What is Mine
~ Eight ~


Cassie Whelan, 22, staggered back from the doorway. She had gone to meet her husband after his trip to New York and was thrown into shock by the sight of Jack striding toward her with a dark-haired little boy in his arms.

“Come and say hello, Mama.”

The ecstatic expression on his wife's face erased any misgivings that Jack might have maintained. He watched Cassie mouth the word ‘mama' with awe and reverence.

“It can't be possible, Jack!” Cassie shook her head back and forth. “Not this quickly. It can't be!”

“Cassie,” Jack's voice was gentle, “come and meet our son.”

Slowly the young woman approached her husband and the beautiful little boy. Cassie made a futile effort to console the weeping child. When that failed, she attempted to distract the toddler with questions that he simply ignored.

“He doesn't understand English, Cass. We were able to get him because of the communication problem,” Jack explained, “His parents were Russian citizens killed in an accident. Only recently, in fact.” For the most part, the doctor had decided during the trip home from New York to stick as closely as possible to the truth. It would make the retelling of his story a more consistent thing.

After the car exploded, Jack had quickly searched the man's pockets. Inside his coat the doctor found some type of identification card covered with Russian characters. Jack returned the wallet and came to a decision.

“So what is his name?” Cassie's eager question jolted her husband from his thoughts. “How old is he? What kind of food does he-”

Jack interrupted her with gentle amusement. “Sweetheart, slow down,” he urged. “He is two years old.” It was the doctor's educated guess. “Everything else is up to us. We will have to give him a name and decide on a birthday for him. All the other things, like what he likes and dislikes, we'll just have to learn together.”

For the first time since Jack arrived with her new son, Cassie made an attempt to hold the little boy. He was weary from hours of intermittent weeping and put up no protest when the young woman gently pried him from her husband's arms.

“Robby,” she announced, taking a moment to inhale the smell of him. “I want to name him Robby.” Cassie wiped away the tears that coursed silently down the toddler's face. “And his birthday will be today – the day that he came into our lives.”