[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
Phelan stared at me for a few seconds longer, his brow furrowing. There was no censure in his gaze, only the faintest sense of confusion, a sense I could wholly understand. He must have been wondering if it had been something I saw, if the we meant Thom and I or me and someone else—perhaps even me and Hecate, considering the length of our conversation the day before and the development of our relationship over the past weeks. There were likely a thousand thoughts going through his head, none of them ones I was privy to, but most of them ones I could guess.
I looked away, went to the fire, got some coffee. After a moment’s hesitation, I poured one for Matt, too, knowing that once he got over his initial shock and the need to comfort Hecate—why she was upset, I couldn’t be sure—he’d appreciate it. Tala shot me a worried look. I just shook my head slightly.
Her brow arched and the faintest frown curved her lips, then she shrugged and sighed, turning back to the skillets and pans. That was safer. We both knew it. She had that luxury. I didn’t.
“Well,” she muttered, “it’s been quite a morning already.”
I frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Tala glanced at me again, her brow arching, then jerked her chin toward Matt and Hecate, Phelan and Leinth. “Ask them.”
“Now that’s not—” Phelan aborted his protest as I turned to eye him along with Leinth.
“What’s going on?” I asked. “What did we walk in on?”
“Bad feelings, oath-exacting, and more bad feelings,” Leinth said, crossing her arms without spilling her coffee. “Does that answer your question?”
It did, but not to my satisfaction. “Oaths and bad feelings,” I echoed, glancing between the two again. “Elaborate, please?”
Phelan sighed, scrubbing his hand over his face again. “Are you sure you really want to know?”
“Right,” he mumbled. “Right.”