something strange was happening to him.
He was in his office,
listening. Simply listening and taking notes, hardly asking any
questions at all as he interviewed the long line of volunteers Jaclyn
had brought with her to talk about Trevor. The air seemed soft on his
skin, calm all around him, sunlight falling warmly on his shoulders as
it poured through the window behind him.
As the stern faced doctor
listened his pen moved fast on his notepad, jotting down contacts,
names. But slowly, things began to change. Minute by minute, interview
by interview, the doctor's harsh expression was slowly turning into one
of wonder. He was listening to so many people that all of it was
starting to blur soundlessly together in his mind, their words echoing,
mingling. Faces, stories, feelings, all passing through his thoughts as
one by one, a different person came into his office.
Each one entered alone,
unique in their experiences, gliding silently through his office door
and into the austere interior within. He held onto the images of them
standing up, sitting down, talking to him, those impressions almost
merging into one another. Each of them was there to tell a story. A
story about Trevor and how he had helped them find something vital,
something precious in their lives. More than just companionship, more
than just sex. Even more than love. It was as if Trevor had helped them
to see themselves, helped them free themselves for the first
Blinking, Frechette realized
Trevor did the same thing he did as a therapist. Or tried to do,
anyway. And as he listening to what they said, his expensive pen
more and more over his notes as he became lost in their stories, he
began to realize with increasing clarity one simple truth. Trevor did
As a doctor, had he ever
helped anyone to
the extent Trevor had helped these people? He wasn't so sure now. The
faces continued to change, blurring together as people came and went
from the long line waiting outside, their mouths moving silently as
The angle of the sun visibly shifted across his back as the day
progressed. He wrote and listened, a sparkle of amazement growing in
That same, soundless serenity
seemed to cover what appeared to be an endless two lane road, rolling
calmly closer, silent in the desert. Yellow stripes and dark asphalt
slipped past underneath, the road stretching gently down a slope to a
horizon of red, rocky formations, dry bushes and cactus plants sliding
Above, the sky was warm and
blue, a glaring bright sun bracketed by puffy white clouds floating in
the dry midday air. The flat lower edges of the clouds were dark blue
with waiting rain. Through all the wide open spaces, the sun was
illuminating the desert below as everything moved gracefully past to
either side of the road. Everything was silent, as if safely isolated
from the rest of the world, simple and beautiful.
The shiny black hood of the
mustang convertible came into view, the road still sliding past beneath
Sitting behind the steering wheel, Trevor was driving
them through the remote region, the sun's glow bright on his face. The
rushing over them was warm and full. Looking over at Claire sitting
Trevor watched her dark hair dance on the breeze as they sped forward,
red desert rock passing behind her. They had left the snow capped peaks
of the Rocky Mountains glinting in the sunshine hours behind them.
they headed deeper into that isolated part of the desert. As he watched
her, Claire's eyes were on the road before them, lost in her own
Looking ahead again, Trevor
couldn't explain what he was feeling. Both he and Claire were letting
go of the stresses of the past few days, even if only for a few hours.
Ahead, the road was turning around a large rocky outcropping, before
dropping again in a gentle incline. And as the new vista opened up
before them, Trevor pause at what he saw, looking ahead in amazement as
In the distance, dark thin
streaks of rain were falling from underneath the clumps of floating
white clouds, finally releasing their moisture onto the shadows of
thirsty desert beneath them. Between the clouds, the sun was angling
down in golden shafts, beams sliding across the desert. But more
startling than that, everywhere the rain had already passed, almost
magically, a sea of unexpected new green tinge had sprouted up under
of the open sky. The field of color was alive and new over the browns
of the dead desert plain. It was a wide, amazing image of newborn
beautiful and serene.
One by one, they kept coming
into Frechette's office, and he realized he didn't have to ask too many
questions. They were all very forthcoming, willing to talk, their words
sincere. He looked at the man before him, listening to his tale. It was
Lawrence, and he was different this time, no longer reluctant or
evasive. Instead Lawrence was speaking honestly, the words pouring out
of him without condition.
"It was a tough time in my
life. I guess I hit rock bottom. But Trevor kept bumping me forward,
telling me not to give up..."
Suddenly Mike had replaced
Lawrence in the seat before Frechette's desk, and his demeanor had
changed too. He smiled as he remembered, his words soothing, his
movements animated. "And when I finally listened to Trevor and took
that leap--... I mean, it was just amazing. And for the first time in
all of my life, my life seemed... full of possibilities."
Still amazed by what was laid
out before them, Trevor looked over at Claire as they silently drove
through the desert. He saw Claire's eyes sparkling happily at the
beautiful vista of vibrant color stretching to the desert horizon. He
could feel it too, being there with her. With a smile he looked back at
the amazing sight, the two of them suddenly filled with hope.
In Frechette's office, a
young blond woman was speaking now. "Trevor was great. He helped me
through it. Didn't let me wallow for too long. He gave me a shoulder to
cry on. But after, he was pushing me back out there, telling me to get
back in the game..."
"I had never even though of
Lawrence that way," Tina was explaining to Frechette with a smile, the
previous blond woman gone. "Until somehow, Trevor planted this thought,
possibility in my head. Wasn't too long after that before my heart
followed. Trevor helped me see past my preconceptions of how the world
had to be. To see the possibilities of what could be."
A thirthy-ish businessman had
replaced Tina in the chair, a knowing smile on his face. "I mean, I
know where this connection Trevor had started was going, you know? But
what surprised me was that because of him, for the first time I wasn't
afraid to find out. I mean, she could really be the one."
Claire looked over at Trevor
in the driver's seat of the convertible, the amazing image of the green
tinged desert passing behind her in the warm sunlight. She felt happy,
but a question was bouncing in her mind.
"Trevor... what's it feel
like to really fly?"
Laughing, Trevor simply kept
"It feels... amazing."
Another woman with long,
curly light brown hair and kind eyes was seated across from Frechette,
answering. "I mean, now that I'm with Jim, it's just... wow. It's just
like... I'm floating."
Thinking about Claire's
question as he drove, Trevor looked over at her, the sunlight bright
all around them as the woman's voice in Frechette's office continued to
"Like gravity didn't
matter to me anymore..."
Finally Trevor got an idea,
freeing one hand from the steering wheel, he tapped the top edge of
Claire's seat in the convertible as the car continued to drive through
the verdant desert.
"Get up here, Claire."
"Really?" she asked,
wondering what he meant.
"It's okay. I'll hold you."
Smiling but looking a little
reluctant, Claire rose out of her seat as red rock walls passed behind
her. Cautiously she positioned herself and sat on the top headrest of
her car seat, feeling exposed by the open air around her precarious
position as they drove on. She gripped the seat tightly with her hands
to either side of her legs. With his one free hand, Trevor held her
ankle gently, trying to overcome her reluctance. Claire felt very high
above the mustang, her hands no letting go yet.
The woman's voice speaking to
Frechette could be heard again.
"I really was floating.
was stepping up, rising, spreading my wings..."
Looking away from the road
for a moment, Trevor gave her an encouraging look. And slowly, Claire
let go of her hard grip, Trevor still gently holding her ankle.
Tentative, she lifted her arms, spreading to either side, growing
braver by the moment.
The unseen woman continued to
speak. "And just like that, in the space of a single heartbeat, I
Claire couldn't believe what
she felt, perched in the air above the rest of the car as everything
else slipped by around her. She felt the warm wind flowing over her
face, nothing but open spaces to either side as they sped down the
black asphalt road, her arms spread out, unguarded, unburdened. And in
that exhilarating flash of freedom, Claire couldn't help herself,
There was a twinkle in
Lawrence's eye as he smiled at Frechette. "I feel alive now. The sun is
warmer. The sky brighter. Everything feels alive again."
With her arms spread, Claire
simply reveled in the sensation of everything that was happening, the
red and green desert surrounded her as it passed in the bright
sunshine. Behind her, distant falling rain caught a twinkle of
sunlight, and unexpected rainbow arching in and out of view in the
otherwise dry desert air. With a smile, Claire tilted her head back,
enjoying the sun's warmth on her face. And closing her eyes, her arms
outstretched, she flew.
Another man was in
Frechette's office, a grateful look in his eyes. "When I really think
Trevor, all I can say is... 'Thank you'."
"Thank you..." a red headed
woman seemed to agree.
"Thank you." Lawrence nodded.
"Thank you." Tina said with a
Carefully, Claire dropped
back into her seat with a contented sigh, her 'flight' over, but still
with a sense of exhilaration in her chest. Catching he breath, she
looked over at Trevor as he drove, grateful for what he had given her.
"Thank you, Trevor." she said
Pausing for several moments
in his office, Frechette didn't know what to say, his pen still in his
hand but now motionless over half completed notes he had abandoned
writing earlier in the process. Slowly, he put the pen down, looking
over his polished desk at Jaclyn, the last person to come in after a
long day of interviews.
"Thank you, Jaclyn. I think
I'm beginning to understand."
Claire smiled at Trevor as
they drove. "I think it's time I returned the favor, Trevor."
He looked at her, blinking.
"Return the favor? How?"
Her eyes glinted wickedly as
she kept her secret.
"You'll see. Pull over,
Trevor. I'm driving."
The sun was finally starting
to lower past midday, green tree leaves waving gently in the soft
breeze. A simple dirt road cut through the trees lining either side,
moving up to the two story house with a covered wooden porch
front. The small, isolated dwelling was the same one where Trevor and
Claire had stayed for a night, the Bennett household, serene in the
Suddenly there was the
scraping roar of tires on dirt, and a police cruiser came into view,
moving down the dirt road and leaving am expanding line of dust kicked
up in its wake, floating on the air. The police cruiser drove further
away, heading for the homestead at the end of the road, in no apparent
hurry. When it reach the building, the cruiser turned slightly, pulling
parallel with the front porch and coming to a stop.
After a few moments, there
was two dim thumps of car doors closing on either side of the
vehicle, as two uniformed police officers got out and shut their doors
again. Birds chirped in the trees, content in the early afternoon
light. After a few moments a man and a woman came out of the front door
of the homestead, having seen the policemen's arrival, curious as to
what was happening.
The two policemen moved up
the wooden steps, addressing the Bennetts politely. Although nothing
could be heard in the distance, the small group stayed on the porch as
calmly, the police began to ask the Bennetts some questions.
Claire had taken over the
driving duties, speeding the agile convertible along a small dirt road,
over and around various small desert rises. They were driving along,
apparently in the middle of nowhere. Trevor was sitting beside her,
wondering where they were going, but he didn't question her. She only
repeated what she had already said, that she was going to 'return the
favor'. Claire seemed certain in her direction. All around the speeding
car, the dry land was brown and flat, covered in brittle shrubs and
small weeds sprouting from the dirt as far as his eyes could see. Far
off in the distance were the hazy reddish brown rocky heights, leaving
wide open spaces of dry desert air around them. The cloudless blue sky
still stretched in the heat above.
As Trevor looked into the
sky, his eyes caught something metallic glinting brightly, high above
in that blue. The object turned, and Trevor realized it was a small two
person prop plane, circling, swooping.
Claire saw the object too,
smiling. "Knew we were close. Turn off's around here somewhere."
Finally an even smaller road
appeared to one side, and she pulled the car off the road they were on,
following the smaller road into the dry desert, leaving dirt slowly
rising in her wake. Looking past the front windshield, Trevor saw a a
tiny airfield bouncing towards them, safely tucked in that remote
expanse. The entire facility was little more than a large metal shack
that served as a hanger, and a small administrative shack
Stretching into the distance away from that was a small, worn looking,
gray asphalt airstrip that had seen better days. Slowing the mustang
between the two buildings, Claire stopped the car in the desert quiet,
the engine rumbling softly, before she turned it off. Trevor and Claire
got out on either side, looking around, the sun hot on their faces.
Calmly, Claire took his hand, before she called out into the air.
Walking out of a small door
in the side of the metal hangar, an older man came over to them. Seen
dimly through the open doorway was the edge of another two person prop
plane under repair in the shadows of the hangar, obscuring something
white behind. The man approaching them was tanned and muscular despite
his age, strong bulging arms covered with tattoos, wiping black engine
from his hands with a rag. But despite his imposing demeanor, his eyes
were kind, smiling at them as he approached.
"Clarinette," he said
happily, his voice as gruff as his appearance, like sandpaper on wood.
"Oh Claire, how have you been?"
"Good to see you, Sammy."
Claire hugged the older man, obviously knowing him.
Like a worried father, the
gruff airplane mechanic looked her over. "My god, Clarinette, how long
has it been since I laid eyes on you?"
"Well, since... before Jack
died." Claire replied somberly. She turned to wards Trevor. "Samson,
I'd like you to meet Trevor Hale. The love of my life..." she said with
Samson gave Trevor a strong,
welcoming handshake. "Nice to meet you, Trevor."
"Hey man, likewise," he said
"Trevor, this is Sam
Conathan. Jack's father."
Trevor looked down,
remembering Jack Conathan, Claire's pilot boyfriend. Reaching out,
Trevor gave Sam another consolatory hug. "Hey Sammy, sorry about what
"Yeah..." The old man said,
surprised, but appreciating the gesture. "The pilot lesson business
hasn't been the same here since he left for Chicago. Not as many
customers lately. And then I heard about the accident... well, at least
I know Jack died doing what he loved." He looked at Claire. "Miss you
out here too, Claire. Sorry things didn't work out with you and Jack.
He' always been... flighty. How you holding up?"
"I've been better. Things are
pretty hectic right now."
"Yeah, I heard the news. But
you know, you're both always welcome here, Clarinette."
"Thanks, Sammy." she replied
gratefully, "We're not staying long. Just need to lay low for a few
hours. Wait for night before heading into Vegas. We have a contact
meeting us there. Where's Benny?"
"Oh, he's up in Number Three,
checking out the engine repairs I finished on it. Still following in
big brother's footsteps. Used to be Jack's favorite plane before... he
"Yeah... I'm glad I could see
Sammy. I was wondering... Think I could stretch my wings a bit?"
The older man gave her
look. "I think that could be arranged. Let me go inside." He
disappeared into the hanger with a smile.
Trevor turned to her, the two
of them alone. "Planning to fly us out of here, Claire?"
"No. Training planes
don't have the range. And landing at a major airport would draw too
much unwanted attention. Just waiting for nightfall. Enough time to
stretch my wings and return the favor."
Trevor blinked. "Stretch your
wings? What do you mean?"
The inside of the hanger was
black, covered in shadows, until suddenly, with a whir of a small
electrical motor, the main hanger doors began to slide to either side,
opening onto a desert vista, the shiny black mustang parked on the
asphalt behind, three figures standing there, outlined against the blue
sky. The trio walked in, Trevor looking around. The moved deeper into
the echoing hanger, the air cooler than the heat outside. Samson turned
to Claire, pleased.
"Benny's on his way down.
I'll go get her ready."
With that, the older mechanic
walked away, ignoring the two person prop plane he had been working on,
going past it. Trevor was still not sure what was happening. "Claire,
what's going on?"
She smiled walking past the
two person prop plane and guiding Trevor deeper into the hanger. "Just
returning the favor, Trevor."
As they stepped forward, the
prop plane slid past to reveal a slender white vehicle behind it, its
lines smooth, delicate and beautiful. Trevor looked at it in awe. It
was a glider, simple and amazing. It had no engine, no props, nothing
to distract from the sense of flight, the sense of freedom waiting to
be released. Looking over, he saw a name written on the side of the
plane in fancy cursive, Claire.
She smiled proudly at him.
"Jack gave me glider lessons. Named the glider after me."
Smiling, Trevor was still
watching the glider in wonder.
Claire took his hand, giving
it a squeeze as she looked into his eyes.
"Time to fly, Trevor..."
The blue desert sky stretched
full and blue above, alive with possibilities in the warm sunshine that
glowed brightly down. Below, a small prop plane raced across an cracked
dried out runway with a barely perceptible black line connecting it to
the graceful shape of a pearly white glider being pulled behind. Both
small in the vast desert, gaining speed.
Inside the bouncing glider
cockpit, sunlight fell through the clear canopy onto Trevor's smiling
face, his heart pumping as the glider picked up speed, bouncing,
as if straining impatiently to go back to its natural place up in the
deep sky. Behind him, Claire
reached from around his sides to the controls, her breath on his cheek
as she smiled as well, ready to control the glider once they were
Trevor held his breath... and
suddenly, after the shaking stopped, they were in the sky, pulled by
the small black cable stretching from the prop plane flying before
them. Carefully they rose
higher, Trevor feeling alive as the sun shifted through the canopy.
Soon they were high above the desert, and Claire reached past Trevor to
key the radio.
"Ok, Benny. Let her go..."
The cable dropped out of
sight as the small plane swerved slowly away. And then... they were
FLYING. Exhilaration filled the inside of his chest as the glider
tilted over the desert far below, the late afternoon sky a beautiful
clear blue around them. He felt gravity turn around them, felt the
delicate glider swim through the sky like a dancer. And finally, Trevor
couldn't help it.
"A touch of home." she said.
Claire smiled behind him, her hands accompanying his on the glider
controls. "Feel familiar?"
His eyes sparkled happily.
"You have no idea..."
"Wanna try it?" Claire nodded
to the controls.
"Oh yeah." He nodded
Claire let them go, and
Trevor took the glider controls on his own. Cautiously, she started to
speak. "Now be careful with the stick, it's very--"
Confident, Trevor dropped the
glider into a steep dive, laughing. Claire held onto the seat as they
increased speed, the ground racing towards them until he pulled the
flying machine gracefully back up. They now soaring higher, and higher,
flipping the glider vertical until she worried they would stall in mid
air. But like he had been doing it all his life, Trevor turned the
glider expertly on one slender wing tip as it paused, pointing the nose
down until they flew graceful down once again in a smooth arc. Claire
seemed to relax, exhaling when it looked like Trevor knew what he was
doing. Her eyes were amazed at the maneuvers he was performing,
effortlessly guiding the glider like he had been flying forever. Maybe
he had been.
The sun was starting to dip
towards the horizon, painting a beautiful swath of colors before them,
and she smiled as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders, the golden
light flowing on both of them. He kept the glider aloft longer than
anyone Claire had ever seen, like a professional dancing on air. Trevor
continued to fly for several minutes longer than she thought was
possible, until she sensed a change.
"Trevor what is it?"
His hands seemed impatient as
the glider slowed more and more, its momentum now almost over. "Not
His eyes shifted past the
canopy, the sun shining at them, and he seemed to want to soar beyond
the simple glider that was encasing them. And almost without thought,
his hand slowly reaching for the canopy latch, already rising out of
With a smile, Claire placed
her hand over his, stopping him. She spoke gently, feeling the pull
inside him. "I don't have wings, Trevor..."
Trevor seemed to come out of
a daze, looking away from the sky at her beside him. He pulled her hand
to his lips, kissing it gratefully.
"Thank you for this, Claire."
"You're welcome, Trevor."
The sun was still a few hours
away from sunset, but the sky was already a beautiful glowing red, as
outlined against it, the slender outline of the glider slowly turned
for the runway on the desert floor below.
"Ok... thanks, Dwight."
Standing on a noisy Chicago
sidewalk in the late afternoon light, the assistant to the police
detective pressed a button and folded his cell phone shut. Walking over
to where the head detective was finishing up an interview with a shop
owner outside his establishment, the assistant looked a down at the
notepad in his hands where he had written down information from the
phone call he had been on, still on the case to find Trevor and Claire.
The two men in suits stood
there on the sidewalk as cars sped by on the road, drowning out what
the head detective was saying to the nervous looking man before him.
Finally the gruff detective thanked the shop owner and turned away, a
frustrated look on his face. As the shop owner went back inside, the
older policeman scowled at his younger assistant, already not liking
what he knew the young man was about to say.
The younger detective
breathed in, steadying himself, but still feeling confident. "Ready for
this..? Just got off the phone with the unit we sent out to the Bennett
The older detective's face
soured even more. "And?"
"And... both Bennetts claim
neither of them have seen or heard from Mr. Hale or Mrs. Allen since
before they moved out of Chicago. But after when the detectives looked
around... they noticed a black mustang registered to Mr. Bennett's name
was missing. When pressed about it, the Bennetts had no explanation.
They assumed it must have been stolen."
The assistant nodded, holding
up his notepad. "Took down the make, model, and license plates... so we
can put out an APB on the car."
The harsh looking detective
shook his head, then bobbed it towards the store front beside them.
"Same story here. Yet another person who claims to have not seen or
helped them in any way. But this guy was nervous. I know he was hiding
something, like the others. And he told me something else... He's
interviewed... by Dr. Frechette."
"Another one?" The younger
man sounded incredulous. "What's that make, seven outside interviews
"Nine," The detective
corrected him, his frustration simmering angrily in his words.
conducting an investigation of his own. Just like I suspected... the
good doctor's been holding out on us."
The assistant looked at him
for a long cold moment. "So what do we do?"
The detective paused as he
stood on the noisy sidewalk, thinking. Slowly the sun finished slipping
below the edge of the city's skyline, dropping beneath the horizon and
slowly darkening the sidewalk around them. The detective looked at his
assistant, now a shadow in the dim light.
"Which judge's got the docket
tonight?" he asked.
"Flanderson..." the young
"Yeah... He'll do. I've had
just about enough of this. Time to force the good doctor's hand..."
It was early twilight, the
mustang's now dust covered black finish was reflecting the delicate
swath of colors from the remaining daylight above, purple and blue. The
silent, empty road stretched through a dry wide plain towards a cluster
of lights set against the darkening horizon. Claire was asleep in the
passenger seat beside him as Trevor drove and looked ahead. Everything
seemed to have settled down, quiet and peaceful. But there was also an
alertness in the air around him, as if
something were waiting to happen. Trevor couldn't shake a feeling of
unease, blinking to himself, stretching his shoulders, feeling the
Ahead, something approached
unexpectedly. It was a small wooden structure, alone in the silence.
Slowing the car, Trevor watched it pass by. It was a small white cross
made of wood, pushed into the dirt beside the road. And then, it was
followed by another. And another, nothing else around for miles in the
flat desert. There were flowers and notes clustered around the base of
each, faded and forgotten. It suddenly caught up with Trevor that
these were memorials, markers where someone had died in a car accident
on the very same road he was driving down. It seemed surreal, nothing
else around for miles. As the small shadowed crosses passed into the
dim light behind, a chill went through Trevor's body at the ominous
He looked over at Claire
sleeping, seeing how beautiful she was. He knew that despite
wouldn't let anything bad happen to her. The bright blinking city
lights of Las Vegas got closer up ahead. Forgetting his unease, Trevor
smiled instead, carefully reaching over to touch Claire's face and wake
"We're here, Claire..."
Harshly pushing back the
black night sky, a
sea of gaudy lights strobed and blinked all around Trevor and
Claire as they drove the shiny black convertible down the main Las
Vegas strip. There were cars and people everywhere. Claire seemed
nervous, despite knowing they had timed this to enter at night and be
conspicuous, to blend in as two more tourists. But still feeling
suspicious, she carefully
read each passing street sign, searching.
Trevor kept an eye out as
well, watching for police cruisers. But by the grace of the gods, there
were none in sight. At an intersection, he turned the car slowly,
trying not to be distracted by the bustle of the sparkling electronic
display. They were supposed to meet their next contact somewhere in
this chaos, if they could find the spot.
"Turn here, Trevor" Claire
said. "I think we're close."
Trevor turned the steering
wheel again, reflections sliding colorfully across the car's hood, the
engine growing louder as they left the hectic activity of the main
drag, driving onto a darker street behind. After a minute or so, he
pulled into a small parking lot set before the lit front glass of a
of the way coffee and doughnut shop.
There was a woman outside,
waiting there patiently.
Claire looked down at her
watch. "Right on time..."
Trevor pulled the car up
beside the woman, and with a smile she called playfully out to them.
"Hi, Susan." Claire replied
gratefully, sounding tired as she got out of the passenger side of the
mustang, moving up and giving the woman a hug as Trevor got out on his
side as well.
"Susan!" Trevor looked over
at her in surprise. She was the woman who had received a heart
transplant, and he hadn't seen her in a long while. Was he going to run
into all his bead matches on this trip?
"Hello, Trevor. Glad you
found me. I brought you guys some more money and supplies from the
group, and a place to stay..."
Trevor also gave the woman a
excited hug, genuinely pleased she was there, growing more animated as
he stood beside her on the darkened sidewalk with Claire. "It's good to
see you, Susan. My 'perfect match'. How have you been?" he asked
"Good. Happy. Alive." Her
eyes sparkled at them. "I, umm... moved here to Vegas after Chicago.
Jaclyn contacted me yesterday. Seems more out going than I remember
Resistance is going strong it seems. But let's go inside. You must be
It was a few hours later
when Trevor and Susan were walking side by side outside the coffee
shop. Several steps behind them, Claire was on Susan's cell
discussing their next move through a complicated set of cross call
Jaclyn had set up. For the moment, Trevor and Susan were alone, the
street before the coffee shop silent, only an occasional car driving
by. Still they kept well away from it, walking in the shadows.
"So, the FTR arranged a place
for you to stay tonight," Susan was explaining again.
Trevor nodded, looking down.
"What, some cardboard box in a back alley somewhere?"
"No, a rooftop luxury hotel
suite on the main strip, actually."
Surprised, Trevor looked at
realizing she wasn't kidding. He was impressed. "How'd you manage
"It's usually saved for
performers, musician types. It's open for you and Claire to use,
courtesy of one Sophie Gill. It was already reserved for her this week,
"Sophie was here?" Trevor
asked, remembering Champ's recording artist friend, thinking of road
trips and stretch limos.
"Yeah, but she cleared out.
Went to her next stop early with Brian. Don't worry. The suite's set up
for reclusive rock star types who don't want to be seen. Private
elevator. Underground limo access. No one will see you."
"Yeah..." Trevor grew quite,
thinking of all that had happened. He and Susan continued to walk, the
mustang parked far behind them. Claire followed them several steps
back, voice quiet as she talked on the cell phone. Trevor couldn't help
but wonder how much his life had changed, being on the run with Claire,
having to hide from place to place.
Susan looked at him. "Still
"Yeah. I feel it's where I'm
supposed to go."
Susan seemed to sense his
mood, glancing over. "Crazy times, huh?"
He nodded. "Life can throw
you for a loop sometimes."
"I know..." She kept walking
along beside him. "Makes you realize things. Makes you realize how
short this is. Life, I mean. Like the short time I spent with Dan? It
was so worth it.
Despite what happened, I'm glad I knew him. Glad I loved him. Glad I
took that chance, thanks to you. And he's still here," she touched her
chest fondly, "With me."
Trevor looked sadly away.
"Well, you know more than anyone. Not everything ends well for people
who are with me. Look at right now. I'm a wanted fugitive. Claire's on
run with me, not knowing where we're going, or how it ends."
"Who says it ends?" She
smiled, still walking. "Doesn't matter, Trevor. That's what you showed
me. You can't let the world hold you back, no matter how much it wants
to. You have to grab hold of your own life and not let go."
"Yeah? How do I do that."
They were approaching a
smaller building, brightly lit with blue and white neon on a garish
peaked roof, alone on the darkened street. Susan looked at him. "You do
it by taking the opportunities, when they're there.
Regardless of what the world around you wants
instead. You do
that by following the only thing that matters."
Knowingly, Susan looked over
at the bright building in the distance they were standing in front of.
Trevor looked over as if seeing it for the first time. A neon sign
flashed, reading FOLLOW YOU HEART. Trevor stopped, thinking, wondering
if somehow Susan had planned this. He looked over at her, a question in
She smiled back at him, her
face lit dimly in the shadows by the small nearby building's neon
lights, a certainty in her expression. "Someone once told me, you can't
live life like you're going to die. If there's one thing I've learned
from that, Trevor, it's... don't wait."
Looking down, Trevor allowed
himself to imagine, to dream of the what ifs. And suddenly, it
all seemed so simple, a weight falling off his shoulders. It was
so clear now, so obvious he that he didn't know why he had never seen
it before. He felt a wave pass through him, washing away his doubts.
Suddenly it was as if his soul had been freed.
Somewhere in the quiet Vegas
night, an acoustic guitar began to play as Trevor looked back at Susan,
his eyes sparkling with sudden joy. Accompanying the unseen guitar, a
man's voice began to sing, floating over everything.
I won't talk, I won't
I won't move until you
that you belong with me...
Trevor suddenly turned, an
eager hop in his step as he walked back to where Claire was trailing
them as she spoke on Susan's cell phone. Coming up to her, Trevor bent
the cell phone shut, interrupting her call. Claire blinked at him in
surprise, not understanding his sudden change in demeanor.
The guitar continued to play,
the man continued to sing.
You might think, I don't
but deep inside, the corner
of my mind
I'm attached to you...
Before Claire could ask
anything about what was happening to him, Trevor rushed forward and
kissed her deeply, holding his body against hers as he took her into
his arms. Claire was confused for a moment at his sudden embrace, but
then she couldn't help but fall into the kiss with him, closing her
eyes as her arms wrapped around his back in a loving caress, leaning
closer. Several steps away, Susan looked away with a smile, swaying
I'm weak, it's true,
because I'm afraid to know the answer
Do you want me too? Because
my heart keeps falling faster...
Claire felt her whole body
swoon, catching her breath as Trevor pulled back, breaking the long,
passionate kiss. Gently, he took her hands as she tried to get her
bearings, guiding her eagerly after him, moving past Susan. Claire
didn't understand, but for the moment she was too exhilarated to care,
following him towards the illumination ahead.
I've waited all my life,
to cross this line,
to the only thing that's
"Trevor, what are you doing?"
His face beamed as he looked
at her, as if everything finally made sense. "Something I should have
done a long time ago..."
Still holding her hand, he
guided her towards the brightly lit building ahead.
So I will not hide, it's
time to try,
anything to be with you...
Suddenly the two of them were
dark figures in the distance, outlined against the lights. Susan was
watching off to one side. Trevor turned and faced Claire, shadowed
against the neon draped form of a small out of the way quickie wedding
chapel, covered in blue and white glowing bars as another sign
flash FOLLOW YOUR HEART. Claire glanced at the building, shocked,
before she watched Trevor slowly drop down to one knee before her. The
acoustic guitar music still played softly. Kneeling in the distance,
Trevor's words were too far away to hear as he looked up into Claire's
eyes. She looked even more shocked at what he was saying, but it was
only for moment. Then she was nodding happily, laughing as he rose and
took her into his arms, swinging her around in absolute bliss.
All my life I've waited,
this is true...
Susan opened the door to the
brightly lit interior of the busy coffee shop with a smile, calling
"Hey... You guys want to
attend a wedding?"
Inside the main room of the
tiny wedding chapel, a red neon outline of a heart glowed near the
crest of the peaked ceiling, placed over a podium underneath. The
'minister' smiled kindly having done this so many times before. Trevor
waited nervously by the podium, looking towards the back of the room, a
huge smile on his face.
But when the door opened
opened, it wasn't Claire, it was a crowd of talkative, happy patrons
from the coffee shop, some still holding coffee cups and doughnuts,
guided in by Susan to fill the empty rows of seats. Trevor looked at
Susan with a question.
With a pleased expression,
she shrugged. "God of love deserves a bigger audience than just one
person if he's getting married, don't you think?"
Trevor laughed, nodding at
her. "Thank you, Susan."
Trevor straightened his hair,
fussing over his ordinary clothing as he waited. He exhaled, happier
than he had ever been. The suddenly the door at the back of the room
opened again. The guitar continued to play over the scene, but now it
was joined by a soft cello in the background , as the male voice
continued to sing.
You don't know, what you
Every time you walk into the
I'm afraid to move...
Trevor paused, his jaw
dropping, stopping in wonder.
Looking into his eyes, Claire
smiled, walking into the chapel as all eyes turned to her. She was
wearing a different blouse, simple blue silk. In her hands was a
bouquet of white flowers, nothing out of the ordinary, but somehow...
she was absolutely stunning. She looked like an angel, gliding forward,
more beautiful than he had ever seen her, happiness exuding from her
like a light brighter than any sun in the sky. Slowly, she came up to
him, reaching out. Gently she took his hand into hers, holding it
tenderly, pausing it there in mid air with a slight squeeze. A spark
flashed through him, feeling amazingly alive.
I'm weak, it's true,
I'm just scared to know the
The minister looked at them
expectantly, waiting to start the process, his pen in hand over some
Trevor paused thinking about
how much he should answer. But then it came to him.
"Trevor Claire." he said
altogether. "My full name is Trevor Claire."
She smiled at him, her eyes
beaming. The minister blinked, as if
remembering something, something that should be familiar. Then he
turned to her.
"And your name, miss?"
She squeezed his hand
Do you see me too?
Do you even know you've met
Still trying to rekindle his
memory, the 'minister' finally just pushed it out of his mind. "Okay.
Shall we begin?"
For Trevor, the rest of that
night was like he had lost any sense of time beyond what happened. It
was like the only thing that existed, that ever existed, were those
next few hours.
Images passed together in a
music growing louder as orchestra strings joined the cello and the male
singer. The 'minister' spoke, Trevor and Claire kissed, and suddenly
they were husband and wife, and it was like they always had been.
The crowd rose and applauded, some giving yells of approval, throwing
white coffee house sugar packets instead of rice, as Trevor and
Claire walked happily back down the aisle. The sugar filled packets
fell on their shoulders, some cascading down their smiling faces,
followed by rose petals someone had found, filling the air.
Several champagne bottles
popped behind the happy crowd at the same time, foam spurting up. A
real party was starting in the room. Trevor and Claire, the happy
couple, staying, mingling with new friends. Images blurred, women
giving Claire congratulatory hugs, Trevor laughing as he spoke with
several people. Claire looked over, smiling, when she saw Trevor guide
a reluctant looking man over to the woman he had obviously been
watching the whole ceremony. She nodded, realizing that was Trevor. It
was they way he should be. Love's greatest advocate until the
end. No weddings followed after, the chapel theirs as the music
continued to play, orchestra strings joining in now as more
instruments playing along, even as more people came in and joined
I've waited all my life
to cross this line,
to the only thing that's
So I will not hide, it's time
anything to be with you,
All my life I've waited, this
Outside the small wedding
chapel, as the cheering coffee house crowd followed Trevor and Claire
out still tossing sugar packets, a stretch limo waited, Sophie Gill's
limo. Susan had called ahead. Happily, Trevor and Claire got in,
pausing inside. There were two champagne glass and a bottle on ice, a
note left behind long before they had even entered Vegas, which simply
read HAVE FUN YOU GUYS. LOVE, SOPHIE AND BRIAN.. Touched,
Trevor and Claire looked at each other in the quiet of the limo.
Suddenly they were truly alone, kissing, just the two of them.
Outside, the crowd cheered as
the limo pulled away, sugar packets and rose petals sliding off it's
roof as it disappeared into the night. Champagne in his hand, the
'minister' applauded with the rest, still trying to remember what he
had forgotten, taking yet another drink as he went
back into the chapel with the others to continue with the party.
I know when I go, I'll be
on my way to you,
The way that's true...
As the music still played,
the limo pulled into the dark underground garage. The car door opened,
and no noticed. The private elevator door shut, and no on saw. Claire
walked forward, guiding Trevor by the hand into the dim, luxurious
sweet, the glittering bright expanse of Las Vegas glowing in the night
beyond the wide glass windows. In the shadows, Claire looked into
Trevor's eyes, looking for the same reluctance she had seen after the
first time they had made love. It wasn't there, his eyes certain,
And in that moment, they knew. This was right. Slowly they kissed,
tender, as outlined against the dazzling city lights of Las Vegas, they
began to remove each other's clothing. As the music played, there was
no other sounds, clothing gently falling to the carpet like rose
Trevor and Claire gave into
each other, proceeding without hesitation, kissing each other, skin lit
by the dim light coming through the window, as they slowly
dropped out of sight, leaving only the city lights beyond twinkling
like stars, witnessing.
I've waited all my life
to cross this line,
to the only thing that's
So I will not hide, it's time
anything to be with you,
It was the next morning and
the sun hadn't even risen yet when the 'minister' of the small chapel
finally roused himself from where he had passed out in the main
ceremony room and entered his cramped office, head pounding with a
champagne hangover. It had been quiet a celebration last night, and he
smiled at the memory of the happy couple, wishing them the best.
Something was strange about them, however. Something about their names.
Something he should remember.
And then he saw it. There was
a small Post-It note on his bulletin board, placed there so long ago
that it started to fade and age, long forgotten. But now he remembered.
Remembered receiving a call from some psychiatrist in Chicago, asking
him to call back if anyone ever showed up under a specific set of
names, Trevor Claire and Claire Trevor. Confused at how the man could
have known what would happen so far in advance, the minister pulled the
post it off the wall, looking at the phone number written there,
blinking with curiosity.
"Dr. Frechette..." he read.
"Hmm. Guy must be some kind of psychic."
The man paused, suddenly
reluctant. Finally he shrugged and picked up the phone.
"What could it hurt..."
All my life I've waited,
this is true...
Finally the music ended, the
singer stopping his song as the acoustic guitar hit a final chord and
faded away, leaving only the sound of a ringing phone in the minister's
ear. As he waited for this Dr. Frechette to answer the call, the
minister tried to clear his head.