Twenty – 02

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

“Things,” Anselm echoed softly.  “When you say that, you mean we have people he wants.”

“To us, they’re people,” Matt said.  “To him, they’re things.  My wife is a weapon as far as he’s concerned.  Leith is an object that he’s wanted to possess for almost as long as she’s been alive.  And Seamus—”

“Seamus is an obstacle and a thorn in his side, an embarrassment that needs to be dealt with,” Anselm finished.  He leaned back for a second, his eyes half-lidding.  “Seamus and I have a long association, Matthew.  I know what happened.”

Matt looked away.  Thom frowned, still watching Anselm.

What did happen?  “If you know what happened,” Thom said slowly, “do you have any insights on how we can make Matt’s plan work?”

Anslem inclined his head slightly.  There was a directness to his gaze that sent a chill down Thom’s spine, though somehow it seemed to allay some of the chaos going on in his gut.  “I am sure there are holes will need filling, but that’s the point of asking us to gather information, isn’t it?”  The ghost of a smile curved the Huntsman’s lips.  “Though I imagine that Cameron would be equally skilled in information gathering, if one were to ask him.”

Thom glanced at Matt, his brow arching.  Matt winced slightly.

“I just—I don’t feel right asking him,” Matt said.  “I don’t feel right sucking him into this.  He never asked for any of this.”

“None of you did,” Anselm reminded him.  “This was something that happened to you, just the same as it happened to him.  In a lot of ways, he had more choices than all of you.  He didn’t have to come here, now did he?”

“No,” Matt said.  “No, he didn’t.  But he did and I’m not sorry he did, but I just—”

“He’d be a target,” Thom said quietly.  “If Orcus figured out who and what he was?  He’d be a target and everything we’re trying to do—the scouting run, our preemptive strike—would be tanked.  It’s a risk we can’t take.  Not on this one.”

Anselm smiled, nodding slightly.  “Now you’re thinking.”

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