I squeezed his hand as we gazed down at the manor, with its stables and gardens, two sets of childish laughter—true, free laughter—coming from somewhere inside its grounds. A moment later, two small, shining figures darted into the field beyond the garden, shrieking as they were chased by a taller, chuckling figure—Alis and her boys. Safe and out of hiding at last.
Tamlin slipped an arm around my shoulders, tucking me close to him as he rested his cheek on my head. My lips trembled, and I wrapped my arm around his waist.
We stood atop the hill in silence, until the setting sun gilded the house and the hills and the world and Lucien called us to dinner.
I stepped out of Tamlin’s arms and kissed him softly. Tomorrow—there would be tomorrow, and an eternity, to face what I had done, to face what I shredded into pieces inside myself while Under the Mountain. But for now … for today …
“Let’s go home,” I said, and took his hand.