«Zepyur stanu»

“You are so very powerful, daughter. I feel it pressing against my skin. It’s calling to everyone and everythingin this chamber and beyond.” The Blood Queen bent slightly at the waist, her pale face expressionless. “You have grown in the short time since we last saw each other. But you still haven’t learned to quiet that temper of yours. If I were you, I would learn to do so quickly. Pull it back before it’s too late.”

There was no one in the entirety of the two kingdoms that I wanted to see dead more than the Blood Queen. No one. But Poppy needed to heed the warning. Isbeth was a cornered viper. She would strike when least expected, and she would do so in a way that would leave deep, unforgiving scars. She already had with Ian.

“Poppy,” I said quietly, and those fractured eyes latched on to mine. “Go.”

She shook her head fiercely, sending loose curls across her cheeks. “I can’t—”

“You will.” I couldn’t bear to see her strength cracking like this. Fuck. It hurt. But seeing her weather whatever blow the Blood Queen would deliver next if she continued disobeying her would kill me. “I love you, Poppy.”

She shook. “I love you.”