Read previous parts of this scene here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11
Nehemia was quiet for a long moment, her eyes distant, as if she beheld some far-off land, warm and vibrant, its grasslands undulating under a hot summer sun. “It is my most selfish wish and daydream—to be normal, to be ordinary, to be free of my burdens.”
She hadn’t realized she’d been holding her breath, hadn’t realized just how important Nehemia’s answer was to her until she’d heard it. Celaena sighed. “And yet you and I couldn’t even pretend for a single day to be free of those burdens.”
“I’m sorry,” Nehemia said quietly.
“What have you to be sorry for? It was a foolish demand to make of you, anyway.”
“I wish you could have a normal friend—not a princess or a captain or the son of the king. But just a normal friend, living a good, calm life.”
“I don’t have an interest in normal friends. Even if I were just an ordinary girl, I wouldn’t want to be surrounded by ordinary folk. No, I’ll take the rebel princesses and the sons of kings and the grumpy captains and the whores and the thieves any day. And I’d take you over a thousand ordinary girls.”
Nehemia’s smile trembled—just enough that Celaena had to turn to the window before she felt the sting in her own eyes.
The carriage turned down an avenue, and the glass castle arose before them, greenish and glimmering in the night sky.
“I am glad we’re not ordinary, Elentiya.” Nehemia was smiling into the darkness of the carriage. “It’d be so boring if we were.”
Celaena grinned. “Incredibly boring.”
“And, for what it’s worth, I’d pick you over a thousand ordinary and extraordinary friends. I think even if we just met on the street, even if I just saw you in passing, I’d know what you are.”
Celaena cocked her head to the side. “An assassin?”
Nehemia’s dark eyes were bright as she shook her head. “The sister of my heart.”
Celaena had to turn away. When she at last looked back, she didn’t know who reached for who, but a moment later, her hand was grasped tightly in Nehemia’s.
“I think I’d know, too,” Celaena said quietly, and leaned against her friend’s shoulder. Both smiling faintly, the assassin and the princess rode through the quieting city and into the glass castle beyond.
Begin reading another brand new scene from Sarah J. Mass tomorrow at 12:00pm at Fantasy Book Addict!