|Who I Am
Author: LE McMurray PM
Nathan clapped Tim's shoulder, "Don't give up on her, Tim. Kate is tenacious and although she said she won't fight Kincaid…" he paused, "Kate isn't the coward she proclaims she is." "I know," he smiled slightly, "Nuts, but not a coward." Sequel to The Past We Try To Leave Behind.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Friendship - Words: 5,826 - Reviews: 4 - Published: 08-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8400054
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Notes: - Thanks to Stonedtoad for betaing.
This is at the moment the final in the series. I may write a sequel but at the moment I'm not sure.
Hope you enjoy.
"What do we do with her?"
Nathan glanced across the room to the girl slouching in the chair before turning back to his friend, "I have no idea, Bill."
"You can let me go," she snapped at them, "I haven't done anything."
Nathan and Bill looked at her with disbelief.
"Then explain how my officer turned up naked, tied to the hull of a ship covered in rotting fish?" Nathan demanded, "While we found you sneaking out of the base?"
She shrugged, "But as he is a rapist then I'm sure he got what he deserved."
"I got lost," she replied with innocence in her eyes.
The two men sighed, she was right that they had no way to hold her.
"How old are you?" Nathan demanded.
She kept her gaze even with his, "Nineteen."
Nathan stared at her not quite believing she was that old.
"Then you should be able to turn your life around," he replied, "Kate, right?"
"Yes," Kate confirmed coolly, "And there is nothing wrong with my life."
He rolled his eyes before opening the door, "Go."
Kate stood with a smug smile on her face as she walked out.
"Hey," Nathan called after her, "We will be watching out for you."
Kate shrugged again before tossing him a phone, "Oh, this is your officer's cell. It shows all the women he's attacked. You might want to let the police see it."
With that said she walked out and Nathan turned to Noyce, "Why do I get the feeling I'm going to regret letting her leave?"
Noyce clapped his friend shoulder, "Because I already do."
Bill Noyce stepped into his office relieved he was finished with meetings for the day. He checked his messages quickly before calling Seaquest.
"Bill," Nathan greeted him, "Anything?"
Noyce shook his head, "She hasn't contacted me at all, Nathan."
"So she's probably faked her death already," Nathan sighed.
"I wouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet," Noyce told him, "I'm listed as her next of kin remember. How's O'Neill?"
"Worried," Nathan replied, "So am I. Tell me the moment you find out anything."
"I will," Noyce promised before sighing as his friend disappeared from view. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, "Where are you, Kate?"
"Looking for me?" the familiar voice said from behind him, softly with no hint of her usual sarcasm or over-confidence.
"Kate," Noyce moved to her catching her in a quick hug, "Are you okay?"
She nodded, "I'm fine."
He moved her to the couch and sat across from her, "I thought you would have left by now."
"I thought about it," she confessed, "I was seconds away from 'killing' Kate King and becoming someone new but I couldn't. I have a life now, I have friends and I have someone I want to be with. I need your help, Bill. I know I probably don't deserve it but I need your help."
"Kate," Noyce squeezed her hand, "As much as I hate to admit this you are family. To both me and Nathan."
She smiled at him relief filling her eyes, "Lewis Kincaid took that away from me once, I won't let him do it again but he is powerful."
"Not that powerful," Noyce reminded her, "We'll stop him, Kate. Can you trust me?"
She nodded, "I always have."
"Then I'll find somewhere for you to get some sleep and we'll start working on this tomorrow morning."
Nathan sat staring at the plans in front of him. Checking his watch he knew he only had a few hours to work on this before his other duties took over but this ship was his dream.
"Am I interrupting?" a smug voice from the door made Nathan look round and he frowned at the owner of it.
"Kate?" he stood and moved to the young woman leaning on the doorframe.
"And you remember me," she smiled, "That's good, kind of."
Nathan frowned at her, "What do you want, Miss King?"
"It's Miss King now," she gave a mock wince, "I take it you're still not happy that I exposed that guy as a rapist."
"I'm not happy about the way you did it," Nathan retorted.
Kate shrugged, "It's been two years."
"Why are you here?" he demanded.
She dropped her head for a second and let out a long sigh, "Be at Pier 19 with the police in an hour, a man called Travis Mason is trafficking kids. They're homeless and have no one to miss them."
Nathan stared at her confused, "Why are you bringing this to me? How do you even know about this?"
"Because I trust you to give a damn about this," Kate cried, "I was hired by him to get around the security systems. I just found out a few hours ago why."
Nathan stared at her in bemusement.
"Damn it," she snapped at him, "These kids are going to be sold into hell unless you do something. Help them."
Nathan stood watching Darwin as he swam in the moon pool splashing the man sitting forlornly at the side. Tim had been depressed since Kate had disappeared, he wasn't neglecting his duties but every project he'd been working on had been put aside as he brooded worrying about her.
"Tim sad," Darwin's voice came over the speakers.
"A little," Tim replied.
"Play and feel better."
Tim chuckled, "For you maybe. Okay, fish face I'll play for a while."
The communications officer picked up one of the toys sitting at the side of the pool and tossed it to the end of the pool, watching as the dolphin started after it. Snatching it Darwin threw it back making Tim duck, he turned and saw his captain standing there.
Nathan motioned him to stay put, "Sorry, Lt. No word yet."
"She's done it," Tim sighed, "New identity, new life. And I'm…we're part of her old one."
Nathan clapped Tim's shoulder, "Don't give up on her, Tim. Kate is tenacious and although she said she won't fight Kincaid…" he paused, "Kate isn't the coward she proclaims she is."
"I know," he smiled slightly, "Nuts, but not a coward."
Nathan nodded to his team and they burst into the warehouse.
"Sir," one of the men called, "We've found someone."
Running over Nathan grimaced, "Kate. Get a medic in here now," he ordered before forcing the door open.
The young woman on the bed was lying completely still; dried blood covered her arms and face covering the assortment of bruises.
"Kate," he crouched down beside her, when he gently touched her she jumped trying to get away, "It's okay," he soothed, "Kate, it's me."
"Nathan?" she whispered forcing her eyes open as much as she could.
He gently rested his hand on her forehead, "Yeah. Just rest the doctor will be here soon."
"Stay," she caught his hand, "Please don't leave me. Please."
Nathan gently squeezed her hand before soothing, "I'm not going anywhere, kiddo."
Kate forced her eyes open relieved to find she was in a hospital bed and no longer in that cell.
"Good morning," a voice made her turn and she stared in amazement at the man sitting at her bedside.
He nodded, "Bill's getting coffee. We didn't want you to wake up alone."
Amazement and relief filled her eyes, "Thank you."
"The doctor assures me you'll recover," Nathan told her but his pause made her frown.
"You found the poison," Kate whispered.
Nathan nodded, "You know?"
"He told me," she forced out, "He told me what he was doing. It's so if I was found before he could kill me then he'll always have a way to do it."
"We have access to the best medical professionals around," he told her, "They'll find out a way to remove it."
Kate sighed, "I wish I could believe that."
Closing her eyes she let her exhaustion take over falling asleep again. When Kate opened her eyes once more it was dark and she was alone in the room. She curled as best she could knowing she shouldn't have expected anyone to be here, she was alone in the world the same as she always had been.
"You're awake again," Nathan's voice made her look up stunned.
He shrugged, "I promised, didn't I?"
Unable to control herself Kate felt tears sting and found she couldn't stop herself from crying. The next thing she knew Nathan had wrapped her in his arms rocking her as she desperately tried to get herself back under control. Finally she managed to calm down and looked up at him.
"No problem," he smiled.
The doctor appeared and quickly assessed her before adding some pain medication to the IV in her arm.
"I'll let you get some sleep," Nathan said softly confused as Kate caught his hand.
"Would you stay a little longer?"
He nodded, "I think there's a movie on we can watch."
Kate smiled and settling back down she watched the film until she couldn't keep her eyes open feeling safe enough to sleep.
"What are you doing?" Noyce demanded as he and Nathan walked into Kate's room to check on her.
Kate looked up from her packing, "Checking out."
"Why?" Nathan demanded.
"Because I can't stay here any longer," she told them.
"Where are you going?" Noyce asked.
She shrugged, "I'll work it out. I always do."
The two men grimaced at the kid in front of them who was desperately trying to persuade them that she was fine when they both knew she wasn't.
"Kate," Noyce took over, "The doctors think you should spend a few more days…"
"What?" she cut him off, "More tests. None of them have found any way to remove this stuff from me and they won't. I have a life, I'm going to get back to it."
"Are you sure?" Nathan asked softly, "What happened to you was horrible and you have to deal with that."
Kate stilled dropping her eyes for a moment before looking up at them, "I have nightmares anyway. One more isn't going to matter." Throwing the final few things into her bag Kate turned to them, "Thanks for saving my life. I owe you."
The rain was light, Nathan wrapped his arm around Carol as the memorial service ended and they were able to escape. He was trying hard to keep himself in check, trying not to let go of the anger he was feeling at the moment because if he did then he didn't know what he'd do.
Looking away from the sea of people he frowned as he spotted the young woman standing just behind a tree watching.
"I'll be right back," he whispered to his wife.
Leaving her with Janet Noyce he headed over to lone figure standing under the tree.
"What are you doing here, Kate?" he demanded angrily.
Kate stood her ground, "I came to offer my condolences."
Nathan stared at her, "Really? I was sure that since the last time I saw you I ended up without a wallet in the middle of nowhere then you wouldn't show your face again."
She shrugged, "I couldn't have you messing up what I was doing, besides I sent you your wallet back – think of the cash as a loan."
"Kate," he growled in annoyance.
"I am really sorry for your loss, Nathan," she told him, "I just wanted to say that."
As she turned to leave he sighed in annoyance that he actually cared and called to her, "Be careful."
She turned back and gave him a quick nod before she continued walking away.
Kate sat curled on the couch in the small apartment Noyce had her holed up in. She was watching an old movie missing her usual companion. It felt odd to be in hiding like this as though her ability to be self-sufficient had suddenly been taken away. A knock made her reach for the gun she had sitting on the table.
"It's me," Nathan's voice came through and she relaxed.
Kate opened the door smiling at the man standing there, "Hi."
"Are you trying to drive me insane?" Nathan demanded as he walked in.
She rolled her eyes closing the door, "It's one of my main goals in life," she retorted before impulsively hugging him, "Thank you for coming."
Nathan hugged her back, "Are you okay?"
She shrugged, "Living on my nerves. Noyce keeps telling me that he has enough to get the bastard but to make sure he can't wriggle out of anything we have to do it in this huge spectacle."
They sat on the couch, "Kristin and I will be there," he told her, "Lucas will be there too but only because we need his technical expertise."
"Tim?" she asked softly.
"He will be nowhere near it," Nathan assured her, "In fact I've sent him home for the duration."
"Good," she gave a soft sigh, "How is he?"
Nathan shook his head, "He's worried about you."
"I'll make it up to him," she replied giving a slight humourless chuckle, "I'm good at that."
Tim sat at breakfast staring at the mound of food on his friend's plate.
"Miguel, you do know we're here for a few weeks and they're not going to cut off the food supply," he stated with an amused smile.
"I have to eat," Miguel told him, "It helps the hangover."
Tim chuckled, "I warned you."
Miguel groaned, "I honestly didn't think she was that bad."
"She used a patch on me to get me off Seaquest," Tim reminded his friend, "Then talked me into helping her break through a communications net where I was shot. She's as bad as I said."
Miguel groaned again before downing his coffee, "I need juice."
Tim chuckled watching his friend stagger across the room. He jumped as a fork speared a slice of apple off his plate.
"Morning," he grimaced turning to where Kate was standing behind him.
"I thought we'd got over this," she rolled her eyes as she pulled over a chair; "Then again you are a huge killjoy when it comes to having fun."
Tim stared at her, "I wasn't giving you another opportunity to do anything to me I wasn't aware of."
Kate tapped his cheek, "You are so cute when you're suspicious."
"What are you doing here?" Miguel groaned as he rejoined the table with a glass of apple juice in his hand.
"Be nice. I didn't force you to drink that much," Kate told him, "Try and smarten up a bit too, Miguel."
He frowned at her, "Why?"
Kate turned and motioned to someone. Tim and Miguel turned both men staring at the tall blond woman who walked over.
"Trina," Kate smiled at her, "This is Miguel. Miguel, Trina is a dancer in the show and works part time in the bar but today is her day off. When I told her about you, a sailor on shore leave, she thought you might want to see the sights."
Miguel's eyebrow raised and he glanced at his friend who rolled his eyes.
"Go," Tim said.
Not needing to be told twice Miguel stood and offered Trina his arm, they left the restaurant and Tim turned to the woman sitting at his side.
"Anyone else joining us?" he asked sarcastically.
Kate smiled at him sweetly, "Oh no, you're mine."
"So," Tim asked as they walked through the corridors of the hotel, "What do you want this time?"
Kate sighed, stopping him before he marched away from her, "Okay. You are still mad about what I did. I understand that but I promise I had no idea you were here. Let me make it up to you."
"What do you want to do?" she asked, "I mean do you want to go to the beach; there's a market not far from here that has some craft stalls. Whatever you want to do."
Tim stared at her, "Seriously?"
"There's an exhibition in the museum in town that I want to see," he replied.
Kate stared at him, "The Egyptian exhibit?"
"Okay," she told him, "Let's go but before we do there is one thing I really need to do."
Tim sighed, "What?"
Mischievously she reached out and messed his hair, "I've wanted to do that since I met you. Let's go."
Tim laughed as Kate finished her story; he was astonished to find he'd actually enjoyed the day. He was even more surprised that Kate had not only seemed to enjoy the exhibit but had understood why he liked it.
"Okay," Kate grinned, "Dinner?"
Tim hesitated, "I had planned on watching a movie that's on. But I've already seen it so sure."
"What movie?" she asked.
He shrugged, "It doesn't matter."
"Come on," Kate nudged him slightly.
Tim sighed, "The Philadelphia Story. It's…"
"I love that movie," Kate cut him off, "How about we get room-service and watch?"
He stared at her bemused, "You're serious."
"Tim," Kate smiled slightly, "I love old movies, I like wandering around museums and I think the fact you can speak so many languages is incredible. Can you stop suspecting me for five minutes?"
"I'll try," he replied darkly but a slight smile had appeared on his lips.
"Are you sure about this?" Kristin asked softly her worry clear in her voice.
Kate looked at the doctor who she had very quickly come to admire before admitting, "No."
Kristin raised an eyebrow and leaned back on the couch waiting.
"He terrifies me," Kate confessed, "I know how stupid it is but I can't help it."
"It's not stupid," Kristin whispered.
Kate bounced off the couch, "It is. Kristin, I'm not ten anymore I know he can't do any of the things he used to threaten me with. I know he's not all powerful but the thought of facing him tonight…"
Kristin stood and caught the young woman's arms, "Kate, take a deep breath before you have a panic attack."
Kate sighed and dropped back onto the couch, "I should have just gone with my instincts and disappeared."
"And never see Tim again?" Kristin prodded folding her arms.
Kate frowned at the doctor before pushing a hand through her hair, "Not fair."
"I'm not trying to be fair," Kristin replied, "You want your life? You want to actually get to be with the man you love? Then fight. He would for you."
Kate sighed and closed her eyes, "Kristin, I really wish he was here."
"I know. But," Kristin wrapped her arms around the younger woman hugging her, "I will be there, so will Nathan and Admiral Noyce. You won't be facing him alone and thanks to Lucas we have everything you need to prove who you are." She pushed Kate back and looked in her eyes, "And then you get your life."
"What are you doing here?"
Kate rolled her eyes, "Nathan, you have to stop asking me that every time you see me."
Nathan stared at her not amused by the interruption, "This is my island."
"And you're supposed to be at the bottom of the ocean," she replied with in the same tone.
Nathan grimaced trying to keep his temper, "So you're here why?"
Kate rolled her eyes, "I saw smoke coming from the house so I wanted to make sure the place was alright."
"Just some shore leave," he told her, "My senior crew is here for a barbecue."
Kate smirked, "Sounds exciting."
Nathan sighed and against his better judgement shrugged, "You can join us if you want?"
Kate held up her hands, "Sounds far too much like a family get together. I'll pass. "
Nathan nodded, "Okay."
"But since I was here I was going to use the shelter at the other side of the beach tonight," Kate told him, "If you have no issues with that?"
Nathan grimaced, "Don't break anything. Or steal anything," he called after her as she walked away.
Heading back to where his crew were enjoying themselves Nathan spotted O'Neill standing to one side of the group staring at the ocean.
"Enjoying yourself?" Nathan asked, smiling as the younger man jumped.
"Of course, Captain," O'Neill gave a slightly nervous nod.
Nathan debated his idea for a moment before deciding to do it.
"Could you do me a favour?" Nathan asked, resting his hand on O'Neill's shoulder and turning him so he could see the small hut just on the other side of the beach, "I left some extra beer there. We may need it."
"Of course, Captain," O'Neill nodded, "I'll be back soon."
"Take your time, Lt," Nathan called after him before heading back to the party.
Tim strolled across the beach, the sand still warm beneath his feet even as the sun set. Today hadn't been the best idea he'd ever had in his life, he thought he'd wanted to spend time with Lonnie but it became apparent very quickly that they were not suited to one another. Reaching the small hut he frowned to see a light flickering from the doorway.
"Hello?" he called stunned at the woman who appeared suddenly, "Kate?"
A bright smile covered her face, "Hi Tim."
"What are you doing here?"
Kate rolled her eyes. "Why is that always people's first question when they see me?"
"Do you really want the answer to that?" Tim chuckled.
She rolled her eyes, "I guess not," she sat on the steps smiling as he joined her, "How was your shore leave?"
Tim shrugged, "Okay."
"Wow," Kate stared at him, "You really are a dreadful liar, do you know that?"
Tim frowned, "I…I sort of had…well a date."
"Really?" interest filled her eyes, "And?"
Tim sighed as he thought back over the day, "It was a stupid thing to do and after about ten minutes it was clear we're not compatible."
"That can still be fun," Kate noted.
Tim grimaced, "We didn't exactly connect. I made a few comments about the movie we'd just seen and how it was vapid. She accused me of being mean. So I was and…"
"And?" she nudged him slightly.
"Ice cream facial."
Kate began to laugh making him stare in annoyance, as she laughed Tim finally gave in and started to laugh too.
"I'm betting you're not getting a goodnight kiss after that," Kate chuckled.
Tim let out a snort, "Definitely not."
To his surprise Kate moved and touched her lips to his in a very gentle kiss. As they parted he stared at her confused.
Kate shrugged, "You deserved a good night kiss."
Kate reached out and found Nathan's hand as she watched her step-father walk onto the stage for the Q and A session, his way to talk to the 'people he represented'. She was hidden at the back amongst Nathan, Noyce and several of their goons while Kristin and Lucas were in the audience. This was it, it was the end of the road and Kate knew she had to finish this or he would haunt her forever.
"Just hold on," Nathan whispered, "It's almost time."
"I can't do this," Kate said her breath coming in harsh gasps.
Nathan squeezed her hand tightly, "You can."
"That's your big motivational speech?" Kate asked with disdain, "Why they follow you is beyond me."
At the familiar sarcasm Nathan smiled at her, nodding she smiled back and turned to watch waiting for her moment.
The session had been going for about half an hour when the plant Noyce had placed in the audience took their place at the microphone.
"Senator Kincaid," the woman said, "You talk about protecting our children with these new laws. Can you explain how?"
Kincaid dropped his head for a moment before looking up, "Our children are our greatest resource, they are our greatest joy and to lose them is the greatest heartache of all. My dear wife and I know of this loss intimately as you know and I intend to ensure that this never happens again. The loss of my dear Sophie haunts me and I wish I could speak to her every day."
"If you want to do that," Kate spoke up from her hiding place as Kincaid looked around, "I'm right here."
Kate was aware of the gasps from the crowd as she stepped into the centre of the room. She could see her mother staring at her in confusion as one of their staff tried to move her from the room.
"Security," Kincaid called the moment he saw her, "Arrest this woman. She is a con artist who has tried once before to prey on the grief of my wife and I."
"Really?" Kate demanded, she could see the UEO guards stopping Kincaid's security team from moving as well as stopping anyone leaving, "And you're denying that you know I am Sophie Kincaid. Your step-daughter by the way, not your daughter."
Kincaid shook his head, "This is insane and I will not let you put my wife through this."
Kate smirked and pushed the button on the small controller she was holding. Screens around the room jumped to life and the security tape began to play.
"Look at you," he said as he moved to stand right outside the bars, "All grown up."
"No thanks to you," she retorted sharply, "What do you want?"
"Sophie," Kincaid growled, "As far as the world knows you died a long time ago, it's time you did."
Kate swallowed hard, "Isn't it a shame I'm in UEO custody?"
"Accidents happen in transfers," he reminded her, "And escape attempts."
Kate hit the button again and the picture of them facing one another in the brig, "Before you make some speech about the illegality of recording a prisoners speech while in the brig, I set it up to record and as the person in the brig at the time, I'm happy it was there."
Silence filled the room and Kate became very aware that this was being beamed out live and she now had absolutely no escape. Taking a breath she continued.
"I wasn't abducted," she stated, "The man who claims to have loved me like a father gave me to Moore, who Lewis Kincaid was very aware of what he was. He then identified a second girl to be me knowing full well I was alive and he could get rid of me quietly. The UEO have already tested my DNA and have more than enough evidence against you. You can't deny who I am and you can't deny what you did."
Kincaid stared at her while two UEO security officers placed him in handcuffs, as he was walked past Kate she turned to him.
"I hope you rot."
Lucas opened the door to the small room they were sitting in letting his Captain and Admiral Noyce in while blocking the press from seeing Kate.
"How is she?" Nathan asked the moment the teenager closed the door.
"Having a panic attack," Lucas shrugged, motioning over to the small couch where Kristin had Kate sitting with her head between her legs while she rubbed her back comfortingly.
"Kate?" Nathan moved to look at her.
The young woman looked up at him, "What the hell did I just do?"
Nathan sat at her side, "You just killed Kate King."
"I think I'm going to be sick," she grimaced dropping her head between her legs again.
Nathan glanced over at Kristin who simply shrugged.
"Kate, your mother is outside," he said softly, "She wants to see you. Are you ready?"
She glanced up at him for a second before she groaned again, "I don't know."
"You have to talk to her eventually," Kristin reminded her, "She had no idea what Kincaid did to you, all she wants is to see her daughter. You can't punish her any more than she's punished herself over the years."
"I've hated her for so long," Kate whispered, "I don't know if I can forgive her."
"All you have to do is talk to her," Nathan said, "It doesn't have to be a long meeting but Kate you know you have to do this."
The young woman nodded before looking up at hopefully the man she used to call 'Dad' whenever he really irritated her, "Will you be there?"
She sat for a few moments in the small room she'd been taken to after her husband had been arrested. Rosemary couldn't get her head around everything, she couldn't get her head around the fact that he'd given her precious daughter to that monster and then pretended to be heartbroken over her loss.
She looked up as the door opened and frowned, a little surprised as a teenage boy walked into the room.
"Hi," he said, "Kate is taking a few minutes."
"Thank you," Rosemary replied softly, "She goes by Kate?"
The boy nodded, "Do you want anything? Water? Something to eat?"
"No, thank you," Rosemary smiled slightly at him waiting for a name.
"Oh," he winced, "I'm Lucas."
"Thank you, Lucas."
He nodded and disappeared again leaving her alone once more. About another half hour passed before the door opened again, this time the woman her daughter had grown into walked through followed by Nathan Bridger.
"Sophie," Rosemary breathed trying to see even a glimpse of her baby in the dark eyes staring at her.
"I go by Kate," she stated softly not moving from her spot near the door as she wrapped her arms around herself.
"Of course," Rosemary said quickly, "I'm sorry."
They stood in silence for several minutes, waiting for the other to speak and finally Rosemary moved towards her daughter.
"I'm so sorry," Rosemary cried unable to hold it in any longer, "I didn't know. I should have, I know I should have but I didn't. When he told me you'd been taken I was so distraught the doctor had to sedate me." Her hand automatically went to the locket that sat at her neck, "It was weeks later I was fully lucid again and by then…"
She trailed off surprised and relieved as her daughter stepped forward gently touching her arm, "It's okay."
"Sophie," Rosemary whispered moving to embrace her, "Sorry, Kate."
"Actually, Sophie is fine."
Julianne watched her youngest son as he sat staring at the news; the story of the week was being replayed for what had to be the tenth time. The fall of Lewis Kincaid was all that was being talked about along with the reappearance of his step-daughter, the young woman her son very obviously loved.
When the doorbell rang she rolled her eyes as neither her son nor her husband made a move to answer it. Leaving them sitting staring at the television Julianne headed out to the hall, when she opened the door she stared at the woman standing there.
"Kate?" she gasped in astonishment before smiling, "Or are we calling you Sophie now?"
The young woman gave a slight smile, "I still prefer Kate,"
"How are you?" Julianne asked, "How's your mother?"
"She's coping. A little overwhelmed by it all," Kate replied, "And I…well I'm trying very hard not to run away," she took a deep breath, "Nathan…Captain Bridger told me Tim was here and I was hoping to talk to him."
Julianne nodded, "Come on in."
She saw relief fill Kate's eyes when she stepped back and allowed her into the house. Julianne gently touched the young woman's arm so she held back allowing Julianne into the lounge first.
"Timothy," she called, "You have a visitor."
Tim sat staring at the TV watching Kate do something he knew terrified her wishing he could have been there to support her but Captain Bridger had been very clear he was to stay away.
"Timothy," his mother called, "You have a visitor."
Looking up he stared in amazement at the woman standing there looking at him hopeful and worried at the same time.
"Kate," he breathed standing, about to hug her he stopped not sure if he should.
"We're just going for a walk," his mother said as she grabbed his father's arm and rushed him out of the room leaving them alone.
Kate smiled as the door closed before looking back at Tim.
"Are you okay?" Tim asked, not sure what else to ask.
Kate smiled at him, "I am. I did the thing that terrified me most and I'm handling it as best I can."
"I was really worried," he told her.
She dropped her eyes, "I'm sorry but I didn't want you involved and Nathan agreed. You would have been a target for him because of our…because we…"
He raised an eyebrow at her and Kate sighed.
"Again," Tim noted.
She frowned at him, "Yes, again."
Tim sighed, "Are you going to tell me or am I supposed to guess?"
Kate stepped forward moving closer to him since she'd entered the room, "At Michael's wedding I told you I only saw you as a friend, I don't," she licked her lips nervously as she moved closer, "I love you."
"What?" he stared at her with wide eyes.
"I was so afraid of getting close to someone," Kate continued, "And I'd almost got you killed already that I didn't want to draw you in…"
Kate was cut off as Tim stepped forward and kissed her suddenly. Her arms wrapped around his neck and Tim felt her hold him as tightly as he was holding her.
When they parted Tim looked at her, "No more lies?"
Kate smiled, "You're no fun," she grinned before kissing him again.