“You’re out of time,” Laryn said.
Her voice was gentle, but so strong that snapped against the taut muscles of Gael’s arms and back. Gael’s muscles ached, and ached harder as soon as she released the tension she had carved into them in the last three hours. She blinked, pulled in breath, and tried to imagine the emollient that would erase the strain that she had purposefully built, but now had no use for. Her thoughts were just as tight, and she didn’t have the space between her ears to find it.
So she just stood, breathed again, and shut her eyes entirely.
She never thought it would taste so sweet, this mixed taste of relief and defeat.