(This story is written strictly for the free enjoyment of fans of the "Beauty and the Beast" television series. No copyright infringement is intended.)

Catherineís Mirror

Linda Stork

Catherine was excitedly packing clothes and items in her backpack. Vincent was going to take her on the long promised camping trip to the crystal cave. She had come down to the tunnels yesterday after work and was looking forward to having a week off for a vacation. She and Vincent were going to leave early this morning for their 5 day camping trip.

"Catherine, are you ready?" asked Vincent as he entered the guest chamber, where Catherine had spent the night.

"Almost," replied Catherine. "Will you hand me that brush on the dresser over there?"

Catherine noticed that as Vincent picked up the hairbrush, he studiously avoided looking into the mirror attached to the dresser. Then she remembered that there were no mirrors in Vincentís chamber.

"Vincent, why donít you have a mirror in your chamber?" she asked. Although she was sure she knew the answer, she wanted to hear Vincentís response.

"I do not need a mirror to remind me I am not like other men, to remind me of the creature that I am," was Vincentís bitter response.

Catherine was getting irritated with his bitterness over his appearance and his disbelief when she told him how beautiful he looked. She decided to do something about it.

"Vincent, sit down here at the dresser," she commanded. "I want to show you what I see when I look at you."

Reluctantly, Vincent sat facing the mirror, but avoided looking at his visage. Catherine came up behind him, placed her hand on his chin and forced him to look straight ahead. He was immediately repulsed at the face in the mirror.

Catherine said, "No, donít look at the whole face. Look just at your chin. It is a very strong chin." She ran her finger lightly across his chin, caressing it. "The hair is very fine, soft." Her voice softened, and Vincent was hypnotized by the sound.

"Now look at your bottom lip," she said softly, running her finger the width of his lip. Then she moved her finger to his upper lip. "And here, look at your upper lip." She ran her finger over the lip and lightly into the cleft. "This piece of skin here, Vincent. Is it more sensitive than the rest of your lips?"

"Yes," Vincent breathed. He was mesmerized by the sight and feel of Catherineís finger on his lips. He felt as if every nerve ending in his lips was on fire.

"Open your mouth, Vincent," Catherine said. When he did so, she lightly touched one upper fang with her finger. "Donít you know how much I love to see your fangs? Oh, Vincent, donít you know how sexy they are? Why do you think there are so many Vampire movies and books?" she laughed.

She then rubbed the space between his upper lip and nose. Again, the hair was very soft. Vincentís eyes followed every movement of her fingers in the mirror.

"The hair on your nose is slightly rough when I rub it down, but soooo soft when I rub up between your eyes," Catherine said in a murmur. She traced the ridge of hair from the tip of his nose, up to where it formed a frame for his eyes.

She moved her fingers to his cheeks. "Most men have to shave every day, Vincent. Their cheeks are very smooth right after they shave, but are rough and stubbly after a few hours. Your facial hair is so soft, velvety. You never have to shave, do you, Vincent?"

"No," he replied. "I did, once, when I was a teenager, but didnít like the feel of my skin. I felt naked, so I never did that again."

Catherine caressed his cheek again. "Look at those high cheekbones, Vincent. Many men would die to have cheekbones like that. Now, your hair. I have always like long hair on men. Your hair is a little coarser than most men, but it is a beautiful golden color, and I love to run my hands through it." As she said this, she was running both hands through his hair. Vincent momentarily closed his eyes to savor the feeling.

"Now, look at your eyes, Vincent. They are the color of the sky on a cloudless summer day, such a beautiful blue. Look into those eyes, now. Look deep into them and you will see the caring, gentle man inside. Oh, Vincent, when I look into those eyes, I see the bottomless love you have for me!"

Vincent looked into his own eyes, trying to see what Catherine saw when she looked.

"Look at your whole face, Vincent." He refocused his eyes to take in the complete picture of his face. "How can you look at that face and not see how beautiful you are!" Catherineís eyes were filled with tears as she watched Vincent.

Vincent stared at his reflection for several minutes, absorbing Catherineís words. His eyes darted from one feature to another; his lips, his hair, his eyes, remembering what Catherine had said about them. Then he looked up at her reflection as she stood behind him. His expression was one of wonder at what he saw. He quickly stood up and turned to face Catherine. There were tears in his eyes, too. They moved together and he wrapped his arms around her gently.

"Catherine, how can I thank you?" he said. "You have shown me how I look when I look into loveís mirror. I will never forget that." Vincent slowly lowered his lips to hers, no longer ashamed of the different contours of his lips as they touched hers.

As his lips moved over hers, Catherine lightly touched her tongue to the skin in the cleft that she had touched so recently with her finger. Vincentís shiver confirmed the sensitivity he had attested to earlier. Both of them were breathing heavily by now and as Vincent moved back, there was such a look of peace on his face, Catherine felt her heart skip a beat.

Vincent smiled, took Catherineís hand, and said "Shall we start on that camping trip? I think it will be a very interesting trip . . . now."

The End