Once In A Lifetime 2

Chapters 9 & 10

Once in a lifetime, you find the one you really love
From now and forever, one love that never ends
Once in a lifetime, when every star that lights the sky
Will shine with one reason,
leading your heart to the one love you find
Just once in a lifetime
(Michael Bolton)

The story continues...


Chapter 9

When Catherine and her father related the story to Vincent and his immediate family, Vincent just sat and listened without question. It was like someone was telling him a fairy story that he had never heard before. He was enthralled and enchanted and accepted it for what it was – simply a fable. Catherine kept looking up and watching him, but his sombre expression gave nothing away, and Father too couldn’t prevent himself from watching Vincent closely. Finally the story ran its course and Charles wounded up with “So it would appear then that Vincent and Catherine are meant to be together and in fact since they are connected then the fate of the leonine has come full circle and both of them should see that their joining is meant to be.”

At this Catherine looked shyly in Vincent’s direction but he remained nonplus and gave no indication as to his feelings. Finally he left them altogether, without a word, just getting up and leaving Father’s chamber where Mary and a few of the council members were sat. Catherine stood with the intention of following but Father bade her stay, “Leave him Catherine, that was a lot to take in at one go. Vincent will need time to assimilate all the information before he can act upon it. He’ll come to you when he’s ready. Now Charles would you like a grand tour?”

Charles replied that he would like that very much indeed and while Catherine opted to stay behind, Father and Mary escorted her father round the hub going as far as the waterfall to show him their world.

Jamie stayed observing Catherine closely, “Want to talk Catherine?”

Smiling Catherine turned in her seat so that she could face the younger girl, “Is it so obvious?” Jamie smiled and replied, “Well so much has happened within the last few hours, so many discoveries. You are sure to have been affected as much as Vincent, perhaps more so, now that you know the two of you should be together.”

“We believed it was soul mates at work within us. It’s a little disconcerting and disappointing that that’s not strictly the case. Still no doubt a little of their spirit remains or we wouldn’t have felt as we did. Vincent and I could almost see them in our mind’s eye and we couldn’t have imagined that.”

“Well in a way you are soul mates. Surely something was at work within the two of you to bring you together, unless it’s just the sort of thing that destiny does. I always assumed that destiny was a fact, but what if it’s a being, a spirit, what if destiny as a spirit has the ability to make things happen, and it brought you and Vincent together?” The more Jamie said the more obvious it became and by the time she had finished speaking she felt positive that what she had said had just hit the nail well and truly on the head.

Catherine gasped, “That’s so true! I never thought of that. Oh I wish Vincent were here, we really should be talking about this not that I meant you and I shouldn’t I didn’t mean it that way.” Catherine hastened to add.

“That’s alright I understood what you meant. And you’re right you and Vincent should be discussing this, but he’ll be in his chamber or by the falls ticking it over in his mind. He had a lot to take in all at once I’m sure he’d like some company and especially if its yours.”

“I’ll think about it.” Catherine paused then told Jamie, “You know what I find sad in all of this the fact that if what’s in that box can be believed then Vincent and I will not have leonine children, and I was so looking forward to that. Little Lauren was too.”

“Any child of Vincent’s will be a miracle in itself, I shouldn’t fret too much about it, and then you will have your grandchildren to look forward to, knowing one of them will most certainly be leonine.”

Catherine smiled happily, “Yes we will, won’t we, even though it’s so long to wait. It is something to look forward to and plan for. I wonder if the world will be ready for the leonine by then?”

“I hope so Cathy, Vincent’s had his share of unhappiness by being denied the world, I know he wouldn’t wish that on a descendant. Look sorry to up and leave, but I have kitchen duties this afternoon. Will you be alright here by yourself?”

Catherine nodded, “Yes thank you Jamie, thank you for staying to talk with me, it has helped.” Jamie nodded, then as she was about to leave she turned back and reminded Catherine, “The waterfall is that way.” She pointed in the general direction.

“You think I should go see him?”

“Why not, you have as many questions as he does you could help one another come to terms with this.” Catherine nodded, “I’ll think about it.” She told Jamie, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Jamie left a moment after.

Sitting on her own Catherine exhaled a huge sigh. It was different now. Before it was all romantic and light, but now what had happened showed her that everything that had happened to her recently was meant to be. It wasn’t easy to accept and obviously Vincent felt the same way. Reluctantly she stood and with the intention of seeking out Vincent, she found that he had been of like mind when she met him at the entrance. “Catherine?” Vincent queried. His eyes looked haunted.

“Vincent, I was just coming to find you.” Raggedly Vincent sighed as heavily as Catherine had moments before. “This changes everything, Catherine.” He told her expecting an argument, surprised when she replied despairingly, “I know.”

“You sound like I feel.” Vincent told her with the barest hint of a grin. Catherine said nothing, suddenly there was nothing to say and Vincent would know anyway.

“I’ve been thinking, “Vincent continued when he was sure she would not reply, “My first thought was to run and go somewhere where I could think this through to its full capacity, but I figured that you would probably want to do something similar, in fact our connection was all it took to inform me of your feelings, so what do you say that the two of us go away for a few days, I thought perhaps to the crystal cavern. I believe the break would do us both good and we would be together.”

Catherine looked up, and Vincent detected that the thought of the crystal cavern was the only part of his suggestion that had her attention. He felt dismayed but when Catherine told him, “Makes the two of us marooned now doesn’t it, Vincent?” He knew exactly what she meant. He had felt marooned all his life and now he had someone to share that feeling with he wished he could be alone in it once more. “Yes, Catherine it does.” He told her truthfully. Catherine nodded, “Yes I think you’re right, Vincent a few days away by ourselves would make all the difference and I can’t deny that I would love to visit the crystal cavern, nor can I deny that had you suggested any other place I probably wouldn’t have agreed to go. Everything has changed now hasn’t it Vincent? We are not the people we believed ourselves to be. Destiny has taken control.” And to her chagrin tears ran down her cheeks, tears that she hadn’t even known were imminent. Vincent crossed the chamber to her side and gathered her close. “I know how you feel, its one thing believing that we met and fell in love and that you agreed to spend your life with me down here, but its quite another to know that all of that was meant to be and there is no escape anymore. I do understand, Catherine. Knowing destiny has been at work in our lives reminds me that even if you wanted to you could not be free of me now.”

“I wouldn’t want to be free of you. I do love you, very much. No, its not just that I have to live here, nor is it that the freedom of choice is denied me, it’s the fact that together so much rests on our shoulders that from us, and whatever we decide to do will come a generation that the world at this time is not ready for, but hopefully some day will be.”

With a tender smile Vincent told her, “I don’t think we have any choice in the matter either my love, you and I are the chosen ones, destined to create children and grandchildren in our image, or more especially in mine.” He grinned then, a bitter/sweet expression that left Catherine feeling terribly sad and privileged at the same moment. “Yet I sense such sadness in you, even as I mention that fact. I don’t think you have, but I still have to ask, Catherine have you changed your mind about marrying me?” Vincent held his breath for her reply, almost swooning with relief when it came, “Oh no Vincent! I love you and still want to marry you. No it’s not that, my love.” Catherine drew in and exhaled a deep breath then with a sweet smile told him, “I had just envisaged children in your image and feel that possibility has been snatched away from me.”

Laying his chin upon the top of her head as he held her close, Vincent murmured his agreement, knowing how deeply sad she was about not being able to have a child in his image and how troubled she was about having to explain to the children they did have that one of them would produce a leonine child.

“When can we leave Vincent?” Catherine asked as the desire to travel to the crystal cavern washed over her. It wasn’t just that, she needed his closeness, needed to be with just him over the next few days, and there was something else, never in all her life had she had such a desire to make love to another, to know exactly what it felt to give and receive in that way, but she knew full well that Vincent would never agree…


“Yes Vincent.” Nervously, Catherine awaited his question, had he heard her thoughts?

It became apparent that he had when he went on, “I know how you feel. And I know why you feel that way. Suddenly it has been thrust upon us that we are already closer than a heartbeat so it feels acceptable that we should be close in every other sense of the word. Catherine, if we are to be together forever, as we are bonded and our love is meant to be…” Vincent hesitated a little unsure yet at the same moment knowing that it was right, “Catherine…if you wish it…I will make love with you before we are married.”

Closing her eyes tightly, relief washed over Catherine and she snuggled against him needing that closeness so badly. “I wish it.” She whispered and felt him hug her closer still. It was strange, almost as if both balanced on the periphery of a huge cliff with rocks below and each was the others saviour. Like buds ready to burst forth into full flower each felt their innocence and knew deep down that it was time to blossom forth as a couple, doing everything together for the rest of all time.

“Come,” Vincent stepped away from her took her hand and walked her toward his chamber, “We will need to pack lightly, and you will need strong shoes and jeans, I am sure that Mary will be able to kit you out, but first you can help me choose what we might need on our trip below. I usually take a book with me, what would you prefer, you choose.” He steered her to his bookshelf and then rummaged through a backpack, taking from it things he wouldn’t need and leaving behind things he would. “Will you need shampoo?” He asked her, “The water is cold but it will refresh you.”

“Yes,” Catherine did not turn from the study of his rows and rows of books, “I will, thank you and toothpaste.” She giggled and turned to watch him, “Do you actually use toothpaste?”

Vincent grinned, “I do. Takes me longer than most, but yes I most certainly do. Have to be careful that I don’t bite the brush in half but that’s another story.” Catherine laughed. He sounded so light-hearted, more so than she had ever known him and she smiled at him and told him, “Its not all bad is it, being together in it like this?”

Vincent stood up from his work and smiled back at her, “Actually it’s growing on me, you’re right Catherine, its not all bad.” He meant it, suddenly realising that for the first time in his life he wasn’t alone anymore and since Catherine seemed to have brightened from how he had found her earlier, he was beginning not to fret that someone so beautiful had been linked to him for the rest of their lives.

“I love you.” Catherine told him selecting her book and coming to place it in his pack, “And I don’t say that lightly, Vincent. I truly love you.”

“I know Catherine.” Her love humbled him, “I love you too.”

“And it’s going to be alright isn’t it?” Catherine had never been so certain of anything in her life and Vincent detecting that conviction could only agree. “Yes, Catherine, it’s going to be alright.” He embraced her again, holding her close with her back against his chest, inhaling her scent deep within himself. He loved her, everything about her, and soon they would be as one in the truest sense of the word. “I won’t hurt you Catherine.” She knew instantly to what he referred. “I know that Vincent, I trust you implicitly.”

“I know you do. We’ll take it slow. The trip to the cavern takes some three days. Each night when we stop to rest we’ll come to know one another more fully, if it takes all of the three nights and the three back then that will not matter. I never want to hurt you.”

Touched by his sensitivity, Catherine felt tears prick at the back of her eyelids. Vincent was so unlike Elliot, he would never have waited three days to prepare her for what was to come and Catherine didn’t think any other man would. She was blessed, blessed with Vincent, and she loved him so much.

“Thank you Vincent.” She turned in his arms and winding her arms around his neck kissed his lips sweetly, a kiss void of passion but at the same time a gentle kiss full of promise.

Vincent swallowed with difficulty his eyes gazing into hers feeling the sincerity of her heart. He loved her so, so much. Gently he returned her kiss, it too was chaste but full of promise of things to come and they drew apart reluctantly without taking their eyes off each other. Thus the pact was sealed - over the next few days they would become lovers – tenderly and slowly.

*** *** ***

Father and Charles watched them go, neither worried that they would not return. Though the lower levels were fraught with danger, somehow the promise that these two were meant to be that they were the forerunners of a generation to come instilled within the two older men a feeling of the indestructible when it came to Vincent and Catherine. “Have fun.” Charles called after his daughter. Catherine smiled enigmatically “I will daddy.” She called back, her hand was in Vincent’s and she smiled when he squeezed it his understanding apparent.

Soon out of sight, Charles sighed, “They will be well won’t they?” He asked Father who stood staring after the way they had gone. Father smiled, “Yes we have no need to worry about them, this will be a voyage of discovery for them both, they will return new people you’ll see.”

Charles nodded, “Well in that case, I think I can return above with peace of mind. You’ll let me know the moment they return won’t you?” Father agreed, then the two men turned and at the intersection, Charles made his way back above escorted by Geoffrey and Father made his way back to his chamber Feeling lighter of spirit than he had in many years. Something was at work in the tunnels, something good, something grand and Father could only find one word that described it perfectly. It was magic.

*** *** ***

The first day was easy, but then that was the way Vincent had intended. He could have taken Catherine the quickest route but he knew that her stamina was not such that she would have been able to travel far before she needed to rest. More importantly with the goals they had set themselves, Vincent didn’t want either of them to be so tired by nightfall that all they wanted to do was sleep so when he finally suggested that they should spend the night in a small cave off of the way where the wind did not penetrate Catherine was more than a little surprised that they hadn’t gone further.

“Tomorrow we have to negotiate shafts and crawl ways.” Vincent told her, “You will need all your strength for that. A good nights sleep will refresh you, and since you will be sleeping rough the longer you have to obtain that the better.” Vincent grinned hoping to relieve her spirits. He sensed within her a certain nervousness and could not deny that he felt some of the same.

He cooked for her, boiling water over a small fire and adding a packet of dry pasta in cheese and broccoli sauce. They sat and watched it thicken in silence, each very aware of the other, each thinking beyond the act of eating and clearing away with a little trepidation until Vincent finally told her, “We don’t have to embark on this Catherine. You can change your mind.”

Catherine though knew how he had thought of little else all day, as had she. Both were first time nervous and both didn’t want to disappoint the other. Catherine shook her head, “I don’t want to change my mind Vincent.” She told him honestly and watched his shoulders relax as with his back to her he spooned out a large plate of pasta in sauce and turning handed it to her with a fork and spoon.

“Thank you.” Catherine picked over the twirls of pasta, eating shyly, forcing it down with some of the water they had brought, agreeing that it was really quite good and feeling replenished as it was digested by a rather hungry stomach, despite how hard it was to actually get it down there.

They ate in relative silence, with only, “pass the water” the only words between them, then once it was plain that they would not get anything more from their clean plates, each made a great deal of show over washing up the pots and then going along to a place they had assigned themselves to relieve the call of nature and change into clothes fit for sleeping in. Catherine took longer than was normal and though Vincent had no way of knowing what normal was for her he detected through the bond her reluctance to return. He sighed, knowing how she felt, since dinner and clearing away the pots, he too had been swamped with a strong feeling of consternation even if deep beneath there was an underlying feeling of excitement.

Finally Catherine returned to find the cave awash with candlelight and the beds made up. Vincent had chosen to lay his cloak down first and on top of that the two blankets each had brought, two below and two on top, with their packs for pillows. Catherine eyed the ‘bed’ nervously, but stepped into the cave trying not to notice how its presence dominated the small cave.

“Come sit with me, Catherine?” Vincent asked as he slid by the wall to his haunches on the sandy floor of the cave and then as his bottom touched down he drew his legs out before him open and inviting her to sit between. Catherine went to him knelt down and with her back to his groin sat motionless and stiffly while he pretended not to notice as he rummaged to one side of him for the book she had chosen. “Huckleberry Finn?” He sounded surprised, “Did you know that this is one of my favourites?”

“No? Although I did remember you mentioning the time that you and Devin sailed the subterranean river when I selected it.”

Vincent chuckled, “We got the idea from this book.”

He opened the book to chapter one and began reading, and very soon his soft melodious book relaxed Catherine and she leaned happily against him. Caught in the story and his memories of boyhood days with Devin Vincent too relaxed and with one arm around Catherine and the other with the book in its hand he continued to read until he sensed a shift in her emotions that spoke to him of other needs.

Slowly Vincent put the book to one side, the outer sleeve positioned to the place he had reached before he closed the book entirely. He sat for a moment or two his heart beginning to thump and steadied himself slowly by telling Catherine, “If we don’t extinguished some of the candles we will run out before our journey ends.”

“I’ll help you.” Catherine shuffled and stood and holding out a hand helped him rise to his feet and they circled the cave blowing out the candles until they both reached the last one together. “This can stay,” Vincent told her looking at her face illuminated by the solitary candle. Catherine gazed back, and then by silent mutual consent they took one step closer and placed their arms around the other. “Kiss me.” Catherine whispered and languished in the feel of his warm breath fanning her cheeks moments before his lips met hers. At first it was a mere chaste kiss, several small ones followed by the odd longer one in between until each were satisfied that the other was happy with that and then the next kiss was longer more fulfilling and passionate. On and on the kiss went, as their body temperatures rose and their hands sought and caressed places that in the past were deemed unlawful by the law of their own making.

Catherine revelled in the touch of his lips against hers, the whiskers of his face slightly grazing her soft skin but in no way causing discomfort. And his hair beneath her hands felt silky and soft and there was a scent about him that she found compelling and intriguing. His hands were gloved for protection and she found that somewhat disappointing but said nothing. Idly she wondered if she could offer to clip his nails and decided to reserve that for another night. For now it was enough that his hands were upon her kneading her flesh in ways that a cat might when sat upon its owner’s lap and his breath was coming in short deep pants as he felt her hands tugging at the sweater that was tucked into his trousers, his kiss wavering slightly as he concentrated on what she was doing. Finally she pulled away enough to ask, “Help me Vincent.” And with one hand leaving go of her waist he tugged at his sweater until she could slip her hand beneath.

That first touch pleased them both. Catherine ran her hand over the surprisingly hairless skin of his abdomen and up his chest to where one small pap nested in the hair upon his chest and Vincent sucked in a breath when she took it between finger and thumb and squeezed gently. The feeling intense, Vincent growled and leaving her lips fastened his mouth upon her neck, gently sucking. Shivers coursed up and down Catherine’s spine, delicious shivers at his possession of her and she craned back her neck so that he might have access to her throat delighted when he moved to hold her their feeling his fangs lightly graze her tender skin. Catherine moaned, the feeling of his mouth heady and delicious and her other hand joined its twin to worked more magic upon his nipples.

Almost senseless with desire Vincent tugged her down to the sandy floor and there regained his prize, her throat, licking down to the hollow between her breasts and then outward following the line of her collar bone side to side he worked his hands fastened beneath her as he lay raised and poised above. Catherine watched him through lazy eyes, her hands continuing to caress from his nipples to his shoulders in sweeping arcs and down his rib cage to where his trousers stopped her descent.

Vincent’s hands once at the floor palms flat against the sand now tugged at her Tee shirt as he sat back slightly and watched his hands disappear beneath the blue and white top that she wore. Catherine breathed heavily aware with every passing inch as his gloved hands touched her skin and finally came to rest over the bra that covered her breasts. “Vincent?” Catherine whispered with a voice laden with desire, “Take off your gloves. I promise I’ll let you know if your nails catch me.”

She didn’t think he would agree, thought he would argue, or ignore her completely, so when he withdrew his hands and then his gloves Catherine was delighted at that little advancement, even more so when his hands went straight back to lay upon her bra where he could now feel the tight buds of her nipples protruding through the satiny silk. Catherine shuffled, leaned forward, bid him stay with her eyes and lifted the Tee shirt above and over her head laying it to one side of her as she gazed at his face. His eyes were drawn to her breast where its creamy softness spilled atop the bra that barely contained her, and his fingers splayed out caressing gently the skin of her bosom.

Over and over again his fingers traced the line of her breast where it met her bra, his eyes hungry for a naked sight of her yet at the same moment frightened to death of actually being presented with such delights. Catherine chuckled, her laughter pulled up from somewhere deep as she watched his dilemma and taking pity on him leaned forward once more and unclipped her bra from behind shaking it free of her arms as she lay back down. There with her bare breasts offered to him, Catherine was stunned by the speed of his need, as his head dropped and his delicious tongue started to lick at each nipple one after the other. Catherine squirmed her lower body instantly becoming ready for him as he continued to lick and nibble at the rosy tips of her breasts his hands now holding each and as he licked one his thumb brushing over the other.

“Oh God, Vincent!” Catherine wiggled in the sand, craving his touch at the same moment as trying to get away, she couldn’t stand it and the feelings were so intense she felt faint with longing and need. Liquid fire gathered and fell between her thighs and Catherine moaned needing his touch so much, needing it there at the entrance to her womanhood and so strong was that need that she took one of his hands and pushed it down between her legs and held it close as her climax rushed through her.

Vincent felt her need and doubted that he might be able to love her as slowly as he had intended. If he didn’t stop now, he doubted he ever could. The heat of her against his hand cried out to him and he panted heavily against her breast his own need growing beyond control. “Catherine, we have to stop.” He groaned raggedly, “If we don’t I fear that we will be able to do so.”

“I don’t want to stop.” Catherine cried as her climax subsided, “That was wonderful Vincent and you too have needs.”

“I know, but they are nothing new Catherine…I can, if allowed, forget them until they are no longer a problem.”

“And I could, if allowed, satisfy you, Vincent?”

Remembering Elliot, Vincent shook his head, “No, I don’t want you to ever have to do that again.”

“You misunderstand me, I wouldn’t do that again, Vincent, but believe me there are other ways.” She told him remembering her experience with Tom. “Just lean back against the wall and close your eyes and trust me.”

After what seemed an age, Vincent reluctantly did as she asked, and undecided Catherine hesitated unsure as to whether to pull on her tee shirt or not, and finally deciding not, although it felt slightly embarrassing to her to see her naked breasts bouncing before her as she tugged at his zipper and when undone slipped his jeans over his hips and down his legs as he lifted himself to aid her. He wore long johns beneath but the, material though thermal was thin enough for her to see the massive erection underneath and Catherine reached her hands forward tentatively grasping him first through the material then as he surged in her hand she dipped her hands through the opening and wound her fingers around his steely length. Vincent growled as the coolness of her hands surrounded the heat of his arousal and he panted heavily with eyes tightly closed as she moved her hand up and down holding him tightly, causing his foreskin to slide down to the base and up over the tip with increasing speed.

His mouth open, Vincent panted with the motion of her hand needing his climax so much, it rose up and up from the base of his testicles to erupt moments later in white fire and spilled down between her fingers and his silken shaft in sudden and spasmodic jets. Catherine loved the appearance of his face as satisfaction washed over him, the tight lines of moments before evaporating as he relaxed, and his eyes came open to feast upon her as she looked at him without shame.

He sighed at long last hanging his head, his manhood withering in her hand and she released him to reach for some tissues that she knew to be inside the pocket of her jeans intent on wiping his seed from her hand.

“Catherine…” Vincent found his voice though it was ragged and hoarse, “Thank you, that was wonderful.”

“You’re welcome Vincent.” She never looked up just continued to wipe the semen from between her fingers before mopping him up until the tissue could hold not more.

Vincent watched the swing of her breasts as she worked, her soft nipples now pink and relaxed and could not prevent himself from reaching out and grasping one golden hued orb in his rough and calloused hand. “You’re beautiful Catherine.” He told her, gliding his thumb across her nipple and aurora, “So beautiful.”

Catherine moved toward him her arms gliding behind his neck she leaned forward and kissed him gently, “As are you my love.” She told him between kisses.

“We should sleep now.” Vincent told her as he filled both hands with the creamy softness of her breasts. “I want to feel you close with these inside my hands.” Both shuddered at the thought. Catherine nodded, and then undecided asked, “Should I remove my jeans too?”

Vincent hadn’t thought about that. She would he knew, be more comfortable without the restriction of tight denim, but the thought of her bottom close against him was almost more than he could bear, and so he told her, “best not, Catherine.” Though it was the last thing he wanted to tell her. Catherine though understood, and so close with her back to him and his arms around her, they snuggled beneath the two top blankets, she naked from the waist up and he semi naked from the waist down, and there they lay with her breasts cupped inside his hands and his warm breath fanning the tendrils of her hair upon her neck until both were fast asleep.

*** *** ***

Day Two

They rose sleepily to the sound of the small alarm clock that Vincent had brought with them. He wanted to cover several miles in order to reach his designated way station that evening. Catherine roused herself slowly brought round more fully by the scent of brewing coffee as Vincent poured hot water onto the granules. Coffee for her, tea for him and he took great delight in the sight of her bare breasts emerging from beneath the blankets as he sat opposite her sipping his tea. “Good morning Vincent.” Catherine welcomed him as she reached for her mug unashamedly revealing her half naked body to him. It amazed her how she could feel so at ease like that in his sight and leaned back to drink her coffee against the rock wall exposing one creamy rose tipped breast to either side of her arm as he looked on. He seemed mesmerised by the sight, his own mug half way to his mouth suspended in mid air and Catherine fought the urge to giggle at the look of wonder upon his face.

Her coffee finished, Catherine leaned forward to replace it by the small fire he had lit and her breasts swung forward bringing him out of his reverie. He reached forward one hand outstretched and took the weight of one creamy orb into his hand. Catherine pressed her body into his hand, and she watched with lazy satisfaction as he knelt forward and shuffled round to her side of the fire then pushed her back against the blankets gently and lay at her side. His fingers brushed her breasts slowly and tantalisingly forcing a moan to erupt from Catherine and his name to leave her lips as his mouth came down and fastened on one rosy nipple. Inward he sucked it, taking it far to the back of his throat much like a baby would do, and with his other hand he pinched the other nipple between thumb and forefinger, before switching sides to lovingly suckle the second nipple. Catherine squirmed beneath him, her hands in his hair, on his back, at his sides and finally between them grasping hold of his surging manhood as he lay half over and half to one side of her. ‘God’ she thought, ‘I can’t take much more of this’ and as her hands worked with her thoughts she unclipped her jeans and tugged at the zipper and pushed the denim down her long shapely legs until she could reach no further, and then as the day before took one of his hands and thrust it between the heat of her thighs as her climax rushed over her.

Vincent gasped suddenly noticing the heat between her legs as different from yesterday and he bent his head to see that she had removed her trousers and that his hand was fast against the silken lace of her panties. Desire coursed through him and he kneaded his fingers against her, tugging at the now wet panties sliding them down over her willing hips, and away down past her knees, there with her help he pulled both trousers and panties from her legs and her knees fell open allowing him to explore between.

He touched her honey curls with reverence, and watched his hand disappear in the depth of hair growing at the apex to her thighs, his long fingers disappearing in the lushness that grew there, and then sliding his hand back his fingers dropped to the moistness that coaxed him to touch her, slipping two fingers into the canal that led him onto other delights. Catherine parted her legs and Vincent was faced with the rosy pink lips of her vulva and he felt a tight band at the back of his throat as he fought the desire to taste her.

Knowing his thoughts Catherine reached up a hand and touched his face, running one finger along the length of his lips and back, “My love, if you want to.” She told him with eyes gazing into his and knew that nothing he did would ever remind her of Elliot.

From her face to her offering, Vincent’s blue eyes moved until he seemed to make a decision as her womanhood screamed out to him and he lowered himself his body flat out on the floor, his arms clutching at her legs from beneath as he opened her to him and moved his tongue against her. Catherine clutched at his shoulders as he tasted her honeyed depths and great gasping breaths were pulled from her as he teased an orgasm from her.

Her full length convulsing Vincent kissed her womanhood gently as her shuddering body subsided and came to rest relaxed and spent in his hands, “God I love you, I love you.” Catherine whispered through a sob of pure unadulterated joy that sang through her veins as he gazed adoringly at her beautiful naked body. She was perfect, splayed out before him Vincent knew that she was his for the taking, she would deny him nothing, but though the need to make love to her was strong, Vincent remembered his promise and reluctantly with a few final kisses all the way up her body until he reached her mouth, he finally drew away from her and handed her the clothing so recently discarded. “Till tonight, sweet Catherine.” He bid her so that she did not become dismayed at his withdrawal. Catherine nodded and began pulling on her undergarments replying with, “Till tonight, my love.” And for the both of them, 'tonight' couldn't arrive soon enough.

*** *** ***

Chapter Ten

Several levels above where Vincent and Catherine made their way to the crystal cavern, Devin was making his way up top. With his brother gone, Devin had no one with whom he wished to confide in but he felt the need to be with people that would not ask him painful questions and so he sought the distraction of life in the world above.

Aimlessly walking along Devin welled in his own self pity as he thought about the nuisance he had made of himself and the love he felt for Kei-Anne and knew that he had to snap out of it, or it would be a long time before he started to enjoy life again and with that thought in mind as he found himself outside of Billy’s bar he decided to go in and order fries and a banana shake noticing an empty table by the window as he leaned up the bar awaiting his food. When it was handed him, he threaded his way through the crowded bar to that table reaching it the moment he noticed, that someone else did from the other direction. “Sorry,” Devin told them without looking up, “this table is taken.”

“No it isn’t.” A female voice told him then he was surprised to hear her add, “Devin.”
He looked up surprised to see a mere reflection of a girl he used to know, and paused unsure for a moment, but the way that she tilted her head gave him the information he sought, “Mel, is that you?” Melanie smiled, “Sure is. Can I share the table with you?” She asked as she balanced a tray of food and drink on the palm of one hand, “Everywhere else seems full.”

“I’d like that.” Devin told her settling his tray down and depositing his fries and shake onto the table before taking the tray away, “It’ll be nice to catch up.”

Melanie nodded, “Yes, that it will. Catherine said you were back in town, I hoped I might see you.”

“I’ve probably been away again since Cathy spoke to you, I only got back a couple of days ago.” Devin told her waiting for her to deposit her food and drink to the table and sit down before he started eating. He picked up a fry as she finally did that. “But I think I shall be sticking around for a while now.” He hadn’t meant it to sound so bitter, but Mel was quick to notice, “Ouch,” she told him, “That sounded painful, things not go as you wished then?”

He stared at her a long moment wondering if Cathy had said anything to her, but knowing she couldn’t have or wouldn’t have had she known, he replied, “Something like that, but I’d rather not discuss it if you don’t mind. So how are you, courting yet?”

A twisted expression befell Mel’s face, now she looked bitter, “No.” she replied disdainfully, leaving Devin to presume he had touched a raw spot, “Now I’ll say ouch.” He told her, “Something’s wrong there I can see. Had a bust up with someone?”

“Something like that…” Mel began and added with a grin since it had been the same thing he had said, “But I’d rather not discuss it.”

“Oh what a pair!” Devin grinned, “By the time we part we will each feel as though we are going to our doom. I’d hoped going out would lighten my spirits.”

Mel grinned, “I did too. Life has been a real downer just lately.” She raised her half drunk shake at him and he met it half way and chinked it against his own glass, “I’ll drink to that.” He told her.

“So what is it?” Mel began, “Are we both suffering from the spoils of love gone wrong?”

Devin grinned, “I hasten to say something like that, but you know maybe it’ll do us both good to talk about what’s bothering us, it certainly can’t do any harm.”

“Maybe.” Mel agreed, “You first.”

“Ladies first.” Devin told her with a grin but Mel shook her head, “I’m not certain I’m ready to face what happened Dev, you go first, please.”

Devin nodded, “Alright.” He paused as Kei-Anne’s face swam before him and he fought back a sob surprising Mel that he was so touched by whatever it was that bothered him. Life had dealt them both a hefty blow so it seemed.

“Her name,” he began “Is Kei-Anne.” In the depth of his voice Mel heard it all, the passion, the love, the desire, the need, it all gushed out in the utterance of that one word, that one name, Kei-Anne. Devin was in love and nothing was plainer than that, but something terrible had happened that prevented him expressing that love. “Go on.” She told him gently.

“I love her.” Devin continued, “But she doesn’t want me.” Mel detected the thickness in his throat, knew it took every ounce of courage for him to tell her that, she waited for him to continue. “She’s married you see, happily so, and she lives in England. We never had any kind of relationship, I just came to know her, liked what I knew and fell in love it was as simple as that. I want her so much Mel.” Devin admitted, “but I can’t have what’s not mine to have and it hurts. It hurts bad.”

Two years ago, Mel might have made some flippant reply but she knew what pain was now, knew what it was to be used and she found herself becoming increasingly sympathetic to Devin’s sorrow. “I’m sorry, Dev really I am. What can I say, maybe if you and Kei-Anne had time to develop a relationship you would have found that she wasn’t as high in your esteem as you supposed, it’s the not knowing that drives you crazy is it? Its the not knowing and the not having had a chance to know.”

Devin nodded enthusiastically, “Yes, that’s exactly it. How did you get to be so wise you sound just like my brother?” He told her and to his surprise Mel’s cheeks flushed red. “What’s wrong?” He asked, “What did I say?”

“I did something recently I’m not proud of, and when you mentioned your brother it reminded me that’s all. Have you seen anything of Cathy Chandler recently?”

Cautiously Devin replied, “Just yesterday in fact, yes, she and my brother are getting married.”

“Really? I thought Cathy was going to marry…” Mel paused, it was hard saying his name without screaming and she drew a deep breath that didn’t go unnoticed by Devin before she added, “Elliot Burch,” at a mere whisper.

“Old news. No Cathy and my brother are made for one another, they’re soul mates.” Mel’s eyes opened wide, “Really?”

“Yes really, known one another a long time too, since that day you and she went exploring in that old house of Peter’s do you remember?”

“Thanks for reminding me, not.” Mel shuddered remembering the time she had spent locked in Peter Alcott’s basement.

Devin grinned, “Sorry. Anyway it started that day. Lost contact for a while, hence her other relationships, but finally got back together and as I say they’re tying the knot.”

“All’s well that ends well then.” Mel whispered again sounding bitter. “Is your brother like you?”

“He’s better, I drew the short straw.” Devin laughed out loud expecting Mel to do so, but when she did not he sobered and asked, “What?”

“No one could ever be better than you Dev.” She spoke quietly then looking down at her clasped hands she spoke quieter still as she confessed “I’ve been in love with you since we met.”

“With me!” Devin was stunned, “Oh Mel I don’t know what to say.”

“There’s nothing to say, its not your problem Dev, its mine and I’ll get over it, one day I suppose.” She stated honestly, “Don’t worry about it, its just one of those things.”

“I’m so sorry, here I am oozing self pity over a girl in England and you sit there in love with me and accept that. Mel it must be tearing you apart?”

Mel shook her head, “No honestly, I long ago realised that we have nothing between us, as I say don’t worry about it. Doesn’t stop me from caring about you though or how life has affected you. And I am genuinely sorry for how life has treated you Dev, truly I am. Besides, I’m not such a likeable person am I?” Mel laughed derisively, “I mean I’ve not exactly been anyone’s best pal have I?” She added bitterly and rubbed the tears from her eyes as they gathered and threatened to fall.

Devin scraped back his chair, he could see that she hadn’t finished her meal and his was too cold to bother with, “Come let’s get out of here. The park is pretty at the moment, if you’ve time we can walk and talk through there.”

Mel checked her watch, “Yes I can spare about an hour then I must get back to work. I have an extended lunch break today because I came in early.”

“What do you do?”

“I’m an accountant.”


They wended their way through the streets until they were level with Central Park and Devin took her hand and hurried her across the street, protecting her back with one arm from oncoming traffic. Mel was touched by his kindness and for the millionth time in her life she wished that he were hers to love.

Once inside the park they walked until they found a quiet spot beneath some trees, and found a bench where they could sit and talk. “So,” Devin reminded her, “You still haven’t told me what your problem is.” He laughed, “Other than being in love with me and I should think that’s a big enough problem by itself.” He told her with a grin and Mel couldn’t help laughing. “That’s better.” He told her, “You look almost human again now.”
Mel laughed again, loving every single moment spent in his company, she had missed him so much and told him so.

“Yeah like a hole in the head, at least you’d say that if you really knew me.” Devin reminded her but Mel disagreed, “I do really know you, and nothing you can say against yourself will I agree with, but then they do say that love is blind.” Devin laughed heartily, “Well yes that’s true and my father would agree.” He told her.

“I’d like to meet him.” Mel told him honestly, but Devin did not comment further, leaving her wondering as she always wondered about Devin’s secret life. She knew so little about him not even where he lived only that he went through the park to reach it.

Then suddenly out of the blue Mel told him, “I had a bad experience recently with Elliot Burch.”

Stunned Devin stared at her, “Straight up?” He asked. Mel cocked her head to one side, “What?”

“Its an expression they use in England, it means is that the truth?”

Sorrow passed over Mel’s face, “Yes” she told him, “To my shame it is.” Again she reminded him of Vincent, it was the sort of thing he would say. “Why, what happened?”

Mel drew a deep breath and sighed raggedly, “In a word, or a few words…” Mel hesitated, “Look I’ll start at the beginning, wouldn’t want you to feel sorry for me. It was my own fault and I probably deserved it anyway.”

“Okay, so tell me.” Devin drew one of her hands inside his instilling his love hoping that she would find it easier to tell him what was bothering her.

“Devin…” She began looking into his eyes, “I’ve never been a likeable person, but until recently I ignored that fact, and I also ignored the fact that I’ve often done underhanded things to hurt the people I have been envious of. You remember what I did between you and Cathy, I don’t need to explain do I? But let me apologise for that now, what I did was awful, and it’s a wonder to me that either of you still speak to me. Well anyway, as I say, its only recently that I’ve changed seen the error of my ways, and all because I tried to hurt Cathy again.” She paused and taking another deep breath told him, “I’m not telling you this so that you’ll turn round and take pity on me Dev and become my boyfriend, or anything like that. I hope for nothing from telling you these things Devin, I’m just happy that you want to listen without judging me.” Devin nodded, that thought had crossed his mind he had to admit but he refrained from saying so.
“Anyway, a couple of days ago, I heard that Cathy was seeing Elliot Burch and that marriage was in the air and I went to visit her at her apartment. It was while I was there that you left a message on her machine, but she was in the shower and I wiped the message so that she wouldn’t know I had heard it and then I acted on it.” At this point Devin withdrew his hand from hers a gesture that hurt Melanie more than she cared to admit. She was definitely going to lose him from this she could see not that he had ever been hers to start with.

“From what you said about your brother going running to Cathy, I told Elliot Burch the moment I could that Cathy was seeing another man behind his back and he was furious. I admit it gave me great satisfaction to see how angry he was, I believed it was retribution for her stealing you from me all those years ago, though in essence it was the other way around. Then he offered me a ride home in his saloon. I’ve never been in a saloon Dev it was wonderful, but then Elliot made a pass at me, and well one thing led to another and he…he…I didn’t want him to you have to believe me…” Mel’s voice rose hysterically, “But it began to happen anyway.”

“Just a minute,” Devin interrupted, “Are you saying that he raped you?” Mel shook her head, “No, no not really, he just assumed I was willing, and I didn’t realise what was going on. It all happened so fast and the moment he realised I was a virgin he got off me…”

“Whoa, whoa…” Devin exclaimed shocked, “Backtrack, you’re a virgin?”

“Don’t say it like that Dev, there are still some of us left you know?” She told him bitterly.

“I know that, but I’m so surprised, you always gave the impression that you stole boyfriends and slept around, why Mel? You gave yourself such a bad reputation.”

“Pride, stupidity, not really sure, but once on a roller coaster its impossible to get off, until something like this happens and stops one in their tracks. God Devin, Burch hurt me so much and he wasn’t even gentle. I tell you now, Cathy had a lucky escape.”

If Melanie believed that Devin would have got up and left her at that stage she wouldn’t have been surprised, but he didn’t, he stayed and what was more he put his arm around her shoulders and drew her close, “What kind of life have you had Mel?” He asked her gently, “Has no one ever loved you?” Suddenly in Mel he saw the numerous people that had wandered in and out of the tunnels all his life, lost people, unloved people, abused people, and he wondered if Mel had been one like them, one that had never known the love of the tunnels, and right at that moment needed them so much.

“Not that I can remember.” She told him simply.

Devin’s heart ached for her. Today he had seen a new side to Melanie, one he could identify with, not that he hadn’t been loved true, but there had been times in the past when he doubted that he was, when Father seemed to favour Vincent.

“Mel, this isn’t pity, but I feel for you. I’ve seen a part of you I never knew existed, and I feel proud of you for keeping that virginity intact till now…” Mel tried to interrupt and correct him but he would have none of it, “No, Mel, till now…Elliot might have hurt you, but he didn’t take you fully and in my mind that means you are still a virgin. Keep it that way huh? Someone will come, someone worthy of you who will take great delight in knowing you saved yourself for the right person, believe me honey I know.”

Tears pricked at the backs of Mel’s eyes and she mumbled “Thank you Dev.” Drawing in a deep breath afterward and checking her watch she reluctantly announced she had to be getting back. “Will I see you again?” Mel asked as she stood looking down at Devin where he had remained on the bench. Devin made a decision that would affect the rest of his life, “Yes, meet me tomorrow at Billy’s same time as today?”

Surprised and pleased Mel’s face brightened, “I’d like that, thanks Dev.”

Devin smiled, “Tomorrow then. Be Well, Melanie.” Mel’s face lit up, he sounded like he meant it and sunshine entered her life where before it had been full of doom and gloom, “be well yourself, bye Dev.” She told him and headed out across the grass of the park toward the footpath and ultimately to the street that would lead her back to her office. Devin watched her go. Amazingly he felt better, and he realised with a start that in the last hour since they’d arrived in the park he hadn’t thought of Kei-Anne once.

*** *** ***

The second day’s travelling was different. Now they had intimate knowledge of one another the couple walked the lower levels, sometimes hand in hand others arm in arm, as close as they could, but there were times when the width of the tunnel allowed only single file and it was then that Vincent would feel Catherine accidentally on purpose touch his bottom or if she was in front that she would feel him touch hers. Such actions made them both smile and did nothing to lessen the desire for what would take place when they finally rested that evening. On both their minds, each found the journey to the crystal cavern a difficult one, since the terrain took much concentration and that was elsewhere. Finally Vincent called a halt, “Catherine we’re about to reach the first shaft, we must negotiate it with the aid of ropes so do you feel capable of giving it your full concentration?”

Catherine grinned, “Do you?” To her surprise Vincent shook his head and the look that he gave her started butterflies swirling in her stomach, “I don’t think I can either Vincent,” She told him simply, “Can we rest awhile, maybe tackle it later?” Vincent nodded but did not move, just stood staring down at her and she wasn’t able to read his expression, it was one she hadn’t encountered before. “Vincent?” She enquired wondering what she should do next. Swiftly he came out of his reverie and smiled down at her, “Yes, we can rest awhile perhaps you should unfold the blankets?” He suggested.

Catherine looked around her. They were in a tunnel and the last cave they’d past was some forty minutes behind them, silly to walk back. “Here?” Catherine indicated as she tossed the blanket out so that it fell fairly straight onto the tunnel floor. Vincent nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He was fighting with the impulse to make love to her here and now in the middle of the tunnel and knew deep down that it hardly constituted romantic enough and that a cave somewhere would be better for their first time. He knew they were alone down there, but that was not the point, a tunnel, a through fare for anyone was not the place for such things. “If we negotiate the first shaft, there is a small pool and a cave nearby, we could finish for the day and start out again tomorrow.” He told her simply. Catherine caught his drift, “Okay, we’ll do that then.” And she began to roll the blanket back up again but Vincent caught her arm, “Might as well rest a few minutes while we’re here.” He told her sitting down on the blanket. Catherine followed him down but refrained from sitting near him, deciding if she did then neither of them might get up again before morning. Thus keeping her distance afforded them the chance of getting to the cave for the night.

Vincent poured her some water and handed her some crackers with a wedge of cheese, and Catherine ate though she felt unable to and realised that she was in fact quite hungry. They rested in silence, both knowing through their connection that which was to come, and both as equally embarrassed and nervously excited about what would soon take place between them. The thought of the cave on the other side of the shaft became awfully large in their minds, as though it were the only thing compelling them to go on, and of course it was. Being there would mean…Catherine shuddered and stole a look at Vincent beneath her fringe and found him gazing at her with a look that told her in no uncertain terms what his intention was. His gaze thrilled her and frightened her at the same instance and she felt the need to stand and do something with hands that wanted only to touch him.

Taking his lead from her, Vincent too stood, but rather than keep his distance he came to where she stood and slipped his hands around her waist, “Catherine, I love you.” He told her before bending to take her lips beneath his and Catherine detected that all he needed at that moment was reassurance that she hadn’t changed her mind. “And I love you too Vincent, and I can’t wait to get to the cave.” With relief Vincent chuckled and then bending he rummaged through his pack and selected a rope and again with his hands around her waist threaded one end around her and tied it off with a knot that wouldn’t slip telling her, “I’ll guide you down first, then I’ll pass the packs to you and then follow you down, I think it will be safer that way.”

Catherine nodded and together with their rolled blankets and packs they walked hand in hand toward the top of the shaft and peered inside. Catherine shuddered when she could not see the bottom, even with Vincent’s lamp held high above the gaping hole. “How deep is it?” she asked nervously.

“Don’t be afraid Catherine, I’ve negotiated this journey many times, and this is not a bad shaft. You will soon be at the bottom. Now if you sit on the edge and turn around so that you’re facing the wall you’ll find ledges with your feet. Use those to make your way down and I’ll guide you from up here. Don’t worry I will never let you fall. Trust me?”

“I’ll always trust you, Vincent.” There was more to her words than the journey she was about to undertake and Vincent knew it and smiled, it was all he had wanted to hear.

Slowly, he lowered her into the shaft, and equally as slowly she found the foot and hand holds that enabled her to go down the shaft in total darkness a drop of some, she guessed, thirty feet or more. Further than she had anticipated, and Vincent termed it not a bad one? How deep were the others?

Finally at the bottom she called up to him. It was pitch black where she stood and Vincent thoughtfully passed the lantern down first. They had two between them so he wasn’t left in darkness, and while Catherine waited for him to deliver the packs she lit hers and looked around where she stood.

She was in another tunnel but this one had a wall missing to the right side of her and revealed a pool of moving water, the sound of which was like music to her ears as the water ran over small boulders within the pool. So enchanted was she by the sight and sound that she didn’t even notice that Vincent had negotiated the shaft until he was at her side breathing heavily. She turned at the sound and was once again caught unawares by the look upon his face. It appeared broody and impassioned and took her breath away.

In silence he picked up the packs, handed her a few and steered her by the elbow along the tunnel and toward a small cave that veered away to the left. There he rummaged through the packs for candles and positioning them in the crevices around the cave, he lit up their home for the next twelve or so hours and Catherine rooted to the spot watched him spread the blankets onto the floor. Finally he sat down in the centre of them and gazed up at her not speaking. Catherine wondered about that, she too had lost her voice and the atmosphere around them was intense. Slowly she knelt down in front of him and slowly she saw her hands reach out to his. Equally as slowly he lifted his hands and met hers half way and then she fell forward as he pulled her back to lie with him upon the blankets.

“Catherine?” He whispered running his hands through her hair, “Are you ready?”

Knowing his intention Catherine could only nod, all thought of language having escaped her and with a groan Vincent moulded his body to hers and sought her lips kissing her with abandon until both were breathless. “I love you.” They breathed together as their hands began pulling at one another’s clothing and it was no time at all before they were both partially undressed.

“Should I extinguish some candles?” Vincent asked as he leaned over her and gazed into her eyes. Catherine shook her head “No don’t leave me stay right where you are.” Vincent nodded and leaned down to kiss her again, deeply and passionately.

Catherine moaned softly her hands seeking the back of his neck and running them in a soft sweeping caress over his broad shoulders, outward and inward back toward his nape her fingernails lightly scraping just the way she knew he liked.

Vincent groaned and leaving her lips his mouth sought her throat, brushing soft kisses from their across her collar bone and down to the hollow between her breasts. Beneath him, Catherine squirmed, the touch of his whiskered chin lightly grazing her skin causing her to chuckle deep down inside. He always tickled her so, and it was difficult to be serious when he touched her thus. Slowly she brought her focus and concentration back to him and everything that he was doing to her. She loved him, deeply, there was, would be no other man for her ever. That she shared his genetic makeup was a source of marvel to her, that they were connected would always impress her. Moving slightly so that only part of him lay upon her Vincent was able to caress her skin, his clawed fingertips lightly brushing her causing goose bumps to spring up everywhere he touched. Catherine shuddered, whispered his name, drew her fingers through his hair and kissed wherever she could make contact with him, meeting his ear, his neck his throat. Vincent too shuddered her touch as always thrilling him, for so long he had dreamed of this and now it was almost unbelievable that it was happening. Any moment and he would wake from this all too perfect dream and feel the sting of disappointment behind his eyes. “I love you, I love you.” Catherine whispered against his throat before he lowered himself once again to kiss between her breasts, “As I love you.” He murmured huskily.

Catherine moved, sitting slightly pushing him up with her and unclasped her bra so that when she lay back down he pushed it aside until it fell from her body. Her rose tipped breasts were as always a rushing delight to him, and his hungry eyes devoured her before his mouth did likewise, pulling one dainty orb tight into the heat of his mouth his hand rolling its twin between thumb and finger. Catherine moaned cried his name and grabbing his other hand pushed it down between her thighs, but to her surprise Vincent took his hand back refusing to touch her there, and replaced it to her breast. She felt his smile against her other breast and she chuckled, “Not interested my love?” She joked, Vincent said nothing, but she continued to feel his smile against her. So she lay absorbing his attentions until it was almost unbearable for her to do so, she simply needed him there, between her thighs and moaned deeply wiggling and practically begging him through their connection to touch her there.

Still he resisted, taking back his hand from where she had blatantly forced it again down over her tummy her intention plain. Vincent chuckled and denied her once more but this time with a very firm “No” and continued to suckle at her breasts. Catherine thought she would die of want and through their connection she pleaded with him even as she wiggled beneath him, this time pressing her body closer to his showing him how she needed his touch, yet still he resisted.

Catherine let it be, he was being particularly unusual this evening and it crossed her mind that he wasn’t doing it to tease her, but for some other reason she could not define, until it suddenly crossed her mind that he was preparing her body for his. The thought warmed her and an infusion of hot liquid suddenly flooded her womanhood causing her to cry out at the intensity of the feeling that preceded it. Against her Vincent smiled deeply giving Catherine the distinct impression it had been his intention all along because after that moment, he pulled away from her rosy tipped breasts and unclipping her jeans he pulled down the zip and peeled them and her panties away from her legs in one fluid movement. The cold air of the cave tingled against her heated flesh and Vincent soon back from extracting her clothing from her feet, was suddenly positioned between her thighs and much to her amazement unzipping his jeans and pulling them down over his hips. Catherine watched without speaking, her lazy adoring gaze watching for every delectable inch of him as it came into view, his flat stomach, muscled and trembling with anticipation his hips almost perfectly hairless in comparison to the roughened texture of hair and fur that covered the rest of him, and springing out and upward from his underpants the hardened manhood that drew her gaze instantly as once more her womanhood made itself ready to receive him. Catherine moaned as the floodgates opened, never had she felt this way, and she let her legs drop open at the knees offering herself to him. Vincent looked down at her, saw her glistening wetness yet he still lingered back, reaching to one side of her and rummaging in a pack he had discarded there earlier. Idly Catherine watched him beneath hooded eyes, and wondered what he was searching for. Finally he withdrew a small silver tube and Catherine read the words on its side, ‘Ky Lubrication.’ Unscrewing the top, Vincent squeezed the tube and replaced the lid quickly after placing some of the gel into his right hand, then to Catherine’s amazement he began to cover his erection with the gel, paying particular attention to the ridge beneath the tip until he was satisfied that he had transferred it all from the palm of his hand. Then he looked down at her and the look in his eyes as they locked with hers begged permission that was granted by her without the slightest of sounds as they made contact through their connection. Then and only then did his hand reach for her, brushing her outer lips with the gentlest of touches, as he leaned down between her thighs and holding his erection with his other hand, he slowly brought his body to hers. Catherine held her breath, all kinds of thoughts swept through her now, with ‘would it hurt being the utmost’ and immediately she dried before him just as he had anticipated that she would, and the muscles of her womanhood tightened, drawing up and inward preventing him entrance. It was not wilfully done, but rather nervousness making it so and Vincent carefully and gently lay upon her his hand holding his erection tightly as slowly the tip touched her feminine lips. He held there for a moment, his body down on hers his hand trapped between them and with his other hand against one rose tipped breast he leaned upward and took her lips beneath his, “I love you.” He breathed the words into her mouth before kissing her gently teasing her lips until she kissed him back and her lips did not tremble with nervousness any longer. Slowly he felt her relax beneath him and gently he pushed up and inwards feeling her soft feminine lips part to allow him in. Catherine squirmed a little, stiffened beneath him and waited for the pain she was sure would come. When it didn’t she was surprised, but the feel of him against her womanhood was so strange and alien to her that she held her breath still not knowing what to expect. The sensation was one she had not known before, never had she allowed anything inside her, not even a tampon and certainly when Tom had touched her with his hands she had always made certain that the least pressure of his fingers against her there would cause her to grab his hand and draw it away, therefore her maidenhead remained intact and Vincent’s erection was touching its threshold begging entry. Frightened by what might come, Catherine stiffened again, and Vincent felt it but did not pull away, just kept kissing her caressing her, holding himself against her as he inched slowly onward. Finally she felt it, that sudden obstruction between him and her, her body barring his entry as her outer lips tucked neatly around the head of his erection holding him in. From there Vincent withdrew his hand, sure now that he would not slip away and his hips began to move up a little, down a little, pushing that bit further upward as he came down. The pressure increased and with it the pain, and Catherine using her hands on either side of her at the floor moved back and away seeking escape, “It hurts.” She whispered and he kissed her again, whispering words of love against her lips. Slowly she relaxed and slowly he pushed deeper and the maidenhead tightened like a bow, taut and unrelenting and Catherine scrambled back and away until she felt the cave wall against the top of her head. With nowhere to go she moved sideways wiggling away from him, embarrassed that she was escaping, sorry for how it looked but it just hurt her so much and she had to get away.

Slowly Vincent withdrew from the heat of her body, his eyes blazing with desire and Catherine instantly regretted pulling away from him, “Try again.” She told him but he shook his head, “Tomorrow.” He told her and rolled to her side. She noticed he was still heavily erect and she leaned down to hold him, winding her fingers around the steely length but Vincent took her hand, removed it and shook his head, “No.” Tears pricked at the backs of Catherine’s eyes, “Why not?” “We’ve done enough for now, tomorrow will soon be here.” With that he stood, moved around the small cave and extinguished some candles and by the time he pulled the blankets over them both, Catherine’s pack that she had pulled over for a pillow was wet with tears. “I’m sorry.” She whispered and he pulled her close, his arms wrapping around her, kissing her face, her eyes, her lips. “I’m not.” He told her huskily, “I told you we’d take it slowly, and we will. I promised not to hurt you Catherine, and I won’t. Now sleep.” Catherine sighed blissfully, he understood and that was all that mattered. With her arms around him she closed her eyes – and soon the two of them slept soundly and peacefully dreaming of the love making that was to come.

*** *** ***

For Devin the next day dawned bright and clear, and at breakfast even his father noticed the change in him.

“I see your trip above yesterday did you some good.” Father commented as Devin straddled a chair back to front and proceeded to consume bacon and eggs with a fork. Devin swallowed some bacon and told his parent, “I met someone an old friend. There are times when one’s troubles pale into perspective when one hears the troubles of another.” He told Father seriously. Father nodded, “That is so. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems but always appears so until you listen to someone else who has troubles of their own. Do I know this friend?”

“No. Its someone I met a couple of years ago, she was a friend of Catherine’s.” Father raised his eyebrows, “She?”

“Yes, she. Melanie, actually she was the friend that stayed at Peter’s the day that Catherine fell in on us all those years ago do you remember?” Father nodded, and Devin went on, “She was also the cause of the split between Catherine and I, and I never really liked Mel all that much, but yesterday I saw a side to her I never knew existed. I think she’s had a rough life, she showed me a glimmer of it yesterday and I decided I liked the person she really was and I’m meeting her again today.”

Father sensed a question looming, he wasn’t wrong, “Dad, its early days to say if anything will come of this new friendship with Mel, but I was thinking on my way home, how much she would benefit from being around the folks down here, I don’t think she’s had much joy or love in her life. If I thought I could trust her, could I bring her down here?”

“That would depend on many things, you know that Devin.” Devin’s hackles rose and he snapped “Well if I was to introduce her as my bride to be, would she be allowed down here?” He hadn’t meant to say that, and surely did not intend it, but just wondered how far his father would go to prevent the intrusion of another stranger that was all. Father bristled, “Again that would depend on a great deal of things, but as you’re future wife it would be something that we would have to accept albeit reluctantly as all strangers are met thus but since you inform me that the two of you are just friends I take it that was just figuratively speaking?”

“Perhaps. But some day I may want to bring my future bride home, and whether you like it or not, this is my home.” Devin retorted bitterly, “Even if you cannot find it in yourself to welcome another daughter-in-law here, I’m certain Vincent would welcome my wife.”

“Its not that Devin and you know it, its just you have to understand that we need to be sure, and times change. By the time you are ready to settle down this conversation might not be required. How well do you know this girl anyway?”

“Its not Mel I’m thinking of, I can’t see myself falling in love with her or anything like that, it was just a question that’s all, just something that’s been on my mind a lot recently, with someone else.”

“Ah yes the mystery lover.” Father chuckled but Devin did not, “She was never my lover!”

“I’m sorry.” Father told his son, “I was just being flippant.”

“Well don’t you aren’t very good at it, never was, it hurts.” Father apologised again, then added, “Look we haven’t exactly handled this right have we? As always we are too alike and presume to know what the other is thinking and are on the defensive even before the questions are asked. The thing is its not just my decision is it, the council need to approve any newcomer, and that Catherine literally fell in was beside the point. Her being her was literally forced upon us and she has become a much loved and welcome member of our community. The same could be so of any girl that you wish to bring home, and it doesn’t have to be a long term relationship, just providing she could be trusted to keep our secret is all we ask. I for one would be honoured to meet any of your girlfriends, Devin, have you had many?”

“A couple in England, nothing serious. I’ve only been in love once and she didn’t feel the same about me as I did about her, so no, not really, I haven’t had a girlfriend, other than Catherine I loved her too for a while, but it wasn’t the same as I experienced with…” he paused and wondered if he could say the name without crying and making a fool of himself, so drawing a deep breath he said the name as steadily as he was able surprised when it did not hurt as badly as it had in the past. “Kei-Anne.”

“Nice name.” Father told him.

“Yes, its after her parents, half for Keith and the rest for Anne.” Devin paused, “I really loved Kei-Anne, Dad.” This time tears welled in Devin’s eyes and he brushed them away. Father said nothing, the tension in his son’s body had revealed just how deeply the woman had affected him, Father well remembered that feeling, it was painful, his heart went out to his son. “Every cloud has a silver lining, Devin, remember that. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems.”

Devin agreed, “Until I spoke with Mel, I would never have agreed, but I see now that’s so true. She’s missed out on so much, Dad. This place would be the making of her.”

“Then invite her. We’ll just speak with the council first though.”

Devin nodded, “And I’ll make sure that she can be trusted beforehand. Don’t worry Dad, I won’t do anything to jeopardise this place, nor my brother. Least of all my brother.”

Father nodded, “I know that, Devin.” Why he had ever worried in the first place he didn’t know. He should have known Devin would act responsibly, for if nothing else Vincent’s welfare was important to him, and never would he do anything that might risk Vincent being exposed.

Devin finished his breakfast then stood up to leave, “I’m meeting Mel for lunch so I won’t be here can you tell William?”

“Of course. Enjoy yourself.” Father called as Devin walked toward the exit. Devin smiled, he didn’t know about that, but suddenly the thought of seeing Mel again brightened an otherwise dull day and he decided that he might do just that, enjoy himself.

*** *** ***

To be continued in Chapter Eleven - click on 'Next' below:



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