Conner grabbed Alina and pulled her into an alleyway. "Are you planning on meeting with that criminal tonight?"
Alina shook her head, face drained of all color. "I-I don't think so." Her stomach roiled with the news she'd just received. Her Alexander was...a murderer? The very one who had killed Molly's brother? No, God! Not Alexander!
"I want you to tell that wretch that you want to meet him at midnight. I will be there, too. He must know what he's done."
"You mean he doesn't know?"
Conner gave a mirthless laugh and shook his head. "No, he doesn't know. It's a long story." Putting his hands on Alina's shoulders, Conner put as much urgency into his words as he could. "You must do what I say. Do you understand?"
Trembling, Alina nodded. "Y-yes, I understand."
"Will you do it?"
Alina nodded. "I will." Swallowing, she shuddered and lowered her head. "Yes, I will."
Conner dropped his hands from Alina's shoulders. "I'm not trying to hurt you, Alina. I just don't think you know who you're messing with. That man - if he even deserves to be called such - is a far eviller person than you could ever imagine. He might seem broken on the outside, but on the inside, he's crueler than the devil himself."
Alina shook her head. "I don't believe it," she said quietly. "You may speak with him, but you must promise not to harm him."
Conner's eyes were confused. He hesitated, and then an undeterminable emotion flickered across his eyes. "Yes," he said, suddenly hoarse. "I promise I won't harm him."
Biting her lip, Alina took Conner's hand and impulsively kissed it. "Thank-you, Conner," she said, breathless. "You don't know what it means to me."
Conner jerked his hand from Alina's grasp and walked away.
Alina slumped against the wall of the alleyway and sank to the ground. "Jesus," she whispered. It was all she was capable of praying.