A story about the tv show, Cupid
Part Four of Five
by Steve 0yervidez

            It was afternoon on the campus of the University of Chicago. The light of the descending sun flowed warmly in through the library window, falling golden into a small room reserved for student meetings. Spread across the floor was a varied collection of chairs, dispersed in a haphazard sort of way for the purposes of the very informal group that was meeting there today. Several members of the group were already scattered among the seats, laughing with each other, filling the air with the soft buzz of relaxed conversation.
            A bright eyed college student entered the room, carrying a stack of notebooks in her arms. Resting on top of them was a rolled up banner of some sort. The woman was cute and petite. Partially sheltered behind her blond tresses were some very attractive blue eyes. Piercing blue eyes, eyes that seemed to exude confidence and gaze feverishly into a person's soul, despite the woman's diminutive size. At least they did here, in this group, where she felt whole. Where she was doing what she was meant to do. Although her face glowed pleasantly, her convictions were hard as a rock beneath the surface. Several of the others in the room noticed her enter and said hello, speaking to her with familiarity as she moved through them and towards the front.
            She slammed the notebooks gratifyingly down onto the podium and placed the rolled up banner to the side for the moment. As others in the room continued to talk, she arranged her materials. After a quick sweep of the room with her eyes, she opened the top notebook and took a meticulous accounting of who was there and who wasn't. Her pencil moved frantically on the paper. If the group members knew of the obsessiveness of her record keeping, it might have caused some concern. But she made sure to never tell them. Closing the notebook, she began to hunt through her cavernous purse, until she pulled out a small, carefully wrapped, metal figurine. Pulling away the cloth with reverence, she revealed a small winged cherub statue, holding a bow and arrow. A tiny bell hung from the tip of the notched arrow. Carefully, the woman placed the figurine on the podium in front of her, ringing the little bell to get the room's attention.
            "Ok, everyone. Let's get started..." She began to unroll the banner, turning to hang it on the wall behind her.
            In the crowd, one young man turned to his friend, whispering quietly into his ear as everyone took a seat. "Hey Tom. You were right. Thanks for bringing me. There really are some delectable women here. But I'm a little... confused. What exactly is this group about?"
            Tom smiled. "David, you'll love it. It's an Eros Appreciation Society."
            "What?" David seemed suprised. "Do you mean it's... some sort of sex club or something?"
            Tom shook his head. "No, Eros you moron. Cupid. The god of love. The 'official' purpose of this group is a study of the ancient greek god. But that's just an excuse for the student affairs people. It's really about following in Cupid's footsteps and setting people up with their 'true loves'. All for fun of course. Great way to meet women. Some of the best parties on campus."
            Tom calmly patted David on the shoulder and they both turned as the woman at the podium began to speak.
            "Could everyone take a seat please?" she said eagerly.
            The banner was now hung behind her, words printed in large bold lettering across it.


For the advancement of love
in the modern age.

            "Ok, here we go." the woman said. "Hello, everybody. Glad to see all of you again. We're lucky to have a couple of 'hits' this week. Umm... one it seems from Tom Catrell," she motioned at the man sitting next to David, but she paused, curious as her eyes lingered on David for a moment. "Umm, Tom claims to have scored a direct hit that seems to be going very well. So far so good, anyway. Let's all hope it holds up, and give him a round of applause..." The woman smiled as she put down her pen and began to clap her hands loudly, glancing at David again as she did.
            The crowd applauded politely, but not as enthusiastically as the woman at the podium applauded. David followed along, confused at what the big deal was. Tom took a playful bow in his seat, not getting up.
            The woman glanced at David again for a moment, admiring him with a tiny smile. David decided he was most definitely enjoying the attention she was giving him. The woman continued. "Tom managed to hook up two women in his poli-sci class. Nice work, Tom. Eros is in your debt. We'll mention some of your other 'hits' a little later, but for now lets get to some other business, specifically the plans for next week's mixer. So let's break into groups as usual...."
            As the spectators broke into their small committees, laughing casually, the woman at the podium watched them with satisfaction. She opened another notebook and made note of Tom's accomplishment, marking it in her meticulous records. She sighed, content in the knowledge that she was following Eros' teachings and bringing love to the world. For her, nothing else really mattered.
            David looked around, not exactly sure where he was supposed to go since he was new to the group. Still glancing at the woman at the podium, he slid over to Tom, taking a seat next to him.
            "Tom," David whispered softly. "I'm not so sure I should be here..."
            Tom smiled. "Hey, give it a chance. This is a great place to meet the opposite sex. Have you seen the women here? We're all supposed to help the course of true love, so why not help ourselves in the process? A lot of the women here tend to take that particular mission statement personally. And in a really good way..."
            David looked around the room. "Really? Hmm. That does sound pretty good, but... Who's the high priestess over there running the show. She's kinda cute."
            "Who, Faith? I'd steer clear, man. She's a little... out there."
            "Out there how?"
            "Well, most of the people here do this only for fun. You know, friendly competition, a great excuse for some fantastic parties. But Faith... she takes this all very seriously. She actually believes this stuff."
            David scoffed. "What, that the Olympian gods were real?"
            "Absolutely. Were and still are."
            "You're kidding." David looked over at Faith again. There was no mistaking it. She had given him a small smile when their gazes met, before looking away and leaning forward slightly to write in another one of her notebooks. David noticed that a small pendant swung from the soft skin on her neck, a pendant of a winged cherub.
            Tom smiled when he noticed David wasn't even listening to him, or his warnings, obviously caught up instead by the smile of a pretty girl. "Hey David. I'm being totally honest here. She's really a little... weird."
            David shrugged, but never looked away from Faith. "Still, it could be fun. In a kinky sort of way..."
            "I don't know, man. She'd probably make you anoint yourself in wine or say a chant to the gods before undressing or something." Tom considered that for a moment. "On second thought, maybe you're right. That could be fun..."
            David was still looking at Faith. "But no animal sacrifices, right?"
            "Faith? Are you kidding? She'd never hurt a fly. She's just... committed that's all." His tone of voice implied in what sense he meant that.
            As Tom turned away, David considered it. Then, taking a deep breath for courage, he rose and walked slowly over to Faith at the front of the room.
            "Umm... Hi." He said, standing in front of her podium. "I'm David."
            Faith smiled at him warmly, extending her hand.
            "Hello David. I'm Faith. It's always good to see some new recruits." She laughed lightly. "Eros' work is never done, after all."
            "So..." David felt awkward, surprised at how attracted he was to her. "Uhhh, Tom tells me that you're... you're really into this stuff, huh?"
            Faith smiled and lowered her eyes. "Yeah. I know most people find that a little weird, but I've believed in this all my life. Kinda scary, huh?" She laughed.
            David thought her laugh was intoxicating. "No. Not at all. I think it's kind of... charming."
            "Well, thank you. A sympathetic ear."
            David casually leaned forward, resting his elbows on the podium to be the tiniest bit closer to her. "Besides, you're really not alone. In that particular belief, I mean. I've seen others far worse off than you. Ever hear of a bar called Taggerty's?"
            "No." Faith listened carefully, wondering what he meant.
            "You haven't? Really? There's a bartender there you really need to meet. I could take you sometime." David looked into her eyes, hopeful. "I mean, if your interested..."
            Faith smiled as she looked at him. She was definitely interested in the offer. "Sure. I'd love to. But why do you think I need to meet this bartender?"
            "Oh," David exhaled in relief, answering off handedly, just happy she had agreed to go with him. "It's nothing. He just claims to be Cupid, the god of love."
            "Really?" Faith was suddenly very interested indeed.

            Trevor was busy behind the bar at Taggerty's, pouring drinks. The room all around him was filled with people. Music played in the air above everyone. Claire was there, right next to Trevor, seated on a barstool across from where he worked, sipping her drink as she smiled. Trevor had been teasing her all night, a light, flirty banter going back and forth between the two of them. He had been teasing her about what had happened yesterday at the local carnival, when they had danced together in the rain. When it had seemed for a moment that Claire had brought her lips close to his and had been about to... Claire smiled at the memory, pushing the thought away. It was foolish, of course. But still, after all that had happened with Frank, it did feel good to have Trevor flirting with her. Her ego certainly didn't mind the boost.
            Although he was occasionally looking at something across the bar, Trevor nonetheless mostly looked at Claire, a glint in his eye. He shifted left and right, arms moving as he made his drinks, but his eyes always returned to her as he talked. "Come on, tell me I'm wrong, Claire." He was saying.
            "You're wrong, Trevor. Hmm. That was particularly easy for me to say. Guess I've had a lot of practice. Trevor... I think you're making way too much out of this."
            Trevor nodded. "Yeah, like I never do that. I can't believe you're giving me the old cigar is just a cigar routine. Wow, Claire. That's a therapist muscle you rarely stretch. Isn't that sort of like psychobabble krptonite for you?"
            She smiled "This coming from a man who thinks Zeus is just another relative to hit up on for money. Trevor it didn't mean anything. I was just excited that we were back home, that's all."
            Champ was suddenly there and hurrying past the two of them, putting away fresh glasses behind the bar. Trevor grabbed Champ's arm before he could leave.
            "Champoo, let me get your take on this..."
            Champ answered succinctly, without hesitation. "Whatever you're arguing about, Claire's right and you're wrong. Nice talking with you..." He tried to leave again.
            Pleased, Claire's face brightened. "Thank you, Champ."
            Trevor didn't understand, not letting Champ leave. "Hey! Why do you always assume she's right?"
            "Well, for one thing, unlike Claire's relatives, if I were ever to actually meet your family... I'd have to be checked into an insane asylum."
            "Hey," Trevor defended himself. "Believe me. The gods aren't too sure that you exist either. Not when you insist on keeping that chin fuzz you call a beard. Look, let me just tell you what happened, and you can make you're own conclusions..."
            Claire playfully smiled at the ceiling with a moan. "Trevor..."
            Champ blinked at her reaction. Even before Trevor had said anything, now he really was intrigued. "Just exactly what did happen?"
            "Nothing..." Claire said.
            Trevor grinned and leaned closer to her, looking into her eyes with a smug look. "Clair bear here 'almost' kissed me yesterday."
            Champ sputtered, astounded. His eyes were bright as he looked at Claire. "What?"
            Claire blinked shyly, covering her smile as she took a drink. "I didn't 'almost' anything."
            "Maybe not, but you're lips were definitely en route, Claire."
            "Trevor, that's ridiculous... Hmm. Imagine that. Yet another phrase that's easy for me to say..."
            Champ began to notice Claire seemed a little nervous discussing it. Still, there was a obvious sparkle in her eye. Champ almost laughed.
            Claire realized what Champ was thinking, and she tried to explain, still in her good mood. "It's... nothing really. Trevor and I went to a carnival yesterday. Rides. Sideshows. There was this crazy old psychic lady there. She... hypnotized us into believing that Trevor and I had lived a past life together. The hypnotism was pretty believable. Very immersive, very complete. Very annoying.... I really hate it when someone's poking around in my head like that."
            Trevor turned to look at Champ. "This coming from my court mandated therapist. Can you feel the irony?"
            Claire continued. "Anyway, it seemed so real that we felt like we were there for several days, instead of what must have been at most a few minutes. She was a really good hypnotist. So when she finally brought us out of it, I-I guess that I was relieved. We both ran outside into the rain as fast as we could to get away from that place. And I was so excited to get out of there that I... didn't even come remotely close to giving Trevor the mistaken impression that I was 'almost' or about to kiss him. I wasn't even close. Well... not really that close."
            Champ couldn't help but smile. "So exactly how close was close?"
            Trevor looked at Claire. "Close enough that we could have shared the same oxygen respirator in the middle of a hurricane. Another millimeter closer and we might have needed one too. Sure gives new meaning to the term 'taking my breath away'..."
            Claire smiled, looking at Champ. "He's exaggerating."
            Trevor's face beamed as he gazed at her face next to his. He was still talking to Champ without pulling away from her, deciding to tease her a little more, his eyes sparkling smugly. "Did you know that in a former life Claire and I were married?"
            Surprised, Champ nodded in amusement, knowing how much this must be rankling Claire. "I did not know that, Trevor." He looked at the two of them, looked at how close they always managed to be to each other without realizing it. Even now, when they were arguing... sort of.
            Claire sighed. "We weren't married, Trevor."
            "Hmm. Maybe you're right. Because that's one wedding night I know I'd remember."
            "Trevor, that psychic lady was nothing more than a quack. That's all. A con artist with a canopy. A trickster with a tent. Her so called crystal ball virtually had three holes in it and was inscribed with the word Brunswick on the side.
            "No it didn't, Claire..." Trevor's voice trailed off, looking over her shoulder and back across the bar again, distracted from arguing his point by the people he had been watching for most of the night. Curious, Claire turned and looked. Champ noticed too, and he followed both their gazes, already recognizing Trevor's look for what it was.
            "Trevor, what are you doing?" He asked sternly.
            Trevor's eyes didn't leave the other side of the room, his hands still moving as he filled orders. "I'm serving drinks. Picturing Claire naked. Trying to figure out the riddle of world piece. Picturing Claire naked. Contemplating the design intricacies of the underwire bra. Picturing Claire semi-naked-"
            "Ok, Ok. I think I get the idea, Hef."
            Trevor smiled. "You don't know the same Hef that I know. I know the original. And they didn't call him the hammer for nothing."
            "Trevor, what I mean is that I know that look in your eye. That, 'I've got my arrow notched and I'm ready to shoot' look. I see you've set your sights on that man and woman in the corner. Well, whatever you're planning... don't. Linda's tired of paying for broken glasses, and I'm tired of sweeping them up."
            "Worry not, man of glass. I am the expert after all."
            Claire watched the man and the woman for a few moments. They were both in separate groups, but occasionally they would glance at each other and smile. Claire had to admit it. Trevor had an eagle eye for spotting things like that out of a crowd. She turned around and playfully bit her lower lip, teasing him. "I've seen you're success rate lately, Eros. Calling yourself an expert is becoming more and more debateable by the day..."
            "You're one to talk, Claire. Considering how many familiar faces there always are in your singles group."
            Playfully, Claire tried to feel complimented. "I prefer to look at that as a validation of my advice, Trevor. Otherwise they wouldn't keep coming back. But in your case, I doubt the delusional history you quaintly call your 'credentials' inspires the same confidence. Listing your current job as Love God for the last 3000 years, for instance? That's not really endearing anyone to your resume. I mean, there are padded resumes, and then there are padded walls."
            "Hey, I pad a lot more than just a resume. If you're ever more interested in a real world proof, I'd be perfectly willing to submit to a strip search to show you just how much I have hidden-"
            "Trevor, I'm not even on the same continent as interested in that."
            "Fine. We'll compromise. I'll let you keep your clothes on."
            "You've got that backwards, Trevor. Usually it's only the strip search-ee that gets naked. Not the strip search-er."
            "Oh..." Trevor seemed to lose some of his enthusiam. "Never mind then."
            Trevor was looking across the bar again, and Champ hurried over to him.
            "Trevor, I mean it." He warned softly. "Don't even think of-"
            Trevor poured two quick drinks that weren't part of any of his orders. He grabbed them and stepped out from behind the bar, not stopped by Champ's look of consternation, or arm, which he quickly dodged around.
            "Trevor..." Champ growled to his back.
            "Don't worry Champ my man. What I have in mind won't get anybody hurt. Not even bruised. Unless it turns out she's a spanker..."
            Before Champ could say anything else, Trevor moved off into the crowd, a drink in each hand.
            Trevor worked his way through the noisy crowd as a song played on the jukebox. The music fought against the hum of conversation in the happy crowd, coming through the speakers overhead. Trevor moved through the tables, a man on a mission, stopping only for a moment to wipe his stained apron a little in an useless attempt to make himself look more presentable. The lyrics sang out around him.

            What if god was one of us,
            Just a slob like one of us...

            Across the bar, and unseen by Trevor, a different couple was watching him very carefully, following him with their eyes as he made his way through the crowd. Faith and David were seated at a booth, on opposite sides of the table. They had been watching Trevor for several minutes, observing him from a distance. Faith frowned, a skeptical look on her face. Turning back to David, she showed a decided lack of enthusiasm.
            "That's Cupid?" She didn't seemed convinced.
            David looked uncomfortable, trying to justify why he had brough her here. "Well... yeah. At least he claims to be."
            When he looked back up at her, he noticed she was smiling at him. She had obviously recognized the reason as the pretense it was, an excuse so she would go out with him. He had to admit, she was a smart cookie, having seen through him so fast. David smiled back at her, looking away when he realized he had been caught. "Ok, maybe he's just some nut..."
            Faith looked back across the bar, considering Trevor again. "It's just that he seems so... human."
            As they both watched Trevor, the song continued in the air above them.

            Just a stranger on the bus,
            Trying to make his way home...

            David sighed. "Well... I hope tonight hasn't been a total loss..."
            Faith looked over at him affectionately. She really wanted to be there with him. "It hasn't been..."
            Suddenly there was a commotion across the bar. Faith and David looked over to see what had happened. Trevor was standing by the woman he had been watching earlier. He had just 'accidentally' bumped into her and spilled most of one of the two drinks he was carrying onto her when he had tried to squeeze past in the crowd.
            Trevor began to apologize profusely. The man Trevor had also been watching was nearby, and had seen the whole thing. He was still looking at them. Unexpectedly, Trevor handed him then two glasses, asking him to hold these drinks for the woman while he went to go get a towel.
            When Trevor had left, the man stepped towards the woman, both of them laughing softly as she made a useless attempt to dry her dress. They began to talk, looking at each other warmly as they introduced themselves.
            Curious, Faith shifted her gaze and found Trevor rushing back through the crowd. She followed him with her eyes all the way back to the bar. Trevor hurried behind it, but his hurried steps stopped instantly once he got there. He casually began to go back to his drink orders as if nothing had happened, never once bothering to look for a towel. Sneaking a quick glance back the way he had come, Trevor smiled when he saw the man and the woman talking over the drinks he had handed them. He looked proudly at the dark, bald man who stood nearby. The bald man was forced to nod his head in grudging respect. Faith didn't recognize the brunette haired woman seated at the bar, but it was obvious that she knew Trevor well by the playful way they had sparred back and forth earlier. They had been doing that all night, and Faith sensed the connection between them. A girlfriend perhaps? Trevor leaned in close to whisper into the woman's ear, he did that a lot it seemed, boasting about his success before he pulled away. The woman smiled and sipped her drink, throwing a comment back at him. The bald man laughed as Trevor stumbled back, clutching his chest as if wounded. Amused, the woman chuckled silently, apparently knowing that Trevor would be insufferably cocky for the rest of the night.
            Faith blinked as she thought about what had just happened and what Trevor had just done. As she sat at the table with David, she wondered if maybe she should reconsider her opinion. She lifted an eyebrow at David with a smile, duly impressed by Trevor's efforts.
            David smiled back, encouraged. Maybe this was salvageable after all. He leaned in closer. "Want to meet him?"

            "Hey! Trevor!"
            David called out as he walked up to the bar with Faith right behind him. Trevor looked up from where he was telling Claire the dirtiest jokes he could think of, trying to make her to blush. He smiled and walked over to David.
            "David! Good to see that you're back out and in the saddle again! Hope it doesn't chafe as much this time. Hey, don't be discouraged by that brunette two nights ago. That was my bad. I was a little off my game that night. We'll hook you up with someone else, good as new."
            Embarrassed that Faith had heard all that, David looked quickly over at her, before introducing her. "Umm... Trevor, this is Faith. Faith, I'd like you to meet Trevor Hale. The one and only Cupid, god of love."
            Trevor smiled when he realized David was there with someone. "Look at you, David. Already two steps ahead of me. Hello, Faith. I'm Trevor. It's good to meet you. Did you two come here together-I hope?"
            David shook his head a quick, discreet 'no', not wanting to offend Faith. Faith didn't seem to notice, engrossed in just examining Trevor very closely for several seconds. Trevor blinked, uncertain at all the meticulous scrutiny. She looked into his eyes carefully, leaning invery close, wondering if being Cupid was something you could see in a person's face.
            David continued. "Actually, Trevor, I brought Faith all the way here to meet you. She's really into classical mythological figures."
            "You don't say..." Trevor said warily to Faith's continuing examination, leaning away slightly. "Then she really should check out the figure on Athena. I mean there are mythological figures, and then there are mythological figures. Well, here's your big chance, Faith was it? A rare opportunity to see my mythological figure in the flesh."
            Claire leaned closer to them, teasing. "Such as it is..."
            Trevor smiled at her. "Since you're such the reported connoisseur of the male form, Claire, maybe you and Faith should really check out how totally bitchin I look in a toga sometime..."
            Claire laughed. "Gee, Trevor. Put a laurel on your head and cry out PIZZA! PIZZA! and I think we'll have the image exactly."
            David broke in. "Actually, Trevor... Faith specializes her interests in the gods specifically to Cupid. She's even started an Eros Appreciation Society at the university."
            Claire couldn't believe it, dumbfounded. "You, you... you have?"
            Faith nodded proudly, her face beaming.
            Trevor nodded happily. "Veeery very cool. That's some good work. I can always use a few more Cupids for the cause. But I've been in Chicago for a couple of years now. I've even been on campus a time or two to take advantage of some rather lax student dorm buffets. Why have I never heard of this Cupid Society of yours?"
            "It's new." Faith explained. "I was only forced to transfer here this semester from New York. I already had a society chapter founded at NYU..."
            Trevor smiled. "Spread the love... Hearing that almost makes me feel like a spritely 1000 year old deity again."
            Claire chuckled. "We all like to partake in delusions of youth, Trevor. Delusions being more literal in your case..."
            Trevor dabbed at the corner of his eye with his apron, still thinking about Faith's society, pretending to mist up. He looked at Claire like a proud parent. "Mortals. They grow up so fast...."
            Faith stepped forward, still a little skeptical. "Tell me about Psyche." she asked directly.
            Trevor took a moment, wondering what she meant.
            "Oh. I get it." Trevor nodded. She was testing him. "Psyche. Strict. Cute. A little bossy in bed. A little kinky too. Liked hot oils. And candlewax. Hot cream, not so much. But very, very cute. She had two sisters, dark hair, and despite what ever you've heard," He looked pointedly at Claire, "we were never married. No matter what the textbooks say. One drunken night at Dionysus' gambling acropolis doesn't count. That satyr certainly wasn't certified to marry us, and anyway, he was as drunk as we were. Come to think of it, I'm not really sure he was a satyr. Maybe he was just a short guy with hairy legs, I don't know. I do remember Psyche though, as much as I hate to admit it to certain 'psychologists'. Old mom didn't like her too much, but that's ok." Trevor found himself looking at Claire again. "The best thing about Psyche, she had this beautiful pair of-"
            "Trevor..." Claire interrupted.
            "-brown eyes. And a habit of interrupting me."
            Claire moaned. "Uhh ohh. You got him started, Faith. Now he'll be dreaming up imaginary realities all night."
            Faith was still watching Trevor carefully. She fired off another question. "Who exactly is your father? I've seen it listed sometimes as Mercury, sometimes as Ares. Which is it?"
            "Oh no..."Trevor moaned. "Not that argument again. Man was that a mess. My father was actually Ares. But at first mom tried to convince old stud muffin Merc that he was my dad because, well... she thought he was a whole lot cuter. You know mom. Dad was furious when I finally told him the truth. But I finally got them to stop arguing and get back together... eventually. After a couple of fights. Shame what ended up happening to Atlantis, though."
            Faith pressed on. "What about your family tree?"
            Trevor seemed uncomfortable. "I wouldn't call it a tree. Some of those branches don't branch very much, if you catch my meaning. Just, don't... don't ask. Ok. Family tree. Let's see. It's Uranus, Cronus, Zeus, and Ares on my dad's side. Umm, Gaea, Rhea, Dione, and Aphrodite on my mom's side." Trevor rattled off the names easily, without even thinking.
            Faith nodded slowly, impressed. "You know you're mythology." For a novice, she thought to herself.
            Claire spoke up, deciding to tease Trevor in front of his new admirer. "Trevor has to know his mythology. He's made himself an expert on Cupid's personality, maybe to cover up for the lack of his own..."
            Trevor wasn't really offended, knowing she was trying to get under his skin. He smiled sweetly at her sitting next to him. "Wow, Claire. With concise insight like that... it's a good thing you're beautiful."
            Faith still hadn't made up her mind. "Trevor... do you mind if I watch you work? Setting couples up, I mean. I'd like to take notes. This is a wonderful opportunity to potentially observe the god of love in the flesh, so to speak."
            Champ passed near them right at that moment and stopped, hearing that last statement. Both he and Claire looked over at Faith with shocked expressions on their faces. they both spoke at the same moment.
            "You believe him?" Claire and Champ looked at each other, embarrassed they had said the same thing.
            Trevor blinked. "Wow. Stereo condemnations.. Like I never tire of that."
            Faith didn't seem embarrassed by their reactions at all. "I'm not saying I believe him... yet. But I would like to observe for a while and come to my own conclusions. At least for tonight." Faith looked over at David. "And for the next few nights too, if that's ok with you, David."
            Inside, David was ecstatic, but he hid it well. It was definitely ok with him. "Umm, sure. I'd love to come up here with you for the next few nights." He smiled warmly at her.
            There was a glint in Trevor's eye when he saw the spark between Faith and David. He nodded hopefully. "That'll be fine. Anything I can do to help you two guys out. And who knows... this could all turn out pretty great." Trevor looked knowingly at the two of them.
            Faith smiled. "We'll get out of your way, Trevor. Thanks again. Come on, David." Touching his arm, she led him away. Before David turned, he mouthed the words 'thank you' to Trevor. He finally followed Faith, a big smile on his face.
            Champ and Claire were still at the bar as Trevor turned to face them, looking more than a touch smug.
            Champ shook his head, looking over at Claire as he thought about all Faith had said. "As if his ego wasn't big enough..."
            Claire nodded. "Now he's got a fan club."
            Trevor leaned forward and rested his elbows on the bar, as he thought about it. "Yeah, who knows where this could lead. A chain of temples in every shopping mall. Merchandizing. Books, t-shirts, my own line of edible underwear..."
            Champ chuckled softly. "May the gods have mercy on us all." He walked away from the bar, and Trevor instantly moved closer to Claire.
            She lowered her voice when he leaned in close, looking into his eyes. "Wow, Trevor. Someone who actually believes you aren't delusional. That was a little ... surreal."
            "Yeah it was. If this keeps up, the next strange thing to happen will be you trying to kiss me again."
            "That's not surreal, Trevor. Just unreal."
            "Hey whatever labels you need to float your therapist boat. But if you do feel the sudden urge to lock lips, technically, in here, our roles are reversed. So I'd have to be the one to charge you for a change. Professional ethics and all that."
            Claire looked at his lips. "Trevor, there's not enough money on the planet."
            "That's ok. I'll give you a discount."
            "I'd more likely want a refund..."
            Trevor smiled. "You're right. Kisses are one of the few gifts that are better when they're returned. See, I knew there was something about you that I liked, but I've never been able to put my finger on it... because you keep slapping my hand away."
            Claire laughed to herself. "And to think Faith actually believes you might have some insight into romance."
            "Hey, didn't you see that finely honed little move I made with those two drinks earlier? It's an old classic. Who else can get two people together just by making a couple of cherry wine shooters..."
            "I don't know, Trevor. Every bartender in Chicago?"
            Trevor nodded towards the couple he had set up earlier. "Admit it. I did good, Claire."
            Suddenly there was the sound of a loud slap from across the bar, and they both looked up. The woman Trevor had spilled the drink on earlier had just slapped the man Trevor had set her up with. The woman turned angrily and stormed off. The man was stunned, wondering what he had done wrong.
            Claire turned back to Trevor smugly. "Better recheck your quiver, Eros. Some of those arrows are flying a little off target. Well... Quite the rousing start to your little Cupid demonstration for your brand new fan, Faith. Good luck, Trevor." Claire smiled, rising from the barstool. "You'll need it..."
            Playful, she tapped Trevor's cheek as he still blinked to himself, stunned his set up had failed. After Claire left he still stood there. He couldn't believe it. He had been so sure. Trevor looked down at the empty glass in his hand. Finally he shrugged it off.
            "One bad shot. That's all..."