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"His Highness and Nanna want to hear a story," Finn says, not looking at Lachesis.

Finn hadn't met her gaze in a long time, not since she refused to take Cuan and Ethlyn's baby as Lenster was falling and let the knight run off to get himself killed. But Leif and her daughter looked at her, up to her, watched all too carefully. There were days Lachesis wanted to shut herself in a room with no eyes and pretend that Aless hadn't been lost in the chaos, pretend that Eltshan still lived.

Today though she smiled at the children and drew them both into her lap, close enough for them to rest their heads against her breast. And she told them a story, "Once in a kingdom far, far away lived prince and brave lady knight, whose quest was arduous but good..."