Nova laid in bed with him, gently holding him. It wasn't romantic embrace so much as it was like a bird's nest lined with tobacco leaves. William was not so much a bird as he was a little deer made of glass.

Nova felt this way too.

There was nothing he could do beyond what he had already done. He was also barely worth more than some kind of prey animal left on a trap wire. If he struggled too much, it'd kill him.

William was crying because Kirie, his sister, had finally left him on his own.

Nova was crying because Ifrit wouldn't leave him, no matter how far he ran.

There was some sort of dreadful bitterness to it that he was too cynical to assign to any poetry.

Nova kissed his forehead, smelled the clean scent of his hair. The hands clutching at his clothes were warm.

He held him a little closer.