For Sara

Chapter One

Fortune Cookie Quote- Hear with your ears, but listen with your heart.

Everyday of his life, he searched for her. He walked up and down the docks, calling her name, watching for any sign that she could possibly be alive. His heart called out to her and deep down inside, he knew she was still living. 'Presumed dead,' they had said. They had a memorial service for her, but he refused to attend. Whenever anyone spoke of her in the past tense, he would cry out angrily, "She's not dead!"

For six months he continued his search, never losing hope. He knew she would return to him; he could feel it. It was as if the cool breeze of the night whispered her name in his ear. *Carly, come home to me,* his tortured heart pleaded. *I need you. Now now more than ever.*

He had his men out searching for her without ceasing. He'd spend his last dollar, if that was what it would take to find her. He would do anything, just for the chance to hold her again.

I think I've already lost you
I think you're already gone
I think I'm finally scared now
You think I'm weak, I think you're wrong
I think you're already leaving
Feels like your hand is on the door
I thought this place was an empire
Now I'm relaxed, I can't be sure

He was standing on his balcony thinking of her and that song she loved when the telephone rang. He closed the sliding door as he went inside to answer it. "Hello?" he said.

"Boss, I think we've found her," Johnny said.

"Where - where is she?"

Johnny proceeded to tell him the details as Jason was in a state of shock. "150 miles away?! How did she end up Albany, New York?!"

"I don't know, Boss, but something isn't right. You need to come here at once."

"Why? What's wrong?" Jason asked in concern. Supposedly Carly had fallen off the dock and had drowned in the frigid water, but he had never believed it. His enemies had taken her; that's what he had always believed.

"Just get here as soon as you can. I'll give you the address."

Jason listened as he jotted down the address. "St. Peter's Hospital," Jason gasped. "Ohhh my God, is Carly okay?"

"She's... well, she's not herself at the moment, Boss... and there's more. Just get here right away."

Jason hurried out of the penthouse, telling his driver to take him immediately to the location of St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, New York. "Boss, do you realize that this is going to take us 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 27 seconds?" asked his driver.

"I don't care. I know it's late, but we have to get there as soon as possible. Speed if you have to. Whatever it takes; let's just get to Carly," Jason demanded.

The driver nodded, used to taking orders from the Boss. No one questioned his authority as he was a decent man who paid his employees well. Jason was seated in the back of the limo, wondering about Carly's state and what Johnny didn't say on the phone. Carly wasn't herself? What did that mean? Had Carly had some sort of a mental breakdown? Had one of Jason's enemies hurt her?

He clenched his fists as he thought of any harm coming to her. They were engaged to be married. She was supposed to be his wife. Their wedding was to have taken place four months ago. All of that changed when she was fell into the icy water near the dock. But did that even happen? Had Carly endured another fate?

A little bit less than 2 hours later, Jason arrived at his destination. Johnny met him outside. Snow was falling. Christmas had come and gone without Carly. He refused to celebrate until she was back in his arms.

"Take me to her," Jason urged.

"Boss, there is something you should know..."

"I don't care," Jason insisted. "I just want to see her."

Hearing the urgency in Jason's voice, Johnny didn't argue with the boss. "Okay. I will take you up to see her," he agreed.

They went inside the warm building and took the elevator up to the sixth floor. When they stepped out of the double doors of the elevator, Johnny lead Jason down a narrow hallway. Jason's heart was pounding fast inside his chest. He'd see her soon. He could finally touch her.

"Carly!" he said as he saw her lying in the bed.

He rushed to her side, reaching out for her, but she pushed him away. She glared at him, then at Johnny. "Ohhh my God, you're back again. Go away, you freak! And who is this guy? Can't you just leave me alone?" she sneered, looking at Jason in disgust.

And I think you're so mean
I think we should try
I think I could need this in my life and
I think I'm scared
I think too much
I know it's wrong, it's a problem I'm dealing
If you're gone, maybe it's time to come home
There's an awful lot of breathing room
But I can hardly move
If you're gone, baby, you need to come home, come home
There's a little bit of something me
In everything in you

Jason stood there, stunned and forlorn. She didn't know him. He was like a stranger to her. What had happened? Had she hit her head? Why did she have no memory of him?

"Carly, it's me," he said softly. "It's Jason. I'm your fiancé. We were supposed to be married 4 months ago, but you-you disappeared."

"Jason?" Carly said, visibly agitated. "I don't know anyone named Jason."

"I didn't even know my own name, until this guy told me," she said, referring to Johnny.

"It's true, Boss. They found her in a homeless shelter with no idea of who she was or how she got there. And... and there's more..."

Jason looked frazzled. "What more could there be?"

A nurse walked into the room, carrying a tiny bundle wrapped in a blanket. Jason's heart started to pound when he saw a tiny hand moving inside the cotton fabric. A baby!

"Carly, you... you had a baby?" he gasped.

She nodded. "Yeah, that I DO remember," she said. "I was in labor and I ended up here at this hospital."

The nurse placed the newborn in Carly's arms. "I had this kid," she said as she gazed down at the tiny baby. "I don't even know who his father might be. I am a mess."

"He? You had a boy?"

"Yes," said Carly as she cradled her child. Jason got a glimpse of the infant. Pregnant? Carly had been pregnant the night she disappeared and she hadn't told him? Why?

"The baby's mine," Jason said. "I am the baby's father."

(Lyrics in this story are from If You're Gone by Matchbox 20.)