I apologize that this last chapter is so darn short. For all you readers out there, please enjoy (and hopefully leave a review, even an anonymous one).

.X.X.X.

Without even realizing it, Adelina's dress was soaked to the brim with tears. God, why did she have to remember this? It was still so vivid. The sight of his tongue gradually turning that deep, wrenching blue, his face and his skin blanching pale white, his hands growing limp and cold… Every little detail about his corpse was clear as rain in her eyes. She could still see him hanging there before her like a carved up animal in a dilapidated butcher's shop. Her throat dried, and all she could sense were her hot, salty tears rolling into her mouth through the corners of her lips.

This wasn't right. How could anybody get away with this? Nobility shouldn't give one person the right to murder another. And yet… her mother received no punishment. Nothing! Adelina trembled furiously at the thought. She had to do something, anything to get back at her mother.

A stinging cold breeze blew like ice against her shoulder and reminded her she was still nearly passed out along the side of the street. She grabbed the lamppost with both hands and managed to hoist herself up. After the pain of standing up mostly dissipated, she stepped along the path alone once more.

Her eyes squinted. What was that? Off in the distance, there was something… She perceived a dark, looming figure—a man's silhouette? Its build… Its hair… It looked like…

No, it couldn't possibly be…

Vincenzo?

She blinked her tears away and rubbed her eyes, praying that this wasn't a figment of her imagination. No… No! He was still there!

With adrenaline coursing through her veins like blood, Adelina pushed aside her drunken stupor and forced her body forward towards the shadow. The closer she came, the broader she smiled. She knew it was him!

"Vincenzo!" she exclaimed, rushing forward to embrace him. There he was, smiling and holding out his arms to welcome her… Her beautiful Vincenzo. Her sweet, sweet Vincenzo was back!

Or so she thought.

He had vanished.

What? Where did he go?

Her arms wrapped around thin air.

No… It was just a figment of her stupid, drunken imagination. A hallucination. Damn! Damn it all! Tears threatened to pour once again as her scars on her heart—the heart beating simply out of habit—split along the seams and revealed the same, raw wounds she had the day he was murdered.

It really was…

It was too good to be true.

He was gone, and he was never coming back.

"God, just…" she began in her frustration.

Adelina screamed—just once—and listened to the sound of her cry tearing through the silence of the night. When it finally reverberated back to her ears, she cringed. It sounded so shrill and agonizing, like she was a sheep being brought out for slaughter. Was this what she was like now? Was this really the same noble girl that had once been too refined to scream? The same noble girl that could hardly stand the sight of a poverty-stricken man for fear he'd contaminate her? The same noble girl that despised liquor for being too bitter? No. Now, she was simply a woman—a peasant woman at heart—who would drink away her days with the same cringe-worthy alcohol she now found to be sweet.

Adelina, shuddering at her realization, shook her aching head and slowly stumbled forward on the cobblestone path home. Her lone footsteps echoed in the silent night, her tears seeping through her closed eyes and leaving a thin trail behind her.

"Vincenzo…" she whispered softly under her breath—the breath reeking of pure, sweet alcohol.

.X.X.X.

So, how was it? Loved it, hated it? Too sad? Too destructive? Give me your honest feedback (except for pure flames - only constructive flames are allowed here). :) Thank you for reading, and I'll see you next time! Once again, props to my beta Sera and thank you DarlingLiquids. Your reviews have kept me going. :)