Jenny and Devin

Alison Duggins

Jenny sat at her desk editing the publishing house's latest book. Her attention wandered to her latest excitement, and she wished for her best friend. Oh Cathy, I wish you were here. I finally found Mr. Right, and I can't tell you about him. I can't tell you how we met, how he swept me off my feet and how he finally asked me to marry him. I miss you so much.

While she was grieving about the friend sheíd never see again, her phone rang.

"Hello?"

"Hey babe, it's me."

"Devin! When did you get back?"

"My plane landed 2 minutes ago and I couldn't wait any longer to hear your voice. I can't wait to see you. Please tell me you're not working tonight?"

"No, I'm just finishing up. I'm glad you called. You pulled me out of a funk. I was just thinking about my best friend."

"You never told me about a best friend. I thought I met everyone ever involved with you."

"She died over a year ago. I haven't been able to talk or even think about it."

"Oh, honey, I'm so sorry. What was her name?"

"Her name was Catherine, Catherine Chandler. You must have seen the news reports about her. It was all over the news." The line suddenly was very quiet. Jenny could still hear him breathing over the line. "Devin? Devin? Are you there?"

Devin stared at the phone in shock. "Yeah, Jen. I'm still here. Sorry, your news reminded me of someone I know. Listen, let me get myself settled then Iíll take you out to dinner, ok?"

"I'd love it. See you around 7:00?"

"Sure, 7:00 is fine. Love you, Jenny."

"I love you too, Devin."

Devin hung up the phone and decided to go pay Vincent and Jacob a visit. Picking up his duffel bag, he quickly left the airport and caught a cab heading toward Manhattan. Thirty minutes later the cab pulled up in front of Central Park. He paid the driver and got out. He made his way to the culvert drainage tunnel. Making sure no one saw him, he slipped inside and found the lever for the iron door. He noticed that the door had been recently replaced. Quietly he tripped the lever and entered the tunnels. He heard the tapping as he passed and knew that Vincent would be on his way to meet him. Devin noticed a shadow a few minutes later and knew his little brother had finally arrived.

"Hey, bro. It's me."

"Devin! It's good to see you. Why didn't you tell us you were coming?"

"Last minute change of plans. My publisher wants to launch the book from New York instead of LA. Besides it gave me a chance to come home and meet my nephew. Vincent, I'm so sorry about Catherine. I couldn't get a flight out here in time and then with Charles and the new book..."

"Devin, any time you come here is a joy. You know that. Besides, I have a surprise for you."

"You look happy, Vincent. What is it?"

"It's Catherine, Devin. She's not dead. She's here in the tunnels with me and Jacob."

"How?"

"It would seem a very observant medical examiner is to be credited with it. He contacted Joe Maxwell who in turn was able to contact someone he could trust at the FBI. Joe wasn't allowed to tell anyone about it. They flew to New York and took her to a safe location to recover from the morphine they tried to kill her with. After that the FBI put her into the witness protection program and sent her to California. Joe tried to get them to release her as soon as Gabriel was dead and his empire gone. They were very reluctant to do so at first but they finally consented to release her. Two days ago Joe called Peter and told him Catherine was alive and that she would be arriving in New York the following day. Peter met her at the airport and brought her here. She still has a long road ahead of her. Joe is coming down tonight so that he can see her for himself."

"I can't believe it! Chandler's alive. Thank God. When I heard, at first I thought you might..."

"Yes, at first I thought of death myself, but Catherine knew the child needed me. Through visions she convinced me to stay alive for the child. I had help in locating Jacob from a detective hired by Joe to help him. They both found out about me and helped me rescue Jacob. Joe didn't want to say anything about Catherine until he knew what the FBI was going to do. Joe has become a good friend to me and Father. But tell me, how long can you stay?"

"As long as it takes for my fiancťe to finally set the date. I'm getting married, Vincent."

"Come. Lets go tell Father and Catherine so that they can share in your happiness as well."

Devin and Vincent made their way to Father's chamber where they found Catherine and Jacob having tea with Father.

"Devin, welcome home." Father said as he embraced him.

"Dad, it's good to be home." He turned to Catherine. "God, Chandler, it's good to see the rumors of your demise were greatly exaggerated." He gave her a bear hug. He could see how affected Catherine has been from her ordeal. As he looked over Catherine's shoulder he noticed the boy for the first time. "Is that him? That Jacob? He's adorable. Can I hold him?"

"Of course his uncle Devin can hold him." Vincent said as he handed Jacob to Devin. "Father, Devin has some news to tell you."

"News, Devin?"

"Yes, dad. Believe it or not, I'm getting married."

"Married!" Catherine exclaimed. "Devin, that's wonderful. Who's the lucky girl?"

"You'll never guess, Chandler. As a matter of fact, its someone you know rather well I should think."

"For Pete's sake, Devin, spit it out already." Father asked.

"Cathy, you better sit down. I plan on marrying your best friend Jenny Aaronson."

"Jenny?"

"Yeah, and I want to bring her down here to meet everyone and maybe have a joining here below with you before we have the wedding with her family."

"Devin, that's wonderful news. When can we meet the young lady? I'm sure Mary would have many ideas on the subject." Father said after recovering from the shock.

"I was hoping to bring her down in the next couple of days as long as the council agrees?"

"My God, Jenny! I wondered if I would be able to see her again." Catherine cried as she sank into the nearest chair. "How is she? Is she happy? How did you two meet? I have so many questions."

"She is going to be ecstatic when she finds out about you. Are you sure you're feeling up to it? Look, I'm meeting Jenny for dinner at 7:00. Why don't I bring her down here instead if thatís ok with you, Father?"

"Certainly, Devin, the council has already decided to allow Catherine to introduce her friends to Vincent... I just never got the chance to tell her. By all means, bring her below."

"Thank you, Father. Well, I better go. Vincent, take care of Catherine. She's gonna need you."

"Leave your bag here, Devin, and Iíll make sure it gets to your chamber." Vincent said as he picked up the duffel bag." And I will make sure Catherine doesn't overexert herself."

"Thanks, Vincent. Listen, I want to talk with you later about the wedding. I have a proposition for you and I won't take no for an answer."

"Very well, Devin. I look forward to it."

Devin went to the bathing chamber and quickly got cleaned up and changed and was on his way to meet Jenny. He had a spring in his step and he couldn't wait to hold her in his arms again. It didn't take him long to reach Jenny's office. He stood in her doorway just staring at her as she looked through the book on her desk. She looked up and caught a glimpse of him.

"Devin! You're here." She got up and ran to him.

"Yeah, babe. And from now on I am not leaving your side."

"Oh, I like that idea very much."

"Listen, there has been a slight change of plans. Do you trust me?"

"Yes, Devin. I love you and would go anywhere with you."

"Great. Put your coat on and come with me." Devin grabbed her hand and led her out to the sidewalk. "Remember I told you my family lived in a small community." They started walking toward Central Park.

"Yes, I remember."

"What I didn't tell you was that they lived right here in the city. What I am about to tell you must remain a secret. You cannot tell anyone, not even your family. Do you promise me?"

"Of course, Devin, I would never betray your trust."

"You're not going to believe it until you see it but they live under the city. In the tunnels underneath."

"Really?"

"Yeah, really. I want to take you there and show you my world. Will you come?"

"Devin, I would love to meet your family. I just hope they are as accepting of me as my family was with you."

"Oh, they are going to love you, especially one person in particular. I do have to tell you one thing though. My brother Vincent, he has trouble meeting new people. His looks can be frightening to some but he is the gentlest person you could know unless you make him mad. You see, his face resembles that of a lion. He's big, incredibly strong, long blonde wavy hair and a voice that melts butter."

"Sounds wonderful. I just wish Cathy could have met him. She probably would have fallen head over heels for him."

"I bet she would have at that " She already has,. he thought to himself.

They reached to culvert and Devin led her to the locked gate. He reached through and tripped the lever. Slowly the door rolled open and he led her into the lighted tunnel. As the door closed Jenny heard the tapping on the pipes.

"What's that?"

"Just the sentry letting them know we entered the tunnels."

"Will your brother be meeting us?"

"No. He usually waits till any new people are comfortable in our world. One thing I will tell you, He knew your friend Cathy."

"He knew Cathy? How? When?"

"That's a long story. I'll let him tell you."

"Can you contact him now?"

"Yes, why?"

"I would like to see him now. Not in front of anyone else. I think he might be more comfortable with you here."

"Ok. I'll ask him." Devin proceeded to tap a message on the pipes asking Vincent to meet them.

After hearing the message, Catherine said she would wait for them in their chamber. It might make things easier on Jenny to see her there. Mary offered to help Catherine to Vincent's chamber which Catherine gratefully accepted. Vincent replied that he would meet them shortly and escort them to Father's chamber. Joe arrived a few minutes after Mary and Catherine left. Father talked him into playing a game of chess while they waited. Vincent slowly made his way to the junction where he could feel Devin was. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his head and slowly entered the junction. He saw Devin and a very pretty brown-haired woman with him.

"Devin, this must be Jenny." He stepped toward them.

Jenny stared at the massive figure approaching them. Jenny walked toward him and slowly raised her hands to lower the hood covering his face. As the light shone on Vincent's features, Jenny smiled and stepped back.

"Devin! You never said he was gorgeous! Vincent, I'm happy to meet you. I'm told you knew my friend Cathy."

"Yes, I loved her. She was and is my life. Come. There are several people who are anxious to meet you."

Vincent escorted them to Father's chamber where he warmly greeted his future daughter-in-law. Joe stood up as Father went to meet Jenny.

"Jenny. Its nice to meet you. I'm sure you have many questions to ask and I will do my best to answer them. But first, I think Vincent has something he wants to show you. I will talk to you later."

"Hey, Jen. It's great to see you." Joe smiled. He settled back into his chair. "Now, where were we?"

"Vincent led them to the entrance to his chamber. "Jenny, what we are about to tell you will come as a shock. A pleasant shock."

"Ok." Jenny said hesitantly.

He motioned her to enter first. As she entered, she noticed the stained glass window and the candles all around. Her gaze slowly focused on the bed to where Catherine was sitting. Jennyís gaze met hers and tears started falling.

"Cathy? Oh Cathy, is it really you?"

"Yes, Jen, itís me."

They rushed to each other and hugged tightly.

"I can't believe it. I just can't believe it." They cried in each other's arms.

Devin gently grabbed Jenny by her shoulder as Vincent took hold of Catherine. Slowly they released each other and melted into the arms of their respective loves. The men led them to Vincent's bed and helped them to sit down. Catherine grabbed Jenny's hands and held on tight.

"I'm so happy to see you." They both said at once.

"Cathy, are you all right? You look so tired and pale." Jenny said with concern.

"Catherine is fine, Jenny. She's getting stronger all the time. With time and rest, Father and Peter both say she should recover without any ill effects." Vincent said as he caressed Catherine's cheek.

Hey, babe. Now Catherine can be your maid of honor. I would like us to have Father join us here in front of my tunnel family."

"Yes, Cathy, please be my maid of honor?"

"I would be honored. And if and when the time comes..."

"That's what I wanted to talk to Vincent about." Devin began. "Why don't the two of you join with us as well. A double wedding, huh? It definitely would make things easier on William and Father. Mary would be thrilled to help the both of us and since Winterfest is just around the corner, it would be the perfect time for everyone."

"Join with Catherine? Devin, I don't think..."

"What think, Vincent! I'm not taking no for an answer! You two belong together. Believe me, you were meant to be."

"Please, Cathy, say yes. "said Jenny

"Jenny..." Catherine gave a hopeful glance at Vincent.

"Devin, I don't know what to say. Catherine and I have never talked about marriage. It has been my greatest wish but..."

"No buts. Like I said, I'm not taking no for an answer. After all that the two of you have been through, you both deserve this. Now letís go tell Father the good news."

They all returned to Father's chamber. "Dad, we have some news to tell you." Devin said as he and Jenny walked through the entrance followed by Vincent and Catherine.

"What news?"

We decided to join at Winterfest." Devin started.

"That would make William very happy."

"But there's more."

"More? You mean..."

"Yep, I talked Vincent and Catherine to join as well."

"Vincent, Catherine, that would make me very happy indeed."

"You're sure, Father?" Vincent and Catherine questioned together.

"Very sure. Now we have a lot of planning to do. Oh, Mary, I'm glad you're here." Mary walked closer to the group. "We have some news to tell you."

"Yes, Father?"

"Devin and Jenny have decided to join at Winterfest."

"That's wonderful."

"There's more..."

"Oh?"

"Devin talked Vincent into joining with Catherine."

"WELL! It's about time!" Vincent looked at Mary in shock. "Don't look at me like that, Vincent, a lot of us have been hoping this day would finally come." Mary glanced at Jacob. "And don't think Father wasn't planning like the rest of us."

"I...I..."Father sputtered.

'You? Father?" Vincent asked.

"Well... I'm sorry it took me this long to accept it. I'm glad for the four of you."

"Radcliffe, I am so happy for you." Joe came around Father's desk and gently hugged her. "You deserve every happiness. And you, big guy, it's about time you made an honest woman of her."

"Honest woman?" Jenny asked.

"Jenny, I wasn't able to tell you. I was pregnant."

"Pregnant?"

"Yes and I want you to meet my son, Jacob, I guess it's going to be Jake to his aunt Jenny." Catherine handed the baby to her.

"Cathy, he's beautiful."

"Mary, why don't you ask Brooke and Jamie to watch Jacob. I need you here to help with any planning for these two." Father said pointing to Vincent and Devin.

As soon as Mary returned, everyone settled down to start planning the joining ceremony. Joe was included as well as Peter. Hours later they decided to call it a night to let Catherine rest. Plans were made and any changes they would handle as Winterfest got closer.

"I'm going to take Jenny back up and we will come down tomorrow to check on Catherine." Devin said as he took Jenny's hand.

"Me too. I've got a lot of work on my desk." Joe got up to leave as well.

"Why don't you all come for dinner tomorrow and we can continue everything?" Father asked.

"Sounds good." Devin and Joe said as one.

Slowly they made their way out of Father's chambers and went their separate ways, dreaming of what would happen in a few short weeks.