No one tells a cobra what to do.

That was supposed to be my comfort, my reminder that my brother's actions had been his own choice.

I was Arami. More importantly, I was his brother. I could have commanded him not to train with the guard, not to become a warrior, not to put his life in danger.

"But Zane, you did it!"

That had been his answer to my every argument. I had trained as a soldier. I had spilled blood in the field at a far younger age than him. When our older brother Anjay had been Arami, I had trained and dreamed the glorious dreams of battle.

I had been a fool, of course.

Then Anjay had died. I'd risked my life again and again in the field, and always returned to tell the tale. I should have thought of the example I was setting for Gregory. He'd looked up to me, and this was where it had gotten us.


Always more death.