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The Touch of Your Hand

by Joan Stephens

Catherine paused in the doorway of Father’s chamber, surveying the scene before her.  The din of conversation could be heard all the way to the junction that led to this chamber.  Sadly, she thought how at one time Vincent would have been waiting for her at her threshold to the tunnel world, but since his descent into darkness and his subsequent healing, their bond had been lost.  Now he waited for her to come to him.  Not that she begrudged this, but she missed the loving feeling of him within her heart.  She felt lonely and lost, cut adrift from the one she loved above all others. 

He was deep in discussion with Cullen, Kanin, and Mouse and didn’t know that she was there.  Cullen happened to glance her way, and she shook her head, telling him not to say anything.  With a secretive wink, he nodded once and turned back to the discussion. 

Carefully, she threaded her way through the crowd, her eyes only on Vincent’s broad back, and the members of the community fell back with conspiratorial smiles, making room for her to proceed.  She almost came to a complete halt when, without even turning to her, Vincent thrust his hand out behind him.  With a small gasp of pleasure, she took his hand, and he pulled her against his side and laid his arm about her shoulder.  She looked up to see Cullen wink at her.  There was no power on earth that could keep the blinding smile from her face as she winked back at him. 

With an apology to his friends, Vincent led her away to a relatively quiet corner of the chamber.  Pulling her ever closer to his side, he looked down into her glowing, green eyes.  “What took you so long?” he asked.  “I felt you coming nearer all the time.” 

Overwhelmed with joy, it took a minute for her to answer, “Oh Vincent, it is back.”

“Yes,” he whispered in her ear, “now I can rest easy, knowing that we are once more connected.”

“But when?"

“I felt your sorrow as you stood in the entrance.”

“I was only lamenting the fact that our connection was gone and how comfortable it had made me feel.  Can you feel what I’m feeling now?” she asked, projecting all the love she felt for this man.

“Yes, and it humbles me, Catherine, to know that I am the recipient of such a love.”

With a deep sigh of thanksgiving, she encompassed as much of him as she could and pressed her cheek against his chest.  She wasn’t lost or alone anymore, and she wasn’t cut adrift from his love; they were one again.