(This story is written strictly for the free enjoyment of fans of the "Beauty and the Beast" television series. No copyright infringement is intended.)

The Scent of Love


And if I laugh at any mortal thing
‘Tis that I may not weep

- Lord Byron

It was early evening and Catherine sat in her living room playing with a kitten, but not by choice. Jenny had asked her to look after the little ball of fluff for a couple of days, until she was back in town. It was typical of Jenny that she bought a pet and then forgot that she would not be around to care for it.

Catherine had bought a soft toy mouse that the kitten seemed to find irresistible. Its high pitched growls and romps around the thing, tail in the air, made her laugh until her stomach muscles ached. Its tiny, very sharp claws were scrabbling at the carpet and once sank into her knee as she followed it around, making her yelp.

"Little beast," she admonished, pushing it lightly so that it fell over, all four legs waving wildly in the air. It rolled onto its feet, found the toy and immediately began mewling around it again, batting it gently.

Catherine was only Above for short periods now – and this time only to wrap up some personal business. Jenny had brought the kitten with her on her visit the previous night – but she would hereafter have to find another sitter. Catherine had made that very clear – without explaining why. She had not yet revealed her "other" life Below to her best friend. That would happen when she felt the time was right. And that was not yet.

This apartment would soon be no longer hers. She hated to give it up, but she and Vincent were having the brownstone renovated, and this place would no longer be needed. No more thumps as Vincent landed from the fire escape, no more discreet taps on the window and quiet readings on the terrace. No more making love in her bed.

She sighed. She ached for Vincent, wanted his arms around her. She could feel his sympathy through the bond and his willingness to come to her tonight. That made her want him desperately, and she let him know it. She felt his joy and reciprocal passion - and knew he was on his way to her.

Catherine quickly put the kitten into the kitchen with her litter box, cat bed and food, and pulled the bi-folds closed. She wanted no distractions. Walking back into the living room, she spotted the cat toy and slipped it into her shirt pocket. There, all back to normal, she thought.

She felt Vincent’s arrival and went to open the french doors before he could tap. She stood back and he entered, dominating her doorway in his cloak, his shoulders nearly spanning the opening. He looked wonderful. Had it really only been two days? And two nights, she reminded herself.

Vincent removed the cloak and took off his boots. Then he moved into Catherine’s waiting arms, dropping his head down to her neck to scent her, as he always did. She smelled different Above – more refined, he supposed. She was using different soaps of course, her commercial shampoo – but still wore no perfume. And there was something else he could not name.

He hugged her close, already feeling an arousal that he knew she was matching with her own. He lifted her up by her buttocks and gave her a deep kiss that they held until both were breathless. They gasped and he put her back on the floor. They moved into the living room and Catherine sat on the couch nearest the fireplace.

Vincent kneeled in front of her and began to nuzzle her breasts through her shirt, then began to unbutton it.

Suddenly, his arousal became uncontrollable. He scented something that seemed to hit him between the eyes, disengage his brain and engorge his manhood, simultaneously. With a growl, he almost leaped upon Catherine, pushing her onto her back on the couch, one hand undoing the string closure on his pants, the other yanking down her slacks and underwear without ceremony. Panting, he lay atop her, positioned his manhood and growled in satisfaction as he entered her.

Catherine was pleasantly surprised at Vincent’s passion, and gave herself up to him willingly. It was not what she had expected. He usually preferred long foreplay sessions where he could massage her and drive her wild with strokes of his rough tongue, in as many places as he could reach. She felt his intense arousal and total lack of control with amazement and let him carry her up into a stellar climax that was nova-like and gloriously satisfying. She sighed and put her arms around him as she came back down to earth.

But Vincent wasn’t finished. He was still intensely aroused and lifted himself off Catherine so he could flip her over and clasp her breasts from behind as he entered her. She moaned in his arms and he felt her passion respond to his. He pumped himself, grunting and growling, clasping her to him tightly, lifting her almost into his lap. Release, when it came at last, made him roar in triumph.

He came to himself and rolled off Catherine, moving onto the floor, twitching his pants up again, as he did so. He was ashamed to have taken her in such a manner – and twice! What had come over him? They had not been apart so very long. He looked at Catherine, who had sensed his shame and was glaring at him with that look he knew well – even if he had not felt her anger through their bond. She deliberately removed her slacks and underwear completely, threw them over her shoulder, and sat on the couch covered only by her shirt, still partially undone, as he had left it.

"Vincent, don’t ever feel ashamed for wanting me! I won’t have it! You are the most wonderful lover, no matter how you wish to demonstrate it. Believe me!"

But Vincent felt he needed to understand what had come over him.

"Catherine, I know you love me and would never deny me. But this time, something was different. I lost myself completely – and I couldn’t wait. I’ve never felt anything like it, not even when we first made love. It was as if my brain and my groin were disconnected and I was acting on instinct."

He thought back to when he had nuzzled her from the floor. There had been a scent, something unusual. He had noticed it earlier too, when he first hugged her near the french doors.

"I smelled something. I don’t know what it was. It drove me wild."

Catherine suddenly felt her face flush. Could it possibly be what she suspected? Was Vincent’s embarrassment her fault? She reached into her shirt pocket and held up the cat toy by its long felt tail.

"Vincent, I think I am to blame. I bought this for a kitten Jenny left with me for a couple of days. It loves it. I locked the beast in the kitchen before you arrived, but put this in my pocket without thinking. We had been playing with it in the living room.

"It’s filled with catnip. It never occurred to me that this might affect you. I’m sorry, my love. How can you forgive me?"

She looked at him, not sure what to expect as a reaction. He was so beautifully feline, so wonderfully male – but hated to be reminded of the former. She never tired of looking at him – in any state of dress or undress.

Vincent looked at the little toy dangling from Catherine’s hand, caught the passionate love in her eyes, as well as her remorse, and leaned back against the other couch. He closed his eyes in relief. Something grew in his abdomen. He couldn’t keep it down. He broke out into roars of laughter, hugged himself to keep from exploding. Catherine joined him after some hesitation – and after she flung the toy into the fireplace. He finally managed to get himself under control and regarded her, now completely at ease again.

"Well, Catherine, you now know another of my secrets. As you have probably noticed, we’ve never allowed pets below, except Mouse’s raccoon.  But Devin brought a cat toy Below once, as a joke, and hid it on my side of our bed. I was about 12 years old. I couldn’t sleep, was twitching with energy. I remember racing around the chamber like a mad thing, panting. Eventually, I ran down to the Mirror Pool and jumped in. It was a great relief!

"Devin followed me and when I finally got out of the water, he confessed to what he had done. I went back to our chamber with him, but refused to get into the bed until he had removed all the sheets and thrown the toy down the Abyss. We never told Father. He would probably have forced Devin to spend the next year reading Frazer’s Golden Bough in all 12 volumes - and Devin would have left us even sooner than he did."

Catherine gazed at Vincent, who was smiling widely, his canines showing. He was a never-ending source of amazement to her. That he existed at all, was incredible. That he was so beautiful and intelligent, was a source of great joy to her. That he loved her as she loved him – and forgave her gaffes like this one – well, there were no adequate words.

She moved off her couch and sat on his lap, wrapped her arms around his neck, then kissed him deeply, with all the love she had. She moved away to look him in the eyes. She found some suitable words.

"I think you should remove your pants again – properly this time – and the rest of your clothes."

Vincent did.