"What is to be served ... by killing her?" Lennier asked.
"She destroyed my life. She was in love with Alex. And then she lied about it. And so did he. And they laughed behind my back about it, turned my entire family against me."
"We didn't," Sheila said for what seemed the umpteenth time.
From her place on the floor, she angled herself around to look up at Lennier. Despite the agony, she managed to repeat, "We didn't. He's ... he's crazy. He's always been crazy. I... thought he changed...."
"No. I never did. Because I always cared about the truth," Leo told her.
"It was always in your mind..."
And he thundered, " You know nothing of my mind! And you..." and he spun to face Lennier "-do you have any idea what it is to love someone ... love them with all your heart, with your soul, with everything you have to give ... and know that she loves another and can never really be yours, not ever?"
Both Lennier and Leo were startled by the succinctness and sincerity of his reply.
Leo stared at him as if truly seeing him for the first time. He took a step toward him, the knife still extended, his head cocked at an angle. "Tell me about her," Leo said.
"Tell me about her!"
"No," Lennier said again. "You may continue to ask if you wish, but I will speak no more of it. It's not for you to hear."
And a slow smile spread across Leo's face. "But it's for the One, isn't it. Yes. Yes, I see that the One Who Dwells in Darkness has touched you, ever so gently. He loves me most of all, but there is room in his heart for you as well. His heart is infinite."
"His heart is infinitely dark and loathsome," Lennier said, "and he will be stopped." The throbbing was beginning to ease in his leg as clotting began to staunch the flow of