You’re lifting the glass to your lips when you hear the entrance open up again. The reemergence of footsteps sends a jolt through your body and almost sends liquid sputtering out of your mouth. You don’t turn back to confirm Frost’s presence. Don’t need to. Don’t want to.
You wish you could block out the sound of his advancement, your heart jumping with each forward step he takes. Invisible insects crawl across your shoulder blades and down your arms, your limbs trembling, taut links of bundled-up tension. He comes to stand behind you, and all the oxygen in the vicinity seems to disappear instantly. You remain static in the chair, your fingers gripping the glass like an anchor, your eyes locked onto their vise hold, almost certain it’ll crack under your unrelenting grip.
“Stand,” Frost says, the low rumble of his voice piercing through your chest like a sharp object, incapacitating you despite the command.
You blink. Once. Twice. Your brain processes the order, but you can’t move your limbs, your legs static, as if they’re cemented in place.
“Stand up, Ramona.” Frost’s repetition carries every indication and implication that it will be his last. Against your will, your fingers release their grasp on the glass to brace against the table, propping you to your feet with everything they’ve got. Your breaths come in fast and shallow, a wave of lightheadedness marring your vision as you stand slumped over, your palms pressed into the cold metal. You feel him move the chair from behind you, eradicating the only barrier between his large body and yours.