NIGHT VIEW, 2004,
by Sandy Chandler Shelton
 

inspired the following vignette:


ON THE EDGE
Norma DuBose

 

Catherine was tempted to pinch herself. This had to be a dream. Was she really sitting on a ledge high up on the side of her apartment building? Reality check was easy. All she had to do was lean back. She was tucked snugly between Vincent’s thighs, one of his arms wrapped securely around her.

Only an hour ago they had been on her balcony, admiring an early spring evening. Suddenly Vincent had turned to her. "Catherine," he said softly, "do you trust me?" She smiled at him in surprise. "Vincent, you know I trust you with my life – and have many times! Why?"

Now there was some hesitation in his voice. "There is something I wish to share with you…but most people would think it is a dangerous thing to do. There are times when I feel the need to breathe fresh air, to look out upon the city. The only way I am able to do this is by going high above the streets where I can’t be seen. It’s very peaceful up there but it can be lonely."

Catherine couldn’t believe her ears. Vincent had shared his life Below with her many times, but never his life Above. This was a moment she never dared dream of. What he was suggesting was more than a little scary but there was no way she was going to turn her back on this opportunity. No way. She took a deep breath and held out her hand. "Show me."

Vincent carefully helped Catherine over the side of her balcony and out onto the ledge. Holding tightly to her hand, he carefully walked her around the corner to a vantage point where the view was the best. She moved ever so slowly to Vincent, trusting him to situate her between his thighs. Now she had a new definition for heaven – a heart stopping view of New York City from the safety of her beloved’s arms. She felt like laughing out loud. So she did.

Vincent smiled and tightened his arm around her. He was feeling a little giddy himself. He had acted purely on impulse when he suggested this adventure. He never dreamed she would agree so readily but because she did, there was no turning back.

Catherine leaned back and tilted her face up toward Vincent’s. "Oh, Vincent! This is scary, but wonderful! The city is so beautiful from up here." Vincent smiled down at her and thought to himself that the beauty of the city paled in comparison to the beauty of Catherine’s smile. He felt so blessed. Here was yet another aspect of himself that she accepted completely, without question.

Since his first impulse was so successful, Vincent gave into another. He leaned down and softly kissed Catherine’s neck, which caused Catherine to shiver in delight. She raised her arm and, reaching behind her, put her fingers in Vincent’s hair, holding him close. Now it was his turn to shiver.

Vincent didn’t want to move but it was getting late. He leaned down and whispered in Catherine’s ear, "We must go back to your balcony. You have an early day tomorrow."

Catherine sighed wistfully. She could have sat with him like this all night but she knew he was right. Before he could move her into position to get up, she leaned into his embrace once more, savoring the warmth of his body.

Carefully they got up and worked their way back around to Catherine’s balcony. He lifted her in his arms and sat her safely on the other side of the wall and then leapt lightly over the wall to join her.

Catherine could barely contain her excitement. She couldn’t believe what she had just done. But there was one thing she did believe. She wanted to do it again! Throwing caution to the winds, Catherine wrapped her arms around Vincent’s neck and gave him an exuberant kiss on the cheek. She stepped back and looked into his eyes. "Thank you for sharing this with me, Vincent. It was a wonderful experience." Taking her hands into his for a gentle squeeze, he replied, "I am the one who must thank you." Turning quickly, he strode toward the balcony wall and left.

Later, as she lay in bed, Catherine thought about the evening she had spent with Vincent. She had been surprised when he had offered to share his view of the city, and even more surprised at her ready acceptance. Her job in the district attorney’s office could be dangerous but she knew the risks. This was different. This was Vincent. He had always been so protective, never wanting even a hint of danger near her. Tonight he had literally led her onto the ledge of her building. What had made him want to take the risk? She knew Vincent would never allow anything or anyone to harm her. She had meant it when she had told him that she trusted him with her life. Wherever the impulse had come from, she was glad that it had happened. She wanted to share as much of Vincent’s life as he would allow her to…especially if it meant getting more of his soft kisses upon her neck! She smiled to herself as she snuggled into her pillow. What other surprises did Vincent have in store for her? She couldn’t wait.

Back in his chamber, Vincent lay half asleep, thinking about Catherine. He so rarely acted on impulse; he understood her surprise when he asked her to walk out on the ledge with him. It had been his turn to be surprised when she eagerly accepted. Sitting on the edge and holding her close to him had been the highlight of the evening. He couldn’t believe that he had kissed her neck. He could still remember her scent, her soft skin. Heaven. He wouldn’t have thought that things could get better but they did. She kissed him! It was only on the cheek, but the memory of her soft lips made his heart beat a little faster. Being on the edge with Catherine had opened up new possibilities for him. He couldn’t wait.

 

 


 

 

back to index