The Alpha and the Omega

Part Two

Walking through the endless corridors, Catherine paused at each junction, assessing which way to go next. She had never been to this part of the zoo and everywhere was so quiet that she was surprised that no one had heard her footsteps as it was. She’d chosen trainers yet even so on the polished flooring they sometimes squeaked as she walked.

Her heart in her mouth, her eyes taking note of any shadows ahead and around her, Catherine walked on, noting the various doors with names printed upon them and dismissing them as irrelevant. What she was actually looking for was something like laboratory or private do not enter. She found neither.

Beginning to believe she must be in the wrong wing Catherine was just about to backtrack when someone shouted, “Hey, what are you doing in here!”

Surprised at not having seen the approach of anyone, Catherine stood stock still waiting for them to approach her. When they did not and she heard voices she flattened herself against a wall behind a large leafy potted plant and listened intently.

“I said what are you doing in here?”

“Nothing.” The reply sounded nervous, guilty even.

“I don’t believe you. Now get out of here before I call security. This wing is off limits.”

Catherine’s heart raced, she would be in the right wing after all.

“Can I ask you a question first?”

“Like what?”

“I’m a reporter, heard you had something marvellous here, some new attraction, I can pay you for anything you can give me?” The voice asked hopefully. Catherine could still not see either of them. It annoyed her to not know where they were, knowing that she too might be discovered at any moment. Besides that the voices were distorted and she found that confusing.

“Sorry no can do. More than my job is worth. ‘Side’s all will be revealed tomorrow. Be here early, and you can get the first pictures back to your newspaper before anyone else. That’s all I can help you with.”

“How early?”

“As soon as the doors open. Now out you go. I’ve work to do.”

The sound of a closing door and receding footsteps drew Catherine’s attention upward, and in so doing she noticed the speaker up on the wall. She signed with relief, knowing that wherever those two had been it had not been on her floor, but that in turn signalled to her that she must be silent for anything she might do would filter through the system and highlight her whereabouts to whomsoever may be listening. Probably in central control.
It also highlighted to her the fact that she was probably on the wrong floor and knew she would have to search for a stairwell.

*** *** ***

As she had assumed Catherine’s every move was being monitored and the only reason she had gotten so far was because for the last half hour the only personnel on site had been pre-occupied with the following day’s grand event.

Now though as members of staff resumed their duties Catherine’s movements came with someone’s undivided attention as they watched her move steadily up the stairs from the first to second floor.
The control room being on the third floor was protected by large metal doors, security alarms and two burly guards both of which were now put on alert as Catherine began to search the corridor of the second floor.

Back in the control room, and with the assumption of safety the zoo directors watched Catherine with mild interest while they put together the final plans for the following day’s event. Their disinterest of the intruder mainly brought about by her being just another reporter looking for a scoop.

However, one man’s interest in her was beyond the level of his colleagues, and almost without thinking he blurted, “Strange that. This one’s not carrying any Dictaphone.” His words alerted the attention of the other three men in the room, and idly they looked toward the monitor, that now showed Catherine making her way steadily to an area that said, ‘strictly zoo personnel only” in big bold black letters.

“Maybe she’s wired to an outside circuit. Best get her out of there.”

“Good job tomorrow’s the big day, I’m really pissed off throwing these people out. Wish I could make one a spectacle that the other’s would never forget. Make them think twice about breaking in here ever again.”

“Yeah like throw one to the lions?” there was derisive laughter. “’Cept we ain’t got any lions now.”

More laughter followed. “Hey I have an idea. This way we could kill two birds with one stone, not literally of course, but look this bird wants a story and him, downstairs, Alpha, well he seems tame enough to me, and he’s part human, might be an idea to serve him with his last rites before he faces the world tomorrow. What do you say we sling her in with him?”

They laughed, but when he did not, one stated flatly, “You’re serious?”

“Damn right I am. And why not. ‘Sides might be good to find out what he is capable of. I mean we could just lead her you know to him like, let her think she got herself shut in accidental like, and if he does appear dangerous we can dart him before he hurts her. Believe me, I’d really like to know what he’d do with a woman.”

“Well since he has been around women all his life I shouldn’t think much. But hey what if she were half dressed or something, now that might get him going.”

“No we couldn’t do that. That would mean getting actively involved in kidnap and we would be put away for that.”

“Yes but think about this logically. This woman has broken in here. We can’t see any Dictaphone. We assume she is wired, and we assume she has sent information back to wherever she has come from already. Where she is headed if she isn’t soon intercepted, she’s gonna leak the biggest story in history, so we have our rights too. I mean there is absolutely no reason why we cannot go down there, bring her up here, strip her…” he laughed…”Sorry wishful thinking, I mean frisk her and ask her to remove a few items. Then when she is only half dressed take her near to where he is, accidentally on purpose let her go, and make sure she heads his way. Then she gets shut in with him and pronto, you have it.”

“Sam, you’ve been reading too many tall stories.” One man laughed out loud, but another silenced him, “Wait a minute, Sam’s got a good idea there. Bit rough around the edges but its sound and might work. But let’s face it, we aren’t doing it for her benefit or his are we?” No one spoke and he continued, “Well I’m not at any rate, I just would like to see him give her the best shag she is ever gonna get. Struth, have you seen the size of his ding dong!”

Now they laughed. They laughed until their sides ached and all reluctantly agreed that was their sole intention in getting this plan off of the ground. “Let’s do it!” They cried in unison, and one picked up the cell phone designed to vibrate to signal a call coming through to contact one of the guards that had almost caught up with Catherine.

*** *** ***

Returning from the catacombs, Mouse and Jamie’s news did not in any way amuse Father, rather angered him further. Ever since this little fiasco had started his anger had grown in leaps and bounds and what they had to relate from the witchy woman did nothing to lessen his temper.

“Narcissa says Catherine is with Vincent.” Jamie bounded down the flight of steps leading into Father’s chamber the moment they arrived back.

“Stupid old woman!” Father snapped, “What kind of news is that! Everyone knows that is not true. Catherine has been here herself…alone…” His words slowed to a halt and in his present frame of mind Father began to wonder whether the things that Catherine had told him were in fact lies. What if Narcissa was right? What if Catherine was with Vincent? What if she had been lying all along rather than face him with the truth? And what if in sealing up the tunnels to the outside world he had in effect shut Vincent out too?

Then logic set in. He didn’t seriously believe Narcissa did he? Still the seed of doubt had been set and he wasn’t quite sure what to believe anymore.

“If Vincent is with Catherine, shouldn’t we open up the old entrances?” Mary asked almost echoing his thoughts of moments earlier. Father shook his head, “They aren’t together, of that I am certain.”

“But Father, Narcissa had been so sure. She saw it in a vision. Catherine went looking for Vincent and she found him. She also came looking for us but couldn’t get down here. What if Narcissa is right?” Jamie argued.

“What if? What if? You speak as though you have doubts in the old woman’s witchy capabilities. Either you believe or you don’t which is it to be, hmm?” Jamie was stunned by the sarcasm in Father’s tone. All of this was so unlike him.

“I believe her. And if you were there, if you heard it for yourself you would believe her too. I think Catherine is with Vincent. You know what? I think she’s found him all by herself and without the bond too, and do you know why? Cos she loves him, he is her life, and while you stay down here putting forth arguments against her you do nothing constructive about finding Vincent. You just put him further and further away from you, and you can’t see it. Narcissa was right!” Jamie’s eyes flashed her anger, and Father heard every word but only the last he took in.

“What do you mean Narcissa was right!” He flared angrily, “What has that wicked old witch been saying against me now!”

“Father!” Mary butted in. She was aware that Father had never truly believed in Narcissa’s form of magic, but never had she seen him so vindictive against the woman.

In that one word, Father relented, “On Narcissa’s behalf I apologise. That was very cruel of me. I know the old woman believes in her visions. I should not judge. Forgive me Jamie. Even so I should like to know what you meant about Narcissa being right.”

“I don’t think now is the time.” Maybe never, Jamie thought to herself. She had already said too much. Narcissa had told her that Father was jealous of the attention that Vincent gave Catherine, as much as he believed that Catherine would hurt his son in the long run, and that nothing good would come of their relationship, but deep down inside these were things that he hoped for, in order to have Vincent back to himself again. But Narcissa also informed Jamie that Father would never agree to these things, because he had not recognised them in himself. He knew only that he loved his son to distraction, and wanted what he thought was best for him no matter what.

“Look,” Jamie broached a fresh avenue, “Let’s assume Narcissa did see Catherine with Vincent in a vision, there was more. She saw them both behind bars. She couldn’t tell where those bars were, but she saw the desolation in their eyes, could feel the despair and fear emanating from them both. Father wherever they are, they are trapped and something bad is going to happen, though Narcissa could not tell us what. I think it largely depends on many deciding factors, any of which might force an issue that was unforeseen. Narcissa said as much, though not in the exact same words.”

Father nodded. He had to believe. There was he decided nothing else for it. Catherine had been unable to send word, or been too peeved in not being allowed below to do so. Whatever, she had been able to locate Vincent and had gone there, to wherever he was, alone, and now she too was a prisoner. It was too late for what if’s, that would take him down too many endless roads. The only thing he could do now was to unseal the entrances, so that Catherine and Vincent could come home if they escaped.

Nevertheless, his mind screamed over and over what if you hadn’t of had the tunnels sealed to prevent Catherine’s entrance, what then? Fortunately, he did have the answer even though he didn’t like facing it – if the tunnels had remained unsealed then Catherine may have come below and together they would have thought of some plan to bring Vincent home. And for the first time in days Father began to suffer from some of the guilt he had recently bestowed upon Catherine and he didn’t like the taste of it one bit.

*** *** ***

With an undignified thump Catherine landed bottom first onto something scrunchy and yet at the same time soft. Yet it was her pride that was hurt more than her body. Pride that had surfaced the moment that the guard had gained the upper hand against her protests, disbelieving her attempt that she was pursuing additional information for the zoological book about the Alpha and the Omega before it went for publishing. This was almost believed, except for the fact that the book had already been okayed for publishing and the first copies had rolled off the press earlier that day.

With that farce behind her, Catherine stumbled for a good enough reason to be in the building and before she could think of anything feasible she had been dragged kicking and screaming up the stairs to the third floor, where quite a reception had awaited her.

Now as mad as hell and growing madder by the second, Catherine squinted against the black darkness and wondered where on earth it was that they had thrown her. She sniffed the air suddenly realising that there was a scent somewhere to her left that seemed familiar to her and she held her breath sensing that she wasn’t alone. Sudden laughter chilled her further as she realised that the draught of cold air was due to a panel being opened high above her, and this became even more obvious when a dim light appeared followed by the silhouette of four heads looking in on her.

“Alpha!” One of the voices cried. “See we bring you a gift.” There was derisive laughter, then the words, “Go on give her one. She’s all yours!” “Maybe they need a bit more light. Perhaps he doesn’t see as well in the dark as we’ve been led to believe.” Words dropped in on her from above and almost instantly another light blazed forth.

Catherine was almost afraid to look. Her eyes seemed riveted to the straw beneath her until a sudden gasp had her looking up into the blue eyes of her truelove.

“Catherine!” Vincent spoke no more. Instead, he stepped forward and gathered Catherine to him, bending over her to shield her state from prying eyes. Tears gathered in his and fell at a steady stream as he whispered into her ear. “My love, what have they done to you?” “She knows him!” “To go in there you mean? No way! Just get the darts, we’ll fell him with one of those, then just maybe I’ll go fetch her out.”

Listening Vincent and Catherine crouched together huddled close. They knew the wisdom of silence. They also knew the source of their strength that two were better than one. And no one, no one was going to dart Vincent if Catherine had anything to do with it. Sam nodded, his eyes wide with apprehension. It had begun to dawn on him, the seriousness of their situation. And he wondered if anyone had given thought as to what they should do with the woman now. He noticed it too, in that instant, and more than that, he was aroused. Shamefully he pushed her away from him turned from her and sought the boxer shorts that Barry had given him the day before. He was reserving them for the morning, but now he needed them even more. Donning them made him still feel naked but less so, and now at least he and Catherine were equal, both in the same state of undress. Not quite so bad, and not quite so good either. Not when he remembered what had taken place between them in the catacombs, something Catherine had seemed, thankfully, to have forgotten.

Vincent had never forgiven himself for that day, believing that Catherine had made no mention to it, for either one of two reasons, one that she was acutely embarrassed or two that she had shut it out of her mind having found it abhorrent to her. Either way Vincent found himself in a dilemma wanting only to share that beautiful experience with her again and again and knowing that it would never be so. Understanding at once, Catherine pushed Vincent back into a corner, her eyes flashing her fury at the three men that surrounded the cell though only one held a dart gun.

“Struth, she’s protecting him. I can’t get a clear shot for fear of getting her.”

“So get her. What’s wrong with that?”

“Because dear man, that would constitute kidnap, she’s bound to tell someone what we did to her.”

“And who would believe her? She hasn’t any witnesses to back her, and he’s unlikely to help her is he? He doesn’t even speak, and even if he did who’d believe him? Can you seriously see him standing up ion court?” There was laughter as they pictured this, and despite herself Catherine pictured it too and found it amusing. Still it was only a flash of humour, soon gone as she challenged the men with eyes of fiery ice.

“I don’t know what to do. I can’t get to him for her, see how she covers him, she knows him she’s got to do, no other animal rights person would go to such lengths when they do not know the creature. He might kill her at any moment.”

“I beg to differ.” Came a voice from above.

“Sam, hi mate, almost forgotten you were there, what do you mean?”

“I don’t think killing her is on his menu…if you saw what I saw you’d know what I mean…and when I say menu I don’t mean that metaphorically. He’s hungry for her, I can see that from here, he’s hard and hot and if you ask me he’s a wanting her for his mate. You know what I think? You should put down the gun and come back up here, for believe me we have ringside seats for what we hoped to see happen between them earlier.”

“You think so?” Hope sounded in the voice of the man holding the dart gun. Catherine began to cry. Gentle tears turning to wracking sobs that left Vincent bereft. He believed that what she had been forced to listen to had frightened her. She was at his mercy to do as he chose just as she had been in the cave. He felt he might, he took deep calming breaths, holding Catherine reasonably firmly but not overbearingly so. She could escape if she wanted. He did not know it was the last thing crossing her mind. Believing only that she was afraid of what might happen between them, he held her loosely while whispering in her ear, “It’s alright my love, you’re safe, you’re safe now.” While hoping that it sounded as though he meant it. For as the red mist gathered and he felt the warmth of her breasts as he enfolded his arms protectively about her, he doubted even the truth of his own words.

He wanted her, he really wanted her…oh how he wanted her…

And as four voices beckoned for him to have his way with the woman Vincent tried to shut out the sound of their voices and with eyes closed he fought against the desire of the dark one taking control…and then amid the audience and the cheers from above… to his and Catherine's shame…he hopelessly lost.

*** *** ***

From one corner of the cell Catherine whimpered. She would remember it all her life. She never whimpered, but this sound uttered from her throat was pitiful, a plaintive cry as if borne from a kitten.

Above her four faces filled with concern gazed down at her. Hearts thudded frantically as the reality of what they had caused set in around them. She had been so beautiful and they had exploited her, thrown her into a cell with a beast and had enjoyed every single moment of the ‘rape’, yet now, now all was quiet they felt bad.
Terrible if truth be told, terrible for what they had done and for the consequences of their combined felony.

No one spoke, yet eyes were downcast toward the woman before sweeping across to the other corner, where he, the beast, the creature, sat upon his haunches almost as if he might pounce on her again at any moment.

They couldn’t see his eyes, but a deathly silence prevailed, one that permeated the whole area, and filled the onlookers with dread.

“We’ve got to get her out of there.” One of them said. It was thoughts spoken aloud. The speaker was unaware that he had started to talk until he heard his own voice in his ears.

Even so he was answered, “Yes, and we can dart him now that they aren’t near each other. Come on lets get it done before he attacks her again.”

Three faces withdrew from the opening above. Sam stayed watching every move the beast made. He felt sick, they should never have done that, should never have put such a beautiful woman in with such a creature. It was uncanny that they appeared to know one another, but even if they did, it had not been permissible for the two to appear half naked around each other. In all probability, they had never seen one another in such a state of undress in all their lives. In actual fact, it was probable that the beast and the woman were associates, in the term of friends, and that the idea of sex had never risen between them, until now. Sam grew frightened. They didn’t know who the woman was, and they weren’t sure what to do with her to save their own necks.

As he thought, he heard the doors below open and close, the sound of a barrel crack and the incision of the dart. A short sound followed like that of a breath of air and the beast dropped to the straw moments later falling flat on his face.

The whimpering started afresh, as the three men opened the cell and went inside with the intention of bringing the woman out. Thus, they were unprepared for her attack.

“How dare you!” Catherine leapt to her feet, stumbled a moment righted herself and launched her hands nails first at the eyes of one of the three men. He winced, twisting away, hands covering his face and replaced by another of the men who made a grab at her flailing hands before she could make her second strike.

“Hold still you wildcat, or we’ll leave you here with that beast.”

“He’s no beast! It’s you who wear that label.” She spat viciously, catching one full in the face. He wiped it clean with the back of his hand, snarling his agitation and raised a hand to hit her.

Just then a thunderous roar split his eardrums even as he heard Sam’s shout from above, ‘Look out he’s awake!’ and he turned to the sound only in time to see a mighty arm, fur coated, claws like talons crashing down upon him, before he felt the gush of warm blood soaking his chest and shoulders. Clutching his throat, the man tried desperately to hold in his life force, feeling it ebb away even as he did so.

A second thwack, and then a third had the other two men reeling, and then Vincent stumbled over their bodies laid strewn across the floor to reach Catherine standing just beyond.

“Come.” He beckoned her, holding out a hand, his eyes pained and distraught.

Catherine needed no second bidding, she took the offered hand and together they made their escape without a backward glance.

*** *** ***

They ran without word through the endless corridors, searching only for some covering, neither willing to look sidelong at the other, each aware of their own nakedness each remembering what had taken place between them.

Passing a door that had the words ‘utility’ on it, Catherine paused and was pulled along by Vincent before he too slowed and backtracked to stand alongside her. He looked at her face curiously, wondering what she was thinking.

“We might find something in here.” She told him, “Even if its only bin liners.” She attempted a smile that didn’t quite come off and when the expression on Vincent’s face remained aloof, her smile disappeared.

Opening the door, they stepped within and switched on the light. A quick perusal of the room showed only mops, buckets, a sink and as Catherine had surmised, bin liners. She picked one up, spread it open and tore three openings where she slipped her head and arms. Glancing down at her creation, she could not resist a chuckle, “Might not make next year’s fashion, but it’ll certainly keep my modesty intact.” Vincent said nothing just followed her idea picking up a bag for himself and copying her design he covered himself with it.

It was amazing how much better that slip of black plastic made him feel, even though the thought galloped through his mind that it was very much like ‘shutting the stable door after the horse had bolted’. Even so, he knew that with covering, any sort of covering they could at least get out of the building and head toward the nearest entrance to his underground home without causing so much of a stir had they been seen naked.

Once there was another matter. Vincent didn’t like to think on that. Things were never going to be the same between he and Catherine. In fact had it not been for overseeing her escape, he would gladly have stayed in that cell until he rotted away. He despised himself and wanted not to feel or think ever again. He wanted only to die.

Twice it had happened. Twice. How could he pretend that the dark one was to blame? Maybe the first time, when he had been a ferocious beast, maybe that one time the dark one could be blamed. But this second time, he had been in control at the outset, he had known, yet he had allowed lust and the memory of that first time with Catherine to feed his mind, until in so doing he brought the dark one to the fore. And it would always be this way. He, the man, knew not how to love. That act was reserved for the beast alone and he simply took what was offered despite the consequences.

Still, he found it equally compelling to ponder Catherine’s response to the dark one’s ferocious attack. True she could do little under the circumstances, yet even so that first time Father had been close at hand, and she could have called for help.

Surely Catherine did not enjoy such slaking of his flesh? Surely that wasn’t making love? The books he had read had not prepared him for such an assault. He had dreamed that love would grow and each would surrender one to the other with slow deliberation, giving and receiving the love that they felt for one another – a celebration of joy. Not the teeth clenching, neck biting, grotesque shuffle of roaming hands…not the lust induced passion with which he released around her…not the way he had taken her…again and again and again…with not a thought to anything but his own pleasure? Vincent wanted to be sick. How could he do that to Catherine? How could he have allowed that to happen? The once could have been forgiven, that one time in the catacombs when he had not been in control, but how could he justify his actions in that cell? What could he possible tell himself that would correct the wrong he had administered? Why he was no better than the men that had put her in with him.

Suddenly a flash of memory brought their cheers and applause racing through his mind and in that moment he felt the same thrill as he had done then. He stopped dead, causing Catherine to look at him with concern asking, “Vincent what is it?” as she looked about her expecting to see someone at any moment to her left or to her right. There was no one and she gazed back at him anxiously. He was agitated that was for sure, and he looked as though he might take flight any second.

“Vincent!” Catherine hissed sharply, tugging on his arm, “What’s wrong?”

At least she had drawn his attention. He turned to her, his eyes boring into hers and in that moment, Catherine did not know him. He was gone, unreachable, yet she knew that the dark one hadn’t returned.

“Later, Vincent.” Catherine tugged him onward, “We’ll talk later. Now’s not the time.”

Still he held back, his gaze now somewhere distant unable to look at her and she felt his shame, it broke her heart. “You weren’t yourself, please Vincent I understand, please don’t blame yourself.”

Yet, he did blame himself. Catherine, somehow had found him, had come to rescue him take him home and he had abused her, used her for his own selfish needs. Her appearance had been like that of a dream come true or a temptress come to taunt him when his desire for her ran at its deepest. She would not know that hours before her arrival he had sat pondering that time in the catacombs. She would not know that while he remembered he also thought that she had shut the horrific experience away, deep inside where it could never be recovered because she had loathed every single moment of the revolting act.

Even so, whether she remembered or not, she had come for him, rescued him and he repaid her in this way!

Had he been able to kill himself he would have done so then, but Catherine was still at risk, walking the park late at night in nothing but a bin liner, anything might happen to her. If nothing else Vincent knew that he owed it to Catherine to get her to safety, before he punished himself for what he had done to her.


Pleasure swept through Catherine at that one word, and she gladly allowed Vincent to pull on her hand, heading for what she knew to be the entrance into his world. She didn’t even stop to consider that it still might be sealed, Vincent she knew would let nothing stop him from entering anywhere if he chose to do.

She hurried at his side a brisk trot dodging the lights keeping as much as possible to the shadows, until they finally reached their goal. Not until then did either exhale a breath of relief, and as she anticipated the cracking of stone, Catherine uttered a cry of surprise to find when Vincent touched the mechanism that had denied her entry the door slid open with the resonate rasping sound that she accustomed it with.

No sooner had they entered did the pipes herald their arrival, clanging as sentries unable to believe their eyes tapped out any coherent message with fumbling fingers eager to touch metal.

Catherine could sense the excitement in every step she took, and her heart raced for the welcome they would receive. It stunned her therefore, when Vincent directed her not to the main hub where his anxious family awaited their arrival but rather to the entrance beneath her apartment building.

The wall thereto had been reopened and Catherine stunned from that as much as arriving at the spot turned to Vincent, “Surely we can go to your chamber? I have some of my things there to change into. Your family are anxious to have you back. Vincent, don’t put me first, I don’t mind wearing mismatched items.” She grinned up at him hoping to see him smile, “they’re better than nothing at any rate.” She teased.

He did not smile neither did any amount of amusement touch the blue of his eyes. An icy hand suddenly clutched at Catherine’s heart. Something was wrong, something was dreadfully wrong. And she knew what it was.

“Don’t let it eat at you my love.” Her fingers reached out to touch his cheek but he flinched away, indicating instead with one outstretched arm toward the ladder that would take her into the basement of her apartment building.

“Go!” He growled the word, making Catherine cringe like she was the one that had done wrong, not that he had, not in her eyes, but she felt it in him, it was as if he couldn’t stand to set eyes upon her.

“Vincent, I love you. What happened changes nothing. You have to see that, you have to know that what we did I wanted too.”

“Not like that! Catherine don’t you see it changes everything. Nothing can ever be the same for us again.”

“No you’re wrong. We have so much we can get through this. Vincent, please let me come back with you?”

He shook his head and raising his arm once more pointed to the stairs, “Go Catherine. Go live the life you were born for. Forget me.”

“I can never forget you! Never! You don’t know what you ask of me. Vincent I love you, all of you.”

“Then you are a fool! Now go! And don’t come back, I never want to see you again!”

“You don’t mean that. You are distraught, and angry, and ashamed for what happened. Vincent, it doesn’t matter, I forgive you and don’t you see even then you did not hurt me as you have always maintained.” She was clutching at his arms by now, holding on for dear life. He shook himself free.

“Go Catherine! Get out of my life! What I am is what I am, I will never be the man that you see within me. Don’t you understand? What happened back there proves only what I knew all along I am a beast slaking my bestial thirst on your flesh. Its unholy Catherine, and unforgivable!” the last came out on a sob and Catherine knew it was tearing him apart to send her away yet she didn’t know what to say only tried to cuddle close hoping that actions would speak louder than any words. She loved him, no matter what had happened, she loved him now and she always would. He was her life.

“Go Catherine.” The words were spoken softer now, less threatening as if all fight had drained out of him, Catherine could tell it was taking every ounce of strength to send her away from him. “Go and don’t come back…never come back.”

Suddenly an angry retort echoed his words, “You heard what my son said, now get out of our lives…”



He fell to his knees then, the exertion and the endless days and nights caged taking their toll upon him.

“Winslow, Cullen help him, come Vincent we have a stretcher, climb aboard we can’t lift you.” Meek as a lamb Vincent obeyed, and as Catherine stepped up behind her intention to follow them, Father reeled on her. “Are you stupid! Do you not understand plain English? Vincent wants nothing more to do with you! Now get out of our lives. We never want to see or hear from you again. Got that?”

“Father…” Vincent began his words slurred. He sounded oh so tired. But Father did not listen to him, instead he literally stamped back to where Catherine was standing hesitant, unsure, weary, bereft and raised his cane above her head…”Now go!”

Sobbing Catherine went, climbing the steps as swiftly as she could, her body quaking with tears… and leaving her heart behind.

“And don’t try coming back…” Father shouted as he followed the men carrying the stretcher. “Within the hour this entrance will be well and truly sealed...and make no mistake…this time it will be forever!”

And the last thing that Vincent heard before the men carried him out of earshot was the sound of Catherine whimpering again…rendering the return of a nightmare that he knew would have no end.

*** *** ***

Concern for his most favourite patient made Peter visit the tunnels five weeks later. Catherine had been through thick and thin over the years, but the state he had just left her in frightened him. And though she would not be specific, he knew that her problem was Vincent orientated.

Pascal on his beloved pipes announced the arrival of the tunnel’s long time friend and Peter was stopped several times before reaching his objective, that being the main hub around where tunnel life revolved. However, when he finally arrived he was surprised to find not only Father but Vincent too awaiting him and with looks upon their faces that could only be described as ones of caution.

“Father! Vincent! Are you well?” Peter offered the customary greeting, and saw the cautious look shift to one of expectation.

“Yes, as well as can be expected.” Father replied for the two of them, “So what brings you to us Peter? Is this an informal visit?”

For some unknown reason Peter felt his hackles rise. Thirty years and more he had visited these tunnels, and never had he been treated as though he were the enemy.

“Not exactly.” Peter replied truthfully.

“As we thought then.” Father sounded gruff annoyed. “Peter, you may be unaware but there is one person’s name that we do not allow down here anymore. So if you have come to plead her case you can forget it.”


“There are no buts. Now if you would like to join us for tea you are more than welcome, but we will not tolerate the mention of that young lady!”

Peter could hardly believe his ears! Catherine had maintained there was such hostility toward her, but he did not believe it until now. How could he take tea with these people and pretend he agreed with them? He could not. He shook his head, “Forget it!” there were no other words he could utter without issuing a stream of obscenities from here to Kingdom Come. He was furious. He turned and without saying another word he left and he didn’t care what they thought of him!

Only Vincent stared after him, Father having already shrugged his shoulders muttered something unrepeatable and headed back for his chamber.

Vincent felt sad. Another chapter had just closed in his book of life, and deep down inside Vincent was aware that it was beginning to hurt.

*** *** ***

Catherine hadn’t told Peter everything. Not only had she left out some very big details regarding herself and Vincent, but she had also refrained from bothering him with the thing that hung over her and kept her constantly worried.

It had all began a couple of days after she had rescued Vincent from the zoo. Jenny had rang, and Catherine found much of the conversation lost to her now that she tried to recollect it because of the nature of the call, but it went something like this;


“Is that you, Jen?” Catherine could remember laughing despite the way she had felt before her friend rang. She hoped that Jenny would not notice the way she was really feeling.

“Yes its me.” There had been a pause, Catherine distinctly remembered that, she also remembered laughing some more and saying, “What lost for words, Jen? I never thought I’d see the day.”

“Its not that.” Jenny had continued, “It’s just well you asked me to relate anything I heard regarding the Alpha and the Omega, you remember?”

“Yes, but it doesn’t matter now Jen, I don’t need anymore information on that, but tell me what you have unearthed anyway.”

“Well I haven’t anything not really. And it concerns me that you don’t want anything else on the subject. Is there something you want to tell me Cathy?”

“Tell you? I’m sorry Jen, I’m not with you on this one. What’s on your mind?”

“I take it you have seen the news headlines today?”

Catherine confessed she hadn’t. Television was the last thing on her mind, as was reading newspapers. In fact for the past three days she had done little else but cry, get mad, and cry again as she thought of the things Vincent and Father had said to her.

“Well…I don’t like to have to be the bearer of bad news honey, but your face is splashed all over the bulletins.”

“My…my…face? But why?”

“That’s what I’d like to know. But its certainly you Cathy, I’m surprised that boss of yours hasn’t been hammering your door down by now. Good job its weekend or he might have lynched you at the office.”

Fear stole over Catherine at her words. Her mind racing she could just remember asking Jenny to explain when just that happened, there was a loud hammering on her apartment door.

“I heard that. Cathy, if there is anything I can do let me know okay? Anything, you know you don’t even have to ask, okay? I’m here for you come what may.”

“Thanks Jen.” Catherine hung up, she hadn’t meant to do, and as she crossed the room to the door, she wondered why she had. She wasn’t a bit surprised to find Joe standing on the other side of it, but she was exceedingly surprised to find that he wasn’t alone.

“I’m sorry kiddo.” Joe kept apologising as Catherine was read her rights and handcuffed. She said nothing her head in a spin, and Joe just stood there looking awkward as Catherine was led from her apartment unable to say a thing.

Obviously, whatever had happened was all some ghastly mistake. She’d been nowhere, done nothing, but even as Catherine thought it, she reminded herself of three days ago when she had noticed those cameras as she walked along the corridors of the Central Park Zoo and it all began to make sense.

Thinking back on it now Catherine couldn’t believe how she had behaved. She had remained so quiet, not insisting her innocence at all. Even Joe had deemed her guilty, besides there wasn’t much one could do when there was evidence of her breaking and entering that part of the building at that time of day.

Since then however, she had fumed and ranted and raved at the injustice of it all, that she, being the rescuer of her beloved Vincent, was branded a criminal for stealing away the zoo’s prime attraction on the eve of its presentation to the entire geographical world. She couldn’t even tell Joe about it not without giving Vincent away, and she couldn’t even tell Jenny about it. Jenny her best friend who despite the absurdity of her friend stealing the creature could not quite dispute the fact that Catherine had been there at that time when that creature had gone missing, and that she could not give a reasonable explanation as to why that was so. Everything pointed to one conclusion. Catherine Chandler was guilty and although now out on bail was still awaiting sentence, and if convicted of the crime could face a term of up to five years in prison. So how could she tell Peter those things? Yet, how could she hope to keep them from him? Catherine did not know, she had not a clue as to how she might get out of this one, and with the sanctity of the tunnels snatched away from her, there was nowhere to go while she awaited the dreaded day set for her trial.

*** *** ***

When Peter did find out about it he couldn’t believe what he was reading and wished that Catherine had told him herself.
Straight away he cancelled all his appointments and went round to her apartment hoping it was all some ghastly mix up unprepared to be told that it wasn’t and Peter could only stand and stare mouth agape as the words that Catherine was relating to him sank in.

Finally he cleared his throat a few times and began to question her, “But why Cathy? I mean why are they doing this to you?”

With a wry grimace Catherine replied, “In a word, ‘Vincent’. They don’t know him like you or I do, Peter. As far as the zoo and the rest of the world is concerned I just stole their main exhibit from under their noses. No one has thought to question what I did with him.” Catherine laughed derisively, “I mean think of it logically where would one put someone like Vincent without knowledge of the tunnels and expect to get away with it?” Her words caught on a sob. Catherine was mad and she didn’t want Peter’s pity or sorrow, or anything else that remotely felt like he was sorry for her.

“I can’t see how you can get out of this one, Cathy. Without Vincent, there is no way, and we both know the impossibility of that even if he would hear you out. What is it with you two anyway? Father was pretty hostile when I visited, wouldn’t even allow me to mention your name. I didn’t stay I can tell you, I was furious with him.”

“Was Vincent there?”

“Yes, and he said not a thing. That’s unlike him Cathy and you know it, so what happened between the two of you?”

Catherine exhaled a deep breath, maybe it might be better if Peter knew the basics of this problem, maybe an outside view would help her find the answer she sought.

“Alright Peter, I’ll tell you but promise you’ll keep it to yourself.”

Cocking his head to one side, Catherine knew exactly what he was thinking and she smiled, “Don’t tell me, keeping a confidence is what you’re best at?”

Peter chuckled, “Well…”

“Okay then its this. Remember that time in the cave, when Vincent was undergoing that terrible fever, when everyone thought he would die?”

“Yes and you brought him back and was rendered the heroine, that’s what I can’t understand Cathy, why are they doing this to you after that, and especially since you returned him to them a second time…I mean…oops sorry, go on.” He looked apologetic for swinging the conversation off into another direction.

“Yes, well I can’t understand it either. But back to that time in the cave…” Catherine hesitated. It was one thing telling your doctor your innermost secrets but it was quite another thing telling the man her father had considered his best friend all her life.

“If I know you Cathy, and Vincent, and the way he was before to the way he came out of that cave, I’d say something remarkable happened between the two of you, and you were one hellava brave lass to have even contemplated it while Vincent was in that condition.” Peter smiled at her understanding her embarrassment to tell all.

“Has Father said anything to you?”

Peter smiled and shook his head, then explained, “Well not exactly. But I got the picture that you and Vincent became exceedingly close that day in the cave. Do you get my drift?”

Catherine blushed, but his words gave her the way out she needed, “Well yes, and we got awfully close the same way that time at the zoo, only this time we had an audience.”

“An audience?”

“Yes there were four men watching, no not watching goading, they were goading Vincent…er…the dark one……”

Peter stared wide eyed, “Are you telling me that Vincent raped you?”

“No, no…well not really. It wasn’t Vincent, that is it was, but it was his alter ego, you know the one that…well you know.” She finished lamely.

“Catherine! You could be pregnant!”

Despite herself Catherine smiled, “Trust a doctor to think of that. But don’t worry Peter that’s not the issue here, besides Vincent’s sterile.”

“Sterile? How on earth do you know that? I have never run such a test on him.”

“I overheard the conversation between the men that had captured him. They referred to him as The Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, basically because they had never heard or seen of anyone like Vincent before, and as they knew he was sterile it was unlikely that there would ever be another like him either.”

“Well Father would be very interested to hear that piece of information young lady. He held grave misgivings about an intimate relationship between you and Vincent for that very reason. And Vincent too, does he know?”

“Now that I don’t know. I shouldn’t think so, unless they discussed it around him. They were unaware that he could speak or that he could understand what they were saying. They regarded him as an animal, Peter.”

“Yes, so I have been led to understand. I don’t know if any of the helpers are sending newspapers down there, but I wouldn’t have thought so. Its possible that if they are they are omitting anything to do with you under Father’s command. But I doubt that he is aware of how you are making the headlines these days.”

“Oh don’t Peter. I hate thinking about it. If I do I wonder how they can read all about it and Vincent still not come to see me, or send word. I wouldn’t have taken Vincent for being callous Peter, but what else should I presume?”

“I don’t think that’s a possibility Catherine, and that’s one of the reasons I don’t think they know anything about it. Want me to tell them?”

“Do you think they’ll let you?” Catherine laughed bitterly.

“I’ll make them hear me. You can’t carry this by yourself Cathy. From what you tell me and from what I’ve read you are going to go down for this.”

“I know, and there isn’t a single thing I can say to dispute it. I was caught on camera entering the building and I was seen leaving it with Vincent in tow. It’s a cut and dried case I’m afraid, Peter. You will visit me in prison won’t you?” she tried to make a joke of it, but it didn’t come off and Peter wrapped his arms around her as she cried into his shoulder.

“I don’t know how I’m gonna do it Cathy, but know this, come what may, I will do everything in my power to prevent you from going to jail. Will you be alright by yourself for a while, there is somewhere I must go?”

Catherine hiccupped and turned watery eyes to Peter, she nodded, her eyes questioning though she said nothing.

“Yes honey, I’m going below. I’m going to face the lion in his den. And I don’t mean Vincent or his alter ego!”

Catherine knew exactly whom he meant.


To be continued in part three.