"Truth is handsomer than the affectation of love.
Your goodness must have some edge to it, else it is none."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hi all,

The idea for the story that compromises this newsletter came to me sometime during the Christmas season.  The twin influences of "Love Actually" and RENT, I guess!  Anyhow, it's good to finally get it out.  But first a few notes:

Various plot lines alluded to here were ones that played out in Dyeland mode on the YahooGroup.  So if you're not on the YahooGroup but still actually read this and find yourself going "Huh?" please just ask me.  In short the following has happened:
Some of those stories will eventually be added to the Author's Cut but for now the Reader's Digest version should do.  And I'm envisioning eyes glazing over after reading that.  Between John not having any current TV or film projects and the WGA strike what did ya'll think we were gonna do to keep ourselves outta trouble?  ;-)  Anyhow, lotsa other stuff happened in Dyeland but I think those are the only events that are part of this story.  I'll add explanations here as needed.

Second, I'd just like to make it clear that this was by no means a one-person effort.  The answers to LJA's questions were written by the authors of the various characters.  So BIG thanks to Yvette (Nigel, Adam, Sir Sven, Yva, Jessie, and Willy), Nicole (Rose), Liz (Lady Beth and Henry), and Jennifer (Countess Jennifer).  There's no way I coulda got all these characters involved with out their help!

Finally, we've also been big into play lists on the YG so I made a sorta soundtrack for this story.  But my reasoning contains spoilers.  Therefore, the play list is linked at the bottom. 

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

God bless,

God Only Knows

February 10th

    It was Sunday morning and Lady JenniAnn and another young, blonde woman stood in the former's office in Willowveil Castle.  The newcomer was examining a video camera while JenniAnn struggled to attach another camera to a tripod.  The other woman looked over and watched her, amused.

    "I know it's a pain but I really think you'll be happier with the result if you use both cameras.  To you, watching footage of yourself might seem incredibly boring but you'll want to splice scenes of yourself in with whomever you're interviewing for visual variety," she explained.

    JenniAnn nodded.  "Right, that makes sense.  Thanks, Beth.  I appreciate your sharing your expertise with me.  And just coming here in general.  I can't imagine your reaction when Mick said 'Hey Beth, how about visiting a friend in another dimension so she can make a documentary starring angels, humans, and yours truly talking about love in honor of Valentine's Day?'"

    Beth laughed.  "I might have been more surprised if anyone but Mick had said that.  He's not exactly..."  She bit her lip and thought.  "Standard issue.  Besides, I know he enjoys coming to Dyeland so I wanted to see it for myself.  And meet you.  He's mentioned you several times."

    JenniAnn blushed.  "About that...  I'd actually hoped to meet you so I could assure you that... I mean Mick's great and all... but I just didn't want you thinking I had... uh... intentions." 

    The reporter shook her head and laughed again.  "I'll admit that when Mick first mentioned this place and everyone here I felt, oh, just a tinge of jealousy."  Her mischievous smile suggested it had been more than a tinge.  "But Mick assured me that if I ever saw how you looked at Andrew I'd know you didn't have feelings for him."  Beth approached JenniAnn's desk and held a photo.  She smiled at JenniAnn and the man who stood beside her in the photo.  "Is this him?"

    For her part, JenniAnn's head was swirling.  At first she could only shake her head vigorously.  "A-andrew?" she choked out.

    Beth looked puzzled.  "Your boyfriend, right?"  She pointed to the photo.

    JenniAnn again shook her head.  "Uh, no, actually.  Andrew's an angel so... impossible.  That's Eliot, my boyfriend, in the picture."

    Beth set the photograph back on the desk.  "He's very handsome.  Sorry for the confusion.  Mick must have misspoke."

    "Oh, probly.  He has had to learn a lot of names of late."

    "Yes, that's true.  I could have misheard, too," Beth covered lamely.  She thought it highly unlikely she'd mistake the name Eliot for Andrew.  Nonetheless, Beth flashed a cheerful smile.  "Well, this sounds like a great project you have planned and I'd love to see the finished product some day.  May be it would help me match faces to names when Mick talks.  But right now I'm due at my office.  Let me know if I can help out later with editing or something, okay?"

    JenniAnn smiled in turn.  "I will.  Thank you again, so much, Beth.  Have a great day!  Oh, hey, I guess I better show you how to get home."

    "It's okay.  I know you're on a tight schedule.  Like all good reporters," she smiled.  "Mick explained the portal thing to me when he told me how to get here this morning.  I'll be fine.  You go ahead.  Who's your first subject?"

    "Andrew."  JenniAnn's face again began to grow red.

    "Great.  Well, enjoy that and good luck!"  Beth left in a hurry then, making a mental note to elbow Mick a few times as payback for causing her gaffe with Lady JenniAnn.


    Andrew was sitting in his favorite chair in his den as JenniAnn set up her cameras and prepared to ask him a series of questions about divine love.  She'd seemed troubled when she arrived and he had tried to get her to tell him what was wrong just as he had several times in the preceding days.  She shrugged him off with what was becoming the standard: "I'm fine, just tired.  Don't worry!  How are you?"

    With the vague pleasantries finished, JenniAnn sat in a chair across from Andrew.  "Are you ready?"

    The angel ran his hand through his hair and then assented with a nod.  He stifled an uncomfortable laugh when JenniAnn sat up primly, flashed him a huge smile, and began to speak in an excessively cheery interviewer voice.
    "So, Andrew, why did you choose to talk to us about divine love?"

    Andrew gave her a genuinely happy smile.  "I suppose I chose it because I think it's the most important type of love there is.  If the Father didn't have such love, He wouldn't have created us.  There would be no other love at all with out Him.  There'd be no one.  Not you, not me..."

    JenniAnn shuddered. 

    Andrew noticed immediately.  "But He did create us out of that love," he added with haste.  "That's a very important thing to remember.  No matter what the circumstances of our births, we were all created in love.  It's important we share that love with each other.  We all have different ways of showing it, of course.  My way is much different than that between, say, your cousins or Yva and Sir Sven.  But both types of love are ultimately made possible by God's love."  Andrew found it encouraging that as he answered her first question the light began to come back into the young woman's eyes.  As JenniAnn started her next question her demeanor seemed less like an act.

    "I'm not trying to find out your age.  You don't need to give me any specifics but what's your earliest memory of God's love?"

    An aura of joy surrounded Andrew and for a moment JenniAnn thought he was glowing.  She soon realized he wasn't but the love that he was feeling was unmistakably written across his face.

    "I've felt it since the moment I was born.  Many, many moons ago," Andrew gave his interviewer a sly smile.  "It was this feeling that no matter what I did, no matter where I went this Presence would always be with me.  He'd always love me.  He'd always love everyone.  It was a feeling of total acceptance.  With out even knowing yet who I was, I knew I could fully be that person and the Father would love me."

    "I can't imagine anyone not loving you, Andrew," JenniAnn murmured.  She seemed to want to say something more but then shook her head almost imperceptibly.

    Andrew looked curiously at her.  When she said nothing more, he began again.  "Thanks, Laja.  That means a lot.  I think that all-encompassing acceptance I felt is what everyone looks for in all loves.  I hope they find it."

    JenniAnn nodded.  "I really hope so, too.  Thank you for that beautiful answer."

    "You're welcome.  Thank you for the question, that was a good time to remember.  So what do you have for me next?"

    The woman glanced at her notebook then back at the angel.  "Is it ever hard to carry the message that God loves them to people?  I mean it's such a wonderful message so one would think not but, well, I know things aren't always as simple as they should be."

    The angel of death leaned back in his chair, running his fingers through his hair.  "Good question, Laja."

    "Thanks.  I hope it's not upsetting.  I don't want anyone to be upset but I just really want this documentary to count for something and..."

    Andrew reached over and patted her hand.  "No, I mean it.  It's a good question.  I'm not upset.  It's just thought-provoking.  I suppose the answer is that I'm always happy to deliver the message but how a person responds to that message... that can be difficult.  Some deny it.  They say God couldn't possibly love them.  Some insist upon thinking that God and I are delusions.  I've always wondered if those people make a habit of carrying on conversations with delusions."  Andrew gave a rueful smile and shook his head but then sobered.  "Then there are those that believe God loves them but that He withholds that same love from others of His children.  Unfortunately, those people tend to be very persistent in their misguided beliefs, as you know."

    JenniAnn blinked back tears as she recalled Andrew's recent confrontation with a hateful cult that had ruthlessly descended upon her hometown.

    "Now I've upset you.  I'm sorry."  Andrew held a tissue out to her. 

    JenniAnn took it and then his offered hand for a brief moment.  She wiped at her eyes and then laughed dryly.  "I'll have to edit this out later, of course.  Not your answer.  Just me blubbering.  But, please, go ahead."

    Andrew looked at her with concern for a moment before continuing.  "Obviously those assignments are all very troubling but they're more than made up for by the smiles and joyful tears I usually get in response to the Father's message of unconditional love."

    "I'm glad.  So, last question: what was the first time you ever told someone God loved them?"  Despite her damp eyes, the devilish element of JenniAnn's smile was not unnoticed by Andrew who chuckled.

    "Now I think you really are trying to trick me into telling you how old I am."

    "May be..."

    "You're learning reporters' tricks very quickly, my friend.  What if I just tell you about one of my favorite reactions?"

    JenniAnn feigned a dramatically disappointed sigh but nodded.

    "It was in the 1600s.  The witch hysteria was ongoing and relentless.  After I had lost an assignment to that unfortunate movement, the Father sent me on many assignments where my only goal was to help people to see how much He loved them and how He wasn't going to let witches or demons destroy them.  I think He knew that just saying the words 'God loves you' would help me heal after what happened to Hope."

    "That sounds like Him," JenniAnn agreed.

    Andrew nodded with a small, appreciative smile and continued.  "I went to visit a small girl named Felicity.  Accusations had begun in her village and soon the witch-hunters would come after her grandmother to whom Adam was assigned.  To encourage Felicity, God sent me to her.  I can still remember kneeling down to be level with her and telling her 'God loves you.'  She put a little hand on each side of my face and said 'I know and He loves you, too.'  I'll never forget that."  Andrew smiled fondly at the memory. 

    "That's incredibly sweet, Andrew.  Thank you for sharing that.  So what happened to her and her grandma?"

    "I'm happy to say that it was near the end of the trials.  Her grandma was released and Felicity grew up to be a devoted mother and voice of reason in her community."

    "I'm so glad!  Such a scary time..."

    "But not a time with out love.  There was still plenty of that.  There always is.  So is that it?  Am I done?" Andrew asked.

    JenniAnn nodded.  "Yes, I'm due at Lady Beth's soon.  Thank you so much, Andrew, for taking the time to do this."

    "It was my pleasure.  I think this is a great idea and I hope the rest of your interviews go well, Laja."

    "Thanks," she responded as she stood up and moved to her cameras.  The second they were off, it was as if a shadow settled over her leaving her sullen again.

    Andrew stepped towards the woman.  "Listen, I'm still here if you need to talk.  About anything."

    JenniAnn focused on dismantling her camera tripods.  "I'll remember that, Andrew, thank you.  May be after all this is over."  She waved to her camera bags.

    Andrew opened his mouth to insist but JenniAnn was quick to cut him off.

    "I really need to get to Lady Beth's.  Good bye, Andrew.  Thanks again." 

    Andrew watched, unnerved, as JenniAnn nearly raced to his front door and left.


    Lady JenniAnn was still thinking about her interview with Andrew when she showed up at Serenity City.  With in moments of arriving at the door of Kindred Spirits, Lady Beth had ushered her into the kitchen for lunch.  After enjoying one of Lady Beth's most delicious recipes, JenniAnn prepared her cameras.  After some struggle she finally announced that all was ready. 

    Slightly more at ease being on her second interview, JenniAnn jumped right in.  "So you’ve decided to talk to us about familial love, Lady Beth.  Great!  I spose then my first question would be how do you define 'family'?"

    "'Family' can have a different meaning to everyone," Lady Beth answered after a brief pause to think.  "For me, it's parents, siblings (and respective spouses should they be married), and any children that are a result of any marriages or couples.  Also, I guess my extended family can include close friends and people who are important to me and have helped me in my life."

    "I like that.  Very inclusive.  What qualities do you think compromise a truly loving and healthy family?" JenniAnn followed up with.

    "Love (and also liking members of the family)," Lady Beth answered with a smile. "Support, communication, understanding, caring, being at peace with those around you."

    "Can't argue with any of the that!  So... next question, then.  What do you think are some unique and special ways to show those in your family, however you define the word, that you care for them and love them?"  JenniAnn looked across the table expectantly.

    "Just doing simple things like making a homemade meal or dessert, being there to listen when someone needs to talk, shoveling a sidewalk or driveway when someone is unable to do so.  Sometimes just a hug or a kiss is sufficient.  There have also been a couple of times when I've gone for a walk with someone and not a word was said.  Basically just the fact that we were together meant a lot even if we didn't talk," Lady Beth finished.

    "Thank you again for the homemade meal, by the way," JenniAnn responded, grateful.  Then she smiled.  "All excellent answers but I'm surprised you didn't add 'bantering with them' for Adam's sake."

    Lady Beth laughed.  "Yes, that too."

    "I'm sure he'll be glad to hear it."  JenniAnn laughed, too, before moving to the final question she had for Lady Beth.  "What would you say is one of the most loving things someone you consider to be family has done for you, Lady Beth?"

    "Mmmmm, let me think."  And so she did for some time, a smile on her face as she relived several treasured memories.  Finally, she found her answer.  "I guess for me it's when someone is there to listen even if I never asked them to do so.  The person is just there ready and willing to listen when I need someone to talk to.  It's like he or she knows I need that without me saying a word to them and it doesn't matter how long they have to wait until I'm ready to talk. "

    JenniAnn nodded.  "That sounds so lovely.  And it also sounds like what you often do for us in Dyeland.  So thank you for that."

    Lady Beth blushed a bit.  "You're all very welcome."

    With the interview over, JenniAnn again dismantled the cameras and then helped Lady Beth clear away the lunch dishes before making her way to see Countess Jennifer.


    JenniAnn sent up a prayer of gratitude as she and Countess Jennifer sat in one of the pastures on Harmonic Hollow.  Since Countess Jennifer was speaking about the love of pets, JenniAnn had wanted to shoot her interview outdoors but Dyeland's weather had been unpredictable and often cold and damp.  However, that afternoon the sun was shining and the air clear, affording an excellent view of horses frolicking in the fields.  Later JenniAnn would shoot footage of the majestic animals but just then she had one camera poised to record Countess Jennifer and the other herself as Beth had suggested.  After waiting for a gust of wind to die down, she asked her first question.

    "So, Countess Jennifer, it’s been obvious to all of us that you really love animals and they seem to adore you!  Have you always had pets?"

    The other woman smiled and nodded enthusiastically.  "Yes, as long as I can remember.  I've had pets of all sorts except the creepy crawly kind.  I prefer the cute and cuddly.  Not that the creepy crawlies don't have their place in the world I just prefer the ones that are soft when you hug them.  I have always had at least one dog and one horse and typically a cat.  Even had a couple of birds mixed in there.  Of course, I cannot forget my gerbil that I had when I was much younger."

    "That's quite a mix.  And I like what ya said about the 'creepy crawlies' having their place.  I spose that applies even to snakes."  JenniAnn blanched but then looked down at her notes and back to her subject.  "I hope this doesn't upset you, Countess.  If it does I can strike it.  If not... Could you tell us about a time that one of your pets or another animal really helped you cope during a difficult time?"

    "It's okay," the woman assured and grew thoughtful.  "When my aunt died unexpectedly my horse was there for me to cry on her neck and then to take me for a ride.  For a brief few minutes she was able to take that pain away and allow me to forget."

    JenniAnn glanced at the horses and nodded.  "I can see how that would help immensely.  I'm so glad your horse was there for you.  She sounds very, very special.  Which leads me to my next question.  What do you love best about your pets and animals in general?"

    That time it was Countess Jennifer's turn to gaze fondly at her horses.  "I love how they are always there for you.  Riding a horse can take you to a different world.  A dog curled up next to you provides warmth.  Cats keep you humble by reminding you that you are there to serve them."

    As if on cue, a small dog scampered towards the two women.  For a few moments the interview was forgotten as both cooed at and pet the dog.  Still staring at the dog as it ran off after a rabbit, JenniAnn asked her final question from memory.  "What can pets offer us that our bonds with humans and even angels can’t, do ya think?"

    The answer came with out hesitation.  "A listening ear that is not a judging ear.  Pets are there when you need them.  You never know when a friend is going to be busy or an angel is off on assignment.  Sometimes you just need company that does not talk back at least in a human voice," Countess Jennifer smiled and then laughed as one of the horses gave a loud neigh.  "Something to just be there when you need to vent but not try to fix your problem.  Pets also make you feel needed because they rely on you for their care."

    "Well, if I didn't already adore pets, you'd have sold me on em!  Thanks so much for your time, Countess Jennifer.  I'm very grateful to you for sharing your experiences.  Now, do you mind if I take some footage of your horses?"

    Countess Jennifer waved towards them.  "Not at all.  I'll introduce you."

    The two spent a half hour among the horses until JenniAnn had to leave for her appointment with her cousins in the Tunnels.  Her last glimpse of Harmonic Hollow before she left was of a small gray horse playfully nuzzling Countess Jennifer.


    JenniAnn still had to mask her surprise whenever she entered Catherine's and Vincent's chamber.  For years it had been a model of organized chaos.  Now it was simply chaos.  Every where she turned was baby paraphernalia.  She couldn't imagine coping with everything in such disarray.  Yet, she knew that her cousins had truly never been happier.

    "Sleep my child and peace attend thee, all through the night.  Guardian angels God will send thee, all through the night," Vincent sang softly as he tried to lull Jacob to sleep.

    His smooth voice and the sweetness of the scene began to lull JenniAnn herself.  While she didn't fall asleep, her eyelids did flutter for a while and then closed.  She was startled when Vincent set his hand on her hair.

    "I did not know the song still worked with you, Psyche."

    JenniAnn smiled, feeling sheepish.  "Me neither.  Guess I must be sleepy."

    "We can do this another time, perhaps," Vincent suggested, eying his cousin and goddaughter with concern.

    She shook her head.  "No, I'll sleep after we're done.  I'll even go straight to my chamber as opposed to back to Willowveil.  But I really wanna get this tonight.  That is if it's still okay with you and Catherine?"

    Vincent nodded, checked once more on Jacob who was then sleeping in his cradle, and then sat down across from her.  "It is.  Catherine should be here at any moment.  She had to go Above to gather some clothes for when she returns to work tomorrow."

    "Great.  I'm just so psyched you're talking about parental love.  Every time I see Jacob I remember again the look on your faces on Christmas Eve night when I first saw you both with him."  JenniAnn smiled wistfully and got up to see her infant cousin herself.  After gazing tenderly at him for some time, she got to the serious business of setting up her cameras as Vincent looked on with his typical awe of technology.  Just as the second tripod was up and properly positioned, Catherine entered.

    "I'm here!  I hope I'm not late.  How's our boy?" she asked after kissing Vincent in greeting.

    "Asleep, at last.  He began yawning well over an hour ago but was determined to remain awake.  I did, however, nearly manage to put Psyche to sleep."  Vincent smiled at her.

    "Well, if it hits again kindly turn off the cameras so the whole of Dyeland doesn't have to watch me sleep," the young woman jested.

    Catherine laughed.  "Too little coffee today?"

    "No, just a lotta traveling but it's been more than worthwhile.  And now... we're all set.  Ready?"

    Catherine and Vincent nodded and sat down on a sofa and looked expectantly at their interviewer.

    "Right, okay...  So, Catherine and Vincent, what do you think is the best part of being a parent?"

    Vincent smiled brightly and answered first.  "For me it is this overwhelming feeling of love that grows in me each and every day.  I always think I could not possibly love my son more than I do now but every time I see him that bond grows stronger."

    Catherine nodded.  "I feel exactly the same way.  I would also add that being able to raise Jacob with Vincent is truly a blessing.  There are the obvious things like taking turns getting up at night, knowing that Jacob will be well cared for by his father while I'm at work, and having someone to help make decisions.  But the biggest thing is seeing how Vincent's whole face lights up when Jacob is near.  His joy mirrors my own."

    "Awww!  I've been worried about making people cry but I think you're both gonna turn the tables on me!  Those were lovely answers.  But now I gotta ask... what's the most trying part?"  JenniAnn looked from one to the other. 

    Catherine and Vincent both thought for a moment.  "I would say it is finding time for just the two of us now," Vincent answered.  "Catherine?"  He turned to his wife when he sensed her sadness.

    Catherine wiped at a tear but smiled.  "I'm okay, really.  I think the hardest part will be leaving Jacob for over eight hours tomorrow and the next day and then..."

    Vincent kissed her hair and put his arm around her. 

    "I could always stop by with him during your lunch if you like," JenniAnn offered. 

    Catherine looked at her, hopeful.  "Really?" 

    "Of course!  I have to interview Jessie but I can do that right after Jacob and I return."

    "There now.  I am pleased that will work out.  Thank you, Psyche."  Vincent affectionately patted her hand.

    "It's hardly a sacrifice.  We'll have a great time!  Now..."

    "Yes, let's get back to the interview.  Sorry and thank you so much!  I'll treat!" Catherine gushed.

    JenniAnn laughed.  "Well now that free food is involved it's definitely a done deal.  Okay.."  She checked her notebook.  "Umm, this next one might be kinda sad."

    "We've read it and we'd like to answer," Catherine assured.

    "Okay, then.  Thanks."  JenniAnn glanced at the cameras, assuring herself they were still filming and then focused.
"You both have truly wonderful parents.  How do you think their love for you impacts your relationship with lil Jacob?"

    Catherine answered first.  "Since both my parents are now gone, I think the remembrance of their love makes my own for Jacob stronger.  You never know how long you have with your child."

    This time it was Vincent's eyes that filled with tears.  "I hope it is a long time for us both."  He drew a deep breath then and looked at JenniAnn.  "Father has taught me how much sacrifice goes into being a parent.  He devoted so much of his time to me.  I always knew he was there for me.  I hope that as he grows, Jacob feels the same about me."

    JenniAnn reached across and set her hand over both of her cousins'.  "I know he will, Vincent.  I always have."

    "Thank you," he answered.  "And I will always do my best to watch over you, Psyche.  As such, I know you are tired so perhaps we could have our final question so you could retire to your chamber?"

    JenniAnn sighed but smiled appreciatively at him.  "I believe you're telling me it's past my bedtime.  Some things really don't change.  But I agree so...  I think you'd both agree that it's important for both parents and children to feel and know they are loved.  What do you think is the best way to ensure your child knows how loved they are?"

    Catherine smiled nostalgically.  "My mother used to write me little notes and put them in my lunch box.  Every day, no matter whether it was a good or bad day at school, I'd read her notes and instantly know she was thinking of me and loving me.  I still have them all."

    "I think Catherine's mother was very wise.  She saw the importance of telling her child she loved her every single day.  That is the key.  Even when Father and I had disagreements, every night he told me he loved me.  Sometimes, especially when I was a teenager, I ignored him but I always believed him."

    JenniAnn sighed, this time contentedly.  "Thank you both for taking part in this.  Your answers were truly heartwarming." 

    They all stood up then and exchanged hugs.  JenniAnn took one last peek at baby Jacob and then, wearied but happy, agreed to let Vincent walk her back to her chamber.  She prepared for bed quickly and for the first time in weeks fell to sleep immediately.  It did not last long, however, but she consoled herself that it was a start.


February 11th

    Once JenniAnn had returned from Catherine's office and handed Jacob off to his father, she returned to her chamber to wait patiently for her first interview of the day.  Her first interviewee also happened to be her youngest as evidenced by the quickly paced footsteps that alerted JenniAnn to Jessie's impending presence.

    "Hey there, little miss!  How was lunch?" the woman asked as soon as the girl had flopped onto her bed.

    "Yummy.  William made chicken and noodles.  Then we had brownies.  Jasper ate three and got sick."

    "Poor Jasper.  He should know better, though."

    "They were good brownies."  Jessie shrugged as if she thought it might have been worth it.

    JenniAnn giggled.  "I can imagine since William made em.  So, ya ready for your interview?  You're gonna have to sit still, though, cause the cameras don't move.  Can ya do that for me?"

    Jessie nodded enthusiastically. 

    "Great, I'm so glad I'll be able to get a child's viewpoint on love.  Thank you very much for volunteering."

    "It sounded fun.  'Sides I heard Vincent say it might help people."

    JenniAnn nodded.  "I certainly hope so.  Let's see now, ready for the first question?"


    "Okay...  If I gave you an assignment that asked you to finish the sentence 'Love is…' how would ya do that?"

    Jessie shrugged again.  "I dunno.  I always heard that love is never having to say you’re sorry, but that seems silly.  I think love is being with my family and friends whenever I want to."   

    JenniAnn laughed.  "I think you're right.  That saying is very silly and I like how you finished the sentence much better.  So now that we know what love is, what do you think is the very best way to show someone you love them?"

    "I asked Father that once and he said that I can show people I love them by saying it.  I asked Adam and he said the same thing," Jessie answered, confident.

    "Father and Adam are both very wise so I think that's incredibly good advice.  But what do you think, Jessie?"

    The girl sat for a moment, thinking.  She traced a pattern on JenniAnn's quilt as she did.  Suddenly her whole face lit up and she looked at her teacher.  "I think the best way is to draw them pictures of how much I love them and give them something to hang on the wall.  That’s what we did for Willy and he looked happy about it.  Do you think he knew that we were telling him that we loved him, Psyche?"

    JenniAnn pondered this with all the seriousness that Jessie had mustered in asking it.  "You know, I think he really did, Jessie.  Willy's a very astute person and..."  She stopped when she noticed Jessie's confusion.  "I'm sorry.  Astute means smart.  Willy is very smart and I think he understood.  But I'm sure he wouldn't mind being told, too."

    "I'll tell him next time I see him.  So do I have more questions?"

    "Two more if that's okay."

    "Yay!"  Jessie clapped and began to bounce on the bed.

    "Sometimes I really wish I had your energy, kiddo.  Let's see... Is there anything about love that kinda confuses you?  It’s okay if there is.  Sometimes it confuses me, too!"  JenniAnn looked at Jessie with a conspiratorial wink to assure her.

    "Yeah, why is it that older kids always say that love is only about sneaking off and kissing and stuff?  That’s pretty gross.  I mean; I always thought that love was more than exchanging valentines in school and making cute little bags with hearts on them, but kissing?" Jessie looked at JenniAnn expectantly.

    For her part, the woman was beginning to turn red.  She hadn't expected to be answering questions herself!  "Well, uh, I suppose kissing is nice.  Once you're older, I mean.  But there's a lot more to love than that.  And most people eventually figure that out.  It's about being there for the person you love and trusting them and being..."  JenniAnn lowered her head, letting her hair temporarily hide her face from the little girl.

    "Being what, Psyche?" Jessie prodded.

    "Truthful.  When you really love someone you need to be truthful."

    "Okay, I'll try to remember that.  I try to tell the truth all the time now."

    "And that's very good and I'm proud of you for that."  JenniAnn hugged the little girl then moved back to her chair.  "One more question.  Ready?"

    "You bet!"  Jessie began to beat a drum roll onto the headboard.

    Amid laughter, JenniAnn managed to get out the little girl's last question.  "How can ya tell when someone loves you?"

    Yet again Jessie pondered her answer for a moment but then started a breathless litany that both charmed and touched her teacher.  "They hug me a lot and tell me that I am special to them.  But, there’s something nice about everyone.  Adam tells me that he loves me, and calls me his little angel.  He gives me presents and reminds me that he is always nearby.  Andrew always calls me ‘sweetheart’.  Vincent talks to me when I’m lonely.  Cathy tells me that I should call her Cathy and not some last name I can’t spell, but that was before she married Vincent, because Wells is easy."

    JenniAnn laughed softly remembering her own childhood struggles with spelling her last name. 

    "Father tells me that he is always there for me if I ever need to talk.  He doesn’t get mad at me when I don’t understand chess.  Yva comes to visit and once made me a teddy bear.  Nigel calls me ‘Love’, and he wouldn’t do that if he didn’t love me, right?"


    "Willy gives me candy and tells me that I am even sweeter than that.  Eliot calls me ‘squirt’, but says it nicely so I know that he cares.  Mary tells me that she cares for me as though I am her daughter.  Rose, Countess Jennifer and Lady Beth are nice to me when they come to visit.  And you always help me when I have problems with the lessons!" Jessie finished, triumphant.

    "Well, you're a delight to help and I do love you, Jessie."  JenniAnn again hugged the girl, recalling the sad, little foundling she had been.  She thanked God that she was now healthy and happy.

    "Love you, too.   Are we done?"

    "Yep.  Unless you'd like to say anything else?"

    Jessie shook her head.  "Nissa and I were going to have a tea party with Mary and I don't want to be late.  This was fun!  Good luck with the rest, Psyche!"

    "Thank you and enjoy your tea."

    "Okay!" came the echo down the hall as Jessie was already running to join her friend and the Tunnel matriarch.

    JenniAnn smiled and shook her head, finding it unbelievable that she had ever had so much energy, then began to prepare to meet with Adam.


    The second JenniAnn stepped into Adam's house she set her bags down and hugged the angel.

    "Well, this is a great way to be greeted!"  Adam returned her hug.

    "I'm just making up for lost time since you've been away so much.  And I wanted to apologize, again, for misinterpreting what happened with you in London.  I should have known better...  I'm sorry."  JenniAnn's eyes began to flood.

    "Now don't cry on my account and please stop apologizing.  It was easy to get confused and you've probably had a lot on your mind with this documentary.  I think it will be really special.  I don't usually entertain my guests in the doorway, though, so please come inside."  Adam smiled at her, hoping his genial mood would put the young woman at ease. 

    "Okay, thank you."  JenniAnn smiled at him, seemingly more at peace.

    Together they got the bags inside and Adam helped as best he could to get them set up.  However, with five interviews down JenniAnn was getting pretty adept at the process.

    "How's my hair?" Adam asked with a grin once he'd sat down across from one of the cameras.

    "Luscious," JenniAnn answered, not fully realizing and then abruptly turning bright red.

    Adam chuckled.  "Thank you.  I still can't say that that's a word I'm used to having applied to me but it's good to hear you say it.  You've been awfully serious of late."

    JenniAnn took the glass of orange juice he handed her and took a sip.  "I suppose I've just been especially busy.  I'm glad you're not offended."

    "I would have been offended if you said it looked like someone had skinned a badger and put it on my head."

    JenniAnn struggled to keep from spitting orange juice across the room.  She finally swallowed.  "What!?"  She began to laugh hysterically.

    "One of my assignments in Colorado said that when she saw a man with a very bad toupee.  I was just hoping to get you to laugh."  Adam winked.

    "Well you succeeded!  Oh... and I like your sweater.  It's one of my favorites."  JenniAnn blushed again but this time not so brightly as she admired Adam in his beige sweater.

    "I'm glad and I knew about the sweater.  That's why I picked it.  I thought may be it would cheer you up.  So should we start?"

    "Aww, thanks.  It does cheer me up," JenniAnn assured him before frowning.  "Is my face still red?"

    "More... blanched almond."  Noting JenniAnn's raised eye brow, Adam continued.  "I had a brief gig as a paint mixer.  I'll have you know blanched almond is highly desirable for both interiors and exteriors."

    "Noted," JenniAnn responded with a laugh.  "I better start before you have my face turning red from laughter.  So... you chose compassionate love.  It suits you.  And my first question about that is...  Well, you see a lot of tragedy and no doubt meet with some difficult people in your line of work.  Yet you’re supposed to bring them a message of love and even love them yourself.  How do you do that when you may be angry or even hurt by their actions?"

    Adam sobered and contemplated for a moment before speaking.  "I ask the Father to help me with that.  Since God is the master of compassion, it helps when I can speak to Him about my feelings and ask Him to let me love the person in question as He loves me.  That usually helps, but it doesn’t mean that I sometimes don't wish I could get upset and let these people know that their behavior is sometimes hard for me to take."

    JenniAnn frowned and shook her head.  "I can't imagine how difficult that can be.  So much about what you do astounds me.  And impresses me.  Like this: I know that sometimes you have some time with your assignments before you lead them Home.  No doubt you develop love and compassion for them.  Is it difficult to then move on?"

    "Sometimes, I have felt very close to certain assignments and have wanted nothing more than to stay with them."  For a moment Adam looked distant but then came back.  "I get the honor of leading people Home, and yes it is hard.  But, what is even harder is when people become bonded to me and they are afraid to move on.  I once had a case where the woman I was taking Home did not want to leave me to go to the Father.  She said that she felt connected to me.  It was flattering, but it was hard for her when the Father wanted to see His child and she was wanting to take tea with one of His angels."

    "I can't imagine not wanting to see the Father but... I can imagine being hesitant to leave you.  That's why I'm glad I'll still see you.  Once I go Home, I mean.  Whenever that is."

    "I'm afraid you'll have to put up with seeing me for all eternity," Adam answered, his blue eyes registering both amusement and affection.

    JenniAnn squeezed his hand for a moment.  "I wouldn't have it any other way.  And I know the rest of Dyeland feels the same.  But..."


    "Unfortunately, I know that sometimes people elsewhere view AODs as not exactly loving beings.  What would you tell those people about the love you have for humanity?"

    "I would tell them that the reason that I do this work is because I love people.  Death is one of the great unknown questions of the universe, so the question is: would you rather go through it with an angel or alone or with one of those horrid images from scary movies?  It hurts me to think of how much fear that people have about it, but the irony is how much comfort Andrew, Henry, and I have from people who tell us that our presence means a lot to them."  Adam smiled as so many memories came to him.

    "I'm glad there are those people.  Every time any of you leave I pray that your assignment treats you well.  Actually, have the tables ever been turned and it was you needing compassionate love from a human?"

    Adam nodded.  "Several months ago I had to take a little boy Home and he told me that he was glad that I was there, although it tore me up because of the way he died.  I was deeply moved when he put his arm around me and told me that he thought I needed God as much as he did.  It was a deeply moving experience for me.  So, yes, it does happen and it is always a very moving experience."

    JenniAnn brushed at a tear.  "So it would seem.  Andrew mentioned a story about a lil child helping him, too.  I'm glad you both have experienced that.  I hope Henry has, too.  Well...  I would love to stay and talk with you all day.  I could see myself producing sequels of this!  But I do need to go meet with Willy now."

    "I'm sure you'll have a great time and that Willy will be a much more professional interviewee than myself."

    JenniAnn again hugged the angel.  "You were the perfect interviewee.  Thank you again, Adam.  For being so understanding.  So... compassionate."  She smiled up at him.

    "Like I said, I learned from the best."  Adam looked upward then returned JenniAnn's smile. 

    After they'd packed up her cameras, Adam watched JenniAnn board the boat that would take her to Pure Imagination.  As she faded away, he hoped she'd find whatever it was he sensed she was looking for in this project of hers.


    Once JenniAnn had again got her cameras set up, Willy Wonka saw to it that she was rewarded with a tray of her favorite chocolate petit fours. 

    "Oh, geez, you're gonna spoil me!  I love these, they're insanely good," the woman exclaimed, reaching for one.

    "I would imagine that means they taste better than sanely good treats?" the candy man asked with a smile.

    Once she had finished the brightly colored morsel, JenniAnn answered.  "Infinitely better.  But you didn't have to do this.  I should be giving you something for agreeing to this interview.  It means a lot to me that people have been so supportive of my latest whim."

    "I believe this is much more than a mere whim, my dear.  I think this film could end up being of great importance to us all.  I am honored you asked me to be a part of it."

    "Of course I wanted to!  Besides, brotherly love hadn't been attached to anyone yet and I thought it awfully important so... shall we start?"

    "I'm ready for my close-up, Miss Chandler."

    JenniAnn laughed.  "May be if there's a sequel you could do love of quotes.  Or paraphrases, as the case may be."

    "Perhaps but right now I am excited to speak with you about brotherly love."

    "So am I!  So... Was it a surprise to you when you started to develop feelings of brotherly love for others when they weren’t literally part of your family?"

    Willy nodded.  "Very much so.  I grew up in a pretty isolated environment and then after I got older, I started bonding with other people, but that ceased when I had to close my business because of issues of trust.  When I was able to find that once again, I became rather attached to the people who have become like my brothers or sisters.  The bonds I have found in places like Dyeland cannot be compared to anything in the world because they are a monumental blessing to me.  I suppose that because I chose the people in my life, they have become even more significant to me than family."

    "I for one am very glad to have you as part of the Dyeland family, Willy.  Thanks for your kind words."  JenniAnn beamed at him then glanced back at her notebook.  "So what have ya found to be the best part of being considered someone’s brother?

    "You're very welcome, Lady JenniAnn, and I hope all of Dyeland knows of my own gratitude."  Willy tipped his hat and then spoke again.  "To answer your question, I would say the best part is the internal knowing that the person who considers me a brother is not looking at what I do for a living, but seeing me as an individual.  Sometimes it is very hard for me to find trusted friends who like me for me and not what I do for a living, but to have Vincent come up to me the first day I visited the Tunnels and finish a quotation that I started, it shows that the bond is there.  I think that is perhaps a strange sort of instance, but it is something that somehow reminds me that there are people out there who understand me so well, that they can finish what I start to say.  That’s a special gift."

    "It really is.  I'm so pleased you had such a wonderful introduction to Vincent.  I know my godfather thinks very highly of you.  I am thinking, though, about how you would say brotherly love differs from, say, love of friends?"

    "I don’t know if there should exist a vast difference between the two, but dear lady, it seems to me that there is a difference," Willy paused a moment to smile and wave his hand to the still full tray of petit fours. 

    JenniAnn smiled, took another, then looked expectantly for the chocolatier to finish.

    "This is based entirely on how one defines it.  Of course, the term ‘friendship’ is so often overused in our language that it becomes almost passé.  That is to say that often people say, ‘he/she is my best friend’, or they have lists with hundreds of names written on it of their ‘friends’.  Yva told me right after we met that she had been in a group where some of the members had name after name of their ‘friends’, and she started to wonder if this person just took the names out of a book as a way to seem important.  With the love that you describe, instead of seeing this sort of categorized list, what I see is a few people who have the capacity to touch my heart and give me a reason to be happy.  It is a very fortuitous thing that the people of Dyeland are not so involved with such long and detailed lists as Yva described."

    "No, we're not.  Rose and I were just speaking about how good it is that Dyeland's not too terribly brimming with people.  It helps us all be close," JenniAnn responded.

    "Yes.  At the same instance, I am not trying to put down the bond of friendship, but somewhere people have decided that everyone is their ‘friend’ and not ‘just someone I know’.  When I call someone brother, it makes the feeling become all the more real, at least that is what it does to me."

    "That makes a lot of sense to me.  Again, I am so happy you've found these bonds with us but I also know these bonds were formed during a very trying time for us with Andi and all that.  So do you feel any difficulties or strain coming from your feelings of brotherly love for others?  If yes, how do you cope?"

    "This is rather like the other question, in that when I find someone whom I want to call my brother, I am relieved, or rather happy about it.  It’s like that saying about what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted.  He did live happily ever after.  That is what I feel.  The strain or difficulties do not even come into question," Willy finished with an encouraging smile.

    JenniAnn smiled in return.  "I'm so glad you feel that way, Willy, and I hope it never changes.  Also, I hope we all find our happily ever afters."

    "As do I, Lady JenniAnn.  Are we done then?"

    "Yes, I'm afraid so.  I'd love to stay longer but I'm headed to Rose's.  We're having dinner with her aunt and then I'm going to interview her about the love of home."

    "An enchanting topic.  I am sure Rose shall have many poignant things to say on the subject."  Willy stood then and tipped his hat again once JenniAnn had gathered her cameras.

    "I think so, too.  Thank you very much for the treats, Willy, and your time."  With a smile JenniAnn shook the candy maker's hand and set off to nearby Nadezhda.


    Once the dinner dishes were put away and Rose's Aunt Josephine was contently situated in front of the living room fireplace, JenniAnn and Rose went to the latter's room for her interview.  While JenniAnn set up her cameras for the final time of the day, Rose finished putting together Valentine's treat bags she was preparing for everyone.  Once finished righting both cameras, JenniAnn smiled at the younger woman's handiwork.

    "They're adorable and I know already that everyone will love them!"

    Rose looked at her, hopeful.  "You think so?  I just wanted to show everyone that I care.  I've never really felt at home any where but everyone in Dyeland has been so welcoming."

    JenniAnn sat down in a chair.  "From the first you were so understanding of us.  We can be a lot to take in!  But you were patient and eager to learn about us.  Of course we wanted to welcome you!"

    Rose moved away from her treats and took a seat herself.  "So I guess we're starting then?"  She cast a nervous glance at the camera.

    "If that's okay with you.  I know they're a lil intimidating but after a bit you don't even notice em," JenniAnn encouraged.

    Assured, Rose nodded.  "Okay, then.  I'm ready."

    "Great!  So what does the word home mean to you, Rose?"

    The younger woman considered this and then smiled.  "For me, home doesn't have to necessarily be a house. I have lived in a lot of different houses, but I can't say that many of them were actually 'homes' to me. A home, to me, is a place you feel loved and a place you look forward to coming back to after you've been gone from there. When you're home, you feel happy and you want to be there."

    "I think that says it all and I'm glad you found all those qualities here.  So what do you love best about your home here?"

    "Wow.  There are so many things I love about living here.  But I guess one of the best things for me would be the people and the love you feel between everyone here. It's an amazing experience, even more-so when you have never felt it before. Everyone here loves each other and supports one another through everything. They really and truly care about each other. So I guess that would be one of the best things about my home."

    JenniAnn nodded.  "That we do.  And we've done a lot of seeing each other through, lately!  But now I think things will get a lot easier for us all."

    "I think so, too!"  Rose gave a delighted little clap that made both women giggle.

    "Now that we've ever-so-happily established that we're in agreement about that," JenniAnn laughed again, "I'll move to my next question.  What are some of the ingredients, so to speak, that you feel go into creating a loving, welcoming home?"

    Rose paused for a few moments, making a mental checklist before speaking.  "Well, one of the things I have to say would be smiles.  People like it when they knock on someone's door and the person inside is smiling when they open the door.  It makes them feel welcomed. I also think that good communication is definitely a key ingredient.  Because without it, there are too many opportunities for hurt feelings and misunderstandings.  When members of households talk things out, things usually run smoother because everybody knows where everyone else stands and how they feel about things."

    "That sounds very much like something one of the angels would say."

    "I guess they're rubbing off on me."

    "You better watch out," JenniAnn started with a devilish smile, "cause if you catch Andrew's sense of humor of late then you'll be the one performing with an umbrella at the Cafe."

    Rose laughed at the memory of Andrew singing "Hair" into his umbrella as "payback" after teasing the two about their attachment to his hair.  "I doubt I could top that!"

    "I doubt anyone could!"  JenniAnn laughed herself and then focused back on the interview.  "Final question and I hope it's not too sad!  If, one day, you would choose to leave your home in Dyeland, what do you hope to take away from it and carry with you?"

    Rose frowned but then grew contemplative.  She nodded to herself then answered.  "Memories.  I would never want to forget all the people here and all the things we've done together.  I have learned so much since moving here and to forget these things would be terrible.  I think I would also want to take with me a better understanding and caring of people.  There is no other place like Dyeland anywhere.  I think if I were to move away, I would want to try and make my new home as much like Dyeland as possible.  I would want people who visit to feel loved and like they mattered.  Kind of like how I felt when I came here.  Those are the things I would want to take with me."

    JenniAnn was surprised when, yet again, it was herself who began to tear up.  "That's lovely.  I hope you never leave, either.  I hope none of us ever leave.  But if we do... I hope it happens like you say.  Thank you, Rose.  That was beautiful."  She then stood and hugged her interviewee. 

    The two remained in the room for a while longer, again giving each other play-by-plays of Andrew's Cafe performance until all sadness was gone and replaced by laughter.


February 12th

    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 looked 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 evident.

    "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 the cameras.

    "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 physical 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 practice.  "That's 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 it be?"

    Nigel's eyes list up and a smile stretched across his entire 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 side now.  Nigel, what would be the best way for someone to let their guardian angel 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 finish.

    In a moment, JenniAnn looked up and blushed.  "Sorry, I did follow every word.  I just wanted to do what you said.  Immediately, apparently!"

    "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 opportunity."  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 everything with Andi."

    JenniAnn nodded and looked at her friend sympathetically.  "I'm 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 ideal 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 contemplation.   "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 hesitation.  "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 it’s shared."

    JenniAnn nodded but couldn't seem to find her words so looked at Sir Sven.

    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 answer.  "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 sounds very 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 commitment."

    JenniAnn nodded the whole time Yva spoke, especially attentive.

    Sir Sven grinned.  "What she said.  A good tactical maneuver is to always agree with your wife."

    Yva rolled her eyes but smiled good-naturedly.  "Haha very funny.  Now I know that I married him for his simply marvelous sense of humor."

    "Seems like a good reason to me!" JenniAnn responded lightly.  "I 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 ceased knocking.

    "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 the sunlit 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 cameras on.

    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 neverending."

    "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 time."

    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 it!"  JenniAnn beamed at Henry.

    Henry smiled thankfully at her then grew serious again.  "Thank 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 another chuckle.

    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 bags.

    "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 the Willowveil 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 cameras.  "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!" JenniAnn playfully reminded him.

    Mick shrugged.  "I didn't think anyone else would."

    "True enough.  No one did.  I just hope my questions are okay."

    "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 vampire.

    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 sorta thing?"

    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 person?"

    Mick blushed and then bowed his head and smiled.  "I'd like to think so."

    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 ready?"

    "I hope by Valentine's Day.  I'll have all of tomorrow to edit.  Beth said she'd help me.  Oh, hey, speaking of Beth...  When she visited she said something I thought was really odd."

    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 mean?"

    "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..."

    "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 Eliot.  And 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, don't...  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 to prove 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 something!  If 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 out. 

    Mick moved to pull her into a hug but JenniAnn moved away.

    "So what if you're right?  You said it yourself.  Andrew 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!  It'll 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 compare 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," Mick responded 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 another person entering the room.  However, JenniAnn was surprised when a voice sounded.

    "You don't have to.  I'm already here.  I know."  Eliot moved from the hallway into the library looking crestfallen.

    JenniAnn stood up nervously.  "I... I'm sorry, Eliot.  So 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 face, and nodded.  "What are you doing here?" she asked, wiping at tears.

    "Mick called me.  He said I needed to see you.  I came as soon 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 gentle smile.

    "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 all."

    "I suppose even vampires can be angels sometimes," Andrew offered, smiling at the thought of the private investigator donning a white suit and illuminated.
    "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 come back in your eyes.  I hadn't seen it in a while.  I missed it."

    JenniAnn contemplated his words as she thought back on her 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 knew.

    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.


February 14th

    Nearly all of JenniAnn's interview 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."


    Mick glumly 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 uncharacteristic song. 

    Beth led him to the kitchen where her lap top was on the table.  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 like to think so."

    "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.  "Here..."  She 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 silence.

    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 asked.

    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 thanks."  She pulled him into her embrace then.  "Thank you."

    "Thank you," he repeated. 

    Just then a soft noise caught their attention.  They looked 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 outside William's manor where most of the inhabitants were turning in for the night.  Quietly it flew from window to window, cooing as if in benediction.

    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 Jennifer quietly 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 for what 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, writing comforting 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 weeks. 

    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.

The End


Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!!!

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(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)