[This post is from J.T.’s point of view.]
He took a quick breath and turned toward the sound of Seamus’s voice, his brows knitting as he watched the former head of the Wild Hunt crossing the bridge toward him. There was a strange look on Seamus’s face, one that left him slightly unsettled, slightly worried by what he glimpsed in the man’s eyes.
“What’s wrong, Seamus?” he asked quietly, watching the man come the last few steps to join him next to the railing, overlooking the ravine, the creek far below.
“I was hoping for a professional assessment of something,” Seamus said, leaning against the rail and staring down at the water below. He was in jeans and a button-down shirt, sleeves rolled to his elbows to reveal tattoos along his forearms—tattoos that might have had a twin in some of those that J.T. had seen on Phelan.
Family marks, or something else? Something about being the Taliesin, maybe?
J.T. tore his gaze away and focused on the way the light slanted through the trees. “What would you need my professional assessment on?”
“Do you really need me here?” he asked, his voice almost lost in the breeze that ruffled the leaves and branches of the trees that surrounded them. “Truly? Am I really needed?”
His throat caught and his heart seized. J.T. froze up solid for a few seconds, slowly turning his head to regard Seamus with a long, silent look. Then, finally: “What the hell brought that question on, Seamus?”
He sighed. “I just wonder sometimes if staying is doing more harm than good. Sometimes I wonder—I wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to stay with the Hunt, or to not have lingered once I attained my freedom. I wonder if you’re not better off without me here, without wondering what I might think of an action when it’s decided, or what my presence here might draw.”
What the hell was he supposed to say to that?
If another person comes to me with this sort of crisis, it’s going to be too damned soon. I know that much for sure.
J.T. sucked in a deep breath, eyes squeezing shut for a few seconds as he fought to martial his thoughts into something coherent and, he hoped, profound enough to convince Seamus that he—Seamus—was full of shit and that he—Jameson—knew what the hell he was talking about.
“That’s the biggest crock of shit I’ve run into since Phelan got the bright idea to run off for the same damn reason.”
Smooth, J.T. Real fucking smooth.