Iron Behind the Velvet - Chapter 70

~ Again and Again, However We Know the Landscape of Love1



“Huh.” Kanin’s reply, when it came, was something between a grunt and a snort. He passed his hand over his face. “My plan didn’t go over quite like I hoped. More like a lead balloon, Winslow would’ve said.”

As if answer were not evident in Kanin’s eyes, in the rounding of his shoulders, his shuffled step, Vincent fastened to a ribbon-shred of hope. “Olivia ...?”

Kanin shook his head.


The disappointment was baffling. He’d been so sure. “Did she tell you why?”

“Oh, you bet.” Kanin rubbed one temple, then both.

“Is it something you want to share?”

“I wish it were only one thing.”

“Would it help if I spoke with her ...” But even as he offered, he found himself ... wordless.  Better ... Catherine. The amity between women was a mighty thing, sometimes nuanced with mystery, still ... the door between them was already opened. Olivia had reached out to her in confidence and with the greatest trust of all – the safeguard of her children. “Or I could ask Catherine to–”

“Nooooo,” Kanin answered. “She already lives in a fishbowl, she said. Everybody knowing our business. At least, back home, it’s all out in the open. People don’t have any questions. Any more questions, I mean. They’ve all been asked, more than once.” Kanin arched his neck, rolled his shoulders. Either he’d slept in a chair or not at all, Vincent guessed. “Livy said she wasn’t about to play out our drama in front of Liz. That Liz had the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, the perfect job, the perfect suite of chambers, even perfect hair. She didn’t need Liz’s perfect pity, and if we couldn’t make it work, she didn’t want to see the perfect sympathy on Liz’s face.”

Vincent bit back a thoroughly inappropriate protest that Liz’s hair was far from perfect. How often in their youth had Mary trotted along behind her brandishing a hairbrush, threatening to take up scissors? 


“I didn’t really understand,” Kanin said. An understatement, Vincent recognized, given his own muddled thoughts. “I mean, they’re old friends. Is there some story I don’t know about?”

Time’s pages ruffled back. From the moment Liz came below, Olivia was her constant and surprising companion. Olivia, until then, always quiet and watchful. Liz, at nine years old – or so they settled on, given her contradictory self-reported biography – the definition of rough-and-tumble. Be careful, Devin had warned him once. She bites. Before Liz was found incongruously haunting the streets of Borough Park, Olivia’s parents worried Father with concerns about their daughter’s contentedness to sit with her nose in a book, a complaint Father could not authoritatively address. After Liz’s arrival, Olivia’s mother seemed always on the hunt for her once-docile child. One midnight, the two girls at last escorted to Father’s study with skinned elbows and knees and a single pair of rusty, clamp-on roller skates between them, Olivia’s father had laid down new laws. Olivia ... you ... are ... grounded! he’d stormed. Vincent still remembered Liz’s laughter. Grounded! Now that’s a knee-slapper, she’d cackled and demonstrated. Father had looked away, coughing into his fist, and even Olivia’s parents grinned against each other’s shoulders. Afterward the girls were just as inseparable ... until Liz, at seventeen, abruptly announced she was moving north on her own. Most likely there was a story, but Vincent could only spread his hands.

“Well, I must have said something really stupid, because after that ...” Kanin’s eyes widened in dismayed recollection as he gazed south toward home. “The bottom line, though, I got,” he went on. “Livy wanted to know why she should make it easy on me, why she should make all the changes. She quoted my own words back. You were born here, Livy. This is your home. You have to stay here. I did manage to shut up before I repeated what she’d said – that she didn’t care where we lived as long as we were together. But, well ...” Kanin scratched at his chin, his neck. “That was then. This is now.”

Something ... simmered, half-tingle, half-sting. “It wasn’t all ... discord, surely. Did you take her lilacs?”

“I did. That part was ... good.” Kanin ran a finger inside his flannel collar. “I got into trouble when I started talking. Maybe I don’t have any right to ask Livy for anything. She didn’t particularly appreciate it, not like you thought she might.”

“Time might help,” Vincent said, a few paces later. “You surprised her.”

“Yeah, I’m full of surprises.”
   

Go to her, he’d advised Kanin. Ask for what you want. Your asking names Olivia’s worth, proves her necessariness to you. Had he made suggestions colored by his own hopes, molded by his own journey? Had he been ... advising himself?

Kanin interrupted his self-examination. “What you told me, fake it till you make it? I don’t think I understood. On the way over, I worked myself up to think I could just ... fix this. On the way back, I got it. Finally.” He chuckled cheerlessly. “A day late and a dollar short. Can’t you hear Winslow?”

“Tell me,” Vincent prompted, though, yes, he did hear Winslow. “What did you come to understand?”

“That what I have to fake is being a man who can survive what I’ve done to my life.”

They mulled and plodded on, through the far archway, south at the junction. The stone spiral down to camp was around one last bend. He stopped his friend with a hand to his shoulder. “I’m sorry, Kanin.”

“Me, too.” Kanin sighed and shrugged and they started out again. “Is there a mistake I haven’t made, Vincent?”

There existed a tipping point when apology could not counterbalance the hurt, when the splintered chasm was too wide to bridge, the effort too daunting, a different life if not happier, then easier. But even now, he sensed from Olivia ... only love. Wounded, angry, persistent love. “There is one,” he answered. “The mistake of giving up. You haven’t. You won’t.”



The spiral did not favor conversation, and after two levels of descent, he stepped off the last granite riser behind Kanin. Together, they rounded into the final approach to base.

Kanin began again. “I had all these expectations. I’d have two, three, maybe four kids. Chisel out a suite of room to raise ‘em in. I’d team up with Cullen, plan out courses in stonecraft, train the next generation of quarrymen and sawyers and masons and carvers. Teach them things in a few years it took me fifteen to learn on my own. At some point, I’d sit on the council, be one of your go-to guys, level-headed, forward-thinking, the voice you–”



“One of mine?”

“Well, yeah. After Father passes the torch, so to speak. That’s the plan, isn’t it?”

He felt Kanin’s gaze on what he hoped was his impassive expression, but knew, from Catherine’s description of it, was tellingly dour. He could feel the resistance on his face, the drawing in of his brows, the deepening frown. The plan. For years, all his life, he’d passed beneath a boulder long-balanced on a ledge near the entrance to his chamber. He’d expected to rise one morning or walk home after a day’s work to find it tumbled to the ground. He might wedge past it, clamber over, but forever after it would obstruct his free passage. This, first, its presence would demand. He’d question the universe, Is there no other way? And too quickly he would answer himself, his voice thin and monotoned in his internal ear. No, not for you.

The unchallenged eventuality was a mold he chafed at, though with silence, with acquiescence, with self-prohibition, pretending an asceticism he hardly felt, he’d contributed to its shaping. Now ... he heard the fuller voice, the resonant harmonics. The Other’s. In the theatre of his mind, the secret door to his private rooms slid open. Pillar candles illumed the staircase down, the atrium, the far archway exiting to tunnels leading wherever he might choose.  Always, his champion rasped. Always, another way in and out. Another way. He nearly stumbled, dazed again with recognition.

“That’s what everybody else expected, too,” Kanin was saying.

He reined his attentions ‘round. This conversation is not ... about ... me. And yet ... Oh, Catherine.

“I left a lot of clothes behind when I went up. Now I’m standing in front of the wardrobe, taking ‘em off the shelf, and they don’t fit.” They trudged on a few yards. “The time I was up in Lyon Mountain,” Kanin said, “all I thought about was how I could earn my way back to what I had before, be the man I was before. But I never was the man I said I was. And if I can’t be that man, I need to be a better one.”


“You already are, Kanin.” He would remember his friend’s words, always. “What will you do?” he asked.

Kanin dug his hands into his pockets, pulled them out. “This is a good place. Different. The same philosophy, but a little less ... talk. Levon went on and on about the wide open spaces out west, and it’s that way here. Physical space, yeah, but personal space, too. There’s so much potential. And it’s weird, like ... destiny. I get out, come home, and here’s this problem. It’s now and it’s urgent and I have the skills. With so much work, so much riding on the outcome, there’s no time to bother about the quality of my ... atonement. I get to be necessary again. And – now, this is going to sound crazy, coming from me, since I’ve got a year of probation with meetings every week which I won’t screw up, and commitments to Dominic for sponsoring me – I feel freer.

Necessary. Freer. The juxtaposition was wondrously jarring. Vincent drew in a quick breath, and Kanin held up a hand as if to forestall an expected argument of worthiness and self-forgiving. In truth, he tasted awe and recognition. A sweet and satiable thirst.

“It would be easier for me here,” Kanin continued, “but I have to be where Livy is.”

“A long way from home, yes,” Vincent murmured. He, too ... wherever Catherine was.

But something simmered. Something ...

“Less than an hour by subway. I figure after we get these folks secure, I can commute for the long haul it’s gonna be here. After that, or in between, work some jobs up top for Dom. I can’t just be on paper for him. I can’t ask him to lie. He took a real business risk, standing up for me, hiring me. And I’m legal now. I gotta keep a low profile, but I can earn some money for the community. I’ll get home in time every night to read my kids to sleep. Or watch them sleep, anyway.” Kanin looked over at him with a sad smile. “You said it’d be harder for me if Livy said yes ... to trying to regroup ... to trying, period, to giving me another second chance. But I gotta tell ya, no feels ... pretty damn rough.”

The shivery prickle returned. As a damped fire stirred up, a resilient spark snapped in the air. “But Kanin ... don’t you see? Olivia didn’t say no.”

Kanin drew back, his brows arched. Vincent sensed his seeking grasp, the possibility smoke he couldn’t hold in his hands. 



He had been sure. “If, she said. If we can’t make it work. Olivia’s saying there is hope, that there is yet a we.”

“Huh.” Kanin’s reply was a repeat of his earlier acknowledgment, though uttered without its bleak tone. “Huh,” he said again. The corner of his mouth lifted ... briefly. “Oh, man,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck. Vincent recognized a waft of panic. “I didn’t hear that. She told me I wasn’t listening.”

“Possibly, she didn’t hear it either, from her own lips. Possibly ...”

“I should’ve fallen down on my knees instead of leaving her standing there. I’m an idiot, Vincent. Go ahead and say it.”

Pot callin’ the kettle black. Winslow warned him to silence.

“Your friend up top here ... He’s what, some kind of therapist? What’s his name?”

“Martin. A priest.”

“Would he– I mean, I’m not–”

“A priest ... and more than that.”

Kanin raked his eyebrow with the back of the nail of his thumb. “You thought maybe he could help me. You still think so?”




Given the darknesses he intended to explain, he felt an astonishing lightness of being, and if he might choose, he would retreat to some solitary sanctum, to anticipate the sweet evening in contemplation. He wanted nothing more than to speed the coming hours until Catherine arrived below, and as much as he anticipated the nearing sweet evening, so Kanin longed for the turning back of time, another moment – an altered moment – with Olivia. But the burr of camp was audible – muffled chatter, the punctuation of laughter, the dull ting of a metal spoon against a cast-iron vessel’s rim. A strange clanking, like chains spooling to the ground, and, from the sound of it – the long, sharp screech of nails – someone dragged a wooden crate across the stone floor. The needs of the many outweighed their own. Assessments and decisions must be made; efforts must begin anew. He thought to steer a change of mood – for both of them.

“You saw Father this morning?”


Kanin nodded.

“How was he?” he asked. “Did he require the usual three-tellings of all that has transpired?”

“You get by with three?”

Vincent smiled when Kanin did, just as ruefully, he supposed.

Kanin went on. “It’s a good thing I didn’t know about Catherine bringing her friend below last night, or else I’d still be in the library with a cup of cold tea. I’m leaving that telling to you.”

I’m leaving it to Catherine,” he replied. He let a beat of genial silence fall, and the unavoidable, the solemn undeniable, flowed back in. “How did he take the news about the colony beyond the perimeter.”



“About like I expected. He zeroed in on my black eye first thing, see-sawed between concern and exasperation. Kept interrupting me to ask questions. When I told him the leader went by MD, he choked out Mitch Denton’s name, just like you did. He was relieved when I told him MD was a woman, but that didn’t last long. He was pretty shook up, started speculating. Started ... fidgeting. You know, the glasses on and off thing he does. Then we got out the maps, went over the changes to the fortressing a few times. I think I was able to reassure him, but ...”

“Father wishes to be here, in the thick of things ...”

“And he can’t make the trip, walking ...”

It was true he could not, but there was more, a reason of distance beyond the physical. “Father has always given this community a certain space,” he said. “There’s an autonomy here he ... honors.”

Kanin paced off a contemplative few steps. “Levon used to suggest every now and then I come up here to live, thought it might suit me better,” he said. “It was a long hike to see him, a long hike back, but I wasn’t comfortable anywhere back then, not really, not inside. And then ... well ... Livy ...”

Even then, he’d loved her. Even then, he had to be where she was. She’d loved another, married another, but even then ...

“While you were out of it, there by the fire, Stuart and Noah told some stories, places you guys hung out, things you planned on doing together one day. I think ...” Kanin hesitated, sending over a sideways glance. “I think they wish you’d ...”

“Visit more often? I will.” How can I not? The strongest fated magnet drew him here. So much potential, Kanin had said. Now and urgent. Necessary. Freer. The same spiral that coiled and collected was charged with promise, like a wound clock spring released to count new hours. Boundaries recast; definitions transfigured ...

He ducked the low entry to the landing above the staircase carved into the perimeter wall. Kanin eased through to his side, seemingly ready to say more, but there was no time left to them alone. Below, except for Mouse, who sat by the escalating fire, bent toward the burgeoning warmth, his hands on his knees, and Jamie, by his side, who rummaged the metal tea chest, the congregated crews milled the floor, some at task – seating pulled into a semi-circle in front of four campstools, fresh water borne in from the flowstone falls – others roving in conversation.

As yet unnoticed, they stood above it all. He drew a deep breath, surreptitiously pressing one arm to his ribcage where his heart beat against his bruised bones. He turned to Kanin. “The rolling rock gates you wanted to investigate, possibly duplicate? Last night at supper, Damien and I plotted their positions on the maps. We recognized a pattern of openings and closings you should study. I believe this territory was once a stronghold to itself, long before–”  


“Interesting,” Kanin broke in, “but that’s gonna have to wait. So’s hoisting that big header under the #4 terminal.” His voice was low and steady. Resolute. “Remember, I said I’d had some thoughts. About the flood, why it happened, what should happen next. You probably won’t like my ideas. Nobody will.” Without waiting for a response, he started down. Led the way.


_____________



Wariness. Caution. Carefulness.  She couldn’t name what swept her. Wait, she couldn’t quite say aloud. Wait.

Though Catherine didn’t drag at her hand, Eimear slowed as they crossed the churchyard, her certain fire flickered out by the time they reached the rectory’s plank porch steps. One hand on the railing, she made no move to climb the first rung. “Vincent would be disappointed in me ... for withholding the truth about the calls.” she said.

Would, Catherine noted. Not will. Her vague guardedness warmed a degree. “He’d understand. He is ... always ... respectful.”

Ah, but respecting isn’t agreeing.” The sun winked off the white marble base Rosie had positioned in the center bed, imminent pedestal to her sculpture. Eimear turned and seemed to study it. With one foot, she brushed the mat of thyme growing between the flagstones, sending up the scent of cut lemons.

“I’m not sure I agree with myself,” she said. “And it’s not me deserving respect, but Flynn.”

With a look, Eimear beckoned her to follow through an archway to a dim corner of the ambulatory, one so protected, so insulated, they might have stepped across time. The sounds of traffic and commerce diminished, slipped into memory. From within the recess, Catherine saw before her a nearly medieval garden, intricate knots of herbs and blossoms shining in the sun, nothing beyond the far high wall but blue sky, the silhouette of branch and leaf.

Eimear leaned against the stones. The cool hush was sheltering, encouraging of confidences, though they came slowly. “I can’t bear to add to Flynn’s burden,” she said, “but I’d be calling him out weak to not. We both know which is worse.” She bunched her hands at her heart. “This is Flynn. I must protect him. I would do anything to protect him. If I find the words to tell him about the calls and the threats, he’ll fix on the menace, claim responsibility for it. Pile it on to whatever hounds him, claim himself the menace – but I only wound him deeper if I don’t, if I evidence too little faith in him, in his character. If he believed I saw him fragile and pathetic, unable to bear the truth ... that insult would ... damage us. No more secrets. I have to go back.”


Catherine pressed a hand to her throat, where her heart crowded up. How warmly everlasting right felt when recognized. “Whatever comes, he’ll know you trust him.”

“That I trust us.”


“Yes.” Whatever happens now, we will endure. We will.  “Yes,” she repeated, then softer still, “and what you wanted to hear ... from Martin ...?”

Eimear sighed. “Whatever Martin knows ... or perceives he knows ... if I ferret it out behind Flynn’s back, it being only another’s interpretation of Flynn’s experience, or softened to protect me, what am I hearing? Not necessarily what is.”

She felt the spring of tears in her eyes. If Father had been the one to tell her about Lisa, about Vincent’s love for her, about her departure from the tunnels, about the darkness that wrestled him into the abyss ... she’d have heard little of the truth.

“My friend, Will, my dear, childhood friend who owns Behan’s pub,” Eimear was saying, “told me something about Flynn’s behavior there only days ago. ‘Twasn’t gossip, but concern; he told me out of love for both of us, I’m sure of that. Flynn snapped at his server, made her cry. Nothing could be more out of character. How it must weigh on him. And since, knowing this, I’ve watched Flynn even more closely. Monitored him. I feel like I’m testing him and that’s wrong.”

Eimear lowered her hands, turned up her palms. “The ... job ... he undertakes is ... difficult ... for someone with a conscience, and the one without a conscience should never be in his position. The burdens of it are heavy for Neal, as well for David and Sean and Albie. But Flynn’s walked a finer edge, always, Catherine; as deeply as he despairs, he loves that much. He’s lost his core balance – he’s been edged into the pit. Oh, I can count it back to an assumed moment, conclude this, surmise that, hazard guesses as to how it all leads to this terrible day. The children he saved at the yeshiva came to visit him at the station last Thursday, and ... something happened, something we can’t see in that photograph published in the newspaper, that I can’t imagine, that he can’t bear to say aloud, that he can’t drown out in his mind’s ear. More than one night he’s slumped against the wall, listening to Martin play in the archway; I’ve heard their muffled voices back and forth, more Martin’s than Flynn’s. These last months have exposed some deep nerve-pain, and if, on one of those nights, he allowed Martin to see, to hear ...” Eimear gazed past Catherine into a strange distance. As if through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see.2 “But whatever Martin drew from him in conversation,” she said, after a long moment, “‘twas only off the surface. The truth, Flynn’s truth, lies far, far deeper.

Eimear stopped for breath, worked to even it. “He’s run to ground,” she said, and they shared a small smile before she went on. “And that ground is silence. Does he not deserve his privacy? If he cannot yet tell me this torment himself, if he never can ... I know his heart. I don’t need to hear it to welcome him home, to go on together. You understand that, Catherine.”

She could only whisper. “Privacies aren’t secrets. There’s a difference.”

Eimear’s soft plosive was a bleat of thankfulness and joy. “If all I can do is watch from the brink of the chasm,” she said, “at least he will know I am immovable, that I wait, loving the man he is and the man he strives to be.” She looked up, her eyes in the shadows nevertheless bright. “Maybe we can never descend with them; maybe they must go alone. Maybe only another like him, who struggles in the tension between dark and light, who loves at his own expense, can go wherever it is they go.”

Bráithre.” Catherine tried out the sound, her pronunciation tentative and slow.

Eimear took both her hands, clasped them tightly. “Mo Anam cara,” she murmured. “Síordheirfiúracha.”

The word was beautiful, strengthening, even more mysterious. Catherine tipped her head. Waited.

“I had a vision only days ago,” Eimear ventured, going on when Catherine encouragingly, acceptingly, squeezed her hands. “We were ... elsewhere ... the time and place not here, not now, but ever. The favoring winds rushed the steep headlands, and behind us, over-cliff, the sea spray leapt up. In my dream ‘twas Vincent – I know that now – who rode out with Flynn, their horses withers to withers, over the rocky fields toward the dark and whispering woods. That summer morning, we stood on the high hill, you and I, not behind, but together. The skylarks soared above us; the stonechats chipped to each other in the yellow gorse. I’ve never felt so grateful or so sure. You and I,” Eimear repeated. “Síordheirfiúracha. Eternal sisters.”




They walked the covered hall of the ambulatory, back toward the connecting archway, passing the chairs Vincent had told her Martin set for them, theirs not the first meeting of friends from below and above in this exceptional place. “I’ll call, or have Wren call,” Catherine promised, “as soon as she’s back from court. And I’ll take care of everything on your list. Don’t worry.”

“Thank you, Catherine.” Eimear stepped down into the garden. The lines at the corners of her eyes had eased. The color of her cheeks bloomed with more warmth than fevered worry. “Ask Martin to come at supper time, to give us that long alone, the two of us. He’ll have a full calendar, and honoring my wishes will give him a way to fulfill his responsibilities and see to us without feeling quite so torn.”

“I will.”

“For all his proper goodness, he’s a nosy Nelly. He’ll ask why you’re here.” Eimear knotted her hair. “What you said before. You’re right. Tell him. ‘Tis time.”

“All of it?” Catherine asked, following her into the sun. “About the calls, the paper bag of ... whatever on the porch? About our going below?”



“All that’s mine, yes, and why I have to tell Flynn first, before anything’s done about it. He’ll understand, or you’ll make him, yes? About below ... as much as you’re allowed.”

“I don’t think there’s anything Martin can’t know. Not now.”

Eimear stepped into archway and laid the flat of her hand against the door in the wall. “Vincent ...” she began.

Catherine heard the unvoiced questions. “It’s all right,” she murmured. “It’s all right to wonder. When you’re ready, he’ll be here ... as soon as he can. And he’ll know best how.”

Over her shoulder, Eimear smiled goodbye.

For now.



Click HERE for Chapter 71
_________


1. Rainer Maria Rilke. Again and Again, However We Know the Landscape of Love.
2. General George S. Patton, Jr. Through a Glass, Darkly. 1922.

10 comments:

Mamacrow said...

Dear Carol,

Thank you, thank you for posting from the road! I may be one of the only con goers not on the road yet, so I get to sing your praises first!
I want so badly to peek at the end of this story, but I am so glad I can't! What a brave and bold conclusion Eimear has come to - to wait until Flynn is ready to talk, to not pry. It is loving and it is hard. This felt very right to me.
A very long time ago, someone told me the best thing you can do for a man is to allow him the space to retreat, to never pounce on him when he is upset, never demand, but be a comforting presence. I never understood it, but "Fake it, until you make it," right? I cannot tell you how many times I have simply said, "I'm here when you're ready to talk."
I don't know if it's the right thing all the time, but it's worked so far... :)
You can see Eimear's respect for Flynn in the way she won't ask Martin, and in her resolution to tell him everything. For love to last, I firmly believe there must be respect. It is a scary prospect, to hand him all the cards. I love that it worries me, how Flynn will react to the truth and the freedom to do with it, what he will do. I love that he is that fleshed out.
All I can say about Kanin, well done, sir. I think he is growing up. :)
Wonderful insights, lyrical writing, and leaving me wanting more - Absolutely up to your high standards. Another great chapter. Thank you...

Karen :)

Carole W said...

Ahh, Karen. You do know how to encourage me. I'll only work harder now.

Respect. Without it, there is nothing. Trust. Knowledge. When you know someone's heart, and find that heart beautiful, it's easier to be patient. It's humbling, but sweetly overwhelming to have someone who steadfastly believes in your good intentions. I think waiting with trust has to be one of the greatest gifts we give to one another.

Men do cope with distress and sadness differently. Lack of overt emotion doesn't mean the emotion is not stunning. To not pounce on a man when he's upset is very good advice. Being sensitive to the signs of upset, too ...

Thank you for finding Flynn fleshed out enough to worry about his reaction to Eimear, to Vincent. To Martin, when he finally ventures over. Things are fixing to change for Flynn, as well as for V and C . I'm excited and a little scared to go on from here, but go on, I will. :-)

I'm so grateful you read this story. Your kind words mean so much.

I'm finding it a little hard to get back in a groove after the con, but plan on stoking up the fires tomorrow morning and plunging back in. Right now, I need to pick blackberries. I'm thinking a cobbler will fix me up. :-)

C

Anonymous said...

Another marvelous, marvelous chapter! Like Catherine, I am transfixed by her vision of the potential for Vincent to have fellowship and community ABOVE in in a beautiful, safe place with companionship and brotherhood of like-minded, creative, sensitive people! To have a soul-family with Martin, Eimear, Flynn, Rosie! And through Rosie, the possibility of one day broadening that family to include Joe, one of Catherine's dearest friends.

I'm holding my breath for the moment Vincent and Flynn finally meet. Somehow, like Catherine and Eimear, I think they will KNOW each other on sight.

Anxious, as always, for MORE!

Regards, Lindariel

Carole W said...

Lindariel, I agree - I think V and Flynn will know each other by heart, but I still hold my breath for their meeting. How will it go!? ( I promise I have some idea of the process and outcome. :-D ) This finding of the soul family has to be a rush for Catherine and everyone else involved, particularly given one of its members. It's a new experience, and life-changing events take a toll with their intensity. I have my fingers crossed for smooth introductions … :-)

You're always so supportive. How can I thank you? I'm astounded you're still reading and very, very grateful.

C

Anonymous said...

Hmmm . . . why astounded? Especially since, where there aren't new chapters to enjoy, I go back and re-read the story from the VERY beginning!!! (I've done it about six times now.) Let's face it -- I'm well and truly HOOKED!

Regards, Lindariel

Carole W said...

Lindariel, you're the best. Thank you.

I say 'astounded' because it's taking me so dratted long to get on to the end. I try my own patience!

Hugs to you,
C

RedNightBird said...

Drat....lost well thought comments because I had to go through the sign in process again.....

OK, I can't be eloquent twice in a row....I'm an extemporaneous sort of gal.

#1- Indeed men are odd creatures, further from even Venus / Mars. Seeing Kanin's conundrum does Vincent feel more apprehension at taking a wife from Above? What were those churning thoughts hinted at chapters ago???

#2-Does Vincent want his expanding universe to include more and more people from above? What is the breaking point of his secret? And who will feel it first, Catherine or him?

Write on - you feed my need for more V&C as you see them....I am still cruising on Con-vibes and twisting more wire into jewelry while waiting for my own muse to fire to more its 8 cylinders.

(I am still hiding from the fact that my conzine story was listed as written by Rusty.... I hope she is not offended)


Be well-
Rusty RedNightBird

Carole W said...

Thanks for accommodating Blogger's crankiness, Rusty. I've lost comments before too, and it is so incredibly frustrating. I've taken to highlight/copying every so often, because it happens so regularly. Not just here, but on Yahoo groups too. Maddening!

Anyway, I'm glad to see your comments here. I hope to answer all the questions you posed with the upcoming chapters. Thank you for them - you make me think harder about what I want to convey. I'm really grateful for that.

I'm still on a con-high too - it's hard to settle into a chair and bend to the work, but I am finally, a week-plus later, getting back in a groove. Not quite an 8 cylinder groove, though. I wish!

Thank you for reading, Rusty. I really enjoyed talking with you at the con and look forward to seeing you again.

C

Anonymous said...

Carole! I'm back from my trip and catching up. There is so much of note in this chapter. I see a glimmer of hope for Kanin and Olivia that I didn't before. Odd, isn't it, because I believed she would accept his invitation. Now that she is not coming with him, I feel that is a good thing. I'm looking forward to how their situation plays out. Eimear is such a strong woman, one who takes her responsibility as a wife and mate to heart. She and Catherine are even stronger together. I want to learn from them.

As Mamacrow said, you have fleshed out these characters so well, I find myself wondering about them during my work day. It crosses my mind to use your characterization techniques in my classroom teaching, but since this B&B is not on the approved book list, I can't! :D

I know you enjoyed the convention. I hope I can attend next year.

As Vincent says, Be well. Enjoy the writing journey. I am. :D!

Your friend,
A'bella.

Carole W said...

Annabella, I'm so glad to hear from you. You're always so kind about this story, but your comment that you want to learn from Eimear and Catherine really made me happy - and hopeful. It's been my dream to make these characters lift a little bit off the page. I'm grateful to you for telling me this, and I'll try even harder to make reading worth your while.

Ah, yes, Kanin and Olivia. What will happen with them. I have ideas … :-) (And I'd better, right?)

I wish you would make next year's convention! I'd love to meet you in person. We'll be talking about that for sure.

Thank you again for your generosity. You're good to me.

Carole