Twenty-two – 04

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

Kira turned back to him, blinking. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Teague waved an arm, sitting down on the steps down from the porch, staring blankly at the laundry tub again. “I’ve never been able to keep her safe the way I’ve wanted to,” he said quietly. “Then I up and let her ride away into gods and monsters only know what out there. Everything’s awake now, Kira. That’s what I was afraid of months ago.”

“When the fever still had you?” Kira reached slowly into the laundry tub, her movements unconscious, automatic as she focused on him, on the distant expression in his eyes, on the way his jaw tightened ever-so-slightly. She’d seen it before, but it felt like it had been a lifetime ago—more than a lifetime ago. It had been before the end of everything, when their lives had been different, when they’d been living in Chicago and she’d been a graduate student and he was visiting faculty in another department.

It felt like such a long time ago.

In some ways, it was—more than a year, now, and thousands of miles, a handfasting and a baby.

Everything was different now, but still some things were the same.

The last time she’d seen his expression like this had been in his apartment in the city. He’d been sitting out on his balcony, in the cold wind off the water, staring out at the lakeshore without actually seeing it. She could still remember Phelan’s worried look, the little hitch in his voice when he’d admitted that he wasn’t sure what to do, Teague wouldn’t talk to him about any of what was bothering him, and that just made his own worry worse.

That hadn’t been the beginning of everything coming unglued, but it had been close.

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