set of parents to her.” Father nodded. “Yes Peter told me that and that is why they are taking such a serious role in your son’s life.” Vincent smiled. “Yes I know.” He commented.

Then they looked back at the cradle as the baby whimpered in his sleep. When they were sure he was not going to wake Vincent spoke again. “Have you heard anything from Devin?” Father sighed and shook his head. “No apparently since Charles died he has taken to traveling once again.” Vincent sighed sadly. “I was really hoping that he would be here for the naming ceremony.” He whispered. Father nodded. “I know we were both hoping that.”

Father was about to speak again when a familiar voice interrupted them from the chamber entrance. “Well I couldn’t disappoint the two of you now could I?” Devin asked as he entered the chamber. Vincent smiled brightly and rose. “Devin I am so glad you are here.” He commented as they embraced. “Well I am glad to be here.” Devin responded as he tightened his arms around Vincent. Father smiled as he watched the interaction. “I couldn’t miss my nephew’s naming ceremony now could I?” Devin asked as they separated.

Then Devin looked over at Father. “Hello Dad how are you doing?” Father and Vincent both smiled at his use of the word ‘Dad.’ “I am fine son.” Father commented as he rose. Devin smiled and moved toward him. “I am so glad to see you.” Devin whispered as he embraced the tunnel elder. Vincent smiled happily as he watched the interaction between his brother and his father. Father was shocked as he spoke again. “What brought this on not that I am complaining mind you.” He stated. Devin released him and smiled a bit shyly. “Well since Charles died and when I heard about Chandler I realized that you have to tell those you love how you feel.” He explained.

Suddenly he realized what he had just said. He turned around and looked at Vincent. “Hey little brother I am so sorry about what I just said I know you told Chandler you loved her as much as you could.” Vincent sighed and shook his head. “No Devin I never told her enough just how much she meant to me and to my life.” Devin knew that Vincent needed to talk. Turning to Father again he spoke. “Dad would you mind if I talked to Vincent alone?” Father smiled sadly and shook his head. “No of course not you need to catch up.” He stated. “If either of you need me I will be in my chamber.” Then he turned and left the chamber.

Once he was gone Vincent and Devin sat down on the bed. “Devin don’t worry about what you said.” Vincent commented. “I know you did not mean anything by it.” Devin smiled and nodded. “Well I am glad you know that because I would never do anything to hurt you in any way.” Vincent looked over at him and smiled. “Vincent I guarantee Catherine knew how much you loved her.” Devin commented. “You could see it every time she looked at you.” He added. Vincent sighed. “Devin I know that she knew how I felt about her.” He began. “But the one thing that I will regret for the rest of my life is that I could never come out and really tell her how much in love with her I was and always will be.” He whispered. Devin smiled and put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “You were lucky to have that kind of love.” Vincent nodded in agreement. “Yes we were lucky.” He whispered.

Devin suddenly rose from the bed and walked over to the cradle. “Well are you going to introduce me to my nephew or not?” Vincent looked up at him and smiled proudly. Then he rose and walked over to the cradle. He leaned over and gently picked up his son. “Of course Devin I would you like you to meet mine and Catherine’s son.” He whispered as they looked down at the baby. Devin smiled and touched the baby’s tiny fist. “My God Vincent he is beautiful.” He whispered as he continued to look at his nephew. Vincent nodded. “Yes he is just as beautiful as Catherine.” He stated proudly. Devin looked over at Vincent and smiled. “And you.” He added. Vincent chuckled and shook his head. “Devin don’t you think that your opinion is just a bit biased on this matter?” Devin chuckled and shook his head. “I may be biased but I am only telling you the God’s honest truth.” Vincent reached out and squeezed Devin’s shoulder lovingly. “Thank you for that.” Then Devin reached out. “May I hold him?” He asked. Vincent turned and gently placed the baby in his arms. Devin then moved over and gently sat down on the bed. “I still can’t get over the fact that you are a father.” He whispered as he looked down at the baby in his arms. Then he looked up at Vincent and smiled.

Vincent walked over and sat down beside him. “Sometimes I have trouble believing it myself.” He remarked. Devin looked at him again. “What is it like?” He asked curiously. Vincent thought for a moment then reached out and took his son in his arms. “Devin I am so honored that Catherine blessed me with our son.” He began. “The only regret that I have is that she was unable to tell me that she was pregnant that last night that she was here.” He whispered as he continued to gaze down at his son. Devin put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “From what Dad’s letter said she was very concerned about you having a relapse of your illness at the time.” Vincent looked over at him and nodded. “I understand that Devin but fi she had been able to tell me that night I would have insisted that she remain below so that I could protect her and our child.” He shook his head. “And then none of this sadness would have ever happened.” He added. Devin sighed and shook his head. “Vincent you can’t blame yourself because both you and I know that Catherine would want you to go on with your life and be happy with your son.” Vincent looked up at him and smiled. “Yes I know she would want that.” He answered. “And I am very happy to have him home with me again.” Then they turned their attention back to the baby. They spent the next few minutes talking quietly about everything that had occurred in the last few months.

Back in Washington, a dark limousine pulled up and parked outside the federal courthouse. “Where are you supposed to meet Peter?” Catherine asked as she looked out the tinted window toward the building. Kristen could not help but chuckle at her anxiousness. “I arranged to meet him in the conference room on the second floor where you will be waiting to testify.” Catherine nodded. “Are you ready to go in?” Kristen asked. Catherine smiled and nodded. “I have never been more ready for something in my entire life.” She answered. At that moment a male agent opened Catherine’s door. She looked at Kristen who nodded encouragingly. Then both women got out of the car. Catherine was immediately surrounded by more agents who escorted her into the courthouse.

Once they were inside the lobby of the building Catherine looked over at Kristen again. “Am I going with you?” Kristen smiled at her and nodded. “You are going to wait in the hallway outside the conference room while I explain everything to him.” She responded. Catherine suddenly got a very frightened look on her face. Kristen saw this and put her hand on her shoulder. “Catherine you won’t be alone in the hallway my partner will be waiting with you.” Catherine then saw a tall dark haired man approaching. “Catherine Chandler this is my partner agent Mark Williams.” Catherine smiled slightly and extended her hand. “Hello agent Williams.” The young man smiled and shook her hand. “Please call me Mark.” Catherine smiled again and nodded. “All right Mark.” She replied.

Mark then looked at Kristen. “I escorted Dr. Alcott upstairs a few moments ago he and the others are waiting for you.” Kristen looked at him confused. He nodded. “Yes he brought his wife and some of Miss Chandler’s other friends with him.” Catherine smiled brightly. “Do you know who?” She asked anxiously. Mark nodded. “Yes I believe he said the other man’s name was Joe Maxwell and the red headed woman with him was Mr. Maxwell’s wife Jenny.” Catherine stared at him for a moment. “Jenny is married to Joe.” She whispered in disbelief. Kristen smiled. “You look very surprised.” Catherine nodded. “Yes Jenny is my best friend from college but I was not aware that she and Joe were married.” Kristen nodded then looked at her partner. “Thank you Mark shall the three of us go upstairs now?” They all walked over and got on the elevator. Once it reached the second floor the doors opened and they stepped out and walked toward the conference room at the end of the hallway. Kristen stopped in front of the bench as Catherine sat down. “When I have told them everything I will come for you.” Catherine nodded. Kristen then put her hand on Catherine’s shoulder again. “Your ordeal is almost over.” She whispered encouragingly. Catherine looked up at her and smiled. Then Kristen moved away from her and walked toward the conference room.

Inside the conference room everyone was waiting. Peter stood and paced nervously in front of Jessica. “Peter honey please sit down.” She requested. Peter looked over at her and smiled. “I’m sorry honey I am just nervous about all this.” He then sat down next to her again. “I know but we will know what this is all about soon I’m sure.” She stated. Joe looked up at Peter. “Did the agent who called tell you anything about why she wanted you to come to Washington?” Peter shook his head. “No she just asked me to meet her here today.” Jenny shook her head. “I just hope that there is nothing wrong with the trial of those animals.” She commented. Joe put his arm around her and squeezed her arm. “I am sure that if that were what this was about they would have contacted me also.” He reasoned. Diana nodded. “Yes they would have contacted you since you were the first one investigating Catherine’s murder but I also wish we knew what this meeting was about.” Jenny looked over at her slightly perturbed. She didn’t really like Diana that much but she held her emotions in check because of her high regard for Vincent. Joe and Jenny had met him during the case and had immediately understood so much more about Catherine. They both liked Vincent very much and neither wanted to see him get hurt anymore by anyone connected to this case.

Peter noticed the look that Jenny gave Diana and silently applauded. Neither he nor Jessica truly liked her especially her attitude toward Vincent and Catherine’s relationship. But like Jenny and they stayed quiet because they knew that Vincent thought of Diana as a friend after she helped him recover the baby. They knew that she was falling in love with Vincent and it truly bothered them. Neither wanted to see her insinuate herself into Vincent’s life while he was so vulnerable and hurting over Catherine. “I just wish she would get here already.” Joe remarked looking at his watch. Jenny gently touched his arm. “I am sure she will be here soon Sweetheart.” He looked over at her smiled and nodded.

At that moment they all looked up when the door opened and Kristen entered. She looked around a moment unsure which man was Dr. Alcott. Peter seeing her confusion immediately stood. “Agent Brooks?” He asked as he extended his hand. Kristen smiled and shook his outstretched hand. “You must be Dr. Alcott.” Peter nodded. “Yes call me Peter please.” Kristen nodded. “All right Peter.” Then she looked at the others. “My partner told me that you had brought some other people along.” Joe stood and shook her hand. “I am Joe Maxwell the new District Attorney of Manhattan.” He stated. “I was in charge of this case before it was taken over by the FBI.” Kristen nodded. “You are also one of Catherine’s friends?” She asked. Joe smiled and nodded. “Yes she worked for my office while I was Assistant District Attorney as one of my investigators and she became a very good friend of mine.” Then Peter helped Jessica to her feet. “This is my wife Jessica.” He introduced. Kristen smiled and shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.” Then Jenny stood. “And I am Joe’s wife Jenny but I was also Catherine’s best friend.” Kristen noticed the red headed woman who stood. “And you are?” She asked. Diana extended her hand. “I am Detective Diana Bennett I was in charge of the investigation of Catherine Chandler’s murder for the NYPD.” Jenny frowned at her again. She hated how Diana always referred to Catherine by her case. She never really referred to her as a person just a case.

After the introductions Kristen sat down at the table. “Well maybe we should all sit down so I can explain everything to you.” The others all sat down at the table on either side of her. “First of all, let me begin by saying that what I am going to tell you today is going to come as a great shock.” She started. “I know how important Catherine Chandler is to all of you.” Joe looked at her strangely when she said this. “Why do you refer to her in the present tense?” He asked. Kristen looked at him and smiled. “Let me explain and you will understand in a moment.” Jenny put her hand on Joe’s arm to calm him down. “Agent Brooks Catherine was like another daughter to me and my wife.” Peter remarked. Jessica smiled sadly and nodded. “Yes she was.” She whispered. “Well I have to tell you that you have all been lied to by the New York office of the FBI from the very start.” Kristen stated. “What do you mean they lied to us?” Joe asked.

Kristen stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. “Mr. Maxwell this going to come as a great shock to you all but Catherine Chandler is very much alive.” Everyone in the room just stared at her after her revelation. Finally Peter looked down and sadly shook his head. “That’s not possible I saw her body myself.” Kristen nodded. “Yes I know but not long after you saw her it was discovered by the coroner that Catherine was in fact alive but in a deep coma.” Joe looked at her again. “He would have contacted me if this was true.” He argued. Kristen sighed. “Mr. Maxwell he was going to call you but an agent from the New York office told him that if he did he would be charged with obstruction of justice.” Jenny looked her confused. “Why would they do such a thing?” She asked distressed. Kristen looked at her. “They wanted to bring Catherine here under protective custody so that if she woke up she could tell them what she remembered so that it would help them in the prosecution of this case.” Joe looked up at her angrily. “If this Catherine is alive they had no right to keep it from my office!” He declared. Kristen nodded. “Yes I agree that is why I contacted Dr. Alcott.”

Kristen then looked at Peter again. “Dr. Alcott I know you were her doctor.” She remarked. Peter nodded. “Yes I was.” Kristen pulled out a file. “Apparently from what her doctors here found out was that she had some strange components in her bloodstream that seemed to block the full effects of the morphine so instead of killing her it put her into the coma.” Jessica squeezed Peter’s hand knowingly when she heard this. “I was not aware of any strange components in her blood.” Peter lied. He knew that these components must have come from Catherine and Vincent’s child.

Kristen closed the file and put it away. “Well I was just wondering if you knew what they could be.” She commented. Peter shook his head again. “No I’m sorry I don’t.” He answered. Then Jessica spoke. “Are you absolutely certain that this is Catherine?” She asked her voice full of hope. Kristen smiled at the older woman. “Yes I am certain that this is Catherine Chandler.” She commented as she rose. “Can we see her for ourselves?” Jenny asked. Kristen smiled and moved toward the door. “Of course just a moment.” Then she left the room.

After she had left Peter looked at Joe. “What do you think?” He asked. Joe shook his head. “I don’t know exactly what to think I want to believe that this woman is Cathy.” Peter nodded. “So do I.” Then Diana spoke. “Well we have to be sure that this woman is Catherine Chandler.” She stated. Jenny looked at her out of the corner of her eye. I pray that this woman is Catherine because if she is you are out of Vincent’s life. She thought to herself. On the other hand, Diana was secretly praying that this woman was not Catherine because she knew if she were that any hope that she had of a future with Vincent would be shattered. Peter looked over at her and nodded. “Yes I know that we have to be sure but Agent Brooks seems pretty sure already.” Joe took a deep breath to calm his nerves. “Well why don’t we wait and see who she is?” He suggested. Then they all fell silent waiting for Agent Brooks to return.

After she had left the conference room Kristen approached Catherine. “Are they ready to see me?” Catherine asked as she rose. Kristen smiled and nodded. “Yes they are still a bit unsure of what to believe but I think once they see you all their doubts will disappear.” Catherine nodded. “I would not have expected any different from any of them.” She whispered. Kristen put her hand on Catherine’s shoulder. “Well let’s get you in there.”

Catherine picked up her purse then they walked to the conference room. Catherine took a deep breath as Kristen reached out and slowly began to open the door. Please let this all work out. Catherine prayed silently. Catherine smiled brightly when she stepped into the door and saw all of them. Everyone in the room rose from their chairs and stared at her for a moment. Catherine looked over at Peter as he slowly moved away from the table toward her. “Peter I am so happy to see you again.” She whispered as tears came to her eyes. Peter smiled as he got closer and saw the only remaining scar from her attack three and a half years before. “Oh God Cathy honey it is you!” He cried jubilantly as he pulled her into his arms. She clung to him as she began to sob. Yes Peter I am alive and finally home.” Then she saw Jessica slowly moving toward them. Stepping out of Peter’s arms Catherine smiled at the older woman. “Oh Jessica I missed you so much.” She whispered. Jessica smiled as she wiped away her tears and opened her arms to the young woman she thought of as another daughter. “Oh honey welcome back.” She sobbed. Catherine embraced her as they both cried happily.

After a moment Catherine heard someone crying behind her. She released Jessica then turned around to see Jenny in Joe’s arms. Jen are you all right?” She asked as she approached her. Jenny lifted her head from Joe’s shoulder and looked at her. “It is you isn’t it?” She asked. Catherine smiled and nodded. “Yes Jen it is.” She answered. Jenny moved away from Joe and embraced her friend. “Oh Cath you are alive!” She exclaimed happily. Catherine moved back in her arms and smiled. “Yes I am alive and I hear you have married this one.” She commented teasingly as she looked at Joe who was staring at her. Catherine looked at Jenny and winked then moved out of the embrace toward Joe. “Hey aren’t you going to say anything?” Catherine asked him teasingly. Joe swallowed the lump in his throat then spoke. “My God I can’t believe it is really you Cathy.” Catherine could not help but giggle. “Hey what ever happened to Radcliffe you hardly ever call me Cathy.” She teased. This was all that Joe needed to hear. His tears began to fall down his face as he pulled her into his arms. “Thank God.” He whispered as they held each other.

Catherine once again began to cry as Joe held her. She was so happy that she was once again among some of the people who loved her. She turned her head slightly and for the first time noticed the red headed woman that was staring at her. Joe noticed where she was looking and moved back slightly. He then looked at Catherine again. “Catherine Chandler this is Diana Bennett she is the police officer who worked on your case.” Catherine moved forward and extended her hand. “Thank you for everything you did.” Diana could only nod as she looked at the woman in front of her. “I was only doing my job.” She finally whispered. She knew in her heart that any future that she wanted with Vincent had ended the minute that Catherine entered the room. And that her world had just shattered into a million pieces.

At that moment Kristen spoke once again. “Catherine I really hate to break this up but you still have one last day of testifying.” Catherine nodded. She squared her shoulders and moved toward the door. “Yes I do and I am anxious to get over with.” She remarked. Peter moved up beside her and put his arm protectively around Catherine’s shoulders. “May I come with her into the courtroom?” He asked. Kristen smiled and nodded. “Of course you can I am sure that Catherine would appreciate the support.” Catherine nodded. “Yes I would.” She stated. Then Joe moved forward. “I would also like to come.” He remarked. Kristen nodded. “Of course Mr. Maxwell.” Peter turned toward Jenny, Jessica, and Diana. “I will the three of you wait here until we return?” He asked. Jenny smiled and shook her head. “No way I am walking with you to the courtroom.” She declared. Joe smiled because he knew that Jenny wanted a few more minutes with her friend before she had to testify. “Honey you all go on with Cathy Diana and I will wait here.” Jessica remarked. Then she moved forward and once again embraced Catherine. “Everything is going to be all right honey then after all this is over we are taking you home where you belong.” She whispered. Catherine smiled brightly. “I will see you in a little while.” She remarked. Then they all left the courtroom.

Once they were gone Jessica smiled again as she sat down at the conference table. “I can’t believe this is happening it is so wonderful.” She mused. “I can’t wait until Vincent sees her once again.” She added. Then she looked over at Diana. She immediately noticed that the younger woman was completely ashen. “Diana are you all right?” She asked concerned as she reached out and touched her hand. Diana immediately came out of her revelry. “Yes Jessica I am fine.” She whispered. “I suppose I am just still in shock.” Jessica nodded. “Yes I believe we all are.” She commented.

Then Jessica grew serious. “Diana I know that over the last few months you have developed very deep feelings for Vincent.” She began. “But you do understand that once this is all over we have to take her back to him they have both suffered enough and need to be together to raise their son.” Diana nodded. “I know Jessica I suppose I am just a bit sad about what might have been between myself and Vincent in the future.” She stated.

Jessica sighed sadly. “Diana ever since Cathy has been gone Vincent has only been half alive the only reason that he is functioning at all is because their son.” Jessica explained. “He told us not too long after we held Catherine’s funeral that he would never be able to love another woman in his life because he loves her and he would feel as if he were betraying what they had together and betraying her memory.” Diana nodded. “I know Jessica and believe me I am very happy that Vincent and also for Catherine she has been through a great ordeal and please believe me when I say that I only want to see Vincent and his son happy.” She whispered.

After a few moments of silence Diana rose from her chair and picked up her purse and squared her shoulders. “I am going back to the hotel to pack and call the airlines.” Jessica looked up at her surprised. “Why?” The older woman asked even though she already knew the answer to her question. Diana sighed and looked at her again. “I am going to California for a while to visit my sister.” Jessica shook her head. “You don’t have to do that.” Diana nodded. “I know but I don’t truly fit in with all of you who have known Catherine for so long and I also need some time to put things into perspective and decide what I am going to do with my life.” She then opened the door and left the room without another word. Jessica sighed and shook her head. Then she rose and decided to go to the courtroom and wait with Jenny until Catherine was finished testifying. She picked up her purse then also left the room.

Back in New York, everyone was busy with the naming ceremony preparations. They all wanted to make it a very special night for both Vincent and his son. In Father’s chamber he and Devin were sitting around the large table. “Dad how has Vincent been these last few weeks since he brought the baby home?” Devin asked as they sorted through some old books. Father looked up at him and sighed sadly. “When he found Catherine and she died in his arms his entire world collapsed around him.” He began. “Then after a time he started looking for their child and his life seemed to take on a whole new purpose.” Devin nodded. “Yes he seems to be extremely protective of the baby.” Father nodded. “Yes the only time that he leaves him these days is when he is called away for repairs and he knows that the baby is either with myself or Mary.” Devin nodded again. “He is a wonderful Father isn’t he?” Father smiled brightly. “Yes Devin he is truly becoming a wonderful father.” The tunnel elder stated proudly.

Suddenly they turned when they heard a voice in the chamber entrance. “Thank you for the compliment Father.” Both Father and Devin looked up and smiled when Vincent walked down the steps into the chamber. “Where is my grandson?” Father asked smiling. Vincent chuckled as he sat down. “He was sleeping so Brooke and Jamie begged me to let them watch him.” Father chuckled. “Yes it seems that all the women are thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to spoil my grandson.” Devin laughed. “Well dad I don’t blame them after all he is a wonderful child I can totally understand how they feel.” Father nodded in total agreement.

Vincent started to speak when he suddenly got a very far away look on his face. Father and Devin both noticed and stared at him. “Vincent are you all right?” Devin asked concerned. But Vincent did not respond. Father looked over at Devin who shrugged his shoulders. Father then looked at him again. “Vincent!” He said again almost shouting. Vincent suddenly shook his head and seemed to come out of his trance like stated. Then he noticed the concerned look on both Father and Devin’s faces. “What were you saying Devin?” He asked. Devin rose and came over to him. He put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “I was asking you if you were all right.” He remarked. Vincent nodded. “Yes I just suddenly got a very strange sensation.” Father sat forward in his chair. “What type of sensation?” He asked curiously. Vincent shook his head and stood. “It’s nothing Father.” He whispered as he began to pace. But Father was not convinced. “Vincent we know that something is bothering you please tell us so that we can help you.” He requested. Vincent stopped pacing and turned to face them again. Both Father and Devin were immediately struck by the sadness in Vincent’s eyes. “You got some sensation like when you had the bond with Catherine didn’t you?” Father asked. Vincent sighed and sat down again. “Father I don’t know what the feeling was but we both know that I will never feel Catherine again.” He whispered. Then he rose from his seat again. “Now if you’ll both excuse me I need to see my son right now.” Then he turned and without another word quickly left the chamber.

Once he was gone Devin sat down and looked at Father. “What was that all about?” He asked. Father shook his head. “I don’t know Devin maybe with all the activity around the naming ceremony has brought his memories of his time with Catherine to the forefront once again.” Devin nodded. “Dad what does he remember about the time in the cavern when the baby was conceived?” Father sighed and shook his head. “I am afraid that he has not remembered anything about what occurred between himself and Catherine.” Devin nodded. “But I am hoping that in time he will remember and that can be one memory of Catherine that he can hold onto and cherish.” Father stated. They sat there for a while longer talking about Vincent.

In Washington at the courthouse Catherine, Joe, Peter, and Kristen walked out of the courtroom. “Cathy honey you were wonderful in there.” Peter mused. Catherine smiled at him. “I am just glad that it is all over.” Joe nodded. “Yes now we can all go back to New York.” Then Peter saw Jessica and Jenny. “I thought the two of you and Diana were going to wait in the conference room upstairs.” Jessica smiled and shook her head. “No I came down after Diana left to wait here with Jenny.” Joe sighed and shook his head. “She left?” He asked. Jessica nodded. “Yes she went back to the hotel to pack.” She explained. “She is planning to fly to California and visit her sister.” Joe looked over at Peter who shook his head. “She was upset?” Joe asked. Jenny nodded. “Yes she was but I am sure she will be okay.” Joe knew that Jenny resented Diana’s presence in their lives and also in Vincent’s. “I know honey I just don’t want to see her get hurt.” He stated. Jenny did not say anything she just nodded. “She wanted to be happy about all of this but she was truly upset.” Jessica commented.

Catherine who had been listening looked at them strangely. “What was she upset about?” She asked. Peter put his arm around her shoulders again. “Honey that is one think I wanted to talk to you about she has developed some very strong feelings for Vincent in the last few months.” Catherine was taken back by his statement. She then looked over at Jenny and Joe. They both smiled in understanding. “Cath don’t worry Joe and I know all about Vincent and the tunnels.” Jenny explained quietly. Catherine stared at her in shock. “You do?” She asked surprised. They both nodded. “Yeah Cath we met Vincent while he and Diana were looking for your son.” Jenny commented. Catherine smiled brightly at the mention of her baby. “He understood about the baby?” Peter put his arm around her shoulders and nodded. “Yes sweetie he did and they found the baby just a few weeks ago.” Catherine’s tears began to fall again. “I was so afraid that Vincent would never find him.” She cried. Jenny moved forward and embraced her. “I know Cath but the baby is safe with Vincent now so you don’t have to worry about him anymore.” She whispered.

Once Catherine was calm again she looked at Peter. “Did Vincent fall in love with Diana because if he is happy with someone else I don’t want to return and interfere in his life.” Peter shook his head. “No honey he did not fall in love with her he only felt a sense of friendship and gratitude toward her for helping him find your son and killing Gabriel.” Catherine looked at him shocked. “She’s the one who killed Gabriel?” Joe nodded. “Yes she shot him with your gun after Father had given it to her to use.” Catherine took a deep breath trying to comprehend all that they had told her. “I hate it when someone dies but Gabriel destroyed so many lives.” Joe nodded in agreement. “He was a very evil man Radcliffe.” He added smiling.

After a few moments of silence Catherine spoke again. “I should talk to Diana before she leaves.” Joe shook his head. “I don’t know if that is such a good idea.” He commented. She looked over at him curiously. “Why not?” He smiled and touched her shoulder. “Cathy I have gotten to know Diana pretty well over the last few months and all she needs is time.” He explained. Catherine shook her head. “No Joe I have to talk to her we can’t have tension between us especially if she is Vincent’s friend.” Peter smiled put his arm around her shoulder. “Well you can talk to her later but right now let’s get you out of here and back to our hotel so you can rest.” Catherine smiled as the doctor part of Peter emerged. Then Jessica moved up beside them. “Then in the morning we will all go home.” Catherine nodded. “Oh you don’t know how long I have waited to hear those words.” She mused. They all smiled and nodded. “Yes Cath we do know.” Jenny remarked. Then they all turned toward the elevator to leave the courthouse.

Later that afternoon Joe and Peter quietly entered Catherine’s room. They smiled when they saw her standing over by the window. “We thought that you were still sleeping.” Joe commented. Catherine looked back at them and smiled. “No I was just standing here thinking.” Peter looked over at Joe and winked. “And what were you thinking about?” He asked teasingly. Catherine turned and stared at him for a moment then caught the gleam in his eyes. “Peter you know that I was thinking of seeing Vincent and my baby again.” She commented giggling. Peter and Joe also laughed. “Yeah honey I know I couldn’t resist teasing you.” He commented.

Catherine then moved over and sat down on her bed. “Is Diana still here?” Joe shook his head. “No I just found out that she had left shortly before we got here.” Catherine sighed and shook her head. “I really wanted to talk to her.” She whispered. Joe nodded. “I know but trust me she will be fine she just needs some time to herself.” Catherine looked up at him. “I just don’t want Vincent to lose a friend because of me.” She whispered. Peter smiled. “Honey don’t worry about that right now Vincent is going to be much too happy having you back with him to concentrate on anything else for quite a while.” Catherine sighed and stood. “All right I won’t worry about it right now.” She told them. “Is dinner ready?” She asked. Peter smiled. “Jessica and Jenny have it almost done why don’t you freshen up a bit then join us?” Catherine nodded. “Okay I will be there in a few minutes.” Then Joe and Peter turned and left the room.

A little while later Catherine knocked on the door to Peter and Jessica’s suite. “Come in honey.” Peter called out. Catherine smiled and opened the door. “You didn’t have to knock.” Jessica remarked. Catherine nodded as she moved to the couch and sat down. “I didn’t want to just burst in.” She told her. “Cathy that would not have been a problem.” Jessica stated as she walked out of the small kitchen. “Where is Jenny?” Catherine asked. Jessica smiled. “She went to her and Joe’s room to shower and change before dinner.” Catherine nodded. Peter moved toward the pitcher on the table. “Honey would you like some iced tea?” He asked as he poured himself a glass. Catherine smiled and nodded. “Yes but I can get it.” Peter shook his head. “No you don’t young lady you stay right there!” He ordered. Then he poured her a glass and brought it to her. As she drank her tea Catherine looked up at Jessica again. “Do you need any help in the kitchen?” She asked. Peter shook his head again. “Catherine you are not going to do anything tonight.” He commented trying to sound stern. Catherine could not help but laugh at him. “Oh all right if you insist.” She remarked. “Cathy honey you went through an ordeal and I want you to take it easy until we get you back home.” He stated. “Peter I promise I am fine.” He nodded. “I know you are but you will have plenty to do when we get home tomorrow.” He told her.

Catherine took another drink of her tea and looked at him again. “What is going on at home tomorrow?” She asked. Peter looked at Jessica who smiled. “Honey tomorrow night is your son’s naming ceremony.” Catherine looked up at him again. “You haven’t called a helper and ruined the surprise have you?” She asked teasingly. Peter chuckled and shook his head. “No honey I want you to be the best gift that Vincent and your son receive at that ceremony.”

After a few moments of silence Joe and Jenny entered the room. Catherine looked up and smiled. “There you two are.” She remarked. They both smiled. “Yeah I wanted to take a shower and Joe came in to watch the news.” Catherine nodded in understanding. Jessica then rose from the sofa. “Well if everyone is ready we can eat.” Catherine smiled brightly and rose. “Great I am starving!” She exclaimed. “I have been on a very strict diet for the last few months.” Peter frowned. “Yes I see that you have you are too thin.” He complained sourly. Catherine put her hand on his arm. “Peter the doctors that took care of me told me that I should regain my regular weight in no time.” Peter nodded. “Yes that’s true I am just relieved that those idiots who were holding you never harmed you anymore than they did.”

Catherine could hear the anger in his voice. She smiled and put her arm around his waist. “Peter please calm down that’s all over now and I am fine.” Peter looked down at her and smiled. “Of course honey you will just have to give this old man some time to get over all the anger that I have for what was done to you and to Vincent.” Catherine smiled again then leaned up and kissed his cheek. “First of all, you are not an old man.” She chided. “And I am also very angry about everything we had to go through but we will get through it.” Peter then escorted her to the table.

Joe smiled at the exchange between Catherine and Peter as he escorted Jenny to the table. “Well come on everyone are we going to eat or not?” He asked trying to lighten the mood. Peter and Catherine looked at him and smiled. “Yes of course we are just be patient.” Catherine teased as they all sat down. “Radcliffe you know me I am not a patient man.” Joe shot back. Everyone laughed and began to pass around the food.

As they were eating everyone made small talk. “So Cath are you excited about tomorrow?” Jenny asked. Catherine looked up at her and smiled radiantly. “Oh Jen going home is dream come true for me.” Suddenly her face clouded. Everyone noticed this immediately. “Cathy honey what is it?” Peter asked. She looked over at him and he saw the tears in her eyes. “Peter will Vincent hate me for all of this?” She asked almost in a whisper. Jenny immediately took her napkin out of her lap and put it on the table. Then she rose and walked over to her friend. She knelt down beside Catherine’s chair. “No Cath he could never hate you.” Catherine looked over at her. “Jen I couldn’t take it if he turned me away.” Jenny pulled her into her arms and held her as she cried. “That is never going happen Cath he is going to be so happy that you are home with him and the baby that he will never want you to be out of his sight again.” She added. Peter then spoke. “Cathy honey he has been so lost without you and when we bring you to the ceremony tomorrow night it will heal all the wounds from this whole ordeal.” She lifted her head from Jenny’s shoulder and looked at him. “I hope you’re right I love him so much and I need to be with him now.” Jessica smiled and nodded. Cathy you don’t have to worry about that I know it is what Vincent will want also.” She assured the younger woman.

Catherine sat up out of Jenny’s arms and looked down at her hands. “I just don’t want anyone thinking that I stayed away all this time to hurt him.” Joe put his hand on hers. “Since Jenny and I have known everyone in the tunnels we have learned jus how much they truly love you.” He stated. Jenny smiled and nodded. “Yes every time we are below someone talks about how much you mean to them.” Catherine nodded. “They became my second family after Vincent found me.” Jenny nodded. “Yes he told us how he found you the night that you were attacked and left in the park.” Catherine smiled again. “That is the night that my life truly started over.” She whispered. Once she was calm again Jenny moved back to her seat then they finished dinner.

After dinner Joe and Jenny stood. “Well we have a plane to catch.” Joe commented. Catherine turned around from the sink where she was helping Jessica with the dishes. “You’re leaving tonight?” She asked. Joe nodded. “Yeah as the new D.A. I have to get back to the job.” Catherine smiled and shook her head. “Always the lawyer.” She teased. Then she moved over and embraced both of them. “Will you be at the naming ceremony tomorrow night?” Jenny nodded. “Of course nothing could keep us away besides we want to see the reunion.” Jenny told her. Then they said goodbye to Jessica and Peter and left the room.

Catherine moved back to the sink beside Jessica. Peter rose from the sofa and walked into the kitchen. “So honey do you remember what happened to you?” He asked as he leaned against the counter facing both women. Catherine dried her hands and draped the towel over the dish rack. She then turned and looked at him. “Can we go sit down in the living room?” She asked. Peter smiled and put his arm around her. “Of course honey come on.” With that all three walked out of the kitchen.

Catherine sat down and began to explain everything to them. “Well the injection of morphine that I was given was supposed to kill me but instead I fell into a very deep coma.” She began. “Vincent was with you that first night after it happened wouldn’t he be able to tell that you were still alive?” Jessica asked. Peter looked at his wife and shook her head. “No honey if the coma is deep enough it would have appeared to anyone not medically trained that she was dead.” Jessica nodded her head in understanding. “Yes apparently my vital signs slowed down so much that no one could tell that I was still alive.” Catherine commented. “Then at the coroner’s office before they started the autopsy I took a more noticeable breath.” She stated. “Was that when they called the FBI?” Peter asked. Catherine nodded. Jessica sighed and shook her head. “I wish he had called Joe first.” Catherine looked at her and nodded. “Yes so do I but since this was a mob related crime he felt that he should call the FBI.” Catherine explained. “Anyway they had me moved out of the state and brought to Washington then I was placed into protective custody.” She remarked bitterly.

Peter put his arm around her for support. “They wanted you to testify when and if you woke up?” He asked. Catherine nodded. “Yes that is the main thing that they wanted.” She remarked. “They were very happy when I awoke and remembered everything about my ordeal with Gabriel.” She shuddered as she spoke his name. Peter noticed and pulled her closer to him. Catherine looked at him and smiled in appreciation. “Well honey that’s all over now and you can get on with your life.” Catherine smiled as she rose from the couch. “May I sleep on your couch tonight?” She asked. “I don’t really want to be alone.” Jessica smiled and rose. “Of course you can honey.” She whispered as they embraced. “Why don’t you go get a shower ad I will fix it up so it is ready when you are ready to go to bed.” Catherine smiled as she tightened her arms around the older woman. “Thank you so much I missed you both so much.” She whispered. Jessica held her just a bit tighter for a moment. “And we missed you Sweetie.” She answered. Then Catherine walked into her room and closed the door.

Back in the tunnels Vincent was sitting on his bed. He was still quite shaken from the feelings that he had earlier with Father and Devin. He rose from the bed and put the book down that he had been reading. He walked over to his desk and sat down. He looked over at the cradle and smiled as he watched his son sleeping peacefully. Then he reached over and pulled out his journal. Opening it to a blank page he uncapped his pen. After a moment of thought he started writing.

I sit here tonight alone in my chamber. My son is sleeping peacefully in his cradle. He is the greatest joy of my life right now. But something happened today that has me very confused. While I was talking to Father and Devin this afternoon I got the strangest sensation. I felt for the first time in a very long time that I could somehow sense Catherine once again. But that is simply not possible. I know that Catherine is dead. I was the one who carried her lifeless body back to her apartment. But what is this feeling that I have inside of me that is telling me that I can once again feel her presence? I am not sure what to think anymore.

I will not think about it right now because I have to concentrate on our son. His naming ceremony I tomorrow night. I am so proud of this precious little life that has been given to me to care for. I just wish with all that I am that Catherine could with me tomorrow when I announce that I have chosen to name him Jacob Charles Wells. I believe it will be a great tribute to both his grandfathers. Father is so proud of him. And I truly believe with all my heart that if Catherine’s father were here he would also be proud of his grandson.

My greatest regret is that I was unable to keep my promise to Catherine’s father on his deathbed that I would protect Catherine until my last breath. I will always have that regret. Well I cannot think about any of this right now. It is too painful. Hopefully after the ceremony I will be able to find some peace of mind then I can raise our son. And hopefully together Jacob and I can find some happiness together with Catherine’s memory to guide us.

Vincent recapped his pen and closed his journal. He sat there for a few minutes thinking about Catherine. “Little brother are you busy?” Devin asked from the chamber entrance. Vincent looked up at him and smiled. “No Devin come in.” He whispered. Devin entered the chamber and sat down on the bed. “I came to see how you were doing.” Devin remarked. Vincent rose from his chair and looked over at the cradle once again. He then moved over and sat down next to Devin. “I am fine I suppose.” He stated. Devin was not sure that he truly believed him. “Are you certain you were very shaken earlier?” Vincent sighed and shook his head. “No Devin I am not certain of anything anymore.” He whispered. “I know that this is going to sound crazy but earlier while I was talking to you and Father I could have sworn that once again had some sense of Catherine.” Devin sighed sadly. “How is that possible if she is…?” He suddenly broke off the question. Vincent looked at him and put his hand on his shoulder. “She’s dead.” He whispered. “Devin, you can say the word in my presence.” Devin shook his head. “I just don’t want to keep reminding you of it.” Vincent shook his head. “There is nothing that can keep me from remembering that horrible night because it is burned into my memory.” He commented.

Then he suddenly rose. “But Devin I swear tonight while I was talking to you and Father I had some sense of Catherine in here.” He remarked pointing at his heart. Devin rose from the bed and moved toward him. He nodded then pulled Vincent into his arms. “Little brother I don’t know what to tell you about what you felt but please remember that we are all here for you and that we love you and the baby very much.” Vincent moved back out of his embrace. “I am so glad that you came home for a visit.”

Devin smiled and nodded. “So am I Fuzz.” He teased. Vincent chuckled and shook his head. “I have not been called that for a very long time.” Devin then smiled mischievously. “Well I am not going anywhere anytime soon so get used to it.” Vincent then smiled again. “You are staying for a while?” Devin shook his head. “No, I am home for good this time.” Vincent pulled him back into his arms again. “I am so glad that you are staying I really need you.” He whispered. “Well little brother I am here.” He answered. Then they parted. “Well I better get to bed now we have a lot of work to do tomorrow for the ceremony.” Vincent chuckled. “Yes, everyone seems to be going to extra lengths for this ceremony.” He stated as he moved over to the bed and sat down again. “Well this is a very special naming ceremony for a very special child.” Devin remarked. Then he turned and walked toward the chamber entrance. “Good night little brother see you in the morning.” He whispered. Vincent smiled at him. “Good night Devin.” He responded. Then Devin left the chamber.

Once he was alone Vincent rose and moved toward the cradle. He knelt down and gently covered his son more with his blanket. He stayed there for a few minutes just looking at the miracle child that was his and Catherine’s son. After a moment he rose to his feet and walked over to the bureau that held his clothes. Opening the cabinet he reached in to pull out his sleepwear when he spotted something white behind them. Moving the clothes aside he was slightly surprised to see the tunnel gown that Catherine had worn when she came below to mourn for her father. Vincent swallowed the lump that had risen in his throat as he pulled the soft garment out of the bureau. Lifting it to his face he felt the softness of the white cotton. He gently stroked it thinking of how beautiful Catherine looked when she had worn it. He then lifted it to his nose and softly inhaled. He could still smell the slight scent of Catherine’s perfume on the material. “Oh Catherine, why did this happen to us?” Vincent whispered forlornly as he began to cry once again for his lost love.

At that same moment, Catherine was drying off from her shower. She was just about to pick up her blow dryer from the counter when she suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of sadness coursing through her. She dropped the blow dryer as her hand went limp and stumbled back against the bathroom wall. She put her hand to her chest over her heart as her tears began to fall down her cheeks.

Suddenly Jessica and Peter ran into the room. “Honey are you all right?” Peter asked when he saw how shaken she looked. At first she did not answer. Jessica looked at Peter with great concern. She walked over and knelt down beside Catherine and softly touched her shoulder. “Cathy honey what’s the matter?” Catherine finally heard her voice and looked up at her. Peter and Jessica were stunned when she began to cry harder. Jessica didn’t know what was going on but she pulled the younger woman into her arms and held her. “Shh Cathy everything is going to be all right.” Peter knelt down beside Jessica. “I felt his sadness.” Catherine suddenly whispered through her tears. Jessica tightened her arms around the younger woman. “Whose sadness?” Peter asked. Catherine turned her head and looked at him. “I felt Vincent’s sadness.” She whispered.

Jessica and Peter looked at one another once again stunned by Catherine’s statement. “What do you mean you felt it?” Jessica asked. Catherine sat up out of the embrace. “He is sad.” She commented. Then she suddenly smiled. “Do you realize what this means?” She asked. Peter shook his head. “No honey what does it mean?” Catherine looked at him. “Peter our bond is returning and now I can feel it inside of me too.” Peter looked over at Jessica who grinned. “Oh honey that is wonderful.” She whispered as she hugged her once again. Then Peter rose. “Well since you are calm now we are going back into our room and finish making your bed.” Jessica nodded and rose up beside him. Catherine stood and grabbed Jessica’s hand. “No Jessica will you stay with me?” She asked. Jessica looked at her and smiled again. “Of course sweetie.” Then Peter moved toward the bathroom door. “I will go and finish getting the couch ready.” With that he turned and left the room. Catherine moved over and picked up her blow dryer and her brush as she and Jessica talked about what she had felt a few minutes before.

Early the next morning Peter walked out of his and Jessica’s bedroom into the living room. He smiled lovingly when he saw Catherine sleeping peacefully. He moved over and softly touched her arm. “Sweetie time to get up.” He whispered. Catherine opened her eyes and smiled sleepily. “Good morning Peter.” She commented groggily. Peter chuckled as she sat up. “Well good morning to you.” “Is it time to go home?” Catherine asked. Peter looked over at Jessica and winked. “No not for another hour.” Catherine nodded then stood. “Did you sleep well?” Jessica asked. Catherine turned and looked at her. “Yes I slept better than I had in a very long time.” She stated. “Honey can you still feel Vincent this morning?” Peter asked curiously. Catherine concentrated for a moment then nodded. “Yes he must be with our son or someone else because he seems happy this morning.” Then she looked at Jessica. “I am going to go get dressed.” Jessica nodded again. “Okay you go ahead then when you are done I will have breakfast waiting.” Catherine shook her head. “I am not really hungry this morning.” Peter folded his arms across his chest and frowned at her. “Well young lady you are going to eat something.” She looked at him and chuckled. “All right Dr. Alcott I will eat.” She responded playfully. Then she kissed him on the cheek and went into her room.

A little while later she returned. Jessica looked up at her as she entered. “You look refreshed.” Catherine nodded as she poured herself some juice. Peter poured himself some coffee then looked at Catherine. “Would you like a cup?” Catherine shook her head. “No thank you I gave it up when I found out that I was pregnant.” Peter nodded in approval. “I am glad to hear that.” Catherine looked at him again. “Yes and if I want to have more children with Vincent I am going to have to care of myself.” Peter looked at Jessica and smiled. “So you want more children?” Jessica probed. Catherine nodded. “Oh yes if Vincent agrees I very much want to have another baby with him.” Peter moved over and took her hand in his. “Well honey I believe that you will find that Vincent has many regrets about your relationship.” Catherine frowned when she heard this. “What do you mean he has regrets?” Peter gently squeezed her hand. “Well honey let’s just say that denying you and himself a physical relationship has been a great source of regret and pain for him.” Catherine shook her head. “My poor love he’s punishing himself for protecting me.” Peter then put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer. “Don’t worry honey he is going to be fine once you are home with him again.” Jessica then handed Catherine a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast. “Now young lady eat.” She ordered lovingly. Catherine took the plate then sat down at the table.

An hour later the three of them arrived at the airport. Catherine looked around at all the people mulling around. “I am not sure that I am ready for this flight.” Peter looked at her. “Why honey?” She sighed. “What if someone recognizes me?” Jessica shook her head. “You don’t have to worry about that honey we have use of a private plane.” Catherine looked at her. “Whose plane?” Jessica smiled. “Elliott Burch let us use his jet.” Catherine could not believe what she had just heard. “Elliott did that?” Peter smiled. “Yeah honey you are going to find that he is not the same man that he was before.” Catherine looked at him confused. “What do you mean?” Jessica chuckled. “He is married now.” Catherine could not believe what she was hearing. “Married to who?” Peter chuckled. “He is married to Rebecca.” Catherine shook her head. “Rebecca?” Jessica nodded. “Yes Rebecca from the tunnels.” Catherine looked at her again stunned. “How in the world did that happen?” Catherine asked. Peter chuckled. “A few months ago.” Catherine shook her head. “How did they meet?” Jessica smiled. “Elliott became a helper when he helped Vincent and Diana bring your son home.” Catherine looked at the older woman. “He knows Vincent?” Peter nodded. “Yes in fact the two of them have become very good friends I really think that Elliott understood more about you.” Catherine sighed. “I know that I had him confused at times when he would have to trust me without an explanation.” Jessica nodded. “Yes but now he really knows that the two of you would have never had a relationship.” Catherine looked sincere for a moment. “If I had met him either before my attack or if I had not had strong feeling for Vincent we might have ended up together.” Peter put his arm around her. “Well honey there is not really any reason to dwell on what might have been.” Catherine smiled and nodded. “You’re right I couldn’t imagine my life now without Vincent in it.”

As they approached the gate they walked out and got on board the plane. Catherine sighed as she settled into one of the seats. “I will have to thank Elliott for this when we get home.” Jessica shook her head. “He and Rebecca won’t be at the ceremony tomorrow night.” Catherine opened her eyes and looked at her. “Really I would have thought that Father would want all helpers and tunnel residents there.” Peter nodded. “Normally yes but now that Rebecca lives above with Elliott he wanted to take her on a belated honeymoon to Asia.” Catherine smiled. “Oh she will love that she always asked me about places that I had been” Jessica chuckled. “Yes Father was quite worried about the trip because she had lived below all her life but Vincent reminded him that Elliott was a different man than he was before they knew him and that he would never let anything happen to her.” Catherine nodded in agreement. “He sounds like a totally different man.” She mused.

Peter sighed. “Well after Gabriel almost took everything from him and tried to get him to betray Vincent he changed.” Catherine looked at Peter alarmed. “He was going to betray Vincent?” Jessica put her arm around Catherine. “Gabriel tried to convince him that Vincent had stolen you from him and that he should get revenge but Elliott decided at the last minute that he would not go along with the plan he told Vincent and they both got away before Gabriel’s man could shoot either of them.” Catherine shivered. “It would have destroyed me to find out that Vincent had been killed.” She whispered. Jessica tightened her arm around her. “We know honey but everyone is fine.” Peter nodded. “Yes and now I want you to lay your head back and get some rest.” He directed. Catherine chuckled. “Yes Dr. Alcott.” She teased. Then she lay her head on Jessica’s shoulder falling into a very deep sleep dreaming of her upcoming reunion with Vincent and their son.

While this was happening in the tunnels Vincent was cleaning his chamber. He looked up when he heard a noise in the entrance. “Vincent are you busy?” Father asked as he entered the chamber. Vincent smiled and shook his head. “No Father I was just cleaning up a bit.” Father smiled then moved toward the cradle where the baby was sleeping. “I can’t get over what a miracle he truly is.” He whispered as he gently touched the baby’s soft cheek. Vincent moved over beside him. “Yes he is just as much of a miracle to me as his mother was.” Father then turned and walked over to the bed where he sat down. “So what are you planning to do today?” Vincent sat down next to him. “I am going to spend the day with my son.” Father nodded. “That is a wonderful idea. Vincent nodded. “Yes I have been very busy lately with the tunnel repairs and then with the preparations for his naming ceremony tonight so I wanted just to spend today with him alone before everyone wants to see him tonight.” Father chuckled. “Yes he is going to be a very popular little boy.” Vincent chuckled. “Yes and after Mary and the other women get hold of him I may not see him again before he is sleeping.” Father chuckled and nodded in agreement.

After a few moments of silence Vincent spoke again. “I truly hope that tonight’s ceremony will be a new beginning for all of us.” Father looked at him strangely. “What do you mean?” Vincent looked at him and sighed. “Father I want to be able to move on with my life so that I can concentrate on raising my son the way that I know Catherine would have wanted.” He explained. “She would not want either me or our son living in the past.” Father smiled slightly. “And maybe some day you will find someone to share your life with.” Vincent looked at him again and shook his head. “No Father that is the one thing that I know will never happen Catherine will be the only woman that I will ever love.” Father sighed. “Vincent you and I both know that is one thing that Catherine would want for you.” Vincent nodded. “I know that Father but that is one wish of hers that I can never fulfill.” He stated quietly.

After a moment Father rose. “Well I have a few more things I need to do for the ceremony.” He was about to leave the chamber when he stopped and turned around again. “Oh the main reason that I came to talk to you is that we received a message from Joe this morning.” Vincent looked up at him again. “Are they all home?” Father shook his head. “No just Joe and Jenny.” Vincent nodded. “When are Peter and Jessica returning?” Father smiled. “Joe told me to tell you that they will be returning today and that they will all be here tonight for the ceremony.” Vincent nodded again. “Did he say why they went to Washington?” Father knew that this next part would make Vincent worry. “The only thing he said was that it had something to do with the trial of the doctor who killed Catherine.” Vincent rose from the bed. “Is there a problem?” Father shook his head. “No Joe said that yesterday he and the other men were convicted and that they will all be going to prison for the rest of their lives.” Vincent let out the breath he had been holding. “Well at least that is over and now Catherine can rest in peace.” He whispered as he moved over toward his son’s cradle again.

Father knew that Vincent needed to be alone with the baby. “I will see you both later.” Vincent nodded. “What is Devin doing today?” Father chuckled. “I woke him a few minutes ago to help me get the library ready.” Vincent smiled. “Are you certain that he is awake?” Father nodded. “Yes I was sure to wake him first before coming here so that he would have to get up.” Vincent laughed outright and shook his head. “Well you should go back to his chamber and make sure he did in fact get up.”

At that moment a voice broke into their conversation. “Hey I am not that bad.” With that Devin entered the chamber. “Yes you are.” Vincent argued. “Remember I have known you all our lives.” He teased. Devin shook his head. “You may have known me all my life little brother but I am still not that bad.” Father could not help but chuckle at the banter between the two brothers. “All right you two that is enough.” Vincent and Devin looked at their parent and smiled. “Now Devin you should go get yourself some breakfast I will meet you in the library shortly we have a lot to do today still.” Father stated. Devin nodded. “Okay Dad I will see you later Vin.” Then he turned and left the chamber.

When he was gone Vincent shook his head. “I am so glad that he is home.” Father nodded. “So am I.” Vincent then bent down and picked up his son. “Now if you will excuse me Father I need to get my son dressed.” Father nodded. “All right I will see you both later.” But before he left the chamber Father stopped. “Vincent are you feeling better today?” Vincent looked back at him. “Yes Father I am.” Father turned toward him again. “Are you certain?” Vincent turned toward him. “Yes Father I am fine I think that the ceremony tonight is just bringing back so many memories of what Catherine and I shared and everything that we went through.” Father nodded. “So you don’t believe you felt her yesterday?” Vincent sighed and shook his head. “No Father you and I both know that I will never feel her again and that she will never come back to me or to our son.” Father sighed. “I just wish you could find some peace of mind.” Vincent smiled sadly. “I will in time.” Then the tunnel elder turned again and left the chamber.

After he had gone Vincent walked over and sat down gently on the bed. He smiled lovingly as he looked down at the miracle child in his arms that he and Catherine had created. “I promise you my son you will always be a living reminder to everyone of the love that your mother and I shared.” He then gently kissed him on the cheek and rose to get him dressed.

Above in the city a dark limousine pulled up outside Peter and Jessica’s home. Peter, Jessica, and Catherine got out of the car as the driver opened the door. Then they entered the house. Catherine smiled as she looked around the familiar home of her Father’s old friend. “I am so glad to be back.” Jessica moved forward and put her arm around her shoulders. “And we are glad to have you back.” Peter nodded in agreement.

At that moment the door to Susan’s old bedroom opened. Catherine looked over at Jessica who smiled. Then she looked back at the door. She smiled when she saw Susan moving out of the bedroom. “Susie it so good to see you.” Susan could not say anything she just continued to stare at her friend. “Is it truly you?” Peter moved over and put his arm around his daughter. “Yes baby it’s Cathy.” With that Susan moved forward and embraced her friend as they both began to cry. “Joe called and told me about everything but I was still unsure that he was being serious.” Catherine tightened her arms around her friend. “I am alive Susie and I am finally home.”

After a few more moments they separated. “What happened to you?” Catherine smiled. “I will tell you everything I promise but I want to freshen up right now.” Jessica moved over toward her again. “We asked Joe to get your clothes and some other personal items of yours out of storage.” Catherine chuckled. “I may not be able to wear my clothes after having the baby.” Susan put her arm around Catherine’s shoulders. “Well let’s go see what you can wear and if you can’t wear any of it I am sure I have something that will do.” Catherine turned once again and embraced Jessica. “Thank you for bringing me home again.” Jessica tightened her arms around the younger woman. “Honey we are just glad that tonight everything will finally be over for both you and Vincent.” With that Catherine moved back then she and Susan turned and walked down the hall into the guest bedroom closing the door behind them.

Later in the afternoon Peter entered the tunnels. He wanted to see Father before the ceremony to let him know that they were home. He had promised Catherine that he would not tell anyone that she was alive and at his house. He happily walked down the tunnel until he heard Devin and Father talking in the library. Stepping into the entrance Peter smiled. “I was not aware that the wayward son had come home for a visit.” He teased. Devin and Father looked up at him. “Well this is more than just a visit.” Devin told him as they embraced. “I am home for good.” Peter smiled. “That is wonderful I am sure that Vincent and Father are happy about that.” Father nodded. “Yes we are both very happy that he is back.” Peter then moved over and sat down. “I just wanted to come and tell you that we were back and that Susan is here too.” Father smiled brightly. “Oh she must come tonight to the ceremony.” He mused. Peter nodded. “Oh she would not miss it for the world she wants to see the baby very much.” Devin chuckled. “Well Vincent was right I suppose that none of the women he knows can resist that baby.” Peter smiled proudly. “And what would you expect from our handsome grandson?” Devin chuckled. “Oh so you are grandpa too?” Peter nodded. “Yes since Catherine’s father is gone I figured that he would want me to act as his grandson’s surrogate grandfather.” Father nodded. “I am sure that both Catherine and her parents will be looking down on all of us tonight proudly.” Peter nodded mutely. He had to fight the urge to tell his old friend that Catherine was alive and that she would be returning to Vincent and their baby boy tonight.

He suddenly rose from his chair. “Well I am going to say hello to Vincent and see my grandson for a few moments then I must get back.” Father nodded. “All right come back by here and say goodbye before you leave.” Peter then moved toward the steps. “I will.” He then climbed the steps and stepped out of the chamber heading down the tunnel toward Vincent’s.

When he arrived at Vincent’s chamber he heard Vincent talking to his son. He smiled as he moved into the chamber entrance. “You look very content together.” Vincent looked up from his son and smiled. “Peter I am so glad you are back.” Peter then moved into the chamber. “Yes well we had to take that last minute trip to Washington but none of us were going to miss this little one’s naming ceremony.” He then reached out and gently took the baby into his arms. “And how are you doing today little one?” Vincent watched them amused. “He is as wonderful as ever.” Peter looked over at him and nodded. “Oh I know how wonderful he is.”

Vincent suddenly got a serious look on his face. “Father told me that you had to go to Washington because it had something to do with Catherine’s death.” Peter looked at him. “Yes it did and I will tell you everything tonight after the ceremony I promise.” Vincent nodded. Then Peter handed the baby back to him. “Well I have to be getting back Susan is home and she and her mother want me home soon.” Vincent smiled. “She is coming tonight isn’t she?” Peter nodded. “That is why she came home she wanted to see your son.” Then he moved toward the chamber entrance. “Oh and Jessica and I have a very special gift for both you and the baby.” Vincent looked up at him curiously. “What type of gift could be for both of us?” Peter shook his head. “You are just going to have to wait until the ceremony because I am not saying another word.” He then turned and left the chamber as Vincent shook his head and looked down at the baby again. “Your grandfather Peter can be rather mischievous at times.” Vincent then once again started the story that he had been telling the baby before Peter’s arrival.

When Peter arrived at Father’s chamber again he found him there with Devin again. “I thought you two had more preparations?” He teased as he entered the chamber. Devin smiled and rose. “We are all done besides I want to go back with you and see Susie.” Peter thought about refusing then changed his mind. He realized that if Devin knew about Catherine being alive that could make the reunion tonight between her and Vincent easier. “Sure I know she would love to see you.” Devin looked over at Father. “Do you need me?” Father chuckled and shook his head. “No you run along and tell Susan that I will see her tonight.” Devin nodded then he and Peter left the chamber heading for Peter’s home.

A few minutes later they arrived at the secret entrance of Peter’s house. Peter pushed it open and climbed through then Devin climbed through. Devin then closed the door behind them. He was about to stand when Catherine came out of the kitchen. “Jessica, Susan, and I were wondering if you were coming back.” Peter smiled at her. “I got a bit sidetracked.” Devin stood and slowly turned around until he was facing the kitchen and the familiar voice.

Catherine gasped and put her hand to her mouth when she saw him. “Oh God Devin!” He looked at her in disbelief then looked at Peter. “What’s going on?” Catherine moved toward him. “I was not dead like everyone thought I was in a coma.” Devin reached out and touched her cheek. “You are alive aren’t you?” Catherine nodded as her tears began to fall. “I am alive and now I am home.” Devin then pulled her into his arms. “Oh God, Chandler welcome home!”

By this time Susan and Jessica were standing in the kitchen door watching. Peter moved over and embraced both of them as they cried. When Catherine had calmed down she moved back. “How is he?” Devin smiled. “He is going to be wonderful let’s go below.” Catherine shook her head. “No, Devin I want to go but not until the ceremony.” Devin stared at her for a moment. “Devin I think it will be better if I come with Peter and Jessica tonight.” Devin sighed. “Chandler are you certain?” Catherine nodded. “Yes I think it will be more special if we are reunited at our son’s naming ceremony.” Devin thought a minute. “Yes I believe you are right.” Then he put his arm around her. “Can I tell Dad?” Catherine thought a moment. “No, I think it would be better if you kept it to yourself so that it doesn’t accidentally get back to Vincent.” Devin nodded. “All right Chandler it’s your call but tonight you are coming below to be with your family once and for all.” Catherine chuckled. “Yes Devin I am.” Then they sat down with the others and visited for the rest of the afternoon.

At 7:30 that night Catherine was in the guest bedroom of Peter’s house preparing to go below.

She was nervously trying to fix her hair when Susan and Jessica entered the room. They saw the look on her face and could not help but smile. “You having problems?” Jessica asked as she took the brush. “Yes this hair just doesn’t want to cooperate.” Catherine remarked frustratingly. Susan moved up and put her hand on her friend’s shoulder. “Hey calm down everything is going to be fine.” She assured her. Catherine looked at her and sighed. “I have never been this nervous about going to the tunnels.” Jessica smiled. “Cathy honey you have a right to be nervous under the circumstances.” She then began to brush Catherine’s hair. “Now just relax everything is going to be fine.” She crooned. Catherine took a deep breath and sighed as she began to calm down. She closed her eyes and let the sensation of the brush in her hair lull her into a sense of calmness.

Twenty minutes later Catherine, Peter, Joe, Jenny, Jessica, and Susan entered the tunnels via the secret entrance. Catherine looked around smiling as they walked down the familiar tunnels that she had missed for so long. “I have truly missed being here.” Peter moved up and put his arm around her. “We know honey but just a few more minutes and you will be with your family again.” Catherine nodded. “I know.” They continued down the tunnel as the pipes announced that the naming ceremony was about to start.

When they reached Father’s chamber they entered. Catherine stood just inside the chamber entrance in the shadows. She did not want anyone to see her before Vincent. She gasped quietly when he entered the chamber with their son in his arms. Peter looked back over his shoulder and smiled as he reached behind him and clutched her hand in his. “Just a few more minutes.” Catherine squeezed his hand tightly. Then they turned their attention back to Father as he began to speak.

Father stood proudly beside Vincent. Devin stood on the opposite side of his brother. He smiled slightly when he saw Susan and Jessica. He could not wait until Catherine made her presence known to everyone. He had requested to stand beside his brother during the ceremony. Vincent had happily agreed. Devin wanted to be with him when he first saw Catherine just in case Vincent needed his support. But Devin was sure that Catherine would be able to convince his little brother that she was home again with him and their son.

“We are here tonight to celebrate this new wonderful life who has come into our world.” Father began. “It is said that the child is the meaning of life. We welcome the child with love so that he may learn to love. We welcome the child with gifts so that he may learn the meaning of generosity. And finally we welcome the child with a name.” Father then turned and looked at Vincent. “And I believe that Vincent has chosen that name.”

Vincent nodded then looked down at his son. He was about to speak when a sweet, familiar female voice spoke first. “His name is Jacob.” Everyone turned and was shocked when Peter moved aside and Catherine entered the chamber. Vincent gasped when he first saw her. “Catherine?” He asked almost desperately. She moved down the steps into the chamber. “Yes love I am here.” She whispered as her tears started to fall again.

Vincent felt a hand on his shoulder and looked back to see Devin smiling. “I know you can’t believe this is happening Vincent but I saw her at Peter’s house this afternoon and I promise it is Catherine.” Vincent turned and looked at her once again. He was about to speak when he noticed the familiar scar that lay in front of her ear. He moved back a step and turned toward Devin. “Would you hold him a moment?” Devin smiled and took the baby. Vincent turned back toward Catherine then he moved toward her. He opened his arms as he looked pleadingly at her. “Oh Catherine, you have come home to us again!” He whispered with a sob. Catherine began to cry as she moved forward and fell into his arms. “Hold me tight please Vincent!” She begged. Hearing her plea Vincent began to sob harder. He tightened his arms around her and picked her straight up off the chamber floor.

Father stared at the scene in front of him then looked at Devin. “You saw her this afternoon?” Devin nodded. “Yes when I went up to Peter’s house.” Father shook his head. “Why didn’t you tell either myself or Vincent?” Catherine lifted her head from Vincent’s shoulder when she heard the hurt in his tone. “Father I asked him not to tell anyone until the ceremony.” Father looked at her surprised. “Why not my dear?” Catherine looked at Vincent again and smiled. “You should put me down.” She whispered with laughter in her tone.

Vincent put her back on her feet. Then she turned toward Father. “I wanted to come home during our son’s naming ceremony because I knew that it would be a wonderful gift for all three of us.” Father nodded then opened his arms. “Well my dear Catherine I am just glad that you are home and that all our pain is finally over.” Catherine moved into his arms and held him. “I was so afraid that you would hate me after everything.” Father moved back slightly and cupped her cheek. “Catherine you are one of us I could never hate you.”

Catherine nodded then turned back toward Vincent. “May I hold our son I haven’t had that privilege?” He could hear the hurt and pain in her voice. “Of course my love you have been robbed of that for too long.” He turned and took Jacob back from Devin then moved forward and gently lay Jacob in his mother’s arms for the first time.

Catherine turned and stepped up beside him. “Oh Vincent he is so beautiful.” She whispered as her tears began again. Vincent put his arm around her waist pulling her close to his side. “He is just as beautiful as you are.” He commented. Catherine looked up from her son to his father. “And you.” Vincent chuckled and shook his head. “I have heard that from almost everyone here in the tunnels.” Catherine giggled. “Well they are just telling you the truth my love.” Vincent tightened his arm around her waist when he heard the endearment she used.

Father was brought out of his revelry when Samantha touched his arms. “Father is it time for the presents now?” She asked a bit impatiently. Everyone in the chamber chuckled. “Yes I believe it is time.” Father commented. Then he moved aside as tunnel residents and helpers converged on the young family.

Peter and the others came down the steps. Father looked up at his old friend and smiled. “You knew about this?” He asked teasingly. Peter chuckled and held up his hands in surrender. “Hey not until we went to Washington.” He stated. Vincent looked up when he heard this comment. “Catherine was in Washington?” She nodded. “Yes I was being held in protective custody by the FBI while I testified against the doctor who injected me with the morphine and a few other of Gabriel’s men.” Vincent tightened his arm around her protectively. “Why wasn’t anyone contacted?” Catherine looked down at Jacob who squirmed in her arms. “Love I will tell you everything later but for now let’s just enjoy this day for our son.” Vincent smiled lovingly. “Of course my angel after all this is our son’s day.”

Father then spoke to everyone again. “I believe that William has prepared a feast in the great hall to celebrate this wonderful and miraculous occasion.” The burly cook moved forward and smiled. “Yes and now we have to things to celebrate.” Catherine looked at him and smiled. “Thank you William.” She whispered. He smiled and moved toward her. “Welcome home Catherine.” Then he gently put his arms around her and Jacob. Father watched and smiled. Then he looked at Vincent. “Well with that shall we all go to the great hall?” Vincent nodded and put his arm around Catherine’s waist once again. “Yes Father.” He answered. He then led Catherine and Jacob out of the chamber as everyone followed.

As this was happening in Malibu, California Diana stood on the deck of her sister’s beach house. She had come out to try to forget that her world had just collapsed. I can’t believe that Catherine is alive. She thought to herself. She looked out over the ocean and sighed audibly. “You sound frustrated.” A female voice whispered. Diana turned and smiled at the woman. “Marie!” She exclaimed. Then they embraced. “How did you know that I was here?” Diana asked as they separated. Marie smiled. “Your sister called me when you arrived yesterday.” Diana shook her head. “She worries too much.” Marie chuckled. “She’s your sister she’s supposed to worry.” She teased.

Then she noticed the sadness in Diana’s eyes. “Hey what’s wrong?” She asked as she put her arm around Diana. Diana shook her head. “It’s nothing really.” She whispered. Marie squeezed her gently. “I know you Di this is not nothing now talk!” She ordered.

Diana sighed and moved back to the patio furniture. She sat down and looked out at the ocean again. “My life just fell apart.” She whispered. Marie reached out and touched her arm. “Does this have something to do with that guy Vincent you told me about?” Diana had written Marie and lightly described Vincent. Telling her that she hoped to be the new woman in his life very soon.

Diana took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes I think I have lost him.” Marie sat down beside her and put her arm around her shoulders. “What makes you think that?” Diana looked at her. “You remember that I told you his lover and the mother of his infant son had been murdered by a mob boss?” Marie nodded. “Well a few days ago I accompanied the Manhattan D.A. and some of the woman’s friends to Washington because a female FBI agent called and told a doctor friend of hers and Vincent’s that she wanted to meet with him.” Diana took another deep breath. “Well at first the trip did not bother me because I was afraid that the case against the mobster’s remaining men was falling apart but then something happened that changed everything.” Marie looked at her curiously. “What changed?” Diana looked up at her. “The FBI agent that we met told us that Catherine was in fact alive and being held in protective custody so she could testify.” She whispered.

Marie looked at her shocked for a moment. “And no one that knew her was informed that she as still alive?” Diana shook her head. “No apparently the FBI lied to her and told her that all her friends and Vincent’s family knew that she was alive but that they wanted to wait to see her until she recovered.” Marie shook her head. “Recovered from what?”

Diana stood and moved to the banister and looked out over the ocean for a moment. Then she turned around again. “Apparently the night that Vincent thought she had died in his arms she had slipped into a very deep coma.” Marie stood and moved up beside her. “So now she is going home to him and their baby?” Diana nodded and wiped away a stray tear. “Yes in fact the baby’s Christening ceremony is tonight and her friends that were in Washington wanted to reunite them at the ceremony.”

Marie turned toward her when she heard the anger in her tone. “Di you can’t be angry with this woman because she survived such a horrible ordeal.” Diana looked at her. “What am I supposed to feel?” Marie smiled. “You should feel happy that Vincent and his son are being given back something that he thought was impossible.” Diana shook her head. “I can’t be happy we could have been good together and I would have been a good mother to the baby.” Marie put her hands on Diana’s shoulders and turned her to face her again. “Di you aren’t thinking rationally you were never with Vincent you told me that he only thought of you as his friend.” Diana then let the tears fall. “He could have learned to love me in time.” She whispered. Marie sighed and pulled her into her arms. “Shh honey you will be okay.”

Diana suddenly moved back and wiped away her tears. “I can’t accept this.” She remarked. Marie shook her head. “What other choice do you have?” She asked. Diana squared her shoulders and looked at her again. “I can give him an ultimatum!” She declared. Marie grabbed her by the arms and stared into her eyes. “Diana listen to me you are talking crazy if you give him that type of ultimatum to choose between you and his child’s mother you will lose what you do have his friendship.” Diana shook her head. “No Vincent is a loyal man he would never turn away from me like that.” She reasoned. Marie tightened her hands around Diana’s arms a bit. “Honey I am your friend and I love you too much to see you get hurt.” She stated. “You should really think of moving out here and getting away from the situation you could easily get yourself a job with the police department.”

Diana wrenched away from her. “I will never leave Vincent!” She stated adamantly. Marie sighed sadly. “Di you are in a no win situation and you are just going to get hurt.” Diana shook her head and turned around. “No Vincent loves me and he will realize it in time I just have to make him see that Catherine will never want to stay with him.”

Then she moved toward the balcony door. “Now if you will excuse me Marie I have travel plans to make because I am going home to the man I love and my future son in a few days.” Then she entered the house and closed the door behind her. Marie could only stare at the door then she sadly shook her head. Oh God, please make her see that she is being irrational. She prayed. Opening her eyes again she turned and walked down the steps to her car.

Back in New York in the tunnels Vincent and Catherine were sitting at a table in the great hall watching as their friends and family celebrated. Vincent moved a bit closer to Catherine and wrapped his arm around her shoulders pulling her closer. Catherine sighed happily as she leaned against his side. Jessica, Susan, and Jenny had removed Jacob from their care just a few minutes after everyone entered the great hall. But Vincent was grateful that he got the chance to have Catherine alone at least for a little while.

Catherine sighed happily again. “Are you happy my love?” He asked in a whisper. Catherine lifted her head from his chest and smiled up into his beautiful blue eyes. “I am happier tonight than I have been in a very long time.” Vincent tightened his arm around her just a bit. “Catherine you went through such an ordeal these last few months.” He whispered. Catherine nodded. “Yes but it wasn’t only me Vincent we all went through it.” Vincent shook his head. “Catherine how can you say that you were the one that was held against your will and had our son taken from you only minutes after his birth.” Catherine nodded again. “I know Vincent but you also went through so much pain.” Then she shook her head. “I was almost afraid that you would turn away from me when I returned.” Vincent put his hand under her chin and lifted her face until they were looking into each other’s eyes. “Catherine I have never loved anyone as I love you I could never have turned you away after we were given this second chance.” Then he pulled Catherine back against his chest. “You are home my love and nothing or no one is ever going to come between our family again.” Catherine smiled happily. “Our family I love how that sounds.” She whispered. Vincent kissed the top of her head. “Yes my angel our family because you and Jacob are my family.” Then they fell into another silence as they continued to enjoy the party.

Later that night Catherine was once again holding Jacob. Jenny and Joe had left a couple of hours before but promised to come back soon for a longer visit. Vincent and Catherine looked up from their son when they both noticed someone moving toward them. They stood as Peter, Jessica, and Susan approached. “You are leaving are you?” Catherine asked. Peter nodded. “Yes honey we have to get home I have early rounds tomorrow.” He then reached out and gently took Jacob in his arms. “Now young man you listen to your grandpa Peter you better take good care of your mommy and your daddy they are both very special people.” He then handed the baby to Jessica so that she and Susan could say goodbye to him. Peter turned back toward Vincent and Catherine. “We will come back in a couple of days before Susan flies back to Santa Fe.” Catherine moved forward and embraced him. “Thank you so much for bringing me home again.” She whispered. Peter moved back and cupped her cheek. “Honey when you walked into that conference room yesterday I was determined that when we came back to New York that you would be with us.” He then looked at Vincent. “After all I knew that you had two men who desperately needed you with them.” Vincent nodded. “Peter and the others have given Jacob and myself the greatest gift tonight I can never repay that.” Peter shook his head. “Vincent I have known both you and Catherine all your lives just seeing you together again is enough payment.”

At that moment Jessica came toward them again. “Honey we really need to get going.” She stated. Peter nodded. Jessica handed him the baby then hugged both Vincent and Catherine. “We love you both and we will see you in very soon.” Vincent reached out and took Jacob back in his arms. “Good night.” Peter called as the three of them moved away. Catherine nodded. “Goodnight Peter we love you all.” Then she took Jacob back into her arms. “Shall we go sit down again?” She asked as she looked up at Vincent. He shook his head. “No I think we should let Mary take care of Jacob for tonight I want some time alone with his beautiful mother.” Catherine smiled brightly. “Oh I would love that too.” Then they moved forward in search of Mary.

They found Mary sitting with Father at his table. She rose when she saw them approaching. “Are the two of you enjoying the party?” Father asked. Vincent nodded. “Yes it has been wonderful but we were wondering if Mary would watch Jacob tonight I want a night alone with Catherine.” Mary smiled knowingly and glanced at Father. “I would love to watch him for you.” She remarked. She took him in her arms then sat back down. “Now you two run along.” She ordered lovingly. Vincent and Catherine nodded. “We will see you both tomorrow.” Catherine stated. With that Vincent put his arm around Catherine’s waist. “Shall we my love?” She nodded. “Of course Vincent.” She whispered. Then they turned and left the hall.

Once they were past the chamber of the winds and once again in the hub Catherine was surprised when Vincent suddenly scooped her up in his arms. She looked at him and giggled. “What are you doing Vincent?” He looked at her and smiled mischievously. “I am getting you away from everyone and it will be faster if I carry you.” He then began to run down the tunnel.

After a while they arrived at the chamber of the falls. Vincent carried her inside and put her down on her feet again. She smiled as she moved forward. “Oh Vincent I have missed being here so much.” Vincent took off his cloak and spread it on the ground. Then he moved over and put his arms around her from behind. “And I have missed having you here.” He then moved back. “Come my angel let’s sit I want to hold you for a while.” Catherine turned and extended her hand. Vincent took it and led her to his cloak. He helped her down then sat against the chamber wall as she leaned back against his chest. “I love you so much Vincent.” Catherine whispered. Vincent tightened his arms around her. “And I love you my sweet Catherine.”

They fell into a few moments of silence before Vincent spoke again. “Catherine will you tell me the rest of what happened to you?” She leaned forward and turned slightly until she could see his face. “Of course I will my love.” She looked away for a moment and sighed. Then she looked at him again. “You asked me earlier why no one was contacted about my being alive?” Vincent nodded. “They told me that they had contacted Peter but the agent who was guarding me at the end of the trial told me day before yesterday that the other agents had lied and that no one had been contacted.” Vincent shook his head. “But Catherine why would they lie about something like that?” She looked up at him again. “Vincent they knew that if I was aware that everyone I love believed that I was dead that I would refuse to testify and insist on being released so that I could come home.” Vincent shook his head. “You were held by that mad man and then by the government who were supposed to protect you.” He stated bitterly. Catherine cupped his cheek. “I know and I am very angry about that but the important thing is that now all those men are in prison or dead and we will never be touched by them again.” Vincent looked down at her and nodded. “Yes that is the most important thing.” He agreed. Catherine smiled then she laid her head against his chest as he held her.

They sat holding one another for the next few minutes. Finally Vincent spoke again. “Catherine will you stay here in the tunnels with me and our son?” Catherine lifted her head from where it lay against his chest. “Oh yes my love I am never leaving either you or Jacob again.” Vincent tightened his arms around her. “I am holding you to that promise my angel.” Catherine smiled slyly and wrapped her arms around his neck. “As long as you hold me Vincent I don’t care.” Then they once again lost themselves in a passionate kiss.

When they parted the second time both were breathless. Catherine giggled and tightened her arms around Vincent’s neck. “You are an amazing kisser.” Vincent chuckled. “I am a good kisser because it is you that I am kissing.” Catherine once again lifted her head from his chest. “Make love to me Vincent.” He smiled and pulled her even closer to him. “Yes my angel I want you.” Then he kissed her once again. Catherine moaned softly as Vincent gently lay her down on his cloak. He broke the kiss and smiled at her. “You are the most beautiful woman in the world.” Then he gently ran a clawed finger down her cheek. Catherine once again put her arms around his neck. “So are you.” Then they lost themselves in the passion that they had held inside for so long.

Later they lay together completely sated and happy. Catherine lifted her head from Vincent’s chest and looked into his beautiful blue eyes. “That was even more beautiful than the night we first made love.” Vincent turned onto his side and put his arms around her. “Yes my love it was.” Catherine’s eyes widened as his words registered in her mind. “You remember?” Vincent nodded. “Yes I remember everything.” Catherine suddenly felt the tears running down her cheeks. “Oh Vincent I am so happy I wanted you to remember how beautiful it was.” Vincent gently wiped her tears away. “It was beautiful Catherine and now I know that I could have never harmed you in any way.” Catherine smiled brightly. “I am so happy that you finally know that.” Vincent tightened his arms around her again. “Now my angel I want you again.” Catherine chuckled. “My aren’t we playful.” Vincent smiled at the teasing in her voice. “Yes my Catherine.” He whispered. Then they once again surrendered to their passion forgetting everything around them.

Early the next morning Catherine opened her eyes and smiled when she saw Vincent leaning up on his elbow watching her. “How long have you been awake?” She asked as she turned toward him. Vincent leaned over and gently kissed her. “Not long I just woke up and thought that last night was wonderful dream until I saw you lying in my arms.” Catherine snuggled up closer to him. “No my love last night was definitely not a dream.” Vincent smiled and nodded.

After a moment Catherine sat up. “Vincent we need to talk about something.” He could hear the seriousness in her voice. Sitting up he wrapped them both in his cloak. “You know we can talk about anything.” Catherine nodded. Then after a moment she spoke. “A woman came to Washington with Peter and the others who I believe you know.” Vincent knew automatically that she was referring to Diana. “Yes my love, I know Diana.” Catherine looked up at him. “I know that she helped you find Jacob and that you became friends.” Vincent tightened his arms around her. “Yes, but Catherine I swear to you I never had the same feelings for her that she has toward me.” Then he pulled her against his chest. “I could never love another woman you are my heart and my soul.” Catherine wrapped her arms around Vincent waist tightly. “I know my love I was a bit taken back when Peter and Joe told me about her but they explained that you were not involved.” Vincent moved back slightly and looked down at her. “No Catherine I only thought of her as my friend and when I found out that her feelings went farther toward me I asked her not to come to the tunnels.” Catherine sighed. “I’m sorry my love I know that you value your friends.” Vincent put his hand under her chin and lifted her face until their eyes met. “Yes I do value my friends Catherine, but not as much as I value my love for you and for our son.” They sat there talking about Diana for the next while holding one another close.

Meanwhile above Diana entered her loft apartment. She smiled as she threw her purse on the sofa. Then she carried her bags into the bedroom. After quickly unpacking she made herself a cup of coffee then decided to go onto the roof and look out over the city. She stood by the roof wall looking out over the city lights wishing that Vincent were with her sharing it. She wondered where he was at the moment. And she also wondered if Catherine was below. God please don’t let her be with him right now. She silently prayed. She drank the rest of her coffee then started feeling the effects of her trip home. Turning from the wall she walked back through the roof door back into her apartment. After putting away her coffee cup she walked toward the bedroom. She decided to get some rest then later she would go below and find out just what the situation was. She silently hoped that Vincent had been hurt and angered that Catherine had stayed away from him and their son for so long. And that when she went below he would be overjoyed to see her and finally admit that he loved her as much as she loved him.

Once she had changed into a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt she walked over and turned down the covers on her bed. She smiled as she imagined lying under the covers with Vincent besides her loving her with all the passion that she felt for him. Slipping into the bed she sighed as she sank down onto the mattress quickly falling asleep with a smile on her face dreaming of Vincent and the future that she was sure would be hers.

Later that morning back in the tunnels Vincent and Catherine entered Mary’s chamber to the sound of Jacob happily babbling. Mary looked up from the baby and smiled. “I think he was waiting for you.” Vincent removed his arm from around Catherine’s waist then she moved over and took the baby into her arms. “Hello my baby how are you this beautiful morning?” Mary looked upon mother and son fondly. “Oh he is wonderful but that is nothing new he is always wonderful.” Vincent walked over and sat down beside Mary on the bed. “Aren’t you being just a bit biased?” Mary chuckled. “Yes but don’t you or Catherine tell anyone.” She warned. Both Vincent and Catherine smiled. “Don’t worry your secret is safe with us.” Catherine responded. With that Vincent stood and put his arm around Catherine’s waist. “We should be getting to breakfast.” Catherine nodded. “We will see you later Mary.” She told the older woman. Mary rose from the bed. “All right you three run along.” Then they turned and left the chamber.

After enjoying a wonderful breakfast with their tunnel family Vincent led Catherine and Jacob back to their chamber. Catherine entered the chamber and put Jacob in his cradle. Vincent moved up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “He is such a miracle Catherine.” She nodded. “Yes I knew he would be very special from the moment I found out that I was pregnant.” Vincent sighed. “I just wish that I had been stronger and that you could have told me about him.” Catherine turned in his arms. “Vincent don’t dwell on it what matters now is that we are all together.” Vincent smiled. “Yes my love that’s the most important thing.” Then he kissed her.

As they were kissing a message came over the pipes. Vincent broke the kiss and listened. Catherine saw the concern on his face. “What is it?” She asked. Vincent sighed and looked down at her again. “Diana is in the drainage tunnel waiting to see me.” Catherine moved back. “Vincent don’t worry I understand about her now you should go see what she wants.” Vincent smiled. “You are a very understanding woman.” He kissed her once more then turned and quickly left the chamber.

When she was alone Catherine bent down and picked up Jacob. “Come on baby I am going to let your grandfather watch you then I am going to make sure your daddy is all right.” She then turned and left the chamber. She entered Father’s chamber and found him there with Mary. “Catherine we heard the message that Diana wanted to see Vincent.” Father remarked. Catherine nodded. “Yes he went to meet her at the drainage tunnel.” Mary shook her head. “I just hope she is not here to cause trouble.” Mary had never truly trusted Diana. She and most of the other women felt that she was trying too hard to replace Catherine.

Catherine moved down the steps into the chamber and handed the baby to Mary. “I am going to go to the drainage tunnel and make sure everything is all right.” Father shook his head. “Are you certain you should Diana might upset you.” Catherine nodded. “Yes I am certain I need to be with Vincent especially if things aren’t going well with them.” Then she left the chamber.

At the drainage tunnel Vincent opened the secret door. Diana smiled when she saw him. “Oh Vincent it has been so long.” Then she embraced him. Vincent sighed and stepped back. “Why are you here Diana?” She looked at him curiously. “Because I know you must be in a lot of pain after you sent Catherine away.” Vincent shook his head. “Diana I am fine I did not send Catherine away she is here at home with me and our son Jacob.” Diana smiled. “Oh what a beautiful name.” Vincent nodded. “Yes his mother named him.” Diana frowned. “Vincent why are you letting this woman come back into your life when she intentionally stayed away from you for all that time?” Vincent moved away from her. “Diana it was not Catherine’s fault that she was away from us all that time she was in protective custody.” Diana shook her head. “Oh Vincent she convinced you of that.” Vincent stared at her a moment. “What are you talking about?” She smiled lovingly. “Oh Sweetheart don’t be upset but Catherine was going to go into the witness protection program after the trial she told us that she wanted to start a new life.”

Vincent was about to respond when Catherine entered the drainage tunnel. “You and I both know that is not the truth Ms. Bennett.” Vincent turned to see Catherine stepping out of the tunnel. He moved over and embraced her. “You should have waited inside.” She moved back and shook her head. “No Vincent whatever you face I face with you.” Vincent smiled and nodded. “Yes my love we face things together.” Then they turned to Diana. “You should not have come here.” Diana shook her head. “Vincent you can’t let her lie to you this way she is only going to hurt you.” Catherine put her arm around Vincent’s waist. “I would never hurt him and he knows that.” Vincent looked at her and smiled. “And I know that Catherine loves me and our son.” He then looked at Diana again. “Now if you will excuse us we have to get back to Jacob please don’t come here again.”

Diana shook her head. “Vincent you can’t mean that.” Vincent nodded. “Yes Diana I do mean exactly that.” Then he and Catherine moved toward the tunnel entrance. “Goodbye Diana we will never forget what you did to help find our son.” Diana looked at Catherine angrily. “You are just going to hurt him!” Catherine turned toward her again. “No Diana I would never hurt him.” Diana looked at Vincent sternly. “You have to make a choice Vincent it is either me or Catherine!” He could not believe that she was giving him an ultimatum. “Diana you know that I will never love you like I love Catherine so that type of choice is not hard to make.” He looked at Catherine lovingly. “I choose Catherine because she is my heart and my soul.” Then he looked at Diana again. “I offered you my friendship but you wanted more than I was willing to give now you don’t even have my friendship.” He then pushed the secret lever.

When the secret door opened he looked at Catherine. “Come my angel let us go get our son I want to be alone with the two of you.” Diana stared at them as they entered the chamber. Then she watched as they disappeared down the tunnel arm in arm as the secret door closed. After the door had closed she shook her head. “This is not over Vincent you will love me!” She cried. Then she turned and angrily left the drainage tunnel.

Later that afternoon Vincent and Catherine were in their chamber with Jacob. Catherine was lying on their bed asleep as Jacob was sleeping on her chest. Vincent was sitting in his ornate desk chair. He took out his journal and uncapped his pen.

I sit here the happiest that I have ever been in my life. Catherine is here with Jacob and me. She came home just in time for his naming ceremony. I could not believe it when she walked into the chamber that night. I first thought that I was hallucinating but then I saw the one remaining scar that she has from her attack the night I first found her. That is when I knew that she was my Catherine.

We have never been happier in our lives. Catherine is going to stay here with us forever. She told me that she is not interested in going back above. At one time I would have been upset by her revelation but with what we have been through at Gabriel’s hands these last few months I can only feel relief. Our bond has not returned as I hoped it would so if Catherine were to go back above I would not know if she were in trouble. I do have a bond with Jacob but that would not tell me if something were happening to his mother.

I thought that nothing could interfere with my happiness but today Diana came to the tunnels again. She actually gave me an ultimatum to choose between her and Catherine. I could not believe it. Catherine is the most important woman in my life. She is the love of my life. Diana could never compare to her. She could never mean as much to me as Catherine. Diana was a good friend and both Catherine and I will be forever grateful that she helped find Jacob. Now I have to move on with my life. Catherine and I have a second chance to live the dreams we have always dreamed. And I intend to see that all her dreams come true from now on.

As Vincent closed his journal and recapped his pen he heard the message on the pipes telling everyone that dinner was ready. He rose and walked over to the bed where he sat down. “Catherine it’s time to wake up.” She moaned slightly as he touched her face. She smiled when she opened her eyes. “Oh I must have fallen asleep not long after I laid down.” Vincent nodded. “Yes you must have been as tired as Jacob.” Catherine looked down and saw that the baby was still happily sleeping against her chest. Vincent then stood. “I was waking you to let you know that dinner is being announced.” Catherine nodded. “Can you help me get up?” Vincent chuckled and gently took Jacob out of her arms. Catherine stood and put on her shoes. Then the three of them left the chamber.

Later that night Catherine and Vincent lay in bed holding one another after making love. Olivia and Kanin had taken Jacob for the night. Catherine lay snuggled up beside Vincent with her head resting on his chest. “I have never been happier or more content in my life.” Vincent whispered. Catherine lifted her head and smiled. “Neither have I.” Then she frowned. “Vincent what are we going to do about Diana?” Vincent rose on his elbow and looked down at her. “Catherine she was my friend but I swear to you I never returned any of the feelings that she felt toward me. When I found out that her feelings ran so deep I told her that I thought it was best that she not come back to the tunnels for a while.” Catherine reached up and caressed his cheek. “I know Vincent you could never return feelings for someone that you did not have.” Vincent lay down besides her once again pulling her closer. “As I told her you are my life and my soul.” Catherine sighed happily as she snuggled in his arms. “And you are mine.” She whispered. Then they fell asleep holding one another tightly.

Meanwhile in her loft Diana was not sleeping. She was pacing the floor trying to figure out what she was going to do next. I am not going to give up. She thought shaking her head. “No I will never give up Vincent and Jacob are going to be mine and there is nothing that Catherine Chandler can do to stop that from happening.” She yelled. Then she sat down on the sofa and began to construct her next plan of action.

A few days later Catherine was sitting in her and Vincent’s chamber reading when Zach came in. She looked up and smiled at the young man. “Hello Zach are you looking for me?” He handed her the note in his hand. “Yes one of the helpers just sent this down for you.” Catherine took it and nodded. “Thank you Zach.” Then he turned around and hurried out of the chamber to return to his chores.

Catherine looked over and checked on Jacob who was still sleeping. Then she opened the note. She was slightly surprised to see that it was from Diana. Catherine sighed and read it.

Catherine,

I wanted to let you know that I have had some time to think and I was very wrong to give Vincent and ultimatum when I last saw you both. I realized after thinking about it that I was reacting rather irrationally. I am glad that you are back. And that Vincent is once again happy. I just hope that in time you can both forgive me. I was hoping that you could come above this afternoon to my loft so that we could talk about everything. I want to get some things off my chest but they are things that I would rather say to you in person. Please think about it Catherine. I hope that in time we can be friends.

Diana

Catherine folded the note again and sat there holding it for a few moments. She was not sure whether she should trust Diana but she also wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt if only for Vincent’s sake. Catherine knew how hard it was for Vincent to lose a friend. She had witnessed it when Mitch came back and she never wanted to see Vincent put through that sort of pain again.

Making up her mind Catherine rose and changed clothes. She would go and meet with Diana but first she wanted to go leave Jacob with Father and Mary and tell them where she was going. Picking up her son she turned and quickly left the chamber. A few moments later she entered Father’s chamber. He was having a cup of tea with Mary. They smiled when they heard Jacob’s happy babble. “How are the two of you today?” Mary asked. Catherine smiled. “We are fine.” Then Father noticed how she was dressed. “Are you going above?” She nodded. “Yes I received a message that Diana wants to meet.” Father shook his head. “Are you sure that is a wise idea?” Catherine sighed. “No but I want to give her the benefit of the doubt for Vincent’s sake.” Mary sighed. “Catherine if you do meet with her please be very careful there is something about her that I don’t trust.” Catherine nodded. “I will Mary I should be back in a couple of hours.” Then she turned and left the chamber heading above.

When Catherine reached Diana’s loft she buzzed the intercom. Diana came on and sent down the elevator so that Catherine could come up. A few moments later the elevator arrived and Catherine opened the door stepping into the apartment. She was about to turn around when she felt a gun in her back. “Don’t turn around Catherine.” Diana warned. Catherine shook her head and put her hands up. “Diana what are you doing?” The red headed woman laughed. “I am going to make sure that you die this time.” She then pushed the gun into Catherine harder. “Now move toward the roof!” Catherine moved slowly toward the door that led to the roof opening the door very slowly. Then both women stepped through the door onto the roof.

At that moment in the tunnels Vincent entered Father’s chamber. He smiled when he saw his son in Mary’s arms. He looked around but did not see Catherine. Mary then noticed him in the entrance of the chamber. “She had to go above.” The older woman remarked. Vincent moved down the steps and took his son in his arms instinctively. “Why did she go above?” He asked. Mary could hear the concern in his tone. “She received a message from Diana that asked her to go above to her apartment so that they could talk about what happened the other day.” Father stated.

Vincent suddenly got a very far off look on his face. Father noticed it and looked at him. “Are you all right Vincent?” After a moment Vincent came out of his trance like state. “Catherine is very frightened.” He stated as he gave Jacob back to Mary. “You felt her fear?” She asked smiling. Vincent nodded as he moved quickly to the chamber steps. “Yes I have to go to her something is very wrong.” Then without another word he ran from the chamber. Once he was gone Mary looked at Father. “I am so glad that he got the bond back if Catherine is in trouble.” Father nodded. “So am I Mary.” He then rose. “Come we will take Jacob to Vincent and Catherine’s chamber and wait for them to return.” With that they left the chamber.

On the roof of Diana’s building she was still holding Catherine at gunpoint. “Miss Chandler I did not want this to turn out this way but you should have never come back.” Diana told her. Catherine looked up at her from where she was sitting. “Diana how can you do this?” She asked. Diana laughed. “Don’t worry Catherine after you are gone I will be there to comfort Vincent.” Catherine shook her head. “He will never believe that I just jumped off this roof.” Diana thought a moment. “That could be true but since I am a police officer I am sure I can come up with a reasonable explanation.”

She was about to move toward Catherine when Vincent came over the rooftop. He looked at Catherine and put his finger to his lips to keep her from calling out to him. Then he moved up behind Diana and quickly grabbed her. “It’s over Diana.” He growled as he held her. Catherine quickly rose and moved toward her taking the gun. She pointed it at Diana and held it there until they heard footsteps running up the stairs. Catherine looked at Vincent. “You should go.” She whispered. Vincent shook his head. “No I had Pascal contact Joe before I left the tunnels.” At that moment the door burst open and Joe came out. He moved over and took the gun from Catherine. “You okay?” He asked her. She looked at Vincent then back at him. “Yeah I am now.”

A moment later they heard sirens below on the street. “Vincent you better go I called the police.” Joe stated. Vincent nodded then looked at Catherine. She moved over and embraced him briefly. “I have to go talk to the police about this I will be home as soon as possible.” Vincent nodded. “Jacob and I will be waiting please be careful.” Joe smiled. “Don’t worry I will make sure she gets back safely.” With that Vincent kissed Catherine then climbed over the rooftop as the cops ran up the stairs onto the roof to arrest Diana.

An hour later Catherine entered the tunnels. Joe had brought her to the park entrance then said his good-byes. Catherine moved through the tunnels very slowly she was extremely exhausted from the afternoon. She was about to tap out a message for Vincent to come to her when he rounded the corner. “Catherine are you all right?” He asked as he moved over and pulled her into his arms. “Yes love I am just very tired.” Vincent nodded then picked her up gently. “I am going to have Father examine you.” Catherine sighed. “That is not necessary I am fine.” She argued. Vincent shook his head. “Please don’t argue with me about this Catherine.” He pleaded. Catherine smiled as she settled comfortably into his arms. “All right if you will feel better.” Vincent then turned and walked back toward the hub with his precious love in his arms.

When they arrived at their chamber Father and Mary greeted Catherine. “Dear are you all right?” Mary asked. Catherine smiled as she lifted her head. “Yes Mary I am just very tired.” Father immediately noticed this. “You have been pretty tired lately.” He stated. Vincent nodded as he gently lay her down on the bed. “Will you examine her?” Father nodded. “Yes I will go get my bag then come back.” He then led Mary out of the chamber pulling the tapestry down as they went.

After they were gone Vincent removed his cloak and sat down on the bed beside her. “How did you know that I was in trouble?” Vincent gently stroked her cheek. “I felt your fear.” Catherine smiled brightly. “You felt it?” Vincent nodded. “I think our bond is being restored.” Catherine sat up and threw her arms around his neck. “I told you that it would.” She whispered. Vincent chuckled. “Yes my angel you did.” They were interrupted when Father and Mary entered the chamber again. “Vincent will you wait outside?” Father asked. Vincent nodded and rose. “I will be right back.” He whispered as he leaned over and gently kissed Catherine. She returned the kiss and nodded. “All right.” She answered. Then Vincent left the chamber.

A half an hour later Father looked out into the tunnel. “Vincent you can come back inside.” Vincent rose from where he was sitting and moved into the chamber. He moved over and sat down on the bed beside Catherine once again. “How is she?” He asked. Catherine took his hand. “We are fine my love.” Vincent looked at her for a moment confused. “We?” He asked. Catherine nodded. “Yes it would seem that we are going to welcome a new baby in a few months.” Vincent could not believe what he had just heard. He looked up at Father who nodded. “Yes Vincent you are going to be a father once again.” Vincent looked back down at Catherine and pulled her into his arms. “Oh my angel that is wonderful.” He whispered. Catherine wrapped her arms around his neck as they cried tears of happiness. Father and Mary watched for a few moments then moved toward the chamber entrance. Mary stopped just as she was leaving and looked at them again. “I will keep Jacob for you tonight if you like.” Catherine lifted her head from Vincent’s shoulder and nodded. “Thank you Mary we appreciate it.” Then they left the younger couple alone to celebrate their joyous news.

Later that night as they lay together in bed Vincent put his hand gently over her abdomen. Catherine felt his touch and smiled. “You are really excited about this aren’t you?” She asked. Vincent chuckled. “Am I that transparent?” Catherine giggled as she wrapped her arms around him. “Yes my love you are but I am just as excited as you are.” Vincent sighed and tightened his arms around her. “I just can’t believe that I am being given this second chance to see you pregnant with our child.” Catherine lifted her head from her pillow. “I am glad that we are being given this second chance.” Vincent nodded. “So am I.” Then he grew serious. “Do you know what is going to happen to Diana?” Catherine sighed. “I told the police that I would not press charges because she is apparently very disturbed and needs to get some help.” Vincent shook his head. “I can’t believe she is the same woman who helped me find Jacob.” Catherine lifted her head again. “That’s the point Vincent she isn’t the same woman she changed.” Vincent turned toward her. “I was terrified when I saw her with that gun.” Catherine nodded. “I know so was I.”

After a moment of silence Vincent let her go and rose from the bed. Catherine sat up and watched as he moved over and opened his bureau. “What are you looking for?” She asked. Vincent looked back at her for a moment. “I have something for you.” He stated simply. Then he returned to looking. When he found what he was searching for he closed the bureau again and moved back toward the bed. Catherine moved over as he climbed back under the covers beside her. He smiled as he handed her the black box. “What’s this?” She asked. Vincent shook his head. “Open it then I will explain.” Catherine slowly opened the box and gasped when she saw the beautiful diamond and ruby ring. She looked at it for a moment longer then looked at Vincent once again. He smiled and took the box out of her hand. “This was Margaret’s.” He stated as he took the ring out of the black velvet. Then he reached for her left hand. Catherine began to tear up as he slipped it on her ring finger. Vincent lifted her hand and gently kissed her finger where the ring was. He looked up at Catherine and smiled. “Catherine Chandler will you marry me?” He asked with all the love in his voice that he could manage.

When Catherine heard the words that she had only dreamed that he would ask she broke down and began to cry. She looked up at him after a moment then threw herself into his arms. “Oh yes!” She sobbed. Vincent tightened his arms around her and pulled her back until they were once again lying on the bed. Catherine settled into his arms and looked at the ring. “I love this ring.” She whispered. Vincent nodded. “Yes Father told me that he believed that Margaret wanted me to give it to you someday.” Catherine looked over at him. “You think she knew how we feel about one another?” Vincent tightened his arms around her and pulled her closer. “Yes my angel I know she did.” Then he leaned forward and kissed her. Catherine tightened her arms around his neck as they kissed and they were soon lost in their passion for one another. That night they would dream about the wonderful life that they would share as man and wife in the tunnels with their children.

EPILOGUE:

Vincent and Catherine were married a few weeks later in a wonderfully beautiful ceremony. Peter it was agreed being a friend of Catherine’s father acted as father of the bride. Devin had come home a few days before the wedding for an unexpected visit and happily found that Catherine was alive and that she and Vincent were getting married. Vincent asked him to be his best man and Devin happily accepted.

After the wedding and a beautiful reception the happy couple went off for a wonderful honeymoon in their secret place beyond the falls. Vincent had at first thought about taking her to the nameless river but after talking to Father he decided that they could go there sometime after their second child was born. Catherine had insisted on a wedding before her pregnancy began to show. She told Vincent that she absolutely refused to waddle down the aisle like a duck. Vincent just chuckled and pulled her into his arms telling her that it would not have mattered because either way she would be beautiful to him.

A few months later in her sixth month of pregnancy Catherine awoke as her contractions started. Vincent had been called away for an emergency repair job in the lower tunnels a few days before. Father had assured him that they would contact him if she went into labor. Catherine rose from the bed and walked out to the nearest pipe to tap out a message for Father. Then she returned to her and Vincent’s chamber.

Five minutes later Father, Mary, and Olivia ran into the chamber. “Catherine dear how are you doing?” Mary asked breathlessly. Catherine looked up at her. “Not too bad right now.” Father moved over toward her. “We need to get you changed.” Catherine nodded then stood. At that moment her water broke. Father moved out into the tunnel as Mary and Olivia helped Catherine change her gown.

As Father was waiting Vincent suddenly ran up to him. “Father how is she?” He asked breathless. Father smiled and patted his cheek. “She is fine Mary and Olivia are helping her change.” At that moment Mary looked out of the tapestry. “You can come back in.” She commented. Vincent and Father moved toward the tapestry moving it aside as they entered the chamber. Vincent removed his cloak and let it fall to the chamber floor then made his way over to the bed where Catherine was lying. “My love are you all right?” He asked quietly as he sat down. Catherine opened her eyes and smiled. “Oh I am glad you are here.” She stated as she sat up and embraced him. Vincent held her for a moment then lay her back. “Yes I came as soon as I felt your pain.” A cry was suddenly heard from Jacob’s crib. Vincent rose and picked him up then brought him over to the bed for Catherine. “I think our first born wanted to see you for a moment.” Catherine gently stroked his cheek as another pain hit.

Vincent looked up and handed Jacob to Olivia. “I will take him to Lena then come back.” She then turned and left the chamber. Vincent held Catherine as the contraction passed. Father examined her and smiled. “Well I think you two are going to see this new baby very soon.” He looked at Vincent. “Why don’t you sit behind her so that you can help her when we need her to push?” Vincent nodded and rose. Mary helped Catherine sit up and moved the pillows aside allowing Vincent to slide in behind her. Catherine relaxed as she sank against his chest.

A few hours later everyone in the tunnels was happily greeted by the message that Vincent and Catherine had a new baby girl. In their chamber Vincent and Catherine were holding their daughter for the first time. “Oh Catherine she is beautiful.” Vincent whispered. Catherine looked up at him as her tears began to fall. “I never thought I would hear that from you.” Vincent tenderly kissed her tears away. “My angel since you came into my life I have learned many things.” Then he looked down at the sweet kitten face of their new daughter that was identical to her father. “And the most important thing that I have learned is that you make me feel beautiful therefore how could our baby girl not be beautiful?”

Father, Mary, and Olivia left them alone after finishing up. Catherine took the baby from her father and lay her at her breast. They watched tenderly as the little baby girl began to eat hungrily at her mother’s breast. Vincent put his arms around both of them. “I never thought I could be this happy again after everything that we went through.” Catherine nodded. “Neither did I.” Then she looked up at Vincent. “I guess this just means that our destinies have always been one.” Vincent smiled. “Yes and our souls cannot be separated by anyone or anything.”

They were interrupted when Olivia entered carrying Jacob I think this little one wanted to meet his sister.” Vincent rose from the bed and took him. “Thank you Olivia.” She nodded then left them alone. Vincent sat back down on the bed with Jacob. “Son this is your sister.” He whispered. Jacob looked at the baby then looked up at Catherine. “Mama!” He cried happily. Catherine smiled as tears came to her eyes again. “Oh Vincent he talked!” Vincent smiled. “Yes my love we have received two great gifts today.” They spent the rest of the day alone with their two beloved children. Talking about what their future would hold.