[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
The first few drops of rain spattered against the dirt as Phelan and I headed back to the tents. Thunder rolled, growling like a creature warning that you were somehow about to violate its territory. The color of the sky had mellowed, though only slightly and only thanks to the clouds swallowing the sun—they were still a deep, dark gray. I sucked in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Phelan settled his arm around my shoulders and squeezed me gently.
“We’ll get through,” he murmured. I just nodded.
We have to. There’s too much riding on our making it—too many lives, too much future. A shiver crept down my spine, though I forced myself to keep my expression impassive. Phelan didn’t need to end up more worried about me than he already was.
I had no illusions. I knew he was worried and would keep on worrying until he was given a reason to stop. It was comforting and worrisome all at once.
Right before we reached the edge of the tent, he glanced at me, one brow arched slightly. “You good?”
“I will be,” I said, squaring my shoulders and scrubbing my hands over my face to make sure that all trace of the tears I’d shed were gone. “Have to be, right?”
He squeezed me gently and I mustered up a smile.
“Come on,” I said softly. “It’s war council, time.”
“Just in case it is something.”
We’re still pretending it’s not. Just because we don’t hear drums doesn’t mean that there’s not a fight coming. We’re not always going to have warning. There’s not always going to be a storm that they bring, or the sound of drums, or ultimatums before the battle’s joined. No. Sometimes there will be no warning, just an onslaught.
“Yeah,” I said softly. “Just in case it is.”