Chapter 1 ~ Monday Morning

She felt the softest touch to her lips … a breath, warm and sweet, at her ear.

It is almost morning, Catherine. I must go.
Tell me goodbye … for now.

Her mind fought against waking, fought to stay warm in his arms, fought to believe he was there … really there ...

But her clock, jangling and rude, forced her to accept the day. She opened her eyes to the pink light of morning and to an empty pillow, the bed cold where only a dream had held her.

Where are you? It’s been so long …

She struggled to have work claim her thoughts. In the shower, she gave in only to brief moments of fantasy, pushing away the dreamy shiver and imagined hands of the man she loved. There was the Erin Benson interview and the statement from Flynn O’Carroll. Lunch with Jenny … maybe … if she could muster the spirit to feign normalcy.

But nothing was normal. She had not seen him now for days, and too many nights had passed with an ominous feel to their emptiness. Not one word in a note; no tap on the pipe answered. No gift left on her balcony to let her know …

She sighed as she finished her hair ... again as she put on her shoes.

"I miss you, Vincent."

The morning soured. Another breakfast of burnt toast and bitter coffee. Late, late … lost in a reverie of worry. A nagging thought that it was time for a dentist’s appointment. Could it get worse?

“It’s only Monday. Plenty of time to nosedive,” she muttered. "And I’ll go mad if it does.”

She fumbled with her deadbolt, felt a presence behind her, whirled to see the stairwell door inch open. “Zach, you scared me! What are you doing here? Is everything all right?"

He slipped into the hallway. “I’ve been waiting on the steps for an hour. Aren’t you awfully late?”

He grinned at her and she sagged in relief. He wouldn’t smile … would he? … if something were wrong. “Yes, I’m late. I was thinking of calling in dead! But you should have just knocked,” she said. “You're welcome here, you know. Are you hungry? Can I buy you breakfast?"

He shook his head, his hand already on the doorknob. “Vincent sent me. He gave me a note and made me promise to hand it to you in person, not to leave it under your door.” He held out an envelope, her name on it in a familiar script. “He … loves you, Catherine. He’ll be back.” With that, Zach disappeared in the way of tunnel children – swiftly, silently.

“Back?” she cried, launching after him. “Where is he? Where did he go?”

The metal door snicked shut, the sound of it heavy … final.

She sat down in the hall chair to read.

Click HERE for Chapter 2.


New York City Utopia said...

I like it! Please keep going!

Ayiana said...

This is lovely, and very well written. I'm glad you said something about it on the bbtv Yahoo group, or I never would have known to look for it. Please make sure you let us know when you update. :)

Su said...

More Please! Your writing style takes me in immediately... it's as if I'm watching a new episode of the series. Wonderful job, Carole.
Blessings to you, angelsu

Romantic1 said...

Thanks for keeping the original premise of this story alive. I don't know who broke Ron Koslow's romantic bones, but I'm happy to see somebody heal the results. Keep up the good work! I look forward to more of your wonderful writings.

Carole W said...

Romantic1 - Thank you! I'm so pleased you liked this story and grateful you've taken the time to comment. You've brightened my day - and it needed brightening.

I'll do my best to provide good work. I hope you don't mind slow.

~ Carole

Romantic1 said...

Glad to see you back. Really liked the new chapter but worry it is leading us to the I'm-too-dangerous-to-love carousel. Hope not. Love seeing Vincent and Catherine face things really together as a couple. Look forward to the next chapter.

Carole W said...

Hi Romantic1! Thanks for the welcome back. I missed the writing, but real life ...

Did you mean this comment for the newest chapter in Iron/Velvet? I'm going to try to transfer it over there, in case others have the same question.

I assure you - that particular carousel isn't in operation here. I think by the end of the next chapter, your worry will be addressed. I enjoy writing the gauzy scenes too much to have him pull back now! (Plus Brandy would hunt me down and have my head).

I'm so grateful you're enjoying the story. It keeps getting longer but I'm having some real fun here. Thanks so much for reading.


Romantic1 said...

Slow is okay. Remember, slow but steady wins the race. That said, I confess I'm checking daily for Chapter 28!

Carole W said...

Romantic1 - I'm glad you understand my speed issues. Monday, I gave my muse free reign - I was Ready For Her and all she wanted was an edit and then a reedit of the first 1500 words I'd written earlier. I'd expected to have the whole chapter done and ready to tweak by the end of the day, my word count was down to 1398. Bad trend! BAD!

Tuesdays I do volunteer work (Recording for the Blind) and today was daughter time. (She has to work Mother's Day). But tomorrow ... I'm hitting the studio early and I plan to be in control of the muse, not the other way around.

And you know what 'they' say about plans ...

On a serious note - really - Thank You for reading. I'm pleased that you're interested in what comes next. Your words are so encouraging to hear - and to know that you're checking back often gives me hope that I can, if I keep working at it, be a real, live writer. It's what I want. When I'm away from the keyboard now, I ache for it.

I hope this is not Too Much Information! :-)

~ Carole

Romantic1 said...

Hey don't be depressed about missing your deadline. Life happens. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

Carole W said...

Romantic1, I used to do well with deadlines - but now, not so much. I need to instill more fear of myself ... But tonight, I'm taking Urban Literati's advice and attacking the story at an hour it least expects it.

Thanks for the encouragement.


Vicky said...

A year later, here I begin anew my journey through this wonderful story. I think it will remain the most special: it gave me one of my dearest friends.

PS: Happy mothers day, dear Carole!

Carole W said...

Vicky, when I started this story, Lynn told me I should contact you for a second opinion, a first reader ... I had no idea then what a special door that first email would open - and yes, my attachment to this story is greater for the fact that, through it, we became friends. You know I'm sure, that I might not have finished I Carry without your enthusiasm and interest - and I might never have entered into the fandom family without your encouragement. How can two words – Thank You – be adequate ...

Big hugs, much love,

~ Carole

RomanticOne said...

Glad you enjoyed your trip. Hope the vendor doesn't block this wonderful tribute to Vincent and Catherine all the time! I am checking daily for the posting of Chapter 28, but don't let it go until you think it's ready.

Carole W said...

Hi R-1! I think the vendor was just resting - someone told me that was not a legal place for him to set up and he wasn't selling anything. He looked pretty much asleep when we arrived.

I keep checking back for Chapter 28 too! Where is it? I've written and deleted and rewritten, on and on in that vein - it had better be top notch when I finally let it go, right? I'm close, I am.

The best part of the trip was, well, all of it, but I just loved the evening when the three of us sat together and worked on our stories. It was energizing and affirming and I so wish I could have that in my regular life - these women, sharp and talented, live too far away. I was a bit blue on my return, but I'm still traveling on the high of it.

Thanks for the support - your checking back is such a compliment. I'll do my best, promise.

~ Carole

Sonia Who? said...

Ch. 1

I just started reading this story again now that many months have passed since the first time I read it, and I want to be reminded of details of the story I've forgotten so that I can better understand the continuing story - Iron Behind The Velvet.
I love the dream Catherine was having when she awoke from. How sad for her it was just another dream. Like how she fantasizes about Vincent in the shower. Good start, enjoyed reading this first chapter again.

Carole W said...

Sonia, what a pleasant way to start my day - to find you've reread this story, which is still dear to my heart, and that you've taken the time to leave comments on all the chapters! That kind of feedback is priceless to me - and I'm really glad it's all good feedback! :-)

Anonymous said...

You added the part about Zach grinning. There couldn't be anything wrong if Zach could grin.

Carole W said...

Anon - you're right about that sentence being newish - it was the result of an earlier edit of I Carry, but the contest is the hunt of an edit in Chapter 1 of Iron/Velvet. Still, I think this catch deserves a prize. I have your email ... don't I? :-)

Anonymous said...

My e-mail is snuffy949@yahoo.com. I love the story just as it is, but if you want to change it, I'm all for that too. Keep up the good work.

tweetie said...

Oooohh...this is wonderful. I can't wait to see what happens next. Hi Carole. This is Tweetie Lynn and I've just discovered your site. I was going through Batbland and came here. I see you have alot of wonderful work to go through, so I'm sure I'll be enjoying visiting here !! Hugs :)

Carole W said...

Tweetie! How nice to see you here. Thank you for ferreting me out - I wasn't even aware of the link from BatBLand. I'll have to write a thank-you note to the admin there.:-)

I've read your comments the stories at Everything - and I hope you'll enjoy your time here as well. It means a lot that you're reading.


Anonymous said...

Dipping back to the very beginning with my re-reading now.

My favorite line in this one? "I was thinking of calling in DEAD." Marvelous! I have thought that a MILLION times in my work life!

Can you tell I'm anxious for Winterfest Online to start -- and for more I/V? I'm going through WITHDRAWAL here!!!

Regards, Lindariel