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              "I can't do this. I can't do this..."
              Muttering softly, Dr. Ian Frechette was pacing nervously on a darkened sidewalk, standing several houses down from Trevor and Claire's home. It was the middle of the night, shadows and silence all around the calm suburban street as he paced there alone, waiting, indecisive. He was waiting for Rick to meet him there, so they could both walk over to Trevor's house in a unified front, knowing full well what they planned to do.
              Inside his chest, Frechette's feelings were churning, wave after wave of wildly conflicting emotions tumbling over him, each change and fluctuation leaving him frightened and uncertain. he continued to pace back and forth nervously, as if unsure where to go, what to do. Some small analytical part of him realized the sensation was simply a physical manifestation of the indecision he struggled with inside, but he ignored that. Still pacing, his body and his mind moved back and forth over all the possible consequences of what was about to happen.
              For a moment, his body paused, going tight. He looked over at the house in the distance. Even from here he could see the curtain drawn back form the large living room window. And glowing through the glass, a red light shining like a beacon. And just barely perceptible on the glass, the light vaguely illuminated the outline of a heart, hastily scotch taped to the window, tiny in the distance.
              Frechette watched the house, thinking. It was already late into the night. That light must have been glowing for hours now, calling for him, calling for Rick. Yet so far, it had gone unanswered. Trevor must be wondering where they were by now. He was calling him. The god of love was calling him. Calling for his help.
              What felt like a cold blanket of smothering doubt suddenly engulfed him, and his stomach twisted as he started pacing even faster than before. His mind continued to evaluate what he believed, who he believed in, and what he and Rick were about to do. So why was he even considering this?
              Coming to a stop on the sidewalk in the middle of the night and all alone, Frechette finally shook his head.
              "No... I can't... I can't do this."
              He turned his back on the red window light glowing in the distance, and started to walk away. But then a soft voice from the darkness stopped him. "Ian... "
              Pausing, slowly Frechette turned, and suddenly his heart lifted when he realized Faith was there. She looked at him sadly, however, her features dim in the low light.
              "Rick's right.." she told him sadly. "About Trevor."
              Frechette took a step off the sidewalk and closer to her, moving onto the grass, eager to be near her again. But he stopped when he saw her take a small, subtle, step back. He decided instead to keep his distance, feeling uncertain and afraid to push things. He didn't want to lose her being there, uncertain of how close she would be willing to accept.
              "Faith, where have you been? It's been over a week and I haven't seen you or heard you at all."
              The beautiful blond woman still looked at him sadly, but she didn't answer his question. Instead Faith repeated what she had said.
              "Rick is right. About Trevor. He is afraid. Scared. Not wanting to leave you--" Awkward, she stumbled over her words for a moment, before trying to get them back. "I mean... Claire. Not wanting to leave Claire."
              Frechette blinked at her slip, looking at her. He continued, addressing her statement.
              "You have no real way of knowing, Faith. Not with any certainty. How can someone know what goes on in a god's mind? How can any of us really know?"
              "I know, Ian." She looked down. "I know it's true because it's the same thing that happened to me. When I was alive... I was doing the exact same thing. I had spent years searching for something, until I finally found him. Found Cupid. Found the god of love in the flesh. There he was. Real. Alive. Slowly collecting beads... slowly leaving me. Each bead one step closer. To tearing him away when I had barely found him. His every success left me devastated. I started trying to ruin his matches, to keep him with me."
              Thinking about it, Frechette watched her. "If he's afraid he'll have to leave, then... why doesn't he just stop?"
              Faith's voice sounded tragic. "He can't... Deep down. It's who he is. He still wants people to find love, to be together in love. So now he's living halfway, a shadow between doing what it takes to stay with the person he loves, and being what he can't stop being. Something else I... understand as well. That's why he's protecting himself, with you and Rick as his proxies. Trevor's in love. And for the first time his biggest fear now... is what he has to lose."
              Frechette shook his head. "Trevor's a god. Gods have no fear."
              "Oh, no." Sadly, Faith looked up at him. "Even gods get scared."
              Frechette was quiet for a few moments, thinking.
              Faith continued. "Trevor needs this, Ian. To live again."
              With a frown, Frechette looked over to Trevor's house where the red light was still glowing faintly through the window, like a beacon in the night. And as he did, he thought about the god of love encased in the house's walls, too afraid to step outside. It all seemed so clear for a moment.
              He took a deep breath, accepting it. Faith's voice continued behind him.
              "We all have fears, Ian."
              He turned to look at her. "What's my fear?"
              Her lips broke into a quiet smile, as if she was amused.
              "How the world swill see you," she answered simply.
              Out of nowhere, footsteps could be heard approaching from the sidewalk behind them, and Rick called out.
              "Hey..."
              Frechette turned towards the man approaching him, waiting with Faith standing beside him.
              "Ummm..." As he moved closer and onto the frozen grass, Rick paused, scanning the area but seeing nothing around them. He gave Frechette a skeptical look. "Who were you talking to?"
              Sparing a quick glance for Faith standing next to him, Frechette answered, his voice unwavering.
              "A friend."
              Rick pointedly looked around, seeing no one there. Dubious, he turned back to Frechette. "Right..."
              Amused, Frechette lowered his head.
              Standing there and feeling awkward for a moment, Rick reached into his coat pocket and removed a small flask.
              "For the chill in the night air," he explained, removing the cap and taking a drink, as if trying to gather his courage. Putting it away again he scoffed.
              "Can't believe we're out here in the middle of the night doing this. All to straighten out some deluded 'god of love'." Rick's final words dripped with sarcasm.
              Calmly, Frechette looked at him without anger, his voice full of conviction.
              "He is the god of love."
              Skeptical, Rick nodded. Hi gaze wandered all around Frechette, still seeing nothing, no one with him. He looked back into Frechette's eyes, speaking good naturedly.
              "So, you were talking with a friend, huh? You're a little strange, aren't you?"
              Unexpectedly, Faith laughed.
              The sound was bright and alive in Frechette's ears, bathing him in a warmth and elation as the woman stood beside him. He looked at her with a smile before facing Rick again.
              "You have no idea..."
              Slowly following Frechette's grin with one of his own, Rick nodded. Without another word the two men started walking towards Trevor's house, dark before them in the distance, the red light glowing faintly through the front window. Rick looked over at Frechette as they walked. "Come on, proxy man. Time to tell a god where to shove it."


              "Trevor, could you please sit down?"
              Already darting frantically back and forth the second the two of them had entered, Trevor didn't acknowledge Rick's words, instead full of pent up energy as he did several things at once. He was opening and flattening crumpled notes from his greek cigar box, cross referencing with phone books or stacks of old newspapers, and always moving quickly past the two men in either direction, in full Cupid Central mode. Like a ball of captured intensity, his words came at them at a mile a minute.
              "Hey, no time for me to be sitting, minions. Not when I made coffee. I want coffee. Made it. Drank the coffee. Lots of coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Where have you guys been? We've already lost most of the night! Never mind that. Never mind that now. Time to get cracking like Athena's bedpost when Zeus is away. We gotta move, gotta shake, gotta get back on mission. Stay on target, stay on target, loosen up! Oh the number of times I heard that screamed in the distance  from out of Athena's bedchambers. Gotta go, can't stop now. Not when I--"
              Trevor paused, looking over at the two of them meaningfully, completely pleased with himself.
              "I have... IDEAS."
              As Trevor started moving back and forth again, Frechette calmly walked over to him. He reached out and carefully touched Trevor on the shoulder, stopping him in his tracks.
              "Trevor, please... Sit down."
              The older psychiatrist looked into Trevor's eyes, an expression of complete seriousness on his face.
              Behind them, Rick was already pulling out a chair from the dining room table, turning it away to face an empty part of the room.
              Trevor blinked, everything going still. He looked at the two of them, their gazes somber. The room seemed to pause, quite in anticipation. Trevor finally spoke, his voice uncertain.
              "Ok... should I be getting a blindfold and a last cigarette here?"
              Rick and Frechette said nothing.
              Slowly Trevor moved over to the chair and reluctantly lowered himself into it. The two other men walked over to stand shoulder to shoulder before him, looking down.
              Feeling uncomfortable, Trevor gazed up at them. "Ok, guys... What's up?"
              Frechette shared a quick glance with Rick before beginning.
              "Master Cupid... this is an intervention."
              Trevor scoffed without thinking, sure it was a joke. But when he looked back up at the two of them, he paused, seeing their faces. "Intervention? What's that supposed to mean?"
              Rick spoke up as Frechette turned away. "It means we're not your 'love minions' anymore. We quit."
              "Look, guys--" Trevor tried to get up out of the chair. That was a mistake. The palm of Rick's hand suddenly shoved him back down into the chair, hard. Rick was obviously in his full cop mode now, and as Trevor looked up at him, he suddenly seemed to notice how large the looming man was.
              "What this means is that we're done, Trevor." He leaned in closer, looking into Trevor's eyes with a hard stare. "We're done jumping through hoops. Running around. Taking your advice, or following your orders. Or 'subbing in for your own dreams."
              Growing angry, Trevor finally did stand up, and Rick didn't have time to stop him. He stood face to face with the larger man, unafraid. "What's THAT supposed to mean?"
              "You know what it means, Trevor." Frechette said, nodding calmly before looking over at him. "You've been using us as proxies. For something your afraid of doing yourself."
              "That's ridiculous," Trevor tried to laugh it off as he turned away, but he didn't sound very convincing. "What could I possibly be afraid of?"
              "Of losing Claire..."
              Rick said it simply, and it stopped Trevor in his tracks.
              His voice softer now, Rick looked at Trevor with a seriousness in his eyes. ""This is something new for you, 'Cupid'. Loving someone. Losing someone. Someone important. Before it was simple. You were an 'immortal'. Moving through life. No attachments. No commitments to anyone. But now... you're in love. With your wife, with your child. You're connected now. To something beautiful, and fragile, and finite. And... mortal. This is what it is. Being mortal. And it scares you to death. I don't know if you're Cupid or not. But you're so afraid of being forced back to Olympus, it's become your own personal form of 'mortality'. So you have me and Frechette doing all your dirty work. Because deep down, you hope that way it doesn't count."
              The anger seemed to leave Trevor, but he still couldn't meet the men's gazes, looking down. "It's not like that."
              Rick pressed on. "Isn't it? You here, living in secret, hardly leaving this house. Who in their right mind would accept something like that? Or even you?" Trevor looked over at the implied comment as Frechette smiled in the background, but Rick continued. "As long as Ian and I are your proxies, you'll always be living in the shadows."
              A fiery glint returned to Trevor's eye, his words edged. "Hey, look at your own life, man. Look at how you're living. I'm not the one in the shadows."
              Rick nodded, not offended. When he spoke again, there was a sadness to his words. "Yes you are. We both are... You ever ask yourself why you've been sneaking out? It's because despite the risks, you can't stop being who you are. Trevor, you don't want this. You want to live again."
              Trevor looked over at Frechette. "You agree with this?"
              Frechette nodded. "Yes I do, Trevor."
              Not accepting it, Trevor shook his head, looking at them. "You guys can't do this. Look, this isn't about me. It's about you. Both of you. Frechette, you need something, someone, in your life that makes you happy. Makes you come alive!"
              "There is someone special in my life, Trevor."
              Trevor looked at him skeptically. "Yeah, who?"
              "Well--"
              Interrupting, Trevor turned his attention back to Rick. "And you. You still need to win your girl back. Or at least be able to face her again. Who cares about restraining orders! That was her, that night in the hospital, wasn't it?"
              Not meeting his gaze, Rick looked down. "No."
              Trevor smiled triumphantly. "It was her. I knew it! You need to face her man. Get this behind you. You're the ones needing help, not me. Look, we can--"
"Trevor, I lied!"
              Everyone in the room looked at Rick for a long moment, before he continued.
              "Maybe you're right, Trevor. Maybe she's one of the many things I need to get past. But I lied to you. She's not even in Chicago. Not anymore. Hasn't been for months. That's not why I stayed. I stayed in Chicago because of you. I wanted to know what I could have done different, try to get a feel for you, how you lived, here. I guess some part of me is still trying to save you. To find out what I did wrong. To figure out one part of my life, even though the whole world thinks you're dead. And then I found you here, real and alive, but just as good as dead."
              "But--" Trevor began.
              "Np! No, more excuses. No more diversions. YOu're hiding from yourself, Trevor! From who you really are inside. So it's time you looked at some hard cold facts. Yes. Someday, you WILL lose Claire. Lose every single person you've met, every single person you love. Maybe even watch them die. But you can't just live waiting for everything else to die. Be Cupid, Trevor! The world needs a Cupid, but you need it more. You've said it yourself. Grab the sky! Make yourself the tallest thing for miles!"
              Behind them, Frechette was thinking as he listened to Rick, applying Rick's words to himself and lost in his own introspection.
              Rick continued. "What kind of person hides who they really are?"
              Pausing with disbelief, Trevor spread his arms as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "All of them!"
              "And you of all people accept that? If you're going to be Cupid then be Cupid! Who cares what the world thinks, what the world says. You didn't used to! You used to be Cupid, THE God of Love, look out, I'm charging through, torpedoes be damned! All these things, these feeling inside of you, it's time to show them again, let them out. Cupid should make his matches himself. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?"
              Trevor seemed even more uncomfortable, stepping back. ""Guys, you're making something big out of nothing, here."
              His gaze unfocused, Frechette still seemed lost in his own thoughts, thinking about what Rick was saying. Until suddenly his gaze changed, lifting slightly in understanding. When he finally spoke, his words were quiet, clear and simple.
              "My god, Rick's right."
              The two men turned from their argument and spoke simultaneously. "What?"
              "I just never saw it before. What Rick was saying. I have to face certain things. Like..." Frechette paused, and for a moment it seemed as if some part of him was surrendering, like a wall was disappearing. He lifted his gaze, a sense of wonder in his eyes at the growing revelation inside. "... like the fact that I don't need someone in my life because I already have someone in my life. I really do, Trevor. "
              The tiniest of smiles appeared on Frechette's face, his eyes twinkling happily as he looked at Trevor.
              Skeptical, Trevor replied. "You have someone. Really? YOU?"
              Looking down, Frechette nodded. "I never imagined that I would reveal this to anyone, but... There's this woman. A woman I've been--" Frechette paused with a small chuckle. "A woman I've been 'seeing'."
              He looked back up at Trevor again, and both of the other men in the room could see that Frechette's heart was lifting.
              What Frechette saw... was that Faith was there, watching him with a smile.
              Slowly she walked past, moving behind Trevor, a warmth in her eyes. Her gaze remained locked on Frechette's as his eyes followed her. No one else in the room seemed to notice her. The two of them shared a quiet moment, Frechette's body tingling, before finally he continued.
              "Trevor... I'm in love with Faith."
              Trevor blinked in surprise, not sure he had heard right. "What?"
              Rick blinked too. "Umm... what he said."
              "Yes." Frechette kept his eyes on her, adoration on his face. She was more beautiful than he had ever imagined.
              The other two men watched Frechette's reaction, strangely, confused at the look on his face as he stared at nothing.
              Trevor stepped forward. "Ian, that's... crazy. She died years ago. I'm the one who shot her for me's sake! Faith's dead."
              "Only a little..." Frechette nodded. "I know all that, Trevor. All that happened. But even though you killed her, the rest of her is still here. I've been seeing here for years. And now I can't deny the truth anymore. Hiding what I feel. How much of my life have I been hiding away, Trevor? Living in secret? Rick's right. Not just for you, but for me as well. And I should listen to him. I'm in love with Faith."
              His voice full of sympathy, Trevor stepped closer, putting a hand on Frechette's shoulder as he looked into his eyes. "She's gone, Ian."
              Like it was the most obvious thing in the world, Frechette spoke simply. "No she isn't. She's right here. Over there by the door." He nodded towards Faith.
              Faith smiled back.
              As one, Rick and Trevor slowly turned their heads towards the door. There was nothing there. Frechette was staring adoringly at empty space.
              Oblivious to their reactions, Frechette continued, not looking away fro her. "She's beautiful, Trevor. And I'm in love with her."
              Trevor carefully removed his hand from Frechette's shoulder. And without any abrupt motions, he raised his hands, palms forward, and slowly started backing away. "Ohhh...kayy..."
              Frechette was still looking at Faith. "And she loves me too. In ways I never knew could happen for me."
              Trevor kept backing further away, until he realized he was getting near the door. He jerked away, looking at the empty air as if afraid he would bump something. his gaze darted back and forth between that empty space and Frechette. He chose his words carefully.
              "So let me get this straight. You're dating a dead person... who only you can see."
              "Yes, Trevor. Because of you/ I finally found her. Found myself."
              Trevor tried to console him. "I understand that want. I understand that desire, that need. Hey, believe me I do. But she's only in your head, man. There's no bead here."
              "No's she's not. And yes, there is." Happier than anyone had ever seen him, Frechette walked over and grabbed Trevor by the shoulders, hugging him gratefully for a long moment before turning away.
              Trevor's voice was louder as Frechette broke the hug, trying a different tact. "Frechette--... Ian! You're a respected psychiatrist. Leader of the community. Who's currently dating a figment of your imagination! If you think they call me crazy, well..."
              Trevor scoffed, wiggling his head and lifting his hands at the implication, at a loss for words.
              Frechette, however, seemed at peace. "Doesn't matter what they call me. Just matters that I'm in love. Trevor... you have your bead."
"No I don't. What are you doing?" Trevor asked as suddenly Frechette moved past him and into the darkened living room where the beads were hastily strung up in the glow of the red lamp shining out through the window. Trevor followed nervously, right behind. "Um, Ian, really, what are you doing?"
              "Updating your score." Searching, he paused, looking for the end of the line before reaching up.
              Trevor's voice was louder, almost frantic.
              "You don't get a bead for imaginary girlfriends! Hey, you can't just-- Don't touch the beads! Never touch the beads! What are you-- Don't do that!"
              Frechette easily slid the last bead in line over to the true love section, before turning triumphantly back to Trevor. Trevor watched the line of beads in shock, expecting the bead to slide back, knowing it would slide back. But it didn't. His jaw slowly lowered slightly, speechless. Until his confusion was interrupted by Frechette, when he grabbed Trevor by the shoulders again and gave him a quick kiss on the lips, leaving an even more stupefied expression on Trevor's face.
              "Thank you, Cupid."
              Letting out a happy, satisfied exhalation, Frechette walked over to the front door, a bounce in his step as Trevor stared at him. Pausing with his hand on the knob, he looked back at the two men proudly, his back straight, his chest full. and like a triumphant hero after a great victory, he finally spoke to them. "'It is a far better resting place I go to, than I have ever known'."
              With a wave and a flourish, he opened the door and stepped out into the night.
              Once it closed behind him, it left the other two men in silence within the room.
              Coming back from what had just happened, Trevor wiped his mouth. "Why do crazy people always want to kiss me?"
              With a pouty, off putt expression, he moved back over to Rick. "He touched the beads... You see that?"
              Rick's turned his eyes down. His voice was soft as he spoke. "He's more courageous than either of us. More alive. Because he decided to live, to show who he is. While you and I... where the dead ones hiding in here."
              Trevor glanced at him for a moment. "You're a belly full of laughs."
              "Maybe Frechette's the sane one."
              "Him?!" Trevor shook his head. "The man's crazy. He's a total nut! You heard what he said."
              "Maybe he is crazy. But at least he isn't afraid to show it. Can you say the same?"
              Trevor sighed. "Not this again..."
              "Yes this again. Be Cupid, Trevor. Instead of just dancing in the shadows. I'll be honest. I don't know if I believe you or not. The world is a harsh, cruel place. Sometimes it's hard to believe in good things. But one thing I do know. That a harsh, cruel world... needs a Cupid."
              Seeing Trevor's reluctance, Rick started quoting. "'It won't be easy. You'll have to do some stupid things. Reckless things. Things that scare you to death. Can you do that?'"
              Trevor paused, surprised at hearing his own words spoken back to him. And now, confronted with the very questions he had asked of Rick, he didn't know how to answer.
              "Well... Well, I..."
              Trevor said nothing for several moments. As Rick watched, something inside him... finally gave up.
              "Ok..." Rick's energy seemed to leave him, and he shook his head. "I get it. I don't mean you. I don't think anyone well ever get you. But I think I finally understand something about myself. I finally.... see."
              Trevor blinked. "What do you see?"
              Rick paused, his body straining towards the door, uncertain if he should tell him. "I watched you fall off that cliff, Trevor. I watched you die. And now years later, visiting a grave that you allow to keep existing, you're still dead. And some part of me is still trying to save you. Guess in my head you'll always be up on that cliff."
              Rick turned and moved past him, certain.
              "Wait... " Fear crossed Trevor's eyes as he walked with him. "What are you doing?"
              "Leaving."
              "Leaving? Why?"
              "Because I understand now."
              Rick walked back into the well lit dining room, gathering his coat and putting it on. Trevor followed behind, about to lose a second follower in as many minutes.
              "Rick, wait! We can talk about this. Wait. Tell me. What do you understand!"
              Rick was already headed to the front door with Trevor at his heels when Trevor stopped him, hand on his shoulder.
              "Come on, man," Trevor said. "Tell me what you understand. I deserve that much."
              Slowly, Rick let go of the door handle and sighed, looking at nothing. After a long moment, he removed a flask from his coat pocket that he hadn't touched in a week. Opening the top, he placed it to his lips, leaned it back and took a drink. Turning, he looked right at Trevor as they stood by the front door, answering his question.
              "You can't save everyone."
              With that, Rick opened the front door and stepped outside, leaving in a far more somber fashion than Frechette had. He said nothing else, not looking back. Slowly the door closed, leaving Trevor silent and motionless in the dark.
              With a sigh, Trevor turned away from the door where the last of his two disciples had left. He shifted his gaze, and he finally saw a little girl, watching through the railing of the stairs leading up to the second floor.
              Bliss was there, obviously having been drawn out of her bedroom upstairs by all of the voices and activity. The tiny girl had watched everything, sitting there quietly behind the railing of the stairs.
              Trevor frowned, feeling guilty that all the commotion had wakened her. The thought passed through his mind that she was the child that never spoke unnecessarily aroused by the older children that did. Slowly the little girl came down the steps and walked over to her despondent looking father. A tiny hand reached out, gently taking his. Trevor fell to one knee, looking at his daughter. She looked at Trevor with sympathy, as if he had just lost all his play friends. After a moment she hugged him, filling Trevor with warmth. Pulling back, she looked into her father's eyes, and her lips finally moved.
              "It's time to talk now, daddy."
              A look of wonder passed across Trevor's face, hearing his daughter's voice for the first time. Trevor looked at Bliss for a long moment. The little girl smiled quietly, and Trevor understood, seeing it all so clearly.
              Reaching forward, he hugged his tiny daughter again, kissing the top of her head as out of nowhere, music began to play. And as it played... another sound could be heard; the sound of a phone ringing. Until finally, a familiar voice answered.
              "Welcome to Love Notes. You're on the air with Claire Allen. How may I help you?"


              The night skies started to brighten over the frozen stretch of the city of Chicago, slowly filling with light over the darkened horizon.
              In the chilled pre morning air of the cemetery, a foot stepped forward. The icy grass crunched underneath and slid past as the music played. Barely seen, the shadows of tombstones looming hazily beyond.


              Claire was in her studio, waiting for the caller on the line to respond as she adjusted the headphones over her ears to a more comfortable position, readjusting the microphone hanging before her as well. After a moment, she blinked at the silence on the line. The caller had still not answered, so she tried again.
              "Caller, you're on the air. This is Love Notes. Go ahead..."


              The foot at the cemetery stepped forward again, still crunching on the grass as the musical guitar chords continued to play. The unseen person above continued to walk forward, certain, moving through the grave markers. The other foot came into view as the frozen grass slid by.


              Back in the studio, Claire frowned, lowering her head as she listened, waiting for the caller to respond. Then the person on the line finally spoke.
              "I have a problem. I haven't been honest," the caller said. "Honest with myself."


              Frechette's apartment was quiet, covered in a silent, delicate shadow.  Until keys clinked in the door and it swung open. The happy face of the older bearded psychiatrist appeared as he stepped in, stopping on the doorstep of his home. He saw Faith standing there inside, smiling at him. Tenderly, he closed the door and walked over to her as Trevor's voice was heard over the scene.
              "I haven't been honest with who I am. What I am."


              Claire blinked as she sat before her microphone, pausing unexpectedly when she recognized the voice. Try to keep her composure, she gathered her thoughts before answering. "That's... interesting phrasing, caller. Umm... who do you feel you need to be? What's missing from your life?"


              I close both locks below the window
              I close both blinds and turn away


              Rick was at home in his dilapidated, low budget apartment, the trashed surroundings still in their usual state of disarray. Squinting over at the young morning sun's edge shining in through the window, he reached over to it and clicked the window lock shut, before lowering the blinds and dropping himself into darkness. He took a drink from the alcohol flask he carried and turned away.


              In his house, Frechette's reached forward and opened up the window blinds, raising them up to reveal a bright view of the city and the sun rising beyond. Trevor's voice was heard speaking to Claire again.
              "What am I missing? Me... I'm missing me from my life, Claire."

              Sometimes delusions aren't so simple
              Sometimes good bye's the only way

              In her studio, Claire blinked. Her eyes darted nervously over to her producer who was watching her from behind the control booth glass, Wondering if she had recognized Trevor's voice too. With a small swallow, Claire continued.
              "Tr-...Caller. Are you sure you should be calling here?"
              Trevor's voice answered. " I have to. I have to talk to you first. Just the two of us now, Sparky."



              And the sun will set for you.




              The footsteps of the person moving through the graveyard were faster now, more certain.
              Inside Rick's apartment, the room grew darker as one by one, Rick turned off all the lights.
              In Frechette's home, his hand gently reached forward, a lit match held in his fingers as one by one, he lit candle after candle, filling the room with a dancing glow.


              And the sun will set for you.


              Back at his and Claire's home, Trevor stood motionless in the darkened living room, the phone nestled to his ear. His eyes lowered as he waited, but he heard nothing. His voice was quiet.
              "Claire? Are you there?"


              Claire paused, swallowing again in her studio. But as she listened to the sound of his voice, hearing it soft in her ears, it seemed the rest of the world dropped away. And for a moment, it really felt like it was just the two of them. Her voice grew tender too, a voice meant just for him, a lover's voice full of concern, and asking honestly.
              "Tell me. What are you feeling?"


              And the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in gray
              And the sun will set for you...


              Looking out his living room window, Trevor watched as the sky got dimly brighter beyond.
              "I have to get my life back, Claire. I can't--... I can't lie to myself anymore."
              Her voice came through the phone and it nearly broke his heart. "But, it's more than that. Isn't it."
              Trevor looked down, his eyes glittering slightly with moisture. "I'm scared, Claire. Scared to death of getting my 100. Scared of losing you. But I can't. Can't liv my life from the shadows anymore. Hiding from all I'm afraid to lose."


              Another footstep moved through the graveyard.


              Claire's eyes were sympathetic as she heard Trevor's voice.
              "No one should have to live that way," she said.
              He spoke again through her headphones. " I see people around me, Claire. Taking chances..."


              In the gentle, fluttering light of the candles spread around the room like a sea of stars, Frechette slowly walked past, looking out the uncovered window as the pre morning sky over Chicago brightened and turned a 1000 different colors one after another. Outline against its light he turned and extended his hand. Faith's hand touched his as she came into view., squeezing it tight. The two of them looked adoringly into the other's eyes as Trevor's voice was heard again.
              "...unstoppable. Unafraid. Diving to the bottom of the pool without caring about the water. Making themselves the tallest thing for miles. That used to be me."



              Cards and flowers on your window,
              your friends all plead for you to stay...



              Standing alone in the darkness of his apartment, Rick tossed aside the beer bottle he had just emptied and reached for another one from the open fridge before him. Even the light inside was busted out.
              Another footstep moved through the frozen grass.
              Rick plopped down on his worn recliner, the new bottle in hand. He reached out, his free pausing over the loaded gun on the table beside the recliner. He thought about it for a long moment, thinking about why he kept it there.
              "Plan B..." he mumbled softly, his hand hovering above it.
              Then he moved past it and picked up the remote and turned on the tv, going through his usual morning routine. A news report came on, bathing him in a dim, pale light as he watched and took another drink. "And that's today's weather. Coming up, we go live at daybreak to take a look at one of Chicago's most bizarre folk legends--"



              Sometimes beginnings aren't so simple,
              Sometimes good-bye's the only way...



              Faith and Frechette blended smoothly into each other's arms, her head resting contentedly on his shoulder at last. And then, with no further word, they began to dance together, swaying gently back and forth, dim in the light of the candles and the brightening sky.


              Earlier that night, Taggerty's was busy, filled with light and activity. the sky outside still dark, hours before sunrise. People laughed, people danced. As Trevor's voice was heard speaking to Claire, and the front door opened.
              "I love you, Claire. But I have to be who I am. No matter the cost. No matter what happens because of it..."
              At the bar, Taggerty's manager, Champ Terrace, looked over, his eyes locking onto Trevor, standing inside by the entrance, and Champ's eyes widened.
              Slowly the crowd inside began to recognize the new arrival, come in and circling around with smiles and surprised exclamations, tapping him on the back as Trevor became the center of attention as Champ watched from the bar. Champ was motionless, in absolute shock, watching the happy people around Trevor, seeing the new light in Trevor's eyes, but not knowing what to do. Then quietly resigned, his mouth closed, accepting it. Trevor's gaze turned across the room and looked at him. The two men shared a long, silent glance. Champ gave him a small, resolute nod, before Trevor turned back to his adoring throng again.


              And the sun will set for you...


              Claire lowered her eyes in the studio. A weight seemed to suddenly lift off her shoulders. When she spoke, her words were kind and full of sympathy.
              "It's okay. I know you're right. I... I should have seen it too. A long time ago." She paused, her emotions more certain now. "You do what you need to do. I love you. I allays have. I--"
              Claire waited and took a breath. And then she... jumped.
              "I'm always with you, Trevor."
              His voice came over the headphones. "I know. Thank you Claire. It'll be all right. Trust me."
              Claire laughed. "The day I start doing that, I'll be as crazy as you."
              She could hear his smile, even over the phone. "Maybe. You may be right. I may be crazy. 'But it just might be a lunatic that you're looking for'."


              The sun will set for you...


              There was a frantic knocking on the front door as Trevor stood in his living room. With the phone against his ear, he moved over to answer it, opening it to see a tired looking Jaclyn standing there bleary eyed after he had asked for her help. He guided her into the house, the phone still against his ear.
              "Look, I gotta go. I love you, Claire."


              In her radio studio, Claire smiled at his words. Her eyes were full of tenderness as she spoke softly.
              "I love you too. Talk to you later. Bye... Cupid."
              Slowly, she reached over and pushed the button to close the call, feeling lighter, and more free than she had in a long time. Then with a happy sigh she looked up, realizing that her producer was motionless, watching her in an absolute stunned silence, her jaw gapping and her eyes wide at what she had just heard.
              Smiling and not worried, Claire looked eagerly back at her phone line board, picking a waiting line and pressing to connect to it before speaking into the microphone before. "Ok. Moving on to the next caller. Welcome to LOVE NOTES. I'm Claire Allen."


              And the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in gray.
              And the sun will set for you... 


              Another footstep moved through the frozen grass, more tombstones sliding past. Almost there now.
              A pretty, blond haired reporter was shivering in the cold air. The lower lip on her smooth, youthful face quivered, and her brow was wrinkled with frustration as she stomped her feet to stay warm in the cold pre morning air, bundled tightly penetrating February chill. The sky above her was getting brighter, and she blew into her hands to keep them warm as she watched the cameramen set up the lights for her remote newscast.
              The pretty blond reporter shook her head. "God... I can't believe I drew this puff piece assignment when I should be on a warm beach in the Pocanos right now. I must have really pissed off Tom to deserve something like this on Valentine's Day."
              A production tech was listening in on some overlarge headphones nearby before speaking out. "Ok. They're starting the lead out. Positions everyone."
              Cameras swiveled. Lights switched on, illuminating the pretty blonde's face in the dim morning light as the warming sky colored above her. The shivers and complaints dropped instantly to be replace with a bright yet vacant smile. She stayed on her mark and waited for her cue as the tech started counting down.
              "And we're on in five... four... three..."
              The woman waiting, before finally there was a flick of hand, and she spoke in a clean, clear voice.
              "Thanks Linda. Welcome everyone on this cold Valentine's day morning to the site of one of the city's unique oddities. Chicago's very own-- ow--... Oh... my god."
              "My point exactly." a voice said.
              The blond woman was dumbstruck, looking past the camera at something beyond its view.
              The tech's voice could be heard from off to the side.
              "Wait.. Isn't that--."
              The footsteps continued forward, now bathed in the light from the morning sky above, before finally stopping on the cold grass to stand in one spot, a grave marker directly behind.
              The tech's voice called out. "Turn the camera! Get a light on him!"


              In his apartment Rick was watching the same newscast, watching as the tv image hastily swiveled to one side and centered on a figure, the lights finally illuminating him.  He suddenly jerked up in his chair, not believing what he was seeing on the screen. The image shook and bounced as the camera readjusted, trying to get closer. He heard the blond reporter's voice calling out.
              "Get on him! Get on him!"
              Slowly the scene stabilized on Rick's television. On the edge the blond reporter stepped into view, moving closer to the figure on the screen, the camera bouncing before it zoomed in on the man's face. Trevor was there, standing proudly before the lights and the camera, his feet planted on his own grave, the grave the camera crew had come to film, the grave of Cupid, The God of Love.
              The blond reporter stepped closer, approaching slowly. She seemed nervous as she extended her microphone.
              "Are... Are you..."
              Rick waited, the silence of the moment stretching.


              Outside as he stood atop his grave, Trevor took a deep breath of the crisp air. He extended his hands out to either side, his grin warm and genuine as he basked under the attention of the cameras on him.
              "Daddy's home, kids." He stepped over to the pretty reporter. "Hi. I'm Trevor Hale. Cupid, the god of love. I know the perfect guy for you, by the way. Call me after this. We'll talk."


              In his apartment, Rick watched, stunned.
              "Wow..."
              He smiled as on the screen Trevor laughed, looking happily into the camera, his smile bright and shining with the light of a thousand suns.
              In the sky above, the light grew further, until finally the glittering edge of the sun began to climb over the edge of the distant horizon, spilling a clear glow onto the grave site as the reporter stepped forward, her fear gone but now asking questions at a mile a minute.
              Rick leaned back in his chair, amazed. "Guess some people can be saved after all."
              The glare of the new morning flowed into Frechette's home, but he hardly noticed. Still dancing slowly with Faith, he looked into his 'imaginary' girlfriend's eyes as the sun's rays flowed warmly past the two of them, bathing them in colored light.


              Trevor stood in the middle of the camera crew, the remote lights shining brightly on him as the sun rose further into the sky behind him. More still cameras from every side began flashing brightly like pulsing stars, as the sunlight flowed across the tombstones and brought everything out of the shadows.


              And the shadow of the day, will embrace the world in gray.


              Back at Claire and Trevor's home, Jaclyn was holding Bliss in her lap, pointing her towards the television to see her father as Bliss laughed and clapped happily.
              Watching the same broadcast in his apartment, Rick paused, before looking down at the bottle in his hand, and the loaded gun he had prepared and placed on his night stand last night. He thought about what Trevor was doing at that very moment, and he went silent for several seconds.
              Slowly, he stood up, the gun in one hand, the beer in the other. He opened a drawer in the kitchen, putting the gun away, before starting to head back to the chair. But then he paused, looking down at the beer in his hand, feeling the weight of it, as he had felt the weight of the gun. He walked towards the fridge where the rest of the beers were, grabbing several more, before opening them all and one by one pouring them into the sink.


              At his grave site, Trevor said nothing, not answering the questions being thrown at him. Instead he grinned at the cameras, soaking it all in, before he shook his shoulders at them and laughed.
              Beyond them, the rising sun seemed to flare brightly, filling everything with white...


              ... which faded to show Frechette's home, and two figures dancing in the rays of that same light, eyes only for each other. As the view seemed to slide past the contented in love couple, it shifted to the wall behind them to see not one, but two shadows outlined there. A man and a woman, dancing, swaying happily, before the music ended, and everything faded to black.

              And the sun will set for you...



THE END

Author's note: Thanks for reading! :) This could be considered and ending to the present cycle of stories, or maybe even a beginning for other stories. But in my head, this story continues in the far future in Cupid in Space. It will be a two story sequence that will finally wrap all this up for me. Thanks again. It's been long but fun. (that's what she said)   :)