(A continuation from on the edge post! ^_^)
I took a step.
And I felt the ground disappear from me.
I was going to drown in the soupy, airy sea of misty grey.
I knew I was going to die – images of my baby sister flashed through my mind’s eye. Who would take care of her now? Who would keep her safe? Even as I fell, I closed my eyes to the inevitable…
…grab to my wrist?
I gasped loudly as my right arm felt it was popping out of my socket. Just as quickly as I plummeted, I was yanked straight right up and over. Another cry escaped my throat when I slammed into a wall of heated muscle and fell to the ground. Solid ground.
The woodsy smell of him made me realize that I was saved, and my breath did not come back for a few moments as that fact crept up on me. I wasn’t going to die. My mind started to return to reality as I took note of what was happening.
The first thing I noticed was that there was a tight, vise-like grip around me. His arms were hugging me, keeping me close. His chest was slowly heaving; I could actually feel myself go up and down as he breathed. As my face was set against his chest, I could hear his heart as well. It was beating rapidly, the faint thud-thud-thud almost like the frantic rhythm of the bass drum. I risked lifting my head up and saw him looking straight at me.
My eyes widened at what I saw in his expression: the same intense burning was there, but there was another layer as well. It almost looked like…fear? And it wasn’t the kind of oh-my-god-I’m-gonna-be-in-trouble fear, but something else. I could not move as we stared at each other. Then, it seemed that the distance between our faces seemed to decrease.
My eyes went even wider. “Shit!” I cried out. He started when I wiggled out of his grasp and scrambled up to my feet again. I shot up and out towards the castle.
When I reached the poker table, I collapsed on top of it with my lungs heaving again, but this time it was from the exertion. I closed my eyes to feel the soft caress of velvet and was quiet for a few moments. “Well, that’s quite a sight,” a voice drawled.
My head whipped up and turned to look at him. I then realized that I had lain my upper body on top of the table, and my rear was directly placed at the castle’s entrance. He could plainly see the shape of my bum!
I quickly straightened up and turned to look at him. His face was calm and his eyes had lessened in its intensity, and yet I was still nervous. Who won?
I risked it. “I won.” My voice echoed in the empty hall, and it was almost a surprise that my voice didn’t crack. He stood just a few paces in front of me, but I did not budge an inch. And just to make sure he heard me…