A/N: Thanks to everyone for sticking with the story. I really enjoyed writing this one. And here's to VinCat - always together.


Chapter 16 - Epilogue

Tires crunched on the gravel driveway as Vincent piloted his SUV into the parking area at the back of his house, pulling up next to Alex Salter's Jeep.

Looking across to the barn he saw Alex and Catherine talking, smiling and laughing together. Over the past eight months they had become close friends. He couldn't help but smile.

"I'll take care of your bags," JT said.

Vincent nodded, "Thanks, JT."

Vincent climbed out of the vehicle into the hot, dry, August air of the Central Oregon summer. Alex and Catherine walked toward him, still talking and giggling. As they grew closer Catherine left Alex's side and ran the final steps to Vincent, throwing her arms around his neck.

"I've missed you," she said and gave him a toe curling kiss.

"Wow," he said, "I guess you have!" Glancing over at Alex he caught her beaming smile and he felt his face heat with embarrassment.

"Hey, Alex," he said.

Her smile broadened into a silly grin. "Hey, yourself."

"How's our alpaca baby?" he asked.

A wistful look filled Alex's eyes. "The baby's doing fine. She's healthy and right where she should be at three months." Then she let out another giggle.

"Okay…" he said, drawing out the word, a little confused at Alex's weird mood.

"Well," Alex said, "I've got to be going. Richardson's have a new foal I need to check out." She turned to Catherine and gave her a quick hug and a peck on the cheek. "See you soon," she said.

"Soon," Catherine grinned back at her.

As Alex drove off Vincent waived with one hand, his other arm wrapped around Catherine. Catherine nuzzled into his side. She reached up and played with the wedding band on the hand draped over her shoulder, holding the matching band on her hand up next to it, admiring them both. "I'm so glad you're home," she said.

"What, work getting to you?" Vincent teased.

"Hardly," she said. "The ER at St. Charles is a piece of cake compared to Mt. Sinai. And the drive to Bend everyday is glorious. Do you know that in a couple of places on the road you can see up to seven mountain peaks at one time?"

Of course he knew. And she knew he knew. But it still amazed him, and he was grateful that Catherine marveled at the natural beauty that surrounded them as much as he.

Catherine reached up and pulled Vincent's head down for another incredible kiss.

"I need to leave and come back more often," he said, breathlessly, when Catherine eventually broke the kiss.

"I've got some good news," Catherine said.

"Yeah? Is that what you and Alex were going on about when I drove up?"

"As a matter of fact, it is."

"Well?" Vincent said.

"Catherine's pregnant."

"Really? That's great! I was hoping she'd breed again, but I wasn't sure she would this summer. Did Alex just figure that out?"

"Yes," Catherine drawled out, "she just found out."

Vincent pulled back, trying to decipher the coy smile on Catherine's face.

"In fact," Catherine said, "I'm the one who told her."

"You told her?" Vincent said, incredulous. "How did you figure it out before the vet - who I pay good money to - found out?"

"It was the ultrasound," Catherine said.

"Ultrasound? What ultrasound?" Vincent said, his mind whirling, trying to make sense of the conversation. He looked at Catherine who stood still, an expectant look on her face.

He froze. Possibilities clicking into place. Hope against hope surged through him. He felt his heart start to pound and goosebumps broke out on his arms as the realization hit him.

Vincent captured Catherine's eyes. They were the same eyes that had captivated him as she'd taken his hand and climbed out of the Humvee years before. The eyes of the woman he loved more than life itself.

"Really?" he whispered.

Catherine nodded, her smile beaming across her face. "Yes," she whispered back.

A myriad of emotions washed over Vincent - joy, gratitude, amazement. He pulled Catherine into him, pressing his cheek to the top of her head. Tears begin to drip into her hair. He could feel the wetness of Catherine's tears on his shirt.

After a moment they pulled apart enough to look into each other's eyes.

"So," Vincent said, "we get to keep building this dream, together."

Catherine nodded. "Together," she said. "Never apart. Always together."

"Always together," Vincent affirmed and pulled her tight against him.

### The End ###