Awakening

Allison Duggins

Joe threw a dart at the picture of Gabriel that he had hung over the dartboard on his office door. "That's for Cathy, you f**king son of a bitch. May you rot in hell!" He let another dart fly when Rita's voice came over the intercom.

"Sorry to bother you, Joe, but there's an agent Wells from the FBI here to see you." He hit the intercom switch. "Send him in, Rita." He came around his desk as agent Wells entered.

"Thanks, Rita." She gave him a smile as she closed the door.

"Agent Wells? I'm Joe Maxwell. What can I do for you?" He shook the agent's hand and indicated the chair across from his desk. The agent waited to answer till Joe settled himself behind his desk.

"I wanted to ask you a couple questions about Catherine Chandler." He took out a notebook and pen.

"About Cathy? Sure, I'll try to answer any questions if I can. I'm surprised the FBI's still interested in her. I remember your agents contacting me after she died. It's been two years since Gabriel... And it still hurts to think of her sometimes. I guess you could say we were pretty close and I..."

"I'm sorry." Agent Wells interrupted. "I'll try and make this as easy as possible. First, do you recall if Miss Chandler had any allergies to medicine?" He asked.

"Allergies to medicine? No, I don't think so. I don't remember. Why?" Joe said as he played with another dart.

He continued. "Did she ever have a violent reaction to any kind of medication? Any history of drug abuse?"

"Whoa! What's going on?" Joe interrupted. "What's with all the medical questions about Cathy? She's dead and I thought after Gabriel was killed the FBI would leave her alone."

"May I continue? We really need answers to these questions, Mr. Maxwell. It's important."

He stared at the agent in shock. "What the hell... You're talking like Cathy's alive."

The agent nodded his head. "Yes, she is."

Joe looked up at the ceiling then back at agent Wells. "You're serious! She's really alive! I don't believe this!" He hit the desk with his fist in anger and yelled. "The coroner said she died from an overdose of morphine. I was there after they found her. What the hell happened?" He glared at the agent as he sat back in his chair and waited for him to explain.

"Somehow she survived the morphine overdose. After you had left, one of our agents arrived to talk to Dr. Marks and observe the autopsy. While Dr. Marks was examining her in more detail, he discovered she had a very faint pulse. We immediately put her into protective custody. She's been in a coma ever since. Recently she started showing some signs of waking up. The doctors wanted to try some new experimental medication on her but they were reluctant to do so due to some earlier problems."

Joe asked. "Why did it take you guys so long to contact me? I could have been trusted to keep Cathy safe."

"I'm sorry, Mr. Maxwell. They did a thorough investigation on you. When you checked out my superiors were still very reluctant to trust you. So, after much consideration, they decided to contact you regarding Miss Chandler's condition. We were hoping you could give us the info we needed or put us in contact with someone who can give us her medical history. We didn't know who else to contact."

"Wow! Cathy's really alive. After everything that monster put her through, she managed to beat him. I wish..." His anger cooled with the agent's explanation. Joe scratched his head. "Her private physician was Dr. Peter Alcott."

"We didn't know who her doctor was." The agent commented. "We had trouble finding out anything about her personal life. And with Gabriel's ties to the DA's office, well..."

"I'm not surprised you didn't know. Cathy's personal life was very private. She wouldn't let anyone in. She didn't have any family that I know of. Let me see if I can reach him at his office." He looked through his rolodex and dialed Peter's office. "Hello? This is Joe Maxwell from the DA's office. I need to speak to Dr. Alcott please." He waited as Peter's secretary located him.

"Mr. Maxwell. What can I do for you?"

"I have an agent Wells from the FBI in my office asking questions about Cathy and her medical history."

"About Cathy? Why? What is it they want to know?"

"Could you meet us here in my office? I really don't want to discuss this over the phone." Joe asked hesitantly. He heard Peter cover the phone and speak to someone.

"I have a colleague of mine in my office who knew Cathy. Could I bring him along also?"

"Let me check. Hold on." He covered the phone. "He's got someone with him who also knew Cathy. He asked if he could come along."

The agent nodded his head. "By all means." Joe told him.

"Fine. I'll see you in about 20 minutes." Peter hung up the phone and turned toward Father who was sitting by his desk.

"I wonder why the FBI is interested in Cathy's medical history after all this time?"

"The FBI? Her medical history?" Father questioned. "What's going on?"

"I don't know. It's strange. Why would the FBI be interested in Catherine after all this time? That monster Gabriel is dead. Still I still think about her sometimes. The slightest thing would suddenly remind me of something she said or did. I miss her."

"As do I and I wonder, if things had been different... Would she have forgiven me for all the things I did to keep them apart?"

"You know she would have, Jacob. She loved you like a second father. How's Vincent?"

"He still grieves for her. I doubt that will ever stop but he seemed a little more at peace with little Jacob around." Father replied. "Well, lets go see Mr. Maxwell and find out what the FBI wanted to know about Catherine. However, not a word of this to Vincent. I don't want to upset him. He's been through enough." Father rose from his chair and reached for his coat.

"Agreed." Peter answered.

Twenty minutes later, Peter and Father are showed into Joe's office by Rita. "Dr. Alcott. It's good to see you again. Thank you for coming on such short notice." He shook hands with Peter.

"Joe, I'd like you to meet..." Peter trailed off as Joe looked at Father.

"You! You gave us the info regarding the floor tile that led us to Gabriel. I tried looking for you, to thank you." He said as he grabbed Father's hand.

"Jacob Wells, Mr. Maxwell. I'm glad the information was able to help. I'm only sorry it didn't find her before..."

"Err...Dr. Wells, Dr. Alcott, this is agent Wells from the FBI." Joe turned toward the agent.

Dr. Wells, Dr. Alcott, it's nice to meet you both." He shook each hand in turn. Joe gestured to the two chairs someone brought in for them.

"Agent Wells, why don't you tell them what you told me." Joe said as he sat behind his desk.

"Gentlemen, the reason we needed Miss Chandler's medical history is because she's alive. She's in a coma and showing signs of reviving. Not dead as you were led to believe these last two years." He began. "We were hoping..."

"What!" Peter and Father both said in shock.

"Cathy's alive! My God! Where is she?" Peter asked.

"I don't believe it!" Father said but there was a trace of hope in his voice.

"Can we see her?" They both asked at once.

"I don't know." The agent said. "The doctors treating her wanted to try some new experimental medication on her in hopes of bringing her out of her coma. Every other treatment they tried, she had a violent reaction to. They can't explain why. They decided they needed her medical history before they risked trying anything else." He added.

"Please, can I speak with the doctors. We would like to help with Cathy's care." Peter offered. "I can't believe she's really alive. It's a miracle."

"Someone Catherine cared about was devastated by her death and had never recovered from it. If we can help in any way of getting her back to him, we will do whatever it takes." Father said looking at Peter.

"Mr. Maxwell, may I use your phone?" Agent Wells asked. Joe pointed to his phone on the corner of his desk.

Father whispered to Peter. "How in God's name do I keep this from Vincent? I can't! I don't want to raise his hopes up again and God forbid anything went wrong. He's been through enough."

Peter whispered. "You have to! I don't want Vincent upset and hurt anymore than you do. Let's see exactly what's going on and what Cathy's condition is, then we can decide what and how to tell Vincent."

"Agreed."

Agent Wells turned to the three gentlemen after hanging up the phone. "I spoke to the director of the facility. He agreed. I can take you to where she is first thing in the morning. You can meet with Miss Chandler's doctor then. I'll meet you at your office at 9:30 AM." He looked at Peter who then looked at Father as he nodded his head in agreement.

They got ready to leave. "Thank you, agent Wells. Thank you, Mr. Maxwell."

"Keep me posted." Joe asked. "I would like to see Cathy as well if I can and I'm sure Jenny would like to see her also." Agent Wells looked at him. "Jenny Aronson is my fiance'e and was Cathy's best friend." He walked them to his door. "Nice to see you again, Dr. Wells. Are you going to tell Cathy's friend what you found out?"

"We decided it would be beat for all involved if we wait and see." Peter said.

Peter and Father left as Joe and Agent Wells made plans for Joe and Jenny to see Catherine as well. They went below to make plans to meet in the morning. They also talked about what they might discover out of earshot of everyone else below. They abruptly stopped when they heard footsteps approaching the chamber entrance. They looked up as Vincent entered carrying little Jacob. "Grandpa. Boo-Boo." He cried as he pointed to his knee.

"Jacob! What did you do, my boy?" Father walked to his desk for his medical bag. Vincent put Jacob in his chair.

"Jacob fall down." He answered.

"I can see that." Peter laughed.

"How was your trip above, Father?" Vincent asked.

"Very eventful." He told him as he started to examine Jacob's knee.

"He's going to help me tomorrow as well, Vincent." Peter began. "He probably won't be back until very late. If there is a delay, we will contact you." He finished as he handed Father a bandaid. "There, Jacob. All better." He patted his cheek.

Jacob climbed down off the chair. "Go find Mary now. Want story." He announced. He gave Father a hug. "Thank you, grandpa."

"I will leave you two alone then. Thank you, Peter. Thank you, Father." Father reached up and embraced Vincent. Peter also gave them a hug.

As they left the chamber, Peter turned toward Father. "He looks so much like Catherine. Well, I'd better be going. I'll see you in the morning." He said as they shook hands.

"God in heaven I hope this goes well." Father said.

"It will, Jacob, it has to." Peter replied.

Morning came and Father arrived at Peter's office promptly at 9AM. Peter greeted him and gestured to one of the chairs. He gave him a cup of tea while they waited. His desk phone rang while they were discussing what they would find. "Yes, Nancy? Thank you, send him in."

She showed agent Wells into Peter's office. "Good morning, gentlemen. I trust you slept well."

'As well as can be expected after the news you gave us yesterday." Father said.

"Has Cathy tried to say anything since she started reviving?" Peter asked.

"No. There had been no response to anything the doctors have tried other than the reactions. Anything you could think of that may help us would be very helpful. Shall we go?"

Agent Wells took Father and Peter to Manfried Rehabilitation Center near Central Park. "I know this place. It has a very good reputation for comatose patients." Peter commented.

Father pondered on the nearest tunnel entrance to the facility as they exited the car. Father knew Vincent would come to Catherine when he found out she was alive and he would insist on bringing her below.

They entered the building and were greeted by Dr. Adams. "Dr. Wells. Dr. Alcott. I'm Dr. Adams, director of this facility. I'm glad to meet someone who knew Miss Chandler. Agent Wells told me there are others who wished to see Miss Chandler as well. Come, we have much to talk about."

He led them to Catherine's room. "I thought you might like to see her first." He showed them into her room. They both stared at the small, fragile form lying in the small bed. "I'll leave you alone then. Please have one of the nurses page me and I'll let agent Wells know when you are ready to leave."

As he turned to leave, Peter glanced at him. "Thank you." After Dr. Adams left, Father glanced at Peter as they were finally alone with Catherine. They went to either side of the bed and gently took her hands.

"Cathy? It's Peter. Can you hear me?" He gently squeezed her hand.

"Catherine, it's Father. Vincent has been so lost without you. He..." He stopped when he heard Peter gasp with surprise.

"Her hands moved! Her hands moved when you said Vincent's name. There! It happened again." Peter said as he moved closer to the bed. "Cathy, open your eyes, honey. Cathy? Cathy, open your eyes." He said again.

"Her eyes are flickering but other than that, no reaction." Father said.

"Vincent." Peter said again. They both noticed Catherine's hands move and her head turn at the sound of Peter saying Vincent's name. "Cathy's responding to his name." He looked at Father.

"We can't bring him here. The risk is too great. But if we told him, there's no way on earth to stop him from coming here." Father said as he rubbed his hand over his eyes.

"Will you be able to care for her below, Jacob? It will be a long road to bring her back."

"If Vincent is the one she responds to, then he may be the only one capable of bringing her back. We will do whatever it takes to help Catherine. She's family."

Peter smiled at him, glad that he finally thought of her as a daughter. There was a knock at the door. Dr. Adams entered with Jenny and Joe. "Dr. Adams, may we speak with you?" Peter asked as they neared the bed. Jenny sagged in Joe's arms as she looked at Catherine. Joe helped Jenny to a chair near the bed as the doctors left the room.

Another doctor approached the three men as they exited Catherine's room. "Peter? Fa...? What are you doing here?" The newcomer expressed with surprise.

"John? We thought you were still in California." Father said as he reached for his hand.

"John, it's good to see you." Peter shook his hand as well.

"I see you gentlemen already know Dr. Conner. He has been in charge of Miss Chandler's care since she was brought to Manfried. I was going to have him join us to discuss her care." Dr. Adams said. Suddenly a pager went off. All three doctors checked their pagers. "Excuse me." Dr. Adams said as he walked to the nurses station down the hall.

"Father, Peter, it's great to see you. How is everyone below?" He whispered. "How's Vincent? I haven't seen anyone since I've been back. How do you know Miss Chandler? I noticed you standing outside her room."

"Catherine is the reason we're here." Father said.

"Then you know the circumstances of how she got here."

"No." Peter began. "We were told she was dead. We had no idea she was in protective custody."

"I'm sorry you were told that. How does she know you?"

"Catherine was involved with Vincent before she 'died'. He's been devastated by her death ever since." Father whispered.

"She knew Vincent?" He said in shock.

"John, she responded to Vincent's name. Her hands and head moved whenever his name was mentioned. I also noticed her eyes are flickering. Agent Wells told us she was showing signs of waking up. Could this be part of it?" Peter said.

"She never responded to anything else we said to her until now. I wonder... Maybe his influence can help revive her, now that she's showing signs of increased brain activity and movement." Dr. Connor pondered the thought out loud.

"We were thinking the same thing but... I don't think it's safe to bring Vincent here." Father muttered.

"I can arrange to get him in and out of here without anyone knowing. If she responded as you said she does, he could be her only hope."

"What about the medications agent Wells mentioned?" Peter asked.

"They're highly experimental." John began. "There's only been one or two patients who have responded to these new meds. And with her recent reactions, I don't know. I'd rather not risk the medication if I don't have to."

"Well, it looks like we'll have to take the risk to tell Vincent." Father said. "Vincent would never forgive me if I don't tell him she's alive when I know the truth."

"Let John bring Vincent here and see if she responds to him like we think. With him near, she may revive on her own" Peter said. 'If after that, if the drugs are necessary, we will deal with it when the time comes. I'm sure Vincent would do whatever he has to, to have Catherine back."

'All right. I will tell Vincent tonight about Catherine."

"Ok. I'll be back on duty tonight. Tell him to meet me at 10pm outside the main entrance. I'll get him inside and up to her room. I'll make sure he is not disturbed. Thank you, Peter, Father." He shook each hand in turn.

"Come on, let's check on Jenny and Joe." Peter said. The three men entered the room as Joe helped Jenny up from a chair.

"I can't believe she's alive!" She said through her tears. "Is there any chance she'll come out of the coma?"

They looked at each other. "I don't know." Dr. Connor answered. "She's showing some signs of increased movement but... We have an idea that might work but it's going to take time." Dr. Connor put a hand on Jenny's arm. "She's getting the best care we can give her."

Peter and Father both knew the only care Catherine would rather have was Vincent's. They discussed in whispered conversation about telling Jenny and Joe about Vincent. They decided to tell them everything for Catherine's sake. They realized they had to tell them if they do eventually take Catherine below. They decided it wouldn't be fair to them if Catherine just disappeared, after they've been told she's alive.

"Jenny, Joe. We have something we'd like to discuss with you." Father and Peter proceeded to tell them about Vincent and below. They also told how Catherine and Vincent met and the love that grew between them. They also mentioned that Dr. Connor had known about the tunnels and Vincent since his youth. Jenny and Joe looked at the three men in stunned silence.

"Are you sure this is what she would want? I mean..." Joe questioned.

"More than anything in this world." Peter stated.

"Everything you've told us, is it true?" Jenny asked.

"Yes, it's true and it must remain a secret especially for Catherine's sake. If you'd rather not get involved, I understand, but I must have your word of honor to remain silent about what we've told you about Vincent and the tunnels. Especially you, Mr. Maxwell." Father looked from Jenny to Joe.

They looked at each other and decided if they wanted to help Catherine, they would agree to keep Catherine's secrets and help in any way they could.

"I hope it works. Will you please keep us posted?" Jenny asked. Dr. Connor shook Joe's hand. "Of course."

"Thank you, John, for everything. It's good to see you again." Peter shook his hand.

"10 o'clock. Don't forget, Father." He shook his hand.

As they started to leave, Joe suddenly turned to Dr. Connor. "Take good care of her, Doc. She's a very special lady."

"I will, Joe. Count on it."

Father and Peter hurried below as Jenny and Joe headed for home. When they finally reached the safety of the home tunnels, they discussed the best way of telling Vincent what they discovered. As they reached Father's chamber, they were surprised to hear Devin's voice talking to Vincent.

"Devin! What a pleasant surprise. How are you?" Father embraced his older son.

"I came to see how Vincent was and to see how much my nephew has grown." He said with a grin.

"I'm glad you're here, Devin. We needed to discuss something difficult with Vincent." Peter said as he sat by Father's desk.

"There's no easy way to say this so I will just come out and tell you." Father began. "We found out today that Catherine is alive. She's been in a coma for the last two years, not dead as we were told." He broke the news with tears in his eyes.

"My God! Father, are you sure?" Devin asked as he glanced at Vincent. He was shocked at the thought of what this news would do to Vincent.

"Yes, Devin, I'm positive. Peter and I have both seen her."

"How...? Where...?" Devin tried to ask.

Vincent looked from Father to Peter who shook his head in agreement. Vincent began to shake as the realization sunk in that Catherine was really alive. "Catherine!" He dropped to his knees, whispering "she lives" over and over again, as Devin rushed to grab him. He embraced his brother in a hug, trying to reassure him that everything would work out. "She's alive. You have to be strong for her." Finally the shaking subsided but Vincent still held Devin in a desperate grip as the others helped them to their feet. They walked over to the stairs and Vincent finally let Devin go and sank down and put his head in his hands and softly wept.

Father gently placed his hand on Vincent's head. "Her eyes flickered and she moved her head and hands in response to your name, my son, but nothing more. I'm sorry, Vincent, but you deserve to know the truth."

"Where is she?" Vincent whispered.

"Manfried Rehabilitation Center near Central Park."

"I must go to her." He got up and made for the chamber entrance.

"Whoa! Hold on a minute, Vincent." Devin grabbed his arm. "Let me check it out to make sure you can get in there without being seen."

"Vincent," Peter said. "John Conner will be waiting for you at the main entrance at 10PM. He's Catherine's doctor. He said he could get you in."

"At least take Devin with you." Father begged.

"Vincent, there are things you need to know before you go there." Peter began. "Up until we saw her, the doctors had no response from her until now. They tried to revive her during the time she's been there but everything they tried she had a violent reaction to so her doctor had the FBI contact Joe Maxwell to find out about her medical history. They wanted to try an experimental medication on her. Luckily for us, Joe contacted me. We got permission to see her. Jacob had mentioned how lost you were without her. At the sound of your name, she moved her hands and turned toward us. John Connor is her doctor. He is going to help you get in to see her. Your presence, your voice may be the key in reviving Cathy."

"Yes, Vincent," Father said. "Her reaction may not be immediate. She has a long and hard struggle ahead of her when she wakes up."

"Whatever I have to do, I will do for Catherine. She is my life. I will not lose her again." Vincent stated with conviction.

That night Devin and Vincent journeyed to the tunnel entrance outside Manfried. Devin exited first and then signaled Vincent to follow. As they stood in the shadows, they noticed someone come out the main entrance.

"You stay here." Devin commanded. "Let me make sure everything's ok." He walked up to the entrance, shook hands with the man standing there then signaled for Vincent.

"Welcome, Vincent." John said clasping his hand.

"John, it's been too long. Where is Catherine?" He asked with concern in his voice.

"She's in the room at the top of the stairs." He pointed.

As Vincent started forward, Devin grabbed his arm. "Let me go first. I'll signal you when itís safe."

They went up to Catherine's room. Devin peeked inside to make sure no one was with her. John signaled to Vincent to join them. As he reached the top of the stairs, John said "Stay with her as long as you wish. The FBI agent just checked on her. They won't check again until later on. I'll warn you ahead of time."

"I'll keep watch." Devin put his hand on Vincent's arm.

Vincent walked slowly into Catherine's room. As he crossed over to the bed, his breath caught in his throat as he gazed at the sight of her. His eyes strayed to watch the slight rise and fall of her chest believing at last that his heart lived again. As he reached for her hand, he softly breathed her name.

Catherine's hand slowly moved in response to Vincent's voice. He noticed how her eyes would flicker. "I'm here, Catherine. I'm here." He grabbed her hand as she started to reach for him. Her hand gripped his tightly, her face turned slowly to where he was leaning over her. He gently kissed her forehead then took her lips with his in a tender kiss.

"Wake up, Catherine. Your son needs you. I NEED YOU! I won't survive if I lose you again. Please, Catherine." He rested his head on her chest. He listened to her heartbeat as he felt her chest rise and fall with every breath.

Devin came into the room to check on them. He found Vincent sitting next to her bed, her hand tightly gripped in his. "Any luck?" He asked as he drew near.

"She won't let go, Devin. She knows I'm here. Somehow she knows I'm here." He turned to look at him.

"Has she tried to say anything? I thought having you here would maybe get through to her."

"No. Not yet. She's so pale, Devin." He leaned over and gently kissed her forehead.

"Has she opened her eyes at all?"

Vincent gently ran his fingers over Catherine's forehead. "No. They just move like Father and Peter said. I need her so much, Devin. I don't know what to do. If she doesn't wake up..." He gave her a hug with his free hand.

"We know she responded to your name, your voice as well. If we can get the FBI to release her, she may revive in time. We must convince them somehow." He grabbed Vincent's shoulder. "Itís getting late. We have to leave soon."

"How can I leave her like this, Devin? She needs me. I don't want to return below and find out this is just a dream."

Devin looked into Vincent's troubled gaze. "Believe your eyes, little brother. Letís tell John what happened. Between John, Father and Peter, I'm sure they can convince them."

"What about her friends Jenny and Joe?"

"We'll have to confide in them about you, thatís all."

Suddenly they heard a soft knock on Catherine's door. Vincent pulled up the hood of his cloak and stood behind the door as Devin opened it. John slowly entered as Devin closed the door behind him.

"Where's Vincent?" He said looking around.

"Here." Vincent said as he stepped out of the shadows.

"Any luck?"

"She moved like you said she would. She responded to my name, my voice, my touch. She turned her head toward me. She knew I was here." Vincent stated as he returned to Catherine's side.

"That's wonderful." John said as he grabbed Devin's shoulder.

"John, can you convince the authorities to release Catherine to Father and Peter?" Devin glanced at him.

"I'm not sure, why?"

"We wanted to take her below where she can be with Vincent fulltime. I believe with his constant nearness, Catherine will wake up."

"I'll do whatever it takes to convince them. They already know that Peter and Father were her private physicians so thatís a start."

"We also thought to let her friends Joe and Jenny meet Vincent. I'm sure we can convince them to become our contacts with them as well as Peter." Devin said.

"We've already discussed Vincent with them. They know everything and are willing to help in any way they can." John told them. "The agents will be here shortly to check on her."

Vincent reluctantly agreed to leave but only if Devin promised to stay with Catherine.

"For now, one of the nurses can stay with her. I don't know how I can explain Devin to the authorities right now." John turned toward Vincent.

"I don't know how to thank you."

"Just bring Catherine back and it will be thanks enough." John grasped Vincent's hand.

"The nurses don't have to stay with Catherine. I am not letting her out of my sight until I can place her in Vincent's arms. Wherever she goes, I'm going to go." Devin said with conviction. To prove his point, he planted his feet in the chair near her bed and took her hand in his.

"Devin..." John began.

"I'm not leaving and thatís final!" He said with a sharp edge to his voice. "Vincent went through hell when he lost her the first time. If he loses her again, I know he'll die for sure. I'm not going to let that happen. I'M STAYING!"

Devin looked at John who raised his hands in resignation. "Ok, ok. I won't argue with you anymore. It's almost morning and the staff will be arriving to change shifts. I have to let them know about Devin. I'll think of something to tell the FBI agents also."

"Get going, Vincent. I'll contact you soon." Devin said as he walked them to the door.

Vincent reluctantly left Catherine's room with John and returned to the tunnels where Father was waiting for news. Devin went back to Catherine, settled himself on a chair and took her hand in his once again.

While Devin was dozing next to Catherine's bed, she slowly opened her eyes. She felt a hand holding hers. Fearfully she followed the arm, half afraid that it was the doctor or nurse working for Gabriel. She remembered the rooftop and finding Vincent. She thought somehow Gabriel caught her again, seeing the hospital room. Her eyes came to rest on Devin's sleeping features and softly smiled. "I'm free." She realized. "I'm free and Vincent must know I'm safe if Devin's here." She thought to herself. Softly she whispered "D..Dev...Devin?"

Devin slowly opened his eyes as Catherine whispered his name again. "Dev...Devin?" He turned at the sound of his name and his eyes widened in shock.

"Catherine! My god! It's a miracle." He said as he squeezed her hand. "Vincent was here earlier. He's been so lost without you. He needs you. I'm sorry he's not here now to see this."

"I'm.. glad.. you.. are, Devin." She whispered. "How long... Where?"

"You've been at Manfried Rehabilitation Hospital for the past two years."

"T..Two years?"

"Cathy, I have something difficult to tell you. We thought you were dead."

Her eyes widen in shock and fear. "Oh, Devin, h..he thought I..I was d..dead? Oh my god! It must have nearly k..killed him. H..How did he...?"

"Knowing your son was alive and that he had to bring him home to the tunnels pulled him through. Now he is the light of his life. I can't wait to tell Vincent you are awake."

She started to weep at the thought of the anguish Vincent must have gone through because of her. "Oh, Vincent."

Devin pulled a cellphone out of his pocket and called Peter's service. He told them he must speak with Dr. Alcott immediately and left his cell number. Ten minutes later his cellphone rang and he recognized Dr. Alcott's sleepy voice.

"Devin? What time is it? Is Cathy ok?"

"She's better than ok, doc, she's awake."

"She's what?"

"Here, Chandler, tell him yourself."

She took the phone from Devin. "P..Peter?"

"Oh my darling Cathy. It's a miracle." She handed the phone back to Devin as she started crying. "Devin, I'll be right down." He hung up the phone and started getting dressed.

"D..Devin, please g..go tell Vincent I'm awake and that I c..can't wait to see him." She said through her tears.

"Not until Dr. Alcott gets here. I promised Vincent I would not let you out of my sight. If I'm going to tell Vincent, I want someone I trust here with you and that's Peter."

"T..Thank you, D.. Devin for being here. I..I felt Vincent here earlier. S..Sensing him, h..hearing his voice..."

"I'm just sorry it didn't happen while he was here. The look on his face would have been priceless." Devin laughed.

Twenty minutes later, Peter entered Catherine's room. Devin gently woke Catherine. "Cathy, Peter's here." She opened her eyes to a weeping Peter.

"Cathy, I'm so glad you're awake. I've missed you, my dear." He bent down and kissed her on her forehead.

"I..I've m..missed you, too."

"Go, Devin. Tell Jacob and Vincent the good news. I'll talk to John about getting her released now that she's awake. By the time you come back, I hope to have everything ready. Here's my cell phone number. This way you don't have to go through the service again. If you can get a signal, call me." Peter shook Devin's hand.

Devin made his way to the tunnels where Vincent, Father and the rest of the tunnel community are anxiously awaiting his return after receiving a message from Peter.

"Devin, what happened? Is Catherine all right? Peter didn't say much in his message, only that he was sending you with news." Father anxiously looked to Devin.

Devin glanced at Vincent. He was sitting on the steps leading to the upper library, his head in his hands. His arms visibly shaking as he waited for him to say something. He walked over to Vincent, knelt down in front of him and pulled his chin up so he could look into Vincent's eyes. "She's awake..." Devin could say no more as Vincent grabbed him in a bear hug, burying his head in his brother's shoulder and quiet sobs drifted through the chamber as wild cheers exploded from the tunnel residents. "She's awake." Everyone started saying as one.

Father shakily grabbed Mary's hand and embraced her. "It's a miracle."

As the cheers died down, Vincent gently pulled away from his brother's embrace. "You're sure?" He questioned.

"I've got an idea if I can get a signal down here." Devin pulled his cellphone out of his pocket. "We're in luck. I've got a strong signal," as he dialed Peter's cellphone.

"Hello? Dr. Alcott."

"Peter, it's Devin."

"Have you told him?"

"Yes. That's why I'm calling. I've got a strong signal down here. Is Chandler still awake?"

"Yes, I'll put her on."

Devin handed the phone to Vincent. "Here, someone wants to talk to you." He put the phone to his ear and suddenly he heard Catherine's whispering voice.

"V..Vincent? Is it really y..you?"

"I'm not dreaming, am I? Catherine, I'm so glad to hear your voice. I wanted you to wake up so badly when I was there. I'm sorry I'm not there now."

"That's ok, V..Vincent, Devin was a welcomed sur..surprise and then having P..Peter here is better. The best thing will be when I am back in your arms."

"Yes, Catherine, where I realize you finally belong. I love you so much and..."

Catherine started crying as Peter took the phone from her. "Vincent, it's Peter. As soon as she's released, I'll send word so you can meet us. I'll get Joe and Jenny to come and stay with her so Devin can be with you till everything's arranged. I'll stay with her for now."

"Thank you, Peter for everything."

"As soon as I talk to John, I'll contact you. See you soon." He hung up the phone and turned to Catherine.

"Honey, you'll see him soon, I promise. As soon as arrangements can be made to move you below, you'll be out of here. I'm going to have Dr. Connor run a few tests to make sure there are no lingering effects in the mean time. I'll be nearby if you need me." He gave her a hug to try and reassure her. He also called Jenny and Joe who said they would see her right after work.

Vincent handed the phone back and reached for the chair nearby. He sat down and whispered "She's awake, she's awake. Thank you, God."

Devin asked Father. "What do you need to bring her here? What can I..."

"Devin, the best thing you can do right now is to keep Vincent company. The rest of us can set up Vincent's chamber for Catherine. She belongs with him and Jacob."

"I'll contact Mr. Long to send some supplies down for her. I've got plenty of ideas to build her strength back." William said.

"Jamie, Rebecca, Olivia and I can bring fresh linen and other things to make the chamber more comfortable for her." Mary commented.

The children chimed in "We can get fresh flowers for her." The others commented on things they wanted to help with.

"I don't know how to thank you all for doing this for Catherine. For that I will be forever grateful."

"Catherine family, Vincent. We help family." Mouse grabbed his arm.

"Yes, Mouse. Catherine is part of our family. Let's get started, shall we?" Father started issuing instructions to the others.

Jenny and Joe arrived at Manfried after work that night and they were escorted to Catherine's room. She started crying at the sight of them. They go to either side of Catherine's bed and each take one of her hands.

"I'll leave you two to keep her company while I go check in with Dr. Connor." Peter said as he walked to the door.

"Oh Cathy. I'm so glad to see you're awake." Jenny cried.

"Me too." Joe chimed in.

"Jenny? Joe? I'm not dream..dreaming, am I? You're really h..here. I thought..."

"Relax, Cathy. We found out ourselves last night about you from Peter and the doctors. I'm glad you came out of the coma, we were worried about you." Joe took her hand and kissed it.

Peter returned and told them that after talking to the FBI, Dr. Adams and John, he was able to arrange for her release in the morning. He also told them all the tests he did on her were normal and that she should have no lingering effects.

"Is there anything else we can do?" Jenny asked.

"Not really. Why don't you both go and get some sleep. I'll stay with Cathy." He said to them.

"We'll stay with Cathy, Peter." Joe stated.

"Ok, you two stay with her and I'll get everything I need to release her in the morning. Goodnight then." He noticed that Catherine had fallen asleep. "I'll also send a message below about tomorrow. Tell her I'll see her in the morning." He said as he left the room.

Morning arrived and Catherine slowly opened her eyes, looked around and noticed Jenny and Joe standing by the window.

"Joe, she's awake." Jenny said as she went to Catherine's side.

"Hey kiddo." Joe told her as he gently took her hand.

"Jenny? Joe? You're really here, right? And Peter and..."

"Yes, Cathy. We're all here. Peter is finalizing arrangements to get you out of here." Joe told her.

"Where are you taking me?" She said with a twinge of fear in her voice.

"To Vincent, of course." Jenny said. "Peter told us everything."

"Everything?"

"Yeah, your friends down there can't wait to start taking care of you and getting you back on your feet. If going down there is what's gonna keep you safe then I'm all for it." He smiled at her. "There, there, Radcliffe." He took her in his arms and hugged her as she started crying.

Peter walked into the room as Jenny put her arms around them. "I'm glad to see you're awake. How do you feel?" He asked as he gently gripped her wrist to check her pulse.

"Anxious, I guess." She weakly replied.

"I can't wait to meet Vincent. He sounds exactly what you've been needing in your life from what Peter's told us. Thanks to you, I've finally found what I've needed too." Jenny looked at Joe .

"You mean... You and Joe?"

"Yup. I hope you don't mind me marrying your best friend, Radcliffe. With everything that happened to you, we sorta comforted each other and over time, well..." Joe stammered as he looked at her.

"I'm happy for the both of you."

"Well, everything is set so if you're ready, your chariot awaits." Peter opened the door and brought in a gurney. They gently lifted her onto the stretcher and Jenny covered her with a blanket. They eased the stretcher out the doorway and started toward the elevator.

"What now?" Catherine asked.

"We're meeting Michael at the ambulance downstairs and he is taking us to the warehouse. You didn't think I would contact anyone other than helpers to pull this off." He winked at her. "Anyway an ambulance is better than my van."

They exited the elevator near the ambulance bay where Michael was waiting. "Hello, Peter." He said as he opened the rear door.

"Thank you." Catherine whispered as they lifted the stretcher into the ambulance. She closed her eyes for the short ride to the warehouse.

"We're here, honey." Peter told her as they came to a stop. "Jenny, can you give me that wrench behind you?" She reached for it and gave it to him. He stepped out and went to the pipes lying near the far wall and wrapped a series of taps on the pipe. "Now we wait." He said as he got back in.

Jenny pulled the covers more tightly around Catherine as she noticed her shivering. "It won't be long now, Cath." Joe said as he tried to reassure her.

"I know, it's just... Without the bond..." She looked away.

"Cathy, Vincent loves you. You could see it in his eyes whenever he talked about you. Nothing could ever change that." Peter mentioned.

"We know this is where you belong and only Vincent can really make you well." Jenny chimed in.

The conversation stopped as they heard the freight elevator approach. When the elevator came to a rest, Jamie and Mouse watched with anticipation as Michael and Peter opened the ambulance doors. Jenny and Joe stepped out as Michael climbed up to bring the stretcher out. Joe reached up to help. Jenny adjusted the blankets over Catherine once the stretcher was on the ground.

"Thanks." She said with a weak smile.

"Father, Vincent, Devin, waiting below." Mouse said as he opened the elevator gate.

"Thanks, MIchael, for everything." Peter shook his hand as they loaded Catherine into the elevator.

"Just get her safely to Vincent, that's all the thanks I need." He said as he closed the gate behind them.

"Welcome home, Catherine." Jamie kissed her cheek.

"Yeah, welcome home, Vincent's Catherine." Mouse said as the elevator descended. Peter checked on Catherine as it came to a halt.

Jenny stared at Vincent as he looked through the gate. "Cathy, Peter didn't tell me how gorgeous Vincent was, you should have told me about him sooner." She gently teased Catherine.

"I couldn't..." Catherine stopped as her eyes slowly focused on Vincent.

Mouse and Jamie opened the gate as Father walked up to Catherine. He waited until Peter and Joe moved the stretcher to the tunnel floor. Jenny stepped out and Mouse sent the elevator back to the world above. "Welcome home." He said as he bent to kiss her cheek.

"Thank you, Father, for allowing me to come here."

"Nonsense. This is where we needed you to be."

She slowly turned her gaze toward Vincent. "Vincent..." She whispered as she reached her hand toward him. As he took her hand, she suddenly screamed his name as if in agony then slipped into unconsciousness. At the same time, a white hot pain hit Vincent. Images and feelings flowed through him. His vision darkened, and he sank to his knees roaring Catherine's name. One hand still clutched to her, the other holding onto the stretcher for support.

"My God... What the... Cathy... Vincent..." Everyone cried as Peter, Jenny and Joe ran to Catherine at the same time Father, Devin and the others rushed to Vincent.

"What happened?" Father asked Vincent as he put a hand on Vincent's shoulder. Jamie looked on with concern

"Can you stand?" Devin and Mouse asked as each put an arm around Vincent's massive chest.

"Cathy, Cathy, can you hear me? Jenny, hand me my bag from under the stretcher please." She retrieved the bag and Peter pulled his stethoscope out as he started examining her.

"Peter..." Joe stammered as he put his arm around Jenny.

"She's unconscious, but other than that, I don't know."

With a groan, Vincent slowly rose to his feet with the aid of Devin and Mouse. "What happened, can you tell us?" Father asked as he stepped closer to check on Vincent.

"Our bond seems to have returned more intensely than before. I can feel her again, Father." He said as he swayed unsteadily on his feet. "Catherine..." He looked over at Peter.

"She seems all right, Vincent, must have been the shock. We'll have to wait and see." He rubbed his face as he put the equipment away.

"I'm surprised it didn't happen in the hospital when you first touched her." Devin said.

"I don't know why myself. All I know is that I can feel her again and for that I'm very thankful." At the curious look on Jenny's face, Vincent explained. "Catherine and I have a special bond that allows me to feel everything she's feeling, to know where she is." Jenny and Joe looked at each other and smiled. Devin and Mouse still had an arm around Vincent, steadying him. "Thank you."

"Don't mention it." Devin said as he tightened his grip.

"Ok good, ok fine."

"Letís get them back to Vincent's chamber. You are both welcome to stay tonight if you would like."

"We'd like that." Joe spoke for Jenny and himself.

Father tapped a message on the pipes and Kanin and Cullen arrived shortly after to help move Catherine's stretcher.

"Father, I can carry her." He leaned heavily on Devin and Mouse. Devin looked at Father and shook his head to let him know he didn't think Vincent was steady enough on his feet yet.

"Please, Vincent, let us help you." Kanin told him as Cullen shook his head in agreement.

He nodded his head as the two men picked up the stretcher and maneuvered through the tunnel passages to Vincent's chamber. They found Mary waiting with his bed turned down and Catherine's nightgown lying at the foot. They brought the stretcher in and she shooed the men outside and asked Jamie and Jenny to help get Catherine settled.

"Mary..." Catherine started to cry at the sight of her.

"You're awake. Shhh. Letís get you settled first, let you and Vincent have some time together alone and I'll talk with you tomorrow." They helped her into the clean gown and into the far side of Vincent's bed.

"You men can come in now." Mary said as she exited the chamber.

Devin and Mouse with Vincent still between them entered the chamber and helped him to the bed to sit beside Catherine.

"Jamie and Mouse can show you to the guest chambers we have prepared." Father said to Jenny and Joe. " Peter, your usual chamber is ready if you want it."

Peter went over to the bed and took Catherine's wrist to check her pulse. "You gave us quite a scare, young lady. How are you feeling?"

"Tired, very tired."

Father came over to stand next to Peter. "Vincent, are you sure you're all right?"

"What's wrong? What happened? Vincent?" Her voice rose with alarm as fear gripped her. She looked from Father to Peter then from Jenny to Joe.

"It's all right, Beloved." Vincent turned to look at her. "Our bond suddenly returned. Thatís what you felt because it affected me as well."

"Our bond...Yes, I can feel it and yet I feel another..."

"When our bond returned, you were given a connection to Jacob as well."

"Jacob?"

"Thanks to a detective named Diana, Vincent was able to get your son back from that monster Gabriel." Devin told her.

"You found him? Thank God! I thought... I didn't know if you had found him. I'd hope that you did but..."

"Yes. His name is Jacob Charles Wells."

"Where is he? Can I see him?"

"Mary and Olivia are watching him. You can see him tomorrow, tonight you need to rest." Peter and Father said at the same time.

"Vincent, you won't leave." Catherine's eyes look pleadingly into his.

"No. I will not leave you. I need you near as well." He took her hand into his own.

"Well then, we'll leave you two and we'll check on you in the morning. Jenny, Joe and Peter are all staying in the guest chambers and they will see you in the morning as well.

"Thank you, Father, for everything." Father took her hand and kissed it.

They left the chamber and Father closed the newly installed door behind him.

"Vincent..." She looked questioning at him.

"Father thought a door would give us some privacy now that you have returned to me. Once you are well, I want to share a complete life with you, to marry you, keep you safe always." He gathered her into his arms. "Now, you must rest. Sleep now. You're safe, you're safe now." He said the remembered words to her. He got up, went to his dresser and removed a nightshirt, excused himself and went into the bathroom to change.

Catherine started to tremble slowly, as the shuddering started more violently, Vincent sensed them and quickly finished his routine and returned to the main chamber. "Catherine, what..." He rushed to her side.

"Vincent, just hold me. Don't ever let me go" She reached for him and flung herself into his arms.

"Never again, Catherine." He said as he settled in next to her. As she settled down, she had a grip on his nightshirt and slowly drifted off to sleep. He adjusted his hold on her and also drifted off to sleep.

Jamie and Mouse led Joe and Jenny to chambers that are directly across from each other. "Someone will come for you in the morning and take you to Catherine." Jamie told them.

"Thank you. Are you ok?" Joe asked Jenny after they left.

"I'm a bit overwhelmed by all this."

"Me too."

"I'd rather not be alone right now." Jenny said. "Could you stay and talk with me for awhile?"

"Sure, sure, no problem." Joe said as he crossed to the other chamber. As they walked inside they marveled at the antique bed and dresser in the large chamber. Mary came up behind them.

"Excuse me. I thought Jenny and you would like something to change into before retiring." She placed clothes on the bed. "There's some for you in the other chamber, Joe. I hope you both will be comfortable." She turned to leave. "Thank you." They both said at once.

"I'm going to have a LONG talk with Cathy when she gets her strength back." Jenny said. "Imagine knowing all of this and not being able to talk about it. And Vincent..."

Joe commented. "This place is incredible. No wonder Cathy wanted to protect him so badly."

"And that voice...We definitely have to have a LONG talk later."

Joe kissed her.

"Jealous?"

"Jen, we have to help Cathy in whatever she decides to do."

"Joe, You're right. No one else need know she's alive except maybe Nancy." Jenny said.

"Anyway, it's been a long day. Will you be ok? Do you want me to stay with you?" He asked moving closer.

"I'd like that."

Hours passed. Vincent woke and gently eased his way out of Catherine's embrace. He left the chamber and went directly to check on his son. Jacob was sleeping quietly. He checked on his restored bond with Catherine and found she was still sleeping. He headed back to his chamber and slipped back into bed beside her. She immediately curled up next to him, once again grabbing his nightshirt, and settled back into a restful sleep.

Morning came and Devin arrived to escort them to the dining chamber. "Good morning." They all said at once. "Father thought you both might be hungry and asked me to show you the way."

"What about Cathy?" Jenny asked.

"I don't know. I haven't seen her since we left her with Vincent. Maybe Father and Peter will have some news when you see them."

"Lead on." Joe said taking Jenny's hand in his.

Vincent and Catherine awakened at about the same time. "Good morning." He said softly, kissing her forehead.

"Vincent? You're really here. I'm not dreaming, am I? I thought..."

"No, Catherine. I'm real, I'm here and I'm never going to lose you again. Are you hungry?"

"A little, I guess." She said as she hugged him.

"Then I will go to the dining chamber and bring something back for you." He gently eased her grip and rose from the bed. He went to the adjacent chamber and dressed for the day. She leaned back, her fear slowly subsiding as she heard the gentle tapping on the pipes. He returned shortly and sat beside her. "Will you be all right till I get back?"

"Yes, I'll be fine. Just don't take too long."

He took her in his arms and softly kissed her. Rising, he turned to leave as William called out. "Vincent?"

He looked up as William appeared in the chamber entrance with a tray of food. "Father thought the dining chamber would be too much for Catherine right now so I volunteered to bring you something." He brought the tray in and set it on the writing table.

"William, I would have come for that." Vincent grasped his shoulder in gratitude.

"Nonsense. It gave me a chance to welcome Catherine home anyway." He smiled at her.

"Thank you." She said with a weak smile.

"Just you get well and that will be thanks enough." William said as he turned to leave. "Oh, by the way. Father will be in later to check on you." He turned back to the chamber entrance.

"Thank you." They both said.

In the meantime, Devin escorted Jenny and Joe to the dining chamber. At the entrance he spotted Father and Peter at the far table and led them over.

"Thank you, Devin. Good morning Joe. Good morning Jenny." They said at the same time.

"Good morning." Jenny and Joe said together.

"Did you sleep well?" Father asked.

"Very well." Joe answered.

"Ah, Jamie. Will you show Jenny and Joe where everything is, and we'll see you in a few minutes." They moved to get something to eat as William stepped over to speak to Father.

"I thought you might like to know Catherine and Vincent are awake."

"Thank you, William." Father grasped his hand. "I think we should stop by Mary's chamber and take Jacob to meet his mother."

"Good idea. I'm sure she is anxious to see him." Peter said.

After breakfast the group proceeded to Vincent's chamber with little Jacob running ahead of them. At the entrance Father called out "Vincent, can we come in?" as Jacob knocked on the open door.

"Come in, Father. We were just finishing." Vincent said as he removed the tray from Catherine's lap on the bed. He returned to help settle her more comfortably as the group entered the chamber.

Catherine's eyes focused on Jenny who was holding Jacob's hand. "Ohhh!" She said in a small voice. Vincent stepped up and took Jacob's hand and led him toward his mother.

"Catherine, I'd like you to meet your son, Jacob. Jacob, this is your mommy."

Jacob squealed with delight and reached for Catherine. She hesitated in reaching for him. Vincent sat down on the edge of the bed and picked the little boy up and gently sat him down next to her. She looked at him in wonder.

"I thought I'd never see him again."

Vincent whispered in her ear, "He is beautiful, Catherine, just like you said." He put his arms around her to hold them near.

Catherine started to cry as she exclaimed. "He has your eyes, Vincent. He has your eyes." Jacob crawled into Catherine's lap and put his arms around her neck.

"I love you, mommy."

"How ya feeling, Radcliffe?" Joe asked with concern.

"Yes, Catherine. How are you this morning." Peter asked as he took her wrist.

"Still pretty weak, I can imagine." Father said as he brushed her forehead with his fingertips.

"I feel as if all my energy has disappeared. Itís hard to move or lift anything sometimes. I feel bad that everyone has to wait on me, do things I should be doing myself." She said with despair in her voice.

"Nonsense." Devin said. "There is not one person in this community or any of your friends who wouldn't gladly give up anything to make you well again for Vincent's sake as well as your own."

"He's right, Radcliffe. All anyone wants is for you to get well." Joe said as he stepped closer.

"I need you guys to remind me that I'm not alone anymore. That there's someone to talk to, remind me that I'm no longer a prisoner of..." her voice dropped to a whisper and she started shaking.

"Mommy?" Jacob asked as he climbed off the bed.

"Catherine!" Father and Peter take her hands as Jenny took Jacob to stand near her. Vincent looked at them with concern as his arms wrapped around Catherine.

"What's wrong?" Joe turned a concern look at them.

"What's the matter with mommy? I'm scared." Jacob cried.

"Here, Jacob, you come stand by me and let your daddy take care of your mommy. He won't let anything happen to her." Jenny tried to calm him as she picked him up.

"Vincent, can you sense anything?" Devin asked as he put a hand on Vincent's shoulder.

"She has withdrawn into herself. She's trying to block our bond."

"Try to get through to her, Vincent, as she said, remind her of us, of how much we all love her, how much Jacob needs her." Father said.

Father and Peter stepped to one side of the bed as Vincent laid next to Catherine, taking her into his arms. He whispered to her while caressing her back and cradling her head against his chest. Father checked her pulse while Peter pulled a bottle and syringe from his medical bag. "It's just a sedative." Peter said as Vincent looked at him with a hint of anger flashing in his blue eyes. Father helped him hold her arm as Peter gave her the injection. Suddenly she pulled away from Vincent's embrace and launched across the bed. Joe caught her before she could fall to the floor.

"Mommy!" Jacob cried.

"Catherine!" Vincent cried as he went after her. Gently he picked her up and carried her back to bed. He held her as the sedative finally took effect. Jenny took Jacob out of the chamber and Joe soon followed.

"We'll leave you alone and will check on you and Catherine later." Father said passing his hand over her cheek.

"Thank you, Father. Thank you, Peter. Please thank Jenny for taking care of Jacob for me." He pulled Catherine closer as they left the chamber.

"What's wrong with mommy?" Jacob asked as Father and Peter came out. He was still holding onto Jenny with Joe kneeling down next to him, his face buried in Joe's shoulder.

"She got scared, Jacob. Your daddy is with her now and I'm sure she'll be better later on." Peter told him.

"Come on, Jake. You can stay with me for now." Devin said as he picked him up.

"Ok, uncle Dev." He put his hands around Devin's neck and waved goodbye to the others. Joe stood up and put his arms around Jenny and softly kissed her cheek.

They returned to Father's chamber where Mary joined them shortly afterwards. "How's Catherine? Did she meet Jacob?" She asked. They all look at each other. "What happened?" She asked with concern.

"We think she may have had a relapse. She's been through a severe psychological trauma. Vincent is with her now and Jacob is with Devin." Father said as he put his arm around her.

"Oh, that poor dear." Mary shook her head. "I better go check on Jacob and the other children. Tell them to leave Vincent and Catherine alone for awhile."

"Is there anything we can do?" Jenny and Joe asked at the same time.

"Just try to spend time with her. Remind her that she is not alone. That you'll always be there for her."

They looked at each other. "We'll work our schedules out so we can be here." Joe told him as Jenny nodded her head.

"I'll have Jamie show both of you a safe way of returning above and how to tap a message on the pipes to contact us." Father said as he shook Joe's hand.

"You can contact me as well and I'll get your messages to Jacob for Catherine. Don't worry. I don't think it was anything serious. She's going to take a long time to heal." Peter put his arm around Jenny.

"We will do whatever it takes to keep Cathy safe and well. We won't tell anyone about this place and I hope we can visit again." Joe said.

Jenny added. "Thank you for including us in your world and letting us know about Cathy. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask."

Jamie arrived to show them the way back to the world above. "I'm glad we finally got to meet the both of you. She will need her friends both above and below to help her through this terrible ordeal. Thank you for helping us reunite Vincent and Catherine. Jamie will show you safely above." Father said sincerely.

"You have our word." Joe looked at Jenny and then back at Father. "We want to do anything to help, whatever it takes and whatever you need, just ask." Jenny squeezed Father's hand and turned to follow Joe and Jamie.

Mary entered shortly after they left. "How's Catherine? Is she all right?"

"Still sleeping, I hope." Father said with sadness in his voice. "I checked Vincent's chamber but only one candle was lit. I didn't want to disturb them."

"Come on, Jacob. This was a lot we put on Catherine and ourselves. It's my fault." Peter said. "I should have waited until she was stronger. I should have..." He stopped in mid-sentence.

"Stop it, Peter. It was luck the FBI contacted Joe at all about Catherine. I'm grateful Joe contacted you. We would have gone on believing she was dead."

"So am I, Jacob, so am I."

Father and Peter embraced as they both contemplated what the future held for Vincent and Catherine.