Twelve – 01

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

The four of them—Matt, Phelan, Hecate, and Gideon—reached the wall together, startling Paul, who was climbing down from the watchtower.

“I was about to head in to tell you someone was coming,” he said, blinking at them as he dropped the last few feet to the ground beneath the tower. “Looked like one of the Hunt’s riders.”

“It is,” Gideon said, then scrambled up the ladder. Paul blinked, then looked at the others.

“What’s going on? Should I be worried?”

“Possibly,” Matt said, his voice shaded with caution. There was no telling how close whoever it was had gotten, nor was it a sure thing that they’d make an unerring beeline for the settlement.

There was a damn strong possibility that they would, though.

When has our luck ever run any differently? He tried to swallow the bitterness that rose in his throat. Hecate took his hand and squeezed, as if she could sense what he was thinking.

Maybe she could.

Phelan exhaled, reaching out to squeeze Paul’s shoulder. “Go get something to eat. Tala’s by the fire with Marin. We’ll keep watch until you’re back.”

“Are you sure?” Paul’s brow furrowed. “It’s not a big deal, I can stay.”

“It’s all right,” Phelan said. “Go. We’ve got it. Gideon wants to talk to whoever’s coming back anyway—it’s one of their scouts.”

“All right,” Paul said, glancing up again, then toward the gate. “As long as you’re sure.”

“We are,” Matt said quietly, then jerked a thumb back over his shoulder. “Go on, while the griddles are still hot.”

Paul offered a brief smile, nodding before he jogged off, back toward the tents and the cookfires. Hopefully, neither Marin nor Tala would betray the depth of their concern.

Matt had little confidence that they wouldn’t, but they could hope—that was all they could do, really, was hope.

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