TITLE: Moving Through Fear
FEEDBACK: Would love to hear both good and bad feedback but please try to be kind and constructive.
CREDITS: A special thank you to my beta reader Qupeydoll.
With a weary sigh Catherine Chandler reached out to answer the ringing phone on her desk. She'd already put in a ten hour day and a thirty-eight hour week and it was only Wednesday! A call at work at 6pm, when the office officially closed at 5, could only mean trouble.
It's wasn't like the call could be from her boyfriend! She had to smile at the thought. The tunnels certainly didn't have phones and the very thought of Vincent using a phone was amusing. The truth was, she didn't know if he ever had, or even if he knew how. All those things flashed through her mind before she announced, "Catherine Chandler," into the receiver.
"Cathy, its Isaac…Isaac Stubbs…"
"Yes Isaac. What can I do for you?" she asked, knowing that whatever it was, she would do it. She owed Isaac in a BIG way! It was less than a week ago that Vincent had been caught Above, hurt, nearly blind, and trying to find his way home. Of course that had all been her fault! She just had to go and question a witness, in the worst part of town, late at night, by herself!
Vincent had caught up with her right before she'd gone in to the meeting. He'd begged her not to go but when she insisted that she had to, he promised to be close to protect her, just as he always did. And again that night, he'd had to protect her. A rival street gang, 'the Silks', had attacked the meeting place. Vincent rushed in and had gotten her to safety, but she had sent him back in to rescue her witness just before the pipe bomb was tossed into the room.
All she'd had was her faith and instinct to tell her that he was still alive. She'd spent hours searching for him and had called on Isaac to help her.
He'd come without question and had stuck it out to the end. Especially when he'd been frustrated at her inability to answer his questions.
When they'd finally found Vincent, Isaac had to have gotten a look at him, but good friend that he was, no questions were forthcoming. So if he now needed something from her, she would move heaven and earth to get it for him.
"Do you remember Lucy? She was the girl from the night your…friend got hurt."
Catherine's memory of the people involved in that night, with the exception of Isaac himself, was sketchy at best. She'd been so focused on finding Vincent and then getting him Below as quickly as possible. But on the vague edge of her memory was a scared girl that the Silks had held captive. She must also have been the girl that Vincent told her about. The one that had helped him try and find his way home, so she said to Isaac, "I believe so. Why do you ask?"
"She called me today. It seems she's been on the run and hiding from the Silks since that night. She's afraid for her life, Cathy, and I thought maybe you could help."
"Help? How Isaac?" she asked fearing the answer. Helping Isaac was one thing, but if what she feared he was asking was true then it wasn't just her putting herself out to help him, it would mean involving the tunnel community.
"I've wracked my brain as to what I could do for her, but you know how word on the street travels like lightening. No shelter or place I could get her into would be safe. The Silks would find her. Then I got to thinking that your friend has to have somewhere safe that he lives, and so I called…"
"Isaac, Vincent does have a safe place, but it's safe because it is a secret and needs to stay that way!" she protested.
"Cathy, she saw Vincent too. She's the one that helped him find that abandoned building where you led him away. The Silks also saw him when they held him and tortured him. They think that Lucy might know where he is and that's why they're hunting her."
"Isaac, you have to understand this is not my secret to share! But she did help Vincent, he told me about her. I guess the only thing I can do is take her plea for sanctuary to the Council."
"It's a long story, but I can go and talk to them tonight. Can you keep her safe until I've had that chance?"