Solomon looked over at his sister-in-law on the other side of the room. "Are you getting the same ideas that I am?"
Kate sighed heavily and leaned back in her chair. "That this particular scroll doesn't want us to translate it?"
Solomon laughed. "I think the text changes anytime we get close to deciphering it."
"I agree. It's like it shifts so that we can't figure it out." Kate started rubbing her ever-growing belly.
"Changing the subject, how are you doing?"
"Feeling more and more like I am growing into a house. I don't remember gaining this much with Augustus."
Solomon put his hand over Kate's and felt the baby move. "This one seems a bit more active than Augustus."
"Ya think? This one is a definite soccer player."
"Baby talk?" Vincent strolled into the office with Nikko on his tail.
"Kate was just complaining about a few things." Solomon kissed the top of her head as he got up.
"Oh?" Vincent smiled at his wife.
"The two big things we were talking about last night." Kate went back to typing.
"Ah. The size and activity issues." Vincent winked at Nikko.
"Did I miss something?" Nikko was confused.
"I was complaining that I am getting big and that this baby is very active." Kate stuck out her tongue at her husband.
"Which reminds me that Vincent and I need to get going to pick up that shipment. Nikko, are you coming?" Solomon rose and walked toward the door.
"Yeah." Nikko looked at Kate. "Are you going to be okay?"
Kate laughed. "Will you stop Mother Henning me? Maggie and Juliet will be here in a few minutes and we have a date to do some shopping."
Vincent groaned. "More baby stuff?"
Kate stuck out her tongue at her husband. "But of course! We still haven't gotten half of the furniture for the nursery."
Vincent walked over to kiss his wife goodbye. "Be careful, Kate," he whispered.
"Aren't I always?"
"Are you sure you want to walk back to the office?" Maggie was kind of surprised at Kate's stamina, considering her current condition.
"I haven't been out like this for a few weeks, and the walk will do ALL of us some good." Kate had one hand on her belly and the other one rubbing the small of her back.
"Kate, I think we have company." Juliet pointed at the long back limousine that was pulling up next to them.
The driver jumped out from his side of the vehicle, and walked up to Kate. "Ma'am, your mother wishes to speak with you."
Kate leveled a look at Maggie before answering. "Lead on."
The driver opened up the rear door and Kate maneuvered herself into the vehicle.
"What do you want Mother?" Kate asked as the driver closed the door behind her. Great, now I'm trapped with the witch!
"Can a mother not inquire after the welfare of her only daughter?" Katherine put a wounded look on her face.
"Oh, please! You abandon me for twenty-five years and you're acting like the wounded party?"
Katherine looked seriously at her daughter. "I didn't come here to argue with you. I just wanted to inform you of something."
"And that would be?" Kate's back was beginning to bother her. Maybe we should take a cab after this!
"Vincent has inquired recently if he would be able to rejoin Dorna." Katherine smiled triumphantly.
Kate looked stunned. "Huh?"
"Please speak in complete sentences, Kate."
"Excuse me, Mother, but what are you talking about?" Kate asked sarcastically.
"Vincent has been negotiating his return to Dorna with Tollan and Costa. And he has been seen in the company of one of my more feminine agents." Katherine pulled photographs out of a manila folder and passed them to Kate. The photographs showed Vincent talking in a park with Tollan and Costa. The last photo showed Vincent in a tight clinch with a tall, curvaceous brunette.
Kate looked stunned and close to tears. "Are you deliberately trying to hurt me Mother? You had these photos altered to show Vincent in these situations."
Katherine clasped her hands in her lap and looked seriously at her daughter. "Those photos are unaltered. You will have them checked by Maggie and Solomon and they will verify the truth you are finally coming to see."
Kate blindly reached for the door handle. "Goodbye Mother. I can't say it's been a pleasure."
Kate practically fell out of the limousine, and Juliet and Maggie helped her straighten up as the vehicle moved away. "What did Katherine have to say?" Maggie asked while rubbing Kate's back.
Kate looked at her long-time friend with devastated eyes. "I'll tell you when we all gather at the office. I can't do this more than once."
"Let's get back then." Maggie moved to hail a taxi.
When the women returned to the office, the men of Veritas were collectively drooling over the newest archaeological artifact. All of them looked up as the ladies doffed their coats and moved into the room.
"How did shopping go?" Solomon asked, a question in his eyes as he took in his sister-in-law's subdued presence, her face hidden behind a veil of hair.
"My mother tracked us down and we had a lovely little chat." Kate's tongue was dripping with sarcasm as she brought her eyes up to look at Solomon.
"Kate. What's the matter?" Vincent saw the look on his wife's face and moved to comfort her.
Kate held her arm out to stop Vincent from coming any closer. "Do NOT come near me, Vincent Siminou! You bastard!"
Solomon looked between his friend and his wife's sister, confused. "What's going on, Kate?"
"Look at these photographs and tell me to my face that you aren't betraying us?" Kate thrust the photos into the closest person's hands, which happened to be Nikko.
Nikko handed the photos to Vincent. Vincent looked through them, and handed them onto Solomon. "You believed your mother about this?"
"She said that they had NOT been altered in any way."
"And I repeat: You believe your mother over my love for you and our child?" Vincent had moved closer to Kate, but didn't touch his wife.
Kate looked up into her husband's eyes as the tears began to flow. "I don't know what to think or believe."
"Good." Solomon handed the photos to Maggie.
"Good?" Kate looked over at him, confused.
Vincent reached out a hand and cupped his wife's face. "Those photos were a plant."
Kate shook off his hand. "A plant?"
Solomon moved closer. "Yep. One that our fathers devised a while ago."
"We had to find a way to make it look like Vincent had betrayed you so you would leave him." Jonathan Cayce entered the room from where he had been hiding, with Alexander Zond right behind him.
"So I would be in hiding for the baby's birth." Realization was dawning in Kate's mind.
"We figured that Katherine would be prowling and haunting you more as your time got closer. The four of us talked, and decided that your old man and I should take you into hiding. "Alexander explained the plan to Kate.
"Without discussing any of this with me beforehand?" Kate was getting more than a little angry with the men in her life.
"We had to make the idea of me betraying our marriage real for you. I am sorry for that." Vincent took his wife in his arms and held her tightly.
"So where are we going?" Kate looked over at her dad.
"When we get on the plane we will tell you." Jonathan held his hand out to his daughter.
"So Vincent and the rest of the team can't find us." Kate choked back a tear.
Vincent kissed his wife one last time. "It is for the best reason of all."
"The future?" Kate smiled behind her tears. And then she left with her father and godfather.