Some would say I'm mad. Some would say I was sick and twisted. The rest would write me off as sad and demented. That's why they'll never know. Nobody will know, not even you. You would be disgusted or sympathetic and I don't think I could stand you being either.

The sun is setting outside of my window. I rise from my chair at the desk and walk to the window. I look out onto the steps where I first saw you. Bloodied and beaten, crawling up the steps of the Vatican Church. Hell, you even make half-dead look good.

I turn back to my lab, trying to shake away these feelings. I don't need them, I don't like them. They're wrong, I already know this. But as hard as I try I can't get rid of the image of your face.

That incredible pain is welling up in my chest again. I think it is my heart. It's the strangest and most undesirable feeling in the world- the warmth and strength of loving someone, and the wide empty feeling you get from knowing you can't have them.

I think I've always loved you. It seems stupid, I know, because I haven't always known you, but before you came, I think I knew you were out there, and that gave me strength. Now, my love for you, it weakens me. It makes me weak.

The tears are flowing down my cheeks again. Warm and salty. God only knows how much water has been wasted this way. I don't bother wiping them away. Only one person should wipe my tears away.

Where are you? I know you're here, most likely in confession with Cardinal Jinette. You should be coming down here soon. To see me. If only you really wanted to see me. My eyes turn back to the steps outside, and my memory goes back to the first time I saw you. It was me who pulled you up the steps, feeling your soft hair brush my hands, your smooth skin under my fingers. It was me who washed and fed you. It was me who protected you against Cardinal Jinette. Hell, he wanted to throw you out. And I knew I couldn't live with that. I knew I loved you even then.

I hear footsteps in the hall outside. I grab some goggles and pull them on to hide my red eyes. Then I cross to the desk and sit down. Waiting. Waiting for you, I know those footsteps belong to you.

There's a knock at the door. Your knock. Your large, muscular hands knock like nobody else. I feel butterflies in my stomach, my heart is pounding in my chest.


Your voice, your beautiful voice floats through the door to my ears, and I savour the moment that you call my name.

"C-come in, Gabriel!" I call, your name the sweetest thing ever to tumble out of my lips.

The door opens slowly. I hold my breath. Then you're there, looking in at me. I take you in in one sweeping glance- your long thick hair is slightly ruffled, your handsome face has a deep gash on one side. You look as though you haven't shaved for a few days. And yet you're smiling in at me, looking really happy to see me.

I don't know if that makes me feel better or not. You cross over to me and kneel next to my chair, your hair accidently brushing my cheek as you do so, making me tingle all over. You look at my work, pages and pages of numbers with no really important meaning.

"Carl?" you ask. "Are you okay?"

Now is the time to spill it all out, the truth. I could tell you now... get rid of the incredible weight off my chest...

"Yes," I say. "Yes, I'm fine."