Bryn, please! Kennet begged. Im sorry! Just help me!
She slid past her brother. When she reached me, she looped her arm through mine, knowing that I would hide in the corners of the room unless she made me actually join the party. A girl only turns seventeen once, you know, and she needs her best friend at the party.I hadnt noticed until she was up close, but her eye shadow had a bit of a sparkle to it. Her sweater dress even had a few strategically placed sequins, adding an extra shimmer as well. Several braids twisted through her hair, and then it was pulled back in an updo.
You remember Finn, right? Ember pointed to him.Weve met a few times, I reminded her. He managed to get up here a couple times a year for a visit, bringing his family with him as often as he could. I knew that he was a retired Trylle tracker who now worked as a royal guard, and was Embers inspiration for joining the Kanins tracker program.How are you, Bryn? Finn asked, smiling at me.
There was something almost strikingly handsome about him, and I noticed it more when he smiled. But he emoted so rarely, and no matter what happened he seemed to stand at attention. I respected him for his training and obvious skill in working as a guard, but he was so closed off.After Id first met him, Id asked Ember if he was secretly an android, and Id only been half joking. The scary part was that Ember told me hed actually loosened up a lot since hed gotten married. Id have hated to meet him before, if this was him relaxed.
Im doing well, thank you. I smiled politely at him. How are you?
When are we eating cake? the little girl asked.And thats how Id left Storvatten—feeling an odd mixture of pride and uncertainty. I had done the job I had been tasked with, and I had done it to the best of my ability. But leaving the palace while it was still so unstable didnt exactly make me happy.
It was midday on Tuesday when we drove through the walls that surrounded Doldastam. The gate was locked, and the two Högdragen manning it were incredibly thorough in checking our IDs and credentials. I was honestly a little surprised they didnt search the SUV at the rate they were going.After my time in Storvatten and the long drive back, all I really wanted to do was put on something comfortable, go brush Bloom, and then maybe curl up in bed with a good book and lose myself for a while.
Of course, there wasnt time for that. At least not right away. Kasper and I had just completed a mission, which meant that we had to debrief King Evert.Because of the added security, Elliot Väan—a Högdragen guard—met us at the door instead of a footman. He and Kasper worked together a lot, and they were good friends. As Elliot led us down to the meeting room, he and Kasper made small talk, and I tried to adjust to being back home.