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 “I can’t…I can’t breathe,” Sandry gasped out as she dropped the letter to her desk. Daja hurried to her, Briar and Tris close on her heels. “He’s dead. The Duke. My great-uncle… Not a heart-attack, in the end. A carriage accident. It shouldn’t…”

            Her words stopped with her breathing. When her breathing started once more, it was in loud bursts that came much too frequently. She managed only, “I’m Duchess” before she fell.

            Daja caught her and lifted her. Tris and Briar held her steady with their sister.

            They pulled Sandry’s golden magic into them, tying it with the red and blue and green. Their magic beat with their hearts and flowed with their breathing, which fell into meditative counts; they pulled Sandry’s power into doing the same.

            “Breathe with us,” Daja said simply. “Use our lungs.”