Lost Hearts

Chapter 1

Catherine awoke with a start. Something had drawn her from a sound slumber and now had all her senses on alert. For one micro-second, she had thought it was Vincent returning again on some forgotten errand. But when he didn't announce his presence, her instincts kicked in. Cautiously, she started to reach for the gun in her nightstand.

"Cathy, please! Don't be afraid. It's just me!" A familiar voice came from the darkness. Immediately, a rumpled figure in a baseball cap stepped from the shadows.


"Sorry!" he grinned sheepishly. "Didn't mean to scare you."

" Well, you did! What are you doing here?" She exclaimed in irritation.

"I'm sorry to wake you, Cathy but I had to come. I need your help. I need you to promise me that you'll take care of Andy for me" Kristopher announced in a rush.

"Kristopher, couldn't this wait until morning?" Catherine sighed in frustration.

"It'll be too late by then. Please, Cathy, you're the only one I can trust. You have to promise me you'll look after him!" Kristopher begged earnestly.

Catherine sighed heavily, knowing she couldn't turn him down. "All right, Kristopher, I'll help this Andy person."

Instantly, he gave her one of his most engaging grins. "Thanks, Cathy. I knew I could count on you. You won't regret this, I promise."

"I already am. Just who is this Andy, anyway?" Catherine turned, reaching for her bedside light. "Perhaps you'd also like to explain how…" Catherine's mouth dropped open in shock as she looked around her bedroom. It was empty. She was just opening the balcony doors when Vincent arrived.

"I felt your fear, Catherine. I know it soon left you, but I came anyway to make sure you were well." Vincent announced softly as he approached.

"I'm fine, but I had company tonight. Kristopher paid me a visit." Catherine said.


Briefly, Catherine informed him of her encounter with her mysterious visitor.

"But who is this 'Andy' Kristopher wants you to help?" Vincent wondered aloud.

"I don't know. Kristopher vanished before I could get a straight answer as usual." She replied sourly.

Vincent was amused. "Are you willing to admit now that he is possibly a ghost, Catherine?"

"Well, I think things definitely take a strange turn whenever he's involved." She conceded.

"Then I guess we shall have to wait and see what happens next." Vincent observed wryly.

Not long after Vincent's illness, Catherine gave up her dangerous position as a prosecutor to take a far less demanding job as a part time researcher in the Appellate department of the District Attorney's office. Her new position gave her a great deal of flexibility in her schedule as well as allowing her to work from home some days. Catherine put her extra time to good use, spending most of it Below, even teaching a civics class for the older children two days a week.

Catherine thought about her visitor in the coming days. But when nothing else happened, she forgot about her mysterious encounter until one day almost two weeks later when she received a call from the office of a well known estate attorney who happened to be an old law school buddy of Charles Chandler.

He requested that she come to his office immediately on a matter of some urgency. Perplexed, Catherine went as soon as she could. She was immediately shown in to the office. To her astonishment, Mr. Smythe from the bookstore was present as well.

"Hello, ." Russ Wheeler, the estate attorney greeted her. "Thank you for coming so promptly. I believe you know Mr. Smythe."

"Hello again, my dear." The distinguished book owner added as he rose when she entered. As Catherine took a seat, the two men returned to theirs.

"I'm sure you're wondering what this is about." Mr. Wheeler began. "I'll be brief. About two weeks ago, Mr. Smythe contacted me concerning a will he found in a book in his shop. It was made by Kristopher Gentian, the artist."

"A will?" Her shock was evident in her voice.

"Yes." Mr. Smythe interrupted. "I found it in a box of old books in my basement. I considered contacting you immediately, but I decided to ask Mr. Wheeler's advice since he's been handling all Kristopher's affairs for me."

"I don't understand." Catherine replied in confusion. "What has this got to do with me?"

By way of explanation, Mr. Wheeler picked up a document from his desk and handed it to Catherine. "This is only a copy. The original is now on file with the probate court. I took the liberty of having the will authenticated, Ms. Chandler. Since the document was found posthumously, I felt it was necessary, particularly since it's been over two years since Mr. Gentian passed away. You'll be happy to know it's completely genuine."

Catherine read the paper in her hand with increasing shock. Though hand written, it was clearly a will naming Catherine Chandler as Kristopher's executor and placing her in charge of all matters concerning his estate. But it was the last part that had her mouth dropping open. In the last paragraph, Kristopher named Catherine as guardian and trustee of his minor child.

"This makes no sense." Catherine frowned as she stared at the document dated only a few days before Kristopher's 'death'. 'Kristopher had no children."

Mr. Smythe looked pointedly at Mr. Wheeler before commenting. "I'm afraid that's not exactly accurate, my dear. It seems Kristopher did indeed have a child, a little boy. His name is Andrew."