Thirty-four – 03

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

Despite the warnings of the coming storm, it was surprisingly quiet near the cookfires, something that sent a fresh frisson of fear down his spine. It was strange, the quiet, coupled with eh storm, and it was setting his teeth on edge far more than he thought perhaps it should have been.

Of course, it could be nothing. It may very well be just that—nothing.

Tala turned at the sound of their footsteps, smiling. “You just missed Marin,” she said, turning back to tending a massive pot of something over the largest of the cookfires. “She went to check on Thom.”

“She said she was going to do that when I said I’d go round up Matt,” Hecate said, sitting down on one of the logs. “That’s why I took Lin—in case Thom decided he wanted to get ambitious and get out of bed.”

Matt winced. “Something tells me that’s still not a good idea.”

Tala shrugged. “I don’t get into it one way or another. That’s Marin’s battle to fight, not mine.”

Not mine, either, but something tells me that someday I’ll be fighting that battle just the same right alongside her. Matt shook his head. “There still any coffee hot?”

“Over there,” Tala said, waving a hand toward one of the sideboards. Matt managed a crooked smile and got down a pair of mugs, one for him and the other for Hecate. “Made it for Mar. Does your sister ever sleep anymore, Matt?”

“That’s probably not a question for me,” he admitted. “Did you want some?”

Tala shook her head. “Not right now. If there’s still some later, I’ll have some.” She exhaled quietly, scrubbing a hand over her eyes. “Storm makes me nervous.”

“The storm’s making everyone nervous,” Hecate said quietly, still fussing with Lin’s swaddle. One of his arms was still free, fingers still wrapped around one of her braids. She didn’t seem terribly inclined to disengage those fingers, either. “Something feels wrong.”

“If that’s not the story of our lives, I’m honestly not sure what is,” Tala said, her voice heavy with irony. “Shit feeling wrong has been a pretty constant thing since rocks starting raining out of the sky.”

“True story,” Matt muttered, bringing one of the mugs over to Hecate and settling down beside her. In a few minutes, he’d go and get the warhammer Hecate had saved for him for all of the centuries between the moment she’d lost Ciar and the day Leviathan had come to threaten them in her home out on the cliffs. For a few seconds, though, he’d just sit and pretend nothing was wrong.

Just for a few minutes.

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