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Sometimes the silence is deafening.

There is no music for these imprisoned days, and her fingers slip from her clairsa, and her lips forget all the old ballads she used to sing. This is when she misses Corey the most: because he was there, and he was real, and he knew how to laugh. Firebird isn't sure she remembers, anymore.

And then, strangely, her thoughts shift to Brennen Caldwell, and she finds herself missing him too; because she has never heard him laugh, and she thinks she would like to, and she wonders how it would sound. And then she grips her clairsa tighter, the strings biting her skin, and wonders what sort of turncoat she is becoming.

But anything is better than this tuneless silence.