Forty – 01

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

Matt’s stomach dropped and his gaze snapped sideways, eyes widening. Magic buzzed against his skin, like electricity humming through a transformer. He kept one hand pressed against the wall, the other groping for Marin.

Phelan grasped his shoulder. “Steady,” he breathed, the word nearly lost. He spared a moment to focus on Matt, their gazes meeting for a moment before Phelan looked back to the sky again, watched the clouds start to twist on themselves, lightning turning carbon-gray to silver-white in staccato strobes.

Steady isn’t something that’s in the cards right now, Matt thought with the barest trace of bitterness, but the words never reached his tongue. He tore his gaze from Phelan and looked to the sky again, to the storm that Thordin was starting to take control of as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

More than a thousand years ago, it might have been, but Thordin was a different man now, just as Matt and Marin were, just as Thom was.

Things were different.

I hope he knows what he’s doing.

“Archers! Aim for just inside the edge of the mists.”

Marin’s voice jarred him from his thoughts. Bile rose in his throat.

Don’t panic, dumbass. Keep your shit together.

It was easier said than done.

Magic tickled at the back of his mind, though he knew it wasn’t someone else’s—it was his, blooming, offering, and the feel of it was nearly as unsettling as everything else in the situation. Distantly, he felt Phelan’s fingers flex around his shoulder again, digging in slightly. It was enough to snap his attention back. The distraction could only have lasted a second or two, since he could still hear the echoes of Marin’s orders moving up and down the wall, relayed down toward the far end. She hadn’t given the order to loose yet.

“He won’t stop, Phelan,” Matt breathed. “Not until he gets what he wants.”

And what he wants is my wife as his private victim all over again.

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