A light mist of rain began to fall. Victor Mazurich watched solemnly as they lowered the small coffin into the freshly dug grave. Victor has been coming here for the past few years to pay his respects to his wife Alexis. His son Arthur would be spending eternity next to his mother. In the last five years, Victor had lost his family; his wife to cancer and his son to a freak accident while playing with a school friend. Arthur fell or was pushed he hit his head on the ground; he lingered in a coma for three days before he finally died. The police ruled it an accident.
As the preacher finished the prayer, Victor place a small flower on his son’s casket and said a prayer. Victor waited until the casket was completely in the ground before he quietly turned and walked away. As Victor approached the car, his chauffeur/body guard opened the door for him. Victor slid into the back seat of the limousine.
Daniel Reese did not go to school today. His mother, Natalie, wanted to keep him home for a few days, until the shock of the events wore off. She wasn’t sure if she should send flowers to Victor Mazurich; there wasn’t exactly a protocol for this sort of thing. The last time Natalie saw Victor was at the official hearing to determine if it was an accident or foul play.
The day of the court hearing, Daniel told his side of the story; how they were horsing around when Arthur fell backwards and hit his head. The court accepted the story and ruled it an accident. Natalie tried to talk to Victor, to tell him how sorry she was. Victor just stared at her with his dark emotionless eyes. A chill ran down Natalie’s spine. She was afraid.
Life for the Reeses’ slowly moved forward. Three weeks had gone by; Daniel was back at school, trying to cope with what had happened. Daniel spent one hour a week seeing a counselor that the school had provided. Natalie too, was dealing with everything the best way she could. She had been raising Daniel on her own ever since her husband left. She did the best she could. Maybe it wasn’t good enough?
One day while Natalie was home, she was startled by a sharp knock at the door. She walked to the door, looking out through the pane of glass, her heart nearly stopped. Victor Mazurich was standing looking back at her with those same dark eyes. She cautiously opened the door; “Hello Mr. Mazurich.” She said her voice trembling.
“Good afternoon Mrs. Reese.” Victor replied. “I was hoping we could talk.”
“Uh, sure, please come in.” Natalie opened the door to allow Victor into her home. He was a tall man, well over six feet. He was dressed impeccably. Victor Mazurich was an imposing figure.
“Can I get you something to drink?” “Coffee, soda, anything?”
“No thank you Mrs. Reese.”
“Please, have a seat Mr. Mazurich; I did not get a chance to tell you how sorry I am about all of this.” “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”
“I appreciate your sentiment Mrs. Reese.” Victor said as he sat down on the couch. “But I doubt you will be able to bring my son back to me.”
“No, Mr. Mazurich.” “I can’t do that no matter how much I want to.”
“By the way, how is Daniel doing?”
“He is dealing with everything the best he can, he is seeing a counselor at school.” “Although I don’t know how much good it is doing him.”
“Guilt is a terrible burden for anyone to bear, especially children.”
“Please understand Mr. Mazurich, it was an accident.”
“Yes Mrs. Reese, I am aware of the court’s ruling.”
Victor sat silently for a moment before asking; “How old are you Mrs. Reese?”
The question caught Natalie off guard, she quickly composed herself and said; “I am thirty three.”
“How serious are you about you making this right?”
“I am not sure; I guess whatever is in my power to do so.”
“Well I have a proposition for you, Mrs. Reese.”
“What would that be?”
“Give me a child.”
“Excuse me!?” Natalie said. “I am not giving you Daniel.”
“I do not want Daniel, I want you to have my child.”
Natalie legs went weak. Was he serious? Was this some kind of sick game? “What do you mean you want me to have your child?”
“It’s simple Mrs. Reese.” “You will have my child.”
“Mr. Mazurich, this is insane.” “I can’t do it.”
“No, Mrs. Reese, insanity is having to live everyday knowing your child was taken away from you.”
“Mr. Mazurich, I am very, very sorry for what happened to Arthur, but you can’t expect me to have your child.”
“Mrs. Reese, let me put this plainly and simply.” “You will have my child.” “I know several good fertility doctors.” “Sex will not be required.” “I will pay for everything, from insemination, through the pregnancy until the birth.” “Once the child is born, you will give it to me and that will be the last time you will ever hear from us.” “If you do not agree to this, you will never see Daniel again.” “You have twenty four hours to think about it.”