[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
Rory was the one cooking, looking like he’d only slept a few hours after getting off the late watch. He leaned over the skillet, heedless of the flames, scraping and tossing the hash against the cast-iron surface, humming a quiet, lilting tune as he worked despite the dark circles beneath his eyes.
Is there ever going to be a day when we don’t have to post watches at night to make sure that something’s not going to attack us out of the darkness? That something’s not going to try to take advantage of our need for sleep?
Hecate had gone more than enough nights in her life without sleeping for fear of some sort of attack. She knew what it felt like, knew it wasn’t an experience she was keen on repeating—especially not anytime soon.
“You just get up, Rory?” Marin asked as she started to fix a pot of coffee, carefully staying out of Rory’s way.
He glanced at her, then back to the skillet. “About half an hour ago. Couldn’t sleep any later. Probably could have used it, but it just wasn’t happening.”
Marin nodded. “Have you seen Jay around?”
“He and Leinth took a walk,” Rory said, drawing the skillet away from the flames for a moment so he could test the level of doneness of the hash’s components. “They headed out to the barrow, I think, but he didn’t seem to think they’d be too long. Why?”
“Just hoping to have him take a look at Thom, that’s all.”
Hecate blinked at her as she settled down on one of the split log benches. “Is something more wrong now?” It didn’t sound like it was when we were talking, but…
Marin shook her head. “No. He’s healing, just not as fast as either one of us would like, that’s all.”
Hecate nodded slowly, drawing one leg slowly up to her chest, suppressing a wince as her stitches tugged again.
Maybe it can wait a little longer.
Maybe it can just wait forever.