I Carry Your Heart - Chapter 6

~ Time Between




Friday was jammed with work, though much of the day she found herself staring at blank pages that should have been filled with notes. She floated into dreams of Vincent rising from the cavern pools, strands of water-darkened hair clinging to his shoulders, gentle waves lapping at his bare hips ...

“What’s going on with you, Radcliffe?" It was Joe's voice, her fanciful meditation shattered. “You know the secret of the universe? Maybe you’d like to share.”

Unwilling to look up, she bent over an open drawer, sure that color deepened on her cheek. “What are you talking about?”

“Come on, Cathy. Give. How’d you do it?”

“I really, really, don’t know what you are talking about.” She dropped her still-sharp pencil into the cup on her desk and slid a large reference book over her virgin legal pad.

“You don’t, do you? You must have some kind of guardian angel. Give me the Bendix file.”

“I’ve been working on that appeal ... let’s see.” After a show of shuffling folders, she pulled one from the pile and held it out to him.

“They dropped it. Case closed.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Yep. The Listerman file. Hand it over.”

Catherine rummaged in her stack. “Here. I’ve got two interviews scheduled for next week and I’ve got a call in for an expert witness, but I haven’t heard back yet.”

“Listerman changed his plea to guilty. Sentencing in six weeks.”

“You’re kidding.”

“You’re repeating yourself, Radcliffe.” Joe’s smile broadened.

“Wow.”

“Is that the best you got? Wow? Now, the Patterson file.”

“Patterson? I’m meeting with the forensic accountant next Wednesday.”

“Nope, the accountant went into labor. Meeting postponed at least six weeks.

“I can’t believe that! Three cases, just ... poof?”

“Who said anything about three? I need Bartholomew, McGarvey and DeLilo.”

“Don’t tell me ...”

“Bartholomew changed attorneys. They got a continuance. McGarvey got that change of venue he wanted and DeLilo's lawyer is screaming conflict of interest. That one's probably going somewhere else too."

"Conflict of interest with whom?"

Joe shrugged as she stacked together the last folders on her desk.

“That’s ... that’s everything I’ve been working on!”

“Darned incredible, huh, Radcliffe. I can’t believe it myself. But, hey! Sometimes things work out. You’re due some vacation time, putting in all those extra hours. Why don’t you take off, get out of town? Take a week, Cathy. I mean it.”

“A week?” She was dumbfounded but very, very pleased.

_________________


Even though the skies were darkening with a coming storm, her step was lighter that afternoon, for a change unburdened by a heavy bag of files and reports. Remembering Jamie’s assessment of her pantry stock, she stopped at the store on her corner. Out the door, a laden, brown paper bag clutched in her arms, Catherine nearly collided with Benny, his bike skidding to a stop before her with barely inches to spare.

“Message for Miss Chandler.” He fished in one pocket and then another before he pulled out a folded note, all the while popping his gum to a strange rhythm. He gestured for her purchases, then passed the missive across. “Want me to wait?” he asked, raking the fingers of his free hand through already wind-crazed hair.

“You’d better." The onion-skin paper whipped in the gust and her hair blew into her eyes, but the words were clear.

W said 4 days, maybe 5, depending. J.

Grinning, she pulled a pen from her purse and, using Benny's flat cargo rack for a desk, scribbled beneath the written lines.

A week off work. Coming down tomorrow night. C.

“You almost got me this time!” she exclaimed, folding the note along its creases.

“Nah. I saw you. I’m the best, remember? Want some help carrying?”

“I can make it home. I'm almost there, but would you get this to Jamie?"

"Sure thing. You're a peach." He exchanged the message for her groceries and pedaled off, lost to sight, dissolved into the sounds and colors of the city.

So ... counting from Wednesday evening, Vincent would return Sunday night, maybe Monday. Not much time until, though it seemed an eternity, but if all went the way she hoped, a blessed week after.

__________________


Her apartment was too quiet, too empty. A woman alone with her thoughts, her worries, her dreams, she flopped onto the couch, closed her eyes and imagine Vincent on it.


It is time he came in.

She knew his desire .... desire fused with such restraint, such diffidence ... the hunger in his eyes when he looked at her, the wrenching loss she felt when he looked away. He was so beautifully male, powerful, contained, promising ...

Hers. There could be no other.


___


“Cathy!” Jenny trilled. “You’re home and answering your phone! Are you all right?”

“Funny girl, Jen. I’m not that bad, am I?”

“You are worse than bad. You’re terrible! But now that I have you, do you want to go antiquing tomorrow? Like we talked about?”

“Oh, I’d love to but ...”

“No buts, Cathy! I haven’t seen you in forever.”

“We just had lunch this week!”

“That doesn’t count,” Jenny said.

“How about this,” Catherine proposed. “How about we go shopping, but let's stay in the City. It's Market Day tomorrow in Chelsea and we haven’t done that in forever either.”

“Chelsea? Sure, we can hobnob with the hipsters! I’m on. I’ll come by and get you about ten.”

“I can meet you there.”

“Oh, no. I don’t trust you. Let's eat first thing though.”

“Jenny, your appetite is amazing. How do you stay so thin?”

“Looking for Mr. Right. Aren’t we all?”

“Will you know him if you meet him?”

Ha ha, Cath. Will you? Besides, I may have.”

"May have what?"

"Uh-uh. No way. Tomorrow. It's my only leverage." Jenny laughed.

Ha ha to you too. I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll be ready. I promise. Bye now.”

Jenny. One day, she hoped to be able to truly confide in her. Why can't I? She'd all but told Nancy. All that was left was the collision of what she believed ... with what was true.


Could they ... could they accept? Catherine had met many helpers in the City, dozens of them. They knew Vincent, appreciated all that was made possible by the reality of him ... loved him. Theirs were welcoming and reachable hearts, their spirits loyal and protective. Wasn't Nancy? Wasn't … Jenny?

Someday, she dreamed.

Now, how to fill the evening. When all else fails ... the practical. A run before the rain. A shower. Dinner. Read. Then sleep, perhaps to dream.




Click Here for Chapter 7


6 comments:

Brandy said...

I love that you talked about how POTENT Vincent's looks are. It's like his soul is trying to come out his eyes, and all his words are in his gaze.

Oh, I want Nancy and Jenny to be Helpers too! How many of us in this community have imagined how we could contribute? They could have all my 2nd hand books, and flowers and herbs for my garden. Think that would get me special privileges with William?

I'm enjoying this re-read, and commenting every chapter gives me a little more time to digest, instead of my usual wolfing style of reading. But aren't these beginning chpatrs short? :)

Sonia Who? said...

Ch. 6

Love it how Catherine keeps having daydreams about Vincent. It makes me smile. And it proves how much she wants him. Poor girl has been pining for Vincent for so long, don't know how she can endure it. I would have tried seducing him long before.

Can't wait for that someday when Catherine can confide in her best friends Jenny and Nancy and tell them the truth about Vincent. Jenny at least, I think she would make a wonderful helper. And hopefully Joe.

Carole W said...

Brandy, he is potent isn't he. That's a great word for him. I'm thrilled you'd reread this story. Thanks for the interaction here. It's very encouraging to me.

Carole W said...

Yep, Sonia. Me and you both. I'd have given it my best shot anyway.

I do wonder about Nancy and Jenny and Joe and their differing abilities to accept this world. It will certainly be the basis of future stories, but I don't think it's a slam-dunk with any of them. There could be issues ... :-)

AZLadyWolf said...

"He was so beautifully male, powerful, contained, promising ...

Hers. There could be no other."

OMG! Those words are enough to give you that tantilizing sensation deep inside that makes you gasp for air.....
beautiful.......

Carole W said...

AZ! You're making my day! I really appreciate you taking the time from (cough cough) work to read this story.

Carole