Beauty and the Beast
Disclaimer: The Beauty and the Beast television series and all related
characters belong to Ron Koslow, and Republic Pictures, used without permission,
but the story belongs to me (copyright 2000).
Author’s Note: This is a story that needed to be written. I only hope I’ve
done it justice.
Deep under the city of New York existed a sanctuary. A place of hiding, of
healing, of protection, and of love. In this secret realm lived a unique
man named Vincent… and in the city above lived Catherine, the woman he cherished
more than life itself.
Theirs was not an easy romance, the path one of difficulty. But they endured,
surviving against the odds, struggling over each obstacle as it appeared.
They believed that no matter how hard things were, nothing could defeat them,
for true love is invincible.
Then, after two and a half years, a reporter invaded the underground tunnel
sanctuary… a man bent on finding the secret protector of that hidden world.
He followed Catherine, confronted her at work, looked up her past, interviewed
survivors of Vincent’s fury, and drew conclusions. A shadowed informant encouraged
the reporter further, giving him details… and proof.
The stress began to tear Vincent apart. His world was in danger, his life
jeopardized, his love for Catherine challenged. And the killings… so many
people he’d killed. It was not his fault, he did only what he had to, to
protect his family and the woman he loved. But the blood stained his dreams,
the final screams of his victims haunted his nights, and the terrorizing
Beast within him lurked just beneath the surface.
When the reporter was found dead, murdered by the same shadowy figure who’d
given him all the tips on the world below, everyone sighed with relief. Except
Vincent. Not long after, he did the unimaginable and slaughtered his own
father. The fact that it was not really Father, but the evil informant in
disguise did not help ease his pain. A long-time enemy was gone, but for
Vincent, the nightmares only grew worse and the Beast taunted him. He grew
ill… feverish and insane.
The worst had not yet come.
Once before when he’d been young, Vincent had experienced a similar illness.
The balance between Man and Beast had distintigrated, he’d suffered the same
fevers and nightmares. Horrible nightmares that left him howling with despair
and terror, filling the stone tunnels with fearful echoes.
Now, as he could not then, he retreated from his family. Down to the farthest
caverns reachable, to hide, to protect them from the Beast that threatened
to break free.
The mixture of growls, roars, and screams vibrated against the rock walls,
filling the air with a tense, primal energy. The Beast taunted him, and then
Sometime later, voices filtered through the tunnels, arguing. A deep, almost
gruff voice called out, “No, you can’t!”
A quiet woman’s voice replied, “I must.”
The man insisted, “Catherine, please!”
“Father, he is my life,” the woman responded. “Without him, there is nothing.”
The Beast did not recognize the voices, and then there was silence so he
didn’t care. He paced the small cave anxiously, hunched over like an animal,
his clothes torn to shreds. Back and forth he tramped, until something caught
his attention. He crouched down, growling menacingly. A shadow crossed the
entrance of the tunnel. An intruder!
The Beast launched himself at the invader, snarling loudly. His arm raised
high, prepared to deliver the death blow, and then a scream reached his ears,
a name… his name. He paused, noticing a familiar scent. Catherine…. the intruder
he was bent on killing was Catherine.
The growl died in his throat as he recognized her. He saw her face, lovely
but frightened, and the Beast retreated. He stared at her, horrified at what
he’d almost done… then his eyes rolled back in his head and everything faded
When he opened his eyes again, the Beast was gone, and the most beautiful
face in the world looked down at him… but he did not know her name. He saw
his friends and family, but his mind found only gaps where precious memories
should have been. Though he gradually came to know Catherine again, loving
her just as deeply as he ever did, the unique bond they once shared had vanished.
Without the empathic bond they once shared, Vincent had no idea that Catherine
now carried his child. And when she unwittingly found herself the target
of an international crime ring, he was unable to come to her rescue.
For six months he agonized, wondering where she had been taken, searching
the streets of the city until he nearly collapsed from exhaustion. He could
feel nothing through the bond, not even an echo to tell him if she still
lived. Never had he felt so alone.
Finally, in the wee hours of one morning, he felt a jolt through the connection.
An electrifying pulse that struck every nerve in his body… a heartbeat. And
it led him to Catherine.
She looked so pale, standing in the moonlight, but so beautiful. He heard
her whisper his name, and instantly he was at her side, holding her, supporting
her as she fell. She was ill…. she was dying. He saw it in her eyes, and
the knowledge cut through him like a cold knife.
Her eyes wandered across his face, memorizing every line and feature, even
as he did the same. She said his name softly, like a prayer, then caught
her breath. “We loved….”
He had to strain to understand her words, her voice was so soft. And at first
he didn’t comprehend.
Her meaning became clear though, when she continued, “There’s a child.”
“A child?” he repeated, the significance sinking into his mind. He could
not remember loving her physically, though he believed her. But a child,
born of their union? The very idea stunned him, and a thousand questions
crowded his thoughts.
As if reading his mind, Catherine drew a painful breath and went on. “He’s
“Catherine…” He looked at her with wonder and astonishment, then sorrow when
he saw how difficult it was for her to breathe. She was dying. “Catherine….”
Again she read his thoughts, and reached up to touch his cheek with a shaking
hand. “Though… lovers… are being lost….”
“Love shall not,” he continued the quote for her, his eyes filling with tears.
He blinked them away, watching her. She looked up at him, then her head slowly
fell back, her eyes falling shut. “And death shall have no dominion….”
She was gone.
A blend of chilling nothingness and molten rage consumed him, blurring the
days and weeks as he began a new search, this time for his son. Eventually
he found the child, but the emptiness inside grew stronger. He had lost the
one who’d truly given him life… the woman who’d seen beyond his monsterous
appearance and bonded with his soul. How could he possibly live without her?
The pain inside became intolerable. He returned to the cave where they’d
made love, and sank to the floor with a heart-wrenching howl. Images flashed
before his eyes….
Catherine hugging him with reassurance… Her smile in the candlelight, as
music played softly in the background… The anguish when he realized she’d
Though lovers be lost…
His failed attempts to rescue her… The loud heartbeat coming through the
bond as she gave birth to their son… Her voice whispering to him as she lay
in his arms, dying….
Love shall not…
The ache in his heart as he kissed her for the first and last time, then
left her body on her bed… Gunfire and explosions as his search brought him
closer to the man who’d murdered her… The despair as he read the name carved
on her tombstone…
And death shall have no dominion…
The traumatic memories mixed together and bombarded him with explicit detail.
He covered his face, but his eyes still saw the horrors, and his ears still
heard Catherine’s voice calling his name. He screamed, growling so loud that
dust filtered down from the rocks. With pure agony he roared, crying out
“Shhh… I’m here, Vincent. It’s all right.”
Vincent’s eyes snapped open, and the most exquisite face in the world looked
down at him. His breath caught in his throat. How could it be possible… had
he died, or was he dreaming?
Cautiously he lifted one hand up, caressing her cheek. It felt soft and warm
beneath his fingers. With a groan, he sat up, pulling her to him tightly.
He inhaled deeply, recognizing the faded perfume of roses beneath the gentle
tang of persperation… a scent unique to her and her alone.
“Catherine… oh, Catherine!”
She looked at him, her eyes filled with a mixture of fatigue, relief, and
worry, and he could not help but lower his face to hers and kiss her deeply.
She tasted so sweet… so exactly the way he’d imagined she would, that he
moaned with disbelief.
Finally he pulled free from the embrace, looking into her eyes. He had so
many questions demanding answers that he didn’t know where to begin. “Catherine….”
“It’s all right,” she said softly, brushing his hair back from his face.
“It’s all right.”
A shadow crossed the entrance to the cave, and Father hesitantly walked in,
interrupting. He looked from one to the other, his gaze finally settling
on Vincent. “Are you… well?”
Vincent looked at Catherine, who answered for him, her voice low and full
of emotion. “He’s going to be okay, Father. Tell everyone… he’s going to
“I don’t understand,” Vincent said, tearing his gaze from his beloved to
look up at Father.
“You’ve been quite ill, my son,” Father responded. “We were afraid-”
He choked up slightly, unable to finish the sentence, so Catherine continued
in his place. “We almost lost you, Vincent. You were so far away… we didn’t
even know if I could reach you.”
“I’ve… been ill?” he repeated quietly. The mental image of Catherine lying
dead in his arms began to fade, though the pain still stabbed his heart.
Could it be possible that the memory was nothing more than a dream? A terrible
hallucination brought on by illness?
Catherine squeezed his hand, bringing it up to touch her cheek. “Father says
this happened to you once before, when you where young.”
“The similarities were eerie,” Father stated, leaning against the stone wall.
“The loss of control, the emergence of the ‘beast’. The fevers, even the
“Nightmares,” Vincent whispered. He could not supress the shudder that swept
his body, nor the tears that fell from his eyes.
Catherine quickly put her arms around him, murmuring reassurances.
“I lost you,” he said in a quiet voice, holding her tightly. “They took you
from me and there was nothing I could do. Nothing! You died-” His voice broke,
and he leaned back to look at her, cupping her face between his hands, staring
at her desperately.
She reached up to take his hands, holding them close to her chest. “I’m here,
Vincent. I’m here! Always.”
Father interrupted their tender embrace by clearing his throat. “I hate to
intrude, truly I do. But the others are waiting. They’ve been terribly worried….”
“Of course, Father.” Vincent stood carefully, pulling Catherine with him.
“We will be along momentarily. Tell them… tell them that everything is well.”
He waited for Father to leave, then looked down into Catherine’s eyes.
“There was more to your nightmare,” she stated, knowing from his hesitation.
“Yes.” He waited a moment, simply watching her, wondering how she would react.
“You had a child. My child.”
She smiled softly. “That sounds like a dream come true, Vincent… not a nightmare.”
“It was….” He nodded slowly, pressing his lips to her forehead. “It was.”
Together they walked through the dark tunnel toward their waiting family,
a new understanding between them. Life had given him a second chance of sorts…
and Vincent would not waste it.