Diane Kenny



Her heart leapt.  "Vincent", she said as she rushed to him. "I was afraid that you were - that youÖ" still clinging to him she stopped.

"Afraid I would distance myself from you?" he continued for her.

"Yes" she whispered.

"We must never be afraid of the truth," he said lowering his lips to hers.



"Damn!" murmured Catherine while she reached for the alarm clock.  "Great timing!" she said, glaring at the clock.  She stretched, yawned and rubbed her eyes.  "Oh Vincent," she thought to herself, "Whatever am I do to with you?"

It had been over a month since she returned Above following the loss of her father.  Living Below, even in her grief, had filled a void in her heart.  A void she never knew existed until she resumed her life Above.  For a time she thought a solution was within her grasp. "Youíre a woman of both worlds now" he had told her.  Within these words she found hope: an idea started to form that she could somehow merge her life with his.  That was before the dramatic entrance of Lisa, the ghost of Vincentís youth, who even now haunted him. Now a new obstacle stood in the path to their dream - the past.

Patience, Cathy! She told herself.  Before the appearance of Lisa, sheíd decided there were two things she needed to get Vincent to move toward love Ė time together and a safe place.  A safe place was easy; there was only one place where he was truly safe and that was Below.  The time problem, however, would not be so easily solved.  For them, time had always been so measured; and usually filled with danger.  She decided to tackle these two issues first; then perhaps she could put Lisa where she belonged Ė in the past.


"Okay, Radcliffe, whatís up?  Joe said hurriedly.  "If this is about your vacation just post it on that calendar and itís yours."

"Vacation?  Sure Joe, Iíll do that but I need to talk to you."  She said seriously.

"Well spit it out then.  Weíve got work to do around her, you know."  He was still looking at a file on his desk.

"Joe I want a transfer to the trial division."

His head snapped up "Are you crazy, Cathy?  Youíre my best investigator.  No way!  Listen; just take your vacation.  Go somewhere exotic lay on a beach get a tan.  Weíll talk again after youíve had a break."

"Iím sorry Joe.  This isnít up for discussion.  Iíve given this a lot of thought.  In the past two years Iíve been kidnapped, shot, almost blown to bits and beaten up more than I care to remember.  I wanted to prove myself and I have.  Itís time to move on."  The look on her face told Joe there was no use in arguing.

 "Okay, kiddo, I canít argue with that, but I had to try."  He gave her one of his boyish grins.  "Iíll tell you what.  You clear up whatís on your desk.  When you get back from vacation weíll find a spot for you in trial."

"Thanks, Joe, I appreciate it."


With the constant threat to both her and Vincent reduced she could devote their time together to more pleasurable pursuits. Catherine knew where she wanted to spend her time off and a tan was definitely out of the question.  All she had to do now was finagle an invitation to stay below.

As Catherine descended the stairs leading to the threshold she felt a pair of strong hands grab her waist and gently lower her.  Turning in his arms she gazed into his blue eyes.  "I love you, Vincent" she said before dropping her eyes to his unique mouth.

He pulled her closer and she wrapped her arms around his neck.  "As I love you, my Catherine" his voice husky with emotion.  Gently he touched his lips to hers almost shyly at first.  He took in her breath as she sighed.

When she felt his lips part only slightly she tasted him for the first time.  He stilled at the touch of her tongue on his lips but only for a moment.  When at last his tongue tasted hers she thought sheíd swoon.  Never had a kiss affected her like this.

Catherine rolled over in her sleep and murmured "Mmmm Vincent"

Far below the city streets Vincent bolted from his bed and started to pace.  Catherine is kissing someone!  Itís the middle of the night and a man is kissing her!  Whoís with her at this time of night?  Why is she kissing him?

Vincentís pace slowed and he turned his head as if listening to a far away sound.  Searching the bond he found her to be asleep.  Feeling a bit embarrassed and ashamed of himself he laid back down.  It was only a dream, he told himself.  Still a question lingered in his mind - whose dream was it his or hers?


Catherine worked at a mad pace all week clearing her desk.  Tonight, finally Iíll see him tonight, she thought with excitement.  She couldnít wait to see him and tell him all her news.  Her change at work and the two weeks she hoped would be devoted to him (if heíd only let her).

She quickly showered and changed for her evening below.  Heading for their threshold her mind kept wandering to the dream she had of him kissing her there.  Slowly she descended the stairs and found him waiting.

"Catherine you look enchanting" he whispered embracing her.  As she looked up into his blue eyes she found herself wanting to grab a hand full of his hair reach for that kiss. She only found herself to be blushing much to her dismay.  "Thank you" was all she managed to say ducking her head.

Vincent found her emotions confusing.  He felt her joy as he always did when they were together but he a sensed a myriad of emotions to complex to separate.  Why, he wondered, is she blushing?

"Iíve got some news I believe will please you."  Catherine stated with regained composure and as they made way through the tunnels heading to the kitchen she related the events of the week.

"Youíll no longer be putting yourself in danger, Catherine?"

"Thatís right.  Iíll be preparing cases for trial, reviewing depositions and testimony: that sort of thing.  No more midnight meetings in dark alleys or chasing elusive witnesses - Iíll leave that to the police from now on."

"Thatís wonderful, Catherine.  May we share this news with Father at dinner?"

"Of course, Vincent, my extended family will be glad to hear of my career change." Casting him a knowing grin she added "Especially Father."

When they arrived for dinner they joined Father and Mary.  Vincent shared Catherineís news.

"Well my dear, thatís wonderful.  Exactly when will this change in position take place?" Father asked.

"Iím taking two weeks vacation starting Monday.  When I return it will be to my new position"

Vincent looked at Catherine as if he was going to say something than stopped.  Mary interrupted his thoughts.  "Sounds like a wonderful plan to me.  Will you be going anywhere exciting on your vacation?"

"I thought Iíd just stay in New York.  Maybe catch up on my reading.  Spend time with friends and family and just relax for a change."

Just as sheíd hoped Mary immediately extended an invitation to stay below.  "It would be a great opportunity for us to spend more time with you.  Fatherís library is quite extensive as you know and you could enjoy hours of reading there.  Give it some thought and if you decide to spend your time with us Iíll ready the guest chamber for you."

"Thank you, Mary," said Catherine, blushing for a second time this evening.  This was the invitation she hoped for but now she felt uncomfortable.

"Iím sure Catherine has better things to do with her time." Father said, scowling at Mary. Finding Vincent giving him much the same look he added. "Of course youíre always welcome here, my dear."

The rest of the meal was finished in a rather uncomfortable silence.  "Shall we retire to the library: the children should be ready to start soon."

Father and Mary got up but as Catherine started to rise Vincent gently touched her arm.  Once alone he turned to her "Tell Me," he said attempting to look into her averted eyes.

"I canít, Vincent, not now.  Perhaps we can spend some time alone after the childrenís concert. I do need to speak with you."

"Of course" he replied standing and extending his hand to her "We will talk then."


Following the concert they started though the tunnels.  Catherine walked quietly by Vincentís side as he guided her to the Great Falls.  Vincent laid out his cloak for her to sit on and said  "We should not be interrupted here."

She looked out over the beauty before her and took a deep breath.  "I feel awful, Vincent, just awful."

"I know" he replied.

"I purposely announced my vacation in front of Mary knowing full well what sheíd do.  Now I feel childish and deceitful. Iím sorry, Vincent, I know it makes you uncomfortable for me to stay Below."

Pulling her close and stroking her hair he sighed "Iím the one who should be sorry, Catherine."

"You! Why should you be sorry?"  Catherine now looked into his eyes.

"Because you ask so little and give so much.  You should not feel that you must hide your wishes from me.  Please Catherine, tell me what you want; I will understand."

"I know youíll understand Vincent, but Iím afraid."  Her was voice barely above a whisper.

"Afraid of me!" he said searching her eyes.

"No, Vincent, never.  I could never be afraid of you!" holding his gaze she continued, "Iím afraid youíll send me away or distance yourself from me."

He sat there quietly gathering his thoughts.  Finally he turned to her. "Once maybe I could have, Catherine, but no more."

Lovingly she stroked his cheek. "You told me once that before we could be truly together we must understand the sacrifices and work though our fears.   Iím ready to do to that, Vincent.  I donít want to wait any longer to explore the possibilities of our dream.  I canít do it alone.  We need to be together.  We need time without the burden of grief or the threat of danger.  I wanted nothing more than to spend this time devoted to you Ė to us. Do you think you are ready for that?"

"I donít know." He stammered looking at his hands "I am afraid of the temptations of having you so close that these handsÖ." He stopped, unable to continue, but Catherine knew what was in his heart.

"Look at me, Vincent" her request spoken softly but sternly. "I love you with all that I am and all that I could ever hope to be."  She lifted his hands to her mouth as she had done once before "These are the hands of the man I love.  Oh, Vincent leave the past behind and look toward our future."

"Catherine I donít know if I can.  I want so much to be the man you want me to be, but I am as you see me.  I cannot be what you need."

"You are everything to me.  I would change nothing about you, Vincent.  I love the feel of your arms around me and touch of your fingers in my hair.  Only you, my love, for me there can be no one else. Give me a chance to show you what life can be for us.  Please let me try." Her voice was trembling now and the tears began to fall.  "Iím sorry.  I didnít meanÖI donít want you to do anything you're not ready for."

Vincent pulled her close "Donít cry, my darling.  I would be honored to have you here for as long as you want to stay.  Whatever comes weíll face it together."

"Yes, together Vincent, always."

Wiping the tears from her face Vincent looked at her with concern. "Itís late. We should be heading back now.  You need to sleep. Come, I will take you to the guest chamber."

"Yes please. I am tired." She smiled at him sweetly, her lashes still wet with tears.  It was all he could do not to kiss her right there, but being Vincent he hesitated till the moment was lost once again.


After seeing her to the guest chamber.  Vincent readied himself for bed but could not sleep.  He paced the confines of his chamber.  All that she said was true.  When she had returned above over a month ago he had told her that they must go with courage and with care.  Now he wondered if he had the courage needed to face what their future could be.

Just a few feet away Catherine slept.  She had no such doubts or fears.

"Catherine!" The sound of his voice sent shivers down her spine.  "Iím here, my love, waiting for you."  The chamber was dark but Vincent could see her lying on his bed naked.  The sight of her made his knees weak.  He could refuse her no longer.  He rushed to her side but paused  "I donít want to hurt you or disappoint you." She smiled at him knowingly  "You are all I desire, my darling.  Kiss me and know the truth."  He swept her into his arms and kissed her with a passion that left her breathless.


Still pacing his chamber Vincent suddenly stopped.  A sensation struck his senses; it was so strong that he swayed at its impact.

"Catherine" he gasped.  He immediately headed to the guest chamber and without thought rushed to her bedside.  Much to his surprise he found her asleep and smiling.  He wanted to scoop her up in his arms and hold her forever.  Shocked at his own weakness he turned to leave when the sound of her voice stopped him.

"Vincent ---donít go." She whispered.

"I must, Catherine."

"Please" she pleaded.  At the sound of that simple word he stopped and found his legs wouldnít move.

"Come here to me and sit down" she said, patting the bed.  He did as she asked.

"I know you feel what Iím feeling but I didnít know that included dreams as well."  As she took his trembling hands in her own as he stared at the floor.

"I felt something.  I donít know how to explain it.  I did not think, I just rushed here." Vincent was stammering something he never did.

Catherine ignored his nervous demeanor and continued. "The night you held me here in your arms as I slept is a memory Iíll cherish forever.  I remember thinking I hadnít felt so loved and safe since I was a little girl."

"I too cherish that memory but the circumstances are not what they were." He replied still avoiding her eyes.

"Perhaps" she said turning his face to hers. "But I need you here just as I did then.  Donít you feel how much I need you, Vincent?"

"I must go, Catherine, you need your sleep."  Vincent started to stand but Catherine gently laid her hand over his.  "Wait, please and listen to me.  You have no reason to rush off.  We control what happens between us just as we did that night."

"Catherine, IÖ" But before he could finish yet another protest she gently turned his face to her.  Still keeping hold of his chin she pulled his face to hers and kissed him.  Not the same chaste kiss she had given him over a month ago.  This kiss was slow and sweet but sensuous.  As she touched his trembling lip with her tongue he gasped and pulled back.  She knew heíd never been kissed this way and the thought pleased her.  In a single beat of his heart he returned to her unable to resist the sweet taste of her.  This time his tongue sought hers.  Sensations beyond his experience rushed though him both within the bond and without.

Her arms around his neck, she held him tightly, not wanting it to end. Helpless, he thought it was beyond his power to leave her now.  Gently he pressed her down upon the mattress his lips never leaving hers.  Covering her with his body he felt overwhelmed by his need of her.  Frighten by the force of that need he started to pull back but Catherine held him tight.  "Tell me" she said "Please tell me Iíve waited so long to hear the words."  He laid his head on her shoulder trying to catch his breath.

Finally he pulled back just enough to look into her eyes and tenderly stroked her cheek.  "I love you, Catherine, Iíve always loved you."

Her eyes filled with tears "As I love you, my darling, as I will always love you."

As he leaned in to kiss her again she stopped him, tugged on the quilts and gestured for him to join her beneath them.  Without the blankets to separate them the evidence of his need was now pressed firmly to her thigh.  Upon hearing her moan Vincent tried to escape her embrace but she held him tight.

"I canít conceal my passion from you, Vincent, donít try to hide yours from me.  I must know you want me as much as I want you."

Giving her an embarrassed look he sighed, "Could you ever have doubted it?"

"I always felt your love, Vincent, Iíve never doubted your love.  But you keep so much hidden from me, and I want it to end.  I want to share your wishes and desires as you share mine.  You have no reason to fear my reaction.  Thereís nothing you could want that I wouldnít gladly give you.  You must know that now."  Still holding him close she sought to ease his fears.

Through the bond Vincent felt the truth of her words but being Vincent he still had doubts.  "You have a generous heart Catherine, and your kindness knows no boundaries, but I canít expect you to do this."

"Vincent, feel what Iím feeling.  My body aches for you.  You know in your heart how beautiful your body is to me.  My dreams are full of you kissing me, loving me.  Make our dreams come true and love me now.  All of me."

Vincent was shocked at her words.  The truth of what she said gripped him.  Beautiful - she found him beautiful.  As impossible as this seemed to him he knew it was true.  Now here with him she pleaded with him to love her.  His Catherine was pleading.  How was such a thing possible! It should be he begging for her slightest touch.

"I want you so much and have for such a long lonely time.  These feeling are so strong Iím afraid that somehow Iíll lose myself and hurt you in the heat of passion."  His words touched her heart.

She touched his cheek and said,  "Donít worry, my sweet.  Our love will guide us.  We will be gentle with each other."

Sitting up and smiling Catherine pulled her nightgown over her head.  Vincent stopped breathing as his eyes took in the beauty of her body.  His eyes now pinned to her breast.  Before he had time to think she was untying the strings that bound his nightshirt.  "Your turn," She told him with a mischievous grin.  "Relax, Vincent.  I promise I wonít biteÖhard."   She couldnít help herself the look of terror etched across his face was too much for her.  Cute was not a word she would normally associate with Vincent but to her right now he was just that.

Finally the garment was disposed of and it was her turn to lose herself in the beauty that was Vincent. Her playfulness of a moment before disappeared as she gazed at him.  His broad shoulders, the sculptured musclesÖ. He was perfect.

Vincent took a deep breath.  "I told you Catherine. Iím not like other men."  His head lowered as he spoke. "I would understand if you do not wish to proceed."

Stopping was the last thing on Catherineís mind.  She wanted to touch him, taste him every inch of him.  His head snapped up as a rush of sensations washed over him.  The same feelings he had experienced early this evening invaded his soul.  He felt her trust and love but more than that he felt her passion which matched his own.  Never had he imagined that he could inspire such feelings as these.

"Youíre unlike anyone Iíve ever known. Youíre unique, like a unicorn, magical and beautiful." She sighed "Youíre more than any woman could wish for and youíre all mine."  She took his trembling hand and placed it on her breast.  "As I am yours, Vincent, body and soul."

Vincentís heart was beating so hard he was sure she could hear it.   He couldnít take his eyes off her.  His hand lay still on her breast.  As her nipple rose to his touch he gently rubbed his thumb over it.  "Yes..." Catherine sighed, arching her back into his bashful stroking.

"Your skinís so soft, so delicate." He whispered "I am inexperienced as you know.  I am not sure.  I mean...I do not know."

Catherine smiled.  His innocence, his gentleness only served to excite her more.  "Follow your heart, my love, and I will guide you the rest of the way.  Let yourself go, Vincent.  I want you to touch me, taste me, and love me.  Thereís no need to hold back."

Her words helped to free him of some of his inhibitions and he lowered his lips to her throat.  He started loving her with small light kisses but as his excitement grew he tenderly licked her and nibbled his way from her throat to her breast.  He glanced up at her as if to ask permission and found his answer on her face.  She was flushed, her breath irregular and through their bond he felt her yearning to feel his month on her nipple.  Lightly he touched her only with his tongue.  First one and than the other back and forth driving Catherine into a frenzy.  She could take it no more and grabbed his head and pulled it to her.  He sucked and licked her as he had only done in his dreams.

Catherine was nearly at the point of no return when she gently lifted his head.  "Oh Vincent I need you inside me now, my darling." And she reached for him.  "Catherine, my Catherine" he moaned at the feel of her hand.

She too moaned at the contact.   "Come to me now." Taking his hand she placed it between her legs. She was hot and dripping with anticipation.   "Feel my body ready for yours, my love."

As he gently positioned himself over her she guided him to the source of her need.  All the time she was kissing him deeply, passionately loving the feel of his body pressed to hers.   At last she felt him nudge her moist femininity and she wiggled her hips to meet him.  Breathing harshly Vincent gazed at her "Youíre so small, so fragile."  The depth of his yearning was written on his face but still he held back afraid to hurt her.

"Shhh. Itís alright" Catherine smiled "I was born to love you."

With an anguished whimper Vincent at last entered her stroking her slowly, shyly as if she would break.  Catherine could see how desperately he was struggling to control his need.   When she wrapped her legs around his waist he let out a roar as he yielded to his desire.   "Oh yes, Vincent yes!"she cried out.  Over and over she cried out his name as she writhed beneath him.

Her climax nearly undid him.  He was not prepared for the sensation of her vaginal spasms that followed as she continued to call his name, her voice no more than a whisper now.  The feel of her, the sight of her, the sound of her calling his name was like heaven to him.

The last of his barriers were gone torn to shreds.  He quickened his strokes and at last completion was at hand.  "Catherine, my Catherine.  IÖ" He could say no more.  Finally he exploded inside her and she moaned at the feel of his warmth spreading through her.  Panting, he fell upon her, exhausted and serene.

"I love you, Catherine." The freedom to say these words to her aloud overwhelmed him.  His tears flowed freely soaking the pillow and Catherineís neck.   "Vincent, my Vincent."  Her tears mingled with his.

"How will I ever live without you now?"  he cried.

 "Live without me!  Never!  We shall never live without each other again. I promise you that."

"How can this be, Catherine?  In two weeks you will return to your life above."

"I am a woman of both worlds, Vincent, remember." Tenderly stroking his mane, she continued.  "Together we shall find a bridge to both our worlds.  There are homes Above with access to the tunnels as many of your helpers have now.  We will find such a place and make it our own.  We will have our happy life. "

"Can this be possible?"

"Oh yes, Vincent, with you anything is possible."

Wrapped in each otherís arms they slept and dreamed of their future together.  Finally their happy life begins.