The man kicked his door shut, his hands currently occupied with removing his coat and keeping hold of his briefcase. He'd had a long day at work, and he wanted to as few reminders attached to him as possible. Sure, he could quit, but then he'd be homeless, wouldn't he? He hated his job, but at this age it was a near guarantee that he'd go through hell trying to find another. Sure, work was hellish now, but he hated the idea of being jobless and maybe being homeless more.

No one, he thought, loved a homeless man.

And you're such a joy, the way you are now?

It was that nasty little voice in the corner of his mind again.

You're going to die alone, waiting on the liver donor list. If not, you'll die too weak to stop from shitting your pants. No one will take care of you.

He didn't like it; but soon he'd be having a nice cold one and the voice would be overwhelmed by his buzz. He could shut it off, if only for a while.

From between the cracks of his home, a tendril of smoke slowly crept in. He sat, nursing his beer, eyes closed as he took in his poison of choice.

The smoke reached him.

It was a lovely, greenish-grey smoke, wafting gently into his nostrils, and though it burned his nose he didn't mind because it also smelled of fresh pancakes and biscuits, fresh spilled blood and love—

Love? The man's brain asked, unaware it stood no chance against the intruder.

Because the intruder knew what it wanted, what he wanted.

Love, it whispered back, assuring, and gently caressed its way into his mind, wrapping around it as if to hug the addled brain…constricting.

Slowly, he turned, hands dropping his can of Budweiser. It felt like a very important circuit in his brain blew out just then, but at the same time something in him sang.

Then he saw.

There she stood, shapeless smoke and beautiful vagueness, waiting for him.

He stood up, unaware that his nose was bleeding as if he had left a faucet on in there. The blood stained the broad smile breaking across his face. He sighed, began to go toward the figure.

It's Her, he thought, and he didn't know what he meant. Not yet.

Love…the whisper came again, and with it a chorus of screams.

What will you do for my love, Jeremiah?