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I was getting a bit too used to funerals. By the end of River’s, I was all teared out. I’d given my speech, my thanks, my eternal gratitude. And at the end of it all, it still didn’t feel like I’d done enough.

His funeral was the last one, for Nova and Ashton’s sake we did not bunch him in with the rest of the soldiers. Nova, who silently cried the whole time, held onto my arm like it was her life form.

“Taken too soon,” someone told her, coming up to where we stood by the lake.

‘He loved the lake,’ Nova had told me when I’d asked where his ashes should go. ‘It would make him happy to be there forever.’

So in the lake River went, and by it we stood as the golden sun set on the luminescent water.

“I would like to go to sleep now,” Nova finally said, and silently I took her to her room. Ember and Phoebe walked behind us, fingers interlaced, talking quietly amongst themselves. As it turns out, I hadn’t lied about Phoebe being ok. During the war she had helped the townspeople escape, carrying children away into the woods where they were safe from harm. Now, she was seen as a hero.

The King, the golden boy, had changed the way things ran in the Somnium Court. Only a few weeks had passed since the war, and the high from it had finally passed, now we moved towards better things.

The people who worked for the court no longer went unpaid, or told whether they could or could not leave. Shifters, fae, anyone who wanted to, worked for the castle for actual money; and not the right to safety.

Civilians no longer had to farm for the castle for free, Theodore made sure he paid for what he bought. He truly was the best for the position.

As for me, I had taken a seat in his court, as a voice for the Terra Realm. Ember had a seat as well, and Beckett too. He was the voice for his own realm. A realm, that by the way, no longer set out to kill innocent humans.

‘There are still stragglers of course, fae or wolves who liked Parallax, but soon they’ll all fall into line.’ Beckett had told me, his eyes gleaming with hope for future peace.

Nova hadn’t wanted a place in the court, despite being offered. ‘A voice for the shifters’, Theo had said. But Nova declined, as she did most things as of late.

Everything almost feels too good to be true, like maybe I’d died in the war, and I was in heaven.

“Do you need anything?” I asked Nova, after lying her down into her bed.

“No.” She told me bluntly, before turning away and showing me it was my time to go. A sad, empty, cold version of Nova is all that was left. The version of her that I’d met had passed with her father and River, only we didn’t have a funeral for her.

So I left her room quietly, mourning the girl I knew.

“She will be ok, someday.” Beckett told me, from where he sat in the sitting room. I smiled at him, having missed him while he was away in his realm.

“I wish I could take this pain from her,” I told him honestly, and he nodded standing.

“That’s because you’re so good,” he told me, kissing the top of my head. “One of the many things I love about you.” I took his hand and we slowly walked the halls of the castle, now decorated in sage green and gold, representation of their saviours.

Beckett, who’s energy was indeed now a light green, was pure and gentle as mine is. He’d become a part of me, and since seeing him dead I had not let him out of my sight for longer than a few hours. The time we did spend apart felt wrong, like something was off. A piece of me would be missing.

“Do you feel it too? Or am I just...afraid?” I asked softly as we left the castle, strolling the gardens full of bright flowers. Beckett still chooses to wear black, but Somnium silks are opposed to his t-shirts. His eyes flickered to mine, the bright blue and gold, and a sympathetic smile pulled at his lips.

“Feel what?” His voice is soft, patient, what he wasn’t able to be before.

“Something...bad? I don’t know.” I tried to laugh it off, but I had his attention now. “It’s there, I can feel it. A darkness, I can just feel it coming.” Beckett nodded, stroking my hand with his thumb.

“If it does? We will handle it. We’re strong, stronger than anyone or anything. Together,” his voice was strong and reassuring, but it did very little to ease my anxiety. It’s there, I can feel it at the edge of my being.

Something, dark, growing. Coming for us.

He pressed his lip to mine, to give me a moment to escape. I accept it hungrily, enjoying the time I get to have with him. The time I fought for, and won.

I won’t be afraid, not now, not ever. There’s nothing that could beat me, I know now who I am. I didn’t know months ago, when Beckett and Ember showed up at my school.

I know who I am now though, what I’m capable of, what I’ve done. With Beckett I’m not afraid, with Ember I’m not afraid.

I know, in my heart and soul, the stars made the right choice in choosing me.

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