Niles looked at his watch, relieved to find that his last patient of the day was gone. Now he could finally get caught up on his paperwork.
But there was no denying that he'd much rather be at his home at the Montana, in his favorite chair reading a novel and sipping a glass of sherry.
A knock on the door startled him out of his concentration and he sighed with annoyance.
He looked up and plastered a fake smile on his face when his secretary, Mrs. Woodson entered the office.
"I just wanted to tell you that I'm leaving for the evening, Dr. Crane. Is there anything else you need, Dr. Crane?"
"No thank you. Have a nice evening, Mrs. Woodson."
She closed the door behind her, leaving him alone to continue his paperwork.
He was deep in thought when there was another knock on the door.
"Oh for God's sake, Mrs. Woodson! Go home!" He yelled, feeling his nerves rattle.
The door opened and he quickly tried to think of an excuse for his irrational outburst.
"It's not Mrs. Woodson. It's me."
At the sweet voice he looked up; his heart beating faster at the sight of her. In one fluid motion he rose to his feet, unable to tear his gaze away from her beautiful face.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but I need to talk to you about a private matter."
When she closed the door, he swallowed hard and leaned against the front of his desk.
"I'm afraid I have a bit of a problem and I thought that maybe you could help." She continued.
"Well, it's not really appropriate for me to act as your therapist, but if it's just advice from a friend that you need, I'd be happy to lend an ear."
She smiled and moved closer to him, taking his hands in hers. "You're me best friend, Dr. Crane."
At her kind words, his heart beat so rapidly he was sure she could hear it.
"Thank you, Daphne. You're my best friend... too." His breathing staggered slightly when he caught a whiff of her perfume.
He recognized the scent instantly. It was Obsession, and it sent his mind reeling.
"So..." He said after a brief pause. "What's on your mind?"
"I don't think I can marry Donny. I think there's someone else that I'm meant to be with."
The statement caused him to feel lightheaded and he grabbed onto the side of the desk to keep from falling.
"Oh... This man... Wh-who is he?"
The pink that filled her cheeks made her appear even more beautiful.
"Well, I can't say."
He laughed nervously. "Of course you can! We're the only ones here!"
"Are you sure you won't laugh at me?"
Niles couldn't believe what he was hearing. "H-how could you possibly think that I would laugh at you? I love-."
He stopped short, horrified by what he was about to reveal. Thankfully she appeared not to notice.
"What did you say?"
"Um... I'm sorry that I interrupted you. Please continue with what you were saying."
She smiled then. "All right. Well, you see... you know how I have these psychic flashes from time to time? I had one last night."
"Sounds serious. Why don't you sit down and we can talk about it?" He said, gesturing to the couch.
"Thank you, Dr. Crane."
Daphne sat down next to Niles, looking more nervous than he'd ever seen her.
"Daphne, this isn't a session, so you can relax, okay?"
She exhaled slowly. "Right..."
"So about this vision. I want to hear every detail. Leave nothing out."
She sighed. "Well, I pictured me weddin' to Donny. We were standin' in the garden and everything was so beautiful; from the flowers to me mum's blue dress and wide-brimmed hat. Donny looked so handsome in his tuxedo and-."
Niles cringed, unable to listen to her talk about the man he'd unwillingly sent to steal her heart.
"Perhaps we should skip ahead to the problem." He said.
She gave a small nervous laugh.
"Of course. So I was walking down the aisle toward Donny, and then the vicar began the ceremony. When he got to the part where he asked if anyone objected, a voice called out that he objected. He said that he was the true love of my life."
"W-who was he?" Niles dared to ask.
"Well that's just it. I couldn't see his face. But he was wearing a red bow tie."
Niles blinked. "But that's impossible. I don't have a-."
"...and in his shirt pocket was a blue handkerchief." She continued.
He shivered, picturing the gift in his drawer from a patient who had completed their last session... a royal blue handkerchief, tucked into a small white box.
The realization of what it meant hit him unexpectedly and he felt as though he might faint.
It couldn't be real...
A smile crossed his face at the possibility.
"Daphne, I think I know who this person is."
She blinked in surprise and drew in a breath. "You do?"
"Yes... It's um..." He moved closer to her; suddenly lost in her beautiful brown eyes that were so full of warmth and life.
"Yes, Dr. Crane?"
Slowly, he leaned toward her until their lips touched in a feather-light kiss.
He drew back, amazed at his boldness.
But to his complete surprise, she reached out and ran her fingers through his hair... and kissed him again; deeper this time.
When they parted, he could still feel his lips on hers.
She smiled and blushed deeply.
"Well, I suppose I'd better tell Donny that I can't marry him now."
In a daze, he stood and walked back to his desk. "Daphne, I'm sorry, I..."
"Don't be. I guess Donny wasn't me soul mate after all. But it's going to be so hard to tell him. He's been so good to me and-."
"I have stationery and a fax machine." Niles added quickly. "You could..."
When she laughed, the sound warmed his heart.
"That's very sweet of you, Dr. Crane but this is something I should tell him face to face."
"Th-that's a good idea." Niles said, running his hand through his hair.
When she stood to hug him, his breath caught in his throat.
"Thank you, Dr. Crane."
He sighed contentedly as she leaned her head on the curve of his neck and rested his chin on her shoulder, unable to resist rubbing her back.
"You're welcome, Daphne."
After a long silence, she sighed. "I guess I should go talk to Donny. The longer I put this off, the harder it will be."
"I understand." Niles replied.
She smiled and caressed his cheek with her fingertips.
"I know you do."
He watched feeling more love for her than he ever thought possible as she turned to leave.
She turned and released her hand from the door.
"Yes, Dr. Crane?"
"I'm sorry about before... The kiss I mean."
A slow smile spread over her face and she moved toward him, kissing him once more. "I'm not."
He held her close, resting his head against her chest.
"Would you... meet me at Granville's later for a drink? Say around 6?"
She smiled and stared into his eyes before kissing him deeply. "I'd like that."
As he watched her leave the office, he sat down at his desk and tried to concentrate on his paperwork.
But his eyes fell on the small white box that sat on the end table.
No longer interested in his work, he rose from his chair and went to retrieve it, turning off the light before he stepped into the hallway.
The paperwork could wait.
The true love of his life... his goddess, angel and soul mate however, ... could not.