Ab Initio

by Cruise

Disclaimers: This is a sequel to my uber story Indiscretions. The characters in this story are of my own creation and are in love. If the idea of two women sharing a loving and intimate relationship bothers you or if you are under the age of 18 please find material more suited to you. The song "Bailamos" by Enrique Iglesias (Paul Barry/Mark Taylor-Rive Droite music) is used without permission and without intention for profit. It is highly recommended by the author to listen to the song during parts of this story as it makes the scene more effective.

Special Thanks: To Mary and Laura for their wonderful advice and for sharing such a beautiful moment from their lives for this story. To Mary for her support, advice, proofreading and editing prowess. To Stoley, for her friendship and maintaining my web site. To my beloved Peruvian Princess Monica for her advice, support and love. To all of the fans who support the story and my writing. You're all greatly appreciated.

Comments: You can feed the bard at Cruise@clububer2000.com

and visit my sites: www.geocities.com/cruise1313 or www.clububer2000.com

Part 8 (Conclusion)

Everyone piled into the limo for the short ride to the airport. "What did the doctor say?" Jayce asked, as he looked at Lark who settled into her seat.

"She had no problem clearing her schedule or arranging for an air ambulance to take us over there."

"Really?" He asked, surprised that the arrangements were made so quickly.

"Oh, sure. Money talks my dear. Money talks." She replied and looked out the window eager to get there. The limo stopped at the assigned hangar and everyone piled out of the car. Lark headed straight for the plane and greeted the doctor at the door. "Thank you for arranging this doctor." Lark smiled and shook her hand.

"As long as you understand that it's against my medical advice for you to do this Lark."

"I understand, but I have confidence that you'll make sure that nothing happens to my child or me." Lark confidently smiled and carefully climbed the stairs with the help of Jayce.

"You all set?" Jayce asked, as Lark lay back on the stretcher.

"I sure am. Thanks." Lark smiled appreciatively.

"Great…I'll see you there." He smiled and turned to leave, but stopped when he felt Lark's hand on his arm.

"No, I'd like you to stay with me." Lark smiled looking at him.

"Sure. Great." He enthusiastically smiled and sat in a seat happy that she wanted him to stay.

Lark watched as the nurse hooked up the medical equipment to her and the baby to monitor their vital signs as the doctor checked everything over. She laid her head back against the pillow. 'I'm on my way love. I'm on my way. Now, you do the same. I know you haven't left us.' She hopefully thought with a smile and a renewed confidence that she would soon see Rayne.

Rayne's anger at herself coursed through her until it dawned on her. The Congressman might have his phone with him. She quickly hobbled over to him. "Sir…Sir!" She urgently nudged him. "Do you have your phone?" She asked breathless, as he opened his eyes stunned briefly as he tried to register what was going on.

"Aah…oh, yeah!" He excitedly replied and fumbled through his coat pockets for his phone. "Here!" He smiled and handed her the phone.

"I've got to call Lark and let her know we are fine and to send help." Rayne grinned and began to punch in the numbers to her home phone. "Damn, the battery is very low." She worried as she listened to the ringing of the phone with no one answering it except the answering machine. She waited for the message on the machine to stop so she could leave a message. She smiled as tears formed in her blue eyes as she listened to Lark's beautiful voice on the message. Her heart fluttered as she heard it as it felt so good to hear her voice. "Come on the battery is running low." She anxiously responded and heard the tone to leave the message. "It's me, we're alive, hurt but alive. We crashed near a small village called Pristinia and need help to get here right away. We are making our way from the crash site towards that village. I love you Lark so much honey, send help!" She replied and clicked off the phone. "Maybe I can get in touch with my father who can get us help right away." She explained with a smile. She quickly punched his numbers into the phone. "Come on…go through." She pleaded as she heard the static in the phone and the low battery tone.

"Who in the hell could be calling me?" Ray asked, confused and looked at Maria as he pulled out his phone stepping away from the stairs of the plane. "It better not be any reporters as it's an unknown number." He angrily informed her as he looked at the caller ID. "Hello?" He shouted, as the noise of the planes was very loud. "Hello?" He couldn't hear what was being said and stuck his finger in his other ear. The static on the phone was very loud and the roar of the engines made it very difficult to hear.

"Dad! Dad!" Rayne shouted exasperated that he couldn't hear her. The phone beeped again, "Dad!" She desperately shouted as the phone went dead. "Shit!" Rayne exclaimed and tossed the phone to the ground, frustrated.

"Easy killer, that's a new phone. I just got it before I left." The Congressman teasingly replied and chuckled at the embarrassed look on Rayne's face.

"Oh, sorry Sir." She nervously stammered and picked up the phone. She wiped it off and handed it to him. "Sorry." She sheepishly grinned.

"I was teasing Rayne and would you stop calling me sir? Call me Dad or Lance, just not sir. We're family." He asked smiling.

"Sure, Dad." Rayne grinned and nodded her head that she would do so. Rayne checked over Julia who lay sleeping and for the time being was stable.

"Rayne, I've been thinking." The Congressman began, his tone turning serious as he peered into Rayne's blue eyes. "We're slowing you two down." He explained, looking down at his wife, then back up to Rayne. "Maybe it would be best for you and Danielle to head down without us and get help." Rayne's heart quickened as she listened to what he was suggesting and she nearly went ballistic at the suggestion that she leave them there.

"No way! I'm not leaving the two of you here. We all go down together." Rayne protested, shaking her head defiantly.

"Rayne let's be realistic about this. You two could make it down there in no time. We'll stay here and wait for you to return with help." He attempted to reason. It didn't work, but then again who would actually think it would with Rayne?

"No way. I'm not leaving you here in this hostile area. Dad…these people would love nothing more than to capture you and God knows what else if they knew whom you were. It's better if we all stay together. I'm not taking the chance and have something happen to you both. Lark would kill me and I've got to make sure we have your support in Congress so I can legally adopt my child, especially if the Republican Administration gets in office. Besides, I kind of like you too." She grinned mischievously as she stared at him.

"I appreciate your concern for us Rayne and I'll try to help in anyway that I can to not slow the group down." He smiled appreciatively and patted her arm.

"Let's see if that tough Marine mentality comes out in you as we make the trip down." She teasingly smiled, noting it was getting darker and that Danielle had not yet returned. Under different circumstances she wouldn't care what the hell happened to her, but in this instance she needed her help and damn, did she hate that!

"Ooh, I've got to tighten up. That sounds like a challenge to me." He grinned and shifted.

"Hey, if it will get us back to civilization, I'll tell you whatever it takes to get you moving faster." Rayne laughed and turned serious. "Do you think that Lark will blame me for all of this Dad?" She asked, twiddling with the piece of grass she had in her hand, subconsciously wondering if Lark thought this was all her fault.

"What? You can't seriously think that Rayne?" He asked surprised.

"It's the truth. I'm to blame for all of this." Rayne replied and gestured with her hands to the group. "I put Lark and our child in grave danger by coming here. I had to be so damn stubborn and arrogant by having to personally handle this case. I could have just allowed someone else to have taken my place and stayed at home with Lark or I could have told Lark what was going on. I shouldn't have lied to her." She regretfully explained and tossed the piece of grass she was holding, frustrated at her stupidity.

"Yes, you could have Rayne, but we both know what kind of a toll that would have taken on you and Lark. To live your life looking over your shoulder in case this person hadn't have been apprehended or the stress it would have created if Lark had known about it. You can second guess yourself a million times and come up with different solutions for handling this situation, but you're doing yourself a disservice by doing so. I would have done the same thing Rayne in a heart beat and you shouldn't feel guilty about it."

"That's just the thing, I do feel guilty about it Dad. I've put so many people in danger by being here and I feel like I'm the cause of you both being here in this predicament." She guiltily explained and hung her head, fiddling with the grass before her. "I can't imagine how Lark won't blame me and how she could ever forgive me for this." It pissed her off thinking about how she put everyone in such dire straits and if anything happened to Lark or the baby because of it, she wouldn't be able to stand herself. She just couldn't understand why in the hell she would cause so much pain towards the woman who meant everything to her. 'I was just trying to do what I thought was right for us.' She thought, trying to reason with her conscience. It wasn't working.

"Rayne, no one blames you including my wife or me and let me tell you, Lark loves you very much and there is no way she would ever think that way about you. Never." He passionately reiterated.

Rayne's anger boiled within at the situation they were in and she desperately wanted to release her tension. Her guilt was overwhelming and she wanted to believe what the Congressman was telling her, but she couldn't shake her feelings. She heard a noise and turned to where she heard it. "Get down." She whispered as the Congressman leaned down, protectively covering his wife. Rayne drew her gun and positioned to fire if need be. She saw Danielle exit the trees breathless and steadied her gun before holstering it. She stood confrontationally in front of Danielle. "Where the hell have you been?" She angrily asked.

"Yeah, and I'm happy to see you too!" Danielle sarcastically answered, dropping the canteens near the Congressman and tried to catch her breath.

"You know, you really tick me off with your casual attitude Danielle." Rayne angrily replied and threateningly moved closer to her.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Danielle asked, not in the mood for Rayne's nasty attitude.

"You wreak havoc in my life and you just casually stroll back in it like nothing ever happened. If there is someone to blame for a lot of this it's you!" Rayne nastily shouted.

"Now, Rayne. Come on!" The Congressman levelly replied, trying to calm the situation.

"How am I to blame for us being here Rayne? Tell me, I'd really love to hear this one. Is it because of your precious Lark?" She sarcastically asked, she was in no mood for her attitude and would love nothing more than to give her an attitude adjustment.

"That's right! You came between us because of your selfish fucking reasons and stole six months of our lives together as a result of that. When Lark found out you were assigned to this case she was upset about it and went into labor."

"Don't blame me because your girlfriend is jealous and went into labor." Danielle snapped condescendingly and placed her hands on her hips.

"You have no fucking consideration for anyone's feelings except your own. I wouldn't put it past you to have done something to the phone lines so I couldn't talk to Lark!" Rayne angrily voiced and saw the guilty look on Danielle's face, indicating she did have something to do with the phone problem. "You fucking bitch!" Rayne furiously shouted and punched Danielle in the mouth. Danielle fell back, surprised by what Rayne had done to her. "How could you do that to us?" Rayne shouted and knelt down, grabbing Danielle by the throat. "You're to blame you fucking bitch!" Rayne angrily accused, tightening her hold on Danielle's neck. She wanted nothing more than to snap her neck.

Danielle desperately tried to break the grip on Rayne's hold and was grateful when the Congressman pulled Rayne off of her. "Get a grip on yourself Rayne!" He curtly ordered and held her back as Danielle stood up gasping for air.

"Rayne." Julia replied softly and looked at her.

Her voice had a calming affect on her and she moved closer to Julia. "Yes?" She asked, breathing heavily as she looked down at her.

"Rayne, there are many factors to blame here, but you seem to think that you are the only one to blame. Sure, you might blame Danielle for a portion of it, but it doesn't mean you should kill her and take all of it out on her. If you want to place the blame on someone do so to the woman dead in that plane. If it wasn't for her you would not have had to come here, Lark wouldn't be in labor and we wouldn't be stranded in this hellhole. Now, stop torturing yourself! Danielle did a horrible, horrible thing to you and Lark, but it won't do any of us any good if you continue this quest for payback." She was the voice of reason and no matter how much Rayne wanted to disagree with her, she just couldn't. She was right and she possesses the same rapport that Lark has, especially when it comes to calming Rayne's fiery temper.

Danielle rolled her eyes at the comment, but the woman was right. No matter what hard feelings they had about each other, they would have to work as a team to survive this and then they could deal with those problems once they got home. "You're right, I'm sorry." Rayne apologized, embarrassed by her actions and walked away to be alone. She leaned against a tree and inhaled deeply, trying to calm the emotions that ran so deep. She hated being wrong. It galled her to know that she had to swallow her pride and anger towards Danielle for the time being. She felt if she did so, Danielle would get away with all that she had done to them and Rayne for sure wanted revenge. She thought that using Danielle as a whipping post was a great option, unfortunately it would have to wait until later.

"How are you my love?" The Congressman asked his wife, as he looked down at her lovingly stroking her blonde hair.

"I could be better honey, but I'm feeling a little better than before. I'm really worried about Rayne, Lance. I've never seen her like this before. She really shouldn't put all of this on herself." She worriedly explained.

"I know, I tried to talk to her earlier about it and I thought I had gotten through to her, but I guess not. I'll let her calm down and talk to her again." He smiled reassuringly. "Try to get some more sleep as I'm sure we'll be moving soon." He lightly kissed her hand that clutched his and delicately stroked her hair.

"Rayne…aah…listen." Danielle tentatively replied as Rayne gave her an evil sideways glance before looking out over the ravine. "I don't want to fight with you, but I do need to let you know that I saw a cottage down the pass about a half hour away which looks like it could be a hide out or a safe house. Even better, I saw a jeep out front." She explained, smiling at the thought of the transportation.

Rayne snapped her head around and stared at Danielle, "Why didn't you tell me this before?"

"Hmmm…well, it was a little hard to do that with your fist in my mouth." She sarcastically answered and backed up when she saw Rayne grit her teeth, moving towards her. "I'm sorry. Look, if we are all going to get out of this alive, we have to work together. We can't continue to fight like this it isn't doing us any good. Julia was right." Danielle conceded, holding her hands up as a truce. She wasn't pleased with the attitude Rayne kept giving her and the only way she could keep that from coming out again was to back off.

Rayne huffed and stopped before her. "You're right, just keep your sarcastic comments to yourself and only speak to me about things that pertain to our survival." Rayne demanded angrily, unable to look at the woman.

"Fine, it will be done." Danielle agreed, glad she wouldn't have Rayne attacking her anymore. She couldn't help her sarcastic comments though. Maybe it was because she felt like a scorned lover. She was so jealous over the fact that Rayne was so damn stuck on Lark that she couldn't see how much she loved her and would do anything to have her or for her. Danielle dreamily stared at her and wondered why she couldn't see that from her.

"Danielle! Hey! Are you listening to me?" Rayne asked, snapping her fingers to get Danielle's attention as she was distracted and didn't answer her question.

"Oh, sorry. Uhmmm, what did you ask me?" She asked, shaking her thoughts from her head and focusing on what Rayne was saying to her.

"How many people did you see there?"

"I saw four, but there could be more though. I tried to stay and monitor them for awhile to see if anymore came, but it started to get dark and I knew I had to get back." Danielle explained.

"Okay…we need to check our ammunition supply as well as our weapons situation to see if the two of us can take them out fairly easily." Rayne explained, her adrenaline pumping faster at the thought of getting the hell out of there sooner.

"Well, I was able to grab a few guns off the plane before it blew. So, I'll check those out as well."

"Don't forget to count me in Rayne." The Congressman confidently replied as he painfully hobbled to Rayne as she turned to regard him. "Okay…great. The more the merrier." She smiled and placed her hand on his shoulder appreciatively. "Let's check out the supplies, make our way to the cottage and take them out under the cover of darkness." Rayne confidently instructed the group.

"I hope that the four I saw were the only one's there."

"Yeah, me too." Rayne agreed with a nod. "Do you remember how to get back?"

"Sure do." Danielle cockily answered.

"Let's get to it then." Rayne smiled and limped towards their backpacks, followed by the Congressman.

"Rayne listen." He replied and stopped her. He winced from the pain that coursed through his leg and stood upright, meeting Rayne eye to eye. "Stop punishing yourself like this, it's going to drive you nuts." He sincerely advised her, concerned for her mental health.

She inhaled deeply and exhaled, knowing she had been acting like such an ass. "You're right Dad, but I just can't get past this feeling that everything is my fault. I'm just going crazy in my mind with worry about Lark and our baby. If anything happens to either of them because of me being here, I just don't know what I will do." She honestly admitted, tears forming her stormy blue eyes. She was a woman on the edge and she was ready to snap. She wasn't used to not being in control of the situation or her feelings and it was driving her to the brink of madness.

"Listen, my daughter is a princess and a tough one at that. She will be fine and if I know her as well as I think I do, she probably refuses to believe that we are all dead. She has this knack for seeing the positive in everything and until she sees all of our dead bodies, she ain't believing it." He chuckled and smiled proudly as he spoke of his beloved daughter.

Rayne snickered at the comment, knowing what he said was true. "Yes, she's stubborn that way and so incredibly beautiful that she can see the good in just about everything. Hell, she saw it in this stubborn fool." She chuckled, pointing to herself. "I can't wait to see her, to hold her, to kiss her, and to let her know just how much I love her." Rayne adoringly replied, with a smile thinking about Lark. "She means everything in the world to me Dad. She's my life, she completes me and I fall farther in love with her every minute of the day. Aah…" She gasped, happily thinking of the way Lark makes her feel. "The way she makes me feel when I'm around her is incredible and it fills me with so much joy and happiness. When she looks at me, I can see right through to her soul and see mine reflected there. I can feel and see everything that I mean to her. I only hope she can see and feel the same about me. I can't imagine myself without her in my life. I would be lost. I live to love her." She tearfully and wholeheartedly professed, pulling out the pictures she had in her pocket. She briefly stared at them before proudly showing them to the Congressman, who fought back his own tears as he looked at them. "These are the two reasons for me living. Oh, all I want to do is hold Lark in my arms and tell her how much she means to me." She sighed, disappointed and frustrated that she couldn't do just that.

"You will Rayne, you will." He smiled and sniffed back the tears, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I see that my daughter possess all the wonderful and beautiful qualities that my wife has. I feel the same way about her and Lark as you do. Without them, I'm nothing. That's why I decided to forgive Julia for her indiscretions years ago no matter how painful it was…I had too. I couldn't live without her and we are happier than ever." He smiled adoringly. "Let's get out of here so we can get you home to see Lark and your baby."

"That's the best idea I've heard all day." Rayne smiled and put her arm around him, helping him back to his wife.

Danielle, Rayne and Lance gathered the guns and ammunition they were able to salvage from the wreckage as Rayne held her watch with a light to check over the map, devising the best route to take once they had the vehicle securely in their possession. "Alright, we have everything together." Danielle informed her, handing Rayne an assault weapon she confiscated from the plane. Rayne slipped the gun over her shoulder as she continued to stare at the map. "Make your shots count because we don't have that much ammunition and hope that there's only four." Danielle answered, displeased by their weaponry.

"Well, we may have to resort to the next deadly weapons if all else fails." Rayne dryly answered with a mischievous grin.

"And that would be?" Danielle asked, arching an eyebrow confused.

"These." Rayne arrogantly answered, holding up her hands.

"Sometimes it's the only way to go." Lance answered with a chuckle, knowing exactly what Rayne meant. He was getting excited about what would soon transpire. His old military fire was burning in the pit of his stomach once again and he never realized how much he missed it until just then. He had gotten used to being a pampered Congressman and had almost forgotten his former military training. He was a highly decorated veteran and being there, brought his desire to complete this mission back. He readied the weapon and grabbed a sturdy stick to help support him as he walked.

"Let's move out." Rayne ordered, her demeanor turning serious as she lifted her end of the litter and looked back to see Danielle lift hers.

The trip to the cottage was daunting, tiring and painful for all as they struggled mightily to carry Julia. They frequently stopped to catch their breath and for pain relief. They finally made it to where the cottage was located much to their relief. The trip had taken longer than they had expected with all of the stops they had to make. Danielle's directions were right on the money and they sat scanning the location from the coverage of the brush. They had a perfect view of the cottage and it's surrounding area. "I'm going off this way to check out the back of the cottage." Danielle informed Rayne in a whisper as Rayne nodded in agreement. Danielle quietly scurried off to check out the cottage.

Rayne watched as the activity around the cottage was very quiet and she noted one man smoking a cigarette near the door. She couldn't see much movement inside and picked up the location of the jeep. She tapped the Congressman on the shoulder to get his attention and pointed to the jeep. He nodded, acknowledging where it was located and they looked for the best route to it from their standpoint. 'Shit.' Rayne exclaimed, disappointed when she saw two more men step outside and join the other guy there. They stepped back in fear that they might be heard. "Let's hope those are three out of the four Danielle saw." Rayne whispered. "Do you think you can get to that point near the road?" She asked looking at the Congressman and pointing out the destination she was referring to.

"Most definitely." He confidently answered.

"Even carrying mom?" Rayne asked with a grin.

"No problem. I had to carry a two hundred pound man with a bullet wound to my thigh in the war, I shouldn't have any problem carrying my petite, beautiful wife." He cockily smiled.

"Ooh, I knew I loved you for a reason." Rayne mischievously grinned, impressed by the Congressman's exploits.

"Give me a gun Rayne. I can help as well." Julia softly replied, looking up at the pair who stared at her, surprised by her statement. It was all Rayne could do to keep from laughing hysterically at the comment. She imagined how Lark was with shooting a BB gun and just assumed Julia would shoot the same way. She still can't figure out how in the hell Lark was shooting out away from them, but managed to hit her in the ass with the BB when she was trying to teach her how to use a gun. 'Must have ricochet off the garage.' She thought, her mind wondering to a happier time. "Don't look at me that way. I was the women's champion in the turkey shoots at my college four years in a row. Give me a damn gun!" She demanded and slapped Rayne's hand, offended by the insinuation that she didn't know how to use a firearm.

Rayne chuckled and looked at the Congressman, who nodded in acknowledgement of her statement. "She's one hell of a shot Rayne." He proudly confirmed.

"Yeah, but that was with a BB gun." Rayne replied, still unsure if she could handle one of the high-powered guns.

"She is fully qualified to shoot those guns Rayne, trust me on this one." He assured her.

"When we get home you and I have a date at the gun range. I'll bet I can kick your ass!" She gloatingly smiled, looking up at Rayne.

"Okay…I'll take that bet and trust you with my gun." Rayne smiled and handed Julia her weapon.

Julia took the gun and checked it over. "Nice, very nice." She approved, looking it over.

"Don't get to attached to it and don't lose it." Rayne chuckled and looked at the Congressman. "Get to that point in the road for when we get the jeep. Danielle and I will have to meet up with you at that point shortly." Rayne instructed him and pointed to where she wanted them to rendezvous.

"Are you sure you'll be able to make it there with that leg?" He worriedly asked.

"I can make it anywhere knowing that I will soon see Lark. I'll worry about my leg some other time." Rayne confidently smiled.

"Okay…it shall be done then." He smiled.

"I'll help you get her to the edge of the brush and then you'll be on your own. Wait for my signal to get to the point I referred to. Got it?" She informed him, as she helped lift the litter.

"No problem. I'll see you in the truck. Just make sure you get it!" He cockily smiled as they carried his injured wife to the spot Rayne wanted them at. "Good luck Rayne and be careful." He smiled and hugged her.

"You too and don't drop Mom." Rayne teasingly replied, breaking the hug.

"No way, I'm holding on to her with all my might." He chuckled and stepped back from Rayne, wincing at the pain he felt in his leg from weight bearing on it.

Rayne knelt beside Julia. "Good luck and don't lose my gun." She smiled and kissed Julia on the forehead.

"I won't smart ass. You just make sure you get in that truck in one piece or my daughter will never forgive us and remember, she's spoiled rotten. What Lark wants, she gets and you are who she wants." She smiled and lovingly patted Rayne's cheek.

"I'll be there. Count on it." Rayne arrogantly guaranteed and headed back to meet Danielle. She crouched in the bushes and watched the house. She pulled the photos out of her pocket and adoringly gazed at them, smiling. Her heart fluttered as she looked at the pictures and couldn't wait to get home to see the two loves of her life. She heard a rustle and turned to see Danielle sneak up beside her.

"I saw three inside the cottage from the back. How many did you see?" Danielle asked, squatting next to her.

"Are any of them the three you saw?" Rayne asked, pointing to the men standing at the door.

"Nope, none of them are. Hmmm…so, we are looking at six then?" Danielle asked, chewing her lip nervously and wondering if they will be able to take them all out.

"Yep. Damn. I was hoping there wouldn't be as many." Rayne replied frustrated by the odds. "Let's hope the Congressman and Mom can take a few of them out."

"Julia has a gun?" Danielle asked surprised.

"Yeah, seems she was a turkey shooting champ in college." Rayne chuckled, looking at her.

"We aren't shooting turkeys here!" Danielle worriedly replied.

"Well, even if they just fire at them to keep them away from us, we'll be doing okay."

"Yeah, as long as they don't hit us." Danielle quipped with a smile. Danielle looked down at the pictures in Rayne's hand that watched the activities at the cottage. "Is this your baby?" She asked and felt a catch in her heart that she wasn't having Rayne's child.

"Yes, it is." Rayne proudly smiled and showed her the picture.

"That is so cool and clear. I had no idea the sonogram pictures were so clear." Danielle smiled and gazed at the picture. "Aah…Rayne. I couldn't help but over hear you talking about Lark to the Congressman and I aah…wanted to apologize to you for everything that I've done to the both of you."

"I don't understand why you did that to us, considering the fact that you supposedly love me. Why would you hurt me like that?"

"Because I am in love with you Rayne. I would have done anything to have you in my life and I did some horrible things to you and Lark. I wish you felt the same way about me that you do about Lark and I fully intended to try to win you back on this trip when I found out we would be working together again, but I see there is no way that will happen. I know it sounds sick, but I would do anything for you…to have you. All I ever wanted was for you to love me as you do Lark and there is no way that can ever happen. It saddens me, but it's something that I have to live with and I'm happy for you. I'm sorry for all that I've put you through. I truly am Rayne." She admitted and swallowed the lump in her throat that formed. She had finally came to the realization that there was no way she would ever have Rayne, even if she did manipulate her out of Lark's life and into hers. She could finally see how much she loved Lark and how she always will. She knew that even if Lark and Rayne weren't together and she was with Rayne that she would never have Rayne heart and soul. Rayne would always be thinking of someone else…Lark. She was saddened by this realization as there was no hope left for them to be together and that she was such a fool for all that she had done to the woman she loved so much. She loved her and had to accept the fact that she could never have her. The only thing left for her to do was to be happy for Rayne and wish her a wonderful life.

"Thanks for the apology, but why do it now?" Rayne asked, confused by her motives.

"I wanted you to know that in case something happens when we head out of here."

"Let's hope nothing happens. I have got to get home to Lark. I promised her I would be there for the birth of our child and there is no way anyone will stop me from that. I just hope she didn't have the baby yet with all the stress she's been under lately." Rayne guiltily replied and looked down at the picture of her lover, lightly stroking it with her thumb knowing she was a big cause of Lark's anxiety. 'Man, do I have some serious making up to do when I get back.' Rayne told herself.

"Rayne, it's time for me to atone for my past misdeeds. Well, attempt to do so." She smiled and continued. "I will make sure that you get home to be with Lark and to see your child born, no matter what. I owe that to you both for all the heartache I've caused you." She sincerely informed her with an earnest smile.

Rayne skeptically searched her eyes for the truth in her statement and saw the honesty there. "I appreciate that." Rayne smiled slightly and turned back to see what was going on. She hoped that was the end of Danielle's quest to keep her from Lark and wanted to believe that she was being honest, but it was hard to do so considering all the hateful things she had done to them. Just the same, she would keep her guard up when it came to Danielle. "Okay…it looks like they are heading inside. I'm going straight down the middle to the jeep in front of the cottage." Rayne informed her.

"No, you won't make it to the jeep with that leg. I'll go around the back and take a few out on my way to the jeep. I will be much faster than you getting there. You position yourself there to take anyone out who exits the front of the house." Danielle instructed her and pointed them out to Rayne.

"Okay…I'll be there. Let's hope you are." Rayne agreed, looking at Danielle. As much as she hated to admit it, Danielle was right. There was no way she could make it to the jeep as fast as Danielle could with the injury she had to her leg.

"Good luck." Danielle smiled and stood up to leave.

"You too." Rayne answered and headed through the brush to get to her spot. She readied herself in position and waited to hear the fireworks as Danielle made her way to the back of the house. Her heart pounded excitedly as the adrenaline coursed through her body and heard the gun shots begin, followed by loud shouting coming from the back of the house. She quickly moved towards the front of the cottage to get into position to wait for Danielle and motioned for the Congressman to get moving. She hoped he saw her. She looked up and saw Danielle climb into the jeep, fumbling to start the automobile. Rayne quickly aimed her gun and took the man down who approached the vehicle. She couldn't understand the foreign language the men were shouting, but they were coming closer. She limped as fast as she could towards the path and heard the vehicle finally start.

Rayne tried to avoid the light that was being shined on her as the men searched for the assailants. She heard a bullet whiz by her all too close for comfort and crouched down, unloading a barrage of bullets towards the cottage. She didn't hear any movement or shouting and stood up to run just as the light fixed on her. 'Fuck!' She angrily thought and moved to dodge the light, but fell to the ground when she felt the pain in her arm from the bullet that hit her there.

The flight was extremely uncomfortable for Lark, especially when the doctor would poke and prod her with every piece of medical equipment there was on that plane. Not to mention the fact that Tom stood guard over her as if someone would do something to her in mid-flight. Yes, he snuck on the plane right before take off and was very insistent that he accompany her on the trip. There was no way she was going without him, so she conceded. She made a mental note to thank him profusely once this was all over, as she knew he was doing it on Rayne's orders. As grateful as she was that the doctor, Tom and Jayce were there for her, she felt terrible. The baby was very active and the pressure was unbearable. She was extremely miserable. "Owww!" Lark shouted and doubled over in pain.

"What's going on Lark?" Jayce worriedly rushed to her side and held her hand.

"I'm having terrible pains!" Lark gasped and held her side.

"It sounds like contractions. Start timing them." The doctor alerted her nurse who did as ordered.

Jayce clutched her hand and wiped the sweat from her brow. "Try to relax Lark."

"Yeah, that's freaking easy for you to say considering you're standing there!" Lark sarcastically retorted and clutched his hand tighter as the pain coursed through her.

"Her blood pressure is slightly elevated as well as her pulse." The doctor informed her nurse who continued to time the contractions.

"Is that bad?" Lark worriedly asked and glanced at the doctor, panting to ease the pain.

"It's normal Lark. They are elevated because of the pain you're experiencing. Nothing to worry about." She comfortingly smiled to calm Lark. 'Yet.' She thought as she looked at the monitor, checking Lark's vital signs.

"Owww!!!!" Lark shouted and leaned over, clutching Jayce's hand tighter.

"Easy Lark. Try to calm yourself." He soothingly smiled.

"Jayce, you know I love you, but could you please shut up. I'm in pain!" Lark ordered, looking up at him.

"They are fifteen minutes apart doctor." The nurse nervously informed her, glancing up at the doctor.

"Time to get this bird on the ground." The doctor replied and headed to the cockpit. "How much longer till we land?" She asked, leaning in the doorway.

"About twenty minutes." The co-pilot answered.

"We don't have that long. We need to do an emergency landing and get her on the ground faster than that." She ordered.

The co-pilot nodded, "We'll see what we can do." He answered with a small smile.

"Make it happen. We can't wait much longer." She ordered him and headed back to Lark. "Alright Lark, you have got to stay as calm as possible and whatever you do, don't push!" The doctor ordered, patting her on the shoulder for comfort. "Now is the time for you to start your Lamaze techniques that you learned." She smiled and rubbed Lark's arm to calm her as Lark began her deep breathing.

"Doctor, is the baby alright?" Lark nervously asked, staring at the doctor.

"The baby is fine, don't worry. It could just be false labor pains or it could be that your baby wants to see you sooner than expected." She smiled, trying to ease the anxious woman's mind.

"Will it be too early to deliver three weeks before our due date? Will the baby be okay?" She anxiously asked, the fear consuming her green eyes.

"You have a very large, strong and healthy baby Lark. I don't foresee your child having any problems being born three weeks early. Don't worry. Everything will be fine." She soothingly smiled and checked her vital signs.

"Jayce, what have I done? What am I going to do if something happens to our baby?" Lark worriedly asked, the tears filling her eyes. She was regretting her decision to fly. She couldn't bear it if something were to happen to the baby. She would then be without the two reasons she lived…for Rayne and their child.

"Come on, you heard the doctor. The baby is big and healthy they will be just fine. Settle down and keep up your breathing. I'm going to have them call my dad's plane to let them know what's going on." He smiled and winked as he headed to the cockpit.

'Please be alright sweetheart. Oh, Rayne where are you? I need you so much right now!' She thought, crying harder.

"Lark!" Rayne exclaimed worriedly and sat up. "Owww!" She winced in pain from her ankle and the new wound she had in her shoulder. She felt something was wrong with Lark and panic consumed her. "I've got to get out of here." She remarked, searching the ground for the gun she dropped and looked up when she heard a gun cock. She rolled out of the gun sight and tried to crawl to her feet, but fell back down, as her injured ankle wouldn't support her as the man shouted. The light moved and found her again as he readied his gun at her. "No way you're taking me you asshole!" She defiantly shouted and made a move for the gun as he fired.

"Rayne!" Danielle shouted and tackled her, just as the shot rang out.

"Aah…!" Rayne shouted in pain when Danielle grabbed her. "Danielle come on get up." Rayne hurriedly told her and grabbed her gun wondering why Danielle wasn't moving. She rolled her off her legs and saw the blood all over Danielle. She stared at her momentarily horrified and shocked. She looked up and fired her gun at the man before them. "You son of a bitch!" She angrily spat, biting her lower lip, pumping him full of lead and loved every minute of it. Her gun jammed and she grabbed Danielle's, instantly firing into the cottage, one shot after another satisfying her rage as the light went out. She stood breathing hard, finishing her assault on the house and blinked her eyes, trying to bring herself back to reality, satisfied that there were no survivors inside the house. "Danielle." She softly spoke and looked down at the woman who had taken a bullet intended for her. "Hey, wake up." She moved Danielle to check over her wounds. "Fuck!" She exclaimed when she saw the extent of her injuries.

"I promised you I would make sure you got home Rayne." Danielle smiled and weakly informed her as she stared at Rayne.

"Shssh…don't talk. Save your energy, I'm getting you out of here." Rayne promised and put her arms under her to carry the injured woman.

"I'm not leaving here Rayne. This is where I'm destined to die and you know it as well as I. I accept my fate and I have no regrets for saving your life Rayne. You shouldn't have any either. You have everything to live for, a lovely wife and a child on the way. Please tell my mother that I died doing something heroic. She always thought I was a screw up." She smiled and coughed, growing weaker. "I'm sorry for the pain I caused you Rayne, I truly am." She honestly admitted as Rayne wiped the blood from her mouth.

"I will tell her Danielle. I'm sure she'll be very proud of you." Rayne compassionately smiled, staring at her.

"I loved you so much." Danielle whispered, staring into the blue eyes she loved, closing her eyes and drifting off in darkness.

"Danielle! Danielle!" Rayne shouted and shook her lifeless body to no avail. "FUCK!" She angrily shouted and ran a frustrated hand through her hair. She felt guilty that Danielle had given her life so she could live. She had wished this fate on her before, but in all actuality she didn't mean it and now that she was dead, she wasn't sure how to handle it. She was amazed that she would sacrifice so much for her, despite the fact that she would never know Rayne's love. "Lark?" Rayne softly called and looked around as if she was there. "What's going on?" She anxiously wondered and sat Danielle up. She wasn't going to leave her in that god-forsaken war torn country. She squatted down and draped her lifeless body over her healthy shoulder, struggling to stand up. She winced in pain from every injury and ache she had in her body, steadying herself before heading to the jeep. She laid Danielle in the back and hurriedly rushed to the driver's seat. She slammed it in gear and spun the tires on the dirt, pulling away from the cottage in search of her in-laws.

Rayne skid the tires on the dirt and hopped out to help them into the jeep before climbing back behind the wheel. "What the hell happened?" The Congressman asked, looking at Danielle's dead body in the back.

"Danielle exchanged her life for mine." Rayne coldly stated, staring at the road before her. 'I'm on my way honey. Hang on.' She worriedly thought, pleading to Lark as she navigated the rough jeep through the terrain. Every bump in the road sent a jolt of pain through Rayne's injured leg, arm and wrist that fought mightily to control the rugged jeep. She gritted her teeth and continued to drive, as stopping to attend to the pain was not an option.

"Let's hope we find some NATO forces along the way." The Congressman remarked hopeful.

"Yeah, that would be nice." Julia commented and laid her head back on the seat.

"Get something white ready just in case we come across anyone. It may save our life!" Rayne instructed the Congressman, who opened his jacket and tore his dirty white shirt to use a peace sign. She chewed her bottom lip worriedly thinking about Lark. 'I've got to hurry and get back to Lark.' She anxiously thought and sped the jeep down the bumpy road hoping they would soon reach help. Julia had fallen asleep during the ride and the Congressman helped Rayne navigate the dark road as they headed for Macedonia, which seemed to be taking forever to get to. "Put out that white flag, looks like we are going to need it." Rayne nervously informed him as she saw headlights up the road before her. 'Please, be help.' She pleadingly hoped as she stopped the jeep when the lights blocked her way down the road. She cocked her gun, as did the Congressman, just in case they were hostiles.

The ambulance quickly escorted Lark to the military hospital followed by Rayne's family. Rayne's father arranged for her to be treated at the military hospital for security purposes. The doctor continued to monitor Lark's vital signs during the ride to the hospital. "How far apart are her contractions?" The doctor asked her nurse.

"Ten minutes apart now doctor." She answered, checking her watch as Lark screamed out in pain and grasped Jayce's hand tightly.

"It looks like your baby is ready to greet you Lark." The doctor smiled and checked the monitor for the baby.

"No, the baby can't come yet. Rayne's not here." Lark tearfully replied, still holding out hope that Rayne would make it for the birth of their child.

"We may not be able to wait Lark. When the baby's ready to come, we have to sit back and allow it to." The doctor informed her and donned her stethoscope to check the baby's heart beat. She removed the stethoscope and looked at her. "If the contractions get closer and you aren't dilated enough, we will have to perform a cesarean section." The doctor informed her.

"I wanted to have a natural childbirth doctor." Lark protested, disappointed.

"I understand that Lark, but as we discussed a few months ago there was a possibility that you may not be able to do that and we would have to make the decision once you went into labor. I'll check to see how dilated you are and determine what we will do. We have to do what is best for the baby Lark." She reminded her as Lark nodded in agreement.

Rayne cautiously watched as three men exited the vehicle with their guns drawn, but she couldn't make much else out, as the headlights were extremely bright. "Damn, this could get very ugly. Be ready." She softly instructed the Congressman.

"We're ready." Julia answered with a mischievous smile and readied her gun. Rayne snickered and looked back to the jeep before her.

"Step out of the car!" The man ordered as he and two other men tentatively approached the car.

"Did they just speak to us in English? Did I hear that correctly?" The Congressman excitedly asked, turning to Rayne for confirmation.

"You know it!" She smiled and slowly stepped out of the jeep with her hands up. "We are American citizens and we need help." Rayne announced as the men stepped into view and she got a clear picture of the distinct NATO forces uniforms they wore.

"What in the hell are you doing out here? I'm Major Rivera." The man announced, wondering what they were up to as his soldiers cautiously checked the jeep over.

"I'm Secret Service Agent Rayne Donovan and this is Congressman Morgan. We were in a plane crash and…" She attempted to explain and was interrupted.

"We were on our way to search the crash site for you all. We need to get you out of here though as there are many hostile groups in this area. Any injured with you?" He asked, approaching her.

"Tell me about it. We just took out six of them. The three of us are wounded with one severely and another is dead." Rayne explained and looked in the jeep then back to the major.

"Medic, check these people over." He shouted and motioned for his soldier who quickly approached the car.

"Check my wife, she's injured far worse than I am." The Congressman ordered him as he attempted to examine him. He nodded and quickly attended to Julia.

"We need to get her to the hospital, right away." He shouted through the window.

"Let's move out. Private, you stay with her and you drive the jeep for Agent Donovan. She doesn't look like she's much for driving anymore." He smiled and winked as the soldier slid in behind the wheel of the jeep as Rayne limped around to the passenger's side.

"Man, are we happy to see you all." Rayne enthusiastically greeted the soldier driving the jeep.

"Same here. We've been trying to get out to your group, but the weather was so bad we couldn't. We thought we were going on a body recovery mission." The soldier informed her as he sped the jeep down the road following the rest of his group.

"How far are we?" Rayne asked, eager to get back.

"Maybe twenty minutes from our camp. They will have a helicopter waiting to fly you to the military hospital in Macedonia." The soldier informed her.

"Ooh, another ride huh?" She sarcastically chuckled and watched the road before her.

The tears stung Lark's eyes as she thought about how the birth of their child was supposed to be the happiest moment of her and Rayne's lives, but without Rayne there it just didn't mean the same. Everything was surreal and it just didn't matter as much to her. She remembered the look of pure joy and happiness on Rayne's face when they were told Lark was pregnant. She was surprised by the amount of tears that fell from Rayne's blues from the excitement of the moment. She smiled and fondly remembered how Rayne bought numerous books on childbirth, raising children and books to read to the baby. Not to mention all the toys and gifts she purchased for the child. She knew with Rayne, that their child would want for nothing. She cried harder as she inwardly reminisced about how Rayne never missed an opportunity to talk to their child or read the baby a story. 'She was so caring and tender with us. She made sure she was involved in every aspect of the pregnancy.' Lark lovingly remembered and wiped away the tears as fresh ones fell at the memory of Rayne's face when they saw their baby for the first time in a sonogram. 'The look was so sweet, so full of pure joy, happiness and pride, unconditional love. All rolled into one brief look and it conveyed everything Rayne felt for me and the baby.' Lark adoringly thought and wanted to see that look from Rayne when their baby was born. 'I have to see it again.' She sadly thought, hoping a miracle would happen. "Doctor! I think my water broke!" Lark nervously exclaimed, feeling something very unusual.

"Yes, it seems that it has. It won't be long now." The doctor explained and helped wheel the gurney into an examining room as hospital personnel led the way.

"It's going to be alright Lark. The baby will be fine. I'll stay right here with you if you want me to." Jayce comfortingly smiled and held her hand as he walked beside the gurney.

"Yes, I would like that Jayce…thank you." She smiled looking up to him and shouted out in pain from the contraction. The medical personnel quickly checked her over. "Is the baby ready to come out now?" Lark worriedly asked and looked down to the doctor.

She stood up, finishing her exam and walked beside Lark as she removed her gloves. "Well, the baby is ready to come out but you're not dilated enough yet. We'll wait a little while longer and see how much more you dilate before proceeding with the C-section." She explained with a smile and patted Lark's arm to settle her before consulting with the medical staff.

Lark inhaled deeply and felt her tears trickle down her face thinking about how much she wanted Rayne to there with her. She looked around the room at all of the machines her and the baby were hooked up to. 'Please come to me Rayne. I need you, our baby needs you.' She sadly pleaded, the fresh tears streaking her face.

Rayne wasn't pleased by the fact that they would have to stop at the hospital in Macedonia before heading back to the states, but agreed it was the best thing to do considering Julia's condition. She hated the helicopter ride even worse; it brought back too many memories of the crash. She had to admit that the painkillers helped to take the edge off during the ride, not to mention the pain. The ride was short and sweet much to their relief. They rushed Julia off the helicopter towards the hospital entrance as she was met by a swarm of medical personnel. Rayne patiently waited as they unloaded the Congressman and pleaded with them to let her walk, but they refused. She felt so stupid being wheeled in on a gurney as if it was a sign of weakness to not walk into the hospital. She decided to lie back and enjoy the ride into the hospital. She tried to forget about everything that happened and instead she concentrated on Lark. She needed to talk with her to let her know that she was alive. 'Oh, how wonderful it is to be back amongst civilization.' She thought on the elevator ride down to the emergency room, knowing she would soon talk to and see Lark. "I need to use the phone to contact my partner right away." She informed the nurse as they wheeled her out of the elevator.

"Just as soon as the doctor checks you over." She answered and pushed the gurney down the hallway.

"No, I need to call now!" Rayne demanded and grabbed the door jam, halting the gurney's progress.

"Yes, Okay. Thank you doctor." Ray Donovan spoke into the phone before hanging up. "The doctor just informed me that the contractions are closer now and they are taking Lark in for an emergency cesarean section. She isn't dilated enough to deliver the baby who is very adamant about coming out." Ray solemnly informed his family.

"Oh, God! What else could happen? I don't know if I can take anymore surprises." Maria tearfully exclaimed and hugged her husband.

"Everything is going to be fine my love, I just know it." He lovingly informed her and kissed his wife's head as his eyes widened, his face blanched at the sight before him.

"Dad what's wrong?" Shayan asked, confused by his father's look.

"Aah, do you see what I aah see?" He nervously stammered, wondering if he was seeing a ghost as he pointed out in the hallway. Everyone looked and gasped when they saw Rayne arguing with the nurse.

"Oh, my God!" Maria gasped and rushed out of the room. "Rayne! Rayne!" She tearfully shouted, running for her daughter.

"Mom?" She questioned, confused as she saw her mother, father, brother and sister-in-law engulf her in a hug. "Oh, baby. We thought we lost you forever." She cried and clutched her daughter.

"No way, you should know I'm too damn stubborn to die. What are you doing here? Where's Lark?" She worriedly asked.

"Well, honey. Aah, Lark decided that she wanted to come here to be close to you and to make sure they continued the search and she went into labor." Her father attempted to explain as he wiped the tears of happiness from his face.

"What? Where is she?" She nervously asked and pulled the covers off of her. She swung her feet over the edge of the gurney to sit up.

"She's in the delivery room Rayne." Shayan informed his anxious sister.

"Where's your delivery room?" Rayne hurriedly asked the nurse.

"Miss. Donovan I can't advise that you go there before being checked out first." The nurse tried to reason with her.

"I really don't give a damn what you advise lady, just tell me where the fucking delivery room is before I tear this hospital apart finding it!" Rayne angrily shouted, narrowing her stare at the woman.

"Fifth floor." The nurse nervously answered and swallowed the lump in her throat.

"See how easy that was?" She sarcastically smiled and pulled the IV out of her hand, rushing to the elevators. "She can't advise me to go before being checked out! Give me a fucking break! I survived a damn plane crash, carrying Julia down the mountain, being shot, driving a jeep with an injured leg and she wants me to wait? Unbelievable!" Rayne fumed animatedly on her way to the elevator as Shayan and Holly chuckled.

"Man, am I happy my sister is back." Shayan proudly and happily smiled as he looked at Holly.

"Rayne!" Her mother shouted and rushed behind her. "Are you sure you're well enough to go up there now?" She nervously asked as everyone followed her onto the elevator. She noted her haggard, battered, bloodied and tired look. She looked as if she was ready to collapse at any minute.

"I'm plenty strong Mother. I made a promise to Lark and there's no way I'm going to break it by not being with her when our child is born." She defiantly informed her, anxiously waiting for the elevator to stop on the fifth floor. She shot out of the elevator and quickly headed towards the nearest nurse. She explained who she was and the nurse ushered her towards the delivery room.

"Ray, our baby is alive!" Maria tearfully exclaimed, the happy smile consuming her face and watched Rayne limp off to find Lark.

"I told you everything would be alright." He joyfully replied and looked up mouthing, 'Thank you,' as he held his wife to wait for news on their new grandchild.

Jayce comfortingly held Lark's hand and lightly pushed her hair back, waiting for the procedure to begin. The doctor's had administered the epidural and Lark closed her eyes to rest before the doctor began the procedure. Jayce looked up and down, then back up again, amazed. He caught a glimpse of the familiar blues before him and had to be sure it was for real. It was his sister in fact. Rayne smiled as he stood up. He clutched Rayne's hand confirming what he saw was no ghost. The tears of joy quickly streaked his face as his heart pounded with excitement that he had his sister back. They didn't say a word, only speaking through their eyes as everything they needed to say was conveyed in that one look. Jayce sat back down and leaned close to Lark. "Hey, Lark." He softly spoke and stroked her forehead lightly with his thumb. Sleepy, sad greens met cloudy blues. "I have to leave I can't stay." He tearfully informed her in a whisper, his emotions consuming him that his sister was alive.

"No, don't leave me. I'm scared." Lark pleaded, clutching his hand tighter as Rayne's heart lurched at Lark's admission.

"There's nothing to be afraid of, besides there's someone else you would rather have here than me." He warmly smiled and glanced up to Rayne then back down to Lark.

Lark was confused and wasn't sure what he was talking about. She furrowed her brow and saw him look back up again. Lark slowly turned her head to the left and stared into the blue eyes she so desperately wanted and needed to see. She was speechless and wondered if it was reality or the constant dream she had that Rayne was alive. "Hey, sweets. I hear our baby is already showing it's rebellious streak by coming early." Rayne teasingly smiled, catching the breath that momentarily escaped her when her eyes met Lark's. She had waited for this moment for so long and feared that she would never see Lark again. She wanted to pull Lark in her arms and hold her tightly, never letting her go. She gallantly fought the tears that struggled to break free to no avail. She couldn't control them any longer.

Lark blinked repeatedly and realized it wasn't a dream when Rayne spoke to her and held her hand. She began to cry and slowly reached up to touch Rayne's face as she leaned closer to Lark. "You're alive." She whispered through her tears as Rayne's thumb lightly stroked her forehead.

Rayne turned and kissed her hand. "That's right, I made you a promise that I fully intended to keep my love." Rayne lovingly answered and leaned down to kiss Lark. The feel of Rayne's lips against hers felt better than she ever imagined or remembered that they ever would. She cried harder as Rayne deepened the kiss. Lark rested her hand behind Rayne's neck, not allowing her to go anywhere.

"Rayne!" The doctor smiled, surprised to see her. "I'm so glad that you are alive. What do you say we meet your baby?" She exuberantly asked, looking over the drape.

Rayne and Lark broke the kiss and looked at the doctor sheepishly. "Aah, sure!" Rayne stammered embarrassed and looked at Lark. She smiled and kissed her briefly. "I love you honey, let's meet our baby." Rayne proudly and excitedly suggested, flashing a sexy grin followed by a wink. Rayne leaned back to sit on the stool the nurse had offered for her and clutched Lark's hand tightly. She winked at Jayce who patted her back before passing by her, exiting the room. "It's okay. I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying right here baby." Rayne reassuringly informed Lark, seeing the fear in Lark's eyes. She sat on the stool and stared into Lark's green eyes, raising her hand for a kiss. She held Lark's hand close to her heart and just took in everything about her beautiful lover. She couldn't say a word. She was awestruck and unable to say everything that Lark meant to her, to tell her how sorry she was for everything. Her heart ached for the pain she caused Lark and yet it felt as though it would explode from the happiness she felt being with Lark again.

"I knew you were alive Rayne. Nobody believed me, but I knew." Lark dreamily informed her smiling and unable to look away from Rayne. She was afraid that if she looked away or let go of her hand she would disappear, the thought terrified her. She couldn't stop staring at her or release the death grip on her hand.

Rayne watched as the physician made the incision and looked back at Lark concerned. "I missed you so much baby. I'm so sorry for everything." Rayne tearfully told Lark as she kissed her hand. "Are you okay? Are you in any pain?" She worriedly asked, leaning closer to Lark. She had to push those thoughts out of her head or she would break down and be useless to Lark. She knew that Lark needed her to be strong and be there for her. She could see the fear in her eyes and had to be comforting, not a blubbering fool. That would come later.

"I'm fine, absolutely fine now that you are here honey. This is the way the birth of our child was suppose to be, with the both of us Rayne. It means so much more now that you are here with us." Lark lovingly smiled and clutched Rayne's hand tighter.

"There was no way a stupid plane crash was going to keep me from seeing our child born and there was no way I was going to leave the both of you." Rayne tearfully smiled, feeling guilty about the pain and heartache she caused Lark. "Are you sure you're alright?" Rayne nervously asked her heart raced with concern as she watched the procedure that was being performed. She felt a catch in her heart and guilt that Lark had to have a caesarean section when she had her heart set on natural childbirth. It was her fault that their child would be born this way, but she knew that was something she would have to atone for, as well as many other things.

"I promise." Lark answered with a laugh. "Don't be so nervous." She comfortingly smiled, shaking Rayne's hand to distract her from the operation that was worrying her.

"I'm not nervous, what makes you think that?" Rayne asked shakily as her eyes darted back and forth, absorbing everything that was happening.

"Rayne!" Lark exclaimed and pulled her closer, locking warm green's with stormy blues. "Calm down, I had a an epidural so I can't feel a thing." Lark reassured her with a warm smile.

Rayne stared at her and chuckled. "I guess I am nervous. I'll be fine." She laughed and stood up to get a better look as the doctor pulled the baby's hand out of the womb. Her eyes widened and her heart raced when she saw the baby's hand. She looked back at Lark and excitedly exclaimed, "I see the baby's hand!"

"Really?" Lark enthusiastically asked and lifted her head up to see, but only saw the blue drape.

"I can see the whole baby now." Rayne's joy filled voice informed her and looked at Lark who clutched her hand tighter. Lark's heart raced with excitement, joy and happiness. She had the love of her life back, alive and their child was soon to join them. What more could she ask for as her dreams had all come true? She cried harder as she saw the joy and excitement in Rayne's eyes as she gazed upon their child for the first time. She had waited for that moment for so long. To see their child through Rayne's eyes and it was beautiful. "It's a, it's a." Rayne replied, her voice thick with emotion as she strained her neck over the blue drape to see the sex of the baby. The doctor tilted the baby, revealing its sex to her. She gasped at the beauty of their child and the life their love produced. She caught the breath that escaped her and turned to Lark with a proud, exuberant smile. She leaned down to kiss Lark whispering, "We have a beautiful baby…" Rayne lovingly deepened the kiss, "girl honey." She adoringly smiled, affectionately staring into Lark's twinkling greens.

Lark cried tears of joy and happiness as she hugged and kissed Rayne. "I told you we would have a little girl!" She proudly smiled after breaking the kiss. She stared deeply into the tear filled blues before her.

"Okay, you were right. I concede. We've got a beautiful baby girl and you were right." Rayne grinned happily and kissed Lark. "Honey, I'm so ecstatic that my heart is pounding in my chest. Thank you." Rayne lovingly smiled and kissed Lark. She broke the kiss when she heard their baby cry for the first time. She looked at the baby as the doctors checked her over, then back to Lark smiling proudly.

"Our child's first cry!" Lark excitedly exclaimed as the tears streaked her face. "Does she look like you?" She asked, hopeful.

"Well, yeah like I do underneath these scrubs, all yucky." Rayne teasingly laughed and looked to make sure the baby was alright as the medical team cleaned the baby off.

"Rayne, you're kidding?" Lark asked, laughing.

"Well, I'm not sure how you can stand the stench of me, considering I haven't bathed for a couple of days. Our daughter is being cleaned off right now." Rayne informed her, intently supervising the medical team attending to their daughter. "I'll bet she's incredibly beautiful. Just like you." Rayne affectionately smiled and squeezed Lark's hand that clutched hers. Rayne looked at the doctor who waved her over. "I'll be right back. I've got something very important to get." Rayne giddily answered and limped over to the doctor.

Lark smiled and gasped, catching the breath that escaped her as she thought about seeing their child for the first time. It was her dream coming true. She couldn't wait to see Rayne, the woman that she loved so much, hand their child to her. It was a moment she wanted to have happen from the day she first met Rayne. She knew that they would come to this point in their life. Granted, they had a rocky road of late, but she always knew they would have children and be together. She was right and it felt wonderful. Her emotions consumed her and the tears flowed freely as she heard the baby crying, taking her first breaths. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. She couldn't wait to see the baby. 'I feel so exuberant, so alive, wonderful. I just can't believe that a tiny human being came out of me.' She joyfully smiled.

Rayne stood stunned as she looked at her daughter. Her mouth was agape, her eyes wide open and her heart raced a mile a minute. "You okay?" The doctor asked, putting her hand on Rayne's shoulder comfortingly.

Rayne looked at the doctor. "Yeah, fine just a bit overwhelmed, but I'll be fine." Rayne's nervous excitement consumed her fine features as she stood staring at her daughter.

The doctor was concerned with the look Rayne possessed. She had a far off look, her skin was pale and she was sweating profusely. The doctor felt her forehead. "Rayne you're very warm. I'm really concerned about you." The doctor informed her, noticing the blood leaking through Rayne's scrubs from her shoulder. "What the hell?" She exclaimed, moving the material to look at the area.

"Hey! No cussing in front of the baby. My lovely wife will have a fit if she hears you." Rayne grinned, unconcerned about her wounds.

"Rayne this isn't funny. You're bleeding." The doctor firmly whispered out of earshot of Lark and glaringly looked at her.

"It's where I was shot. I'll have it looked at later. Right now, I'd like to meet my daughter and introduce her to her Mommy. If that's okay with you?" Rayne sarcastically asked, flashing an equally steely gaze the doctor's way and threw a towel over her shoulder to conceal the wound from Lark. There was no way she wasn't going to hold her daughter and present her to Lark. It's what she's been waiting to do for a very long time and she didn't want Lark to worry about her injuries. She wanted this moment to be perfect and damn it, she would see to it that it was.

"Okay, but just for a few minutes. Then you're getting the medical attention you desperately need." The doctor firmly bargained.

"Deal." Rayne dryly conceded and looked at her daughter who lay wrapped in a pink blanket. The doctor placed the baby in Rayne's good arm and held her until Rayne was able to position her injured arm under the baby to support her. She was only able to move her arm from the elbow down as the pain was excruciating when she moved it any other way. Rayne's heart fluttered when she looked into the sweet face before her and felt her hands shake. She was nervous to meet her daughter. She wanted to be everything and more to her. "She's gorgeous, absolutely stunning." Rayne gushed proudly, looking upon her daughter, securely holding her for the first time. Her eyes watered and she leaned down to gently kiss her daughter's forehead. The baby wiggled and moved causing Rayne to chuckle. She looked up at the doctor as tears of joy fell unchecked. "Isn't she the most beautiful baby you've ever seen?" Rayne asked, sporting a large proud smile, looking at the doctor.

"She's very beautiful." The doctor agreed, smiling.

"Hello! There's a Mommy over here wondering what's going on with her child!" Lark sarcastically shouted to get their attention.

"She's so demanding." Rayne teased, looking at the doctor, then down to her daughter. "What do you say about meeting your gorgeous Mommy?" She asked in a soft, sweet tone as the baby's arms wiggled and she opened her eyes to look upon her mother for the first time. "I take that as a yes!" Rayne chuckled and limped towards Lark, whose smile intensified at the sight of her lover holding their daughter. "I have a very beautiful young lady who'd like to meet her Mommy." Rayne exuberantly smiled and handed the baby to Lark. Rayne worried that she would miss this moment and imagined how wonderful it was going to be seeing Lark with their child for the first time. This moment was nowhere near what she imagined it to be and there was no hiding her emotions. She couldn't control them and desperately tried to swallow the lump in her throat. She was having a hard time calming her racing heart as she lovingly watched Lark cuddle their child. There was no way she could ever be happier than that moment, seeing their child through Lark's eyes. She felt no pain whatsoever, only complete joy and happiness.

Rayne's revelry was broken when Lark spoke. "She's beautiful honey." Lark smiled proudly, cuddling the baby and lovingly looked up at Rayne. "Rayne, are you okay?" She worriedly asked, as Rayne looked like she was about to lose it.

"No, I'm so happy that I can barely contain myself Lark. I have so much love and affection in my heart seeing the two of you together that I'm overwhelmed. I don't know what to do." She shook her head and nervously chuckled. "This is the moment I've been waiting for Lark for a very long time. To see the way you look at our child for the first time, to see you hold her and to love her. It means the world to me. You both mean everything to me and I aah, I'm so consumed with emotion that it's incredible. I love you so much honey." Rayne tearfully and wholeheartedly professed, leaning down and capturing Lark's lips for a soul-searing kiss.

Lark was shocked, as she had never seen Rayne so emotional before. Her tears fell freely as she watched Rayne lovingly kiss their child's cheek. Rayne sat back on the stool and leaned close to the two women who captured her heart and soul. All she could do was smile and cry. She was thankful for the two lives she had before her and for her own as she could very easily have missed this blessed moment. The surgical resident finished suturing Lark's abdomen as the doctor took pictures of the happy family with the camera Jayce left in the delivery room. "She's gorgeous Rayne." Lark smiled proudly, glancing at Rayne who leaned her chin against Lark's arm as she admiringly stared at the baby. She looked back at the bundle of joy in her arms and never realized how wonderful being a mother would be. She always imagined how it would be, but the love and joy she felt was unparalleled to what she thought it would be.

Rayne gave Lark a sideways glance, "Of course she is sweets. You're her mother. How could she not be?" Rayne arrogantly smiled and lightly smoothed out the baby's dark hair.

"She has your beautiful dark hair Rayne." Lark grinned mischievously.

"Yeah, well she's got your cute little nose." Rayne smiled, lightly touching the baby's nose. "Your cute ears." Rayne affectionately traced the contours of the baby's small ears.

"Cute ears?" Lark sarcastically asked and laughed at her overly excited lover. She had never seen so much joy, happiness and love in Rayne's face than right at that moment.

"Yeah, well, baby's are cute so she's got cute ears. Just like you." Rayne chuckled and delicately kissed the baby's forehead. She marveled at the life before her and couldn't take her eyes off the baby who lay peacefully within her mother's arms. "Be glad you don't have your Mommy's pudgy toes. I checked, just to make sure and you have all ten toes too." Rayne teased with a mischievous smile, giving Lark a sideways glance.

"Rayne!" Lark gritted her teeth, as she hated it when she teased her about her feet and thumped Rayne's forehead with her finger.

"Ow!" Rayne whined, scrunching her face looking at Lark and rubbed her forehead.

"Aah, come here." Lark teasingly pouted and pulled Rayne over, kissing the boo boo on her forehead. "Is that better?" She chuckled.

"Yes, but don't do that again woman." Rayne teasingly warned with a laugh and stuck her finger in the baby's hand, which instinctively tightened around her it.

"Are we going to name her after your grandmother?" Lark excitedly asked, with a gleam in her eye.

"Uhmmm yeah. Sure, but I was kind of wondering if maybe we could name her after your mother."

"My mom? Why? Is my mother okay?" Lark nervously asked, fearing something bad happened to her mother and that's why Rayne wanted to name the baby after her.

"Well, aah Lark." Rayne stammered nervously, unsure of what to say, as she didn't know Julia's status.

"Is my mother dead? What about my father?" She anxiously asked.

"No, I uhmmm don't think so. Lark your mom was injured pretty badly in the crash and they rushed her in once we arrived. I don't know what her status is now, but she's one tough lady and that's why I'd like to name her after your mom. Your father had a fractured leg so I'm guessing he's fine."

"Rayne, I hope my mother is okay. I don't know what I'd do if anything terrible happened to her." Lark worriedly informed her and felt the tears well in her eyes.

"I'm sure she's fine honey. She's one tough broad. Did you know that she challenged me to a shooting contest once we get home?" Rayne grinned, remembering the challenge. "She really helped to keep me glued together honey. She's got so much courage, toughness and love that I'd like our child to share her name. Your father was the same honey. He was so encouraging and heroic. I'll tell you all about it later. We can make my grandmother's name her middle name." Rayne suggested looking down at the baby who fell asleep. She hoped Julia was indeed okay or she didn't know how Lark would get through her mother's death.

"That's perfectly fine with me and I'm sure my mother will be very pleased to have her granddaughter named after her." Lark smiled, proudly. "Doctor is there anyway we can find out how my parents are doing?" Lark asked, looking at the doctor who approached the bed.

"Sure, I'll make a call and see what I can find out, but you have to persuade your partner here to get the medical help she desperately needs." The doctor replied, glancing down at Rayne who snarled at the doctor as she gave up the goods on her to Lark.

"What do you mean? Rayne, what's wrong with you? Didn't you get checked over?" Lark worriedly asked, staring at Rayne as her heart pounded nervously.

"No, I had to get in here and see you when I heard you were here. I promised that I would be here for the birth of our baby and there was nothing going to stop me from doing that Lark." Rayne explained.

"You're so sweet honey, but please have the doctor's examine you." Lark tearfully professed. "For me?" She pleaded.

"I will, let me tell everyone that we have a daughter first." Rayne proudly smiled and kissed Lark. She stood up and winked, releasing her grip on Lark's hand. "I'll be back soon." Rayne whispered, kissing Julia's head before limping towards the door. She limped through the door and wiped the sweat off her brow, smiling proudly. 'I've got a daughter.' She lovingly thought and felt her heart skip a beat. She slowly made her way down the hall and began to feel weak. It was all she could do to walk. She stopped to collect her breath and to quell the pain she felt rush through her. She had been on a roller coaster ride of emotions and the adrenaline coursed through her, but now she was coming to a crashing halt. She inhaled and exhaled deeply, before continuing through the doors. Her family quickly met her when they saw her.

"Well, did she have the baby yet?" Maria eagerly asked, standing before Rayne.

"Yes, we had a baby girl Mom. You finally have a granddaughter." Rayne softly replied and felt dizzy.

"Oh, we have a granddaughter!" Maria enthusiastically shouted and hugged Rayne. "We are so happy honey." She smiled and broke the hug. "Rayne, what's wrong? You don't look so well." Maria worriedly asked, seeing the blank look in her daughter's eyes. "Rayne!" She shouted as Rayne blacked out. "Ray!" She urgently shouted, struggling to hold Rayne up.

"Rayne!" Her father shouted and caught her. "Jayce, Shayan, help me." He ordered, struggling to lift her lifeless body up. The three men picked her up and hurriedly carried her down the hall. "Nurse! Help!" Ray anxiously alerted them as Maria and Holly followed close behind.

"What happened?" The nurse urgently asked and wheeled a stretcher over.

"She passed out when she came to tell us about our granddaughter." Her mother nervously informed the nurse who checked her over.

"Let's get her to the ER, stat!" She shouted as another nurse helped her move the stretcher to the ER. "She passed out down the hall." The nurse informed the ER attending as they wheeled Rayne to a room to be examined.

"She's the one that refused treatment earlier! She was in the plane crash with Congressman Morgan and his wife." The nurse exclaimed, recognizing her as a team of doctor's and nurses began treatment on her. "Please, you'll all have to wait outside." The nurse instructed the family as she ushered them out.

"Please let us know what happens with Rayne right away." Maria pleadingly asked, as they exited the room and watched as they worked on Rayne.

"I've got a bullet wound to the left shoulder, with no exit wound. It looks like it might have just grazed the shoulder, but it's bleeding heavily." The doctor informed the staff as he examined Rayne. "Take that splint off her left wrist and get an x-ray of it. It's probably broken." He ordered and checked her heartbeat with his stethoscope.

"I've got a badly injured ankle down here that will need an x-ray. It could be broken as well." Another doctor called out as the nurse hooked up an IV.

"What's going on?" Rayne shakily asked, opening her eyes. "Lark, Julia." She commented, confused by what was going on and who the people were standing around her.

"Do you know where you are?" The doctor asked, leaning over her.

"Aah yeah, in a hospital. I've got to get back to Lark. She'll be worried about me." She stated and attempted to sit up, but was restrained.

"Oh, hold on. We have to treat you first. We can contact Lark for you as long as you lie back down and let us finish our exam. Can you tell me what your name is?" The doctor coolly instructed her and was relieved when she complied.

She could barely keep her eyes open and fought hard to do so. "I'm Secret Service agent in charge, Rayne Donovan." She slurred. "What's going on?" She softly asked, as they put oxygen on her.

"Okay, well Secret Service agent Rayne Donovan that's what we are trying to find out. Can you tell us where you feel pain?" The doctor asked.

"Everywhere." Rayne dryly answered as the doctor chuckled. "My shoulder, my wrist and my ankle. Don't forget to add in charge to my name." Rayne struggled to answer with a chuckle at her last comment.

"Excuse me, I'll remember not to make that mistake twice." He chuckled and informed her, "The nurse is giving you some medication to help take the edge off the pain. We're going to get some x-rays of your shoulder, wrist and ankle. Just hang in there while we take a look." The doctor comfortingly smiled.

"Can you please tell Lark that I'm alright?" Rayne worriedly asked, looking at the doctor.

"We're working on that right now." The doctor smiled and nodded to the nurse to get working on her request. Rayne couldn't keep her eyes open any longer and drifted off to sleep.

The medical team performed their various tests and awakened Rayne to inform her. "Rayne, can you hear me. Rayne. I need you to wake up for a minute." The doctor softly asked.

"Yeah, I'm up. I'm awake." Rayne sluggishly replied, drowsy from the pain medication. "What's the bad news doc?" She grinned, through her sleepy blues.

"Well, you have a fractured wrist, a fractured metatarsal bone in your foot and bullet fragments in your shoulder that we'll have to remove." The doctor listed off her laundry list of injuries.

"Hmmm, not too bad." Rayne smiled. "Fix me up so I can hold my new daughter." She grinned proudly and lay her head back down on the stretcher.

"Okay." The doctor chuckled and flipped through the paperwork on her chart. "I need you to sign these consent forms for surgery Rayne."

She didn't feel like waking up from the lovely vision she was having of Lark and Julia, plus she felt way too good to move. "Lark is my power of attorney, have her sign them." She whispered and fell sound asleep.

"Did we locate this Lark?" The doctor asked confused as to who and where this person might be.

"Yes, doctor. It's Lark Morgan. She's in the maternity ward as she just had a baby." The nurse informed him as she hung up the phone.

"The actress Lark Morgan?" He asked, impressed that a celebrity was there.

"Yes, doctor."

"Okay, aah. We need for her to sign these papers right away. I'll inform the family as to what we plan to do." He instructed and followed the nurse out of the room.

"How's our daughter doctor?" Ray nervously asked, resting his hands on his wife's shoulders and stood behind her. They were spent and didn't know how much more they could take.

"She'll be fine. She has a fractured wrist, a fractured bone in her foot and some bullet fragments in her shoulder. We are preparing her for surgery to remove them." He comfortingly smiled.

"Is the surgery serious?" Maria nervously asked.

"Any surgery is a risk when you put patients under anesthesia ma'am, but I think we can remove the fragments with minimal invasion." He confidently informed them. "If you want to wait in the surgical waiting room, we'll call you as soon as she comes out." The doctor smiled and followed the stretcher with Rayne on it towards the elevator.

"We love you honey." Everyone replied in unison when she passed by unfazed by their presence. She was in la-la land.

"I'll tell Lark what's going on. She has to be worried sick." Jayce offered and headed down the hall as the group made their way to the waiting room. Jayce stood at the door peering through at Lark as they prepared to move her and the baby to a private room. The doctor caught sight of him and headed to greet him. She exited the room and stood before him. "How are they doing?" He anxiously asked and glanced over her shoulder at Lark, then picked up her gaze once again.

"They are doing great. I'm having them moved to a private room." The doctor smiled.

"The baby doesn't have to go to the nursery?" He asked concerned.

"No, we've arranged for them to be monitored from a private suite. There's nothing to worry about. My staff and I will be in the next room."

"Aah, they took Rayne in for surgery to remove some bullet fragments from her arm. I wanted to let Lark know so she wasn't so worried when the nurse brought her the paperwork to sign for consent."

"Oh, okay. Well, give us a minute and you can talk to her when we bring her out." The doctor smiled and entered the room.

Jayce paced back and forth nervously waiting for Lark to exit. He hoped his sister would make it out of the surgery fine. 'Shit, she survived a damn plane crash what the hell am I worried about.' He thought and chuckled.

"Is that Lark Morgan?" The nurse asked and pointed through the door.

"Yeah, she'll be out in a minute. Listen, I'd like to tell her about Rayne okay? Then we'll get the paperwork signed."

"That's fine with me just as long as it's done soon." The nurse smiled and looked down at her paperwork, waiting.

Jayce smiled proudly as he watched them wheel Lark closer to the door. His eyes moistened when he caught sight of the baby in Lark's arms. "Hey." He grinned when Lark exited the room.

"Look at our beautiful daughter." Lark proudly displayed the beautiful baby within her arms. "This is your uncle Jayce, Julia." Lark softly introduced him and smiled.

"Well, hello there gorgeous." He smiled and kissed her forehead. "Wow, she's beautiful!" He exclaimed proud that he was able to produce such a pretty little girl. His heart raced as he stared at the baby. "Is she healthy?" He worriedly asked and looked at Lark.

"She's perfect. The doctor said she's very healthy and doesn't anticipate any problems with her considering she was born early." Lark lovingly and happily smiled.

"That's fantastic." He smiled and wiped the tears from his eyes. "Aah, Lark they have to take Rayne in for surgery and this nurse needs you to sign the consent forms." Jayce informed her and saw the look of shock on her face.

"Surgery, why? What's wrong with her? Take me to her." Lark nervously demanded and had to be with Rayne.

"Now, settle down. She's going in to have some minor surgery done on her shoulder. They have to remove some bullet fragments from her shoulder. She's going to be fine sweetheart." Jayce comfortingly told her.

"I should be with her Jayce. She's always there for me." Lark tearfully replied, scared that she was away from Rayne.

"Look, you have to stay with the baby and Rayne knows that. She wouldn't want you traipsing all over this hospital looking for her with the baby."

"You're right." She fumed that she couldn't be with Rayne. "Where are the papers?" She asked and looked at the nurse.

"Right here ma'am." The nurse instructed her, pointing to the area she needed to sign as Jayce made funny faces at the baby.

"Thank you." The nurse smiled and quickly headed back down the hall.

"Don't scare the baby, Jayce." Lark teasingly warned him when she heard the baby whimper. "What's wrong, sweetie pie? Is uncle Jayce scaring you?" She sweetly voiced and rubbed Julia's hand.

"I was just making googily faces to her." Jayce protested innocently.

"She's hungry Lark. Let's get you to your room so she can have something to eat." The doctor smiled and helped her nurse push the gurney as Jayce fell into step.

"Have you heard anything about your parents Lark? We haven't been able to find anything out." Jayce asked, concerned.

"Yeah, they are in the recovery room after having surgery. They had to repair my father's broken leg and remove my mother's spleen. She is lucky, they said if she would have been out there much longer she wouldn't have made it." Lark gasped and felt a catch in her heart at that thought.

"Damn, is she going to be alright?" He anxiously worried.

"The doctor's anticipate a complete recovery." She confidently smiled and stroked Julia's dark hair, relieved that her parents were going to be okay.

"That's great news." He smiled and waited for them to push the gurney into the large suite. "Wow, must be nice to be a celebrity. Sweet room." He teasingly approved, looking around the large room.

"Yeah, well I'm surprised they have one like this in a military hospital." Lark chuckled approvingly of the spacious room.

"They must put the general's in here." Jayce joked, as everyone laughed.

"Rayne is coming in here with me, that's for sure." Lark confidently guaranteed. "Right doctor?" She demandingly smiled.

"I'll see what I can do." She grinned, knowing how demanding Lark could be and of late, she didn't take no for an answer from the doctor. The good thing was she wasn't a bitch about her demands.

"If they don't see it my way, have them talk to Rayne's father. He can arrange it. He's got connections around here." Lark mischievously grinned, taking a page out of Rayne's effective persuasion book to get what she wanted.

"Okay, but for now let's get that baby something to eat." The doctor smiled and looked at Jayce who was confused.

"Huh? Oh, geez! I'm out of here. Sorry!" He nervously exclaimed and tripped over the trashcan on his way to the door. "Ow! Damn, sorry." He sheepishly grinned and exited the room.

Lark and the doctor laughed at his clumsiness as the doctor opened the gown for Lark to begin breastfeeding Julia. "Stroke her cheek and she'll instinctively turn to your breast." The doctor instructed as Lark did so.

She smiled and lovingly watched her daughter nurse for the first time. Her eyes watered from the pure joy and happiness she felt in her heart. "That is so beautiful." She tearfully exclaimed, affectionately staring at her daughter. "I wish Rayne was here to see this." Lark disappointedly sighed.

"Oh, she'll be there for plenty of Julia's feedings, Lark." The doctor smiled.

"Yeah, but this one was special because it was the first time and we wanted to share all of Julia's firsts."

"I understand, but just remember. You'll have many firsts to share with your beautiful daughter and it's a miracle that Rayne made it out of that plane crash alive."

"That's true." Lark smiled gratefully and wiped the tear that trickled down her cheek. "I knew Rayne wasn't dead. I knew it in my heart." She wholeheartedly admitted, smiling.

"You are a very confident woman Lark. I'm not so sure I would have felt the same if I was in your position at the time."

"Sure you would. You would know in your heart if your significant other were dead. She's my soul mate. She completes me and I felt in my heart that she was alive. Besides, there's one thing you should know about Rayne. She's too damn stubborn to die in a plane crash." Lark chuckled and lovingly watched her daughter nurse as she held her tiny hand.

"Lark, we can't always predict how we will die." The doctor chuckled and loved the confidence this woman exuded. She was enthralled by the love the two of them shared and it gave her hope for her own life that one day she'd finally find her soul mate. She hoped she'd find the same love these two women shared together.

"We plan to die together, old and gray, but together. We truly believe that. Maybe we are holding out false hope, but that's how we want it to happen before we move into our next life together." Lark confidently smiled.

"You two have such a wonderful and beautiful love. It gives me so much hope that one day I'll find the same, Lark. Thanks for allowing me to share that." The doctor appreciatively smiled.

"Listen, Dr. Garzon. I know I was a real bit…witch…" She rethought her selection of words in front of her daughter continuing, "Before we left and I want to apologize for being that way. I truly appreciate everything that you have done for my family and me. We are very grateful to you." Lark sincerely professed and smiled.

"Hey, I understand everything you were going through and there's no reason to apologize to me. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here to witness all that I have with your family. It's not everyday that I am involved with a patient who goes from one extreme of finding out that her entire family is dead to seeing them walk into the delivery room to join them for the birth of their child. Every time I think I've seen it all, something changes that and your situation certainly has done that." She smiled, happy that everything turned out so wonderful for Lark. "This would make a great story Lark."

Lark chuckled, embarrassed. "Aah, come on Doc." Lark blushed. "Oh, I think she's finished." Lark smiled and saw that Julia stopped nursing.

"Okay, put her over your shoulder to burp her now." The doctor helped Lark with the baby, gently guiding her to Lark's shoulder. "Go ahead and lightly pat her back." She instructed Lark, who followed her commands.

Lark smiled adoringly as she felt Julia's soft, warm skin against her cheek. They chuckled when Julia let out a loud burp. "You are definitely like your mother Rayne when it comes to burping." Lark laughed and gently cradled her.

"She'll probably fall asleep very quickly." The doctor smiled and watched as her tiny eyelids struggled to stay open. "I was right, I'm getting good at this." The doctor smiled as Julia fell fast asleep. "Why don't you lay your head back and try to get some rest. You've been through a lot Lark." The doctor comfortingly patted her arm.

"It would be nice, but I want to wait until I hear something about Rayne. Besides, I want to stare at my gorgeous daughter." She grinned and looked down at Julia who lay sleeping, with her mother's finger clutched in her tiny hand.

"No problem. I'm going to get cleaned up. My nurse will be right here if you need her." The doctor winked and headed for the door.

"Thanks." Lark whispered to not wake the baby. It wasn't long before the entire family was in the room cooing over the newborn. Of course, everyone had to hold the baby and the time quickly passed as they waited to hear the news on Rayne.

"Miss Morgan?" The surgeon entered and removed his cap. "I'm doctor Constantine. I performed the surgery on Rayne." He nervously introduced as he was a huge fan of Lark's and meeting her for the first time was a big deal to him.

Lark winced in pain when she attempted to shift herself up in the bed to hear what the doctor had to say. "How is Rayne? Is she okay?"

"She's in the recovery room right now and she did great during the surgery. The bullet fragments weren't very deep, but they needed to be removed."

"Will she have any long term negative affects from the surgery?" Lark asked, concerned.

"No, I don't think so. I feel confident that she'll have a complete recovery once it heals and she goes through some extensive physical therapy to rehab the arm, the wrist and her foot. She'll have a scar from the surgery though."

"Great! Another scar for her to gloat about." Lark chuckled and looked at the family who did the same. "What's wrong with her wrist and foot?" Lark asked, confused by the injuries Rayne sustained.

"She fractured her wrist and a bone in her foot. She's going to be hurting for awhile, but she'll be just fine." He comfortingly grinned.

"When can I see her?" Lark eagerly asked, anxious to be with Rayne.

"She's in the recovery room right now. Maybe you can con your doctor into letting you see her for a few minutes." He smiled.

"Would it be possible for her to be placed in this room with us?" Lark asked, hopeful.

"Sure, I don't see why not." He agreed smiling. "I'll be back to check on Rayne later." He waved and exited the room.

"Oh, Dr. Garzon. Just the person I need to talk too." Lark grinned mischievously as the doctor entered the room. She was beginning to wonder if a revolving door had been installed with all the people coming through the door.

"Uh-oh, I'm not sure I like that tone of voice." She teasingly laughed and approached the bed.

"Rayne is in the recovery room and I'd like to see her. Do you think it would be possible?"

"Hmmm well, I guess if the hospital staff would allow us to wheel you in on that gurney. I don't want to have you sitting up in a wheelchair just yet considering we just put your sutures in. I don't want you to stay for too long. You need to get some rest. Let me see what they say. I'll be right back." She smiled and exited the room. She was tempted to send her nurse, but knew she would get a better response from the staff if she asked. She was running on fumes and was looking forward to some rest, which she hoped would come soon.

"Lark, Julia is absolutely gorgeous." Ray proudly beamed, holding his granddaughter who peacefully slept in her grandfather's arms.

"She's perfect." Maria added with tear filled blues, looking up at Lark.

"Yes, she is. I can't wait for my parents to see her. They are going to go nuts over her!" Lark excitedly exclaimed.

"Everyone is going to go nuts over this little charmer." Shayan chuckled and rubbed his niece's leg. "Say, Holly, what would you say to us having a daughter?" He grinned looking at his wife.

"Shay, you have your boys. I'm not ready for another one just yet. Enjoy your niece." Holly smirked at her husband and pinched him.

"I'm just checking. You can't fault a guy for trying." He snickered as everyone laughed and hugged his wife.

"Besides, what do you think those boys will do to a girl?" Holly shivered, thinking about her mischievous sons. "I worry about them playing with their cousin, Julia." She smiled and rubbed the baby's arm.

"Oh, trust me. Rayne will make sure she can defend herself just fine. There will be no way anyone will give Julia any crap." Lark chuckled and leaned her head back against the bed. 'Where in the hell is the doctor? I want to see Rayne, damn it.' She thought perturbed and anxious to see Rayne. She didn't want to be away from her now that she got her back from the clutches of death.

"You should feel bad for the boys." Jayce teasingly laughed and clicked on the TV. He flipped through the stations, briefly stopping on the country music channel. "Thank god for satellite and for Shania Twain." He chuckled, obviously pleased with the woman singing on the TV. "Ooh, baby. I'm so glad they are able to pick up American TV here!" He replied appreciatively, staring at the attractive singer. "Damn." He exclaimed disappointed when the song changed and he clicked to another channel.

"No, go back!" Lark hurriedly exclaimed as she heard a familiar tune and motioned for him to change it back. "Leave it there." Lark demanded and closed her eyes with a smile on her face as 'Amazed' by Lonestar came on.

"Aah, that's the song Rayne sang to you on your commitment day." Jayce sentimentally smiled.

"Shssh, I want to hear it." She smiled and pictured Rayne singing it to her. She felt her heart flutter when she thought back to their commitment day and how beautiful Rayne looked singing the song to her. It was one of the best gifts Rayne had ever given her. The other was their child. She smiled and turned her head to look at her daughter that Maria held. Her eyes watered as she saw everything that Rayne meant to her in their child and the love they shared to produce such a beautiful baby. 'I've got to see Rayne.' She thought and looked up when the door opened. Two orderlies entered the room followed by Dr. Garzon.

"These two fine gentlemen are going to escort you to see Rayne." She smiled as they unlocked the wheels and moved the bed.

"Thank you so much." Lark smiled. "I'll be right back. The baby will be fine without me right?" She worriedly asked.

"She'll be fine. We'll take good care of her." The doctor assured her with a smile and watched as they wheeled her out of the room.

They moved her bed next to Rayne's in the recovery room. Lark reached over and grasped her hand. She lightly kissed her hand and stared at her slumbering lover. She didn't notice the cuts; bruises and the haggard look Rayne possessed when she saw her before. They were clearly evident now. She was so happy to see her alive that she didn't see everything else. "Oh, baby. I'm so sorry you're hurt." She softly whispered and kissed Rayne's hand again.

Rayne licked her lips, "Don't be. I'm fine." Her reply was barely audible.

Lark smiled and grasped her hand tighter. "I wish I could crawl in bed with you."

"Hey, don't get…" Rayne attempted to answer and tried to swallow, but her throat was dry. She moved her tongue around in her mouth and swallowed again. "Any funny ideas, they might throw us out of here." She teasingly smiled, still unable to open her eyes.

Lark laughed and kissed her hand. "I love you, Honey. So much!" She held Rayne's hand against her cheek, lightly stroking her forearm.

"How's our little girl?" Rayne asked, as her face lit up with a huge smile. She tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids were so heavy that she just couldn't do it. She turned, mustering enough strength to move her head towards Lark.

"She's doing great. She's sleeping right now. I had to come and see you, Babe."

"I know. What can I say? I have that affect on you." She cockily smiled.

"You are so damn sarcastic even under sedation Rayne!" Lark exclaimed with a chuckle.

"It's what you love about me, Honey." She mischievously grinned. "Hey, are my eyelids taped down? I can't open them." She asked, trying desperately to open them.

Lark laughed and reached over to open one. "How's that?" She asked, peering into the sleepy blue eye before her.

"That's better, but you look blurry." Rayne chuckled and struggled to open her eyes. "I need some water or something. I can barely talk. I think they made me eat some mothballs." She replied, wiping her mouth with her hand.

"Nurse, can she have some water?" Lark asked, as the woman attended to her IV.

"I'll get her some ice to suck on. She will probably get nauseated from the anesthesia if she drinks the water." She smiled and headed off for the said item

"Ooh, ice. Yummy." Rayne sarcastically retorted and snuggled Lark's hand against her cheek. She felt comfortable, safe and loved. She wished she could cuddle with her.

"It's better than mothballs my darling." Lark teased and took the cup from the nurse. "Here, open your mouth. I'll put some cubes in there for you."

"You're too good to me Lark." Rayne snickered and opened her mouth, happy to have something cold in her dry mouth. "Hmmm, that is good."

"Here's more." Lark offered and held the spoon before her mouth.

Rayne sucked on the ice and was finally able to open her eyes. She stared at Lark trying to focus and get the blurriness out of her vision. "You are such a beautiful sight my love." She smiled adoringly. "I want to always open and close my eyes with you next to me, forever."

"I wouldn't want it any other way Rayne." Lark lovingly smiled and lightly stroked Rayne's cheek with her thumb.

"When can I see my two favorite women together again?"

"Well, I'm not sure, but I would guess it's soon considering you're awake now and fairly lucid."

"The sooner the better. I don't want to be away from either of you for one more minute." She grinned and kissed Lark's hand.

"You're so sweet." Lark smiled and looked up. "Hey, there's my dad!" She exclaimed, looking across the room.

"Wow, the gang's all here." Rayne chuckled and looked across the room. "Is he okay?"

"I'm not sure. Excuse me, that's my father, would it be possible for me to see him?" Lark cordially asked the nurse.

"Sure, let me move you over there."

"I'll be right back, Honey." Lark smiled and blew her a kiss.

"Take your time, I'm not going anywhere." Rayne chuckled and fell back to sleep.

"Hi Daddy!" Lark greeted and held her father's hand.

"Lark?" He whispered and opened his eyes. "What are you doing here, Honey?" He worriedly asked, shaking off the affects of the medicine.

"I came over here to be with all of you. Guess what? You have a granddaughter." Lark exuberantly informed him.

His eyes shot open. "A granddaughter? Really?" He excitedly asked, looking at his pride and joy.

"Yes and she's beautiful." Lark enthusiastically exclaimed.

"How could she not be? She's your daughter." He arrogantly answered.

"That's what Rayne said." Lark chuckled.

"Where's Rayne? Is she okay? What about your mother?" He worriedly asked and looked around.

"Rayne's across the room from you and she's doing much better, but I'm not sure about mom."

"I'd be doing better if you two would tell me more about my granddaughter." The voice weakly responded from the opposite side of the curtain from them.

"Mom?" Lark excitedly smiled and struggled to move the curtain to see her mother. "Oh, I'm so glad you are both okay." She enthusiastically replied and squeezed their hands that she instantly grasped.

"Give me some time before you make that statement. I feel like hell right now. Lance how are you feeling, Honey?" She asked and lifted her head off the pillow to look at her husband.

"About the same as you Darling, but I'm doing better than before and this pain medication seems to help." He smiled happy that his wife was alive. He feared that she wouldn't make it.

"Lark, can make us feel a lot better by telling us about our granddaughter." She smiled and waited to hear the good news.

"Oh, she's so beautiful, so adorable." Lark adoringly began and felt a tingling, wonderful sensation fill her being.

"You look absolutely radiant, Darling." Her mother lovingly smiled, as she saw the pure joy in her daughter's green eyes.

"I am so happy, Mother. It's so incredible being a mother and the feeling I felt when Rayne handed Julia to me was so overwhelming. I'm so ecstatic."

"Julia? You named her Julia?" She asked, surprised and happy all at once.

"Yeah, Rayne asked if we could name her after you. Her full name is Julia Taylor Morgan-Donovan. It seems you made quite the impression on my partner. She said something about you being one tough broad." Lark chuckled.

"That's so sweet. I hope she's not trying to butter me up by naming the baby after me so I'll go easy on her at the gun range. I still plan to kick her ass there when we get home." She teasingly chuckled and heard her husband laugh.

"Alright, you all will have to fill me in on that a little later." Lark tentatively smiled, feeling left out of the joke.

"Yes, but right now tell us all about our granddaughter." Julia smiled and patted her daughter's hand.

Lark adoringly smiled, thinking of her newborn daughter and took a deep breath, calming her fluttering heart as she thought of her. "Well, she has dark hair and blue eyes." Lark grinned and glanced over at Rayne.

"That will change, all baby's have blue eyes." Rayne added with a chuckle.

"No, they are staying." Lark giggled and looked at her mother. "She was born at 12:25 pm today, October 18th, she weighs 7 lbs 9 oz and is 20 inches long and she's the sweetest little baby you'll ever see!" Lark giddily chuckled and was glowing with joy.

"Oh, I can't wait to see her!" Julia tearfully exclaimed, completely excited for her daughter. She knew how much Lark had wanted to be a mother and now her dream had come true. She knew she would be a fabulous mother.

"Sweetheart, we are so happy for you. I can't wait to hold that bundle of joy in my arms." Her father smiled proudly and squeezed his daughter's hand as he stared at her.

"I can't wait for you to see her. Actually, I need to get back to her. She's probably hungry. I just wanted to see how Rayne was doing and I got an added bonus, you both being here too." She smiled and kissed each other their hands before nodding to the nurse who waited to move her.

"It shouldn't be long before your parents are moved to a room." The nurse smiled and began to move Lark's bed.

"I'll see you all soon. I love you." Lark smiled and waved bye. "Can you please stop by Rayne so I can tell her where I'm going."

"No problem." The nurse cordially complied.

"Rayne, Honey. I'm going back to be with Julia. I'll see you shortly." Lark whispered and lovingly brushed her dark hair off her forehead.

"Give my little peanut a kiss for me and tell her I'll be there shortly." Rayne smiled, opening her eyes and kissed Lark's hand. "Bye Sweets." She grinned and watched as the nurse wheeled Lark off.

"Bye, Babe." Lark smiled and blew her a kiss, making her blush as usual. 'I feel like a damn queen having people wheel me all over the place.' Lark thought with a chuckle and leaned her head back against the bed. She felt extremely tired and the pain started to kick in all of a sudden.

Rayne and Lark slept the majority of the night and the next day, as sleep had become a hot commodity to them. They desperately needed the sleep, but they frequently woke when they heard Julia cry. Rayne would stay awake with Lark when she fed Julia, as she didn't want to miss a thing when it came to her daughter. Lark sat watching TV, which showed a clip of the President's inauguration and saw Rayne walking behind him during the parade. She suddenly became more interested in the show she was watching. Hmmm, I wonder why? She chuckled at the serious and stoic look upon Rayne's face as she scanned the crowd for any impending danger. It was the same look she got from Rayne when she first saw the love of her life at the convention while she protected her father who had threats made against him. Tears filled her eyes and she clutched Rayne's hand as she saw a different clip showing the assassination attempt on a former President. She focused on the actions of the agents and how they throw their bodies in front of the person they are protecting. It scared her to think that Rayne could die for someone else all because it was her job. She was always nervous about Rayne's line of work, but enough is enough. She didn't want her risking her life anymore. "Oh, I hope your resignation is serious Rayne. I can't handle the dangers of your job anymore. I don't want you to die for anyone." Lark softly voiced, lightly stroking Rayne's cheek with her thumb as she lovingly gazed at her.

"It was serious Lark. I will no longer be a Secret Service agent." Rayne smiled and opened her eyes staring into concerned greens. "What are you watching?" Rayne asked and looked up at the TV, seeing fellow agents she knew on the TV.

"It's about Secret Service agents." Lark answered, embarrassed that Rayne heard her and that she might have made Rayne feel bad about what she said to her. She thought she was sleeping. "You never told me about the extent of your training Rayne."

"It would have only made you more nervous, Honey." Rayne smiled and kissed Lark's hand as she sat up in bed.

"You're right." Lark laughed, conceding.

"Lark aah, I've got so many things to say and apologize to you for that I have no idea where to begin." Rayne attempted to explain and looked up at the ceiling in search of the right words.

"Rayne you have nothing to apologize for to me."

Rayne's eyes quickly flicked to Lark's and met her gaze. "You're wrong Lark. I lied to you about the person we were searching for." Rayne began and guiltily looked down at her hands that fidgeted nervously.

"Yes, I know all about that Rayne and you had your reasons for making the decision that you made to protect us. I won't lie, at first I was mad because I wanted you to share that with me, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how right your decision was and I accepted it." She wholeheartedly expressed.

"Lark, you're letting me off too easily. Please don't do that. I aah, should have told you."

"Yes, you could have and it probably would have driven me insane knowing that some whacko was out to get us. The only reason I would have wanted to know about the situation is so I could have shared that burden with you. That's an awful lot for someone to carry around alone. We are partners and we should share problems together. I truly believe it would have been worse for the baby and I to know. I trust your judgment and please don't feel guilty about your decision to protect us. I honestly believe in my heart that it was the right one." Lark comfortingly smiled.

"I guess there was no right decision Lark. I did what I thought was the best to protect you and Julia. If anything had happened to you both…I…aah…wouldn't have…" she paused to swallow the lump in her throat at the thought of losing the two of them and looked away from Lark to reign in her emotions that fought hard to escape. She looked up at Lark continuing, "Wanted to go on without either of you. The thing is I am at fault for the stress on you for coming over here. I'm the reason that Julia was born early and I'm the reason for all your heartache in my absence. I did exactly what I was trying to avoid in the first place. Stressing you out!" She explained and ran a frustrated hand through her hair, disappointed by her actions. "I can't forgive myself for what I've done to you and Julia. I love you both so incredibly much, you're my life and you mean everything in this world to me. I…aah…I could have lost you both because of my stupidity and arrogance for coming here. I should have been were I belonged, where I was suppose to be…beside you, protecting you. When I heard that woman made a threat on you and Julia's life, I lost it and I felt that the only way this would ever end was for me to have nailed that bitch myself. I am so sorry and all I can do is beg for your forgiveness Lark. I promise you that nothing like that will ever happen again." Rayne tearfully guaranteed, staring at Lark and hoping she will forgive her.

Lark began to cry as Rayne's confession broke her heart. She clutched and squeezed Rayne's hand. "Oh, Baby. You have my forgiveness, but you need not ask or beg for it. The most important and only thing that matters to me is that you are alive. I'm just as much to blame for Julia's early birth as well Rayne. I made a decision to come here. I had to be here, to feel like I was close to you and to let you know I was near. I thought that if you felt me near you would fight harder to come back to me." Lark tearfully admitted.

"Lark, you and Julia are the main reasons I fought so hard to get back. Oh, Sweetheart! All I could think about was you and the pain you felt when you heard we were all dead." Rayne tearfully gasped and felt the tears fall harder. "The pain and guilt I felt was so unbearable. I came so close to losing it and very close to killing Danielle in the process to alleviate my rage. If it wouldn't have been for your parents, I would have killed her rather than the Serbian."

"Why would you feel that way? What else did she do?"

"She was the reason I couldn't get in touch with you. She screwed around with the phones Lark. When the aah…" Rayne attempted to explain and took a deep breath to calm herself as she relived the horrors of the plane crash. The memories were still fresh and raw, "When the plane went down the only thing I could think of was how I didn't get a chance to tell you how much I loved you. How much you mean to me and I didn't want you to go through life with the same feelings I had when my gram died because I didn't get to tell her all of those important things. It broke my heart being stranded there, knowing you might feel that way and when Danielle admitted in so many words, that she had done something to the phones, I snapped on her. I just couldn't control my rage." Rayne passionately admitted.

"I certainly can understand why. I felt the same way, Honey. It tore me up knowing the fear and pain you were going through during the plane crash. The thought of it now just terrifies me even more and makes my heart ache." Lark cried and hugged Rayne. "Please promise me that your guilt and regret ends here." Lark tearfully pleaded and held Rayne tighter.

"With your forgiveness it does and thank you baby. I love you so much and never doubt or forget that. You are everything and more to me Lark, you always have been." Rayne sincerely whispered and placed a lingering kiss on Lark's cheek. Rayne held Lark close, unwilling to let her go as they stayed within the warm confines of each other's arms until they fell asleep.

Rayne and Lark had a three-day hospital stay and much to their chagrin they would be leaving the hospital the next morning. As much as Rayne wanted to go home, she just couldn't bear the thought of taking a flight so soon after the last one she had. So, they decided to stay on an extended vacation and travel by car to Thessaloniki, Greece. Rayne's father arranged for them to stay at his villa overlooking the Aegean Sea. He knew that they could have peace and quiet there as they recovered, physically and mentally.

"Hey, Partner!" Tom cheerfully smiled as he entered and saw Lark sleeping. "Let me see that new cutie pie." He grinned, approaching the bed as Rayne cradled her daughter.

"She is quite the sweetheart let me tell you." Rayne smirked proudly and looked up at him.

"Oh, no doubt!" He agreed, smiling and looking down at the little heartbreaker in Rayne's arms.

"Hey, Tom. Thanks for taking care of Lark while I was indisposed and for coming all the way over here. I really appreciate it and I'll never forget what you've done for me." Rayne smiled appreciatively, looking up at the tall agent.

"No problem. I consider you both family and I know you'd do the same for me."

"You're the best." She smirked and looked down at Julia to check on her then back up to him once she was satisfied the baby was peacefully sleeping.

His demeanor changed when she looked back up at him. He glanced at Lark to make sure she couldn't hear him and knew from the sound of her snoring, she was in a deep sleep. "Aah, I contacted Danielle's mother." He began and frowned.

"What did she say? Is she coming over here?" Rayne asked, knowing how difficult it is to lose a family member to death.

"Well, no. She basically told me that she didn't give a damn about Danielle and that she hoped she rotted in hell." Tom reluctantly gave her the information. He was shocked by the dead woman's mother's comments and couldn't believe she could be so cruel. He knew Danielle was an unsavory person, but the hatred this woman had for her daughter was unparalleled and it shocked him.

"You're kidding? Wow, that's unbelievable that a mother would say that about their child." Rayne stammered, stunned by the news. She was definitely no fan of Danielle's, but the woman did save her life and she felt bad that no one wanted her home, to rest in peace there.

"I know. I nearly dropped the phone when she shouted that to me. I guess Danielle fucked over many people, including her own family. No one wanted anything to do with her Rayne. I know she was horrible to you, but man, is that sad." He replied, shaking his head in disbelief.

"Hey, watch your language. I have my daughter in my arms." She grinned and looked down at her, then back to her partner who sported a sheepish grin.

"Oh, sorry." He chuckled and covered his mouth, embarrassed by his choice of words.

Rayne chuckled, then turned serious. "She did a lot of horrible things to Lark and I, which I hate her for, but without her I wouldn't be sitting here right now holding my child. I feel obligated to do something for her. What if we arrange for her to be buried here seeing as how her family won't accept her there? Do you think we could have it taken care of for tomorrow before we all leave?"

"It's already been taken care of as I thought of the same idea. I cleared it with the director and he informed me to go ahead with the funeral plans, considering the current situation. I've arranged for her to be buried tomorrow morning. Speaking of the director, he's going to try and talk us out of retiring."

"Fat chance. I want to be with my two girls. I'm out and that's final." Rayne adamantly guaranteed.

"I'm with you, Pal. Besides, there is no way I'm risking my life for anyone in the Republican Administration if they happen to get in. I just can't conscionably perform my job for those circumstances." Tom grinned.

"Oh, I'm with you on that one. Pick me up for the funeral tomorrow." Rayne instructed, looking up at him.

"Sure thing, get some rest. You need it. You look like hell." He teasingly chuckled on his way to the door. He never missed an opportunity to get a rise out of his partner.

"Same to you, Buddy!" Rayne quipped with a laugh as he exited the door.

Rayne was bewildered by Danielle's family's reaction and looked down at Julia. "No matter what you do I would never abandon or stop loving you." She softly proclaimed and lightly stroked the dark hair on her daughter's head. "Never." Rayne guaranteed and looked up when she heard the door open. "Hey, Jayce." She greeted, smiling as her brother approached the bed.

"Hey, Sis. How's my niece?" He grinned and lightly stroked Julia's arm with his finger.

"She's incredible." Rayne admiringly smiled.

"Being a mother suits you dear sister." He grinned, seeing his sister's face light up at the mere mention of her daughter.

"Yes, it does. I'm so full of joy and happiness that I have this wonderful little person in my life. Actually, that I have my life back with her and Lark." She lovingly looked at her daughter. "I'm so completely enchanted by her Jayce. Aahhh, the feeling is so incredible." She happily sighed and looked back up at her brother.

"You look so happy and I'm glad that you are back amongst the living. We missed you." He chuckled and placed the bag he was holding on the chair next to the bed. "I got the clothes you requested. Here's the standard boring Secret Service agent black pants, black trench coat and black shirt you requested. Although, I think you are suppose to wear a white shirt rather a black one. At least that's what all the agents I've come across wear." He sarcastically snickered.

"Hey, I had to make a modification to the usual outfit." Rayne chuckled.

"Yeah, well I think a wardrobe change is in order for you my dear sister. Now that you have retired, this drab look of yours needs to be spruced up. Add some color to your wardrobe and not black. Get some red, whites, blues and maybe some pink." He offered with a smirk.

Rayne looked up and glared at his last choice. "I don't think so. There is no way I'm wearing pink." Rayne protested with a snarl.

"Okay well, consider the other colors at least." He laughed.

"I'll talk with my fashion consultant Lark for a new wardrobe consideration."

"Good, well I'm outta here. I'm heading back to work. I'll catch you when you get home. Marcia is already at the villa to help the two of you while you recuperate there and Elaine is on her way from the airport to help with the impending media onslaught when you leave here. Take care of my sweet little niece and of course, yourself." He smiled and kissed her cheek. "I'm glad you're back Rayne. I couldn't imagine life without you in it. I love you, Sis." He sincerely whispered in his sister's ear, kissing her again.

She smiled as he leaned up. "Thanks for everything that you've done Jayce. Lark told me how you took control of everything and how you took care of her. We can never repay or thank you enough for all that you've done for us." She wholeheartedly professed and looked down at Julia, then back up to him.

"You don't need to thank me. You would have done the same for me and besides, that's what brother's are for. To be there when their siblings need them and I plan to always be there for the three of you. You know where to find me when you're ready for another beautiful child." He smiled and winked, kissing her on the cheek. "Take care, I love you."

"I love you, Jayce. Have a safe trip back." She smiled and wiped the tears from her eyes as she watched her brother exit the room. She looked down at Julia smiling. "Well, it looks like it's just you and I, Darling seeing as how Mommy is busy sleeping." Rayne chuckled and laid her head back on the bed. She stared at the young life that she held so protectively in her arms giving thanks for her life, for Lark and for Julia. They were all that she ever wanted and there was no way she would ever let them down again or lose them. She kissed Julia's head and held her daughter tightly. "I love you so much, pumpkin." She whispered and lay listening to Julia's soft breath as she fell back to sleep. She lovingly stared at Lark who slept soundly and held her hand that lay close to her bed. "You are the reason my life is so complete and meaningful Lark, I hope you know that." Rayne smiled and wiped the tear from her check that trickled down as she closed her eyes with her two women safely snuggled next to her, as they should be.

The next morning Rayne was up and dressed before Lark as she was still feeding Julia. Lark explained to Elaine how she wanted everything to be taken care of with their departure and what was to be released to the press. They decided it was best to allow a picture of Julia or otherwise, they would be hounded to the ends of the earth for a picture of her. The picture would be from a distance and within Lark's arms with Rayne right beside them. She informed Elaine to instruct the press that they would all receive family photos of Julia once they had them taken. Elaine left the room with her instructions to face the press that was camped out in front of the hospital. Rayne packed their belongings in the bag and placed everything by the door to be taken to the car. "Hey, Tom. I'm almost ready." She smiled and placed another bag next to the door as he entered.

"No problem." He smiled and waited.

"Where are you going Rayne?" Lark asked, curious as she burped Julia.

"I'm going to Danielle's funeral here." She answered, turning to Lark.

"You're what?" Lark angrily asked, surprised that she was going to attend her funeral.

Rayne looked at Tom who smiled and nodded towards the door indicating he would be outside before exiting the door. Rayne clenched her teeth wondering how she was going to explain this one to Lark without her being too upset. "Lark, her family doesn't want her. We decided to bury her here as they want nothing to do with her." Rayne attempted to explain and tentatively approached the bed.

"Well, it's no wonder. She was a wretched woman, even her family can see that and I know you feel that way. I don't get it. You told me you wanted to kill her. So, why are you going to her funeral?" Lark angrily asked, staring at Rayne.

"Yes, I did say that Lark. I'm going out of respect for her."

"Respect? Why? That freaking bitch," She angrily argued, covering Julia's ears at her comment, as she continued, "Had no respect for us with the horrible things she did to us. How can you say you are going to pay respect to her Rayne? That infuriates me. She deserves no respect from either of us!" Lark vehemently protested, getting out of bed and laid Julia on it to change her clothes.

"I know you're mad Lark, but this is something I have to do." Rayne answered and grabbed the cane the doctor insisted she use to walk with. It was either that or a walker with an armrest. She conceded and went with the cane after the doctor placed a walking cast on her foot.

"No, you don't have to do it. I really don't understand why you just don't let that witch rot in hell alone where she belongs!" Lark raised her voice at the thought of all the evil things the woman had done to her and moved toe to toe with Rayne.

"I can't Lark." Rayne gritted her teeth angrily. She didn't want to upset Lark and yes, she would love nothing more than to allow Danielle to reap what she sowed from all the dastardly deeds she did to various people by allowing her to be buried with no one present. But, she just couldn't get past the fact that she owed her something despite all the pain and heartache she caused them. "I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for her. She took a bullet that was meant for me Lark. I should be the one dead right now, not her. I don't like it anymore than you do, but the fact is, I owe her some respect for allowing me to be standing before you and Julia right now. I'm sorry if you can't understand or accept that, but I need to give my thanks even if it's to the devil herself for sparing my life by giving her own. I'm sorry, Honey." Rayne regretfully answered and drew Lark within her embrace. She knew that Lark was upset and it was the last thing she wanted to do to her. "Babe, you know my feelings about her. Yes I wanted to kill her myself, but I can't deny the fact that she gave her life for mine. I feel that this is something I need to do to have closure and I would love for you to come with me for support." Rayne hoped Lark would join her and kissed her head, holding her tightly.

Lark pulled away from her and looked into Rayne's stormy blues. "I'm sorry Rayne, I just can't get past all the resentment I have for her. I'll be here waiting for your return." Lark answered and kissed her cheek before turning back to attend to Julia.

"Fair enough. I understand." Rayne conceded and headed towards the door. She paused and turned to look at Lark who was fussing over Julia. She smiled and exited the door. She would have loved to have Lark with her, but she understood this was something that she had to do and that Lark just couldn't get past her feelings towards Danielle. It was hard for her to do and if Danielle hadn't of jumped in front of that bullet she wouldn't be going either. "You ready?" Rayne asked, sidling up next to Tom.

"As ready as I'm ever going to be." He sarcastically answered and held the door open for Rayne who hobbled through.

Lark smoothed out Julia's new outfit Maria had given her. She smiled as Julia kicked her feet happily. "Aren't you just the most irresistible little baby in the whole world?" Lark cooed and smiled as Julia's arms wiggled around. She looked into her blue eyes and noted the features she shared with Rayne. Lark's smile faded as she thought about what Rayne said to her, that without Danielle taking the bullet for her, Rayne wouldn't be in their life right now. She placed the palms of her hands on each side of Julia and stared at her dark haired daughter, sighing disappointed. She felt guilty that she couldn't get past her resentment to support Rayne with her decision. "Mommy wasn't very smart, Julia. No, she should have been more supportive. Even though that woman caused so much pain in our lives, she spared you and I far more by giving us Rayne back." She hated to admit that fact, but it was true. She chuckled when Julia squealed excitedly and wiggled her feet.

Tom pulled up to the small cemetery and parked the car. Rayne removed her sunglasses and cleaned a spot on them before replacing the eyewear. She stepped out of the car followed by Tom and pulled her long, black trench coat over her shoulder that was in a sling. She slipped on her black leather gloves as the wind blew a cold chill through them and limped with the cane towards the grave. Rayne's long coat whipped in the wind as they stopped before the open grave. They were silent and nodded their heads in acknowledgement to the priest who stood at the head of the grave. He began to read a passage out of the bible as Rayne stared at the coffin and reality hit her. Her heart raced at the thought that it could be her in that coffin. She inhaled deeply and blew out the breath trying to calm her nerves. She snapped her head around when she felt someone hold her hand. She smiled when she saw Lark standing next to her. She needed Lark's support and was glad she was there for her. Lark smiled and slipped her arm around Rayne's waist as Rayne moved her hand over her shoulder. She leaned down and kissed Lark's head. Her gesture meant so much to Rayne.

The priest finished his small service and stepped away. Tom moved to the casket and placed a flower on the casket. "Rest in peace." He solemnly replied and walked away.

Rayne made a move towards the casket and felt Lark clutch her hand. She waited for Lark to move next to her. She grasped Rayne's hand as they approached the casket. "Thank you for giving me back what matters most to me in the world." Lark softly replied and laid a flower on the casket. Rayne lovingly smiled watching Lark. She knew what it took for Lark to be there and to say that. She appreciated her support immensely and it touched her to the deepest part of her soul.

Rayne looked at Lark and released her hold on her hand as she reached into her pocket. She pulled out Danielle's Secret Service badge that Tom gave her from Danielle's personal effects and moved closer to the coffin. Lark helped steady Rayne who was still having difficulty keeping her balance with the cast, the cane and a bad arm. Rayne leaned over and placed Danielle's badge on the coffin. "You did some terrible things to us and in the end you did a heroic act for us. You saved my life so I could spend the rest of it with the love of my life and my daughter. Thanks. I hope you find some peace." Rayne solemnly commented and clutched Lark's hand within hers as they walked towards the car. Rayne slipped her arm around Lark and drew her close. "Thank you." Rayne lovingly smiled and gazed down to her shorter lover.

Lark smiled and squeezed Rayne tighter, "This is where I'm suppose to be my love."

"I wouldn't want you anywhere else, except naked in bed. That would be nice." Rayne mischievously grinned and kissed the top of Lark's head.

"Ooh, sounds very nice to me." Lark agreed and held Rayne tighter as they approached the waiting limo.

"Well, Partner. I'm heading back home. You two have a wonderful vacation and I'll catch you back in the states for our retirement ceremony." Tom winked and hugged Lark, who had relinquished her hold on Rayne. "Take care of her, would you?" He teasingly whispered.

"I will and thank you so much for everything Tom." Lark gratefully smiled, breaking the hug.

"It was my pleasure." He grinned and moved in front of Rayne. "Try to stay out of trouble and relax, you deserve it." He jokingly replied.

"The same can be said for you my dear partner. Thanks again, we owe you so much." Rayne appreciatively smiled and hugged him.

"Nay, just keep me on your Christmas list." He teasingly answered and broke the hug.

"You got it." Rayne and Lark laughed in unison.

"I've got to get out of here. You're both way too mushy and I don't want to get teary eyed." He sarcastically smiled and climbed into the driver's seat of the car.

Lark and Rayne laughed as they watched him drive away. "Let's get out of here." Rayne suggested and held the car door open for her bride.

"Hi, Sweetheart. We missed you." Lark sweetly voiced as she climbed into the limo next to Julia, who was securely tucked away in her car seat.

"Hey, Elaine. How do you like babysitting?" Rayne teasingly asked, taking a seat in the limo next to Lark and Julia.

"Not too bad for such a short time." Elaine grinned.

"Oh, damn. Ow." Rayne exclaimed when she felt Lark's elbow in her side. "Sorry, but Honey. You've got to take it easy on me, your elbows are finding new wounded spots on me." Rayne grinned, looking at Lark.

"Watch your mouth and I wouldn't have to find them." Lark sarcastically smiled and kissed Rayne's chin.

"Yes, ma'am." Rayne laughed looking at Lark.

"I thought you would see it my way."

"Ooh, sassy too." Rayne chuckled. "Well, as I was getting ready to ask before I was rudely interrupted." Rayne sarcastically began and looked at Elaine. "How did you change the plans for the photo shoot with the baby? I wasn't expecting Lark to come here and thought we would take the picture when I returned." Rayne asked, knowing the reporters were expecting a family photo.

"Well, we snuck Lark and Julia out the back as Lark's parents were the decoys, exiting through the front where you all were to go." Elaine explained with a grin, she was happy her plan worked perfectly. She wasn't so sure the Congressman and his wife felt the same way, but they didn't object to the idea.

"You two are very sneaky." Rayne chuckled, looking between the two women.

"Well, what can we say?" Lark laughed, as did Elaine and Rayne.

"They'll get their picture once you three take a family photo together." Elaine smiled and looked at the happy family.

"Sure, I would like to wait until some of these injuries heal though. I need to look good." Rayne cockily teased as everyone laughed.

The ride to Thessalonkiki was quicker than they thought it would be and were delighted to finally get out of the limo once it arrived. They all exited the limo and Lark removed the car seat. "Here, let me take it, Honey." Rayne offered and took the seat as Lark struggled to lift it. She was still weak and Rayne saw her grimace in pain when she attempted to carry it.

"Are you sure you can manage it?" Lark worriedly asked, as Rayne held the car seat.

"I got it, Babe." Rayne assured her and turned when she heard Marcia shout out her greetings. "Hey, it's good to see you!" They greeted in unison.

"Let me see that new baby girl." Marcia excitedly exclaimed and approached them.

"What, no greetings for us?" Lark teasingly pouted.

"Of course, I'm sorry. I'm so glad to see you both!" She grinned and hugged Lark, then Rayne. "Here let me take the baby for you." She smiled and took the car seat from Rayne as they all walked towards the villa.

"Lark, you've got my number at my villa if you need me." Elaine reminded her as Lark stopped to speak with her agent.

"Thanks Elaine, I appreciate all you help." Lark cordially smiled.

"Don't thank me." She sheepishly smiled embarrassed by Lark's gratitude. "I'll chat with you later." She winked and headed back to the limo as Lark entered the spacious, airy villa.

"Oh, this is so beautiful." Lark exclaimed, amazed at the large villa. "How come you've never brought me here before?" She asked with a grin, looking at Rayne.

"My father just acquired it recently, but I think we should come back here and visit, frequently." She smiled, looking out the windows seeing the beautiful ocean backdrop there.

"Well, I'm beat and I'm sure Julia is ready to eat. Marcia, where is our room?" Lark asked, looking around the large villa.

"Right this way." She directed, as Lark and Rayne followed Marcia down the hallway. "This is the master suite with plenty of privacy." Marcia smiled and placed the carrier with Julia on the bed.

"Thank you." Lark smiled and watched as she exited the room. "Wow, this place is gorgeous." Lark exclaimed, looking around the room as she approached the bed. "Don't you think so, Julia?" She chuckled and picked her daughter up out of the carrier.

"It certainly is and look at that huge bed! I can't wait to try it out." Rayne wickedly grinned, staring at Lark with lust filled eyes.

"Ooh, me too, but I have to feed Julia first." Lark smiled and sat on the bed.

"I can wait, it only adds to the allure of it." Rayne sexily replied with a smile and propped the pillows up behind Lark, who leaned back against them. Rayne removed her coat and helped Lark open her shirt, positioning Julia to feed her. Lark held her daughter up to her breast and began to nurse her. Rayne adoringly smiled as she watched Julia nurse. She removed all her clothes and climbed in next to Lark. She leaned her head against Lark's arm and watched Julia suckle her mother's breast. "This is so incredibly beautiful, Honey." Rayne smiled and glanced up at Lark, then back to Julia. She smiled and lightly stroked Julia's dark hair.

"Yes, it is my love." Lark agreed and kissed Rayne's head.

Rayne looked up at Lark and softly professed, "I love you," moving up to kiss Lark.

"Hmmm…" Lark answered as Rayne deepened the passionate kiss. "Whoa, hold that thought honey while I burp her." Lark suggested, flustered by the sensual kiss. She placed Julia over her shoulder and proceeded to burp her. After Julia complied, Lark placed her in the crib that sat next to the bed and covered her with the blanket. She leaned down and kissed her as Julia settled comfortably in her bed. Lark smiled joyfully as she gazed upon her daughter and climbed back in bed. She snuggled up next to her warm, naked lover who waited her return. Rayne held Lark's face in her hands and slipped her hand to the back of Lark's head, drawing her closer for a deeper kiss. Rayne's tongue softly traced the contours of Lark's lips before slipping deep within her mouth for a wet, passionate kiss. Rayne slowly moved onto her back and pulled Lark on top of her as they deepened the kiss. "I want you so much, Lark." Rayne whispered through her kiss.

"The feelings mutual babe. Unfortunately, the doctor recommended I wait for six weeks before having sex. However, there's no reason why I can't enjoy you." Lark seductively whispered and deepened the kiss as Rayne's arms wrapped tightly around her.

Lark woke with a start and sat up in bed. She looked around desperately trying to collect her bearings in the unfamiliar surroundings. She saw that Rayne wasn't in bed with her or that Julia wasn't in her crib. Doubt crossed her mind, then fear. She had a nightmare that everything that occurred in the past few days was all a dream and that Rayne was dead. Her heart fluttered uncontrollably as she tried to shake off the affects of the nightmare. "Rayne? Julia?" She nervously called out, as there was total silence. "Please tell me that was just a nightmare and Rayne is alive." She nervously pleaded and slipped on the robe that lay across a chair. She rushed to the balcony and looked out to see if Rayne was in sight. She couldn't see her and rushed out of the room, breathless in her search to find her lover and their daughter. "Rayne! Where are you?" She tearfully shouted.

"Lark? What's wrong, Honey?" Marcia worriedly asked, seeing the anxious look on Lark's face as she stepped out into the hallway.

"Where's Rayne? Where's Julia?" She asked in a panic as she approached, frantically looking around the villa.

"It's okay, Honey. They are out on the back porch." Marcia assured her and stopped her frantic search. "Look, they are right there Lark." Marcia calmly informed her and pointed to where Rayne and Julia where located.

"Oh, thank you. I'm sorry. I had a terrible dream and I got nervous when I didn't see Rayne or Julia." Lark sheepishly admitted, her racing heart finally leveling off to a steady beat. Lark padded across the tile floor to the sliding glass door and opened it. She adoringly smiled at the sight before her. Rayne lay in a hammock with Julia sleeping on her chest, both cuddled warmly in a large comforter. Lark slowly approached and whispered to Rayne so she wouldn't startle her, "Hi, Honey."

"Good morning, sleepyhead." Rayne smiled, happy that her sexy lover was awake. "Care to join us?" She asked and slowly moved over so Julia wouldn't wake.

"I'd love to." Lark smiled, slowly climbing in next to Rayne, making sure that they didn't all take a spill out of the hammock. "This is heavenly." Lark smiled and lay on her side, cuddled next to Rayne. Rayne smiled and kissed Lark's forehead.

"I've got a question for you, Babe." Rayne sarcastically posed with a mischievous grin.

"Hmmm, you didn't have enough last night?" Lark grinned devilishly, referring to their sexual escapades.

Rayne blushed and chuckled. "Well, yeah, but I'm always up for more of that hun." She sexily grinned and kissed Lark. "The question I was going to ask you was, how do you feel about me being a kept woman?" Rayne grinned, looking at Lark.

"You a kept woman?" Lark asked, surprised and laughed.

"Sure, I can stay home and take care of Julia while you go off to work to bring home the bacon. I can make sure that Marcia has dinner ready for you every night when you come home and see to it that she cleans the house properly so you won't have to do a thing. I can play with Julia all day and then be a sex toy for you in the evenings. Of course, you can give me an allowance for my good behavior." Rayne sarcastically explained with a chuckle.

"Oh, I thought you were being serious." Lark sheepishly grinned. Of course, she wanted Rayne to stay home.

"Well, I kind of was Lark. How about if I take care of Julia while you're at the set?"

"That sounds wonderful to me, but I don't want you to be going crazy without any work to do."

"Oh, I'll be fine. I can do some modeling, acting or set up a practice with Jayce where I can set my own hours and be able to spend more time with you and Julia. I don't want to rush back to work right away anyhow." Rayne admitted.

"Wow! That sounds great to me. I love the idea Rayne. I don't have any projects for a few months so we can spend a lot of time with Julia and each other settling into our new life." Lark grinned, excited about having Rayne around the house all the time.

"Great, then it's settled. I will officially become a kept woman once we get back." Rayne jokingly laughed, joined by Lark.

"I've got a question for you." Lark grinned mischievously, staring at Rayne.

"Anything, just ask it." Rayne smiled and hugged Lark, seeing the gleam of happiness in Lark's beautiful green eyes.

"When can we have another one of these gorgeous bundles of joy?" Lark lovingly asked, looking down at Julia referring to another child and looked at Rayne whose small smile intensified.

"Whenever you're ready Lark. You just say the word." Rayne lovingly smiled, staring into Lark's eyes and kissed her. "I love you, Baby." She whispered through her kiss.

"Don't ever stop." Lark softly added, kissing Rayne.

"Never." Rayne guaranteed and deepened the passionate kiss. Her family was safe and secure within her arms just like it's supposed to be.

The End.

Thank you to all the fans for your support and unwavering devotion to this story as well as Indiscretions. Your support is very encouraging and inspiring, thanks again.

Comments are gladly accepted at cruise1313@aol.com and visit my sites: www.geocities.com/cruise1313 or www.clububer2000.com

February 2001

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