14 - Because You Were Hurt


Waking up feels like emerging from a deep ocean, the pressure in my head so intense it’s a wonder I can think at all. My head throbs with a pain that makes me wince, and for a moment, I can’t remember why.

I try to sit up, but the room spins, a carousel I never bought a ticket for. Blinking, trying to force my vision to clear, I notice a figure in the room with me, still and silent. My vision blurs at the edges, a disorienting fog that takes a few heartbeats to clear.

When it does, the figure beside me comes into sharp focus. Gavriel.

As the world finally snaps back into focus, and memories flood back—his injury, the healing, my collapse. My head spins, not just from the pain but from the whirlwind of emotions that accompany the recollection.

“How long have I been out?” My voice sounds weak, even to my own ears.

“A few hours,” Gavriel answers, his voice a low rumble, filled with an undercurrent of something I can’t quite decipher.

I pause, considering his presence here, by
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