[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]
“Here.” Phelan brought the two mugs of coffee over, one to Marin and the other to Hecate. Marin seemed to enter some sort of state of bliss as soon as she took the mug from him, while Hecate just smiled faintly and nodded.
“Thanks, Phelan,” she said quietly, settling in a little more. She took a quick sip of the brew and sighed, relaxing slightly. “This is great.”
“What we both needed, right?” Marin asked with a grin, gaze slanting toward her sister-in-law.
“Oh yeah,” Hecate murmured, closing her eyes. J.T. was still watching her, though some of the tension seemed to have eased, as if her reassurance was starting to sink in. “It is exactly what we needed. It’s uncomfortably damp.”
“Only going to get worse when it gets colder,” Jacqueline observed, glancing up from her piecework. “And if last year is any indication, it’ll come earlier than we’d like.”
“Maybe it won’t,” J.T. murmured, staring at the fire again, cradling his mug of coffee between both hands. “Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised with something milder this year.”
“I don’t think that’s very likely, do you?”
He shot a rueful grin toward Marin. “Well, no. But sometimes it’s nice to think about. Cold might have helped us more than it hurt, anyway.”
“That’s possible,” Marin agreed, stretching slightly and shifting Lin to rest a little more comfortably in the crook of her arm. “Though it would have been nice if it had mitigated some of the attacks we caught.”
“True story,” Phelan said, then sighed. “Maybe this winter will be better.”
“Do you think we’ve put enough scare into people?” Jaqueline asked, glancing first at Marin, then to Hecate, and finally to Phelan, her brow quirked slightly. “Do you think that maybe they’ll let us alone?”
“The scare’s there,” Hecate said softly, staring at the fire. “As for it being enough? Time will tell that tale. One way or another, when the snows begin to fly, we’ll know.”