Reflections and Recollections
Catherine turned off the DVD player as the last of the credits rolled across the screen. Next to her, the person she loved more than her own life sat quietly, lost deeply in thought. He was as tall and strong as the first time she laid eyes on him. His wonderful hair still cascaded over broad shoulders, but its golden silk was now heavily streaked with highlights of silvery gray as well, not that it mattered. After more than two decades of marriage and three children, her passion for this man had not diminished. He could still take her breath away.
Finally, he lifted his head and azure blue eyes came up to meet her own. “Well, Vincent, what did you think?” He cocked his head to the side as he often did when thinking before his spoke.
“I’m not exactly sure, Catherine. It’s hard to put into words. You say that Elliot is sure that the man who created this had no knowledge of me or our tunnels?”
She nodded strongly. “Yes. While he used my name and disappearance as the basis for his ideas, he never really found out that much real information about you and me other than stumbling across your name. Elliot spoke with him personally and is certain of that and the ‘Vincent‘ in his script was inspired by my involvement with Jason Walker’s case. But that was as far as his research went; the rest he came up with on his own. He was a writer looking for inspiration, not a reporter after a story.” Once again, Vincent became lost in thought.
Not long after Vincent’s illness and the discovery of her pregnancy,
Catherine came into possession of a notebook that held the key to one of
the largest weapons and drug cartels in
Oddly enough, it had been a helper in the form of Harry, a humble
janitor who sometimes worked in Catherine's building that saved her
Eventually, things Above sorted themselves out as well, though not before becoming quite heated. John Moreno was killed by the cartel, presumably for letting Catherine and the book slip through his grasp. Through a helper, Catherine got the book to Joe Maxwell, who was able to bring down the cartel and destroy their leader with the help of a federal investigator named Diana Bennett. So it was that heiress turned crusading Assistant District Attorney Catherine Chandler essentially disappeared into thin air, her unknown fate destined to become one of the many countless unsolved mysteries New York was famous. But, that had all changed after a young playwright ran across an old article about her disappearance and decided it was good inspiration for a possible script.
Catherine waited as patiently as she could for Vincent’s reaction. It made her heart ache to think that the life she’d left behind so long ago might still have the power to cause this wonderful man pain. Desperately, she reached out through their Bond to discern her husband’s emotional state, but felt only stillness. Anxiously, she drew closer just as she began to feel something.
When the Bond finally stirred to life, what Catherine felt and saw caught her completely by surprise. It began with a faint shaking that seemed to vibrate throughout his whole body. Soon though, it burst forth from him, filling her instantly with its warmth. At the same time, Vincent’s laughter rang out, resounded through the room as loudly as one of his characteristic roars. With a sigh of relief, she quickly threw herself into his waiting arms and eagerly joined in.
It took a while, but at last their mirth subsided to an occasional giggle-like snort. Casually, they rested together in each other’s arms as they had so many times in the past twenty plus years.
“So, you aren’t really upset?” She was fairly certain of his answer, but still felt the need to ask.
He looked at her with mock sternness. “Catherine, we have spent the last twenty five years together. Surely you know me better than that by now! I survived tong wars, plague and being shot, not to mention the stress of raising three children. Do you really think a little thing like this TV show could truly upset me now?”
She couldn’t help feeling sheepish. “Not really, but I had to make certain.”
“I confess, it is odd to see these people using our names, but the story itself has little to do with our life. If truth be told, I find the whole thing a bit…flattering.” He quirked a smile as his eyes gleamed with mischief.
“Flattering?!” She asked quizzically.
“Yes, while he doesn’t realize it, this writer has brought our story to life to share with the world Above. He’s portrayed it different than the way it actually happened, but it’s there for everyone to see and share. I feel quite honored. Besides, the young man who plays ‘Vincent’ is very handsome,” he teased.
“Is he? I hadn’t noticed,” she teased back. It had taken months for Vincent to become truly comfortable with his uniqueness after their marriage. The fact that he could joke about it now was a testament to the strength of their love.
“The young woman who plays ‘you’ is pretty as well, but she cannot hold a candle to the original,” he remarked as he drew her closer. “All in all though, I suppose I should be grateful. They could have made the ‘Vincent’ in their series sparkle like that vampire character in those strange Gothic novels Maggie is so fond of.”
Catherine’s grinned widened. “Edward Cullen in the Twilight series? I don’t know. It might be interesting to see you sparkle. You’ve certainly had me dazzled since the day we met.” Her beloved spouse groaned loudly at her bad pun and pulled her closer to silence her with a kiss.
Things might have become more heated, but a loud clatter announced the arrival of their twins, daughter Maggie followed closely by her mischievous brother Micah.
“MOOOMMMM!!! I can’t find my pink sweater and the concert Below starts in an hour!” Maggie wailed loudly.
Catherine looked over with loving exasperation at her youngest child. At fifteen, her daughter was a typical teenaged girl. Though she had several sweaters, only her favorite, the pink one would do. “Have you checked your closet?” Her daughter’s blush answered Catherine without a single word.
“She just wants to wear it to look good for Robbie. Maggie’s got a crush on him.” Her brother snickered as he made loud kissing sounds.
Fortunately, their father intervened before the siblings came to blows. “Micah, aren’t you supposed to be helping Mouse set up for tonight’s concert?”
The young boy shrugged and gave his parents an engaging smile before scampering off to complete his assigned chore. Not long after, his sister followed. Catherine sighed. “I suppose we should have a talk with them after the concert. Elliot was able to get an advance copy of the show, but he says it will be broadcast in a few days. Even if they don’t actually see it, they are bound to hear about it from someone.”
“I agree. We should prepare them, at least. I’m afraid we may have to wait until tomorrow to talk to Jacob. He is studying at the library until late. He has a final this week.” At nineteen, their oldest son was an avid student, hard at work on his college courses.
Reluctantly, she moved back slightly. “I guess we should head Below too before we’re missed. I know Father will be attending.” Although he no longer handled the day to day running of things, the tunnel patriarch was still an avid music lover and never missed a single performance. He was bound to notice their absence.
For the first time that day, a frown marred her husband’s forehead. “I’ve been thinking, Catherine, perhaps it would be better if Father didn’t find out about this just now.” He indicated his meaning by gesturing in the direction of the now dark TV.
Instantly, her eyes widened and she shuddered at the mere notion of Father’s reaction. It had taken him months to get used to the idea of Catherine telling some of her friends about Vincent and the tunnels. The news of a TV show even loosely based on their lives would make him apoplectic.
In a fluid motion that showed off the grace and beauty of the wonderful being she’d been blessed to share her life with, Vincent rose to his feet and pulled Catherine to hers. “Has it truly been twenty-five years, Catherine? At times, it seems only the blink of an eye. I can still remember those dark days before I met you when my life was nothing but shadows.”
“Oh yes, my love. It has been twenty-five years and I’ve been blessed to share every day of it with you.” She replied as she drew his head down to hers for a long awaited, much anticipated, passionate kiss.
Somewhere in the Universe the scene faded in a slow blackout as the line of text appeared slowly on the screen…
AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER!!!