By Midnight Rose 1993

It had been a long hot summer week in New York City. The humidity and smog were suffocating and the air-conditioner in the DA’s office had picked this particular ninety-degree week to go on strike. Relief finally came on Friday as Catherine walked home in the twilight. The night breezes had picked up and the hazy, humid air was being carried away. She took a deep cleansing breath of Central Park air and smiled. It was going to be a beautiful night. The whole weekend was stretched out before her and the thought of walking around barefoot the whole time was inviting to her sore, sweaty feet.

Catherine let herself into her dark, cool apartment. She gathered up the mail from the threshold and deposited mail, purse, and briefcase on the marble top of her nearby desk. She kicked off her navy pumps with a relieved flourish and left them where they fell beside the desk.

The fluttering of the sheer curtains shrouding the open French doors in the tiny dinette caught her attention. A smile touched her lips as her heart picked up the closeness of a beloved presence; the love of her life waiting just beyond the airy fabric. Vincent.

Stepping through the sheers, the first thing Catherine saw was a pair of feet propped up on one of the ironwork chair seats. Vincent was half reclined in the pile of cushions and pillows littering the far corner of tile floor, his feet elevated, ankles crossed. Catherine’s green eyes followed the length of two long muscular legs incased in worn blue-gray corduroy that ended at a wall of newspaper; she smiled. My dear husband is becoming more domesticated then I thought, she mused to herself.

Those unique feet drew Catherine to them. Discarded boots and socks stood at attention nearby and the once hidden appendages flexed in their freedom. These feet, like the rest of their body counterparts were covered in a layer of dark amber hair lying like a coat of short fur against a bronze hide. Claw-like nails had been neatly trimmed.

"What are these?" Catherine asked in amusement, her smile becoming a grin. She ran a single finger up a callused sole, the five digits curling.

A head of riot gold and the brightest of blue eyes appeared over the lowering shield of newsprint. The noble leonine features were unreadable as Vincent’s eyes shifted from his mate to the feet in question and then back at his grinning bride.

"Barefeet, Vincent?" Catherine questioned, arching a single brow. To be this casual on the balcony—no boots, no cloak—was very unusual for her unique and overly cautious soulmate.

Vincent’s sapphire orbs twinkled with mischief as ginger-tipped lashes dipped deliberately slow. In his deep velvet voice, Vincent responded quietly, "They look like lion’s feet to me."