For a moment she believed he had left, but as she shifted away from the wall she sensed him there beside the bed. He was very close. Wretched curiosity! But she would fight it and not look. “Katherine,” he whispered, his breath rolling in a warm wave across her cheek. A traitor tear spilled out, the humiliation was too much to contain. Gently, a finger dabbed the wetness from her skin. He said it again, softly, as though it pleased him just to say it, “Katherine.” “Viktor!” the accented voice bellowed from below. And then the shadow was gone. Darkness overwhelmed her then and carried her away to a land of crows and mocking strangers.