An Anniversary to Remember

by Joan W.

Authors note: I dedicate this story to my daughter J who inspired me to write again, and to all Beauty and the Beast fans…No copyright infringement is intended.

It was the evening of their fourth anniversary. Catherine had hurried home to their brownstone in order to begin preparation for the evening she had planned for Vincent. They had been married for one year, and although it was one of unbelievable passion and love, she somehow felt that a little extra "magic" was in order.

She had spent weeks preparing for tonight. She was going to cook a wonderful dinner, French cuisine. But afterwards—she smiled at that thought.

A trip to the costume shop for a sexy little French Maids outfit, complete with a filmy apron, fishnet stockings, and a feather duster. Yes, that should do quite nicely.

A knock at the door jarred her from her reverie. It was Kipper.

"Hi Catherine, Vincent asked me to deliver this note to you." His smile was as endearing as ever as he handed her the folded parchment. "Would you like to come in Kipper?"

The boy shook his head "No thank you, I have to be going."

"Before you go" she reached into the cookie jar on the counter and gave him an oatmeal cookie. "Wow, thanks!" he exclaimed and with that, he was gone.

Catherine unfolded the note, written in Vincent’s unmistakable

handwriting. Meet me below, in our chamber. Urgent. V

"What on earth?" she said aloud.

Her mind raced with the thought that something awful had happened. She quickly donned her coat and rushed to the basement door, ran down the steps into the wine cellar, and pulled open the hidden tunnel door. To her amazement, Kanin and Olivia stood on the other side of it.

"Come quickly Catherine," Kanin said urgently.

"What’s happened? What’s wrong? Is Vincent alright, has something happened to him?" Catherine’s voice shook with fear, but Olivia took her hand to calm her, saying, "No but there is something you must see."

They made their way quickly down the tunnels towards Vincent’s chamber, detouring through a side tunnel, one she vaguely remembered. "Where are we going? This isn’t the way to Vincent’s chamber."

"No" Kanin said with an impish grin.

They had stopped in front of a chamber with a large wooden door. "Now before you go in we have to put this on…" Olivia took a sash from the waist of her dress, and tied the material across Catherine’s eyes.

"What is all of this?" Catherine protested.

"Have patience, in a minute you’ll see…" Kanin answered.

Catherine heard the rusty hinges squeak on the door as it was pulled open, ushered inside by Olivia on one side and Kanin on the other. The room was warm, and smelled delightfully of roses and lilacs. Led a little deeper into the room, both escorts suddenly stopped.

"Are you ready Catherine?" The voice was soft as velvet. Vincent.

Catherine listened carefully to the close of the chamber door and she knew she was alone with her husband. Slowly, she pulled the blindfold from her eyes, astonished as she viewed the room—the very same chamber she and Vincent had decorated two years earlier for Kanin and Olivia on their anniversary.

There were candles everywhere, some held high; some low resting in the nooks carved into the rock. A small table was adorned with a white tablecloth and place settings for two. Serving dishes, both covered, were placed at opposite ends, while the center was decorated with a vase of beautiful white roses and white lilacs.

She knew instinctively that the antique bed in the other room was as it was for Kanin and Olivia, covered with white satin trimmed in lace. And, as breathtaking as it would be, littered with flowers, it wouldn’t even begin to compare with Vincent.

He stood near the table dressed in a white ruffled shirt, black vest, and soft black corduroy pants. In his hand, he held a bottle of champagne. His eyes were riveted to Catherine and a small smile teased the corners of his mouth. He was stunningly handsome and the sight of him left her speechless.

Vincent motioned for her to sit down at the table, and she approached on trembling legs, as he pulled the chair out for her. Gently, he bent towards her upturned face. "Happy Anniversary, my love," he whispered and then kissed her tenderly.

"It was four years ago tonight. This is a surprise, but you had me worried to death Vincent!"

He smiled sheepishly," Forgive me my love, it was necessary. May I?" He poured the champagne into twin glass flutes and then sat down at the table beside her.

"The room is beautiful, just as I remember it," she sighed.

"Yes, and tonight it is ours," he said taking a sip from his drink.

Curiously, Catherine lifted the lid of one of the covered dishes in front of her. To her surprise, it held a dessert bowl, a delicious white chocolate mousse swirled inside. The very dessert she had planned to serve Vincent tonight!

"Are you hungry Catherine?" He looked at her with such longing, fire burning brightly in his blue eyes. Before she could answer him, he abruptly stood. "I’m afraid this is for …. later," he said, then picked her up in his arms and carried her into the adjoining room.

She still had her champagne glass in her hand and an urge to giggle. "I guess that can wait."

He set her down against the pillows at the head of the neatly flower-adorned bed, but to her chagrin, Vincent did not join her. Instead, he walked away and into the outer room. One by one, he extinguished the candles until only a very large one near the bed was still aflame.

Sitting in the dark, she waited, wondering if she should undress, and exactly what he was up to, standing at the end of the bed staring at her.

Catherine started to speak, but Vincent put his hand up to silence her. He stood before her removed his vest, and untied the ruffled cravat at his neck. Ever so slowly he unbuttoned the pearl buttons on his shirt. After loosening it from his pants, he let it slip sensuously off his shoulders and down his torso to the floor. Vincent began to sway in fluid movements, sensual and seductive. He removed his leather belt and cast it aside.

Still moving, his hips undulated toward her, as he unbuttoned the corduroy pants. Slowly he let them slide down his legs, and then stepped out of them completely. Catherine gasped her breathing rough and ragged. He was wearing a leather thong that only partially covered his growing erection. She closed her eyes and groaned.

When she opened them again, he was moving towards her on his hands and knees across the bed. He was looking at her, the depths of his eyes smoldering. The only sound she heard was her husband’s frantic breathing as he reached out and took her in his arms.

"Oooooh, la la" she moaned in a light French accent.

Inwardly, she smiled. The magic would, forever, be there.