He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him. I was shaken, nervous, my head spinning with the decision I was to make. I pushed my face into his chest, fighting back the tears that were stinging my eyes. I breathed in his warmth, seeking comfort in the slow thumping of his heart beneath my ear.

"I can wait, Emmy," he assured me in his deep, gravelly voice. I accidentally let out a sob. I didn't want him to know how scared I was. He pushed me back gently, so that his eyes bore into me, making my heart lurch and my body yearn.

"No, I'm doing this," I said quietly, not sounding convincing at all. His face betrayed his anxiety, and I sobbed more violently. His forlorn eyes searched mine for another way out. I shook my head, this was only way, difficult as it may be. Was it so wrong to love him? To fight for him? He caught my face in his hands and leaned in, his lips lingering above mine.

"I love you," he whispered, and kissed me slowly, deeply, until we both melted to the ground.

"Okay," I inhaled, out of breath, "kill me."