It was painful to watch Tony try to communicate with the unconscious Tiffany. Painful to see the despair in his eyes as she failed to respond, painful to see the tears run down his cheeks in floods... I'd never seen such a torturous sight. At one point, his body went into violent tremors. It was like watching an earthquake but it was Tony's body shaking. And his mind was probably cracking. Andrion and I grabbed hold of him calling his name, trying to pull him out of his personal nightmare but it took an age.
We didn't stop trying though. Finally we got through to him and he stopped shaking, collapsing against him.
"Tony?" I asked quietly, fearing that he had lost his sanity - that it had been shaken out of him.
"I'm fine," he grumbled after a few seconds.
Then, with incredible courage for his emotions must have been cutting him like a knife, he said, "We must move now," straightening up as he did so.
And thus the men decided that they would make their move tonight. Andrion had stayed rational and sensible during the discussions and I was glad of this because Anthony was bound to attempt to resolve everything in a highly reckless manner. Recklessness would not work against a foe so clever and cunning as Alezae. I half didn't want the two to go at all, knowing the dangers of their mission. But I could not deny Anthony his chance to rescue Tiffany: that would be like denying Love existed. And he needed my Andrion more than he knew.
What was my role while they went to fight Alezae? I had to remain in the appartment to look after Tiffany. I desperately wanted to go with the men - I didn't think I could bear to not know what was happening - but Tiffany was fading fast and it would kill Anthony, which would kill Andrion, if she died and there was no one around to prevent it.
I readied myself for a long night. I made sure that Tiffany was wrapped in many blankets, propped up by enough pillows on the sofa, and had a large bowl of water which I frequently dipped a flannel in to mop her brow.
Andrion approached me, a sword over his shoulder, daggers in his belt and knelt before the armchair in which I sat.
"I love you, Alissa. I shall return to you. I'll look after Anthony and ensure that Tiffany's soul returns to her body." He kissed my forehead and then my lips. As he withdrew with a wistful look in his eyes, he murmured, "Stay safe, my beloved."
"You too," I said, almost choking on the words.
"Look after Tiffany," was all Tony said, as he left the appartment with a look of grim determination on his face but pain still in his eyes.
"Hold on," I whispered to Tiffany. "You will be saved. You will be with Anthony once more." I suddenly embraced her, limp though she was. I sobbed into her weakening form. "How brave and good our noble lovers are!"