“Is she still sleeping?” Susan asked Peter before heading to bed herself.
“Yes,” the doctor answered.
“Do you think she’s ill?”
“No.” Peter moved a few steps downward. “Not physically, but her heart is at war with her mind.”
“Are you going Below again?”
“I told Cathy I wouldn’t say anything about this. She needs her rest now.”
“Okay. Goodnight, Dad.”
After his daughter turned away to go to her room, Peter went down the rest of the steps. He went into the study and poured himself a glass of sherry. As the liquid swirled in his glass, he thought about his young friend upstairs and wondered how all of this would play out.
“Where are we?” Catherine asked as she looked around. There was sunshine and warmth. Vincent was beside of her. The radiance upon his hair was breathtaking. She reached out to touch it.
“We are in our own private garden,” he answered her.
“We can be together in the sun without any intrusion.”
“How did you know this was what I wanted?” she asked him.
“It is also what I want.”
“I love you,” she told him. He smiled and put his arms around her. She focused on his unique lips and wondered what they would feel like pressed against her own. “Kiss me, Vincent.”
“You are dreaming, Catherine.”
“I know but since this is my dream, I can have whatever I want,” she laughed. Suddenly darkness enveloped her and a stab of pain shot through her. “What is happening?” she screamed.
“To be with me means living in eternal darkness, Catherine.”
She heard his voice but couldn’t feel his arms anymore or see his face. “Where are you?”
“I am the darkness,” was the whispered reply. “It’s where I live. It’s my heart.”
“You heart is not in blackness,” she argued.
“Half of it is,” he answered. “The beastly part.”
“No! I refuse to believe that there is any part of you that is evil.”
“You’ve seen it, Catherine. You know what these hands can do. You know what these teeth can do. And someday I might turn on you.”
“Never!” she yelled. “How can you think that? You love me and with the love we feel for each other, we will get past the darkness.”
“I’m sorry, Catherine. Someplace within your heart, you know the truth. I must go now.”
Only silence answered her. And then the darkness began squeezing.
“Vincent!” she screamed. As her eyes opened to the room’s shadows, she screamed his name again before heart-wrenching sobs tore through her.
He had just swung himself over the balcony wall when he felt her pain. He doubled over with the anguish. The lights within the apartment were not lit and all was silent darkness. He tapped on the windowpanes. “Catherine?” he called. No voice answered to him. “Where are you?” he whispered.
The pain she was in went deep to his psyche. What could be causing her such turmoil? The explanation left him breathless. Their Bond and their dream. He must go to her. With the Bond open at its fullest, he left his spot and moved through the night toward her. Once again entering the tunnels, he traveled until he realized that he was near Peter Alcott’s home. So that was where she’d chosen to rest. Vincent decided against intruding on his friend’s private residence. Catherine would be in good hands. Peter would be a shoulder for her to cry on and perhaps talk her worries through with. With a heavy heart, he slowly walked back toward the home tunnels and to his own bed. Where, he knew beyond a doubt, he would not be allowed any rest that night.
“Dad?” Susan stood in the hallway. Her father had his ear against the door to the room where Cathy was. Both of them had heard her call out. “Shouldn’t we make sure she’s okay?”
“I’m afraid this is something she must work out on her own, my dear.”
“She sounds like she’s hurting so much.”
Peter nodded at his daughter’s intuitive words. “Yes, she is. And what or should I say who the reason is – she must come to terms with. We can lend her an ear and a shoulder, but no advice. Only truth.”
“And just what is that truth, Dad?”
“Only she knows that.”
Susan had moved to him and both listened to Cathy’s weeping. She wiped the tears from her eyes as she thought of the turmoil her friend was in.
“Why don’t you go to her apartment in the morning and get a few of her things? She may be here awhile.”
“Now, you go on back to bed. Cathy will be okay.” But as Susan nodded and went back to her own room, Peter wondered if keeping Cathy’s secret from Vincent was the best idea after all. When it sounded as if her crying had ceased, he sighed and went back down to his study.
Finally after mulling it over for another hour, he knew that he couldn’t let Cathy suffer alone. He opened the panel in the study and proceeded down the steps. He paused long enough to close the door behind him.
Father heard the tapping on the pipes indicating a Helper had arrived. It was the middle of the night. Who would visit at a time like this? He rose and wrapped himself in a robe then slowly moved to the tunnels. Vincent had already risen and was moving toward Father’s study.
“Who could be here?” he asked. Father shook his head. It was then both of them saw Peter coming toward them. “Catherine?” Vincent studied the physician’s eyes. “She is unwell.”
“She’s in great turmoil, Vincent,” Peter responded.
“Because of me,” the man stated. “I felt her unrest earlier. I followed it to your home. She’s staying there.”
“She came this afternoon needing a place to sleep. I guess she realized that there weren’t any phones to bother her there.”
“And I wouldn’t intrude on her privacy there,” Vincent said.
“She didn’t want you to know about her pain,” Peter told him. “But I think it’s necessary that you work this out amongst each other.”
“What is there to work out?” Father asked. “I’ve told Vincent that this friendship, this dream they have, is frivolous and will only hurt both of them. The sooner both of them realize it the better.”
Peter saw Vincent’s eyes close at Jacob’s words. He never failed to understand how he could wish any less for Vincent than what any man truly deserved. The younger man began pacing in the tunnel.
“I must go to her,” he finally said. “Now!” With that, he quickly returned to his chamber to dress. Jacob glared at Peter.
“How could you?”
Peter acted insulted. “How could I not, Jacob? It is not for us to decide their future. It is their choice.”
“I know the foolish choices one makes when love is involved. Nothing good ever comes of it.”
“Margaret’s weakness caused you a great deal of pain, Jacob,” Peter acknowledged. “Yet you must have faith in the care your son has for Cathy and that she has for him.”
“Care?” Jacob spat. “She’s falling in love with him.”
“And he has been in love with Cathy since the moment he found her in the park.”
“What does he know about love?”
“Perhaps more than you give him credit for, my old friend.”
“I fear for him, Peter.”
The physician saw that Jacob was terrified. “Of losing him to her?”
“Of losing him, period!”
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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