Just Another Day
Dawn was just creeping upon the new day. Catherine’s alarm buzzed, breaking the quiet serenity of blissful sleep. She rolled over and hit the snooze button, then rolled back to Vincent’s warm self and snuggled even deeper into his chest.
His Catherine, as long
as he had known her, never was a fan of early rising.
a mistake? Was there something she needed to do?
he contemplated for a few minutes.
“Catherine,” he whispered, nuzzling and kissing
her ear, “do you need to be up at this ungodly hour, or did you somehow
forget it was Saturday?”
“Nooo…I made a promise. I’m sorry I
woke you so early, Sweetie,” she said reaching up to softly kiss his
fuzzy nose. She rose slowly and headed into the bathroom.
He sat on the side of their bed, waiting, until
she emerged half dressed and mumbling to herself. She looked across at
her husband’s inquiring face and smiled.
daughter I would take her to
breakfast and a day of shopping with Aunt Jenny. And according to good,
sweet, Aunt Jenny,
tis the season! We need to be up and out at
the crack of dawn to get the real bargains!”
Vincent just chuckled softly and shook his shaggy
This was their daughter’s Saturday off from
volunteering at the homeless shelter. Vincent and Catherine had been
very careful, not to raise their children in the opulence Catherine’s
money could easily afford them. All their children knew it was better to
help and give to those who needed it.
Their four children all volunteered at a shelter
or a hospital to help the less fortunate. Jacob, Charles, Joey and Jenny
didn’t do it because it was expected of them. They did it because they
wanted to help those who couldn’t always help themselves. It was simply
the right thing to do.
“Well, Vincent, my love, I guess you and the boys
are on your own today. I’m sure we’ll be out all day and will be
exhausted when we get home. You know a day of shopping with Aunt Jenny
is always an adventure,” she said, kissing his cheek as she headed for
He reached out, caught her around the waist, and
pulled her down onto his lap. He proceeded to softly kiss her, his lips
teasing hers seductively.
“Vincent, you stop that
this minute! You know I’d rather be here with you…in our warm bed. But I
daughter this experience.”
He laughed softly and buried his face in her
hair, inhaling her scent to remember until she returned. He then
regretfully released her with a sigh.
“All right, if you must
Catherine, but I will miss you. Now go have a good time with the two
Jennies. By the way, I do believe
Jenny is pacing outside the bedroom door.”
Catherine opened the door, and a whirl of
strawberry blonde hair flew by her and straight into her father’s arms,
knocking him back onto the bed, laughing.
“Morning, Daddy! We’re going to breakfast and
shopping all day with Aunt Jenny. Isn’t it great?” Her enthusiasm
vibrated all around her.
“Yes, it’s great Princess. Have a good time, and
try not to tire you mother and Aunt Jenny out too much,” he said smiling
and kissing the top of her head.
Catherine rolled her eyes, chuckled and finished
dressing. She felt the joy in their Bond rising in him as Jenny gave him
the priceless gift of daughterly love.
“Catherine, I’m sure the boys and I will find
things to do. I did promise them a night in the park, and their favorite
game,” he said, laughing deep down in his chest.
“But Vincent, with the snow, can’t they track
you?” Catherine questioned with a smile, and a wink of her eye.
“Perhaps there are a few things I haven’t taught
them yet, if for nothing else but self preservation,” he stated with a
sly grin on that beautiful exotic face. “In case, Catherine, you hadn’t
noticed, our sons are no longer little boys. They have become wise,
wary, big and strong.”
The ladies were gone
and the boys slept late, a rarity for them. It was their Saturday off
also from volunteering. Jacob was away at
“Perfect,” he whispered to himself.
Around noon, Charles
and Joey were finally up. They showered, ate a big breakfast, then each
played a game of chess with their father. They all
the remainder of the day visiting Below.
Vincent checked their
Bond; Catherine was having fun with the “Jennies.”
for them, he thought.
Catherine is right, we live like any other family, with only a few
restrictions, and most of those don’t count for much.
Joey came into Father’s
library and found his father beating
father at chess…again.
“Dad, is it time for our game yet?” Joey asked
with teenage enthusiasm.
“Yes, I believe it is Joseph.” Vincent tried not
to smile at Father who was staring at the chess board intently.
“Joey my boy, didn’t you beat your father at this
game this morning? Are you going to show me how you did it, or make your
poor old grandfather suffer still another trouncing?”
“I wished I’d beaten him this morning,
Grandfather. Guess I wasn’t awake enough. Then again, maybe you were
just too good of a teacher,” Joey added, feeling a little sorry for his
“Father, Joseph doesn’t want a chess match, he
wants to go up into the park, and hunt.”
“Hunt? Hunt for what?” Father asked looking
“You? Why in the world would he want to hunt
you?” he asked quizzically .
“It’s their favorite
game of hide and seek, or to them, it’s
Dad. Actually it’s a good way to
get exercise and sharpen their skills at being aware and observant. When
Devin and I played, it was
Vincent. You just didn’t know about
it then, Father.”
“Did Devin always find you?” Father asked with a
“About half the time and the other half I caught
him while he was looking for me. We were just boys, and it was the sort
of thing boys did.”
Father smiled and shook his head, “Boys will be
boys, I guess.”
Checkmate ended the game, and they started off
for the sliding door at the park entrance. Vincent instructed them to
give him a five minute start before opening the door. The boys nodded
and smiled devilishly, which didn’t go unnoticed by their ever-observant
Vincent proceeded out. He closed the sliding door
and left the tunnel entrance, leaving footprints in the dusting of new
snow on the grass. He walked up to the tree line, and then carefully
retraced his steps backward until he was at the tunnel entrance again.
He silently went down a side tunnel a little way until he heard the door
slide open, and his sons start out to track him.
Hmmm…I believe that was only three minutes,
Vincent thought, grinning to himself.
The boys reached the
tree line and lost his tracks. Charles stopped and remembered,
backtracking. He turned. “Come on
Joey.” And they headed back to the tunnel entrance. In the mean time,
Vincent had come out of the side tunnel, swung himself up on top of the
drainage pipe, and lay flat until the boys had re-entered the tunnel. He
knew they would check the side tunnels next. That gave him just enough
time to retrace his steps up to the tree line and then out into the
park. From there he could go all different directions. He could find
areas that the snow hadn’t covered, and places where there were numerous
tracks from many different feet.
Vincent found a small
stand of trees where he could see a large area in the park and watch his
sons try to find him. It was cold; he was glad he put on that extra
sweater. Even with his cloak, just standing around and not moving, let
him feel the chill a little more.
young as I used to be, he
considered to himself. Well, at least the boys would stay warm, since he
could see them searching and tracking him. They were looking at the
correct signs, trying to discern which direction he had taken. He knew
they were getting closer, and they were enjoying the challenge. Their
bond was full of excitement and energy. Fortunately, there were no
others in this area of the park now, that’s why Vincent had chosen this
spot. He knew Charles was considering that also.
When it seemed they were getting a little too
close, he lobbed a snowball into some bushes far to his right. The boys
alertly heard the noise. Joey turned and started to toward the bushes;
Charles stopped him.
“Wait Joey, that’s a diversion Dad’s using to send us in the wrong direction.”
Ah…you remembered, Charles, Vincent
thought. His son recalled that trick from the last time they played this
After about twenty
minutes, Vincent decided it was time to go back. He started low and slow
through the trees. He was sure he’d get away when a snowball hit him
square in the back. It caused him to slip on the snow covered slope. He
started to slide
down the embankment, only to be pounced on by his two, no longer small,
sons. They all rolled down the slope and laughed, trying to bury each
other in the snow. Finally, they lay there trying to catch their breath.
He felt their pride at the fact they had caught him; and his own pride
in his sons’ capability.
“Hey guys, lets make snow angels. We aren’t too
old for that are we, Dad?” Joey said, getting up and looking for an
undisturbed spot in the snow.
“You’re never too old for snow angels Joseph,”
Vincent said, smiling at his youngest son.
They each found spots of their own to create
their angels. As they headed for home, Vincent looked back and noticed
the boy’s angels were almost as big as his. His chest swelled with
While the boys took
showers, Vincent made hot chocolate. He even found some oatmeal cookies
from the day before. He wondered how they hadn’t been found and eaten
Cookies have a short life span in our home,
he thought, laughing to himself.
The boys came into the study for their treat of hot chocolate and cookies, while their father went to take a shower.
“You will save me some, I hope,” he said to his
sons, trying to look forlorn.
“Better hurry, Dad, we won’t make any promises,”
Joey said with his mouth full of cookie.
The shower felt
wonderful. He just stood there letting it sooth him from the chill of
the hunt and snow battle. He returned to the study to find both boys
asleep in front of the fireplace. Each with a big pillow and wrapped in
a soft tunnel quilt. Their hot chocolate was gone, but they did leave
him a few cookies.
Now, they must have been tired,
He’d leave his sons there for the night, no sense in disturbing them.
“Sleep well, my
beautiful sons.” He closed his eyes and thought,
sons… her precious gifts
He closed the door to the study and proceeded to take the mugs and dishes down to the kitchen.
A little while later,
Catherine and Jennifer quietly opened the front door and put their
packages near the foot of the stairs. They noticed a light on in the
kitchen, and advanced closer to investigate. Catherine was sure it was
one of their sons raiding the fridge, not an uncommon event in their
they saw Vincent standing in front of the refrigerator, hands on his
hips, staring into the appliance quizzically. He didn’t seem to notice
they were home.
“Vincent, are you looking for something in
particular, or simply cooling the kitchen?” Catherine said with a grin
and a wink at their daughter.
He turned with a half smile on his face and threw
his hands up in the air in dismay.
“Catherine, I have
observed all of our children do this many times, and have no explanation
for it. I have asked each of them on occasion what they are searching
for. They always say
I don’t understand this phenomenon,” he said, looking totally mystified.
His wife and daughter just laughed at his sincere
confession. He smiled at Catherine as she kissed him and gave him a
“Oh Daddy, we had a great time. Mom and Aunt
Jenny got tired, so we had to call it a day.” She came into the kitchen
to give him a big hug and kiss, then headed for her room, leaving him
feeling all warm inside.
“Catherine, the boys are asleep in front of the
fireplace, and I didn’t have the heart to wake them,” Vincent said,
taking her arm and turning off the kitchen lights.
As they headed upstairs, he saw all the packages and smiled.
“May I assume you left some of the bargains for
others?” he asked as he carried the bags upstairs for her.
“Yes, we did. It was fun, and buying for those
Below and Above is always a fun challenge.” They walked up the stairs
together and she hoped he wouldn’t drop anything.
“Vincent, I’m so tired, that all I need is you
holding me in your arms to have all I’ll ever need or want. Our daughter
is unbelievable, she never gets tired, and moves fast, even in those
crowds. But we had a great time with Aunt Jenny; it will be a wonderful
memory for her. We may even make it an annual event,” Catherine said as
she undressed and went into the shower.
She crawled into bed
and snuggled next him before asking, “Did the boys,
Dad?” She had felt it though their
Bond, the exhilaration of the hunt, but mostly the joy of being with his
“Yes, they did. Charles is getting better every
time. He doesn’t make the same mistake twice, and he throws a mean
snowball” he said rubbing his shoulder.
“Want me to kiss it and make it better?”
Catherine wickedly asked.
“Hmmm, I know you ladies had a good time and
enjoyed the thrill in the hunt for bargains.”
He pulled her closer to inhale her
fresh-from-the-shower scent; it gave him so much joy and comfort.
“Catherine, you have made our world as normal as
any. You are remarkable in so many ways, I don’t think I will ever not
be surprised by what you can do. I am truly the luckiest man in the
“No, Vincent, we are the luckiest people in the
world, both our worlds,” she whispered.
With that, he kissed her tenderly on her eyes, her cheeks, her nose, and finally, her lips. They were content to hold each other with gratitude for the peace flowing through their Bond. It was just another day of their lives to add to the memories they would bring again and treasure.