Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.  – John Updike


Rain and the Persistence of Memory

By Cindy Rae



Life is the wind and the rain and the thunder in the sky.  Life is matter and is earth, what is and what is not, and what beyond is in Eternity.  –Lucius Annaeus Seneca



Rain.  He smelled it in the close, tunnel air, as surely as he smelled candle smoke and lamp oil.  The wind had shifted, and even in the deep places of Below, the scent was carried, and the scent was unmistakable.


Rain that sought the earth, no matter how many structures or edifices tried to stop or trap it. 

Rain, crystal and smooth, purpose driven and wind driven.  It rose up out of the oceans, held itself in the clouds, and pelted its way down to the firmament.

He’d said “Good-bye” to all of them, and meant it.

Driven them all away.

Run his courses.

Gone mad.


Died, and she'd restored him.  Or at least, restored him as best she could.

He'd laid in his chambers, half in and half out of a dream sleep, for days.  Woke.  Ate.  Dreamed, again.

In the dreams, she came to him.

In them, she swore she loved him, and would never leave him.

In them, he was worthy of her love, worthy of all of them, and he freely admitted he loved her.  He was no longer interested in entertaining his limitations.  Or anyone’s.


The promise of it hit his skin with the air's falling pressure, and hit his nose with its earthy, ground-loving scent.  Few others might be able to sense it, this far back from the rare, open-to-the-sky chambers.

But he was not “few others.”

It was coming.

Or already here.

It was the rain, and he knew where to find it.

Vincent rose from the bed and grabbed his cape out of habit, then dropped it before he cleared the doorway.  He wouldn't need it.  Not where he was going, and not for this purpose.

Just the opposite.

Just the exact and polar opposite.

The Music Chamber wasn't far, and it seemed like a thousand years ago when he’d watched her catch the rain in her hair, in her hands, and on her dress, A long ago orchestra played a longer ago symphony by Schubert.  The Unfinished.  How appropriate.  He was "unfinished," as well.  And they were far, far from finished.  His stride lengthened as he chewed up familiar ground.  Rain.  The closer he drew to the Music Chamber, the more he could smell it.

Nostrils opening wider, he took in more of the damp, musty smell of cloudburst, as he wove through the serpentine halls. 

He wanted thunder, and then felt it through his feet for a moment, thinking it might be a passing train.  But it felt wrong for a train, not the steady build and rise of steel on steel.  It was uneven, and it spiked and valleyed as the still-distant sound reached his ears.

He felt like he’d conjured it by wishing for it, and that made him feel powerful.  Fair enough.  He’d been weak for a long time, he knew.  Fair enough that he could feel strong, now.

He felt the vibration of thunder, again, and heard it, still far off, but closer.  The storm was moving fast.  He’d need to match it.

It was coming.  In all its glorious wealth, it was coming.  Rain.  Not just rain...

Storm.  Thunder.  The sound the lighting made, as it split the sky.  Good.  Good.  A storm.  Half a hurricane would do, for this baptism.

It was time to be reborn.

"Vincent?"  Mouse nearly collided with him around a turn, a bowl of soup in the young boy’s hand.  He'd been on his way to Vincent's chamber, on his way to bring him a meal, to check on him.  They'd taken turns, the last several days.  This was Mouse's time with him, while Father rested, and before Catherine came down.

"Find Catherine,” Vincent told the boy, barely sparing him a glance.

"Catherine.  Not here, yet.  Above.  Mouse here.  Got soup."

"Find Catherine," Vincent repeated, his voice no more emphatic, and certainly not less so.  He did not slow his stride.

"Tell her to meet me in the Concert Chamber.  It's going to rain, Mouse," Vincent told the boy.

"Already is," Mouse answered.

Vincent quickened his pace, not wanting to miss the moment, miss the amazing play of light and shadow that painted that room of the tunnels during a storm.

Everyone avoided it, then.

Because it was open to the night air, the night sky. 

The unique room that was really just the area beneath a storm grate had been chiseled open, near the bandstand in Central Park.  A downward sloping floor carried rainwater away.  Rock walls made an acoustic chamber built to catch and hold sound.  Beautiful sound.

It was the perfect place to steal music into your ear, as long as the weather held.

When the weather didn't hold, however....

He rounded the bend and saw the chamber entrance, before him.  The circular hallway was lower, here.  He would have to duck his head to get through.  He could already see the faint light from the overhead street lamps, waiting for him.

Or perhaps it was moonlight.

No.  Not moonlight.  No sonatas for moonlight, here.  Not tonight.  Too many clouds, too much rain to come.  He could hear it starting already.  Fat drops exploded on the crosshatched metal, as water both fell through, and dripped off the steel.

The floor was already beginning to dampen with it, the sand growing spongy.  A flash of lightning threw the walls into stark relief.  Shadows from the metal grate painted hard lines across the surface of the rock for a moment, then... boom.  The harsh cracking whip of thunder, as it started low, then screamed a high note, and rumbled down low again, receding.

Vincent yanked off his shoes.

Not all of the ceiling was metal grate.  Some of it was bedrock.  But the wind sometimes drove the water sideways, and pushed it toward this wall or that.  It was difficult to stay dry.  Good.

“'Blow winds.'”  Vincent challenged it, quoting King Lear.  He stripped the socks off his feet as he stood leaning against a wall, a moment.  A gust of wind swirled down, lifted his hair, and kissed his face with beads of moisture.  Yes.

What makes you smile, Catherine?  He’d asked her that, as they’d listened to Schubert.

Everything, she’d answered.

He should have stood in the center of the room with Catherine, in that first deluge.  Joined her as she swept her hair back against the spray.  Should have made sure the water reached every part of her skin that she wanted.  Should have picked her up high, so she could be closer to it.  Should have.  Should have lifted the blue silk dress away from her body, where it stuck, let the raindrops trickle their way down her beautiful skin.  He'd had fantasies about it, since.

All that, he should have done, that night.  Or at least he should have done some of it.

Some of it.  Any of it.  He should have.

But he hadn’t.

She hadn't left him.

He stepped to the center of the room, to where water now showered through the opening, and he struggled to remember how she'd held herself.  Head back.  Arms bent at the elbows, and palms up, in supplication. 

There.  Yes.  She'd been on her knees, at that point.  He didn't want to do that, not yet.  But he wanted the rest of it.  He wanted his bare feet in the increasingly damp sand, anchoring him to the earth.  But the rest of it... like her.  Yes.

The water came down, cold, sweet, and pure.  A shivering benediction, from a northern heaven.

After a fever that had raged so hot it scalded, and for days on end, it felt like a soft God's blessing. 


Head down, to let it dampen his hair.  Head up, to soak his face.  Short, shallow breaths, eyes closed, as the rain increased, and wet his features, dampening the blonde facial hair at his mouth and muzzle, as well as the darker silk, near his temples.  Yes.  God, yes.

This was the feeling she was trying to show him, that night.  Unbridled acceptance.  Embracing.  Being a part of some greater, almost magical force.  Some power greater than you, to be a part of something large, something wild, something unpredictable and unrepentant.  To hold that to you in a full body caress and let it adore you as you adored it. Enveloping.  Rain.

He felt it pour across his cheeks and eyelids.  He dared a peek just as lightning flickered brightly, above his head.  Wait for it … then, the thunder.

Apart from his head, the top of his broad shoulders took on the spray first, and dark patches of dampness began to show on his vest and shirt.  His shoulders felt the change in weight.

The rest of him felt almost weightless.

She hadn't left him.  Not through any of it.  Not through all of it.  She'd simply...kept... being there.  His North Star.  His Polaris.  His true point, on a compass.  His Catherine.

He fumbled with the buttons on his vest, the damp cloth harder to unbind when it was wet than when it was dry.  He opened his mouth, and caught rain on his tongue, as he pulled the vest away from his chest, and let it simply slide off his shoulders, down his arms, and into the sand.

"Vincent?"  Father's voice, from the doorway.

"It's all right, Father."  Vincent's voice reached over to him, though he wasn't sure how much Jacob could hear over the downpour.  Vincent’s feet were beginning to stand in soft mud.  It was what the sand turned into, when the water came.  "It's all right," Vincent repeated.  "It's only rain."

Only rain.  The water was soaking his mane, making it shades darker, as it molded itself to his strong features.  The shorter hair around his face slicked whichever way the water took it, as the longer hair that lay over his shoulders began to spike, and run.  He tugged at the laces on his shirt.

"Vincent... please come here."  Jacob's voice again.  Worried.

The blue eyes that met Jacob's were utterly clear for the first time in days.  Months, perhaps.

"No.  I am not ill, Father.  Find Catherine.  Tell her I'm waiting for her.  Please."

Jacob remained only long enough to watch as his son unlaced the top of his white shirt, then tugged it over his head.  It hit the ground with a heavy thwack, as he shouldered his way clear of his thermal undershirt, and threw it with its fellows.

Vincent tilted his head back.  She had done that, too.  There.  Sweet God, there. 

This was the sensation she'd been courting, that night.  Skin next to rain, and rain next to skin.  Her skin.  He could still see her with the eye of memory, water pooling in the valley made by her breasts.  Still see her pearl earrings shimmering and dripping with it.  Her honeyed hair had been slicked back.  Wet.  Cold?  He'd tried to offer her his cape, for shelter.  She'd refused.  Of course she had.  It was part of why he knew he had to leave it in his chamber, this time.

I wanted to share that place with you.

They’re playing the Brandenburg concertos, Thursday night.

Then I’ll come for you.  On Thursday night.

But it hadn’t rained that night, nor any other concert night, after.  Something in Vincent felt as if he’d embraced the chance to be with her as fully as he could, yet he’d missed a chance, too, somehow.

He wouldn’t miss it, again.

Lightning and more lightning, and this time a double clap of thunder.  The little people playing nine pin.  The Gods playing war.  Thor's hammer, striking heaven’s anvil, Zeus' thunderbolts striking earth.  Any of it.  All of it, or none of it - a symphony of sound and light above his head.

The rain intensified, and he gloried in it.

Wet, and wetter still.  A mighty downpour, now running its way in rivulets through the hair on his head, through the hair on his body.

She'd never left him.  Never given up.  Not once.  Not in despair, or frustration, or anger, or impotence, or… anything, had she given up.

She'd knelt in the rain, that night, before him.  Music had enveloped them both, but the storm had enveloped her.  Rain streamed, and she’d laughed, almost breathless with joy.  An invitation to the dance.  Rain dance.  One where you held yourself still, and let the sky make you its acolyte, its servant, its lover.

Vincent held his palms up, and watched the clawed fingers fill with rainwater.

He opened them, and watched it run off his claw tips and down his wrists, dripping to the ground.  Closed the fingers again, and saw the rain cup, in his hairless palms.

No matter what he did, it trickled through, kept its long understood date with the ground.

That's what rain did.

It kept its promise.  Its promise to return to the earth, and nourish it; and nothing, no force made in heaven, hell, or anywhere in between, could stop it.

Vincent pictured every tree in the park, branches spread in wate- soaking abandon.  The trees knew.  And somehow, she had known.  The water kept its promise.  So did the woman.

A drenching benediction ran down his arms, soaking every hair on the top and underside.  His chest hair began to arrow down, and he felt the gorgeous water slide down his shoulders, trickle down his back.  Rain.  Sweet rain.

Vincent watched the tunnel floor puddle with water, knew it would wind its way over the path of stone.  The easiest path, the lowest path, the path of least resistance... and it would take itself to the Nameless River, eventually.  Take itself down, and low, and deep.  It would feed the earth, and return to heaven, in time.


In a gesture reminiscent of her the night of the concert, he ran his hands back over his face, over his mane, wiping the water back and through.  He loved the feel of it, as the sinew of his fingers tangled in his wet hair.  He felt the water slide down his muzzle, part near his cleft lip, and drip off his chin.  He shook his head, feeling the spray.  Let his hand fall, relaxing his arms.  He felt the smooth, rolling muscle of his shoulder, as it took the drops, and divided them, front to back.

His shoulder.  Her head rested there, when he read to her, sometimes.

I should have used its strength to lift her up, that night, he thought again.  Lift her up into the rain, so she could catch it first.  Before the sand did.  Before he did, by gravity’s wind driven kiss.  I should have offered it to her, first.

After all, she was only his goddess.  And if rain was the only offering he could make her, then it was rain she should have.

"Tell her I'm here."  He said it to no one, feeling the waistband of his jeans   growing thick and heavy.

“Tell her I’m… waiting for her.” He whispered it as the whipping wind changed direction, and began throwing water against the wall in front of him.

He shifted his weight in the sand, feeling the soft squelch between his toes, feeling the dark blue denim begin to grip the muscles at his calf, and thigh.  He knew the water-weighted denim would be difficult to remove, once it grew sodden.  It was time.

When his hands reached for the button and zipper tab, he admitted to a moment's hesitation.  The modesties of a lifetime were not so easily abandoned, after all.

But this was rain, and it was his rain, his and Catherine's, and he needed it to wash off the last three months, and pieces of the last three years, from his skin.

How different those years might have been, had he just kissed her, and held her body against his, while the rain soaked it.  How different, had he simply showed her what he was, then, and not tried to use every artifice he could, to hide it.

He turned around, his feet now in cool, wet, squishing sand.  He pulled his mane forward over his shoulders, dropping his head low to make sure the rain caught all of his back, all of his neck.  He felt the thin line of hair that ran down his spine dampen, as it gathered water.  The soft hairs that were all but unnoticeable when they were dry, now deepened in color and tried to lay flat.  Rain.  It beat at his neck as it picked up in tempo, swept in, and it threw droplets against the stones, and against his shoulder blades. 

His form was powerful.  He knew his strength.  Knew the hirsute flesh hid a wealth of muscle.  Muscle he should have used to lift her so high she could touch the grate, if she wanted.  He pulled down the zipper tab of his slacks, half way, then let his arms simply hang, feeling every drop that hit his shoulder blades.

Heaven was massaging his back.


He felt her a moment before he heard her.  His back was to the entrance.  The moment of truth.  Hard truth.  She was seeing him, now, as she should have, years ago.  Half nude.  Nature's servant.  Her servant, if she wanted one.

"I am not mad.  I swear it.”  He turned, head lifted.  His blue eyes beseeched her for understanding.  But for the look in his eyes, he could not have looked more insane if he’d tried.

She saw the clarity of his gaze at the same moment she saw the clarity of his form.

"It's raining.  I smelled the rain," he said, as if that explained everything.  She'd come from her work.  A skirt and a blouse.  Lovely.  Ethereally so, to him.  The blouse was white, but the skirt was blue.  Her dress had been blue, that night, though a different shade.  They said water was blue, but they were wrong.  It was clear.  The ocean simply reflected the sky.

He prayed he was not “reflecting” madness, now.  That when she looked at him, that wasn’t what she saw.  Please.  Please come to me, Catherine.  Don’t ask me to stop.  Because I will.  I will, if you ask it.  Or I think I will.  I love you, so much.

“It’s raining,” he repeated.

Remember the night you fell against me, covered with it?

"I see that, Vincent.”  She was taking in the sodden clothes on the floor.  His pants were partly unzipped, and he was barefoot.  He looked magnificent, and so unlike himself that for a moment, her heart faltered.

But his voice was strong, and sure.  "The night of the concert.  The Unfinished.  You held your hands open, up to it."  He imitated her pose, showing her.

"I remember." She stepped forward, feeling more of the downpour begin to dampen her clothes.

"You were beautiful.  So beautiful, then.  I think half the time I fall asleep at night, that's the image of you I take with me."

It was?  She hadn't known.  He reached out for her hand, and on a leap of faith more pure than any she’d ever taken with him, she took this one.  Her mind flashed back to the day he’d guided her back Above, after her convalescence.  To a moment when he’d extended his hand to her and asked her not to be afraid, as she took a much earlier leap of faith.

His eyes had been clear and strong then, too.

She took his hand.  His soaking wet hand, in hers.  No jump this time, but the metaphysical kind.

He drew her close, as rain sluiced off of him.  He made her wet, as she embraced his naked torso.  She stepped out of her heels, and into the wet earth, her pedicured feet settling near the blunted claws on his toes.

"I should have showed you what I was, in that moment in the rain.  I saw your shape, your beautiful form, through the wet dress.  Saw some of the mystery of you and the wonder of you, as the dress clung and… loved you.”  He pulled her closer.

“I should have put away my fear, right then, and stood there with you.  Showed you what I was.  Everything I was.  But I was so afraid.  So afraid, Catherine.”  He needed her to understand that point, if she understood no other.  “Afraid that what I was would frighten you.  That you'd leave, and never return... that I'd be… alone, again." his eyes closed against what the remembered fear had driven him to.  How terrified it had made him.

Being near her had been both heaven and hell, with that fear, that “alone again” fear always, always chewing at his heels.

"I'm here," she reassured him, cupping his cheek.  She was getting drenched.  Her crepe blouse was already sheer, under the shower.

"It was beautiful, that night," he said.  "I should have been brave enough.  If I had been...."

"Shhhh."  She put her fingers to his wet lips.  "No regrets," she said, with a kind of forgiveness that filled his heart.  She meant for him, as well as for herself, for any wrong she’d done.  He knew it.  “No regrets,” she repeated, lifting her finger away to smooth back her dampening bangs.

His blue eyes looked at her with more certainty than she'd ever seen in them.

"You are never going to leave me," he said.

She blinked up at him, and he wasn't sure if it was rain or tears, on her cheeks.  He kissed one.  Salt.  Tears.

"That's what I've been trying to tell you," she replied.

He stepped back, and raised his palms, the posture she'd had that night.  Tipping his face up, he let the water run, accentuating his differences.

Catherine stared, taking the sight of him in.  If Vincent dry was a sight for poets, Vincent wet was a sight for sculptors.  The reddish blonde hair of his body shone, and it lovingly delineated every muscle.  The deluged mat of hair on his chest arrowed down suggestively, pointing the way past the open waistband of his pants, to his sex.

He cupped his hands, then turned them, letting the water fall out.  Cupped them again, and brought them together.  He offered her the drink, from his palms.

Gratefully, she took it.  Ignoring the audience of Father, Mouse and Mary in the doorway, she stepped around him and slipped beneath his offering arms.  Turning her back to his torso, she held his hands cupped in front of her face, and drank again.

When she was done, he crossed his arms and hugged her to him holding her shoulders.  Her hands rested atop his, a moment.  She was against him, and getting soaked with him.  The blouse clung, and her hair straightened, under the spray.  It darkened as the weight of the water gave it more length. The flickering lightning painted her features for him.  The thunder rumbled low, the sound of approval, in a pleased god’s throat.

So much like he remembered.

She moved one of his huge hands so that it rested delicately, against her neck.  She tipped up her face up to the rain, the light, and… him.  He stood between her and his worried family, adoring the first and ignoring the second.  Either they understood what this was or they didn’t.  Catherine clearly did.  She was all that mattered.  She always had been.

"Can two play?" she asked him, opening the buttons of her blouse.

"Two were meant to.”  His voice was a silken purr as he helped her peel the soaked crepe de chine away from her skin.  It joined his sodden pile of shirts on the floor.

Jacob tugged Mouse away, quickly, as Mary did the same, with Jacob.  Whatever this was, it surely did not require an audience.

"Catherine.”  There were rivulets of water at her breasts.  Familiar, yet totally new.  She turned to face him.

"I need to... finish."  He indicated his still partially fastened jeans.  "While it's still raining.  While I still have the resolve."

She nodded, understanding that on some level, this was the hurdle that had kept them apart, at least as much as any other, if not more so.

"Can I help?" she asked him, trying to make the offer sincerely, trying to give him her love and encouragement, and not say it as some sort of sexual tease.

"You can... be patient with me," he requested, tugging the zipper the rest of the way down.  "You can...  not be dismayed, by anything you see.  I can cover again if...”  Her fingertips covered his mouth, and she shook her head. 

"No regrets.  I am never leaving you.”  She gave him the strength of the repeated words, in her voice.

"I am never leaving you, Vincent," she echoed.

He nodded, and simply pushed the cloying denim down, letting the sodden pants fall.  He stepped away.

Hair.  An amazing whorl of it on his navel, thinning to where it dipped lower, then thicker on either side of his amazing sex.  Furred, more than most men, at the base and scrotum.  A tumescent, arrowed head.  Both long, and thick, but not overly so, of either.  It fit him.  Like the breadth of his shoulders or the length of his arm. It was as the rest of him was:  proportionate.

He had broad thighs, powerful, for when he ran.  Anchoring calves, and feet that had long since been drenched by the rivulets that ran on the floor.  A small stream wound its way out the entrance.  Catherine registered that they were alone with their tempest.  Good.

Looking down and a little away, he stood.  Half in fear of rejection, he didn't hear her divest herself of her bra, but he did hear the rasp of the zipper on her skirt.

He looked up to see her drop her remaining clothing into the muck, and step clear.  She cupped her hands, and held them before him.

He'd offered her a drink of rainwater.  She was offering it back, to him.

No.  Didn’t she know it was she who was the goddess here?  That he should serve her, and not the other way arou -- her hands were small.

Her hands were small.

So much smaller than his.

Water dripped between her closed fingers, and fell.  Instinctively, he moved to help her.  She smiled, at that.

He put his hands beneath hers, helping her hold the flow as she stepped close enough to be brushed by his sex.  He bent his head, and drank from her cupped hands, blessing whatever God, demi-god, or demon had guided his life, that it had seen fit to grace him with her love.  All was not lost.  All was never lost.  She hadn’t left him.

He drank it all.  Kept his hands cupped beneath hers, still, and filled them again.  Suddenly, he felt amazingly thirsty for a man who was drenched.  He drank the second handful.  Together.  What we do, we do together. 

This time, when he was done, he set his tongue against her palm, to get all the gift of life- giving moisture she offered.  It just seemed like the right thing to do.

She put her forehead to his, as he let their hands drop.  She put her hand around the small of his back, drawing him close to her, accepting the shape and feel of him with that simple gesture.

The stillness.  Didn’t it make you feel…

Alone?  Sometimes.  And sometimes, I found a wonderful peace in that stillness.

 He was semi erect, the cold water keeping his ardor in check, as the rain continued to sluice off their now-joined form.  Rodin's lovers, with a leonine male lead.  His arms engulfed her, and her breasts crushed against his chest, as she simply tipped her head back, and let the rain cascade through her hair and across her skin, as it had done, that night.

Vincent held Catherine, oblivious to the storm as he took it in, at the same time.

"You did not leave me.”  He said it just over the sound of the water on the stones.

"I told you I wouldn't.  No, that’s not right.  I begged you not to leave me.  When you were sick," she answered, feeling the rain beginning to lessen.

Not without me!

He remembered hearing her voice when he was at his darkest and most lost.

Not without me!

No.  Not without her.  Nothing, without her.

"The last year didn't happen, then,” he decided, rewinding their clock.  “It's the night of the concert, and I believe you will never leave me.  They played Schubert, and the rain began to fall."  He was re-making their past, inviting her to do the same.

Her voice was a low benediction of memory.  "I was kneeling in it, watching the crowd run.  Hearing the last notes, as the orchestra realized they'd have to stop.”

She leaned her head back a little farther, supported by the gorgeous strength of his arms.  "It was already making my hair wet.  I wanted it to soak me, everywhere.  I remember it felt so good, so amazing, to feel it.  Everyone else scattered, while I could still hear some of the music, in my head, and then I heard the storm.  I was so happy."  It did happen, very much that way.  But she wove it into his fantasy, letting it all be real.

"You were so beautiful," he vowed to her.

"I wanted to be.  I knew you were watching me," she admitted, shyly.

"I was watching you.”  His pupils were blown wide, the irises the color of a storm-swept ocean.  “And you fell into my arms, and made me wet, just as the rain was making you wet.  Your dress stuck to your skin.  I should have picked you up.  Held you up, to catch the rain.  It’s all I can think of."

"Not too high," she said, surprising him.  "Not so high I can't kiss you," she amended.

He picked her up, then, doing just as she instructed, holding her firmly against him, one arm beneath her bottom, the other holding her back, holding her steady.  Her head was a little higher than his, and she rested her palms against the tops of his massive shoulders.  Her kiss was full of promise, and rainwater.  She'd never left him.  Never.

Her arms gently wrapped around his neck as she slowly slid down the titan's body she'd only dreamed of.

"That's what I should have done."  He whispered it to her passing ear, as her feet found the floor, again.

"But you did,” she said, tracing his features, re-making the night with him.  "You did.  And my dress was all wet..." Now it was her fantasy they visited, her dreams of that night.

"And it stuck to my skin, and I wanted it gone..."  She watched his deep blue eyes grow fathomless, seeing the picture she painted.

The cloudburst lessened, and the lightning took on a distant, almost barely-there quality, the somnolent thunder taking longer to chase it.

He nuzzled her neck, tasting a rain-soaked heaven.  There was a smile in her voice.  "Did I take it off, or did you?" she prompted, nudging him toward the memory that never happened, the one they were creating.

"We both did.  I pushed it off your shoulders.”  He kissed her bare left one.  “You did the rest.”  He smiled softly, back at her, remembering just how very much a part of him had wanted to do that, then.  How often he'd thought of doing it, since.

"Did we both undress you?" she asked, cupping his cheek.

"No.  Yes.  I was too unsure, then.  I needed you to help me."  His thumb traced her jawline.

"Did we make love?" she asked, breathless.

"Not yet."  He nuzzled her ear.  The one with the scar that had brought her to him.  "I just wanted to ... show you, first.  So you could see if it was a thing you could want."

"And I did.  I do.”  She assured him, turning her head for another rain-drenched kiss.  I do.  Marriage words.  When the kiss broke, their mouths barely parted.

"Whatever happens…  Whatever comes…”  He said the words, nuzzling her lips as he spoke.

"Whatever happens.  Whatever comes."  She nuzzled him back, the promise of the rain, fulfilled.  It softened to a whispering shower, as they stood.

"I love you," he said, in a voice so sure it was a reverence.

"I love you," she answered, the sound so soft it was a sigh.

He stood, cradling her, feeling her beautiful form against his.  His beautiful Catherine.  Drenched with rain, embracing him, accepting him.  Again.  Again, and for the first time.

They both heard music that wasn’t there.  It was Schubert.  A symphony that wasn’t there.  And wasn’t finished, yet.  Which was quite all right.

Neither were they.




No Matter where you are in your own downpour, I wish you love. ~Cindy