The girl she said, I didn’t tell you this because it was a small thing, but little girls, they leave their hearts at home when they walk outside. Hearts are so precious. They don’t want to lose them.

We love with all our heart but we also keep our heart light and pliable. It has space. It breathes. It waits on life to give instructions. It sings with sweetness when the winds are soft and warm. It stands with calm patience when the storm is brewing. It lets go when endings have left their irrefutable mark. It moves. It heals. It hopes.

Ranerio wrapped his hand around mine, guiding my fingers like Lucius had done when he’d shown me the latch behind the dressing-room door mirror. But while the warrior I loved had been offering me an escape route, the pacifist was trying to show me how to fight.

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