Deep beneath the city, the golden haired man sat opposite his father. A chessboard lay out between them. He was about ready to take the older man’s knight, when he felt it.
“Vincent?” Jacob Wells said. “What is it?”
“Catherine,” he answered. “She’s opened the Bond.”
“You said earlier that you felt as if she had been suppressing something.”
“Yes,” Vincent answered.
“Is she all right?”
“Father, she is very tired.” The other man didn’t speak as he watched his son sit very still as if listening to something he couldn’t hear.
Finally Jacob spoke. “Perhaps she is. You had said that she has been working long hours lately.”
“Yes,” Vincent responded. Then the feeling was gone. He sensed motion as if Catherine was riding in a car and thoughts about Peter. “Is Peter still in the Tunnels?”
“I heard my name.” Both men looked at the entrance of Vincent’s chamber where the physician stood. “What’s up?”
“Have you spoken with Catherine today?”
“Not today. Is something wrong?”
“Vincent feels as if she is thinking about you.”
“Maybe Susan called her. She just arrived yesterday and she loves getting together with Cathy.” Vincent gently inclined his head in affirmation to the doctor’s comment. “I wouldn’t worry too much, Vincent. If something’s bothering her, she’ll let you know.” He shook Jacob’s hand and then turned toward the son. He put his hand on his shoulder. “Everything is okay.” Again Vincent moved his head. “I must go for now. I’ll be back to check on Olivia’s sprained wrist tomorrow.” Then he was gone.
“You don’t believe Peter?” Jacob asked Vincent.
“I believe in the Bond, Father. I know that Catherine is physically well. She is not ill. Her heart, though, may be in turmoil.”
“You want to go to her.” It was a statement.
A small smile crept across Vincent’s unique mouth. “After I win!” Both men chuckled.
“Cathy!” Peter exclaimed as he entered his home through the secret panel in the study. “We were just talking about you!”
She didn’t need to ask who the ‘we’ were. Instead she rose from the sofa and embraced her friend.
“Something is wrong.” He led her back to the couch and sat down with her.
“I just need to rest, Peter. Please don’t tell Vincent that I’m unwell. I don’t want him to worry needlessly.”
“What seems to be the problem?”
“My heart. My spirit. I can’t seem to find any rest. Any peace within myself.”
“And what causes this? Your job? The danger?”
“I don’t know.” She looked at him as tears formed in her emerald eyes. “I’m afraid.”
“Afraid of what, my dear?”
“Afraid of what the answer is.” He nodded at her words. The name was unspoken. She was frightened that Vincent was the reason behind her turmoil. That the secret they shared was eating away at her. Peter comforted her for a short time before she sat back. “Do you happen to have an extra bed that I could lie down in?”
“Of course, my dear.” He led her up to the second floor. Susan met the two at the top of the steps.
“Cathy? Is everything okay?”
“She just needs some rest,” Dr. Alcott told his daughter.
Cathy smiled slightly at her friend. “I’m sorry, Susan. I do want to catch up with you.”
“You get some sleep. We’ll talk later.” Susan reached out and squeezed Catherine’s hand.
Peter led the woman to a room at the end of the hall around the corner from the other three bedrooms. Even though it was still daylight outside, the room was in complete darkness. For a moment, Catherine felt him hesitate as he reached to flip the light switch. When he did, the room was bathed in soft light emanating from an antique lamp on the bedside table.
Catherine gasped as she saw the furnishings. It reminded her of the chambers Below. The bed was a high double bed crafted in mahogany. It had both head and foot posts that rose toward the ceiling. Many pillows and comforters covered the inviting place to sleep. The lamps, tables, chairs and rugs seemed as if they had been plucked right out of either Vincent’s or Father’s chambers. Even the books on one of the tables. Dickens, Emerson, and other first editions.
“I’m sure you’ll be comfortable here,” the doctor told her. “A little of both worlds.” As he stepped beyond the threshold and was preparing to close the door, he added. “Just push that button,” indicating a built in speakerphone in the wall, “if you need anything. Otherwise, you take as much time as you need and I’ll see you later.”
Catherine set her handbag on one of the tables and then opened the armoire. There were a few gowns – also reminding her of Below. She slowly undressed and folded her clothes before lying them at the end of the bed. She put one of the gowns on and climbed up into the bed. It was so comfortable and soon she was asleep. Her last waking thought was on her beloved far below the city.
“Would you take this to Catherine?” Vincent held out a letter to one of the Helpers who had been Below and was now returning Above.
“Sure thing.” The man took the paper from Vincent. “Everything’s okay isn’t it?”
“I’m sure it is.”
After the man left, Vincent moved to his chamber. It had been awhile since he’d felt Catherine but just as he took his seat in the chair, he felt her. Her breathing was different as if she was in slumber. Her spirit was at rest. He opened his journal and read the script that he’d penned the evening before after he had returned from her balcony.
My Dearest Catherine,
Every moment that we are together is a moment in time I never thought would
be mine. I sense your growing care for me and I rejoice in that feeling. I often wonder
when the time will come that you will realize that you are meant to live a life without
me. How will I cope without you in my life? How will I be able to live without you?
I am aware that someday our dream will end – that you will fall in love with a man
with whom you can share your whole life. A man that you can introduce your friends
to. A man that you can be proud of. In my dreams, I am that man, but upon awakening
my heart is sorrowful knowing that life will never be mine. That you will never be mine.
Not the way a woman should be to a man. For now I will savor each moment that we
Vincent closed his journal and sighed heavily. The emotions he had felt within her the night before consumed him with desire. He knew that she was falling in love with him and yet it saddened him to realize that someday she would come to regret that love. For it would keep her from the life she was meant to live with a husband and children and a home of her own. A home where all of her friends could gather. As long as he remained in her life and as long as they both kept the dream alive, he knew that she could never have that.
It was with that thought that Vincent knew the time had come to let her go. He would have to be the one to sever their relationship. He wasn’t sure if he could ever sever the Bond that they had but he would do everything he could not to open his end of it or try to feel her through it.
Vincent stood and began pacing the floor of his chamber as he considered what he should do. His heart was breaking as he moved. To go through life without Catherine in it would kill his spirit.
“Son, you are troubled.” Vincent saw Father standing at the entrance of the chamber. He watched as the older man hobbled to the chair, his cane tapping on the floor. "Tell me why your heart is heavy tonight.”
“Father, I fear that Catherine’s feelings for me have changed.”
Jacob could only hope his son meant that she had realized the foolishness of the relationship she had with Vincent. “I have said again and again that some day she would realize that this friendship with you could only lead to disaster.”
“She’s falling in love with me,” Vincent stated. He had stopped pacing and faced the man in the chair. “I have been sensing her deepening feelings toward me.”
“You must stop this now!” Jacob exclaimed. “Or it could be your undoing!”
Vincent was taken aback at Father’s harsh words yet he realized the truth of his statements. “I know.” His voice was just above a whisper and Father had to strain to hear them.
“Well . . . good. It’s about time.” Jacob felt awkward. “And it troubles you to find the words necessary to end this?”
“To not have her in my life, Father. To know that I can never be part of what she needs, what she is destined to become. My heart is dying and yet there is nothing I can do.”
“From the moment our paths crossed, I’ve kept the dream alive and every time she is near, I feel more a man.” Before his father could speak, Vincent continued. “But what I am, that I can never walk with her in the sunshine, that I can not be with her as a man should to a woman, pains me to the very core. I don’t want her to ever regret our dream and so I must end it now in order for her to live the life she is supposed to.”
Father rose from his chair and moved to his son. He couldn’t bear to see such anguish in Vincent’s eyes. Putting his arms around him, Jacob embraced him and smoothed his golden hair.
“It will get easier, Son.” Then he moved out of the chamber.
All characters are the property of Ron Koslow, Republic Pictures, and CBS. No infringement is implied or intended. Story is purely for entertainment purposes only. "The Bond" copyright 2002 ® Wendy Littrell
"The Bond" copyright 2002 ® Wendy Littrell
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