Chapter 7: Found
It was a beautiful day in Central Park. Catherine's mind filled with memories of walking to the drainage tunnel, to the secret door that opened to the Tunnels and into Vincent's waiting arms. These thoughts were interrupted by Rosemary's squeals of delight. She was running around the statue of Alice in Wonderland playing with the other children.
Devin came up beside Catherine to watch his niece as she played with the other children. He chuckled as he remembered all the nights when he and Vincent were boys, and they'd sneak out to play under the stars. Of course then Father would catch them and Devin, being the more daring of the two, would always get the blame.
Boy, did Dad harp on me about that, he chuckled. Granted he was always the one getting them into trouble, but Vincent was always there to try and get them out.
Devin turned to look at Catherine and his smile faded. She looked like another person with her well thought out disguise. However, Catherine had forgotten her colored contacts when Devin rushed her out the door. She had changed from the rich girl he'd met from the District Attorney's office all those years ago. She wasn't some spoiled snob back then, or else Vincent wouldn't have fallen in love with her. Catherine was beautiful and rich, but she was also a caring person with a loving heart and a courageous spirit.
Now she seemed so fearful. She kept looking around as if suspecting someone to grab her and her daughter. Devin's heart broke to see her like this. Gabriel hadn't just robbed Catherine of her life and her son; he'd stolen her spirit.
"Do you see him yet?" Catherine asked anxiously. The only reason she had agreed to come to Central Park was the hope of spotting some of the Tunnel children, along with Jacob. She remembered how the children loved to play in the park on a sunny day like this, and Devin assured her that her son would be among them.
"Not yet, but don't worry," Devin said as he placed an arm around her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Rosie had broken off from the other children to chase a butterfly. As the butterfly fluttered about Rosie batted at the wings and jumped up to in an attempt to grab it. Every time it was just out of reach Rosie giggled and laughed. She was having so much fun that she didn't see the young boy hiding behind a bush until she ran right into him. Both children landed with a thud on the ground.
"Ow, ow, ow!" Rosie said as she rubbed a sore spot on her head
"Are you OK?" the boy asked her. He stood up, dusted off his patchwork pants, and then walked over to where Rosie sat. He held out his hand to help her up.
"Uh huh," Rosie said as he pulled eye-level with him. "I OK. How bout you?"
He smiled. "I'm OK."
"Sorry," Rosie apologized.
"That alright," the boy said, "I not watching neither."
Rosie took a moment to take a closer look at the boy she ran into. He wore strange patched clothing, but something seemed familiar about him.
The boy gave Rosie a strange look as they stared at each other. "Do I know you?"
Rosie shook her head. "I neva been New York before. Mommy and I come so we go see my daddy."
"How come you daddy not wif you?" he asked.
"Is a secret," Rosie whispered. "I not suppose to tell."
"OK, where you mommy?" The boy started looking around.
Rosie pointed over to where Catherine and Devin were standing. "There, next to Unca Debin."
The boy looked at the couple and then gasped as he recognized the man. "Hey, that my Unca Debin!"
"Huh?" Rosie looked at him. "But if dat you unca, that mean…" Suddenly Rosie stepped into the boy's personal space to look at him closely. All at once she suddenly realized what had been so familiar about the boy.
"What?" he asked when Rosie stepped back and gasped.
There was a long moment before she spoke. "Jacob?"
"How you know my name?" Jacob was surprised. He'd never met anybody from Above who wasn't a Helper.
"It's you, it's you!" Rosie started jumping up and down with excitement. She threw her arms around Jacob's neck. "I foun you!"
Jacob was taken aback by the girl's reaction. He gently pushed her back so he could look at her face. This time when he looked at her, he took in the girl's appearance. She wore a white shirt, a blue jean dress, a red coat, and black shoes. Her hair was golden and she had blue eyes. Suddenly, Jacob remembered how this girl could know him, and where he'd seen the girl before.
Very cautiously, making sure he wasn't mistaken, Jacob asked, "Rosie?"
"Mmhmm," she nodded her head. "It me, Rosie!"
Jacob just couldn't believe it. He had thought the little girl from his dream was just that, a dream. But now her she was, standing right in front of him. He joined in Rosie's excitement and both children started jumping up and down.
Catherine felt her daughter's joy through the Bond they shared. She turned to see Rosie playing with a little boy dressed in patch worked clothes. Catherine's heart stopped as she not only recognized the clothing as traditional Tunnel-wear, but also the little boy himself. It had been three years since she'd last seen him, but Catherine would know that child anywhere: the boy was her son.
Sensing her mother watching them, Rosie started dragging Jacob over toward her. She knew her mother would be happy that she found her brother all by herself. A few steps in Rosie was jerked back when Jacob suddenly stopped. She looked back to see him staring at her strangely.
"Where we going?" Jacob asked her.
"See Mommy, silly," Rosie told him in a matter-of-factly tone.
"Why we gonna see your mommy?" Jacob stopped as Rosie just smiled and tugged on his hand again.
As Jacob and Rosie made their way toward the adults, Catherine had started making her way toward them. When Catherine and the children were about a foot away from each other, they stopped. Catherine stared at the boy in front of her. He was the same height as Rosie, only a little taller. He had golden, strawberry-blond hair reaching down to his shoulders. And of course his eyes were as clear blue as his father and sister's.
Jacob stopped when Rosie finally stopped when they crossed paths with a tall lady. The way Rosie was smiling he knew the woman must be her mother. Then Jacob noticed that there was something about Rosie's mother. He looked closer and noticed she had the same green eyes of the woman in the painting Vincent had shown him of his mother.
When Jacob seemed to be struggling with trying to see, Catherine bent down to allow Jacob a closer look at her. It amazed her how this little boy had been a tiny newborn that she once thought she'd never see again. Slowly Jacob reached up and touched his hand to Catherine's cheek. The moment he touched her a Bond was reformed between mother and son.
Hesitantly Jacob looked up into her eyes. "Mommy?"
Tears filled Catherine's eyes when Jacob called her that. She nodded her head and whispered, "That's right, sweetheart. I'm your mother."
Jacob started to cry as well and then threw himself into Catherine's arms. Catherine held onto him tightly as they cried together. Devin smiled as he watched the happy reunion.
"I missed you so much," Catherine whispered as tears flowed down her cheek. She pressed kisses to her son's forehead, while he held her tighter.
"I foun him, Mommy," Rosie added as she watched the reunion between her mother and brother.
Looking up, Catherine smiled and invited her daughter to share in the embrace. As Rosie entered her arms, Catherine looked down at her children, finally together. After all these years she was finally holding both her children in her arms. She held them tighter and kissed them both.
"I love you, Mommy." Even when he had the love of all the people of the Tunnels, even with Vincent's, Jacob had always wanted his mother's love. But he had also wanted to know why his mother had never been around.
"Why'd you go away? Didn't you like me?"
"Oh baby, of course I did. I wanted you and your sister very much." Catherine's heart broke to hear that her son felt this way. "I never wanted to leave, but…"
"I hate to interrupt," Devin said, "but I think we should discuss this somewhere more private."
As much as she wanted to explain things to her son, Catherine knew Devin was right. Getting up from her kneeling position, Catherine took each of her children's hands in hers. "You're right Devin, but we can't just take Jacob with us. The others will worry about him."
Turning to Jacob, Devin asked, "Hey JC, who'd you come with to the park today?"
"Eric, Brooke, and Sam," Jacob replied then pointed over by a group of trees. "We play hide-n-seek when Rosie foun me. Why?"
"Well I need to let them know that you're gonna spend some time with me," Devin told him. "I know you have a lot to talk about with your mom, but with how things are: we need a safe place to talk. So I'm taking you, your mom, and your sister to Doctor Peter's house, but I have to let whoever's watching you know first. That way the Old Man won't worry when the others come back without ya."
That being said, Devin walked over to the spot Jacob had pointed to and found Eric hiding behind a large boulder. He explained the situation to the older boy, and then headed back to where Catherine and the twins waited.
Vincent was headed toward the park entrance to pick up Jacob. He had missed the boy all day, but he also wanted to talk with Jacob. Earlier Vincent had felt a strong emotional response from his adoptive son and he wanted to know what the cause of this reaction. However, Father called out to Vincent as he passed by his chamber.
"Yes Father," Vincent said as he entered his parent's chamber. "Did you need something?"
"Ah yes, I was just wondering how you were doing," Father said. "You seemed very distant since yesterday."
"It’s nothing to concern yourself with, Father," Vincent insisted. "I assure you that I am alright."
Father sighed. "I know that Vincent, but I just wish you had not gone to Narcissa. Whatever that crazed women gave you nearly cost you your life. Just what exactly were you trying to accomplish?"
"Narcissa was not trying to harm me," Vincent assured his parent. "I needed her guidance and she provided a way to find the answers I seek."
"Answers to what exactly?" Father asked.
Before Vincent could answer Eric entered Father's chamber. The boy was out of breath and Father insisted that he sit and catch his breath before continuing. Eric gladly sat down in Vincent's usual chair and tried to slow his breathing. Father could tell that whatever the boy had to say seemed very important.
"Sorry Father," Eric said when he found his voice. "I came to deliver a message to you. It's from Devin."
"Devin is in town?" Father exclaimed. "I wonder why he hasn't come down to see us? I'm sorry. Please, continue Eric."
"Devin wanted to let you and Vincent know that he was taking Jacob," Eric began. "He and Charles got into the city early last night and he decided he wanted to spend some time with Jacob. Then he was going to come Below with Jacob and Charles just as originally planned."
Eric removed himself from the chair to whisper the next part of the message in Father's ear. "He also said that he and Peter have a surprise for Vincent and they needed Jacob's help. He said it's really big, so it might take two nights to get it done."
"Well, I admit that I wish Devin had come to see me first" Father said. "Nonetheless, I am glad he let us know his intentions. Thank you for telling me this Eric, you may return to the other children now." With that being said Eric bounded out of the room while Father returned his attention back to Vincent.
"It appears I will not need to retrieve Jacob from the park after all," Vincent said. "It’s strange. I had felt Jacob's joy earlier and could not think to what the cause of it. Now I see it was the arrival of his favorite uncle. I wonder what plans Devin has in store for Jacob."
"Your guess is as good as mine Vincent," Father commented, "but we shall just have to wait to find out."
Father was intrigued as to what surprise Peter and Devin had in store for Vincent. And what role could young Jacob possibly have in it? Well, it would just have to wait for now. Besides, now Father could finally have some quality time with Vincent. It was always a rare opportunity since Vincent was now looking after Catherine's son. He hardly ever got to see him except for meeting, meals, and whenever Father dropped by the children's lessons or story hour.
Turning around to pull out the chess set Father asked, "Since you are not needed for the moment, how about indulging an old man in a game of chess?”
A man had been watching as Catherine, Devin, Jacob, and Rosie got into a cab. He'd been keeping an eye on Jacob since he appeared with other children that morning and became interested when the others had shown up. He started to follow until they entered the cab and drove away. Then he went to his car and made a call on his cell phone.
Another man answered, "Johnson, what've ya got?"
"The boy just took off in a cab with a blond chick, a guy with a scared up face, and get this, another kid that looks like the boy."
"Don't let them out of your sight," the man on the other end of the phone said. "Call as soon as you find out where they're going and where they're staying."
"Understood," Johnson replied.
When Johnson hung up the phone, the other man sighed. He put the phone back on the receiver and turned to the large hulking, bald man at his left. "Get Pope on the line. We found her.”