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Chapter 5

by Joan W


She was losing him and could feel Vincent weakening by the moment. Waves of love flooded through the bond to settle in her heart. She knew that he believed he was going to die and was wrapping a comforting blanket of love around her . . . his last and final gift.

Her gasp brought both Kipper and Cullen’s eyes up to hers, the two of them looking at her with open concern.

Tears fell faster than she could speak, her voice struggling to push past the lump in her throat, “We have to hurry! He’s dying!”

The cab driver was doing his best, but the traffic ahead of them was making it impossible.
At the rate they were moving, they would never reach him in time, and Catherine had never felt so helpless in all her life. ”We have to get to the warehouse!”

The cabbie replied “Sorry, wish we could move lady, but there is an accident up ahead. The cops should have things cleared out in a half an hour or so. ”

Utterly despondent, Catherine put her face in her hands, completely at a loss for what to do. Looking out the window, she knew it was not possible for them to run, given the distance they had to travel and the dangers posed by heavy traffic. No, they needed another solution and fast!

Just as panic was starting to set in, a policeman on a motorcycle pulled alongside their cab, and even though she had assumed he would pass them by on his way to the accident he didn’t.

Instead the motorcycle parked next to the curb beneath the luminous halogen glow of a streetlight. When Catherine looked at the officer again, a flicker of hope sent her heart soaring. Smiling from under a motorcycle helmet was a face she recognized…


Making a gesture toward the back of the bike, he said in a voice that would penetrate glass, “Cathy, hop on! “

“Who is that guy? Do you know him? ”Cullen asked.

“Yes, but I don’t have time to explain it to you right now. I promise I will later . . . I have to get to Vincent quickly and this is the only way! I need you both to stay in the cab, get to the warehouse.” Glancing at the cab driver, she added “As fast as you can!” He nodded his understanding.

She gave him the address and dropped a hefty sum in the man’s outstretched hand. Catherine left the cab quickly, exiting into the chilly night air. Without any hesitation, she moved to the motorcycle, and straddling the back of the bike, wrapped her arms tightly around Kristopher’s waist.

“Hang on to your hat!” he said, turning to her with a grin. “I’ve always wanted to drive one of these!” Kristopher shifted gears and suddenly the bike sped forward with its lights flashing and sirens blaring. They wove in and out of the congested traffic, making Catherine feel lightheaded.

“I never did like staying in the lines” he quipped.

* * *

Vincent drifted in and out of consciousness, yet he could feel her nearing, and a glimmer of hope sprung up within him. Perhaps she would reach him in time.

These past few weeks he wanted nothing more than to tell her of his need and desire. His heart, body, and soul ached for her touch, longed for her love. It was useless to resist it anymore. He knew if he survived this he would have to face his greatest fears and move well beyond them toward love.

He’d begun to realize that Catherine loved and accepted him for all that he was. But did she really know what she was getting? The answer was clear in his temporarily lucid mind; yes she knew, and she wanted him. She had chosen him!

Life was nothing without Catherine, and if given a second chance, he was determined to show her the depth of his love.

Steeling himself against the pain, he fought hard to stay alive. He would not let their love die easily.

* * *

Over the loud rumble of the engine, Catherine shouted,” What has happened to Vincent? Tell me!”

“He was shot and believe me Cathy, I’ve done everything I can . . .” Kristopher replied in a voice loud enough to be heard as he downshifted to a much quieter gear.

She clutched his shoulder terrified to ask the question but needing more than anything to hear his answer. “What do you mean everything you can?”

“When he found me, he was bleeding. I tried to make him comfortable to help him rest, lit the lamp, and covered him up before he passed out. But I knew I had to find you - Vincent is alive, so please, please, please, don’t worry. We’ll get there in time! We won’t be too late, I promise. Okay? ”

Somewhat relieved and grateful she fondly gave him a light squeeze. He looked back over his shoulder at her, his boyish grin tinged with a bit of melancholy.

Within minutes, Kristopher spun the bike to a bone jarring halt in front of the warehouse. By supernatural means the doors to the old building swung open. Catherine hastily dismounted from the motorcycle and ran through the doors, calling out for Vincent.

There was no answer. Frantically, in the dim light, she searched among the covered crates, and found him crumpled on the floor next to the wall. She felt for his pulse, and was relieved when it throbbed under her fingertips. “Vincent, wake up, I’m here… I’m here now. Hold on my love; help is coming. Please… talk to me.”

At the sound of her voice, his eyes opened. “Catherine, I . . . " and then silence as she watched him slip into dark oblivion.

Moving his cloak aside, Catherine gently removed the bloodied, makeshift bandages, checking the wound. It was deep and he had already lost so much blood. She took off her jacket and wadded it into a ball, placing it firmly over the injury. He moaned as she applied the necessary pressure in order to quell the flow of blood, but eventually it lessened.

The lantern was her only source of light, and raising it, she could see far out into the room. Old steam pipes, once used to heat the warehouse long before it was abandoned came into view. Within a few moments she had reached them, and using one of her shoes, began to bang out a cadence for help, praying desperately that someone below would hear it.

* * *

“Have you seen Mouse?” Jamie asked entering Father’s chamber.

“No, I thought he was with you,” Father replied.

“Well, I can’t find him anywhere! If you see him tell him I’m looking for him, okay? ”

He nodded absently. Worry overwhelmed him, consuming his every thought. It had been over an hour, and still no word from Catherine, Cullen or Kipper. Mouse was admittedly his last concern . . .

* * *

Vincent was so cold and pale. He was in shock and she knew she had to do something fast. Lying down on top of him, she pulled the worn blankets over them.

Molding her body to his was easy as they fit perfectly together. Catherine began rubbing his arms, shoulders and chest to warm him. His breathing was shallow but deepened as her hands moved over his body.

Physical contact between them had always been so limited, but she knew why he held back. He feared for her safety, uncertain of how he would react if he lost control. Still, she couldn’t help but dream of the day when he would finally overcome those fears.

When this nightmarish ordeal was over, she vowed that she would tell him just how much she believed in him…in them. No one could ever fill her with love like he did. Tenderly she touched his cheek.

Catherine put her head down on his chest, listening to the faint but steady rhythm of his heart. “Stay with me, Vincent, I love you,” she whispered, tears gathering at the corner of her eyes.

If someone didn’t arrive soon and bring him to Father, it would be too late. Where on earth were Cullen and Kipper? What could be taking them so long?

A loud clanging noise startled her. It sounded metallic and close.

Looking up, she saw a tousled dark blond head peeking shyly over one of the crates.

“Mouse!” she cried.

He stepped out from behind the large wooden box.

Beaming with pride, he said, “Told them Mouse can find Vincent! Found Catherine too!”

* * *

Just as the Yellow cab was pulling up to the warehouse, two police officers were getting out of their squad car shining their flashlights over the motorcycle Cullen and Kipper had seen Catherine vanish on earlier.

“Oh no . . .” Cullen murmured, elbowing Kipper. “This isn’t good . . .”

There on the ground lay the broken chain and open padlock, confirming evidence that the place had been broken in to.


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