Rye stood silently beside his sister. Tears streamed down his face continually but she stood dry-eyed, almost calm. Was she trying to be strong for him? He hadn’t stopped crying since they’d discovered that both of their parents had indeed been killed by the intruders in their home.

He took a shuddering breath and reached out to clasp her hand. He sent a wan smile her way. She didn’t need to be strong for him. They could be strong for each other. Both of them felt the pain of loss. It wasn’t fair for him to be the only one to let those emotions to the fore.

Tears stood in her eyes and she leaned her head on his shoulder. If a few drops of moisture hit their joined hands, neither cared. They were together at least. They would be alright.