I’d always found the seats in the Chamber to be the most comfy of any meeting room. Maybe because of the curve of the bench or the softness of the red-stitched cushions.

My elbows dug into my thighs, fingers smoothed my rapidly creasing brow. The beat of my heart was loud in my ears. Loud like a machine gun, like an explosion.

My head hurt. Hurt. I had thought that being there, in a place of wisdom and peace, would straighten things out. It hadn’t. Reality felt so … distorted.

“What are you doing here?” The intrusion of the voice on my thoughts made me jump.

“I needed some time."

“Time,” he repeated. A footstep as he moved down to the second ring of seats. “You don’t have time.”

“What are you doing here?” I snapped. It was uncharacteristic of our relationship for me to be so aggressive and he knew it, didn’t question it with anything more than a raised eyebrow, another step down.

“Checking up on you.” I straightened up. “What are you going to do?” he asked. Too many questions.

“I don’t know."

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