Epilogue

He didn't go back for a week. He didn't think he could bear it, this thing he had created. Because he couldn't think of her a "her" anymore- in his mind, she was a thing. A monster of his making.
When he finally did find the courage to go back, it was at Raven's urging. Raven, who would never, ever do something so incredibly stupid and, although she might look at him with disapproving eyes that hurt worse than words, would listen. Calm, rational Raven, who finally pulled him out of his pity party and back into the real world.
Of course, by then it was too late.
He arrived at her building not long after sunset, but skulked around the doorway, unable to enter, for at least an hour. Finally, with a deep breath, he made his way to her rooms.
He didn't find her in her bedroom, or the library, or the bathroom. She wasn't even in the study.
Darion found her on the balcony. Or, what had been her.
His first crazed thought was that it was a statue, some grotesque, monstuous statue. Of course it wasn't. It was Bonnie. Burned, shriveled into an ashy forn of a woman.
Mind reeling, Darion sank to the ground, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight before him. There was no way she could have been here long- the ashes would have blown away by now if she had. She must have come out not long before sunset. And, with a rush of pain, he knew she had wanted him to see her.
Her body was contorted in pain, he noticed absently, hands clutching at her stomach wildly; face upturned, eyes fixed raptly on where the sun must have been when... it happened.
She was smiling.
He was an awful, awful person who had completely destroyed a young girl's life, and she was smiling her sweet, grateful smile.
And he found comfort in that. His mind was screaming wildly, body caught in uncontrollable shivers, but she was smiling, and everything was all right, because in the midst of hatred Bonnie had given him a gift- this innocent, pure, painfully good girl whose very essence Darion had destroyed had given him a gift-
She was smiling.
In a move he was at the railing. And the moonflowers stared starkly up at him, innocent as the girl he had destroyed, and he tore them, ripped them into tiny pieces and scattered the mangled pieces over the ashes of the girl that had ceased to be. Then, with a moaning, sorrowful roar, he hit blindly at the statue until it was a pile of ashes and torn white petals lying in a heap on the balcony.
And he stayed there all night, watching the wind carry the pieces away.