Stunned–that’s how she looks. Trapped, with no way out. Her eyes say it all. There’s no other way. He can do nothing but stare up at her. Every atom yells at him to fight, but he can’t bring himself to. There’s no way he can fight her.
She takes a resolute step toward him. She’s always been so golden and radiant and right now, her radiance is tinged with sadness, regret, and other emotions he can’t quite place. She doesn’t want to do this.
It doesn’t have to be this way. She knows his choice. She can change her own.
“Laila.” His voice was just a breath. He reached out to her.
She closes her eyes and turns her head. Tears make their way down her warm cheeks, glistening rivulets catching at her chin and turning into diamond droplets.
“Laila,” he tries again.
He’ll try to reason with her. Someone so loving and kind-hearted can’t possibly go through with this. He doesn’t believe it. But the way she looks at him…
“Stop,” she whispers, taking another step, her own slender hands reaching out.
He steps forward toward her hopefully, but her hands close around his neck, fingers colder than the darkest pits of Hell. His arms fall limply to his side, and he just stares at her. He can’t fight her off. He won’t. Laila would never–
But she leans over him, pressing him over the edge of the tower, jagged rock cutting into his back. He can’t breathe. His eyesight is becoming hazy.
Her mouth trembles and her tears trickle onto his face, scorching his skin. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. When she opens them, her expression is steady, though the tears still come.
“Oriax,” she says softly. “Goodbye.”
She brings her lips to his and kisses him. His hands fly up of their own volition so one is around her waist and the other is tangled in her hair. He presses her body to his, his heart on fire. And just like that, she pushes herself free.
She releases her grip on his throat and in one deft movement, shoves him over the wall. He has no strength to do anything but keep his eyes on her as she watches him despairingly until the very last moment.ns 126.96.36.199da2