A World Apart
By Pat King

The wind's bite stung Catherine's cheeks, and its icy fingers tugged at the edges of her coat as if trying to steal it from her.  The click of her heels on the pavement was lost in the howling as she hurried around the corner of a building to escape the frigid blast.  Finally out of the worst of the tempest, Catherine leaned against the wall to catch her breath.  The canyons created by the skyscrapers channeled the currents into blustery gusts, and Catherine thanked whatever powers-that-be that the sleet forecast by the meteorologists had failed to appear ... or at least had postponed its arrival until she could get home.

She'd been uptown interviewing a witness when the freak storm had hit.  The rattling windows alerted her to the change in weather and, looking at the time, she decided that for once she would have a weekend with no overtime casework -- there was no way she was going to go all the way back to the office to get her files when she was almost home.

Spying a cab, Catherine rushed to the curb and waved, surprised that it actually stopped.  Finally out of the cold, she contemplated two whole days off as the vehicle crept along the congested streets. If the bad weather continued, as was predicted, she would be housebound the entire time.

Vincent had planned to visit her tonight -- her work and his had kept them apart all week -- but she fervently hoped he would not try to make the journey to her balcony in this wind.  If the sleet began, the trek would be even more dangerous. Her heart ached at the thought of not seeing him.

'Two days ... two days ... wait a minute! Two days! If he can't come to me, why don't I go to him?'  Suddenly, the entire weekend took on a rosier glow.

It was a little after five-thirty when the cab stopped in front of her building, and less than forty-five minutes later she was carefully making her way to the storage area in the basement.  A warmth suffused her heart, and she knew that Vincent was waiting at the threshold between their worlds.

She walked out of the light that filtered down, her vision adjusting to the dimness, and found herself drowning in the depths of his eyes as she flowed into the circle of his embrace.  Above was where she lived and worked; Below was his home; but here, together, was their world ... a world that combined the two, yet was separate and apart from each.  Only together were they whole.