Nine – 03

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

“Well, we can hope for luck,” Tala said with a quick, wry smile. Phelan shivered.


Hairs stirred on his arms and the back of his neck, a true chill creeping over him. His heart started to beat a little faster and he straightened slightly from his lean against the log bench, looking around warily.

What in—

He spotted Leinth, her expression like the sky before a winter storm—a mask of calm with the promise of ice and wind in her eyes. Phelan met her gaze steadily, dread coiling into an ever-tighter ball in his belly.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Something’s coming,” she said, her voice a snarl as she seized the coffee pot, pouring a mug of the stuff. A chill radiated from her, an echo of her power. “Can you sense it?”

Phelan shook his head. “Nothing that I can name.”

A curse dropped from her lips and she turned toward the fire, staring broodingly into the flames. Tala glanced at Phelan, her brow arching.

“Dangerous precedents,” she said.

He groaned and scrubbed a hand across his face. “What are you sensing, Leinth?”

“Something old.”


Leinth hesitated a moment, considering the question with a faint frown. “Yes and no. Not recently. But I know it.”

“Something new, then.” Phelan swallowed a groan, scrubbing his hand over his face again. “Damn.”

“Damn indeed,” Leinth said softly. She looked at Tala, lips thinning. “I interrupted, didn’t I?”

“Just diffuse bad feelings and a conversation about precedents being set.”

“Precedents,” Leinth echoed, glancing toward Phelan before back to Tala again. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

“You’ve forgotten, then,” Tala said. “What day it is?”

She frowned, then cursed under her breath. “Ah. No. I’ve not quite forgotten. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s trying, though.” Leinth rubbed at her temple, taking a gulp of coffee as she started to pace. “Whoever comes is old,” she finally said after a few seconds. “An old enemy.”

“One of yours?” Phelan asked quietly.

She nodded. “I think so.”

“One of Seamus’s?”

There was a brief hesitation followed by another nod. “Yes. Yes, I think so.”

Damn and damn.

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