Sherdan couldn’t say how long he had cried over Anya’s letter. The whole evening passed in a blur of re-reading the same painful words and trying to get Anne to leave him alone and go home. Now and then, the tears gave way to angry outbursts where he cursed Anya for coming to see him in the first place.

She had left her kitten behind and the sight of the abandoned gift only pained him even more. Anne had the good sense to take the poor thing with her when she finally went back to her own family.

He had completely lost his desire for food and ignored everything he was offered. He considered getting a bottle of brandy but knew if he started drinking today he would go too far. There was also a small part of him that wanted to feel the pain he had in his heart: the deep ache of longing to see Anya’s face again.

Sherdan wandered aimlessly about the house; first in her room, staring at its emptiness, then in his study, gazing at the screens he had first watched her on. All of it felt like daggers twisting in his core and knowing Hitchin had been taken from the country made it all the worse.

In times like this his friend would have sat with him, reassuring him with words from his visions, stopping him from being alone in the dark.

The documents Miss Miller had given him lay forgotten on his desk since he got back. He remembered them and picked them up. If Hitchin couldn’t be there in person perhaps reading his words would lessen some of the loss he felt.

He knew the second vision was in the leather bound journal he had seen Hitchin fetch recently but Sherdan felt more curious about the typed documents. He flicked through the pages, checking the dates. There appeared to be an entry for each day and, as far as Sherdan could tell, it appeared a more thorough diary than the hand written one.

Sherdan frowned, puzzled about why Hitchin would keep two, vastly different diaries. He stopped flicking through the pages when he reached mid-December in the previously unseen version and started skim reading.

As he read, he grew more and more stunned. The day after Anya arrived, Hitchin had written at length about her, despite Sherdan having not yet said the intruder was a woman. Hitchin had met her. He had been in the lab she had run into when she had been breaking in.

Sherdan’s jaw dropped open as he continued to read.

I knew then Sherdan would develop a crush on her and I am going to need to keep and eye on them both. I won’t let Sherdan’s fascination with the opposite sex put our plans in jeopardy.

He couldn’t read on for a moment, overwhelmed by what he saw. After a pause Sherdan skim read through until Christmas where Anya was mentioned again.

I sat with Sherdan a lot today. His talk of Miss Price has me very concerned. She should be treated like any other security risk but he has her locked in one of his bedrooms. He is a fool for thinking she will be safe there. The only way to save him from ruin is to break her. The guards were close and Sherdan will have to finish the job. I have already told him I think another vision is on the way.

I know if I convince him it is meant to be, that he will force her to give him a child and have her completely submissive to his every will. He will just need pushing in the right direction and the brilliant thing is, it was Sherdan himself who gave me the idea. The guards that interrogated her told me only yesterday that they thought he had stopped the interrogation to take over himself. He had said as much over the radio.

Once I have thought about all the details I will tell Sherdan he is meant to have her and he will do everything else for me. Maybe one day I will tell him the truth but not until the next female has taken his fancy. For now this project is more important.

Sherdan couldn’t read any further. He felt sick at the implications of what Hitchin had written. He had almost done exactly what Hitchin had expected him to and only Anya herself had seen through it. No wonder she had left him.

The country they had been planning may well have achieved all its goals but at what price? The damage they had done, he had done, to an innocent girl just because of the paranoid worries of one man. Even if the vision had been true he realised he hadn’t deserved her.

It had crossed his mind that evening on several occasions to demand Anya return to him but he could no longer do that. She was better off without him and far from his country.

He put his head in his hands and wept. Anya wasn’t meant to be by his side and now he found the person he’d always thought would be there, had been against him. Sherdan really was alone in the dark.

The End

Yup, that’s the end! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this novel. If you have and want to say thanks in a financial way, please consider purchasing a copy of the ebook, and if that’s not something you can afford right now please let others know how much you enjoyed the novel, so hopefully they can enjoy it too!