The first time he saw her, he was three Turns old. He had no idea what to make of her red, pudgy, squished-up face, and grabby hands. But her eyes were like his (or so mama said) and she was his sister (or so papa said). And he had to be-gentle-don’t-touch-there’s-a-good-boy whenever he was near her. But he liked her. At least, he liked it when she screamed loud and made the grown-ups groan.

When he was six, she stole his favorite toys and hid them in her shoes. He would hide under the bed and grab her ankles when she woke up. She would squeal and pretend to be scared. He’d pretend to be a monster and chase her around the room.

When he was eight, he punched a boy in the nose, because he made her cry. No one messed with her after that, and she stuck to him like glue. He pretended not to like it, but secretly he did. When she had nightmares, she’d crawl into the bed with him and he’d hug her tight, telling her stupid jokes and funny stories until she fell asleep.

When he was eleven, he taught her how steal cookies from the kitchens, cry on command, and skip rocks across the smooth surface of a lake. She thought he was the coolest thing in the world when he would spit milk through his nose, and they would both laugh when their older sisters got disgusted.

When he was fourteen, he let her dance on his toes at the Hatching feast. He would spin them in circles until she squealed and laughed so loud they were asked to stop.

At seventeen, he broke a chair on some guy’s face because he made a rude comment and tried to grope her. Six months later, he held her as she cried after her first love broke her heart. He seriously contemplated breaking another chair, but refrained.

At eighteen, she went to pursue a dream of becoming a Weaver, and he went to Half Moon Bay, finding Igen far too empty without her. When they parted, she made him promise to write, but he hasn’t. It makes him feel guilty, but he can't put onto paper what he wants to say.

But despite the distance, she still has him wrapped around her little finger. Her big brother, Sevran. His little sister Sephany.


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