After stealing a few
all too brief hours of sleep, Lady JenniAnn woke the next morning
anxious to begin her final day of interviews. She had been
touched and impressed by the answers of her previous subjects and
forward to the four remaining interviews. As soon as she could
manage she got herself ready, grabbed her cameras, and made the short
sail to Autumn Wind where she was to have morning tea with Nigel.
Once inside the guardian angel's home, she smiled to
herself as he
asked questions about her cameras. In no time she had them
properly situated and Nigel had tea and scones set on a table in the
room where the
interview was to take place. Before officially beginning her
interview, JenniAnn wanted to ask the angel how he was handling recent
events involving Andi.
"As well as can be expected, Love. It has all
been rather like
being caught up in a tornado. However, being here in Dyeland has
been a great comfort," Nigel answered, his continued wariness still
"I just hope you know that we're all still thinking
of you and praying
for both you and Yva. And, Nigel, I hope you know we're all so
glad you're here!" JenniAnn beamed at the angel.
Nigel bowed his head and nodded, moved. "I do
know that, Lady
JenniAnn. The outpouring of support has given me little doubt of
that, I assure you, and I remain eternally grateful for it."
"I'm glad. So... shall we begin?"
Nigel nodded, apprehensive for a moment as he eyed
"Just pretend it's just you and me chatting cause
really that's all it
is, okay?" the woman tried to assure him.
Nigel smiled. "Of course, yes. Two
friends talking about
guardianship and the love it entails."
"Exactly!" JenniAnn flicked the cameras on and
then gave Nigel
her undivided attention. "Do you feel there are any
misconceptions people may have about guardianship? If so, what
would you say to them?" JenniAnn frowned, suddenly wishing she'd
chosen to open with another question.
However, Nigel did not hesitate to answer.
"There are a vast
number of misconceptions, Love. Many people believe that I am in
some sort of competition with Sir Sven for the Lady Yva’s affections,
which is an absolutely preposterous notion. My love for Yva is
composed of a bond that we have shared for centuries and is a spiritual
connection that has been with us since the first moment I met
her. This is precisely what I have been trying to make Andi
understand about our bond, which I am fearful she does not quite
understand. I cannot fall in love with Yva or anyone else, I am
an angel sent by God to the people. It is the Father who has
allowed me to watch over and become guardian to Yva."
JenniAnn sighed. "Yes, unfortunately we're all
too aware of that
particular misconception. Are there others?"
Nigel nodded. "The other misconception is that
because I am
bonded to Yva that I will like or enjoy the very same things she does,
that we are the same, mirrored images of the spiritual versus the
instead of being two separate individuals. Although many of the
things that Yva dearly loves and enjoys are things I too enjoy, there
are things she dearly loves that I am not quite sure I can
handle. Flying is one of those things, and her recent birthday
present is a very good example of that conceptual idea I am getting
at. Another much smaller and less significant one is while I
enjoy milk in my tea, she does not, and while she enjoys rum and sugar
crystal candies in hers, I cannot imagine using rum for anything but
cleaning my boots."
JenniAnn giggled, having never heard of such a
very good to know! I guess if I ever meet my guardian angel I
won't assume he or she enjoys downing one cup of chai after another."
Nigel chuckled. "No, perhaps not, Love."
JenniAnn smiled at him then glanced at her notebook,
growing serious as
she moved to her next question. "Besides coping with
misconceptions, I imagine it’s difficult being so close to your charge
and loving them so much and yet not always being able to keep them away
from danger and pain. How do you cope?"
"The same as anyone else, I consider the fact that
while I cannot
always protect Yva, I do what I can to make my feelings known to her if
I am able," Nigel answered after taking a moment to consider the
question. "Yva is very open to my feelings and it makes this
aspect of my assignment quite joy-filled. Of course, often I
cannot tell her that I feel a certain way about this, instead I am
sometimes relieved that she senses my discomfort and inquires. I
am twice amazed that she is so connected to me that she is able to do
it. I have this strange feeling that other guardians do not have
the lightness with their tasks that I have with Yva."
JenniAnn shook her head. "Unfortunately, I'm
not sure many
do. Which brings me to this: You enjoy a much more vocal
bond with Yva than many do with their guardians. If you could
send one message to everyone on behalf of their guardians, what would
Nigel's eyes list up and a smile stretched across
face. "This is quite an easy question, the message is the same as
God wishes for all His children to know, that He loves you. All
of your guardians love you, they want what is best
for you and hope
that you will not ever forget that they are with you always."
"Always..." JenniAnn repeated, softly.
"Yes, always," Nigel reiterated.
"I'm glad. So I guess I ought to ask the flip
Nigel, what would be the best way for someone to let their guardian
know they love and care for them?"
Again Nigel took a moment to formulate his answer
but then gave it with
great confidence. "I think that simple acknowledgement of our
presence is enough. What Yva does that means so much to me is she
speaks to me whenever she is alone and thinks that no one can hear
her. She thanks me for being there, and tells me that she loves
me and hopes that I am well. One of the kindest things that she
does for me when she thinks I am not around is she says ‘I wish I could
hug you.'" Nigel paused and gave the most contented smile
JenniAnn had seen cross his face in many days before he
continued. "This is something that I have found means a great
deal to me as a guardian, as it is an acknowledgement of
acceptance. To be accepted and embraced is perhaps the most
meaningful of gifts that a guardian angel could ever receive."
Nigel looked at his interviewer then and smiled when she seemed to be
taking his advice on the spot. He waited patiently for her to
In a moment, JenniAnn looked up and blushed.
"Sorry, I did follow
every word. I just wanted to do what you said. Immediately,
"I understand quite well, my lady. Now you are
to meet with Yva
and Sir Sven?"
The woman nodded eagerly. "Yep! They're
gonna talk about
marital love. I'm looking forward to it. Thank you, Nigel,
so much for this. I think your interview will really touch people
and their guardian angels, too!"
"I very much hope so and I thank you for the
guardian angel then watched, again in amazement, as JenniAnn dismantled
her cameras even more quickly than she had set them up. He
pondered asking JenniAnn if, perhaps, in her next documentary she might
have Gloria speak on her love of technology so that he might understand
it all better.
Yva ushered JenniAnn
into the parlor of
Soaring Spirit where Sir Sven was already seated, reading a
book. He put it down instantly and greeted her.
"So how are things here?" JenniAnn asked, setting
her bags down and
already considering where she might put her cameras.
Yva shrugged. "I'm still very conflicted about
JenniAnn nodded and looked at her friend
sure you will be for a while. I'm sorry you feel that way but it
truly is normal."
"I know. I just hope I'm in a more jovial mood
once we get to William's."
"So do I," Sir Sven responded and hugged his
wife. Yva smiled
lovingly at him which instantly lightened the mood in the room.
Thus assured, JenniAnn set about to configure the
arrangement for the interview. After deciding that it would be
best to have the
couple take the sofa, she took a place in a chair to their right.
She gave them both encouraging smiles and then jumped right in.
"So how’d you two know when it was the right time to get married?"
Yva glanced at her ring and spent a brief moment in
"I don’t know if there really is a right time to get married, I
just think that when the time comes and both parties are ready, then it
happens. I think that for each couple, the question of when one
should get married will lie in the willingness of each person to
imagine if they could spend the rest of their lives with the person of
their choice. With Sir Sven, there was no hesitation whatsoever,
I knew that I loved him and couldn’t imagine my life without him.
I think I knew when he asked me to marry him that I was in love,
although I think there is such a thing as love at first sight."
She smiled and then looked expectantly at her husband.
"When I met Yva at a fast food restaurant for the
first time, I knew
that I wanted to spend my life with her. I thought she was very
sweet and I still remember she was wearing a polka dot dress." He
smiled fondly at the recollection.
"Aww! That's so cute!" JenniAnn gushed.
She then reclaimed
her position as serious reporter for her follow-up. "What do you
think are some of the biggest challenges couples face in a marriage?"
Again, Yva answered first, this time with out any
"Communication. If the two people don’t talk to each other, then
there is no way for the marriage to work. Sir Sven and I spend a
great deal of time together, we talk over our troubles and try to find
resolution for things when life gets difficult. It’s very
naïve for people to think that there will never be problems or
challenges and that it will all be a ‘happily ever after’
scenario. When two people communicate their way through the
challenges, then the challenge becomes only half so difficult because
JenniAnn nodded but couldn't seem to find her words
so looked at Sir
The man nodded in approval of his wife's words and
then gave his own
answer. "I think that it is about going through difficult
situations and knowing that both of us are unhappy, and yet trying to
make the best of it. That is probably the greatest challenge that
we have faced."
"I-I can imagine," JenniAnn responded, looking
confused for a
moment. To cover she looked down at her notebook and then,
recovering with a cheerful smile, looked back at the couple. "Now
for the happier question! What are the biggest blessings that
come along with being married?"
"The love that is shared is perhaps the greatest
thing that exists,"
Yva answered, again smiling at Sir Sven lovingly. "I have always
known that although I have a lot of friends, I can always find Sir Sven
waiting to lend a hand when I feel let down or happy. I also like
being there for him when he needs me. It’s a very special
blessing to have him."
His own face lit up with a smile, Sir Sven gave his
"It’s nice to have someone to cuddle with. It’s really nice to
come home and find a home cooked meal that we can enjoy together.
It’s also a lot better than sitting alone with a pre-packaged meal in
front of the television. Having that is special."
JenniAnn looked fondly at them both. "It
lovely. I hope you know what an inspiration you are to
people. Because of that I'd like my final question to be... if
you could offer some advice or inspiration to a couple considering
marriage, what would it be?"
"Find out if it is right for you, don’t jump into it
because of what
everyone else is saying, do it because you love the person and want to
spend the rest of your life with him/her," Yva answered
passionately. "If you cannot fathom the idea of this, then
marriage is not for you. Never, ever get married because someone
else wants it, whether that be the partner, a parent, or someone
else. Marriage is taking part in a team that is a lifetime
JenniAnn nodded the whole time Yva spoke, especially
Sir Sven grinned. "What she said. A good
is to always agree with your wife."
Yva rolled her eyes but smiled good-naturedly.
funny. Now I know that I married him for his simply marvelous
sense of humor."
"Seems like a good reason to me!" JenniAnn responded
think you've both given me... I mean us a lot to consider and I really
appreciate it. There's so much more I'd like to ask! But I
promised to bring Henry lunch for his interview so..."
"You know you can always come visit us any time,"
Yva assured her as
Sir Sven nodded.
"Oh, thank you! Yes, I will! I've really
loved working on
this project so may be I'll even make another sometime."
Soon after JenniAnn was off and headed to Ilios to meet with Henry.
After stopping by
Daffodil Den to grab
some soup and make some sandwiches, JenniAnn walked to Angel's Reststop
for her interview with Henry. All the way, she replayed the
interview with Yva and Sir Sven in her head. She had a feeling
their words would be ones she'd want to hold onto.
JenniAnn was still in a contemplative mood when she
knocked on Henry's
door. Not surprisingly, Henry threw it open nearly before she'd
"Hungry I take it?" the woman joked handing the
angel the bag of food.
Henry smiled. "May be I just didn't want you
spending a moment
longer out in the cold."
JenniAnn laughed, making a point to look around at
yard. "Right, the cold. Thank you for being so
chivalrous." She stepped into the house and began to set up the
cameras while Henry laid their lunch out on the kitchen table.
Once JenniAnn was satisfied with her camera lay out in the living room,
she joined Henry in the kitchen. The last of her pensiveness wore
off as the two joked and chatted during their meal.
Once finished, the two returned to the living room
where Henry sat on
his couch and JenniAnn claimed a rocking chair after turning the
She quickly brushed some stray strands of hair
behind her ears then
smiled confidently at the angel of death. "Hi Henry. Thanks
for agreeing to be interviewed. So when
you say 'celestial love' what exactly do you mean by that?"
"Sometimes it's hard to describe but basically it's
the love I have for
all of my fellow angels and, of course, for the Father," he
answered. "Since all
is celestial, I consider it celestial love. It's a love that's
full of peace, love, caring, thoughtfulness, understanding and
"Sounds very nice. So do you always feel the
Father’s love for
you or are there
times when, even as an angel, you feel distanced from Him?"
JenniAnn looked curiously at Henry as he thought.
"I'm sure that all angels have felt distanced from
the Father on one
occasion or another. All I can tell you is that the one occasion
I experienced it, I felt empty and without guidance," Henry took his
glasses off for a moment and wiped at his eyes. Then he gave his
interviewer a reassuring smile. "Once I
realized my mistake and all that surrounded the incident, the feelings
I had were quite immense, like I was experiencing everything new
again. I sure do appreciate His love more due to that period of
JenniAnn looked as if she wanted to delve further
into that memory but
knew this wasn't the time nor place. Instead, she opted to stick
with the questions she had prepared and not put Henry on the
spot. "I'm so glad it worked out like that, Henry. So...
Clearly you love both your angel and human friends. I
know humans sometimes struggle when they’re away from those they
love. When you’re on assignments you’re sometimes parted from
your friends for weeks on end! How difficult is that for you?"
"I didn't think it would be difficult but as time
goes by, it does get
more difficult than it was before. It seems more apparent now
since I've made a home in Dyeland. I appreciate everyone more and
the friendships I've developed since then and it's something I never
want to forget or lose."
"You won't if we have anything to say about
JenniAnn beamed at
Henry smiled thankfully at her then grew serious
you. I'd like to do something to ease some of
that difficulty while I'm away but I'm still not sure what I can do in
order to accomplish that feat. All I know is when I'm with
everyone, I tend to not take the friendships for granted because who
knows how long things are going to remain as they are."
JenniAnn looked stricken for a moment but covered it
by moving to
adjust the angle on her camera. "I hope they always remain as
they are but that's good advice. Just in case," she finally
responded after sitting back down. "Ummm..." She picked up
her notebook, glanced at it, and then back at Henry who was watching
her with some concern. "What’s the most difficult part of having
the love you do for
others? Or is it never difficult? What’s the best
part? I guess that’s kinda a compound question but oh well!"
Henry chuckled. JenniAnn's rushed delivery of
the final question
and her self-deprecating smirk helped ease his concern. "It all
depends on the situation, I guess. It isn't difficult to
love others. The difficulty is seeing bad things happen to those
I love. It doesn't matter if it's just the loss of a job or
losing a home to natural disaster or anything else, I don't like it
when those I love are suffering."
"I'm sure not."
Henry continued. "The best part is seeing
those who rejoice in the
love they receive no
matter who the love comes from. It's evident in the peace that
appears on their face when they realize just how much they are truly
loved," he finished, smiling as he recalled many such incidents.
"Hopefully that answers the question okay," Henry then added with
JenniAnn smiled. "Very much. Good job
with them all.
So... ready for dessert now?"
Henry's eyes lit up, not realizing that had been
part of the plan until
JenniAnn withdrew some pastries from a compartment in one of her camera
"As if I'd ever turn it down," the angel answered
with a grin.
The two then enjoyed their treats until it was time
for JenniAnn to
head off once again.
When Mick arrived in
library, he found JenniAnn had already set her cameras up and was
studying a book.
"Is it interesting?" he asked.
JenniAnn jumped but then smiled when she realized
who had entered the
room. "Just some poetry. Whiling away the time while I
waited for you. Ya ready?"
Mick nodded and took a seat across from one of the
"Sure. There's nothing I like better than talking about my
ex-wife." He shot the woman a teasing smile.
"Hey, you're the one that picked wronged love!"
Mick shrugged. "I didn't think anyone else
"True enough. No one did. I just hope my
"No time like the present to find out."
"Right, okay..." JenniAnn glanced at her notes, took
a deep breath and
looked at Mick. "Were there any signs that your ex would end up
betraying you?" She bit her lip, afraid she might offend the
Mick tilted his head and thought. "Not really,
no. Or else
I was just too blind to see them. It could have been the
latter. I was madly in love with her."
"I see. So, uh, any tips on how to avoid that
Mick chuckled. "How to avoid marrying a
vampire? Raid their
refrigerator looking for blood? Search their house for an
especially comfy looking freezer?"
JenniAnn laughed. "I meant more how to avoid
marrying someone who
will betray you."
"You can't always avoid things like that. Some
people are very
good at letting people see only what they want them to. But I
think I could have taken more time getting to know Coraline. The
engagement was short. There was so much we never talked
about." Mick frowned.
"Has it been very hard to regain your trust in
people, Mick?" JenniAnn
questioned, her tone sympathetic.
Mick nodded. "Very much so. But, you
know, I do believe
that there are a lot of good people. Trustworthy people.
People that will truly love and care for you. A person just needs
to take the time to search them out."
JenniAnn hesitated for a moment. "And have you
found such a
Mick blushed and then bowed his head and
smiled. "I'd like to
JenniAnn grinned as she remembered the young woman
who had first helped
her learn how to operate her cameras. She recalled how her face
had lit up when she said Mick's name. "I'd like to think so,
too," JenniAnn responded. "And... I think
that's the best
possible note to end this on!"
"I agree. So when is this supposed to be
"I hope by Valentine's Day. I'll have all of
edit. Beth said she'd help me. Oh, hey, speaking of
Beth... When she visited she said something I thought was really
Mick raised an eye brow and looked up from the
camera cord he was
helping to pick up. "Did she?"
"Well, yeah. See, I thought I ought to explain
how, well, I
didn't want her thinking I was thinking anything about you given how
you've been stopping by here to research."
"Okay..." Mick prodded.
"She wasn't at all troubled and said that you'd told
her that if she
could see how I looked at Andrew then she'd know I didn't have any
feelings for you. I just thought it was weird you got Eliot and
Andrew mixed up after you'd just worked an assignment with
Andrew. Or had you said that before?" she asked, putting the
first camera away.
Mick finished with the cord and then stood up to be
as near eye level
as he could be with the shorter young woman. He bit his lip.
"What?" JenniAnn pressed. "It's okay if you
forgot names. I
mean you have met so many..."
"I didn't screw up the names. I meant what I
said to Beth."
JenniAnn glared at him, hurt. "What the heck
is that supposed to
"I didn't mean to betray your secret," Mick
insisted. "But she
asked me about you
the day after we'd had that run in with the religious fanatics.
The day Andrew was hit. And I saw how you looked at him when I
was driving you both away from there. It troubled me.
"Because what?" the woman demanded.
"Because I knew he couldn't love you that way in
return. And I
knew you were dating Eliot. I guess I was so concerned that it
just came out when I was talking to Beth. I'm sorry." Mick
reached out for her hand.
JenniAnn turned her back to him. "I am dating
I'm going to marry him some day. He gave me a promise ring at the
ball. I accepted it. So if you don't mind please keep your
mouth shut about my romantic life."
Unabashed, Mick moved to face her. "JenniAnn,
Didn't you pay
any attention to what I just said about not rushing into marriage?"
"I'm fairly confident Eliot's not a vampire but
thanks for the tips,"
she answered bitterly.
Mick sighed. "It's not about that!
It's about whether you love him like you should the man you marry and,
I'm sorry, but I don't think you do. Marriage should be between
two people who truly love each other, JenniAnn. And I don't doubt
that you love Eliot very much but you're not in love with him. I
paid attention during the masquerade at Willy's. I guess I wanted
myself wrong. I watched you dance with Eliot and I watched you
dance with Andrew. Everything about you relaxed when you were
with Andrew. For a moment you looked... genuine. That means
you can look me in the eye right now and tell me that you're in love
with Eliot and that I was just seeing things in the car and at the ball
then I'll go buy
your engagement present right now."
JenniAnn glared into his eyes and opened her
mouth. Nothing came
Mick moved to pull her into a hug but JenniAnn moved
"So what if you're right? You said it
can't return romantic love. Newsflash!!! He's an
angel! So if I can't be with him then why
not marry someone who loves me and who I care about? I'd be a
good wife to Eliot and he'd never know. He doesn't know
now! Besides, I don't want to make Andrew feel as uncomfortable
as Andi made Nigel."
Mick rubbed at his eyes then shook his head, his
curls flying as if to
underscore his determination. "You can't keep living a lie!
eat you up until you feel dead inside. I know! Love
isn't always easy and it isn't always convenient and, no, it doesn't
always work out and I know this won't work out but lying about
it..." Mick again shook his head adamantly. "Believe me
when I say it's hell living with a secret you can't tell for fear it'll
hurt someone else. Year after year. Decade after
decade. Don't do that to yourself. And don't do it to
Eliot. And if neither of those persuade you... don't do it for
Andrew's sake. He'll figure it out eventually and then know you
pushed yourself into marriage for his sake. And do not ever
yourself to Andi. I spent a lot of time talking to Andrew and not
once did he mention your making snide comments to others out of a
selfish desire to claim him for yourself."
JenniAnn was sobbing then and that time didn't
resist when Mick moved
to hug her. His words and Yva's swirled threw her mind. "I
wanted to be in love with Eliot. I really
did... he's wonderful and it would have been so simple."
"Unfortunately, love isn't always simple, JenniAnn,"
gently then held her at arm's length to study her. "I'm sorry it
happened like this. I really intended to broach the subject with
you in a more tactful way. And not until after Valentine's Day."
The woman shook her head. "No, it just needed
to come out one way
or another. For a long time now I've known I wasn't 'over'
Andrew. But I guess I needed to hear someone else say it before
I'd accept it. So thanks. I'm sorry I got so angry."
She tried to rally by drawing a deep breath but caught sight of the
ring on her right hand. "Oh... how am I going to tell Eliot?"
Mick had already looked up, catching the scent of
entering the room. However, JenniAnn was surprised when a voice
"You don't have to. I'm already here. I
moved from the hallway into the library looking crestfallen.
JenniAnn stood up nervously. "I... I'm sorry,
very, very sorry."
The young man glanced at Mick and then back at the
woman and nodded. "I
am, too. But you have to follow your heart."
Mick suddenly felt like an intruder and moved
quickly towards the
door. Before he left he gave JenniAnn one last look. Though
she was crying, she seemed stronger and more at peace than she had been
of late. She nodded to him. Mick nodded back, watched her
turn back to Eliot, hand him the ring, and then sit beside him to talk.
Andrew ran up the
steps of Willowveil
Castle. He followed
the sound of soft weeping to JenniAnn's room. Her door was open
and he looked inside to find her putting items into a box. "Laja,
can I come in?" he asked.
JenniAnn spun around, revealing her tear-streaked
nodded. "What are you doing here?" she asked, wiping at tears.
"Mick called me. He said I needed to see
you. I came as
as I could. What's wrong?" Andrew took her arm and led her to the
settee at the foot of her bed. Once she was sitting, he took a
place beside her, half-expecting her to bolt away as she had so many
times recently. However, this time she did not.
Softly, her voice breaking at times, JenniAnn told
Andrew about the
unexpected turn Mick's interview had taken, the truths he had forced
her to face, and the resulting break-up with Eliot.
"I'm sorry," she murmured once finished. "It's
all so stupid...
so pointless... so wrong!"
Andrew shook his head. "No, Laja. It's
not wrong. I
guess it just is what it is. You can't help what you feel.
I'm just sorry you felt you had to keep it a secret all this
time. Is this why you've been avoiding me?"
JenniAnn nodded. "You knew I was upset after
what happened in Nebraska. And I know you thought I needed to
talk about it. I did. But it was on that day that I
realized nothing had
changed. I still loved you. I knew you'd be able to tell so
I stayed away. I just didn't wanna hurt Eliot. Or
you. I thought I could just keep it to myself."
Andrew sighed, both relieved and saddened by her
revelation. He was glad to know he'd not inadvertently offended
or hurt her. However, he wished she didn't feel as she did for
her own sake. When he noticed JenniAnn looking at him with worry,
he finally spoke with a small, encouraging smile. "I know.
I'm not hurt
and as for Eliot, I think he would have been more hurt down the road if
you'd kept this all inside. Secrets that big can have
devastating effects on your health, mental and physical. How do
you feel right now?"
For the first time since she had begun to speak to
him, JenniAnn met
his eyes. "Like I've just drawn my first deep breath since I
realized I still loved you every bit as
much as I ever did. I thought it was that itself which made me
feel so tired and sad. Unrequited love would do that, I
thought. But it wasn't. It was feeling torn and constantly
worried that I'd give my secret away."
"The truth will set you free," Andrew quoted with a
"The truth as exposed by Mick St. John," JenniAnn
smiled at Andrew for
the first time since he'd entered the room. "Somehow in all the
craziness of this it fits that a vampire would be the one to unravel it
"I suppose even vampires can be angels sometimes,"
smiling at the thought of the private investigator donning a white suit
"Yes. But sometimes, too, we need the real
deal. And I
guess I learned that this evening." JenniAnn blushed and gave
Andrew's hand an affectionate squeeze.
Andrew hugged her. "I wish it hadn't caused
you this much pain
and struggle but I'm glad. It's good to see that light really
in your eyes. I hadn't seen it in a while. I missed it."
JenniAnn contemplated his words as she thought back
interviews. She had felt her heart leap with happiness for her
friends when, as they spoke, their own eyes shone. She had
wondered what or who made her own shine, if they did. Now she
During the next hour Andrew helped JenniAnn to box
up the photos and
bric-a-brac she had accumulated during her relationship with
Eliot. Perhaps one day, may be even soon, she'd take them back
out but that night they were too painful. When the last of them
was tucked into the storage room, Andrew said a prayer for the young
man and for the woman who then silently closed the door on her past.
Nearly all of
subjects and assorted friends of Dyeland were gathered in the ballroom
of William's estate. As he had the previous year, Nigel's fellow
angel friend had given the group access to his home for Valentine's
Day. After sharing dinner they had gathered to watch the
documentary which JenniAnn and Beth had edited together the previous
day. There were smiles and tears as the words of wisdom and of
love were heard by them all. Mixed into the series of interviews
was footage JenniAnn and others had taken during various parties and
other get-togethers set to "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys.
Everyone smiled and some wiped at happy tears as the final scenes faded
out as the song continued:
"I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
I'll make you so sure about it
God only knows what I'd be without you."
trudged up the stairs to Beth's apartment. He thought about
turning around and going back to the street and then to his own
apartment. But Valentine's Day had been difficult.
Suspicious spouses made up a sizable portion of his caseload and so
Valentine's was the Black Friday of private investigators. Mick
had spent the entire day trailing philandering husbands and
wives. He told himself this was why he'd decided to pay Beth a
visit. He needed to talk with someone who wasn't full of either lies or
suspicions. It wasn't right to let the most romantic day of the
year pass with out something pleasant happening, he reasoned.
So he knocked on her door. While he waited he
tried to listen for
her footsteps and heard... the Beach Boys? He raised an eye brow.
Beth opened the door and smiled. "Happy
Valentine's," she greeted
and took his hand.
"You too," Mick responded, still confused by the
Beth led him to the kitchen where her lap top was on
The music was coming from it.
"And have you found such a
person?" JenniAnn's voice came forth from the little speaker.
Mick watched himself blush and answer. "I'd
"Did you mean..." Beth trailed off.
Mick turned away from the screen and towards
her. "You," he
finished with a shy nod.
Beth smiled. "Good. Listen, I know it
may be kind of early
to do the Valentine's thing and I certainly don't expect you to have
something for me but... JenniAnn told me most of the guys in
Dyeland have one of these so... Happy Valentine's, Mick."
Surprised, Mick took the box Beth had picked up from
the table and
handed to him. He unwrapped it and opened the lid. Inside
was a silver pocket watch.
"It's white gold, actually," Beth explained.
picked it up and opened it then handed it back to Mick.
Blinking back tears, Mick read the
inscription. "To my guardian
angel. Love, Beth."
"Do you like it?" Beth asked, concerned by his
Mick smiled at her, revealing teary eyes.
"Very much. I,
um, actually... I was hoping it wasn't too early to celebrate
Valentine's Day myself." Mick reached into his pocket and pulled
out a flat box which he handed to Beth.
The woman smiled and gently removed the wrapping
before popping the box
open. Inside was a gold necklace with an angel hanging from
it. A jewel was embedded in each of its wings.
"Your birthstone and mine. It's not too, uh,
cheesy is it?" Mick
Beth fingered the delicate charm. "It's
beautiful. I love
it. Could you?" She took the necklace out of the box and
held it out to Mick.
Smiling with relief and joy, Mick took it and
fastened it around her
neck. Then he picked the pocket watch back up, stared admiringly
at it again, and put it in his pocket.
"How does it look?" Beth asked.
"You look beautiful," Mick answered.
Beth smiled. "That's not what I asked but
pulled him into her embrace then. "Thank you."
"Thank you," he repeated.
Just then a soft noise caught their attention.
towards where it had come from and saw a dove perched at the window,
cooing. Holding hands, they walked towards the window. It
flew and they watched it for a moment. Suddenly it disappeared.
"Where did it go?" Beth asked, shocked.
Mick only smiled and put his arm around her.
The dove reappeared
manor where most of the inhabitants were turning in for the
night. Quietly it flew from window to window, cooing as if in
At the kitchen window, the dove saw Lady Beth
laughing as she lifted
some cookies off a pan as Henry waited anxiously for them. They
laughed as they both sat down to enjoy them.
At the stable the dove peered in to find Countess
speaking to the horses as she brushed them and helped them to settle in
for the night.
In one window the bird cooed as it saw Vincent and
Catherine curled up
in a chair with Jacob on his mother's lap as Vincent read Great Expectations
may have been the hundredth time.
Next the heavenly bird spied Willy animatedly
telling Jessie about his
adventures seeking out ingredients for his candies as the little girl
looked at him in wonder before reluctantly but wearily leaving with
JenniAnn to prepare for bed.
At the window above it, the dove again cooed softly
at the vision of
Yva and Sir Sven dancing.
A little further away, Rose was smiling as she
flipped through a
scrapbook of all her adventures since coming to Dyeland. She
looked up upon hearing the soft song of the dove and smiled.
Another window revealed Nigel seated at his desk,
words for Yva to find the next morning.
Still another revealed Adam preparing to
leave. He walked the
halls, silently praying for each person there before disappearing to
return to Andi who very much needed an angel just then.
Alighting again, the dove then landed on a
windowsill past which
JenniAnn was just entering the room having got Jessie to bed.
The bird watched as the young woman crossed herself and prayed then
settled into bed for her first night of peaceful sleep in
With a soft coo, the dove was again off and settled
on a bench in a
garden not far from where Andrew was walking. As he was walking,
he spoke to the Father. "Thank you, God, for love. For Your
love and for ours for each other. Thank you for the love in
families whether it be between spouses, parents and children, or
siblings. Thank you for the love of pets, Your creation also whom
You have entrusted to us. Thank You for the love and wonder of
children who are still so close to You. Thank You for our
compassion, in it You help us to mirror Your own love. Thank You
for the love of home. Whether we're near them or far away, the
memory and love of home brings us comfort. Thank You for the love
You have bestowed in we angels. Whether they're only temporary
assignments or whether we're sent to them for life, we care about
humans and are grateful for the opportunity to share Your love with
them. You created them in the same love in which You created
us. I thank You even for love betrayed, with out it we might not
appreciate true and lasting love. Please help us to always accept
and welcome love, no matter what challenges it brings. Because
all love comes from You."
Andrew smiled brightly then and sighed contentedly
as he surveyed the
starlit sky. As he headed back to the manor, he hummed "God Only
Knows" to himself. Behind him, the dove cooed once more then
soared up into the stars.
Valentine's Day, everyone!!!
(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from
an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon
Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)