Dreams of Thee

Chapter 14

 

Vincent moved his battered body, wincing at the pain his movement caused.  Ignoring the pain, Vincent drew the pillow under Catherine’s head, and he tried to rest on the side where she had not struck him.  Vincent held her close to his battered body and prayed he had done the right thing.  Tears slid down his face as he thought of how he had goaded and tormented her to release her pent-up rage, but the righteousness of his actions did not soothe his tormented soul.  He was sickened with guilt over his relentless torment, the way he had terrorized her by running his claws across her face trying to bring back every emotion, every moment of her actual attack as the razor slashed her face again and again. His own fear had been that he would accidentally cut her with his claws.

One moment her eyes were closed, but when Vincent looked at her again, Catherine’s green eyes were staring into his deep blue ones.  “Vincent, why is your eye bloodshot?”

Vincent’s heart stopped beating at the sound of her voice.  He quickly sat up, turning to face her as her question sank into his mind.

“Catherine? Catherine . . . can you actually see?”

“What a funny question, Vincent. Of course, I can see your red eye.  But that doesn’t tell me what happened to you. Why is your eye red, and why is your face bloody?” Her voice began to falter as reality seeped into her bruised, battered mind. “Vincent, I can see. Ican see your beautiful face.”

Vincent reached to gather her into his arms and hold her again but he froze, seeing the look of horror on her face. It was a look Vincent knew, one which was burned into his memory.

Catherine neither saw nor was aware of Vincent at that moment as the events of the past two years began crashing in on her: her long-suppressed rage over the attack; the conflict in trying to live between two separate, distinct worlds; the secret of loving Vincent as passionately as she did and the total denial on his part of a physical relationship; these and many smaller, less defined wounds rose, creating a maelstrom.  Voices and images pounded ruthlessly against the delicate balance of her psyche, rising around her as flames licked at fall leaves, consuming and charring all within their flickering fingers. The flames reached higher, choking her as she fought to breathe, to survive the pain which consumed her naked, battered soul.

Vincent could only stare as these emotions washed over Catherine, each clearly visible as they played across her expressive face. The images Vincent saw and felt as they swirled around Catherine stopped his desperate need for flight, to escape that which was overwhelming.  In many ways, Catherine’s emotions were mirror opposites of his own and all he had endured in his struggle for self-acceptance, the emotions and needs he had suppressed for years before Catherine freed him from his overpowering fears of loving.

Vincent watched, momentarily powerless to help Catherine, uncertain of what, if anything, he could do to help.  He felt his own heart breaking as the intensity of her pain echoed through him.

“Vincent....oh, God, Vincent, please, help me. The voices…I can feel the razor slicing through my face.  He won’t stop, he keeps cutting me . . . it hurts.”  Her voice rose and fell as the images moved within her. “I love him so desperately. Doesn’t he know how I hurt, how much I long to...no, no, please, don’t go. I’ll be good . . . I won’t ask for more than you can give . . . I can’t tell you more. He’s hurt, Isaac, we have to find him . . . we must get him home, help me . . . Daddy, don’t leave, please . . . don’t die . . . I have nothing, no one, if you die . . . you are everything . . . so beautiful, can’t you see . . . so pointless, hopeless, no reason . . . better to die than . . . .” Catherine’s voice grew weaker, and she reached out toward the only warmth she knew. “Vincent, I’m so lost.  Help me, I’m so frightened. Please, Vincent, help me.”

Vincent drew Catherine’s trembling body against his wildly heaving chest as he fought to control his overwhelming emotions.  The high, prominent cheekbones on Vincent’s face were awash as the tears coursed down his face.  Never in all his experiences had he known the utter despair of having witnessed the emotional shattering of another soul.

Vincent held her as she sobbed, soothing and rocking her as her grief poured out, cleansing the consuming pain.  His own anguish and pain poured forth, too, as he continued to minister to Catherine.  There had been many moments in their relationship when he had held her as she cried, but never such soul-wrenching sobs. The sounds of her sobs were like tiny daggers piercing his heart, shattering it anew.

The intensity of her sobs, the very fact they grew with intensity rather than subsiding, worried Vincent. He was beginning to become more frightened about her emotional well-being.

“You are safe.  No harm will come to you,” he whispered as he stroked her dark golden hair. “I’m here, Catherine. I will watch over you. Rest.” His voice sounded far calmer than his emotions were, and he hoped it soothed Catherine’s tortured mind.

Vincent stretched his long arms across the bed, reaching the phone, and once again dialed Peter. “Come. It is done, but I don’t know how to put the pieces back together.”

 

Chapter 15

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