Rowan never finds Aelin. What if Maeve is forever one step ahead. What if he has to return to Terrasen alone and with a failure weighing his shoulders down. What if we still get Aliens pov. We get both of the their pov. And we can read moments when he was barely a footstep away from her. What if she is pregnant? What if she loses the child? What if she is never free from Maeve until she is old and grey. What if one day she is freed. She is brought to the castles of terrasens doors and when they are opened the strangers do not recognise her.
Except for an a middle aged lady with elides face and lorcans height. What if she screams for manon. The last surviving person from the wars. What if she sees Alien, old and dying and just cries. What if Aelin, with her dying voice asks for her mate. What if she begs for him. For her family. For every person who had fought for her. What if Manon has to tell her that they are dead. That Dorian had such beautiful sons with her but no magic could keep him alive forever. That Chaol and nesryn returned to the east and never came back. That aedion and Lysandra died living the lies Aelin had set for them, never able to produce a terrasen heir but madly in love. What if she speaks of how Evangeline died an old lady and how elide died a mother. What if she tells of how Lorcan died with her, his heart broken one too many times.
And yet again Aelin asks for her mate. So Manon brings her to him. Lying in his chamber bed, as greying and dying as her. What if Rowan sees her and just, he can’t do anything and Alien cries and she mouths sorry to him a hundred times over. What if Manon leaves and Aelin crawls into Rowans bed. What if she tells him once more of what she has been through and he holds his hand to his heart. Never letting it go as he kisses her. And he holds her as they cry. And eventually they fall asleep. And forget to wake up again.
And great I’m crying.