Forty – 04

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

He stared at her for a few seconds, struggling to process what she’d just said. How had she known? Even he wasn’t sure what he was doing. Matt swallowed hard, laying his hand on her arm again, trying to steady himself.

I shouldn’t be this damn shaken—should I? He blew out a breath and squinted through the rain. Marin’s hand covered his, though only for a moment.

“Just do it,” she said, then let go, reaching for another arrow. “Ranged to ready!”

Matt’s hand fell away from her arm and he glanced helplessly toward Phelan, who stared back, looking as abruptly stricken as he felt. Phelan shook his head quickly.

He has no answers. This is on me.

One breath, then another.

Steady. Focus.

“Aim!”

Matt leaned forward, both hands touching the rain-slicked walls. Above them, the clouds twisted, lightning lancing through them, thunder crackling, though only slightly louder than the roaring of blood in his ears.

Focus.

You can do this. You have to do this.

Somehow, he could feel Hecate at the back of his thoughts, felt her as close as if she were there with him, her hand on his shoulder. He closed his eyes.

Steady. Breathe.

You can do this.

His thoughts reached deep, reaching for the lines that lay beneath the surface—not the ley lines his sister always talked about, but something else, other lifelines of the earth and the natural world, ones that he realized now that he’d always been able to feel, had always looked for even when he didn’t know the truth buried in his soul. A search for what he knew was there was what had dragged him down the path he’d found himself on and now it all made sense—or at least more sense.

Just keep breathing.

Metaphorical fingers wrapped around the lines below and pulled.

“Loose!”

The lines snapped taut, like a rope pulled hard against a weight. Matt exhaled a breath, then started to pour his power into those lines.

The screams grew louder as arrows descended into the mists again.

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