[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]
Phelan headed for the gate as Matt and Hecate lingered below the tower, watching Paul’s retreating back. Matt took a deep breath and squeezed Hecate’s hand before letting go, moving to follow Phelan.
Hecate shivered and shot him a brave smile. He smiled back, a chill creeping down his spine at her apparent worry.
It was just an outrider coming back with a report. It wasn’t like there was going to be an army on the other side of the gate once they got it open—at least not this time.
Not yet, anyway.
He shook his head at himself and jogged a few steps to catch up with Phelan, who’d nearly reached the gate already.
“When it rains, it pours,” Matt said quietly. Phelan snorted in response.
“That’s one way to put it.” Phelan shouldered the beam and started to lift it, nodding his thanks as Matt got under it, too, helping him lift it free and away, unbarring the gates.
“We’ve got to come up with a better mechanism for this,” Phelan muttered as they set the beam aside.
Matt grinned, though it was a rueful expression. “Maybe when Thom finally heals up, we can get him on that.”
Phelan winced and shook his head, unlatching the gate and tugging one side open even as Matt reached for the other. As he peered through the breech, Matt could see the approaching outrider, still distant. A shiver tracked down his spine. He’d forgotten how far the whistles could travel, how tightly the Hunt was bound to each other.
How far away had the rider been when the initial message had come?
Far, he thought. Much further away than I anticipated—that can be good, or it could be bad.
The rider was coming fast and his stomach flipped over onto itself. The speed did not bode well.
At least, that’s what his instincts were screaming at him. A glance toward Phelan confirmed that the Taliesin felt the same.
They’d have the whole of the story soon enough.