The Christmas Angel by Anabelle Lael.

Vincent stared at his son and breathed a deep sigh. Even this simple movement was such a strain for him.

The only reason why he kept going was sleeping soundly in his crib. Such a beautiful son Catherine had given him. He could not see Jacob without seeing her. Even though he was only a few months old he had Catherine's warmth in his tiny smile.

If only she could be here with them. How she would have cherished every single moment of Jacob's existence.

A thousand times he had wondered why but only the heavens could give him the answer. Father had been by his side from the very beginning and had tried to instill in him a feeling of conformity.

He knew he had to accept things as they were yet, it was so difficult. Every part of his life had been graced by the wonder of Catherine's touch. At times he sat in his chambers and contemplated how fate had dealt him the darker side of the coin.

He just had to let time pass and allow the mercy that it provided by diminishing the pain. Memories were all he had left and the gift of their son.

After making sure that Jacob was settled in fir the night, Vincent went to Father's chambers. " Father can I come in?."

" Of course Vincent what is on your mind?."

" Father I have so many thoughts and feelings to sort thru that I do not know where to begin."

" I know it has been difficult for you but I know it will all pass ."

" Father I need to go for a walk, do you think you can keep an eye on Jacob for me?."

" Of course it gives me so much pleasure to be with my grandson. Go now Vincent, see if the night air can help you my son."

Vincent turned and walked out of the Tunnels. It was a clear and moonlight night and the ground was lightly dusted with snow. The picture that was painted before him was so appropriate for he remembered it was Christmas Eve. The stars in the sky glittered and shone with a life all of their own. They reminded him of the twinkle in Catherine's eyes.

He knew now where he wanted to go. His feet moved of their own accord, retracing a path he had taken many a time before. A short time later Vincent arrived at his destination. To the place that held his very soul...... to Catherine's grave.

Vincent wiped the snow off the white marble caressing gently the place where they had written her name." Oh Catherine how I miss you. There are so many things I wish to say to you. We had so short a time together before you were taken from me."

Vincent placed his cheek against the cold marble and let his tears fall." If only I could be with you my love for just a little while. Maybe then this coldness that I feel claiming my heart will lessen. I wish you could see our son, he has been the only light in all the darkness that has surrounded me."

Suddenly Vincent felt a gentle hand upon his shoulder as he heard a women'S voice whisper his name. He opened his eyes and gasped for standing behind him was the most beautiful ethereal being he had ever seen. Standing up he asked, " Who are you and why have you appeared to me."

" My dearest Vincent think of me as your Guardian Angel. I have been by your side since you took your very first breath. As your heart bleeds so does mine and as you cry all the angels in heaven feel your pain."

" On such a night as this we are allowed to help ease those human souls that are tormented by the loss of their loved one. Your love for Catherine and her love for you was so pure and true that we had to intervene. Vincent go home and be with your son and let your mind and soul see what has always been in their depths. Dream of Catherine and I promise then you will find the peace that you seek."

Just as Vincent moved his lips to speak and ask what she had meant by her words the angel vanished before his eyes. With a new hope in his heart Vincent went home and prayed that things would be as he was told.

After wishing Father goodnight and thanking hum for looking after Jacob, he prepared himself for bed. He wondered if he could find sleep this night. He was not so sure it would be possible but of their own accord his eyes closed and he drifted into an exhausted sleep.

Vincent tiredly tried to open his eyes wondering if it had been seconds or hours that had passed. As he stirred in the warmth of his blankets he heard a sweet melodic sound and realized he was listening to a women's voice humming a lullaby.

Turning his head towards the sound of the music Vincent's heart stopped. Could it be? Getting up he held his breath for she had come. His Catherine was standing just a few steps away and in her arms she cradled their son.

Catherine raised her hand and beckoned him to her side. Slowly he walked towards her, afraid even to breathe for fear that she would go away. Vincent reached for her hand and engulfed it in his own.

" Oh Catherine I can not believe you are here."

" Vincent how could I not come for your thoughts will always be linked to mine and mine to yours. You wished for this dream and the angels have answered you and made it come true."

" I am finally holding our baby. I had stretched my hand for him when he was born but I was denied even that simple mother's right." Wondrously Catherine touched Jacob's tiny hands and looked into his eyes that stared at her as if he had seen her a million times before. " Tiny one how I love you and how I treasured you from the very second you came to life inside of me."

As Vincent listened to his Catherine he tried to be strong but could not as moisture began to form in the corners of his eyes.

Looking up Catherine spoke in a whisper , " Vincent do not be sad , I know we can not be together but at least we have this time. Time to share what we created with our love."

" Catherine love that you showed me that could exist even in our different worlds with your patience and your beauty."

After giving Jacob a tender kiss on his cheek Catherine placed Jacob in his crib. Turning she opened her arms and waited for Vincent to come into her embrace. Without a moments hesitation they held each other as if they were one.

" Catherine , if I could make time stand still I would and capture this moment for all eternity."

" Vincent you know it can not be for soon I must leave. We just have to be grateful that we did find each other on that night long ago when I was all alone and hurt. You not only were the savior of my life but of my heart and soul."

Capturing his face between her hands Catherine stared into his eyes with love.

" Vincent I might go but always remember that one day we will be together again for our bond transcends from this world and beyond. Just love and take care of Jacob for he is living proof of what once was."

Sweetly Catherine kissed Vincent on the lips and felt the warmth and strength of his arms one last time. Placing her head on his chest, as if my magic, Catherine's image faded into Vincent's body as if merging forever with his own.

Vincent had finally found his peace as the Angel had promised him. His Catherine would live within him forever, for now we see that Beauty will be with her beloved Beast for all eternity............

The End