Opening Cases

By Michael Weyer

Seven: Lost in Transition

It had been a long year, he had to admit. A year in exile. A year raising a child alone. A year in which he was away from the woman he truly loved. But it was coming to an end. Duncan Kane was coming home.

He knew it wouldn't look totally right coming alone. But he felt it was better for Lily to stay with some friends here in Australia. For all he knew, he'd be arrested the moment he stepped back in Neptune and who knew how long that would take to settle.

Even worse, however, was that Meg's parents would demand custody and he was damned if he was going to let those freaks get their hands on his daughter. So he was ready to go alone and hopefully Lily could join him later.

He sat in the waiting lobby of the airport, reading a magazine. His thoughts were elsewhere, however, focused on the woman he still dreamed of. The woman he still wanted to be with. Veronica.

He'd kept up with the news of what happened in Neptune. He knew she'd gone through a hard time but was confident he could make it better. Oh, there would be having to hide his part in Aaron's death. He thought Veronica might understand but approval was not in the cards.

He glanced at the woman sitting next to him, a pretty blonde with a very large belly. She was breathing easily, stroking it as she looked down. She caught his look and returned it. "Don't worry," she said in a native accent. "Not ready to pop yet."

"Sorry," Duncan said. "I just had to leave my daughter with some friends."

"First child?"

He nodded and the woman sighed. "Me too. Father isn't exactly…in the picture."

Duncan frowned deeply. "Her mom…died in childbirth."

"Oh, damn, I'm sorry," the woman said, rubbing his shoulder. "I…didn't mean to…"

Duncan shook his head. "It's okay. It was a while ago, I'm…handling it. I just need to get to America and…take care of some things with her family."

The woman looked away. "I'm hoping to do the same. I don't…I don't think I can handle raising a child."

"It's hard," Duncan agreed. He looked to her and smiled. "But it's worth it, trust me. Seeing that baby looking at you, smiling, giggling…it's just incredible"

The woman smiled sadly. "Maybe. I still don't know…"

A loudspeaker echoed with the calling of a flight and they both began to rise. Duncan hefted his bag as he helped her up. "Need a hand."

"Just to my seat," the woman replied. "I'm Claire, by the way."

"Duncan," he nodded. "L.A., here we come."

The two walked over to the gate leading them to Oceanic Air Flight 815.

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All for now. I might add on if more ditties hit me. All comments welcomed.