Coldness crept in through the edges of the window, merging with the ice in her veins, a solitary reminder that she lived. The drugs he thought he'd hidden in her coffee created a welcome barrier to the rest of the world. All of its pain lurked in vivid red outside the bubble, waiting only for her to provide an opening to pounce. The world's noises were there, too, at a distance, along with its sights and smells.
And he was there.
She felt him watching her. That's what he did, after all. He watched. Until there was something that needed doing. Willow knew that she was someone--some*thing*-- that needed doing. She'd seen him kill before. Being gone would be simpler, easier. That little voice in the back of her head, the one that belonged to her innocent self, said she deserved worse than death. She'd tormented him, deliberately. All the jealousy for what he had, the contempt for what he wasn't, had poured out of her straight into him in the Magic Box.
She'd thought she'd broken him. Drained him of every ounce of power he had, taunted him with her superiority, and mocked him with her malice. Now she was the one drained and broken. He'd be disappointed if he thought there was more he could do to break her. The connection that had been hers for years, that had bloomed with necessity, and then love, was gone. Only a blank nothingness remained where the magic had been--where Tara should live now, as she had before.