A phone call home to Germany is made as soon as the girls pull themselves together enough to speak. The news is met first with incredulity, then with wild elation on the part of Carl and Veronique Diefendorf, who have never given up hope that their eldest child would eventually be found, even after all these years. Veronique breaks down into wrenching sobs of relief and happiness. Carl is more stoic, but tears of joy can be seen glittering even in his eyes as he hangs up the phone and comforts his wife.Immediately they begin planning a trip to a small Midwestern town in the US.
Over the next few days the girls gradually begin to get to know one another.
They spend hours together in the bungalow and in Gabrielle's hotel room talking and learning about each other's lives.
At first Giselle is reluctant to open up about her childhood, but eventually she feels comfortable enough with her new family to tell them everything -- well, not quite everything, but at least about her foster father and the life she endured with him. She does not mention her foster father's demise, however. That is a subject that even she and Jes do not discuss.
The parents eventually arrive, and a tearful reunion ensues.
"Mon Dieu! Giselle! Is it really you? You are so beautiful!"
Giselle smiles shyly and tries out the little French she knows. "Bonjour, Maman."She turns to Carl and says with a twinkle in her eye, "Hallo, Vater."Leaving Giselle to reconnect with the mother she never knew, Carl turns to Gabrielle.
"Liebchen, vat is this about you refusing to come home?"
Gabrielle has the grace to blush slightly and will not meet her father's eyes. "I'm sorry, Father. I . . . . I made a promise, and I will not break it."
She looks up, a hint of defiance in her eyes. "Not even for you."
Puzzled, Carl begins to press, but Emanuelle intercedes on her sister's behalf.
"Father, it's the man who saved our lives. He has gone back to Croatia to expose the person who ordered us killed. Gabby promised him she would wait for him."
A puzzled frown creases Carl's forehead. "She . . . . what?" He turns his attention back to Gabrielle. "Daughter, why would you do this?"
"I . . ." she hesitates, then blurts out the truth. "I love him, Father! He is . . . ." she looks wildly at her sister for rescue.
Emanuelle squeezes her twin's shoulder in support and says, gently, "Father, they are soul mates. Do you know what that means?"
Still puzzled, Carl nods. "Ja. I know the term. Your Mutter and I . . . ." he glances at Veronique. " . . . . we had a whirlwind courtship when she was my nurse when I was injured in France. I know 'soul mates'."
Veronique, sensing that she is the subject of conversation, turns, and as their eyes meet it is obvious that the spark remains, even after decades of marriage.
His eyes return to his daughter. "But Gabrielle, this man . . . ."x
"Father, he is a good man! He saved me from . . . ." Her eyes close briefly against the memory of the man in the alley. " . . . . from the hit man who was sent to kill me. He is trying to make certain that none of us are ever in danger again!"
Carl's expression is still troubled, but he caresses his daughter's cheek and says, "Well then, if you have promised, you must stay. When does he return?"
It is Gabrielle's turn to be troubled. "I don't know, Father. I . . . . expected him days ago. I haven't heard from him and I don't know . . . I don't even know if he is all right!"
Carl takes his daughter into his arms and comforts her. "It will be all right, Liebchen. If he is as good a man as you say, he will return. The man who tried to eliminate me is now in prison after being exposed. Your man will be back." If I have to drag him here myself!
To be continued . . .