Thank you so much for the Alerts and Favorites. I was amazed and humbled by the response. I love and encourage the reviews and welcome them. I am always open to ideas and suggestions. I have no idea where this story will go but the first few chapters will be sort of an introduction to this "family".
"Ok, we've been driving for 15 minutes and you haven't said a word. You didn't even try to drive. What happened back there?" Danny asked
Steve hesitated and then spoke "She has a kid Danny. A kid. A kid that looks about 5 years old, Danny. Do you know what that means Danny? There was a hint of disbelief in his voice.
"Are you fucking kidding me? And you just walked away? What the hell are you thinking? You fucked it up with her once, and regretted it ever since. Why would you just walk away again?" Danny scolded him like a child.
"I don't know. I froze; I guess it didn't fully register until now." He said
Danny put the lights and sirens on, made a U-Turn and headed towards Steve's house.
"Where are you going?" asked Steve
"I am taking you home, to get your car, and you are going back to find Catherine. You need to really talk to her. You need to find out if it's your kid"
"What if she's married? It's been almost 6 years." Steve questioned
"You need answers, go talk to her. If you don't, you'll regret it for the rest of your life. Don't you have enough regrets in your life?"
"OK, you're right, but I'll admit it…I am scared" responded Steve
"Yeh, it's scary, but it's also the best thing that you will ever have happen to you, that is , if you play your cards right. For once in your life, don't fuck this up! You don't want to end up like me. You want her take your kid and move half way around the world? Do you want to see your kid once a year and have him not know who you are? Fix this Steven, you need to fix this." As much as Steve hated to admit it, Danny was right.
Catherine walked home from the park holding her sons hand. "Mommy, why do you look so sad?" asked the little boy.
"No reason, I am just tired, honey. Would you like to go play at Mrs. Beverly's house today?" she asked but truthfully he had no choice. She needed some time alone to sort through the emotions that were flooding her mind. She knew this day would come, just not today.
Mrs. Beverly was an elderly lady who lived next door. She was a widow and her sons were grown and lived on the mainland. She had 5 grandchildren, but only saw them at Christmas and occasionally during the summer. She regarded Catherine as the daughter that she never had and she completely adored Johnny. She was there when Johnny was born, babysat when Catherine went to work and whenever else she was needed. They spent holidays together and cried on each other's shoulders many times through the years. Catherine had come to regard her as a mother figure, a guardian angel. She always felt that she would be lost without her.
Catherine knocked on the door and as soon as Beverly saw her she hugged her. She could see that she was very upset.
"Sweetheart, what happened? Are you ok? Come in Please, I'll make some tea and we'll talk. Johnny, why don't you go play in the den so mommy and I can have a talk?" She was concerned. She had rarely seen Catherine so emotional. She was good at hiding her feelings.
"I saw him, Bev. I was at the park, and he was standing two feet away from me. I didn't know what to do. For the first time in my life, I didn't know what to do." She was shaking.
"You knew that this was going to happen eventually. You live so close to each other; I am surprised it didn't happen sooner." She tried to understand without saying I told you so.
"I know. It hurt so much to see him. I didn't realize that I am still in love with him. He hurt me so much, but I think I still love him."
"You know that I love you and I always support you no matter what, but I think it's time to tell him and get this secret out in the open." Beverly was always the voice of reason.
"I know you are right, but what if he is married, or in a relationship? I can't deal with that. I can't pretend to be nice to another woman just so that my son can have a father. We do pretty well on our own. It's selfish, I know. I have a right to be selfish. What if he is still with that woman that he cheated on me with, I couldn't stand to look at her. Every time I think about it, it makes me sick. Physically ill. I close my eyes and I see him making love to her, on OUR beach. I can't get that image out of my mind. It's been years and it still haunts me." The tears were pouring from her eyes like waterfalls.
"I can't begin to understand how you feel, but you need to focus on the good things. The good times. Think about the love that you had for each other. The child you made together. Why don't you tell me about the first time you met?" Beverly tried to get Catherine to calm down.
"You don't want to hear that story, do you?" the memories began to flood her mind.
"Yes, I do. Tell me." Responded Beverly. This was a story that she had never heard before. Catherine had always refused to tell it. Actually she rarely spoke about anything that concerned her and Steve directly.
"Ok, it was 2004 and I was aboard the Enterprise. I was assigned to monitor SEAL team 3, headed by Lt. Commander Steven J McGarrett. They were aboard since we sailed from Jacksonville, but they were in meetings and briefings the entire voyage. No one saw any of the team. We were sure that this assignment was a big one. Steve and his team were regarded as legends when it came to these types of missions." She raised her eyebrows and smirked "Actually he was also considered a legend among the entire female population of the Navy. The team was assigned to secure a high priority target and eliminate the threat. I can't tell you who or where, but it was dangerous, some considered it a suicide mission. They were able to secure the subject, but they got ambushed and became trapped behind enemy lines. They had no way out. The radio call for help was bone chilling." She paused and took a breath "I used every resource I could. There was no way I was going to let those men die while I was on watch. I was able to get them out, using the satellite surveillance; I guided them step by step. I warned them of enemy targets approaching. I sent in diversions and a rescue boat to bring them back to the ship. The mission was a success. It was so scary, yet it felt so great to have the lives of these men in my hands and to successfully bring them home. The adrenaline felt amazing" her voice dropped to a mere whisper. "I loved that part of my job. Well, sometime after debriefing, he, Steve, came to the officer's galley and thanked me personally. I have helped other SEAL teams and never, never, has the Commander come and thanked me. He was the first. We immediately clicked; I could see why he was "famous" among the woman" she began to smile "He was very charming, not to mention absolutely gorgeous." She rolled her eyes "We had a coffee, and another, and another, and talked for most of the night. He promised to buy me dinner when we got to back to land" she shook her head. "That didn't happen, he had to ship out the next morning and it was 4 months until we saw each other again. I know this sound like a cliché, but it was love at first sight. At least for me it was." Her voice faded and her mind drifted into silence.
Beverly tried to bring her back to the present.
"So tell me, is he tall with short hair, unshaven, very handsome, and drives a blue pickup truck?" Beverly asked
"What are you psychic, now? How could you possibly know that?" Catherine asked in shock.
"Because I believe that he is knocking on your door. Look out the window. Go to him, dear, talk to him, I will watch Johnny as long as you need me too." Beverly gently pushed her out the door as she spoke.