It’s not cold water but it has the same effect. The sharp pain on her scalp as her hair is pulled – it startles her into full consciousness and she lets out a yelp before she registers who and why and how. By the time realization hits her, she’s already outside in the snow, looking into the same dark eyes she had just seen in her dream, dark eyes that are not dead, not yet, but they’re hollow and mad and full of rage and fury to match what is rapidly boiling and bubbling inside her.
“Mornin’, baby,” he says, and she’s almost shaking now, with rage, not with cold. But then three things happen at once.
One, she hears Harris’ shouts. He’s behind her and she doesn’t turn her head to look at him, she can’t. Two, he swings his axe at her, and not a moment too soon, because three, she manages to break free from his grip and roll away from him.
Her heart feels like it’s somewhere in her head and in her legs and everywhere and nowhere at once. There’s still a sharp pain on her scalp where he must have yanked out a handful of hair, but she has no time for that, she has no time or space in her mind for anything except a blur of rage and death and woods and snow and no more waiting.
“Cally…” she hears Harris’ voice, and it comes from so far away, from a different world entirely. He’s not here, none of them is. It’s just the two of them and there has never been anyone else.
Let him die by someone else, he’ll be dead all the same. Lysa Ranton’s words, and they have never sounded more ridiculous than they do now. Her blood is boiling in her veins and she would never, never forgive herself if she let him go now. The idea makes as much sense as dying does.
“Go away, Harris,” she says, and she’s panting, but there’s a strange feeling of euphoria, too, of exhilaration, and it shows in her voice.
She never once takes her eyes away from him. She couldn’t, even if she wanted to. As soon as Harris and Xander and Iliria are gone, it’s as if they had never existed.
She’s still on the floor and had managed to grab for her sword. She grips it tight as she stands up, the most incongruous of smiles dancing on her lips.
“Ready to go?” she asks, an echo from another lifetime.
She charges at him almost immediately, swinging the sword as soon as she’s close enough. Aiming for an arm, like she’d done with the dummy in her training session.