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Dancing in the Shadows
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 Dancing in the Shadows


Ayiana


Author's Note 1: Dancing in the Shadows is a re-imagining of the third season through the episode Invictus. It’s a hybrid, a cross between a novelization and an alternate universe reconstruction. As such, and because I wanted to stay as true to the original as possible, I borrowed many events, dialogue snippets, and even entire scenes from the source material and included them here, reworked to support the premise that Catherine survived her ordeal with Gabriel.


Author's Note 2: We know that the events of The Watcher took place during the week of April 12, but after that, things get murky. Taking advantage of that ambiguity (Trial and The Hollow Men must each have covered a time period of at least several weeks, since both involved legal proceedings), I've set the events in The Rest is Silence in mid September, and baby Jacob's birth in early April. There are places where this appears to conflict with canon, but I believe those conflicts are minor.


Author's Note 3: This was a massive project, requiring several months of concerted effort to complete. When I finished the rough draft, I was lucky enough to find some incredible women to help with the editing process. This story wouldn't have come out nearly as well without their help, and my thanks go out to Rachel, and Sylvia. I'm deeply grateful.


********************


Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


~~ W. B. Yeats


********************


Prologue


Some scientists believe that hurricanes can start with something as insignificant as the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, but the hurricane that changed Catherine and Vincent's lives started with a little black book.


It was the little black book that first brought Catherine to Gabriel’s attention. And, as is true for hurricanes, what happened next was all about the timing. If Gabriel hadn’t learned of her pregnancy, if he hadn’t locked her in a room with exposed plumbing, if Vincent hadn’t tried to rescue her, if the video cameras hadn’t been working . . .


The series of coincidences combined with Gabriel’s immense power to create the makings of a tragedy.


What Gabriel wanted, Gabriel got.


And Gabriel wanted Catherine’s child.


Catherine became an investment—and investments were to be protected at all costs. To that end, he locked her in a barren room, a room without pictures on the walls, without books, without music—without warmth. There was only a narrow bed, a small nightstand, and a grim private-duty nurse who was more security guard than caretaker.


For six months, Catherine’s only companion was the infant that grew in her womb, the infant who was her sole remaining connection to Vincent. Their baby—living testament to the depth of their love and to Vincent’s humanity—deserved to know who his parents were.


And so she talked to him.


She told him about the extraordinary man who was his father. She told him about poetry and music and long walks in the moonlight. She told him about hopes and dreams, about nobility and honor, and about what it meant to love somebody. And during the long dark nights, when her baby’s movements pulled her from her dreams, she would lay her hands on her growing stomach and soak the pillow with her tears.


It wasn’t long before she realized that they would kill her after her baby came, and that her only purpose here was as a sort of living incubator, a vessel from which her captor’s ultimate dream was to be realized. She knew it, and she prepared for it, and yet somehow, when the moment arrived, she wasn’t ready.


Even as her newborn son was taken from her . . .


Even as the doctor filled a syringe with morphine . . .


Even at the very end . . .


She prayed for a miracle.

                                                                     Chapter 1 

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