AN: I hope it's okay that I don't do the disclaimer in every chapter….
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any characters, except for Catherine, Quest, the bodyguards, the CPS person, and the evil villain that will pop up later. If you want to use them, you have to get through me first. Please don't hurt me too badly; I'll have to get Hunter to go after you and you really don't want that…. Or maybe you do…This fanfic is entirely fiction with fictional characters (hence fanFIC). Any similarity between these characters and people in real life or possibly another fanfic is entirely coincidental. And so on and so forth.
"Sign Here, Please."
Hunter went back to the police station feeling sorry for Catherine. He knew that she had his personality. They both hated going everywhere with some sort of protection. They wanted to have moments to themselves.
Wanting to help her, but knowing that his brother would forbid it, Hunter felt helpless. He had talked about what his brother's expectations of her were on the way to her house. She had told him that her father wanted her to take over the family when he and her mother died.
"He does want me to get married to a suitable husband who will know the business. That means I have to marry one of the mob. I've been thinking of this arrangement, and I think that I want to steer away from the mob as a career. I don't want to have to carry on the legacy of killing, especially if it's to knock off people who might tell about the dealings of the underworld."
Catherine had given a speech that Hunter had wanted to hear from at least one person in his family. He was glad that she was deciding to come to the right side of the law.
When he arrived at the station, McCall came up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. "Hunter, didn't you get the radio call? I would have thought that you would have responded immediately."
"My radio doesn't work, remember? Cain won't issue me a new car because I've totaled the other cars I've had, and unless this car stops running, I won't get a new one. He won't even let me get a new radio."
"Oh, right. Well, uh," McCall sighed. "Your brother was shot about half-an-hour ago. I think your sister-in-law got it, too. I don't know about your niece."
Hunter felt like he had been punched in the stomach. Mark was dead? And Maria? What about Cathy? He immediately turned around and ran to his car. He had to see it for himself. And if Catherine was still alive, he had to comfort her. McCall came with him and sat silently, letting him sort it out.
When they got to the house half-an-hour later, they were relieved to find that they were the first unit on the scene and that Tewilliger had not somehow weaseled himself into getting the case. Hunter would have probably done something stupid, such as throwing Tewilliger through a window.
Catherine was on the porch, waiting for someone to come. Her tear-streaked face said it all. Mark and Maria were indeed dead.
"Uncle Rick? Is that you?" That was all Catherine could say before she started crying again. Hunter immediately went up to her and wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close to him.
"It's going to be okay. I'll find whoever did this. They won't get away with it," he said soothingly. He had tears in his own eyes. "They won't get away with it," he said again.
McCall came up to them, paused to look at them and continued into the house to examine the evidence.
"I have to go inside and look at the evidence so that I can get whoever did this. But first I'm going to take you to my car. You stay there until I come back. I'm going to have a few questions, but right now you just sit for a while, okay?"
Catherine nodded. Her lifeless eyes just stared straight ahead. She felt herself being lifted up and carried to the car.
After Hunter put Catherine in his car, he went to the house to see what he knew he would find. When he went inside, he saw the two bodies in the living room. McCall came up to him and showed him the bullet casings that she had found.
Later, after they had gotten as much as they could find in the house, Hunter and McCall decided to go back to the police station.
When they got back, Cain was waiting for them. He told him to get into is office immediately.
"What is it now?" Hunter groaned.
"Hunter, this is Gretchen McDuff. She is from the Child Protective Services. She is going to have to take Catherine in until they can find a home for her."
"You're what! I don't think so. She's my niece. I'm her closest relative. I'll be her guardian. Show me the paperwork, and I'll fill it out."
Ms. McDuff exchanged a look with Captain Cain. She sighed and opened her briefcase. "Before I do anything, the girl has to be present."
"The 'girl' has a name. It's Catherine."
"All right, Catherine has to be present. She has to see you sign the documents."
"Well, she can't see me sign the documents. She's blind."
Ms. McDuff was getting flustered by this time. "Will you please just get her in here?" she seethed.
"Okay, but I repeat, she's blind." Hunter gave one of his smiles that were meant to annoy and went to the car. "Cath, I need you to come into the station. There's someone here to see you."
"Let me guess. It's someone from CPS?"
"You got it."
"Okay, but I don't want to go to some stranger's house. I want to stay within the family."
"Well, I really want to stay with you, Uncle Rick, but if you can't take me, I'll have to go back to the mob or to a foster home or Juvenile Hall."
"Well, I was just telling them that I would take you. They have the paperwork ready, but you have to be there to see me sign it. I tried to explain that you were blind, but they wouldn't listen."
"I probably have to be there so that I can't say that I never knew that you were planning on becoming my guardian and try to back out of it, though I never would."
"Maybe you can put your hand on mine so that you can know what I'm writing."
"Very funny. I think it's enough that I'm there. I hate legalities."
"Yeah, so do I."
"But you're a cop!"
"Just because I'm a cop doesn't mean I like every single solitary little-known law out there."
They reached Captain Cain's office. The CPS lady was still there, fuming over the previous conversation.
"All right, she's here. Let's get this over with."
"Catherine, you sit here. Mr. Hunter, you sign these papers."
"Works for me," both of them said it at the same time. Hunter looked at Catherine and said laughingly, "You stole my phrase!"
Catherine grinned. "What do you expect? You say it so often it just kind of rubbed off you and onto me."
"Sign here, please, Mr. Hunter."