Chapter 6

JT emerged from his room, backpack in hand, ready for the day. Coming around the corner, it startled him to find Vincent standing silently behind the bar, staring into space.

"Hey. Thought I'd get an early start. A new quarter begins today. Now that you're back, the redhead is contained and spring break is over, all's right with the world. You're up early, by the way. Or was it another night without sleep?" JT laughed at his own joke but got no reaction from his best bud. "I don't know how you do it, man. You guys seriously need your own apartment." When that bold suggestion also received no response, JT frowned. "Vincent?"

Vincent finally turned his head, as if noticing him for the first time. "Oh, hey. What?"

"Are you even listening to me? I just suggested you and Cat move in together and got zero reaction out of you. It's like you're in La La Land or something. What happened? Catherine toss you over again for that guy in Mia—"

"Catherine's pregnant."

JT spewed his coffee across the room. It was the pause heard round the world. His pack fell to the floor. "Excuse me?"

Vincent slowly took another sip from his mug of cooling java and smiled fractionally. "It isn't confirmed yet, but . . . I'm pretty sure."

JT's only comment was to sag into the nearest chair.

"I know, right?" Vincent rubbed a hand over his stubbled jaw. "I'm still not sure I believe it myself."

"H-how did this happen?" Realizing what he said, JT tried again. "I mean, I know how it happened. It's just—"


"You can say that again." JT sighed heavily and put his head in his hands.

"Aren't you going to class?"

JT looked up. "You drop a bomb like that on me, and think I'm just going to go merrily on my way? I think this deserves a sick day. This is a little more important than whatever else I had planned, believe me."

"JT. I said it's not confirmed."

"But you know."

Vincent's smile was lopsided and deep-dimpled. "I'm a little afraid to get my hopes up, but . . . I heard the heartbeat."

"You what?"

"I heard a second heartbeat, JT. And it wasn't coming from her chest."

Amazing as that statement was, JT was still back one line. "You're afraid to get your hopes up? You realize that is a one-hundred and eighty degree flip from where you were a year ago when this same situation came up? What happened? This thing with Tori and Blaise is going so well, you two just couldn't wait to try it for yourselves? I'd think it was enough to make you run out and demand to be sterilized! I'm certainly considering it."

Vincent eyed his friend. "C'mon, JT. Catherine isn't like Tori."

"No. But you are. D.N.A., remember? Beast. Any of those terms mean anything to you right now?"

"I know what you're going to say, okay? It's a big risk. I said before that we could never let it happen, but . . . we weren't ready then. Muirfield was hunting me, Catherine's task force was looking to kill me. Those threats are gone. And now that it has happened, I feel . . . excited."

"Oh, my God. You want this."

Vincent looked sheepish. He shrugged. "What's not to want? JT, my DNA may be screwed up, but inside, I'm a normal guy who wants a future with the woman I love. A family. I love Catherine, with everything I am."

JT bit down on his tongue. This man was his best friend, and someone he'd spent more than ten years of his life protecting. It only felt right to do so now, but the situation was a lot more complicated than that. "I know you do, but raising a . . . beast baby might be a teensy bit detrimental to that relationship."

"We won't know until we try."

"And then what? Vincent, this isn't rocket science. One plus beast equals . . . beast!"

"We don't know that. I'd like to do an amnio test on Tori, but it's not worth the risk. We have to wait and see."

JT digested that with a little help from his overactive bile duct. "Well, w-what does Catherine think of it? I mean, if I were her—"

"She doesn't know." At JT's arrested look, he continued. "I don't think. And I don't want to alarm her. Not yet."

Wondering just what would constitute a reasonable point at which to do that, JT pressed on matter-of-factly. "Exactly. Because 'alarm' is definitely the right word here."

Vincent gave him a pained look. "And since I don't know anything for sure—I mean, a lot can happen in the first few weeks of a pregnancy. She'll eventually figure it out on her own, anyway. In the meantime, I thought I could try to ease her into accepting it. I'm going to test the water, so to speak."

"I think you've not only tested the water one too many times, you've gone and drank the whole barrel. Maybe what you heard was indigestion?" At Vincent's frown, JT threw up his arms. "I'm just saying."

"JT, I can distinguish Catherine's heartbeat in a crowd of people in the middle of Times Square. I know what I heard."

"Really? I mean, that's cool. Insanely weird, but . . . I still think she should be told—the sooner, the better."

"I didn't know what to say," Vincent admitted, shrugging. "I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it, myself."

"How far along is she? I mean, when . . . ?"

"It must have happened when we were in Miami. I don't know. There were lots of distractions . . ."

And if he was afraid to tell her, then it sounded like Vincent wasn't that certain it was a good thing. JT stood, amazed. It was so far from what he imagined this day would be like, he could hardly fathom it. He thought about Tori and Blaise and shuddered. But this was Vincent. And Catherine. The most responsible people he knew. He inwardly shrugged off his fears and opened his arms. "Then I guess this calls for a little celebration. Good thing you can drink alcohol now, huh? Congratulations, buddy. You're going to be a father."

"You mean it?"

The hopeful look on Vincent's face was all he needed. "You better believe it." He pulled him into a bear hug. "This whole Tori incident—"

"What about me?" Tori Windsor stood in the doorway of the club, her hair soaked from the pouring rain.

"Speaking of the devil" JT murmured under his breath, then he saw her look. "Ah, God. Not again." He moved from the hug to standing slightly behind Vincent.

"I want to talk to Blaise."

"He's not here." For that ignorant statement, Vincent received an elbow in the gut.

"You can't find him? Just use your 'Spidey' senses. You know, I don't really think you have a right to demand anything—"


"Forgot to mention, your new BFF moved in here yesterday," JT said under his breath. "If she breaks another piece of furniture, so help me—"

"Let me talk to him," she repeated.

"Sorry," JT decided Vincent's tack was the right one after all. "No can do. He's not—"

The back bedroom door banged open, revealing the lie. Hair combed and neatly dressed for work, Blaise made his way doggedly across the long room, his cane periodically tapping the floor and furniture on the path he'd been memorizing.


Blaise blithely ignored the outburst. And the person who made it. "I'm headed to work, guys. I'll see you later." At the coat rack, he unerringly located his jacket and put it on.

Vincent looked back and forth between the two. Tori looked crushed and hurt; Blaise's face showed nothing. He chose the one who could read his subliminal messaging and nodded to Tori to do something. She whispered Blaise's name, but didn't move. Finally, Vincent grabbed his coat and an umbrella off the rack, too, and caught Blaise at the door. "I'll walk with you, bud. I was headed toward the bus station, myself."

Suddenly realizing he was alone with Tori again, JT lifted his arms. "Don't look at me!" He grabbed his pack off the floor and followed the other men out.

Blaise got no further than the end of the block before the pounding headache started again. He stopped and rubbed his temple.

"The headaches – are they getting worse?"

"Define 'worse,'" he grumbled, his normal good nature struggling to come out. "They distract me from other things, so in that respect, I consider them a blessing."

"Give her time, Blaise," Vincent said. "She's never been at this place before. She doesn't understand what to do."

"It's been a week. No offense, Vincent, but you've hardly walked in my shoes."

"No. But I've walked in hers."

Blaise turned to him. It was eerie how good his sense of direction was.

"I'll move back to the apartment tomorrow. I didn't mean to be a burden on you guys. This is my responsibility."

"You're not a . . . Look, all I'm asking is that you be patient a little while longer. Tori's in a self-discovery mode. She'll find her footing, trust me. In the meantime, you're welcome to stay. Just . . . let me do some tests. Those headaches concern me."

"They're nothing I haven't had before. But this time, I don't know. I keep getting these flashes of light."

"Doesn't hurt to take a look." Vincent watched him. "You're not really headed to work, are you?"

Blaise smirked. "It's my day off. Want to get a beer?"

Already showered and changed, Tess stuffed her gym clothes into her bag. "I can't believe you pooped out on me so fast. Used to be, I couldn't touch you at that game. What gives?"

Cat frowned, sweat still running into her eyes and stinging. "I don't know. I've been feeling extremely tired lately."

"Too much lounging around on beaches when you should have been helping your partner—Okay, okay, I'll stop."

"Heather's going to be here in another week and she's got so much energy. I guess I'm feeling my age. I wanted to get back into shape before she makes some comment about how old I'm getting."

"Yeah, because you're so old."

"Feels like it." She opened her locker. "Maybe I caught a bug somewhere. I mean, I'm fine; just tired."

"Nothing else? No tossing your breakfast every morning or strange cravings?"


"I'm sorry. This whole Tori thing still has me freaked. I shouldn't have said that. You and Vincent are way more responsible. Why are you frowning?"

Catherine flipped open her purse and her took out her phone.

"You're not late again, are you? I was just kidding."

Catherine rubbed her forehead. "I kinda lost track of my schedule in Miami. I'm not sure if I am or not." She studied her calendar. "Tess, I think I'm late."

"Again? No, no, no. You're just tired and off your normal schedule—just like last time—because you've had a lot on your mind. You were worried about Arielle, now Heather's coming back. And Tori—it's probably just . . . empathy hormones!"


"It's a thing."

"That's not a thing. And I'm not as freaked out as you think."

"No, I was the one freaked out. And JT. Because you left us here to deal with it."

"I'm sorry. We should have been here for you."

"Instead, you were soaking in the tropical sun—"

"You're never going to forgive me for that, are you?"

"Not unless you take me with you next time for a week at that condo."

"Actually, that's probably when it happened," Cat murmured.

Ever practical, Tess rallied. "Okay, let's not panic. Don't get ahead of yourself. Do a test?"

"In a few more days. It's too early, yet."

"Are you going to tell Vincent?"

"I have to, right? I mean, if something happens and I lose it, he still would want to know that it happened."

Tess looked suspicious. "You guys weren't planning this, were you?"

"No. If, in fact, it's true—which I'm sure it's not—it's all my fault. I was careless."

"Okay, so how do you feel about it? I mean, if it is true?"

Catherine slumped down onto a nearby bench. "You know, if you'd asked me that last year, even six months ago, I'd say out-of-my-wits terrified." She heard Vincent's words in her head from the first time they had a scare. 'Catherine, this can't happen…we can never have a baby,' and frowned.

"But now?"

"Tori's baby might be normal. If I'm pregnant—I said if—mine could be, too."

"But you won't know that until you deliver."

"Probably not."

"And then it will be too late!"

"Tess, no matter what, I don't think I could abort Vincent's child, beast DNA or not. I couldn't do it."

"Because it's your 'love child'? C'mon, Cat. Get real."


"I'm shutting up." Tess threw her head back and sighed. "God. What has my life become?"

Catherine smiled. "More interesting than you could ever imagine?"

Tess smirked. "You got that right."

"Knock, knock." Gabe let himself into the club without waiting for a response. JT looked up from the desk. "Is Vincent around?"

"What's up?" Vincent emerged from the side room.

"Hey, Vincent. Catherine said you might be open to taking on another case or two. I've got another missing—"

"No more pets. Dogs don't exactly like me, remember?"

"—person, actually. A teen."

Vincent's head perked up.

"It's a sensitive case—she's the sixteen-year-old daughter of a local congressman—and they'd like to keep this hush-hush because of the publicity it would cause. What do you think?"

"How long has she been missing, and why don't they consider her a runaway?"

"Since yesterday afternoon. She never made it home from school. And she's not the runaway type. Honor student, well adjusted. The congressman's up for re-election and has received some threats regarding his stance on an issue. He's afraid it's some sort of retaliation."

"But there's been no ransom note?"

"Just this." Gabe handed him a pieced together note from newspaper cuttings. It read, simply, 'Change your mind.'

Vincent looked it over with all of his senses. He already knew where to start. "You want me to find the perp or the kid?"

"Both, if you've got time. But start with the girl." Gabe handed him a recent school photo. "I'd hate to see anything happen to her. By the way, this is a paying gig. You got creds, now. Just . . . take a few hours to find her, would you? It will look mighty suspicious if you find everyone in fifteen minutes or less."

Vincent frowned, but he knew Gabe was right. Just didn't seem best to hold off when a young person was in danger. He looked down at the picture of the brown-haired girl and thought of Catherine and the first time he saved her. Seconds count. As soon as Gabe left, he grabbed his jacket and headed out.

A week later, Catherine stood before her bathroom mirror. She was definitely late. And still dead tired. She'd stopped at the drug store on her way home from work and purchased a pregnancy test. Until that moment, it hadn't seemed real. But there was no point in delaying. Vincent was already in bed, awaiting her. It was now or never. She put on a smile and slid under the heavy sheets.

He dragged her beneath him and stared down into her eyes. "What's up? You seem . . . pensive."

Always so perceptive. Had her heart given her away again? It wasn't fair. She placed her hands on either side of beautiful face and licked her bottom lip in a nervous gesture. He grinned.

"You're trying to distract me, aren't you? Why? Feeling okay?"

It was if he could read her mind. "Yeah. Yeah, just . . . really tired."

"Want me to go? I don't need to stay tonight if you need extra rest."

"I think we're long past that." She followed the arch of his brow with her finger. "Vincent, I don't know how to tell you this but, . . . I'm late."

"You need to go? Where?"

"No. Not . . . late for an appointment. I'm late late. As in—"

"Late?" He grinned again.

That was not the reaction she was expecting. Okay, then. Feeling emboldened, she rushed ahead. "With all the stuff going on with Tori and Blaise . . . I didn't want to alarm you, but—"

"Who's alarmed?"

She tilted her head at him. "Vincent. I might be pregnant. For real."

He sat up and she pushed herself up next to him. "It's my fault. In Miami, I wasn't paying attention—"

"Have you taken a test yet?"

"—and I'm so sorry. What? No. It's—it's in the bathroom. I should probably do it, right?"

He weaved his long fingers through her hair. "Catherine, there's no fault here, okay? It's not like we haven't both known what could possibly happen. There's no fool-proof method. Take the test, first. Until then, there's no reason to panic."

"But you're not panicking." She frowned. "The last time this happened, you said we could never have a baby. What if—"

He slid his hands down her bare arms in a soothing gesture. "I know. I tell myself we shouldn't—that I shouldn't want it—but . . ."

"After seeing how happy Tori and Blaise were—"

"—past tense, but that will change. And yes. I want it, too."

She looped her arms around his neck and stared into his eyes framed by those beautiful, dark lashes. "You are my past, my present, and my future."

Their noses rubbed, his breath her own. It was these moments she loved the most. He was always with her in the moment, every breath, every beat of her heart. She had no doubt he'd be with her every step of the way.

He kissed a corner of her open mouth, their tongues automatically seeking each other out, then he pulled back and looked at her. "Then let's find out what the future holds, okay?" He gently pressed her away from him and nodded toward the bathroom door.

"Okay." She started to rise. He grabbed her hand.

"Hey. Whatever happens, we'll face it together, right?"

She nodded and stepped out of bed. A few minutes later she returned, the indicator in her hand. She placed it face down on the headboard.

"Two minutes?" he asked, folding her back beneath him. She nodded solemnly. "And if the results are positive? What then?"

Nose to nose, eyelashes almost to eyelashes, she found her center in his gaze. She shook her head, a tiny movement that spoke volumes. "I'm going to enjoy the magic of this moment for as long as I can."

The timer chimed seconds later.

"You look and tell me. I can't do it," she said.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure. I'll know by the look in your eyes."

"What are you hoping it will say?"

"I'm not, I'm just – we need to know one way or another."

"Okay. I'm turning it over. You ready?"

"Probably not. Just do it."

Vincent reached above their heads and turned the indicator over. Despite already expecting the answer, tears formed in his eyes and he swallowed with difficulty. He looked back at her.

Her eyes grew big.

Vincent let out the breath he was holding and put his forehead back on hers.

"Oh, my God…"

Journal Entry, May 6, 2014


Today I learned I'm carrying your child.

At first, a thousand thoughts ran through my head, and then only one: I am so in love with you. Those were your words to me so long ago now, but I'll never forget how they nearly brought me to my knees. And I love you just the same—with everything I am, all my hopes and dreams, and that includes what I want for the future—with you.

I'm not getting any younger, and neither are you. But one thing I know: you deserve every happiness this world has to offer, and I want you to have this much at least—a family. I can't replace the one you lost—your parents, your brothers, your nephew and God knows who else—because of Muirfield and my wicked father's schemes. But we can start a new one today—with a new life.

Yes, I'm terrified. I'm delighted. I'm amazed and filled with doubt. But I know, together, we can do this, if you take my hand . . . .

Vincent prowled the rooftops, aimlessly moving from place to place. It was a habit he no longer needed but couldn't seem to shake. The shadows and heights had been his home and sanctuary for too long. Tonight they provided no answers, though. Looking out over the city, he thought about the sixteen-year-old congressman's daughter. He'd found her in a warehouse—terrified, but thankfully still unhurt—and the ending had been a happy one. Once again. Only this time, he knew the true terror of being a parent. What if it had been his daughter? What if one day it is?

He pressed the thought away. Last week, the girl. This week, a kid from the barrios, tricked out on drugs. How could people endure it? Never mind that accidents were a fact of life; so was danger from evil people intent on murder and mayhem. There was no safe place to hide.

He thought of Bob Reynolds, Catherine's father. Gabe had given them all the news just the day before that he was going to trial. A special prosecutor had been assigned. How could someone so evil be a parent? Yet he seemed to care for his daughter, in his own demented way.

Catherine had not told him the news, of that he was sure. But she would struggle with the trial. He'd spare her that if he could.

What he hadn't been able to protect her from was the reaction of her friends. One in particular: Gabriel Lowen.

"Seriously?" Gabe stood ram-rod straight in the club the day Vincent broke the news to him. He'd come to deliver another missing person request and, knowing the guy's history of pining for Catherine, Vincent hadn't been able to refrain from blurting out the good news. This would end all hopes for Gabe, period. It was a good thing.

"What is this, blood moon rising?" Gabe asked, his voice climbing. "Is there something in the water around here? Why don't we all just start our own beast colony—"

"Because you're no longer a beast and don't count," Vincent had the bad manners to point out.

"While you two were cavorting around the everglades—"

"Oh, cavorting, were we? I thought we were chasing down a kidnapper-turned-murderer who also had a penchant for the bizarre—as in beasts—"

"—I've had my hands full dealing with Tori and Blaise, and now you two want the same thing? Have either of you stopped to consider the ramifications of your actions?"

Vincent stepped into Gabe's personal space and occupied the air above him. Height did have its advantages. "Yes. It's called a future. And it's the only one I've got. I'm not going to lose it, or waste time worrying about what might happen. I won't leave Catherine, and she won't leave me. That means I'm her only future. She deserves the same happiness and opportunities that every other woman on this planet wants—and that includes a family. You want to deny her that?"

"Certainly not. But haven't you ever heard of adoption?"

"Yeah. How'd that work out for you?"

Gabe ignored him and tried again, though what he thought he'd accomplish, Vincent didn't know. "Lots of couples can't have children, Vincent. I thought you understood."

"But we can."


"I understand your concerns, I do. More than anyone. And yes, it makes me nervous. But we'll do the tests. We'll find out what we're up against. At least let us enjoy this happy moment. We'll figure it out. One day at a time. You care about her, too. You know I'm right. I'm done telling her no."

"Really?" Gabe shrugged. "Then why stop there? Why not a wedding while you're at it?"

"That's a definite possibility."

"In a few years, you could help with Little League while Catherine serves on the PTA. Some irate parent doesn't like the way your child beats theirs in the game and—"

"Okay, enough. You're just jealous, admit it."

"Vincent, if Catherine is happy, then I'm happy. You know that. But this is insane. Why don't you move next door to Tori and Blaise—"

"That's not happening." Tori spoke from the doorway. Both men turned.

"Why not?"

"Because Blaise left."

"Again? He's blind, for heaven's sake," Gabe pointed out unnecessarily. "How far could he get? I'll help you find him."

"I'm perfectly capable of tracking him. That's not the point."

"Tori, why do you think he left?" Vincent asked. "I thought you guys worked it out."

"I don't know. He said he had something important to do after work. But he hasn't come home yet."

"I set him up with a specialist—an ophthalmologist. Maybe it took longer than expected. That's probably where he is."

Tori frowned. "Why? He's seen enough doctors, Vincent. He doesn't need false hope."

"I thought he might be able to help with the headaches, that's all."

"Fine. You two figure it out." Gabe crumpled up the paper he'd intended to leave with Vincent. "I'm done with all of you. I've got real work to do."

It was the last they'd seen of Gabe for a week.

Vincent watched a silver line spread steadily across the distant horizon. Dawn was coming, but what would this new day bring?

Gabe Lowen sauntered to the cell that housed the man he considered a bigger threat than any beast he'd ever known—Bob Reynolds.

"What do you want, Lowen? Another favor? I'm all out."

"Don't think, just because you're coming to trial, that you have any hope of seeing the outside world anytime soon."

"Oh, thanks for the encouragement. Now, get out."

"Tori was right. You had off-shore contacts after all. Makes me wonder what else have you been lying to me about."

"I guess you'll just have to go on wondering."

"Dauphinais is dead, by the way."

Bob's eyelids thinned to slits. "As long as Catherine is safe, that's all I care about."

"Oh, she's fine. But speaking of Tori, have you heard the news?"

"What do I care about Tori? She's your problem."

"She's pregnant."

Bob lifted his head. "Are you insane?!" He grabbed the cell bars as if he could wrench them apart. "I should have killed her when I had the chance. Now, what have you done?"

Gabe shrugged, happy to poke an angry bear and get away with it. "Apparently, love is in the air. What can I say?" With that, he strolled back to the exit door and signaled for the guard. The only real monster he knew was already in a cage.

Catherine took a deep breath and climbed the stairs to the apartment, forcing her feet to move in front of her. It wasn't that she didn't want to be there. She just didn't want to be there. But she'd had this conversation with herself ten times already since waking up, and she knew what she needed to do.

Tori, apparently sensing her arrival, opened the door before she could knock. "Blaise isn't here."

"Actually, I'm not here to see Blaise," Catherine said determinedly. "I came to see you."

Tori blanched, then had the presence of mind to step back and let her in.

Catherine couldn't help glancing around and seeing the general disarray of the room. Things had obviously decayed into chaos since she'd last visited with Vincent. The floors were clear—that much was helpful—and probably in response to living with a blind person, but the rest of the space was badly neglected. Remembering her manners, she quickly turned her eyes on her host. "I thought we could talk."

Tori stood for a long time in front of the big bay window facing the street after Catherine left. Blaise had yet to return and for the first time she was glad of it. She wasn't sure what to feel. Catherine was pregnant, too? Part of her wanted to gloat that she'd been first. The one and only time she could probably ever claim advantage over the petite detective.

That wasn't fair. Catherine had been . . . 'kind' was the only word to come to mind. Rather than judging her for her troubles with Blaise, she'd been encouraging, even admitting she wasn't so good with relationships, herself, but if she needed a friend to talk to, she'd make herself available.

Something hurt deep inside. It was probably her pride giving up the ghost. She needed a friend and there weren't many to be had.

She turned, resolved. Things had to change and the change had to begin with her. And then she felt it—something running down her legs. Blood.

The cramping came on in a fury and she dropped to her knees.

Blaise returned home to find her in the same spot in a puddle of what he instantly sensed was blood. It took him too many lost seconds, but he finally found his Braille phone and dialed the only contact number he had—Vincent.

"She'll be okay." Vincent watched Catherine pace restlessly up and down the small waiting area.

"I just saw her this morning," she replied, a thumbnail in her teeth.

"Catherine, you had nothing to do with it. Tori miscarried and no one's to blame. Don't do that to your nails, sweetheart. She'll be fine."

That's when she broke down. Vincent jumped up and held her.

"I haven't been pregnant as long as she was, but I can't imagine what she's feeling right now," she sobbed into his shirt. "I don't think I could go through it."

"Hey." He forced her to look at him. "Just because Tori miscarried doesn't mean you will, too. Everyone's different. Every woman and every pregnancy. Honey, don't cry."

"I just feel so heartbroken for them. Oh, Vincent!"

Just then, Blaise came out of the hospital room. "She's sleeping now. They're going to let her rest for a few hours, then release her."

"I'm so sorry." Catherine wrapped her arms around him.

"Thank you, Catherine." He let her hug him for a moment, then leaned her away. "Tori told me you had some news of your own this morning."

Catherine immediately put her hand to her belly, the area that had already fractionally increased, although it would be noticeable to no one else but her. She nodded but dissolved into tears again.

"She's just feeling emotional right now." Vincent wrapped her back in his arms and laid a hand on Blaise's shoulder.

"You'll be all right?"

"Yep. Tori is okay. That's all that matters. Thank you for everything."

Vincent nodded, although he'd done nothing other than get them an ambulance and help Blaise with the arrangements at the hospital.

"I'm going to stay with her," Blaise said.

"Okay, buddy. Call me when you're ready to go and I'll come back and pick you both up."

"Thanks, Bro."

They watched him return to the patient room and close the door.

"Will they be all right?"

"Yes." Vincent scanned the area for anyone within hearing distance. "Will Tess be able to arrange it?" he asked, meaning getting hold of a blood sample from the fetus.

Catherine nodded. "She's already on it."

JT analyzed the sample with painstaking effort. Finally, he finished his work and turned to all present. "It's normal. The baby's DNA has none of the 'enhanced' factors that would indicate 'bestiality.'"

Vincent turned to Catherine, afraid to hope and at the same time heartbroken over Tori and Blaise's loss.

"No one can say the next child will be the same, but this one was completely human."

Bob Reynolds stood as the guard escorted the suited man to the front of his cell door, then he waited until the guard left before acknowledging him.

Finally, the steel door clanged closed and they were alone.

"Did you get it?"

The man, in business attire and short-cropped hair, smirked. "Of course. Took us a while, but the site was vacant."



A/N – Beloved readers, this ends Part I of this story. Please watch for the continuation story soon to come. I'm already started on it. It will be under a new story name (still undecided), so if you don't already follow me, set that up so that you will get notified when I post next. Thank you for reading! xx