[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]
His worry only increased as they headed back toward the cookfire. Matt, his arm wrapped protectively around Hecate’s shoulders, watched Seamus as they walked and felt a weight settle over him and his stomach go sour. The former Taliesin looked like hell and didn’t seem like he felt much better, either. The wounds he’d taken in Matt, Hecate, and Marin’s defense up on the wall that day a few weeks back had taken a heavier toll than any of them suspected.
He swallowed down bile, his arm tightening around Hecate’s shoulders. Her arm snaked around his waist, squeezing him close for a second.
“Settle,” she whispered, voice too low for anyone but him to hear. “It’s all right.”
“No,” he murmured back, gaze still on Seamus. “No, it’s not.”
“He’ll be all right,” Hecate said softly, though Matt could hear the thread of doubt in her voice. Ice sluiced down his spine. He took a deep breath and tried to force his stomach to settle. It didn’t work.
“He shouldn’t be up,” Matt murmured.
“No,” Hecate agreed, following his gaze. “But that wasn’t our decision to make or our war to fight. That’s between the two of them.” She nodded toward Leinth, her brow furrowing. “We have to trust them—trust that they weighed their options and decided what the necessary course would be.”
“Necessary isn’t always best.”
“No,” Hecate sighed. “No, it’s not. But it’s what has to be.”
Matt held her a little tighter, swallowing hard again. Maybe they would be wrong. Maybe things wouldn’t be as bad as they feared.
Somewhere deep in his heart, though, he knew that wasn’t meant to be.