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Powerless (The Powerless Trilogy): Epilogue

Kitt

It’s been three days since I saw my father lying dead in the mud.

Three days since I last slept.

Three days since I could close my eyes without seeing his bloody body.

Three days since the Resistance attacked at the final Trial.

Three days since the girl I trusted, the girl I grew to want, became a murderer and a betrayer.

Three days since I became king.

The crown atop my head is heavy, much like my eyelids have grown, and much like the weight of the kingdom now thrown onto my shoulders. I blink awake, reminding myself of what I will see if I give in to the fatigue.

My only true parent, dead. The parent I have been trying to please, make proud, my entire life. Lying lifeless beside me. My knees sinking into the mud as my tears fall onto his bloody chest, his severed neck—

I silence the screaming thoughts that have echoed in my skull for dozens of hours. My gaze makes its way back to father’s favorite chair, brown leather worn from years of sitting. I find that I study it quite often, even when he was alive and sitting in it, signing treaties and strategizing.

I studied everything he did.

Before he was brutally murdered.

“Kitt.”

Kai.

My Enforcer.

He steps into the study after a light rasp of his knuckles on the open door, sounding almost timid. I nearly laugh at the sight of Kai trying his best to be cautious around me. It’s a valiant effort, though I didn’t ask for his pity.

I’m not like Kai. I’m not cool and collected and constantly wearing a carefully constructed mask around most. My emotions are on full display, my heart on my sleeve. I’m Kitt, the brother who is supposed to be kind and charming. Said to become the kindest king Ilya has ever seen.

Wrong.

I feel anything but kind. I feel everything but kind.

I feel rage and grief. Inadequate and hollow. Despair and—

“You wanted to see me?” My brother’s words are soft, sounding slightly concerned.

And he should be. Kind Kitt doesn’t act crazed. Kind Kitt is caring, not a killer.

Kind Kitt has changed.

Grief is a bitch.

“Yes. Take a seat.” I gesture casually to Kai’s usual chair. His eyes flick to Father’s worn one before he sits, crossing an ankle over his knee.

He leans forward, eyes searching mine for answers he won’t find. “How are you doing, Kitt?”

The concern filling his voice cracks something in my heart—the one that has become so cold over the past seventy-two hours. My gaze softens slightly, momentarily shifting into more of Kitt and less of the king. He’s still my brother, the only flesh and blood I have left. Maybe even the only person I have left.

“I’m…doing.”

I’m doing? What the hell kind of answer was that?

I clear my throat. “How is,” I hesitate, “Mother doing?”

She’s not my mother. My mother is dead, just like my father.

“She’s…doing.” Kai gives me a weak smile. “She won’t leave her room. It’s like the grief of losing him is slowly…” he trails off, turning his attention back towards Father’s worn chair to distract himself from the unspoken words.

“I see.” I did see. I understand how she feels. How it feels to be so swallowed, so smothered, by grief.

My eyes shift to Kai, taking in his stiff shoulders, his bruised and bloody knuckles.

I pity the who or what he hit to take his mind off things.

I almost cluck my tongue at him, wanting to chastise my little brother for wearing that cool mask of his around me. He never does that, never shuts me out of his feelings like he is doing now.

I’m not sure what Kai felt for our father, but I know he never cared for him like I do—like I did. Perhaps it was a mix of love and loathing he felt for the man who made him into what he is. The man who was a king to him, not a father.

But to me, Father was my foundation. He was who I strived to be, who I longed to be loved by. But now he’s dead, and I’m still willing to do whatever it takes to make him proud. I’ve been walking through my whole life waiting to follow in his footsteps, and here I am, suddenly trying to fill his shoes. And I will do what needs to be done, so that in death, he will be proud.

I glance at my brother, knowing he feels the grief too. Despite their rough relationship, Kai still lost the man he called Father, if only in title alone. I can glimpse that grief peeking out in the hard set of his jaw, the constant crinkle of his brow, the bounce of his knee.

But I know he’s mourning more than one person.

I know I am.

“Kai.” His attention snaps to me. “My coronation is completed, Father’s burial has been delt with,” I pause, needing a moment to clear the emotion from my throat, “and you are now my true Enforcer.” He nods slowly, knowing all this information already. “So, it’s time for your first mission.”

He nods again, just as slowly. It’s a formality. We both know he couldn’t refuse even if he wanted to. He has sworn his services to me despite how damn awkward our dynamic has become. I knew I would be ruling over my brother one day, I just didn’t think that day would come so soon, so suddenly.

I school my features into neutrality. “Find her.”

And there goes Kai’s mask. It slips, flooding his face with feelings that flit by too fast for me to interpret. But I’m not blind. I saw the way she affected him. Saw the way he let his guard down around her, something he used to reserve only for me. It seems that she got the best of both of us before stabbing us both in the back by stabbing father through the chest and throat.

My only true parent, dead. The parent I have been trying to please, make proud, my entire life. Lying lifeless beside me. My knees sinking into the mud as my tears—

“I want you to find her,” I speak over the shouting sorrow in my head, “and I want you to bring her to me.”

Kai doesn’t look at me as he dips his head in a single, solemn nod. “Yes, Your Majesty.”

The title on his lips sounds foreign, but I find I like the ring of it. I stand from my seat and stride over to the one with faded brown leather, filled with the memory of a dead king.

And then I sit down, slowly.

“Bring me Paedyn Gray, Enforcer.”


Comment

  1. Lily says:

    We need the second book, Reckless out now, im dieing to know what happens

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