Iron Behind the Velvet - Chapter 23

~ As Chaos to the Irrevocable Past  1




“She’s doing quite well. Gained ... nearly a pound. Now, let’s have a listen, shall we, little one? Yes, yes. I know ...” He’d warmed the chest-piece of the stethoscope in his palm but still the infant protested. Father raised his voice. “Strong heart, strong lungs.” He listened again, eyes closed in concentration. “Yes, good. Clear, no congestion whatsoever. A touch of indigestion, perhaps. You needn’t worry.” He bundled the blanket around the baby, cradled her, a steady hand beneath her head. “Look at you,” he crooned. “Such dark hair, those charcoal eyes. She’s beautiful, Olivia. She looks so like you.” Her face reddened and pinched with disapproval, the baby drew in a stuttered breath. “Oh, dear,” he said, with a summoning glance over his shoulder. “You want your mother, hmmm? Here she is. Here she is.”

A mirrored flush warmed Olivia’s cheeks and a single tear, ungovernable, welled and spilled. She scrubbed it away and gathered her baby close, muffling the oncoming storm. “There’s no fever then? She seemed so warm and she wouldn’t eat this morning. And she cries and cries. She’s just ... miserable.”

Father peered over his glasses, biting back the first words from his tongue – As you are. Instead, he offered a reassuring mumble, repeated it, and unwound the stethoscope from his neck. Polishing the bell and diaphragm, he contemplated the order of instruments before him on the white enamel tray – a studied enterprise, a necessary rearrangement, of forceps and clamps, of thermometers and scopes ... of his words.

“No fever. I know you're reluctant, but a pacifier sometimes calms a fussy baby,” Father said. Reaching for Olivia’s elbow, he urged her to an overstuffed chair. “Perhaps she's picking up your concerns, your …” At her mother’s sharp intake of breath, the baby’s whimpers spiked in reproach. “Come,” he suggested, interrupting himself. “Let’s sit down to tea. The water’s just hot and I’ve some fresh Keemun. You like that, yes? With cream and sugar?” Occupied with the measuring of loose leaves, with the turning up of china cups and the laying out of spoons, he watched Olivia from the corner of his eye.

First do no harm …

“Tell me, how is Luke taking to his little sister?”

“Fine ... I guess. He doesn’t understand when I sit with her to nurse. I think he feels left out and he clings more than he did. But when she cries, he tries to entertain her.” Olivia leaned out to peer under Father’s big desk. In the shelter of its knee-space, Luke sang to himself and played, content with a soft yellow ball. “She’s less than enthused with his singing,”she said, unbuttoning the bodice of her dress.

Father carried one delicate cup and saucer to the chair-side table. Without speaking, he went back for his own, and making a third contemplative trip to his desk, he returned with a silver tray bearing a small pitcher and a bowl of paper-wrapped cubes, the steeping pot. The tea’s aroma, lush and plummy, suffused the room, a velvet shawl to restless worry, and the baby stilled, her rosebud lips smiling against her mother’s breast. Father sank into his chair, a thrum of lament in his joints.

“Have you heard anything, Father? From Vincent, from anyone? There’s been nothing on the pipes since Friday night. And even then …” A deep sigh did little to relieve the tension in her face. “Even then there was no message for me.” 

My concerns exactly. This absence of information is ... thunderous. He stirred milk into his cup, unwrapped two sugars. “Our reports are rather truncated. They’re keeping off the pipes for safety’s sake but with both crews at hand, swift progress can be made. Soon, life will ...” Return to normal? He took a testing sip, then a second and over the opalescent rim of his cup, met Olivia’s skeptical eyes. “Resume.”

Olivia, upset“You should know this, Father.” Curled forward, she was protective, vigilant. “I’ve asked Catherine if she ... if she and Vincent will take my children if something happens to me. If Kanin ...”

“And her answer?”

“She promised, yes. If Vincent agrees.”

Um hmmm.” Nodding, Father swirled the last of his tea, tasted the final sweetest swallow. My first love, my mother, on whose knee I learnt love-lore ... my loadstar while I come and go … 2 How beautiful she is, he thought. How fierce and consumed. How willing, even now. A lecture took shape, aching for delivery. Kanin is a fool.

“So. What shall we call our little girl?”

______


Eimear stood at the front window of the laundromat but in its farthest corner, screened by an arching ficus tree, heavy with glistening leaves. Wedged between the wall and the last bolted-down chair, she watched as Catherine wrestled her bag of laundry through a darkened entry, as she and her friend made trip after trip to a van for jugs and coolers and flat-bottomed baskets. No lights shone from the upper floors of the print shop; no shadow crossed the tall, narrow windows. No face, young or old, peered out in anticipation of what was clearly more than a Sunday picnic.

stained glass segment, cavern waterfall colors
She knew Dix, had used his services in some work for the school. Never had she imagined him a secret-keeper or his building a gateway to ... where? He’d told her of the slow renovations to the third and fourth floors, how he and Brenda would one day sell their home in North Riverdale and live above the store. She knew Brenda used a niche in a back corner as her office, where she met with clients and designed their newsletters, their business cards and menus; that for weeks, Dix labored after hours behind locked second-floor doors on a surprise for her, his anniversary gift; that when he finally handed over the key, Brenda collapsed in tears at the racks filled with sheets of stained glass, at the castered work tables, at the pegboard of tools. She’d witnessed the dancing pattern of fire cast by the afternoon sun through the wavy-glassed and leaded panes, shivered in the cold air that leaked into the room around them. Brenda planned the most beautiful replacement for the windows, a triptych to hang inside the new thermal panels. And she had seen the pencil-drawn design and the lay-out: a magnificent waterfall spilling into a rocky pool, in colors of bronze and copper and steel-blue, its rising mists illustrated in pale, frosted textures, a strange slanted light across it in rays of rose-gold. A place where dreams were made true.

I can’t stand here and spy, she admonished herself, edging back from the window. I promised her that and I’ve gone against my word. But now Catherine carried a wicker pannier, open on one side and rowed with spiky baguettes of bread and Eimear could almost hear her laughter – wished she could – as Catherine struggled with the basket, to corral her goods. The setting sun, suddenly slanting in from the west, lit the deep white slashes in the golden loaves. The windows blazed orange-amber with reflected light, like candles, like torches.

She intended to return to her chores, to file away to memory the fine details of their meeting for another time, a time when she might lay them out and wonder and dream and suppose, a time when she could turn loose her fancy in this revelation and what might come to pass. In a funk when she’d pushed open the door, half-anxious, half annoyed, she’d felt relief to find Catherine there, surprised but not, eager yet patient, curious but already sure, in that moment having the same faith, she realized, that Rosie would stir, when late at night, long after they were believed asleep, the moonlight streaming through the window between their twin beds, her sister would promise – promise! – that something extraordinary was bound to happen, that there were thin places in the world, places at the very edge of magic, that they would at last find one and step through. What she’d seen in Catherine’s hands and in her expression and what she’d heard in the words Catherine could not say, pulled the ribboned chord of recognition between them taut and knotted it. Finally, she heard in a feathery sigh. You.

A timer dinged, an hour gone; the dryer thumped to a stop. Across the way, the entry was closed ... stayed closed. Come back, Catherine. Or take me with you …

The bell jangled as she bumped the door open with her hip, as she wedged the mounded laundry basket through. She stood for a moment on the sidewalk, the desire to race across the street, to pound on the glass inching from her heart to her feet and fists, but with a last glance at the silent shop, at a white work van and Catherine’s parked car, she hurried to her own a long block away. A wood-paneled station wagon idled in a driveway, the windows tinted, the driver gunning a cranky motor as she approached. She slowed and behind her, a porch door banged open; a bark of laughter its echo. At the heavy tread on the stoop, she turned to look over her shoulder.

A month ago – a week – she’d not have believed she would search the faces of her neighbors or the alleys of her childhood for malevolence, for threats. A silliness. It was only a crank call ... well, two ... no, three calls. Four if you count Saturday’s. The car pulled out and crawled along beside her to the corner where it screeched north at the intersection; a man jostled her elbow as he jogged past. Was it you? You?

I should tell someone. 


But not Fynn, not now. Not with the dark place in his soul laid so painfully open. And not Rosie, who would only urge her to tell Flynn – or tell him herself. Not Martin either. What could he do but worry?

The prospect of home, home alone for hours yet, was daunting, but she didn’t like being frightened, was angered by it. She dumped the laundry basket into her open trunk and slammed the lid with defiance. Martin was nearby, at Behan’s, not three blocks away, with Mick and Orla in from Philly and Coy Doyle home from college. She checked her watch. Early yet. But the music would be starting up soon enough and a dark corner of the pub might well be empty. A pint and an hour of merry company, of putting aside ... then she would go home.

________


Vincent stood just beyond the secret door, and Damien, finding it ajar, barreled through, colliding with him, bouncing off his steeled determination, thudding backward to the door frame. Vincent righted him with a forceful grip to both arms. Stop. Enough. He willed his hands to relax, to drop away.

Damien bent to gasp for breath, his palms to his knees. “Vincent ... what? Gimme a break here. Mitch Denton? That’s …” 

Ludicrous. The word was unspoken, though it might have calmed him to hear it. He might have agreed, thought it through again, but he recognized Damien’s expression. Acquiescence. Capitulation. 

He closed his eyes, fighting the urge to press his fists to his forehead. No one will question me, cross me. My decisions must be correct. I must be firm, I must be sure. There is no room for my error. I’ve been distracted, self-indulgent …

He stilled his thoughts. Massing the wisps of uncertainty, the strings of fear and fury into a ragged imagined ball, compressing, molding until there appeared in his mind’s eye a small, dense orb in his open palm. He clenched a mental fist around it, focused on his breathing – slowing it – on the resounding echo of his heart in his chest – willing it quiet – on his blood as it coursed and cooled, on the lessening snap and fire of synapse.

Catherine.

He could hear her muted laughter and the muffled whoomp of swinging doors, the thump of baggage. A rectangle of light bloomed at the landing, rayed down into the basement hideaway. It was a strange alchemy—the probe of sun, her presence, the ardent caress he could feel on his skin. His muscles tensed in forward movement, and he leaned into the going, into that first step toward her, then ... remembered ... and withdrew to the shadows.

“Tell Catherine ...” he began and Damien started up up the stairs. “Tell her I'm here.”


“Vincent! Where are you?” With the basket of bread borne in her arms, she stepped through the secret passage. His mouth watered at the scent. “Damien said–” She stopped short, her brilliant smile fading away to uncertainty. “Something’s wrong.”



Catherine reaching out to VincentMitch Denton?” Her inflection implied more doubt than fear. “That’s really a big leap, Vincent. I mean, Mitch has a dozen warrants out on him. Every beat cop from Bayonne to White Plains knows his face. He’d have to be truly stupid to be anywhere near the City. Those initials could mean anything.”

As he swept past her the third time, she reached out to stop his pacing. “Stop.” Taking his hand, she tugged him back to the basement, through the entrance toward a rumpled couch against the far wall. The stairwell still burned with topaz light and he blinked as he passed.

“Look at me,” she begged. “Sit down. Tell me all of it again.”



She shook her head and started to speak. She shook her head again. “What Miriam heard could mean anything. I just don’t believe it’s Mitch. I mean ... why? He’d have to know–”

“What I would do to him if I saw him again?” Vincent said, his eyes riveted to hers. A coarse rumble underscored his words. “If I found him anywhere near you? If he so much as whispered your name?” She knows what I would do ...

Holding his gaze, she shook her head again. “That’s not what I was going to say. Mitch already knows what you would do. You let him go, Vincent. You chose.” Persistent at his stubborn fist, she worked her fingers into his grip. “ You chose. Remember.” It was not a question, but a demand. “I was going to say ... Mitch would have to know a dozen ways in. Why would he be sending out scouts? It doesn’t make sense.”

“The ways have changed since he was a boy. And perhaps he has forgotten.”

“Would Kanin and Mitch know each other?”

“I was nearly eighteen when Kanin came to us. For a few years before that, Mitch would come and go, always in trouble above, causing even more Below. There were a few weeks in which their paths might have crossed. Kanin kept to himself in those early days. And Mitch ... cared for no one. Still, each might remember the other.”

“Have you sent Father this theory? He could get word to a helper, have someone visit Sam in Queens Village, at the Residence, ask him if he’s heard anything.”

“No. We’ve ... I’ve not told him. I’ve kept everything about Kanin off the pipes.” He turned from her, then looked down at his feet. One boot disconnected from his command, on its own drumming a solemn message on the dusty floor. A jitter of energy rippled through his musculature, his tendons wired as if preparing for flight.

"You don’t think Olivia should know?” Her mouth parted in a sigh and she rubbed at her lower lip, tapped at it.

Catherine and Vincent, talking
“Know what, Catherine?” Vincent leapt up, tearing himself from a sudden pull of desire. Pacing three steps out and back, a shuddery breath expanding his chest, he threw his arms wide. “That her husband, the father of her children, has endangered at least himself, that he seems to be moving farther from us, from her? That he is disagreeable, intractable, that all sane discourse with him has led to ... what? Is this some test he’s set for himself? Some self-destructive course sure to meet his own miserable expectations? That he will not accept her forgiveness, that he dismisses what she mercifully offers? How can I send such a message ... on the pipes? How?” He braced himself in the corner, bending up one leg, one propelling foot flat to the wall.

Aniela’s and Damien’s low conversation filtered down from office above and then their footsteps pattered the floor ... the metal door to the stairs, to the roof, clanged shut. Vincent sighed and tipped his head back against the bricks, In the silence between them, he heard Catherine rise and cross the room.

“This is a lot to bear alone, Vincent.” He dropped his foot and she settled against him. “You miss Father, don’t you? Talking to him? Sharing the burden of all of this. The intensity of the work, the people management. And the ... revelations ... all of our coincidences on top of that. Would you like me to go for him?”

“He couldn't, shouldn't make the journey.”

“I could meet him at an entrance, an accessible one, at 14th Street maybe ... drive him here.”

He drew her close. So soft. The scent of spring, the allure of another life. “No, Catherine. Not Father, not this time.” His arms tightened around her. “I want you to go home.”

 ____


Where was that, without him? She thought to argue, but his steely resolve was all too familiar. “I can’t go below,” she said. “I’d never get to our rooms without Father knowing. He’d materialize in the passageway with a list of questions a mile long.” There it was – almost imperceptible – the nudge of a rueful smile.

“Then you should go to your apartment. You have work tomorrow. And you must be miserable after a night on the ground.”

“It was hardly a night. A few hours. I’m all right.” She led him back to the couch, pulled him down beside her. Though his answer was inevitable, she had to ask. “Do you want me to go to this place, this old entrance on Independence? I could drive around, look for Kanin.”

“No, I do not want you to do that. The road winds through the woods. It's too isolated. There are too many unknowns. You will not go there, Catherine. Promise me.” 

It’s only a campus woods, hardly a wilderness. But after a moment, she nodded. “I just don’t know what your going will accomplish, Vincent. The entrance has been sealed a long time. Breaking through would just make more work and increase the danger below. No matter what his state of mind, Kanin wouldn’t expect that. There has to be some other interpretation.”

“I can’t see one.”

“I know you can’t. Let me think.” Hoping to diffuse his tension, she tucked her legs under her on the couch, leaned into his shoulder, but the exercise of his restraint was a tangible thing, a heat off his skin, a fidget of knee and foot. How can I leave you? Knowing she had only moments before he swept away down the tunnels, she forced clues together, clues that repelled each other, disparate clues barely clues at all.

“Maybe ... maybe the Riverdale remark was just a decoy. There’s no entrance there, you said. So if we take it at face value, Kanin was just blowing smoke. It meant nothing more. No connection between you, Vincent, and the college. Let’s just go with that for now. And if he said he wanted to keep his independence ... Cullen was vague about that, maddeningly vague you said, so that could mean ...” She rubbed her lip in concentration and heard Vincent’s sharp inward breath, looked up to meet his narrowed gaze. What? “... something about Kanin’s probation meeting tomorrow. He has to show up to stay out of jail. Don’t you think ...” She pulled his hand from its tensioned grip on his thigh, marrying her fingers with his. “Isn’t it possible he was saying he’d be there? That Dominic should pick him up as planned? Maybe he wanted you to do nothing. Maybe you could wait, at least until tomorrow afternoon, to, ummm, reinterpret this. Wait to see if Kanin keeps his appointment.”

Heels hammered the metal stairs floors above them – Aniela’s and Damien’s descent. He heaved himself up and again he paced the confined space. There he goes, she thought. He might as well be shaking out his arms, rolling his shoulders – like a runner, like a swimmer. But on one pass he slowed and she seized his hand. Hold me, Vincent. For this moment, before we have to part.

“What you say makes sense, Catherine. Perhaps I’ve ... over-thought the situation. You’ve told me I do that.” His hands pressed apology at the small of her back.

Catherine and Vincent talking, close
“Sometimes, Vincent. Sometimes you do. But always out of love.” She rose and went to him, rose to touch her lips to his, clinging there, his tender but tenacious lover, until she felt the upward curve, the parting of his mouth.

My whole heart,” he whispered against her cheek, “my whole heart in one kiss upon your perfect lips.” 3




At the first footstep on the first tread, Vincent moved from their embrace to the darkest corner of the basement, where he stood, stoic, arms folded. Aniela thumped down the stairs carrying a thermos, a more circumspect Damien behind her with the second.

Damien ran his fingers through already-disheveled curls. “I, ummm, guess we, Aniela and I, could … take the cart and the supper a ways down, if you, ahhh, you and Catherine ... I mean, Aniela has to lock up with the key and all, and well, Catherine, you’ll need to leave when she does.” An audible gulp followed his speech.

She knew, without benefit of their bond, the haze of Vincent’s ambivalence, torn as he was, wanting to search for Kanin, to fulfill his obligations, to do his job and do it well ... and to stay with her, be with her, revel in all that had transpired. If he knew about Eimear, about their meeting ... She wouldn’t tell him. Not now. And there was something more – dark thoughts unsorted, words clotted in his throat. He was fierce in his concentration to bridle his agitation, to mask his disappointments, but what he felt was his neutral look she saw as more a glower.

“Pass the containers down.” At the foot of the stairs, she beckoned him with a commiserative smile. “We’ll help.”

“Yes,” he said, his stride toward her too long, too forceful for the room. He took last place in line. She heard his stubbled exhale. Damien rushed the stairs and returned bearing the cooler, and with Aniela positioned halfway and Catherine at the floor, the supper passed hand to hand to the cart.



Click HERE for Chapter 24

____________

1. Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Dawn on the Night-Journey. 1863.
2. Christina Rossetti. Sonnets are Full of Love, from A Pageant and Other Poems. 1881.
3. Alfred. Lord Tennyson. Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere, a fragment. 1842.


25 comments:

Kemara said...

Squee!!! So glad to see the new chapter up. Here's hoping that Catherine and Eimear have a long, revealing chat in chapter 25.

If C and V do end up (as seems likely) becoming close friends with this family (and telling Joe and Jenny everything), I would welcome a sequel or two. Hint, hint. :)

Carole W said...

Thanks, Kemara! I can't be sure exactly where it will happen, but Eimear and Catherine will most definitely talk.

I guess I can't help but write a sequel (or else this one will NEVER be finished—it will just go on and on). My mind has this straight-line thing going with the stories-to-come.

It's funny, though. Someone told me once that fans don't care that much for connected stories, but I don't seem able to do it differently. I'm glad to know another sequel would work for you!

~ Carole

Krista said...

Wow, I finished reading your stories tonight and I'm just in awe. This is fantastic and I can't wait to read more. (And yes, sequels would be fine by me as well :))

-Krista

Carole W said...

Krista, finding your comment really perked up my day and feedback means so much. Thank you, most sincerely.

And as for a sequel or two ;-), I'm already toying with expanding the Joe/Rosie story and the Jenny/Ned mystery and always, what comes next for V & C. And there's some backstory that comes to mind, what it was that happened pre-I Carry Your Heart to send V to the deep, dark river in the first place. Hmmmm....

I'd better finish this one first though.

Thanks again ~ Carole

New York City Utopia said...

I think you already know my opinion... I can't wait for the next chapters and any sequels that may come. (I want this story to reach its climax and yet I'll be so sad when it's over)

Carole W said...

NYC U - I'm so happy to hear you say that. I'm just not ready to stop with this story line, though I do promise to bring this specific story to a stopping point!

Thank you, always, for your support and encouragement. It means so much.

~Carole

Brandy said...

Good grief, who told you fans don't like connected stories? What a lie. Sequels are keen, connected stories are peachy, this story rocks, WRITE FASTER!

And please stop torturing Vincent; he takes it well, but the naked needs to happen! Or at least give him a kiss? You're a wiz at writing very erotic, tension-filled scenes, but seriously, give them a break!

Lots of love and hope.

Carole W said...

Ahh, Brandy, I was wondering where you were! You are a mind reader! There was a little gap in time between Aniela and Damien coming down from the roof (and trundling the supper below) while C & V ... talked.

The delights of the reminiscence and chapter 25.

;-) Thanks for the kind words regarding the erotic and tensioned scenes and the support for the connected stories. The encouragement to write faster??? I AGREE. I wish I would too.

Carole

Brandy said...

Dear Carole,
Goodness, I certainly sound like a pervert, don't I! It's just that after YEARS of longing looks, and holding hands, I feel Vincent and Catherine are ENTITLED to some alone time. But your words of Chapter 25 give me hope. Looking forward to the next installment!

Carole W said...

Brandy, I'm totally with you on the alone time. They do deserve it! Don't lose heart—Catherine did suggest a vacation after all this is over—aaggg! a sequel!—but between now and then, I do have plans for some togetherness.

I go back and reread chapter 9 every now and then, and though I've dragged this story out a long time, Chapter 9 was only 4 nights ago, story wise. It does feel like an unending week, doesn't it?

I spent the afternoon working up to and into the gauzy part to come. I'll admit I enjoyed it!

~ Carole

Krista said...

Oh, Carole, this revision....the added details....more for us to cling to and wonder upon until the next chapter. I love the revelation the Eimear had seen the drawings of Brenda's stained glass---though she doesn't yet know it's not a place of fantasy.

The interplay between Catherine and Vincent is also very real and true ---and even in this time of confusion and very deep fears, they are wonderful to watch together.

Great job, again and still. :)

-Krista :)

Carole W said...

Krista! Thank you again and again for your encouragement. I can't tell you how nice it is to wake up and read that you found new goodness in the revision, that the story doesn't seem old-news.

I looked and looked for a picture of a stained glass waterfall that was all rock, no greenery. LOL, I couldn't find any! I want to take a class just so I could create that scene. AFTER I finish this story. No classes until AFTER. :-D

I really hope Eimear gets to see that waterfall in person. Soon!

You're so kind to me, always. Hugs.
Carole

Carole W said...

Krista- PS - did you see? This chapter is almost an anniversary one. You left a first comment on it a bit more than two years ago!

Krista said...

LOL, I just now noticed that. That's how good your writing is; it keeps us all coming back year after year :-D

-Krista :)

Carole W said...

I can't believe it's been two years since we got to know each other or that it's been only two years!
:-) I'm just so glad we came to be friends.

Carole

RomanticOne said...

Krista was right. Your writing does keep us coming back for more. Bring on the sequels. I can never get enough of these wonderful characters. I must have been hungry when I read this chapter. I swear I could smell the bread they carried!

Carole W said...

Thank you, R1! What a lovely way to start my week - your encouragement made me smile, first thing today.

I suppose it's a sequel, or a mid-quel. I had an idea the other day for a story to take place just after Marriage Morning, but before I/V. A short story. Short. I won't even start it, other than to jot down the central ideas, until I/V is done, but I'm going to guess that any story I do after this one will occur in this same universe, somewhere along the timeline. It's a relief to know you like these characters!

I'm so glad to see you here. Thank you for rereading and for your many kindnesses.

Carole

SandyX said...

"that there were thin places in the world, places at the very edge of magic, that they would at last find one and step through." I love that.

This is fun, reading through these again. It's like the re-telling of a favorite tale. You're anxious to hear your favorite parts again, while eager to hear what twists and embellishments the storyteller might add.

And you know, for me, your writing creates one of those "thin places" where I can stept through to another world.

Thank you.

Sandy

Carole W said...

Sandy, hugs and hugs. What a nice thing to read this morning. I'm so touched by your words. I can hardly believe you, but I want to! There's nothing I wish for more than for you to enjoy the story. You know how I dither and it means a lot when you tell me a sentence had some effect.

Thank you for so many things.
Carole

Kat said...

This chapter REALLY makes me want to know more about each and every character and can't wait for the next chapter:)

“My whole heart,” he whispered against her cheek, “my whole heart in one kiss upon your perfect lips.”

That was just perfect... it's the little things. A whisper like this or a look or a caress.
Btw, you seem to have a knack finding perfect quotes for perfect moments:)

~Kat

Carole W said...

Hi Kat! and thank you so much - for reading and for your kind words. It thrills me, you know, that you're wanting the next chapter, that you like these characters.

That quote is a beautiful one. I can just imagine Vincent saying it. Oh baby.

And how I wish I might have written it myself.

As far as finding quotes goes - I do love to read, always have, and the search through poems is just so much fun. Looking for titles, I've come across some grand stuff. I can spend hours on it. I am glad, however, there're no tests any more.

Thank you again, Kat.

Carole

brit said...

Carole,
Re-reading your story has been wonderful. My question for this chapter(the first chapter that I have been able to remember that I had a question, and not distracted so I can ask) Vincent "hears" the bell jingle and feels the lingering on his neck but it is only Cullen who approaches... Who was he feeling that from- Catherine or Eimear? I would say Catherine but I suggest Eimear as well because that chord has them tethered.

Carole W said...

Hi, Brit! It's nice to hear from you. I will do my best to finish this story in this decade! LOL - kidding! (Oh, I hope I'm kidding.)

I think your question actually concerns Chapter 22.

Yes, V hears a faint bell and says "Someone's coming." Literally, he meant Cullen, and knowing Vincent, he was responding to two very different, separate stimuli, but figuratively, sensitively, he felt the door opening between Catherine and Eimear (in the laundromat, but deeper than that). V was picking up on Catherine's feelings of course, but you're right - he also senses something of Eimear's, because that bond is strengthening. It's vague on purpose at this time, because he can't know exactly what's going on up top.

I love questions! And I'm so honored you'd read this again and can be engaged in it the second time. Thank you!

Carole

Anonymous said...

Oh Carole . . . (giggle)

I'm re-reading yet again while waiting for Chapter 52 to reveal itself.

This time I was struck by this short sentence:

"Finally, she heard in a feathery sigh. You."

This acknowledgment of the newly found connection between Catherine and Eimear is just wonderful.

Regards, Lindariel

Carole W said...

Lindariel! Thank you - that you'd want to reread this really makes me happy.

I reread the chapter myself after finding your comment. It certainly has been a long time coming, Eimear and Catherine becoming friends. At least, in the current chapter, there's been some progress on that front!

It's a good feeling to hear about a line or image you've enjoyed. That you'd tell me means so much.

Carole