Take my lifeHe took hold of my resolve in the dark and stripped it off me in one fluid motion, stinging me with a sudden cool rawness that took my breath away.
Take my faith
You held out a little too long, Neamhchiontach. That takes the game aspect away and turns it into work. There's a price for that.
He drops the resolve on the floor and I watch it roll away into the dark. I won't find it easily again. He knows this. He steps in close, pressing his chin against my temple, his hand sliding up into my hair to hold the back of my head. He breathes in.
You smell like Loch.
A shove lands me hard on the couch. He puts his hands on the back of it and leans down into my face, waiting until I raise my eyes to meet his.
Two days. Make your arrangements in the next fifteen minutes.
I have two hours.
You have what I say you have. I get one day to tear you apart and I'll need one to put you back together.
What do I say to him? I say it thickly, words of molasses dipped in panic. I can't understand myself, choking on tears and shock. He's going to brute-force time spent. Worst possible outcome.
Tell him you miss Cole. Not like I haven't been a proxy for him my whole life as it is.
What'll you say to her? I ask him, looking for accountability. He has a soft spot for twelve-year-old me that doesn't exist with me now. Maybe I can save her even if I can't save myself.
I'll tell her what I told her before. If she makes it easy it won't hurt. If she fights back, I hurt Lochlan. Bridget, I'm reaching the point of no return here anyway. There's bound to be some collateral damage besides you.
So the minute Ben is gone you call in your cards?
I've waited MONTHS for you. It's in not only your own best interests but also those of your friends. It was foolish to think you could try and ghost the living.
I let out a shaky breath and say nothing, nodding while the tears keep rolling.
Thank God I get off on your cries or this would be more difficult than it needs to be. Now make your calls or whatever you need to do because you won't be sleeping in your own bed tonight, Princess.