“Be still, mon cœur.” Valois’s soft voice broke through the fog of panic that was enveloping Gunther. “Match my breathing. Slowly now…”
Struggling to find his way out, Gunther rested his cheek against Valois’s chest, listening to his steady breaths and trying to settle his own breathing into the same pattern. Slowly, slowly, his pounding heart calmed down and the world righted itself, leaving him shivering and slightly woozy.
“What–?” he began, as he looked up at Valois.
“You had a panic attack,” Valois said gently. “The stress of the meeting took a bigger toll on you than I thought it would, but you’re out of it now, hm?”
Read the chapter here, then please return to this post if you have feedback.