(Set during "Checkmate.")

The air in the little room shimmering . . . the man across from me soaked in sweat. Staring at me blearily.

I hug myself as though chilled. Sell it, El. Sell it. The heat presses in.

Don't sweat. Don't. Sweat.

Quickly dabbing away beads of perspiration with my finger, whenever his eyes leave my face. Need water. Just a little. . . . I reach for it—see the ring on my hand.

Suddenly it's burning with its secret.