Eleven – 01

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

I shouldn’t have said it.

But he had, and now everyone except for Hecate was staring at him in blinking surprise.

She was just looking at him with a gaze full of sympathy and pain and love so deep he thought he might drown in it—and gladly. Matt took a slow, deep breath, then exhaled, scrubbing his hand over his face, buying himself time.

Maybe none of them would ask.

I would never be that lucky. He let his hand fall away, thoughts still storming even as he gathered them. His encounters—and there had been several—with Orcus were distant memories, ones that Cíar had tried very hard to bury, to leave as a part of his past never to be unearthed again.

He’d tried to bury them so deep that even Hecate didn’t know what had happened—or, more accurately, who he’d faced before finally making it back to her again.

Her hand rested gently on his arm and Matt smiled at her before he cleared his throat, starting to speak before any of them could start to press. “It was while Cíar was leading the Wild Hunt,” he said quietly. “Three times I faced him, twice with the Hunt at my back and once alone. None of those times ended well—not for Cíar, anyhow, I’ve got no idea how Orcus might have felt of it.”

Hecate settled against him and he wrapped his arms around her again, the feel of her weight against his chest a comfort beyond comprehending. Matt buried his nose in her hair for a second before lifting his head and continuing.

“Physically, he’s huge. Hulking. Bigger than any man I’d ever seen—have ever seen. Ugly as sin and worse with these eyes that cut to your soul. He’s smarter by half than anyone ever gives him credit for and his ruthlessness should be a thing of legend. There is no mercy in him, no quarter. If he has a bone to pick with Seamus and Leinth, the only thing that’s kept him from dealing with it is either something bigger than he is or worse.”

“What could be worse?” Marin asked in a whisper.

“I don’t know,” Matt said. “But I sure as hell don’t want to think about it, either.”

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