Later that afternoon Vincent and the other men returned. Father heard the message on the pipes and decided to go to his chamber. Vincent was just finishing getting dressed when Father entered. "May I come in?"
Vincent looked up from his seat on the bed. "Of course Father, was there something you needed?"
The tunnel patriarch shook his head. "No, I just heard you had returned and I thought I would come see if you wanted to play a game of chess before retiring for the night."
Vincent stood and retrieved his cloak from the back of his chair. "I'm sorry Father but I was just about to leave."
The smile faded from the older man's face. "You're going to see Catherine Chandler?"
Vincent sighed and looked at his parent once again. "Yes, I told her I would come after we returned."
Father shook his head and sat down in the other chair close to the desk. "Vincent, please can't you stay below tonight surely you can see her some other time."
Vincent turned and looked at him again. "Father, I would have been with her most of the day and tonight if we hadn't been called away."
Father looked down a moment. "You're heading for a lot of pain."
Vincent put on his cloak. "Father, I don't wish to discuss this any further I'll see you tomorrow." With that he ran out of the chamber before the older man could respond.
Father sighed sadly and rose from the chair. Taking one last look at the chamber he turned and walked out of the entrance back toward his own chamber.
When Vincent arrived at the tunnel entrance to the brownstone he looked up at the lightbulb by the door. Catherine had told him that if the light was on that he could not come in because someone was there that he didn't know. His heart leapt in his chest when he saw that the light was off. Racing up the steps he opened the secret door and entered the basement of the brownstone.
Once he closed the door again he walked to the basement door that led into the foyer. Opening the door he stepped into the warm hallway. His nose immediately caught the aroma of something wonderful cooking in the kitchen. He turned his head and looked into the library where he saw a roaring fire and heard the beautiful sounds of his favorite classical music playing.
Removing his cloak put it over the back of the bench beside the door. "Catherine?"
As soon as her name left his lips she appeared around the corner coming from the kitchen. "I was waiting for you."
Vincent opened his arms. "We just arrived a while ago."
Catherine could not take it any longer she ran the short distance until she was in his arms. "I've missed you so much today."
Vincent tightened his arms around her. "Not as much I've missed you."
Catherine lifted her head from his shoulder and looked into his eyes. "Do I get a hello kiss?"
Vincent tightened his arms around her and pulled her as close as he could. "I thought you'd never ask." With that statement he covered her lips with his.
A few minutes later they broke the kiss. Catherine sighed and snuggled against his chest. "Now that's a welcome home."
Vincent chuckled. "Maybe I should go away more often if you greet me like that when I return."
Catherine lifted her head ready to protest but saw the mischief in his eyes. "Don't even think about that." After a moment she turned. "How about some wine in the library before we eat?"
Vincent pulled her to his side again protectively this was not lost on Catherine. "Is there something wrong, Love?"
He shook his head. "Nothing you should worry about."
Catherine turned once again to face him. "Vincent, you and I know more about each other than anyone else in the world."
He sighed and turned toward the library. "Why don't we sit for a while?"
They walked into the library and Vincent took a seat on the sofa. Catherine moved to the ice bucket a few inches away. "How about some wine?"
Vincent acquiesced and Catherine poured them both a glass. Putting the wine bottle back in the ice she moved to the sofa. "Here you are." Vincent took the glass as Catherine sat down and snuggled up next to him.
They sat quietly for a moment as Vincent stared into the flames in the fireplace. "Vincent, please tell me what's got you so upset tonight."
He shook his head and looked down for a moment. "I was just thinking about Father."
Catherine sighed and laid her head on his shoulder. "You and he had another argument?"
Vincent put his wine glass down on the coffee table. "Not really I just got the impression tonight that he was trying to keep me from coming to see you."
Catherine lifted her head. "Did he say something?"
Vincent sighed and rose. "Not in words."
Catherine could tell by the way he started to pace that he was agitated. "Tell me."
Vincent stopped pacing and turned to look at her again. "It sounds strange for you to use the same words on me that I've used on you so many times."
Catherine smiled. "Well, I think that just shows how much alike we truly are."
Vincent moved back to the sofa and sat down again. "When I arrived at my chamber I bathed and changed so that I could come to you." He began. "As I was putting on my boots Father came to the entrance of my chamber and asked me if I would like to play chess with him before retiring for the evening."
Catherine shrugged her shoulders. "That sounds like him."
Vincent shook his head. "It's not that question that made me think he was trying to keep me occupied."
Catherine looked at him confused. "What was it?"
Vincent turned slightly so that he was facing her more. "When I mentioned that I was on my way here he asked me if I could stay below and not see you tonight."
Catherine looked down a moment. "Maybe you should've stayed to make him happy."
Vincent put his hand under her chin lifting her face until their eyes met. "But that wouldn't have made either of us happy."
Catherine suddenly rose and moved to the fireplace. Vincent watched as she looked into the flames with her back to him. "Why does he think that our love is such a mistake?"
Hearing the pain in her voice Vincent rose and moved up behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her back against his chest. "Catherine, our love is not a mistake it makes us happy and most of the people who care for us are also happy that we've finally found a way to live our dream."
Catherine turned in his arms and wrapped her arms around his waist. "I just wish Father could see how much you mean to me."
Vincent tightened his arms around her pulling her even closer. "He will in time we just have to live our lives and give him the time he needs."
They stayed that way for a few minutes then Catherine moved back and looked up into his beautiful blue eyes. "I think I'm going to go upstairs and change into something a bit more comfortable."
Vincent chuckled. "Do you need any help?"
Catherine caught the devilish gleam in his eyes and tried to wiggle out of his embrace. "No way you aren't going to distract me we have dinner cooking."
Vincent suddenly swung her up in his arms. "I'm not hungry for food right now."
Catherine squealed. "Vincent, put me down!"
He chuckled as he moved to the foyer. "I thought you wanted to go upstairs to change."
Catherine smirked and slapped his chest. "I do but you're not going up with me to help."
Vincent ignored her protests and started to climb the steps leading to the bedrooms. "I think I've overruled your objection counselor."
Catherine sighed dramatically and tightened her arms around his neck. "Oh all right but if our dinner is ruined it's all your fault."
Vincent kissed her on the forehead. "While you're changing I'll come back to the kitchen and put it on warm so that it won't be ruined."
When they reached the bedroom Vincent carried her inside and put her back on her feet. "Now you go ahead and change while I go back down and see to our food."
Catherine smiled. "Bring our wine up with you."
Vincent dipped his head then turned and closed the door behind him.
Once he was gone Catherine ran into the bathroom. Closing the door she leaned against it for a moment. Ever since the night before when they first made love Vincent seemed to come out of the shell that he had been living in over the last 30 years. Her mind wandered back to their conversation about Father. Shaking her head she could not help but think to herself. Sorry Father but Vincent's with me now and you can't keep us apart.
Coming out of her revelry she looked in linen closet and pulled out the box that she had hidden there. Laying it on the counter top she quickly pulled the lid off. Lying in the tissue paper was the most beautiful burgundy nightgown that she had ever seen. She had purchased it a few weeks before hoping that it would give Vincent the little push that he needed to finally bring them completely together.
She was still looking at the gown when she heard the door open in the bedroom and Vincent's voice. "My love, I'm back."
Laying the gown back in the box she moved to the door. Opening it just a bit she peeked out. "I'll be right out."
Vincent turned from where he was standing and smiled. "Need any help."
Catherine chuckled. "No, you just wait there I have a special surprise for you." With that she closed the door before he could respond.
Moving back to the counter she took off her dress and quickly pulled the silk gown over her head. Smoothing it down over her body she closed her eyes and imagined that it was Vincent's hands.
Opening her eyes once again she surveyed her image. Pretty good Chandler. Taking the robe out of the box she slipped it on.
When she was done she picked up her brush and ran it through her long blond hair. Putting the brush back she smiled at her reflection. Let the fun begin. Then she turned and headed for the door.
Vincent was standing on the other side of the bed looking at the latest book of poetry that he had given her. "I see you've been reading this."
Catherine smiled as she closed the door. "Yes, its got some wonderful poems."
Vincent closed the book and put it back on the nightstand. "I thought of you the first time I read�¢‚Ç¨¬¶"
His statement broke off when he turned and saw her standing on the other side of the bed. Swallowing the lump in his throat he shook his head. "You're a vision."
Catherine smiled and moved around the bed toward him. "I hoped you would like it."
Vincent reached out and pulled her to him. "Oh yes my angel I do like it very much."
Closing her eyes Catherine sighed as she felt Vincent's hands caress her back. "Jenny and I saw it a few weeks ago and I thought I would buy it on a whim."
She opened her eyes when she heard him chuckle. "Were you thinking of trying to seduce me with it?"
Catherine blushed and looked down for a moment. "The thought had crossed my mind."
Vincent tightened his arms around her pulling her as close as he could. "You don't need a beautiful nightgown to seduce me Catherine, you do that by just entering a room and smiling."
She looked up into his deep blue eyes. "Oh really, Mr. Wells?"
Vincent chuckled. "Yes Miss Chandler." With that he leaned forward and captured her lips in a very passionate kiss as they lost themselves in their passion.