[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
Hecate squeezed Matt’s fingers again, her mind already starting to race even as she worked to keep her thoughts from tangling. It was starting to be a little easier than it had been before, or maybe she’d just started to adapt again. There was an odd clarity, though, one that she hadn’t really experienced for longer than she could remember. The fog was gone.
“Do you think the Hunt would be able to scout the area?” she asked as they crossed the bridge. “Assuming they don’t already know the territory. They’ve been riding patrols all over the area for months. They’ve likely covered the ground already, but we’ll need to know where, exactly, Orcus has laid his camp and what his army actually looks like.”
Matt stiffened, twisting to blink at her. She smiled crookedly and shrugged a little.
“We can stop him before he shows up at our door,” she said. “For once, we can do that. I feel like we should take the chance.”
“You think we can do it?” Carolyn asked softly. There was a thread of hope in her voice. “Stop them before they march on us?”
“I think it’d certainly be better for our walls,” Hecate said, then smiled wryly. Her stomach didn’t drop at the idea, though, which meant she was either suffering some kind of break with reality again or she actually thought they could do it. The fact that she was able to think clearly suggested it was the latter. “Possibly our morale. Certainly for the children.”
But maybe not ours. She swallowed a sigh. She would need to be with whatever force they sent against Orcus whether Matt liked it or not—not that he’d ever let her go without him. It would be dangerous for certain, but it would also be worth it.
From the corner of her eye, she could see Thordin shaking his head slightly, though he was smiling. She arched a brow.
“I knew you were dangerous,” he said with a faint smile. “Now everyone who ever tried to use you will realize why.”
“Is that a compliment?”
He grinned. “You know it is.”
She grinned back, nodding. “Well, don’t think that gets you out of planning.”
“Planning?” Thordin’s grin widened. “Lady, I’ll be with whatever army we put together on that field, one way or another. You’ve got me.”
“Good,” she said, nodding. “Now we’ll just need a plan—and for that, we need the others.”
She led the way back toward the edge of camp, now roused for the day, some of them scattering for their daily tasks. That was fine. The ones she needed would still be by the fire.
That much, she knew.