Eleven – 03

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

A lone whistle sounded from the northern end of their settlement—the direction of the Wild Hunt’s encampment.

Phelan’s mouth snapped shut and he turned, expression stricken, toward the northern end of camp.

“The Hunt,” Tala said, looking toward the north, her jaw setting. “You think they’ve spotted something?”

“They wouldn’t be raising an alarm if they hadn’t,” Hecate murmured.

Bile rose in Matt’s throat and he swallowed hard, trying to force it back down again. His heart started to beat a little faster. “That’s not an alarm,” he said in a choked voice. He slowly let go of Hecate, easing her out of his lap and standing. She watched him, drawing her knee against her chest again, her brow creasing in concern.

“You’re certain?” she asked, her voice barely audible.

He nodded, guts churning. Another whistle answered the first. He could almost sort out the message bound up in it. “Yeah. Tala’s right, though, they’ve spotted something.” He swallowed hard, the knot in his throat starting to loosen. “Stay here. I’ll go find out what’s going on.”

“I’ll come with you,” Hecate said, already getting to her feet. Matt winced.

“You don’t—”

“It’s either going to be me or it’s going to be Marin,” Hecate said, glancing toward her sister-in-law before her gaze returned to him. “And I think you’d rather it be me.”

He held his tongue and nodded. “Okay.”

“I’m coming, too,” Phelan said, then looked at Tala. “You’ll stay here?”

“Of course,” she said, frowning. “Someone’s got to help Mar calm the troops, right?”

“I can hold it down if you want to go with them, Tala,” Marin said quietly, running her hand slowly up and down Lin’s back. Her expression was grim, face a little gray. Matt suppressed a shiver.

He knew she was worried. He was, too, but he couldn’t let it show on his face. Not yet.

He was sure she still knew.

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