Thirty-five – 08

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

“Don’t let it eat at you,” Seamus said quietly. “And don’t deny that you’re letting it because we both know that’s a lie. It’s in your nature.”

Phelan snorted humorlessly, crossing his arms tightly against his chest. “Yours, too.”

Seamus nodded. “Aye. It is and I know it. I accept it, own it.”

“So do I,” Phelan said. Seamus gave him a sideways look and Phelan smiled ruefully. “Most of the time, anyhow.”

Seamus smirked. The expression faded a few moments later as he surveyed the southwestern horizon again.

“You should go to the fire,” he said quietly. “I can keep watch here.”

“Who said I was keeping watch?”

Seamus looked at Phelan and gave him a familiar crooked smile. “I know you, Phelan, and I know you haven’t changed that much. You’re here keeping watch and pretending to clear your head. I know the latter isn’t happening—if anything, there’s more rattling around in there now than there was when you climbed up.”

“You don’t think that has something to do with the company?”

Seamus shrugged. “It might, but I suspect it would have happened whether I was here or not. Go. You’ll do more good there than here. We both know that.”

“Do we?”

Seamus smirked again, crossing his arms. “Now you’re just being deliberately difficult.”

“Maybe.” Phelan sighed. Another shiver crept down his spine, goosebumps rising along his arms. The wind—what little of it there was—wasn’t cold. “I have a bad feeling, Seamus.”

“We all do,” his cousin said quietly. “We’ve been trained for it, conditioned for it. But if it’s something or if it’s nothing, we’ll survive, as we always do. We’re trained for that, too.” He fell silent for a few seconds, watching the clouds. “We’re meant to.”

“Meant to?” Phelan watched him for a few seconds, saw one corner of his cousin’s mouth quirk upward in a smile.

“Come now,” Seamus said softly, his voice mildly chiding. “We both know that I didn’t tell you everything.”

“Well, no,” Phelan agreed. “But usually you don’t play games like this. What is it, Seamus?”

“All in good time, Phelan,” Seamus murmured. “All in good time.”

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