Another day passes.

I make way to Didyme's art room to ask her to come to the baths with me. I cannot lie. It is my intention to hold and kiss her one last time, if she will let me. She and Marcus are leaving in the darkness of night, which is only hours away. Now is the only time left for us, for Marcus is away in the city, tying up loose ends, and Aro is occupied in the great hall, playing with his latest newborn acquisition, a vampire named Demetri.

I open the door, but I do not find Didyme's glowing happiness before her colorful paintings. Instead, I find devastation in the form of splattered paint and broken brushes.

There is no happiness in this room, only a ghostly silence and the wispy scent of incense.

I am the one who finds her ashes.