Title: A New Start (Tentative title what do you think?)

Author: Inquisitive1

Email: Inquisitive1@angelfire.com

Distribution: Sooner or later my site http://www.angelfire.com/tv/inqstive1sfanfiction

Disclaimer: I own only the characters not on a show. My first Witchblade fic

Rating: Unsure

Summary: Future fic... Sara and Ian find out something interesting... what happens next.

Couples: Ian/Sara.

Note: I am ignoring the season finale and the possibility that Ian and Sara are related.

Images I like messing with storylines and such so if I go off tough.

Anastasia appears May 2003- six months old

Born- December 2, 2002

______________

Chapter 1

May 2003

      "Pezzini" Sara yawns picking up the phone

      "Its me open the door. I need to talk to you." the familiar voice says then hangs up.

      Sara groans hanging up the phone "What the hell does he want?" she mutters getting out of bed she pulls on her pants heading to the door. "Nottingham its three in the mornin..." she trails off as she finds the dark haired assassin with a sleeping baby in his arms. "OK Ian what are you doing with a child?" she demands

      Ian looks over his shoulder obviously worried "May we talk about this inside?" he requests

      Sara steps aside letting him in. "Ian spill what is going on? Who is the kid?"

      "I need to put her down."

      "I'll put her down" Sara holds out her arms

      Ian looks at the baby then at Sara's arms carefully he hands the infant to Sara.

      As Sara takes the baby she gasps feeling the Witchblade heat up. She looks at her wrist to see the colors flaring up.

      Sara in the hospital

      The baby being born.

      Irons staring at the newborn with fascination.

      Sara looks at Ian "Who is she?"

      Ian looks down

      Sara swallows looking at the infant in her arms "Mine?"

      "Yes" Ian says softly

      Sara closes her eyes "How old is she?"

      "I do not know." he looks at her

      Sara looks at the baby thoughtfully "What's her name?"

      "They just call her Anastasia."

      Sara nods turning around she continues to the bed.

      Ian stands there watching as Sara sets the baby down on the bed.

      Sara places pillows around the baby sitting there she stares at the baby. Sensing Ian standing beside her she speaks without looking up "Is Irons her father?" she asks hoarsely

      "No" Ian replies

      Sara strokes the baby's cheek then looks up to catch Ian's eyes before he looks down. "Ian who is her father?" she demands. She stands allowing the Witchblade to activate to sword she holds it to his neck. "Tell me who is her father?"

      Ian lifts his eyes

      Sara stares at him her eyes wide "You? Tell me Ian are you her father?" she demands

      Ian nods

      Sara looks at the baby "How long have you know about her Ian?"

      "A few days. I overheard his conversation with the doctor."

      "Does he know you know?"

      "No."

      "Let's talk in the kitchen. I don't want to wake her." she heads into the kitchen knowing Ian will follow

      "She won't wake for a few more hours. I had her sedated before we left."

      "WHAT?!" Sara exclaims

      "I did not want to risk her waking up."

      Sara sets the tea kettle on the stove "Ian how did you get her out?"

      "Her doctor brought her to me."

      Sara looks at him her eyes searching "Did you kill him?"

      Ian looks down "I had no choice. He would have told him."

      "Ian I don't understand how did Irons manage to do this?"

      "It is my fault. I should have watched over you better. I should not have let you out of my sight when you were in the hospital."

      Sara inhales sharply "You mean the doctor..."

      Ian nods

      Sara slides to the floor

      Ian moves around the counter crouching before her

      "Why'd he do this to either of us? To a child?" she looks at him tears in her eyes "Ian he's going to find out she's here."

      "Do what you can to insure that he can't take her from you. Leave if you have too. Protect her Sara Pezzini."

      "I can't hightail it out of here Ian. I have a job. A life."

      "And now a child. A child that he would love to possess."

      "I won't let that happen."

      "I know. Do what you can."

      "I will." Sara stands as the kettle whistles. "Ian why would he do this? What reason would he have?"

      Ian stands "I do not know but I will find out." he touches her arm "I will do what I can to make sure he does not get his hands on her."

      "Why? Your his stooge."

      Ian winces looking down "I was raised by him. I know what would happen to her. I am not heartless Sara. I would not want that for anyone especially not a child." he tilts his head "Especially not one who belongs to you. I swore that I would protect you and that includes your child"

      Sara touches his hand "And if I was not her mother? Would you have left her there?"

      Ian looks at her hand then her face "I still would have brought her to you."

      "Why?"

      "Because I would want my child raised by someone like you. Someone who would grow to love her regardless of who she belongs to."

      "Oh"

      Ian stands "I should go before he gets suspicious." he looks towards the bed "I'll do what I can to keep him away from you." he walks towards the door

      Sara stands following him "Ian"

      "Go back to bed." he gives her a knowing look as if to say 'I'll see you later.'

      "Thank you"

      Ian nods walking out of the apartment.

      Sara locks the door going over to the bed she looks at the sleeping baby stroking her plump cheek. 'She's so beautiful.' she shakes her head "Pez what the hell do you know about raising a baby." she sighs "Looks like I'm going to have to learn."

      "Its not too hard." a voice says

      Sara starts "Damn it Danny what is with you and Nottingham scaring me like that." she looks at her ghost partner annoyed.

      Danny looks at the sleeping baby "She is beautiful."

      "Danny how old do you think she is?"

      "Probably about six seven months."

      "Danny how am I supposed to raise a baby? My work is too demanding."

      "Ask your friend Gabriel to help you."

      "Should I bring him into this?"

      "She needs her mother."

      "She also needs her father."

      Danny looks towards the door "Something tells me Nottingham will be there for her when she needs him. And when you need him"

      Sara looks up to see Danny gone "I hope so." she reaches for the bedside phone "I guess I'm going to have to trust Gabe." she mutters dialing the number

      "Uh" the sleepy voice grunts

      "Hey its Pez. Can you come over in the morning?"

      "Uh sure what time?"

      "Early as possible. I don't need to work tomorrow but I need a favor"

      "What for?"

      "I'll tell you when you get here" she hangs up setting the phone down. Laying down her body next to the baby she puts her hand on the baby's chest. "Well Anastasia looks like we're stuck together." she watches as trendles of the Witchblade reach out touching the baby's cheek. "You know the truth don't you" she mutters at the bracelet. Slowly she drifts off to sleep.

Chapter 2

6 AM

      Sara awakens with a start as she hears a baby cry. She groans remembering the earlier events. She sits up lifting up the crying infant. "Shh Anastasia its OK. Your safe now" she soothes holding the baby close. "No one's going to hurt you."

      Anastasia calms her cries becoming sniffles as she regards the new voice.

      Sara looks at the baby surprised by her intense look "I take it that look is in the Nottingham genes." she says with a laugh. She smoothes the baby's dark hair "I wonder who you look more like."

      "I think she has your face" Danny says

      Sara jumps "Danny don't do that." she turns around to find her ghost friend standing there.

      Anastasia coos waving her arms

      "Can she see you?" Sara asks

      "Babies and children believe in more than adults." Danny says his eyes on the baby. "She probably holds aspects of the Witchblade in her blood."

      "How so?"

      "She was made after your trial when the Witchblade bonded itself to you." Danny says "He knows about me too."

      "Does Irons know she's gone?"

      "Most likely."

      Sara nods "See Anastasia that's your Uncle Danny."

      Anastasia grins cooing happily

      "She seems to have adjusted quite well" Danny states

      "Do you think she knows who I am?"

      "Children seem to know who their parents are and who's going to take care of them."

      Anastasia chatters

      "She probably needs to be changed" Danny says

      "I have no diapers here." Sara reminds "Or formula. Or anything for a baby. I'll have to wait until Gabe gets here before I can go get diapers and stuff." she carries the baby into the kitchen. "So Ana how about we get you some graham crackers to snack on until I can go get you some formula." she grabs a box of graham cracker taking one she offers it to the baby. She watches fascinated as the baby takes the cracker looking at it curiously. "You like graham crackers?"

      Anastasia grins taking a bite she chews thoughtfully.

7 AM

      "Hey Pez" Gabe calls

      Sara sets the infant on the floor going to the door she opens it to find the younger man standing there holding two cups of coffee. "One of those for me?"

      "Of course." Gabe hands her one "So what did you want?"

      "There's someone I'd like you to meet." Sara gestures with her head

      Gabe enters "Who?"

      "She's in here" Sara leads him to the livingroom

      Gabe starts seeing the infant on the floor "Who is that?"

      Sara sets the cup down picking up the baby "This is Anastasia... she's my daughter."

      Gabe stares at Pez stunned "When were you pregnant?"

      "Never." Sara replies kissing Anastasia's head "Irons had her created in a lab." she says bitterly

      "What?! Why?"

      "I don't know why."

      "How do you know that she's yours?"

      Sara looks at the bracelet

      "It told you?"

      Sara nods

      "Who brought her here?"

      Sara fidgets

      "Don't tell me tall dark and scary brought her here"

      "He did. Look I need a huge favor."

      "What kind?" he asks suspiciously

      "Can you watch her for the next few days while I'm at work?"

      "Pez you have today off" Gabe reminds

      "Yes but I need to go to the grocery store and pick up somethings and I don't want to take her with me right now. Please Gabe... I won't actually need you to watch her full time until tomorrow."

      "Pez I know nothing about babies" Gabe protests

      "Gabe other than you the only other person I can trust is Jake and he can't watch her. He'll ask questions I can't answer."

      "Pez" he groans

      "Please Gabe." Sara pleads

      "Fine all right I'll watch her. Only for a few days."

      "Gabe I could kiss you" Sara says

      "OK"

      "Very funny. Look I'll go get her some diapers and formula and some toys. I'll only be a while"

      "Don't forget some bottles" Gabe says

      "Here" Sara carefully hands the baby to Gabe. "I'll be back in half hour. And Gabe if Ian stops by don't freak out OK."

      "Why would he?"

      "Its Ian. He shows up everywhere" Sara reminds grabbing her jacket she stops to kiss Anastasia's cheek. "Have fun with Uncle Gabe Ana"

      Anastasia holds out her arms pouting

      Sara smiles "Just give her Cheerios if she gets antsy. Keep an eye on her when she eats them. I'll change her when I get back." she hurries out of the apartment

      Gabe looks at the baby curiously yet slightly scared. "Well kid looks like its just us."

10 mins later

      Sara finds herself at the grocery store grabbing diapers she jumps in surprise when she sees Ian standing beside her. "What are you doing here?"

      "I arranged to have some things delivered for her." he looks down "I knew you would be busy with work."

      Sara looks at him startled "Uh thanks Nottingham."

      Ian nods "Who is watching her now?"

      "Gabe. I have today off I just needed him to watch her so I could do some grocery shopping" she explains

      "I will have some papers made up for her. List you has her guardian. Some long lost friend of yours died leaving you custody. The paperwork will be finished soon. I will bring them by when its done."

      Sara looks at him surprised "Thanks for thinking of that. I better finish up here before Gabe starts freaking out over dirty diapers." she chuckles "I warned Gabe that you might stop by. So don't scare him."

      Ian nods "I would not harm your friend."

      "Good" Sara tosses in a couple packages of diapers. She looks up to see Ian had disappeared. She shakes her head 'I wish he'd stop that'

20 mins later

      Sara enters the apartment to find Gabe walking the floor trying to calm the crying baby. "What happened?" she asks setting the bags down taking the crying baby from Gabe

      "She just started crying" Gabe replies panicked

      "She probably needs to be changed" Danny says appearing at Sara's side

      "Gabe I need the diapers and wipes. Their in one of the bags." she sets the baby on the counter unbuttoning her sleeper. "Ran into Ian at the store."

      "Ran into?" Gabe says in disbelief as he grabs the diapers and wipes from the bags opening them. "What did he say?"

      "He's having some things dropped off for Anastasia. Papers made up giving me custody of Anastasia" she says removing the diaper she winces

      "Holy... no wonder she was crying." Gabe says disgusted at the smell of the dirty diaper.

      "Ian didn't bring any diapers for her last night. That and he drugged her."

      "He drugged a baby?!" Gabe yelps

      "I already scolded him on it." Sara assures wiping the baby. "I don't think you need to know anymore" she grabs a diaper

      "Doing good Pez" Danny assures

      "So what are you going to tell Jake about her?" Gabe asks

      Sara groans lifting up the newly changed baby "I'm not sure." she reaches into the grocery bag grabbing a new still packaged bottle "Can you open this?" she asks tossing Gabe the package "I haven't told him the whole truth about the Witchblade so I don't know. How am I supposed to explain her?" she tosses the dirty diaper in the garbage

      Gabe opens the package "Tell him the truth"

      "You know how Jake is... he'll fly off the handle and go confront Irons and Nottingham. That won't end well."

      "True"

      "But if I don't tell him" she sighs looking at the baby "Well shortie what do you think?"

      "Why don't you ask that" Gabe nods at the Witchblade

      Sara looks at the bracelet as she opens the container of formula "Maybe." she sighs reading the directions she makes the bottle

      "Pez what are you going to do about Anastasia?" Gabe asks

      Sara pauses "I'm not sure. I've only known about her for eight hours."

      "Well you do have the day off" Gabe suggests "Spend some time getting to know her."

      "I have to work tomorrow so I'll start looking into childcare and such today. It'll take me a few days though" she carries Anastasia over to the couch sitting down she offers the infant the bottle. As Anastasia begins to drink hungrily Sara looks at the baby

      Gabe sits down "I can watch her a few times a week if you want."

      "Thanks Gabe I owe you"

      "That you do especially since I'm going to have to change nasty smelling diapers"

      "Hey think of it this way you'll be prepared for your own kids"

      "Thank god that is a long way off" he laughs

      Sara sighs "I don't even know if I'm ready for this."

      "Ready or not your going to have a kid to take care of" Gabe says

      Sara looks at the baby "Yeah I know. Kid your going to have to deal with one unsure Mom"

      "Like they all say 'Your never prepared for a kid... even if you plan for one.' And this is one who was definately not planned for." Gabe says

      "True" Sara agrees "but that doesn't mean I can't love her... she is still a part of me no matter the circumstances behind her existance."

      "Or who her father is?"

      Sara looks at Gabe "Or who her father is."

      "Don't forget to burp her." Danny reminds

      "Gabe can you grab a dishcloth from the kitchen for me"

      "Uh sure where?"

      "First drawer on the left by the stove."

      Gabe stands going to the kitchen. "What time do you want me here?"

      "I have to be at work at 9."

      "I'll be here at 8:30 then"

      "Thanks Gabe"

      "I'll go and leave you and Anastasia to some mother daughter time." Gabe goes over to the couch squeezing the baby's foot "Later kid don't run your Mom ragged."

      Anastasia grins around her bottle kicking her feet excitedly

      "I think she's saying bye Uncle Gabe" Sara laughs

      "Bye kid. I'll see ya later" he says to Sara grabbing his jacket he makes his way out the door "Later" he calls over his shoulder

      Sara looks at the baby and smiles "Well Ana its just us and ghost Danny. What should we do?"

Chapter 3

That afternoon

      Sara groans as she hears a knock at the door. "Who is it?" she calls

      "Delivery for Sara Pezzini."

      Sara looks at Anastasia laying on a blanket on the floor playing with a dishcloth. She stands going to the door she opens it to find three men standing there.

      "We're from Babies R Us. We have a delivery"

      Sara nods stepping aside "Sure come on in. Be careful she's in the livingroom."

      The men enter "We were also told to set up the furniture... where do you want the crib and changing table?"

      "Up in the loft" Sara says

      "Playpen?" another man asks

      "Livingroom"

      "Baby chair?"

      "Kitchen table"

      "Swing?" asks the third guy.

      "Livingroom." Sara answers going around the men she picks up Anastasia.

      "We also have baby clothes, toys, bathroom stuff, diapers, carseat, and numerous other baby stuff out in the van." the first man says

      "OK uh put the stuff in the livingroom after you put together the furniture and I'll go through the stuff."

      "Sure" the first man nods

      Sara settles on the couch with Anastasia as they watch the men work.

      Anastasia waves happily as the men work giggling and chattering away.

      Sara laughs "You're getting stuff to play with huh sweetie" she hears a knock at the door

      "Pez" a voice calls

      Sara swallows "Come on in Jake" she calls.

      "Uh Pez what's with all this stuff?" Jake asks entering he stops in his tracks seeing Sara on the couch holding a dark haired baby on her lap. "Pez who's the kid?"

      "This is Anastasia."

      "Hey Anastasia" Jake smiles at the baby immediately taken with the little girl. "Who is she?"

      "She's my daughter"

      "WHAT?!" the detective yelps

      Anastasia starts surprised by the loud voice she sticks out her lower lip

      "Uh ma'am I'm done with the playpen" the short plump man says

      Sara looks up to see the playpen set up. She stands setting Anastasia in the playpen "Thanks. Uh can you guys keep an eye on her for a minute... I'll just be out on the fire escape."

      "Uh sure no problem" the tallest man says

      Sara leads Jake out to the fire escape "Look I know this is a surprise"

      "Pez you never had a kid. I'd know."

      Sara sighs "Look it would be a lot easier if you don't ask too many questions about her. Just trust me on this Jake."

      "I do. Just tell me who she is."

      Sara sighs "An old friend of mine died... left me custody of Anastasia." she lies 'sorry Jake I can't tell you the truth.'

      "Oh." Jake says looking out to the street "How long has she been with you?"

      "Few hours. Jake I'd prefer if few people know about her."

      "Not a problem Pez."

      "You and Gabe are the only ones who know about her."

      "So Nottingham doesn't?"

      Sara looks at Jake amused "Jake its Nottingham he probably knew about her before I did."

      Jake chuckles "Good point."

      "Come on lets go back in. She probably wants another bottle." she steps through the window. Going over to the playpen she picks up the baby. "Hey Ana sweetie do you want another bottle?"

      Jake watches as Sara carries the baby into the kitchen "So how'd you get all this stuff delivered so fast?" he asks leaning against the counter

      "Uh I'll tell you later" Sara nods at the men working.

      "Is it who I think it is?" Jake asks

      "It depends on which one your thinking of" Sara replies looking at him "Here can you take her for a sec"

      "Sure" Jake takes the baby "Hey Anastasia"

      Anastasia grins

      "I think she likes you" Sara says

      "I'm a likeable fellow" Jake smiles at the baby

      Sara turns around grabbing a bottle "That you are"

      "Uh Ms Pezzini where do you want the rocking chair?" asks one of the men

      "Put it in the bedroom" Sara replies turning back to making the bottle "So what are you doing on your day off?"

      "Not much. Thought I'd stop by to see if you wanted to go play some pool but I see you've got your hands busy" he laughs looking at the baby who's chattering in his arms

      "Yeah well I have work tomorrow so I thought Ana and I would spend some time getting to know each other." she sets the bottle in the microwave "So McCartey do you have nieces and nephews?"

      "Two nieces and a nephew. When I was a teenager I babysat to make some cash."

      "I can't believe that" Sara says taking the bottle out of the microwave she checks the temp. "So any chance I can get some babysitting out of you?"

      "Maybe" Jake laughs as the baby pats at his face.

      Sara turns around and laughs at the sit of Anastasia chattering away "Hey Ana you chatterer." she takes the baby from Jake "I bet you want this huh" she offers the bottle to the baby.

      "The furniture is all set up ma'am. We'll go get the rest of the stuff from the van."

      Sara looks up "The door will be open." she watches as the three men walk out of the apartment. She sits on the couch.

      "What are you going to do about work?"

      "I'm going to look into daycare for her." Sara answers "Until I find one suitable Gabe said he'd watch her." she looks at the baby "Jake I need you to keep this whole thing to yourself. You know what would happen if too many people found out about her."

      "No prob. You want it kept secret then my lips are sealed."

      "Thanks" Sara says as the men reenter the apartment carrying bags and boxes. She shakes her head 'Ian how much stuff did you get her.'

      "Geez that's a lot of stuff for one kid." Jake remarks

      "There's still some more things" one of the men states

      "We put together the crib, changing table, baby chair, playpen, rocking chair, and the swing."

      "Thanks guys." Sara says

      "Its what we were paid for" the third man says

      "We'll go get the rest of the stuff." the first man says setting the boxes in his arms down.

      Ten minutes later the men drop off the final boxes and leave and Sara looks at Jake "So you know how to give a baby a bath?" she asks

      "Done it a few times." Jake says "Where's the baby shampoo?"

      "In one of those bags or boxes" Sara says with a shrug.

      Jake shakes his head going over to the pile of bags and boxes. "Let's see we got bottles, formula, and pacifiers in this bag." he sets the bag aside going to the next bag. "OK diaper rash creme, wipes. These guys are organized." After a few minutes he finds the bag with the baby shampoo, washclothes and towels. "OK found the right bag. Where do you want to do this? Kitchen or bathroom?"

      "Uh bathroom is probably the cleanest." Sara replies burping the baby.

      "I'll go run the water then" Jake says opening the packages gathering up the stuff he heads into the bathroom.

      "Well Ana looks like Uncle Jake is going to be of some help huh"

      Anastasia grins patting her mother's face cooing happily.

      Sara smiles at the baby 'That's my girl'

      Anastasia's eyes go to the bracelet and she reaches out touching it curiousity evident in her touch.

      "You know what this is don't you" Sara says she looks at the bracelet smiling as it changes color.

      Anastasia chatters happily her eyes on the glimmering jewel.

      "All right tubs ready" Jake calls

      Sara grins at the baby "Bathtime baby." she stands carrying Anastasia into the bathroom. "Lets get you out of these dirty nasty clothes huh sweetie." she sets the baby on the floor beside Jake and begins to strip the baby out of the clothes she has been wearing all day.

      "The waters warm enough for her." Jake says

      Sara sets the baby in the warm water and laughs at the baby's grin. "She seems to like it." she watches as the baby splashes

      "OK we got the baby washclothes and the wash." Jake wets the cloth pouring some wash on it handing it to Sara. He watches as Sara lathers up the baby. "She's still young enough to need some support."

      "So McCartey why don't you have any kids?"

      Jake shrugs "I could say its because of work but its because I'm not ready to take on that much responsibility. That's why I send presents and spend time with my nieces and nephew and my friends kids. They take care of the occassional kid need."

      "You plan on having kids?"

      "One day." Jake replies

      Sara laughs as Anastasia splashes them "Ana no getting us wet." she says tapping the baby's nose.

      "Here's the shampoo." Jake says "Good thing they got tearless"

      Sara takes the bottle pouring a little on the baby's head

9 PM

      Sara looks in on Anastasia asleep in her crib "Sleep well Anastasia." she goes to the livingroom grabbing a set of case files to read over.

After midnight

      Sara awakens sensing someone in the apartment she sits up to see a figure over the crib. "Ian?"

      Ian steps away from the crib

      Sara turns on the lamp "Its fine." she assures glancing at the clock. "I take it he knows she's gone."

      Ian nods going back to the crib "He thinks the doctor took her."

      "Does he know she's here?"

      "Yes."

      Sara joins him at the crib looking at the sleeping baby "Is he going to try and take her?"

      "I do not think he wants to make you mad. You are the Wielder."

      Sara reaches into the crib stroking Anastasia's cheek "Nottingham is it possible that she holds aspect of the Witchblade?"

      "How so?"

      She looks at Ian "She can see Danny. I know you can sense him."

      Ian nods "Yes."

      "Ian she looked right at him."

      Ian reaches out touching the Witchblade "It knows her" he states

      Sara looks at his hand watching as the colors change "Yes" she looks at Ian "it knows you too."

      Ian nods "As it always has." he removes his hand "I should go before he becomes suspicious." he reaches into his coat pulling out a large envelope. "Here is some of her papers. Birth certificate and the legal papers declaring you her legal guardian" he hands the envelope to Sara.

      Sara nods "Good. Now I can get started with finding her daycare."

      "Here" Ian hands her a card "I arranged for a nanny for her."

      "Ian"

      "A nanny is safer than childcare."

      "Yes but a nanny would be easier to pay off." Sara argues

      Ian looks at Anastasia "Not this one. Her name is Jas. She can be trusted. Call her when you want her to start." he looks at Sara "You will have to trust me and the Witchblade Sara. I have never willingly lied to you."

      Sara nods "I know."

      Ian goes to the open window "Goodnight Sara" he says

      "Goodnight Ian." she says "Oh and Ian"

      Ian looks at her over his shoulder

      "Its OK that you visit her." she assures

      Ian nods crawling out the window.

      Sara shakes her head looking down at the sleeping baby "Well Anastasia your father is one strange guy." she strokes Anastasia's cheek "Sleep well" she turns crawling back into bed turning off the light.

Chapter 4

8 AM

      "Danny" Sara calls

      "Yes?" the ghost replies appearing

      Sara jumps "Don't do that." she yelps "Look can you keep an eye on her for me? I need to take a shower."

      "Sure" Danny nods seeing the baby in the playpen

      "Thanks." Sara says disappearing into the bathroom "I won't be long" she calls.

      Danny looks at the baby in the playpen "Hey Anastasia."

      Anastasia grins at the ghost giggling happily as she plays with the plastic rings

10 mins later

      Sara steps out of the bathroom to find Danny sitting on the floor beside the playpen talking with Anastasia. "She saying anything interesting partner?"

      "Not really. Probably to other babies yes" Danny stands "How did she do last night?"

      "Woke up once." Sara replies grabbing a bottle off the counter she prepares one. "Ian stopped by last night."

      "Oh?"

      "Almost scared the daylights out of me." Sara laughs

      "As always"

      Sara goes over to the playpen picking up Anastasia. "Yeah well he hired a nanny for Anastasia."

      "He has money"

      "Even so is that wise? I mean people will ask questions... how can a cop afford a nanny. Let alone all the questions I'll get when people find out about Anastasia. You know how it goes... the rumors."

      "True. But trust Nottingham Sara he seems to care."

      Sara looks at Anastasia "I know." she looks up to see Danny gone "I know"

20 mins later

      Sara goes to the door opening it to find Gabe standing there holding two cups of coffee. "Come on in." she says stepping aside.

      Gabe enters handing her a cup of coffee setting the bag with his laptop on the counter. "So where is she?"

      "In the playpen. I gave her a bottle and just changed her." Sara says grabbing her boots she sits on the couch pulling them on. "I also need information on this person" she hands the card to Gabe. "Whatever you can find."

      Gabe looks at the name "Who is she?"

      "Ian hired her to be Anastasia's nanny. Before I agree to it I want to know if she can be trusted."

      "Don't trust Nottingham?"

      "I trust him I just want to know if I can trust her."

      "I'll have the information when you get back" Gabe says

      "Put her down for a nap around 10 or 11. She might want a bottle before her nap. I already put the formula in just add warm water and put it in the microwave for 20 seconds. The diapers and wipes are on the changing table in the loft. Put her on her back when you put her down for a nap. Put her down for a nap at 4. I should be back around 6 or 7. If I can I'll stop by during lunch. She can have Cheerios but keep an eye on her when she eats them. Call me if you need something. If you can't get a hold of me try Jake. He might be able to help."

      "So he knows?"

      "Yeah he stopped by when they delivered this stuff." Sara says setting the cup of coffee down she picks Anastasia up. "Be good for Uncle Gabe OK Ana."

      "Of course she will" Gabe says "won't ya shortie."

      "If Nottingham stops by don't freak out."

      "I'll try not too. But you know how scary he can be."

      Sara chuckles "Well I warned him to be on his best behavior" she assures handing Gabe the baby. "If you go anywhere her jacket and stroller are in the closet. The diaper bag is next to the changing table so don't forget to take it with you."

      "We'll probably stick around here." Gabe says "Me and Anastasia will have some fun won't we kid."

      Anastasia pats his face grinning around the pacifier in her mouth

      "I'll take that as a yes" Sara laughs "Bye" she says heading out the door.

      Hearing the door close Anastasia begins to whimper turning she squirms in Gabe's arms holding out her pudgy arms to the door

      Gabe sighs turning the baby around "Come on Anastasia we'll have some fun. Besides Mommy will be back later." he wipes away the few tears falling down her plump cheek. "I don't think you need to cry huh. How about we play." he settles down on the floor with Anastasia on his lap. "Wow look at all the toys your Pops bought." he picks up a stuffed cow in bright colors "Who's this?"

      Outside the window Ian crouches watching as the young man entertains the infant. After a moment he disappears

      Anastasia looks towards the window holding out her arms grunting

      "Hey what's wrong kiddo?" Gabe asks he glancing over his shoulder to find no one at the window 'Nottingham was probably there.' he shakes his head "How about we watch us some cartoons."

Sara and Jake's office

      "Hey Pez" Jake greets as his darkhaired partner enters "I see you made it on time."

      Sara laughs "Well what can I say Gabe is definately an angel."

      "I take it he showed up on time." Jake smiles

      "Yep."

      "How'd your night go?"

      "She woke up once."

      "Well there is one good thing"

      "What?" Sara asks suspiciously

      "You didn't have to deal with waking up five times a night"

      Sara sits down "True" 'Though I'd have liked to have that time with her.' "So what's on for today?"

      "The double murder at a club a few blocks from here."

      "What was the deal?" Sara asks preparing to listen to her partner

Vorschlag Industries

      "How the hell did this happen?" Irons says angrily as he paces

      Ian stands there his head bowed listening as his Master rants

      "The child was a very important project. Find the doctor. I want to know how he got the child out of there."

      "He is nowhere to be found" Ian says softly

      "Detective Pezzini was to never know about the child." Irons states he shakes his head "But it is too late to fix that... other than kill her and all that knows about her."

      Ian looks up "But is that wise?"

      "Very good point Ian. Keep an eye on them both. If the child shows any interesting traits let me know."

      Ian nods glancing at Irons 'No I will not let you have her.'

      Irons sits down dismissing Ian wordlessly

      Ian walks out of the office his mind on the little girl 'I will not let anyone take Anastasia from Lady Sara.'

That afternoon

      Sara and Jake enter the apartment carrying a pizza box only to find Gabe staring at the computer screen "Hey Gabriel what's with the look?" Sara asks

      "Yeah man we bring you food." Jake says setting the box on the counter

      "Oh nothing just doing some research." Gabe replies closing the computer "What kind?"

      "Meat" Jake answers opening the box.

      "Is Anastasia down?" Sara asks going to the refrigerator

      "Yeah I just put her down."

      Sara grabs three cans of pop setting them on the counter. "How'd it go?"

      "Watched some cartoons, did some reading, played with the toys." Gabe shrugs

      "Something tells me Gabe had more fun then Anastasia" Jake snickers

      "Hey I was an only child." Gabe protests

      "So was I" Sara shrugs sitting down at the counter she opens the pizza box.

      "Any interesting cases?" Gabe asks grabbing a slice of pizza

      "A double homicide at a club." Sara replies taking a bite out of her slice of pizza.

      "Looks like a fight gone bad" Jake says opening his can of pop.

      "We still need to find the weapon and the shooter" Sara says

      "Yeah" Jake agrees

30 mins later

      Sara stands over the crib looking at the sleeping baby. Sensing dark eyes on her she looks up to see Ian crouching outside the window. She looks back at Anastasia stroking her cheek "Have a good nap Ana. I'll see you when I get home." With a final look at Ian she straightens up walking out. "We should get back to work before Dante flips"

      "Yeah sure." Jake says grabbing his jacket

      "Have fun Gabe." Sara says grabbing her own jacket she follows Jake out of the apartment

      "Thanks for lunch" Gabe calls

7 PM

      Sara enters the apartment to find Gabe on the floor entertaining Anastasia. She laughs at the intense look on Anastasia's face "Gabe what are you telling her?" she asks tossing her jacket on the couch she picks up the baby

      "Oh nothing much. Just the basics of hacking." Gabe says innocently

      "Uh oh is Uncle Gabe corrupting you Ana" Sara says tickling the baby's stomach. "We can't have that now can we"

      Gabe rolls his eyes "I finished with the background on that lady."

      "And?" Sara asks going to the kitchen she grabs a box of cereal out of the cupboard.

      "Brother was military. She seems to have no record."

      "Nothing suspicious?" Sara asks

      "Not that I can find."

      Sara nods offering the baby a piece of cereal

      Anastasia spits out her pacifier taking the sweetened cereal.

      Sara turns her attention to pouring herself some cereal "Any bad feelings about her?" she asks

      Gabe sits at the counter "No. You?"

      Sara goes to the refrigerator taking out the milk. "I guess not. When he gave me the card I didn't get anything bad from the Witchblade. Besides he's never tried hurting me... sure he's scared the daylights out of me appearing out of nowhere but he's never hurt me." she pours the milk over her cereal

      "What about Anastasia? Do you trust him with her?"

      Sara pauses looking at Anastasia who meets her gaze straight on. "I don't think he'd hurt his own blood. Irons though... I'd count on that but I don't think he has it in him."

      Anastasia coos sticking her fist in her mouth

      'No I don't think he'd hurt his own child. He's not that much a monster.'

      "I'll trust you on that." Gabe says "I better go. I've got friends I'm supposed to meet. What time do you want me here?"

      "Same time?"

      Gabe nods "Sure."

      "I'll call that woman Jas tomorrow sometime."

      Gabe grabs his laptop shoving it in the bag "I'll see you tomorrow then." he pats Anastasia's head "Don't keep your Mom up too late kid."

      "Thanks Gabe" Sara calls as he walks out the door

      "Your welcome. Have a good night." he calls closing the door behind him.

2 hours later

      Sara is brought out of her sleep by the feeling of Anastasia squirming on her chest. She slowly opens her eyes to find Ian crouched beside the couch his eyes on Anastasia. "What time is it?" she asks groggily

      Ian looks at her "9."

      "How long have I been asleep?"

      "Almost an hour"

      "She probably wants a bottle" Sara yawns sitting up. "Can you take her?"

      Ian hesitates for a moment then nods taking the baby.

      Sara smiles slightly seeing Anastasia giving Ian a toothless smile. Sara stands going into the kitchen she grabs a bottle "So Nottingham is this visit to see Anastasia or does Irons want something?" she asks curiously

      "He wants me to keep a close eye on her." Ian says his eyes regarding the baby in his arms cautiously

      "Why?"

      "He did not say. I think he is hoping that she will show signs of being the next Weilder."

      "I thought that there is only one born a generation." Sara says measuring out the formula. She pauses "She is the next generation." she reminds herself

      "Yes."

      "What is he looking for?"

      "He did not say."

      Sara sets the bottle in the microwave looking at Ian "And if she is the next Wielder are you going to hand her over to him?"

      Ian looks at Anastasia seeing the baby's innocent gaze he lifts his gloved hand stroking Anastasia's cheek "No. She is an innocent."

      "As you were when he got you."

      Ian flinches at Sara's words "Yes. I was born to serve you." he looks at Sara briefly "Yet I ended up serving him."

      "Why?" Sara asks taking the bottle out of the microwave

      "He found me before we found each other."

      Anastasia looks at her mother seeing the bottle she holds out her hand while keeping a grip on her father's coat. She chatters happily

      Sara laughs "Well someone wants her bottle." she sets the bottle down reaching out to take Anastasia from Ian's arms.

      Anastasia whimpers going to her mother yet her eyes go to her father.

      Sara offers Anastasia her bottle trying to distract her from grabbing at her father. "Come on Anastasia I know you want your bottle."

      Anastasia begins to drink from the bottle her eyes going back and forth between her parents.

      Ian looks away "I should go."

      Anastasia kicks frantically pushing the bottle away

      "Anastasia finish your bottle its almost time for bed." she looks up to see Ian gone. 'Nottingham' she sighs to herself "Come on Ana" she carries the baby to the loft sitting on her bed holding Anastasia close. "Hey no crying he'll return sooner or later." she whispers offering the baby the bottle.

      Reassured Anastasia takes the bottle.

      "Good girl"

Chapter 5

Next Morning: 8 AM

      Sara grabs the phone "What?"

      "Hello Detective Pezzini."

      Sara sighs hearing the smooth voice "I was wondering when you'd call. What do you want Irons?"

      "How is Anastasia?" Irons asks turning to see Ian standing against the wall his head bowed.

      "She's fine. I bet she's happier than she was with you and your freaky science nerds."

      "Oh come now Sara she was well cared for."

      Sara looks at Anastasia sitting in her playpen jiggling her plastic keys "But did they care for her only because they were paid too? Or because of the fact of who she is?"

      "Is that really relevant Sara?" Irons asks

      "Very relevant. A child needs to be in a safe and happy environment. I doubt she felt that at Vorschlag Industries."

      "She was safe and well cared for."

      "As she is here. What do you want Irons?"

      "I just wanted to see how she is doing out there."

      "Fine."

      "Good." Irons says "If you need anything please call me and I will send one of her caregivers to her"

      "I do have one question"

      "Yes?"

      "Where is the surrogate?"

      "Unfortunately she did not survive the birth." Irons admits

      Hearing that Ian inwardly cringes at the fact that the woman who carried his daughter for nine months is dead.

      On the other end of the phone Sara has the same thought. "And her father?"

      "He unfortunately... or fortunately has no idea that she exists." Irons looks at his Protector

      Almost sensing her parents emotions Anastasia begins to cry.

      Concerned for her daughter Sara hangs up on the billionaire going over to the playpen she picks Anastasia up. "What's wrong Ana?" she asks kissing the baby's cheek "Its OK. I won't let him hurt you." she soothes the crying infant.

      Once in her mother's arms Anastasia whimpers the tears still falling.

      "Shh Ana its OK" she kisses the baby's head

Vorschlag Industries

      Irons hangs up the phone looking at Ian standing in the corner of the office "Have you found the doctor?"

      Ian nods

      "And?" Irons stands

      Ian speaks "He is dead."

      "How?"

      "Gunshot."

      "Self-inflicted?"

      "Undeterminable."

      "The body?"

      "Taken care of." Ian replies

      "Do you have any idea of how he got the child out?"

      "It looks as though he turned off the security cameras."

      "Anything else?"

      "No"

      Irons sits down silently dismissing Ian.

      Ian nods walking out of the office.

8:30: Sara's apartment

      Sara opens the door to find Gabe standing there "Hey" she greets allowing him to enter. "She's had her morning bottle and I've changed her. Same as yesterday."

      Gabe nods setting his bag on the floor "Sure."

      "Bye" she says hurrying out of the apartment

      Gabe checks on Anastasia in the playpen "Hey Ana." he greets

      Anastasia grins around her pacifier waving her hands

      "Lets keep you calm OK kid." Gabe laughs

Sara and Jake's office

      "Hey McCartey" Sara greets looking up to see her blond partner enter their office. "Late night?" she asks with a smile

      Jake scowls "Shuddup"

      Sara shakes her head opening a drawer she grabs a container of aspirin "Hey" she calls

      Jake looks up "What?"

      "Catch" Sara tosses him the aspirin

      "Thanks" Jake says opening the container

      "What did you do last night?"

      "Not much. Played some pool" he shrugs tossing a couple aspirin into his mouth downing it with coffee. "How was your night?"

      "Good."

      "And Anastasia?"

      "She woke once." she answers as the Captain appears at the door.

      "Pezzini McCartey there's a witness to yesterdays club shooting." Captain Santos the cop who replaced Dante after his death announces

      Sara looks up "We'll be right there."

      Santos nods walking away.

      "Come on partner lets get going." Jake says grabbing the file

      Sara stands grabbing her cup of coffee. "Lead the way."

That afternoon

      Sara picks up the phone looking at the card Ian and given her she dials the number. "Hi is Jas there?"

      "This is she" the woman states

      "Hi I'm Sara Pezzini"

      "Oh yes Ian told me you would be calling."

      "I take it he filled you in"

      "Yes he did."

      "How about we give it a try... see how it goes."

      "All right." Jas agrees "When do you want me to be there?"

      "I have to be at work at 9 so how about you come over at 8... 8:15 tomorrow morning."

      "Sounds good."

      "I take it he gave you my address"

      "Yes."

      "I'll see you tomorrow then." Sara says hanging up the phone.

      Jake sticks his head in the door "Pez I found another possible witness to yesterdays murder."

      "Where?"

      "An apartment five blocks from the club."

      Sara stands grabbing her jacket "Well then lets go."

That Evening

      Sara enters the apartment to find Gabe watching TV with Anastasia on the floor playing with her toys. "Hey Gabe." she greets hanging up her jacket she goes to the loft setting her gun in the nightstand drawer

      "Hey Pez." Gabe greets

      "I called that woman Jas." Sara tells him picking up the baby "Hey you" she greets kissing the baby's cheek.

      "And?"

      "Well you don't need to babysit tomorrow."

      "You going to trust her?" Gabe asks

      Sara shrugs "Going to need too"

      "Wow kid your Mom is taking a big chance" Gabe says with a laugh

      "Yeah yeah yeah" Sara waves off "I thought I'd give it a chance. After all you can't watch her forever."

      "I better get going. I still have some work do to."

      "Gabe thanks for watching her."

      "Any time Pez." he replies grabbing his bag and jacket "I'll see you later."

      Sara closes and locks the door behind him "Night" she calls. She looks at Anastasia "So kiddo what do you want to do."

      Anastasia spits out her pacifier grinning at her mother

      Sara grabs the pacifier "Don't want that huh" she laughs setting the pacifier on the counter. "So how about some Cheerios while I have dinner. Then you get a bath and bottle." she sets the baby in the highchair grabbing a box of Cheerios she puts a handful on the tray. "There you go."

      "So how's it going Pez?"

      Sara starts "Geez Danny don't do that."

      "Sorry partner" Danny says innocently

      Sara turns around to find him sitting on the counter "You know if you weren't already a ghost I'd end up hurting you."

      "What can I say there's one good thing about being a ghost." he shrugs

      "What can I do for you?"

      "Just came to say hi."

      Anastasia giggles throwing a Cheerio on the floor

      Sara looks at Anastasia "You think that's funny"

      Anastasia looks at her mother innocently picking up a Cheerio sticking it in her mouth.

      "She is definately going to be a charmer" Danny says

      "What can I say... like mother like daughter" Sara grins

      Danny laughs "Sure Pez what ever you say."

      "Ana I think Uncle Danny's making fun of me."

      "No never" Danny says

      Sara opens the freezer taking out a frozen dinner.

      "How's the case going?" Danny asks

      "Same. Jake thinks that its a drug deal gone bad."

      "But?"

      "There's something else too it. It could be a drug deal gone bad but I think there might be something else."

      "What does the Witchblade say?" Danny asks

      Sara puts the frozen meal in the microwave "Not much. Mostly shadows. Some feelings" she pushes the buttons for the food

      "What kind of feelings?"

      "Disgust. Hate. Anger." she turns around "I can't get a clear feeling on the killer."

      "Keep looking I'm sure you'll find it."

      "Yeah I hope." Sara laughs as Anastasia throws a Cheerio at ghost Danny. "Ana he can't feel that."

      Ana giggles happily

      "You like throwing stuff huh" Sara shakes her head

      "What can anyone say she's her mother's daughter." Danny says

      Sara looks about about to retort when she realizes Danny's gone. "Your Uncle thinks he's so funny." she taps Ana's nose as the microwave dings "Time for dinner." she takes the meal out of the microwave setting it on the counter she grabs a container of orange juice out of the refrigerator sitting down at the counter. "Mmm dinner."

      Ana bangs her hands on the high chair tray grunting

      "Eat your Cheerios." Sara says picking up one of the O's she offers it to the baby. Ana shoves her hand away pounding on the tray.

      "Might try baby food" Danny suggests appearing across the counter

      Sara frowns "Where did I put it?" she wonders aloud

      "Try the cabinet next to the refrigerator."

      Sara sighs standing she goes to the cabinet she opens it to find a couple jars of baby food. "Hmm how about applesauce" she takes out one of the jars grabbing a baby spoon out of the silverware drawer. She opens the jar sitting back down. She takes a bite out of her own dinner then offers Ana a spoonful off applesauce

      "Uh Pez might want to put a bib on her" Danny suggests

      "Oh yeah" Sara shakes her head opening the drawer she takes out a bib snapping it around the baby's neck. Sitting back down she offers the baby another spoon of applesauce.

30 mins later

      Sara drops the empty jar of applesauce and the empty box of lasagne in the trash grabbing a wet dishcloth she wipes Ana's face off. "Ana we're going to have to work on your eating habits huh"

      Ana tries to avoid getting her face cleaned off

      "Don't even think about that little miss." Sara laughs as she wipes the baby's face and hands off. "Now I think someone needs a bath." she removes the bib from Ana's neck lifting her out of the highchair she carries her into the bathroom.

45 mins later

      Sara looks at the clean and dressed baby on her hip "Now lets get you that bottle huh. Then off to bed with you." she enters the kitchen to prepare a bottle for Ana.

30 mins later

      Sara sets the baby in the crib and turning around she finds Nottingham crouched outside on the fire escape. She goes over opening the window "You know you can use the door." she says teasingly

      Ian looks at her then down "I did not want to disturb you."

      "Its never bothered you before." Sara reminds "I was about to make some coffee join me?" she asks seeing the thoughtful look she sighs "I could also use your thoughts on one of my cases... Jake and I have run into a wall on agreeing."

      Ian reluctantly nods

      Sara steps aside allowing Ian to enter. She leads him into the kitchen

      "Is this the double murder?" Ian asks

      "How did..." Sara shakes her head "Never mind I know that answer." she goes to the coffee maker. "The files on the end of the counter."

      Ian removes his jacket and cap setting them on the back of the chair sitting down he opens the file. "Is the Witchblade not telling you anything?" he asks curiously as he looks through the pictures

      Sara turns around surprised to see Ian without his jacket and cap "Wow never thought I'd see that." she says amazed at the almost innocent look his features take on as his hair falls forward.

      Ian looks at her questioningly

      "You without the cap. Everytime I see you... except when your around Irons you wear it."

      Ian looks back down at the file

      Sara shakes herself out of her thoughts of Ian and turns her attention back to his question "I keep getting more emotions than anything else." she glares at the Witchblade annoyed.

      "And your partner?" Ian asks his voice showing his disgust at Jake McCartey.

      "I wish you two would get over your little issues." Sara says

      "He almost betrayed you."

      "He ended up saving my life. Besides you could have told me he was a Fed and it would have saved us all a lot of trouble." she points out. She shakes her head "OK we'll argue about that later. Jake thinks its a drug deal gone bad the end."

      "And you?"

      "It looks like that... though I get the feeling that there is more too it. I just can't place it." she rests her arms against the counter

      Ian looks at the pictures of the bodies then turns them to face her. "What do you see?"

      "Two dead people."

      "No look" Ian takes her hand holding it against the picture.

      Sara stares at the pictures allowing the images to hit her.

      Anger

      The two people in the picture

      Hate.

      "The two victims." Sara says "Feelings."

      The two men talking at the club.

      "The gun going off. Once... twice..." she shakes her head meeting Ian's eyes "All I get is feelings."

      "Follow those feelings." Ian suggests

      "Coffees ready." Sara says reluctantly not wanting Ian to release her hand yet wanting the distance.

      Ian releases her hand "Sorry" he mutters looking down

      Sara goes to the coffee maker grabbing two mugs out of the cabinet. "How am I supposed to follow the feelings if I can't find a suspect?" she pours the hot liquid into the mugs turning around she sets one before Ian. "Milk? Sugar?"

      Ian shakes his head looking through the names

      "We only found about three possible suspects."

      "Their pasts?"

      "Both ex-military. Both kicked out." Sara replies

Hour later

      Ian starts noticing the time "I have to go." he says slightly panicked

      Sara yawns "I should get to bed... she's going to wake up in a couple hours for another bottle."

      Ian pulls on his jacket his mind a whir of the possible trouble he is going to face when he returns.

      Almost sensing his distress Sara touches his arm

      Ian looks at her

      "Thanks Ian." she says appreciatively

      Ian nods "Goodnight Lady Sara." he hurries to the door.

      "Goodnight Ian" she says following him to the door she locks it behind him. Yawning she turns off the lights making her way up to her bed.

Hour later: Irons estate

      Ian enters the study to find Irons sitting in a chair before the fireplace. Head bowed he stands there

      "Where have you been Ian?" Irons asks his voice hard

      "I was looking into information on the Doctor's death."

      Irons stands stopping before Ian he grabs the younger man's hair forcing his head back "Are you lying to me Ian?"

      "No"

      "Have you been with Detective Pezzini?" Irons demands

      "I checked on her." Ian lies

      Irons releases Ian with a shove he walks around Ian. "You have been spending too much time around the lovely Sara."

      "You asked me to keep an eye on Lady Sara and the child. I did that." Ian grunts as a foot kicks him in his ribs.

      "You are becoming too dependent on her." Irons says angrily his foot connecting with Ian's side again. "You are loyal to me Ian... not her."

      "Yes sir" Ian replies "Loyal to you... only you."

      Irons goes to the fireplace sticking a poker in the flames "Remove your shirt."

      Ian swallows knowing what is about to happen. His eyes still on the floor he removes his shirt.

      "Ian Ian Ian" Irons shakes his head looking at the red poker

      Ian feels tears sting his eyes as the hot poker scalds his skin. He blinks back the tears steeling himself for more punishment.

Sara's apartment

      Sara awakens to the sound of Ana screaming. Throwing off the covers she goes over to the crib picking up the crying baby. "Ana what's wrong?"

      Ana sobs clinging to her mother's shirt

      "Shh its OK." she soothes walking to the kitchen to prepare a bottle for the crying infant.

Chapter 6

8 AM

      Sara opens the door to find a blond haired woman standing there.

      "I'm Jas"

      Sara nods "Sara. Come on in." she steps aside allowing the woman to enter. She sighs hearing Ana whimper "She had a bad night" she informs Jas

      Jas nods

      Sara picks Ana up "Why are you crying huh? Your usually happy" she kisses the baby's head. "This is Anastasia."

      Jas smiles immediately taken by the little girl "She is adorable"

      Sara smiles back "Well she's not at her best."

      "Can I...?" Jas asks nodding at Ana

      "Sure" Sara hands the baby to her "I just made some coffee. Want some?"

      "Sounds good" Jas replies

      Sara turns to the kitchen "So how do you know him?"

      "My brother was in the military with him. After he was killed Ian started keeping tabs on me."

      "And Irons allowed that?" Sara says incredulously

      Jas shakes her head "Irons has no idea that Ian keeps track of me." she sits on the floor putting Ana on her back she hands Ana a toy. "Besides if he knew you think he'd let me live?"

      "Probably not"

      "What do you want to know about me?"

      Sara looks at the young woman thoughtfully "That's about it. If he trusts you I guess I can too. I guess we'll give this a try." she grabs the two mugs handing one to Jas. "My work hours are a little odd at times. Sometimes I work at nights. Others I'm on call. I won't expect you to be on call all the time. I have another friend who can watch her every once in a while."

      "My days are pretty empty. The work I do I can do anywhere."

      "What do you do?"

      "Make webpages. Consult on them."

      Sara chuckles "I think you'll get along with Gabriel then."

      "Gabriel?"

      "Yeah he's a friend who watched Ana the last few days. He'll probably stop by every so often."

      "Anyone else?"

      "Uh Nottingham tends to show up when he wants."

      "As always" Jas laughs

      "Well he tends to come through the windows or he'll sit out on the fire escape. Half the time he freaks me out."

      "He's quiet" Jas shrugs

      "If Irons stops by definately don't leave him alone with her."

      "Do you think he'll show up?"

      "Its Irons" Sara replies with a shrug "Make yourself at home. Cabinets are full."

      "Does she have a schedule?"

      "Not really. We haven't really established one. She takes a nap mid morning and afternoon. I'm trying to get her into the habit of having a bottle before she goes down for a nap. Sometimes she finishes one. I give her Cheerios when I eat."

      "Baby food?"

      "There are a couple jars. I just started giving her baby food last night."

      "All right."

      "I have to get going... I have an early meeting. My cell and office number are on the refrigerator. As is Gabe and my Partner Jake McCartey's numbers. If its a big emergency and neither of them answer try Ian he seems to know where I am before I do."

      Jas nods "Sounds just like him" she laughs

      "I don't know when I'll be back... I'll try to be home by 6 or 7." Sara says grabbing her helmet. "There's an extra set of keys on the counter." she pulls on her jacket "Call if you need anything." she calls over her shoulder as she hurries out the door.

      Jas looks at the baby and smiles "Your Mom is a whirlwind huh"

      Ana regards the woman holding her thoughtfully then smiles

      "You are adorable" Jas laughs "how about we find something to do."

Jake and Sara's office

      "Hey Partner" Jake greets looking up from the paperwork before him "You look exhausted"

      Sara scowls "Don't start on me."

      "Ana have a short night?"

      Sara nods "Kept crying."

      "Babies do that" Jake replies

      "Yeah I know."

      "Gabe watching her?"

      "No... I found her a babysitter."

      "Who?"

      "A friend of a friend. Anything new on any of the cases?" she asks changing the subject.

      "Not much really."

That evening

      Sara enters the apartment to find Jas on the floor with Ana playing with some plastic blocks. "How'd it go?"

      Jas sits Ana up "Look who's that?" she asks taking the baby's hand she points at Sara

      Ana's eyes widen and she begins the chatter away around her pacifier.

      Sara laughs picking up Ana. "Hey you"

      Ana waves her hands excitedly

      "You know Anastasia we are going to have to work on your talking skills because I'm betting you have important things to say" Sara says kissing the baby's cheek "How'd she do?"

      "Cried on and off through out the day. Otherwise she was very well-behaved." Jas assures

      "Good." Sara nods

      "She ate a jar of pears about an hour ago. I just changed her about fifteen minutes ago."

      "Thanks" Sara says

      "What time do you need me tomorrow?" Jas asks

      "Uh 8:30. I have to be at work at nine."

      Jas nods "Sounds good." she gathers her laptop and papers "I'll see you tomorrow."

      "Thanks for watching her."

      "Not a problem she's a real sweetie." Jas pulls on her jacket "Bye Ana" she waves to the baby as she closes the door behind her.

      "Well Anastasia what should we do?" Sara muses aloud.

Chapter 7

Over a week later

      Sara sighs "Gabe thanks for watching her."

      "Anytime. Besides she slept most of the time."

      "I would have called Jas but I've called her every day this week to watch her last minute."

      "Its cool. Me and the kid had some bonding time."

      Sara picks up the sleeping baby "I better get her home before she wakes up."

      "She still having a rough time sleeping?"

      Sara nods "Its the oddest thing. Sometimes she's fine. Others..." she shakes her head.

      "Have you seen tall dark and deadly?"

      "Not for a week or so. He's probably in the shadows."

      Gabe follows her out to the car "I bet your looking forward to having tomorrow off."

      Sara nods "Get some sleep. Do some much needed laundry. Go do some grocery shopping."

      "Well call me if you need me to watch her."

      Sara sets the baby in the carseat buckling her in. "I will." she tosses the diaper bag in the back seat going around to the drivers side. "Thanks again." she says starting the car.

20 mins later

      Sara carries the still sleeping Ana up the stairs to the apartment "You know kid I can't wait for you to be able to walk." she grumbles "I swear you weigh as much as my bike." she fumbles in her pocket for her keys. Opening the door she tosses the diaper bag on the floor turning on the light she locks the door. Carefully she removes her jacket and Ana's trying very hard not to wake the baby. "Thank god for the sleep of babies" she mutters carrying Ana up to the loft. As she walks up the stairs she finds Ian crouched under the window sill his back against the wall. She turns on the bedside lamp "I was wondering where you were." she says setting Ana in her crib. "Sticking to the shadows I see."

      Ian stands joining her at the crib "Do you ever wonder what it must be like to be that innocent and free?"

      Hearing the sadness in his voice Sara looks at him startled to see a gash in his temple. "Ian what happened?" she asks lifting her hand to his temple

      Ian winces at her tender touch "Nothing you need to concern yourself with Lady Sara." he looks down allowing his hair to cover the gash.

      Sara sees the Witchblade flare up in angry colors

      Irons.

      Pain

      "Irons?" she asks softly covering his gloved hand with hers. When he doesn't answer she squeezes his hand "Come on lets get that cleaned up." she takes his hand leading him into the kitchen.

      Ian stares at her hand amazed by the comfort he receives

      "Sit" Sara orders nodding at the stool.

      Ian reluctantly sits his eyes on the floor

      Sara goes to the bathroom grabbing the First Aid kit. Wetting a dish cloth she gently cleans the wound. "She's missed you." she says softly "I was starting to get worried."

      "But you do not like me showing up" Ian remarks

      Sara pauses in her task "I guess I've gotten used to the fact that your out there watching out for me."

      Ian lightly touches her cheek "I will watch out for you as long as I am able."

      Sara closes her eyes momentarily. "I know" she says her voice soft. She returns to cleaning the gash. "Ian why do you put up with his abuse?"

      Ian looks down "He raised me."

      "You aren't a child anymore Ian."

      "Being his Protector is all I have ever known. It was what I was trained to do. It is how I can keep you both safe."

      Sara notices under his facial hair a faded bruise. She winces "How'd you get this bruise?" she asks setting aside the washcloth touching the bruise lightly.

      Ian catches her hand his lips brushing over her knuckles.

      With her free hand Sara smoothes his hair back her hand going to his neck. When she sees the fear flash briefly in his eyes she gives him a reassuring smile and strokes the back of his neck.

      Ian pulls her close resting his forehead against hers. "I am sorry if I made you worry."

      Sara strokes the back of his neck "I'm glad you're OK." she pulls back slightly moving her hand to his cheek.

      Ian nuzzles his cheek into her hand then turns his head his lips brushing over her palm.

      Feeling the tender touch Sara meets his gaze slowly their lips meet in a soft kiss. "Ian" she breathes

      Ian looks away "I am sorry Lady Sara."

      Sara smoothes his loose hair back "Don't be." she kisses him lightly on the lips. Within seconds the kiss becomes passionate and intense. Sara moans as Ian pulls her close his tongue meeting hers.

      Ian pulls back both of them breathing heavily they stare at each other. He strokes her cheek his eyes locked on hers. "Beautiful" he says awed. His lips trail over her forehead down her cheek.

      Sara slides her hands under his coat moving it off his shoulders and down his arms. With his help she removes his coat her hands tangling in his hair she pulls him in for a deep kiss.

      After a few moments of heavily making out Ian breaks the kiss his lips trailing down her neck. Licking and sucking at her neck.

      Sara whimpers arching into his touch. "Ian" she moans her hands going to his sweater.

      Ian stands looking down at her his eyes boring into hers as he strokes her cheek.

      Sara meets his gaze her hands resting on his chest. She feels the Witchblade heat up. Tearing her eyes away from his intense stare she looks at it.

      Her past self kissing a man.

      Familiar feelings of being kissed and held by the man.

      The man's face.

      She looks at Ian surprised "Did you know?"

      Ian lowers his head knowing what she's referring too. "I have always known there was something between us each time."

      "Were we always lovers?" she asks softly

      "Not every lifetime... sometimes we were other times we were just friends. I was always your protector no matter the lifetime." he looks at her stroking her cheek with his thumb "I know I have always loved you... no matter the lifetime"

      Sara pulls his head down kissing him

Later

      Sara props her chin up on Ian's chest her fingers tracing a scar on his arm "How'd you get this one?" she asks softly

      "Gun shot."

      Sara presses her lips to the mark then notices a fresh mark on his side "Irons?" she asks touching the mark lightly

      Ian grabs her hand bringing it to his lips

      Sara glances at the clock "I can't believe she's still asleep."

      "Has she not been sleeping?" Ian asks concerned

      "Not really. She's had a rough few days. I think she knew that you weren't visiting her or checking up on her."

      "I am sorry."

      Sara trails her fingers over his face and moves up the bed kissing him lightly. "I'm just glad your OK."

      Ian brings her wrist up to his lips "Why did you take it off?"

      "You once said he can pick up on some of my extreme emotions. Considering his connection between you and the Witchblade how do you think he'd react finding out what happened?"

      Ian flinches "I did not think about that." he lifts his hand to her face

      Sara smiles slightly "Do you realize I can count the number of times you've touched me without having the gloves on."

      Ian just looks at her tucking a strand of hair behind her ear

      "What's wrong?" she asks seeing the intense look on his face

      "I never thought I would be able to touch you in this life."

      Sara looks at him seeing the sadness in his eyes "You don't have to be so closed off here Ian. I don't care if you show your feelings."

      Ian nods

      "Will you stay for a while?" Sara asks hopefully

      "As you wish."

      "Thank you." she rests her head on his shoulder feeling safe she drifts off to sleep.

45 mins later

      Ian looks at Sara asleep in his arms and presses his lips to her hair. Carefully he slips out of bed and pulls on his boxers going over to the crib.

      Sara feeling the bed shift sits up looking at Ian thoughtfully. She grabs her oversized jersey pulling it on she goes over to him wrapping her arms around his chest. "She's a lot like you." she says kissing his neck

      "I did not mean to wake you."

      "Don't be. Sometimes when she's trying to do something new she gets the same look I've seen you get when your fighting."

      Ian looks at the sleeping baby "I wonder if she has any idea of how she came to exist." he says thoughtfully

      "I wouldn't count on it. She's a baby."

      "Sara why did you ask him who her father is?"

      "I was curious to see if he'd say anything. I was surprised he didn't say himself considering his ego."

      "He cannot father any children" Ian admits "the treatments he has undergone over the years has left him incapable of fathering children."

      "And so his only option is you." Sara finishes

      "Yes." he says sadly

      "Ian are there any other children at Vorschlag or his estate?"

      "No. That does not mean there are none. He owns homes all over the world."

      "It worries you."

      "Yes. I do not know how many children he created or if any are mine. I do know there are none on the outside. He took care of that."

      Hearing the sadness and bitterness in his voice Sara takes his hand willing him to look at her. "Was the possibility there?"

      Ian nods his eyes on the floor

      "What happened?"

      "She was my only friend when I was a teenager. He found out she was pregnant and tried to pay her off to end it. She refused. A week later she was killed in a car accident. A few days later he warned me that if it happened again he would do worse."

      Sara squeezes his hand.

      Ian swallows pained by that memory "I should go. I have been gone too long." with a final look at Ana he grabs his pants off the floor.

      Sara goes into the livingroom grabbing his shirt, sweater, boots and his coat. She hands him his sweater and shirt setting his boots on the floor and tossing his coat over the foot of the bed. She grabs the Witchblade off the nightstand returning it to her wrist smiling as it hums. She sits on bed watching as Ian quickly dresses. "Come by later?" she asks states hopefully

      Ian tilts his head "I will try." he says

      Sara moves to her knees reaching out she strokes his cheek her fingers grazing over the gash "Be careful."

      Ian bows his head "I will try not to infuriate him."

      "I doubt you ever have" Sara says brushing her lips over the gash on his temple.

      Ian pulls back looking at her "I shall see you later my beautiful Sara." he brings her hand to his lips

      "You know where to find me."

      Ian goes to the crib reaching in he strokes the baby's cheek "Goodnight little Ana."

      Sara watches as he crawls out the window closing it behind him. Their eyes meet and she gives him a small smile.

      Ian tilts his head resting his gloved hand against the window then he disappears.

      Sara crawls back into the bed inhaling his scent she curls up. 'God what that man can do with his body.'

Chapter 8  

8 AM

      Sara awakens to the sound of Ana chattering happily in her crib. She stretches looking at the clock "Mmm" '8 she slept the whole night' Sara groans wincing at the feeling of her sore muscles. She smiles at the memory sitting up she goes to the dresser grabbing a clean pair of panties she pulls them on going to the crib. "Hey Princess Ana" she picks up the baby "You are happy today huh." she kisses Ana's cheek.

      Ana grins patting her mother's cheeks talking animately.

      "You had a good night huh" Sara laughs relieved at her daughter's happiness. She carries her to the changing table. "Let's get you a clean diaper and then get that tummy filled with food." she puts Ana down unzipping her sleeper.

30 mins later

      Sara turns on the TV "Lets see what's going on in the real world." she sets Ana on the blanket on the floor. "Don't go anywhere."

      Ana kicks and waves her arms and legs grunting.

      A few moments later Sara turns to check on the baby to see her on her hands and knees rocking.

      "She's getting closer to crawling" Danny says

      "Hey partner." Sara turns around to see Danny watching the baby

      "Soon you'll be trying to catch her before she gets into stuff."

      Sara sets the bottle in the microwave then looks at Ana "How soon do you think it'll be before she starts crawling?"

      "Considering how stubborn she seems to be not long."

      Sara takes the warmed bottle out of the microwave taking it over to the blanket she offers it to Ana.

      Grunting Ana rolls onto her back taking the bottle.

      Settling on the floor beside Ana Sara leans against the couch holding the bottle up for the baby. "Soon she's not going to need help with her bottle."

      "Have you seen Nottingham?" Danny asks

      Sara nods looking at Ana "He was here when we got home last night." she looks at Danny "He took a pretty big punishment from Irons over some stuff."

      "Did he say what?"

      "Said part of it was because of spending too much time keeping an eye on us. The other he said was some deal of Irons crashed."

      "Did something happen?"

      Sara shrugs "Had a flash of our past lives."

      "What did you see?"

      "We were lovers"

      "Did he say anything about it?"

      "Yeah said that in the past we were sometimes lovers other times friends. But we were always close. He was always my Protector no matter the time" she looks down "and that he's always loved me."

      "Pez" Danny crouches beside his friend "How do you feel about him?"

      "I don't really know." Sara hedges

      "Hey its me no need to lie who am I going to tell?"

      Sara smiles slightly "When we first met part of me didn't trust him but a bigger part did. I've never really seen him as a friend or an enemy."

      "Do you love him Pez?" Danny asks

      "I don't really know. I do know I care for him."

      "You need to sort out your feelings for him Sara. He's a big part of your life now. He needs you and you need him. That's how its always been."

      Sara looks over to see Danny gone 'I know I need to figure out how I feel about him.'

Midmorning: Irons Estate

      "I take it Detective Pezzini is well" Irons says without looking up from his paperwork.

      "Yes" Ian replies standing infront of the desk his head bowed

      "And Anastasia?"

      "She seemed well."

      "Good." Irons looks up "Where were you last night?"

      "I was checking on Sara and the child."

      "You did not return until well after midnight."

      "They did not return home until then."

      Irons looks down "Go inform Sara that I would like to speak with her tonight."

      "She will ask what about"

      "Tell her I have information on a case that will soon fall into her hands. Tell her to be here at six sharp" Irons says silently dismissing Ian.

      Ian nods keeping his head down he walks out of the study.

Sara's apartment

      Hearing the knock at the door Sara closes the file she is reading then with a look at Ana playing on the floor she goes to the door. She opens it surprised to find Ian standing there. "Wow this is a surprise... I'm so use to you coming through the window." she says stepping aside so he can enter. Once the door is closed she lifts her hand to his face. She groans hearing a thud turning around she finds Ana underneath the coffee table trying to sit up. "OK how did you get under there" she laughs going over she bends down pulling Ana out from under the table. She turns around meeting Ian's gaze "Something going on?"

      "He wants to see you tonight"

      "About?"

      "A new case is going to fall into your hands."

      "Why?"

      "He did not tell me."

      Ana grunts holding out a hand to Ian while keeping one hand on her mother's shirt.

      "He asked about Anastasia."

      Sara kisses Ana's head "Why?"

      "He wanted to know if she is well."

      "Ehh" Ana grunts bouncing up and down

      "OK OK" Sara sets the child on the floor handing Ana her pacifier. "What time does he want to see me?"

      "Six"

      "I'll see if Gabe can watch her."

      Ian nods

      Sara moves closer to him stroking his cheek "What's wrong?"

      Ian unconsciously nuzzles his cheek into her hand "He was not happy this morning."

      "When is he ever" Sara says drily

      "If he were to ever find out" he looks down at the floor

      "We'll just have to deal with it when and if it happens." she moves closer her arms moving to encircle his neck. Gently she trails her fingers down his jaw.

      Ian leans down his lips meeting hers in a brief kiss. "I should leave" he says softly "Shall I tell him that you will be there?"

      Sara nods her fingers trailing over his face "I'll be there at six."

      "Be on time... he will not be happy if you are late."

      "Yeah I know. He tends to get less talkative when he doesn't get his way. I've known you two for what three years now... I like to think I've got you both figured out pretty well." she gives him a slight smile

      Ian smoothes a strand of loose hair out of her face "That you have my Sara." he inwardly smiles at the slight blush gracing her features.

      "Yes well you've gotten pretty psyhic yourself over these years." she teases lightly she kisses him quickly

      Silently Ian walks out the door with a quick glance at Ana.

      Sara goes over to the baby "Well kiddo I think its time to start doing our errands so I can make it to meet with Irons." she grabs the laundry basket from the corner of the loft gathering all of the whites.

5 PM

      "Thanks for watching her again Gabe." Sara says letting the hacker in.

      "I had nothing planned for tonight" Gabe shrugs tossing his jacket over a chair he goes into the livingroom lifting Ana out of her playpen. "Hey Ana-nana."

      "You know where everything is. I'm going to go take a quick shower."

5:30

      Sara looks at the clock "If I'm not back by 8 give her a bottle and put her down. Though I should be back by then." she pulls on her jacket then stops kissing Ana's cheek. She grabs her helmet "I'll see you guys later." she calls heading out of the apartment down to her bike.

20 mins later: Irons Estate

      Sara pulls the bike up to the circular driveway to find Ian waiting. She removes her helmet looking Ian over swiftly 'Damn that man is gorgeous.'

      "He is waiting for you" Ian says formally trying to keep himself from reaching out to touch her.

      Sara fights the same urge "Nottingham" she says a slight softness only Ian can hear in her tone. Getting off the bike they enter the mansion. Walking side by side in silence they enter the study.

      Irons looks up from the fireplace "Detective" he says smoothly silently dismissing Ian.

      With a quick glance at Sara Ian silently walks out of the room.

      "So what did you want to talk to me about?"

      "How is Anastasia?" Irons asks curiously

      "She's fine. I know she's not what you called me here for."

      "She was such an intriguing project"

      Sara's eyes narrow "She's a baby not a project."

      "One cannot dwell on things they lost." Irons says shaking his head

      "You stole part of me and created a child... my child with no regard to my feelings or hers." 'or Ian's.'

      "Temper Detective." Irons clicks. "Besides you have the child now do you think she needs to see that"

      "Irons are we going to discuss something that doesn't concern you anymore. Look what did you want to talk to me about"

      "It is a very interesting case..."

      Outside Ian stands waiting for Irons to call for him. Remaining neutral he thinks of Sara.

10 mins later

      "This is a first" Sara says looking at Irons "you want me to actually solve a case."

      "That is what I have always wanted you to do."

      "Yes so that explains why you send me on wild goose chases" she replies drily. "Is there anything else?"

      The door opens and Ian enters standing there his head bowed.

      Irons turns dismissing Sara silently

      Sara grabs her helmet following Ian out of the mansion. "Later?" she asks softly as she gets on the bike

      Ian tilts his head in response

      Sara gives him a small smile pulling on her helmet

      Ian watches as she reeves up the bike pulling away from the mansion 'Until later'

Midnight

      Ian stares at Sara as she sleeps 'She is so beautiful' he reaches out stroking her cheek enjoying the feeling on her skin.

      Feeling the gentle touch Sara smiles slightly knowing who it is. "Hi" she says opening her eyes to find Ian sitting on the edge of the bed.

      "You looked so peaceful. Were you dreaming?"

      Sara nods reaching out she touches his cheek. She sits up leaning in she kisses him gently. Reaching up she pulls the cap off his head tossing it on the floor. She takes the Witchblade off setting it on the nightstand.

Later

      Sara looks at Ian his head on her chest she strokes his hair and neck.

      Ian lifts his head looking at Sara his gaze thoughtful. The two just lay there still joined looking at each other. After a few moments Ian looks to the clock "I should go."

      Feeling him leave her Sara gasps. Rolling to her side she watches as he dresses in silence.

      After he dresses Ian crouches beside the bed trailing his fingers down her bare arm. "I will see you in a few days."

      Sara nods reaching out she cups his cheek leaning forward she kisses him "Be careful"

      Ian kisses her palm "As always"

      Sara watches him walk towards the crib checking on Ana then opens the window stepping out.

      Ian glances back through the window to see Sara watching him. He glances at the crib then turns climbing down the fire escape.

      Sara pulls the covers around herself grabbing the Witchblade she returns it to his wrist.

      "Have something you want to tell me?" Danny asks

      Sara looks over to see her dead partner standing beside the crib. "Danny were you spying?!" she demands

      Danny holds up his hands "No... I have better things to do then watch my partner knock boots with Nottingham."

      Sara groans

      "Don't worry Pez... I'm dead who am I going to tell"

      "Go away Danny... I'm tired"

      "I bet"

      Sara scowls looking over to retort only to find Danny gone. She shakes her head laying down she drifts off to sleep her mind on the possible future.

Over a month later

      "Ana halt" Sara says without turning around knowing that the mobile baby is about to get into something. Setting the knife down she picks up the little girl. "Anastasia" she shakes her head amused at her daughter's expression. Sensing someone watching her she looks up to see Ian walking down the steps from the loft. "Can you entertain her so I can finish cleaning up"

      Ian nods removing his cap, overcoat and gloves he takes the baby.

      In her father's arms Ana grins spitting out her pacifier.

      Ian sets the pacifier on the counter. His settles on the floor with Ana on his lap.

      Sara relaxes in the silence of her apartment the only sounds coming from Ana talking happily to her father. After a few moments she wipes off her damp hands pouring two mugs of coffee she goes into the livingroom settling on the floor beside Ana and Ian. "Here" she hands Ian a mug

      Ian nods his thanks

      Ana reaches for the mug in her mother's hands

      "No" Ian says firmly as he catches the baby's hands in his larger one

      Sara sets the mug on the coffee table standing she goes to the kitchen grabbing a bottle out of the refrigerator. Returning to the livingroom she hands it to Ana who takes it sticking it in her mouth. Sara takes Ian's free hand stroking it with her thumb. "You OK?"

      "He is not happy"

      Sara looks down at Ian's hand frowning when she sees a white bandage peeking out from under his sleeve. Setting her mug on the coffee table she pulls up his sleeve showing the white bandage wrapped around his wrist. She looks at him concerned "What happened?"

      Ian looks down "He wanted me to prove my loyalty." he says softly

      "You did this to yourself?" she asks angrily when he doesn't answer she speaks "Why?"

      "If I refused" he flinches at the thought

      "You could have died Ian" she says angrily

      "I had no choice."

      Hearing the pain in his voice Sara rubs the back of his neck "Why was he upset?"

      "He does not like that I am spending more time away from him."

      "And spending it with us"

      "He still believes that I am only watching." he looks at Sara then at Ana "I should go before he gets suspicious." he leans forward catching Sara's lips in a bruising kiss. He looks at her his eyes serious and sad "I love you Sara Pezzini." he says fiercely "You and Anastasia are more important to me than anything or anyone."

      Sara nods stroking his cheek "I know" she watches as Ian stands pulling on his overcoat and gloves. She watches as he walks out the door. She looks at Ana who is looking wide-eyed at the door the bottle still in her mouth. Sara picks up the baby hugging her close. She kisses Ana's cheek "daddy will be back don't worry."

2 nights later

      Sara looks up from Ana to see Ian climb through the window "You know I'm going to have to give you a key sooner or later."

      Ian looks at her his head tilted thoughtfully as he regards Sara as she gives the baby a bottle. "I have something for you"

      Sara sees the light in his eyes "What?"

      Ian sits on the edge of the bed "Anastasia's real birth certificate."

      "Irons gave it to you?"

      Ian nods "The surrogate, Robin Hanson, is listed as her mother father is blank but he said that was merely a security precaution." he takes out the piece of paper handing it to Sara.

      Sara scans it "She was born February 7, 2003 at four am." she looks at Ana "So she's just over 8 months old."

      "I did some research... the surrogates parents have filed a missing persons on her."

      "Is she dead?"

      "He claims she is. I do not know."

      "I'll have Gabe see what he can find out about her."

      Ian nods touching Ana's cheek with his gloved finger

      "You OK?"

      "Sometimes I wonder what my parents were like."

      "You don't remember them?"

      "No."

      "Why don't you ask Irons." Sara suggests

      "I did once when I was a boy."

      "What did he say?"

      "That they were dead and there was nothing else to it. After that I stopped asking him anything about my past."

      "Why don't you look for yourself"

      Ian shakes his head "I tried... he did not like it." he looks at the clock "I have to go."

      Sara touches his cheek "Thanks"

      Ian nods leaning forward he kisses Sara's forehead. He looks down at Ana then stands going to the window

      "Hey Nottingham"

      Ian turns

      "Be careful"

      Ian nods "You too." he climbs out the window

Chapter 9

4 months later

      Sara stares at the indicator in her hand "This can't be happening" she mutters. Sliding to the floor of the bathroom her back to the wall she pulls her knees up to her chest.

      Ian climbs through the unlocked window in the bedroom to find Sara's bed empty while Ana sleeps in her crib.

      Sara looks down to see the Witchblade purr and blush. She stands making her way to the bathroom door. She stands there knowing Ian's watching her his dark eyes concerned.

      Seeing the stunned look on Sara's face Ian moves closer "Sara?" he touches her cheek lightly "What is wrong?"

      Sara stares at him "Ian..." she slides to the floor looking at the Witchblade "Damn things supposed to be part of me yet it left me hanging in the wind." she mutters

      "Sara did something happen with the Witchblade?"

      Sara closes her eyes leaning her head against the wall "I'm pregnant" she says softly. After a second she looks at Ian.

      "Are you sure?" Ian asks softly

      "I took five tests... all of them were positive." she closes her eyes swallowing hard.

      "Sara" he reaches out touching her cheek

      Sara looks at him taking the bracelet off she kisses him pouring all her fear and desperation into it.

Later

      Sara watches as Ian gently trails his fingers over her skin his face intense. "Ian what's wrong?"

      "He will not be happy" he moves down the bed nuzzling her middle

      Sara squirms ticklish at the feeling of his beard against her skin. She reaches down stroking his hair "It doesn't concern him." she reaches down her finger under his chin she lifts his head. "Ian I'll take responsibility for Ana and the baby"

      Ian moves up her body face to face he speaks "I am not going to walk away from you and our children Sara." he says his eyes serious "I never could." he closes his eyes "I just do not want that to happen again."

      "Ian he won't hurt us. I know you don't want to lose another child... we'll do whatever we can to make sure that won't happen."

      Ian looks at her then leans down kissing her lightly "I love you" he says softly his eyes searching hers

      Sara smiles at him her thumb running over his lower lip "Ian I love you" she says. She watches as his eyes brighten momentarily as a small smile appears then disappears. "Wow that's a first."

      Ian tilts his head

      "You just smiled... not like the smirk you get when you make me jump."

      Ian looks down

      Sara smiles rolling him onto his back she kisses him "You definately got a cute smile Nottingham." She sits up looking down at him. Her fingers trailing over the scars on his chest and arms. She leans down pressing her lips against a jagged scar on his chest.

      Ian just watches her silently then pulls her down atop him.

      Sara kisses his neck. The two remain silent just holding each other.

      Finally Ian speaks "I should go"

      Sara sighs moving off him she watches as he dresses "Ever wonder if you'll ever be able to stay all night?"

      Ian pauses in his dressing and looks at Sara "One day" he promises then returns to dressing.

      Sara chuckles

      Ian looks at her quizzically

      Sara smiles at him blinking back tears "Wow... we're going to have a baby." she says awed

      Ian sits on the edge of the bed leaning down kissing her tenderly "A baby... our baby." he stares at her "Be careful Sara"

      "I will. Besides the Blade has protected me" she frowns "Ian has a Wielder ever been pregnant while wearing the Blade?"

      "I do not know."

      "I guess we'll just have to see." Sara sighs giving him a small smile

      Ian kisses her again then straightens up pulling on his sweater. He goes to the livingroom where he pulls on his boots and overcoat. He picks up the discarded Witchblade from the floor returning to the loft he hands it to Sara.

      "Mmm thanks" she says putting it back on

      "I will see you later" he says opening the window

      Sara watches him close the window then a moment later he disappears. Sara sighs resting her hands over her middle she tilts her head "I hope your happy in there kid." she inhales sharply as an image hits her mind

      A small figure deep within her body.

      Sara grins "Wow" she looks at the bracelet seeing what she refers to has the happy calm colors. "Too bad you didn't show me that earlier... would have saved me a lot of money."

2 days later

      Sara stands on the roof of the precinct looking out over the city.

      "Deep thoughts my Sara" Ian says softly as he joins her

      "Something weird happened the other night after you left."

      "What?" Ian asks concerned

      Sara looks at him a smile appearing "It showed me the baby." she answers her fingers touching the stone of the bracelet absently

      Ian looks at the Witchblade then at Sara "It is a part of you."

      "I went to the doctor this morning... she said everything is normal and that her best guess is that I'm about four and a half weeks." she runs her fingers through her hair "She was amazed that I got pregnant even with being on the Pill"

      "You are amazing" Ian says his eyes gentle

      Sara's about to reply when the door leading down opens.

      "Pez" Jake calls

      Sara looks over to see her blond partner searching the rooftop for her. She looks back at Ian "You better go... we don't need you two fighting"

      Ian nods "I will see you later" he promises

      Sara looks over to see Jake getting closer she turns back to Ian only to find him gone "I hate it when he does that" she mutters

      "Hey Pez I've been looking all over for you." Jake says

      "Taking a little breather." Sara replies "What's going on?"

      "We've got a new vic. Boss wants us there"

      Sara nods "Lets go then Partner."

7 PM

      "Ana stop" Sara yelps as the eleven month old baby splashes water

      Ana grins innocently at her mother then her eyes widen holding out her arms towards the door.

      Sara glances over her shoulder to find Ian standing there watching them. She looks at Ana "Wave to Daddy"

      Ana rubs at her eyes sleepily in response

      "Someones going to bed early" Sara lifts Ana out of the tub setting her on the floor she grabs a towel bundling her up.

      "Has she been sleeping?" Ian asks

      "Mmm" Sara nods "Jas said she wouldn't go down for her afternoon nap. Her teeth have been bothering her lately." she informs Ian as she stands with Ana in her arms. She heads out of the bathroom up to the loft. She sets Ana on the changing table quickly she dries her off then rediapers her. She grabs a clean sleeper out of the drawer putting it on Ana. Sara moves to put Ana in her crib when the baby whimpers clinging to her. She sighs going over she sets Ana on her bed. She lays down beside the baby then looks at Ian.

      Ian nods removing his boots he curls his body around Sara's his arm around her waist with his hand splayed across her middle. His other hand laced with Sara's resting on Ana's chest. "My family." he says possessively

      Sara tilts her head and smiles resting her free hand over his over her middle "For as long as you want us."

      "Forever?"

      "Then forever it is." The two remain silent watching as Ana drifts off to sleep.

30 mins later

      Sara looks at Ana then looks at Ian over her shoulder "I'm going to go put her in the crib." she untangles herself from Ian's embrace then carefully picks up the sleeping baby. After setting Ana in the crib she turns to find Ian watching her thoughtfully. Moving up the foot of the bed she leans down kissing him.

      Ian pulls her down holding her close.

      Sara lifts her head "You seem to be in touching mood."

      "I have missed you." he strokes her cheek with the back of his fingers "It is getting harder to be apart." he says "I wake up thinking of you and Ana and now the new life. As I do when I sleep."

      "Is there no way to get away from him?"

      "Death... us or him. I do not want you to die and yet I cannot kill him."

      "Ian what does he have on you that make you stay?"

      "Other than you and the babies safety..." he closes his eyes "Since I was a child he has had me put under numerous behavioral modifications."

      "Like what?"

      "Words... lights. I do not know precisely I do not remember what happens during those black-outs. All I know is what happens after." he looks at her then his hands "Sometimes I come out of it to find blood on my hands." he clenches his hands

      Sara kisses his knuckles "It is his fault Ian... you wouldn't have done it on your own."

      "He has tried to use it to get me to kill you." he admits. He looks at her "But you are too imbedded in me for it to work."

      Sara strokes his face her eyes widening at the images

      Ian strung up in chains blood seeping down his back.

      "You disobeyed me Ian." Irons snarls backhanding his assassin across the face.

      Ian just stares at the floor ignoring the blood dripping down his chin

      Irons frowns "It must be the Witchblade... it is also a part of you. And I have always told you to protect Detective Pezzini and the Witchblade with your own life." Irons nods at the doctor "Patch Ian up." he orders

      Ian swallows a groan as the doctor unhooks him from the chains.

      Sara shakes off the vision looking at Ian "You could have killed me and spared yourself that pain."

      "I would never hurt you... I was born to protect you. Every lifetime I have sworn to die for you Sara... and that is what I will do no matter the lifetime. All the pain is worth it knowing you are alive and never feeling what I have had to feel. You are what I have lived for all of these years Sara, the only one I have ever loved."

      Sara kisses him gently then lays back down her head cradled in the crook of his neck. "Its funny you know everything about me yet all I know about you is what I figured out on my own."

      "What do you want to know?" Ian asks running his hand over her arm

      Sara props her head up on her hand looking down at Ian. "Ian what happened to your parents?" she asks curiously

      Ian closes his eyes momentarily "I do not remember them. They were killed when I was a boy."

      "And you've been with Irons since"

      Ian nods "He has always kept me close. Tutors growing up. The only time I ever left was when he sent me away to join the military and even then he kept an eye on me. I advanced quickly as a result of my training with the trainers and tutors he hired."

      "How old were you when you got involved with the Black Dragons?" Sara asks curiously

      Ian looks at her "You do not know? I know that Gabriel has researched me. I maybe sheltered from most things in the world but he made sure I was educated in everything."

      "OK Gabe did check you out when we first met." Sara admits "But it was over 2 years ago."

      "Mmm" Ian leans forward kissing her gently "You should get some rest my love."

      Sara glances at the clock "How long can you stay?"

      "A while"

      Sara yawns

      A small smile appears on Ian's face his hands going to the button of her jeans.

      "Like the thought" she grins

      "Not tonight my Sara." he chuckles kissing her cheek. "Tonight you need your sleep." he moves down the bed pulling her jeans off tossing them on the floor. Seeing her shirt move up as she stretches Ian moves up his lips brushing over her bare skin. He pulls the covers up laying down beside her he pulls her into his arms. "Sleep my Sara." he says soothingly as he kisses her head.

      Sara smiles drifting off to sleep in Ian's arms.

Next morning: 6 AM

      Sara awakens to the sound of the alarm clock blaring. Rolling over she hits it. Sitting up she stretches her arms over her head. She notices a piece of paper on the nightstand with her name written on it. She grabs it opening it she reads

      'Sara,

      I will see you and Anastasia as soon as I can get away. Be careful I will be watching over you.

      Forever your servant,

      Ian Christian Nottingham.'

      Sara grins folding up the note she puts it in her nightstand drawer. She stands checking on Ana she makes her way into the kitchen turning on the TV as she passes the livingroom. She takes the bottles of prenatal pills out of the cabinet. 'Ugh these things are hard to swallow.' she downs them wincing. "Danny" she calls knowing her partner will answer within moments

      "What can I do for you Partner?" Danny asks

      Sara looks at her ghost friend "Can you keep an eye on Ana for me... I need to take a shower."

      "Sure"

      "Thanks" she grins heading into the bathroom

Hour and a half later

      Sara opens the door to find Jas standing there. "Morning." she moves back to the kitchen picking up her bowl of cereal.

      Jas grins "How are you feeling?"

      "Fine right now." Sara replies finishing her glass of juice. "Ana has a doctors appointment at 2. The number and address are on the counter. Carseats over there" she nods towards the door. "The papers you might need for her are on the counter. Her pediatrician is Dr Erin Roberts." glancing at her watch Sara sighs "I better get going. I'm going to be late." she pulls on her jacket stopping to kiss Ana's head. "Oh she still needs breakfast." she says hurrying out of the apartment.

Precinct

      Sara enters the doors to find Jake waiting "Hey Partner." she greets

      "Hey Pez. Your on time."

      "Ana slept through the night so did I." she shrugs

      "Ready to get to work?"

      "Anything new?" Sara asks

      "Nope mostly paperwork"

      Sara groans "Great my favorite thing."

Hour later

      "Pez I'm going on a coffee run... want one?"

      Sara frowns remembering the doctor's words 'No coffee.' she mentally growls then looks at Jake "No but could you get me a juice."

      "Sure what kind?"

      "Whatevers there" Sara replies

      "Be right back... don't finish the paperwork without me." the blond ex-Surfer grins before disappearing.

      "No problem" Sara calls. She settles back taking a break to rest her hand. Her cell phone rings she grabs it "Pezzini."

      "You of all people turned down coffee."

      Sara smiles "How'd you know about that?"

      "I have my ways." Ian says mysteriously

      Hearing that Sara frowns "Are you stalking me again? Haven't we talked about that?"

      "I do not consider it stalking... more like checking up on my favorite lady."

      "Where are you?"

      "Step outside your office look to the left."

      Sara stands stepping outside her office she looks to the left she smiles seeing Ian standing there partially hidden behind a wall. She leans against the doorframe and rests her arm over her middle. "What are you doing here?"

      "I wanted to see you."

      "And didn't want Jake to see you."

      "I still do not trust him." Ian says with a growl

      "Well I do and Ana likes him."

      "How long until he returns?"

      "About five more minutes. He tends to get sidetracked with the secretaries and any female he finds attractive." she sees a blond woman glance at Ian. "Seems like you get the same attention."

      "The only attention I want is from you."

      "And you have it. Is checking up on me the only reason your here?"

      "No... but it is the best."

      "As much as I love the flattery why are you here?"

      "He wanted me to warn you a new version of the White Bulls is starting to form."

      "Why would he want me to know?" Sara asks "He was part of the original"

      "He did not tell me just wanted you and McCartey to know."

      "Thanks I'll tell him."

      "I better go. I have to go out of town with him for a few days. I will try to get a hold of you within a few days."

      "He's taking you with him? Doesn't he usually leave you behind so you can keep track of me?" She asks tilting her head

      "Yes" Ian nods "but he wants me around for some reason."

      "Is he up to something?"

      "He is always up to something"

      "Good point."

      "McCartey is coming back."

      Sara glances over her shoulder then looks back to see Ian gone "Ian?"

      "Be careful Sara."

      "You too." Sara says as he hangs up. She returns to her office sitting down.

      Jake enters the office "I got you apple... how's that?"

      "Fine. Thanks" Sara says taking the drink she opens it. "I just got an interesting call."

      "New case?" he asks sitting down

      "No" she looks towards the open door then back at Jake "I was informed that a new version of the White Bulls is being formed."

      "Who told you that?" Jake asks suspiciously

      "Informant"

      "Who?"

      Sara looks at the door then at Jake "I'm in the mood for a Egg McMuffin."

      Jake nods knowing his partners thoughts. The two stand making their way out of their office.

15 mins later

      Sara and Jake sit down inside the McDonalds their drinks and food before them.

      "What's this about the White Bulls reforming?"

      "That's what my informant said."

      "Nottingham?"

      "If it is does it matter?"

      "No I guess not. He usually is right." Jake says reluctantly

      "Your still mad about him beating the crap out of you"

      Jake winces "It hurt."

      "He thought you were betraying me."

      "Why would he care? He's an assassin."

      "Not by choice." Sara says sadly

      "How so?"

      Sara shakes her head "Its a long story. Look I know you two have issues but you and he are both going to have to deal with the fact that both of you are in my life."

      "Your my partner, my buddy. I worry."

      "Jake I'm a big girl I can handle Ian and any thing else in my life."

      "Does Anastasia like him?" Jake asks

      "She hasn't been around him much... but I thinks she likes him. He doesn't really make his visits while she's awake." she takes a bite out of her Egg McMuffin. "Look Irons told him to warn us. I guess their thinking the heads of the White Bulls might try something."

      "Have you told Gabe?"

      "Not yet. I'm going to stop by after work. He's been working full out these last few days."

      "Doing what?"

      "He didn't say."

      "We better get back to work. We still have major amount of files to go through."

      Sara nods finishing off her Egg McMuffin.

That evening

      Sara enters the apartment to find Ana on the floor with Ian beside him. "I thought you were leaving town"

      "He decided that it would be best if I stayed behind"

      Sara nods removing her jacket tossing on the couch she looks around not finding the nanny. "Where's Jas?" she asks settling beside Ian and Ana on the floor

      "She just left a few minutes ago."

      Ana crawls onto her father's lap leaning forward she rests her head on her mother's leg.

      "What did she say about Ana's doctor's appointment?"

      "That everything was fine. I managed to talk him into giving me the files on her."

      "And?"

      "Nothing from what I can tell is out of the ordinary."

      "I'll have Gabe look at them find someone who can tell us more."

      "He has the records. I dropped them off on my way here." he leans over nuzzling her neck "I have missed you my Sara" he purrs "I do not like being apart from you and Ana. I am glad he did not make me go with him."

      "So am I."

      Ana sits up grabs hold of their shirts tugging

      "What's going on little miss?" Sara asks smoothing the baby's dark hair.

      Ian pulls back from nuzzling Sara's neck to pick up his daughter. The two just watch each other almost silently communicating.

      Sara smiles "Staying for dinner?"

      "Taken care of." Ian replies tearing his eyes away from Ana "Should be here within the hour."

      "Mmm like how you think" she says sleepily

      "Tired?"

      Sara shrugs "I haven't had any coffee all day of course I'm tired."

      "You are addicted to coffee." Ian says

      "Am not"

      Ian looks at her "You have six different types of coffee in the kitchen. Coffee flavored ice cream and coffee flavored chocolate. You normally drink about five or six cups of coffee by mid afternoon. You are on a first name basis with every coffee place in this neighborhood, around the precinct and near Gabriel's."

      "And how do you know that?"

      Ian brushes his hand over her cheek "I know all there is to know about you. From how you got the scar on your foot to the first guy you kissed."

      "And how do you know that?"

      "He's done research on you. I have read it."

      Sara groans "Is there nothing sacred from that man."

      "No"

      "OK I admit it have a coffee problem... there's no twelve step program for that." she reminds

      Ian rests his large hand over her stomach "And this?"

      Sara smiles "OK there is a nine month program... but once this kid is born I'm back on caffeine and coffee and everything else I'm not supposed to have." she trails her fingers over the back of his hand.

      "That is your choice."

      "You know Nottingham one day we are going to have to work on your fun side." Sara says

      "My fun is watching over you. Seeing how you react to everyday things." he kisses Sara's cheek then looks at Ana crawling along the floor near them. "Seeing how Ana reacts to things. To me those things are fun."

      "What about when you were a kid... did he even let you have fun?"

      "Not the normal type of fun. His idea of fun..." he shakes his head

      "Was probably freaky as hell"

      "There are good things about him."

      "You can't believe that." Sara argues

      "He taught me a lot of things... art, life, history, the world. He may not be much on showing emotions other than anger but he always made sure I got the best."

      "In-between treating you like crap and beating the daylights out of you."

      Ian shrugs "If it had not been for him I would have ended up in an orphanage somewhere. We never would have met."

      "Something tells me we still would have met Nottingham. Who knows we might have met when we were kids." she smiles slightly "Wonder if we would have gotten along as kids." the two sit there thinking and watching their daughter play.

2 hours later

      Sara sighs leaning back against Ian as they sit in the bathtub. "Are you going to be able to stay the night?"

      Ian brings her hand to his lips "I have to return to the mansion sometime tonight otherwise they will be forced to tell him I have been gone. I will stay as long as I can."

      "Mmm goody."

December 2, 2003: Apartment

      "I can't believe she's one" Sara says as she and Ian lay on the bed with Ana between them.

      "She seems to be worn out."

      "She ran Gabe and Jas ragged playing."

      "He asked me to give you something." Ian says reaching into his pocket he pulls out an envelope.

      Sara groans "What is he up to?"

      "Its stock in all of his companies... approximate worth is fifty thousand. Also a check in there for five thousand to open a savings account for her."

      "Does he think he can buy anything"

      "Yes."

      "I'm surprised he didn't show up today."

      "He would have but he had meetings all day."

      Sara looks at Ana "I think we've lucked out that he hasn't tried to see her." she covers the baby with a blanket "I wonder how she'd react to seeing him."

      "If we are lucky we will never have to find out."

      Sara groans rolling to her feet she sprints to the bathroom

      Ian stands with Ana in his arms he sets her in the crib then follows Sara leaning over the toilet gagging trying to keep her hair back. Grabbing a elastic band he kneels behind her carefully gathering her hair back he secures it.

      Sara groans her stomach still churning "Thanks"

      Ian moves to his feet filling a glass with water handing it to Sara he kneels beside her.

      Sara smiles to herself at Ian's silent attention and care of her. She rinses her mouth of the taste of bile then slowly stands with Ian's help. She grabs the bottle of mouthwash that sits on the edge of the sink.

      Ian stands there his eyes unwavering as he takes in the whole episode.

      Sensing his worry Sara spits out the mouthwash looking at Ian she gives him a reassuring smile then moves into his arms. She rests her head on chest listening to his beating heart.

      Ian wraps his arms around her.

      "Ian" Sara lifts her head "I'm going to need to tell Vickie, Jake and Gabe that I'm pregnant. Their getting suspicious of a bunch of stuff."

      Ian nods "It probably is a good time for them to know." they remain silent for a moment when Ian's phone rings breaking their silence. "It is probably Mr Irons" he pulls away going to his overcoat on the couch. He grabs the phone before it rings a third time. "Yes?"

      Sara watches as his almost relaxed form returns to his predator facade. 'Irons what now.'

      "I will be there right away." he hangs up looking at Sara as he pulls on his overcoat. "I have to go."

      "What did he want?"

      "He has something he wants me to take care of." Ian stops before her his eyes flickering between the emotions he shows to her and the coldness the rest of the world sees. "I will see you later my Sara."

      Sara smiles "Goodnight Ian."

      Ian leans down kissing her gently "Sleep well"

      "Be careful" she warns as he walks to the door

      Ian nods walking out the door.

      Sara locks the door behind him. "Time for bed" she yawns walking back up to the bed she stops before the crib smiling at the sight of Anastasia asleep in her crib "Happy Birthday Anastasia."

Chapter 10

Christmas Day: 12:30 AM

      'Thank god she slept through midnight mass' Sara sighs as she enters the apartment with a sleeping Ana in her arms. She smiles seeing Ian standing at the window his profile highlighted by the Christmas tree lights. She goes to his side and looks out the snow covered city. "I love it when we have a snowy Christmas" Sara shifts Ana in her arms. "I'm going to go put her down." she makes her way to the bedroom turning the lamp on setting Ana on the changing table.

      Ian sits on the foot of the bed watching silently as Sara chasing Ana. "Do you believe in God?"

      Sara glances at Ian seeing the curiousity in his eyes "That's something you've never asked me." she looks at Ana as she removes the dirty diaper "I don't know if I believe in God. I do but I don't. I believe there's something up there watching out for everyone."

      "Why go to Mass then?" Ian asks

      Sara rediapers the baby then buttons up her sleeper. "Mostly because that was how I was raised. Mass on Christmas Eve and Easter. Mom used to drag us there." she lifts Ana off the changing table turning to look at Ian. "I guess its just habit that I go now."

      Ian nods

      "Do you believe in God?" Sara asks

      "I do not know. I rarely think about higher powers... I have enough with one as it is."

      "Wow sarcasm... you know Nottingham I think you've been hanging around me too much."

      "There is no such thing as too much time with you." he says almost shyly

      Sara smiles turning she sets Ana in her crib the pulls off her boots going over she sets a knee on either side of his legs her hands on his shoulders. "Merry Christmas Ian."

      Ian smiles slightly "Merry Christmas my Sara." he wraps one arm around her waist his other hand caressing her cheek. "I wish I could spend the day with you and Ana."

      "What do you two do on Christmas Day?" Sara asks curiously

      "I have to join him for brunch and dinner."

      "That's all you do?"

      "It depends on his mood."

      Sara kisses him deeply then grins "I guess then I'll have to make it up to you for having to have a boring Christmas day." Her hands go to the hem of her sweater and undershirt pulling it off over her head tossing it on the floor.

Later

      Sara runs her fingers through Ian's hair as he rests. She notices the Witchblade on her wrist "What the..."

      Ian lifts his head from her chest

      Sara holds up her arm "I took it off... it never returns to my wrist when we're together. I always have to put it back on."

      Ian frowns "What do you feel?"

      Sara stares at the stone shaking her head "Nothing." A moment later the bedside phone rings Sara grabs it before it can wake Ana. "Pezzini."

      "Detective have you heard from Ian?"

      "No he's probably outside spying on me. Why?"

      "I have tried to reach him but his phone is not on."

      "I'd go to the window and yell at him but people are sleeping." she watches as Ian sits up she grabs his hand. "If he stops by I'll tell him your looking for him." she hangs up

      "I should go" Ian says

      "Might want to take a shower we tend to work up a sweat." she smirks

      Ian kisses her then gets out of bed making his way to the bathroom

      Sara shakes her head getting out of bed she pulls on a pair of panties and a shirt making her way into the kitchen as she hears the shower turn on. She passes Ian's overcoat then grins 'He does need an excuse of why he didn't answer his phone.' she fishes the small cell phone out of his pocket then goes into the kitchen.

      A moment later Ian walks out of the bathroom a towel around his waist he finds Sara twirling a meat tenderizer a wicked smile on her face. "What did you do?" he asks suspiciously as he finds his boxers on the stairs

      "Oh nothing much... helped with your excuse of why you didn't answer your phone."

      "How so?" Ian asks finding his jeans he pulls them on going into the kitchen he finds his phone on the cutting table smashed. He lifts his brow "Good excuse."

      "I thought so" she says proudly

      Ian shakes his head going back up to the sleeping area looking for the rest of his clothes.

      Sara puts his broken phone back into his pocket then carries it up to the bedroom finding Ian pulling on his boots. "Be here tonight?"

      "If I can." he pulls on his overcoat he stops before the crib checking on Ana. 'Sweet dreams my child'

      Sara touches his hand "Be careful Ian"

      Ian nods looking at Sara "I will." he kisses her forehead "Get some sleep. I will see you later." he goes to the window opening it he climbs out.

      Sara goes to the window to find him gone she smiles pulling the curtains closed checking on Ana she crawls into bed. "Goodnight Ian."

Irons Mansion: Half hour later

      Ian enters the study

      "Where have you been Ian? I have been trying to reach you."

      Hearing Irons tone Ian winces "I was keeping an eye on Sara like you asked."

      "Did the Witchblade activate?"

      Ian shakes his head "She has not used it in a few days."

      "Why am I feeling nothing from it." Irons mutters he looks at Ian "I spoke to her. She said she did not see you"

      "I stayed back. I did not want to disrupt her at Mass."

      "What about your phone? Why was it off?"

      "Its broken." Ian admits 'By a meat tenderizer.' he inwardly chuckles

      Irons nods "I will have another one activated for you." he sits down silently dismissing Ian.

      Ian backs out of the study closing the doors behind him he makes his way up to his rooms his mind going over what Irons said about not feeling anything from the Witchblade. 'Why is it not active?'

      Irons stands infront of the fireplace staring at the flame 'Something is going on.'

Mid morning

      Sara looks at Ana standing at the coffee table as she makes breakfast she hears a knock at the door. She wipes her hands off going to the door she finds Gabe standing there. "Hey"

      "I bring juice and gifts"

      "I miss my coffee."

      "Well its not good for my niece or nephew." Gabe says cheekily

      "Don't lecture me" Sara scowls

      "I won't." he follows her into the kitchen setting the container of juice "Need help?"

      "Can you keep an eye on Ana... she's been going nuts all morning."

      "Have a short night?" Gabe asks

      "Didn't get home from Mass until almost 1." Sara replies "And little miss woke up cheerful. And I can't have my coffee. And I'm pregnant"

      "And you miss Nottingham"

      "Ahh" Sara starts as ghost Danny appears

      "Sorry Pez" Danny says sheepishly

      "Uh is that who I think it is?" Gabe asks

      "Yes its Danny. How many times have I told you don't do that."

      Gabe looks at Ana seeing the one year olds eyes locked on her mother arguing with air. "So Ana what's going on?"

      "Danny don't show up like that... people think I'm insane. Good thing its only Gabe that's here."

      "Hey" Gabe protests

      "You know what I mean"

      "You've never been worried about what people think of you."

      "Yeah well I do now that Ana's with me. You know Irons would do anything to get custody of her. If people think I'm nuts because I'm talking to my dead partner then if he wanted he'd get custody."

      "OK OK. Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas" Danny says holding his hands up in defense

      Sara groans "Sorry Danny I have had a long morning. I miss my coffee. I'm pregnant"

      "Hormonal" Danny adds

      "Hey if you weren't dead" Sara threatens

      "I'm going" Danny says

      "Want help?" Gabe asks

      "Sure. Put Ana in the playpen and set the table."

      Gabe puts the baby in the playpen "So how's Nottingham?"

      "Fine." Sara replies pausing in cutting up fruit as she hears the door open she looks up to see Jas and Jake enter. "Hey"

      "Pez Merry Christmas" Jake grins setting the bag down he goes over grabbing her in a big hug lifting her off her feet.

      "Jake put me down the eggs are going to burn" Sara laughs

      Jake puts her back on her feet "Don't want that."

      "OK guys lets finish up setting the table" Jas says shaking her head as she lifts Ana out of the playpen putting her on the playpen "Hands up"

      Ana holds up her arms as Jas secures the tray.

      "Good girl" Jas praises

      Ana puts her arms down banging on the tray.

      "She seems in a good mood" Jake says grabbing glasses out of the cabinets

      "She's been hyper all morning." Sara says "foods up" she announces setting the eggs on the counter taking the warmed rolls out of the oven.

      "Food" Gabe says happily. Within minutes the friends are sitting at the table eating and talking.

      Sara grabs a roll tearing it she puts part of it on the highchair tray. "There"

      Ana grins grabbing the food chewing on it

      "How many teeth is she on?" Jake asks

      "Three. I think a new one's coming in" Sara replies

      "What's everyone's plan for the rest of the day?" Jas asks

      "I'm heading out to Cali this afternoon." Jake says

      "Party with some friends." Gabe answers

      "Nothing other than sleep. What about you?"

      Jas shrugs "Might go visit some friends."

      "Don't worry Pez I'll be back in time to help you with the paperwork" Jake assures.

      "You better... there is nothing I hate more."

      "Except Irons"

      "And Dante" Jake chimes in

      "And when Nottingham appears out of nowhere" Jas adds

      "Yeah" Sara says thinking back to all the times Ian showed up out of nowhere to warn her or to give her something.

      "Oh boy she's got that look" Jake groans

      "He's not so bad... sure he can scare the daylights out of you"

      "Beat the crap out of you" Jake mutters

      "That was your own fault... you should have been honest with Pez" Gabe says

      "I know" Jake grumbles

      Ana bangs on her tray

      Jas sets a piece of fruit on the tray for her.

      "So speaking of Nottingham where is he?" Jake asks "I would have thought he'd make an appearance already."

      "No he won't. He has to spend brunch and dinner with Irons."

      "Talk about mood killer" Gabe says

      "Wonder what they talk about at the dinner table." Jake muses

      "I doubt much." Sara says

      "Those two aren't very talkative" Gabe says "I doubt they say much"

      "Irons can get talkative if its a topic he likes." Sara shrugs

Hour later

      "Thanks for breakfast Pez" Jake says after the group clears the table and opens presents. "I'd stick around but I don't want to miss my flight. Mom's already upset I wasn't able to get home for Christmas day. She'll have my head if I don't make it at all." he pulls on his coat.

      Sara says goodbye to her friends then after they leave she sets Ana in the playpen then starts cleaning up.

Few hours later

      Ian sits on the edge of the bed watching as Sara and Ana sleep. Reaching out he smoothes Sara's hair back and slowly she stirs.

      Feeling the soft and familiar touch Sara sighs slowly opens her eyes she smiles sleepily. "Ian" she sits up stretching "I thought he put you on house arrest." she says her hand resting on his cheek

      "He wanted me to bring you something."

      "Ian" Sara's about to continue when she hears a sniffle. Looking over they see Ana watching them sleepily.

      Ana grins clapping her hands crawling over to Ian chattering happily.

      Ian lifts her onto his lap as he reaches into his coat pocket pulling out an envelope handing it to Sara. "He said use it for Ana."

      Sara opens the envelope finding a bunch of money. "How much?"

      "Twenty thousand."

      Sara hands the envelope to him "You do something with it."

      "He wants you to use it for Ana"

      "Ian IA is getting nosy about Ana and how I am disappearing all the time. I'm trying to stay under the radar with them."

      Ian nods "I will do something with the money but its yours and Ana's." he puts it back in his pocket bringing out a small velvet box handing it to Sara avoiding Ana's grasping hands.

      Sara opens it to find a silver chain with a pendent the same red as the Witchblades stone. "Ian its gorgeous... thank you"

      Ian nods "Ana's present will be here in a few days."

      Sara stands going to her dresser she picks up a wrapped gift returning to the bed she hands it to Ian. "Merry Christmas Ian" she says kissing his cheek she takes Ana from his lap.

      Ian removes the wrapping paper to find a wooden box with his family seal on it. He swallows opening the box to find a picture of a small boy and a couple 'My parents' he realizes after a second "How did..." he looks at Sara surprised

      "I went through back newspapers from England and found out that some of your parents things were put up for auction. Gabe found the box and tracked down some friends of your parents and got the picture."

      Ian stares at the picture "I had almost forgotten what they looked like." he says sadly

      "Now you won't" Sara replies. She looks at Ana beside them on her back playing with her feet.

      "Sara" Ian says softly unsure of what to say

      Sara grins "You know Nottingham you were a cute kid."

      Ian pulls her into a desperate hug "I love you Sara" he whispers

      Sara wraps her arms around his neck "I love you too Ian"

      After a moment Ian breaks the hug glancing at the clock "I should go"

      Sara nods sadly pulling Ana onto her lap.

      Ian leans down kissing Ana's head "I will see you in a few days." he assures

      "OK" she watches as he walks down the steps and out the door locking it behind him. After a moment she looks down at Ana "Well little miss lets get you cleaned up."

New Years Eve

      "I hate working on New Years Eve" Jake grumbles as he and Sara sit at the desk filling out paperwork.

      "Know the feeling." Sara says standing she stretches

      Jake leans back "You know Pez you should tell the Cap"

      "I'm not showing and I'm staying out of trouble."

      "I can't believe Nottingham hasn't locked you in a closet."

      "Why would he?"

      "Its his personality... you know how guard doggish he gets."

      Sara shrugs "He watches out for me but he doesn't run my life."

      Jake looks at her "Does he know?"

      Sara nods

      "Has he told Irons?"

      "No."

      "How do you know?"

      "I just do" Sara yawns "come on lets get this done." she says looking at the paperwork.

Chapter 11

2 months later

      "I'm going to get you Pezzini" a man yells as he's led away by the cops. "They can't keep me locked up."

      At his words Pez shivers involuntarily.

      "You OK Sara?" Captain Santos asks seeing the look

      Sara nods glancing at the Witchblade seeing the colors swirl.

      "Now that that case is done you are on official desk duty Pezzini" the Captain says sternly

      "But" Sara protests

      The Captain holds up his hand "No arguments. You and McCartey are still partners you just are not going out in the field."

      "I'm not incapable of doing my job."

      "You can visit crime scenes as long as someone is with you. But no more interrogations. No more chasing down suspects."

      "OK OK" Sara holds up her hands

      "Pez we're just looking out for you" Jake says putting his arm around her shoulders.

      "I know" she sighs

      "Lets go get some lunch... my treat" Jake steers Sara out of the Captains office.

      "Pez go home." Danny says appearing beside them "Ana and Jas are in trouble"

      Frightened by his tone Sara looks at Jake "How about we stop off at the apartment... check on everything."

      "Bad feeling?"

      "I'm not sure"

Apartment

      Sara and Jake hurry up the stairs leading to the apartment. Sara frowns seeing the door hanging open. "What the...?" she draws her gun.

      Jake follows suit and they enter the apartment careful of any intruders. Jake sees the place trashed things and strewn about. 'Jas must have struggled.'

      "Their gone" Sara says not seeing Jas or Ana anywhere. She looks down to see the Witchblade activated with a strangled cry she slices through a kitchen chair.

      "Sara?"

      "I'm fine" Sara assures heading up the steps to the sleeping area.

      "I'll call it in." Jake says taking out his phone. "This is Detective McCartey with have a B and E with a kidnapping at Detective Pezzini's place."

      Sara half listens to his conversation.

      Door breaking open.

      Men entering with guns.

      Ana crying

      Jas arguing with the men.

      Grabbing Ana from one of the men as their herded out the door.

      "Pez... Pez" Jake shakes her "You OK? You faded on me"

      Sara nods "Call Gabe tell him to come over."

      "Sure... and Nottingham?"

      "He'll show up." she looks at the bracelet

Vorschlag Industries

      Ian inhales sharply

      Irons hears him looking over at him.

      Ian moves closer

      "The Witchblade has been activated... go check on her" Irons orders

      Ian nods backing out of the room. 'Sara' he grabs his overcoat making his way out of the building in a hurry.

Sara's Apartment

      Sara sits on the floor on the bedroom leaning against the bed half listening to the cops as they speak with Jake. She twists the Witchblade around her wrist. 'Please be OK Ana'

      Gabe enters the apartment startled by the mess. "What happened?"

      One of the officers sees Gabe "Sir..."

      "Its OK. He's a friend of Pez's" Jake says

      The officer nods allowing Gabe to enter.

      "What happened?" Gabe asks Jake

      "We stopped by for lunch and check on Ana and Jas found the door open and the place trashed. Their gone."

      Sara grabs one of the stuffed animals Ana had received for Christmas. She closes her eyes. 'Ana where are you.' she sits there ignoring the cops milling about looking for clues.

      Outside Ian stops as he sees the cop cars parked out front. He takes out his new cell phone dialing Sara's number.

      Inside Gabe hears the phone ringing. He finds Sara's jacket taking it out. "Pezzini's phone... this is Gabe."

      "Where is Sara?"

      Gabe turns away from the cops "Where are you?"

      "Outside. What happened?"

      "Ana and Jas are missing."

      Ian inhales sharply "How?"

      "Someone broke in. That's all I know. I haven't had the chance to ask her anything."

      Jake grabs the phone "That you Nottingham"

      "Yes" Ian replies "I will be right up."

      "I'll tell her... Nottingham"

      "Yes"

      "Use the door" Jake says hanging up. He looks at the cops waiting around "Go to the Precinct and get everything started. Have someone look through mine and Sara's case files. See who's out of jail. Make a list and bring it to me."

      "Yes sir." the two say with a final glance at Sara they walk out of the apartment.

      A moment later Ian enters the apartment with a quick glance at Gabe and Jake he goes to Sara crouching before her.

      "Gabe lets get to work. See what we can find online." Jake looks at the hacker

      Gabe nods taking out his laptop.

      Sara looks up her eyes filled with unshed tears "Does Irons have her?"

      Ian shakes his head "No he sent me to find out why the Witchblade was activated. I have not told him what has occured."

      "I hope Ana's OK. She's got a cold." she whispers tears falling. "She's scared"

      "Jas will take care of her." Ian assures stroking her cheek with his gloved hand. "Are you OK?"

      "Sick to my stomach. What if they start looking into her past? Even if we find her they could take her away."

      "You said that you filed papers to adopt her."

      "Yes" Sara nods

      "They will not find anything. I switched the filed birth certificate for the one Irons had. Her surrogate is dead."

      "What if she has family? If they send this out to the press I could lose her."

      "If the surrogates family surfaces I will deal with them. They will not take her from us. I swear"

      Sara nods through her tears then jumps up sprinting to the bathroom slamming the door behind her.

That Evening

      Sara is sitting on the couch drinking some tea as her friend Vickie sits beside her.

      "Do you have any idea who did this?" Vickie asks

      Sara shakes her head "Gabe and Jake are going through the case files. Most of the ones who would be capable of doing this are in jail. Captain banned me from the Precinct. He's put people outside the door."

      "How are you feeling?" Vickie asks

      "I'm scared." Sara admits. "She's just a baby."

      "I'm sure she'll be OK" Vickie assures as there's a knock at the door. "I'll get it you just rest."

      "Thanks" Sara says feeling the Witchblade hiss as Vickie opens the door. When she hears the smooth voice she winces 'Irons'

      "Detective" Irons says

      Sara looks at him her eyes meeting Ian's briefly before she focuses on Irons "What do you want Irons?"

      "Ian told me what has occured. I came to see if you are well."

      Ian stands behind Irons and nods

      "Vickie can you do me a favor?" Sara asks

      "Sure."

      "Can you go down to the Precinct and get a couple files for me"

      "You sure?"

      "Santos and Jake will let you take them. I just need to review some things in the file."

      Vickie nods grabbing her purse she heads out the door.

      Sara stands so she's face to face with Irons "Did you have anything to do with this?" she asks

      "No."

      Sara looks at the Witchblade trying to figure out if she believes him. She looks at him allowing the Witchblade to activate she holds the end of the blade to his neck "If your lying to me..." she threatens

      Ian grabs her wrist shaking his head ever so lightly

      "I am not lying. Anastasia is a very special child. Why would I risk her life?"

      "Because you've tried to kill me. You've sent Nottingham out on things that could have killed him... and you pretty much raised him. Why shouldn't I suspect you in what happened to Ana and her nanny?"

      "I may want the blade but why risk your wrath to get it?"

      Sara stares at him "I believe you" she says reluctantly

      Irons nods "Ian will stay and help you figure out what happened to Anastasia and her nanny. My contacts and money and anything else you need is at your disposal just let Ian know."

      "I don't need someone to babysit me." Sara protests half-heartedly as she cries out for Ian on the inside.

      "It is just a precaution" Irons assures then with a quick look at Ian who opens the door.

      Ian looks at Sara "I will be back up"

      Sara nods watching as Ian follows Irons out the door past the stationed cops. She grabs the phone dialing Jake's phone "Have you found out anything?"

      "Not much. We're still looking but it seems like a lot of the possible suspects are in jail."

      "I sent Vickie down to pick up a file."

      "What file?"

      "The White Bulls file. I want to see if I can find anything."

      "Why them?"

      "Because its possible their behind this or the new group"

      "Are you sure you don't want to go public?"

      "It'll cause more trouble. If we don't know anything by tomorrow you can call the Feds in." she says as the door opens and Ian enters. "Thanks Jake. I'll call you later." she hangs up turning to face Ian.

      Ian moves closer touching her cheek "Ana will be fine Sara." he assures kissing her forehead.

      Sara nods tears falling "I hope so."

      Ian leads her to the couch helping her sit down he pulls the blanket around her. "Do you want something to eat?"

      Sara winces "The thought of food is making me nauseous."

      Ian squeezes her hand his lips brushing over her wrist. "What is it telling you?"

      "That she was crying when they grabbed her." she pulls her knees up to her chest. "She must be scared." she says tearfully

      Ian removes his overcoat and gloves wiping away her tears "You should rest my Sara."

      "I can't. I want to know who took Ana."

      "If you are not well then we can not go get her when we find out where she is." he says. "It is not good for the baby"

      Sara nods curling up on her side she watches Ian

      Ian kisses her knuckles

After midnight

      Ian watches as Sara restlessly sleeps beside him. He reaches out touching her arm he inhales sharply as he gets flashes

      Ana crying

      Jas trying to comfort the baby

      A dark warehouse.

      Sara awakens with a gasp her body shaking

      Ian touches her arm reassuringly

      Sara turns to him her arms winding around his neck hugging him tight. "Ian" she whispers tearfully

      Ian holds her as she cries herself back to sleep.

Midmorning

      Sara is awakened by the sound of voices arguing. Sara rolls over to find Ian and Jake nose to nose while Gabe is trying to get them to calm down.

      "Guys your going to wake Sara" Gabe says

      "I'm awake. What's going on?"

      "What's he doing here?" Jake demands

      "Keeping an eye on Sara. Someone has too" Ian retorts

      "Sara has us" Jake argues

      "Both of you knock it off." Sara says "This isn't helping Ana and Jas if you fight." she says annoyed

      Ian steps back head bowed

      "Your trusting him" Jake says angrily

      "Nottingham has proven numerous times over the years that he's trustworthy" Gabe says

      "I guess."

      "What did you find?" Sara asks

      "Found out that some of the White Bulls have been released from jail." Jake answers handing Sara the file.

      Sara opens the file reading over it her eyes narrow as she recognizes the names 'Sergeant James McDaniels, Detective Harold Francis, Lieutenant Gerald Hanson' Sara looks at Jake "How did they get let out?"

      "They served their time."

      "They were among the ones who tried to kill me and Gabe." Sara says "Why would they get out early?"

      "All they were charged with were minor crimes."

      "Where are they?"

      "No one knows. I checked with their parole officers who said that they were at home. I sent patrol officers to the homes and they aren't there. No ones seen them in a while."

      "Do either of them have property?" Ian asks remembering Sara's dream

      "I'm not sure"

      "I'll check the records" Gabe says opening his laptop

      "I'm going to go take a shower please behave" she says looking at the two sternly

      Ian nods

      "Fine" Jake says tersely

      Sara nods meeting Gabe's gaze they roll their eyes. She heads into the bathroom to take a warm shower.

Half an hour later

      The bathroom door opens and a pale yet cleaned up Sara walks out of the bathroom wearing sweats and a tank.

      Ian sees her pale expression.

      Sara meets his gaze giving him a small smile as she heads to the kitchen taking out her vitamins. After taking her pills she heads up to the bedroom where she dresses.

      "I found something Detective Francis has a brother who owns property on the riverfront. Its an old warehouse thats abandoned"

      "Lets go then" Sara says

      "Pez" Jake says

      Sara looks at him "I'm going. You can come with or not."

      "I'll call it in" Jake says

45 mins later

      Ian pulls the car to a stop half a block from the warehouse.

      "Gabe stay in the car" Sara says

      "No prob. Call me when you find them." The three get out of the car hurrying up to the building.

      Ian nods to the fire escape on the side of the building

      Sara nods

      Jake watches the silent exchange thoughtfully then drawing his gun he follows Sara into the building. 'Something is going on between those two.'

      Ian quickly climbs up the fire escape to the roof. He goes to the door leading down to the walkway. Silently the assassin moves about in search of his daughter and his friend.

      Sara notices Danny standing ahead of them tilting his head. "This way" they make their way through and aisle made by crates and boxes. As they get farther into the building they hear voices

      "This wise man?" one voice asks

      "Pezzini deserves this. She killed Dante. Got us all sent to jail" the older voice retorts "Bitch deserves everything."

      Sara steps out holding her gun out "What can I say... I don't like cowards" she says seeing two men she recognizes as Sergeant James McDaniels and Lieutant Gerald Hanson.

      The men jump up the chairs falling to the floor their guns drawn. "Pezzini" McDaniels says angrily

      "That's me. Where's my daughter?"

      "Don't know what your talking about" Hanson denies

      "Not smart lying to her. He is very protective of Sara" Jake says nodding to Ian who had silently landed behind the two men.

      The two men look at Ian who's standing there his hands behind his back

      "Now where's Ana and Jas? Or should I let him at you?"

      "Come on guys put the guns down" Jake says

      "Why should we? She got us sent to jail" Hanson argues

      "You betrayed the job" Sara replies "you killed people blackmailed people. Lined your pockets with drug money. You guys became the slime we were supposed to arrest"

      "We made things safer"

      "People where scared of the police." Sara argues "People who did little or nothing. You tried to kill me."

      "That was Dante." McDaniels says

      "Where's Ana?" Sara demands she sees the younger man's eyes stray to a corridor.

      Ian suddenly lashes out knocking one man on his stomach the gun slidding across the floor then at the other man pulling out his gun Ian holds it at his head "Where is Ana?" he demands his voice cold

      Sara sees the anger in his eyes "Jake cuff him and call it in" she nods at McDaniels on the floor. She hears Ian chamber the gun "Ian no" she moves forward putting her hand on his arm "He's not worth it. Lets just find Ana and Jas and go home."

      Ian nods shoving the man away

      Sara sees Danny standing in the corridor "Jake we're going down. Keep an eye out for the uniforms then come down."

      "Sure" Jake nods

      Sara and Ian make their way down the dark corridor "Danny?" Ian asks softly

      "Yes" Sara nods as they walk down stairs leading to a basement.

      "This way" Danny gestures

      Sara hears sobs coming from other side. She unlocks the door opening it to find Jas walking the floor with a sobbing Ana in her arms.

      Jas grins "Hey"

      Ana sees her mother enter the room twisting in her Nanny's arms she holds out her arms to Sara.

      Sara returns her gun to its holster taking Ana from Jas "Ana" she hugs the child tight.

      Ana sniffles

      "Let's get out of here" Sara says turning back to Jas handing her the baby.

      Ana wails squirming holding out her arms

      "Shh Ana. Mommy will hold you once we get up there" Jas assures.

      Reassured the baby sticks her fingers in her mouth regarding her parents silently as tears fall.

      Jas follows Ian out of the room as Sara takes up the rear.

      Sara hears the Witchblade hiss angrily. She looks down to see the swirly bloodred.

      A man jumping out of the corner shooting Ian

      Ian dying in Sara's arms.

      Sara starts inhaling sharply looking at Ian she sees a man appear out of nowhere "Ian" she moves between Ian and the shooter

      Ian hears Sara call his name just as a gun shot rings out. He turns his gun drawn to see Sara's eyes widen her body falling forward. "SARA" he cries out catching her body. He lifts his gun shooting the other man

      Hearing the gun shots Ana begins to scream

      Ian looks at Jas "Take Ana upstairs tell McCartey to call an ambulance"

      Jas nods racing up the stairs to find Jake about to head down "Sara's been shot. Ian said call an ambulance"

      Jake nods taking out his cell phone "Gabe's out in the car just down the street."

      Ian moves to the floor Sara in his arms "Sara."

      Sara groans her eyes flickering open "Ian"

      He feels the blood seep through his fingers "Why?"

      "I didn't want him to kill you" she takes the Witchblade off her wrist "Here. The doctors will try and take it off at the hospital."

      "You know I can not wear it" Ian says "its safer on someones arm."

      "Ana can. It won't activate but it will bind itself to her wrist until I can wear it again."

      Ian nods putting the bracelet in his pocket

      Jake hurries down the stairs "Ambulance is on its way" he sees the man on the floor his head blown away

      "Ian you need to go" Sara says

      "I will not leave you."

      "Go. Give me your gun" Sara looks at Ian trying to keep from passing out or throwing up.

      "Why?"

      "Because they need to think I shot him in self defense"

      "How?" Jake asks

      "This way" another gunshot is heard as Sara with Ian's help stands shooting the man in the arm. "There." she looks at Ian as she slumps to the floor "Go"

      "Sara"

      "Ian please I don't want you to get into any trouble."

      Ian reluctantly nods running up the stairs. He goes outside finding Jas holding a screaming Ana.

      "Ian" Jas says relieved

      Ian looks around quickly taking the bracelet out of his pocket "I have to get out of here" he says putting it on Ana's wrist watching as it melts to the child's wrist. "Keep her close Jas. Neither of you let her out of your sight" he says looking at Gabe and Jas then kisses the baby's head "I love you Ana" he whispers so soft that he barely hears himself.

      Gabe nods "Why did you put it on Ana?"

      "Because I can not wear it and the doctors would remove it." with that he takes off.

      After Ian leaves Sara looks at Jake "Uh buddy... I think I'm going to pass out" she slumps over Jake catching her before she keels over on the floor.

      A moment later cops and EMTs converge on the lower floor. "She's been shot. The entrance is in her shoulder... no exit" Jake informs the EMTs. "She's also pregnant"

      "How far along is she?" asks the female EMT

      "I think about three months." Jake answers

      "What happened Detective?" a uniformed officer asks

      "We got a lead on the men who kidnapped Pezzini's daughter. The two men upstairs and this man are all ex cops."

      "We're going to take her up." the EMTs announce

      Jake nods following the EMTs up the stairs and outside where he finds police cars and the car they had driven out front. He sees Jas walking with Ana still screaming.

      "Is she OK?" Gabe asks seeing the EMTs load Sara on the ambulance

      "Gunshot to the shoulder." Jake replies

      "Lets get to the hospital." Gabe says as they get into the car.

Chapter 12

Vorschlag Industries

      Irons looks up from his computer to see Ian standing there blood smeared on his cheeks "What happened?"

      Ian bows his head "Sara has been shot"

      "And the child?"

      "She is fine. With her Nanny."

      "You should have brought her to me." Irons says sternly. He shakes his head "Where is the Witchblade?"

      "I was unable to get it off Sara without causing suspicion"

      Irons nods "Find out what hospital Detective Pezzini was taken to"

      "Yes sir" Ian backs up to the door

      "And Ian"

      Ian glances at Irons

      "Go get washed up. Blood is hard to clean up." Irons looks back at his computer as Ian walks out of the office.

      Ian makes his way up to the top floor penthouse that he and Irons use when he works overnight. Ian heads back to his private suite bathroom he stares at his reflection blood smeared on his face he looks at his hands covered in blood. 'Sara' he watches as the blood washes off his hands.

Hospital

      Jake, Gabe, and Jas carrying a whimpering Ana enter the hospital. "Where's Detective Pezzini?" he asks at the ER desk

      "Pezzini?" a nurse asks

      "Brought in for gunshot"

      "She is in the exam room."

      "Is she OK?" Gabe asks

      "Are you family?" the nurse asks

      Jake flashes his badge "I'm her Partner"

      "I am not exactly sure how she is doing. I can find out for you" the nurse offers "take a seat in the waitingroom"

      The three nod

      "Gabe can you" Jas nods at the baby

      "Sure" Gabe takes the crying baby

      "Jake is her diaper bag in the car?"

      "No Sara didn't grab it. I'll call Vickie and have her bring it down."

      "Good. I have to go use the ladies room I'll be back in a moment" she hurries to the rest room

      "Ana calm down." Gabe soothes walking the floor with the screaming baby.

      The nurse joins them "Detective Pezzini is being operated on right now"

      "How bad is it?" Jake asks

      "Its in her shoulder"

      "And the baby?"

      "They aren't sure." the nurse replies seeing Ana still crying "Is she hurt?"

      "I don't think so" Gabe replies

      "I think the gunshots scared her" Jake says

      "Why don't we get her checked out" the nurse suggests

      Jake and Gabe look at each other and finally Gabe relents "I stay with her."

      "Who are you?"

      "Friend" Gabe replies following the nurse

      Jake hears his cell ring he steps outside "McCartey"

      "Where are you?"

      "St Joseph Memorial ER." Jake replies

      "How is she?"

      "They are operating. The bullet is in her shoulder"

      "Anastasia?"

      "Nurse is checking her out now. Gabe's with her."

      "I am bringing him down"

      "Are you sure that is wise?"

      "He wants to check on her himself."

      "Fine" the two hang up. Jake returns to the waiting room to find Jas enter at the same time. "Nottingham and Irons are on their way."

      Jas frowns "Where's Ana?"

      "A nurse is checking her out."

      Jas nods "I'm going to go see how Ana is." she makes her way back

      Jake sits down fidgeting as he waits for the others.

      Jas finds Gabe sitting on an bed Ana beside him being checked out by the nurse.

      "Nurse Diane this is Anastasia's nanny Jas." Gabe introduces

      "How is she?" Jas asks

      "She has a slight fever with her cold. She looks tired and hungry. Have you fed her today?"

      "Uh no. See we uh were kidnapped that's how Sara got shot"

      "Oh" Nurse Diane says "I'll check with the pediatric ward and have them send down a bottle and there maybe some crackers or Cheerios in the lounge for her."

      "Do you think you can give her something to help her get some sleep and feel better?" Jas asks hopefully

      "I'll talk with a doctor." the nurse replies "I'll be right back"

      "What's going on?" Gabe asks

      "Ian's bringing Irons. I don't know how she's going to react to seeing them both."

20 mins later

      Gabe and Jas return with Ana. "How's she doing?" Jake asks looking up from his conversation with the Captain.

      "Doctor gave her something for her cold. Nurse had a bottle made up for her." Jas says sitting down with a drowsy Ana in her arms "Hopefully she's going to fall asleep soon."

      "Any news?" Gabe asks worried

      "The doctors are still working on her." Jake replies

      "I hope their OK" Gabe says

30 mins later

      Jake looks up to see Kenneth Irons enter the hospital with Ian right behind 'Great'

      "How is Detective Pezzini?" Irons asks

      "We don't know yet" Captain Santos replies "all we know is that a bullet is lodged in her shoulder"

      "Hey its the nurse" Gabe nods

      "Detective Pezzini is fine. They removed the bullet and they're taking her up to recovery." she informs the small group

      "And what about her baby?" Captain Santos asks

      Hearing that Irons looks at Ian his jaw clenching 'So Ian has forgotten to tell me something.'

      "Fine. The doctor said heart beat and everything is fine. You can see her in a few hours."

      Ian sees the clench of Irons jaw his eyes falling to the floor. 'He is mad.'

      Irons looks at Captain Santos "Captain I regret that I have to leave but could you let me know how Detective Pezzini is and when she wakes."

      Santos nods "I will Mr Irons"

      With a quick glance at his sleeping daughter Ian follows Irons out the door.

      Once inside the limo Irons speaks "You declined to tell me that Detective Pezzini is pregnant."

      "She asked me not to tell anyone until she was sure everything was all right." Ian says looking down.

      Irons hits the intercom button "Return to the estate"

      "Yes Mister Irons" the driver replies

      Iron stares at Ian "You have disobeyed me Ian." he leans forward grabbing Ian's chin forcing him to look at him. "You are going to be punished for this."

      Ian nods

      Irons moves back in his seat. "You are going to answer my questions Ian."

      "Yes Master"

2 hours later: Irons Estate

      Irons looks at Ian standing before him his head bowed "You have disobyed Ian. You are supposed to be my servant."

      Ian stares at the ground trying to keep from protesting like he wants

      "Why have you turned to Sara?" Irons grabs Ian's hair forcing him to look at him. "She is the Wielder she had no need for you." his eyes narrow "You love her" Irons states his voice amused yet disgusted. "Do you love her Ian?"

      Ian meets Irons ice blue eyes "Yes" he answers "I have always loved her"

      "She does not love you back."

      "Yes she does."

      "My dear Ian she may say she does but she does not"

      'I love you Ian' Sara's voice echoes through his mind 'never forget that no matter what.'

      "Ian who is the father of her child?"

      Ian remains silent

      Irons moves away from Ian "You" he says angrily "you have been with her without permission. Is the child yours Ian?"

      "They both are." Ian looks at Irons "I know Anastasia is mine."

      "You took her" Irons accuses

      "You created her without our knowledge."

      "I own you Ian" Irons yells

      Ian looks at the older man defiantly "No Sara does as she has for all our lifetimes."

      "Why did you betray me Ian? I raised you"

      "I will not let you hurt another child" Ian says his voice hard. A second later Ian's head snaps as Irons hits him

      "I created you Ian... I can terminate you."

      "How can falling in love be a betrayal?" Ian asks staring at the floor he slowly lifts his head. "I have never betrayed you"

      "Anastasia was my project... a very important one." Irons paces "Her blood is as rich as Sara's even more so."

      Ian watches as Irons paces "Sara and I are together either you deal with it or you never see us again."

      "Sara would never abandon her life here"

      "No she would not but I would abandon my life as your servant to be with her."

      Irons starts at the idea of Ian leaving him forever then stares out the window "Perhaps we can come to an agreement"

      Ian stands there waiting for his semi-Master explain

Hospital

      Sara awakens with a gasp as she feels a sharp pain in her shoulder.

      Jake sees her stir he moves closer "Pez?"

      "What happened?" she asks groggily

      "You were shot" Jake answers

      "Where's Ana?"

      "Captain had a car take her and Jas to Jas's place to get some sleep."

      "Oh" she mumbles sleepily

      "Get some rest."

      "M'kay" she gives into the drug induced sleepiness

Chapter 13

Midmorning: Hospital

      Sara opens her eyes to find Jake asleep in the chair beside her bed. She struggles to sit up.

      Jake opens his eyes "Pez your awake."

      "How long have I been out?"

      "All night."

      "Where's Ana?"

      "At Jas's."

      "And Gabe?"

      "Outside. Want me to go get him?"

      "Sure"

      Jake stands going to the door. He finds Gabe at the nurses station talking with a nurse "Gabe Sara's awake"

      Gabe grins "Cool" he looks at the nurse "See you" he follows Jake into the room "Hey Pez you've looked better" he smirks

      "Shut up Bowman" Sara says groggily

      "How are you feeling?" Gabe asks

      "Fine."

      "Well the Captain is interrogating the cops right now."

      "They won't tell you much." Sara says "How's Ian?"

      Jake and Gabe look at each other "Well" Gabe says

      "What's wrong?"

      "We haven't heard from him since you got out of surgery. Jas hasn't heard from him either" Gabe says

      "I hope he's OK"

      "I'm sure he's fine. You need to get some rest."

      "How's Ana?" Sara asks Gabe

      "Jas said she's spent most of the night crying. The doctor gave her something for her cold so she got some sleep."

      "Good" Sara says

      "We'll let you get some more rest"

      Jake turns to the door then pauses "Hey Pez... Nottingham's the father isn't he?"

      Sara rests her arm over her middle and nods "Yeah he is."

      "Were you ever going to tell me?"

      "Yeah. Sooner or later."

      Jake nods walking out the door

      "He'll get over it" Gabe assures

      "I hope so" Sara says sadly

Half an hour later

      Sara looks up as the door opens and Jake enters with Jas carrying a sniffling Ana.

      Ana holds her arms out to her mother whimpering

      "She's been crying all day" Jas sets Ana on the bed

      Sara hugs the little girl kissing her head as the baby lays down on her chest. She carefully removes the bracelet from Ana's wrist putting it on her own. "Can you guys give me a minute with Ana?"

      "Sure. We'll be right outside" Jas says

      Once the door closes Sara sighs stroking Ana's back "Its OK Ana. Daddy will be OK."

      Ana sniffles rubbing her cheek against her mother's gown. Sara lays back staring at the Witchblade "Please protect Ian." she rubs Ana's back soothingly

      "You need to stop worrying" Danny says

      Sara looks at Danny "I'm scared. I can't lose him Danny. I've lost Mom, Dad, Maria, you, Conchobar... I can't lose Ian. He's the one completely stable thing in my life. He's always there whether I know it or not. It scares me not having him there watching my back or scaring me when he appears out of nowhere"

      "You love him."

      "Yeah I do"

      "I always knew you'd fall for him." Danny chuckles looking at the sleeping baby

      Sara grins "What can I say"

      "He'll be fine Pez don't worry."

      "Danny will you stay with me?"

      "Will you get some sleep?"

      "Yes"

      "Then yes I'll stay with you"

Hour later: Hospital

      Sara awakens grinning as she finds Ian sitting on the chair beside the bed with Ana asleep on his lap. "Hey"

      Ian smiles slightly "Sara" he says softly not wanting to wake Ana. "Are you OK?" Ian asks touching her cheek

      Sara nods "Fine." she looks at Ana

      "The doctor gave her some more medicine for her cold." Ian says

      "I'm surprised Gabe and Jas haven't jumped out the window. Jake said she's been crying."

      "Jas said that along with her cold a new tooth is coming in." Ian states "I was worried about you" Ian says. He stands moving to the bed he sits beside Sara with Ana still dozing in his arms.

      "No need to be." Sara says her fingers trailing lightly over his face. "I thought you'd leave us."

      "I said forever" Ian reminds "and I meant it."

      Sara lifts her hand his head her fingers moving ever so gently through his dark hair. "I love you Ian"

      "I love you too my Sara"

Chapter 14

Couple mornings later

      "Well you've healed fast" the doctor remarks "wish more people had your healing abilities." he chuckles "Now I want to see you in a few days. Take care of your wound."

      Sara nods "Thanks" she watches as the doctor leaves the room. "Let's get out of here" Sara says. She looks at Ian as he picks up Ana. "You OK?" she asks seeing the faraway look on his face.

      Ian nods "Let's just go."

Hour later: Apartment

      Sara looks at Ian as he stares out the window. She hands Ana a bottle as the baby plays in the playpen. She goes over to him slipping her hand into his "What's wrong?"

      Ian glances at her then out the window "Am I doing the right thing?" he asks softly "I mean he has no one other than me. He's alone now"

      "Do you want to go back there?" Sara asks saddened by the thought

      "No" Ian says looking at Sara "I want to stay with you and Ana. Its just" he looks out the window "He is all I had for years. My only family."

      "Ian if he's family why would he treat you like he did?"

      Ian shrugs

      "No one who's family would treat you like that." Sara moves infront of him "Ian" she says

      At her soft tone Ian looks at her his eyes sad

      "If you want to still work for him I'll understand. I won't stop you." she takes his free hand pressing it against her middle "We'll be able to be together and raise Ana and the baby."

      Ian pulls her close kissing her forehead "I want that too."

      Sara kisses his cheek "Why don't you go take a shower. I'm making breakfast"

      Ian nods a moment later he releases her making his way to the bathroom.

Hour later

      "Ana can you please sit still" Sara requests annoyed at the baby's squirming in the highchair as she tries to feed her.

      "Uh" Ana grunts avoiding the spoon.

      "OK then breakfast is over for you" Sara laughs grabbing a wet cloth she wipes the baby food off Ana's face. She grabs a handful of crackers setting them on the tray.

      Ian sits at the table watching Sara thoughtfully

      Sara looks at him lifting her brow "What?"

      "Just thinking"

      "About?" she goes around the table sitting on his lap "What's going on in that head of yours?" she asks teasingly

      Ian twirls a strand of Sara's hair between his fingers "I was thinking that perhaps we should start looking for a bigger place." his free hands moves under her shirt resting against her stomach.

      Sara groans "Before I get huge and can't move." she buries her face in his neck

      "What do you think?"

      Sara lifts her head pressing her lips against his she grins "What do you think I think?"

      Ian smiles about to reply when Ana begins to pound on the tray of her highchair laughing loudly.

      Sara kisses Ian again then stands going to the highchair "Arms up" she says. As Ana lifts her arms Sara removes the tray picking her up. "Good girl" she kisses Ana's cheek. "What happened with Irons after the hospital?" she asks wincing at the cut on Ian's temple "Other then him hitting you"

      "We talked." Ian shrugs

      "About?" Sara asks setting Ana in the playpen

      "He's mad I did not tell him that you are pregnant."

      "And that its yours"

      Ian nods sitting on the couch he pulls Sara onto his lap. "Sara are you sure about not being upset if I still worked for him?"

      "I wish you didn't because I see how he treats you. But like I said its your choice."

      "Working for him is all I have known. At least this way I could keep an eye on him. Though I doubt he would trust me." he says his voice almost sad.

      "Is that so bad?"

      "It is if I am to protect you"

      "Well don't worry about it Ian. It'll only give you a headache." she turns in his arms pulling his head down to hers she kisses him deeply. As they get into the kiss hands moving under clothes caressing skin their jarred out of their haze by the sound of Ana crying. Sara groans pulling back she sighs "Better get her before she screams the place down" she kisses his cheek standing she goes over picking Ana up.

      Ana squirms holding her arms out to her father.

      "Uh Ian"

      Ian sees Sara's face pale he takes Ana watching as Sara makes a run to the bathroom. He winces hearing Sara gag through the door.

      Ana looks at the door puzzled by her mother's actions "Eh" she grunts pointing at the door then looks at her father her eyes wide.

      Ian kisses her forehead "Mama's OK" he assures moving to the floor with Ana on his lap. He hands Ana a toy.

      Ana examines the toy for a moment then throws it down turning around to look at her father. She tugs on his shirt giggling. When he looks at her she claps her hands grinning and waving.

      Ian chuckles lightly picking her up he lifts her over his head causing Ana to shriek with laughter.

      In the bathroom Sara manages to smile over her nausea at the sound of Ana laughing. She then groans feeling another wave of nausea hit.

      Ana reaches out patting her father's cheeks grinning at the feeling of his beard. "Ooh"

      Ian smiles at the look of fascination in her eyes. "You know you are very special Anastasia."

      Ana grins giggling

      A few minutes later Sara steps out of the bathroom to find Ian on the floor with Ana on his lap reading to her.

      Ian looks up giving Sara a small smile. "Feel better?"

      Sara shrugs sitting on the floor beside Ian her head on his shoulder. "What are you reading?" she asks

      "Peter Pan. Found it in your bookshelf"

      "Ah yes. I loved this story... and the movie." she snuggles against Ian she listens as he continues the story.

Hour later

      Sara sets Ana in the crib standing there she watches as the baby sleeps. She smiles feeling Ian wrap his arms around her waist. She tilts her head back "So what do you think of Peter Pan so far?"

      "I have to finish it before I make up my mind." he leans down kissing Sara lightly his hands moving her shirt up.

      Sara turns around her arms going around his neck "I'm going to have to borrow the movie from Michael"

      "Danny's son"

      Sara nods

      Ian moves backwards his legs hitting the end of the bed. He kisses her deeply pulling her down atop him not breaking the kiss.

      Sara sighs happily

      Ian shifts pinning Sara under him they stare at each other silently then he speaks his voice soft and husky "You are so beautiful." he leans down kissing her neck.

      Sara arches into his touch her hands pulling at his shirt with his help she pulls off his shirt tossing it on the floor. Her hands roam over his back and chest.

      Ian kisses her bruisingly pulling her shirt off he tosses it beside his own. Seeing the bandage on her shoulder he winces touching it lightly he leans down pressing his lips against the bandage as his hands move down her body. He starts to unbutton her jeans when they're  interrupted by a phone ringing. Kissing her "I have to get that"

      "No" she pouts

      Ian moves up grabbing his cell phone off the nightstand "Yes?"

      Sara lays underneath him half listening to the call as she runs her fingers over the scars covering his chest and arms.

      "Yes sir I will be right there" Ian says hanging up he looks at Sara "I have to go. He wants to speak with me about something." he kisses her forehead moving off the bed he grabs his discarded shirt off the floor pulling it on.

      "Call him back and tell him your busy" Sara says wrapping her arms around his neck.

      Ian kisses her "I wish I could but he is in one of his moods. If I do not go he will take it out on whoevers nearby. I am used to getting hit but none of the others have been."

      "Because he uses you as his personal punching bag" Sara says bitterly

      Ian shrugs "Depending on what he wants I should be back this evening."

      Sara nods her fingers trailing over his cheek her eyes thoughtful

      "I can handle his tantrums my love. I have done it for over thirty years." he assures

      "I know." Sara sighs

      "Get some rest Sara." he kisses her forehead stepping back

      Sara nods "I hope she takes a long enough nap."

      Ian sits on the edge of the bed pulling on his boots as Sara strips out of her jeans pulling on a T-shirt. He looks at Sara then holds out his hand as she takes his hand Ian pulls her infront of him. He looks up at her "I love you"

      Sara smiles "I love you" she straddles his thighs leaning down she kisses him passionately then sighs. "You better go before this gets too far." she says

      "Finish it later?"

      "Oh definately" she smiles kissing his cheek she moves off him. She crawls under the covers "Oh and Ian use the door"

      "Do I have too" he smirks

      Sara laughs at the look on his face "Don't have too but its easier then climbing up the fire escape."

      "Whatever you want my Sara" he says grabbing his overcoat

      "Bye" she calls as he walks out the door.

15 mins later: Vorschlag Industries

      Ian enters the office standing before the desk he waits for Irons to speak.

      Irons looks up "How is Sara?"

      "Resting."

      Irons nods standing "I have thought about what you said... you were right it would be easier to keep track of her if I do not protest your involvement with Sara."

      "As I said Sara would most likely be more willing to help you if you do not invade her life."

      "And that includes you"

      Ian tilts his head "I will continue protecting you but I will no longer do your dirty work."

      Irons nods "Agreed"

      "I will find someone to take my place in that area under the condition that you never speak to Sara or I about the side dealings unless it involves the Witchblade."

      "Agreed"

That evening

      Sara looks at Ana pulling herself along the coffee table "Gettin' better at that" she smiles at the child

      Ana grins

      Sara stands bending over she takes Ana's hands in her own helping the little girl walk. Ana makes it a few steps before she falls to the floor. "Oh you OK?" Sara asks

      Ana looks at her mother and grins

      The door opens and Ian enters removing his overcoat

      "Who's that?" Sara asks pointing at Ian

      Ana grins clapping her hands happily. "Uh uh" she grunts holding her arms up to her father bouncing.

      Ian picks up Ana

      "So what happened?" Sara asks settling on the couch beside Ian and Ana.

      "We came to an agreement. I will continue working as his bodyguard but his other jobs will fall onto someone elses shoulders."

      Sara snuggles against his side smiling at the sight of Ana cuddled against her father's chest her fingers in her mouth. "Looks like she's going to sleep early" she states seeing Ana's eyelids droop.

      "Have you thought about what we talked about earlier?" Ian asks

      Sara looks at him "Moving to a bigger place or the whole Irons discussion?"

      "Moving" Ian says with a faint smile

      Sara looks around her apartment "Probably should this place definately isn't made for kids." she looks back at Ian tilting her head "You ready to be a domesticated stalker?" she asks with a smirk

      Ian shakes his head amused "Guess I will have to give it a try. Its time for a change."

      "Mmm this will be a big change for us both." she rests her hand over Ian's resting on Ana's back. The two remain on the couch as Ana drifts off to sleep against Ian's chest. "She's out. I'll go put her down" she starts to lift Ana up when the little girl opens her eyes her small hands clutching at her father's shirt. Sara laughs "Something tells me she is going to be a Daddy's girl."

      Ian smiles

      "Come on Ana girl time for bed."

      Ana looks at her mother sticking her lower lip out

      "Don't give me that look you are going to bed little miss." Sara says carrying Ana up to the bedroom. She lays Ana in the crib

      Ana sits up rubbing her eyes she holds her arms up

      "No time for bed" Sara says sternly handing Ana her pacifier. She moves away from the crib heading back to the livingroom

      Ana begins to cry

      Sara sighs "Great she's in a mood"

      "Mood?" Ian lifts his brow

      "She's probably going to cry for about five minutes then finally go to sleep."

      "Mmm" Ian nods kissing Sara's neck

      Sara laughs at the feeling of his moustache and beard tickling her skin. She undoes the knot holding his hair back. Tangling her fingers in his hair she pulls his head up kissing him deeply.

      Ian pulls her close his hands caressing the skin of her back and sides.

      Sara breaks the kiss shifting she straddles his legs her fingers scratching lightly at his neck. She tilts her head "She finally stopped."

      "Mmm" Ian caresses her cheek with the back of his fingers.

      Sara smiles her hands going the the hem of his shirt "You said we'd finish what we started"

      "I did?" Ian smirks

      "Mmm" Sara nods leaning down she licks his neck "you aren't going back on your promise are you?" she asks childishly

      Ian's hands go to her shirt he pulls it off tossing it aside. "Beautiful" he says awed his fingers trailing over her breasts

      Sara tugs at his shirt with Ian's help she removes it.

Chapter 15

Next Morning

      "Ahh" Ana yells

      Sara shifts only to have Ian tighten his arms around her. She smiles lifting her head to find Ian watching her. "Morning"

      Ian smiles "Morning my Sara"

      Sara looks over her shoulder to find Ana standing up in her crib "How long has she been up?"

      "Not long."

      "I better get her before she starts throwing things at us" she kisses Ian quickly then moves off him

      Ian watches as Sara pulls on a shirt and shorts.

      Sara goes over to the crib "Hey Ana" she picks up the baby she kisses Ana's cheek. She smiles feeling Ian nuzzle her neck she turns kissing his cheek then looks at Ana.

      Ana reaches out her small hand tangling in her mother's hair tugging

      Sara winces at the sharp tug. "Ow"

      "No Ana" Ian says sternly he untangles the baby's hand from Sara's hair. "No tugging on Mommy's hair." he chastises

      Ana squirms and kicks wanting to get down

      "OK OK" Sara relents walking into the livingroom she sets the child on the floor. "Wonder if there's any formula left" Sara muses heading into the kitchen area as Ian gathers up their abandoned clothes from the livingroom taking them to the bedroom. She goes to the cabinet finding the container of formula and a clean bottle she quickly makes a bottle finding Ana on the floor playing with blocks. Sara returns to the kitchen opening the refrigerator "Ian what do you for breakfast?" she jumps feeling Ian pull her against him. "Well?"

      "You" he purrs kissing her neck

      "I seem to recall that you had me all night and most of this morning."

      "What can I say? You are addictive" he chuckles stroking her middle

      "Don't you have work?" Sara asks turning around

      Ian shakes his head "He gave me a few days off until you are completely healed."

      "Wow talk about a once in a million event" Sara teases kissing him. "What do you want for breakfast?" she asks again

      "Why can I not have you?" he grumbles

      "Oh you can just gonna have to wait until she goes down for her nap" Sara replies then frowns "Speaking of Ana where is she? Usually by now she's throwing things and screaming"

      Ian kisses her forehead "I will make breakfast you rest."

      "Oh you cook too?" Sara grins

      "I have many talents my Sara."

      "I bet" Sara chuckles "I better go entertain her before she starts destroying things."

      Ian turns to the refrigerator in search of what to make for breakfast.

      Sara enters the livingroom to find Ana sitting on the floor drinking her bottle. Sara settles beside Ana

      Ana grins putting down her bottle she crawls into her mother's lap. She pulls herself to her feet then pats her mother's cheek

      "Kiss?" Sara asks turning her cheek

      Ana gives her mother a big wet sloppy kiss

      "Thank you" Sara kisses her back causing the child to giggle "Now how about we get working on your walking huh? Your starting to get too heavy to carry everywhere kiddo." Sara stands taking Ana's hands in her own "OK now lets see if we can get farther today then we got yesterday"

      Ian glances over to see Sara helping Ana walk. He smiles slightly then turns back to making breakfast.

20 mins later

      "Breakfast is ready my love" Ian announces

      Sara looks up see Ian watching them.

      "Da Da"

      Sara and Ian look at Ana watching them with a grin. "Whose that?" Sara asks pointing at Ian.

      Ana tilts her head looking at Ian "Dada"

      Sara smiles at Ian "For a while there I thought her first word was going to be considered 'uh uh'" she picks Ana up setting her in the highchair next to the table. "Arms up"

      Ana lifts her arms so her tray can be slid on

      "What's for breakfast? Smells good"

      "Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and fruit." Ian says setting the plate before her. "What do you want to drink?"

      "Coffee?" she asks hopefully

      Ian looks at her as if to say 'over my dead body'

      "Fine milk" she grumbles "can you grab her bottle?"

      Ian nods grabbing the forgotten bottle he hands it to Ana. Going to the refrigerator he takes out the carton of milk pouring two glasses he returns to the kitchen table setting one before Sara as he sits down.

15 mins later

      Ian is clearing the table when his phone rings. He sets the dirty dishes in the sink

      "I thought you didn't have to work" Sara says

      "He probably forgot where he put something" Ian says grabbing his phone he opens it "Yes?"

      Sara looks at Ana "So gonna say Momma next?"

      "Dada" Ana says grinning

      "Yes sir."

      Hearing his tone Sara looks over to see Ian standing with his head bowed. She sets Ana on the floor going over to Ian she puts her arms around his shoulders stroking his neck.

      "Yes sir." Ian hangs up setting his phone on the counter

      "What's wrong?"

      "Nothing you need to worry about my love"

      Sara stares at him "You OK?"

      Ian hugs her "Never better"

      "DADA. DADA. DADA. DADA" Ana chants rocking back and forth 

      Ian looks at Ana and smiles slightly "Never better"

Midafternoon

      Sara looks at Ian asleep beside her with Ana between them on the bed. She smiles at the sight of Ana cuddled against her father. 'He is going to be a great Dad.' she reaches out resting her hand over his heart watching as the Witchblade purrs happily. She closes her eyes just feeling his heart beat under her hand.

      Ian feeling her light touch rests a hand over hers his fingers resting on the stone of the Witchblade.

      Feeling his touch Sara opens her eyes and smiles seeing the tendrils of the Witchblade touch his fingers. She meets Ian's gaze "Does the same to Ana" she says softly

      Ian nods "It knows who we are. That we are connected." The two drift off to sleep the Witchblade purring happily.

Chapter 16

Week later

      Sara hears a giggle then looks over to see Ana standing on her own. She smiles having an idea she grabs a cookie kneeling a few feet from Ana "Ana you want the cookie?"

      Ana nods clapping her hands she reaches out

      "No come and get it." Sara offers waving the cookie

      Ana tilts her head thoughtfully looking at the cookie and her mother then at the floor.

      "Come on Ana want the cookie?"

      Ana carefully takes a step

      "Come on you can do it" she encourages.

      Slowly and unsteady Ana makes her way to her mother grabbing the cookie in her mother's hand she grins

      "Good job." Sara gives Ana a big hug "Eat your cookie"

Late that night

      Ian enters the apartment to find Sara asleep on the couch with files scattered on the floor. Removing his overcoat and gloves he goes over to the couch crouching he smoothes a strand of hair behind her ear.

      Feeling the familiar touch Sara smiles opening her eyes "Your home"

      "You look tired my love."

      "Cap put me on paperwork detail." she rubs her eyes sleepily "I hate paperwork"

      Ian smiles slightly "How are you feeling?" he asks resting his large hand against her middle

      Sara yawns "Fine."

      "Lets get you to bed" Ian stands lifting her up he carries her up to the bedroom. He lays her on the bed tucking her in.

      "Ana walked on her own" Sara says sleepily

      "Good for her" Ian says joining her in bed.

      Sara curls up against him her head on his shoulder. She frowns feeling a bandage on his arm. "What happened?"

      "Nothing you need to worry about" Ian assures kissing her head

      "Did Irons do this?" Sara asks concerned touching the bandage

      "No my love. He has shown some restraint in punishments. He wanted me to see how the man he hired for his dirty work did with hand to hand."

      "Then how did you get this?"

      "I hit the plate glass window. Dr Immo sewed up the wound." Sensing her worry Ian hugs her "Do not worry my love I am fine."

      "I went to the doctors today"

      "Everything OK?" Ian asks concerned

      "Great" she yawns

      "We will talk about it tomorrow my Sara. You need your rest" he strokes her back

      Sara shifts her head resting over his heart. "I love you Ian" she says

      "And I you my Sara"

Next morning

      Sara awakens to the sound of Ana laughing and the smell of breakfast cooking. She sits up stretching she gets out of bed making her way to the kitchen she finds Ian standing at the stove with Ana standing holding onto his leg. She smiles at the sight of father and daughter bonding. "Morning"

      Ian looks over "Good morning my love."

      "What's for breakfast?" Sara asks entering the kitchen she kisses Ian's cheek then picks up Ana.

      "Omelet."

      "Aren't you supposed to be at Vorschlag?"

      "I told him I would be in late."

      "He must have been pissed"

      "He will get over it" Ian shrugs

      "DADA DADA DADA DADA" Ana shrieks happily

      "You know you need to learn how to say mama next. Otherwise I'm going to find my self-esteem lowered" Sara grumbles

      "Breakfast is ready" Ian announces

      "I'll go put her in the playpen then."

      Ian puts the plates on the kitchen table pouring drinks. He turns around to find Sara sitting at the table. "So what did the doctor say?"

      Sara smiles taking a bite of the omelet. "That everything is good. Pretty much perfect for being four months pregnant."

      "You are perfect my Sara" he grins

      Sara shakes her head "You say that now but what about when I'm huge and in labor you won't be."

      "You will always be perfect."

      "And you'll always be my favorite stalker."

      "Lets hope your only" Ian grins

      Sara stands moving to his lap "You'd definately be the sexiest. And the sweetest." she kisses him.

      "God you two make me wanna hurl... and I'm dead."

      "Danny?" Ian asks sensing the supernatural being

      Sara nods "Danny what have I told you about appearing out of nowhere like that?"

      "What can I say... I'm dead I can do what I want"

      Ian nuzzles Sara's neck

      "Danny go away"

      "Just wanted to check on you" Danny says disappearing as fast as he appeared

      "I hate it when he does that" Sara grumbles

      "You should finish your breakfast before it gets cold" Ian says

      "Don't wanna" she pouts

      "Why not?"

      "I dunno. Not hungry anymore" she rests her head on his shoulder

      "What's wrong? You seem... sad."

      "Its almost the anniversary of Joe's... death." she says sadly

      "You miss him."

      "Yeah."

      "Do you work today?"

      "Yeah. I work from noon to eight."

      "Ahhhh" Ana cries

      Sara groans "Just a sec Ana" she kisses Ian lovingly "I love you Ian"

      "I love you"

      Sara smiles standing she goes over lifting Ana out of the playpen setting her on the floor. "Look there's Daddy"

      "Dada" Ana looks thoughtfully at her feet then carefully takes a step. Slowly she makes her way to her father. Standing before him she holds her arms up. "Dada"

      Ian picks the little girl up "Good job"

      Ana rubs his beard giggling at the feeling

      "Like Daddy's beard huh Ana girl" Sara laughs going to the refrigerator she grabs Ana's bottle of juice handing it to the child.

      "I received a phone call from the Real Estate agent yesterday afternoon" Ian says

      "Mmm what did she say?" Sara asks after downing her vitamins

      Ian smiles at Ana then replies nonchalantly "Just that we can move in next week."

      Sara looks at Ian startled "Really?"

      Ian tears his eyes away from Ana's looking at Sara "Really. They will clean the house up this week. She said that if you want the carpets pulled up let her know."

      Sara smiles then groans making a run to the bathroom slamming the door behind her.

      Ian shakes his head "How about we get this mess cleaned up hmm"

      Ana nods

      Ian kisses her cheek "Good girl" he sets Ana on the floor and begins clearing the table.

      Ana sits there then after a moment she crawls into the kitchen sitting beside her father as he does the dishes.

      Ian glances down to find the child tugging on his pant leg with one hand the other holding onto the bottle. He smiles turning his attention to the dishes. After a few minutes he feels a tug looking down he finds Ana holding up her bottle "You finished with that princess?"

      Ana nods giving him a grin

      Ian takes the bottle "Thank you" after a few more minutes he wipes his hands off then picks up the infant. "You get to play in the playpen for a while." he sets her in the playpen then makes his way to the bathroom. He enters finding Sara leaning against the toilet. He crouches beside her smoothing her hair back

      "You have to get going huh"

      "Sorry my love."

      "Its so 'kay."

      "You should stay home from work today" Ian suggests

      Sara shakes her head "I'm fine"

      Ian looks at her "You are exhausted Sara. You need a break. I will take Ana over to Jas's and you just stay home and get some sleep."

      "But Ian" she starts to protest the groans sticking her head in the toilet. After a moment she lifts her head "Ian I've already missed three weeks in three months. Between Ana being sick and kidnapped, my getting shot I have a load of paperwork to take care of. Just because I'm pregnant doesn't mean I'm an invalid."

      "Sara you have been working too much even when you were off you were doing paperwork. Plus with the moving and the baby you are in even more need of rest. I will call and tell them you are sick. I want you to get some sleep... and that means no paperwork. I am going to call Jake and have him pick up all the files."

      "But Ian" Sara protests then sees the look on his face "Fine." she grumbles

      "I will check on you this afternoon." he says

      " 'kay"

      "Do you want me to call Gabriel and have him come by later?"

      Sara shrugs resting her head against the toilet. "Are you coming home tonight?" she asks weakly

      "As far as I know yes."

      "Good. I don't like it when you aren't here at night."

      "I will try to be home tonight." he assures

      " 'kay. You better go or you'll be late"

      Ian leans down kissing her forehead "Feel better my love."

Hour later: Vorschlag Industries

      Ian silently enters the office stopping before the desk he awaits Irons acknowledgment.

      "How is Detective Pezzini today Ian?" Irons asks without looking up

      "Not as well as she wishes." Ian replies

      "Is that why she is not at work?"

      "Yes she is not feeling well."

      "She had a doctors appointment yesterday" Irons states "how is everything?"

      "Fine considering all that has gone on."

      "Good" Irons nods "Dr Immo would like to see you sometime today"

      "Yes sir."

      "Now Ian I have a job I need you to do" Irons says standing "it is within our agreement" he assures

The apartment

      Sara groans walking out of the bathroom she collapses on the couch

      "Gee partner you look like hell"

      "Shut up Danny." Sara retorts without opening her eyes "I just spent over an hour hanging over the toilet I'm not in the mood for jokes."

      "OK" Danny drawls

      After a moment Sara opens her eyes to find Danny sitting on the coffee table. "What's going on?" she asks

      "Nothing much."

      "Really? You usually have a cryptic message for me."

      "Be careful Sara."

      "Always am Danny" she grins

      "I know" Danny stays there watching as his partner drifts off to sleep

That night

      Ian enters the apartment to find Sara curled up on the couch watching TV. He smiles at the sight.

      Sara looks up her eyes lighting up "Ian"

      "Hello my Sara" he removes his overcoat and gloves he joins her on the couch.

      "Didn't you pick up Ana?" Sara asks turning she straddles his legs

      "No she's staying with Jas tonight." Ian replies leaning in he nuzzles her neck "Mmm I missed you"

      Sara kisses the top of his head "I missed you too"

      Ian lifts his head his hand cupping her chin "How are you feeling?"

      "Better" she assures stroking his face

      "Good." he smiles

      Sara smiles back her hands going to his shirt she slowly unbuttons it. "Do you realize we have the whole apartment to ourselves."

      "I take it you have an idea"

      "Of course"

*

      Sara smiles "So I take it you liked my idea" she looks at Ian

      "Definately" Ian chuckles

      "As much as I'm glad we're getting a bigger place I'm going to miss this place."

      "So am I... we have had a lot of interesting times here."

      "Yeah" Sara kisses his chin then sits up looking down at Ian.

      Ian looks her over his eyes taking in her body the small mound of her middle. He smiles slightly "My beautiful Sara" he says his fingers trailing over her face and neck.

      Sara rubs her middle absently

      "What's wrong?" Ian asks

      Sara sighs "We're hungry" she flops beside him

      "What would you like to eat?" Ian asks smoothing her hair off her face

      "Um" Sara scrunches up her nose thoughtfully "Cheetos?"

      "All right... anything else?"

      "Um is there any yogurt?"

      "I'm not sure... I will check." Ian kisses her forehead getting out of bed he makes his way to the kitchen opening the refrigerator he finds a container of lemon yogurt. "Yes there's lemon yogurt."

      "Can you put that in a bowl with some peanut butter mixed in?"

      "Still want the Cheetos?"

      "Yes."

      "Would you like something to drink?"

      "Chocolate milk?"

      Ian smiles shaking his head "I will bring it right in." he finishes mixing the yogurt and peanut butter he pours the drink and grabs the Cheetos out of the cupboard he makes his way back to the bedroom. "Here you go"

      "Mmm thank you" Sara takes the Cheetos and bowl dipping the Cheetos in the mixture.

      Ian sets the drink on the nightstand settling down beside Sara. "Feel better?"

      "Yep" Sara grins taking another bite. "I swear I've spent most of today eating... this kid is going to be one chunky baby."

      Ian sits there watching Sara as she eats listening to her ramble on.

      "Your awfully quiet" Sara remarks looking at Ian "You OK?"

      "Just listening to you talk." Ian smiles watching as Sara licks the orange powder off her fingers.

      "Learning that I'm a nutty pregnant woman" she chuckles

      Ian shakes his head "Not just any nutty pregnant woman" he leans forward nuzzling her neck "Mine" he slides his large hand over her middle.

      Sara smiles setting the bowl on the nightstand and the bag of Cheetos on the floor. She winds her arms around his neck hugging him "Always yours"

Chapter 17

Week later

      "Helpers reporting for duty" Gabe says as he and Jake enter the apartment

      "Ana stop" Sara grabs the crawling baby "hey guys" she grins

      "How's my favorite short stack?" Gabe asks taking Ana from Sara

      "Driving me nuts..." Sara replies "crawling and screaming."

      "Ooohh oh" Ana grunts squirming in Gabe's arms

      Sara smiles seeing Ian enter the apartment carrying a bunch of boxes

      "We should have just taken Irons up on hiring someone to do this" Ian says setting the boxes on the floor.

      "Ian packing up our own stuff is part of moving."

      Gabe sets Ana in the playpen "Plus its fun." Gabe grins "Get to make fun of Sara's bad pictures" he holds up a photo albulm

      "GABE" Sara shrieks trying to grab the albulm

      "Hmmm blackmail material" Jake says grabbing the albulm from Gabe

      "Jake give it back"

      "Wonder if there's any embarassing pictures" Gabe grins

      "Guys come on"

      Jake looks at Gabe "I don't know should we play nice?"

      "Well lets see how much dirt does she have on us?" Gabe asks

      "A lot probably"

      "Think we need to even the playing field?"

      "I swear you two even think of using any bad pictures in there I'll call your parents and get the most embarassing pictures of you... perhaps there's naked bathtub pictures out there."

      "Well there is that one of" Gabe shudders "OK OK" he hands Sara the photo albulm "I don't want anything bad showing up"

      "Yeah Mom would give her all the bad and embarassing pictures of me." Jake grumbles

      "What can I say... your mother likes me." Sara grins sticking out her tongue.

      Ian chuckles kissing Sara's cheek "What is not to like about you"

      "I don't know... ask all the people who keep trying to kill me." Sara grumbles "If I'm such a likeable person why do people keep trying to kill me?"

      "Because your stubborn" Jake says

      "A cop" Gabe adds

      "OK I get it" Sara grumbles

      "How about we get to work huh" Jake suggests with a laugh

      "Sounds good." Sara nods

Hour later

      "DADA DADA DADA" Ana shrieks throwing toys out of the playpen

      Sara rubs her temples

      Ian enters the apartment to find Sara rubbing her temples and Ana screaming. He goes over to the playpen picking up the baby. "Ana stop screaming." he puts his finger over Ana's lips

      Ana stops screaming looking at her father she nods solemnly

      "She's definately a Daddy's girl" Sara says

      "You OK?" Ian asks joining Sara in the kitchen with Ana on his hip.

      "Where are Gabe and Jake?"

      "Went to pick up lunch" Ian replies

      "Speaking of lunch she's probably getting hungry" she stretches wincing

      "Are you OK?" Ian asks seeing her wince

      "Back is hurting a little" Sara replies rubbing the small of her back.

      "Sit" Ian orders

      "I'm fine."

      "You need to take break... rest." Ian replies setting Ana in the highchair. His hair falls forward Ana reaches out and grabs a handful of hair tugging. Ian looks at the child grabbing her hand he squeezes lightly "No" he says sternly

      Ana looks at her father then releases his hair

      Ian straightens up

      "She pulls pretty hard" Sara chuckles "least she's moved on to you."

      Ian shrugs "Had worse"

      Sara winces at his comment knowing Ian's being truthful. She stands stopping she kisses his cheek then opens the cabinet taking out two jars of baby food. She sighs opening the drawer where she keeps the bibs. "Ian I packed away the bibs can you see if there's any in the diaper bag?"

      "Sure" Ian finds the diaper bag on the couch

      "Oh and see if there's a spoon in the side pocket" she requests pulling a chair up to the highchair "What is for lunch today?" she looks at the jars "We've got beef and beets." Sara opens the jar setting it on the kitchen table "Peaches and pears" she opens the second jar smelling it "at least it smells decent... better then the peas and spinach you had last night." she groans her stomach rolling at the memory. "OK not the time for being sick." she closes her eyes taking a deep breath. After a moment she opens her eyes sensing Ian at her side. "Mmm thanks" she smiles taking the bib and spoon she puts the bib on the infant

      "Hey guys" Jas greets entering the apartment "man this place is getting pretty empty" she whistles

      "The guys are working pretty fast" Sara replies offering a spoon of baby food to Ana.

      "How was your meeting?" Ian asks as he sits at the table

      "Long. Where are Gabe and Jake?"

      "Went to pick up lunch" Ian replies looking at Sara who shrugs "Jas there's something we wanted to talk to you about."

      "Listening" Jas replies pulling herself up on the counter

      "How would you feel about moving into the apartment over the garage? The job would still be the same but mostly on-call since next month I'm only going to be working part time." Sara says her eyes on Ana as she spoons up more food for the infant.

      "When do you need to know?" Jas asks

      "Take your time. Its not necessary we just thought it would be more convienent for all of us." Sara replies glancing at Jas then at Ian

      "Give me a couple days"

      Ian nods

      Sara pales "Uh Jas can you...?" she bolts up running for the bathroom

      Jas shakes her head "Well Ana looks like your mom doesn't like the smell of this one either" she sits down taking Sara's place in feeding the infant. She winces smelling the beef and beets "Ugh no wonder this is nasty smelling."

      Ana opens her mouth

      "But what can I say you actually seem to like it"

Three hours later

      Sara looks around the apartment the only things left are the couch, kitchen table, bookcases, bed and refrigerator. She looks at Ana standing beside her holding onto her leg.

      Ian wraps his arms around Sara's slightly enlarged middle "Are you ready my love?"

      "Feels weird knowing I'll never wake up here again."

      "We will have a new place to wake up... to make new memories." he runs his hand over the small mound of her middle.

      Sara smiles "Yeah I know" she kisses his chin "Its weird for the first time since we met you won't have a fire escape to climb through and scare the daylights out of me."

      "You know we could still buy this place and turn it into a hide out" Ian offers.

      Sara shakes her head "No its time for someone else to have the chance to live here and be happy."

      Ian kisses her temple then picks up the infant "You ready to go?"

      Sara nods following him towards the door she suddenly stops "I can't believe I almost forgot that."

      "What?" Ian asks

      Sara goes over to the couch moving it out of the way she smiles finding the space of the floor pulled up she lifts out a guitar "This... can't leave John's guitar behind."

      Ian smiles "No you do not want to leave that behind"

      "Not jealous?"

      Ian shakes his head "Do I have a need to be?"

      Sara rubs her middle absently her eyes on the drowsy Ana and shakes her head "No... he's still a big part of who I am now... what brought us together. I loved him but he's gone now." she smiles at Ian "I love you and your here"

      "For as long as you want me my love" he takes her hand lacing their fingers "I love you my Sara"

      Sara squeezes his hand "I love you too."

      "We should go... Gabe and Jake are probably annoying Jas"

      Sara laughs "Those three love annoying each other." she looks at the room then follows Ian out the door "Lets go home" she says closing and locking the door behind them.

      "Have you said goodbye to your neighbors?" Ian asks

      "Yes" she nods "just have to drop the key off with JR."

Hour later

      Ian pulls the car into the driveway of the large townhouse just a few blocks from Vorschlag Industries.

      Sara looks back to see Ana asleep she smiles as Ian opens the door for her. "Where's the Buell?"

      "In the garage" Ian replies "do not worry my love the bike is nice and safe. I brought it here when I picked up the boxes... with nothing else in the van."

      "I know I know."

      Ian sees the look on her face "Go and see for yourself I will bring Ana inside."

      Sara kisses his cheek "Thank you"

      Ian watches as she hurries into the house knowing she's heading straight to the garage to check on her beloved Buell. He opens the back door buckling the sleeping baby from the carseat. He carries the infant inside finding Gabe, Jake and Jas organizing boxes.

      "I put the crib together" Jake says "room next to yours?"

      Ian nods

      "I'll go put her down" Jas says carefully taking the sleeping baby

      "Where'd Pez go? Run for the bathroom again?" Gabe smirks

      Ian shakes his head "The garage"

      "The Buell" Jake nods

      "Of course." Ian chuckles

      "Ever get the feeling she loves that bike more than us?" Gabe asks with a frown

      Jake looks at Gabe and nods "Every day"

      "Hey you think so little of me" Sara says in mock pain

      Gabe looks at her with a mock wounded look "Its true"

      "Ah poor Gabriel's jealous" Jake snickers

      "Am not"

      "Guys come on you know I love you" Sara puts her arms around their shoulders grinning at Ian. "Your my three favorite guys"

      Gabe puts his arm around Sara's shoulder "So going to tell us if its going to be four favorite guys?" he hints

      "Yeah" Jake chimes in "we getting a niece or a nephew?"

      Sara shakes her head "You'll have to wait a while longer."

      Jake looks at Ian who's opening boxes with a knife "So Nottingham what do you want?"

      Ian looks at Jake quizzically

      "Means what do you want the kid to be? Boy or girl?" Gabe says

      Ian shrugs "Either's fine." he returns the hunting knife to the sheath in his boot.

      "So what's the pool up to at work?" Sara asks Jake

      "Last count leaning towards a boy. The pools pretty open on the due date." Jake laughs "You should have heard the bets on the father."

      "And no one won" Gabe says "damn you should have told me about the bet... I would have won."

      "Yes and you would have been smacked around a few times for opening your mouth" Sara threatens

      "Though a couple people were leaning towards Irons" Jake says thoughtfully

      "OK I do not want to know how they came up with that one." Sara says shaking her head

      Jas walks down the stairs "Came up with what?"

      "People at work making bets on Pez" Gabe shrugs

      "Ahh" Jas nods

Late that night

      "Ugh" Sara groans laying on the bed on her side

      "She OK?" Ian asks walking out of the bathroom dressed in his pajama bottoms he sits on the edge of the bed stroking Sara's arm

      "Mmm its going to take her a while to get used to sleeping in her own room." she yawns "She just wanted to be reassured"

      "So she's asleep?"

      "Yeah."

      "How are you feeling?" he asks concerned

      "Back hurts." she mumbles sleepily.

      Ian moves his hand to her lower back massaging gently after a moment he speaks "Better?"

      "Mmm" she sighs happily "you know you never did say what you wanted" she remarks she looks at Ian "boy or girl?"

      Ian shrugs "Eithers fine. All I want is for the baby to be healthy and happy." he kisses her cheek

      Sara shifts rolling onto her back her hands resting over her middle she watches Ian thoughtfully "Yeah... I'm kinda hoping for a boy"

      Ian lifts his brow

      "What can't have you outnumbered now can we" she grins

      Ian chuckles "I do not mind being outnumbered... especially by my girls."

      "You have work tomorrow don't you"

      "Yes my love I do." he glances at the clock "And you should be getting some sleep."

      "But I don't have work tomorrow"

      "Yes but you look exhausted." Ian replies helping her under the covers he joins her after turning off the light.

      Sara yawns leaning into his arms "Ian"

      "Hmm" he nuzzles her neck

      "Think we'll be happy here?"

      Ian's silent for a moment then hugs her "Yes my Sara we will be very happy... we are together now"

      "Yeah" Sara yawns "Love you Ian"

      "I love you too Sara"

After midnight

      "DADA DADA"

      Ian awakens with a start at the sound of Ana crying. When Sara stirs in his arms he kisses her cheek "Go back to sleep"

      "Ana..."

      "I know." he gets out of bed making his way to the crying baby's room he turns on the hall light then enters to find Ana sitting up in the crib sobbing. He reaches out touching her head

      Ana looks up to see her father standing there "Dada" she sniffles holding her arms out

      Ian lifts her up grabbing a clean tissue he wipes the tears off her face "Its OK Ana"

      In her father's arms the child's sobs slow down she rests her head on his shoulder listening as he talks softly

      Ian slowly walks the floor with Ana cradled against his chest. "Shh Ana Mama's sleeping." After ten minutes he looks at Ana seeing her eyes closed he moves to put her back down.

      Ana opens her eyes and immediately begins to sob

      Ian leans against the wall by the window looking out at the stars with Ana still in his arms

      Sara looks over to find the spot beside her empty. Getting out of bed she makes her way out of the room and down the hallway to find Ian staring out the window with Ana against his shoulder. She smiles slightly entering the room she goes to his side

      "You should be sleeping" Ian says looking at Sara

      "I missed you. Come back to bed. Ana's asleep"

      Ian nods moving again to set the child down when Ana again opens her eyes and starts to cry. Ian lays the infant down wiping the tears away with his thumb "Time to go back to sleep Ana."

      Ana sits up crying she holds up her arms

      "Go to sleep sweetie" Sara says as she and Ian walk out of the room closing the door behind them.

      "DADA" Ana sobs

      "How long do you think she will cry?" Ian asks as they curl up in bed.

      "Who knows... she's in a new place." Sara mumbles

      "Go back to sleep" Ian says kissing the back of her neck

      "M'kay" Sara sighs "but can you turn the monitor down" she requests

      "As you wish my love" he reaches over turning it down he shoves it under his pillow.

      "Why'dya do that?" Sara asks sleepily

      "You need more sleep than I do." Ian replies "I can tune her out unless she really needs something."

      Sara chuckles "My considerate stalker" she yawns "night"

      "Night"

Dawn

      Ian is brought out of his sleep by the sound of his phone ringing. He grabs it off the nightstand before it can wake Sara "Yes?" he listens for a moment "Yes sir I will be right there." he closes the phone looking at Sara asleep beside him. After a moment he crawls out of bed heading to the bathroom.

10 mins later

      Ian walks out of the bathroom showered and dressed. He sits on the edge of the bed kissing Sara's cheek

      Sara sighs "You leaving?" she asks without opening her eyes

      "He needs me in for something."

      " 'kay. Check on Ana before you go" she requests

      "I will" he assures grabbing the monitor from under his pillow he turns it up setting it on the nightstand. "I love you" he says

      "Love you" she mumbles rolling over she pulls the covers over her head

8AM

      Sara groans hearing Ana chatter over the monitor. She glances at the alarm clock "Damn Jas won't be here for another hour." she sits up stretching "Mama's coming Ana" she calls getting out of bed she makes her way to the infants room. She smiles finding Ana standing "Hey you" she picks her up

      "Ma...ma" Ana says

      Sara starts "Did you just say Mama?"

      Ana looks at her mother "Ma...ma."

      "Mama"

      "Maaamaaaa" Ana says with a grin "Mama Mama"

      "Finally... I thought your only word was going to be Dada" she kisses Ana's cheek

      "Dada" Ana says looking around

      "Sorry sweetie Dada's at work." Sara says laying Ana on the changing table "Lets get you changed and fed so Mama can get to work on unpacking."

      "Mama. Mama" Ana says flailing her arms and legs.

      "Good girl... now stay still" Sara laughs "Mama's got to change you"

      "Mama" Ana claps

Early afternoon

      "Who would have thought I'd have this much junk" Sara sighs sitting on the couch.

      "Know the feeling... when I moved out of my brother's place I had so much junk" Jas laughs grabbing Ana before she can bolt for the door. "So how was your first night here?" she asks

      "Ana kept waking up."

      "New place" Jas shrugs

      "Mmm" Sara says sleepily

      "Mama" Ana shrieks with laughter

      "You look beat... why don't you go get some sleep" Jas suggests "I'll finish up with the kitchen and get Ana-nana lunch."

      "Sleep sounds good" Sara says "god I'm exhausted and I've only been up for five hours" she yawns "why am I not surprised... after all even talking to Mr Cryptic can cause a person to get exhausted" she stands stretching

      Jas laughs "Yeah he tends to do that... its the whole deep thoughts side of him."

      Sara chuckles making her way to the stairs.

Late that night

      Sara rolls into Ian's embrace "Hi" she says sleepily

      "Hi" Ian kisses the top of her head

      "Missed you"

      "Missed you too"

      "You were gone all day" Sara mumbles "and most of the night"

      "Sorry Mr Irons had meetings in Toronto all day."

      "Mmm I'm glad your home." Sara says kissing his neck

      "As am I."

      "Ana finally said Mama" Sara lifts her head meeting Ian's gaze

      "You must be happy about that." Ian smiles

      Sara leans down kissing him she pouts moving so she straddles his hips "You had coffee"

      Ian lifts his brow "Had to have something to stay awake after that meeting." he pulls her back down for a deep kiss

      Sara sighs "You know we haven't made love yet in our new bed." she smirks

      "Oh really?"

      "Mmm" she kisses him

      "Sounds promising."

      "Oh definately"

*

      Sara sighs stretching on her back

      Ian smiles moving down the bed he props himself up on one hand the other resting on the roundness of her middle.

      Sara runs her hand over his hair "Mmm" she sighs happily

      "We should get some sleep"

      "You working tomorrow?"

      "Yes" Ian replies pressing his lips against her middle moving back up the bed he pulls her close.

      "Night"

      "Good night my Sara" Ian says kissing her forehead

Chapter 18

3 months later

      "Mama" Ana says happily as her mother walks into the house.

      Sara smiles at the little girl on the floor "Hey sweetie." she notices Ian at the kitchen table working on his laptop.

      "Mama" Ana holds up her arms wanting up

      "Sorry sweetie Mommy can't pick you up right now" Sara goes over to Ian hugging him from behind "Hey you"

      "Hello my love. How was work?" Ian looks up smiling slightly

      Sara smiles rubbing her middle "Good" she kisses the top of his head "How was your day?"

      "Busy" he looks over at Ana watching them curiously "We missed you" he looks up at her.

      "Missed you too" Sara smiles scratches at his beard.

      Ian gently rubs her middle "How was this one today?"

      Sara sighs "Happy. Been moving all day."

      Ian presses his lips to her middle "Hello little one. Were you good for Mommy today?"

      Sara laughs feeling the baby move in response "He was good"

      "He?" Ian lifts his brow

      Sara shrugs "Just a feeling."

      Ian nods

      "Mama" Ana whimpers holding her arms up.

      "Ugh this is one thing I'm really hating about being pregnant" Sara sighs "Its getting harder to pick Ana up."

      Ian stands going over he picks up Ana handing her over to Sara "Here love"

      "Mama" Ana hugs her mother

      "Oh I missed you Ana" Sara kisses the baby's cheek

      Ana grins "Kiss"

      Sara laughs "That's right" she kisses Ana again smiling at Ian.

      Ian kisses his girls foreheads as they settle on the couch. He watches as Anastasia cuddles into Sara. 'My family.' he smiles as the doorbell rings "I will get it" he kisses Sara's cheek. He stands walking to the front door opening it to find a couple in there fifties standing on the stoop. "Yes how can I help you?" he asks.

      "Are you Ian Nottingham?" the man asks cautiously

      "Yes." Ian answers

      "We're sorry to disturb you at home. My name is Grace Hanson this is my husband Fredrick."

      "Do I know you?" he asks at the familiarity of their name

      "We're here because we received some information about our daughter. It mentions you." Fredrick states "and Sara Pezzini"

      "Your daughter?" Sara asks joining them in the door way.

      "Her name was Robin." Grace reaches into her purse removing a picture handing it to Sara.

      Sara looks at the picture of a young blond haired woman with blue eyes. 'Robin Hanson? Oh God that can't be.' she pales

      //"You look like you could use some money." Kenneth remarks looking at the blond young woman

      "You want me to what?!" Robin says stunned

      "Be a surrogate"//

      Sara shakes her head pulling her sleeve down covering the glowing stone.

      "Do you know her?" Grace asks

      "I never met her" Sara says truthfully "please come in" she invites pulling Ian out of the way so they can enter.

      "According to this letter she was a surrogate for your daughter Anastasia." Fredrick says holding out a piece of paper.

      Sara takes the letter reading it

      'Dear Mr and Mrs Hanson,

      I have some information regarding your daughter Robin. She was a surrogate for a Detective Sara Pezzini and Ian Nottingham. Unfortunately Robin did not survive the birth of Anastasia.'

      Sara swallows a wave of nausea not wanting to read more she folds the letter up handing it to Ian "Why don't we talk in the livingroom" she invites. Sara leads them into the living room "Have a seat" she gestures to the couch. As they all sit Sara speaks reluctantly "Look there are things you don't know and I don't know."

      "Was our daughter your surrogate?" Grace questions

      "Truthfully I don't know." Sara says

      "Mama" Ana calls "Daddy" she whimpers

      Ian goes over to the playpen picking Ana up "Shh" he soothes

      "How can you not know?" Fredrick demands

      Ian's eyes narrow 'Kenneth'

      Sensing Ian's anger Sara looks at him "Ian"

      Ian nods closing his eyes he takes a deep breath. He looks at Ana his anger fading as his daughter looks at him with wide eyes. He kisses her forehead.

      "Look we want answers about what happened to our daughter!" Fredrick says angrily

      "We don't know." Ian responds

      "Was she the surrogate?" Grace asks softly as she looks at the little girl with dark curly hair and brown eyes in the dark haired man's arms.

      "Apparently. We don't know for sure" Sara answers

      "How can you not know?" Fredrick asks angrily "You hired her!"

      Ana whimpers at the loud unfamiliar voice. She buries her face in her father's chest.

      "Shh" Ian soothes rubbing her back. He looks at the man "Can you please not yell. It upsets Ana"

      Grace touches her husband's arm "Fredrick calm down." she looks at Sara and Ian "I know our being here is a surprise. Its just Robin was our only child and we just want to know how she daughter died. What she had been doing."

      "We have no idea." Sara says "We want to know as well." she stands going over to Ian she takes Ana from him "We owe your daughter a lot."

      "How do we know that Anastasia is actually yours? How do we know that she isn't our granddaughter?" Fredrick demands

      Sara sees Ian clench his jaw and touches his arm "Because Ana looks like us and acts like us." she shifts Ana to face the couple.

      "Blood tests?" Fredrick demands

      "They were run when she was born." Ian answers "Plus we had a DNA test done when we found out about her."

      "Oh you are such a cutie" Grace smiles at Ana who just watches her curiously.

      "Who would know what happened to our daughter?" Fredrick demands

      "We've been trying to figure that out" Sara answers kissing Ana's head "since the moment we knew about her. We still don't have any clear answers."

      Ana squirms in her mother's arms grunting she reaches for the floor.

      "Want down?" Sara asks

      "Down" Ana demands

      "How old is she?" Grace asks

      "20 months" Sara answers putting Ana on the floor. "Look we've been trying to find out what happened to your daughter but the last thing we have that's sure is that she was living in a homeless shelter and had been for a few months."

      "How long did you know who Robin was?" Grace questions

      "We found out on Ana's birthday. Then we started looking into how it lead to your daughter being the surrogate." Sara explains "We still don't know much. We wanted to know more before we contacted you."

      "So is our daughter dead?" Fredrick asks

      "We believe so" Ian answers keeping an eye on Ana as she walks around the livingroom. "But we do not know for sure."

      "How did she die?" Grace questions

      "We don't know." Sara says sadly

      "They have no answers" Fredrick says angrily as he walks out of the livingroom.

      As they hear the front door close Grace sighs "I'm sorry for my husband's behavior. He took it hard when Robin disappeared. Look if you find anything out about our daughter please call us. Thank you for speaking with us."

      Sara nods "I'll walk you to the door"

      Ian stares at the floor as Sara walks the woman to the door.

      "Dada?"

      Hearing the small voice and feeling a tug on his pant leg Ian notices Ana staring up at him with wide eyes. He watches as she wraps her small arms around his leg.

      Sara walks into the livingroom to find Ana hugging Ian's leg her heart melting at what happens next.

      "Love Dada." Ana smiles kissing his knee

      Ian moves to the floor looking at the curly haired baby "I love you too Ana" he pulls her into his arms. He looks up to see Sara watching them from across the room. "I love you" he mouthes

      Sara smiles running her hands over her middle. "I love you" she mouthes back.

Later that night

      Sara turns her head hearing the bathroom door open to find Ian enter. "Is she asleep?" she asks from the bathtub

      "Yes" Ian answers

      "Join me?" Sara asks hopefully. She watches as Ian undresses her heart racing at the sight of his naked body. 'God he's gorgeous' she moves forward so Ian can slide in behind her.

      Ian pulls Sara back against his chest his hands moving over her body.

      Sara tilts her head meeting Ian's lips in a lazy kiss "Mmm" she purrs resting her head on his shoulder closing her eyes. "Today was definately an interesting day."

      "That it was." Ian agrees running his hands over her belly "How are you feeling?"

      "Tired."

      "Sorry my Sara" he kisses her shoulder.

      "Ian... I'm scared."

      "Why are you scared?"

      "What if they try to take Ana from us?"

      "They won't." Ian soothes "If they try we'll do whatever it takes to keep Ana with us."

      Sara kisses his neck "I love you."

      "I love you." Ian gently runs his hands down Sara's body listening to her moans and whimpers as she squirms on his lap. "My Sara" he whispers awed at her body's reaction to his light touch.

      Sara turns her head meeting Ian's lips in an intense kiss "Water's getting cold"

      "It is"

      "Mmm" Sara nods "Finish this in bed?"

      "As you wish my love." Ian kisses her nose standing he helps Sara out of the tub wrapping her in a big towel he lifts her into his arms.

      "Ian" Sara giggles her arms going around his neck.

      Ian carries Sara out of the bathroom to their bed. He sets her on the bed seeing her shiver he gently dries her off then kneels beside the bed he dries off her legs. "Better?" he asks looking up at her.

      Sara nods

      Ian presses a soft kiss inside her knee then level with her swollen middle he gently rubs her belly. "Hello little one. I love you, your Mama and your sister more than anything. I won't ever let anyone hurt you." he smiles feeling the baby kick.

      "You know I think Jr Nottingham is saying something very important"

      "Oh really?" Ian lifts his brow

      Sara nods solemnly "Jr is saying 'Enough talk kiss Mommy'"

      "Oh I think that can be done." Ian grins moving up he kisses Sara

      "Mmm that's more like it" Sara mumbles against his lips

Dawn

      RING

      Ian blindly reaches for his phone on the nightstand "Yes sir?" he says in greeting glancing at the clock.

      "Ian Dr Immo would like to see you sometime today."

      "I know. Scheduled check up."

      "Also" Kenneth swallows "I need the Weilder's blood. Immo has a new theory he wants to work out."

      "Yes sir. I will bring it with me. Anything else?"

      "No. Tell the Weilder I said hello" Kenneth hangs up.

      Ian sets the phone down returning to his position curled behind Sara.

      "What'd he want" Sara mumbles

      "He needs more blood." Ian replies "Go back to sleep" he kisses her shoulder

      "'k"

Couple Hours Later

      "Daddy" Ana grins reaching for her father when she sees him walk into her room. "Mama?" she looks around

      "Mama's sleeping. Let's get you changed then we'll go see Mama. OK?" Ian lifts Ana out of the crib.

      Ana nods "Kiss" she demands

      Ian kisses her then lays her on the changing table. "Here you go" he hands Ana her favorite toy a small stuffed alien Gabe had given her.

      Anastasia grins clutching at her toy giggling.

      Ian quickly changes the baby's diaper resnapping her sleeper he picks her up. "Better?"

      Ana pats at his face "Daddy"

      Ian carries Ana out of her bedroom down the hall to the Master bedroom. "Who's that?" he points

      Ana's eyes widen "Mama" she cries happily

      At the familiar childish cry Sara stirs opening her eyes she rubs at them sleepily "Mmm" she sighs "morning" she smiles seeing Ian sitting on the edge of the bed with Anastasia on his lap. "Don't you have work?"

      Ian nods his eyes on Ana "Ana woke up while I was getting out of the shower. Thought I'd get her before she started screaming."

      Sara rests her chin on Ian's shoulder smiling at Ana "Hey little miss." she sweeps her finger down Ana's nose.

      "Mama." Ana giggles

      "Here I'll take her. You need to finish getting ready" Sara kisses Ian's cheek.

      Ian hands Ana over to Sara.

      Sara settles back with Ana beside her. "What did Kenneth want?"

      "Remind me that Immo wants to see me today."

      "He had to remind you?"

      "No. I just think he's starting to realize how much he depended on having me at his beck and call." Ian pulls on his sweater "Now he's got no one but the house staff. And they avoid him at all cost. He won't hurt the Butler, cook or housekeeper but everyone else he would. Luckily that hasn't happened in a while." Ian sits on the bed pulling on his boots.

      Sara watches as Ana becomes engrossed with the stone of the Witchblade. She removes it handing it to Ana. As Ana sticks the bracelet in her mouth Sara inhales sharply.

      "You OK?" Ian asks concerned his sensitive hearing picking up Sara's intake.

      Sara nods rubbing her middle "He just surprised me." Carefully Sara stands walking into the bathroom.

      Ian looks at Ana and smiles seeing the little girl chattering happily as she chews on the bracelet. Ian unlocks the top drawer of his dresser removing his favored knife. He straps the sheathe to his ankle as Sara walks out of the bathroom. "What are your plans for today?" he asks as Sara leans against the doorframe.

      "Mmm not much. Lunch with Marie. I need to fill out some reports that Jake is supposed to drop off today." she sits on the bed beside Ana.

      Ian nods grabbing a syringe off the dresser. He joins Sara giving her a pained look

      "Ian you've done this before."

      "I just don't like hurting you."

      "Ana Daddy's being wimpy"

      "Hey" Ian protests

      Ana giggles

      "Come on Ian just get it over with." Sara watches Ana as she feels the pinch of the needle in her vein.

      As the vial fills Ian removes the needle "Done" he presses a cotton ball to the small hole "This should last a while." he muses

      "Didn't I just donate to the Save Irons fund" Sara mutters

      "This is the Immo fund." Ian explains

      "Ahh." Sara nods "The Saving the Evil One Leader" she stands lifting Ana onto her hip returning the bracelet to her wrist.

      Ian follows Sara downstairs to the kitchen taking Ana from her he sets the little girl on her highchair. "I have to go" he kisses Ana's head then takes Sara's face between his hands "I love you Sara"

      Sara grins "I love you too."

MidAfternoon: Vorschlag

      "Ian how is the Fair Sara?" Kenneth asks

      "She's fine... upset" Ian replies

      "Upset?" Kenneth asks

      "We had visitors yesterday."

      "Oh?"

      "Robin Hanson's parents."

      "Robin Hanson?" Kenneth asks thoughtfully "Oh yes the surrogate. How did they find you?"

      "We have no idea. Do you?"

      "Why would I?" Kenneth questions

      "Because other than Sara and I you and Immo and the other doctors you brought in would know. Sara and I agreed not to tell anyone who Ana's surrogate was."

      "Anyone could have found out who gave birth to Anastasia if they dug into a records office. I had it buried deep."

      "Why did you file it?" Ian questions

      "It would have been a little more suspicious if in fifteen twenty years she appeared without one. Besides her birth certificate wasn't filed in a records office with a full computer database."

      "Robin's parents have questions."

      "If they come to you send them to speak with me. I will explain as much as I can." Kenneth offers

      Ian nods

      "Now we have a meeting at 3. Go change into your suit" he dismisses "and have the car ready."

      "Yes sir." Ian nods

House

      "And the dog says..." Sara trails off "What do doggies say Ana?"

      "Woof" Ana giggles

      "Good job. Now what do cats say?"

      "Meow"

      Sara's about to turn the page when she hears the phone ring "Ana I have to get that."

      Ana nods taking the book "Ana book"

      Sara smiles standing she goes over to the counter grabbing the phone "Hello?"

      "Hello My Sara"

      "Hey you. What's going on?"

      "Just thinking of you."

      Sara leans against the counter rubbing her middle "Oh really?"

      "Yes really. What are you doing?"

      "Reading with Ana. What are you doing?"

      "Changing. Kenneth has a meeting to attend."

      "Ahh your favorite thing." Sara teases

      "Funny."

      "Mama... cow" Ana calls laughing

      Sara returns to the couch "So are you going to be home for dinner tonight?"

      "Depends on how long this meeting takes."

      Sara runs her fingers over Ana's curly hair "Alright. I'll see you later."

      "Give Ana a kiss for me."

      "I will" Sara promises saying goodbye she hangs up. She leans down kissing Ana's head "From Daddy"

      "Daddy?" Ana looks at her mother hopeful "Daddy?" she looks around

      Sara smiles "No baby he'll be home later."

      "OK" Ana nods returning to her book "Moo." she points

      "That's right. That's a cow they say Moo"

Late Night

      Sara looks up as Ian enters the kitchen "Ian" she smiles

      Ian looks over the covered table "You look busy"

      Sara shrugs "Just closing up some files." she leans back in her chair rubbing her stomach

      "Sara?" Ian inquires

      Sara smiles "Ian I'm fine." she assures standing. "How was your day?" she asks

      "Long" Ian pulls Sara into his arms "How's Ana?"

      "Asleep. She's gotten to be pretty good at identifying animals. She's a smart kid."

      Ian kisses her gently "That she is."

      "Hey you OK?" Sara asks scratching at his beard smiling as Ian nuzzles her hand.

      "Just missed you." he says

      "Missed you too"

      "Lets just go to bed"

      Sara nods following him out of the kitchen up to their room.

Chapter 19

Few days later: Precinct

      Sara runs her hand over her middle as she reads through a file 'Well kid at least you're calm now.' Sara looks up hearing a knock at the door

      "I got it" Jake says standing

      "Good because I'm comfy" Sara replies returning to her reading

      "Detective Pezzini?" the man inquires

      "Pez its for you." Jake returns to his desk allowing the man to enter

      Sara looks up "Yes?"

      "Sign here"

      Sara takes the offered clipboard signing her name handing it back.

      "Here" the man hands her an envelope then walks out of the office.

      "What is it?" Jake asks

      "Have to open it to find out." Sara retorts glancing at her wrist frowning as she sees the stone swirl. 'What's with you?'

      "Geez you are still hormonal" Jake says drily

      Sara glares at him "Back off McCartey... I still have a gun you know."

      Jake holds up his hands defensively "OK OK I give."

      "Get back to work huh" Sara says opening the envelope she inhales sharply

      "You OK?" Jake asks

      Sara nods rubbing her side "Kid's back to being stubborn."

      "Considering its your kid" Jake teases

      "Funny" Sara rolls her eyes removing papers from the envelope. As she reads her eyes widen "Oh my God" she whispers

      "Pez?" Jake asks

      Sara shoves the papers back in the envelope "I uh have to go" she says standing.

      "What's wrong?" Jake questions

      "Something came up. I have to go." Sara pulls on her jacket "I'll call you later." she grabs the envelope hurrying out of the office.

      Jake stares after his partner shaking his head "OK and I thought she was strange before she was pregnant" he mutters turning his attention back to his own work.

Sametime: Vorschlag

      Ian removes his phone from his pocket feeling the vibrations. He looks at the caller ID frowning. He glances at Kenneth involved in a deep conversation with his heads of department. Silently he steps out of the office pressing talk "Sara what's wrong?" he asks concerned "Where are you?"

      "Heading home."

      "Are you OK?" he asks concerned

      "No" Sara says trying to keep her emotions under control

      "What's wrong?"

      "The Hansons just had me served with custody papers."

      Ian inhales

      "Ian their suing for custody of Ana." Sara says her voice wavering

      Hearing Sara's tearful voice Ian sighs "I'll meet you at home. Be careful"

      "OK" Sara sniffles hanging up.

      Ian hangs up returning his phone to his pocket. After a moment Ian returns to the conference room going to Kenneth he stops behind his employer's chair.

      Sensing his bodyguard behind him Kenneth gestures for the others to continue talking. He looks at Ian expectantly "Something wrong?"

      Ian leans in "Sara called. She was just served with custody papers by the Hansons. She's on her way home."

      Kenneth nods "Go. The lawyers will be at your disposal if you need them."

      "Thank you sir." Ian nods "Jonathon is right outside if you need him."

      "Give the Detective my regards." Kenneth waves off in dismissal. He watches thoughtfully as Ian walks out of the office. 'Interesting.'

House

      Jas jumps in surprise hearing the door leading from the garage open and Sara hurrying in. "Sara you OK?" she asks seeing Sara's frantic expression.

      "Mama" Ana grins happily from her Nanny's hip as they wait for her nap bottle.

      Sara sets the envelope on the kitchen counter then removes her jacket tossing it on the chair and setting her gun in a kitchen drawer. "Come 'ere you" Sara takes Ana from Jas. "Just wanted to see my girl" Sara says hugging Ana

      "I was just about to put her down for her nap" Jas says removing the bottle from the microwave.

      Sara nods "I'll take her." she takes the bottle from Jas offering it to Ana. She smiles as Ana takes the bottle sticking it in her mouth. Sara carries Ana out of the kitchen and up the stairs to her and Ian's room. Kicking off her shoes Sara settles on the bed with Ana beside her.

      Ana grins around her bottle cuddling into her mother. "Mama" she pats her mother's middle "Baby"

      Sara smiles "Yep that's your little brother or sister" she runs her fingers through Ana's hair.

      Ian enters the house to find Jas cleaning up the kitchen. "Where's Sara?"

      "Upstairs" Jas answers "why are you both home?"

      Ian notices the envelope on the counter. He picks it up removing the papers he quickly reads through them his anger rising. He tosses the papers down striding out of the kitchen.

      Jas watches him walk away. She shrugs wiping her hands off she heads to her apartment over the garage.

      Ian stops in the doorway of the master bedroom watching as Sara and Ana cuddle on the bed. He smiles at the scene before him

      Ana sits up setting her bottle aside she pats her Mama's stomach "Baby play?"

      Sara smiles at the little girl's question "Not for a while yet little miss."

      Ana sighs laying her head on her mother's stomach

      Sara looks at the door to see Ian watching them with a faint smile.

      Ian makes his way over to the bed removing his overcoat he tosses it on a chair

      "Daddy" Ana grins happily

      Ian quickly removes his boots joining Sara on the bed with Ana between them. "Ana its naptime" he says sternly handing the girl her bottle

      "No" Ana pouts "no nap." she shoves her bottle away "play"

      "Nap" Ian says sternly as he gently guides the girl to her back handing her the bottle. "Nap now, play later."

      Sara watches the stare down amused by the girl's stubbornness. As Ana takes her bottle Sara looks at Ian "Gee I wonder where she gets her attitude from?"

      "You my love." Ian answers shifting to face Sara he cups his cheek "Are you OK my Sara?"

      Sara looks at Ana watching them around her bottle as she plays with her feet. "I don't want to lose her. How could they sue for custody?" she questions anger flashing through her green eyes.

      "Sara we'll handle this." Ian assures looking at Ana shifting restlessly between them

      "I'm scared Ian."

      "Mama?" Ana questions "sad"

      Sara looks at the little girl seeing the confusion in her eyes "I'm OK Ana. Just go to sleep" she soothes

Half hour later

      Sara watches as Ian lays Ana down in the playpen in the corner of their room. "I just want her close."

      Ian straightens up after covering Ana with a blanket. He turns around looking at Sara sitting on the bed hugging her middle. "Sara everything will be OK." he goes over to the bed sitting beside her pulling her close. "Ana isn't going anywhere."

      Sara nuzzles Ian's neck "How could they even file for custody? Ana is our daughter."

      "They won't get her Sara." Ian slowly rocks her as she clings to him. "Ana's our daughter and no one will take her from us." he gently coaxes Sara to look at him. Seeing the tears streaking her face he wipes away the tears with his thumb "I promise." he kisses her gently resting his forehead against Sara's.

      Sara stares at him brushing her lips over his biting at his lower lip urging him into a deep kiss. She rests her hands on his face giving into the kiss. Needing to breath she reluctantly breaks the kiss her lips trailing over his jaw lightly nipping at the underside of chin causing him to growl.

      "Sara" Ian groans feeling her hands slide under his sweater "we'll wake Ana"

      Sara looks over at the playpen then at Ian "Bathroom?"

      Ian picks her up carrying her into the bathroom. He closes the door slightly as he sets Sara on her feet. He captures her lips in a searing kiss.

      Sara unlaces his hair from the knot running her fingers through his hair moaning at the feel of his mouth on hers. As his lips leave hers she whimpers then gasps as he plants light kisses to her jaw and neck. She sighs in pleasure

      Ian pulls back slightly to meet Sara's green eyes. He quickly pulls off her shirt tossing it aside. He slowly smiles his eyes taking in her body "So beautiful" he says awed his hands gently running over her growing middle.

      Sara looks at his hands amazed by the fact that the hands that touch her so tenderly, are hands that had at many times taken lives. She shivers involuntarily 'No that's not my Ian... that's his Ian.'

      "Sara?" he looks at her concerned

      Sara smiles shaking her head she caresses his cheek "Nothing" she tilts her head "just missed having you touch me." she meets his lips in a sweet, lingering kiss.

      Ian reluctantly ends the kiss feeling Sara's hands slide under his sweater caressing his back. He swiftly pulls off his sweater tossing it on the floor. He pulls Sara down to the floor.

      Sara smiles at the sight of Ian's chest. She runs her hands over his chest whimpering as she feels his own hands cup her tender breasts. She reaches back unsnapping her bra she tosses it aside. At the look in his eyes Sara hisses "Still too many clothes."

      Ian quickly removes the remainder of their clothes. He sits back lifting Sara to straddle his thighs. "Beautiful Sara" he says his eyes going over her body.

      Sara brushes her lips over his reaching between them caressing him.

      Ian growls low and deep in his chest at the feeling of her hand caressing him. He guides her over his erection.

      Sara whimpers feeling the tip of his arousal at her entrance. She lowers herself onto him gasping his name. She meets his gaze "Feel good" she moans slowly moving.

      Ian tucks her hair behind her ear meeting her movements.

Hour Later

      Sara runs her fingers down Ian's neck and back as he clings to her shuddering at the force of his own release. She smiles as he nuzzles her neck seeking more contact. Sara finally speaks her voice soft "She's still asleep... wanna go another round?"

      Ian chuckles brushing his lips over her neck before lifting his head. He smoothes Sara's hair back from her damp face "As much as I'd love to go round three you wore me out." he kisses the tip of her nose.

      Sara grins shifting on his lap smirking as he growls. "Thought you were tired"

      "What you do to me" he shakes his head his fingers trailing down her spine.

      Sara bites lightly at the side of his neck. "Feelings mutual." she meets his gaze

      Ian caresses her cheek with the back of his fingers. "You are incredible." he says awed

      Sara inhales sharply feeling a sharp movement, automatically her hands go to her middle. She tilts her head looking down at her middle "Well someone's awake" she chuckles.

      "We should go to the bedroom. You must be uncomfortable."

      Sara sighs "I'm fine. But we should get up. Ana could wake up soon and we do need to talk." The two pull on their clothes leaving the bathroom. Sara goes over to the playpen checking in on Anastasia rubbing her middle as the baby kicks. "Calm down you." she leans into Ian's chest taking a deep breath as Ian gently rubs her middle. "Ian... I'm scared. What if they take Ana from us?"

      "Shh they won't." he soothes kissing her cheek his eyes on the sleeping girl. "Everything will be fine. Please don't worry."

      "I have to worry. Ana's part of us... the idea of not having her around... actually scares me. How is this even possible? How could they sue for custody?"

      "It'll be OK. I'll take care of this" he runs his hands over her belly "You take care of yourself and this little one."

      "We're in this together Ian." Sara tilts her head to the side "This is our family."

      Ian smiles "Our family."

      Sara rests her head on his shoulder watching as Anastasia sleeps.

Evening

      Sara smiles at the sight of Ana walking towards her father with her bottle in her mouth. "I can't imagine not having Ana around."

      "Sara everything will work out. You'll see" Jas comforts "but relax you don't want to get too stressed."

      Sara runs her hands over her belly. "It scares me"

      "What scares you?" Jas asks

      Sara watches as Ian picks Ana up awed by the silent look of communication between the two. "It scares me that someone could take Ana from us just because I didn't give birth to her. Before Ana come along I never thought of myself as a mother type yet here I am... two kids, a guy who loves me and a house. I have a normal life... even though none of us is normal."

      "Everything will work out Pez."

      Sara nods "I hope so." she watches as Ian talks to Ana amused by the little girl's serious expression. 'He is such a good daddy.'

      At the ring of the doorbell Jas speaks "I'll get it" she stands going to the door.

      Sara smiles as Ian lifts Ana over his head causing the girl to laugh hysterically. "Ian she does have to go to bed sooner or later."

      "I know" Ian rubs his nose against Ana's causing Ana to pat at his face.

      Sara laughs

      "Sara there's someone here to see you." Jas says concerned

      "Who?" Sara asks

      "Mrs Hanson"

      Sara nods "Bring her in." Sara looks at Ian confusion obvious in her gaze. She looks at the older woman.

      Mrs Hanson looks at them nervously "Detective Pezzini. I came to speak with you."

      Jas takes Ana from Ian "I'll take her upstairs."

      "Thank you" Ian nods

      As Jas leaves the room Sara gestures to the couch "Have a seat."

      Mrs Hanson sits down "My husband doesn't know I'm here." she explains "I wanted to speak with you both without him."

      Sara nods

      "I had no idea what Fredrick was doing until I found the paperwork on the desk."

      "Why is he suing for custody?" Sara asks

      "My husband was very protective of Robin. Overprotective is more the word. When Robin ran away he became even worse. He didn't understand that Robin is... was no longer five years old. They got into a fight over his behavior and Robin took off." Mrs Hanson shakes her head "My husband wants answers and wants to make it up to Robin for how he treated her."

      "Why Ana though? Ana is our biological child." Sara points out

      Mrs Hanson nods "I don't want to take her from you. My husband and I are too old to care for a child. I'm sure after a few days of thought he'll realize that. I'll try to talk him out of this whole thing."

      Sara nods "Thank you."

      "I'm sorry for all of this" Mrs Hanson apologizes standing

      Ian stands as well "Thank you Mrs Hanson."

      Sara watches as Ian walks the woman out of the room. She looks at her wrist to find the stone calm 'So is she lying? Are they going to take Ana from us?' she stares at the stone getting no answer.

      Ian returns to find Sara staring at her wrist "What is it telling you?"

      "Nothing." Sara answers "Do you think she's being serious?"

      Ian nods "I didn't catch any hint of dishonesty. I think her husband was behind this. Just to be on the safe side tomorrow I will ask Kenneth for all the testing and records done on Ana and Robin."

      Sara nods closing her eyes. "I just hope this doesn't lead to anything more... if they start looking into both our pasts... you know they'd most likely get custody."

      "Don't think about that." Ian sits beside her his arm going around Sara's shoulders pulling her against him.

      "I'll try."

Later that night

      Sara stands by the crib watching as Ana drifts off to sleep. "Night Ana"

      "Nigh' Nigh'" Ana mumbles

      After a few moments Sara walks out of the bedroom to find Ian in the hallway. "She's asleep." she wraps her arms around him burying her face in his chest.

      "Come on my love lets get to bed. We have a long day tomorrow." Ian leads Sara into their bedroom.

Next Morning: Vorschlag

      Ian enters the office to find Kenneth on the phone. He waits barely hiding his impatience

      Kenneth picks up on Ian's impatience "Brian I will have to call you back. Something just came up. Yes yes" he hangs up staring at Ian curiously "So?"

      "Mr Hanson filed the paperwork without telling his wife. Hopefully she'll be able to talk him into pulling the suit."

      "If he doesn't?"

      "Then we'll just have to deal with it" Ian answers

      Kenneth nods "The lawyers are at your disposal"

      "Thank you"

Couple nights later: House

      Sara picks up the phone "Hello?"

      Ian glances at Sara then back at Ana on his lap with a book open. He listens to Ana giggle happily over the pictures of animals.

      "Really? OK thank you." Sara hangs up smiling she turns around

      "What's going on love?" Ian asks

      "That was the Hansons lawyers. They pulled the suit"

      "That's great" Ian smiles looking at Ana still involved with her book. "Now stop worrying" he holds out his hand.

      Sara settles beside Ian her attention on Ana. 'My family will never be seperated.'

Couple Days Later

      Sara stares at the screen

      "Well your baby is right on schedule" the doctor informs Sara "Would you like to know what it is?"

      "Yes" Sara says excitedly

      "Its a... boy"

      "A boy" Sara smiles her eyes on the screen.

Later: House

      Sara smiles watching as Ian goes through his routine with his Katana. She stands there taking in the sight. 'God he's gorgeous'

      Sensing Sara's presence Ian turns his eyes taking in her figure. He smiles setting his Katana aside grabbing a towel he wipes the sweat off his face. "How was your appointment?"

      Sara walks up to him "It was good." she kisses him sweetly "I'm fine. He's fine." at his look she grins "The doctor confirmed it." she pats her belly "Its a boy."

      Ian smiles "A boy"

      Sara nods

      Ian rests his hand against Sara's middle "A boy." he says awed.

      Sara runs her finger down his nose "A little boy who's going to be just as sweet and smart as his Daddy."

      Ian picks her up kissing her deeply "I love you Sara Pezzini"

      Sara smiles against his lips "I love you Ian Nottingham." Sara hugs him tight

      After a few moments Ian speaks "I should go get cleaned up. Everyone's coming over for dinner."

      Sara sighs reluctantly releasing him. "The guys will be happy to know its a boy."

      Ian smiles "Yes they will"

      "I'll go get Ana up from her nap."

      Ian nods kisses Sara again before hurrying up the stairs.

      Sara shakes her head following him.

Dinner

      Sara smiles at Ian as she hands Ana a piece of chicken.

      Ana grins "Bawk bawk"

      "Bawk bawk?" Jake questions

      "Chicken" Ian explains "we're still working on the names of animals. She's got a lot of them but chicken's a hard word for her."

      "Dog" Ana says "kitty. Cow."

      "Good job Ana-nana" Gabe approves

      "Mama" Ana holds out her arms from the highchair.

      "Ana finish eating" Ian instructs pointing to Ana's plate. "then you can get out."

      "Pez how'd your doctor's appointment go?" Jake asks curiously

      Sara smiles "It went good"

      "So do you know yet?" Gabe demands "We getting a niece or nephew?"

      Sara grins "Its a boy."

      Jake grins "I get to teach him how to surf."

      "I get hacking rights to both of 'em" Gabe says

      "Gabe you are not teaching my kids anything illegal" Sara laughs

      "Oh come on Pez... they gotta know how to hack." Gabe argues

      Sara smiles "All right you get computer rights."

      "Whoo hoo" Gabe rejoices

      Ana starts in surprise her lower lip trembling as she looks around wide eyed

      Ian seeing the look touches Ana's head gently

      At the familiar touch of her father's hand Ana relaxes picking up a piece of chicken she inspects it before sticking it in her mouth.

      "I swear Ana has way better table manners then any of my nieces or nephews." Jake remarks thoughtfully "Every meal at my parents usually results in mash potatoes on walls and taking green beans out of Zach's nose" he shakes his head.

      "That is disgusting" Gabe says

      Jake shrugs "Five kids under 10 makes Christmas dinner interesting."

      "You never told me how many siblings you have" Gabe remarks

      "Seven. Three girls four boys I'm the third youngest. Then there's five nephews, four nieces and a step-nephew."

      "Talk about loud household" Jas laughs

      "No kidding." Jake scowls

That Night

      Sara watches as Ian stands at the window of Ana's room with the little girl in his arms talking softly as she drinks from her bottle. "Hey what are you two talking about?" she asks after a moment.

      Ian smiles looking at Sara "The stars." he answers

      "Ahh" Sara joins them at the window resting her head on Ian's shoulder looking at Ana who yawns around her bottle. "You getting sleepy huh" she smoothes Ana's cheek with her fingers

      Ian looks at Ana and smiles "Time for someone to go to bed." he carries Ana over to the crib laying her down covering her with a blanket.

      Sara leans against the railing watching Ana lay there watching them around her bottle. She smiles at Ana "Night Ana-girl" she reaches in trailing her finger down the bridge of Ana's nose causing the girl to grin. Sara moves away from the crib going to the door Ian right behind her. Once in the hallway she looks up at Ian reaching up she smoothes a loose curl off his forehead she smiles as he turns into her touch. She lightly scratches at his beard amused as Ian all but purrs his pleasure.

      Ian pulls Sara close kissing her deeply he turns pressing her against the wall. He lifts Sara up against the wall guiding her legs around his hips without breaking the kiss. After a few moments he pulls back staring at Sara his fingers going to a loose strand of hair over her face. He smoothes it behind her ear then brushes his lips over her face and neck.

      Sara groans at the feeling of Ian's lips against her neck she tangles her fingers in his hair. She lightly yanks on his hair when he lifts his head she pulls his head down kissing him deeply. As the kiss becomes more intense their jarred out of their intense feelings as they feel the movement of their son.

      Ian breaks the kiss resting his forehead against hers he groans

      Sara giggles breathlessly "Your son has really bad timing." she rubs her nose against Ian's "Or perhaps good timing... last time we made love against the wall the next day I ended up with major back pain."

      "I'm sorry love" he apologizes brushing his lips over hers he sets her down.

      "Not your fault... if I recall I started that one." she kisses his chin "Let's finish this in bed"

      "Mmm" Ian purrs "I like that idea."

Later

      Sara sighs happily looking down at Ian's hand resting on her belly. "You know at the rate this kid's growing I am going to be huge by the time he's born."

      Ian kisses her cheek "Who cares... your still going to be beautiful."

      "You say that now but when I'm in labor and threatening to run you through with the blade you won't think that."

      "Yes I will." he rubs his chin against her shoulder "You'll always be beautiful"

      Sara turns her head "I love you Ian"

      "I love you my Sara" he brushes his lips over hers "Now get some sleep." he orders lightly

      Sara snuggles into Ian lacing her fingers with his "Night Ian"

      "Sleep well my love." Ian says softly

Chapter 20

2 Months Later

      Sara awakens with a strangled cry her heart pounding her breathing erratic. She looks at the empty spot beside her as a piercing cry fills the air. Sara swallows heavily battling a wave of fear and nausea as she sits up. Carefully she swings her feet over the bed rubbing her middle gently as she feels a sharp kick to her middle. "Where is your Daddy?" she mutters trudging out of the bedroom and down the hall to Ana's room. "Ana its OK" she soothes going over to the crib to find Ana sitting up screaming tears falling down her cheeks. "Oh did you have a nightmare baby?" she picks Ana up cuddling her close wincing at the sharp kick to her abdomen. She walks the floor juggling Ana. She glances at the Witchblade to see it swirling angrily.

      "Daddy" Ana cries

      "Shh" Sara rubs Ana's back "its OK baby." she soothes pressing her lips to Ana's hair. Sara continues to walk the floor trying to calm the girl. 'Where are you Ian?'

Hour later

      Jas sleepily enters the kitchen to find Sara walking the floor with Ana. "Pez what's with her?" she asks seeing the tears streaking Ana's cheeks

      Sara shrugs "She just woke up screaming and crying. She won't let me put her down" Sara glances at her wrist concerned at the swirling colors as she pats Ana's back.

      "Something wrong?" Jas questions seeing her friend's concern

      "Ian didn't come home last night." Sara says gently rocking Ana as she sobs. "I have a bad feeling Jas." She looks at her friend blinking back tears.

      "Have you tried calling him?"

      Sara nods "He's not answering." Sara presses her lips to Ana's head "Ian is obsessive about answering his phone. God he even answers it when we're in bed."

      "Have you tried Irons?"

      "Yes. He's not answering either." Sara inhales sharply her hand going to her middle.

      "Sara are you OK?"

      Sara nods wincing "He just kicks hard."

      "Want me to take her?"

      Sara looks at Ana resting against her chest and shakes her head "I'll just go sit down. Maybe she won't cry." Sara walks out of the kitchen to the livingroom she sits on the couch. She holds her breath for a moment then sighs relieved when Ana doesn't start screaming.

      "Do you want me to try Ian again?"

      Sara nods "Please" she presses her lips to Ana's head. She notices Danny in the corner "Danny where's Ian? Is he OK?"

      Danny shrugs "I don't know."

      Sara swallows heavily blinking back tears. "Where is he?" she whispers pained

While later

      Sara looks towards the entryway as Jake enters with Captain Santos "Cap Jake what are you doing here?"

      "Sara" Jake pauses looking at his friend concerned

      "What's wrong Jake?" she demands her instincts up.

      "Sara there's been a shooting" Jake pauses "Ian's been shot."

      Sara stares at her friend stunned. She blinks back tears "Is he OK?"

      Jake nods "He's in the hospital."

      "Ian hates hospitals" she whispers "How bad is he?"

      "He's in the operating room." Captain Santos soothes

      "What happened? How'd Ian get shot? He's too fast"

      Jake looks at his hands "We're not too sure. It looks like a hit on Irons and Ian got in the way. Irons was shot as well. He's in the operating room."

      Sara swallows looking at Ana in her arms "I need to go to Ian." she says handing Ana to Jas then stands.

      "Sara you should stay here." Jake suggests "Your in no condition to sit around waiting for news."

      Sara shakes her head "Ian needs me." she says stubbornly

Half hour later

      Sara sits in the waitingroom waiting for a doctor or nurse to speak with her. 'Please be OK Ian. I can't lose you... not now.' she runs her hands over her middle. She looks up as Gabe joins her "Gabe"

      "Hey Boss you OK?"

      Sara shakes her head "I need Ian"

      "Hey he'll be OK. Nottingham's the most stubborn guy on the planet" Gabe says putting his arm around Sara's shoulders. "How's Gabe Junior?"

      Sara rests her head against his shoulder "I told you he's not going to be named Gabe"

      "Why not?"

      "Because Ian and I agreed that one Gabe and one Jake in our lives is enough" Sara replies.

      "Detective Pezzini?" a doctor inquires

      Sara looks up "Yes. How is he?"

      "The bullet was lodged just below his ribs. Its been removed"

      "But he's OK?" Sara asks

      The doctor nods "He's still out from the drugs. He should be fine within a few days."

      Sara smiles relieved then tilts her head "What about Irons?"

      The doctor shakes his head "He's in a coma. Does he have any close relatives?"

      "Only Ian" Sara answers "Have you tried contacting their doctor?"

      "Yes. He is in with Mr Irons right now."

      Sara nods "Can I see Ian?"

      "He's in recovery right now. You can see him when he wakes up."

      Sara nods "Thank you."

Hour later

      Sara winces shifting uncomfortably in the chair of the waitingroom.

      "Pez you OK?" Jake questions

      Sara rubs her middle "Uh guys... I think I'm having contractions."

      "WHAT?!" Gabe and Jake yelp jumping up

      "I'll get a doctor" Jake says hurrying away

      Sara runs her hands over her middle taking a deep breath. "Just my luck"

      "Why do you say that?"

      "Ian's not with me." Sara says sadly "We both missed Ana's birth and now he might miss this ones."

      "They say labor lasts a while... perhaps he'll be awake by the time Jr's ready to come out." Gabe remarks patting her hand.

      Sara nods "I hope so." she gives him a slight smile

      "Hey Nottingham will be fine."

      "I know." A few moments later Jake returns with a doctor and an orderly with a wheelchair.

      "How far apart are your contractions?" the doctor inquires

      "I don't know" Sara shrugs moving to the wheelchair "I wasn't really paying attention until a few minutes ago."

      "All right. Let's get you upstairs and checked out." the doctor nods

      "What about Ian?" Sara asks

      "The nurses will call upstairs if he wakes up." the doctor assures

      "I'll stay here just in case Pez" Jake offers

      Sara gives him a faint smile "Thanks McCartey."

      "I'll keep you company" Gabe says

      "What would I do without you guys?" Sara asks

      "Go nuts" Gabe retorts.

Little Later

      Sara shifts in the bed of the maternity ward feeling anxious. "So Doc what's the verdict?"

      "You are definately having contractions" the doctor states regarding Sara laying back on the bed. "They are far enough apart that you won't go into full labor for hours."

      "Hours?!" Sara groans

      "Are you in pain?" the doctor inquires

      "No" Sara replies "I'm bored."

      "Pez can't sit still very long" Gabe informs the doctor with a slight smile

      "I'm worried about Ian and Ana." Sara says "She was crying when I left. She's worried about her Daddy. You know what a Daddy's girl she is"

      "Well relax Detective Pezzini you'll be here for a while." the doctor pats her hand then exits the room.

      Sara sighs needlessly running her hands over her middle "Kid you have your Father's ability to arrive at a bad time."

      "He'll be fine Sara" Gabe assures

      "I know... its Ian." she smiles slightly "He's a fast healer"

Few Hours Later

      "How is he doing?" Sara asks as the doctor who treated Ian enters the room.

      "He's still out"

      Sara nods "Ian told me once that his body reacts differently to different drugs."

      "The more rest he gets the faster he'll heal" he informs Sara. "I thought I'd come and check on you. How are you doing?"

      "Contractions are about 10 minutes apart but the nurse is surprised that I've proceeded this far this fast."

      "Well you still have a while left." the doctor smiles

      "I know" Sara pats her belly "How's Irons?"

      "Still in a coma. He took a bullet to the head. He's not expected to wake. His doctor though wants to wait before removing him from the respirator."

      "Has he seen Ian?" Sara asks concerned

      "Yes. Just for a moment."

      "Don't let Dr Immo give Ian anything."

      "He is Mr Nottingham's official doctor."

      "Can you just keep a close eye on Immo when he's with Ian? I don't trust him with Ian." Sara bites on her lower lip rubbing her middle as she feels a strong contraction. She takes a deep calming breath waiting for the contraction to end.

Late Evening

      Sara groggily opens her eyes shifting in the bed she groans her muscles aching. Sara slowly smiles at the sight beside her bed. Ian sitting in one of the overstuffed chairs his eyes on the small bundle in his arms.

      Sensing Sara's eyes on him Ian looks over at the bed. "Sara" he smiles carefully he stands moving over to the bed he sits bedside her.

      "What are you doing out of bed?" Sara demands "Your supposed to be resting."

      "I am."

      "How are you feeling?" Sara asks concerned

      "Fine. Little sore." he says looking at the newborn "You?"

      Sara grins looking at the baby boy sleeping in Ian's arms "Great. Your OK. He's here and healthy even though he's early." Sara touches the boy's covered head laughing softly as she sees the Witchblade blush and purr.

      "The Blade seems content" Ian remarks

      Sara nods "And it behaved while I was in labor."

      "That it did." Ian presses his lips to Sara's temple. "Gabriel wanted it to form so he could see the nurses and doctor jump."

      "That's Gabe" Sara laughs then frowns looking at Ian "How's Irons?"

      Ian glances away "They are taking him off the ventilator in the morning."

      "I'm sorry... as much as I hate him I know how much he means to you."

      "Thank you." Ian looks at the baby "Kenneth and I haven't been close in many years. He's not the same man he was when I was a boy."

      "I know. Will you miss him?"

      Ian nods "Somethings." he admits touching the sleeping baby's cheek "But I will not miss being manipulated into doing his dirty work."

      Sara sits there silently comforting Ian as they look at the baby. "Ian... he still needs a name." she remarks thoughtfully

      "We never did agree on one did we?"

      "No. We always seemed to get distracted." she chuckles

      "Well what would you like to name him?" Ian asks

      "I don't know... I know that I want his middle name to be James."

      Ian nods "I thought you would."

      "Now first name... kiddo what should we name you" she trails her finger over the boy's face. She smiles as he opens his eyes blinking and rubbing at his eyes with his small fist he yawns closing his eyes. "Christian... Christian James" she looks at Ian "What do you think?"

      Ian regards the dozing baby and nods "I like it."

      "Well kid there you are finally decided on a name for you." Sara strokes the boy's head smiling at Ian. "I love you Ian"

      Ian smiles back "I love you my Sara."

Next Morning

      Sara looks at Ian as he sits in the chair by the window staring outside. "Ian you OK?" Sara asks glancing briefly at the nursing boy.

      Ian glances at Sara then back out the window "For the first time in my life I'm free."

      "What are you going to do?" Sara asks curiously

      Ian moves over to the bed sitting on the edge he gazes at the nursing baby then at Sara "I don't know. I never thought I'd be totally free."

      "What do you want to do?" Sara inquires

      "The first thing I'm going to do is have Elizabeth buried with her family... I owe her that much. Destroy all of the research he had conducted so it never hurts anyone else."

      "Can you do that? I mean alot of it was done on you... what if you need it one day?"

      "I am going to destroy all but the original work. Find all of his papers on us."

      "Since your his only family you inherit it all don't you?"

      Ian nods "All but a small part which he left to the ones loyal to him."

      "What are you going to do?"

      "Once I talk with Kenneth's lawyers I think I will see off most of his assests and put some in a trust for Ana and Christian." at Sara's look he explains "Kenneth had been planning on that for a while." he informs her

      "Ian his money is dirty"

      Ian shakes his head "I'm not going to use the money from any of his dirty dealings Sara. He did have some legal business dealings. We can put it in trust for them and they can decide when their older what they want to do with the money."

      Sara sighs "All right."

      "We can talk about this later" Ian says brushing his lips over her forehead

      Sara nods "Sure"

Chapter 21

Couple days later

      Sara smiles as Ana runs out the front door towards the car as she unstraps the dozing baby from the carseat.

      "Mama. Daddy" Ana jumps up and down happily before throwing her arms around her Daddy's legs "Your home" she says happily grinning up at her father she holds her arms up.

      Ian carefully picks Ana up "Hello Ana" he kisses her cheek

      "Daddy owie?" Ana asks concerned

      "I'm OK little one." Ian assures "Just a little scratch"

      "Miss Daddy. Miss Mama" Ana says her eyes going wide seeing the bundle in her mother's arms. Ana grins "Baby"

      Sara chuckles "Yes here's your brother. How about we go inside and you can get a closer look."

      Ana nods "Inside inside" she orders pointing at the front door where Jas and Gabe are talking. "Go"

      Sara bursts out laughing at the girl's tone

      "Ana" Ian says warningly his eyes laughing

      "Sorry Daddy" Ana apologizes sheepishly.

      "Oh he is so cute" Jas smiles at the dozing boy

      Sara smiles "He is."

      "Me see" Ana demands

      Sara laughs going over to the couch she sits down.

      Ian sets Ana beside Sara on the couch removing his overcoat he hangs it up in the hall closet then picks up the two bags Gabriel had brought in from the car. He carries them upstairs

      Sara pulls back the blanket "Ana meet Christian James."

      Ana looks at her newborn brother "Hi C'is'tan" she greets happily

      Christian opens his eyes blinking his little hands going to his face.

      "Silly face" Ana giggles as Christian scrunches up his face

      Sara laughs glancing up at the others then back at her kids. "What do you think of your baby brother?"

      Ana shrugs "He little."

      "He's just three days old" Sara says in explanation

      "I not that little" Ana states disbelieving

      "You were at one time" Sara says saddened by the fact she'd never seen her daughter at that time.

      "Nu uh" Ana shakes her head

      Sara nods "Yes huh" she laughs

      "I big" Ana says stubbornly

      "You are now" Sara says looking up as Ian walks down the stairs. "Christian will be big one day too."

Evening

      Sara sits back against the couch cushions as she nurses Christian. She smiles at Ian as he sits next to her Ana on the floor watching her favorite movie Peter Pan. "She's taking this well" Sara remarks resting her head on Ian's shoulder

      Ian presses his lips to Sara's hair "She's a well adjusted little girl." he smiles touching Christian's cheek "He seems to be adjusting as well."

      Sara nods "And hungry." she chuckles turning her head slightly her lips grazing his jawbone "Definately his father's son."

      Ian chuckles "Good to know"

      Ana turns around "Mama I hungry"

      "You just had dinner baby." Sara remarks

      "I hungry" Ana shrugs "cookie?"

      "No its almost bedtime" Ian replies "How about a piece of apple?"

      "OK" Ana nods turning back to the TV

      Ian kisses Sara's temple "I'll be right back."

      Sara nods slightly her eyes on Christian. She strokes Christian's cheek with her knuckle 'You are one cute kid.' she smiles as Christian looks at her briefly before he closes his eyes. She notices Ana scoot closer to the TV "Ana move back" she watches as Ana scoots backwards "Thank you"

      "Tinkerbell" Ana says happily clapping

      Sara chuckles at the girl's enthusiasm "You like Tinkerbell huh"

      Ana nods "Uh huh"

      "I was always more partial to Wendy" Sara muses

      "Now that I've seen this movie Hook reminds me of Irons" Ian says entering the livingroom with a couple apple slices. He kneels beside Ana handing her a couple slices of apple "After you eat these its off to bed OK?"

      Ana nods "Yes Daddy" she looks back at the TV taking a small bite of her apple.

      Ian sits back down beside Sara. He looks at Christian smiling as the newborn opens and closes his small hand against Sara's breast.

While later

      Sara looks up as Ian enters their bedroom "Is she sleeping?" she asks as she lays Christian in the basinet beside their bed.

      Ian nods "She was asleep by the time she was changed." he joins Sara at the basinet looking in on the sleeping newborn.

      Sara smiles smoothing her finger over Christian's cheek "So was he."

      Ian kisses Sara's temple "I love you Sara."

      "I love you too" she tilts her head "How are you feeling?"

      "Fine. What about you?"

      "Great. Your OK. Their OK."

      "Mmm that they are." Ian smiles as Sara yawns "Tired?"

      Sara nods "I've been up for almost three days. Unlike you I'm not used to that unless I have coffee." she scowls "And I can't have coffee while I'm nursing."

      "Come on lets get you to bed"

      "Isn't the day after tomorrow Kenneth's service?"

      Ian nods helping Sara into bed. "Yes. After the autopsy he'll be cremated. I'm supposed to meet with the Feds in the next few days. As well as with the lawyers."

      "I'm going with you." Sara says stubbornly

      "Sara your supposed to be resting" Ian says changing to a pair of pajama bottoms

      "So are you."

      "Sara" he slides into bed next to her

      "I'm not letting you do this by yourself. So don't argue with me."

      At her stubborn tone Ian sighs "Yes my love."

      "Good" Sara nods kissing his cheek resting her head on the pillow facing Ian. "I just don't want you to have to deal with that stuff yourself."

      "I know."

      Sara rubs at her eyes sleepily

      "Go to sleep my Sara."

      Sara smiles sleepily "Night"

      Ian watches Sara drift off to sleep then reaches behind himself turning off the lamp.

Couple hours later

      Sara awakens to the sound of Christian crying. She feels Ian stir beside her "Go back to sleep. Its just Christian" she slips out of bed making her way over to the basinet as Ian turns on the lamp. She picks up the crying newborn "Shh its OK baby." she returns to bed leaning against the headboard looking at the newborn as he starts to nurse. She notices Ian propped up on his hand watching her. "Ian why don't you go back to sleep." she suggests

      Ian shakes his head gently touching Christian's covered foot

      Sara looks at Christian to see the baby is sleepily looking at her. "You certainly are a hungry little guy." she strokes his cheek.

      Ian smiles at the sight of his beloved holding their newborn son.

Morning

      Sara groans as the sound of crying penetrates her sleep fogged mind.

      "Mama. Daddy" Ana calls over the monitor "I awake"

      Sara smiles feeling Ian kiss her cheek "Morning."

      "Christian's awake"

      "I know. As is your daughter." Sara opens her eyes sitting up she gets out of bed going over to the basinet picking up the crying boy as Ian also gets out of bed.

      Ian makes his way to Ana's bedroom "Morning Anastasia" he greets the little girl

      "Daddy" Ana grins holding up her arms

      "Did you have a good sleep Ana?" he asks lifting the little girl up he kisses her cheek as he carries her over to the changing table.

      Ana nods "Where Mama?" she asks watching her father

      "She's with Christian." Ian answers unbuttoning her sleeper.

      "Why?" Ana pouts

      "Because he needs Mama and your a big girl." Ian answers

      "I baby too." Ana whines

      "Yes your our baby too but your not a little baby like Christian." Ian quickly finishes changing her diaper then picks her up "Do you want to go watch cartoons in our room?"

      Ana nods "Ali" she reaches for her stuffed alien in the crib.

      Ian picks up the alien handing it to Ana. He carries the little girl out of the room

      "MAMA" Ana calls seeing her mother

      Sara smiles looking over at Ana as she finishes changing Christian. "Morning Ana-girl." she lifts Christian to her shoulder as the baby whimpers she rubs his back. She sits on the bed giving Ana a kiss. "Did you have a good sleep sweetie?"

      Ana nods grinning at the familiar music "Bob" she says happily hugging Ali the Alien her attention on the TV as her favorite movie SpongeBob SquarePants begins.

      Ian settles beside Sara kissing her cheek "Good Morning my Sara."

      "Morning." Sara smiles looking at the baby as he starts to nurse. She looks at Ana "Well at least its a cartoon I can stand"

      Ian chuckles

      "I know you hate cartoons." Sara remarks

      Ian shrugs "If it makes her laugh I can stand it." he smiles fondly at the little girl sitting in the middle of the bed her attention on the screen. He brushes his hand over Christian's covered head touching the baby's cheek as he opens his eyes.

      "Your more of a Batman type huh" Sara snickers

      "Wouldn't know. I wasn't allowed to watch cartoons growing up."

      "Yet you collected comic books."

      "Hey those are worth a lot of money now. Besides my collecting stopped after..." he trails off wincing at the memory.

      Sara pats his leg comfortingly knowing what he's remembering. "I know you didn't want to do that." she says softly

      "I wish I could take it back. That and so many other things" he says sadly.

      "I know"

      Ana giggles "Silly Bob"

      Ian looks at Ana laughing and then at Christian nursing then at Sara. For the next twenty minutes Ian sits on the bed watching his family, Sara nursing their son, Ana laughing as she watches her cartoon. 'My family. They belong with me. I belong with them.' "Sara" he says suddenly

      "Hmm" Sara looks at Ian as she lifts Christian to her shoulder gently patting his back.

      Ian tucks a strand of her hair behind her ear "You know I love you... I always have."

      Sara smiles "I know. I love you too."

      "Daddy" Ana says crawling up to them she settles between her parents

      "Yes Ana?" Ian tears his eyes away from Sara's looking at the little girl.

      "I hungry"

      Ian smiles "Well then how about we go make breakfast for Mama." he suggests

      Ana nods "Pamcakes?"

      "Sure" Ian stands picking up the little girl

      "I'll be down in a bit" Sara smiles

      Ian nods turning off the TV as he carries Ana out of the bedroom.

Couple hours later

      Sara watches Ana silently play on the floor with blocks as Ian walks down the stairs joining Ana on the floor. 'I love watching him play with Ana.'

      "Daddy I build" Ana grins picking up a block.

      "So I see." Ian chuckles watching as the little girl stares at the blocks thoughtfully. Obviously trying to figure out where the block goes.

      Ana sighs setting the block aside she crawls onto her father's lap. "No more blocks" she sticks her thumb in her mouth.

      "What do you want to do now?" Ian asks hugging Ana

      Ana shrugs then looks at her father "Story?" she asks hopefully.

      Ian nods "Clean up your blocks and pick a book."

      "OK" Ana kisses her father's cheek then scrambles off his lap

      Ian stands joining Sara on the couch. He hugs Sara as she snuggles into him. "How are you feeling?" he asks pressing his lips to her hair.

      "Fine... stop worrying." Sara watches as Ana picks up the blocks returning them to the box. "You know Marie pointed something out the other day when I took Ana over to see her."

      "What is that?"

      "Ana's not even two and she uses almost complete sentences and she's way more coordinated then any other two year old I've ever seen."

      "Kenneth could have pumped up her genes. I'll go through the house and see if I can find the remainder of the files on her."

      "She definately go her brains from you." Sara remarks

      "Daddy book"

      Ian picks up the girl settling her inbetween he and Sara as he opens the book. "Once upon a time there was a dog named Fred."

      Sara listens amused as Ian reads the story of a lost dog named Fred.

Late next afternoon: Cemetary

      Sara squeezes Ian's hand as they stand beside the grave. 'Almost free.' she thinks relieved 'After the service he won't have to step into that house ever again.' she looks at Ian catching a glimpse of his brown eyes. 'God I love his eyes.' she shakes off her thoughts looking around at the group of people 'How many of these people actually liked Irons.' she asks herself. 'none probably.'

      Ian brings her hand to his lips brushing them across her knuckles. "I love you" he mouthes

      Sara nods in return 'Goodbye Kenneth... and I guess thanks for Ana... and Ian.'

      Ian looks at the casket 'Goodbye Kenneth. Thank you for giving me my family.'

While later

      Sara looks at Ian as he drives in silence "You OK babe?"

      Ian nods giving her a faint smile "I am fine my love."

      "You know we could just skip the people part grab the kids and head home."

      "I wish but the lawyers want to go over some things with me while their at the mansion." Ian brushes his lips over her fingertips. "It won't be long. All they want to discuss is a few small details before they start settling the estate. Edgarsen will deal with all of the people."

      Sara nods looking out the window watching the buildings and people go by. She remains silent the whole ride to the mansion. As they enter the mansion on Faust she shakes her head sensing Ian's tension rise. "Come on"

      "Hello Master Ian. Detective" the butler nods "Young Bowman is upstairs with the children and Miss Jas."

      "Fredrick" Ian greets the elderly butler removing his cap and gloves "the others should be here soon."

      Fredrick nods "Everything has been taken care of."

      "Take care of anything the guests need. When Mr Thompson is ready to speak with me I will be upstairs with Sara and the children."

      Fredrick nods watching the young man he had known since childhood amazed by his more relaxed demeanor. 'That young woman has done wonders for him... as have those two children.'

      Sara and Ian enter Ian's former suite where Ana is coloring at a table with Gabe while Jas works at her laptop. "Hey guys" Sara greets

      "Mama. Daddy" Ana scrambles out of the chair rushing over to her parents "you back" she grins throwing her arms around their legs.

      "Hey sweetie" Sara ruffles the child's hair.

      Ian picks Ana up kissing her cheek "Were you good for Jas?"

      Ana nods enthusiastically. "I good" she pats at his cheeks "I hungry"

      "How about me and Jas take Ana-nana out for some ice cream" Gabe suggests

      "I-cweam" Ana grins bouncing in her father's arms "Ana i-cweam pwease"

      Ian hands Gabe the girl "Don't let her eat too much... last time you took her out for ice cream it took an hour to get her to stop running around in the livingroom."

      Gabe nods "Right boss"

      "You guys want anything?" Jas asks pulling on her jacket. "I know there's no junk food in this place."

      "I don't need anything" Sara says taking Ana from Gabe she puts the little girl back into her jacket. Then hands her back to Gabe. "Have fun" she calls as they leave the suite. She looks at Ian as he picks up some of Ana's toys. She's about to speak when she hears a cry from the bedroom. She walks back to the room turning on the light she removes her suit jacket as she walks over to the basinet. Tossing the jacket on the bed she lifts the crying newborn out of the basinet. "Oh hey Christian." she coos "You must be hungry again." she sits on the recliner unbuttoning her blouse smiling as he starts to nurse vigorously.

      Ian watches from the doorway as Sara nurses the newborn. 'Sara is so beautiful' he tilts his head thoughtfully.

Hour later

      Ian listens to the three lawyers talk all trying to explain the will and the terms of the will and the process of the estates.

      "Mr Nottingham you need to protect the assests that were left to you and Detective Pezzini."

      Ian looks at the lawyers Smith, Thompson, and Edgarsen "Sara and I agreed that the only money that will be put in the trust fund for the kids is what money is from his clean dealings. We want all of the research notes and medical files regarding Anastasia, Sara, Elizabeth Bronte and myself. We want the Witchblade Collection."

      "What of the companies?"

      "If the Government doesn't try to break the companies up and sell them things will change."

      "Are you planning on selling the companies?" Edgarsen inquires "Because Kenneth requested that you not sell the companies."

      "I won't sell them but they will be reconstructed."

      "How so?"

      "If I am able to keep the companies all of the dirty dealings Kenneth had will no longer be allowed. Vorschlag and all the others will be clean."

      "What about the estates?" Thompson asks

      "Sell Switzerland, France, and Italy. From the sell you will pay all the people who work on those estates double what was the original compensation package"

      "But Mr Nottingham.." Smith begins

      Ian looks at the man "Kenneth was a hard man to live with they deserve it. The rest of the money from those estates will be put in a trust fund for future use. Once everything is settled with this estate sell it. Use the money from this estate to pay a compensation package for the household and garden staff."

      "Why sell all the estates?" Edgarsen demands "Kenneth would not like that."

      Ian shrugs "He's dead. Its time for me to have a somewhat normal life. I can't do that if this is always showing up. That and I never liked living in those homes. I'm keeping the England estate. I'm only keeping the Witchblade Collection and my weapons. All the rest you can donate to museums or sell. If you sell them set up a trust fund for future endeavours."

      "What about the companies? You become CEO."

      "I will remain CEO but I will split it with Sara."

      "You can't do that!" Smith says quickly

      "Edgarsen" Ian looks at the head lawyer

      "Technically he can. That's the terms of Kenneth's will. Mr Nottingham has full decision rights."

      "Things won't change too much. No one will lose their jobs except the ones who Kenneth hired for dirty work. They will be given the chance to stay on as long as they go by my rules."

Late that night: House

      Sara looks at Ian "So how'd it go with the lawyers?"

      "I told them that if by some odd chance I'm allowed to keep the companies that they'll go legitimate. The conversation was long and boring."

      "Do you want to keep Vorschlag?"

      "I think it has potential to be better than its been. I'd rather bring it to a better place and then sell it... or perhaps hand it over to the employees." at Sara's look he kisses her forehead "Do not worry about this Sara."

      At the look in his eyes she nods "I'll try."

      "Good."

      "So with Irons gone what are you going to do?"

      Ian shrugs "I have time. You know" he smiles faintly

      "What?" she asks suspiciously

      "You could take a long vacation or not even go back to work. Its not like you'll ever need to work again."

      "I like my work. Besides I'd get bored without work."

      Ian nods "If that's what you want." he kisses her knuckles "I love you Sara"

      "I love you too Ian" she smiles kissing him.

      "We have a chance at a new start my love." he says "And the company has a chance to be what it should be… clean."

      "Who would have thought that with Ana's appearance so many things would change and not only would we get a new start but so would the company he would have destroyed along with us."

      "New Starts lead to new things… and it all began with a little girl who's name means Resurrection."

The End