Classic Round Robin ~ Chapter 5

by  Clairisant

 

Charles Chandler looked out the car window when it pulled up to a stop.  He recognized the office of his old friend, Dr. Peter Alcott.  Tossing a resigned look at Kay as she urged him out of the car, he walked up the steps with her beside him.

His mind was clearly not on his own health or the fact that she had brought him to see his doctor when he asked her, “Kay, my dear, what do you think about setting Cathy up on a blind date with young Wyeth, the new lawyer at the office?”

Kay arched her eyebrow as she replied, “I know you want to see your daughter happily married, Charles, but I also know she has a mind of her own just like you do.  How did you feel when friends started trying to set you up after Caroline died?”

“That was different!” he sputtered, “I had lost someone!  Cathy broke off an engagement over a year ago! Why hasn’t someone as attractive as she is found someone new by now?!”

“Maybe she is waiting for Mr. Right to come along,” Kay suggested as they entered the waiting room.

“Well maybe young Wyeth is Mr. Right!  I wanted her to have someone in her life before we told her about us!”

“Really Charles, why do you think she needs to be in a relationship before you tell her we are going to be married?”

“Because ever since her mother died when Cathy was ten, it has been just the two of us  against the world; and I don’t want her to think I am abandoning her to be on her own while I go off and get married again.”

“Charles! Cathy is a grown woman! Surely she can handle the fact that her father has found happiness after twenty years, and without falling apart!”

The receptionist that had checked them in while they had been having this discussion asked them to follow her as she took them to an exam room.

Peter Alcott came in a moment later and, by way of greeting, said, “You two just barely caught me.  We were about to close.  Now what seems to be the problem?”

*****

When Vincent paused, Catherine repeated the words he had once said to her, “You know you can tell me anything, Vincent.”

‘I love you,’ he thought, but knew he would never have the courage to say those words out loud.

Her heart heard and leapt for joy, so much so that it took her a moment before she realized that he had started speaking aloud.

“Catherine the Bond we share runs so much deeper than just what is between you and me. It is merely one thread in a vast cloth that spans all time and distance. We share connections with every person we have ever met in our lives, and while some are much deeper and stronger than others, they all join together to weave this majestic cloth. I have never known a link as strong as the one we share, and I cherish it above all others.”

Trying to swallow her sigh of disappointment, Catherine responded, “I cherish our Bond too Vincent.” Giving him a parting hug, she turned and was about to vanish into the bluish light coming from the basement of her apartment building.

He had taken a step away from the threshold so he wouldn’t have to watch her disappear, when the sound of her voice calling his name drew him back.

When his eyes met hers again, Catherine smiled brightly and told him, “I love you too.”  The stunned look on his face was all she had hoped for as she quickly turned away and started to climb the rungs of the ladder.

Vincent stood there bemused, unable to move as his thoughts raced.  ‘She heard my thoughts!  She knows how I feel about her!’  Then after a moment passed as that sunk in, the next thought hit him like a ton of bricks.  ‘She said she loves me!’

He wasn’t quite sure how he made it back to his chamber that night, or how he got dressed for bed, except that both were done out of habit.  But, even as sore and weary he was after the events of evening, he knew he would not get any sleep as he contemplated her words.

Oh my darling, Catherine, he thought, but stopped abruptly when he clearly heard in his mind

Yes, my love?

It was Catherine and she had heard his thoughts!  It seemed that the Bond he had fought so long and hard to make her believe was one sided was now openly functioning both ways.  To keep his thoughts from straying any further, he got out of bed and chose a book of poetry to keep his mind focused until his beloved had fallen asleep.

Catherine might have been hurt if she didn’t have so much on her own mind that needed sorting out.  She wondered if Vincent had known that their Bond could work two ways.  How wonderful it would be that she would now be able to sense his feelings just as he had been able to sense hers!  But as she thought back on what had happened when she was Below, Catherine realized that it hadn’t just been feelings she had been conscious of for the first time!  It had been his thoughts too!  It had been as clear as if they had been talking out loud to each other!  And then, just a few moments ago with Vincent far below the city streets and she eighteen stories up, she had heard him calling her his ‘darling’ just as clearly as if he had been standing next to her.

She changed out of her clothes and into a pair of pink silk pajamas, then climbed into bed as she pondered all the possible scenarios of this new discovery and what they could each mean.  But after several hours of this, the only firm conclusion that she could come to was that she had to talk to Vincent.  Before she would let herself become hurt or angry if he had known their Bond could work both ways, she wanted to find out if he had, or if he was just as surprised and delighted about it as she was.

Calling out his name in her mind brought no immediate answer.  She wondered if he was asleep and not able to respond.  Then it occurred to her that she might be able to use the new found power in their Bond and ‘tune in’ to him to discover if he was asleep or not.

Trying to completely clear her mind of all the swirling thoughts that were filling it, she focused her mind to reach out to him; and as just as if he were sitting there and reading to her, she heard in her mind the poem he was reading.

She was touched that he was reading Whitman’s verse about trees because she knew how Vincent loved to walk in the park at night and enjoy the trees that he couldn’t see in his home Below.

Hating to interrupt him, but needing answers to the questions plaguing her, she once again called out his name.  Still she got no response, so this time she tried to call out loud, “Vincent, I need you!”

That got his attention, and he stopped reading.  After a moment he tentatively thought, Catherine?

Yes Vincent, I need to see you! she thought back.

He took a sense of the time, even as his mind reeled that they were once again talking with thoughts, just as if they were in the same room. It is almost dawn, Catherine. I cannot come Above.

There is almost an hour until sun up, and I really need to see you!  Please! she begged.

Vincent was unable to deny her when her need seemed so great.  He thought to her, I am on my way,  as he rose, slid his boots on and swung his cloak around his shoulders.

As Catherine waited for him to arrive, she paced.  She wondered if she should make some tea to offer him, but decided against it because she didn’t want anything to distract him from the conversation they needed to have.  Not knowing exactly how long it would take for him to get there, she thought she should be wearing something more than her pajamas, so she reached for a matching silk robe. Then she remembered what a chilly night it had been; and since she had never been able to get him to come into her apartment, she figured she needed something warmer if they were to talk on the balcony.

Normally she would have tossed things out of the closet and onto her bed as she rejected each item, but she didn’t want to take the chance that Vincent would look into her room and think a tornado had gone through it. She was still undecided when she ‘felt’ him arrive on her balcony.  Her hand landed on a sea foam green quilted robe that didn’t go with her pajamas at all, but it was at least warmer than her silk one and should cover her completely. Sliding her feet into her slippers, she opened the French doors from her bedroom and stepped onto the balcony.

“Vincent, I’m glad you came,” she greeted him.

“You said you needed to see me, and it sounded important.”

“Yes, I had some questions about what happened earlier.”

For just an instant, he thought about trying to deflect the conversation she wanted to have by talking about what had taken place in the park; but in the next heartbeat, he knew that he couldn’t do that when Catherine needed answers as badly as she did.

“What do you want to know Catherine?” he asked gently.

“Did you know that our Bond worked both ways?”

He might have skirted the truth from time to time with her when he thought that it would hurt her; but he had never lied to her, and he wasn’t going to start now. “Yes, Catherine, I did.”

“Vincent!  Why would you keep something like that from me!?” she gasped.

The hurt that flooded her at his answer hit him like a blow from one of the teens in the park. “Our Bond was something very new to me, Catherine. I didn’t know at first how deep it went.  I had to learn how to filter all the information that was coming through to me from you. One day, for instance, I was suddenly feeling like I was starving. The problem was that I had just finished eating a rather large lunch. It took me a moment to realize that it was you who was hungry.”

“You were blocking your side of the Bond because you didn’t want me to know when you were hungry?!” Catherine gasped in astonishment.

‘No, because I didn’t want you to know how I felt about you.’

“You didn’t want me to know that you love me?” she asked, as if he had spoken his thought out loud.

With a sigh, Vincent realized that it was time that all of his secrets were going to come to light.  “No, Catherine, never that.  Although, I never thought I would be able to tell you that.”

“Okay . . . now I don’t know whether I want to know why you thought that first or what feelings you had for me other than love that you didn’t want me to know about!”

His cheeks filled with color, and he thought about trying to hide behind a curtain of hair; but he could see the moment that his feelings of embarrassment became known to Catherine.

“Vincent, tell me,” she pleaded in almost a whisper.

“Catherine, I am ashamed of the feelings that I have had about you, and although I know they spring from my love for you . . . .”

She almost missed the last part of what he was saying as she thrilled to hear him finally admit his love for her aloud.

“They also come from my animalistic side.”

“Oh Vincent!  Tell me what these feelings are. You can just think them if you do not feel you can say them out loud.”

“I shudder to even think them in your presence, Catherine!  They are vile and savage!”

She started to ask if that meant he wanted to hurt her when she felt a strong wave of desire come over her.  Catherine admitted that she had those feelings for Vincent, but she knew she hadn’t been feeling them right then.  So, they had to be coming from him!

Trying to suppress giggles at the very natural feelings of desire that had made this innocent man think he was an ‘animal’, Catherine moved forward and embraced him.  “Oh Vincent!  Those feelings are natural!”

Backing out of her arms, he denied that vehemently. “No Catherine!  There is nothing natural in what I have felt!”

“My love!” She paused a moment to let him absorb her endearment before continuing. “Let me assure you that the things you have felt are not only natural, but normal when you are thinking about someone that you love.”  Catherine could see that he was about to interrupt her with another denial, so she quickly finished what she had been going to say, “Because, Vincent, I feel those things about you.”

“Catherine, that is not possible!  There is no way that you could . . . .”  He stopped abruptly when she stepped up to him again and this time placed her hand in the middle of his chest.

“Vincent, it is clear that it would take longer than we have right now to convince you with words, so I want you to listen to my feelings instead.”  Then before he could protest this, she closed her eyes and imagined him kissing her.

She knew that she now had his full attention, so she gently allowed her thoughts of the kiss to progress to caressing.  She had meant to stop at that point so as not to shock him, but she could sense that he was still not convinced that what they felt could be the same; so she allowed her mind to imagine the two of them making love.

“Catherine!” he gasped, bringing his hand up to cover his racing heart, forgetting for a moment, that her hand was already there.

Their hands met, and he tried to look away from her but she locked him with her gaze.  “Vincent, I do feel desire and passion for you. It is not wrong, or dirty, or animalistic.  It is beautiful, and I hope that one day our relationship can go to all those places, but for now, I think that we could start with just a kiss,” she told him, standing on tiptoe waiting for him to bring his head down to hers because even at her tallest she couldn’t reach his lips with hers.

Ever so slowly he lowered his head, as if he were afraid of what was about to happen.  But he sensed within Catherine her overwhelming desire for this kiss, and he could not deny her something that he himself wanted so badly.

As their lips met all the barriers finally melted away, and Vincent at last saw himself in her eyes . . . through and with the eyes of love; and he saw how beautiful he was to her.  Catherine felt all the repressed feelings that he had held for her from almost the day they met, and the kiss that had started as an innocent first kiss, slowly deepened…

 

 

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