I feel the monster of grief again, writhing in the empty space where my heart and stomach used to be. I gasp, pressing both palms to my chest. Now the monstrous thing has its claws around my throat, squeezing my airway. I twist and put my head between my knees, breathing until the strangled feeling leaves me.
Later, when we've found this mysterious ship of Hector's and are safely away, when I have time to rest and worry and a quiet corner to hide in, I will coldly remember that being a queen means being strategic. And I will imagine sending off the man I love to marry my sister. I'll rehearse it in my head, maybe. Get used to the feeling.