Don’t need permission, but

Maybe Summer was tired, or maybe it was his help that meant Winter didn’t spend another hour looking for her. Summer giggled when he opened up the closet. All Winter could think was that she couldn’t have been here the entire time, because that was the way to bore Summer.

“You found me!” she exclaimed, as though this had been a deliberate game.

“I found you all right,” Winter groused, yanking her sister out of the closet. It didn’t put a damper on Summer’s mood, but Winter had a cure for that. “I’m going to tell Khauhelo how much trouble you were.”

Summer’s mouth shaped into an O, long before she said anything. “No!”

“Yes. I told you not to go far!”

“But I didn’t!”

Winter nearly said more, only to remember it wasn’t just the two of them. She looked over at the Baroness’ son apologetically.

He shrugged it off. “Don’t mind me. Take your family in hand, Winter.”

It wasn’t as if she needed permission or anything, but for some reason the acceptance of her seniority over Summer, the only family she had left, was cathartic. “To Khauhelo it is!”


Summer’s protests aside, they returned to the orphanage.

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