[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]
Jacqueline and Phelan exchanged a look before Phelan cleared his throat. “You’re talking about Persephone,” he said quietly, watching J.T.’s reaction. There was no flinch, no wince. Instead, J.T. just nodded slowly, exhaling a breath he seemed like he’d been holding for perhaps too long.
“Yeah,” he said, voice quiet. “She asked for our help—for my help—and I haven’t been able to do anything. I told Hecate about it, I haven’t done anything else. What kind of good am I to her if I can’t figure out a damn thing to help her?”
“Settle down,” Phelan told him, snagging some mugs before he slowly poured hot water over the grounds in the French press. “It’s not as if we’ve had much breathing room to figure that out.”
“It doesn’t matter,” J.T. said, staring hard at the fire, as if it would somehow give up state secrets if he glared at it long and hard enough. “I made a promise and I haven’t kept it.”
“And it’s eating you,” Jacqueline said quietly, watching him. Phelan winced, glancing at her again before concentrating on the coffee. “And you’re letting it.”
J.T. exhaled a frustrated sigh. “And if I am?”
“Then you shouldn’t,” she said, her tone brooking no argument. “We can only do what we can and trust me, we’ve all been wrapped up in a lot of crap lately and we keep getting attacked.”
“And we got attacked by someone that’s probably involved in holding her—and we turned them back,” Phelan said, his voice quiet as he started to pour the coffee. “That has to amount to something.”
“Maybe,” J.T. said, still staring at the fire. Phelan started handing out the coffee, studying J.T. as he handed him a mug.
“Not maybe,” Phelan said quietly. “It counts. Don’t try to shoulder all of this alone. We’re going to help you—helping her isn’t something you have to do alone.”