The door to Maddie's office at the Hayes-Addison residence opened and two people, a young woman and man, entered. They sat on her desk.

"Hi, I'm Mattie Hayes and this is Davy Addison."

"Is it just me or is this corny that we have to act like our parents?"

"Well, someone has to do the introduction."

Davy rolled his eyes, "Why can't the author just do it?"

Mattie got off the desk in a huff, "Fine, we won't do it. I have to get ready for my scenes anyway."

Mattie walked out.

Davy looked over and then, slid to the middle of the desk. "Now, I get my spotlight. Once my parents go to New York City, I won't be around for a while. Anyway, the author as usual wants to thank everyone for reading, reviewing, and following her story. It means a lot to her. Additionally, she does not own Moonlighting or Beauty and the Beast, but she owns Mattie and me. It's kind of creepy, isn't it?"

The door banged open. Mattie came in, "Why you little worm! We were supposed to do this together!"

"Hey, I'm getting cut out soon."

"It doesn't matter!"

Here we go:

Mattie: You always have to be the center of attention. If something doesn't go your way, then you try to get even or do something that'd give you more attention.

Davy: You realize you're an attention hog. Mattie Hayes, the greatest model in the world. Everyone should bow down and worship you. All hail Miss Hayes.

Mattie and Davy then said together, "I can't take this. If the author wants an introduction, she can do it herself!"

They both stormed off in opposite directions.

Bet you were wondering when you would see some overlapping dialogue. Promise more to come, just not in this chapter.

Anyway, I know that Maddie was cold and she will not be the most warmhearted in this chapter either, but honestly, how often was she nice to David, especially after The Big Bang? Every time David called her nuts, we thought that the word was an understatement. Just realize that relationships take a while to sort out, so there will be resolution, just not until it is closer to the end. I always felt that Maddie needed to heal, and I think it went beyond the miscarriage to even before she met David and I want to explore that. Your patience will be appreciated. I did give some more of Maddie's internal thoughts in this chapter so maybe your feelings toward her will soften. I also will reveal what led to their separation, but not in this chapter. Your reviews are greatly appreciated!

One additional note, I made a reference to the Beauty and the Beast episode entitled "Shades of Grey" in which Father and Vincent were trapped in a cave-in and Catherine could sense that Vincent was in trouble. She ended up saving him by getting materials needed for a digging machine and explosives to get them out. It was the first time that Catherine used the word "love" when speaking to Vincent. Probably, this story should be in the crossover section, but because the first three chapters were pure Moonlighting, I placed it in this section. If you feel that I need to change it, please tell me. SPOILERS for the third season of Beauty and the Beast! You have been warned.


An hour after David left the bedroom, Maddie went into her office inside the house to get some work done. As usual, work was the best thing that made Maddie forget or at least, distracted her so that she didn't concentrate on her problems. She did not have to worry about her relationship with David and she also did not have to wonder why Mattie had been away for three years. All of it had hurt too much to think about.

However, within half an hour of her escape, there was a knock at her door. Maddie recognized that knock and did not move.

She heard, "Hey, Maddie, I know you're in there. Want me to spit and slide under?"

Maddie could not believe how David reverted into his nonchalant attitude when a couple of hours ago, they were discussing their lost child and bitter feelings. She decided not to answer.

David opened the door and walked inside holding a tray, "I brought your breakfast."

She did not look up, "I'm not hungry."

He rolled his eyes, "Maddie, I just wanted to talk to you."

"Well, I don't want to talk to you. I'm busy."

David had set the tray on the floor. "You don't even know what I want to say and yet you're brushing me off."

"I know what you want to say."

"No, you don't."

Maddie sighed and finally looked up, "Fine, what do you want to say?"

David replied, "I wanted to pass an idea by you. I still have Dodgers preseason tickets for tonight, got them before we knew about Mattie and you said you wouldn't mind going since I got three…"

"Yes?"

"Well, what if Davy, Jacob, and I go, so I can get to know Jacob better and make up for my earlier temper, and you and Mattie can do something together?"

Maddie liked the idea and yet was afraid of it. "I don't know, David."

"Why? Are you afraid?"

Damn him. Maddie replied, "Of course not. It's just that maybe Mattie and Jacob wanted to spend time together tonight."

"They don't have plans – I asked."

"Maybe Jacob doesn't like baseball."

"I just had a conversation with him about the Yankees. Any other feeble excuses?"

Maddie glared.

David shook his head, "You know, Maddie, you are nuts. Last night, you said it was uncomfortable to be in the same room with me, but now, you'd rather be around me than spend time with your daughter?"

Maddie looked away, "It's not that I don't want to spend time with her. I know that she resents me and there's nothing I can do. I'm not even sure why she feels that way. We used to be so close when she was in high school, but one year of college and then, we collide. I feel like I'm only her agent, not her mother."

David sighed and sat on the desk next to Maddie, "What's it like when you talk to her?"

"It's only business. I used to ask her questions and she closed up, so now, we only talk about modeling options. I didn't know she had a boyfriend until you told me he was coming with her. I feel like she resents me being her agent as well."

"Did you deny her any shoots?"

"Only with the photographers or company heads I know have reputations. There was one shoot I know she wanted, but it was the summer before college when we still got along."

David did not realize what had been going on with Maddie and their daughter, but of course, Maddie and he had been separated for most of that time. He wished he could help her.

Finally, he asked, "Do you mind if I suggest it to the kids?"

Maddie shook her head. David got up and took Maddie's hand to help her stand and they left the office to go to the kitchen. David quickly came back to grab the tray he left and then went back to walk with Maddie.

When they entered the kitchen, Mattie, Jacob, and Davy were laughing.

Maddie smiled at them and asked, "What did we miss?"

Jacob answered, "Just learning about the troublemakers here."

Mattie became serious, "Hey, I wasn't that bad." A smirk touched her lips.

David replied, "Believe me, you were."

Maddie seeing Mattie's face added, "You inherited your father's impishness just like Davy, but after some of your pranks, you haven't learned how to keep a straight face yet."

Everyone laughed and was in good humor.

David then spoke up, "Hey, I got an idea. Jacob, I have three tickets to the Dodgers' preseason game tonight. Davy and I were going with Maddie, but she's not a baseball fan. Might I interest you?"

Jacob replied, "I'd be honored, David."

Mattie looked at Jacob, "If you don't mind, Jacob, then I'll try to get together with some of my friends tonight."

Maddie's face fell and she quickly moved to clean up the dishes so no one would see her face.

Jacob sensed Maddie's feelings, "Actually, Mattie, I think since I'm spending time with your father and brother, then you should catch up with your mother."

Maddie quietly held her breath wondering how her daughter would respond.

Mattie's eyes widened as she slowly responded, "I don't know, Jacob, I mean, Mom probably has a lot of work to do."

Jacob sent his disappointment to Mattie and she did not look him in the eye.

Maddie realized that her daughter did not want to spend time with her, so she replied, "Mattie's right, I do have a lot of work."

David spoke up, "But, Maddie, it's the first time Mattie's been home in three years." He was disappointed in his daughter and he knew Maddie was being nice.

"David, don't worry about it. Mattie and I will have plenty of time before they leave for New York."

Mattie felt a sinking sensation as she felt her mother's work was more important than she was. She stood up, "Well, I better call the girls if I'm going to try to meet them tonight." She left the kitchen. Jacob followed.

Maddie slumped once Mattie was gone. David came up behind her and had put his arms around her. She slowly relaxed into him. No matter what was going on between them, she knew David would always be there for her and give her strength when she needed it. She also knew that if she and David talked, really talked, then their separation would be over, but Maddie could not bring herself to talk to him. It was her fault again and she did not know why she messed up their relationship after all these years.


In the living room, Mattie was about to pick up a phone when Jacob took it away.

"Jacob, what are you doing?"

"Do you realize how hurt your mother is?"

"You heard her, she has to work."

"No, she said that so you wouldn't be forced into spending time with her."

"Don't you feel what I feel too?"

"If you had just asked her to spend time with you, she wouldn't have said she needed to work and then you wouldn't feel like she cares more about her work than you."

Jacob decided to put the phone down. "Fine, call your friends, Mattie."

Mattie grabbed his arm as he walked away, "Jacob, why are you so angry with me?"

Jacob looked at her, "You know why."

"I'm sorry you never got to know your mother, but I know my mother and we don't have anything in common."

Jacob shook his head, "You're both models, your mother told me last night that she also went to college in New York City. You're right, nothing in common at all."

Mattie sighed, "Well, New York has changed in the last forty years. And I'll admit we have modeling in common, but other than that, we can't talk."

"Try."


In the kitchen, Maddie was still in David's arms. They both wanted to savor feeling each other's presence. It took all of David's willpower to not begin kissing that spot on the back of her neck, but he did not want to ruin anything. Maddie knew that she should pull away, but she had to admit that she needed David. Maybe they were not meant to be together together, but they were meant to go through life together. What she said while she was married to Walter over twenty years ago still held true. What they had went beyond vows, it was in their hearts and in their minds and only the two of them would understand it.

Davy watched his parents. He could not understand them since they had been separated for a long time, but the way they were right now showed that their feelings were still there. He slowly stood from his seat and headed towards the living room. Unfortunately –

"Ouch!" The two siblings were rubbing their heads. It was enough to break the spell between Maddie and David, and so, they pulled away from each other.

Mattie glared at her brother, "Davy!"

"Mattie!"

Maddie walked to the doorway, "What is going on?"

Davy spoke, "Nothing, Mom, I was going upstairs to work on a research paper and I didn't know that Mattie was coming in. Then, the big bang."

Maddie and David looked at each other as those words triggered the memory of another big bang. They quickly looked away.

Maddie then asked, "Was this worth all the drama?"

Davy and Mattie shook their heads. Maddie rolled her eyes, "Then, just apologize to each other and move on."

David worked very hard to not look at Maddie. In his opinion, all she had to do was apologize, they would talk everything out, and then, they could be together again.

Both Davy and Mattie said, "I'm sorry."

"Good, now, Davy, when is this paper due?"

"It's my final project for English. The teacher just wants to see us make progress until the end of the year when it's due."

"All right, get to it."

Davy left.

Maddie looked at David, "You know, it's hard to believe those two are legally adults at times."

"Hey, they're part Addison. They'll always have a part that's young at heart."

Maddie could not help but let a little smile come to her face. While she did not want to admit it, she liked the concept that their children would always be like David. David had matured more since their marriage, but he kept, she guessed she would call it, the spirit of being David.

They finally noticed that Mattie was just standing in the doorway looking at them.

Maddie asked, "Do you need something, Mattie?"

"Sort of. Do you really have to work tonight?"

Maddie wondered what her daughter was thinking. She shrugged, "The work is not due immediately. I just like to be ahead."

Mattie started slowly, "Well, I was wondering if we could do something tonight?"

Maddie tried not to show her surprise, "What about your friends?"

"They are getting together in three days, so we're not doing anything tonight."

Maddie looked down for a quick second and then looked up, "Sure. Do you want to watch a movie or something else? Since you haven't been home in a while, I'll let you decide."

"Maybe a movie, but we can watch it here. One movie I haven't seen in a long time is The Heartbreak Kid."

"You know where it is."

"Great." With that, Mattie left.

David asked, "Whatever happened to the great action flicks like Die Hard? You would have a whole series of movies to keep you busy tonight."

Maddie rolled her eyes and went back to the dishes.

David then said, "Oh well, I guess you two like that model-turned actress. Make sure though, that Mattie doesn't get any ideas into her head."

Maddie turned to him, "What ideas?"

"Out of everything our daughter can do, I don't want acting to be one of them. Everyone sleeps with each other, tabloids, paparazzi, blech!"

"David, even as a model, I dealt with the paparazzi and since Mattie is becoming successful, she will too. You know I'm trying to protect her. However, if she gets a chance at acting, she will make the decision, but I don't think she will do it."

"Good and point out that model as an example. She broke up a marriage, started living with him, and got a bad reputation. It was only after she left Hollywood for a few years, got a television show, that she could come back from it."

"David, remember, I was the first person Peter dated after he broke up with her."

"Did you ever meet her?"

"I met her once or twice."

"How many other stars or big honchos did you date?"

"It's none of your business. Besides, we all ready had this conversation."

"No, we didn't. Twenty-three years ago, we a conversation when I guessed how many men you've been 'intimate' with and I happened to be right with the exception of slippery when wet. Although, I was sort of right with him since he showed you how to use a stick and boy, did I reap the benefits."

"David! You realize children could be reading this."

"This story is rated T for Teen. It's more of a warning than we gave on our show when we used innuendos. The best one was when you were on the floor, your derriere up slightly, and I asked you if you were praying or if you finally came to your senses. I still have no idea how that got past the censors."

Maddie rolled her eyes and knew it was better not to reply.

David finally asked, "So, you happy now?"

"Yes and no. Mattie wouldn't have had time to call her friends since it couldn't have been longer than five minutes. I think she changed her mind. I guess I'm nervous. I don't know."

David thought, Uh oh. He asked, "You're not going to bail on her, are you?"

"Of course not."

"Are you feeling ambivalent?"

Maddie realized where David was going – he thought she was acting like the night that she ran to Chicago. "No, I'm actually nervous. I'll admit I'm nervous. Does that satisfy you?"

"Maddie, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to get you riled up. While I still feel the way I do for you, I want to protect our daughter first. I wish I knew what was going on with you. We might skipped around things we should have talked about, but we would finally talk about them directly."

"David, I didn't ask you to come here to fix our relationship. I wanted a nice visit for Mattie and Jacob."

"I know, but don't you think we should while I'm here. Even if we don't fix the marriage, what about our friendship?"

"No matter what, David, mad at you, not even talking to you, I'll always think of you as my best friend. Not a pal, believe me, I haven't used that term in over twenty years."

"Okay, so no matter what is going on with the marriage aspect, we're best friends. Right?"

"Of course."

"Then, Bestie, when Mattie and Jacob leave, do you want to go to a movie or something? Just hanging out, no pressure, no talking about the kids or marriage, just two best buds spending some time together."

Maddie took a deep breath before looking up and smiling at him, "I would like that."

"Great!"

"Great!"

If nothing else, this was what Maddie wanted – a deep friendship with David where they could be themselves. Maybe marriage was too much pressure for her and that is why she ruined it. She hated to think about what happened, but she was happy that David did not hold any hard feelings. Instead, he wanted to give them a second, no, make that third chance. Maddie realized immediately that she ruined her second chance and she did not want to mess up a third time. While the logic did not make much sense, even to her mind, she felt that because she loved David so much she needed to push him away. Of course, that did not work – David always tried to find activities that he could do with Davy and ended up inviting Maddie. They saw each other at least twice a month and talked on the phone many more times whether it was to discuss one of Mattie's covers or when they heard from her, Davy's schoolwork, their businesses, or even their personal lives since at one point, they both were dating someone. They asked each other for advice and listened to each other, but when they saw each other in person, that was when everything became awkward. David did not discuss their relationship over the phone because he felt it was something that had to happen when they were face-to-face. When they went out with Davy and came back, once Davy went upstairs, David would try to talk to Maddie about them and she would get defensive. It usually ended with an explosion and David slamming the door out of the house. Maddie felt awful after, but she also felt she had no choice.

When she had decided to push David away, she did not think beyond a separation. Divorce had never gone through her head, but now, she realized that after being separated for two years, their marriage had to go somewhere whether it was a divorce or reconciling.

David and Maddie kept looking at each other after making their friendship outing. David could not help himself and he leaned closer. Maddie wanted to pull away, but the way David affected her was too strong. She leaned in as well and their lips touched. It was not a passionate kiss, but they still felt the sparks. They pulled away after a few seconds.

Maddie's first instinct was to get defensive and yell at David for taking advantage, but she did not. David saw the look in her eyes and decided to speak, "Maddie, don't read into it like you're doing. We both know that there will always be something between us. Think of the kiss as sealing our friendship, just like when you thanked me for the pearls that you're wearing now."

Maddie's hand went to her neck and she touched the pearls. "Besides Mattie and Davy, they are the greatest gift anyone has ever given to me."

"Same here with the car you gave me after Mattie's birth." It was not a teeny mobile in case you were wondering. It was a black 1974 Jenson Healey Roadster, not practical for a family but if David needed to drive the kids somewhere, he and Maddie switched cars that day.

David looked around, "I like how the author keeps commentating."

Maddie raised an eyebrow, "You noticed? Although it seems like she only wants to insult me between my cooking and the first car I gave you."

"Well, I can personally vouch that you've improved on both levels. Would you have eaten your own cooking before we were canceled?"

Maddie shrugged, "You have a point. I would have taken more cooking lessons back then if it had not been for the near death experience in the garage."

David's stomach sank at the memory. If he had not been so stupid with Annie, then Maddie would have come to him herself, he would have stayed with her, and maybe their relationship would have been fixed earlier. Of course, what happened back then might not have had an influence on what happened between them now, but he was sure that what did happen was some kind of misunderstanding that Maddie would not allow to be resolved.

He remembered that day. He took Annie to lunch and somehow, she talked about how they should be living together and not disturbing Maddie. He found himself agreeing, especially when Maddie's refusal to go dancing with him again flitted through his mind. That night, Annie came with her suitcases and told him about Maddie. It took all his strength to not run out of his apartment straight to Maddie's house. As Annie tried to seduce him that night, all he could think about was Maddie and ended up telling her that he felt a migraine coming, something that happened once in a while. The next morning, he was on pins and needles waiting for Maddie to come to the office and as soon as he saw her, he could not help himself and had to run to her making sure she was real and alive.

Maddie saw David's face fall and she knew he was reliving the memory. She asked tentatively, "David?"

David was pulled out of his thoughts and just looked at her.

She decided to put her hand to his face, "I'm all right, remember. I'm here."

David shook his head and took her hand in his, "You have no idea what it was like not being able to call you or run to your house to protect you. You have to know that I wanted to do that more than anything."

Maddie felt herself melt and wished that she could harden herself against his words. Finally after remaining quiet for a few seconds, Maddie replied, "I believe you."

They continued looking at each other and their hands did not move. Maddie broke eye contact knowing that if she looked at him any longer, their children, no matter how old they were, would have walked in on something that would scar them for life. How they managed to avoid their children walking in on them when they were intimate in the past, they would never know. Maddie tried to harden herself against her feelings for David, and while externally she was able to do that, internally, she had a major battle that she faced every second she was around him.

David was happy to know that he still had an effect on Maddie, but he wished he knew what would have an effect to get her to talk to him. He decided to let her off the hook and so, letting go of her hand he changed the subject. "So, anyway, why doesn't the whole family go out to lunch? My treat. And when is your mother coming over?"

"Tomorrow, and the Violas and the Bishops are coming the day after."

"You don't have your usual wild night with Agnes this week, right?"

"No, Terri volunteered to go out with her, especially since we're going to New York for Mattie's graduation. Does Bert come to the bar often?"

"You think Agnes would let him?"

Maddie smiled, "Good point."

"Besides, he would drive all my customers away."

Maddie looked away from David, "So you asked Agnes to keep Bert away?"

David shrugged, "Business is business."

"Too bad we couldn't have asked her to keep him away from Blue Moon."

David shrugged again, "Kinda hard when he worked for us. We would've been paying him for doing nothing."

Maddie raised an eyebrow, "Wasn't the motto of the Wobblies 'no work and pay?' Something I think was started by you."

"They worked sometimes, just not enough to actually be worth what we were paying them."

Maddie rolled her eyes and tried to work on the dishes again. "Thankfully, we now have employees who are willing to work and earn every penny of their paychecks."

David leaned behind her, "So, when do you hold the limbo contests?"

Maddie did not look back at him, "I don't hold limbo contests… I hold chess matches every other week."

David was not sure how to react. He was surprised that Maddie held any kind of competition for her employees, but chess was so boring. He decided to respond sarcastically, "Chess? How do they manage to contain their excitement?"

Maddie turned around and David pinned her to the sink. She pretended, with great effort, not to notice, "Remember, my employees are almost twenty years older than when you helped me, and two of them were in their forties or fifties. They asked me to switch from the limbo contests to something less strenuous."

David's mouth fell open.

Maddie rolled her eyes, "David, many times when you've stated the obvious, I would respond with 'no flies on you' but if you keep your mouth wide open, you'll be catching plenty."

David's mouth closed immediately and he finally regained words, "You never told me you continued the limbo contests."

Maddie smirked, "I knew if I did you would hold it over my head for the rest of our lives. I actually won the first time I began them again."

"Madolyn Hayes, I have never been more in love with you than this minute, with the exception of our kids' births."

Maddie was starting to lose control again. She knew that David was joking, but very serious at the same time and he still had her pinned against the sink. Damn him!

She tried to stop the sparks, "David, I really need to finish the dishes."

David released his arms and she turned back to the sink. He grabbed the rest of the dishes off the table and brought them to her. He then asked sensuously in her ear, "Need any help?"

Maddie could not help but shiver. It had been too long and the reminders of the past were right behind her. However, they were separated – she had to fight this. "David, what if the kids come in?" Damn! That did not come out the way I wanted.

David was pleasantly surprised that Maddie did not push him away fully, but was only asking him to wait since they were not in a private area of the house. He decided to relent, but not before dropping a light kiss against that spot.

Maddie dropped the dish in her hand, but thankfully, it was not a big drop so it did not break. Not even twenty-four hours with him and she was all ready putty. She needed to sleep in her office tonight or else something would happen between them that she would regret and not regret at the same time. She knew if the word "pact" came out in the morning, neither one would survive.

David then said in a normal tone, "I'll see if the kids are ready for lunch yet." With that, he left the kitchen.

Maddie sagged against the sink. Davy's words from last night were coming back to haunt her, How are you going to pull this off? Her words were also valid, I don't know. She truly loved David and wanted to be with him, but she could not allow herself to do so.


Lunch went smoothly and soon enough, it was time for the guys to leave for Dodgers Stadium leaving Maddie and her daughter alone. It was not without incident as David managed to sneak Maddie away from the group and kissed her lightly. He whispered, "Until tonight."

Jacob also before he left with the Addison males managed to Mattie alone for a couple of minutes to quickly tell her that her parents were married before she was conceived.

She asked, "How do you know this?"

"Your father told me. Don't ask me more. If you want to know for sure, ask your mother while you are alone tonight."

Mattie looked skeptically at him.

When the guys had left, Mattie and Maddie were left alone and the silence was awkward.

Maddie asked, "So, want to watch the movie?"

Mattie nodded, "Sure, I all ready put it by the DVD player."

The women went into the living room. Mattie had set up the movie and they both sat on the couch. They shared a few laughs and actually enjoyed themselves. When the movie was over, Maddie asked, "Do you want to watch another?"

Mattie knew that Jacob would be pestering her later on if she did not talk to her mother so she responded, "Not right now. Um, maybe we could talk?"

Maddie was surprised but happily responded, "Of course."

There was another awkward silence since neither was sure who should start. Mattie began, "I'm guessing you want to know more about Jacob and me."

Maddie of course was curious, but she said, "Only if you don't mind."

Mattie hesitated, "I don't mind exactly, but I don't think you'll believe me."

Maddie looked confused, "What do you mean?"

"What Jacob and I have is unusual and it's hard to explain."

Maddie replied, "When you think you love someone, it's always hard to describe."

"Mom, I don't think I'm in love, I know I'm in love with Jacob."

"Mattie, first, let me say that I like Jacob, a lot as a matter of fact, but you're both so young that you could meet someone else. I thought I was in love with several men when I was your age."

"This is different. I know I'm in love with Jacob and that we're meant to be together."

Maddie wanted to let it go, but she could not help but remember her own stupidity when she was young and even into her late thirties. Of course, there was the stupidity now, but she was not going to dwell on that. "I just don't want you to lose your practicality."

"I'm not. It's hard to explain and you won't believe me."

Maddie sighed, "All right, Mattie, tell me and I promise to keep an open mind."

Mattie took a deep breath and began, "It all began when I was a freshman…"


*FLASHBACK THREE YEARS AGO*

Mattie was in her freshman year of college. Her roommate, Deborah, and two other girls were with her. Jacob, in his second year of law school walking, was reading a law book getting ready for a test and was not paying attention to where he was going and bumped into the girls. Mattie fell and Jacob helped her up. He also picked up a book belonging to one of the girls and handed it to her.

"I'm so sorry."

One girl said, "You better watch it."

"I really am sorry."

Jacob grabbed his book and ran, his face red.

The girls started walking again. Mattie looked a little dazed and Deborah noticed, "Hey, Mattie, are you all right?"

Mattie snapped out of it and replied, "What? Oh, I'm fine. I just feel a little strange."

"What do you mean?"

"I feel embarrassed for some reason."

"Why? He was the one who knocked you over. There's nothing to be embarrassed about."

"I know – that's why it's so strange."

*END FLASHBACK*


Maddie listened confused at what her daughter was telling her. "So you met Jacob two years earlier?"

Mattie nodded, "Mom, what I wanted you to know is that I felt embarrassed and there was no reason to be embarrassed. What I was feeling was Jacob's embarrassment."

Maddie was lost, "What do you mean?"

"Jacob felt embarrassed that he wasn't paying attention and I could feel that. A few minutes later, I felt an intense concentration, determination, and Jacob was taking a test at that same time. I had lunch with my friends and no classes that afternoon so I had nothing to concentrate on. About four hours later, the strange feelings disappeared."

"Mattie, I don't understand."

"Jacob inherited something from his father, it's empathy. When people are near him, he is sensitive to what they are feeling. Last night, Jacob answered questions you had but never asked because he could sense them."

Maddie thought to the night before and had to admit that there was something different about Jacob and while this explanation was farfetched, it did explain the strangeness or the difference about him. "It's hard to believe, Mattie, but I still don't understand what you were talking about."

"Believe me, Mom, it's hard to describe. I lost the strange feeling when Jacob spoke to his father. He lives at home."


*FLASHBACK*

Jacob walked through the tunnels below New York City. He then walked into his father's, Vincent's, chamber. Vincent sat at his table writing in his journal. He did not look up, "Come in, Jacob."

Jacob moved inside more, "Sorry, Father, I did not want to disturb you."

Vincent looked up, "It's never a disturbance. How was your test?"

"I think it went fine. I just had to concentrate more than usual."

Vincent closed his journal and stood up, "What's troubling you?"

"Father, can you describe the bond that you and Mom had?"

"It was like we were one. I could feel her heart beating next to mine. I knew everything she was feeling, almost could tell what she was thinking."

"Father, I think I feel a bond with someone. I can feel another heart beating. I also feel a confusion and while I'm confused, it's a different type of confusion from how I feel. When did the bond with Mom begin after you found her?"

Vincent started to get lost in his memories, "As soon as I touched her. I turned her over to take her pulse and I suddenly felt her heart. There were no emotional feelings from her because she was unconscious, but once she woke up, I felt a great fear that I knew was hers." He came back and asked, "Who is this person you have a bond with?"

Jacob threw up his hands, "I don't know. I was so lost in my studying while walking to class that I walked into a group of girls and I touched two of them. One I actually knocked down and one I gave her back her book. I apologized, picked up my things, and left quickly because I was so embarrassed. I don't know which girl and I don't know her name. I just know I can feel what she is feeling and I think her confusion is because she can feel what I feel. Dad, you never mentioned if Mom could feel you."

"She could when I had let my guard down. Jacob, you have a greater advantage than I did. I spent most of my life at that point thinking that a relationship with a woman was never meant to be. Therefore, when I fell in love with your mother, the feelings were so intense that I quickly decided I needed to keep the bond from her. While she was healing down here, she could feel my presence and I taught myself how to hide the bond from her during those ten days. She could feel me when I was in trouble once, a cave-in in the Maze, and there were other times."

"Father, until I can find out who she is, I need to hide this from her and I need to make it less…"

"Intense?"

Jacob nodded. Vincent said, "I can help you."

*END FLASHBACK*


Maddie was still confused, "Where does Jacob live? He made it seem like it's very separated from New York City. And where are there mines near New York that there would be a cave-in?"

Mattie slapped her hands over her mouth, "Did I say cave-in?"

Maddie nodded. Mattie sighed, "I can't explain right now about the cave-in. I'll explain when you come to New York for my commencement. Which reminds me, Jacob's father has invited you, Dad, Davy, and Grandma to stay with him and the rest of Jacob's family. Believe me, there is plenty of room."

Maddie replied, "I guess that would be nice to get to know him. Wait a minute, what did you say his name was?"

"His name is Vincent and Jacob's grandfather is named Jacob Wells, but everyone calls him Father, except my Jacob of course. The older Jacob founded the community and Vincent has since taken over."

"Where do they live?"

"Close to the city."

Maddie was a little frustrated, "Such as Long Island, Manhattan itself, Staten Island?"

"Yes."

"Mattie, you can tell me."

"I will, Mom, I promise, but I can't until you come to New York."

Maddie decided to let it go, "Fine, now I don't understand the… bond, did you call it?"

"Jacob and I are bonded together. We can feel what the other is feeling all the time. I know right now that whatever team Jacob is rooting for is winning because his is excited about the game. I also know that Jacob knows you and I are talking about him and his family because he can feel my cautiousness not trying to reveal too much."

Maddie thought back to the other night and suddenly felt panicky. Davy told Mattie about her and David. She needed to ask, "Jacob and I were talking before dinner when he looked off and then excused himself going up the stairs. Was there something that Davy told you and Jacob felt it?"

Mattie knew what her mother was talking about, but she did not want to squeal on Davy. She replied, "He felt my surprised when Davy told me he was dating Amanda Viola."

Maddie was not sure what to believe, "Would that cause enough of a reaction?"

Mattie looked down and then looked up, "Jacob is slightly overprotective of me. It has to do with his mother's death. Just before she disappeared, Jacob's father was very ill and their bond was lost. Vincent still blames himself for losing the bond and Jacob wants to be sure our bond is never lost."

"How old was Jacob when his mother disappeared? I remember something about it, but I don't remember when."

"He was not even born and Catherine did not have a chance to tell Vincent about him. From what I learned, Catherine was involved in an investigation that led to the District Attorney of Manhattan at the time and so he helped arrange her kidnapping. He worked for a drug lord who decided to keep Catherine alive when they discovered she was pregnant and there were… special traits that he wanted. She was murdered after Jacob's birth. Vincent found her before she died and she was able to tell him then. He was able to rescue Jacob soon after."

Maddie was horrified at the story, "I… I… I don't know what to say. Vincent lost his wife and son, but he managed to keep… going and save Jacob?"

"Vincent is the most amazing person, Mom. You won't believe it until you see him. I should tell you though that Catherine was not exactly his wife, she was his bond mate, just like Jacob and I. Vincent never thought he was good enough for her because she was wealthy and lived a different life from him so he never proposed. He gave Jacob and me advice to never feel that way and so we haven't."

Maddie was in shock, "You and Jacob are married."

"No, but like I said before, Vincent's home is a community separated from the rest of the world. Some of the people there decided to stay and so, they do not legally exist outside of the community. Vincent does not legally exist. Jacob does, but his birth certificate does not mention a father. Anyway, the community has its own sets of customs and traditions. For those who want to be, for the lack of a better word, married, there is a joining ceremony. Not legal here, but it's more of a public commitment in front of the community. Those who join never separate."

Maddie wanted to avoid her daughter's eye at her last statement. However, she realized, "You and Jacob joined?"

Mattie nodded, "Jacob and I are joined. We've talked about getting married legally, but we want to wait until Jacob is out of school and we can plan it together."

"Did he propose?"

"He asked me to join with him. The ceremony was three months ago."

Maddie wished that she and David had been there, but decided not to voice her feelings. "Well, I guess you might be in love. Obviously, I cannot judge for sure." She relaxed a little, "All your father and I want is for you to be happy. Just do me one favor."

"What, Mom?"

"Do not stay with Jacob until you tell your father about your relationship. I think he was ready to hit Jacob when he realized you were together last night."

Mattie nodded, "I understand."

"Do you live with Jacob?"

"In the community, yes. We want to be together and not let anything get in our way. Can't you understand?"

Maddie looked away. How many times twenty-five or so years ago did she want to say something to David about how she felt but something was in the way? How many times now did she want to say something but her fears and confusion were in the way? Slowly, she said, "I wish… I could. Unfortunately, not letting things get in the way has always been a problem for me, but… if you can do it, I'll support you."

Mattie was amazed at what her mother said considering everything, especially adding her parents' separation on top of it. She smiled at her mother and actually gave her a hug. Maddie felt tears come to her eyes, but she managed to contain them.

For another hour, they talked about modeling and Maddie told her daughter some stories from her past. Mattie was surprised at how well her mother took everything. She knew her mother was confused, but she was happy that her mother was not questioning her. She also loved learning about her mother as a model. Maddie, on the other hand, had millions of questions, but she did not want to push her daughter away. The progress they made tonight was enough for now.

It was becoming late and so, both women went to bed. The guys would not be home for hours since the traffic would be heavy back from Dodgers Stadium. Mattie wrote a note for Jacob telling him about what happened with her mother including the promise and left it on his bed. Maddie decided that since she would be asleep by the time David came home, it would be safe to sleep in her room on the couch. She decided to change into her silk pajamas because she was a little overheated the night before.


When the guys came home, each went to his own room. They all had fun – the Dodgers won – and while it was not a time to talk seriously, David still decided he liked Jacob, but he wanted to know more about their relationship. When Jacob entered his room, he read the note from Mattie and agreed with her.

David entered the bedroom and was disappointed to see Maddie sleeping on the couch. Well, they never got a chance to clarify what tonight could be so maybe that was why she chose the couch. David wanted to hold Maddie in his arms tonight and he knew the couch could not have been that comfortable – he would know since some of their fights in the past landed him there. He decided to go for it. He walked to the couch and carefully picked Maddie up. She stirred a little but not enough to awake. He carried her to the bed and gently had put her down. He then brushed her hair out of her face and placed a light kiss to her lips. She whispered his name with a small smile, but she still did not wake up.

David decided since they were going to spend the night in each other's arms and that Maddie would not realize until morning, for his safety, he would remain fully dressed. He changed into his holey sweatpants and grabbed a T-shirt he brought. He slowly slid into bed and gathered Maddie into his arms. Feeling better than he had in two years, he fell into a deep sleep.