Twenty – 05

[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]

“Come,” Leinth said softly, staring at the watchtower. “We should see to the damage done to the defenses.”

Next to him, Phelan felt Marin stiffen, then relax.

“You’re right,” she murmured, then took a deep breath. “You said nothing hit us from the back side?”

A chill shot through him. She was calmer, more focused than he expected, especially considering what J.T. had just said about Thom. Phelan glanced up toward the watchtower again even as Marin tore her gaze from it, looking at Leinth.

“Nothing,” Leinth said. “They focused on frontal assault, it seems. Either they don’t realize that we’re more vulnerable on that side without the walls, or—”

“Or a dozen other things,” Marin said grimly. “Or they don’t realize that there’s no wall there or the assault on the front side was a distraction for something else or the wards are stronger than we think they are—or something about the ravine and the creek halts their advance. It could be anything, but whatever it is, we’ll have to worry about it later.” She exhaled, glancing up toward the sky as another rumble of thunder shook the three down to the marrow of their bones. “Hopefully this storm won’t do any more damage to anyone.”

“Maybe I should try to go talk to him,” Phelan muttered, eyeing the clouds. He had no doubt that Thordin was still holding onto the storm, though he suspected his friend might not realize what he was doing—what his emotions were doing. “If Thordin settles down—”

“Leave him be,” Marin said. Her jaw tightened and she met Phelan’s surprised look with a steely stare of her own. “At least until this gets really dangerous for us and not just for the enemy.” She rubbed at her temple and sighed, gesturing for Leinth to lead on. “Come on. I need something to distract me for a little while until J.T.’s at least gotten started with Thom. He doesn’t need me underfoot right now.”

The statement was true enough and Phelan knew it—and he also knew it was killing Marin not to know what was going on with her husband, with the father of her child. “Do you want me to—?”

She shook her head quickly. “No. Stay with us. I need you here.”

Leinth watched them with a slightly arched brow, curiosity gleaming in her eyes. “I’ll take that to mean that things went a bit less well than we’d hoped but probably better than we might have expected. Was Thomas the only casualty?”

“And Sif,” Phelan said, swallowing. “No one else seems to have been seriously hurt, but I suppose we’ll know more in a little while, once we’ve got a full picture of what the hell just happened here.”

He hoped against hope that his statement would end up proving true.

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