Desecration by Deb. T - click here to mail her

Part One

Mitch felt like he was in the middle of a B grade movie,
skulking about in the parish cemetary of St. Bartholomew's.
More to the point, he felt like a damn grave robber, rather
than an Egyptologist. However, his brother had insisted that
Mitch accompany him. He had learned of an ancient relic in
one of the crypts, and wanted Mitch's help in identifying it.
Which was why Mitch was in the cemetary at midnight, instead
at home in bed with his wife Corinne.

His brother Jason's excited voice exclaimed, "Mitch,
come and look! It's here after all!" Mitch went to his
brother's side and peered over the young man's shoulder at
the object in his younger brother's hands. His heart lodged
in his throat and Jason breathed, "Mitch, isn't it beautiful?
How much do you think I could get for this if we cleaned it
up? Enough to pay a few months of rent?"

Mitch cleared his throat and whispered, "Jason, put that
thing down. You don't want to sell it, you don't want to own
it. All it is, all it can ever be, is trouble. Now just put
it down, and let's get the hell out of here!" Jason, as
usual, ignored him. He was ten years younger than Mitch at
twenty-four, and he still believed he was invincible. He had
no idea of the power in his hands...and that made the
object even deadlier. Mitch had seen it happen before. He
didn't want his brother to get caught in its web.

"Mitch, come on...it's just a pretty urn. You've
handled far more dangerous objects. Like a gun and a knife,
and real weapons like that," Jason objected. Mitch swallowed
hard. Why wouldn't the kid listen to him? The young man
continued after a moment with a thoughtful frown, "What I
don't understand is why it's in here, in a crypt. I mean,
that's what a crypt is for, to hold dead bodies. Urns hold
ashes, it seems kind of redundant to have it in here."

"Because it has no place among the living, Jason, it
belongs in a place of dead things. Now let's get the hell
out of here, before things get ugly," Mitch pleaded, and he
hated the note of fear which had crept into his voice.

"C'mon, Mitch, this isn't like you," Jason said. His
thumb brushed a symbol, and Mitch's breath caught in his
throat. The urn began glowing gold and Jason turned his
attention from Mitch to the urn. His eyes widened and he
whispered, "Mitch..." Those were the last words he ever
spoke. The glow turned from gold to blue, and in that split
second, Jason went from a healthy young man of twenty-four to
a skeleton. He didn't even have time to scream. But Mitch
did...he started screaming, and couldn't seem to stop, not
even after the urn clattered to the ground. He ran from the
crypt and the cemetary...into the path of a semi-truck.

"The tests are conclusive. I asked the technicians to
run them three times, just so there is never any doubt about
their validity, and the results came up the same each time.
Fiona told the truth in her diary...Lissa is your daughter,
Derek," Nick Boyle said quietly.

The members of the Legacy were gathered in the study of
the Legacy House. Derek Rayne stood at the window, his back
to them. Rachel Corrigan, consulting psychiatrist to the
Legacy, looked from him to his newly-found daughter,
Elizabeth Reynolds, who sat on the davenport. The young
woman wasn't looking at anyone, either. Her dark head was
bowed as she stared at her fingers, which were twisted in her
lap like pretzel sticks. At her side was her younger sister,
Maeve, who kept a protective arm around her shoulders.

Alex Moreau was the first to speak after Nick's
announcement, and she asked softly, "Are you all right, Lis?
I know this is a lot to take in." For the first time, Lissa
looked up, and she nodded with a weak smile.

"How do you feel?" Rachel asked. She wasn't sure whom
she was asking, the father or the daughter. She wasn't even
sure if it mattered...they were both in shock, though they
had learned three days earlier that Lissa was Derek's child.
Lissa had asked for DNA testing, a request Derek seconded.

It was Lissa who answered, "That's a loaded question. I
don't think I feel one thing in particular." Rachel remained
silent, and Lissa continued, "I'm relieved that Alex was
right. Sorry, Maeve, but your father was a bastard to me."
She laughed harshly, adding, "No, I guess I'm the bastard. I
had to know the truth, Rachel...I had to know that it
wasn't another lie. How can I trust my mother again?"

"Lissa," Philip Callaghan said, "you were born out of
wedlock, but that's not your fault. When you both are ready,
Derek can claim you as his daughter in front of the whole
world. Secondly, it's to be expected that you've lost trust
in Fiona. She lied about your father's identity. But she
didn't lie about loving you, Lissa. That was never a lie."

"I'm ready to claim Lissa as my daughter today," Derek
said, turning away from the window, "but for security
reasons, I will wait. Lissa, you already face a certain
danger just by associating yourself with the Luna Foundation.
When I acknowledge you to the world as my child, that danger
will grow." He walked to his daughter's side and added, "You
have every right to be angry with your mother, and with me."

Lissa looked startled and she asked, "Why would I be
angry with you, Derek? You didn't know the truth until I
did. Well, maybe a few minutes or a few hours before, but
that hardly counts. No, I'm not angry with you."

Rachel smiled to herself. Well, she thought, there's
that demon exorcised! Nick said into the silence that
followed, "You said you were relieved that Reynolds wasn't
your father, and angry with your mother for lying to you.
I'm with you on both counts...but you told Rachel that
there were more emotions. What else do you feel?"

Lissa replied slowly, "I'm also glad...so many times,
birth parents are less than wonderful and adoptive ones are
special. I was born with a father who cared for me even
though he didn't know I was his child, but I was raised by a
man who hated me for my mother's actions. Tell me that's not
weird." Once more, she fell silent, then said, "I'm also
confused. Am I wrong to feel this way?"

Rachel answered, "Lissa, your mother's decisions hurt
you very badly...it's only natural that you're angry with
her. Just as it's natural to feel relieved that William
Reynolds wasn't your real father, just as it's natural that
you're glad that Derek is your real father. I don't like to
use those terms...I prefer 'biological' most of the time,
but in this case, I think 'real' is the proper term."

"She's right, Lissa," Philip said, "there's no sin in
the way you feel, about everything." Lissa rose slowly to
her feet. Maeve quietly released her hand, and Lissa
squeezed the teen's shoulder in response. The room was
silent for several moments as Lissa paced.

At last, the girl stopped and looked at Philip, asking,
"Is that my childhood friend Pip talking, Philip, or my
parish priest? Dare I hope that it's both? Because I need
the love and acceptance of both." Philip winced, but went to
Lissa's side and put his hands on her forearms.

"They're one and the same, Lissa. I'm the same Philip
who taught you how to play soccer and the same one who held
your hand as we explored the tunnels. I've grown up, just
as you have, but that boy is still here," he replied,
releasing her arm to touch his heart.

Lissa sighed, whispering, "I know. Forgive me?" Philip
nodded and Lissa turned to the others, saying, "When we came
back, I told you I didn't know how long we would stay. I
still don't know. But if you can put up with my moodiness
and my off-the-wall sense of humor, I'd like to stay for a
while. Will that be all right?"

"I don't know, Lissa...you're really off-beat, I don't
know if this House can handle it," Nick teased gently. The
young cop's lips twitched and Nick added, "I guess if we can
put up with Derek's secrets, we can handle your moodiness and
off-kilter sense of humor. At least you have one...I'm not
always sure about Derek."

Rachel tried not to smile and Lissa looked at Alex. The
researcher said, "You know how I feel about having you around
all the time...we have a lot of catching up, and if making
up for lost time brings Philip home as well, even better.
I'll have two of my favorite people under the same roof."

Rachel said, "I have no problem with your presence,
Lissa, but the decision is your father's." Lissa rolled her
eyes, and for the first time, Rachel realized that Lissa had
inherited her eye color from Derek. The therapist added,
"And you're not moody...you just have a lot to work out."

"Even if you were not...my daughter," Derek said,
fumbling over the words, "you would be welcome in this House.
But you are my daughter, and that makes you even more
welcome. I lost so many years of your life, Elizabeth...we
can't get those years back, but I do want to get to know you.
You and Maeve will stay as long as you like."

Lissa started to reply, but her jacket rang. Lissa
jumped, then sighed and withdrew her cellular phone from her
pocket. She flicked it open and said, "Yeah. Yeah, chief,
I'm still here at the castle. Why? Do you think I...?
What? I'm in the middle of a meeting! Oh my God. Yeah, I
understand. Mind if I bring friends? I have a friend who's
a priest, we may need his help. The other? Someone with
similar abilities to my mine. Good. See you."

She hung up and sighed, "Sorry about that, but duty
calls. There's situation at St. Bart's Cemetary. A crypt
was broken into...several graves were disturbed. Philip,
Fa...Derek, would you mind coming with me? I don't like
the way this feels." Both men nodded.

"Let me get some things," Philip said, "and I'll meet
you in the foyer in five minutes. Remember what I told you,
Lissa." The young woman nodded and the priest raced from the
room. The policewoman looked first at her father, then at
the others, looking very, very tired.

However, she said, "Rachel, Xan, Maeve...I'm counting
on the three of you to look after Nick. If he's anything
like Derek, he doesn't need to find trouble... it finds him."
The other two women both laughed, though Alex was obviously
concerned for her former college roommate.

"You got it, Lis. I think that between the three...
oops, four, almost forgot that Kat's here...we can keep
Nick out of trouble," the researcher said. She hugged Lissa,
then said, "Be careful, Lis, and look after those two.
They're both trouble-makers."

"I've noticed. Nick, Rachel, I'll see you later.
Maeve, I'm counting on you to keep Nick out of trouble!"
Lissa said with a grin. She hugged her younger sister, then
walked to the foyer. Derek followed her, and Rachel put her
arm around Maeve. The teen looked troubled and scared, and
Rachel wished she could tell Maeve that everything would be
all right. But I can't, the psychiatrist realize, and it
would be irresponsible of me to tell her otherwise.

Only a few minutes after leaving the study, Derek and
Lissa were joined by Philip, and the trio headed to Derek's
Range Rover. Derek looked at Lissa, but made no attempt to
touch her. They bundled into the Range Rover and headed for
the docks. The ferry then took them into the city.

Lissa remembered her last ride in this vehicle and
flinched. That had been the day she remembered the details
of her aunt's death. It was difficult to believe that two
weeks had passed since that afternoon. She said as they
approached the cemetary, "I think I know why I recovered so
quickly once I reached the castle. It was partly because of
the magic I remembered from my childhood."

"And part of it was the combined psychic energies of
Derek, Kat, and Alex. But you took the first step when you
contacted me through our dreams," Philip said. In the
mirror, Lissa could see that her childhood friend was
blushing, and she wondered why that was.

"What kind of dreams were they? You've never actually
told me about them, Philip, and I don't remember them," the
young woman remarked. Philip drew in a breath, but it was
then that they pulled through the gates of the cemetary.
Lissa took a deep breath and muttered to no one in
particular, "I am not looking forward to this."

"Nor am I," she heard her father murmur as he drew the
Rover to a halt. Derek killed the engine and Lissa got out
of the vehicle first. Unexpectedly, tears came to her eyes
as the chief waved to her. Chief Dennis Markham had always
been a good friend, and the best boss anyone could ask for.
The chief approached her and enveloped her in a bear hug.

"It's good to see you, kid...how are you feeling?" he
asked. Lissa shrugged...while she had told him about the
attempt made on her life and Derek's, he didn't know about
the other things. He didn't know about the repressed
memories, nor did he know about William Reynolds.

"I'm all right...Chief, this is Dr. Derek Rayne,"
Lissa replied and the chief nodded soberly. Lissa continued,
indicating Philip, "This is Father Philip Callaghan, a
childhood friend, and one of the priests from St. Bart's.
What happened? You were kinda mysterious on the phone." The
chief nodded to Philip as he took Lissa's arm.

"It's pretty weird, kid. I'll start at the beginning.
Last night, around twelve thirty, the dispatcher got a call
from a half-hysterical semi driver, about your age. He had
hit a guy...just ran out in front of the poor kid," he
replied, leading her through the cemetary.

Lissa frowned, trying to avert her eyes from the open
graves. She knew they weren't freshly-dug...they had been
here a while. But if she looked, she could see the smooth
brown surface of the caskets. A hand came down gently on her
shoulder and Lissa jumped, then relaxed, seeing that it
belonged to her father. The young cop managed a tiny smile,
then asked, "So...was he drunk?"

"No, that's the weird part, Lis. I just got the
coroner's report back...they found no trace of alcohol in
his system whatsoever. But that's not the really spooky
part. A few minutes before he was hit, a neighbor said she
saw a blue light coming from one of the crypts," the chief
replied. Lissa stopped, an unfamiliar sensation growing in
her chest, and Derek's hand on her shoulder tightened.

After a moment, the chief continued, "If you think
that's bad, wait until you see what we found in the crypt."
He led the trio inside, and Lissa shuddered. God, she hated
these places! She hated cemetaries, and she hated crypts!
And she really hated what she saw on the floor of the crypt-a
skeleton. There was no tissue at all on the bones...they
were bleached white. A blue light, Lissa thought, a skeleton
found on the floor of a crypt, a sober man running in front
of a semi-truck...yes, this will get nasty.

"What's this?" Philip asked, kneeling beside the
skeleton. Lissa pulled away from both her father and her
boss to kneel beside the priest. On the ground was a golden
urn, and Lissa could feel the power emanating from it.
Apparently, Philip felt it as well...he reached his hand
out to touch it, but pulled back at the last second.
Instead, he crossed himself quickly and murmured a prayer
under his breath. Lissa felt the same way.

That's probably a smart idea, Philip, she thought. The
young woman withdrew a handkerchief from her jacket pocket,
embroidered with her initials, and gingerly picked up the
urn. She placed the object on the casket and said, "I'll see
if I can pick up something from this." Philip started to
protest, but Lissa said, indicating a symbol on the base of
the urn, "See this? I'll be all right as long as I don't
touch it. If I'm right, our friend there allowed his bare
skin to brush that sigil, and that's why he died. And, it
will be my tips of my fingers which actually make contact,
since it hasn't been dusted for fingerprints. Derek, be
ready." Her father nodded and Lissa turned back to the urn.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, focusing
herself, then lightly touched the top of the urn with her
fingertips. She gasped as nightmare images flashed through
her mind...a young man, dying as his flesh melted from his
body. That image was replaced with a far more familiar, but
equally terrifying image...that of her aunt slowly being
ripped apart. To Lissa's surprise, Alicia's lips didn't form
a word, but Lissa had heard her scream a name.

The final image was the most terrifying of all...as
her stunned brain confronted the image, Lissa screamed in
terror. And then, there was no more pain or fear as she slid
gracefully into the darkness.

As Lissa regained consciousness, she felt a pair of
strong, supportive arms cradling her, and somewhere over her
head, she heard Derek exclaim, "For God's sake, man, don't
you understand what just happened? Whatever she saw was so
terrifying, that she took refuge in the darkness!"

"You don't know Lissa, Dr. Rayne! I'm real grateful to
you for looking after her and bringing her back to life, but
you don't know her! Nothing scares this girl and I do mean
nothing!" Lissa heard the chief retort. She made a face...
God, but their arguing was giving her a headache!

"Wouldja both stop? Lissa is tryin' to wake up, and
you're not makin' it easier!" Philip exclaimed. Lissa forced
her eyes open. She was lying in the protective circle of
Derek's arms...Philip was kneeling beside her, holding her
hand, while the chief towered over them all.

Lissa licked her lips, then whispered, "I'll second
that. Derek knows me better than you think, Chief. Derek,
Philip, could you help me?" They helped her into a sitting
position. Lissa said, "Thanks. It was terrible, Derek. His
brother warned him to leave the urn among the dead. He
didn't listen...and so he died."

"How do you know all this?" the chief asked in a hushed
voice. My abilities have always frightened him, the young
cop realized, though he's not above using them when
necessary. Lissa sighed deeply and nodded to Derek and
Philip, both of whom helped her to her feet. They were still
in the crypt, and Lissa shuddered once more.

"It's a...a legacy from my father," Lissa replied,
looking at the man in question. The barest hint of a smile
touched the corners of his mouth, and he inclined his head.
Your point, little one, he seemed to be saying. The chief
looked even more confused, and Lissa said, "The Sight has
been part of his family for years. I inherited it from him,
and some other abilities from my mother."

"Lissa, I didn't think your old man's vision was that
good! I've heard some of the things he said to you, and so
did half the precint, for God's sake! Now you're telling me
that he could see things, too?" the chief exclaimed. Lissa
rolled her eyes, but Derek just smiled. The chief caught the
glance and asked, "What the hell is going on?"

"William Reynolds was no blood relation of mine, thank
God. I just found out a few days ago. No, I'm speaking of
my real father," Lissa replied. The chief frowned, still not
understanding her, and Lissa said, nodding her head toward
Derek with an impish smile, "Chief, I'd like you to meet my
natural father, Dr. Derek Rayne."

Philip had to give Lissa credit...her timing was
amazing. In the last few days, ever since her return to the
castle, Philip had been finding more and more similarities
between father and daughter. Perhaps the most obvious
inheritance Lissa received from Derek was her eyes...dark
hazel in color which changed with their mood and the light.

Less obvious, until now, was her incredible sense of
timing. Philip couldn't help himself, actually...he began
grinning as the chief's jaw dropped after Lissa told him that
Derek was her real father. Lissa smiled at him sweetly,
which faded as she continued, "It gets worse, Derek."

"Somehow, I thought it might," the older man sighed,
keeping a protective arm around the young woman's shoulders.
Philip lowered his eyes, still struggling against a smile as
Derek continued, "What else did you see, Lissa?"

The young woman shuddered, replying, "Aunt Alicia's
death...again." Derek flinched and Lissa continued, "And
there was another image. It..." Her voice trailed off,
her hands clenching into fists at her sides. Lissa said
after a moment, "I don't know what it means, Derek, but it
scared me. But that's not the worst part. When this boy
died, the evil in that urn escaped."

"Do you know why the graves were opened?" Derek asked.
Lissa shrugged, looking very pale. Derek continued, "Chief,
could I have a few moments alone with my daughter? Philip,
you stay." Markham looked from Lissa to Philip to Derek, and
back at Lissa. The younger cop nodded and the chief left the
crypt. Derek looked at Lissa and asked, "The last image you
saw...it was worse than seeing your aunt's death?

"Yes, it was," Lissa answered bluntly, "I can't even
begin to describe what I saw, Derek. I've been doing this
for five years, getting psychic impressions from objects to
help solve crimes. Sometimes, the impressions were natural,
and at other times, they were otherworldly. But I've never
seen anything like this." She fell silent once more,
trembling, and Philip put his hand on her forearm, wishing he
could comfort her. But it was no longer his place.

Her father was silent for several moments after Lissa
spoke. The cop marvelled at how quickly she was coming to
think of Derek as her father. It was true that when she was
a child, he was a father figure to her, though he had been a
very young man at the time. And he was only forty-three now.
And that wasn't the screwiest thing, either, out of this
entire screwy situation...no, the screwiest thing was that
Lissa had a slight Electra complex to get over!

"Do you think there's anything else you need to do here,
Lissa? I want to ask Alex to gather information about this
urn and the family who owns this crypt. We might find clues
in their past," Derek said after several moments and Lissa
nodded in acknowledgment, then ran through in her mind any
possible reasons for her to stay at the scene of the crime.

At last, she replied, "No. Technically, Derek, I'm on
sick leave. The chief gave me an extra few weeks to recover,
since Mark attacked us in the castle. Sorry, that came out
wrong. Anyhow, we can leave. I do have one request,
however." Derek nodded, and Lissa asked, hating her own
weakness, "Could I walk between you? I don't want to look at
the open graves again."

"Of course. Let's get going...I don't want to stay in
this place a moment longer than I must," Derek replied, and
for the first time, Lissa realized that her father was
uncomfortable in this place of death as well. Some of her
thoughts must have reflected in her eyes, for Derek said,
"I know that death is a door to somewhere else, Lissa, but it
makes me no more comfortable to confront my mortality."
Lissa nodded, and the trio left the crypt.

All three were silent as they walked back to the Range
Rover. Lissa kept her eyes straight ahead as they walked
through the cemetary, willing herself to not to look at the
open wounds in the earth. And as ever, Lissa's mind worked
feverishly...there was a lot for her to consider.

Technically, since she wasn't initiated, Lissa wasn't
supposed to know the name of the Legacy. But her mother had
been free with her comments about her work in her diary, and
Lissa now knew quite a bit about her own Legacy. Ever since
finding her mother's diaries, she had read several entries a
night. She had learned that her parents started out as
friends, but something about sixteen year old Derek Rayne
had Fiona. She decided to be Derek's first lover...and on
that night, Lissa was conceived.

Fiona had been vague about the reasons behind her
decision to initiate young Derek into the mysteries of love.
But Lissa could read between the lines. Fiona had been
equally vague about Lissa's conception, for which the young
woman was grateful. She really wasn't sure if she was up to
reading the details of how her mother seduced her father.

"Lissa, are you all right?" Derek asked. The young
woman looked up, startled, then relaxed when she found that
they had left the cemetary. The tension eased from her body
as she nodded, and Derek said, also relaxing, "Good. Was the
last image you saw an image or an extremely vivid sensation?"

"It was an image, Derek, like I told you!" Lissa replied
firmly, beginning to get annoyed. Derek nodded without
another word. Lissa sighed and continued, "I'm sorry. I
can't think about that any more, Derek. I just can't." To
her chagrin, she heard the fear in her tone. Philip turned
in his seat and took her hand, holding it tightly. Lissa
clung to the hand that was offered to her.

"It's all right, Lissa...there are dark corners in our
souls, where none of us want to look," Philip said. Lissa
smiled at him and squeezed his hand again. Philip returned
the smile and turned back, saying, "Besides, Derek, I think
the other images are more significant. Obviously, the first
image was of the boy dying. I'm not sure why Lissa saw her
aunt's death yet again, but there has to be a reason."

"I agree," Derek replied quietly, "but this third image
troubles me. We don't know if Lissa was Seeing the past or
the future, or into the mind of another. And as long as
there's something we don't know, our ability to stop the
spread of this evil will be hampered. Philip, call Alex and
tell her that we're on our way back. Ask her and Nick to
have the computer ready to go." Philip nodded and reached
into his pocket. Lissa tensed, in spite of herself, then
relaxed when he withdrew a cellular phone. Take it easy,
Lis, she told herself, you're with family! The young woman
leaned back, closing her eyes.

Family, she thought, yes, these two men are the only
family I have left from my childhood, aside from Aunt Molly.
Alex was my family when I was in college, bless her heart.
And Nick...Nick kept me from giving Reynolds a final
victory. For that alone, I owe him. Not just my thanks, but
an explanation...one day. When I'm ready.

I've gotta talk to Lis when she gets back, Nick thought,
I have to see what she remembers from the night on the docks
when we first met. When she first woke up, she didn't
recognize me...but she didn't recognize Philip from her
dreams either, only as her parish priest.

And Nick himself hadn't realized that Lissa was his
mysterious friend from the docks until three days earlier,
when Lissa returned to the castle after learning that Derek
was her father. He would have never realized it, either, if
Lissa hadn't pulled her hair back into a ponytail. It was
strange, how little things like that made all the difference
in the world to a woman's appearance. Nick had been briefly
transported back seven years, to a night on the docks when he
was on furlough from the SEALS.

However, until he actually spoke with Lissa about that
night, he would say nothing to Derek. Nick recalled the
blank expression in Lissa's dark eyes when he spun her around
on the docks, and shuddered. What happened to you that
night, Lissa, he wondered, what happened to make an otherwise
strong, gutsy young girl want to jump? Even then, despite
her obvious fragility, Nick had sensed enormous strength
within the girl. And it had taken guts for her to take his
hand, the hand of a stranger. He knew she was brave.

So, until he spoke with Lissa, Nick knew he couldn't
tell Derek that Nick also had a past tie to Derek's daughter.
The former SEAL wondered if that sounded as natural to Derek
as it did to Nick...it seemed right, somehow, that Lissa
was Derek's daughter.

Nick wasn't exactly sure why it seemed so natural, so
right...but he now found it hard to think of her as anyone
else's child. I wonder if Philip feels the same way, Nick
thought, since he and Lissa were so close as children? Yet
another unanswered question...

Philip was uncomfortably aware of the silence from the
backseat...a quick glance in the rear-view mirror of the
Range Rover told him that Lissa was very much awake. I
didn't think she'd be asleep, Philip thought, not after what
happened earlier. The priest shuddered, crossing himself at
the memory, then glanced at Derek.

The older man had been quiet for the last few minutes,
and the priest didn't want to guess what Derek was thinking.
He remembered his friend's barely suppressed rage that Fiona
had lied to him about Lissa. He will go off sooner or later,
Philip thought, and I would prefer that he went off on me,
rather than Lissa...or Maeve...or Kat.

Not that Philip thought Derek would go off on Kat or
Maeve, or even Lissa. But the young priest feared for his
friends...both for Derek and for Lissa. They were both
still so shaken by the revelations in Fiona's diary, and
Philip ached for the father and daughter who had been robbed
of so much time together.

Part Two

Derek parked the Range Rover and glanced at his daughter
once they reached the castle. His mind still spun when he
thought about it...Lissa was his daughter, his child. So
much time had been lost! Derek's hand trembled as he killed
the engine. Philip asked in a low voice, "Derek? Are you
all right?" Derek nodded, glancing back at Lissa, who had
unbuckled her seat belt. Philip followed his gaze and said,
"This is hard for you, I know."

"Why didn't Fiona ever tell me?" Derek asked softly. As
hard as he tried, he couldn't force himself to speak more
loudly...there was a painful lump in his throat, and he
couldn't clear it. He continued, resting his head against
the steering wheel, "Fiona must have known how much I loved
Lissa...she must have known..."

"Derek...are you all right?" Lissa asked anxiously.
Startled by the sound of the young woman's voice, Derek
turned his head to find his daughter standing beside him,
looking very worried. He nodded, smiling weakly, and Lissa
inquired, looking unconvinced, "Are you sure? I mean, if
you're not feeling well or something, I can run into the
House and get Nick or Rachel or Alex."

The anxiety and protectiveness in Lissa's dark hazel
eyes touched Derek. He answered huskily, "I'm fine, little
one. Philip, take Lissa into the control room, so Alex can
start researching the urn. Lissa, while Alex is running your
description through the computer, call Chief Markham...see
if we can obtain custody of the urn. The technicians know to
avoid the sigil on the bottom, but I would feel better if it
was in our safe-keeping. I'll be along in a minute or two."

Lissa glanced at Philip questioningly, and the young man
nodded. Lissa said, "Well, if you're sure...all right.
But I'll come back outside in ten minutes if you're not in by
then." Derek smiled at the protective note in her voice.
Lissa relaxed, then walked around the Range Rover to join
Philip. He put his arm around her shoulders as they walked
back to the Legacy House, and Derek watched them in silence.

He leaned his head against the steering wheel once more,
trying not to think of how different his life...and
Philip's...would have been if he had known that Lissa was
his child. It went without saying, of course, that Lissa's
life would have been different. Derek took a deep breath and
went inside. His daughter needed him to be strong.

After Philip led Lissa into the control room, he left
again to find the others. Alex said, taking Lissa's hands,
"You know, I'm so glad you came back into my life. I'm being
given a second chance with a best friend...those don't come
by every day." Lissa frowned and Alex added, "My best friend
Julia was killed months ago in Ireland. I wasn't there."

"Oh, Xan," Lissa said compassionately, "I'm so sorry! I
lost my partner about four years ago, in a shoot-out. I was
nearly killed as well...for a long time, I thought that my
survival was a betrayal of her. I guess what made it so hard
was knowing that it should have never happened."

"Yeah, that's how I felt, too...that my absence in
Ireland was a betrayal of Julia. I was so angry...with
myself, with Julia, with Derek, with Nick. I've missed her
so much. Rachel is great, and I love Kat...but it's not
the same, you know?" Alex said softly. Lissa nodded.

"Yes, I do. I love my sister, but no one ever filled
the void that was left when I was taken away from Derek and
Philip," she replied with more than a trace of bitterness.
After a moment, Lissa continued, "I don't even know how to
deal with Philip anymore...we were so close when we were
kids, but he's a priest now. That changes everything."

"That sounds like Derek...he doesn't seem to know how
to relate to you, now that he knows you're his child," Alex
replied. Lissa raised a brow and Alex continued, "Until a
few days ago, Derek thought he had no children. Now he has a
grown daughter. He's not sure how to treat you."

"Ahhhh. Now I understand Derek's behavior toward me
during the last few days...sort of keeping his distance,
but not really wanting to. Damn, he must be as scared and
confused and angry as I am. I haven't gotten off to a very
good start as his daughter, have I?" Lissa asked with a sigh.

"You're doing fine," Derek said as he passed through the
hologram, "And being selfish, for lack of a better word, is
necessary. For years, you've borne the consequences for your
mother's choices. I wish I could have raised you myself, but
as I've told Nick, we can't change the past."

"No," Lissa agreed sadly, "we can't. And..." Her
voice trailed off as her mother's dying moments flashed
through her mind. It was like watching old movies inside her
mind. Once more, she felt Philip clutching her hand so
tightly, it hurt...and for the first time, Lissa remembered
her mother's last words to her. The young cop breathed, a
hand tightening around her heart, "Oh my God."

"Lis, what is it?" Alex asked anxiously. Lissa felt her
friend's hands on her shoulders, but couldn't respond. She
was still re-playing her mother's death in her mind...was
it a memory or wishful thinking? Lissa focused all of her
attention on the image, enhancing it, and was given her
answer. Alex repeated, "Lissa, what is it?"

At last, spurred by the anxiety she heard in Alex's
voice, Lissa forced herself to say, "Mama was trying to tell
us at the end, Derek, just before she died. She said your
name, and then mine...she was trying to tell us the truth.
It was her last attempt at protecting me from Reynolds. But
she didn't have the strength. She wasn't strong enough to
tell us the whole truth." Her voice shook as she spoke.

"She should have told us sooner," Derek whispered, pain
and rage reflecting in his eyes for the first time, "she
should have never kept you from me. But she did...and
while I never knew you were my daughter, I loved you. But I
don't know if I can be a proper father to you."

"I don't know about that...you were a pretty good
father figure to me when I was small. But we'll take it
slowly...I have to think of Maeve, too. Having a ready-
made family is kinda overwhelming and I need time to get used
to it, Derek. And I need to know that you'll be there for
me, whether or not I join the Legacy," Lissa said.

Her request took him off-guard, she could tell, but then
he replied, "In the Legacy or out of it, Elizabeth, you will
always be my daughter." Lissa smiled, relaxing. That was
what she needed to know, and Derek added, returning the
smile, "Now, if you ladies will excuse me, I should find the
others. It isn't like Philip to be this late. He knows this
House better than I do, so he's not lost!"

Alex and Lissa both laughed as Derek left the control
room, then Lissa looked at her friend sadly. She asked,
leaning against the console of the computer, "Who did that to
him, Xan? Who taught my father that he had to go through
these things alone, without anyone else's love or support?
Did my mother do this to him?"

"No, Lis," Alex said slowly, "I think it was your
grandfather. I've gotten a very strong impression when I'm
around things that belonged to Winston Rayne...let's just
say that your grandfather wouldn't have won any awards for
Father of the Year. The Legacy came first with him."

Lissa felt a spurt of rage toward her late grandfather,
whom she had admired ever since she could remember, but said
calmly, "That's more or less my mother's opinion, but she
married Reynolds...her judgment wasn't that great. It
looks like she wasn't wrong about this, though. I won't
repeat what she called my grandfather in her diary!"

Alex started to reply, but the others began filtering
into the control room, so there was no more time to talk.
Lissa glanced at Philip, and he smiled at her reassuringly.
As ever, that smile calmed her, and Lissa returned the smile.
Bless his heart, she thought, he always knows what to do. No
matter what's troubling, he knows how to calm me down.

The members of the Legacy began finding places to sit in
the control room. Nick glanced at Lissa...despite her
pallor, she looked composed. Philip had told him about what
happened in the crypt. Up until now, Nick believed that the
only time Lissa fainted was when she forgot to eat.

As the meeting got underway, Nick's attention wandered
back to her collapse in the crypt. What had she seen that
frightened her so badly, Nick wondered, when she saw her
aunt's death through Derek's eyes? Nick wasn't sure he
wanted to know the answer.

After she briefed the others about what she had seen
while touching the urn, Lissa excused herself to call the
chief. She reached him almost immediately and turned away to
carry on her conversation. Alex kept her eyes on the
information which was coming up about the urn.

As she worked, Alex remembered her first meeting with
Lissa. The sixteen year old was the youngest freshman in
Alex's orientation group. The anthropology student took
Lissa under her wing when she learned that Lissa was alone,
convincing the teenager to be Alex's roommate. In time, Alex
became an older sister to the quiet freshman, and Lissa a
confidante to the girl who befriended everyone else.

The click of a phone returned Alex to the present, as
Lissa said with satisfaction, "We can pick up the urn
tomorrow morning. They have an ID on the guy who ran out in
front of the semi...his name was Mitch Daugherty, an
Egyptologist. His wife made the identification."

"There's another name we can process in the computer,"
Derek said, and Alex nodded. Lissa had said that the
skeleton belonged to Daugherty's brother, which gave them
something to work with. Alex typed in the name, adding
'Egyptologist' as the cross-reference. Derek continued, "How
are you feeling now, Lissa?"

"I was fine once we were away from those open graves.
That really un-nerved me," Lissa answered. She hesitated,
then added, "Especially since one of the open graves belonged
to Reynolds. I still don't feel anything about his death.
For years, I believed he was my father, yet..."

Derek started to reply, but the information came up.
Alex said, "All right, here we go...Dr. Mitchner Daugherty.
Married to Corinne Leclair, two children...a son and a
daughter, both under the age of ten. Parents are both dead,
he had one brother, 'Jason,' who is ten years younger."

"That fits in with what I saw when I touched the urn.
The boy who died was about twenty-four or so. Jason
Daughterty, huh?" Lissa asked. Alex glanced at her friend.
The younger woman had rocked back on her heels, her thumbs
hooked through her belt loops, and her eyes half-closed.
Alex recognized the pose...many would have taken Lissa to
be totally relaxed, but Alex knew better.

Apparently, Philip knew better as well, for he said,
"All right, Elizabeth Marie Anne, what's goin' on inside that
ever-active mind of yours? And don't say nothin.' I know
know that look...it means you're up to something!" Lissa
righted herself and opened her eyes with an impish grin.
Alex turned back hastily, trying to hide her own smile.

"Not necessarily up to something, Philip...just
thinking. And in answer to your question, no. You should
have also remembered to shut up and leave me alone!" the cop
replied. Alex suppressed her urge to laugh, and a side-wise
peek told her that Nick was grinning as well.

"Have you come up with anything else, Alex?" Derek
asked with an amused smile. Alex shook her head and Derek
continued thoughtfully, "All right. Corinne Daugherty should
be questioned. Lissa, what does the chief say about your
involvement in this case?"

"I'm a consultant...as I mentioned, I'm still
technically on sick leave. He told me when I asked about the
urn that if the Luna Foundation wanted to get involved, he
would cooperate. So, if you want to me to talk to Corinne
Daugherty as a police officer, I have permission from the
chief to do so," Lissa replied.

"Good. Philip, I think it would be best if you went
with her," Derek said. Lissa nodded, though Alex could sense
trouble in the way her friend stiffened. Hmm, the older
woman thought, I wonder if that means anything special?
Derek added, a teasing note entering his voice, "Do you think
you both can fit into that little car of yours, Elizabeth?"

Lissa sighed in exasperation, replying, "Don't be silly,
Derek. I drive a Taurus, not a Bug!" Derek laughed softly.
Alex glanced at her former roommate in amazement. Lissa
seemed to bring out the very best in Derek...she had even
before Derek knew that Lissa was his daughter. Lissa added,
"I'll call Mrs. Daugherty, and see if it would be convenient
for us to see her. The poor woman is probably in shock."

She and Philip left the control room, and Alex told
Derek, "It will take time to identify the urn. Derek, what
Lissa saw...you have no idea what frightened her so
terribly?" Derek shook his head and Alex continued, "Maybe
there's some curse on the urn. I'll see what I can find."
He nodded, touched her shoulder, then departed as well.

Nick shook his head, muttering, "I can tell she's gonna
liven things up around here. As if things weren't chaotic
enough?" Alex glared at him, and Nick put both hands up in
the air, adding, "I'm just making an observation! But you
gotta admit, having Lis around will make things real
interesting!" Alex nodded...yeah, that was certainly true!

Especially given the way she stiffened at Derek's
suggestion, the young woman thought, the one about Philip
going with her. You would almost think that Lissa resented
it...or else she didn't think riding in that small car with
Philip was a good idea. Alex remembered what her former
roomie had said about not knowing how to deal with Philip.
Ah, the researcher thought, so that's it!

Within fifteen minutes, Lissa and Philip were in her
Taurus and ready to leave. Lissa had asked Maeve if she
wanted to go along, but the teenager insisted on remaining at
the castle. Lissa had an idea why Maeve was so insistent,
and it broke her heart. She told Philip as she backed up her
car, and headed through the gates of the castle, "I told
Maeve before we read Mama's diary that she would always be my
sister, and that I would always love her. I don't think she
believes me. Ever since I found out that Derek was my
father, she's been so quiet...so sad."

Philip was silent for several moments, then he replied,
"I don't think that's it at all, Lissa. Maeve knows and
understands that you need to be here, with the rest of us.
She understands about what you're going through. And she's
trying to give you space...not pushing you away."

"Oh, I hope you're right," Lissa whispered fervently, "I
really do! I don't want Maeve to ever think that I've
stopped loving her!" For the first time, she glanced at her
passenger and frowned, pulling off to the side of the road,
as far off as she could. She put the vehicle in 'park' and
said quietly, "Buckle up, Philip."

"I don't wear one. They didn't protect my parents in
the plane crash," Philip replied in an equally quiet voice.
Lissa leaned back in her seat, staring at her friend
steadily. The young priest returned the gaze, his expression
just as resolute as Lissa's.

Oh dear, the policewoman thought, we are going to have a
Lissa searched for a way to deal with her friend's
insistence on not wearing a safety belt, then decided on the
direct path. Doing anything else will just insult Philip's
intelligence, she thought, and that has always been
dangerous. No, we address the problem head-on.

"I know how your parents died, Philip. But we're going
no further until you buckle up. I don't have many rules when
I'm driving, but that's one of 'em...when you ride with me,
you buckle up. And I don't think this applies, but I don't
allow smoking in my car, either. We will sit here until
you buckle up...I'm just as stubborn as you are, Philip,"
Lissa said, folding her arms over her chest.

The priest looked at her for several moments, then said
in a slightly stunned voice, "You mean it, don't you? You
really aren't going to drive any further until I buckle up?"
Lissa nodded and Philip sighed, then buckled up, adding,
"You're just as stubborn as Derek, Elizabeth Marie, you know
that? Maybe even more so!"

"What can I tell you, Pip?" Lissa asked, "I come by it
honestly. Actually, I'm probably more stubborn than my
father, because I got a dose of it from my mother as well.
She was..." A spasm of pain wrenched Lissa's heart, and
she said as she started the engine once more, "Just remember,
I am Derek Rayne's daughter."

Philip had to smile at the way Lissa stated things...
she was so definitive, as if he would even consider
questioning her status as Derek's daughter. After a moment,
his smile faded. She had only learned that she was Derek's
daughter recently...she was trying to get used to the idea.

He replied gently as they started down the road once
more, "You are Derek's daughter, Elizabeth, there's no doubt
of that. You look a great deal like him." Lissa looked
away, but Philip saw the pain in her eyes. He continued,
"It's true. You have Derek's dark curly hair and hazel eyes.
Well, your eyes are a little darker, but your mother had dark
brown eyes. And you have your mother's smile."

"I don't look like either of my parents, Philip. Maybe
I have Derek's coloring, and maybe I have my mother's smile.
But it's still a mystery how two attractive people like Derek
and Fiona managed to produce me," Lissa replied tightly.
Philip started to speak, started to tell her that her step-
father had been wrong about her, but they had reached the
ferry. The young priest remained silent as Lissa said,
changing the subject abruptly, "I hope you have fifty cents.
I have the rest of the fare." Philip dug into his jacket
pocket to find the spare change she needed. He removed two
quarters and placed them in Lissa's hand.

"Can you find your way to the Daugherty house?" Philip
asked. Lissa nodded as she pulled up to the security booth,
and Philip added, uneasily wondering if he should continue
their earlier conversation, "I didn't mean to upset you,
Lissa." The young woman sighed quietly.

"You didn't upset me, Philip. I'm just a little on edge
today. I try not to think about Reynolds...I know that
looks aren't important, that what's inside is the real issue.
But it still hurts," Lissa answered with a sigh. Philip said
nothing...he had no idea what to say. His looks had always
gotten him into trouble with the opposite sex...there was
nothing he could tell this young woman without sounding like
a pompous, insensitive ass. And the last thing Philip wanted
was to hurt Lissa, any more than she had already been hurt.

The young officer ran her hand through her wind-blown
hair and added, "I hate this job sometimes." Philip didn't
ask which job, for Lissa was now pulling onto the ferry.
Once they were safely parked, Lissa sat back and looked at
him, adding, "I hate having to go to the houses of grieving
widows and asking questions. It makes me feel like one of
those damn reporters, who stick microphones in the faces of
plane crash survivors and ask them how they feel. Anyone can
see that they're in pain, and here's this idiot..."

Lissa shook her head unhappily and leaned her head back
against the headrest. She closed her eyes and massaged her
forehead. Philip remembered a time when he did that to ease
one of Lissa's headaches, but he didn't dare try that now.
We were children then, he thought, innocent little ones.
Maybe Lissa is still an innocent, but I'm not.

He chose to comfort her with words, rather than actions,
saying, "You're more sensitive than that, Elizabeth. You've
suffered too many losses to be anything other than
compassionate with the survivors. And you've seen things, as
a cop and as a woman, which won't allow you to be insensitive
to the sufferin' of others. Besides, that's why Derek sent
me with you...to make sure you behave."

His gentle tease was intended to make Lissa smile, and
it succeeded. The young cop responded with a rueful grin,
and Philip continued, "C'mon, let's walk around. You'll feel
better, walking in the fresh air. Remember our walks around
the castle when we were kids?" Lissa nodded as she got out
of the car and joined him on the deck of the ferry.

After Philip and Lissa left to question Corinne
Daugherty, Derek went to his office. There was paperwork
which needed to be done, he said, but Nick was concerned
about his surrogate father. Derek had been devastated by
Fiona's deception...while he was obviously pleased that
Lissa was his child, Fiona's betrayal had hurt Derek deeply.

He told Alex as much as they worked at the computer,
adding, "I don't get it. Why did Fiona never tell Derek that
Lissa was his daughter? Especially after Reynolds started
getting abusive with Lissa. I mean, what kind of woman
marries a man to give her child a father...then stays with
that man when he starts abusing the little girl?" He could
understand, sort of, why his mother had stayed with his
father. Christine Boyle had felt trapped, with no place to
go...but Fiona and Lissa had a sanctuary here.

Alex frowned thoughtfully, then replied, "I think, Nick,
that Fiona originally didn't tell Derek because she didn't
want to ruin his life. He was just a kid, remember, only
seventeen when LIssa was born, and Fiona didn't want to
saddle him with an infant daughter. Later, it was just too
difficult to tell Derek the truth. She kept Lissa away from
her step-father as much as possible, and from what I've been
able to gather, they both came to the island often."

"So why didn't she just leave Reynolds?" Nick asked,
still baffled. He could understand why Fiona hadn't told
Derek at first...he could even understand why it grew more
difficult to tell him as the years passed. But why had she
stayed with a man who was cruel to her and to her child?

"Because she believed that when you make a promise, you
keep it," Alex replied, "which is probably why your mother
stayed with your father, even though he brutalized both of
you." Nick looked at his friend, wide-eyed...had Derek
told her about his father? Alex smiled sadly and said, "I
realized from your behavior, Nick. No one had to tell me."

Alex paused, then added, "She felt trapped, Nick. In
order to leave Reynolds, she had to go somewhere. Sure, she
could have come here, but how long do you think it would have
taken Derek to realize that Lissa was his daughter? Living
with her, watching her grow...he would have wanted to raise
her himself. Fiona probably feared that Derek would take
Lissa from her, and Lissa was all she had in the world."

"But that was what was best for Lissa! Admittedly,
Derek can be a pain in the ass sometimes, with his secrets
and his insistence on knowing what's going on with us...but
he would have been a far better father for Lissa than
Reynolds! Dammit, Alex, you can see how much he loves Lissa!
Fiona was selfish!" Nick replied passionately.

"I won't argue with you, Nick," Alex agreed, "because I
think she was selfish. She was selfish to keep Lissa and
Derek in the dark about their true relationship. But she
felt trapped...Lissa was the only bright spot in her life,
she couldn't lose her little girl! I don't believe that
Derek would have taken Lissa from Fiona...he would have
given them both sanctuary here. But Fiona was afraid."

Nick asked slowly, "Lissa was your best friend in
college, wasn't she? Before you connected with Julia?" Alex
hesitated, then nodded. Nick asked, "Do you...are you
jealous? I mean, since Derek loves her."

"But he will always love the three of us, too...you,
Philip, and me. That will never change, Nick," Alex replied.
Nick started to say that she hadn't answered his question,
but the researcher exclaimed, her dark eyes lighting up,
"Look, I found something about Jason Daugherty. Try to get
Philip and Lissa on the cellular!"

Rachel had followed Derek to his office, asking softly
as they walked through the corridors of the castle, "Are you
all right, Derek? You never answered my question earlier.
Lissa told me what she was feeling, but you never did." The
door swished shut behind her and Derek sat down behind the
table which served as his desk.

Instead of answering her directly, Derek replied, "I can
never come in here without thinking, 'this is where Lissa
saved my life.' Lissa...my daughter." Rachel sat down
on the table, studying him intently, and Derek continued, "I
remember exactly how I felt when Philip handed me Lissa's
real birth certificate. I was shocked at first...and then
I was angry. No, I was furious...with Fiona, for keeping
my daughter from me for all those years."

"That's to be expected. As I told Lissa this morning, I
would be worried if you weren't angry with Fiona. Both of
you. But that's not what I asked, Derek...I asked if you
were all right," Rachel said. Derek didn't reply at first,
as he slowly rose to his feet and walked to the window. He
sighed deeply, leaning against the window sill. He rested
his forehead against the glass, closing his eyes briefly. Am
I all right, he thought, am I? The odd thing was, not even
he had the answer to Rachel's question.

"I don't know, Rachel," Derek replied. He paused, then
continued, "Lissa...she's angry and confused and hurt, but
she's trying to look after me. My daughter is trying to take
care of me. She did that when she was small...five and six
years old, and she would try to take care of me." He turned
back to face Rachel, who smiled.

Derek continued, walking around his office, "If I seemed
sad, she would do something to try to cheer me up. You have
no idea how much I miss that child. I'm very proud of the
young woman she has become, of course, but I do miss that
little girl. I know Philip does as well. She tried to take
care of him as well...but he allowed her, to a certain
degree. There are only twenty-three months between them, you
know...but he always allowed her to take care of him."

"I'm sure he does miss her...you never really forget
that first love. And Lissa was Philip's first love, wasn't
she? Oh, he'll tell you that she was his best friend, like
his own sister...but she was also his first love. The
first female close to his own age whom he trusted with
everything he was. The first female his own age who trusted
him with everything she was. That kind of love...you're so
lucky if you find it when you're a kid," Rachel observed and
Derek nodded, sitting down at his table once more.

"Yes. And they loved each other so much, Rachel. When
they were together...I knew they would take care of each
other. In some ways, they were two halves of one person. I
can't count the number of times when one would start a
sentence, only to have the other finish it. They were almost
like twins," he said, resting his face in his hands.

"It sounds almost like Connor and Kat. Do you think
that love would have matured into an adult love as they grew
up?" Rachel asked and Derek shrugged, sighing as he returned
his attention to her. In the last month, as he watched
Philip and Lissa together, he wondered the same thing. How
could he not wonder about an alternative future? Never mind
that it was futile, Derek still found himself doing it.

If Lissa had remained with them, would Philip have
become a priest? Would Lissa have become a cop? Derek
replied, "I don't know what would have happened to Philip and
Lissa's relationship if they had remained together. And they
should have...they needed each other so much! I should
have never allowed Reynolds to take Lissa away us, Rachel!"

"You had no choice, Derek...with all the wealth and
power of the Luna Foundation, Reynolds was still thought to
be Lissa's father. Blood counts for everything with courts,
the best interests of the child be damned. It's gotten
better in the last few years, but... And the custody
battle would have been ugly," Rachel advised.

Derek nodded with a sigh and said, "I know. I know
that. And I know that Lissa would have been devastated. But
I still see flashes in my mind when I look at Lissa, of what
things might have been like, if Fiona had succeeded in
telling me that Lissa was mine before she died." Rachel sat
forward, her eyes alight with interest.

"I was wondering when we would get to this. Philip
won't talk about what might have been...he told Alex and
Nick that it serves absolutely no purpose. So tell me,
Derek," she invited, "tell me what you see, what things would
have been like if Fiona had told you before she died."

Derek looked away from her again, wondering how much he
should tell her. It was his opinion that his godson was
right...that thinking about what might have been served no
purpose, aside from tormenting oneself...but perhaps
telling Rachel about what he saw would give him some peace.

continued on to the next page...

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