There were only ten hours left. That was all. In comparison to the thirty-four weeks they had just gone through—that was absolutely no time at all. But every single second that was passing was taking days and it was driving Hana nearly insane.
“Only nine hours and fifty-six minutes,” Hana informed the room now, her chin on the desk with the clock in front of her.
Harlowe threw a pillow and hit Hana squarely in the back of the head. “Are you going to count down ever last minute?”
“Um, excuse me.” Hana picked up the pillow and threw it back to her sister sitting on the couch. “It was a full four minutes before I counted again.” She turned to put her chin on the desk again. “Now, if you want me to countdown ever single minute, I will be happy to oblige. There are only nine hours and fifty-five minutes left now.”
“I hate you so much,” Harlowe huffed.
“And yet, I see you don’t go into any of the other rooms to wait out the reaming nine hours and fifty-four minutes,” Hana snarked, a smile still on her face. “It almost seems to me like you are also excited for Conlyn’s return.”
Harlowe gave a little sniff, and Hana could just picture Harlowe sitting up a little bit straighter, the image of respectfulness and professionalism—or as much as she could be sitting on the flowery couch that sat in their mother’s living room. “Well, of course, I’m excited about Conlyn’s return. He is a good soldier and it will be an honor to have him serving under my command again.”
“And, he’s your brother-in-law and when he’s here to keep me entertained it means that I have significantly less time to annoy you,” Hana added.
There was a moment of silence, and Hana thought that Harlowe wasn’t going to respond to her retort—but then in Harlowe’s still professional voice, she answered “Yes, that as well.”
Hana laughed, getting up from the desk and turning around to face her sister—leaning against the back of the desk chair. “I am going to be so happy to have him home,” Hana whispered like it was a confession rather than common knowledge throughout the entire town.
“I’ll be happy he’ll be back to make you happy,” Harlowe conceded, “You deserve to be happy, Han.” She added with the sincerity that an older sister could manage.
“Do you think he’ll be home for good now?” Hana asked timidly, “Surely, the king will let him stay home now, after so long serving the capital.”
Harlowe shrugged, looking down to adjust the pillows on the bed. “I honestly can’t say. The problem with you marrying one of the King’s best soldiers, is you married one of the king’s best soldiers. If the king needs him, he will call him back to duty in the capital.” Harlowe looked her younger sister in the eye now. “That being said, the King knows that Conlyn is married to a fine woman in the Sisterlands of the country, and will only truly be happy when he can be in the Sisterlands with her, and the king does try to reward good service, so Conlyn’s reward might be to stay here with you for a long time. I don’t know.”
Hana wrapped her arms around herself. “I hope he gets to stay here for a long time, a very long time.”
“I do too. Just for you.” Harlowe offered.
Hana smiled even wider, but then turned to plop herself back down into the desk chair. “Nine hours and forty-four minutes left,” She announced as Harlowe let out a strangled groan behind her.