"It is all right, Sonea, please calm down. Can you hear me, it is over. You are safe, you will be fine…"

Of course she heard him. Even though he was talking very quietly, there barely were other sounds in the building. She could even feel her own heartbeat, or did she only imagine that? It was hard to tell the difference between reality and imagination these days, they were too close to each other. She knew that the Ichani were dead, and that Rothen was standing next to her. But was the light shining into her eyes really a fire, or just the sun? It had to be the sun, what use would a fire be in a magician's rooms? It could not be a globe light, those did not flare so much. But it had to be very late in the evening, it should be impossible to see the sun. But a fire…

She was sitting in a chair in Rothen's guestroom. Since the Healers' quarters were filled with injured magicians, he had brought her to his own rooms. He had said something like he wanted her out of the whirl or something. She had not really listened.

Two days ago, Akkarin had died in front of the University. He had died to save her. How often had he said he wished for her being save? Far away where nobody could harm her? Instead of taking her away he had sacrificed himself to protect her. No matter how she turned it, it was her fault. If only she had given in and left the city… Don't be silly, she warned herself. He'd be dead anyway, and you would only feel worse.

It was difficult not to think about him too much, so she finally gave up and started to brood about it in every single second. Sometimes she was not sure if individual events had actually happened, and had to think them through over and over until her head seemed to explode, like now. She ignored it and tried to skim through her mind for happier memories. Now she ended up with the night behind the waterfall, when he had pulled her nearer to him… The end of her spine tingled, as did her fingers, her lips…

Suddenly, she realised that Rothen had stopped talking a while ago, and was eyeing her worriedly. She knew that he was anxious about her, and she always tried to scratch together enough clear thoughts to answer his questions. It never worked. Half the way to her lips the words always got lost in a swirl of memories. No matter how hard she tried, it seemed impossible.

"Shall I leave you alone? You should sleep a little bit, Sonea", he added softly and placed a hand on her shoulder. She jumped, and his hand disappeared in an instant. That was not what she had wanted, it had been the best feeling for days. He still cared for her after all she had done, she would never have imagined that. But then again, he was probably the only one.

She had been very glad when she discovered that he was not dead like everyone presumed, but the strange paralysis had somehow stunned her brain. It was less strong now, but strong enough to stop her from moving.

She remembered Rothen convincing her to leave Akkarin's body, and the dumb feeling that had struck her. Then nothing more, until she found herself sitting in an armchair, staring out of the window, while Rothen tried to soothe her.

Maybe I could…I just need to move.

"You are safe, Sonea. Noone can harm you here, I promise."

She knew she was safe. The Ichani were dead. But Akkarin was, too. She felt incredible loneliness, and pain. Her head seemed to hammer permanently, and her hands were clenched to fists. Could she answer him? Not now, she decided. Maybe tomorrow. Although she had not slept for three days, she was not tired. Her thoughts relaxed a little bit and the pain grew less.

Yes. Maybe tomorrow.