Notes: I know I am kinda known for not finishing fics. The last two I have done I just didn't have in me to finish them. I will finish the Elf Adventures soon but I had to get this out of my head. This is going along Kaitlyn Rose's stories. So I guess this would be Instalment #57. I hope it gets her approval in her universe.. she did an excellent job with the others... I was fascinated with her work. I loved it. You may have to read some of those to understand some of this fic,.. but.. I do promise I will finish this one. This wouldn't let me sleep at all... Don't believe me, ask around.. its all I talked about! This started as a dream.. ended like this.. enjoy!!! Thank you goes out to a Mr. Capy for helping me with this fic.

Family Portrait. #57

By the untalented JOXER

Chapter 1.

The computer screen was the only light that appeared in the dark room. Plaques and certificates surrounded the walls of the room of great accomplishments and heroism expressed by an individual. Certificates of appreciation, skills and licenses were addressed to the same person. But the person that was described on the walls was not the same person that was sitting at the desk staring at the computer screen. The unclean man seemed to be lost, staring at the blank screen. His screen name and his email address were open but nothing was typed. He looked at a photo frame that was near the computer and picked it up. Now he seemed to be lost, staring at the picture. It was a few awake moments that passed as he stared at the photo and then returned his attention to the blank screen.

"I will have it back. I need it back." The man repeated as he began to type an email. He took a look at the photo frame. The standard family photo was there. The one that came with the frame. But in place of the fake family faces where cut outs of what the man typing considered his family.

"You think you could get away this easy, you are wrong doctor... very wrong." The man whispered as he finished his email on a kind note. This email was not like the rest. He seemed to have ended anything he had against the person he was emailing. Only to show good face to the person. The plan has yet to unfold. It will take several weeks to plan it to perfection but he is fully aware of what he is about to do.

"I will have my family... back. No matter what the cost."


Lucas Bridger jumped a bit back as the computer he was working on zapped him back. He sucked his index finger and squinted his eyes.

"Computer one. Lucas, zero." Lucas spoke to himself as he continued to work under the panel of the professor's program. He couldn't understand why the Professor was speaking French. He was programmed to speak in various languages but never French for the whole day. It had to do something with the program he had thought to himself but then saw that it could have been something wrong with one of the wires that were inside the computer.

Captain Nathan Bridger looked up from what he was doing at his desk to see what the boy in front of him had just done. He grinned to himself as it seemed that nothing could stop the kid from working on computers. It was his passion. He shook his head a bit as he returned to the heavy task of crew evaluation and the paperwork the UEO insists he must do. He stopped for a second again to look at Lucas who was half way inside the exposed panel of wiring and computer mother boards. It has been almost 2 years since Lucas has came into his life. His life that was saved by a 14 year old kid.

Now at 16, Lucas has grown out of his 'kid' title around the boat but being a teenager still brings out the mischievous side of him that resulted in getting the teen grounded for weeks. Nathan looked at his hand and down at his ring finger and smiled at the sight of his wedding band. He twisted it a bit with his free hand. A married Nathan Bridger was here now. After so many things have tried to keep Nathan from reaching happiness, he had overcome it all with help from Kristin and Lucas. He was truly happy. His attention was brought back to Lucas as the wires zapped him again.

"Son of a... dolphin "Lucas began to say as he looked over to see his dad staring back at him wondering if he was going to finish what he was saying. He grinned at his dad as he ran his hand through his hair.

"I think Darwin might take offense to that." Nathan joked as he lowered down his glasses and rubbed his eyes. The paperwork was killing him.

"That is all we need, a moody dolphin around." Lucas grinned as he looked back at the professor.

"Je parle ingles?" Lucas asked.

"Je ne pas parle Ingles." The professor replied as Lucas sighed. What was wrong with this thing?

"Hey Kiddo, maybe you need a break from this." Nathan stood up from his chair and stretched his arms.

"No, I have to find out what's wrong with him. I have only been at this for about an hour." Lucas was already bending down to get right back to work.

"Ok, if you don't want to do it for yourself, do it for me. I need a break from the tower of doom here. Come on, I'll see if I can sneak you in some cake from the mess" Nathan asked, knowing chocolate cake is every teenager's weakness.

"Since you put it that way, why not? It won't hurt to have some cake now and then." Lucas replied as he stood up and followed his dad out of their quarters. They entered the mess as Lucas took a seat with Katie Hitchcock, Tim O'Neil and Miguel Ortiz.

"Ok, Lucas is here maybe, he can help." Miguel said as he and Tim and Katie where having a disagreement.

"Sure, what's up?" Lucas sat down and was interested in what was being talked about. The captain looked at Miguel and Nathan nodded his head. This was working according to plan.

"Ok, I have a problem here and Tim and Katie are telling me that I am full of it and... well... here it is."

"I didn't say it you were full of it. I stated that it wasn't polite and... " Tim interrupted.

"I mean, how hard is it really?" Katie interrupted. Miguel raised both his hands in the air and silenced them.

"I was talking to Lucas here and I want to know his college educated opinion." Miguel said as he continued what he was saying. "Katie here was describing us males as lazy and selfish. I would agree sometimes we are but, the biggest example she gave me was about leaving the toilet seat up." Miguel fussed as he leaned back in the chair. "Am I the only one here that thinks that it is not such a big deal? What is the excuse, they fall in. Well last time I knew anything about anything is that I don't enter the bathroom blind. My rear doesn't locate the bowl. Do all women enter the bathroom with their eyes closed?" Lucas started to laugh as Katie crosses her arms.

"But it is just neater to leave the seat down. Shows some respect to women and shows that you thought of them." Tim added, addressing his view on leaving the seat down.

"Oh this is too funny. Miguel you have a point. I heard mom fuss about it once to dad at one of our shore leaves back home and it wasn't pretty." Lucas replied as he remembered his parents fighting over something so silly.

"HA!" Miguel said as he faced Katie.

"But no 'Ha' yet, Tim does have a point also..." Lucas began to say as Miguel lowered his head and sighed. Defeated. Katie smiled as she uncrossed her arms and patted Miguel on his back.

"Don't worry Miguel, Sometimes the truth is a bit hard to take." Katie smiled as he saw the captain behind them with Ben Krieg carrying a huge cake. The people in the mess started to get up from their seats and follow the Captain and the Morale officer, making their way to the table where Lucas was sitting. Tim and Katie stood up as Lucas wondered what was going on. Lucas turned around to see Ben carrying this huge cake that was lit up by candles all around it.

"Happy Birthday to you..." The whole mess started to sing. Lucas couldn't believe it. He was smiling from ear to ear as the cake was placed on the table.

"I thought you guys had kinda forgotten..." Lucas looked at all of his friends… his family.

"You thought we were too busy huh?" Ben smiled as he messed Lucas' hair a bit. Lucas nodded a bit.

"Well Kiddo, you best blow those candles out before you set off the fire alarm. There are too many this time." Nathan said as Kristin Bridger was next to him and he placed his arm around her. Lucas took in a deep breath and blew out all 16 candles. Ben pulled out a digital camera and took some shots of Lucas and the cake. The crew gathered around Lucas to take some photos and hugged the teen.

"OK, all this emotional stuff always gets me hungry, let's eat cake!" Lucas said as he looked around for a knife to cut the cake. Ben handed the camera to Miguel and stood next to Lucas. Katie went to the back of the mess to find a knife to cut the cake.

"I think the first piece needs to be Lucas'." Ben stated as he grinned. He had an evil thought. Lucas rolled his eyes at Ben but what happened next came without warning. Ben grabbed Lucas' neck and forced his face into the cake. The crew started to laugh their heads off as Lucas slowly raised his face out of the cake. Ben doubled over from the laughter as Kristin tried to be polite and keep the laughter to herself. The blue and white frosting was all over Lucas' face. He wiped his eyes clean with his hand and turned slowly to where Ben was laughing. Lucas picked up a piece of cake in his hand and started to walk towards the laughing officer. Ben saw Lucas and laughed even more at the sight of him. He saw the piece of cake he had and started to back away a bit.

"I... I have to... return to duty... I will have cake later... " Ben said as he ran out of the mess.

"Krieg, I insist you have your cake now!" Lucas yelled out as he chased Ben out of the mess. Nathan looked at Kristin and laughed. He gave his wife a kiss and squeezed her waist. Life was... perfect.

Kristin held her medical jacket over her arm as she walked to the family quarters. It seemed that after the little chase between Lucas and Ben, Ben had accidentally slipped on the cake that Lucas had threw at him and managed to hit is head on the ground. The morale officer's head was hard as a rock but still required some stitches on his forehead. That was the easy part, getting the grown man to sit and let her sew him up was something else. She opened the quarter's door and slowly shut it behind her. She looked over to her left and saw Nathan asleep on his desk with the pile of paperwork spread across the table. She shook her head as she slowly came to the sleeping Captain and shook him a bit.

"Nathan… wake up... Nathan..." She whispered as she gently shook him. He slowly woke up and squinted to focus his eyes on the person that had shaken away from his dream. He smiled at Kristin as he looked around.

"I guess I was a bit more tired then I thought." Nathan yawned as he stood up and kissed Kristin. "Goodnight. I think I will sleep in the bed this time. Coming?"

"In a minute, I see Lucas didn't shut his door all the way and some light is coming from his room..." Kristin grinned as she knew the young man was awake when he shouldn't be. Nathan started to unzip his uniform as he entered his quarters. Kristin walked to Lucas' room and pushed open the door slowly. She was right. She sighed as she saw Lucas playing a new game he got for his birthday. Kristin cleared her throat as Lucas continued to play.

"You should take something for that cough mom, I don't want you to get sick..." Lucas replied but didn't seem to take his eyes off his game. Kristin coughed again as Lucas got the point. He saved the game and placed the controls down. Kristin pointed to the bed and Lucas rolled his eyes.

"What am I ...7?" Lucas replied as he climbed into his bed.

"You act sometimes like you were 3." Kristin said as she sat next to Lucas in his bed.

"If I were 3, I would be doing whatever I wanted." Lucas grinned.

"So you would want to wear diapers and have people feed you? That could be arranged. I could change your diapers and clean your little tush."

"Mom! I didn't mean it like that!"

"I know. Now you go to bed. You have duty tomorrow morning." Kristin tucked in Lucas and kissed his forehead.

"You know I am getting a bit too old for being tucked in."

"You are also getting too old for video games."

"NEVER!" Lucas replied as Kristin laughed.

"Good night Lucas" Kristin started to walk away from the bed and headed for the door.

"Mom..." Lucas said as he lifted his head a bit.

"Yes Lucas?"

"Thanks for today. I love you... "

"You're welcome. I love you more." Kristin replied as she slowly shut the door. She smiled and laughed to herself about Lucas' remark about being too old for things but not old for video games.

Kristin worked behind her desk on some samples that were gathered from the ocean floor from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Commander Ford had gathered up the samples and was in the process of getting more. There were regions of the earth where its crust was stretched apart to form new sea floor. The ocean floor was made when volcanic activity under the sea splits the crust and the rock fills in the gaps. This concept was stating that the rock stretches. Naming the formation Detachment faults. The findings were interesting since they were brought up a few years ago but actually seeing it was different. She entered the data into her computer when a beeping came from the computer. She had mail. She clicked on her mail icon and surprised herself when she actually had more than one new one. She rarely checked her mail after incidents from her ex-husband but he hadn't emailed her for about 4 months. She looked at her recent new email and it was from Cynthia.


How ya been? I would have called but you know how busy I've been. Just like you so don't start with me about calling. How are Lucas and Nathan? Been good here at my end. We have just started construction on our new facility for the refugees. Oh mom it is going to be bigger than the other one. We have a high demand to take in so many children that I am afraid I have to turn some down since we will have no room for them. I wish you could come see this... see me. It would be nice to have you around and who knows, might adopt another child as well. Ask Lucas to see if he would want a younger sister or brother. Hope to hear from you soon.

Love, Cynthia.

Kristin smiled at the screen. Damn witty daughter she had. She was so proud of her and what she has done with her life. She started to clean out her mail box when she saw an email dated 8 days ago from Jack. She right clicked the email and selected the delete button. The computer asked her if she was sure and she canceled it. She knew she shouldn't check what he had to say but... maybe just maybe the email was about leaving her alone. She clicked it and started to read.


This email is basically my second step. I have found help... in counseling and the second step is telling the person I hurt how sorry I am. I will no longer email you. I am sorry for any pain I have caused you and your new family. I wish things could be different but I know it can't. I just have to accept it and move on. I am happy for you. That will not change. Don't put yourself in harm way. I wish you the best and enjoy life.


Kristin actually felt a bit of relief. Jack was seeking help and actually stated he would leave her alone. She had felt terrible keeping this from Nathan but she had to. If he did found out about Jack emailing her, he would have flipped. This was something she knew she could handle. And she did. She sighed as she threw all her old mail in the trash and emptied the bin. The computer asked if she was sure she would delete everything she wanted to delete and this time, she clicked yes.

Two weeks passed by and the pile of paperwork seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. Nathan knew he wasn't going to be finished with it. Evaluating about 180 crew members seemed to be easy. Having each department return their evaluations to him he just had to make sure they were fair and complete. Easy task was it? Not at all. He had to sign each and every one before they were turned in, in 3 weeks. There was plenty of time to finish them but it was still very boring. Their mission at the moment was also a big high. They were to deliver some supplies to a mine near the Philippines and Commander Ford had injured his right arm, breaking it after a rough seacrab experience getting Kristin's floor samples. Now the team had to be lead by the Captain. There was also the trip they need to make to Antarctica to help a research team that needed a lift as their shuttle was badly damaged by an iceberg breaking next to it. They had supplies for a few days in their station and they were not in immediate danger but it was still considered as a rescue mission. There was an incoming call from the vid-screen. The Captain quickly jumped up and went to the screen. He was happy for anything that had removed him from the pile of paperwork. The vid-screen showed Admiral Noyce waiting for Nathan to turn on his video feed.

"Hi Bill. What's up?" Nathan answered his dead old friend.

"What's up? Taking lessons from Lucas aren't we?" Bill replied.

"What can I say; the kid rubs off on me. Even Darwin. He never stopped saying it after he learned it." Nathan smiled as he remembered the annoying week of Darwin just saying what's up. Fish Darwin, what's up? Hungry Darwin. What's up? Nathan's smile slowly died as he saw there was a bit of hesitation with the Admiral. "What's wrong bill?" He asked now as he crossed his arms.

"Is Kristin around?" Bill replied. Nathan shook his head.

"I can get her if you like. What is this about?" He asked again.

"I need to tell her but I will tell you first so you can be a bit calmer about this. There was an accident in San Salvador. The building for refugee children exploded. Some say it was faulty wiring and gas that was leaking that caused the building to blow up. Others say it could have been the government trying to destroy it. Some people were killed others were injured. They were treated at the hospital there but... "

"I still don't understand Bill..."

"Cynthia Westphalen was supervising the site. She was there when the building exploded. She got hurt Nathan. We heard about this because the hospital called because she is UEO personnel. It took us by surprised but It turned out that you two added Cynthia to your medical beneficiary, so she could be treated in any UEO medical facility. San Salvador doesn't like to get involved with us. I believe they figured we would of found out of what had happened and we would of made a trip there to retrieve one of our own. We had her brought here to NCQ hospital where she's being treated now. All I know is that she's stable but burned pretty badly." Nathan uncrossed his arms and ran his hand through his hair.

"I have to tell Kristin. She's going to want to go... "

"You are near Kuala, about 2 hours away... there is a UEO base there and we can have her flown here from there. Your ship still has a mission to carry out. Two if I am not mistaken and the UEO boards would have my head if you don't complete them. I would happily accept your reasons for going as well but with Commander Ford injured, you have to lead the team."

"I know... I... I will get back to you about this. Let me go tell Kristin. But I know she will go. Thanks Bill." Nathan ended the call. He left his quarters and walked to the moon pool where she was spending some time with Lucas this morning. He entered the moon pool to see Lucas inside the moon pool playing some tag with Darwin as Kristin tried not to get wet. Darwin was very cautious with Lucas as they swam together in the pool. Kristin threw the sponge across the pool and both were after it.

"Kristin, I need to speak to you." Nathan said in a serious tone. Kristin turned and greeted Nathan but didn't hear the tone in his voice. She left the pools edge and walked towards Nathan.

"Nathan, come with us to join the fun. Darwin I think is winning by 10 points." Kristin smiled as Lucas popped out of the water as well as Darwin but only the dolphin had the sponge in his mouth. "Make that 11 points."

"Kristin, I need to speak to you. It's about Cynthia." Kristin saw his face and knew it was serious. Lucas stepped out of the moon pool and stood at Kristin's side.

"Tell me Nathan. Please."

"She was hurt. There was an explosion at the new buildings she was overlooking. She is at Cape Quest right now because her medical coverage is from the UEO."

"How bad is she? Is she stable? Oh Nathan, if we didn't add her on, she could have been treated there and with their government... I need to go see her. She will never forgive me for what I did by adding her but... I need to see her..." Kristin tried to control her emotions. She needed to see her daughter.

"I knew you'd want to go. Bill had set up for a plane to take you from Kuala to New Cape Quest. I wish I could join you, hell with it. I will go. I will just tell Hitchcock to lead the team. I can't let you go alone." Nathan said as he placed his hands on her shoulders. Kristin shook her head.

"No... It is easy for me to leave alone because I am a civilian. Harder for you because you have a mission to oversee. I will be fine. I just have to go."

"I want to go with you." Lucas spoke up. He couldn't believe his sister was hurt. "I can keep Mom company and see how Cynthia is doing. I want to be there for both of them." Lucas spoke to his father. Nathan didn't want to send them away but knew if Lucas was there, he would fell better than having Kristin go alone. He knew his wife, she was burying her emotions. But Lucas could be there to help her if she wasn't strong enough to hold them at bay. To even have Lucas volunteer the way he did showed Nathan that the boy was trying to be more of a grown up than a teenager.

"Alright. You can go. But I want to be updated everyday. You must call me and tell me how she is doing. I am after all her step father. I love her as much as both of you."

"Thanks Dad. I'll go pack" Lucas hugged him and left the moon pool. Kristin looked at the boy leave and looked at Nathan. She couldn't hold it any longer. She embraced Nathan and cried. Nathan tried to comfort Kristin and started to rub her back.

"It is ok Kristin. Bill said she is stable. She will be fine. If she is anything like you, she's strong and stubborn. Now believe me that she is ok at this moment in a military hospital. Now why don't you pack, we will be at Kuala in an hour." Nathan kissed Kristin on the cheek and tried to make the situation not as bad for Kristin. Kristin wiped her tears and nodded her head. She had to be strong. For herself and for Cynthia.

"Lucas, why don't you wait here and I will see where Cynthia is being treated." Kristin motioned for Lucas to sit in the waiting room area. Lucas nodded and sat down. He actually leaned back and yawned. The plane ride was pretty long and it had tired him out. Kristin didn't seem to rest or sleep during the flight. She seemed so nervous. Lucas knew he couldn't have slept knowing his mom was this upset. Kristin had walked to the front desk and asked about Cynthia. The desk nurse had paged the doctor to the front of urgent care. Kristin waited and smiled towards where Lucas was sitting. The doctor appeared a few seconds later he was paged.

"I am Dr. Lieutenant Leonard Droverson. Are you a family member to the patient?" The medical officer asked.

"Yes. I am Dr. Kristin Bridger, from the seaQuest and the patient, Cynthia Westphalen is my daughter. So talk to me in medical terms, how is she?"

"She has several 3rd degree burns on her lower back and 2nd degree burns on her legs and arms. 35 of her body is burned. We found traces of gasoline on her clothing. We believe this wasn't an accident but we have no jurisdiction where she was. All we know is that where she was, she did not receive the medical treatment she should have. I believe it made it worse and we might send her to the burn unit in Boston. They are the ones that would be best treating her. We have our specialists, they are excellent here but... they have the advanced technology for treating burn victims. We just don't want to move her. She needs to regain consciousness first before we can move her. The burns can get treated but we don't know what is going inside her head at this moment." The doctor explained as he placed his hands in his medical jacket.

"Can we see her? I have my son here with me and I know we both want to see her" Kristin asked, trying to let it all the information the doctor had given her sink in. She had to see for herself how bad this was.

"Sure but only one at a time. It might be a little too shocking for your son to see her at this moment but I can if you wish after you see her. I will take you back there. She is not awake so she might not even know your there. She is stable but I do warn you that it is not a pretty sight Dr. Bridger."

"I understand... . But she is my daughter and I have to see her." The doctor nodded and motioned for her to follow him. She held up her hand to wait and walked towards the waiting room where Lucas seemed to be falling asleep. "Lucas..." Lucas lifted his head and blinked his eyes awake. He felt bad that he had almost fallen asleep.

"I'm sorry. How is she?" Lucas asked as he rubbed his eyes, trying to rub out the sleep in them.

"She is burned up pretty bad. I will go see her and review her chart. I will if it is ok for you to see her later. Is that alright with you?" Lucas nodded his head.

"But please hurry back so I know for sure she is alright. Please?" Lucas asked as Kristin gave him a tight hug. She left the waiting room and went with the doctor to see her daughter. Lucas grabbed a magazine that was in the room and began to flip through it.

A man came in wearing a heavy trench coat that looked a bit expensive. He walked to the desk and asked about Cynthia. The nurse told him that the doctor was a bit busy with Cynthia's mother and will be out shortly. He was asked to sit in the waiting room until it was his turn. The man complied as he sat across from Lucas. The man looked over at the boy sitting in front of him. This boy came in with Kristin. He had watched them come in the entrance from his car parked outside in the parking lot. What could this boy have to do with Kristin? Kristin was to come alone. He knew this. He had planned this. The man smiled at Lucas who smiled back. As Lucas placed his magazine down, he reached for another one while the man reached for the same one.

"Oh, sorry young man. It is all yours." The man spoke with a gentle tone.

"It is ok. I am not really looking at it anyways." Lucas let go of the magazine.

"I know what you mean. My mind is going crazy at this moment. My daughter was in an accident but she isn't ready for me to see her." The man replied, knowing that the conversation he had at the desk wasn't heard in the waiting room.

"I know. My sister was burned. My mom is with her, reviewing her chart and whats her condition at this moment."

"Your mother? Is she a doctor here?" The man asked, wondering if this was actually the son his ex wife had adopted.

"Yea, she is a doctor but not for this hospital.."

"You are lucky to always have a doctor around. But it would be very bad to fake being sick to get out of school work."

"Tell me about it." Lucas replied, not letting his full details about himself be told to a stranger.

"I know. My little girl tried to do that once and her mother was all over her with medical rub and IV's, treatments and shots and... she never faked being sick again." The man laughed as he remembered the times his little girl was very young.

"Sounds like we had the same mother." Lucas joked as the man laughed.

"I bet all moms are that way. Always with eyes in the back of their heads." Lucas laughed as he knew that statement was true. The man was starting to like the kid. He thought to himself he could make room for one more in his plan. It would be a bit difficult but it could work. The man and Lucas began to talk more and enjoyed each other's company. Kristin came back from the room and was going to fill in Lucas on Cynthia's condition when she stopped at the door way.

"What are you doing here?" Kristin demanded as she looked at the man that was sitting across from Lucas.

"Mom., how's Cynthia?" Lucas asked as he wondered why his Mom was mad.

"Kristin. Wow. The years have been good to you. What else would be the reason to be here? I received the call that Cynthia was injured and I came as soon as I could." Jack Westphalen replied as he stood up from his seat. Kristin crossed her arms.

"You know she wouldn't want to see you." Kristin spat back. How dare he show up now. Cynthia didn't like him after what he did to her mother. But he was Cynthia's father after all and he was always good to her.

"Let her make up her mind on that one. I don't want to fight with you Kristin. I came to see how she is. I care about her as much as you do. She is my daughter too." Jack replied as he ran his hand through his hair. Lucas looked at both of them. He wanted to know how Cynthia was but the man he just had a conversation with was Cynthia's father? His mom's ex-husband? Oh dad was not going to be thrilled at the meeting. He heard small amounts of how Jack treated his mom and really didn't care for the man. But was it really true what they say, people change?. Kristin stared at Jack. It has been too long. He looked clean and fit. Doing very well considering what he was before.

"They are going to keep her for a few nights. To see if they can clean out the wounds very thoroughly and see if they can do a skin graft using cadaver skin. If it works, they might not need to transfer her to a burn unit. But they think because of the burns, it would be best. They just don't want to move her again. She needs to just wake up before they can move her... " Kristin sighed as she described her daughter's condition. Their daughter. Was it so hard to accept the man in front of her being Cynthia's father? Kristin crossed her arms.

"That bad?" Jack asked as he looked at Lucas who was still trying to figure him out.

"Yes. I am surprised you asked. Where were you when she was almost hunted down a few years ago?"

"This is not a place for this Kristin. She is my daughter too. You need to accept it." Jack turned and grinned at Lucas. "Sorry for yelling. Please, just tell me if it's as bad as you say." The concerned parent spoke.

"Yes. It is bad. What's worse is that they have found traces of gasoline on her. Someone had set her on fire." Lucas stood up and looked at both of them. They were both grieving and concerned. Lucas placed his hands in his jean pockets and looked back at his mom.

"Can I go see her?" Lucas asked. Kristin went towards him and hugged him.

"Not right now. She doesn't look that good to be seen yet. You will get your chance." Kristin held the boy tight. She couldn't let him go in there. It was hard enough for her to see her daughter on her stomach with burns and the smell was overwhelming.

"May I see her?" Jack asked Kristin's permission. Kristin shook her head.

"No, it wouldn't be the right time to see her. Just trust me on this." Kristin hugged Lucas again and let go, having him was a blessing.

"Alright, but listen, I actually came down here in a rush that I didn't get a chance to eat. Do you want to grab something together from the cafeteria? I would really want to talk to you and settle things between us. You don't have to if you don't want to. I was just offering to settle things. Part 3 from the program actually." Jack smiled at Kristin, so humble and gentle man stood in front of her. Kristin thought that maybe he is trying to change.

"A quick bite to eat, then we need to settle in. We had a long flight." Kristin agreed.

"Ok. Let me go to my car and grab my laptop to finish some work after lunch... I will meet you there." Jack left the room as Kristin sighed. She turned to Lucas who was looking at her with a bit of concern.

"Are you alright?" Lucas asked. "We don't need to eat here if you don't want to." Lucas offered.

"No, it is ok. Jack is… different. I wouldn't trust him at all but he is Cynthia's father. He does seem... different. Was he good to you?" Kristin questioned as they left the waiting room.

"Yea, he was alright. As any grown up who is trying to be friendly." Lucas shrugged his shoulders as he couldn't think of anything else the man had said or done to make him think otherwise. Kristin headed towards the front desk station and told the nurse if there were any complications in Cynthia's condition to have her paged. The two headed down to the cafeteria when Lucas' watch went off. 'Oh shhhh... oot. I have to call Dad." Lucas bit his tongue, this was going to be strange to explain to the captain that they are eating with Kristin's ex.

"I know. Nathan said to call him when the plane landed. You programmed that into your watch?" Lucas nodded his head.

"If I'd forgotten, he would ground me for life! I already went through without having my keyboards for 2 weeks, I am not going through that again."

"Go. Just... I don't want him to be upset at this. Can you keep Jack a ... hidden fact for now? I will explain to him later." She watched Lucas as he really didn't want to but understood why he had to. Lucas nodded as he went towards the public vidlink in the hospital cafeteria while Kristin went to grab some food for both of them.

Jack was outside in his car wondering how on earth this was going to work in his favor. He had planned that he would just take Kristin somehow. But it was different now with the boy. He seemed to be where Kristin was since either he was protecting he. or Kristin was protecting him. Cynthia's condition was perfect. He had planned the attack and really didn't want to hurt Cynthia but he had to get his family back. He pulled out his cell phone.

"Do you have it ready?... Good... we need to do this... they might have to transfer her after this... I know... so what... she will soon follow my path... yes... is that so wrong? life for my family… we would all risk other's lives for our families… yes… one more thing... we will be adding someone else… yes... my ... my son… yes, you will be paid more... good... tomorrow... make it so..." Jack closed his cell phone and grinned into the rear view mirror. His true evil exposed in the mirror. He took in a deep breath and grabbed his laptop. The elegant businessman left his car and composed himself. He had to play the part and so far, everyone was buying it. Even his precious Kristin.

... Oo