Author's Note: I realize that the traditional way of writing a story involves writing the prologue first...or at least putting the chapters up in order, but I've always been a bit scatterbrained. Sorry about adding this part so late into the tale...but I hope you like it all the same.




Special Agent Sara Weiss, FBI shoved her hands in her coat pocket and tried not to look at her watch one more time. She'd gotten a note from her father at work that morning, asking her to meet him at the docks. It was a strange meeting place, but she'd been intrigued and went without protest. She leaned against the railing, listening to the water slap against the concrete wall below her. Her father was rarely the type to arrive late, and she started to worry, imagining all sorts of disasters befalling him. She moved to take her cell phone out, but a pair of footsteps coming in her direction stilled her hand...then redirected it to the handle of her gun.

The footsteps were light and quick, completely different from her father's heavy tread. Holding the gun loosely in one hand, she turned toward the sound, eyes narrowed as she saw the silhouetted figure of a slender woman coming towards her. She walked in the shadows and Sara could not make out her face. Something felt strange to her, and that was enough reason to raise her weapon.

"Who's out there?" she called out. "I'm an FBI agent and I will shoot if you do not identify yourself."

The woman held her hands up. "I'm unarmed," she said. "Please put your gun down, Agent Weiss."

Not sure whether or not she should be surprised her name was known, Sara relaxed her finger but did not put the gun down. Then, her worry for her father made her tense up, her worst fears coming to the surface in the face of this unknown woman.

"Who are you?" she demanded. "Where's my father?"

"Your father is fine," the woman said, her voice calm. "I had him send you that note because I wanted to speak to you."

Sara's disbelief was palpable and the woman sighed.

"It was in his handwriting, am I right? He even called you later that day to remind you to come. I'm not lying and I'm not holding your father hostage. Call him, if you like."

Still holding her gun with one hand, Sara took her cell phone out and called her father.

"What's the matter, Sara?" his voice said, like music to her ears.

"Nothing, Dad. I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

"I'm okay. Are you?"

"What's going on?"

Her father sighed, its heavy sound identical to the one the woman made only moments before. "Let her speak. She's got a lot to tell you. Come over when you're done. I love you, Kid."

"Love you too, Dad."

She pocketed her phone and lowered her gun--but didn't put it away. She studied the older woman who had now stepped into the light. Her auburn hair, liberally streaked with gray, was cut into a short bob, and her chocolate brown eyes were kind as she met Sara's gaze unwaveringly. There was something familiar about her, but Sara couldn't figure out why.

"Who are you?" she asked again.

"My name is..." the woman visibly hesitated and she took a shaky breath. "My name is Sydney."

"How do you know my dad? How do you know me?"

Sydney smiled, but it was sad. She put a hand on the railing and looked out into the black ocean, the reflection of the moon dancing on the surface of the waves.

"I have a lot of things that I want to say to you, Sara," she said slowly. "But I'm afraid that you might not want to hear any of it."

Sara couldn't seem to stop asking questions. "Then why are you here?"

"Because I wanted to meet you and I know for a fact that sometimes, even though it hurts, you need to know the truth about yourself. Before I start talking, I do want to give you the choice of turning around and leaving me here. It'll hurt, Sara, but at the same's all a part of who you are."

She didn't know why, but tears prickled Sara's eyes. Maybe it was Sydney's voice or maybe it was because her words struck a cord in her. Happy though her life was, Sara had always felt something was wrong. It wasn't because she was raised by just her father, she loved him and would do anything for him, but there was just something...

"Tell me," she said."

Sydney turned and faced her. She reached out a shaking hand and caressed Sara's cheek with gentle fingers.

"I'm your mother, Sara."

Then, she started to tell her story and Sara slid to the ground, hugging her knees to her chest as she listened.