[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]
The soft voice belonged to Hecate, who was wrapped in a shawl and a knee-length dress over leggings as she appeared from the gloom beyond the cookfire’s light. She was pale and Phelan’s stomach dropped. He set down his plate and started to stand up.
Leinth glanced at him, frowning, then turned back to Hecate. “Can you feel it, too?”
Hecate stayed quiet for a few long moments, then said softly, “I’d hoped it was nothing more than my imagination.”
Phelan stopped, staring at her for a second, even as Leinth moved toward her and put a hand on her arm, shawl-shrouded though it was. There were dark circles under Hecate’s eyes, ones he’d thought were simply a trick of the light but something he could see now was far more than that.
“What is it?” Leinth whispered, reaching up to brush a stray lock of unbound hair back from Hecate’s face. It was a tender, almost maternal gesture that made Phelan swallow. Hecate looked at Leinth, her expression a little strange, though not exactly upset—not at the gesture, at least.
She shook her head slightly. “I had nightmares.” She moved past Leinth toward Phelan’s abandoned seat near the fire, sinking down to sit next to where he now stood. “Every time I tried to get back to sleep and thought that maybe they wouldn’t come, that maybe I’d reached the end of them, but they just kept coming, over and over again.” She drew her knees to her chest, hugged them, stared at the fire. Leinth watched her.
Then she asked, softly, “Have you told him?”
Phelan frowned. “Does it—”
Leinth held up a hand to silence him, watching Hecate. Tala glanced between them, but wisely kept quiet. Hecate took a deep breath and shook her head.
“Don’t you think you should?”
Hecate said nothing, just stared at the fire.
“Hecate,” Leinth said, her voice gentle.
“I know,” Hecate whispered. “I know.”