This story has been posted before by meals and she have given the story to me, so I'm going to continue it.

Disclaimer: Every thing you recognise from the books is the property of Mary Hoffman. The first seven chapter and the prologue are also not mine, but from meals.

Claimer: Chapter 8 and every chapter that follows are mine.


Nick Duke woke in the middle of the night to hear something moving downstairs. He cautiously unwound his arms from around Georgia and slipped out of bed.

He walked over to the door with his heart beating so loudly in his chest that it was a wonder no one else could hear it.

On the balls of his feet he slipped from his room and moved to the staircase, unconsciously displaying his athleticism with his sinuous walk.

When he was downstairs he silently picked up a candlestick and moved towards the room that he had heard the noise in.

The light was on and he couldn't hear anything.

He moved into the doorway carefully and stopped suddenly.

Sitting on the yellow and red sofa was his foster mum, Vicky Mulholland. She had her back to him so he didn't notice immediately that she was crying.

In fact, it was only until she started sobbing that he realised, but when he did he immediately noticed her shoulders were shaking.

He walked into the kitchen to grab her a glass of water and a napkin - putting down the candlestick on the way - and wondered why she was crying.

When he went back only two minutes later though, someone else was there.

David Mulholland, Nicks foster dad, was sitting next to Vicky on the couch, his shoulders shaking in time to hers.

Nick stopped short. What was going on?

At that moment the two moved apart slightly and Nick saw the object sitting on their laps. The object that had them both crying terribly.

Nick turned and fled back to his room, leaving the glass and napkin on a table nearby.

Back in his room Nick sat on the floor and thought.

He owed the Mulhollands everything in this world - they had taken him in and treated him like their own, they had paid for the cost of his legs to be redone, they had helped him forget his old life and to not miss it.

He had thought that they were happier now - when he first arrived they were both still half mad over the death of their son, Lucien (also known as Luciano, depending on which world you came from) and he'd thought he had helped them get over it.

Giving what he'd just seen he was wrong. Obviously if they were crying together over the picture of their son he was wrong.

So what could he do to repay them back for the kindness they'd showed him? What could he do to make their pain easier?

He couldn't think of an answer for either of those questions, so troubled he went to bed.

But as he lay in semi-consciousness a half formed thought came to him, the one thing that could answer both his questions and the way to do it.