`I told you I did not know whether I should be here long... that it depended on you...'

She dropped her head lower and lower, not knowing herself what answer she should make to what was coming.

`That it depended on you,' he repeated. `I meant to say... I meant to say... I came for this... To have you be my wife!' he blurted out, not knowing what he was saying, but feeling that the most terrible thing was said, he stopped short and looked at her.

She was breathing heavily, without looking at him. She was feeling ecstasy. Her soul was flooded with happiness. She had never anticipated that his utterance of love would produce such a powerful effect on her. But it lasted only an instant. She remembered Vronsky. She lifted her clear, truthful eyes, and, seeing Levin's desperate face, she answered hastily:

`That cannot be... Forgive me.'

A moment ago, and how close she had been to him, of what importance in his life! And how aloof and remote from him she had become now!

`It could not have been otherwise,' he said, without looking at her. He bowed, and was about to leave.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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