Someone cradles Rudolf in their arms. He feels—safe. At peace.
...he must be dreaming. No one has held him like this since he was a little boy. But he can’t open his eyes. How… why was he being carried?
Pain lanced his skull.
The gun. He had… blown a hole in his head, amidst a swirling miasma of madness.
It comes back to him now: the nationalists. Mama. Her stinging rejection.
His mouth feels the ghost of a kiss. The memory of it dissipates like smoke.
But he cannot deny the feeling of cold lips and an even colder caress of his face.