As quickly as he had started to feel the heat of her body beside him, she was gone. He spun around and stared at empty air. Already knowing, already feeling the lurch of despair deep in his gut, he looked down. There, where Jane Eyre had been standing, there was just a small pile of ash. The smell of ozone and burning filled his head. He felt dizzy.
‘No,’ he said, quietly. ‘No.’ Then, louder. ‘No!’ He stood, arms outstretched, screaming at the sky. Electric bombs were raining all around him, but he didn’t even see them. It had happened so quickly. One moment she was there, the next she was gone. He had never really understood before now what it meant to lose a life. He felt hollowed out. As the invaders dropped another row – just above head-height now – he closed his eyes and wondered what happened next. Could he really carry on without her? Was there work still to be done?
‘Continue?’ he muttered to himself. ‘Y/N...’