The clock ticked menacingly. It reverberated off his eardrum with a resounding clash as his focus was broken. He tried to ignore the echoes of the ticking - so impatient, so impartial to his pain, his concentration. It was as a lover, so caught up in throes of passion, refusing to wait for explanations, for focus, for time.

Alex thrust his arm forward, closing his eyes. Robbed of the calm he once had, he would not face the ramifications of what he was about to do. He closed his eyes, thrust out his arm, and brought his fingers together, until he felt smooth curves, silky and familiar.

The clock ticked angrily; he did not have much time. He moved his fingers gently, delicately, his hand moving slowly, inevitably toward its goal. He resisted, but the throbbing in his head and against his eardrum kept his hand moving silently, purposefully.

Too late, he saw the flaw, but his hand had passed, and he could now hear the unfamiliar timbre of his opponent’s clock, counting down to his doom.

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