Lonan gnawed at a hangnail. “If no one comes back for him, I’ll keep him until tomorrow.”
“Won’t that be too much?” Xan looked at him. “Khione’s months are almost over, but the school is doing fine now. There’s plenty of room if you need to stay. I mean, it’s just me and Cyprus now that…”
Xan’s mother had been ripped apart by bandits on her way to beg protection for Serafina from the capital, leaving Xan to teach her sword style for people up to twice his age. Xan’s father had been taken by Eponine-madness—as a ship’s merchant, he’d known very well pirates abounded at sea. He persisted in sailing from Avalon anyway, where his wife’s absence haunted him and his two sons wanted him to fill her place. His last voyage had been short and ill-founded, ending just before Lonan moved out.
Lonan shook his head. “Don’t lie, Xan. You barely have room to breathe running the school by yourself. We both have to survive on our own.”
Xan turned and watched him until he misstepped, overturning the driftwood and tripping into the sand. “If that’s what you want,” he said.
–Elyan White, “Lost and Found”