She put the vial of green slippery liquid to her lips and drank deeply. Her chest heaved. A droplet of liquid slipped out of the corner of her mouth. Her knees buckled. She tipped toward the ground, her slick black dress crumpled as the careful creases and abundant sheen were undone by her fall.
Kalagan caught her before she hit the floor. “Lyra,” he shouted. He held her close and whispered, “Please don’t leave me, my love.”
She gasped, but choked on the air she took in.
He wrapped her in an embrace like no other. He breathed in her hair, her body. He kissed her cheek and neck. “Please don’t go, my love,” he said. A tear fell from his eye onto her cheek. “or that vial really will kill you next time.”
She smiled in the face of his cruelty.
“That’s just it,” she said. “This time I made sure it would.”