"Oh my god..." Claire
whispered softly from the shadows. Slowly, she rose to her feet off the
darkened floor, shock in her eyes. Her ears were ringing,
residual from the loud crack of the gunshot. The silent room around her
seemed stuck in time as she looked down on the dead form of Faith,
lying in a small pool of blood on the floor. Seated across the room,
Trevor was still pointing the gun at her as if he were paralyzed, trying to understand. Even Claire felt her
body tingling with disbelief, still trying to comprehend what
had just happened. The entire world had suddenly gone insane.
Growing even more
terrified by the second, she looked past the smoke rising from the gun muzzle, and at Trevor's eyes.
She could hear him breathing, strangely loud and fragile in the quiet.
a few shaky seconds, he took his eyes off the body and finally looked up at her.
The gun he held was still aimed at Faith, but then his
fingers loosened their tight grip, his eyes never leaving Claire now as he
lowered it. He placed it on the floor beside him, still watching her as
a tear fell down the shadow of his cheek. A siren grew
louder in the distance, the sound growing clearer as it approached. The
police were coming nearer by the second, the wail of their cruiser
growing more distinct.
Trevor's face emptied,
still looking at Claire. And then without warning she knew, knew that he saw it, in that same horrible instant. They both remembered what Frechette had vowed to
Trevor. Claire searched for something to say, but the finality in
Trevor's sad, glittering eyes stopped whatever she was struggling to
say. They both know deep down it was futile. Everything was different
Trevor spoke softly,
the police sirens no longer faint, still growing louder. "It's over..."
began, but Trevor rose and immediately dashed out of the bedroom door.
She immediately followed without thinking, chasing his running form,
fleeing from the image behind her of Faith's cold, empty eyes,
running from the smell of blood and burnt gunpowder. She ran after
Trevor, as it seemed that the world invisibly crashed all around her.
frantically through the darkness of her upper floor hallway, racing down the stairs after Trevor. But he was fast, already out of
sight ahead of her. Her living room bounced and shook into view,
everything dark except for the curtains glowing with the streetlights
behind them. Desperate, Claire looked around for Trevor but he was
gone. Her front door was a square of light in the shadows, left open as
she ran towards it. Her jumbled mind registered the fragments of
shattered wood on the floor. Trevor had busted the door open when he
came in earlier, explaining the crashing sound she had heard before. But she
didn't pause, running through it after him, wanting to be with him almost
without conscious thought.
Then Claire was out in
the chill of the night air, the feel of it crisp on her skin. The rest of
the street in either direction was inexplicably serene, as if the world
hadn't just changed at all. She paused on the sidewalk, breathing
heavily as her mind fumbled over what to do. Trevor was nowhere in
sight. She had to find him. It couldn't end this way. Sirens were
growing louder now, outside in the night air, echoing off the houses up
and down the street. She didn't care, nothing else mattered except
being with Trevor before things got worse, wishing he
wasn't running from her. The wail of the police car reached a loud peak. Around
the corner at the end of the block, red and blue swaths of light were
already sweeping over everything. Claire ran down the street, knowing
time was running out, searching, calling out Trevor's name.
By the time the
headlights of the police cruiser appeared around the corner, Claire was
gone. The car raced down the street, a dazzling swirl of blinding
colors as the siren screamed, cutting the serenity of the suburban
block. The car's tires screeched loudly to a halt outside Claire's
home. Beyond was the dark portal of Claire's shattered front door,
still open, as guns drawn, the police officers went cautiously inside.
Then their figures faded to nothing, the sky above brightening to
morning light. There were even more vehicles now, dozens, all fading into view around
the police car, a swarm of activity in the cold dawn, officers and
detectives moving across the scene.
The clear morning light was crisp and pure as it beamed down through the shattered window. A cool breeze wafted into Claire's quiet guest bedroom, flowing past the broken glass, spreading the smell of blood through the room as it billowed past the curtains, where people moved calmly back and forth, speaking in hushed voices. There was the soft click of a camera and a quick flash of light. Several detectives were moving about, looking at all the disarray, all dressed in suits and discussing it quietly amongst themselves. Then another man entered, standing beside the bedroom door. His hand was all that was visible, uncomfortably holding a brown file, pausing at what he saw in the room. For a second, the fingers gripped the file more tightly, perhaps in shock. Then in the room he faced, one of the detectives looked over at him.
"Dr. Frechette..." the lead detective acknowledged.
Dr. Frechette was stunned at what he saw. Without thinking, he brought a fist to his nose at the strong taint of blood in the air. His eyes were wide, trying to take in the unbelievable scene before him. Already his mind was swimming with images, the police cars dotting the street before Claire Allen's house, the wood slivers of the broken front door, bullet holes in the walls, shattered picture frames. All those things he had seen when he entered, and they were still tumbling through his mind. He had never imagined he would ever even be in Claire Allen's home, and definitely not like this. The echoes of violence lingered in all those chaotic pieces, and now, most shocking of all, was this. Frechette still looked downward, his eyes fixed on the floor before the window. The detectives in the room saw the direction of his stunned gaze and faced calmly away, giving him time to take it all in.
There was glass on the floor. A large dark stain had dried there, filling the air with it's sickening smell. And lying on top of that, was Faith's pale, empty body, draped in muddied scrubs, motionless, blond hair caked into the dried blood on the floor, like a frozen picture that had never been alive. Frechette's eyes crinkled, a shadow of sadness, remembering all the time he had spent in sessions with her, trying to help her. He never expected to see her like this. But then his brow hardened, an angry shield, shutting that away. His expression grew cold, the sadness swallowed deep, hovering and hidden, but still there.
"Dr. Frechette, thanks for coming..." One of the detectives came forward, an older man, extending his hand. Frechette looked him in the eye for only a moment as their hands shook, his gaze returning to Faith's body, lying on the floor like a weighted mass. The two men slowly stepped closer, side by side as the detective explained. "Sorry about needing to see you about this, but she had no family, and we need a positive ID. Plus we'd also like to ask you a few questions about her circumstances..."
As they approached, Faith's body seemed to slide closer, and it was only then that he realized the hand he used to carry the file was shaking, trying not to vomit, keeping it all inside. Quickly he stabilized the tremor with his free hand, moving the brown file aside. He gave the detective a steely gaze, domineering again.
"I have some questions of my own, Detective. Like how did all this happen? And most importantly... where is Claire Allen?"
Claire was freezing, frantic as she wandered the cold morning streets of Chicago, arms around herself and trying to keep warm, her chin shivering. She was just barely below a dazed panic, her cheeks dried with tears, as her gaze searched desperately in every direction, body turning in place. Skyscrapers towered all around her as her steps drifted, moving into a gulf where the morning sun had broken through, its orange rays giving her some relief from the cold. She hardly noticed at all in her desperation. She still had seen no signs of Trevor, and deep down she was frantic to find him, to get back some part of what seemed to have shattered hours before. Fear after fear tumbled through her mind of what he might do, broken and alone. He had killed. How would that affect him? He shouldn't be with that all alone.
Here eyes darted left and right, her quick breaths misting into golden orange in the morning light. Then suddenly she stopped, the sun now rising behind her as her mind raced, feeling each second pass. It had all happened in such an insane pace, all of last night, all of the consequences that seemed to be falling down around her. But somehow in all that insanity, the only sane thing seemed to be to face it at Trevor's side, the two of them together. That was home. That's why she had to find him. Because no matter where he went or what happened, he wasn't alone.
"Trevor, where are you?" Claire turned in place again, searching, her heart beating like a ticking clock. The sidewalks were starting to fill, the morning business crowds going off to an uneventful day of work. Some of them gave her strange looks, seeing her bruised, battered, the slightest bit of blood on her as she shivered there, searching. And as she looked around, the high skyscrapers seemed to spin above her head.
"Think, Claire, think..." She closed her eyes, trying to reason where Trevor would go. Where would he retreat to? Where would he feel safe, and try to find solace? Then suddenly it hit her, remembering something Trevor had told her when he had been worried about dying, about being mortal. A place he had gone to think, to evaluate and reconsider. Claire opened her eyes, turning to look into the sun, to where it was just now cresting one simple, distant downtown building with a stone dome high in the air, the golden rays shining past it in the morning mist, the same place she remembered.
"He would climb towards home..." Claire's eyes locked on that distant building, and she started walking into the morning light, heading quickly in that direction, the sun flaring until it obscured her from view in the shadows.
The detective looked into Frechette's eyes, both of them still standing by Faith's body.
"Last night we received an emergency call from Claire Allen of an intruder in her home. A unit was dispatched and already in route when we lost contact. A few minutes later, neighbors called in hearing shots fired. The woman across the street described seeing a man enter the front door after the shots began. We don't know who that individual wa--"
"Trevor Hale. It was most likely him. He's always around Mrs. Allen. In one way or another." Frechette's voice was certain as he circled the body, growing more accustomed slightly. Beside him, the detective pulled out a pad and began writing down some of the information. Frechette kneeled closer. There was a dark scar of dried blood on her arm, where she had carved a heart surrounding the name Cupid into her delicate skin. Anger flared momentarily through him at Trevor's interference, but that was quickly swallowed by sadness, looking down at what had happened to her in the end. After a moment he began to reach out, to push Faith's hair softly away from her face, but the detective spoke quickly.
"Please don't disturb the body, Doctor." The tone of the detective's voice made it clear that it was not a friendly request.
Frechette swallowed, pulling his hand back before it got nearer. "Right..." he muttered. He rose again, angry at having been addressed in that way. The detective didn't seem to care at all, going on with his description.
"As you saw coming in, there were definite signs of a struggle. We found a gun in the corner, most likely the murder weapon. By the condition of the body when the officer's found it, she had only been killed a few minutes before. There was no one else in the house, and --"
"Oh my god..." Frechette's voice was a shocked whisper in a moment of sudden insight, a dreadful realization dawning on him at last. His body pulled back, dazed by the knowledge. Then his brow hardened in anger. It was all suddenly so clear.
"Trevor Hale. He shot Mrs. Simmons. He killed her..."
A strong wind was slicing coldly across Claire's exposed skin the instant she stepped out into the open air of the observation deck balcony, just as she had remembered. She was high above the noise and bustle of the busy, downtown streets of Chicago far below. She paused, quickly looking all around. Everything was done in elaborately carved stone, the balcony edged by a simple stone railing, where the soft hum of traffic was rising up from the abyss beyond. Even taller skyscrapers towered higher up on all sides, reaching towards the blue of the morning sky, as the sunlight flowed in between them in golden rays, sparkling in her eyes as it bounced off hundreds of windows, bathing her in light. But the sunlight did nothing against the chill, the cold breeze still flowing over the balcony, wafting through her dark hair.
Claire stepped forward, momentarily panicking, seeing no one there. Perhaps her guess had been wrong. Until she suddenly felt rather than saw the mass of the large ornate dome rising behind her as she stepped further out onto the balcony. Stopping, she turned around. The dome itself was large, just as elaborate as the rest of the balcony, set against the extremely high sky far above it, where they gray tatters of clouds slid by in strips, caught in the morning breeze. That was where she saw him, a small shape, sitting at the very pinnacle of the dome. It was the forlorn outline of a man, no concern for his precarious position, staring up into the sky.
Her eyes began to glitter in the sunlight, seeing him so far above her. Even from here, she could feel it. His shoulders were fallen, an immeasurable sorrow emanating from his every aspect, a defeated, broken god. Claire paused, feeling that same pain inside herself. The whole world around her now felt ugly and uncertain, like she was floating on a tainted, cold wind. She wished for a moment things were just solid again, realizing they weren't , while watching Trevor outlined there against the sky. Trying not to cry, her hair flapping before her eyes, she finally called out, trying to be heard over the wind.
"Trevor! Trevor please! Come down..."
Far above, Trevor turned his head and looked down at her, not surprised to see her standing there at all, as if he already knew she would find him. Even from where she was, she could see the tears flowing down his face. He stayed where he was, watching her for a few moments, as if trying to decide. Then, without a word, he started his way back down to her.
Fury flashed in Frechette's eyes. The same morning light flowed in through the broken window of Claire's home far from the skyscraper, but he ignored it. His voice was animated and fast as he spoke with the detective, standing beside Faith's body. "This is Trevor Hale's doing. He's involved! I know it. I should have predicted he would--"
"Wait, slow down Doctor. Why do you think it was Trevor Hale? Who is this guy?"
"Well, that's the question, isn't it? He's just a man..."
Trevor was just a small shadow, making his way down the side of the huge dome, almost unnoticeable, outlined against the skyscrapers beyond. Frechette's voice continued, speaking far away, as Trevor carefully made his way back down.
"Trevor Hale is nothing more than a delusional man, a misguided individual who somehow became fixated with this inane concept that he was somehow, something more. With trying to crawl back up into the sky, back up into Olympus instead of coming down and facing the real world..."
Trevor's body seemed full of sadness as he lowered himself down the side of the dome, growing smaller the lower he got, even as the dome itself got wider, just a small figure, soon forgotten as it disappeared from view.
Back in Claire's home, Frechette continued. "Despite undergoing treatment, Mr. Hale still maintains his delusion of godhood. He continued to be involved with my patient, interfering with my treatment of her for sometime. Her delusion played into his... his ego. And now we see the result. I warned Trevor against this! I warned him and he wouldn't listen. He wouldn't listen..."
The detective was still writing. "But what motive would Mr. Hale have for shooting Mrs. Simmons."
"She herself shot him. Some time ago. He nearly died. She proved him to be the mere mortal that he is. Denied him his delusion. Trevor must have felt the need to retaliate."
"But witnesses across the street heard shots fired before Mr. Hale entered the--"
"It was him! Faith gave me vague suspicions of some sort of action by Trevor, but I couldn't imagine he would go this far. But now I'm certain. Check the murder weapon. I have no doubt his prints will be on the gun." Frechette's eyes seethed, his voice low and full of menace. "He can't get away with this. He's out there. We have to find him."
Trevor was standing there with his back to Claire, the deep expanse of downtown Chicago arrayed before him. Claire stood nearby, looking at him with concern. He still wasn't completely down on the balcony with her. Instead, he was standing on the wide stone railing. Carefully, she stepped slightly closer, fear in her eyes. Trevor didn't move, looking despondently over the city. He was firmly on the wide stone ledge of the railing on the observation deck, but there was nothing beyond that. His steps were only inches away from the edge of the deep chasm beyond.
His voice was soft, still not looking at her. "She told me where to find her. She basically told me where she was. Now... Everything's different..."
"What?" She took a step closer.
"It's all changed, Claire. All different. I killed her. I took a life. I've never--" Trevor paused, wiping away a tear, blinking. "Father would be so proud..."
"Trevor, please. Come onto the balcony with me. I'm here. We'll get through this..."
Unseen behind them was a concerned looking man in a suit and tie. He was an employee of the building below, and his brow was furrowed, watching the two of them, a crying man, and a woman trying desperately to talk him desperately of the stone ledge he stood on. The building representative kept a discreet distance, tension in his voice as he lifted a small walkie talkie from his jacket pocket and spoke softly into it, still in the shadows.
"We may have a situation here..."
Trevor and Claire still didn't see him.
"Sometimes..." He still wouldn't look at her, gazing out into gulf of air before him, skyscrapers towering all around. Now Claire, sometimes even I wonder. Wonder if I'm really him. Wonder who I am. After doing what I did, I've never doubted as much as I do right now. I don't know who I am. Am I even him anymore?"
"She was trying to kill me, Trevor."
"I know. Just like I know who I used to be. And that wasn't someone who ki--..."
"I still love you. You're still Trevor." She stepped closer.
Finally he looked her, eyes full of tears. "Yeah, but that's the question, isn't it? Who am I? Maybe now, at last it's finally gone. Taken away, and they'll never give it back. Am I still Cupid? Would I even know it if I weren't?"
Instead of answering, Claire went still, her whole body going tense as she watched Trevor step closer to the edge, his voice said, half of his shoes out over nothing. She looked into his eyes. There were tears there, but no fear. He was looking out at the city, staring at nothing, his cheeks drying in the breeze.
"I told Dr. Dehnt once. That sometimes I wonder... if I should just find out. Just step off and--"
Her hand darted out when his left foot step calmly forward into thin air, but instead it paused, hovering there, and Claire, tears still in her eyes too, held her breath.
"One test," Trevor said. "One leap of Faith. Then I'd know. Find out who I am. See if I'm immortal. Still accepted. See if I'm still... Cupid."
"Trevor, please... Trevor this is just what Faith wanted! For you to feel remorse, to seek redemption through death, to be just like her. Don't you see? Why do you think she told you where to find her and not just kill me. Don't give in to her, Trevor!"
He placed his foot back on the ledge, looking at her. "Claire, it's far more complicated than that. I rejected the gods. I killed someone named Faith for Olympus sakes. Maybe I should see if they still reject me. See if they'll take me back. Or if they'll let me fall, and end all these questions. Maybe the answers... are out here past this ledge..." He pointed out into the air, looking at her. "Even now, sometimes, I still dream what it would be like to have wings again... " Slowly, he spread his arms out, straight to either side.
"Trevor, you can't. Please..."
"Why? Don't approve of my little game of chicken with the gods?"
"Trevor, don't leave me..."
Trevor looked over at her, his vision watery and blurring, hearing the pain in her voice. And then he saw it, through his tears, a vague ghost image, like faint streams of bubbles rising between the two of them, as if they were both underwater. He had seen the vision before, but not for some time, remembering the experience in the psychic's tent, Claire lifeless underwater, him pulling her up, blood streaming from her forehead. He blinked the water away, the tears falling down his cheeks, and he saw her. Saw Claire, standing there beside the balcony railing, absolute terror in her eyes. Claire spoke again, the vision now gone.
"Trevor don't do this to me, please. Stay with me..."
And suddenly, Trevor saw the pain he was putting her through, as if finally seeing it for the first time. Unnoticed far behind them was the building representative, watching keenly, tense but keeping a discrete distance, concerned what Trevor would do. Trevor's face fell, finally deciding. Claire wiped away a tear from her face, and her hand reached out, arm stretched towards him, hovering there, against the morning skyline of Chicago beyond, waiting.
Trevor wiped away his own tears. He reached out and took Claire's hand in his, real and solid against him. Their hands gripped tightly, holding on, their finger intertwining. Claire let out one sobbing laugh, finally touching him, holding him. Trevor stepped off the balcony railing.
The police detective's voice grew harsher, exasperated. "At this point, we really don't know much. All we know is that Mrs. Simmons is dead, Mrs. Allen is missing, and Mr. Hale may somehow be involved--"
"Oh Mr. Hale is involved," Frechette interrupted, looking angrily at Faith's body. "One way or another... he's always near Claire Allen."
Claire held Trevor's hand as he stepped down from the ledge. She sobbed and fell into his embrace, holding him tight, finally letting out a relieved breath against Trevor's neck at feeling him solid in her arms, real against her body. In that one single moment as she held him, it was as if the chaotic, restless world around her had stopped spinning, finally going still. Her hair was no longer dancing on the breeze. The cold wind that had been twisting and turning across that high balcony, faded to nothing, resting at last. She cried gratefully against Trevor's cheek.
"Thank you, Trevor. I love you. Stay with me..."
Trevor's voice still sounded fragile, as he held her even tighter still. "I love you too, Claire."
Behind them, the man in the suit and tie was still watching them carefully, still in the doorway of the observation deck. When he saw Trevor step safely down, his entire body had relaxed, and he felt the tension drop off of him as he saw the two of them there embracing each other.
Claire held Trevor against her, not noticing the man, caressing Trevor's cheeks, wiping away his tears. "It's going to be okay, Trevor. It's going to be okay..."
"Oh gods, I'm so sorry, Claire. I'm so sorry. How did it come to this? What happens now? Frechette's had it out for me for years, and now with all this, he's got what he needs now. I killed one of his patients. He's going to get me for this. He's going to nail me to the wall, just like he said..."
Frechette fumed at the police detective standing beside him. "Of course he's dangerous!!! What's wrong with you!? He just murdered someone I was treating!!! It's a consistent pattern to his behavior. On a prior occasion, Mr. Hale even physically assaulted one of his therapists. I suggested to the hospital for years that he should be committed and not out on the streets, but they just let him get away with more and more. And now it's too late. He should never been removed from the ward in the first place! I was Mrs. Simmons therapist for months. Faith told me during our sessions that Trevor would rescue her. 'Free' her. She knew it too. She predicted this in her own way. I just didn't see it, I didn't see it..."
"And now doctor, not knowing Claire Allen's whereabouts, you believe Mr. Hale and Mrs. Allen are together at this moment. Do you believe this is some kind of... of abduction?"
Holding Claire, Trevor looked out at the city, tears in his eyes. "What are we going to do, Claire?"
"I don't know, Trevor. But we'll get past this. Together. Promise me..." Claire pulled back far enough to look into Trevor's eyes, as watery as hers. "Promise me, Trevor. We'll get past this together. Don't leave me again. Promise me."
Gently, Trevor wiped the tears from her cheek, looking lovingly into her eyes. "I promise, Claire. We'll get through this together..."
Waiting for a response, the detective looked at Frechette impatiently. "Doctor, we're going to need some sort of definitive answer from you."
Frechette was still standing there, pausing, speechless at the question, reluctant to answer, not knowing what to say. His voice sounded uncertain. "Well..."
The detective noticed, stepping closer to him. "You have to be honest with me, Doctor. I need to know the situation. Is this some sort of kidnapping? You know the individuals involved. With an armed kidnapping, I can assign far more men to this. So that's why I'm asking you. Do you have any indications, any indications at all, that Mrs. Allen went willingly with Mr. Hale?"
Frechette tensed, feeling it all inside him, the anger welling up, the impossible circumstances that he found himself surrounded by. His fingers gripped the folder in his hands more tightly, knowing what was inside. It was Faith's file. And nestled inside were the pictures Faith had taken and left in his office. Pictures she had marked as 'Proof'. Intimate pictures of Claire and Trevor making love, explicitly answering any question of the kind or relationship Trevor and Claire had together, and confirming all that he had ever suspected.
"Doctor?" The police detective didn't understand his pause.
Swallowing, Frechette looked angrily down at Faith's body again, knowing what Trevor had done. Then... he decided. He reached into the file he carried and pulled out a single picture.
"She's a hostage. Here's a picture of Mr. Hale from his hospital file." He handed the picture to the detective who looked at it with curiosity. It was a picture of Trevor in hospital scrubs, unshaven, a depressed expression on his face. When he caught the detective's gaze again, Frechette continued, not flinching, voice now full of certainty. "I have no reason at all to believe Mrs. Allen went with Mr. Hale willingly."
"Right." The police detective let out a pleased breath, seemingly happy he got what he needed. "Hostage situation. Possibly with an armed suspect."
Frechette nodded. He knew how the game worked. By giving the detective those particular parameters, he virtually insured a more extensive search and quicker capture of Trevor. But still, there was worry on his brow, looking down at Faith's corpse, wondering if he had done the right thing.
The detective misunderstood Frechette's expression. "Don't worry, doctor. That's what I needed to hear. We'll get him."
Frechette was looking at Faith, remembering all the sessions he had spent with her, his inability to help her, her obsession with Trevor. All that time with her, all those sessions came flowing through his mind. She knew he would 'free' her. Somehow, she had known so many things. And then, in all those memories, something small itched its way forward within his skull. Then it occurred to him, and his face dropped in shock. He looked around the room, almost panicked, eyes widening with disbelief.
The detective was talking softly with his subordinate, standing nearby, until he paused in his conversation when he noticed Frechette's reaction.
"Is there a problem, doctor?"
Frechette blinked, still feeling stunned. His words were an anxious rush. "The date. What's today's date?"
The police detective looked at him, confused. "May 5th. Today is May 5th."
Frechette blinked again, struggling to remember. And then without warning he turned and almost ran out of Claire's bedroom, eyes wide, like he had seen a ghost. He pushed his way through the other detectives in the room, moving as fast as he could, bumping the photographer in mid click as the bulb flashed. He didn't notice the photographer's angry mutter at him, instead desperate to get back to his office, back to his notes on Faith.
The police detective shook his head at Frechette's strange behavior as he heard the doctor leaving quickly through the hallway. Sometimes he really didn't understand these shrink types he had to consult with. He chuckled, exasperated, speaking softly to himself. "Almost as bad as the patients they treat...". The detective turned towards his subordinate, who had heard that last muttered remark and was giving the detective a quizzical look, waiting patiently beside him.
"Never mind." The detective spoke more loudly, now all business as he stepped away. "Put out the call..."
The second man grabbed a small receiver on a cord attached to his belt, lifting it to his mouth and pressing the button on it's side before he began to speak. "We need an APB out for a Trevor Hale, potentially armed and dangerous, and most likely holding a woman hostage named Claire Allen--"
A woman's voice was speaking, transmitting over the air all across the city of Chicago as a multitude of police radios suddenly sprang to life. The female dispatch officer continued to speak. "All units, be on the lookout for one Trevor Hale, dark haired male, late thirties, with--"
Officers all across the city paused to take note of the message, sunlight glinting on a dozen windshields as the police cruisers turned, various units driving all across the city of Chicago as buildings slid calmly by in the morning sun. There was the sounds of engines revving as the woman's dispatch continued to be crackle on the police radio.
On the roof of the observation deck far above the streets, the building official in the suit finally seemed to relax, seeing from his vantage point that the tense situation from a moment before had resolved itself. He still held a walkie talkie to the side of his head, speaking into it as he looked at the dark haired woman embracing the man who had been standing on the balcony stone railing near the edge before.
"Yeah, seems she talked him down. Looks like an all clear for now. No, there doesn't seem to be a further problem here..." Then still listening, the building official looked over at the two of them again as suddenly his brow furrowed at what he was hearing. "Their descriptions? Why do you ask..."
Trevor and Claire were still holding each other, far above the bustle of the city streets, as slowly if felt like the two of them were able to breath again. As they stood there in the sunlight, their minds racing with all that had happened, they felt like the were enclosed in a bubble, just the two of them, no one else but the love and tenderness of the other's embrace. Like everything only existed in that one space, that one moment, not wanting to let go of each other. It didn't last.
"Claire... It's only a matter of time now. They'll be coming for me. You know they will."
"Frechette's going to use this. You know that. He's been itching for some excuse, and this is just the thing he needs to lock me up now. He said he was looking for something to nail me to the wall with and I just gave it to him. Oh gods... I really murdered her."
"Trevor, it wasn't murder, it was self defense. She was attacking me. She was willing to kill me, all to manipulate you! We can tell them. We can make them see. Make them understand that--"
"Do you really believe that, Claire? I can feel it! It's all falling apart, going crazy around us. Can't you feel it?"
Claire could feel him talking against her shoulder, and she kissed his cheek, trying to calm him as she held him tighter. "We'll get through this, Trevor. There's no way they even know where we are yet. What's happening is still--"
Her words paused when suddenly she felt Trevor's body tense under her arms. He wasn't saying anything. She pulled back, looking into his face. "Trevor, what's wrong?" Claire wiped away his tears until she noticed that he had been looking at something over her shoulder, his gaze still locked there.
She turned looked over, both now finally noticing the building official watching them, dressed in a suit and tie as he stood in the shadows of the entrance, still speaking softly into the walkie talkie he held against his face.
The building official saw that the two of them were looking directly at him now. Anxious, he turned slightly away, trying not to draw their attention further, trying not to alarm them. He listened nervously to the information that was being given to him over the walkie talkie, growing more disturbed by the moment. "Yes... like I said, woman dark hair, also late thirties... Yes... that matches the description for both of them... No, they're still up here. You should get up here right away..."
The interior of another police cruiser was swimming in reflected color as the car tried to weave its way through the maze of downtown traffic, cars and trucks everywhere. Suddenly the car's dispatch sprang to life yet again.
"Suspect sighted. Repeat, suspect sighted. All units move in. We have reports of Trevor Hale and a single female, observation deck of the building on the corner of--"
The two officers inside the car, a man and a woman, started a familiar routine, hands moving through the interior. The woman gripped the steering wheel more tightly, engines revving louder as the car sped up, one hand flipping the sirens and lights on as beside her the man unbuttoned the black leather cover to his gun holster, reaching forward to pick up the mic and answer the dispatch as swiveling lights and the loud wail of sirens broke the calm everyday bustle of downtown, now sliding by faster all around them.
"This is unit 1068. Acknowledge, we're en route."
The dispatch radio continued to crackle as even more police units reported in, all converging on the location. Through the police cruiser's windows, buildings sped past, echoing the sirens back, their glass reflecting the turning swaths of the bright emergency lights into the dim, man made canyons of downtown. The cruiser's engine revved faster still.
Trevor and Claire were still standing in the sunlight and open air, both watching the man in the shadows behind them, who turned away yet again as they held each other. The man was still in front of the entrance, talking softly, definitely not stopping. And then a sound filled both of them with a sudden chill. From the vast, deep, gulf of air beyond the stone railing to their side, they heard it, the distant wail of a siren somewhere far below in the city streets. The sound sliced through the cool morning, echoing softly off all the towering buildings rising around them. The two of them tensed, pulling back.
Trevor looked into Claire's eyes, a sadness, an unstoppable finality in his gaze. "It's really over..."
"Trevor..." Claire's eyes darted around desperately, thinking, trying to find an answer. She looked at him again, feeling lost. "Trevor..."
The police sirens were getting louder, more harsh, like some predatory bird screaming out as it closed in. Another siren joined it in the distance, getting closer too. The birds were circling. And then, feeling it all drawing tighter around her, the man still watching them from the shadows of the entrance, she finally saw it. She finally knew what they had to do, the answer clear in her head.
"Trevor, run... Run with me. Out of Chicago. Away from all of this... Us. Together this time. Both of us..."
He paused, looking at her, sensing her resolve, and knowing in that moment all that she was asking, all that she was willing to give up, for him. As he looked into her eyes, he suddenly understood too. With everything crashing down all around them, there was nothing left to lose, except to keep what was most important. The gods, police, hospitals, all be damned. It was just him and her now. In a way, it had been that all along. He finally smiled slightly through his sadness, for a moment feeling like one resilient beam of daylight breaking past a churning storm as he spoke.
"Ok, Claire. We'll go... Together."
Claire breathed out, relieved but still worried. The sirens were getting even closer. "But first thing, we need to get off this roof. The police are coming."
Trevor suddenly had a rebellious glint at his eye, as if he were unconcerned, willing to take on any challenge, even the gods if need be. His mind worked as he stood in front of Claire, before looking over at the building official watching them, Trevor gazing intently at him.
"Don't worry, Claire. I've snuck up here loads of times after hours when everything was closed. That door isn't the only way out of here." Trevor's voice suddenly took a low, gravely, jedi master voice, for a moment the same playful Trevor he always was. "No, there is another..."
The building official was almost panicked. He was certain the potentially armed man was staring him down now, aware he was there. He turned away in his shadowed place in front of the building door, feeling the gazes of the two of them on his tense shoulders, knowing they were still staring at him. He tried to behave nonchalantly, but he couldn't hide the shaky, frantic tone of his voice as he spoke into the walkie talkie. "No, they're still here! I can see them. They can see me. And even I can hear the sirens already! They know something's up, so get up here quick!! I'm all alone up here! Unarmed!!! I knew I should have been a janitor instead! No... no I'm still blocking the exit. There's no other way down. But I--"
The man turned around again to look back at the two of them, but he suddenly blinked, stopping his words. The observation deck before him was completely empty. No one was in sight at all. The man stepped forward in shock, the radio still making obscure noises in his raised hand, someone still talked through it. He had only looked away for a second. It was like they had disappeared into thin air. The voice on the radio continued, asking what was going on, but the man didn't listen. He stepped out into the sunlight of the enclosed observation deck, and began to turn slowly in place. A fresh breeze blew over that high, isolated place, flapping the hem of his open jacket, but there was no one there. The man stood there, stunned and completely alone.
Frechette was frantic
He was in his office, almost out of control as he shoved file after file onto his desk, some of the folders slipping to spill their contents onto his usually well kept, carpet floor. An expensive looking desk lamp was knocked haphazardly off, but he didn't even blink, his mind racing with his search, twisting with what he was hunting for in his files. It couldn't be true. It just couldn't be. May 5th. There had to be some mistake.
He finally found them, the specific files he was searching for. Archived session notes labeled Mary Simmons. Frechette couldn't help it, his fingers were shaking. With an angry sweep of his arm, he shoved everything that was currently on his desk away, letting it crash loudly onto the floor, not caring about the noise. His breathing was quick and anxious, heartbeat way to fast... Hmm... He strongly suspected that some form of delirium had taken him. But he didn't pause long enough to fully self analyze, mind racing, more and more so out of control as he quickly spread the session notes out before him, notes he had never entered into his computer files except in a generalized form.
"No... No, it can't be true. It just can't be..."
Holding an expensive looking pen in his right hand, Frechette's fingers were darting over his writings, checking them all as quickly as possible, handwritten notes from months and months of sessions with Faith. She had told him so many things. So many 'prophecies' that she would mention offhand, out of the blue and usually completely out of context, like they were supposed to be familiar to everyone. Fragments of things, things he knew were in the notes, things that Faith had said which now tickled in the back of his skull, turning his world upside down.
He found the file, his hands a blur as he leafed through the pages paper clipped underneath. It was familiar. This was it, what was gnawing at his memory. His fingers rapidly traced down, page after page, tossing the read pages aside like trash, no longer caring about how organized they were. His right hand fingers still held the expensive pen nestled between them, but then, his eyes locked onto something, and he dropped it numbly.
Frechette had never known what to do about Faith's predictions. For a time he had followed up on her predictions, checking them out. They had all come true. He had even made a call to one place in advance, asked them to keep an eye out there for something she had said, in case that particular thing happened in the future, just like Faith had so confidently predicted. But he had given up on all that some time ago, realizing how foolish it all really was. He was a man of science, not of mystics. But now, all those small, meaningless, throw away comments he had recorded were appearing so clear in his notes. Deep down, he had never really believed. Until now. Slowly, he picked up the notes from one session, reading them.
"Trevor... He's going to release me from all this... rescue me..." His voice was soft, stunned. "He needs to believe again..." Frechette's eyes moved down the page, still whispering to himself. "I'll give you proof, but you will not use it. He'll free me on the fifth day of May, the day Trevor starts down the path which leads to... Trevor Claire, Claire Trevor... together they'll fall..." Frechette stepped slowly back, remembering. She had predicted it all. Told him everything that had happened so far, all months ago. It hadn't made any sense at the time, just fragments here and there, the ramblings of some insane individual. But now, with all that had happened, it was coming true, exactly as she had seen it. How could she have known? Frechette blinked, feeling so very completely lost, for the first time in his professional life.
"What the hell's going on here?"