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The Bond


A BatB "Classic" Story


Part Eight



     He didn’t understand what drew him to the grate in the park. There he sat on a blanket that he and Catherine had shared many times as they listened to music flowing down to them. It was one of the few times that they could feel absolutely alone as they held each other close. Vincent let his blue eyes close as he sat there. He could hear voices of people filling the area above him. There must be a concert tonight. Music without Catherine. Could he stay and listen or would it be too painful? Then he heard it. Her voice.

     “Hi Kay!”

     “Cathy,” her father’s companion greeted. “You look beautiful!”

     “I’m glad you could join us,” a male voice said. Vincent knew it was her father.

     “We’re sitting here?”

     Vincent realized that their seats were close to the grate and that she would be experiencing the same pain that he was feeling.

     “You used to love these seats when you were a child,” her father said. “Cathy would wonder off of her mother’s lap and sit right by that grate. She’d always fall asleep with a smile on her face. In the morning, she would claim that she had a magical friend who lived down there.”

     Vincent drew a quick breath. Could their Bond have started many years before? When both of them were children? He and his brother, Devin, had stolen away from the home tunnels many times to this grate. They would listen to the music and Vincent would try to figure out what sort of person was behind each voice he heard. He remembered hearing a young girl’s voice many times. Sometimes she would whisper, “Are you really down there? I wish I could come down there. I want to be your friend.” Sometimes she would hum along with the music.

     “Oh, Daddy, I think you have a very vivid imagination!” Catherine chuckled but Vincent could hear the tremor deep within her. Could she also have just realized that their connection started as children?

     “That’s the truth, Kay!” Charles Chandler announced. “Cathy swore that when she grew up she would live in a magical place far below the earth. She said that there was a, how did you put it? Oh yes – a beautiful boy – that she would love forever.”

     “Daddy!” Catherine exclaimed. “Don’t give away all my secrets!” Although the three above him were laughing, Vincent could hear the anguish in her laugh. And then he felt it. She had re-opened the Bond.

*   *   *   *   *


     Her eyes grew wide as she realized that Vincent had heard everything they had been saying. Would he feel compelled now to honor her childish wish? But the danger involved in doing so would break her heart. Her eyes were drawn to the grate. Memories of the two of them together there flashed through her mind. She could almost hear Vincent’s breathing but it was the connection they shared.

     “Vincent, are you there? Can you hear me?” Catherine thought. She tuned the voices out as she concentrated on him.

     “I am here.”

     “I’m sorry, Vincent.”

     “We will still share the same music, Catherine.”

     “But not together.”

     “No. Never again.”

     “Cathy, are you all right?” Charles asked her. “You’re crying.”

     “The night air stung my eyes, Daddy. Please tell me that my mascara isn’t running!”

     Kay laughed and patted her hand. “You look beautiful,

     Catherine once more stole a glance toward the grate except this time the light seemed to bounce off of Vincent’s golden hair. She thought it looked like a halo. Through the Bond she sent out a warning.

     “Sit further back into the shadows, Vincent. The light is shining on your hair.” She noticed that he had moved. Safe again. Yet the risk of exposure was still there – as long as they were in close proximity to one another. If he felt any fear within her or the presence of danger, he would still try to protect her.

     “No!” she exclaimed.

     “Cathy, who are you talking to?” Kay asked.

     “You seem pretty jumpy tonight. Are you sure you’re okay?”

     Suddenly being in the park didn’t seem like a very good idea. “I can’t stay,” she told them. “I’m sorry but I have to go.” Before either of them had a chance to protest or inquire further, she was out of her seat and halfway across the lawn. She ran until she realized where she was. The tunnel entrance. Why had she come here? And then he was touching her arm.

     “I’m here,” he whispered. She fell into his embrace. Their hearts beat in unison. She felt him stroking her hair. Suddenly Catherine pushed herself away from him.

     “No, I shouldn’t have come. You shouldn’t be here. The danger.”

     “What danger do you keep referring to?”

     “Above. If people find you. The things they’d do to you. Everything Father told me.”

     “What did Father tell you?” Vincent stood straight. His height and build would have intimidated anyone but not her. She could feel her knees weakening at the sight of him. “Catherine?”

     “It doesn’t matter now. He’s right. Vincent, I need to leave.”

     “We should talk about this.” He sighed. “Perhaps in the morning.”

     “I’m going to Westport tomorrow. I mean I need to leave New York. As long as I’m around and you can feel any danger I’m in, it will put you in danger. It’s the only way you’ll be safe.” She turned to leave but he took hold of her hand.

     “Catherine . . .” his voice trailed off.

     When she turned to him, tears were in her eyes. “I love you, Vincent. Remember that . . . always.” Then she left.

     “And I love you, Catherine.” His whisper was absorbed into the concrete of the drainage tunnel. She didn’t hear him and now if she really did leave New York, she would never know.

*   *   *   *   *


     “Son, are you going to continue pacing out in the tunnel or would you rather come in?” Father asked.

     Vincent entered the chamber quickly without barely a glance at the older man. Finally he stopped and stared at him. “What did you say to Catherine?”

     “What do you mean?”

     “Something’s wrong and it’s not just my uncertainties causing this distance between us. She keeps mentioning danger and risks.”

     “You’ve spoken with her?”

     “Mostly through the Bond. Tonight I saw her and we spoke.”

     “And what else did she say?”

     “That she’s going to leave New York.”

     “She’s moving on with her life, Vincent. Be happy for her.”

     “I would be happy if that’s what it was, Father!” Vincent exclaimed. “She’s moving in order to make sure I stay safe. Tell me what this is about!”

     “Son, Catherine realized what exposure could mean for you – for our home. She is doing what she knows is the right thing.” Before Vincent could speak, Jacob continued. “You said yourself that she needed to move forward with her life – without you. To live the life that she was destined to.”

     “I shouldn’t have involved you in this,” Vincent said as he left the chamber.

     Mary found him pacing his own chamber later as she walked by. She watched for a moment until he felt her eyes on him.

     “Your troubled,” she stated.

     “Mm.”

     “It’s Catherine, isn’t it?”

     “She’s in such pain, Mary. She has such fears about putting the community and myself at risk of exposure.”

     “They aren’t groundless, you know?” She put her hand on his arm. “There is a risk. Always has been. And when you protect her from danger she encounters, there is greater risk.” He nodded. “Vincent, life is full of risks. Of course the risks you face are far greater than what most of us will ever face. Now, you are loved by a beautiful woman.” When his eyes grew wide, she chuckled. “Oh, yes, Vincent. Catherine loves you. Just as you love her. And love of any kind brings its own kind of risks. Sometimes we all have to decide if the danger and uncertainty of the future is worth the happiness and joy that our choices bring to us.”

     “What are you saying, Mary?”

     “If you love Catherine as much as I am sure you do, then you must decide if pushing her out of your life is worth the pain and suffering you both will live with. You must also decide how much danger of exposure you want to put yourself in. There is a balance, you know.”

     “How do I find such a balance?”

     “It’s in here,” she answered as she touched his chest to indicate his heart. Then she touched his forehead. “And here. Listen to both, Vincent.”

     “And Catherine?”

     “Let your love and your connection show her the way.” Then she kissed his cheek and left him alone to ponder her words.

*   *   *   *   *


     Mary found Father in his study. He had a book opened before him but he wasn’t reading. “Thinking about your son?” she asked.

     He jumped somewhat at her words. “Mary!” he exclaimed. “I didn’t hear you.”

     “Perhaps you haven’t heard many things of late.” At his frown, she continued. “Your protective parenting skills have become obsessive where Vincent’s concerned. He knows that he is special. Unique. He doesn’t need you to remind him of his limitations at each turn. He also needs some affirmations from you that love is a wonderful thing.”

     “What nonsense have you been telling him?” Jacob stood and met her eyes.

     “The truth.”

     “Perhaps if Catherine had become a member of our community, then maybe I . . . “

     “Oh pish posh,” Mary said. “It’s not that she lives Above or if she would live Below. You’re afraid of losing your son. You’re afraid that her power over him would be stronger than yours. That she would influence him so much that there would be great danger to all of us and to him. You love him and you’ve never put him in danger. I love him and have never put him in danger. Why on earth would you think Catherine would?”

     “You don’t understand, Mary.”

     “I understand all too well, Jacob Wells. And if you search deep within yourself, you’ll also understand.” She turned to leave but stopped at the entrance and turned back to him. “You will lose him . . . if you push him away from Catherine.” Then she left.

     That night Jacob, Vincent nor Catherine slept well. All were restless. Vincent had tried to reach Catherine through the Bond but she had shut herself off. He fell asleep with her name on his lips and her face in his dreams.

*   *   *   *   *


     “Vincent!” The cry woke her. Catherine sat up in her bed and cradled her head in her palms. It had been the dream. A dream of a future without him in her life. Without sensing the Bond. She still felt the vast emptiness that had filled her in the nightmare. “How can I live without you – somehow – in my life?”

     The room was still blanketed in darkness. Her bedside clock told her that it would be a few hours yet before dawn broke the sky. With a determination unlike any she had felt before and a resolve to somehow work things out with her beloved, she threw on a robe and made her way to the sub-basement of her building. It was only after getting that far that she allowed the Bond to reopen.

     “Vincent, I’m here!” As soon as the whisper left her throat, she felt a surge of motion through the special connection.

*   *   *   *   *


     “Catherine!” Vincent opened his eyes and hurriedly rose from his bed. Throwing on his cloak over his nightclothes, he ran full speed toward the threshold separating their two worlds. As he ran, he felt her heart calling toward him. “I’m coming!”

     Soon, he saw her standing there and without any thought, took her into his arms and held her close to him. He felt the beating of her heart and heard her cry. For several moments the couple remained locked in an embrace.

     Finally, he moved and held her away so he could look at her face. “To think I almost threw it all away,” he whispered.

     “What?”

     “This,” he answered. “Seeing your face. Hearing your voice. Feeling the beat of your heart. Holding you close to me.” He peered into her green eyes. “The dream we share. We might have lost it.”

     “Never,” she told him.

     “When you said you were leaving New York . . .”

     “To visit my friend, Nancy,” she interrupted. Then she saw the confusion in his eyes. “You thought I was moving away forever?” He lowered his head. “Oh, Vincent, I’m so sorry I gave you that impression.”

     “It’s all right,” he told her. “Just the thought of losing you forever . . . “ His words trailed off.

     Catherine searched his eyes for the truth – the truth that he loved her. Instead what she sought so desperately to see was felt through the Bond. The feeling was incredible and overwhelming yet she knew that if she told him that she had felt his desire and passion for her, it might scare him even further than what he’d tried.

     “It is all right, Vincent,” she whispered to him. “We are all right.”

     “Do you think that we knew many years ago?” He peered into her eyes. “When we were children?”

     “I know that I felt it then,” she responded. “Something that I couldn’t put into words.”

     “Our Bond. Our dream.”

     “For now,” she said more strongly. “Believe in us, Vincent. Believe in the power of that dream.”

     He nodded his head slowly. “I do, but I also must face reality and so should you.”

     “What reality is that?” she asked him.

     “That I can never be what you need.”

     “No!” she exclaimed as a cry tore through her. She knew that he felt her sorrow and pulled him into another embrace. With his hear closer to her mouth, she swore, “I will never allow you to think that you are less than what I deserve. If nothing else, you are more than what I deserve, Vincent. You are more human than any man I’ve ever had a relationship with is. Your heart is gentler than those Above are are. And I would go anywhere – be anywhere – Above, Below or go to the ends of earth forever if that’s what it takes to be with you.”

     He allowed her words to engulf him, comfort him like a quilt, move through his soul, and touch his heart like a feather. He felt the power and love behind her words and knew that she was telling him the truth. The truth – what he had sought for so long. Finally he broke the embrace gently and once again his sapphire eyes met her emerald ones.

     “I believe you, Catherine. I believe in you and I believe in us. Forever.”

     With his last word, they hugged each other fiercely, with the realization that nothing – not Father, not her job, not the risks, not their fears, nor their differences would come between them. The Bond had started when they were young children, became a reality when Vincent rescued her on that cold night over a year before, and became stronger as their love for each other grew. And as Catherine sighed with relief that all was well between them again, she had a foreboding thought that caused her to shiver – it would take death to close the Bond – and maybe, just maybe, not even that.

*   *   *   *   *


     The End.




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 & 2003 ® Wendy Littrell

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

Part Six

Part Seven

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