He woke up to a subtle aroma of vanilla and coconut. He let the tips of his fingers trace circles down the soft, white skin of her back. Hamish Stewart tried to remember the night before, his fingers trembling over the slight curves of his companion's side. The vision before him had golden eyelashes that flickered in the morning light. Long, blonde curls fell across her shoulders. He stopped short of caressing each wave of freckles cascading down her cheeks.

Hamish Stewart did not like girls. He liked acoustic guitars, the feel of a microphone cradled in his hands, antique amplifiers sending shockwaves through a raised, timber stage. Hamish could not possibly have feelings for a woman when he had been married to music for the 25 years he had been alive. His love was so deep and all-consuming that not even a lightning bolt from Mount Olympus itself could shake its foundation.

So why was it that Hamish Stewart could not breath for fear that the girl beside him would disappear just as quickly and mysteriously as she had materialized before him?

A quiet rapping at the door drew Hamish out of his daze. He lifted his head slowly off the pillow. With a turning glance back at the girl, he slipped soundlessly out of bed, feet bracing against the cold floor. The rapping noise continued at a higher, more eager pitch. Hamish hurriedly donned a pair of khaki trousers. The musician took one last fleeting glance back at the sleeping figure. She slept in a tight ball, arms clutched tightly to her chest, yet her face was soft.

With great care, he shut the bedroom door behind him.

"You were supposed to cover my shift this morning," a voice gilded with frustration destroyed the last of Hamish's reverie. His best friend, a high-strung man of six feet four inches with a childish face, waited, arms crossed together, in the hall.

Hamish shifted his weight between bare feet. "I forgot, Charlie. Look mate, I'll have to make this one up to you," he said gruffly. His usual husky Scottish accent was now tinged with a hue of embarrassment. He avoided having to explain that his absence was based on waking up next to the most beautiful thing he had ever witnessed that was not broadcast via a pair of headphones.

Charlie nodded. "Yeah, mate. You'll take the four o'clock shift."

"Safe," Hamish nodded in agreement.

Charlie looked Hamish over inquisitively. The man stood drowsily in the hall, shirtless with a pair of khaki trousers on backward round his waist. He patted his friend on the shoulder and brushed past him down the hall. There was never a good time to question the work of Hamish Stewart.

Hamish's bare shoulders drooped, coupled with a sinking feeling in his stomach.

Last night, he had gone out with a few classic friends. It had been ages since he'd returned to London and they had forced him into a celebratory pub crawl. He came home to forget, but he had intended to do so without the excessive volume of alcohol. He closed his eyes tightly, massaged the bridge of his nose with his index finger and thumb, and hoped to high heaven that the angel he woke up next to was not a figment of several misguided, neurosynaptic transmissions courtesy of distilled ether.

He turned the handle to his room and stepped sideways into the room, letting in only a sliver of light. Before him was an empty bed.

The emerald green sheets had been pulled up in a hasty attempt to straighten up.

Hamish stared with bewildered eyes. He felt ready believe his angel really was an ephemeral dream.

A gentle breeze flipped the pages of book laid on the nightstand. Hamish grabbed the novel brusquely and moved to toss it into a pile of miscellaneous trash alongside the baseboard when the title caught his eye: Jane Eyre.

He jolted to attention. The breeze carried across the room rustled the pages once more and Hamish followed its course back to the unlatched fire escape. He threw himself out onto the iron terrace in time to watch a lithe girl with blonde tresses running down the city streets with all the strength and speed in her being.

He watched her disappear around a far corner before collapsing onto his bed, the novel clutched in one hand.

Charlie pushed open the door and paused in the middle of brushing his teeth. "Some light readin', Hamish?" He admired the melodramatic scene before him.

"I don't own Jane Eyre." Hamish replied.

His friend's eyes twinkled. "Ah, I get it. Cinderella's glass slipper."