Thirty-three – 06

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

“Mar?”

I hadn’t heard the sound of Matt’s footsteps as I stood staring at the fire, and it startled me. Lin made a sound of distress as I jumped, turning quickly toward Matt.

He winced. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Where is everyone?”

He shrugged in response. “Not sure. I’ve been talking with Jay and Leinth and Hecate.”

My stomach dropped down to around the level of my knees. “What’s wrong? Something’s wrong.”

He didn’t deny it, just snagged the kettle and started to fill it. I stood there watching, Lin cradled against my chest. I started to feel sick.

“Matt.”

“Where’d you disappear to?” he asked quietly, glancing back at me. “It’s been hours.”

“I was with Thom,” I said quietly. “Where did you and Hecate vanish to?”

“We needed to talk.” He hung the kettle over the fire and stayed crouched beside it for a few moments, elbows resting against his knees. “You and I need to talk, too.”

“What’s going on?” I asked, sitting down on one of the split logs before I could manage to fall down. “Matt, what’s wrong?”

“More than I realized,” he murmured. “Are you going to want some coffee?”

The question jarred me for half a second. I managed to nod. “Yeah, that’d be good. Now are you going to tell me what’s up?”

He took a deep breath, exhaled it slowly, then nodded, starting to load the coffee press. “Yeah, sorry. Trying to get my own head in order, you know? There’s a lot all at once.”

“Is she okay?”

For a second, he froze, then took another breath and finished loading the coffee press. “That’s a loaded question.”

“Is it?”

Matt nodded. “Yeah. It’s complicated. I guess I can start there.”

Start?”

My brother met my gaze steadily. “Yeah. Start.”

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