Don wasn't sure when he got the non-descript envelope delivered to his mailbox if it was something that he should open. It wasn't a bill, or a card from his aunt Patty like she sent every year for his birthday, it was something else. He knew it was from Liz even if everything about the envelope was unremarkable and the handwriting wasn't even hers.
He looked over his shoulder, took a deep breath and ripped the corner opposite to the stamp and slid his finger along the inside opening the seam.
There was thin piece of shiny paper folded inside. He pulled out the paper and he knew exactly what it was when he unfolded it; he'd seen these passed around by cousins and friends.
His eyes widened and he looked over his shoulder as a neighor walked in the lobby.
"Hey Don!" he said as he pulled out his earbuds and walked toward his mailbox.
"Hey Davor," Don said as he folded the paper back over quickly.
"You feeling okay?" Davor asked, his eastern European accent thick. "You look sort of grey."
"Yeah," Don said trying to will his dry throat to swallow. "I'm fine, just a lot of tax cases I have to assess."
"You, math guys," Davor chuckled as he slammed his box shut and started to walk away. "Have a good day!"
Don managed to choke out a "you too" as he watched Davor walk away.
He looked back toward the folded piece of paper in his hand and looked over his shoulder again to see if anyone else was coming in the door.
Satisfied no one was, he unfolded the paper again and looked at it carefully.
It was an ultrasound of a baby.
He brought the image close to his face and squinted. It was clearly a baby. He flipped the paper over, nothing written on it. Flipped back to the image and noted that there was information at the top of the image.
Ressler-Boy was written in dos like font in the top left corner along with 18 weeks and the date of the ultrasound which was 5 days ago.
He pulled out his phone and counted back eighteen weeks and froze when he got to the date he knew was the day the child was conceived.
"To rest," he muttered under his breath thinking of the 3 times they had sex that one night. They had been sloppy with their use of protection. He had worried the next day but then when she'd said nothing he had let it drop.
He looked back at the image and studied it for any indication of where she had been when she had the ultrasound. Nothing seemed to indicate a clinic or hospital, but he would need to get it analyzed in case…
He'd need to get it analyzed.
"Fuck," he said under his breath. He'd already been read the riot act for her being at his apartment, now, this was going to get his ass fired.
"A child," he said softly as he allowed himself to think about his child without complicating it with a killer/fugitive that was the child's mother. Or with all the complications that came along with Liz Keen.
He took a moment to just relish in the image before him. His child.
"A boy," he sighed, realization that the sex was one of the first things he'd read but it hadn't computed in his brain.
He allowed a half smile to creep across his face before the door opened again and Mrs. Hasid walked in, smiling and nodding.
Don nodded back, pulling the image close to his body so she couldn't see it.
She walked past him and up the stairs.
He looked down at the image again. Six weeks ago, she had called him, out of the blue, at 3am, speaking for only 30 seconds before disconnecting the call.
"Remember that time I fell asleep on stakeout and you did the entire thing on your own and then drove me home and walked me up to my apartment?"
"You were tired," he said sleepily, his brain foggy. "You were pregnant with Agnes and not sleeping well."
"Yeah," she said. He could tell she was smiling.
"Liz, where are you?" Don asked as he sat up in his bed and wiped at his eyes.
"I know where I'm not," she whispered.
He waited for her to continue, knowing with Liz there was always another shoe that needed to drop.
"With you," she said before the line went dead.
He'd immediately called dispatch and tried to put a trace on the line, it was the first contact he'd had with her since her damn Cyranoid. Nothing. Her number had been scrambled and bounced off towers all around the eastern seaboard. The tech guy said with a little more time they may be able to tell if it originated in the USA or not. Apparently bouncing off the towers indicated that the connection on his end had been scrambled and there was no telling how many towers worldwide had also been involved without more investigation. He'd asked for them to investigate and spent the rest of the night pacing his apartment, wondering why now? Why that topic? Why? He'd written down the brief conversation and shared it with the team the next day; no one knew what to make of it. Now he did.
In all likelihood she'd just discovered she was pregnant with his child and remembered back to the last time she was pregnant, not with his child. He now wondered if she was having a sleepless night just like she had with Agnes. If that was the case, she was probably on the eastern seaboard or even the Central time zone, because it would have been morning in Europe and too early to be sleepless on the west coast or Hawaii.
Don looked back at the ultrasound and sighed.
"What are we going to do?" Don asked no one in particular.
He sighed and folded the image and placed it back in the envelope. He walked toward the door, he would need to give the image to evidence and get them to scour it for every last detail, there's no way he'd be allowed to keep it. And, with Liz on the run, he may never meet his child.
To be continued…..