“I’m just trying to understand…was she always like this?” Lilly asked.
“Like what?” Torren said, genuinely confused.
“So…selfish and self-serving. I mean, was she different as a human? Is that why you fell in love with her?”
Torren sat up, struggling to maintain his temper, reminding himself that Lilly had very limited experience with Vittoria. “Lilly, I realize that what you’ve seen of Vittoria has not given you a very good impression of her, but I have known her for a very long time. She is a good person, if a bit impulsive. She cares for me deeply, and it was her love for me that led her to try to ease my suffering. I’m not saying she was right to do what she did, but she certainly isn’t unfeeling.”
Lilly softened immediately. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Torren. I shouldn’t have said that. I can tell that you care deeply for her.”
Somewhat mollified, Torren settled back against the pillows again. He took Lilly’s hand and kissed her knuckles. “Apology accepted,” he said. “Thank you.”
She settled back against him and ran her hand over his chest to his bicep. “I can only imagine how hard this decision must have been for you. I want you to know that I’m truly grateful. You won’t be sorry.”
Torren stilled, trying to understand what Lilly was talking about. “What?”
“I just mean that, given your history and how much you care for her, it must have been hard to leave her and come here.”
“Not really,” he said, still not getting it. “She was out when I left.”
“Oh! Did you leave a note or something?”
“Yes, I let her know I was coming here and didn’t know when I’d be home.”
It was Lilly’s turn to pause. “Home to collect your things, you mean?”
“What?” he repeated.
Lilly sat up and looked down at him, doubt welling in her eyes. He sat up too and studied her.
“When are you going to tell her?” she said carefully.
“Tell her what?” Torren replied, and only then did he begin to guess what she meant. Her next words confirmed it.
“When are you going to tell Vittoria that you are leaving her for me?”