Seventeen – 04

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

                “What do you think his plan is?”  Carolyn asked.  “I’ve never heard of him before you guys brought the name up today—except for, like sounding like something from a D&D game.”

                Thordin snorted.  “It would be nice if it was something that simple.”

                “With us, it never seems to be.”  She smiled weakly.  “Maybe someday we’ll get lucky and it will be.”

                “Maybe,” Thordin echoed, then shook his head.  “He’s one of the old forgotten ones.  In a way, we’re lucky.”

                Hecate snorted.  “Lucky.  You mean because we know who the hell he is in the first place before he just shows up on our doorstep?”

                “That would be it, yes.”  He shook his head again.  “He also might have overplayed his hand.”

                “What do you mean?”  Hecate looked at him, brows knitting.  There was something in his tone that caused her heart to bounce a little even as her stomach sank.  “Overplayed how?”

                “He gave us three days and told us where to send you.  His army’s probably there.”

                She stumbled a step, caught herself, swallowed hard.  “Either you think he’s foolish or overconfident.”

                “I would err toward the latter,” Thordin said, glancing at Matt, whose lips thinned.

                “Thordin might be right,” he murmured.  “He might have handed us the advantage we need.  He might not know that the Hunt’s on our side.”

                “But he must know that we have Seamus,” Hecate said.  “Maybe Leinth, too.  We can’t assume that he doesn’t—and we can’t assume that he doesn’t know that we have the help of the Hunt.”

                Their footsteps echoed on the pavement.  Gray clouds hung low in the sky, as if to promise rain, and soon.  It wouldn’t have been a surprise at this point—the surprise would have been the skies clearing and the sun to shine.  Summer had been strange.

                All the seasons in the past year had been a little strange.

                “I don’t think we’re wrong about him being overconfident, though,” Matt continued, his voice low.  “But at the same time, I’m not sure I know how to leverage that into a victory.”

                “That’s why we have a lot of friends with a lot more combat experience, Matt.”  Carolyn squeezed his shoulder.  “We’ll figure it out.  After all, we’ve got three days.  How far away are they?”

                “Ten miles,” he said quietly.  “Closer to the lakeshore.  North of us.”

                She nodded.  “All right, then.  That gives us something to work with, doesn’t it?”

                “Something,” Matt agreed, then sighed.  Hecate reached up to squeeze the hand he’d wrapped around her shoulders.

                “She’s right,” Hecate said.  “We’ll come up with a plan—and it’ll work.  Everything will be okay.”

                “At some point, our luck’s going to run out,” Matt said.  “We all know that.”

                “It will,” she said softly.  “But this time won’t be it.  I promise.”

                “I’m going to hold you to that,” he said.

                “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

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