[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
“Mar,” Phelan started gently. I looked away, squeezing my eyes shut. He fell silent, then exhaled before he started again. “Come on. Talk to me.”
“I can’t lose him,” I whispered, the words barely escaping my throat. “I can’t, Phelan—I won’t.”
For the space of a few heartbeats, Phelan was silent. It was just as well—I’m not sure I would have heard anything he’d have said. I was too busy seeing a replay of those old visions in my mind’s eye, seeing Thom pale-faced and wasting, weakened and slipping beyond my reach.
I can’t let him die. I can’t. I can’t lose him. Not today, not tomorrow—not ever. I can’t.
All the other visions I’d had didn’t ease the fear. Things could change. I knew that, now. Everything he and I saw—it wasn’t written in stone, it wasn’t certain to happen.
But enough things were.
“What are you talking about?” Phelan asked softly. His arms closed around me again and I shuddered, swallowing back the bile rising in my throat. Thunder growled in the distance, though nearer.
It wouldn’t be long now.
I shook my head hard. Words wouldn’t come; they stuck in my throat, threatened to choke me. His arms tightened slightly around me.
“Leannán,” he whispered. “Please.”
I shuddered, pressing my forehead hard against his shoulder, gulping in air before I managed to make words. “Thom,” I whispered. “It’s Thom. I can’t—I’m afraid—”
He went rigid, then his arms grew tighter. “No. No, he’ll be all right, leannán, I promise. I swear to you, he will.”
“You don’t know that,” I breathed. “How can you be sure? I—I’m seeing—Phelan, they’ve started again. And he’s sick and we don’t know why. Maybe—maybe it’s something that’s meant to happen no matter what, the reasons just become different. But I—I can’t lose him.” I was sobbing, talking around gasps and hiccups that I couldn’t stop. The tears just kept on coming and it felt like there was a giant hand wrapped around my heart, squeezing it hard. “I can’t.”
“You won’t,” he said softly. “I promise you—you won’t.”