It was too late. As the quaking ceased, the shadows appeared from no where, encircling us in stations at the perimeter of my tower room.
"Horatio," They sang in their ghostly melody. It sent shivers down my spine, cold fear filling my blood. I grasped tightly to Horatio, who was a statue of firm strength.
"If it's me you want, release Alyssa and you can take me without a fight," he said resolutely. I gasped at his declaration, clinging harder to him in a refusal to release him to such monsters. He gazed calmly down to me with the dark depths of his eyes. It was as if I was staring directly into his soul. I saw the sadness, the pain. And spellbound by their somber beauty, I heard his voice, speaking to my thoughts. Alyssa, you will not fight. You will leave me here and return to Lupin. I will manage.
"You lied. How could you lie to me?" I murmured, the evil creatures stalking round and round, hunters preparing to pounce on their prety. Horatio blinked, confused by my words."You loved me, and you lied."
He said nothing, absorbing the words. The strength of his facade faltered; a lone tear escaped the shield. There were no words. But it was admission enough.
"And I loved you," I whispered, not trusting my own voice much longer.
"Come, Horatio," The shadow people cooed, impatient. "Your girl will be released unharmed. Come with us now."
He stepped forward compliantly, but I mantained the grip on his arm. "I won't let you do this ...," I held to him, weeping unrestrained. "...because I still do."
"Don't do this, Alyssa," Horatio warned, wavering with feeling.
"Enough of this foolishness!" wailed the demons, charging forward hungrily with no further regard to any previous deal. Horatio lunged for me, holding me to his heart, just as we were swallowed by darkness.