"What the hell's the kid going to do with that?" Emerson demanded.
"It's not for Nicholas," Verity announced, belatedly reading the small card. "It's for me. To help me get my strength back quickly."
"How the heck is a hunk of crystal going to do that?" Emerson growled.
"Who knows?" Jonas gave his wife a secret grin. "Look at it this way—it can't do any harm."
"Let's see what Lehigh sent," Emerson said encouragingly.
Verity obediently tore the paper off the last package. When she raised the lid on the long thin box her eyes widened in amazement. Inside lay a dagger with a jeweled handle. "Lehigh certainly has an odd notion of what to give a newborn."
Emerson chuckled and came around the side of the bed to get a closer look. "Probably expects the kid to take after his dad. Hell of a dagger though, isn't it? Look at that handle. Knowing Lehigh, those stones are real. Take a look, Jonas." Emerson stood back.
Jonas frowned as he glanced at the dagger. "Looks genuine, all right. Fifteenth- or sixteenth-century Italian."
"Probably from his collection," Emerson remarked.
Jonas reached into the box. His fingers closed around the hilt of the dagger.
Verity sucked in her breath as the walls of the hospital room began to curve around her.
She turned in the psychic corridor, searching for him. He smiled at her from the other side of the mysterious tunnel. His golden eyes were gleaming. He held the jeweled dagger in his hand.
"Your talent," she whispered. "It's back."
"Strong as ever," he said with laughing satisfaction. "Guess it just needed a little time to heal."
He tossed the jeweled dagger into the air. It spun end over end, the stones in the handle flashing brilliantly. The corridor wavered and vanished.
Jonas caught the dagger with easy grace and quickly dropped it back into its box.
"Hey, you two okay?" Emerson demanded. "You've both got funny expressions on your faces."
"Everything's just fine," Jonas said as he leaned down to kiss his wife. "Isn't it, my love?"
"Perfect," Verity agreed with a smile that was more beautiful than the crystal and the gems around her. It was a smile as brilliant as the gold in her husband's eyes.