Everything is falling apart for Niccolo Paladina as his mistakes come back to haunt him. He’s been reminded once more that the shadowy world in which Arthur inhabits is not his own.
He is ready to face the consequences for his actions, but not until he has dealt with the threat he’s helped to create. Things are getting desperate, though, and they are worried that more people will be hurt before they can bring things to an end.
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The dying man’s eyes slipped closed and he took another rasping breath. Debra couldn’t believe that this was happening and knew she wasn’t going to be able to save him. The hospital lights flickered around her and she let out a sob.
“Please. Please, stay with me.”
The grip on her hand loosened as his life ebbed away. He was about to die, she realized, and more tears streamed down her cheeks.
“Someone please!” she screamed at the empty emergency room around her. “This man needs help! Please! I don’t know what to do!”
His eyes suddenly shot open, and his grip on her hand tightened almost enough to hurt. She jerked back, but he didn’t let go.
He leaned his head up the tiniest bit from the floor, looked her squarely in the eyes, and mumbled something to her.
Then, his eyes slipped closed and his head fell back to the floor. The blood stopped pumping out of his neck.
She knelt there for what felt like forever in shock and confusion. He was no longer dying, she knew: he was dead.
That wasn’t all, though. He had spoken to her, and the word floated in her thoughts just out of reach, difficult to focus on. It took her a second to realize what it was the man had whispered to her with his final breath.
She never got the chance.