Thirty-eight – 02

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

He watched in silence as she walked away, back toward the cluster of their companions. O’Credne wasn’t among them, he noted, not yet, though Finn suspected it would only be a matter of time before their longtime friend showed up. He always seemed to be there when they needed him, no matter what the cost.

Finn turned toward the coast, watching the clouds in the distance. A chill crept down his spine and the urge to turn away grew stronger, strong enough that he found himself beginning to do just that before he caught himself, forced himself to make an about-face to stare at those clouds again.

It’s not natural. He knew it to the marrow of his bones, but there was no proof. But then, there never is.

He lingered, watching it for a second longer before he finally allowed himself to head for his wife’s war council. There was a map spread out on a board they’d balanced over a stump and she was pointing out a few points on it, her voice low as she conferred with some of the senior warleaders among the clans that had sworn to her. Behind her was Cíar, blind eyes oriented toward his sister, the fingers of one hand buried in the fur of the wolf at his side. Finn skirted around the edge of the group, careful not to distract her, then came to the log where Cíar sat.

“There’s a storm coming,” Cíar murmured as Finn settled next to him. The druid’s fingers briefly tightened in his lupine companion’s fur. “I can feel it.”

“Aye,” Finn said in a low voice, watching Brighíd. This was one of those situations where he thought she was in her element, though he could sense her worry. Something about this enemy had her more concerned than any other ever had.

“It’s because of her,” Cíar said. “The enemy. One of her allies has the power of the storms. We will have to find a way to counter it, brother.”

Finn winced. “Have you told her?”

“No,” Cíar said. “She doesn’t need to worry about it. You and I—we will find a way to counter it. You and I, brother. No one else. That’s our task and we cannot fail.”

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