A pause, a silent gap stretching out into the distant horizon and over the edge—
“Your parents are dead.”
She closed her eyes, no longer listening to details that only confirmed what she’d already known. Pain, crashing, screaming of metal and flesh rending open to space—
“Queen,” she corrected quietly. She opened her eyes, collected herself, and rose to go find her brothers, dismissing the servant with a gesture. She let her bodyguards flank her down the too empty corridors to her oldest brother’s study.
“King,” she greeted him.
“Queen,” he greeted back.