[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
Phelan held his peace for so long I feared that he wasn’t going to say anything at all. Then, softly, gently: “What do you remember about her?”
A weak, broken sound escaped me. “Barely anything. But enough to know that she’s dangerous and she’s not going to stop unless she’s somehow forced to.” My eyes stung and I shook my head, hands curling into fists. “I don’t think that I can stop her, Phelan. I don’t know that any of us can.”
His arms closed around me and I leaned into his chest, the lump in my throat threatening to choke me as I buried my face against his shoulder. He held me tightly and I could feel the dam break, felt the tears coming.
He held me as I wept silently into his shoulder, rubbed my back gently and rested his cheek against my hair. “You were never alone,” he murmured softly. “Not then and certainly not now. You have us to help you and I daresay a brother that’s a lot more sane than Cíar was back then.”
I choked on a laugh and hugged him tighter. “Dammit, Phelan.”
I felt him smile. “Well, it’s true.”
I drew back, mopping at my eyes. The dread had ebbed slightly, but it was far from gone. “How am I going to pull this off, Phelan? I don’t even remember how I stopped her the last time, not really.”
“You told her she was unwelcome,” Phelan murmured. “With the tip of a spear.”
A derisive sound escaped me and I shook my head, jaw tightening. I stepped away from him, reclaimed my coffee cup from the old concrete bench that stood nearby. “Something tells me that’s not going to work this time, Phelan.”
“You might be surprised,” he muttered, watching me as I gulped down coffee and mopped at my eyes. “Besides, you don’t even know for sure that it’s her coming. It could be no one—just a storm.”
My gaze flicked toward the clouds above, twisting back on each other, dark like foul smoke in the sky.
“This isn’t just a storm,” I told him softly. “We’re fooling ourselves.”
“Then we’d best be mustering the troops instead of standing around out here, shouldn’t we?”
He was right—I knew he was right and he knew that I knew. But for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to go back, to face them. Not yet.
“There’s more eating you, isn’t there?”
I swallowed hard and nodded, tearing my gaze from the sky, staring instead at the trees in the ravine, starting to grow shadowed as the clouds overtook the sun.
“What is it?”
My mouth grew dry, my throat tightening again.
I can’t. I can’t say those words.
How can I tell him that I’m afraid that the vision I thought was dead is starting to come true?