The Gentlemen The nightmare played over and over in his mind, the horror of it making him numb. He stared off, a grim expression etched on his visage as he absently stroked the side of Nikolas's face as his son found a small bit of comfort with his Father by his side. The words Alan had carefully chosen rang in his mind.

She may not make it through the night. Prepare yourself.

So Father and son sat in the uncomfortable chairs, too stunned to say anything. Nikolas had attempted to remain strong, but Stefan knew the deep pain incised in the dark orbs and had simply enfolded the young man into his arms and allowed his child to weep openly, shielding him the only way he could.

He had never felt so powerless in all his life, unable to help the woman he considered a daughter, who was fighting for her life in the OR, nor the son who had just proposed to her that night. Around the room, a gathering of family and friends had converged in the waiting room, all mirroring his own sentiments of the horror of earlier that evening. All that was missing were the two men responsible for the turf war that may claim young Dawn's life.

Stefan's eyes settled on the darkness outside the bay window. For now, he would do nothing, but as dawn approached, he would unleash a wrath on those accountable that even his Mother would nod her head at in approval.