Catherine's Gift

Vincent entered Father’s chamber. He had been out looking for Catherine all night again. Father looked up and took off his glasses. “You just returning?” Vincent nodded as he lay his cloak down over a chair. “Yes I was looking for Catherine.” Father sighed. “Vincent she may have just gone away for a bit I am sure she is all right.” Vincent turned and looked at him. “Father she knows that I can’t feel her since my illness and I know she would never stay away and cause me to worry.” Father could not argue with his logic on this point. In his own heart the tunnel elder knew that something must have happened to Catherine. “Vincent you are still recovering, you need to rest.” Vincent shook his head. “No Father I can’t rest until I find her.” Father stood and moved toward him. “Have you felt anything from the bond?” Vincent shook his head. “No and I am afraid that is it gone forever.” Father shook his head. “No Vincent I am sure it will return in time all you have to do is have patience and faith.” Vincent stared at him for a moment. “How can I have faith Father when all I can feel right now is fear?” Then he picked up his cloak. “I am tired Father I am going to rest.” With that he turned and left the chamber as Father watched sadly.

After he had left Father also left the chamber. He went to the pipe chamber where Pascal was working with Zach. Pascal looked up when he entered. “Yes Father?” Father moved toward him “I need to speak with you.” Pascal nodded then spoke to Zach. “Can you handle it for a moment?” Zach nodded. “With my eyes closed.” Pascal stepped down off the pipe platform. “That’s fine just leave your ears open.” Then Pascal turned his attention to Father. “Pascal Catherine is missing.” Father began. The pipe master looked at him shocked. “Missing?” Father nodded. “Yes.” Pascal shook his head. “Is she in danger?” Father sighed. “We don’t know.” Pascal was a bit surprised by his response. “Wouldn’t Vincent be able to sense if she were?” Father shook his head. “No since his illness the bond has been interrupted someway.” Pascal nodded again. “Don’t worry Father we will find her.” Father looked at him desperately. “We have to Pascal.” Then he turned and left the chamber as Pascal went to work passing the message to all the other pipe outposts.

Across town in a warehouse some men that worked for Gabriel were questioning Catherine. “Now Miss Chandler where is the book that Maxwell gave you?” One man asked. Catherine squinted her eyes in the light of the lamp that was shining in her face. “Miss Chandler just tell us what we want to know and you can go home.” He assured her smiling wickedly. Catherine knew instinctively that he was lying to her. “I don’t know what you are talking about.” She whispered. The man rose and looked at the doctor. “The boss said to give her the shot.” The doctor nodded and moved toward him. Catherine watched as he took the syringe off the tray and uncapped it then he injected something into her vein. After a moment her eyes began to get heavy. “Just relax Miss Chandler this will help you tell us what we need to know.”

In the tunnels Vincent was tossing and turning. He was not sleeping well due to the nightmares that he kept having about Catherine. He sighed and sat up then rose from the bed. Walking over to his writing table he sat down and took out his journal. Uncapping his pen he thought a moment then began to write.

I have never been this frightened in my life. I have searched for days and I can’t find Catherine anywhere. Father suggested that maybe she was called away suddenly but I know that this is not true. As I told him even if she had been called away quickly she would have let me know. She would never cause me this much pain and worry. I can’t help but think of the last night that she was here in my chamber. I know in my heart that she had something very important on her mind that she wanted to talk to me about. But in my own self-pity I was too wrapped up in my own problems to pay attention. I can only pray that I find her then I can make it up to her. I will not rest until Catherine is safely by my side once again.

Vincent closed the journal then rose. After pacing nervously for a few moments he decided to go for a walk through the tunnels. He hoped that if he had time just to concentrate maybe he could break through the wall that surrounded the bond. Then he could sense where Catherine was and if she was in danger. Picking up his cloak he swung it around his broad shoulders then quickly left the chamber. He found that since Catherine disappeared that he no longer liked spending much time in his chamber or in other places that they spent most of their time together. And he also felt empty when he went above to Catherine’s balcony. He had been going there almost nightly to see if she had returned and to call out to her with his mind and his heart.

Catherine was kneeling in the corner of the dark room that they were holding her. She had become ill again after the injection was given to her. As she turned around she looked at her surrounding hoping that all this had been nothing but a horrible nightmare. But she quickly found that it was real. Rising to her feet she looked around groggily for some way to get out. She turned and suddenly she saw Vincent standing in the corner of the room. “Vincent?” She whispered hopefully as she rose to her feet and ran toward him.

But he quickly disappeared when she reached him. She stared at the gray wall where she thought he had been standing. She hated the feeling she had of being lightheaded and dizzy. Placing her hand over her abdomen she closed her eyes and prayed that whatever the injection was that they had given her earlier that it would not harm her baby. She smiled to herself when she thought of the tiny life that was growing within her. She wanted to tell Vincent the last night that she was below but he was in no state of mind at that time to hear that they had made love in the cavern and that she was now carrying their child. She only hoped that when she saw him again she would be able to tell him and that he would be as happy about it as she was.

Turning she saw a pipe in the opposite corner of the room. Looking over she saw her shoe lying on the floor. She quickly walked over and picked up the shoe then she knelt down next to the pipe. She then began to tap out a distress call to Vincent. She just hoped that it would reach him. And that she was telling him exactly where she was being held. As she was tapping the guards unlocked the door. They saw what she was doing and pulled her to her feet. “Come on Miss Chandler they want to talk to you again.” One of them told her. Then they led her out of the room.

Vincent had been walking through the tunnels when Pascal had sent a message to him that they had apparently received a distress call from Catherine. Now he was running faster than he had ever run through the tunnels. Please Catherine stay strong until I get to you. He thought. Then he reached the tunnel exit and quickly left the tunnels heading in the direction that Pascal had told him that they call had come from.

Catherine was lead into another room where the doctor and the same man that had been questioning her were waiting. Suddenly the doctor moved over to the video camera in the corner. “Give her another injection Doctor.” A voice ordered. The doctor looked back at Catherine for a moment then spoke to the man. “I don’t think we should continue with the injections she is pregnant and I am not sure if either she or the baby will survive with more injections.” After a moment the voice spoke again. “Doctor, just give her the injection.” The doctor knew that he could not disobey. He walked over and took the syringe off the tray that the other man was holding. Then he injected the shot into Catherine’s arm again. “Just tell them what they want to know.” He pleaded as he looked at Catherine. She looked down at the place where he had injected her then looked up at him again. She just wanted to go home and rest. She had not been allowed to sleep since she was brought here and she was past being exhausted.

Vincent arrived at the warehouse and busted through the far wall of one of the rooms. The guards immediately came into the room but Vincent took care of them quickly. As he busted out of the room the alarm in the entire building went off. The man that was about to question Catherine took out his pocketknife and cut her ropes. He then looked at the doctor. “Get her and let’s get out of here.” The doctor nodded and picked Catherine up until he was holding her up then they quickly left the room heading for a waiting car in the alley.

When Vincent reached the room where Catherine had just been he looked around then he heard a noise outside. He moved over and looked out the window. His heart leaped in his chest when he saw two men forcing her into a car below the window. He quickly moved back and pulled the bars off. Then he ran at the window and broke the glass as he jumped through it and landed on top of the car. The driver looked over at the man in the passenger seat. “What was that?” The man shook his head. “Don’t worry just drive.” He looked back at the doctor in the backseat. Catherine was lying against his side unconscious. “We have to get her out of here or the boss will hunt us for the rest of our lives.”

Suddenly Vincent busted out the driver side window and pulled the driver out of the car in one swift movement. The man in the passenger seat and the doctor stared in fear as they heard Vincent growling and the man screaming for his life. The man in the passenger seat looked back at the doctor again. “Come on let’s get out of here now!” The doctor looked at Catherine who was still unconscious. “What about her?” The man shook his head. “Forget about her this is not worth our lives.” Then they opened their doors and both ran out of the car and down the alley into the night. Both were wondering where they could go now that they had failed. They knew that Gabriel would hunt them down but they did not want to face Vincent.

As Vincent watched them disappear he moved quickly toward the car. He looked inside and was overjoyed to find Catherine still lying on the backseat. He quickly tore off the back door and gently pulled her out of the car. “Catherine?” He asked desperately as he knelt down on the ground with her in his arms. She opened her heavy eyelids for a moment and smiled weakly at him. “I knew you would come.” Then she once again fell into unconsciousness. Vincent checked her pulse and found that it was slow but steady. Rising to his feet he picked her up. “Come my love I will get you to Father.” Then he ran down the alley heading for the tunnels.

A little while later he was pacing outside the hospital chamber. When he returned with Catherine he had entered Father’s chamber and found him there with Mary and Peter. They quickly escorted him to the hospital chamber where he gently put Catherine down. Then Father had asked him to wait outside until they were done examining her. Vincent had not wanted to go but he knew that would only be in their way. So he looked back at Catherine once more then left the chamber.

He had just turned back toward the hospital chamber when Father and Peter emerged. “Father how is she?” The tunnel elder smiled slightly and cupped his cheek. “We both think that she will be just fine whoever had her was injecting her with some type of serum but it does not appear to have harmed her.” Father then looked at Peter. They had discovered her pregnancy during their examination. “Vincent there is something that you should know.” Vincent looked at him again. “Yes Father, what is it?” Father took a deep breath he was not sure how Vincent would react to hearing this next part. “The serum did not affect Catherine.” He repeated. Then he looked Vincent directly in the eyes. “Nor did it affect her unborn child.” Vincent stared at him in shock. “Catherine is pregnant?” Father nodded. Vincent looked down. “How far along?” This is where Peter spoke. “Only a few weeks.” Vincent looked up at them. “They raped her!” He growled. Father reached out and put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “We are not sure son.” Vincent nodded. “Father that has to be the answer it is the only answer.” But Father was not convinced. He knew that something was going on and he intended to find out what that was.

A few hours later Catherine began to wake. She opened her eyes and smiled when she saw Father and Peter sitting close by. “Father is that you?” She asked weakly. Both doctors smiled and rose moving toward her. “Yes Catherine how are you feeling?” He asked as he took her hand in his. “I am feeling a bit tired and lightheaded.”

Then she put her hand over her abdomen. “The baby?” Father and Peter looked at one another then Father smiled and answered. “The child is fine.” Catherine suddenly began to cry. “Oh I was so afraid that the injections would harm the baby.” Peter knelt down beside the cot. “Honey do you know who the father is?” She looked up at him and nodded. Then she looked at Father. “Vincent.” She whispered. Father looked at Peter shocked. “Vincent but how is that possible?” Father asked. Catherine looked at him again. “We made love while he was ill in the cavern after I thought he had died I kissed him trying anything to revive him then before I knew what was happening he was reacting to the kiss.”

Father smiled lovingly as Catherine wiped her tears away. “Shh Catherine you have nothing to be unhappy about.” She looked up at him shocked. “You aren’t angry?” Father shook his head. “No my dear in fact I am very happy that you proved this old fool wrong.” But he suddenly got very serious again. “Vincent doesn’t know does he?” Catherine shook her head. “The last night that I was here I came intending to tell him but he was so upset by the loss of the bond that I could not bring myself to say anything.” Peter shook his head. “Oh honey you have been through so much.”

Catherine suddenly looked around the chamber. “Where is he?” Father smiled. “I made him go get a few hours of rest he has been looking for you nonstop since you vanished.” Catherine nodded. “I have to tell him everything.” Peter smiled and patted her cheek. “Yes honey you do but give yourself a bit of time to recover.” Catherine nodded then she looked at Father again. “Did you tell him about the baby?” Father nodded. “Yes I felt he should know.” Catherine smiled. “Father don’t worry everything will work out.” Father smiled. “I am sure it will but I have to tell you that he believes you were raped while you were being held.” Catherine sighed. “This is going to be hard for him to hear but I have to tell him.” Then she closed her eyes again. “I am going to go back to sleep.” She whispered. Then she fell asleep peacefully.

A few hours later she awoke once again and found that Mary was sitting next the bed knitting. Mary looked up and smiled when she saw that Catherine was awake. “Hello dear are you all right?” Mary asked as she put her knitting away. Catherine nodded. “Yes I am fine can I have some water?” Mary rose and poured some water into a cup. “Here you go dear.” She responded as she helped Catherine sit up. Catherine swayed a bit and closed her eyes as a wave of dizziness came over her. “Father told me to tell you that because of the injections you were given you might feel a bit queasy.” Catherine nodded. “Thank you for everything Mary.” The older woman helped her lie back down. “You don’t need to thank me Catherine we have all been very worried about you.”

Catherine was about to speak when Vincent came into the chamber. Mary looked up and smiled. “I will leave the two of you alone.” Then she picked up her knitting bag. “I will come back later.” She told Catherine. The younger woman nodded as she continued to look at Vincent. Mary knew that they wanted to be alone so she quietly left the chamber.

Once she was gone Vincent came across the room and sat down on the bed beside Catherine. “Oh I was so frightened that I would never find you.” He whispered as he lifted her hand and gently kissed it. Catherine smiled. “I knew you would find me Vincent.” He smiled as tears came to his eyes. “I have never felt so helpless in my life.” Catherine tightened her hand in his. “Shh that’s all over now I am here.” Vincent nodded. “Yes and I am going to take care of you.” He looked at her once again growing very serious. “And I am going to make sure that both you and your child are safe.” Catherine could hear the sadness in his voice. “Vincent we need to talk about the baby.” Vincent shook his head. “Not now Catherine we can talk about what happened to you later.” Catherine sighed. “Vincent it’s not what you think.” She replied. He stared at her for a moment then spoke. “What do you mean Catherine?” She tightened her hand in his again. “Vincent the baby is ours.”

Vincent suddenly released her hand and rose from the bed. “That is not possible Catherine!” He stated adamantly. Catherine sat up slowly. “Vincent we made love while you were ill in the cavern then I found out that I was pregnant I came below that last night before I was kidnapped to tell you but you were so fragile that I couldn’t bring myself to say anything.” Vincent kept his back to her and sighed. “I knew that you had something on your mind that night.” Catherine was encouraged that he might be accepting that the baby was theirs.

Vincent then turned and looked at her. “Catherine how can you be happy about this child when I raped you?” Catherine shook her head vehemently. “No Vincent it was not rape we made love!” She declared. Vincent began to pace. “Catherine I was not in my right mind in the cavern it could not have been anything but rape!” Then he stopped pacing and turned to look at her again. “Catherine we cannot be together any longer not after what I have done.”

He then moved toward the chamber entrance. “I will be staying in the lower tunnels from now on.” Catherine shook her head as tears streamed down her face. “No Vincent you can’t leave, the baby and I need you!” Vincent turned again and stared at her. “I have proven by what I did in the cavern that I am an animal Catherine. I took what I wanted without regard to you and now you are trapped carrying my child.” He whispered. Then before Catherine could respond he ran from the chamber. Catherine sat there stunned for a few moments then she broke down in tears sinking back onto the bed as her heart broke.

A few moments later Mary, Peter, Father, and Devin hurried into the hospital chamber. They were stunned when they saw Catherine lying on the bed sobbing. Mary put the tray in her hands down and hurried over to her. “What happened Catherine?” She asked as she stroked her back. Catherine turned over and sniffled as she sat up. “Vincent’s run to the lower tunnels. I told him about the baby and now he believes that he was the one who raped me!” She cried. Mary looked up at Father. He smiled weakly then moved over and embraced Catherine. “Shh Catherine we will work this out.” He whispered. Devin came over and knelt down beside the bed. “Hey Chandler I heard what happened to you are you okay?” She lifted her head from Father’s shoulder and shook her head. “No Devin, I am not all right.” She whispered. Father looked at Peter. “Stay with her while I speak to Mary and Devin?” Peter nodded then moved over and took his place comforting her. Father then turned and ushered Mary and Devin out into the tunnel.

When they were out of the hospital chamber Devin spoke. “Dad what is going on?” Father sighed. “When we examined her after Vincent brought her back here Peter and I found out that she is pregnant.” Mary gasped. “Did those animals who were holding her rape that poor girl?” Devin put his arm around her shoulders for support. Father shook his head. “No Mary they did not rape her.” Mary let out the breath she was holding. “Then what was she talking about?” Devin asked. Father sighed. “She told me and Peter earlier when she woke up that the baby was Vincent’s child.” Mary smiled. “Oh that is wonderful.” Father nodded. “Yes it is truly wonderful.” Devin looked at his parent shocked. “You’re okay with all this?” Father could not help but chuckle. “Yes Devin I realized a long time ago that Catherine is exactly what your brother needs.” Then he shook his head. “But apparently he believes that he raped her.” Mary gasped. “How could he believe such a thing?” Father looked at her again. “Mary the child was conceived in the cavern when Catherine went in to save him from himself.” Mary began to understand. “Jacob how could it have happened at that time?” She asked. Father smiled. “Well from what Catherine told me earlier after Vincent’s vital signs stopped she kissed him then before she knew it he was conscious again and responding to the kiss.” He stated. “Then one thing led to another and they made love.”

Devin moved back toward the hospital chamber. “I am going to go see Chandler for a moment then I am going to the lower tunnels I think I know where Vincent may have gone.” Father nodded. “I hope you can talk some sense into him.” Devin smiled. “I am going to try Dad after all Catherine and the baby need him.” With that Devin entered the hospital chamber again. Father and Mary quickly turned and followed him inside.

Back in the hospital chamber Devin moved over and knelt down beside the bed where Catherine was sitting still crying in Peter’s arms. “Don’t worry Chandler I think I know where he is and I am going down there right now to talk to him.” Catherine lifted her head. “Please tell him that it was not rape and that I want him with us.” Devin nodded. “You know I will now I want you to calm down and take it easy after all you are carrying my niece or my nephew, you have to take care of yourself.” Catherine smiled slightly. “All right Devin I will. Just try to get through to him.” With that Devin rose again and quickly left the chamber heading to the lower tunnels.

When he reached their secret hiding place in the lower tunnels Devin saw Vincent sitting against the wall. He had his eyes closed and his head was leaning back against the rock. “Figured anything out?” Devin asked as moved toward his brother. Vincent’s head snapped forward and he opened his eyes. “When did you get here?” He asked as he rose and embraced him. “I got here a few hours ago.” Vincent sat back down. “Did you see Catherine?” Devin nodded. “Yes that is why I came to see you.” Vincent shook his head. “I can’t talk about it Devin I defiled her.” Devin shook his head. “No little brother you made love to her.” He corrected. Vincent looked at him with a lost look on his face. “How can you say that when you see what I am?” Devin rose and glared at him. “Don’t ever say anything like that again!” He remarked heatedly. “You are a wonderful man who deserves all the happiness in the world and Catherine is offering you that happiness with this child.” Vincent shook his head. “Devin I just can’t.” He whispered. Devin’s anger once again rose. “Then what are you going to do hide down here for the rest of your life?” Vincent sighed. “I don’t know what I am going to do but I can’t go back.” Devin shook his head. “Vincent you are making the biggest mistake of your life and I just pray that you realize it before it is too late.” He then rose. “I need to get back Catherine probably wants to know how you are.” Vincent looked up at him. “Tell her to find a new life for her and the baby.” Devin shook his head. “No I won’t tell her that if you want to tell her you will have to do it yourself.” Then he turned and walked back toward the family tunnels.

When he returned to the family tunnels he entered the hospital chamber. Catherine was sitting up in bed talking to Mary, Peter, and Father. She looked up at Devin but when she saw that he was alone her face fell. “He would not come home?” Devin shook his head as he moved over and sat down. “No he is convinced that he raped you.” Father shook his head. “What have I done to him?” Catherine put her hand on the older man’s shoulder. “You thought you were protecting him.” She soothed. He looked up at her sadly. “Yes but all I did was make him think of himself as more of an animal than a man who deserves love and happiness.” Devin agreed with what Father was saying. He knew that Father’s special treatment had been very detrimental to his brother. But he could not bring himself to call him on it while he was in so much pain. “Dad don’t punish yourself Chandler is right you were doing what you thought was best.” Father looked up at him. “Devin I appreciate that but we both know the truth.”

After a moment of silence Catherine looked up at Peter. “Can I come live with you until the baby is born?” Everyone in the chamber looked at her shocked. “Catherine, are you sure?” Father asked. Catherine looked at him again and nodded. “Yes Father Vincent has to be able to come home again and as long as I am here he won’t.” Peter moved over and sat down beside her. “Honey I don’t think you should leave the tunnels but if you are certain that it is the only answer, you are welcome to live with me.” She smiled appreciatively.

A while later after Catherine had once again fallen asleep Father, Mary, Devin, and Peter all entered Father’s chamber. “Jacob that poor girl is devastated.” Peter remarked as they sat down. Father nodded. “I know Peter and I hate seeing her like this it breaks my heart.” Devin shook his head. “I just wish I could have gotten through to Vincent when I went to talk to him earlier.” Mary touched his arm. “Devin you did all you could, he is not listening to anyone at the moment.”

At that moment a message came over the pipes that Vincent had returned to the hub and was going to his chamber. Father looked at the others and rose. “I am going to have a talk with my stubborn son about how he is treating the woman he says he loves.” Mary put her hand on his arm. “I know you are angry with him just remember he is very frightened.” Father nodded. “I know that Mary but he has to be made to see what he may have just lost.” The he turned and left the chamber.

When he entered Vincent’s chamber the younger man looked over his shoulder at him. “Not now Father I just came back to get some more of my things.” The tunnel elder moved over and sat down on the bed. “How can you treat the woman that you supposedly love with so much contempt?” Vincent stood up straight and turned to face him. “Father I love Catherine more than anything!” He growled. Father shook his head. “Do you?” He challenged. Vincent shook his head. “Father you don’t understand, I raped her!” He yelled. “I have to protect her and the baby from me and this is the only way that I know how to do that.” Father shook his head. “Vincent you did not rape Catherine you could never harm her!” Vincent sighed. “Father I can’t trust myself to be with Catherine any longer.” He whispered.

Father rose from the bed. “You are making a terrible mistake.” He remarked. Then he walked toward the chamber entrance. “Oh before I leave I thought you might like to know that Catherine is leaving the tunnels tonight to go live with Peter.” Vincent turned and looked at his parent startled. “Is that a wise idea with Gabriel and his men still loose?” Father smiled to himself. He knew how much Vincent loved Catherine and he hoped that telling him about her decision would change his mind and convince him that he was wrong. “Yes Catherine wanted you to be able to come back and live amongst us again so she is leaving so you won’t feel uncomfortable.” Then without another word he turned and left the chamber. Vincent sat down in his chair and put his head in his hands. He was so confused that he did not know what to do. Then he rose again. He picked up his pack and left the chamber on his way back to the lower catacombs. No Catherine and our child are better off without me in their lives. He thought to himself as he left the hub.

Later that night all the tunnel residents gathered in Father’s chamber as Catherine and Peter prepared to leave. “Chandler you don’t have to do this.” Devin stated. She looked over at him and sighed. “I can’t stay here Devin he has to be able to come home and be amongst all of you again.” Father rose and moved over to her. He put his arm around her shoulders and smiled at her. “Catherine you and the baby are also our family and we are all very worried about both of you.” She turned and embraced him. “I know and I love you all I will come for visits from time to time when Vincent is away.” She promised. Then she looked at Peter. “We should get going.” Peter nodded. “Sure honey let’s go.” Taking her hand they started to walk out of the chamber. Various tunnel residents embraced her and told her that they would come above to visit as she moved through the crowd. Then they climbed the steps and left the chamber.

Once they were gone Mary shook her head. “I am afraid for her.” Father put his arm around her. “I know Mary so am I.” Then Jamie stood. “I am going to the catacombs and give Vincent a piece of my mind!” She declared. Devin put his arm around her shoulders and shook his head. “No kiddo that would only make the situation worse they will work this out for themselves Vincent just needs time.”

With that everyone in the chamber began talking amongst him or herself. “Father are you going to let Vincent get away with hurting Catherine like this?” William finally asked. Father looked at him and sighed. “There is nothing that I can do he is a grown man besides as Devin stated a moment ago they will work this out for themselves.” William shook his head. “I think we should put him through the silence.” Devin looked at him and rose. “William I think he is punishing himself enough.” Father looked at his eldest son and nodded. “I agree with Devin but I can’t stop any of you who choose not to speak to him.” Then he added. “Just make sure that if you do put him through the silence that it does not affect your opinion of him permanently because I know that Catherine would not want that.” With that said everyone left the chamber.

After everyone had left Devin looked at Father. “Do you really think that they will put him through the silence?” Father sighed. “I am not sure what they will do Devin I just hope that if they do it does not end up doing irreparable damage to their relationship with him.” At that moment a message came over the pipes that Vincent was entering the hub. Father rose from his chair. “Come we will go to his chamber and let him know that Catherine is gone.” Devin also rose. “Dad we are going to have to be here for both Vincent and also for Catherine.” Father smiled. “I know Devin and we will be here for them.” With that they left the chamber.

When they reached Vincent’s chamber they met him as he was entering. “Father do you know why Marcus would not speak to me when I came into the hub?” Vincent asked as they all entered the chamber and sat down. “Vincent I think you should expect that from some of the tunnel residents.” Devin commented. Vincent looked at him confused. “Why would they not speak to me?” Father shook his head. “Vincent they are very angry with you about Catherine.” Vincent shook his head. “I did what was best.” He commented. Then he looked up at them. “I will go and talk to her again in a few moments.” Father shook his head. “Vincent she left with Peter a little while ago.” Vincent looked up at him again. “She decided to leave after all?” He asked. Devin smiled at Father when he heard the hurt in Vincent’s voice and saw the sadness in his eyes. “Yes little brother she decided it was best.” He stated. Vincent rose. “Well at least she won’t be alone.” Father suddenly stood. “Yes that’s true Vincent but it’s not Peter who should be with her!” He commented angrily. Then turning he left the chamber.

After he had left Vincent began to pace. “Devin you have to understand I did what was best for Catherine.” Devin shook his head. “I don’t believe that Vincent and I don’t think you believe it either.” Vincent turned and looked at him again. “Devin I raped her and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life just as Catherine will be forced to raise our child.” Devin rose and moved over in front of him. “Vincent she wants that baby more than she has ever wanted anything in her life.” He argued. “You and she made love you did not rape her and that love is what created that child.” Vincent shook his head. “Devin I have made my decision and I am going to have to live the rest of my life with that decision just as everyone else is going to have to live with it. Catherine is out of my life now and she can get on with her life the way it was meant to be before we met. Now she can find someone to make her happy.” Then he grabbed his cloak off the chair and ran from the chamber before his tears started to fall.

Devin stood there a moment then shook his head and moved toward the chamber entrance. As he was leaving he caught a glimpse of Vincent’s retreating form. Shaking his head he thought. You can try to convince yourself that you’re right Vincent but I know that this decision is destroying you inside. Then he turned down the next tunnel. He decided to go to Jamie’s chamber and check on her. She idolized Catherine and this whole situation was tearing her apart.

*** *** ***

As the months passed Catherine grew larger as her pregnancy advanced. Peter and Father had told her that because of Vincent’s difference in metabolism that she would probably only carry the baby for six to seven months. This at first frightened her but they assured her that the baby would be full term not premature like other babies. She was now five and a half months pregnant. She had lived with Peter most of the time but a few weeks earlier she had moved back to her old apartment after Joe had informed her that Gabriel and all his men had been arrested. Peter had agreed with her plans to return to her apartment telling her that he would come by and check on her on a daily basis. Vincent on the other hand was completely miserable. He missed Catherine more than he ever thought possible but his stubbornness would not allow him to admit it or go to her and ask her to come back to him. He still thought that it was best that they remain apart. Everyone in the tunnels was angry about his decision. There were a number of tunnel dwellers that were still very cold toward him. But some had come around and even though they vehemently disagreed with his decision they were now trying to give him their support and love. Devin was glad that one of those people had been Jamie. She was now spending more time with Vincent whereas before she would leave a chamber when he entered.

In her apartment Catherine was sitting on her sofa when she heard a knock on the door. She moved over to the door and looked out the peephole. She smiled when she saw Joe standing out in the hallway. Opening the door she invited him in. He entered the apartment then she closed the door and locked it once again. They walked over and sat down on the new leather sofa that Peter had given Catherine to replace one of her smaller sofas. “So Maxwell what brings you by today?” Joe smiled. “Jenny told me that I better check on you while she was out of town.” Joe and Jenny had been married for three months. Catherine had acted as the Maid of Honor. They held an evening wedding for only family in the park hoping that Vincent would attend. Joe and Jenny and Jenny’s family had gotten to know him while Catherine was missing. But he did not come as they had all hoped. Catherine tried not to let it bother her but she found that it hurt her more than she was willing to even admit to herself.

Catherine could not help but giggle when she heard Joe’s comment. “You don’t have to check on me Joe I am fine.” She stated trying to sound positive. Joe shook his head. “Don’t pretend with me Cathy I know better than that.” Catherine looked down at her hands as her tears started to fall. “I still can’t believe after all this time that he has not come to see about us at least once.” She whispered. Joe rose and moved to the leather sofa. He sat down beside her and put his arm around her shoulders. “I don’t know if I should tell you this or not but I think you should know.” Catherine looked over at him. “What should I know Joe?” Joe smiled. “Cathy, Vincent told me and Jenny the last time we were below that he has come to see you at Peter’s quite a few times over the last months.” Catherine sighed and looked down at the book in her lap. “When does he come?” She asked in a whisper. Joe shook his head. “He said that he comes very late at night when he is certain that you are sleeping.” Catherine put the book down and rose and walked over to the French doors and looked out onto the balcony. “Joe if he comes to see about me why doesn’t he come back to claim his family?” Joe rose and walked over beside her. “He is still frightened and still believes that you and the baby are better off without him.” Catherine put her head in her hands and started to sob. “How can he think that Joe?” Joe turned and wrapped his arms around her as best he could. “He just needs time Cathy I am sure that he will come around.” He stood there for the next few minutes holding her as she cried.

When she was once again calm they walked back to the sofa and sat down. “Oh by the way I thought you would like to know that Moreno is going to turn state’s evidence.” Joe commented. Catherine looked up and nodded. “Well maybe in doing that he can regain some of his self respect.” Joe shook his head. “I hated making the deal with his lawyer because I want him to pay for what he did to you but we need his testimony to ensure Gabriel will be convicted.” Catherine nodded. “Joe he is going to pay for his part in all this too.” Joe looked at her and shook his head. “I can’t believe you can be so understanding toward him after he helped have you kidnapped.” He remarked. Catherine sighed and caressed her tummy. “Joe I can’t hold onto my hate because it will end up destroying both me and my child.”

Joe smiled at her. “You are really enjoying being pregnant aren’t you?” Catherine looked up at him and smiled. “Yes I am I love carrying Vincent’s child inside of me.” Then she grew sad once again. “I just wish that Vincent could be happy about the baby.” Joe nodded. “Cathy as I said before just give him some more time.” Catherine smiled. “Oh I will Joe.” She remarked. “I want him back with us and I will never give up on him.” Then Joe suddenly rose. “Come on let’s get out of here for a while I will buy you some lunch at Emilio’s.” Catherine smiled and held out her hand. “Help me get up and you have yourself a deal Mr. Maxwell.” Joe laughed and helped her to her feet. “How do you do that when you are alone?” Catherine giggled. “I don’t sit on that sofa when I am alone that is why Peter took the other out and replaced it with that leather sofa so I could get up on my own.” Joe shook his head. “Well at least you don’t have to worry about getting stuck on that dinky little sofa.” He teased. Then they left the apartment.

A couple of nights later Father was in his chamber reading when Mary entered. He looked up and saw that she was wearing the clothes that she wore when she ventured above. “Are you going above?” He asked as he closed his book. Mary nodded. “Yes Jamie asked me if I knew how Catherine was and I have been thinking a lot about her today so I am going to see her.” Father smiled and rose. “May I accompany you?” She smiled. “I am sure that Catherine will love to see you.” Father turned and went into his bedchamber to change his clothes. After a few minutes they left the tunnels after telling Devin where they were going.

Above in her apartment Catherine was reading Great Expectations. She found that reading the book that she and Vincent loved always made her feel closer to him. She had just turned the page when the doorbell rang. Closing the book she put it down and slowly rose. Then she moved over to the door and looked out the peephole. She was a bit startled when she saw Mary and Father standing in the hallway. She moved back and quickly unlocked the door and opened it. “Has something happened to him?” She asked almost in a panic as she let them in and closed the door again. Father and Mary both smiled. “You still love him don’t you?” Father asked as they all sat down. Catherine nodded as she touched her tummy. “Father I love him even more now than I did before.” She whispered. Mary rose and moved over to the other sofa and sat down beside her. “He is still being very stubborn.” She remarked. Catherine shook her head sadly. “I am not sure that anyone will be able to convince him.”

Father and Mary could see that talking about Vincent was very upsetting to Catherine so Father changed the subject. “So my dear how are you and my grandchild doing?” He asked smiling. Catherine looked up at him and smiled in return. “Peter told me today that we are both doing wonderful.” She then noticed that Father had brought his medical bag with him. “Would you like to examine me for your own peace of mind?” Father smiled and picked up the bag as he rose. “Yes if you don’t mind.” Catherine and Mary also rose. “No Father I don’t mind at all.” She responded. Then they all walked into the bedroom.

Once they were done they all walked out of the bedroom. “Can the two of you stay for a while and chat?” Catherine asked. Mary put her arm around the younger woman’s shoulders. “Yes dear we wanted to visit.” Catherine smiled as Father and Mary sat down again. “I will make us some tea.” Mary shook her head and rose. “No my dear you sit I will prepare the tea.” Mary had made tea in Catherine’s kitchen at other times over the last few months that she had visited. Catherine sat down. “All right you remember where everything is?” Mary nodded. “Yes now you and Father have a nice chat I will be right back.” Then she left them alone.

When she was gone Father moved over and sat down beside Catherine. “So how are you doing otherwise?” He asked as he took her hand in his. Catherine sighed and shook her head. “I miss him more everyday.” She whispered. Father nodded as he put his arm around her. “I know Catherine and I also know that he misses you he is just too stubborn to admit that he made a very terrible mistake.” Catherine sighed. “Father I don’t know how I can raise our child alone.” Father shook his head. “You will never be alone Catherine we are all going to help.” She looked over at him and he saw the tears for the first time. “I have never felt more alone in my life.” She cried. Father pulled her into his arms and gently rocked her like a small crying child. “Shh Catherine everything is going to work out for you and the baby I promise.” He whispered.

A few moments later Mary came out of the kitchen with a tray. “Here we are some nice Chamomile tea.” She remarked as she put the tray down. Catherine lifted her head from Father’s shoulder and wiped away her tears. Mary moved over and sat down on the other side of her. “Father is right Catherine everything is going to be fine.” She stated as she embraced the younger woman. Then they settled down for a nice cup of tea. As Catherine was drinking her tea she looked up at Father again. “May I ask you for a favor?” Father nodded. “Of course I will do anything for you that I can.” Catherine smiled at the older man. “Will you deliver the baby?” Father and Mary were both caught off guard by her question. “Isn’t Peter going to do that?” Mary asked. Catherine nodded. “Yes he would but I asked him if he would mind assisting and letting Father do it.” Father took her hand in his. “Catherine dear I would be honored to deliver my first grandchild.” She leaned over and kissed his cheek. “I was hoping you would say yes.” She remarked. With that they returned to their normal conversation about what was going on in the tunnels.

Later when they returned to the tunnels they were met by a group of residents. “How is Catherine?” Jamie asked excitedly. Father smiled at the young woman and put his arm around her. “She and the baby are doing fine.” Jamie smiled. “Can I go above and see her soon?” Father nodded. “Yes I am sure that she would love for you to visit.” At that moment Devin entered the chamber. “When did you get back?” Father turned toward him. “We just arrived.” Devin nodded. “How is Chandler doing?” Father smiled. “She is doing all right.” Devin understood from Father’s facial expression what he was really saying. Catherine was physically fine but she was riding an emotional roller coaster.

After a few more minutes of conversation everyone left the chamber except for Devin and Mary. “Are you going to tell Vincent that you went to see her?” Devin asked. Father nodded. “Yes as soon as he arrives back from his latest trip to the lower tunnels.” Devin looked at him again. “Dad he got back a little while ago.” Father rose from his chair. “What did you tell him about our absence?” Devin sighed. “I just told him that you and Mary went above to see about a helper.” Father nodded. “Well I am going to go to his chamber now.” With that, Father left.

After he was gone Mary sighed. “I hope that when Vincent hears that we heard his child’s heartbeat tonight that he goes to Catherine.” Devin smiled at the older woman. “You heard the heartbeat?” Mary smiled at him. “Yes oh Devin it was so strong and beautiful.” Devin put his arm around Mary’s shoulders. “Well I hope that Dad can convince him to go to her too.” Then they sat down to talk.

Vincent was unpacking his backpack when Father entered the chamber. He looked up and smiled at his parent. “Devin told me that you and Mary had gone above.” Vincent remarked as they embraced. Father nodded as he sat down on Vincent’s bed. “Yes we went to see how Catherine was doing.” Vincent turned from what he was doing and looked at Father. “How is she?” He asked quietly. Father smiled. “She is doing all right.” He stated. “She and the baby are both very healthy.” Vincent turned and sat down on the bed beside him. “Is she still living with Peter?” Father shook his head. “No she moved back to her old apartment.” Vincent looked at him again. “Is that safe for her and the baby?” Father nodded. “Yes she told us that Gabriel and his men had been arrested.” Vincent sighed with relief. “That’s good.” He whispered. Father nodded in agreement. “Yes she also told us that they arrested her former boss John Moreno.” Vincent’s head snapped up when he heard this. “Why did they arrest him?” Father knew that telling Vincent this next part would make him very angry. “Vincent he was the one who helped Gabriel kidnap Catherine.”

When he heard this Vincent rose from the bed and started to pace. “She trusted him how could he do something like that?” Father shook his head. “Vincent money and power can make a person do things that they would not normally do.” Vincent stopped pacing and looked at him again. “Yes it can.” He agreed. Then he sat down on the bed again. “Did Catherine tell you what she was planning to do after the baby is born?” Father shook his head. “Not really she is still considering all her options.” Vincent nodded. “But she is going to have to make those decisions very soon since the baby is due in a few weeks.” Vincent turned toward him. “Father that’s not possible pregnancies last nine months.” Father shook his head. “Vincent, Catherine’s pregnancy is far more advanced that other pregnancies at this stage.” Then he rose. “I need to go back to my chamber and change out of my suit.” Vincent nodded and rose. “Father I am very glad that you and Mary went to see her.” Father turned and looked back at him from the chamber entrance. “Vincent, Mary and I love Catherine and we were glad to go see her tonight but I know that you are really the one that she would love to see.” Vincent sighed sadly and shook his head. “I can’t.” He whispered. Father knew that it was pointless to argue with him again because he would not change his mind. “Well I will leave you alone to think.” Father commented. He turned once again and prepared to leave the chamber when he suddenly stopped. Turning once more to face his son he spoke. “Oh there are a couple of things that I thought you would like to know.” Vincent turned from his writing table. “Yes?” He asked a bit curiously. Father smiled. “Catherine has asked that I deliver the baby.” Vincent smiled. “I think that is a wonderful idea to have you deliver your grandchild.” Father nodded. “And also tonight as I was examining her I heard the baby’s heartbeat.” Then without another word he turned and left the chamber.

A few hours later Vincent was still sitting in his chair wide-awake. Father’s last comment about the baby’s heartbeat had really affected him. He wanted to go above and beg Catherine to forgive him for his stubbornness but it would not allow him to do so. Rising from his bed he walked over and sat down at his writing table. Taking out his pen and his journal he thought for a moment then he opened the journal to a blank page and started writing.

Many thoughts and feelings are running through me tonight. Father came to me earlier and told me that he and Mary had gone above to visit Catherine. I am glad that they are watching out for her and for our child. I wish that I had the courage to go to her myself but I just can’t. I feel so ashamed of how I treated her when she told me about the baby. Then I turned away from her just when she needed me the most. And I have only gone to see about her over the last few months late in the night when I am pretty sure that she should be sleeping. Catherine Chandler is the love of my life and I want her back by my side but I can’t help but still wonder exactly what happened in the cavern between the two of us. I know that everyone has told me that we made love and I desperately want to believe that but the other part of me keeps telling me that it could not have been mutual that it had to have been rape. I just hope and pray that one day Catherine and our child will be able to forgive me for my cowardice.

After rereading the entry he closed the journal and put it away. He sat there for a few more minutes then rose. He suddenly felt very trapped within the walls of the tunnels. He needed to go above and walk. He moved to his bureau and took out his clothes. Once he had changed he grabbed his cloak. Swinging it over his broad shoulders he blew out the candle on his writing table then quickly left the chamber.

He went above and walked the dark streets lost in his own thoughts. He could not get his earlier conversation with Father out of his head. After a while he found himself across the street from Catherine’s apartment building. He felt the desperate urge to go to the balcony and check on her but he was afraid that she might be awake and that she would see him. Finally making up his mind he went across the street toward the building. A few minutes later he leaped over the low wall on Catherine’s balcony. He was relieved when he saw that there were no lights on in the apartment. Moving over he looked into the French doors. Catherine was lying on the bed sound asleep. Vincent smiled when he saw her hand move and stroke her tummy in her sleep. She is even more beautiful than before. He thought to himself. He suddenly felt the urge to enter the apartment and go to her but he could not bring himself to do it. His more primal side was arguing that he was safe to be around for either Catherine or their child. A moment later he sighed sadly. Then he turned quickly leaving the balcony to return home.

After that last night Vincent did not return to Catherine’s balcony. It was too painful for him to be that close to her. He tried to resume somewhat of a normal life but he found that his mind was never too far away from thoughts of Catherine. Joe and Jenny along with other helpers kept him informed of how she was doing. They tried to get him to go talk to her but he refused. Then late one evening in Catherine’s sixth month of pregnancy Vincent, Devin and some of the other men were called to the lower tunnels to repair pipe damage from the rain that the city had received a few weeks before.

The day after Vincent and the others had left on the work detail Catherine was sitting in her living room. She had started reading a new book that Mary had sent her on childbirth when she suddenly got a very sharp pain in her back. She closed the book and put it away. Then she reached over and picked up the phone to call Peter. He told her to get changed into a gown that she had picked out that would be comfortable and wait for him to arrive. She reminded him to get hold of Father and tell him that she was in labor. Peter agreed then they hung up. Catherine rose and slowly walked into her bedroom to change. She had just gotten into the gown when another pain ran through her. Lying down on the bed she breathed as Mary had taught her. Please hurry Father I don’t think the baby is going to wait a long time. She thought as she closed her eyes and continued to breathe through the pain.

Below in the tunnels Father was in his chamber when Kipper ran in. “Father you have an urgent message from Peter.” The boy told him. Father looked up and took the note. Opening it he quickly read. Then he took off his glasses and looked at Kipper again. “Go tell Mary that Catherine is having the baby and that we have to leave immediately.” The young boy smiled brightly. “I will.” He shouted as he quickly ran out of the chamber.

Father rose and went into his bedchamber to change. When he was done a few moments later he emerged as Mary hurried into the chamber. “Is she all right?” Mary asked breathless. Father looked at her as he packed his medical bag. “Peter said in his note that she seemed all right when she called him just after the contractions began.” Mary nodded. “Are you almost ready?” She asked nervously. Father smiled as he closed his bag. “Yes don’t worry Mary, Peter told me in the note that he was going over there immediately he is probably already there with her.” Mary nodded. “I’m sorry Father I just don’t want that poor girl to go through that all alone it can be frightening for someone who has never had a child before.” Father smiled. “Yes I know but we are leaving in just a moment I just need to tell William.” He walked over the pipe and sent an urgent message for William to come to his chamber.

A few moments later William came in. “Kipper told me that Catherine was in labor.” He remarked excitedly. Father and Mary both smiled. “Yes Peter just sent us the message.” William nodded. “Are you going above now?” William asked. Father nodded. “Catherine asked me to deliver the baby.” William smiled. “Do you want me to keep it to myself until you return?” Father shook his head. “No I think that you can send a message over the pipes telling everyone even though I can bet that some will already know since Kipper knows.” William chuckled. “Yes he ran into the kitchen rather excited.” Then he sobered. “You realize that if I send the message over the pipes that Vincent will not know since the pipes that we use are not down in that level of the lower tunnels.” Mary shook her head. “He is going to be very upset that he missed his child’s birth.” Father looked at her a moment then looked at William. “Yes go ahead and send the message we can’t help that Vincent is working in the lower tunnels.” William nodded then turned to leave. “Tell Catherine that I am thinking of her.” Father smiled. “I will my friend.” With that William left the chamber then Mary and Father also left heading above.

Back at Catherine’s apartment Peter and Catherine were talking as he got everything ready. “Did you contact Father?” Peter looked up at her and nodded. “Yes I sent him a message a few minutes before I left.” Catherine tensed when she felt another contraction hit. “Ooh that was a hard one.” She whispered as she gently rubbed her stomach. Peter put his hand on her knee comfortingly. “I know honey but trust me they are going to get worse.” Catherine opened her eyes and chuckled at him. “You really know how to calm one of your patients don’t you?” She asked teasingly. Peter could not help but laugh. “Yes I do.” He stated.

At that moment someone knocked on the door. Peter looked at Catherine who nodded for him to go. He rose and walked out into the living room to the door. Looking out the peephole he smiled when he saw Father, Mary, Jenny, and Joe. He unlocked the door and let them in. “How is she doing?” Jenny asked excitedly. Peter was about to answer when they heard Catherine’s voice. “I am all right Jen.” Peter chuckled. “Why don’t you and Joe go in and see her for a few moments?” Jenny smiled. “Thanks.” She remarked. Then she took Joe’s hand and they walked into the bedroom.

When they were gone Father put his bag down. “How is she doing physically?” Peter smiled. “She is doing great but the pains are getting a bit more intense.” Father nodded. Then he once again picked up his bag. “Well come on my grandchild is wanting to meet his family.” He stated. Mary and Peter chuckled as they watched him go into the bedroom. “He is just as excited as everyone else.” Mary remarked. Peter nodded. “I just wish that Vincent was here.” He whispered. Mary looked at him again. “I know they are working in the lower tunnels on a pipe breakage.” Peter sighed. “I hope she can make it without him.” Mary put her hand on his arm. “She will be fine Peter after all she is a very strong woman.” Then they walked into the bedroom to join everyone else.

In the tunnels everyone was receiving William’s message over the pipes. Jamie excitedly entered Rebecca’s chamber. “Did you hear about Catherine?” She asked. Rebecca smiled. “Yes I just heard.” Jamie shook her head. “It’s a shame that Vincent is in the lower tunnels he can’t hear the message.” Rebecca rose and put on her robe. “Jamie I’m not sure that he deserves to know after the way he has treated Catherine.” Jamie knew that Rebecca and a few others were still angry with him. She shook her head and rose. “I know that he made a mistake but this is his child too and I think Catherine would want him to know.” Then she left the chamber heading for the lower tunnels to inform Vincent of what was going on.

As the labor progressed Catherine was having a harder time. Mary and Jenny were coaching her through the contractions as Father and Peter were working. Joe was in the living room waiting for news. “I don’t know how much more she is going to be able to take.” Peter whispered. Father nodded. “She is exhausted.” He added. At that moment Catherine opened her eyes again. “Father I need Vincent to get through this.” She whispered. The tunnel patriarch smiled and touched her knee. “Just rest for now Catherine.” He told her soothingly. She nodded and once again closed her eyes.

Mary rose from her seat beside Catherine. “I am going to the tunnels and get someone to go get him.” She stated. Father nodded. “Yes and tell him that he has to come.” Mary put on her shawl. “I will tell him.” She assured them. Then she left the apartment heading for the tunnels.

At the same time Jamie entered the work area in the lower tunnels. Vincent and the other men were sitting down talking when Vincent saw her. He quickly put down his cup and rose. “What’s wrong?” He asked as he came to her side. Jamie smiled and shook her head. “Nothing is really wrong I just thought that you should know that Father and Mary were called above a while ago because Catherine went into labor.” Vincent did not know how to react when he heard what she had to say. His heart started to race in his chest. Devin rose and moved over beside him. “Vin the woman you love is having your child at this very moment don’t you think you should be there?” He asked.

Vincent was about to answer when he suddenly felt a small flutter rush through him. He closed his eyes and swayed a bit. “Are you all right?” Jamie asked. Vincent opened his eyes once again. Devin and Jamie were both shocked when they saw his tears. “I felt the child.” He whispered. Kanin came over and put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “My friend shouldn’t that prove to you that you are very worthy of Catherine and the baby?” He asked. Vincent looked at him then at Devin. “Yes it does.” He stated. He shook his head. “I have been such a fool these last months.” Devin smiled. “You don’t have time to beat yourself up about it right now we have to get above to Catherine.” Vincent smiled. “Yes my Catherine needs me.” He stated. “Well man, get going.” Kanin remarked smiling. Vincent nodded then turned and with Devin and Jamie ran toward the upper tunnels.

When they arrived in the family tunnels they met Mary. She smiled as they approached. “I was just going to have someone come get you.” She told Vincent. He put his arm around Jamie. “Jamie came to get me a few minutes ago.” He stated smiling. Mary nodded. “Well young man are you just going to stand here or are you going above to see your child come into the world?” She asked trying to be stern. Vincent moved forward and kissed her cheek. “I am going right now.” Devin put his hand on Vincent’s shoulder. “We will be there shortly.” Vincent nodded then ran down the tunnel as fast as he could.

After he was out of sight Mary embraced Jamie. “I am very proud of you.” She whispered. Jamie blushed and shook her head. “I just thought he should know.” She remarked. Devin put his arm around Jamie’s shoulders. “Well shouldn’t the three of us get to Catherine’s?” Jamie smiled. “I can come?” Mary nodded. “Yes of course I think that Vincent and Catherine will be happy that you are there.” Then the three of them left the tunnels to get back to Catherine’s.

As Vincent leaped over the balcony wall he heard Catherine cry out. He moved toward the French doors that led into the living room. There he saw Joe and Jenny waiting. He was about to knock on the balcony door when he heard the doorbell ring. Jenny rose and walked over after looking out the peephole she let Devin, Jamie, and Mary into the apartment. “Did you talk to Vincent?” Jenny asked. Mary smiled and was about to answer when Vincent knocked on the balcony door. Devin moved over and opened it. “Just in time little brother.” He stated as Vincent entered the apartment. Jenny came over and hugged Vincent. “I am so glad you are here she needs you.” Vincent nodded. “And I need them.” He answered. At that moment they all heard Catherine cry out from the bedroom. “How is she doing?” Vincent asked. Jenny smiled. “She is very tired but Father and Peter told me a few moments ago that she is doing fine.” He nodded then took off his cloak. Turning he handed it to Devin. “I am going to her.” Then he and Mary walked into the bedroom.

Inside the bedroom Vincent moved over and knelt down beside the bed. “Catherine my love.” He whispered as he put his hand on her forehead. She opened her eyes and smiled when she saw him. “I knew you would come.” She whispered. Vincent leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “Yes my angel I am here and we are going to get through this.” Father looked up at Vincent and spoke. “Can you please move the pillows from behind her back?” Vincent nodded. Then he held Catherine up as Mary moved the pillows. Once that was done Vincent looked at his parent again. “What do you want me to do now?” Father smiled. “Can you sit behind her and let her lean against you, that way you can support her through each contraction?” Vincent nodded. “Yes of course.” Mary helped Catherine sit up once again as Vincent moved behind her and sat down. Catherine leaned back against his chest laying her arms around his legs. “I am so tired.” She whispered. Vincent kissed her forehead once again. “I know my angel just a little while longer and we will see our baby.” Catherine smiled up at him and nodded. “Yes we will.”

After a few more minutes Devin and the others all smiled when they heard the wonderful sound of Vincent and Catherine’s baby crying. “Oh Joe it’s here.” Jenny whispered. He smiled and put his arm around her. “Yes honey they are all together now.” Jamie smiled at Devin. “Do you think that everything will work out now?” Devin nodded. “Yes I think everything is going to be fine.” Then they sat down and waited for someone to come out and tell them about the baby.

In the bedroom Catherine was crying as Vincent held her. “Oh Vincent our baby is here.” He tightened his arms around her. “Yes my angel.” He whispered with great emotion. Father and Peter checked out the baby. Then Father walked toward Vincent and Catherine. “Congratulations you have a beautiful baby boy.” He whispered as he lay the baby in Catherine’s arms for the first time. She moved the blanket aside and smiled lovingly. “Vincent he is so beautiful.” She cried as she stroked the baby’s soft cheek. Vincent put his hands under the baby so that they were both holding him. “Yes my love he is beautiful and perfect.” He stated. Father, Peter, and Mary saw that they needed privacy so they walked out of the bedroom to tell the others the good news.

When they were alone Vincent moved out from behind Catherine. She watched as he lay down on the bed beside her. “I have been such a fool these last months.” He whispered as he gazed at Catherine as she started nursing their son. She looked up at him and shook her head. “No Vincent you were frightened.” She corrected. Vincent sighed and sat up on the bed. “Catherine I should have been there for you and our son instead of feeling sorry for myself.” He argued. Catherine smiled at him. “Vincent the important thing is that you are here now and you were here when our son was born.” Vincent moved closer to her. “Yes my angel that is the most important thing.” He whispered. Then he tenderly kissed her for the first time since they loved in the cavern. He broke the kiss suddenly after only a few seconds. “Are you all right Vincent?” Catherine asked startled. Vincent nodded as he smiled. “Yes my love I just remembered about the cavern when we kissed.” Catherine’s eyes began to tear up. “You remember?” Vincent nodded. “Yes I remember everything about that night.” He then looked at her. “You gave me the greatest gift that night.” Catherine smiled shyly then looked down at their son at her breast. “And you gave me a beautiful gift as well.”

A while later Father entered the bedroom and found Vincent and Catherine quietly talking as they watched the baby sleep between them. They looked up when he cleared his throat. “Catherine I just wanted to tell you that Mary and Jamie have offered to stay above with you for a couple of days.” Vincent shook his head. “Tell them thank you Father but that won’t be necessary I am going to stay with Catherine and our son.” Father nodded. “All right we are going to leave you alone now so the three of you can get some rest.” Vincent rose from the bed and embraced his parent. “Thank you for delivering our son.” Father cupped his cheek as he moved back. “You are most welcome it was my honor to deliver my first grandchild.” Then he turned and left the room.

Vincent walked back over and lay down beside Catherine once again. “What are you going to do now?” He asked. Catherine looked at the baby then at him. “I want to come home.” She whispered. Vincent looked into her eyes and smiled. “Will you marry me and live below?” He asked suddenly. Catherine nodded as her tears started to fall. “Yes my love I would be honored to marry you.” Then they kissed sealing their future.

A couple of days later Peter returned to the apartment. Catherine had packed and was ready to go back to the tunnels. “We will be with you in a moment.” She told Peter as she moved toward the balcony with Vincent and the baby. Peter smiled and sat down. “Take your time honey.” He called back. Vincent led Catherine and their son out onto the balcony. “It’s hard to believe that this is our last time here.” He remarked. Catherine shook her head. “I am going to keep the apartment so that we can all come up here from time to time.” Vincent wrapped his arms around her as he stood behind her. “I am glad I would have missed it.” Then he moved from behind her. “I better get going.” Catherine nodded. “We will meet you at the threshold.” Vincent smiled then leaned forward and kissed her. “Hurry home my love I will be waiting for you both.” Catherine then watched as he leaped climbed up to the roof and disappeared.

A few minutes later Peter and Catherine reached the threshold. “Are you coming below too?” Catherine asked. Peter shook his head. “Not this evening I have some appointments.” Catherine nodded. “We will see you in a few days.” Then Peter moved the boxes aside. “Take care of that baby boy.” He directed. Catherine handed the baby to him as she backed into the secret door and got onto the ladder.

When she was half way down she felt two hands come around her waist. She let go of the ladder and let Vincent put her down on the tunnel floor. She turned and smiled at him. “Where is the baby?” Vincent asked. Catherine looked up at the secret entrance. “Peter has him.” Vincent nodded then climbed up the ladder to the secret door. Peter smiled when he saw him. “Here you are young man your daddy is here.” He told the baby. Vincent took the baby from him. “Thank you for everything.” He whispered. Peter shook his head. “No thanks are needed I will see you all soon.” Then he rose and closed the secret door and put the boxes back in front of it.

Vincent looked down at Catherine who reached up and took the baby. Then he climbed down the ladder and stepped onto the tunnel floor. Once he was beside her again Catherine handed the baby back to him. “I think he wants his daddy right now.” She stated. Vincent smiled into the beautiful face of his son. “He is such a wonderful miracle.” He whispered. Catherine lay her head on Vincent’s arm. “Just as his father is.” Vincent looked at her and smiled. “I love you both more than I can ever express.” Catherine lifted her head. “You don’t have to tell me Vincent I know just by what you do for us.” Then she leaned up on tiptoe and kissed him. When they parted she sighed. “Can we go home?” Vincent nodded. “Yes everyone is waiting in Father’s chamber to welcome you both home.” Catherine lay her head against his arm again as they started toward the home chambers. Their happy life was just beginning and they were happier than they had been in their lives.


Six weeks after Catherine and the baby returned home the naming ceremony was held. Father was honored when Vincent announced that he and Catherine had decided to name their son Jacob. Then they announced that their wedding would be the next evening. Father was beside himself with joy. Not only was his son the father of a beautiful baby boy but he was to marry the wonderful woman that Father had at one time thought could only bring him nothing but pain and heartache.

The next evening the wedding was held and everyone was there. Catherine looked beautiful in the dress that her mother had married in. Peter was chosen to act as Father of the Bride. Catherine was going to ask Jenny to be her Matron of Honor but after talking to Mary and Jenny she decided that Jamie should have that honor. Jamie was thrilled and she looked beautiful in the dress that Catherine had let her borrow to wear. Devin acted as best man. He was happy that his brother and Catherine were together and that they were going to join their lives. The wedding was beautiful. Then afterward everyone attended a wonderful reception in the great hall.

Later in the evening Vincent and Catherine finally got away. Mary had told them that she would keep Jacob for the three days that they would be gone. Vincent had kept their honeymoon location a secret from everyone but especially from Catherine. She teased him relentlessly but he refused to tell her where they were going.

As they ran from the great hall and reached the hub Vincent stopped and scooped Catherine up in his arms. She gasped at his actions then giggled. “We must not be going too far if you are going to carry me.” Vincent smiled then kissed her. “I am not telling you anything.” He commented. Catherine buried her face in his neck and started kissing him gently. Vincent moaned as he felt her lips on his skin. “Catherine you better stop or we will never reach our destination.” He warned. She lifted her head and smiled. “Well my love you better hurry because I need you.” Vincent heard the longing in her voice. He smiled as he kissed her lips. Then he started running down the tunnel.

When they reached the far away chamber they entered. Catherine gasped when she saw it. “Oh Vincent this is perfect.” Vincent put his arms around her waist. “So are you my angel.” Catherine turned in his arms. “I am so glad that we are together now.” Vincent pulled her closer. “So am I my angel I am very thankful that you never gave up on me.” Catherine tenderly stroked his cheek. “How could I give up on my heart?” She asked. Then Vincent captured her lips in a very passionate kiss. Catherine gasped again when She felt herself lifted into his arms again. Breaking the kiss Vincent smiled. “Come my love we have many gifts waiting for us.” Catherine lay her head on his shoulder. “We already have the greatest gift.” She whispered as they entered the bedchamber and Vincent let the tapestry fall over the entrance

Later that night Vincent lay awake holding his beloved Catherine. He knew that she was right the night that she told him that there were so many gifts waiting for him. And he knew that the greatest gifts of his life were Catherine and Jacob. And he would never forget the night that Catherine’s gift to him was created or the night that he was born. Their lives would be both wonderful and sad. But the most important thing was that they would face all their trials and tribulations together as a family the way that fate had always meant it to be for Vincent and Catherine.