After John and Harold led me back to the room I'd woken up in and turned on the light, John handed me a bag, it had my shoes, socks, and my jacket; the clothes I had worn the day I was kidnapped. I pulled out my jacket and removed the letter from the buttoned pocket.
I couldn't believe it. After travelling across the country and getting kidnapped, I wind up getting rescued by the very man I'd come to New York to find. If I didn't believe in fate before…
Now that I could see better, seeing as how this room had better lighting than the previous one, I could see Harold as he limped to the table; he was about 5"9" and wore a brown three-piece suit that seemed expensive, tailored to fit him perfectly. His features were sharp behind his small framed glasses but his eyes seemed familiar to me somehow. I was curious about why he was limping, but my mom always taught me that people already have noses; they don't need someone else's in their business.
I got a better look at John, too. He was tall, my best guess about 6"2" with black hair that was beginning to gray at his temples. His dark blue eyes seemed to stare right inside and know what my deepest darkest secrets were, no matter how bad or scary they were. The intensity of his gaze made me blush. John took a seat next to Harold. After a moment, a look crossed his face, one that I couldn't place. Kind of confused, like when you can't remember something.
I looked down at the envelope and ran my fingers over mom's beautiful handwriting. I felt a little reluctant to give it to him. I'd been carrying the letter with me for a while; it almost felt like having a piece of mom here with me. After a moment, I handed Harold the letter.
"Natalie," He murmured. "Natalie…" I furrowed my brow and watched his expression as he looked at his name on the envelope. He ran his fingers over it like I had only moments ago. A pained expression crossed his features. He looked up at me slowly. "Do you know Natalie Jenkins?"
I blinked in surprise and nodded slowly. "I'm her daughter." I answered, weighing his surprised reaction. "Jenkins was my mom's maiden name. She changed it to Matthews." I'd never seen Harold before in my life and mom had never mentioned him, so how did he know her maiden name? He smiled and took another look at the envelope before looking back at me.
"You have her eyes…and her necklace." My hand instantly flew to the necklace around my neck. It was a small heart-shaped stone hanging from a thin leather band.
"Why didn't she just send this to me?" From the corner of my eye, I could see John watching us with an intrigued expression.
"My mother—" I swallowed hard as a lump appeared in my throat. "It was my mom's last request that I hand deliver this to you."
"Last request." Harold's voice dropped an octave as he spoke. Then he was nearly whispering. "She's… she's dead."
Despite how calm I tried to look, a tear tracked its way down my cheek. I brushed at it angrily. Thinking about mom was hard enough, talking about her was going to be torture. I wasn't an idiot though, I figured it was coming.
"So," She said slowly, taking a seat across from them. "You just going to stare at the letter or are you gonna read it? My mom told me not to leave until you did, so…" She let her voice trail off as she looked at Harold.
Something about this didn't sit well with John. The girl looked familiar, but at the same time, he knew he'd never seen her before. Then there was her mother. Obviously Harold had known this girl's mother, been close to her, but how? And how did Terra's number coming up fit into…He stifled a smile as the pieces started coming together and wondered if Harold had a clue.
"So," John said, taking quick glances out at Harold. "What's in the letter?"
She shook her head. "I have no idea what's in the letter. I didn't read it."
"Really?" He asked.
"My mom never invaded my privacy." She said, he noted how her eyes got hard when she spoke of her mother. "So I thought she merited her own."
John smiled. She even spoke a little like Harold.
Harold read the first line before standing up and excusing himself. Terra started to rise too, but when he looked pointedly at Reese, he grabbed her arm and gently pulled her back down. As Harold limped out the door and to the other room, Terra looked at Reese and opened her mouth to say something, but he interrupted her.
"Just give him a minute." As he looked at her, he noticed that her jaw was clenched and there was a defensive glare in her eyes. He released her arm. "Sorry."
She nodded. Looking down, she indicated to the baggy clothes on her body. "Yours?"
"Yeah." He folded his hands on the table. "Yours were a bit…torn up."
She pulled her legs up so her knees were against her chest. "What happened? At the warehouse?"
He scrunched his brow. "You don't remember?" She shook her head.
He cleared his throat. "I think Harold would be better suited to explain."
She regarded him for a moment before nodding. She looked down at her legs and back at him. "Who…who—" She indicated to the bandages on her legs.
Reese noted how she had protectively wrapped her arms around her legs, and how she avoided eye contact with him. He knew he could be intimidating, but there seemed to be something else bothering her. "Dr. Tillman, a friend of mine, she patched you up. Since you wouldn't go to a hospital."
She cast her eyes to the ground and narrowed them, trying to recall what he was talking about. "Oh yeah…" She cracked a smile. "Sorry about kickin' you in the nards."
He gave her a half-smile. "Don't worry about it."
Seating himself in his computer chair, Harold pulled out the letter and continued to read it.
My Dearest Harold,
It's funny how facing your own death can change things. I know I'm dying and there are just certain things I can't leave undone. So even though this is probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, I had to confess the truth. It hurt when you stopped answering my calls and e-mails, and stopped coming around, but I now understand that you were doing what you thought was best for both of us. And I hope you can believe that that was all I was trying to do.
A few weeks after we decided we were better as friends than lovers, I started feeling sick. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant.
You might not want to hear this, and you're probably not going to believe it, but it's the truth. Terra is your daughter. She was born seven months after our last meeting and I was too much of a coward to tell you. Terra is my light and with all the darkness I faced on the force on a daily basis, I needed a little light in my life. I tried very hard to keep her safe, taking her out to live in the country, away from the negative influences, and dangerous situations but she gets her stubbornness and curiosity from me and, of course, her brains from her father. So naturally, she gets into trouble a lot. Once she sets her mind to something she never gives up, just like you. But I'm losing my train of thought here.
One thing I want you to know is that I agonized for years over whether I should tell her about you or not, but eventually I decided it was for everyone's benefit. I know I hurt Terra when I refused to tell her who her father was. But honestly I was trying to protect her. I wanted to keep her away from you, and your work, for as long as I could. I suppose I was protecting myself in a way too. I couldn't bear to see the look of pain in your eyes when you found out I lied to you.
Since you're reading this, that means I lost this fight. It also means that I left my— our, baby girl alone in this big world. That's why I sent her to you. She needs to know she's not alone. I know our daughter, Harold, now that I'm gone; she's gonna be a little lost for a while. Please, keep an eye on her for me, Harold. I want to see her again, just not any time soon.
She can take care of herself, I've taught her how to shoot a gun and my brother gave her some pointers on fighting from his time in the military. She's fairly self-reliant, very intelligent and very curious.
My last request to you is that you try to get to know our daughter. I know that if you do, you'll come to love her as much as I do. And don't worry, Harold, I have a feeling that she's gonna love you.
I love you Harold, always have.
For what seemed like an eternity, Harold sat in his chair staring at the words on the page. Emotions flooded over him. Finally he folded the letter and pushed it back into the envelope.
Taking a calming breath, he pushed himself up from the chair and walked calmly back to the other room, hoping Terra and John hadn't killed each other yet. They seemed to have a knack for getting into altercations that tended to get physical.
Clearing his throat he moved into the room and dropped the letter on the table. "I have a couple of questions for you."
The girl nodded and then swallowed hard, steeling herself for what she knew was coming. John moved to get up and give them some privacy but Harold waved his hand at him and sat down across from his…daughter. John had become just as much Harold's family as Terra was. He gestured towards the letter. "You don't know what that letter says?"
Terra shook her head. "I didn't read it. It wasn't my place."
He wasn't sure how he was going to break the news to her so he stalled. Picking up the letter again he stared at his name on the front, not realizing a small smile spread across his lips. "Your mother and I…we were close once. We had a…falling out, of sorts." He sighed. "I suppose you could say that your mother had a few things left unsaid. That's why she wrote me a letter." He paused for a minute and then took a deep breath. "Terra…what do you know about your father?"
Both men saw the instant change in Terra's demeanor. She tensed up immediately and glared at Harold, tilting her head up slightly. "No offense, but I don't see why that's any of your business."
"Humor me." For a minute John thought Terra was going to tell Harold to go screw himself, so she surprised him when she started talking. And surprising Reese that wasn't an easy thing to do.
"Not a lot. My Uncle Dave told me a few things about him. He was some really smart guy. Mom knew him for a year or two before I was born." Terra shrugged before sighing softly. "Why does that matter?"
Harold nodded before folding his hands in front of him on the table. Harold glanced at Reese, who was looking at the girl sitting across from them and back to Harold. A ghost of a smile played at his lips as he nodded at Finch, who sighed. How Reese had already figured it out was beyond him.
As Finch spoke of how he'd first met the girl's mother, John took the opportunity to evaluate the daughter of Harold Finch. On the surface, Terra looked like a normal young woman. Her hair was long and wavy; the darkness of her hair only made her tanned skin look even darker. But when he looked closer at her green eyes he could see the intelligence and curiosity lurking behind them, just like her father.
She was well-built almost statuette like, she had curves but at the same time she was also feminine looking. John observed that it was more in the way she held herself than the way her body was built. She sat up straight, with great posture, and her hands folded in her lap. When he really looked closely, he could see a light resemblance to Finch. It was around the mouth mostly, though it also had something to do with the expressions she made as well.
"I guess there really is no easy way to say this. But….Terra….I…I'm your father."