Twenty-two – 01

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

“I have a bad feeling.”

Nothing could make her blood run cold the way hearing those words from his lips could. Kira turned, swallowing the bile that had suddenly risen in her throat, and regarded Teague with a worried look. “About what?” she asked, her voice barely more than a whisper.

Teague stood near the back door, their son cradled in his arms. Kira was doing laundry in a big tub in the middle of the yard between the barn and the house, her sleeves rolled up, her arms soapy and wet to her elbows. He stared not at her, but at the tub, his brow furrowed. “Things are changing,” he said quietly. “Something’s happening that I didn’t—that I didn’t anticipate.”

“Here?” She shook the worst of the water and soap from her hands and arms and moved toward him. Teague’s eyes slid shut as she reached for his arm, the cotton of his shirt sun-warmed, as if he’d been standing out here for a long time before he’d gotten her attention.

“No,” he said. “No, not here.”

Her throat tightened for a second. “You mean—” She swallowed hard again, her chest feeling tight.

“I didn’t think that so many threats would make them a target so quickly,” Teague whispered. “But I—I can feel it.”

“So Phelan and your sister and my cousin and all of them—they’re in danger? Again?”

Teague choked on a laugh. “Again. Always. It seems like always.” He shook his head. “But this—this one is strange. I hadn’t anticipated this threat—certainly not in the combination that seems to be forming. I’m—I’m worried, Kira.”

“There’s nothing we can do from here, Teague.” Her fingers curled into the fabric of his sleeve, digging gently into the corded muscle beneath. She hadn’t felt him this tense in months. “All we can do is hope.”

“Hope,” he echoed, squeezing his eyes shut again. “I don’t know that we have enough of it.”

“We do,” she said. “We always have—and it’s all we have.”

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