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that haunted look was partly derived from the excessive drinking in which he'd indulged the night before. The legend of Londo Mollari's partying abilities was a hard one to live up to, and Vir was now paying the price for his attempts to act as Londo's proxy.

And it wasn't as if the day was going to get any easier. He had paperwork piled up everywhere, it seemed. Day-to-day matters that piled up faster than he could deal with them. It seemed that everyone wanted a piece of him. On any given day, he had fifty things on his "to do" list, and he only ever got down to number nineteen or twenty.

Somewhere deep, deep within, there was part of him that would have given anything to get away from all the constant nonsense which plagued him. To go far away, to another place, where he would simply be pampered and loved and cared for, where sultry women who found him endlessly fascinating and desirable would caress him, coo his name in low tones of love, and make his life something that he anticipated and enjoyed rather than something he dreaded.

A pipe dream, that's all it was. He knew it. But sometimes it was all he had that kept him going.

A chime exploded in the room.

At least, it seemed to explode. What was far more likely, he quickly realized-and indeed, this was the truth of it-was that the standard door chime simply seemed magnified due to the presence of his wretched and overpowering headache. "Yes," said a voice that sounded, in a vague manner, somewhat akin to Vir's own. But it couldn't really be Vir's voice. It rang inside his head in a rather sepulchral manner. On automatic pilot, the voice continued, "Come in," and damned if it wasn't Vir's voice after all. It was then he realized that the lower half of his face was numb; he wasn't fully aware that his mouth
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