[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]
The sound of Matt’s hammer against the metal stopped and Thom looked up, meeting a gaze that was suddenly concerned.
“What?” Thom asked quietly.
“Right,” Matt said, glancing down at the scythe blade on his anvil before looking at Thom again, harder, more critically, for several seconds before he looked down again, returning to his work. “You’re dangerously introspective and it’s starting to unnerve me.”
“Well, it’s not like this conversation hasn’t given me any reason to be introspective, now has it?”
“Is that your method of telling me to quit worrying because it’s all my fault that you’re acting in ways that would make me worry?”
“Something like that.”
Matt snorted, hammer ringing a little louder than was strictly necessary. Thom winced.
“Seriously. It’s fine. Nothing’s wrong—nothing that you’ve got any ability to change, anyway.” Thom smiled and shook his head, flipping to a fresh page of his sketchbook. “And even if it was, it’s not something to worry about today. Finish that damn blade so we can head in.”
Matt shook his head again, his hammering falling back into its usual rhythm as he settled to the task at hand again, either mollified or at least willing to let it all go for now. Thom exhaled a silent sigh of relief as he turned back to his sketchpad, slowly starting to draw out the lines of their settlement.
If his brother-in-law had pressed for answers, he wasn’t sure what he would have told him. He might have even lied about what was bothering him, if only to keep Matt from joining him in his worry—or to keep Matt from trying to change something that seemed set in stone.
Pray he doesn’t press you on it, a little voice in the back of his head said. Because if you tell him the truth, then that’s another secret he’ll have to keep—and that’s not fair to him.
Then again, nothing was really fair, was it?