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Let the Storm Break

(Part of Sky Fall)
By Shannon Messenger

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Let the Storm Break

CHAPTER 1

VANE


It sucks to be king.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I got a castle and servants and my face on a bunch of money.

But no, I get to be the king of a scattered race of mythical creatures that no one’s ever heard of. And they expect me to swoop in and defeat the evil warlord who’s been tormenting them for the last few decades. Oh, and hey, while I’m at it, I can marry their former princess and restore the royal line!

Yeah, thanks, I’ll pass.

I already told the Gale Force—my “army” or whatever—what they can do with their “betrothal.” And I’ve been tempted to tell them exactly where they can shove the rest of their little plans for my life.

But . . . it’s hard to stay angry when they keep giving me this desperate you’re our only hope look. And they’re all so full of stories about the things Raiden’s done to their friends and families, and the horrifying battles they’ve fought. Risking their lives to protect me.

The last Westerly.

The only one capable of harnessing the power of all four winds, twisting them into the ultimate weapon.

Well, they think I’m the only one.

Which is the other reason I’m playing along with the whole Your Highness thing.

I have someone to protect too. And I can do that much better as Vane Weston, king of the Windwalkers.

So I’ll follow their rules and train for their battles. But as soon as Audra comes back . . .

She left twenty-three days, seven hours, and twenty-one minutes ago—and yes, I’ve totally been counting. I’ve felt every second, every mile she’s put between us, like our bond has claws and teeth, tearing me apart inside.

And it’s been loads of fun trying to explain to the Gales why my guardian left me unprotected. Every day that passes makes the excuses I’ve given seem weaker.

I thought she’d be home by now.

I thought . . .

But it doesn’t matter.

Audra promised she’d come home—and I want to give her the time she needs.

So I’ll wait for her as long as it takes.

It’s the only choice I have.

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