The stone still sang in his hand, but not quite the way it had before. Now the melody, the thrum of power, seemed to be singing in his bones instead of over them. Every moment, he felt it in his heartbeat and in his head. With it came a strange quiet, a calm, one he trusted even less than the initial surge of power. The calm told him everything would be well. It cooed and soothed and steadied his heart and made him forget that anything was wrong, made him forget that he was holding the stone at all. That was the worst part. It was bound to his hand, and yet it hung at the outside of his senses; he had to fight to remember it was there with him. Inside of him. Every time he remembered, it was like waking from a dream, full of panic and fear, only to be dragged down into sleep again. In those brief moments of clarity, he wanted to claw free, break or tear or cut the stone from his skin. But he didn’t, because competing with that urge to cast it off was the equal, opposite desire to hold it close, to cling to its warmth as if he were dying of cold. He needed its strength. Now more than ever.