Molly bloody hated night-calls. She despised them with a passion. It took everything in her not to snap an irate "NO!" at Courtney Brown, the lead detective for Molly's unit, when she called Molly at three a.m. asking her to come down to examine a body. Instead of yelling at Brown, Molly simply sighed and gave a resigned "Yes". Of course, Molly had to wake up her son, Theo, and tell him that he would have to walk to school.
Theodore groaned sleepily at his mom. "But Mom it's supposed to rain today!"
Molly smirked and mussed Theo's brown curly hair. "Get a ride with Jack and Ty," she replied gently, kissing her son's messy mop. "I'm sure Mrs. Wilson wouldn't mind driving you." Theo simply nodded, resigned to the fact that his mom had to go on this case. He opened his eyes and looked at her with worry. Molly's heart stopped when she saw his beautiful, blue-green eyes, a signature mark from his... father.
Molly mentally slapped herself. Do not think of him, Molly, she scolded, you made the choice to leave him behind.
"Be careful, Mom," Theo whispered. "Only have the body in pieces, not you."
Molly smiled at her fourteen-year-old son. "Yes, dear." She stood up and padded softly to the door. She turned and gave him a "See you after school." But it was useless; Theo was already in a deep sleep.
When Molly arrived at the morgue, Brown surprised Molly by yawning sleepily at her arrival. It seemed that even the head detective didn't want to get out of bed this morning.
"Good early morning, Molly," the younger woman said tiredly.
Molly greeted her with a nod. "So what's the case?" she asked, cutting to the chase. Before her move from London to Miami, Molly would've exchanged pleasantries with Courtney Brown, but after having to mother a rambunctious son all by herself, Molly had more self-confidence. Molly Hooper had no problem showing her annoyance.
Brown nodded. "Well, we have a triple-homicide."
Molly gasped. "A t-triple?"
"I know, that's what I said," Brown replied gravely. "Two men and one woman. Mr. and Mrs. Ian Thornton and Mrs. Thornton's brother, discovered only this morning around twelve a.m., have been in the woods for more than a week."
Molly sighed. "Heavily decomposed, no doubt."
"Indeed, I would've called Ryan, but the man is away on his honeymoon," Brown said wearily. She looked at Molly with sympathy. "I know it's your day off, and you like to be with Theo when you can, but you're the only pathologist available."
Molly waved her hand dismissively at the younger woman. She felt bad about being annoyed at Courtney; it was no secret that Molly was the best pathologist in her unit, and everyone had lives, not just her. "It's fine," Molly said. She put her bag on the counter and grabbed to gloves from the box near her. She strode towards the three body bags on the metal slabs. She put two away, not caring who she started with, and unzipped the remaining one.
It was the woman, and Molly easily identified that the woman had been shot in the head from the gaping wound and stabbed several times in the chest and abdomen. Even though the woman's body was severely decomposed, Molly could tell that this woman had been stabbed while she was still alive and the bullet to the head had finished her off. "Wow," Brown said behind her, "whoever did this-"
"-was extremely pissed off," Molly finished. "I haven't seen a body this bad since I was in London." Molly winced when she thought of London. She rarely talked about her past life so casually, especially to her co-workers. She'd talked to Theo about her life in London before when he asked, but she never brought it up willingly. Theo had yet to bring up his father to her, which Molly was grateful for. She didn't think she could tell him yet.
"I'll say. This is the worst case I've seen, period." Brown let out a strangled gasp when Molly started to cut into the body.
Molly held back a laugh. "Maybe you should go sit down," she suggested, not turning around.
"Yeah," Brown replied, her voice weak, "maybe I should."
Molly was absolutely puzzled at the end of all three autopsies. The woman definitely was the original target. The two men both had gotten off with little more than a shot to the head. Their injuries suggested that they'd been killed assassin-style, quick and painless, a few days before the woman. This suggested that the woman had been tortured for a few days before she'd been brutally murdered.
Yet there was no DNA, no fingerprints, no nothing. Usually, Molly was able to figure out these cases with little or no trouble, but this one proved more troubling.
Brown had left soon after Molly finished the second autopsy on the woman's brother. It had been around seven a.m. when Brown had left Molly to herself. Molly had been in the process of cleaning her tools when Brown walked in, a grim expression on her face. "What?" Molly asked, immediately concerned despite herself.
"Well, we have a lead," Brown replied. "A former lover of Mrs. Thornton's, but he's not in the States anymore."
Molly frowned. "Where is he then?"
"London," Brown replied, "and apparently he has been murdering people there as well."
"That's horrible!" Molly replied.
"It is," Brown nodded, "but I remember mentioning how you used to live in London."
Molly felt her frown deepen. She didn't like where this was going. "Yes..." she said cautiously.
Brown took a deep breath, bracing herself. "I know that Theo's father lives in London, and I know you left England to come to the States because of his dad, but this whole unit really needs you to go back."
Molly dropped her tools into the sink with a clatter, an alarmed look on her face. "W-what? WHAT?"
Brown nodded. "You are the best pathologist that this unit has, and I'm going over to London with you. I was allowed to bring one person, and I chose you." She paused, as Molly clutched her lab coat, fear very apparent in her eyes. "We are going to be over there for the summer, so I would suggest you bring Theo with you and find an apartment to live in."
Molly stared at her with wide eyes. "T-there is no way I could refuse?"
Brown grimaced. "I was worried you would say that. You can refuse Molly, but it would be a great help to me and the family of the Thorntons if you came with me."
This was it. If she accepted, Molly would have to face the man, the heartbreak, that she'd runaway from almost fifteen years ago. Her conscience was screaming no, but her heart was screaming yes. Molly almost could not believe her ears when she heard herself take a deep breath and say, "Okay, I'll go."
Molly cleaned up quickly enough to go and pick up Theo herself, knowing that she would have to talk over their soon-to-be new situation. She climbed into her car and allowed some tears to slip down her cheeks. She'd not been to London in almost fifteen years, not seen the people from her past life in even longer. She didn't know what she would do if she happened to run into any of them, especially if she had Theo with her. That would call for a conversation that she didn't want to have while her son was still in the dark about his parentage. She had no doubt that her old friends from London would no who Theo's father was.
The drive to her son's high school had been filled with sniffling and deep breaths. By the time she reached Miami High School, she'd composed herself the most she could, but her son had too much of him in him. The moment Theo got in the car, he knew something was wrong.
"What is it, Mom?" he asked worriedly.
Molly wanted to cry at her son's perceptiveness and worry at her condition. She smiled softly at her son and waited for him to buckle up. "I will tell you at lunch. How do you feel about Italian?"
Theo nodded, and Molly started to drive. They filled the car ride with small talk about Theo's day. To say it was tense would to under exaggerate. Molly knew that her son knew enough of her moods to know that Molly dreaded telling him what was going on, but he didn't press her until they were seated at a table in a small, family-owned Italian restaurant with menus in front of them.
"So, what the hell is going on?" Theo questioned irritably.
"Theodore John Hooper!" Molly said sharply. "What have I told you about cursing?" She tried to ignore the stab in her heart as her son's annoyed face reminded her sharply of his father.
Theo made a noise of disgust, and Molly had to hold back laughter at the look on her son's face. It looked of one just like her father's. She composed herself and said, "You know that I used to live in London, yes?"
Theo nodded. "Of course I know. You have a slight accent and that was where I was conceived." Her son shrugged nonchalantly.
"Well," Molly said, taking a deep breath, "for the summer, we are going to be living there."
Theo blinked. "The whole summer?"
Molly nodded, biting at her lip. Her son's expression was guarded, and Molly felt her mind flutter in annoyance when she couldn't read his expression. It was something that Theo just now learned how to do, and Molly didn't like that her son could hide things from her so easily. "Yes."
They were silent for a good ten minutes. While they sat, the waiter took their drink order and returned. When he left for the second time, Theo spoke. "I don't have a problem with London. In fact, I was going to ask if we could go there sometime, but I do have a problem with the fact that you don't want to go."
Molly stared at her son, mouth agape. "H-how did you know that?"
"So, I'm right?" Theo asked, smirking slightly.
Molly stuck her tongue out at her son. "Yes, you are."
"Why am I right?"
Molly took a deep breath, preparing to tell her son some of her past. "In London, I had a group of friends... one of those friends became more than a friend." Molly looked down at her lap, remembering that particular friend. "We dated for six months, and, during that time, we grew apart." Molly's heart ached as she remembered the pain of watching him slowly start to ignore her. "We ended up breaking up, and I was so... devastated that I decided to leave London, leave England, and come to the States. Two months went by, and I heard nothing from... him. I moved from New York City to here, in Miami, and took a position in the morgue. Then, one of the scariest things happened - I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive." She smiled at her handsome teenager, a person that she would always cherish with her whole heart. "I was so scared, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me."
Theo, who was frowning at the part of his father, smiled at his mom. "So that baby was me?"
Molly nodded. "I do not know if your father is still in London. He doesn't know that you exist because I kept it from him. He was never the parenting type."
"You should've told him, you know," Theo said, smiling softly at his mom.
Molly nodded and sniffed. "I was a coward at 29-years-old. I was afraid to face him." It was the truth. Molly still didn't know to this day how he would have reacted, and she definitely didn't want to chance it when she was pregnant.
Theo was about to speak when the waiter came and took their orders. When the waiter left for the third time, Theo replied, "I am not angry, Mom, and I'm particularly upset I have never met my dad. He sounds... well, truthfully, he sounds like an asshole."
Molly looked up to glare at her son. "Theo..."
He waved his hand. "I know, I know. 'No cussing, Theodore John, or so help me...'" Molly chuckled at her son's crackled imitation of her. "But, anyway, I am not upset. Let's go to London, and if we see him there, we see him there. I'm doing just fine without a dad and you are doing just fine without a husband." Theo took his mother's hand, comforting her as she let the tears fall from her cheeks. "We're the Hoopers, and we will be fine."
Molly rubbed her son's hand that looked remarkably like his fathers, minus all the scars. She nodded. "Yes... yes, we are, and we will be."
A/N: Well, what do you think? I'm really excited for this story! Just to clarify ages and all that, Molly is forty-four, Theo is fourteen almost fifteen, and he (LOL, since Molly won't say his name I won't either) is forty-eight. Don't get your panties in a bunch at their ages. He will still be gorgeous, and Molly still looks like Molly, and Theo is, well, a mixture of the both of them. Read and review! xoxo Carly
PS: If you have any questions, just PM me; I would be happy to answer them.