[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
I hadn’t realized I’d spoken until well after the word left my throat and I found everyone looking from Seamus to me and then back again. My heart felt like lead even as it rose into my throat, threatening to choke me. Thom put a hand on my knee, squeezed hard.
Seamus, for his part, closed his eyes, exhaling a sigh even as his fingers tightened around his mug of tea. “There was a time long ago when I ran afoul of one—mostly because my presence offended him, but also because I had the temerity to be in love with someone who claimed as his own.”
Leinth made a choked sound, easing closer to Seamus, her eyes wide and bright with the moisture of tears she tried to suppress. “You never told me.”
“I know,” he whispered, turning to press a tender kiss to her cheek. Leinth wrapped her arms around his shoulders and I felt a pang somewhere deep inside.
I pressed closer to Thom and he wrapped his free arm around me, holding me close, as if he could sense what I was feeling. Gods and monsters. I scarcely dared to imagine what he went through—maybe I should have.
Seamus took a slow breath. “It wasn’t something that I wanted you to worry about, nor was it something that I was exactly proud of, after I’d dealt with it. I had to make a deal I hoped I would never regret.”
“But you regret it now,” Phelan said, eyeing his cousin. “What did you do?”
“I made a deal with the devil. My soul was already lost, but I thought that if I made the deal offered, if I controlled it and made sure it was binding that I’d save the better angels, if you’ll pardon all the metaphor. I exacted my price and so far as I was ever able to gather, he kept his end of the bargain.”