Dreams of Thee

Chapter 19


As he strolled through the tunnels, people stopped their work to reach out to touch Vincent. Hands grasped his in welcome, and children ran to be swept up in his strong arms, whispering new secrets to their tall friend as tiny fingers stroked his face.  Vincent moved forward, touching the outstretched hands, returning the smiles freely given, until he reached Father’s study. “Father, why is everyone not at work?  Why are they waiting to talk with me?”

Studying his son closely, Father reached up to caress his son’s face—a face he had instantly loved from the first moment.  “They love you, Vincent, and wish to share their love with you, to let you know what they have always known . . . that they love you.”

In spite of his efforts to retain it, Vincent’s dream slowly faded.  He slowly opened his eyes, finding his face snuggled against Catherine’s breasts. The slightest movement caused his head to pound, so he reconsidered leaving this warm safe place, closed his eyes and drifted back to sleep.


The mist was all around him, and ahead he saw the passageway.  Trailing behind Devin and Mitch, Vincent waited until they were hidden behind the rocks and then he, too, found a hiding place. They were going to spy upon someone, he had heard that much.  Mitch had forced Devin to leave him behind. Vincent was determined that he was grown up enough to do whatever they were going to do. 

This spying game wasn’t fun, not like the fun he and Devin had, and Vincent didn’t know why Devin didn’t want him along, telling him he was too young.  He could hear Mitch and Devin laughing, and he thought it was funny the way Mitch’s voice went up and down, squeaking very high then falling to a deeper tone.

He heard something. Mitch and Devin were quiet, concealing themselves behind the rock, so Vincent waited, too.  The older boys peered from behind the rock; then, lying on their bellies, they slid forward to watch.  Their eyes grew large, and Mitch poked Devin. “See, I told you, they do so have hair down there; when they get hair it means, well, you know, they can have babies.”

Vincent peeked out from behind his rock but he didn’t see what the big deal was about the girls swimming naked in the pool; he and Devin had gone swimming naked in the pool all the time and they had swum naked with lots of kids when they were younger.  This wasn’t any fun!

He slowly stood, starting to make his way back to the passageway, when his foot slipped on a stone and he fell backward, rolling down the embankment.  Devin and Mitch quickly turned at the sound of falling stones, and Devin made a dive for Vincent as his smaller body rolled past. The girls screamed and scattered, grabbing their clothing and hiding as they quickly dressed.

Devin pulled Vincent up, and together they scrambled up the rocks with Mitch following behind. “Father is really gonna yell now.” Mitch pushed Devin aside and grabbed Vincent, shaking him violently as he screamed at him.  “I ain’t gonna get no beating because of you, freak. Why’d ya have to follow us?  I told you he was too young, Dev. No use looking at girls, Vinnie. You’re so freaking ugly, no girl is ever gonna want them claws of yours on them, and she sure ain’t gonna let your little pecker get close.  They shoulda left a freak like you to die.”

Devin hit Mitch then, causing his nose to bleed. “Leave my brother alone.”

“It ain’t your brother. It’s a hairy freak. He ain’t got no feelings.   Freaks can’t feel; and even if they could, they ain’t got no right to, cuz nobody cares about freaks.”

Vincent broke free of Devin, charging and growling at Mitch. “Take it back. I’m not a freak. Father told me I was different from others; I’m not a freak.”

“Freak, freak, freak!” Mitch screamed as he hurtled down the passageway to escape Vincent’s wrath.

Father did punish them. After the sternest possible lecture on the right to personal privacy, he sent them to bed without dinner.

Vincent’s crying woke up Devin. “I’m not a freak, I’m not,” he sobbed into his pillow.

“Shut up, or else Father will be in here again. I’m in enough trouble already because of you. That wailing is gonna wake up everyone and then he’ll be on my case.”

“I’m not a freak.”

“I told you not to come with us, not to follow us, but you did. It’s your own fault.  If you hadn’t been there, Mitch wouldn’t have said all that.  Just shut up before the old man comes in here.”

The dream slowly began to recede, but in the distance he could still hear Mitch shouting, “Freak, freak, freak.”


The grinding of teeth awakened Catherine; she barely had time to realize where she was before she heard the most soul-wrenching sounds. Vincent lay curled in a tight ball, his long muscular legs drawn up to his chest, his broad shoulders hunched forward, one hand curved against the edge of the mattress. The sounds which assaulted Catherine’s ears were nerve-shattering, coming in waves, creating a cacophony of fury. Through the grinding, gritting teeth escaped growls, snarls, and disjointed words of pain which were impossible to categorize, but caused immediate tears to gather in Catherine’s eyes, so unbearable and soul-shattering were their origins.

Pushing her hair back out of her eyes, Catherine reached out, laying her hand gently upon Vincent’s muscular arm. “Vincent,” she softly called, her voice gentle and soothing, “Vincent, please, wake up.” His body continued to shake, and the growls grew louder. Again she softly called his name, and she leaned closer, trying to understand the few intelligible words which escaped despite his clenched teeth.

Suddenly, Vincent sat boldly upright, his eyes fixed on some unseen terror within his own mind. Catherine continued to call gently to him, and slowly his eyes lost their glassy stare as his head slumped forward into his hands.  At first Catherine was not sure of what she had heard, but then as she strained to hear the sound again, she realized she had heard him say, “I’m not a freak.”

The deep guttural growls ceased, but his lungs continued to drag in great gulps of air as his golden hair fell forward, concealing his face. Vincent fought to gain control of the emotional vortex which surrounded him. Slipping her face beneath his curtain of hair, Catherine gently kissed his dampened cheek, and then pressed her face to his.

Catherine’s other arm slipped beneath his massive chest to encircle him, gently stroking his back as she continued to press her face against Vincent’s.  Finally, the taut muscles in his back began to relax, his breathing returned to its normal shallow state, and he slumped forward against Catherine.

Like the wings of a butterfly, Catherine’s lips moved across his face. “Tell me.” Her voice came like a soft delicate breeze, lifting and carrying away his sorrow. The years of aloneness, the small and large hurts, the hidden truths of Mitch’s hateful words, the soul-rending fights with Devin, the betrayal and guilt he had lived with when Devin went Above, his remorse, regret, and hatred of his own body, and the pain his body and his desire had inflicted upon Lisa slowly poured out. Things he had never spoken of nor written of in his journal moved from deep within as Catherine held him tightly.

Catherine’s fingers softly caressed his face, touching his shoulders, holding his hands, pressing her face close to Vincent’s as he spoke, allowing her constant touches to reassure him of her steadfast love, acceptance, and devotion to him. The great wounds within Vincent’s heart opened and were washed clean in the outpouring of Catherine’s love.

“I know all that is within your heart. I feel your love.” Catherine pulled him closer, wrapping her arms about him. “Let me hold you; let me feel the warmth of your body against mine. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of how wonderful it feels to have my arms around you . . . the wondrous feel of your heart beating strongly next to mine.”

They drifted in a peaceful, restful place and finally slept. Catherine awakened hours later and saw by the clock it was nearly two a.m.  She noticed how peaceful and relaxed Vincent looked as he slept beside her.  His face was totally serene, and she marveled at how much younger he looked. Carefully, so as not to awaken him, she slipped into the bathroom and, stuffing a towel under the door to help block the sound, she turned on the shower to a bare trickle of water and bathed.  When she finished, she wrapped her hair in a towel and then walked to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.

Carrying a tray with the tea and muffins, she entered the bedroom.  Vincent was seated on the edge of the bed, his long legs bent, and his head in his hands. “Are you considering becoming the model for a new version of TheThinker,” she laughingly asked.

“I hardly believe they could improve the original!’

Catherine set the tray on the bed then moved into Vincent’s waiting arms.  Her arms wrapped around his head and he pressed his face against her warm, silky soft skin.  “Did I awaken you?” she asked as she kissed the top of his head.

“Yes and no. I felt you leave and thought you had just gone to the bathroom, so I drifted off again. I became aware you were no longer close by, and I awakened. I was only sure that I felt the absence of your warmth.”

Tilting his face up, Catherine murmured, “I shall always be here; you’ll never be alone again.” She lowered her lips to his. Vincent’s heart pounded at her touch. He opened his legs, and she instinctively moved to stand between his muscular thighs, molding her body to fit closer to his. Vincent’s powerful arms wrapped around her, drawing her still closer, and a deep moan started within his throat as his lips parted to receive Catherine’s kiss.

A small purring sound escaped Catherine’s throat as Vincent’s lips kissed the sensitive skin behind her ears, gently licking the scar he found there. “If you continue, our tea will grow very cold,” she murmured as she involuntarily moved to allow Vincent’s mouth greater access to her neck. “You do want some tea, don’t you?”

Catherine lifted the tray while Vincent rearranged the pillows, drawing his long legs onto the bed before taking the tray from Catherine.  Sitting on her knees beside him, Catherine poured the tea, handing him the cup, then spooned jam onto the rapidly cooling muffin.  While Catherine fixed her own muffins, Vincent waited for her, but his hands constantly reached out to touch her, reassuring him of her presence. “Catherine, I need to keep touching you.” His voice was filled with longing.

“I awaken wanting your touch, and I sleep peacefully because of it,” she murmured.

“Why did you awaken so early, Catherine? Were you unable to sleep?”

“I made a decision. And once it was made, sleep was impossible.” Vincent’s eyes were inquisitive as he waited for Catherine to explain.

“Vincent, I wish to go home.”

“But, Catherine, you are home.”

“No, I want to go home, to our home. I wish to return Below, to be with Father, our family and friends who love us.  We came here to be together, and in being together, we started the journey toward our own personal healing.  But our healing will never be complete until we go Below and face the ghosts of our pain.

“I need to apologize to Father, to beg his forgiveness and have him understand why I tried to kill myself, why I violated my own promise to him that I would never hurt you or cause you pain.” 

Her eyes held a pain which cut Vincent’s tender, delicate heart, a pain borne of truth and knowledge. “Father understands, Catherine; he knows your heart.”

“He may understand, but I need to ask for his forgiveness, for my sake.

“And you need to face the ghosts of Devin, Mitch and Lisa on your own ground, with me beside you every step of the way to brush away the painful cobwebs which still surround your chamber and the tunnel playgrounds. Please, take me home.”

“I can deny you nothing, you know that. Are you sure? Tonight, here with you, I was able to speak of things locked within my soul, unspeakable things. When doubts stay with you for years, they become an unequivocal, permanent part of you.”

“You need to accept that your differences do not deny or negate your birthright as a man. It is your differences which make you unique, special.  The appearance of your body is obvious to all, but it is your soul which attracts people to you. Your soul remembers the simple joys of childhood and gives those same joys back anew to the children of the tunnels.”

Vincent’s face softened as the intense emotions of their bond caught and held within his bursting heart. 

“Your very acceptance of others is what causes them to reach out to you, to love you.  It is not just polite kindness because you are Father’s son; it is all that you are, the gentle spirit housed within such a large body, that makes you beloved by all.”

“Catherine, do you truly believe this?”


“But how can that be?  My appearance is . . . .”

“Beautiful. You know my heart, Vincent; we are based in truth, you and me. Our bond is the truth between us, allowing no falsehoods. Feel what is within my heart, my soul.  Accept it as the truth, and never doubt.”

Catherine’s eyes never left his as she spoke, telling him how beautiful his whole being was to her. 

“You are sure?”


“We will go home,” he managed to whisper as he fought to control the emotions welling within.

Putting aside the tea tray, Vincent gathered Catherine in his arms.  The nearness of her, the evidence of her declaration of love pouring through their bond, was more than Vincent could bear.

Feelings whirled through him as waves crashing upon a rocky shore. breaking and falling, battering his mind and soul. He clung tightly to Catherine, his lifeline against this assault upon his very soul.  Catherine, who loved him beyond all his dreams, who filled each waking moment with new, brighter dreams - his Catherine who found him beautiful, who welcomed, who wanted his touch—all this and more whirled about him.

A ragged sob escaped his tightly clenched jaw. “Catherine.” His voice was husky, filled with emotion, love and passion. “I need to feel you pressed so warmly against me. I need you so very much.”

Catherine pulled his body closer, wrapping her arms tightly about his trembling body. “I’m here, my love, I’m here.”

His eyes begged Catherine to understand his consuming need, his desire, his love, the pain which dwelt within, and the hope that fluttered in his heart in the newly gained knowledge that his solitude was ending

Rising from the bed, Catherine moved the tea tray to the floor.  Vincent reached for her as soon as she was near the bed, pulling her across his chest, capturing her mouth, searing her lips with his own. Vincent’s large, textured tongue plunged and stroked her mouth as his hands slipped inside the loosely belted robe to caress her body.

Catherine ran her fingers over his furred chest, loving the feel of the long, golden hair which covered his chest. Lifting her lips from his warm, wet mouth, Catherine trailed kisses down his chest as her fingers moved slowly across his flat stomach.

He felt on fire as Catherine’s fingers moved lower. “Catherine.”

Vincent’s powerful arms lifted Catherine upward, sliding the robe from her body in one fluid motion.  He sought her lips, the feel of her mouth beneath his—soft, warm, sweet, but filling him with fire.  They moved together as one, filling with the consuming love they shared, the need to be as one.

Moving toward her breasts, Vincent buried his face in the hollow between them as his fingers stroked to further arouse Catherine’s rigid nipples.

“Vincent, please, your mouth.”

As Vincent’s mouth tenderly claimed one rigid peak, Catherine’s soft moans filled the room.  Catherine’s body moved beneath the gentle onslaught of his tongue, her hands entangled in his hair as she sought to pull his mouth closer, the intoxicating feel of his tongue fueling her fire. Vincent’s hips thrust against her as his tongue continued its leisurely caress of scalding fire.

Sliding her hand between their hips, Catherine’s fingers lightly caressed his fully aroused manhood.  “Please,” she whispered into the air above his head, “I need, want to touch you. You feel so beautiful, I need to see you, touch you.”

The air suddenly felt cool against her dampened nipple as Vincent’s mouth ceased its fiery dance.  Catherine’s fingers sought to further arouse him as she captured his pulsating shaft, her mouth moving down across his chest, leaving scalded, fiery flesh in its wake.

Vincent sought to caress Catherine, running his hands over her hips, lingering, then sliding across her thighs. Catherine’s ministrations to his body caused Vincent’s body to take on a life of its own, shuddering, moving without control as her hands and mouth increased their desire to arouse him.

He tasted of salt, and never had she tasted anything so sweet as she lifted her mouth, turning to smile into his dark, passion-filled eyes. Pulling her up, Vincent rolled Catherine onto her back; her legs parted, bidding him welcome as his eyes devoured her body.  Feeling as though he were drowning within her beautiful green eyes, he slid slowly within the warm, moist sheath of Catherine’s welcoming body.

Moving together, they became as one body, one spirit, spiraling together toward the union which was their destiny. Catherine’s hips rose to meet his thrusts.  Her cries filled the room as Vincent filled her body, both of them beyond reasoning, knowing only their need to fuse their bodies as one.

Wanting all of him and more, Catherine wrapped her legs around him, pulling him deeper with his every thrust. Vincent’s hips moved faster, burying himself within the honeyed fire, his eyes locking on her as she rose to meet his final thrust as he spilled his love within as his body shuddered, trembled.  Catherine’s eyes never left his as he collapsed into her welcoming arms.  “Beyond all life, Vincent, know that I love you now and forever.”


Chapter 20

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