Dueling: Zara and S
Setting: The [working] title says it
Setting: The [working] title says it
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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Catherine grinned, first inwardly and then openly, listening to Isaac’s cautious pace following her own brisk gait. And finally took pity on him, so fiercely determined to not ask questions, but so obviously devoured by a nagging, mounting curiosity. Let alone by a wary alertness that made him start at every unusual noise. That is, practically each one of the countless sounds that punctuated the quiet of the late hour in the unlit surroundings. When the dark, narrow path widened enough to allow her friend to walk beside her, she smiled up at him and said “Yes, Central Park is also this wild, yes, I’ve been here at night before, and no, I’ve not lost my mind.”
"Uh-huh," Isaac said, noticing her smile but not returning it. "Cathy, you're a strong fighter, but there's two kinds of people come to places like this at night: predators and prey. And it's...bad...when the two happen to meet in the dark. You can think you're one thing, but you find out at the worst possible moment that you're wrong." He sounded worried. Which was not Isaac's usual confident frame of mind.
"No, Isaac," she replied quietly. "There are more than two kinds. You'll see."
"You've got my benefit of the doubt," Isaac said. "But I'm still keeping charge of my own sense of self-preservation. Lead on."
“Sometimes your fear can keep you alive”, she enigmatically quoted. “I think you and Vincent may like each other. Be ready, we are going to meet him anytime now, don’t be scared."
Isaac's teeth flashed, a quick burst of white in the nighttime air, as he grinned ruefully. "Anyone who survives a local manhunt on the Lower East Side automatically earns my respect. I guess I'll find out sooner rather than later whether or not he's someone I need to be scared of."
Catherine’s pace slowed down and came to a stop. She looked around, scanning the shadows along the pathway. “Vincent?...” she murmured.
In response to her soft query, a tall, bulky shadow emerged from behind the trunk of a tree that grew on the left side of the path. Isaac and Catherine turned toward the shadow as Vincent's low, calm voice replied, "I'm here."
He came close, with slow and fluid steps. His hood covered his hair, not his face, visible as much as the surrounding darkness allowed. Catherine opened her mouth, to say something, to introduce the two men, to make things as easy as possible… but a sudden baffling sensation stopped her. No need. She watched, fascinated, as Isaac and Vincent looked at each other. An immediate, powerful understanding was so evident between them as to seem almost palpable.
After a long moment's consideration, Vincent said to Isaac, "You teach and protect people." Nodding, Isaac answered, "You do the same." In the dim light, he studied what he could see of Vincent's face. Catherine wondered what he saw there.
Vincent accepted Isaac’s calm scrutiny, and then, unhurriedly, he let his hands appear from under the cloak folds. No gloves. When they were fully visible, he lifted them and with deliberate movements pushed his hood back. Catherine couldn’t help thinking of an ancient knight lifting the visor of his helmet to salute a noble fellow knight. The beauty of what she had the privilege of watching deeply struck her.
Isaac took it all in. The warrior strength in those clawed hands. The intrinsic grace of those simple movements. The courage it took to bare that face to a stranger. He looked Vincent dead in the eye and stepped forward, extending his battlescarred hand in respectful friendship, the way he would offer his hand to anyone, the way he had once greeted Catherine Chandler on the day they had met. "I'm Isaac Stubbs," he said.
A simple gesture. But, like lifting the visor over the centuries metamorphosed into the military salute, extending a bare hand showing the fellow knight that no harm was meant metamorphosed into the common hands shaking. And tonight, those everyday gestures recovered their ancient, profound truth. Vincent's hand was not bare, it was a weapon itself. Respect, friendship, trust bared it for Isaac. He took and shook Isaac's hand. "Vincent."
They released each other, but the powerful fellowship between them remained. Isaac glanced at Catherine. "So," he said. "Is this a good place to talk, or did you two have some other destination in mind?"
Catherine opened her mouth to reply, but Vincent’s soft voice came first, “I’m sorry if you feel uncomfortable here, Isaac, but please rest assured: it’s safe. I can feel any danger coming long before it’s close.” Catherine shut her mouth. Okay, Chandler. Take a back seat and relax. These two don’t need any supervision from you. She filed away for later review the strange mixed feeling of relief and disappointment.
Vincent glanced at her as she set her ambivalence aside, but he said nothing to her about it. She did not doubt that Isaac noticed. He was watching both of them closely. But Isaac only nodded his acknowledgement of Vincent's reassurances and said to him, "There's a lady by the name of Lucy who asked me to get in touch with you."
"Lucy! Is she well?"
Isaac nodded. "I think so. But she's very alone out there in a war zone, and I don't like that. I'd like to help her, if I can. She wants to see you. She told me: 'Once in a dream I saw the flowers.' She wants to see the flowers again. Does that mean anything to you?"
A little smile spread on Vincent’s lips, as he cast down his eyes. “… that bud and bloom in Paradise,” he murmured. “Yes, that means something. That she’s ready to accept help, I think.” He looked at him. “You said to Catherine that a storm is brewing. What can we do, Isaac?”
"My first priority is to keep Lucy from getting caught in that storm. Maybe we can work together to give her any help she's willing to accept from us. And in that regard, we can do a lot for her, and for each other." Isaac gazed steadily at Vincent. "But before we get into any details," he said slowly, quietly, "I want to know what's happened to my friend, Jason Walker. He's missing. Do you know anything about him?"
to be continued...
Last edited by Zara on Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.