Twenty – 05

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

“In all brutal honesty—which in part I think you’ve come to expect from us—I do think that you need to seriously consider the possibility of including her as part of your plans, Matthew.” Anselm stared at him steadily, watching Matt’s face as the much younger man’s face contorted, his expression shifting to something that was a mix of alarmed and concerned with hints of anger. “Stop thinking with your heart for a moment and start thinking with your head. Trust me, I know that’s hard and it’s an instinct that you have to fight, but at least try. Think. You know her. You know her talent and her power.”

“I know he wants her,” Matt said, a tremor in his voice. “I can imagine part of why—and some possibilities based in who he might be working with.”

Thom swallowed. I understand his fear on a lot of levels, but Anselm’s right. He’s right. He’s right that Hecate will want to fight and he’s right that we’ll probably need her against Orcus and his army. Whatever their scouts can tell us isn’t going to change any of that.

“You’re worried that if she fights alongside you, then she’ll be vulnerable. But I’ll tell you this, Matthew: if you leave her behind, she will be just as vulnerable, if not more vulnerable than if she was at your side.”

Matt stared at Anselm for a few seconds more, then stood up, starting to pace. He paused after a moment and looked at Thom. “What about you? What do you think?”

“You already know what I think, Matt,” Thom said. “Do I really need to say it?”

Matt cursed softly and started to pace again. “I hate it.”

“Everyone does,” Anselm said. “But then again, any time people we care about are in danger, we hate it. It’s part of being human—something we all understand.”

“I don’t want to risk it,” Matt said.

“Sometimes, we don’t get that choice.”

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