We are excited to feature one of our NSA students who recently won the short story contest. Our students are so creative!
Scarlet was late. Again. For the third time that week, she scrambled to get ready. How
would it look for the kingdom if the princess missed a royal audience? She bolted down the
hallway towards the double doors leading to the great hall. Her brother Griffin appeared beside
“Late again, are we?”
“I can make it.”
“You forgot your shoes.”
Scarlet looked down at her bare feet in horror. Griffin was right. Scarlet’s heels were back
in her room. She had left them behind in her rush. Scarlet’s horror quickly turned to anger when
she saw that Griffin was laughing at her.
“I don’t see how this is funny,” she said, glaring at her brother. She calculated if she had
time to go back to her room.
Griffin smiled at her as he pulled the shoes out of his satchel. Scarlet didn’t know
whether to punch him or hug him. She decided to grumble a thank you and snatch the shoes out
of his hand instead. Scarlet pulled the shoes on her feet as she and Griffin entered the great hall
“There must be an explanation. Can you think of anything else that might be affecting the
The king’s question was interrupted by his two tardy children. Scarlet shot her father an
apologetic look and took her place on a throne behind him. The farmer continued his report as
she settled into her seat.
“No, Your Majesty. All we know is that nothing has been the same ever since…” The
farmer trailed off, nervous to say something that might offend the king.
“…since the dragon was locked away,” Scarlet finished.
The dragon had brought the land great prosperity for many centuries, gifting select
farmers with the magic to make plants grow and flourish. That is until he was locked away ten
years ago by Scarlet’s father. The father who was shooting her a glare from his throne.
“The dragon was banished to protect our people.” The king’s voice rang through the hall.
“We have lived for ten years without its magic, and we do not need it now. We will figure out a
solution to this problem, and we will do it on our own.”
The meeting continued, but Scarlet could not stop thinking of the dragon. She knew why
her father had sent it away. Magic was dangerous if there was no way to control it. Many
tragedies had occurred because someone used the gift of magic for evil, but it seemed like more
harm was being done now that there was no magic. The harvest was just the most recent on a
long-running list of problems.
When the meeting finished, Scarlet returned to her room and paced in front of her
window. She looked out onto the city square below her, and saw her people, thin and weak.
Scarlet knew that her kingdom was starving. More people were living on the streets every day,
stealing and begging to survive. Why hide the only thing that could fix this?
Scarlet grabbed her sword, ran to the stables, and found Griffin there, mounted on his
horse. She had expected to see him. He always seemed to know what she was thinking. It looked
like he was expecting her too.
“You’re going to try to free the dragon, aren’t you?”
“Don’t try to stop me. It is my responsibility to do what is right for our people.”
“I’m not going to stop you. I want to go with you.”
Scarlet looked at her brother and nodded, silently accepting his offer. She was glad that
he would be by her side, no matter how much he annoyed her. He knew more about the dragon
than anyone else in the kingdom. Having him with her would only increase her chances of
Griffin offered Scarlet his hand and pulled her onto the horse with him. Together, they
rode out of the stables, and into the forest.
As the siblings traveled along the forest path, Scarlet looked into the trees. She watched
for anything unusual. She wasn’t exactly sure what a clue to the dragon’s location would look
like, but she was sure it would stick out. After what felt like hours, she saw something.
“Stop!” she shouted, terrifying Griffin, who pulled back on the reins with so much force
that he nearly was flung off the saddle. By the time he had calmed the horse down, Scarlet had
dismounted and was walking toward the trees.
“What is it?” he asked, following after her.
“There’s something in here. It looked like…magic.” She knew she sounded crazy before
the words had even left her mouth. Magic had been gone for ten years. Still, she saw something.
“Be careful, Scarlet.” They walked for a few minutes and found nothing.
Griffin sighed. “We have to keep moving if we want to keep dad from catching up to us.
Someone has had to have noticed we are missing by now.”
Deep down, Scarlet knew he was right, but what if it was magic that she saw? What if,
somehow, magic still existed? What if the dragon had escaped and was right here? She pressed
on, going deeper and deeper into the woods. A flash of blue caught her eye, and she ran towards
it, Griffin running after her. They emerged into a clearing and Scarlet let out a breath she didn’t
know she was holding.
“Woah.” Griffin exhaled and stared into the air around them. “I thought it was gone.”
In the past, magic had floated everywhere, just waiting for a wielder to reach up and
control it. Somehow, Scarlet was looking at it again after ten years. It shimmered and moved as
though it was alive. Scarlet reached out, passing her hand through a glowing ray that curled
around her fingers. She laughed as it continued to travel down the length of her arm, then her
whole body, moving into the grass beneath her feet. Scarlet looked around and saw that all the
magic in the clearing was moving to the ground. She made eye contact with Griffin and realized
too late what was happening.
Griffin ran towards her, but he only made it one step before the grass got hold of his feet.
Grass covered the bottom of Griffin’s boots, and it was quickly rising up his leg. Scarlet looked
down and saw that the same thing was happening at her feet. Scarlet pulled her sword out of its
sheath and began to slash at the ground, but for every blade of grass that she cut down, two more
grew in its place. She made her way, ever so slowly, to her brother. The trees around the clearing
started to sway, but there was no wind. Branches reached out toward the siblings, completely
A branch swung at Scarlet. She blocked it with her sword but heard a smack behind her
followed by a shriek of pain. A branch had hit Griffin in the chest and was wrapping itself
around his ribs, squeezing the air out of his lungs. Scarlet cut the branch off, and Griffin gasped
for breath. Grass was covering his chest now, and Scarlet knew she couldn’t protect him for
much longer. She swung her sword at a group of attacking branches in a final attempt to save
herself and heard another shriek of pain from deeper in the forest. Suddenly, the branches
retreated, the trees stopped swaying, and the grass stopped growing. The attack was over. Scarlet
turned to Griffin and cut the grass from him. He immediately collapsed on the forest floor,
groaning from his injuries.
“I think at least one of my ribs is broken and my leg might be out of commission too.”
Scarlet thought for a moment. “Take the horse back to the palace. The healers there will
be able to help you.”
“Scarlet, I’m not going to leave you out here on your own! It’s dangerous!”
“I can handle myself. I’m the one who saved you, remember?”
Griffin smiled. “You never listen to me.”
Griffin set off toward the palace, and Scarlet went back into the woods to investigate the
scream she had heard during the attack. Something had been in the woods with them. Maybe it
was still there.
As she creeped through the trees, Scarlet was careful to make her footfalls silent. This
made it easy for her to hear the heavy breathing coming from behind a large tree. In one motion,
Scarlet drew her sword and lunged toward the noise.
“Please don’t kill me!” yelped a boy about Scarlet’s age. He closed his eyes tightly to
avoid looking at the weapon pressed against his chest. He had dark hair and a tan that made
Scarlet thinks he was probably a farmer. His clothes were dirty, and his face and arms were cut.
“I’m not going to kill you,” Scarlet said, sheathing her sword. The boy opened his deep
brown eyes and Scarlet gestured to his cuts. “Did the forest attack you?”
“Yeah. It was almost like…”
“Magic.” The stranger nodded, not used to hearing the word after so many years.
Scarlet pulled bandages and a vial of brown liquid from her satchel. She poured some of
the liquid on her wounds, then offered to pour it on the boy’s wounds as well. He flinched when
it hit his skin and pulled away from her.
“What is that?”
“Echo weed oil. It will help disinfect the cut.”
The boy looked at her, considering if it was worth the pain. His gaze was captivating, and
she found herself staring back at him. She felt herself blushing and looked away. After a
moment, the boy sighed and leaned toward her, giving her his permission to keep applying the
oil. He winced but didn’t pull away.
“I’m Darius, by the way,” he said as she put the medical supplies back in her bag.
“Claire.” She felt bad for lying, but she couldn’t risk Darius discovering her identity. He
might turn her in, and she had to keep going. For Griffin.
“Why are you here? I mean, in the woods?”
Scarlet paused and thought about her answer. She could lie again but she decided that
there was no harm in telling him her plan. Many people had attempted to free the dragon over the
years, so it wasn’t too suspicious. Darius stayed silent the entire time she was telling him about
her quest, calculating his response. When she was finished, he only said one thing.
“I’m coming with you.” Darius stood up, grabbed his satchel, and started heading
towards the path.
She grabbed her bag and jogged to catch up with him.
“What do you mean you’re coming with me?” she asked, coming up beside him.
“Your quest is dumb and a little crazy, but I don’t think I can talk you out of it. The way I
see it, the only way to stop you from getting yourself killed is to watch your back.”
“You think I’m going to get killed?”
“Not with me around you’re not,” Darius said, smirking as Scarlet rolled her eyes. She
pretended to be annoyed by his intrusion, but secretly, she was glad to have his company. If she
did find the dragon, she did not want to face it alone.
That was it. It had to be. As he rode back to the castle, Griffin recalled the dragon’s last
words before he disappeared.
Follow the magic and find me. With control comes ultimate power. The wielder controls
me, but who will control the wielder?
Those words had occupied Griffin’s mind for the past ten years. He had spent countless
hours studying each line, pouring himself into his research. Finally, after years of searching, he
had found magic. Now he just had to find the wielder.
“How come I’ve never seen you around the market Claire?” Crap. Scarlet knew Darius
would ask questions eventually, but she wasn’t quite ready to lie to him again.
“I…have an overprotective father. He thinks that it is too dangerous for me in public. He
is scared I could get robbed, kidnapped, or worse. He has a bad habit of always seeing the worst
This was technically true. The king had forbidden Scarlet from leaving the palace a few
years ago when the citizens started getting desperate. She had sneaked out many times, but that
was getting harder to do with the always increasing list of responsibilities she had.
“He sounds like a ray of sunshine,” Darius said sarcastically, and Scarlet smiled.
“He does his best. He just doesn’t understand that I want to do something, not wait for
some kind of miracle.”
“It sounds like your dad would get along well with my mom. My father died when I was
young, and she didn’t let me leave the farm for years. She was scared she would lose me too.”
“What made her change her mind?”
Darius stopped walking, lost in thought. “She died too. Last year.”
“I’m sorry,” Scarlet said, grabbing Darius’ hand to comfort him.
He looked at their hands and then at her. Once again Scarlet found herself staring into his
eyes. A slight smile spread across his lips and Scarlet realized that they were practically holding
hands. In a moment of panic, she jerked her hand away and cleared her throat.
“We should probably keep going,” she said, pink blooming across her cheeks.
“Probably,” he replied. He opened his mouth to say something else, but he was
Five masked men jumped out of the trees and surrounded Scarlet and Darius. Darius
grabbed her hand this time, pulling her behind him.
“Give us Princess Scarlet and we won’t kill you,” one of the thieves demanded, gesturing
to Scarlet with his sword.
“Princess Scarlet,” Darius repeated, glancing over at her.
Scarlet winced. Her secret was out. Her father was probably offering a reward to whoever
returned her to the palace. There was nothing stopping Darius from handing her over and trying
to get some of that money for himself. She prepared for capture.
Darius turned his attention back to the man. “If you want her, you’re going to have to go
The thief laughed and all five men advanced. They had only taken one step when magic
filled the air and rushed into the grass, just as it had done before. Tree roots poked up from the
path, wrapping around the thieves’ ankles and advancing up their legs. Scarlet looked over at
Darius. His eyes were closed, and his brow was furrowed in concentration. One of his hands was
outstretched over the ground and the other hand was still holding hers. He was doing magic.
The men screamed as the roots climbed up their bodies. The plant wrapped around their
legs, ensuring no escape as the roots moved towards their necks. Scarlet knew that these men
would die if the roots got much taller. She tugged Darius’ arm.
“Darius! Stop! You’re going to kill them!” She screamed to be heard over the noise.
Darius’ eyes opened, but they were glowing blue. The roots were now securing the
thieves’ arms to their sides.
“Darius…please!” The men would be dead in seconds.
Darius blinked and the blue faded from his eyes. The roots stopped growing inches away
from the thieves’ throats. Darius grabbed his satchel, which had fallen off his shoulder during the
commotion, and walked ahead on the path, not saying a word. He was almost out of sight by the
time Scarlet started after him.
“You can’t just leave them there,” she said, running up beside him.
He started walking faster, leaving her behind on the path.
“Darius! You have to free them!” she yelled at his back. He stopped walking.
“Of course, Your Majesty.” His voice dripped with venom as he turned to face her. With a
flick of his wrist, the roots turned to dust. The thieves scattered and ran back into the woods.
“Excuse me?” Scarlet couldn’t believe this. Her voice raised in anger. “Are you seriously
upset that I didn’t tell you I was the princess? What about how you conveniently forgot to
mention that you can do magic?”
“I was trying to protect you!” Darius yelled back at her.
“Protect me? You attacked me and my brother! You are the reason that he is injured! If
you really wanted to protect me, you wouldn’t have gotten in my way!”
Darius opened his mouth to answer, but instead, he slumped forward his brow furrowing.
“Scarlet…” That was all he could get out before he fainted.
When Darius woke up, the first things he saw were the stars. He was on a mat that had
been laid across the path and a fire blazed beside him. He sat up and immediately felt dizzy.
Wincing, he lay back down.
“Easy there.” Somehow, he hadn’t noticed Claire – no, Scarlet – beside him.
“How long was I out?”
“Five hours. Using your magic must have really drained you.” Darius winced again, but
this time it wasn’t because of the pain.
“Scarlet, I’m sorry. I should have told you about my magic earlier and I never should
have used it against you. I never meant to hurt you or your brother, but I understand if you want
to continue without me.”
He hoped she would forgive him. He had enjoyed the time they had spent together, and
he wanted to stay by her side for as long as possible. That was part of the reason he had agreed to
join her journey in the first place. He knew she was special the second she stepped out from
behind that tree. To his surprise, it didn’t seem like she wanted to strangle him. Yet.
“I’m sorry too. I thought you might treat me differently or turn me in if you knew I was
the princess. I don’t leave the palace very often and I didn’t want to be turned in. My quest
would have been over before it had even begun.”
“I won’t tell if you won’t,” Darius said, and Scarlet smiled. Her smile faded after a
moment, and she asked the question that had been on her mind for the past few hours.
“Why did you attack us in the woods? Why did you think it would protect me?”
Darius sat up. “The dragon was locked away for a reason. If it is unleashed, it will bring
only death and destruction with it.”
“There is death and destruction now, without the dragon’s magic. Our people are dying
from starvation. Do you realize that you might be the only one with the power to find the dragon
Darius looked at her, confused. “Scarlet, a lack of magic is not what is causing
starvation.” Darius realized that she had no idea what was truly happening outside of the palace.
“Scarlet, someone in the royal family is looking for me. Royal soldiers have raided every farm in
the kingdom looking for a magic wielder. They set fire to the crops in their search for power, and
they have killed a lot of innocent people.” He paused. “They are the ones who killed my mother.”
Scarlet recoiled as though she had been slapped. There was no way that someone in her
family could be doing something like this. Yet, the look in Darius’ eyes told her it was all true.
She felt sick. How could she have been so blind? She realized that there was only one person
who had wanted to look for the dragon with her. The same person who taught her about the
dragon in the first place.
A slow clap came from the trees. Griffin was illuminated by the campfire’s glow as he
stepped out from the shadows of the forest.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but I believe you have something that belongs to me, Wielder.”
Darius stood and his hands started to glow blue. The air filled with strands of magic.
Griffin calmly pulled a folded piece of paper from his pocket.
Scarlet figured out Griffin’s plan a moment too late. She had seen the paper before. It was
blank, but the dragon had said it was the map that would lead to him. Scarlet hadn’t understood
what the dragon meant at the time, but it was clear to her now. Follow the magic and find me.
Griffin unfolded the paper and held it above his head. Magic flowed to the paper and ink
appeared, drawing an outlined path to the place where the dragon was trapped. Darius screamed
as magic was drained from his body. When the map was complete, Darius stopped screaming. He
collapsed on the forest floor, motionless.
Darius’ head was pounding, and his mind was foggy when he woke. For a moment, he
wasn’t sure where he was or how he had gotten there. It wasn’t long before he remembered, and
his head cleared. He took stock of his situation. His hands and legs were bound. He was in a cart,
probably being pulled by a horse. It was day now, but Darius had no idea how long he had been
out. He heard voices in front of him and footsteps behind him. He was surrounded by Griffin’s
Darius tried to think back on what had happened before he passed out. The last thing he
remembered was Griffin holding up a piece of paper and the pain of magic being ripped from his
body. Darius knew his magic was gone. He didn’t need to test it. He felt empty without his
powers, but he also felt lighter, like a weight he didn’t know was there had been lifted from his
Darius started plotting how he would escape. Even though he was the one the prince was
after, he couldn’t stop thinking about Scarlet. He needed to know if she was ok. He would never
be able to live with himself if something happened to her. He had gotten used to her company.
He realized she was the first person he had genuinely cared about since his mom died. He
promised himself that he would tell her that after all of this was over.
Eventually, the cart came to a stop. Darius had no idea if it had been minutes or hours
since he had awakened. He heard voices coming towards him and he steeled himself. If he was
going to escape, now was the time. As the voices got closer, he recognized one of them as
Scarlet’s. A wave of relief crashed through him, and he felt confident that they would be able to
escape together, with or without powers.
“…and it’s all thanks to you sis. You led me right to him.” Darius felt a flash of anger at
the sound of Griffin’s voice but kept his eyes closed. He wasn’t sure what Griffin was talking
about, but it put him on edge.
“Of course. You deserve the dragon’s power more than this peasant. If his sacrifice is
necessary, then so be it.”
Darius couldn’t breathe. It was Scarlet’s voice, but Darius refused to believe she would
say something like that. She couldn’t be on Griffin’s side. Griffin was a murderer and a thief. She
wasn’t. She wouldn’t. The time they had spent together replayed in Darius’ head. He thought of
how she looked at him. How she squeezed his hand. That was real. It had to be.
“The dragon will appreciate a peace offering, but the boy will need to be prepared
correctly for presentation,” Griffin said.
“May I have the honors?”
Griffin chuckled and Darius heard him walk away. He heard Scarlet walk closer and got
on the cart with him. Scarlet was about to kill him. She had volunteered to kill him. Darius knew
he should run, but he couldn’t bring himself to move. What was the point? Scarlet had betrayed
him. No one was coming for him. No one would miss him. He would be better off dead. He
heard a weapon being unsheathed. The knife swung.
Darius cautiously opened one eye. Death didn’t hurt as much as he thought it would and
heaven looked a bit too much like the regular world. He pushed himself up and noticed that his
hands were free. He also noticed Scarlet sawing at the rope around his feet.
“What are you going to do to me?” Scarlet looked up at him, confusion etched into her
features, quickly replaced by realization.
“Darius, I’m not going to hurt you. I am here to free you.”
Darius gave her an incredulous look. He wanted to believe her, but he couldn’t allow
himself to be hurt again. She let out an exasperated sigh, clearly annoyed that her escape wasn’t
going to plan.
“Darius, I thought the only way I would have any chance of saving you was by
pretending to be on my brother’s side. I thought if he trusted me, then maybe I would be able to
sneak away and untie you. Then at least one of us could run away before it was too late.” She
finished with the rope at his feet. “There, you’re free. Go! Save yourself!”
She had freed him, proving that she was still loyal to him. Darius was more thankful for
this than she could ever know. She gave him a little push, urging him to leave while he still
could. She was scared. Darius had no idea what Griffin might do if his sacrifice disappeared.
Maybe he would decide that the princess was a better offering.
“I have to tell you something.”
“No, Darius! You need to leave! Tell me when this is over. I’ll find you.” She tried to give
a reassuring smile, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. Darius stepped towards her, closing the
distance between them.
“Scarlet, I’m not going anywhere.” He leaned down and kissed her, telling her how much
she meant to him without saying a single word.
Their kiss was interrupted when Darius got the feeling that they were no longer alone. He
pulled away from Scarlet and looked around, spotting Griffin standing at the side of the cart.
Griffin glared at Scarlet.
“You betrayed me, sister. I had hoped to share this triumph with you. I suppose you will
have to share his fate.”
Griffin turned his back on the couple and guards grabbed Scarlet and Darius from behind.
They had been so distracted by Griffin that they hadn’t noticed that they were surrounded. They
struggled against the guards, but they both knew it was too late. Griffin had won.
Griffin unfolded the map and started chanting in an ancient language. The ground began
to shake, and a giant crack split the earth at Griffin’s feet. The divide spread wider and wider,
and everyone jumped to avoid being swallowed into the pit. When the crack stopped spreading,
it became deathly silent.
The silence was broken by the dragon shooting out of the nothingness. The dragon was
just as beautiful as Scarlet remembered, and she was frozen in awe. Everyone was. Everyone
except Darius. He kicked the guard that was holding him, and the guard collapsed to the ground.
He started making his way toward Scarlet when Griffin spoke up.
“Great dragon! I have come to free you in exchange for your power. I have brought the
magic wielder to you as a sacrifice and a sign of my loyalty.”
Griffin shouted these words and the dragon was silent as it hovered above the ground,
watching him. In one quick movement, the dragon dashed towards Griffin and ate him in one
bite. The whole murder took less than a second.
Scarlet screamed. Her brother was evil, but he was still her brother. And she had just
watched him die. Her cry drew the dragon’s murderous gaze to her. He darted towards her and
opened his mouth. His teeth were still dripping with Griffin’s blood and Scarlet knew that in a
moment, her blood would also be staining the dragon’s teeth.
Darius jumped in front of her, using his body as a shield to protect the princess. The
dragon came to a halt inches away from Darius but didn’t attack. Instead, he spoke with a voice
that seemed to come from the ground beneath their feet rather than the dragon’s mouth.
“You are the wielder?”
Darius cleared his throat. “I was.”
The dragon made a horrifying noise that Scarlet realized was a laugh.
Suddenly, blue rays of magic shot from the dragon into Darius. Darius grunted when the
magic hit his body and the impact made him stumble backwards. This only made the dragon
shoot the magic at him with more force.
“You will never have to fear again, boy. You will never have to lose another person you
love. You can finally get the revenge you deserve.”
Darius’ entire body began to glow with magic, just as his eyes had done in the forest.
Trees started to sway, and the grass started to lick Scarlet’s ankles. She ducked behind a rock to
hide from the branches that were reaching toward Darius’ glowing form.
“I don’t want revenge.” Darius’ voice came out gravelly as he strained against the magic
that the dragon was still pushing into him.
Darius was shining so brightly that it made Scarlet’s eyes burn to watch the scene
unfolding in front of her, but she couldn’t look away. One of Griffin’s men noticed Scarlet and
ran to take cover with her. He didn’t see the branch that had grown across the ground, and it
caught his ankle. He tripped and fell, just inches away from her hiding spot, letting out a holler
of pain. The noise drew Darius’ attention.
“He deserves to die,” the dragon whispered in Darius’ ear. “It is because of him that your
mother is dead. It is because of him that your people are starving.”
Scarlet watched in horror as Darius’ eyes fixed on the guard, hatred consuming him.
“He deserves to die,” Darius repeated.
Darius stretched out his hand. At the same time, branches shot at the guard pinning him
to the ground as grass climbed up his body. The guard screamed for mercy, but Darius showed no
sign of stopping. The dragon was manipulating him, and Scarlet knew she was running out of
time. If she ever wanted to see the real Darius again, she needed to get rid of his power.
She crept out from behind the rock while the dragon and Darius were occupied with the
guard. She grabbed a sword that had been left behind in the chaos. The dragon was too focused
on Darius to notice the princess creep under him. Scarlet took a deep breath and plunged her
sword into the dragon’s stomach above her.
The dragon screeched deafeningly loud, and Darius turned to see what had caused the
commotion. He saw Scarlet under the dragon at the same time the dragon faced her. The dragon
charged towards her, still screaming in agony. Before the dragon could reach her, he let out one
last screech of pain and dissipated into a cloud of magic. The magic hovered in the air for a
moment before bursting, creating a blast that sent Scarlet flying.
The wind was knocked out of her as she landed hard on the ground. She sat up, catching
her breath. The forest had become silent again. The wreckage that covered the ground was the
only indication of what had just happened. Scarlet stood and began frantically combing through
“Darius!” she yelled as she searched. “Darius, where are you?”
After a few minutes of searching, she spotted him lying inches from the crack in the
ground. She ran to him.
“Darius! It’s over!” she said, shaking Darius’ body. No reaction. She shook him harder
then bent down to listen for breathing. She heard nothing.
“No. Darius, please.” Scarlet cupped his face in her hands. She willed his eyes to open
and look into hers again. “Darius…I love you.”
Scarlet closed her eyes, fighting back tears. She almost didn’t hear a soft voice over the
sound of her sobs.
“I love you too.”
Scarlet looked down and saw the brown eyes she had grown to love looking back at her.
Her breath caught in her throat. Darius was alive. A soft smile tugged at his lips, and he pushed
“I have got to stop fainting. I keep missing all the good stuff.”
Scarlet laughed and hugged him. She never wanted to let him go again. He returned the
They stood together in the ruins and Scarlet thought about what the future would hold.
She knew it wouldn’t be easy to fix the damage and heal the pain her brother had caused the
kingdom, but she also knew she wouldn’t have to face it alone. There, in Darius’ arms, Scarlet
felt like anything was possible and she was willing to do whatever it took to make things right.