Chaol let Nesryn talk, listened until her voice lulled him to sleep, because he knew, too.
We dont do it tomorrow, then, he pushed. We wait. Tell the others we want to reach Orynth first. Maybe the Royal Library has some texts—What is the point in a vote if we ignore its outcome? They decided, Rowan. Tomorrow, it will be over.
The words rang hollow and sickly within her.Let me find another way. His voice broke, but his pacing didnt falter. I will find another way, Aelin—There is no other way. Dont you understand? All of this, she hissed, arms splaying. All of this has been to keep you alive. All of you.
With you as the asking price. To atone for some lingering guilt.She slammed a hand atop the stack of ancient books. Do you think I want to die? Do you think any of this is easy, to look at the sky and wonder if its the last Ill see? To look at you, and wonder about those years we wont have?
I dont know what you want, Aelin, Rowan snarled. You havent been entirely forthcoming.
Her heart thundered. I want it to be over, one way or another. Her fingers curled into fists. I want this to be done.Another one of those small smiles curved her lips, and Lorcans hands tightened in the sheets with the effort it took not to taste that smile, to worship it with his own mouth.
But this new, fragile thing humming between them … He would not risk it for all the world.Elide, thank the gods, had no such worries. None at all, it seemed, as she lifted a hand to his cheek and ran her thumb along it. Every breath was an effort of control.
Lorcan held absolutely still as she brought her mouth to his. Brushed her lips across his own.She pulled back. Rest, Lorcan. Ill be here again when you wake.