[This post is from Thom’s point of view.]
Matt seemed surprised to hear that from him; Thom could tell from the wide-eyed, slack-jawed look he shot him as he stood stock-still in front of the fire. Thom swallowed and shook his head.
“Are you going to tell me I’m wrong?” he asked softly.
Matt took a few deep breaths, his jaw tightening for a few seconds before it relaxed. It was only afterwards that he finally shook his head. “No. No, I’m not going to tell you that you’re wrong but dammit, I wish you were.” He started to pace again, back and forth, gaze focused on the fire. Anslem watched him with an impassive expression, leaning back slightly with arms crossed.
“The Hecate question aside for now, who do you think will muster beyond the men and women on the Hunt?” The question was simply stated, quietly asked. Anselm kept watching Matt as he paced—and the pacing continued without so much as a pause.
Matt stayed silent, thinking, pivoting to change direction before he answered after a few minutes of silent consideration. “Thordin and I in the front,” he said. “Marin, Leinth, probably Tala. J.T. and maybe Carolyn and Jacqueline. Definitely Phelan. Beyond that, I’m not sure. I don’t know if Sif’s ready and we already talked about Cameron—Neve won’t go because someone needs to stay behind with Seamus, especially if Leinth and Hecate both come.”
Anselm nodded slowly. “And any other volunteers.”
Matt nodded in agreement. “Yeah. Any other volunteers.”
Anselm may not have picked up on it, but Thom heard the hesitation and uncertainty that was buried in Matt’s voice. He wasn’t sure who else would volunteer to help with this plan beyond the people he’d named. Thom couldn’t blame him for not being sure—not entirely—but he suspected that the others would surprise him.
It was, after all, their home they were talking about.