[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]
True to his word, Matt wrapped up what he was doing, though not nearly as quickly as he would have liked. It was twenty minutes before he’d banked the fire and put up what he’d been working on, ready to head down from the forge toward a spot near the ravine where they’d be field-dressing the deer. It was a little spot near Tala’s smokers, which she still tended despite having the twins to keep track of as well—though she’d begun to teach several of the others to tend them, too, at Kellin’s request.
Shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans, Matt made his way down from the forge to the shady spot. Hecate’s merry laughter echoed up to him and he smiled faintly. He wasn’t sure what had made her laugh, but he also wasn’t certain he wanted to know, either.
Marin was standing nearby, baby Lin cradled in one arm as Hecate stood next to her, watching Rory and Tala working on the butchering. The twins sat in the grass nearby on a blanket, enjoying the summer sunshine. Matt let out a low whistle as he approached.
“That’s a decent-sized deer, Rory.”
“Yeah, not bad for heading down to check snares,” he said. “Startled me and then I startled it. Figured it’d be good for a few meals, plus whatever Tala salts and smokes.”
Tala grinned, nodding. “This’ll feed us for a little while, at least. We’ll stretch it as far as we can before we take another. I know the Wild Hunt’s been down, too, though they’re a little better at this than we are, I think.”
“Only some of them,” Marin said, shaking her head with a grin of her own. “They’re not necessarily hunters—just warriors.”
“A true statement,” Hecate said, reaching a hand out for Matt. “Just because they’re hunters of men doesn’t make them huntsmen of anything else.”
Matt winced slightly as his fingers slid into hers. “Though some are both.”
Hecate glanced at him, her gaze softening, growing sad for the barest second. “Aye,” she murmured. “Some are both.”