An extremely official looking dark brown file folder slammed down onto
Frechette's office desk from out of nowhere, several papers shifting
inside as the folder came to a stop at an angle before the surprised
A low voice spoke to him.
"That's a court order, Dr. Frechette. In case you were wondering."
Blinking as he sat at his office desk, Frechette paused as new morning
light flowed crisply onto his shoulders through the window behind him.
The bearded doctor's face held a stern expression as he looked up at
the man standing before him. But for the first time, at the edges of
his eyes there was also a slight hint of fear at the sight of that
The imposing police detective who he had been dealing with on Trevor's
investigation was in his office again. He was standing silently before
him, his gaze hard and angry as he glared at Dr. Frechette with his
crossed before him. But this time he was not alone. Standing there with
the police detective was Frechette's direct superior, Dr. Greely. He
had accompanied the detective into Frechette's office for this
matter, and it was he who had spoken earlier. Now there was a
consolatory look on his eyes. Yet despite that,
the fact that
he was even there at all was a testament to the seriousness of the
situation Frechette found himself in. Looking away, Frechette swallowed
as discreetly as possible, his mouth feeling dry. He realized that the
imposing police investigator had finally had enough.
Having merely watched up to this point, the detective finally broke his
silence. His words were simple, reasonable sounding, but laced with
hints of menace. "You do recognize the document there before you, don't
Frechette scoffed quietly, but he knew he wasn't coming across as
as he hoped. He was shaking on the inside. "Of course I know what a
court order is. I'm not a
"This document," the detective interrupted him, obviously trying to
keep his temper in check and only just barely succeeding, "orders you
to turn over all of your remaining files, case notes, and relevant
records on both Mary Simmons and Trevor Hale."
Frechette sputtered, still trying to respond. "I-I don't understand. I
see why it's necessary to resort to--"
"It is necessary. Because frankly Doctor," the detective
the last word with disdain, "I don't believe you've been either helpful
or honest in aiding our investigation."
"But I've been nothing but cooperative with-"
Dr. Greely shook his head and looked down. "I think we're past that
The detective simply looked at him. "Who are you trying to convince,
Doctor? Yourself? Because you know I don't believe it. And I doubt that
either. You still can't face the truth. Deep inside, you don't want
Trevor Hale to be caught."
"You've been talking to witnesses before our investigation gets to
doctor." The detective made his point clearer. "Have you been coaching
them? Helping them to
cover Mr. Hale's tracks?"
Frechette thought about it, his reply full of uncertainty. "I would...
I wouldn't do that."
Dr. Greely sighed "You
must realize, Dr. Frechette. That this doesn't
look good for you. Or the hospital."
"I think I understand now," the detective said. Seeing Frechette's
pulled slowly back with a look of realization on his face. "I
understand why you hated Mr. Hale
before. Why you protect him now. Deep down, you admire him. For doing
the things that you can't. And deeper down, some part of you might
actually believe him. Believe that he's Cupid."
"I don't.. I..." Frechette's eyes swept around the room, looking for
some form of support from them, but he found none. Suddenly he realized
in the room too, behind the two men, unseen. But she was turned away,
as if not able to look at him as she faced the door with her arms
crossed. He almost called out to her, but stopped himself, knowing how
it would seem. Instead, he was truly alone in this. And for the
first time as he paused in
honest self reflection, he wondered if what the detective said was
The police detective remained further back, unconcerned as he spoke in
a matter of fact voice, beyond the need to overtly threaten anymore.
"This could get really bad for you. It could get out of control very
quickly. A prominent psychologist such as yourself. Don't think I
haven't considered bringing you up on charges of--"
Frechette went cold for a moment, looking past the detective's shoulder
again. Faith was still silent, unwilling to meet his eye.
"--impeding an ongoing investigation. Concealing evidence. Aiding a
Dr. Greely finally interjected, trying to defuse the situation. "I'm
sure it won't come to that, Detective." He turned back to Dr.
"Ian, there is already a court order. It's time for us to
cooperate in this. We can clean up this whole mess. For the good of the
hospital. For the good of yourself. Do as he says."
The detective's eyes changed, almost sympathetic. Frechette wondered if
it was real. "You still have control, Doctor. Don't make things worse.
You have the power. Just... start with something... anything... to show
me that you're willing to cooperate."
The office was completely silent, the two men waiting. Frechette felt
heavy inside, unexpectedly reluctant, not knowing what to do.
Then suddenly, his office phone rang.
With the moment broken, the detective turned away, frustrated. Still in
a daze, Frechette reached over and picked up his office phone.
"Ian Frechette," he answered simply, listening. A surprised look
crossed his face at what he heard. Across the office, Faith didn't seem
surprised at all. Not looking at him, her head dropped sadly down.
Everyone else waited for Frechette to finish his call.
Frechette couldn't believe what he was hearing. Still listening to the
call, his eyes met the detective's again as he answered. "Umm... yes.
Yes, I remember. Yes. I understand. Thank you. that is precisely what I
needed. Thank you." Blinking, he slowly put the phone back down, his
face still absolutely stunned.
The detective didn't seem to care, waiting impatiently.
"They're in Vegas." Frechette's voice was soft, not believing this was
"What?" The detective's attention peaked.
"Trevor Hale and Claire Allen are in Vegas at this very moment."
"Vegas, How did--" For once it was the detective who was at a loss for
Frechette still felt that reluctant weight in his chest, but he
continued anyway. "Something unexpected has happened. The victim, Mrs.
Simmons predicted many things about what Trevor would do, before her
death. Based on that, I left instructions with the manager of a small
chapel in Vegas. To contact me if anyone, under specific assumed names
Mrs. Simmons provided me with, ever showed up there. Trevor Claire.
Claire Trevor. They did. Last
night. They're in Vegas right now."
Frechette grabbed a pen and paper, trying to keep his hands from
shaking as he wrote down an address. "The chapel manager believes they
were staying nearby, overnight. Within a city block. But this is where
they were. As recently as several hours ago."
He couldn't explain it, but as the words left his mouth, Frechette felt
ashamed. He couldn't believe he was giving this over to the detective.
He couldn't believe Faith had been right about what would happen. He
looked over to where Faith had been standing and only he could see her.
But there was no one there. She was gone.
Looking at the paper in his hands, the detective addressed Frechette.
"Ok... we'll check this out. If this is true, then it's a start,
doctor. But just that. We're not done here. I'll give you some time to
gather your files, but we'll still need all the rest of information you
have from Mrs. Simmons, or about the people helping Trevor Hale."
Frechette paused. "Fine."
Dr. Greely let out a sigh of relief. "You're doing the right thing,
Ian. This madness is almost over."
"Good morning, doctor," the detective said curtly, powering out of the
office. He was followed by a content looking Dr. Greely, who obviously
felt the matter was resolved.
Frechette was alone again as he sat behind his smooth, expensive desk.
He felt saddened by what he had just done. Inside he knew it was for
the best. He was simply protecting himself. Helping to catch a
fugitive, just like he said he wanted to do in the first place. But if
that was true, why did he feel empty inside?
High above Las Vegas, the interior of a rooftop hotel suite remained
quiet, dark and serene. Outside, glowing through the wide, ceiling to
floor windows, the approaching sunrise was glowing in a breathtaking
swath of beautiful morning colors. The waiting, vibrant sky was bright
against the shadowed interior of the plush room within. Below it, the
skyline of Vegas seemed still, as if in anticipation of the coming day.
Sitting in a cushioned recliner that faced the windows, Trevor was
waiting for the sunrise too, smiling and feeling content.
Out of the darkness behind, Claire walked past him to the window,
slowly. She was naked from head to toe, her slender form outlined in
black against the colorful morning beyond. Remembering last night,
their first night together as husband and wife, Trevor's eyes shifted
over to her, watching her move, quietly, happier than he had ever been.
"It's beautiful, Trevor." she said, looking out.
"Yes it is." He wasn't watching the sunrise.
In that moment the upper edge of the waiting sun finally inched up into
the orange colored sky, sending the first new golden light of dawn
towards them, bathing Claire's body, shining on them both. Claire
closed her eyes, smiling in the new light.
"Enjoy this moment, Trevor. Before the rest of the world catches up
She stood before the window, still a dark outline against the sunrise,
but with the light of the morning along the edge of her figure,
emphasizing her form even more. Trevor seemed transfixed, watching her
naked and beautiful against the sky.
"Trevor, being here with you has been amazing. Being above all that out
there. I don't want it to end. But we should get dressed. We need to
"Claire..." Trevor shifted uncomfortably. "It's... it's too hard."
"Well, I know how sometimes things can feel overwhelming, but--"
"No, Claire. It's too hard. I... need to stay in this chair for
Turning her head from the sun, she saw Trevor watched her from the
shadows, shifting slightly in the chair, almost embarrassed. Suddenly
"Oh... ok." She waved her hands slightly towards him, amused, not
knowing where to put them. But then as she looked back at her new
husband, a playful glint flashed in her eyes. Moving seductively,
deliberately, she sauntered over to him slowly, making him shift in his
chair even more. In one fluid motion, she draped herself across his
lap with a smile, looking into his eyes.
"Why... Mr. Hale. Why do I suddenly feel like I should salute?"
Trevor kissed her. "We have time..."
She laughed, kissing him back. "All the time in the world."
It was still early morning in Vegas, the air crisp at that hour as the
sky continued to brighten.
Trevor saw the uniformed officers immediately, pulling Claire back
before they rounded the wall corner leading to the parking lot. The
morning rays still hadn't reached the sidewalk where they stood. Trevor
held Claire back, panic in his eyes.
Lowering her voice, Claire whispered to him. "Trevor? What's wrong..."
"Over there," he whispered tensely back. "By the car, Claire."
Slipping past him, she pressed herself tightly against the wall and
edged sideways, slowly looking past the corner towards the distant spot
where the black mustang convertible had been left parked last night
before they had been whisked away in the now long gone stretch
There were two policemen there, a man and a woman, slowly circling the
black mustang as they examined it. Their police cruiser was parked
across the mustang's front bumper, hemming it in. As Claire watched
from a distance, one of the officers paused behind the car, looking at
the rear license plate as he spoke into a walkie talkie receiver
attached to a wire. In the crisp, early morning air, she couldn't hear
what he was saying, but it was obvious he was calling in the plate
Pulling back, Claire's body went cold with fear, her heart pumping
frantically as she remained there pressed against the wall. The two of
them were still out of sight, but they had run out of time.
"How did they--" she began.
"They must have found out about Michael and Angela. Saw their car was
There was still fear in his eyes as he looked at her. "Where do we go
Her mind raced, thinking, going over possibilities. She settled on one
quickly. "We get as far away from here on foot as fast as we can.
Then... we find different transportation."
"Okay." Trevor took a deep breath, steadying himself. "We can do this,
She took a deep breath too. "Yeah. Let's get moving."
Gripping her hand, he gave her a quick, desperate kiss, looking into
her eyes. "No matter what happens. No matter what comes... just know
that I love you, Claire."
"I love you too, Trevor."
And then for a brief moment, Claire smiled. Raw fear still obviously
pulsed through them as they hid there, but she almost believed
they could handle anything. "Come on, Trevor. Let's get going before
they search the area."
As quickly and as quietly as possible, they walked away from the
parking lot, slipping into an alley in the opposite direction as they
abandoned their car and all the supplies the group had given them,
leaving it all far behind.
It felt strange to be starting with almost nothing.
Trevor and Claire were several blocks away, surrounded by the cold
early morning air that the sun's rays far above hadn't reached yet.
They had clothes, they had some money, but nothing more. As they
they came across a non fenced in used car dealership. Above, there were
colored streamers of triangular flags over the whole lot, stiff and
tattered. At the far back was the small shack of the car lot's sales
office, dark and empty with no one there yet.
Keeping an eye out for police cruisers on the street, Trevor and Claire
moved discreetly into the lines of unattended cars. The street across
the front of the lot remained empty, the small space fairly isolated in
an out of the way spot.
Claire kept looking around with a purpose, searching for a car it would
be easy to get into. Then she spotted one, a large blue convertible
near the back. It had its top down, was big and solid, but it had seen
better days. Crouching, she led Trevor over to it, slipping over the
car door and into the front seat and out of sight.
Still watching the street, Trevor didn't notice what she was doing
until he turned around. Surprised she was already in a car, he ducked
down quickly to not be seen. He called to her in a loud whisper.
"Claire! What are you doing?"
"I'm hot wiring this car, Trevor."
"Wha-...Hotwi-... How... Where'd you learn to do that?"
Laying on the floorboard, Claire had already forced open the steering
column assembly. Now she was carefully pulling out and searching
through several wires near the ignition switch. As she continued to
work, she smiled at Trevor's questions.
"I'm the doctor of a jazz guitarist, remember? He took me and Mara on
the road a lot. Surprising what you pick up. I was drunk, sixteen,
to win a bet with my father. But Mara won. She was always better at
this than I am."
Trevor blinked, not expecting that. "Just when I thought you couldn't
get any hotter... What kind of messed up GTA childhood did you have?"
"An interesting one... I just hope I can remember enough to figure this
As Trevor waited, he looked around the car lot helplessly. "Some god I
am, Claire. Wish I could offer some divine power to pitch in with
"Well, I don't think there was a greek god of Grand Larceny, Trevor."
"Actually, there--" he stopped when a car passed on the street, ducking
"Don't worry, Trevor..." Claire was straining to pull the wires out
more, stripping the leads bare. "I should be able to do this..."
Trevor thought about what he had just admitted. He hated feeling
helpless. There had to be more he could do. He was Cupid, the god of
love after all. Either he believed that, or he didn't. It was time to
jump in and test some of his godly skills. Keeping low, Trevor moved to
the front of the car. Claire remained out of sight inside the
convertible, but he could still hear her as she struggled with the
"Just one more..." she said. Then there was a snap of electricity
followed by a curse. "Damn it! That stings. Let me try something
Slowly Trevor stood completely up before the front bumper, feeling
exposed in the morning air of the car lot. His gaze dropped to the
square blue hood of the large convertible, a glint of challenge in his
eyes. Was he a god or not? Taking a resolved breath, he reached out
with an open palm and placed it down on the cool metal of the cars
hood. Claire continued to work out of sight on the floor of the front
seat. Trevor closed his eyes, concentrating. He knew he could do this.
He whispered to himself, his eyes still closed.
"There is no spoon..."
Without warning, the car engine suddenly rumbled loudly to life,
roaring and revving in the morning air. Trevor yanked his palm back in
surprise, opening his eyes. Claire rose from the front seat with a
victorious smile, looking at him.
"I got it, Trevor. Get in."
Happy for entirely
different reasons, Trevor moved quickly to her side of
the car and kissed her.
"Scoot over, Claire. I'm driving."
Claire rolled her eyes. "Men."
Trevor jumped over the car door and into the convertible, dropping in
behind the steering wheel with a smile. Beside him, Claire noticed his
"What's with you?" she asked, curious.
"God's taking the wheel," he joked. Trevor put the large convertible
into drive and looked at her. "Just now realizing anything's possible,
He accelerated out of the line of parked cars on the unattended lot,
pushing free through a streamer across the exit before speeding eagerly
onto the road and heading out.
Trevor couldn't exactly remember how everything had happened next.
Multiple images seemed to flash together.
A sudden tense flash of fear as the blue convertible turned a corner in
the road and a police cruiser unexpectedly drove past their front
bumper, crossing their street at an intersection, and turning past
Time slowing as they tried not to panic when the cruiser pulled away.
Then as they watched in the rear view mirror, the cruiser paused...
and turned back towards them.
Trevor kept driving slowly forward. The police car dropped in behind
it's lights flashing calmly with no sound. With fear in their eyes,
and Claire looked at each other silently, not knowing what to do.
and the cruiser gave chase.
Everything suddenly was faster, a chaotic mix of roaring engines,
wailing sirens, and flashing lights. But then it was as if the sound
dropped away, leaving behind a dizzying whirlwind of even quicker
images, speeding out of control.
They sped past casinos, down empty early morning streets. They moved
into a business section, with other flashing lights joining in pursuit,
silent in the rear view mirror, pulsing violently. There were other
flashes of light on side streets parallel to them, the hunt growing
wider as more cruisers followed them. Trevor rounded a corner. A man in
a suit jumped out of the way, papers from his briefcase flying. A
street sign crashed over their hood and past them. Sparks erupted at
side as they grazed parked cars.
But then in the silence, there was a low approaching roar over the
frantic images, growing louder in an unstoppable rush. Suddenly the
quick staccato images stopped as sound rushed loudly back into Trevor's
ears. And then... he was back in only one place. The one place it seems
he had been in forever. Driving, desperate to escape, skyscrapers
towering all around.
Trevor wondered how it had come to this.
As he sped dangerously around slower traffic, swerving harshly back and
forth with the world bouncing and blurring around him, he realized he
didn't even really know where he was anymore or where he was going. His
entire existence now was about sirens, acceleration, and evasion.
Adrenaline flowed through him like a roaring wave moving a break neck
speed until he was under, fear drowning him all around. In all that
chaos, the need to run, the need to escape, was the only thing that
But as the large blue convertible he and Claire were riding in
stretched and swerved past each obstacle with its engine roaring, each
near miss smaller and smaller, more out of control than the last, it
began to dawn on Trevor that they were running out of time. Eventually
this chase would end, and not well. A quick glance into Claire's
terrified eyes, seeing cling desperately to the car around her, told
him that she sensed it too. The pack of police cars following were just
too good and too many. It was only a matter of time before they were
boxed in, or Trevor crashed.
Over the din, Trevor felt helpless as he called out to her. "We're
going to need a miracle, Claire..."
And then... they got one.
All over Vegas there was constant construction. One block ahead, a new
skyscraper was being built, a slender cable lifting a giant steel
girder into the sky next towards a nest of others, their beams resting
high above the city street. And then out of nowhere, for no apparent
reason, the cable broke, snapping loudly in two.
Hurtling down the street, Trevor saw the skeletal, metal frame outline
of the building bouncing towards him, and his mind raced as he thought
about how to get around it safely.
High above in the building framework, construction workers scrambled
and dove out of the way as the massive steel girder fell, hitting the
level stack of girders beneath it with a rattling steel boom, tilting
one of the remaining girders up and towards the edge as it tumbled past
on it's way to the street below.
With the sirens loud in Trevor's ears in the enclosed space of the
skyscrapers, Trevor checked his rear view mirror again, the police
lights still flashing there as the convertible raced up next to the
construction site. He suddenly looked forward again just in time to
see a huge metal object crashing into the road ahead, cracking the
street below as Trevor raced towards it.
"Oh gods!" His eyes widened in shock.
Without thinking, he did the only thing he could do, slamming the
steering wheel to the right.
The car fishtailed, and it's rear driver's side struck the girder,
crunching and splitting part of the metal car body along the wheel
well, above the tire as the car pulled of the road and sped away,
driving past the gate and into the maze of the construction site.
Far above, the girder that had been tilting precariously on the others,
began to slide along its length, destabilizing the whole stack and
disappearing from view.
The police cruisers trailing Trevor slowed when they saw the first
girder fall. They watched as the convertible turned into the
Inside one of the police car, the second officer motioned frantically
to the driver. "in there! In there!"
As they approached, suddenly another girder fell from the sky and
crushed into the gate, collapsing the way, dust rising into the air.
The car stopped, both drivers examining the situation as other
screeched to a halt behind.
"Can we go around?" one asked the other.
As if in response, a dozen more girders came raining down, making a
wall of twisted metal, erasing any doubt.
For Trevor and Claire, the world still bounced and shook harshly around
them as Trevor raced the convertible across the rocks, dips, and gravel
of the construction site. A forest of vertical support girders flashed
by as Trevor steered through the tight spaces of the unfinished
building. Everything seemed to vibrate chaotically as they tried to
escape, rattling their bodies as they both held on for dear life, their
vision shaking uncontrollably.
And then they were clear of the maze of steel and cement, racing
towards a simple chain link fence and gate fronting a back alley.
Trevor accelerated and burst through without pause, the car's back
swinging around and throwing up a plume of earth as it turned. Then the
car was speeding down a thin, one lane dirt alley. For the moment they
were going straight, bouncing along at high speed.
Claire looked back, but there was no pursuit. Close walls with no
openings blurred past on either side, almost within arms reach. Their
hearts still beating a thousand miles a second, they both finally had a
brief moment to think.
"What just happened, Trevor?"
He shrugged, speaking loudly over the roar of the engine. "I don't
know... Just lucky, I guess."
And then, far ahead, they saw the alley simply coming to a stop. All
that that was left was a small dry slope of yellowed grass and weeds,
Trevor's hands gripped the steering wheel tighter, not slowing down,
but uncertain as he looked quickly back and forth between her and what
was coming. "What do we do, Claire!?"
She didn't know what else to say, shouting over the roar of the engine
too in the tight space.
"We keep going, Trevor! Drive cross country until we find a back road
The blue convertible bounced up the grassy rise, shaking before moving
over the crest and disappearing into the Nevada desert beyond.
It was several hours later, and Frechette felt a coldness form in his
chest the moment that he saw.
He was inside his office, watching the large plasma screen television
inside his polished cabinet that he never watched, his harsh gaze
watching a news report, his body tensing.
A pretty female reporter was on the screen sitting behind a desk in a
"The incident began earlier this morning, when an anonymous tip led
investigators to a stolen car in Las Vegas, one it was believed the
wanted fugitive Trevor Hale and his hostage, esteemed Chicago author,
columnist, and relationship expert Dr. Claire Allen, to have been
using. But then a short time after police found the car, the two were
spotted in a different vehicle and several police cruiser pursued,
resulting in a high speed chase through downtown Las Vegas, before the
fugitives escaped. We are now showing you some raw footage taken by a
visiting tourist, who just happened to--"
Frechette stopped listening, a lump in his throat. There in front of
him was the result of what he had done, the tip he had passed on
earlier that morning. He had caused this. He had lit the match, and now
the situation was burning out of control.
Turning back to the rest of his office, he tried to reign in his
thoughts. He had done the right thing, hadn't he? Every time he
cooperated with the police, he was simply protecting himself. But if
that were true, if what he had done was so logical, so reasonable...
why did it feel wrong inside him?
Frechette looked over at the court order still lying on his desk.
Everything else he had. Everything. That's what they wanted, but he
wasn't ready to face that yet. Because inside he knew that if turned
over all the information he possessed, Faith's predictions in his case
notes, Jaclyn's extensive list of the contacts helping Trevor and
Claire, then it could be the cause of many more scenes like the one he
had just witnessed.
The sour looking doctor paused where he stood, as if deciding.
Then he called out, his voice full of uncertainty.
"Faith? Are you there?"
He looked around his austere, expensive office, but it was empty.
Frechette sighed in disappointment. He hadn't seen a single glimpse of
her since the police detective and Dr. Greely had left that morning.
Inside, he told himself that he should be happy that she was gone.
Instead it startled him inside when he realized that he wasn't.
He tried again.
"Faith, what should I do?"
Searching, he turned in place again. But there was nothing. No
startlingly beautiful blue eyes watching him tenderly, her blond
surrounding her as she smiled like an angel. There was no calm,
contented voice, full of music, to comfort him. No serene face
offering him kindness. And most of all, no answers.
Jaclyn couldn't believe what she was seeing either.
Her wide open eyes were frozen as she watched the same news broadcast
from her apartment. She simply stood there, stunned, transfixed by the
images on her screen. In her hand was a new, updated contact schedule
and supply drop for Trevor and Claire, now completely forgotten as it
fell numbly from her hands.
In the apartment behind her, Champ was still gathering some of the
supplies and donations. The two of them were the only ones in Jaclyn's
apartment, alone together. Champ seemed lost in his own thoughts as he
put loaded several boxes with food and necessities, realizing how much
he had relished the last several days with Jaclyn, being with her as he
helped out. There was still a deep unspoken wound between them that
needed to be healed. But it
didn't take long to remember how much he enjoyed being around her, or
even simply being near her. Every time he saw her energy and
remembered again why he fell in love with her.
Not turning around, he called out to her as he worked. "The phone's
been clicking again. I think it's being monitored. There's a chance
Champ stopped when he
looked over to where she was standing, motionless before her small tv,
her papers scattered at her feet. From where he was he couldn't hear
what was being said, but there was obviously something that was not
right. Concern growing on his face, he walked carefully over to her.
"Jaclyn what's wrong?"
She still didn't move. Her voice was distant, lost.
"There... was a chase. A police pursuit. They were almost caught. There
in Vegas. Some anonymous tip. But... they managed to escape."
He looked at the tv to
see what was happening. The image flashed away from the news anchor and
began showing some shaky hand held footage marked recorded earlier. It
seemed to be amateur footage from a tourist's video camera at street
level, swinging wildly around to catch a brief image of a blue
convertible racing by and scraping against a parked car in a shower of
sparks, before speeding away as four police cruisers followed in
frantic pursuit, their lights flashing wildly.
"Anonymous tip..." Jaclyn spoke softly, her eyes watering, a helpless
expression on her face. "Why would anyone do that to them? Why--"
She turned to him as realization dawned on her. "Champ... are we the
"What? Of course not. There's no way that--"
"The phone's been clicking for days. I know. We've been as careful as
we could. But what if... what if we..."
"Jaclyn that didn't happen."
"So they just 'happened' to almost get captured at one of our contact
points? Champ what if, without knowing it... we're the source?"
"I..." He didn't know how to answer that.
She looked back at the screen. "They're really all alone now. There's
no way they'll risk the next drop. We don't have any way of contacting
them. We don't know where they are, where they're going. They're...
really on the run."
Champ simply stood beside her, not knowing what else to do.
Suddenly Jaclyn's face crumbled, and turning towards him she fell into
his arms, tears falling from her eyes. Champ seemed surprised for a
moment, but then he put his arms around her, comforting her. The two of
them were all alone in the quite, and there was nothing else that could
The night sky outside
Frechette's exclusive high rise window was dark. Evening covered the
whole of Chicago beyond. Inside the bearded doctor's immaculate
penthouse suite, it was dark as well. The only glow illuminating the
interior was the dim light from the fireplace falling upon him. The
fire's glow left him constantly half in shadow and half in light as he
carefully paced back and forth over his expensive carpet, his thoughts
Something different was happening to Dr. Frechette, and he didn't know
what it was. He had always been so confident, so sure of himself,
considering whatever course of action he decided on to be the only
right and just one. But now, that hidden intellectual swagger, that
certainty, seemed to be a distant memory.
As he paced in the dim orange light of the fire's glow, he carried the
court order he had been given earlier that morning in his hands. When
he looked down at it, it felt solid, real. Something with real
consequences. Something he could not ignore, and something he could no
longer avoid. His time had run out. Now he was faced with what was
official mandated by law. To turn over everything. Everything that
would get Trevor Hale into custody, almost without question. And the
thought of that was causing a strange pull inside his chest that made
it harder to do. Something really was different.
The stern faced doctor
walked over to a small table, turning on an
expensive lamp. It's light illuminated a stack of case folders he had
gathered, everything he had on both Mary Simmons and Trevor Hale,
precisely as requested. Included in the stack was Jaclyn's list of
contacts across the country, people who were helping the supposed god
of love, revealing possible search areas. And even more damning, his
hand written session notes containing Faith's predictions of what would
next, predictions which had been miraculously true time after time. Yet
for some reason Frechette hadn't expected, the prospect of turning all
that over wasn't as easy as he would have believed.
Still completely undecided and at a loss, Frechette lowered his head,
not knowing what to do.
It was the next afternoon, and the pale sun was glowing brightly
through the high, thin windows of the police precinct building.
Frechette knew what he had to do.
He strode confidently
forward through the large room, desks and file
cabinets streaming by on either side. There was a cold, determined look
in the doctor's harsh eyes, ignoring everything else around him and
staying set on his purpose. Under his arms he carried the same case
folders from last night. What he was doing made sense. His uncertainty
was gone. In the end, he really had no choice.
Walking straight up to the police detective's office door, Frechette
was intercepted by the man's junior partner before he could go in.
"Excuse me, Doctor. Can I help you?"
Frechette gave the young man a smug look.
"Yes. He's expecting me."
Far from the police precinct, Trevor and Claire were still driving,
oblivious to what was going on. They didn't know how they had gotten
this far. It seemed luck was still on their side. It had been a long
night of staying on the most obscure roads they could find, not
stopping for any reason. Always north, and west. They had switched
driving duties several times for sleep, but now it was Trevor who was
driving again. They both felt exhausted, battered and bruised by what
they had gone through. It was hard to feel like they were being hunted
for days on end, and it was all finally catching up to them.
The damaged blue convertible was still moving forward, as resilient as
they were, but they could feel it was wearing down too. There were
scrapes along its side where Trevor had careened off of parked cars in
Vegas. The rear wheel well still showed the gash where the first
falling girder had clipped the metal. A jagged piece of the car's body
protruded downward, the pointed tip vibrating as it dragged and
bounced against the spinning rubber of the tire as they drove.
Both Trevor and Claire suddenly looked up towards the road ahead
without a word. The convertible was turning around a long, slow curve,
and without warning a vast expanse of blue water appeared before them
beyond the high cliff they were driving on. It was the Pacific Ocean,
stretching calmly across their path as far as the eye could see.
The police detective stood up from behind his desk as Frechette entered
his office. Without preamble, Frechette tossed his stack of files down
on the man's cluttered desk, not caring about politeness.
"Here are all my files on Mary Simmons and Trevor Hale. As requested."
The detective nodded, seemingly relieved. "You're doing the right
Frechette seemed to ignore anything the detective was saying as if it
was of little consequence, continuing instead. "There's something else
I need to tell you."
He looked the detective in the eye, his gaze certain, steady as he
continued. "I have
to be honest."
The convertible paused there, idling in the middle of the small, empty
road as Trevor and Claire looked at the ocean. The isolated asphalt
lane ended at the intersection of another small road following along
coast with a cliff on the far side. It all felt out of place. For so
long they had been
traveling with the simple, unexplained imperative that Trevor
had felt. To go west. Now it seemed strange to have to stop. But they
had finally run out of continent. There was no where else to run.
A light insubstantial rain began to fall from out of the pale sky
above, misty and barely there. The two of them continued to look out
over the water, undecided.
"What now, Trevor?" Claire looked at him.
Trevor tried to find that pull inside him again., the same pull that
had guided them here. But there was nothing.
"I don't know Claire... We keep driving."
Slowly, he turned the blue convertible and started to drive north along
the coast. The road started to shine darkly under the misty rain. Their
skin and clothing were becoming slightly wet under the gentle deluge,
it felt more like a cleansing of their tired bodies. In the damaged
wheel well of the convertible, the metal fragment still scraped and
bounced over the spinning tire.
Far away from them, Frechette continued what he was telling the
"There's more information I need to give you. Something Faith did, that
I was holding back. It has information that could clear all this up."
The small wet road curved and swooped along the coastal cliffs. Trevor
drove through the mist rain. For a moment he gave in to the feeling of
being exhausted, feeling it in his bones, but only for a moment. Some
of the clouds broke apart in the sheet above, revealing a distant hint
of rainbow arcing through the sky for an all too brief flash, before
fading like a forgotten memory that never was.
There was no one else around. The small coastal road remained empty,
isolated. If it really was a miracle that they had gotten this far
without being spotted, then their luck was holding. But for some
strange, unexplained reason, now everything felt quiet, as if waiting
for something to happen.
Frechette calmly handed over the very last file he was carrying, a file
with writing on the outside, writing that wasn't his. Writing that
simply labeled the file 'Proof'.
"Dr. Allen is not a hostage, Detective. She never was. Those pictures
that. Dr. Allen and Mr. Hale were romantically involved. They were also
being stalked by Mary Simmons. Constantly. She was the one who took
the pictures covertly, and she most likely felt threatened by their
relationship. Mrs. Simmons was dangerous, prone to violence and
obviously a threat to one or both of them. It is my clinical opinion
that whatever did occur that night, was most likely in self defense.
Trevor and Claire are blameless in this."
The detective seethed quietly at what Frechette had held back.
The previous night, in the darkness of Frechette's home, he looked into
the fireplace, standing closer, thinking.
Yet the voices in the detective's office could still be heard over the
shadowed scene, continuing.
"I see... is this all there is, Doctor?"
Frechette calmly reached forward and placed Jaclyn's contact list and
Faith's prophetic notes into the fire, keeping only one small piece of
paper and putting it into his pocket.
In the unseen
detective's office, Frechette's voice answered.
"Yes, finally. This is everything I have. There's nothing more."
In the fireplace, the stack of papers quickly caught fire and burned,
turning to ashes. The last bit of information that could reveal where
Trevor and Claire were was gone forever. He had spent so many hours
pouring over those sheets, it felt finally good to be rid of them.
Inside, Frechette rationalized that he was simply protecting himself
incrimination. But deep down, he knew why he was really doing it. And
for the first time, that didn't bother him.
With a contented sigh, Frechette watched the fire burn until it was
like the papers had never existed, satisfied, before turning away.
The metal scraping in the wheel well of the car bounced more
frantically, getting caught in the thin groove it had made around the
Trevor looked out past the rain speckled windshield glass at the road
ahead. The light mist had stopped. In the seat beside him, Claire was
asleep. Up ahead was a high bridge leaping bravely across a wide gap in
the cliffs, water rolling and frothing far, far below.
The road still shimmered wetly as Trevor drove onto the two lane bridge
and out to the middle.
Suddenly there was a large explosion. Behind him, the tire
disintegrated and the blue convertible swerved out of control, the lost
tire rim trailing sparks. In a split second, Claire was instantly
awake, grabbing the edge of the door frame as the world spun around
them. Trevor frantically tried to regain control.
Unstoppable, the low railing of the bridge raced towards them. The
convertible burst straight through and past it without even pausing,
even as Trevor still tried desperately to steer away.
They both paused in disbelief. For a terrifying moment everything
seemed completely still, becoming lighter. Then the front of the car
dipped down and the outside world tilted. Far below the bridge a huge
vertical wall of water rushed inevitably towards them as their stomachs
rose into their throats.
Claire barely had time to scream.
Time sped up, the water accelerating closer, impacting violently.
And everything went black.