The bullet flew through Grace like a tiny bird flies through a large cage-fast in its lack of hesitation. Thredson shouted his nonesense but it was a deafening kind of shout with no real words and no real threat and even if there were I wouldn't listen. I dropped to my knees as I watched her face pick up as if to look at me and the fact that I was clawing to her. Her blue eyes, her baby blues like hydrangeas, rolled upside down as I grabbed her face in my hands and called her name.

"GRACE!"

The blood poured out of her like the secrets we never had time or chance to spill and when there was something about the claret color...I drowned in it. Her hands reached for me in weak spasms and the sky got mixed up with the ground and I was spinning out of control. I held her against me and felt the muscles in my throat burn with exhaustion but everything was silent and I tried not to squeeze her, she was my butterfly, but I couldn't help but to hold so hard I wanted to keep her with me.

She kept reaching for my face but each effort grew less and less and I just couldn't take seeing her that way. I grabbed her hand and held it against my cheek, pinned between my shoulder and face, and I squeezed my eyes shut so tight and felt her touch ruined by the weak flutter of her eyelashes against my bloodied palm. I pushed her hair from her face with my shaking fingers like I had wanted to in our neighboring cells and just as my voice began to give out a new sound rawred behind me.

I screamed from a familiar kind of terror as the glass around me shattered and I hovered over Grace to protect her from the darkness and my lungs, my lungs repelled the sorrow that I burrowed deep inside my chest. I protested, "NOOOOO!" because I didn't want them to take her, they couldn't have her!

"Kit," her voice was a whisper of reality that paused the chaos that surrounded us. And when I glaced down at her she had a weak kind of smile that seemed to make my bloody fingerprints on her cheeks vanish. She whispered, "We're free."

And just like that the color and light and solid and Grave shrunk away from me til I was floating in that familiar black oblivian and all I could do was scream and scream like those nut jobs in solitude because that's what I was.

That's what I had become.