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“My lord…” She cleared her throat. He didn’t budge. “My lord, you’re going to suffer summer sickness if you sleep in the heat here.” She put her bucket by her feet, debating if she should kneel down and touch him. “My lord.”

His breath was smooth and even. He was far away in his dreams. Laurel almost felt bad as she got onto her knees and reached out. “Lord Saeran.” She whispered, hoping to wake him gently. Her hand made contact with his shoulder, giving him a tiny shake. “Lord Saeran.”

He moved far too quickly for her to react. His hand shot out like from a bow and clamped around her neck. She took a sharp breath inward, the lack of air she could take in as Saeran’s grip grew tighter. Her own hands grabbed around his wrist as she made a gurgling sound. Saeran’s eyes were empty as she beat at his hand. She kicked her legs out, knocking her bucket over. Nothing was getting to him as her world started to fade at the edges. She could feel spit eking from the corner of her lips as she tried to make words.

“Sae….ran….”

Laurel’s world went dark.