Thirteen – 04

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

Tala was watching us, so intensely that she startled when Paul stood back up again and handed her his plate with a quick grin.

“Thanks for breakfast,” he said. “Think anyone will mind if I take the cup with me?”

“What?” Tala blinked a few times, then shook herself. “No, no, it’s fine. Take it. Do you want me to top you off?”

“Nah.” Paul smiled and toasted her with the mug. “Thanks, though. See you guys at lunch. If Stasia asks, let her know I’m still out on the watch, okay?” His little sister, Angie, must have already known where he was—or would assume as much. Angie was a smart kid for all of her youth—but still just a kid. She’d be with one of the others right now, probably getting a start on what passed for school instruction for the day.

Thom watched him go for as long as it took for Paul to move out of earshot before he looked at me again. “All right,” he said quietly. “Now what’s going on?”

“Did you not want him to know?” Tala asked before I could answer. She started making a pot of tea to go with the coffee that was already made. “You got really tense and pale for a second there, Mar.”

“I’m not exactly up to dealing with more than my own panic right about now, Tala.” I scrubbed my free hand over my face and exhaled. “And I don’t even know if I’ve got anything to be panicking about.”

Thom looked between us, his expression caught somewhere between concerned and annoyed. “Could one of you please start explaining what precisely anyone would be panicking about before I decide to wander off to figure it out myself?”

“Nothing major,” Tala said as she started to make herself a cup of tea. “Just a bunch of bad feelings coupled with the day coupled with whistles coupled with the Wild Hunt coupled with Leinth flipping out and then Matt and Phelan and Hecate going to see what all the hullabaloo was about from the Wild Hunt.” She exhaled, then shrugged. “Now it seems they’ve headed for the gate and I have to imagine that we’ll know more soon enough. That about cover it, Mar?”

“Yeah,” I said, unable to make eye contact with my husband, who blinked slowly, looking between Tala and me. “Yeah, that about covers it.”

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