It's all on the line.
Despite his altogether exhilarating talk with Alina the night before, Alexander has to do his job.
Oh yes, he must do his dastardly job of forcing confessions out of hapless victims...just like confessions were forced out of him, so many years ago. The thought causes Alexander to tremble slightly, as he recalls the humiliation of telling people that he'd...
No matter. The past is the past, even if it keeps creeping up on you and breathing down your back. Even if it influences every moment of your life. Even if it causes you to doubt hope. Even if it destroys you. Yes, the past is the past. But the past also has a profound impact on Alexander's choices. You can see it in his eyes.
It's five after noon. What's taking the victim so long? The bell should be ringing by now. Old Widow Tara Thornton should be confessing her sins right now! Alexander paces in his tiny rented room impatiently, stopping every once in a while to take a swig of the liquor he ordered the innkeeper to take to his room.
Yes, liquor. Yes, Alexander needs it. Yes, the thrill and happiness of meeting with Alina was enough to satisfy him for awhile, but now he returns to his old methods of keeping his sanity. Nevermind the fact that the methods of keeping his sanity are forms of self-destruction.
Nevermind the fact that the effects won't last for long. All Alexander needs now is to numb his pain and dull his nerves. That's all he needs. He swears to himself he won't drink again, not ever again. Never. Nope. Nuh-uh. After this, he's finished.
Who is he kidding?
Ten after noon.
The bell rings.
With a moan, Alexander does away with all restraint, sits on his bed, and drowns himself in beautiful, toxic oblivion.