(An adventure of The Shadow)

The sun was beginning to set in the west. The trees had an odd mixture of green and yellow leaves reflecting into the apartment where he stood. The suns' rays were casting odd shadows on the ground outside, the building across the parking lot looked like a collection of images from a long lost era. The blinds were wide open and the radio was on, playing a show that wasn't heard but a background noise to break up the odd sense of stillness. The outside worlds' odd shadows seemed to have a call of their own. He waited for a moment to listen and took a sip of his drink.

He was dressed in a black tuxedo with a white, silk shirt. His socks were black with a slight hint of silver to the fabric. The black shoes he wore were shined to perfection. His black hair was pulled back, exposing his widows' peak. His features were sharp and electric. His eyes burned like fire, but his face was soft with a slight smile on his lips. He took another sip of his drink.

A young woman stirred on the couch behind him and he turned for a moment, waited to see if she would awaken, then went back to looking out the window. She was dressed in a thin white shirt that covered her entire body. If he was any other man, the sight would have been very pleasant. He was not that man, he was on a mission. That mission would cause him pain and most importantly time. Time was a very precious thing in this century.

This was his day to die. The plans had been set in motion and his small army of informants knew what to do in case his death came earlier than expected. Every foreseeable outcome had been planned. His subordinates were given an allowance for future years to come and their comfort was no longer an issue. He had enough wealth, made over the years, to satisfy the needs of any family for a lifetime. However, wealth was not important to him, neither were his subordinates. The job and the outcome were all that mattered to him.

"Lamont?" the young woman's voice stirred his thoughts. Not that it matter, he had a plan for everything.

"Yes, my dear Margo." he turned around to face the beautiful woman laying on the couch. His expression gave nothing away.

"I'm surprised your up. After all the excitement from the last few hours." she said sleepily. Margo sat up, put her feet on the living room floor and paused to look around. The expression was one of surprise that she was even awake, much less talking.

"Margo, you should really go to bed. There is nothing more to do tonight. I have informed everyone that time off is ordered from me." he set his empty glass on the coffee table and walked over to the couch. Sitting down, he put his hand gently on her head and brushed the dark hair to one side, exposing her tired face.

"You know something, don't you?" she put her head on his chest and waited an answer.

"I always know. That is why everyone is being given a holiday, because I know there is nothing more to do for awhile." he said softly. Brushing her hair with his hand was a vice that he just couldn't get over.

"Hmm. That's why I think you are not telling me something." she paused. "What do you know, Lamont?" she waited for him to answer. Time seemed to stretch out and then he responded.

"I know my enemies are dead or in jail, for a very long time. I know my allies need time off to recover from the war and my war on crime." he stopped. "I also know, Margo, that you have suffered the most in these last few days." his voice was bland, but she seemed use to the flat tone.

"Those things are all true, Lamont. I know you spent the last two days with me to help me feel better. There are just some things that even attention will not heal.." she sat up and turned to look at him. "Your affections and attention are always accepted but I need more than just attention. I need the man I fell in love with and followed no matter how weird it sounded to me." she looked as if she was about to cry. "I need Lamont Cranston, not the other."

"The other will always be apart of our life together. That's part of me. You know it's true." his face stayed blank. He thought for a moment and continued, "There are still things to be done before I leave this city. I have to prepare for my departure." he got up from the couch and picked up his trench coat, that sat on the living room chair.

"Are you leaving by plane?" she got up and walked into the bedroom.

"Yes, it seemed the safest way to go." he waited for her to respond while pulling on his coat.

"Lamont, that's really expensive. Even from downtown." her voice was soft and seemed to echo from the bedroom. There was some rustling from the closet.

"Yes, but cost is not a concern of mine. I need to leave before my other issues become problems that I will not be able to handle." He walked over to a mirror that was in the hallway and looked himself up and down to make sure that his appearance was acceptable.

"How long will you be gone?" she asked, not sure if she was going to get a lie or the truth.

"Could be awhile, but I do promise you that when I return, you will be the first to know." his answer seemed guarded and careful.

"Thank you, Lamont." she came out of the bedroom in a skirt and blouse. Plain clothes was always a good idea when the sun had set in the distance. "As you asked, I will drive you to the airport for your flight."

"Thank you, Margo." he turned to smile at her. In his heart he really did like her, a lot.

"Your welcome. I do expect the occasional letter or card saying that you are alright and eating well." she gave him a stern look.

"I will do my best." he looked at his watch. "Now, we must be off. I don't want to miss my flight." he began to walk to the door and then paused for her to catch up.

She walked up beside him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. He smiled at her and turned the doorknob.

"Promise me you will be ok?" she sighed.

"Margo Lane, I promise that I will be perfectly safe." he smiled at her and walked through the threshold of the door.

Margo closed the door behind her, locking it in place.