Chapter 36

"How is this possible?" asked Abe Mazur, as he looked through the glass of the door, watching his daughter lay next to his granddaughter in the hospital bed.

"Her existence alone is impossible. She defies all laws of nature being born from two dhampir parents. There's a lot to learn about Kady Hathaway," replied Adrian.

"Has her aura always been golden?" Lissa asked.

"There have been tinges of it in the past, but never like this. She's basked in it now. Unlike anyone I know."

"Do you think we did something to her? When we touched her after it… after it happened," Lissa's voice trembled as she recollected what her beautiful niece had to go through only hours ago.

"I… I don't know," Adrian answered truthfully. In all their grief, could they have cured her, brought her back to life unknowingly? Just as Lissa had to Rose all those years ago? No, it couldn't be, Adrian thought. He voiced this realisation to Abe and Lissa. "Her aura doesn't have shadows like Rose. This is different."

Back in the room, Dimitri engulfed his daughter's tiny hand in his own, kissing it. His mind raced, confused and elated. He kept kissing her hand, worried this was all a dream. Worried she'd be taken away from them once more. He wouldn't let her go this time.

"Is this real?" Rose asked, her voice sore, mirroring Dimitri's thoughts.

"I know," said Dimitri, voice cracking. Their eyes met and once again tears rolled down Rose's cheeks. Instinctively, Dimitri's other hand stretched over to tenderly wipe it away.

"Why are you crying, momma?" came a small sweet voice.

Rose gasped. "Kady!" she exhaled and enveloped her in her loving embrace. After a moment, Rose shifted back slightly to take in her daughter. Her hands roamed her face, head, arms, chest and legs, making sure she was all in one piece, unharmed and alive.

Kady giggled. "That tickles."

Rose's eyes widened at the glorious sound, wondering if it were real. Her hands cupped Kady's face, tears swimming in her eyes. "I love you, angel."

"I love you too, mummy," smiled Kady innocently. This time, as a tear dropped to Rose's cheek, it was soft tiny fingers that stopped its descent. "Don't cry." Rose smiled tearfully and lay a gentle kiss on the palm of her hand.

"Kady?" came Dimitri's voice, uncertainly. He had watched the exchange silently but needed to see his daughter's face for himself to believe this was all real.

Kady's head whipped around. "Daddy!" she squealed and she threw her tiny body into the awaiting arms of her father's. Tears welled in his eyes. He pulled her to his chest, his body shook. He stood up as he carried her, before seating himself and Kady next to Rose in the hospital bed. He wrapped his other arm around Rose. She hugged them back. His family was whole once more.