WHAT LOVE SEES
Tina Cramer & Dawn Yzaguirre

(An episode expansion of Arabesque)


What love sees is precious
Contained within her eyes
It smothers and surrounds them,
To hold the bond it ties.

What love sees is a truth hidden deep inside.
Lost within these chamber walls.
The truth of all we are together.
Of a man who answers when his beloved calls.

What love sees
is two people with one dream.
One life, one heart, one soul.

What love sees when it looks around a corner
Or turns another page
Is a love to last a lifetime
In this a timeless age.

Tina Cramer 

Catherine opened the French doors to the balcony.  It had been a very trying day and she needed to put some time and distance between herself and Vincent.  She needed to come to terms with all the events of the last few days.

 

Lisa had been found. And for now, the music had stopped.
 

What was it about Lisa that made Catherine more than a little jealous? Was it the time that Vincent and Lisa had spent together these past few days? Was it the friendship they had once shared? Catherine had felt like an outsider within their bond. Vincent had shut her out.
 

Catherine tried to subdue these pent-up feelings of jealousy and rage. Catherine now knew how Vincent felt when Elliott Burch had walked into her life. Vincent had shut her out.
 

So, she was surprised and more than a little bewildered to find Vincent standing here on her balcony this evening.What had he withheld the truth from her? Why couldn’t he share “this pain” with her? They’d never lied to each other before. What was it about his relationship with Lisa that bothered her so much?
 

They’d always been honest with one another. Always. Perhaps this was why Catherine sensed this “frustration and tension” along their bond tonight. What was it that he couldn’t bring himself to tell her?” Why couldn’t he share this with her? Didn’t he know that she wanted to share everything with him?
 

He knew that he had hurt her badly this time. But he didn’t know any other way to make her understand. He had to make her understand. He had to before it was too late.The truth is never easy he thought. He owed her the truth. She deserved at least that much from him.

How to make her see him as he really was. Perhaps now she would truly realize why their dream could never be. He knew he had to tell her everything about Lisa. Everything.
 

Catherine stepped out onto the balcony through the French doors.

 

“Catherine.” He whispered.
 

She looked over into the shadows and saw him. “I wonder if I’ll ever not be surprised to see you there.” She stated evenly.
 

“We’ve never withheld the truth from each other.” He said almost in a whisper.
 

“No.” She remarked wondering where this was going.
 

"Catherine…there are things I must tell you…about who I am and what I am.” He stated tensely.
 

Catherine moved toward him slowly never taking her eyes off him. “Vincent to me…you’re beautiful.” She whispered with a hint of emotion in her voice.
 

Vincent looked up at her. “What I have to tell you is not beautiful. It’s terrifying and shameful but it is the truth.”
 

Catherine sighed inwardly she was glad that he was finally going to tell her the truth“Then I want to hear it.” She told him.

 

“It’s about Lisa…about what she meant in my life.”

 

“Yes.” She answered expectantly.
 

He looked out over the city as if looking into the past. “I would watch her dance. And she would dance in the Great Hall alone, for herself, or for me. There was nothing in the world as beautiful as Lisa.” He stated.
 

Catherine felt a twinge of jealousy start inside her after this statement.
 

“And you desired her. There is no shame in that.” She told him warmly.
 

Vincent sighed. “For me there is.”
 

“Why?” She asked curiously.
 

“Because I hurt her. You see in my desire I forgot what I am…who I am. As she moved closer, I wanted to hold her. She was dancing and I felt a pull. It was pulling me to her and I reached out for her. And suddenly in her eyes I saw a fear of me. I…I saw myself.  But I couldn’t let go of her. These hands…wouldn’t let go of her… and I hurt her. And I knew hat these hands were not meant to give love.”
 

This broke Catherine’s heart. She stood here looking at this wonderful man that she loved tearing himself apart over something that happened when he was a teenager. Something that was more or less normal for any teenage male at that age. And her heart broke for him.
 

She reached out and took his hands in hers as he held them out in front of her. She looked up into his beautiful blue eyes to make sure that he understood what she was about to say and do.
 

“These hands are beautiful. These are my hands.” She told him lovingly. Then Catherine lifted his hands to her lips and kissed the backs of his fur-covered hands. Vincent could not take it anymore. The tears that he tried so valiantly to hold back began to fall. Catherine’s heart broke to see him in so much pain. She bent her head and laid it on top of their clasped hands as she cried with him. They stayed that way locked in that awkward embrace of hands for a very long time. Now that the tears had been shed maybe the healing could begin for them and between them.
 

Finally Vincent removed his hands from hers. “Catherine, I think it best that I go.” He remarked.
 

Catherine wanted him to stay so that they could talk some more about the events that had come so close to coming between hem. “No Vincent.” She pled.

 

“Please I don’t want you to go. I want you to stay. Come inside. I’ll make a fire. We still need to talk.”
 

Catherine took his arm and held onto it. Then she pulled him into the warm confines of her apartment. She would not relent this time. She needed to make him see that he was everything to her.

 

Vincent acquiesced.He must not let himself burden her heart anymore tonight.  And so he tightly held closed their bond now.
 

Catherine went into the kitchen to make some tea.  She returned with two steaming hot mugs as Vincent watched over the fire. Together they laid a thick fleece blanket on the hardwood floor and surrounded it with pillows.
 

Vincent knelt down to sit on the warm blanket pulling Catherine down into the warm confines of his arms.  She handed him one of the steaming mugs of tea.

 

After a few moments of silence she looked at him. “Vincent there are so many things that I want to say to you right now. I’m not sure there is anything I can say that won’t frighten you more than you already are. I know you’re scared and I know that you believe that this dream we share can never really be.ut I need you to know exactly how I feel.”
 

Vincent sighed as he listened to her. When she had made this statement he hesitantly nodded. He knew that he had hurt her badly and that she had to get her feelings out. But he was very afraid of what those feelings were. But he vowed to himself that no matter what he would listen.
 

Catherine then began to speak once again. “Earlier tonight we shared the truth with each other. Why did you feel the need to withhold that truth from me? I love you Vincent. Surely, by now, you know that. You know my heart. You know what I am feeling.” She stated.
 

Vincent nodded then began to speak. “I was afraid, Catherine. Afraid that I would hurt you.Some wounds bleed too deeply and lie just beyond the surface.”
 

“It would hurt me more Vincent if you didn’t share that truth with me. Now I need to share another truth with you.
 

Vincent looked at her somewhat surprised. “What truth is that Catherine?”

 

Catherine sighed and looked down for a moment gathering her thoughts then she looked back up at him. “I admit I am more than a little jealous of Lisa and what she meant in your life. I think I even envy her. In some ways, she has gotten to see a part of your life that I can never really know. She has shared things… Catherine broke off here to hold back a sob from rising in her voice then she spoke again. “She has shared things…secrets with you that I can never share or be a part of. You allowed her to be a part of your life in a way that I have never been able to share.”

 

Vincent could not understand why Catherine would feel this way. Surely she knew just what she meant to him. He had to ask her. “Why do you feel this way Catherine?”

 

Catherine sighed. “There is a part of you that is continually putting up barriers. Why do these walls exist between us, Vincent? Why? What can I do? What can I say that will make you see that I love the man that you are?” Then she looked up at him again to drive this next point home. “And make no mistake, Vincent to me, you are a man.”

 

At this moment Catherine reached for his hands once again. Vincent watched as she picked them up and held them tightly. Catherine then looked deep into his eyes. “These hands were meant to give love, Vincent.”  “I’ve seen these hands tuck in a sleeping child late at night, dig new tunnel ways, teach classic literature to young and old alike.  In you, I see a teacher, mentor, and a father. But do you know the greatest thing that I see?” She asked.

 

Vincent shook his head. Part of him did not want to hear what she had to say next but the other part of him desperately needed to hear what she had to say. He looked up at her once again expectantly. Then he spoke very softly.
 

“No what do you see Catherine?”
 

Catherine smiled slightly. “I see a man whose hands are capable of great tenderness and great love. There is so much love in these hands.” And then she quietly rose from their spot by the fire never letting go of his hands.

 

She pulled Vincent up with her as she took his hands once again and laid them on her shoulders.
 

She looked up into his blue eyes pleadingly. “Touch me, Vincent.” “Really touch me.”

  Vincent peered down at her with tears in his eyes. He dropped his hands to his sides then looked away. “This cannot be between us, Catherine” He whispered sadly. Catherine put her hand under his chin and pulled his face back up until their eyes met. “Yes it can, Vincent.” She whispered. Then she took his hands once again and put them back on her shoulders.

She looked up at him lovingly. And with great care, began to undo the straps of her silk robe to reveal the ultra sheer silk nightgown beneath. Between her breasts lies the crystal pendant that he had given her almost a year ago.
 

Vincent tried to calm his frantic senses. He wanted to run away but found that he could not move. He took in great gulps of air.

 

Things were as they should be. Catherine held her breath and waited for him to continue. Vincent stood there with his hands still on Catherine’s shoulders.  The touch was electrifying. “Oh, God.” He thought.  To touch her in this way is all I have ever dreamed of.
 

Vincent’s hands remained on her shoulders for what seemed like an eternity. Catherine stood there and waited. What would he do next? Would he run? I hope I haven’t pushed him too far. She thought.

 And then it happened. Vincent took the back of his left hand and traced her skin with his fingertips. And within his touch, Catherine thought she’d seen a thousand pinpoints of light flash before her eyes. Finally! She thought. Her prayers had now been answered. Oh, to have this feeling of nirvana always.

“Vincent I love the way you’re touching me.” She whispered as she leaned into his body. She swayed in his arms and swept her mouth across his cheek until she found his warm mouth. She simply couldn’t help herself. She had to kiss him and that’s exactly what she did.

 

What she found even more amazing than his mouth on hers was that he was kissing her back just as eagerly as she was.

 

Vincent could not believe how wonderful her beautiful mouth felt against his. “Oh Catherine!” he cried as his lips took hers in a union that would join them for all eternity.
 

Catherine finally broke the kiss and smiled lovingly. She took his hand and led him to her bedroom. Vincent followed tentatively, not knowing what to expect next. The kiss that they had shared had been so wonderful but he was still afraid to take this too far.  That he would still harm her the same way that he had harmed Lisa.
 

Catherine moved a little ways into her bedroom then stopped. She turned around and smiled shyly. “Do you trust me, Vincent?” She asked hopefully. Vincent looked down at her and nodded mutely. She smiled then she reached up and removed the robe that she wore.  Vincent’s breath caught in his throat.

 

“Catherine we cannot do this.” He whispered. She lifted her hand and put her fingers to his mouth.

 

“Shh my love we won’t take things too far tonight.” She promised. “I just want to show you that your hands are meant to give love and that you are worthy of my love.”

 

Vincent slowly looked up into her eyes. “But if I were to ever hurt you.” He stated sadly.

 

Catherine shook her head. “No bad thoughts we will face this together I won’t let you fall.” She vowed.  Vincent was touched by her determination but he was still very frightened.

 

Catherine returned to what she had been doing. She let the robe fall off her shoulders onto the floor. Then pulled the straps of her gown off her shoulders. Vincent stood there mesmerized. He knew in his mind that he should stop her but something inside of him stopped him from doing so. The gown pooled at her feet in a pile of light blue silk.
 

“Touch me again, Vincent.” She whispered. Vincent shook his head.

 

“Catherine I cannot you don’t know what it is you ask of me.” He told her in a low whisper. Catherine nodded.

 

“Yes Vincent I do know what I am asking.” She told him lovingly. “I am asking the man that I love more than anyone or anything in the world to touch me the way I have always wanted.”

 

Vincent shook his head. “But I am not as other men if I were to ever harm you I would die.” Catherine lifted his chin with her hand until he was looking into her eyes. “Vincent I have told you that you could never harm me in any way. You have been told for too long that the other side of you would only harm those that you love. But I want to prove that that other side needs love also.”

 

Vincent shook his head. “Catherine the ‘other’ can kill or maim as you have witnessed.” He argued. 

 

She took his hand in hers. “Vincent please hear me now.” She pleaded. “When you do those things you are always defending and protecting those that you love. You have never killed anyone for the joy of it or for the thrill.”

 

Vincent looked up at her again.  “But I was not threatened by Lisa.” He stated sadly. “Father knew then that the ‘other’ was a danger and chose to send her away instead of punishing me for that vile act.”

 

Catherine sighed loudly. She was tired of arguing with him. And she was angry that Father had implanted this insecurity in him long ago.  She only hoped that her words and actions tonight could help him release the fears that were burrowed deep within his heart and soul. “Vincent as I said before what you felt for Lisa was a normal reaction for a teenager.” She stated. “Father was frightened by what happened but I think he acted the way he thought best at the time.”

 

Vincent shook his head. “Catherine he blamed Lisa for what I did!” He told her vehemently.

 

Catherine nodded. “Yes I know that and that is very unfortunate because it was the wrong thing to do she was a teenager also but Vincent she was flirting and teasing you.” She continued.

 

Vincent stopped his sudden pacing and looked at her. “Catherine I doubt that she would do such a thing.”

 

Catherine smiled slightly. “Vincent don’t you think that girls of that age flirt and tease?” She asked. “I did.”

 

Vincent looked at her. “You Catherine?”

 

She could not help but laugh at the look on his face. “Yes Vincent even I flirted at that young of an age.” She remarked. Then she sobered and got back to the subject. “Vincent you are not to blame for what happened you were just reacting in a normal way.”

 

Vincent shook his head. “There is nothing normal about me Catherine.”

 

Catherine knew that she had to convince him that he was wrong about his self-image. She slowly moved toward him. When she was directly in front of him once again she placed her hands on his clothed chest. “Vincent you are a normal man with normal male desires.” She whispered. Then she looked directly into his eyes. “Vincent do you desire me?”

 

Vincent was shocked by her question. “Of course I desire you Catherine.” He told her incredulously.  “You have no idea how much I desire you.” He added. Catherine smiled and slowly moved back. She took his hand in hers and led him toward the bed.

 

When Vincent realized her destination he stopped. “No Catherine!” He told her as he shook his head. “Vincent I promised that we would not do anything tonight that you were not ready for but I would like to lie with you.” She implored. “I want to feel our bodies next to one another.”

 

Vincent sighed. “But Catherine I am so afraid for you.”

 

She turned and looked at him. “I know my love but the only way to overcome your fear is to face it and we will face it together.” She promised. She then moved toward him once again. This time she wrapped her arms around his waist. “Kiss me again please.” She begged.

 

Vincent knew that he should stop this immediately and leave but he found that he could not. He wanted to stay with Catherine. He slowly lowered his head toward her. As his face got closer to hers Catherine parted her lips in anticipation.

 

When Vincent saw how eager she was for his kiss he was lost. He closed his eyes and took her lips in a very passionate kiss.

 

After they parted this time he pulled her into his arms and held her. His hands gently caressed the bare skin of her back. He closed his eyes as he felt how soft her skin was under his hands.

 

Catherine sighed with pleasure and put her head on his chest. “I love you so much Vincent.” She whispered. “I was so afraid that when Lisa returned that you would leave me forever.”

 

Vincent stopped his caresses and moved back slightly. Catherine looked up into his deep blue eyes confused. “Catherine I could never leave you we are bound together by our bond and by our destinies.” He stated.

 

“Do you believe that we are destined to be together?” She asked hopefully.

 

Vincent knew what she was asking. He sighed. “Catherine I do not know what our future holds or even if our dream will ever be more than a dream.” He told her sadly. “We may have to realize tonight that our dream is just that a wonderful dream that we can never attain.”

 

Catherine tightened her arms around his waist. “I will never believe that Vincent!” She told him adamantly. “I believe that we are destined to be together in every way.”

 

Vincent was not sure what to believe. “Whatever our future holds Catherine we must accept whether it is together or separated.” She laid her head on his chest once again and listened to the steady beat of his heart.

 

After a few moments she moved back slightly. She lifted her hands to his chest and started to untie the laces of his tunic. “Catherine this is not a wise idea.” He told her almost in a whisper. His rising desire to hold her and touch her clouding his mind. “Trust me Vincent we won’t falter.” She whispered.

 

Once the tunic was loosened she unhooked the belt that was around his waist allowing it to fall to the carpet. Vincent closed his eyes as his desire kept rising. “Just trust me Vincent.” Catherine whispered.

 

 He opened his eyes and looked down at her. “I will trust you Catherine for both of us.” She smiled lovingly at him. She then pulled his shirt out of his jeans. He gasped when the cool air touched the sensitized skin of his back. Even through the thick fur he could feel the temperature difference of her apartment.

 

Catherine then pushed the shirt open exposing his chest. She smiled and buried her face in the fur that covered the muscles on his chest. Vincent moaned when he felt her kiss him lightly.“Catherine…” he started to speak but then lost his ability to do so. She smiled to herself at the way she was affecting him.Just take things one step at a time Cathy. She told herself.

 

She moved back from his arms and turned around. Vincent opened his eyes and watched her. She pulled down the comforter on the bed beside them. Then she turned back toward him and smiled. “Please Vincent I want to feel you against me tonight even if we only lie together and hold one another.” She implored.

 

Vincent knew that he should stop this before it got anymore out of control but he could not. He wanted her too badly. He slowly nodded then he sat down on the side of the bed and slowly removed his boots and socks. Catherine moved to the opposite side of the bed and got under the

covers.

 

Vincent stood up suddenly and turned toward her. “Catherine I am not like other men.” He whispered. A blush moving over his face.

 

“I don’t care my love I just want you with me tonight.” She whispered.

 

Vincent sighed then slowly unbuttoned his jeans and removed them. He stood there with his eyes closed waiting for any reaction from her. He finally opened his eyes and looked down at her.

 

She smiled at him and held out her hand. “Come to me my love I want to hold you tonight.”

 

Vincent moved slowly toward the bed and climbed under the covers that she held open. He gasped when his body made contact with hers. “Don’t worry my love everything will be fine.” She soothed as she gently caressed his chest. He closed his eyes and slowly began to caress her back once again. Catherine sighed happily. “I love your touch Vincent.” She told him. Then she gently pulled him toward her and kissed him. Vincent responded to the kiss with just as much enthusiasm.
 

This night they would not become one but they would enjoy the closeness and the tenderness that they both needed. Vincent would learn that his past actions with Lisa would not diminish how much Catherine loved and desired him. And they would come one step closer to the fulfillment of their dream. A dream that Vincent was sure was unattainable.