TITLE: Blessing In Disguise

AUTHOR: Clairisant (the first few chapters Kellie wrote with me but then she got too busy with school to continue)

FEEDBACK: Would love to hear both good and bad feedback but please try to be kind and constructive.

CREDITS: A special thank you to my beta reader Qupeydoll, also Cathy, Joyce, and Rusty for the research they did.

Chapter 1

Vincent had been uneasy all evening. He didn't know why. There didn't appear to be anything wrong with his family or friends, and yet he couldn't shake this feeling.

He decided to go Above as he did many nights. He felt the need to be in the park. Exiting the tunnels through the drainage pipe near the carousel in Central Park, Vincent pulled the hood of his cloak up over his head. He didn't sense anyone around, but the years of caution, drummed into his head by Father, was hard to ignore.

His attempt to drink in the peace and tranquility of the crisp April evening fell short because of the nagging feeling that there was something wrong.

Suddenly he felt a flash of fear that wasn't his own. Before he could analyze it, the fear grew into terror and then hot, slashing pain!

As abruptly as these feelings had come, they were gone. But the intensity of them had Vincent doubled over and gasping for breath. The sudden absence of those emotions didn't bring peace, as one might expect they would. Instead, their disappearance caused more worry.

Out of the blue he knew he needed to be somewhere else. He rose to his full height and broke into a run. His hood flew back as he ran. His hair and cloak danced with the speed of his steps.

He was near the road that ran through the park when he stopped. A van's tires screeched in the stillness of the night as it sped away from the curb. It was then that Vincent saw the dark form of a body lying on the ground. He ran over to the figure and rolled the body over. It was a woman. Her face had been badly slashed. She was bleeding and unconscious.

Vincent lifted her slight weight into his arms and raced for home. His father was a doctor and this woman clearly was in need of immediate medical attention!

He called out to one of the sentries as he rushed by to alert Father to an emergency and to come at once to the hospital chamber.

Father and Mary arrived only moments after Vincent had placed the woman down on the exam table.

"My God!" Father exclaimed upon seeing the deep cuts on her face. He sprang instantly to work.

Hours of careful stitching later Father finally took a step back from his patient. "That's all I can do for her now," he said, and then asked his son to step out of the chamber. He wanted Mary to remove the woman's soiled and torn clothing while he cleaned and sterilized the area and instruments he had used.

Even in the passageway outside of the hospital chamber Vincent was able to hear every sound from inside. He heard Mary gasp and softly call to Father. He knew she had found something else wrong when she'd undressed their patient. This was confirmed when Father crossed the room to see what Mary wanted and murmured, "Oh dear lord!"

"What is it, Father?" Vincent called out from where he stood.

As Father started working on the new problem, Mary stepped out into the passageway. Placing her hand gently on Vincent's arm, she told him, "It appears that she was also sexually assaulted, Vincent."

To be continued….