Not, perhaps, as cold as it had been in the April of 1746, when
Bonnie Prince Charlie led his men onto that field, to stand in the face
of freezing sleet and the roar of English cannon fire. Accounts of the
day reported that it was bitterly cold, and the Highland wounded had
lain heaped with the dead, soaked in blood and rain, awaiting the
mercies of their English victors. The Duke of Cumberland, in command of
the English army, had given no quarter to the fallen.
The dead were heaped up like cordwood and burned to prevent the
spread of disease, and history said that many of the wounded had gone to
a similar fate, without the grace of a final bullet. All of them lay now beyond the reach of war or weather, under the greensward of Culloden Field.”
His sword was in his hand, but he made no effort to raise it. Only stood there, that odd smile on his lips, dark eyes burning in Jamie’s own.
If he had been able to break that gaze … but he couldn’t, and so caught the blur of movement behind Randall. Murtagh, running, bounding tussocks like a sheep. And the glint of his godfather’s blade—had he seen that, or only imagined it? No matter; he’d known without doubt from the cock of Murtagh’s arm, and seen before it happened the murderous strike come upward toward the Captain’s red-clad back.
But Randall spun, warned maybe by some change in his eyes, the sob of Murtagh’s breath—or only by a soldier’s instinct. Too late to avoid the thrust, but soon enough that the dirk missed its fatal aim into the kidney. Randall had grunted with the blow—Christ, he could hear it—and jerked aside staggering, but turning as he fell, grasping Murtagh’s wrist, dragging him down in a shower of spray from the wet gorse they fell through.
They had rolled away into a hollow, locked together, struggling, and he had flung himself through the clinging plants in pursuit, some weapon—what, what had he held?—in his fist.
But the feel of it faded against his skin; he felt the weight of the thing in his hand, but there was no shape of hilt or trigger to remind him, and it was gone again.
Leaving him with that one image: Murtagh. Murtagh, teeth clenched and bared as he struck. Murtagh, running, coming to save him.
The school day was a pillow over his head. He would suffocate before the final bell. The only oxygen to be found was the pale band of skin on Adam’s wrist where his watch had been and the glimpse of sky between classes.
Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.
I squeezed my fingers into a fist, blocking out that eye, the tattoo. I uncoiled to my feet, and flushed the toilet before padding to the sink to rinse out my mouth, then wash my face.
I wished I felt nothing.
I wished my human heart had been changed with the rest of me, made into immortal marble. Instead of the shredded bit of blackness that it now was, leaking its ichor into me.
i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire