There was an incessant knocking at Jaclyn's door, as sleepy eyed, she
wandered through her apartment, trying to stay in motion long enough to
unsuccessfully navigate without bumping against every wall.
"Coming! I'm coming already." she called out, passing through shafts of
light from a sun she hadn't seen rise in ages. Finally she got to her
door, trying not to fall over as she opened it.
"Jaclyn. No time to explain. We need your car." Claire said quickly.
"Claire, Trevor..." She blinked at the two of them, surprised. "What's
A car trunk was thrown open, filling it with late morning light. Bag
after bag of clothing was thrown in immediately, Trevor moving
frantically behind. Behind her, Claire was watching the street
nervously, wrapped up tightly under a shawl. There was the footsteps of
someone running, and Jaclyn came up to them, out of breath.
"This is all the money I had in my ATM account." She looked at the two
of them. "Are you sure about this?"
"Umm...." Trevor looked uncertainly at Claire, who looked back.
"Yeah, I know the feeling." Jaclyn handed them the money. She almost
fell over but straightened herself with effort.
Claire noticed, looking at her. "Jaclyn... are you... drunk?"
"Prahhbably. Mmm-Hmm. Yeah..."
Trevor smiled. "Jackie ohh!!! Intoxicated!!! What have you been
drinking? Come on, give me the lowdown."
"Went all out, Trevor. The really hard stuff. Wine coolers."
Amused, he shook his head. "You are so cute..."
Claire looked at her gratefully. "Thank you, Jaclyn. I know this thing
with you and Champ
is hard, but it'll work out in the end. I wish we could be here for
"It's okay, Claire. As long as you and Trevor are safe." She watched
Trevor toss in a few more supplies. "Gee, Trevor. I always wondered if
you wanted to get into my trunk, but this isn't exactly what I had in
"Hey, me neither, Jackie. But there's no Jell-O anymore and I'm all out
of whipped cream." Trevor started arranging the pillows on the edges
and floor of the trunk, before starting to climb in. On the sidewalk
behind them, a pedestrian was walking by, giving him a strange look.
Trevor paused halfway in, staring at the man meaningfully for a moment,
before waving his fingers slowly at him.
"These aren't the droids you're looking for..."
The man continued to walk with a frown, staring at Trevor the entire
way. As Trevor finished crawling in, turning on a flashlight and
looking around inside. Claire grabbed the edge of the trunk, about to
close it. "You know that wavy thing never works, Trevor."
"I've missed your sparkling pessimism, Claire. Ooh. There really is
room in here. I know we're still on the lamb, fleeing and desperate and
all, but if you'd like a little bit more of the glory that is the god
of love, maybe there's time to crawl in here for a quick--"
Claire closed the trunk on him, cutting him off. Still wrapped tightly
in a shawl and dark shades, she turned to Jaclyn on the sidewalk beside
her. "So... how do I look?"
Jaclyn tried to be tactful. "Glaringly inconspicuous?"
Claire dropped down behind the steering wheel, inserting the keys
inside the ignition. "We'll phone you once we're out of Chicago, to
tell you where we're leaving the car, so you can pick it up, ok? And
Standing by the window, Jaclyn looked at her, sad to see her go.
"So you're really doing this, huh?"
"Yeah.... Yeah we really are. As long as I'm with him. That's all that
Jaclyn couldn't help herself. Her eyes misted, and she reached into the
car and wrapped her arms around Claire. "I love you, Claire."
Claire held her gratefully. "I love you too, Jaclyn." When Jaclyn
pulled back, Claire laughed softly. "I'm just glad I'm wearing these
shades so you don't have to see me cry."
"It's okay to cry. I'll miss you. You'd better go. Who knows how soon
the police might look for you here."
Claire reached over, turning on the car, engine coming to life, when
she paused, seeing the tattered surface of the dashboard on Jaclyn's
car. It was old, worn. Jaclyn had made carvings in it. One had read
Jaclyn and Trevor 4 ever. Until it seems Jaclyn had crossed out
Trevor's name and replaced it with Champ's name. And then, that had
been crossed out too, and been replaced by a large etching beside it,
which read DIE, CHEATER, DIE!!!
Claire blinked up at Jaclyn without a word.
Jaclyn smiled sweetly. "I may still have issues..."
Frechette seemed frozen in place.
He felt it, felt it happening all around him, felt as if he were caught
in some sort of enigmatic web of things he didn't understand. He was
back at his home, still shaken from what he had read in his office,
and from seeing Faith's dead body that morning. It was a lot to take
in. And now, he didn't know what to think, sitting on his bland couch,
looking over at the table by the wall. He had brought Faith's file back
with him, and it was sitting there on the table, waiting. A chill
passed through him, looking over at it. The woman was dead, but
there she was, still whispering to him in those writings, like a
phantom in his ear. Things just weren't supposed to be this way,
unexplainable. He wouldn't let them be.
Frechette scowled, purposely ignoring the file, deciding yet again that
it was ridiculous. He turned on his dark, metallic looking television,
flipping through channels, when suddenly a news report caught his eye.
A woman was speaking, doing a newscast report, the words SPECIAL
BULLETIN bracketing her underneath.
"And to repeat, the police have put out a area warning for a mental
patient named Trevor Hale, who may be armed and dangerous, and may be
holding a hostage named Dr. Claire Allen. Mr. Hale is suspected in the
murder of another mental patient, one Mary Simmons, who was found
murdered this morning at around--"
Watching the report, Frechette blinked. Suddenly he looked nervous,
remembering what he had told the investigating detective, and now
seeing what the results of it were. He knew Claire had gone willingly,
Faith had made sure of that. But he had lied to the detective anyway.
And now, seeing the news flash on his screen, the lie was starting to
gnaw at him.
He looked sadly at the screen, whispering softly to himself.
"Ian, what have you done..."
He pushed it aside, trying to convince himself that he had done the
right thing. Trevor had gone too far this time, and he had to be found.
Faith had predicted all of this. She had known so many things. He had
to admit that, despite the implications. What else did she know? What
else had she said that might help him find Trevor and bring him into
custody? That made him pause, looking back at the silent file, waiting
on his table. Was he really going to allow himself to be ruled by his
With a sigh, he stood, walking over to the file on the table. He opened
it up, and started reading, as the news report droned on behind him.
Yes. He would be able to use this. He could see some of the contacts
Trevor had made, people who's lives he had affected since his stay in
Chicago. Faith had known of that too it seems, though he had always
believed it was merely her own form of hero worship or overactive
imagination. But now for the first time in a long time, he opened his
mind to other possibilities, trying to see what Faith had to say when
he had refused to listen.
"Ok... talk to me, Faith. Show me the way..."
Frechette became engrossed, walking away, ignoring the television
behind him as it droned on.
"And to repeat, authorities have issued a public warning to be on
the lookout for --"
The interior of the convenience store was small and crowded, music
playing from a compact radio behind the counter as Claire stepped
inside. A small, hanging bell rang over the door as she walked further
in, looking cautiously around. She glanced behind her, hoping Trevor
was okay in the trunk of Jaclyn's small car. Wearing her shades, Claire
tired her best to remain inconspicuous, feeling her skin tingling as if
everyone in the world was watching her, her heart beating with
adrenaline. But the bored looking clerk behind the counter wasn't even
looking in her direction. Then Claire saw it, the ATM machine she was
searching for, tucked away in the corner. She walked over to stand in
front of it, taking a deep breath, pausing for a moment to calm down.
Her credit card
flashed in her hand. She quickly slid it into the machine, typing in
her pass code as she went through the familiar steps. Her and Trevor
both needed more money. She knew it was a risk, but by the time someone
found out, the two of them would hopefully be very far away. It would
probably go unnoticed after all, it wasn't as if everyone knew who her
and Trevor were, even--
Claire froze when her
gaze moved to the small television playing silently on the convenience
store counter beside her. Her eyes couldn't believe what they saw,
seeing a photo of Trevor flash across the small screen, an old police
mug shot, when had first been arrested for drunk and disorderly right
before she had met him. Quietly she reached over, turning up the volume
so only she could hear.
"The abduction of therapist and renowned relationship columnist Dr.
Claire Allen from her home happened sometime early this morning. It is
also believed the suspected kidnapper, Trevor Hale, murdered a fellow
mental patient named Mary Simmons who was also somehow involved.
Chicago police are asking for help in locating this man. Authorities
tell us that he should be considered armed and mentally unstable--"
Claire couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Kidnapping!? There wasn't
any kind of--" She looked around, surprised she had said that so loudly. Things were more serious than she thought. Claire quickly turned the volume down on the tv again. The
picture changed from one of Trevor to one of her, and she tensed. The
clerk was still ignoring her, reading employment want ads from the
newspaper. No one else was in the convenience store. She looked at the
ATM. It already had her card inside. It was too late for that. There
would already be a record. Things seemed to be spiraling out of control.
Then Claire took a deep, resolved breath and took charge, her mind
racing. She took out the maximum amount of money from her account,
removing the cash and the money from the ATM. She placed her credit
card on the shelf beside the machine, hoping it would be stolen from
there, trying to throw the authorities off her track. She had almost
maxed it out anyway.
Carefully, she used her knuckle to turn off the small television. The
clerk didn't seem to care. Claire moved through the store, grabbing
some cold colas and snack cakes Trevor had asked for, wondering if any
security cameras could see her. Maybe then they would see that she
wasn't a hostage. Regardless, they wouldn't be near Chicago for long.
She walked boldly over to the clerk, as if nothing was wrong at all.
"Just this and a full tank of gas..." she said simply.
In his apartment, Champ was watching the television in a daze, Allison
sitting beside him. They both looked at each other, watching the tv
screen flash Trevor's picture again, both having heard the things they
were saying about him.
Champ tried to clear his head. "There has to be some kinda mistake..."
Allison looked at him, and he could see she felt the same thing. Trevor
would never do something like that. She sounded bewildered. "Champ,
this is crazy. It can't be true."
He looked into space, staring at nothing. Then he realized inside what
he had to do. "It isn't true... I've got to find out what's happened. I
got to talk to Jaclyn, see what we can do..."
Nick rose off his couch, discarded beer cans falling loudly to the
floor, anger flashing in his eyes as he faced the television.
"Bastards... they can't get away with doing this to Trevor!"
Tina looked over at the man on the lying naked in the bed beside her,
still surprised to see him there, never having expected it. But not as
surprised as they both were watching what was on television. "We've got
to find a way to help them..." she said
Alone with her, Lawrence tried to cover his naked body under the sheets, the happiness
of last night replaced with a new urgency. "We will..."
Frechette blinked as he read, fascinated. It was like a whole life was
unfolding before him through Faith's words. Trevor's life. Cataloged,
recorded, defined, spoken of with... love . Slowly he placed sheet
after sheet down onto the table, each paper one more facet, one more
story. His hands moved in a slow, gentle dance, the room slowly
spinning. It was all so clear, so simple and pure. The spread of paper
grew larger, like a beautiful painting of words and notes, scribbled
from the rantings of a madwoman. He blinked again, surprised at his own
reaction. Faith was crazy. But in some strange way, seeing all his
records, she had loved Trevor. And it was like she was giving Frechette
new insight into Trevor's life, her words painting those sheets, like a
canvas. He wondered how much of it was true, thinking about Trevor, and
all the things Faith claimed he had done, things he never known. How
ironic to learn more about Trevor from a crazy woman, than he had ever
learned in person. He paused. Could he really be-
Suddenly he shoved the papers aside, anger blossoming in his
eyes. No. He knew what was real. This record was only a guidepost. A
map, to finding out who would lead him to the mental patient who had
To putting him where he belonged. That was all that mattered.
Frechette calmly picked up the papers from the floor, reorganizing
them. It was his map. His key. And inside he knew exactly where that
map started. Frechette knew what he had to do.
There was a knock at her door.
After clicking the lock, Jaclyn's face froze the instant she swung the
door open and looked up... and up... and into the dark face of Dr. Ian
Frechette, glowering at her from the hallway outside her small
apartment. He simply stood there, silent, glaring at her, waiting. A
sudden panic flowed coldly across Jaclyn's shoulders at the sight of
him, words fumbling out of her mouth.
"I don't know anything!!!" she said quickly.
Frechette smirked at her reaction. Without asking, he stepped
confidently forward, entering her apartment. Jaclyn scurried out of his
way with a look of surprise. she wondered if he would have simply
walked over her if she hadn't stepped aside. Jaclyn gave him an angry
look but didn't say anything, still flustered that he was there.
The grim faced Dr. Frechette looked around the small space, obviously
less than impressed with the interior of her small apartment. "Oh come
now..." His voice was low, full of menace. "We both knew I would end up
here, eventually. With everything that has happened to our illustrious
Dr. Allen. Ohh... By the way." Turning around, he smiled at her,
obviously not asking a question. "May I come in?"
"Claire, hurry up. We have to move..."
"Just a second, Trevor. I have to make a call."
Claire stepped up to small glass phone booth. The two of them were
outside in the late afternoon sunlight. There was a highway behind
them, but they were most definitely in the middle of nowhere, no
houses, just trees, dried grass, and empty fields. Bugs floated in the
rays of the sun, dancing around them. Claire opened the door to the old
phone booth and stepped in, it's windows cracked in places and covered
in a layer of dust made visible in the golden afternoon light. She
tried to ignore the vague urine smell coming from the floor. Outside,
Trevor kept a look-out, eating a small snack cake, watching the highway
as she picked up the
receiver and tried to make a call, Jaclyn's car visible behind her as
"Trevor, I just want to let Jaclyn know where to pick up her car,
before we go..."
She held the phone to her ear as the call went through. Behind her,
Trevor suddenly turned away from the highway as a car suddenly drove
Frechette was seated across from Jaclyn, staring at her as if he were
conducting an interrogation, which in his mind, he was. The glass of
soda she had offered him and placed on the table between them, remained
there ignored, Frechette treating it like it didn't exist. He waited
for several moments, judging her. Jaclyn squirmed slightly in her seat.
"Let's not dance around what we both already know, shall we? You and
Claire are friends. You and Trevor are friends. You KNOW why I
am here. Because you know where they've gone. You would be the first
person the two of them would come to for help. I'm not stupid enough to
"Oh don't worry about that. With a little work, someday you will be,"
she tried to sound encouraging.
Frechette blinked, confused. He ignored that and continued. "Either you
helped them to leave... or you know where they've gone. So tell me...
Where is Claire Allen?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about. I haven't seen them."
"Where's your car?"
"I don't have one."
"That... is a lie."
"Hey!!! I resent that! I do have my own life you know. I'm not just
sitting around here waiting at Claire's beck and--"
Suddenly the phone rang.
Jaclyn's eyes widened for a moment, finishing her sentence, "--call."
Frechette turned his head, looking over at the ringing phone. Jaclyn
made no move to answer it, sitting anxiously on her couch. She forced a
strained smile onto her face when his gaze turned back to her, the
phone still ringing. After a few tense moments, he raised an eyebrow.
"Aren't you going to answer it?"
Growing more nervous by the second, Jaclyn tried to shrug it off,
giving him a small laugh. "Umm, probably just a wrong number.."
Standing in the phone booth, Claire slammed the phone receiver back
down. Her brow furrowed in thought. She didn't want to leave Jaclyn's
car there without telling her where to get it. Not after all that
Jaclyn had done for them. But she could feel how exposed they were out
in the afternoon sunlight, and she could feel time ticking away as she
stood there in the open, the road just behind.
Trevor looked at her through the glass. "Umm, Claire? there's kinda
this whole running from the law thing we're in the middle of? But no
biggie... Take your time."
Trevor started shoving his wrists together in various positions all
around his body, as if searching.
"Trevor, what are you doing?"
"Just trying to see the best way to get the handcuffs placed on me when
I get hauled off."
"The police aren't coming, Trevor."
"Who said anything about police?"
Claire ignored him concerned as she looked at pay phone again. Finally
she began dialing.
"I'll give one more try..."
In Jaclyn's apartment, the phone rang again, making her twitch suddenly
at the unexpected noise as she and Frechette sat there.
Jaclyn froze. "Another wrong number..."
His eyes were steel, not buying it.
"Answer it, please."
She looked at him. It wasn't a suggestion.
"Now." He said coldly.
Jaclyn didn't move as the ringing continued. Then slowly she rose,
walking over and picking up the phone, trying not to let her fingers
"H-Hi... person I've never spoken to before. How can I help you?"
Still standing in the phone booth, Claire's adrenaline tinged words
were rushed, nervous. "Hey, Jaclyn. We're okay. We've just--" She was
suddenly cut off by Jaclyn's voice interrupting loudly on the other end.
"Right!!! That sounds like a great offer!!!"
Holding the phone against her ear as she stood in her apartment, Jaclyn
hadn't waited for Claire to finish. She could feel that she was
probably speaking far too energetically, probably because she was
trying her best to hide the fact that her stomach was in knots. Even as
she talked on the phone, her eyes were on Frechette, who still stared
at her. The small, enclosed space of her apartment seemed tighter with
him in such close proximity. Her body felt strained as well, and she tried
her best not to keep her limbs rigid. But somehow she sensed she wasn't
doing a very good job. Still watching him, Jaclyn forced what she was
sure was an unconvincing smile onto her face as she continued.
"Absolutely. But I bet the guy sitting here with me would have me
committed if I turned down an offer like that!!!!"
In the phone booth, Claire blinked, not really following Jaclyn's
meaning. Still a little breathless from her and Trevor being stationary and out in the open,
she looked around, continuing what she had been saying. "Are
you feeling all right, Jaclyn? Trevor and I are fine for the moment. We
got out of Chicago. I was calling to tell you that you can pick up your
car on Maple road, just outside the city, mile 5 south--"
Jaclyn interrupted again.
"Terrific!!! But I don't have or even know what my erectile dysfunction is!
Guess I'll need to find a DOCTOR to tell me. Besides, I'm
not sure some PILL GUY could help me. I mean, not that I HAVE
ONE HERE. And I definitely don't have any sort of TOTAL
PENIS inside my apartment. Or sitting on my couch." Jaclyn
was trying wildly to find a way to tip off Claire that Frechette was
there with her.
"Jaclyn, what--" Over the phone, Claire's voice sounded really
Listening, Jaclyn held the phone against her ear.
But behind he on the couch, Frechette had heard enough.
Exhaling angrily, he stood up and walked over to where Jaclyn was
"That's her, isn't it?"
Jaclyn was blank as he approached. "No..."
"Give me the phone."
"Give it to me. Now."
He reached over and placed his hand protectively over the phone
cradle, so that she couldn't hang up. His free hand tried to grab the
phone from Jaclyn, and a struggle between them ensued.
She panicked, straining and twisting with Frechette, the phone bobbing
in both their hands between them. She had to quickly send Claire some
coded message, a warning that Frechette was there. Trying to get
the phone closer to her face and past his strong grip, she said the first
thing that popped into her head, yelling it towards the phone.
"There's no jello anymore, and I'm all out of whipped cream!!!"
Bewildered as she stood in the phone booth, Claire pulled her head back
at that inexplicably yelled statement. She was now thoroughly confused.
For several moments, there was nothing but silence coming through the
receiver nestled against her ear. The interior of the phone booth
remained quiet. Rich sunlight angled down onto her face as her brow
furrowed, worried about what was happening. Trevor was outside keeping
watch, munching on yet another of those cheap, sugary, fatty, snack
cakes he liked so much, his eyes still constantly scanning everywhere. But as
she waited, there was still silence on the other end of the phone line.
"Jaclyn, are you there?"
She was about to give up and hang up the phone when suddenly a male
voice came on the line.
"Dr. Allen... Our own personal Florence Nightingale..."
Claire went cold. "Dr. Frechette..."
Hearing her say that, Trevor whirled his head around and locked his
gaze on hers through the dust covered glass of the phone booth, fear in
Claire looked back at him, in shock. How could he be at Jaclyn's
already so quickly? Even the same day they had left, he was already
there. It was just like before, when Frechette had tried to catch her
and Trevor together, and he had seemed to know their every move. It was
like he was everywhere, somehow guided, only one step behind, as he
Frechette's soft, smug voice continued on the phone.
"It's good to hear from you, Claire... How's the life of a
Pleased, Frechette smiled as he stood in Jaclyn's apartment, happy to
have found them. In the room behind him, Jaclyn fumed and raged
silently at his arrogance, finally losing it. Furious, she reached over
and plucked up a small, delicate little lamp nearby, lifting over her
head in a tightly gripped fist without a sound. Frechette was totally
unaware, not facing her as she stepped forward to smash it into the
back of his skull.
Suddenly there was a thud as Jaclyn fell to the floor, landing hard on
her backside when the lamp's electrical cord, which was still plugged
into the wall, had yanked her downwards in mid swing. Hearing her,
Frechette turned and glowered at her.
She looked at him innocently. "Sorry... I slipped."
Turning away from her again, he seemed to not really care, still
listening to Claire. Jaclyn picked the lamp beside her off of the floor
as she stood up, considering whether to unplug it and try again. But
she paused, thinking better of
it, instead placing the delicate lamp back down on the end table. No.
It wasn't heavy enough.
She needed something bigger. Without saying anything, she started
looking around her living room, turning in place, searching. Frechette
was still ignoring her.
In the phone booth, Claire was fuming too, her momentary fear
dissipating quickly away at the thought of Frechette hounding them.
Anger flashed across her features. "You know very well that I haven't
been kidnapped, Dr. Frechette. It was Faith that broke into my home.
Faith, who tried to kill me, and it was Trevor that had to stop her! It
was her gun for god's sake!! Trevor was only trying to protect me!"
She could hear him scoff even through the phone. "Or maybe... you're
one who's trying to protect him."
Claire grew angrier. It was like he wasn't hearing her at all. "I've
already seen the news bulletins. KIDNAPPING?! That could only have come
from you! So... You certainly have been busy, haven't you? Now you have the
police doing your dirty work. I must say... nicely done, Ian. Good
to see nothing is beneath you it seems..."
A fist was banging on the glass. She ignored Trevor, who was knocking
on the window between them, his voice sounding desperate. "Claire!
Claire, hang up!!!"
When she heard Frechette speak again, strangely enough, his voice
sounded stung, as if she had definitely hit a nerve. "I told the
police that, yes. I only told them the truth, Claire!"
Turning bitterly in the phone booth, she shook her head. "And you call
"Mr. Hale is delusional. And now... his actions have confirmed that."
She loathed his voice in her ear. "What other reason would Trevor shoot
someone who supposedly worshipped him as a god?"
"Because she revealed him as a man. Revealed him to be the simple,
misguided mortal he is."
Her voice seethed. "Whatever Trevor is... he'll never be as vindictive
and manipulative as that abduction story you conjured up. It's not too late. You can still
tell everyone the truth, Ian. Stop this house of cards before it
collapses. Because right now, the police might immediately shoot Trevor
without a second thought! You realize that if they kill him, you'll
never be able to get your hooks into him, don't you?"
"You think that's what I want? I only want to help him."
"Funny way of showing it. Can't say I'm impressed with your whole
'shoot on sight' therapeutic approach."
"What's happened is Trevor's responsibility, not mine."
"Still insisting that Trevor's holding me against my will? Who is it that you're
really trying to convince? Trying to ease your conscience? If you even
have one. We both know Trevor hasn't kidnapped me!!!"
To Claire's ear, his voice sounded much angrier, going on the defensive
at her words.
"Then why did you run?"
Claire couldn't take it anymore. "BECAUSE OF YOU!!!"
Not expecting that, Frechette didn't reply as he stood in Jaclyn's
apartment. Pausing for a moment, thinking, his words grew softer. "Me?"
Unseen in the small room behind him, Jaclyn was already picking up a
heavier object, judging its weight and grip in the palms of her hands,
looking up again at the back of Frechette's head. She shrugged and put
it aside, still searching for something heavier.
Frechette tried his best to harden his resolve, voice growing cold
again. "You can't lie for him anymore, Claire. Or help him lie to
Claire felt exasperated in the phone booth.
"The most ironic thing, is
that you don't even see the irony of you saying that. This is wrong,
Ian!!! You know it's wrong because you know Trevor didn't kidnap me! But you
never change. You're always the same! One justification or another,
you've always had it in for Trevor. Because maybe it's him revealing
you to be the simple, misguided mortal you are. DAMNAT QUOD
INTELLIGENT! 'They condemn what they don't understand'."
For a long silent moment where he was, Frechette seemed to doubt. He
felt himself wavering, not proud of what he had done. But he thought of
Faith that morning, lying there dead in a dried pool of her own blood,
and the doubt was pushed back and buried deep.
"Trevor refuses to
acknowledge what any rational person should. That he ISN'T Cupid.
Usurping my authority, undermining all attempts to help him. That doesn't
give him a free pass at murder. And whether you accept it or not,
Trevor is a murderer now. We'll see how much I
understand... I will find him, Claire. And you. Both of you. No matter
how long it takes. Even if I have to corner and question every person
you know. Hunt and harass every person Trevor's ever met. I'll delve
into every record, reveal every conversation, until Mr. Hale is in
custody of the state, where he belongs. And with the help of Faith's
remarkably detailed insights, you know I can. So don't doubt it. You
can't run forever..."
In the phone booth, Claire snapped angrily back at him.
She slammed the phone receiver furiously down, ending the call. The
interior of the phone booth was quiet, as she stood there silent for
several seconds, anger building.
"Damn it!!!" She pounded helpless against the booth's glass with her
fists, leaving them sore from the multiple impacts. Claire was scared,
frustrated, and standing with Trevor there, still out in the open, she
definitely felt hunted.
Outside, Trevor slowly opened the glass door of the phone booth,
concern in his eyes as he looked at her, waiting for her to catch her
breath. He had been listening intently the whole time she had been on
the phone with Frechette. And now, she could see it in his eyes. he
felt that sense of helplessness too.
"They think you're a murderer, Trevor."
"Claire... Claire we have to keep moving... We gotta go..."
For several long seconds, she stared at him. Then without replying, a
grateful smile slowly appeared on her face. She wiped a small tear from
the corner of her eye, her own resolve returning. No matter what, she
was happy to be with him. It was where she wanted to be.
"Yeah... Let's go, Trevor."
Claire stepped out of the phone booth into the warm rays of the late,
golden afternoon. Trevor smiled back at her, and reaching out slowly,
he gently took her hand in his, not letting go, giving it a grateful
Then together, the two of them started walking away from the road
behind them where Jaclyn's car was parked. They moved into a wide swath
of tall corn stalks, stretching far into the distance before them,
growing smaller. And in the barely perceptible, misty distance, there
was a building, a small local operator bus station, tiny in the dim haze. That was what they
were walking towards. As they disappeared into the tall stalks, they
didn't look back.
After Claire ended the call, Frechette couldn't explain his reaction.
Silently, he hung up the phone as he stood in Jaclyn's apartment. He
was surprised by some of the things that Claire had told him. That she
and Trevor had run because they didn't trust what he would do, that
they had run out of fear of him trying to take advantage of the
situation. Those thoughts weighed on him. Considering what he had
done, they had had every reason to feel that way. he still didn't know
for sure if he had done the right thing, telling the police what he
had. But it was too late to turn back now. And he would have help
finding them. All those inexplicable things Faith had written. All her
certainty in what Trevor was. The conviction that he really was Cu--.
Sensing movement behind him, he turned around quickly. Jaclyn was
standing there, fairly close to him. For some reason, her steps were
stutterred, arms above her head. His gaze shifted up... to the
heavy object Jaclyn was struggling intently to keep aloft, her eyes
opening wide when she saw that he
was looking at her.
Jaclyn lowered the object with some difficulty, giving him what he was
sure was intended to be a disarming smile. "Ummm... Sorry. Just trying
to... redecorate a little..."
Frechette barely acknowledged her, still lost in his own thoughts.
Finally he looked at her again, his voice more somber than before.
"It doesn't seem that you will be able to help me. Or have the
inclination if by some miracle, your capacity suddenly gave you the
ability. So... I know someone who will."
He started gathering his things, his mind already racing through
Faith's notes, thinking of possible accomplices. Then he paused,
glaring at Jaclyn again.
"About your car. It isn't here. I suppose you'll claim they stole it?
That you didn't help them escape Chicago?"
Obviously no longer caring what he really thought, Jaclyn flashed him the
sweetest smile. "You mean my car's missing?"
Frechette shook his head, having expected nothing less. He decided to
leave it at that, not speaking another word. Jaclyn still seemed to be
re-arranging trinkets in the room at the edge of his sight, but he
didn't care. Walking across her living room, he opened the front door.
But then, he paused. It was all still inside him, something he just
couldn't get out of his head. Frechette looked over at her, hands
crossed behind her back as she faced him coldly. And for the first
time, there was almost sympathy in his eyes.
"All these people... always willing to help Trevor." Frechette
swallowed, as if it were hard for him to say. "You... you really
believe he's Cupid, don't you?"
Jaclyn blinked, surprised by that question. Slowly the anger left her
expression. When she spoke, it was soft as well. "Yes.... yes I do."
Considering that, Frechette looked away. And then he realized, he
know what he was feeling. Without another word he opened her front
door. But behind him, Jaclyn stopped him with a kind voice.
"Doctor... you look a little faint..."
Suddenly the world went black as he was about to turn, a searing pain
exploding in the back of his head as he felt himself fall, losing
A moment later, Jaclyn's apartment door slammed shut as he lay unconscious in the
Coming to, Frechette slowly rose from the hallway floor, dazed,
blinking as he
lifted himself with one hand. Disoriented, he looked around, wondering
what had happened, how he had gotten there. There was a bump on the
back of his head. He had been leaving Jaclyn's apartment, something
about her mentioning he looked faint. Was that bump he felt from a
fall? No one was there, and
strangely enough, he couldn't even remember fainting at all.
The quiet, yet still creaking bus was shaking under his feet.
Trevor couldn't sleep, looking forlornly out the window and into the
night. He watched the small glowing points of street lights and homes,
slowly slipping past in a field of black, somehow reminding him of a
rain of falling stars, streaming sadly past his window. Beside him,
Claire was asleep in her seat, her hand still clasped in his. Everyone
else in the passenger compartment seemed to be sleeping too. The bus
was dark, except for blue floor lights glowing dimly near the aisle.
He had tried to sleep, but the bus's vibrations as it bounced roughly
down the road had kept him awake. But he knew it was more than that,
his mind filled with various worries and fears. As he looked around the
bus's dark interior, he saw it was jam packed with passengers, not an
empty seat. They really packed them in on these cross country buses. So
many strangers, so many varied faces. Just like all the faces Trevor
remembered, people he had hooked up. Total strangers in the dark that
he had bumped together, all in the name of true love. but that was
before, when he was certain in his abilities. Now, that was lost, and
all he wanted was to become just another face in the crowd. But deep
inside, he knew. He wasn't.
In the seat beside him, Claire slowly came out of her sleep, as if
sensing his discomfort. She sat up straighter, pushing a few strands
dark hair from her face, looking over ta him.
"Trevor? What is it?"
Still wrapped in his dark mood, Trevor smiled weakly at her. "I don't
know, Claire. I just feel... like there's some doom hanging over my
head. Some final test in front of me. Unavoidable. Like I'm caught in a
rushing river, being swept downstream towards the drop ahead. Always
slipping underwater... no control over stopping it. I feel like I'm
sinking. Like I have a choice between drowning.... or falling."
She gave him a worried look, before silently laying her head on his
shoulder in the dark. After a few moments when she spoke, her voice was
soft, sympathetic. "I know. Me too, sometimes. It's okay that things
feel that way right now. But we'll... we'll let things slow down. Cool
off. See what happens next. I know a place we can go in the morning.
We'll get a taxi when we get off and head there. They should be able to
help us stay off the radar for a few days. And eventually you'll
realize that you still have control. But for now..." she lifted her
head, looking at him. "Do you know where you want to go?"
His eyes filled with sadness, Trevor looked back out the dark window.
"Not really... not anymore."
Claire paused, waiting in the silence that followed. "Trevor... Tell
me. What are you feeling?"
Memories flashed through his head, almost smiling. "You sound like my
shrink. Have you seen her? Very hot. Very qualified. And by qualified I
mean that she's got the cutest--"
Claire did smile when she interrupted, teasing him. "Well, considering
your progress, If I really were just your shrink Trevor, I would have
torn up my Ph.D. in frustration years ago."
"Well in a way, you sort of did, considering what's going on..."
Claire could see he was still holding something back. Something more
was bothering him. "Please, Trevor. Talk to me. Tell me what's wrong?"
"Just thinking, Claire. About me. About all the things I've done--"
"Trevor, if this is about Faith again--"
"No that's still there. That isn't going away anytime soon. No I was
thinking about everyone else, Claire. About me, who I am, what I did or
did not accomplish..."
As Trevor spoke, somewhere there was a dim apartment hallway, where a
shadow stopped patiently before a door, waiting patiently for a moment
before reaching out and knocking on it.
Trevor's voice could still be heard.
"I'm Cupid. The god of love. Fated to help people find their other
halves, to make them whole, to find their true love. But now as a
reward for what I've done through the millennia, I'm a vagabond.
Godliness stripped away. Everything I had, everything I believed in
Chicago, gone. The woman I love throwing away everything for me. Now
we're alone, on the run... heading into gods know what."
After a few moments as the shadow waited, the apartment door opened to
reveal a smaller, dark shadow in the pitch black within, not saying a
Claire's voice could be heard answering Trevor's.
"Trevor we have friends... Friends who will help us..."
The smaller shadow standing inside the apartment lifted something. A
flashlight flashed quickly on and off in her hands, for a moment
illuminating a dreary eyes nick, who was looking over at Jaclyn as she
held the flashlight, before they both were dropped back into darkness.
Claire's voice was reassuring.
"We're not lone in this, Trevor..."
Nick was about to enter the darkness of Jaclyn's apartment, but she
refused to step aside, waiting. After a long, reluctant pause, Nick
pulled his own small flashlight from his pocket, feeling silly. He
flashed it on and off, just as Jaclyn had instructed him to do on the
phone. Satisfied, she smiled and let him in.
Seated in the dark of the bus, Trevor looked over at Claire. "Did any
of what I did matter?"
Her gaze didn't waver, looking into his eyes, certain. "Trevor, you
helped me find you. To find myself. To let myself love you. You helped
me in so many ways."
Leaning back in his chair, Trevor looked away. "Yeah, well maybe you're
the only one. Doubt I made a difference for any one else."
"Of course you made a difference to people..."
A crowd of very confused shadows had now gathered in Jaclyn's tiny
apartment. All of them were jostling around the furniture in the tight,
enclosed space, unfamiliar with the layout in the dark.
Claire's voice could still be heard, spouting off names.
"Susan, Dan, Gabe, Cynthia, Nicole, Jaclyn, Champ, Nick, Mike, Tina,
One shadow, shorter than the others, accidentally stubbed his toe hard
on the couch, letting out a softly muttered curse, hopping tenderly in
place. The shadow of a woman beside him tried to help, touching him
lovingly. Everyone else was still standing around.
Barely able to see, Lawrence was grateful for Tina's help, enjoying her
touch. But enough was enough. He called out to the woman standing at
the center of the slowly growing gathering.
"Jaclyn, could we please turn on some lights?"
A single flashlight flared to life in the dark. It pivoted over
Lawrence holding Tina's hand, before swiveling up to illuminate the
small, petite face of the woman who held it. Bathed from underneath in its light,
Jaclyn flashed Lawrence an enigmatic smile. She calmly lifted a finger.
"Sshshhhh..." she whispered to Lawrence quietly, before the flashlight
clicked off and all went dark again.
Claire looked at Trevor in the seat beside her, the bus still dark all
around them. "You helped so many people, Trevor. Changed their lives
for the better."
He shook his head. "No I tried to help them. Not so sure I really did.
After all those one in a million shots, all those insane schemes, I
don't know if I really accomplished anything. People break up. They
don't stay together."
"Maybe. But they keep what they had, Trevor..."
The gathering in the shadows of Jaclyn's apartment seemed to be waiting
for something as Claire's voice continued.
"Even if they can't see the road in front of them, bouncing down the
road in the dark..."
In the center of the room, dimly visible, Jaclyn finally spoke.
Everyone waiting in the shadows suddenly turned on their flashlights,
illuminating the room with swaths of light. Alone out of the group,
Mike was still struggling to get his flashlight to work. Around him,
were all the people from Claire's singles group, and one or two others.
They were people Trevor knew. People he had helped. All of them were
carrying flashlights as was required for admittance to this 'secret'
meeting. The room's own lighting remained off, the windows tightly
curtained and shut.
From far away, Trevor's voice continued.
"But for how long does anyone keep anything, Claire?"
Her voice answered back.
"For as long as they can."
Everyone in the room was looking at Jaclyn, wondering what was going
on. She smiled proudly as all the flashlight beams suddenly centered
directly at her. Then she reached over and pulled a thin rope hanging
from the ceiling. A banner unfurled above her, and as one, every beam
of light converged on it, everyone's eyes rising to read it silently.
Claire's voice continued.
"No matter how short, it's still worth it. You taught me that. On
the ship, in the psychic's tent, remember? All those experiences, all
those places you helped them to reach inside. All that.... stays."
Jaclyn felt exhilarated as she stood before the group, finally feeling
like she was doing something. Her eyes were bright, but her words were
filled with determination, speaking out the banner's title .
"Welcome, everyone... to the first secret meeting... of the FREE
TREVOR RESISTANCE CELL."
Back on the dark bus, Claire looked at Trevor with sympathy in her
eyes. "Deep down, you still know that, Trevor."
He leaned forward, elbows on his knees. "Then it must be down pretty
deep, Claire. Cause right now... I don't know where it is. I can't find
it anymore. Do you know how long it's been since I was able to remember
what it was like to have my wings? To soar above the clouds and fly?
Floating, weightless, to feel what it's truly like to be.. Cupid."
His last word was soft.
Slowly Claire reached out, and with the palm of her hand, she rubbed
lovingly across his back, her touch slow, delicate, a gentle caress of
his shoulder blades, as if touching invisible wings.
"They're still there, Trevor. They always have been."
Moving her free hand, she touched his chin, turning his face towards
hers. "Trevor... with all this insanity happening right now, it makes
sense to search for answers.."
"Money in the collection cap!!"
Mike called out, moving around the room, his Chicago Cubs baseball cap
upside down in his hand, already filled with bills. He looked
disapprovingly down into it and slowly pulled out a credit card someone
had placed inside. "I said money, Lawrence..."
He gave the card back to a sheepish looking Lawrence, who took it back
and began searching his wallet for actual cash.
Claire's voice could still be heard.
"Being mortal's a funny thing, Trevor. Every day challenges us.
We're forced to make choices..."
Jaclyn stepped to the center again, everyone else in many discussions
around her.. She spoke up to get everyone's attention. "Okay! I have
the primary contact list for phone switching and resources. And we have
the contact order too! It they call you next on the list, always give
them the number after yours. We don't want Trevor and Claire calling
the same number twice! And someone will be on call duty at all times!
We're working on ways to get the money out to them, and as far as any
other essential supplies--"
Nick interrupted. "Yeah, 'bout that. I gotta friend in the video
business who can get them a crate of condoms."
The room fell silent. Nick didn't understand. "What..."
Claire was still speaking.
"We deal. We adapt. We face those challenges.."
Suddenly there was a knock on Jaclyn's front door, and every one in the
room went completely still, panicked. Jaclyn stared at them, eyes open
wide, before she started flapping her arms wildly. They all looked at
her, bewildered. She continued to flap her arms, as if they should
understand. They didn't. Exasperated, Jaclyn grabbed a flashlight,
pointedly lifted it for them all to see. She turned it off, then
spreading her arms and shrugging her shoulders in silently, as if it
were obvious. Finally understanding, all the flashlights in the room
went out, one by one.
As the room went dark, Claire's voice continued.
"When it's all said and done..."
Concern flowing across her body, Jaclyn moved quietly towards the door,
stepping on a few toes in the process and leaving whispered curses
behind her. Standing before the door, her hand paused above the
doorknob, worried about who was on the other side. Then with a deep
breath to steady herself, she opened it.
Claire's words were soft.
"And when the inevitable happens, when we finally come to the end of
our lives... and look back on them..."
The door swung open, and Champ was standing there.
Jaclyn seemed surprised to see him there again at her doorstep, after
all that had happened. Champ said nothing, looking at her, her
apartment dark behind her. His eyes seemed sad. Jaclyn's expression
grew hard. She was certain of one thing, she wasn't going to let him
in. He seemed to realize that, looking guilty as gazed into her eyes.
Without much hope, he lifted a small flashlight, flashing it on, then
Coming out of nowhere, Claire's voice was still speaking.
"Trevor, at the end of it all, the only the answer, the only true
question is... was it worth it."
Jaclyn's face seemed to soften. Then slowly, she lifted her
flashlight... and flashed it back at him. The tiniest, grateful smile
hovered beneath her scowl, grateful he wanted to help. Champ noticed,
his eyes slightly misty. With a soft shared exhalation, the two of the
stepped in together and closed the door.
In the darkness of the lightly bouncing bus, Claire touched Trevor's
face. "The answers you're looking for, Trevor. You can only give them
"I know, but..." He couldn't help it, his voice felt unconvinced,"... I
just feel... caught in the stream, falling underwater. I feel... I feel
lost, Claire. I feel lost." His words were fast and on the edge of
breaking, tears in his eyes.
Claire didn't know what to say to that, looking at him.
Then suddenly, she leaned in... and kissed him, deeply, softly, and all
encompassing, tender, intimate moment in the shadows. In that moment,
everything else seemed to fall away, trivial to what they felt, what
they shared together. In that moment, they both felt like they were
shining. Slowly, everything seemed to grow brighter all around them.
And then they realized that a golden light was flowing onto their
faces, streaming in through the bouncing bus window as they kissed in
that one, delicate moment.
Outside the bus, just above the dark, shadowed horizon, the bright edge
of the morning sun had risen into the dim sky at last, instantly
painting everything with newly made color and light. That same glow
illuminated Trevor and Claire as they kissed, sitting on the bus
As the resistance cell was finishing up in her small apartment, Jaclyn
was once again illuminated by all the flashlight beams converging on
her as she spoke. "We've made a start here. But this is only the
beginning. The beginning of our underground railroad. Talk to your
friends. Contact your contacts. Call in your favors. We have to keep
Trevor out of Frechette's clutches. Or, as we are all now to refer to
him as, 'The Creature'. Just be aware that 'The Creature' will likely question all of you
soon. Don't help him. Don't assist him. Don't make 'The Creature's life
easier in any way. Trevor and Claire have helped us so many times. It's
our turn now, to help them."
In the middle of the group, Mike spoke solemnly to himself, his voice
low. "So say we all..."
Surprised, the entire group looked at him when they heard that. Then
they all, together as one reach an agreement, speaking in unison.
"So say we all..."
Claire pulled back from Trevor on the bus, their lips finally parting,
laughing at the lingering sensation of kissing him, remembering the
years of wanting to, but never doing it. Smiling, the morning sun
glinted happily in her eyes.
"See, Trevor? It can't be dark forever."
His eyes were full of light as Trevor caressed her face gently, happy
she was there. Then a thought occurred to him, and he leaned towards
the glass of the window. Trevor breathed warmly onto it, causing the
glass to mist over, golden bright in the morning rays. with the tip of
his finger, Trevor expertly traced in the shape of a heart with an
arrow through it into the condensation.
"I did that same thing once before, Claire. The first time I hopped on
a bus and fled Chicago."
He paused, remembering. "Gods, that seems so long ago. But that time I
was alone. And now..."
"... you're not. You never were, Trevor." She slid closer to him, placing
her head happily on his shoulder, her hand still clasped in his. "It's
a new day. I'll always be with you. You have my heart for always. Let's
find tomorrow together..."
"Wow, that's--" He looked into the distance for a moment, "--an
incredibly cheesy line, Claire."
She laughed. "Maybe it is."
"I like cheese..." Turning slightly, he kissed her forehead gently, the
light getting brighter on them as each minute passed into the new
Lifting up, she looked into his eyes, her fingers touching his face.
"Do you have any idea where to go, Trevor?"
He gazed out the window, as if searching, his mind tumbling over images
of streams and water. But then, without being able to explain why, he
knew. Inside, he felt drawn to some destiny ahead, the answer there
"West... We need to go west."
After showing everyone out, Jaclyn's dark apartment was empty and quiet
once more. Satisfied, she went over to the window, passing under the
resistance cell banner, before energetically swinging the curtains wide
open. A thick rush of beautiful morning light filled the room, flowing
past her pleased expression. She proudly put down the small flashlight
on the windowsill, looking into the sun, full of contentment.
"So it begins..."
"Doctor..." A deep, male voice called out testily.
Waking up, Dr. Ian Frechette lifted his head slowly from the sheets of
paper spread across his office desk, consisting of his session notes with Faith. He
had spent hours reading them the previous night. Not yet feeling completely aware, he
hadn't even realized till now that he had fallen asleep in his office.
Behind him, the same morning light that was flowing in through Jaclyn's
window was flowing in through his as well. Frechette blinked, his
perceptions still a little hazy, trying to get his bearings. He
remembered coming back to the office after questioning Jaclyn, after
discovering Claire on the phone. But as he woke up now, he felt rather
disheveled, unkempt, having not gone home at all. As a result he hadn't
gotten much sleep last night, working well into the evening, intently
studying Faith's notes in further detail. He must have lost track of
His entire body ached, feeling exhausted from the uncomfortable
position in which he had slept. But he couldn't shake the feeling that
something else was weighing on his shoulders. He felt terrible. All the
venom and recriminations that both Jaclyn and Claire had thrown at him,
and all his own actions of the previous day, were bouncing through his
thoughts. Mingled in with that, were numerous vivid memories and images, relayed to him
through his session notes with Faith. Stories and impressions that she
had told him about Trevor, prophecies, predictions, and beliefs, all of it
jumbling together in his now obsessed mind.
His right hand reached back behind his throbbing skull and rubbed the
sore spot that had remained there, touching it gently. That mysterious
bump didn't help matters. He still couldn't explain how it had
happened. It must have happened after his fall, when he had regained
consciousness from fainting apparently. What other reasonable
explanation was there? But had he really fainted at all? It didn't feel
like the type of bump he would get from a fall, and he had found himself on
his face regardless. It all felt a little confused, and he had
certainly felt completely unbalanced ever since then. But deep down, he knew what he
was really feeling was not because of that. If he was honest with
himself, after all that he had done, he knew that what he was really
feeling was... guilty.
Still more than a little disoriented, it took him a few moments to
remember that someone had spoken to him.
A voice called out again.
"Doctor, up here please..."
Frechette finally... looked up.
Faith was standing there, smiling at him.
TO BE CONTINUED...