Twenty-three – 03

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

“I don’t think anyone else has a better one,” Thordin said, his gaze steady and his voice low. “I know I don’t and I also know that I’m tired as hell of just bracing ourselves for a coming storm. Maybe this will send the message that needs to be sent so we can we can get some goddamn peace.”

Matt’s heart lifted, just a little bit, buoyed by Thordin’s support. He watched Carolyn, though. Her expression hadn’t changed—she still looked skeptical, worried.

It’s not like I can blame her. If we fail, we’re leaving everyone here practically undefended beyond some walls and wardings—probably without much of anyone to shore those up if we fail and Orcus brings his army here.

“If it makes you feel better, Carolyn,” Hecate said, interrupting his thoughts, “I don’t think he’ll have much reason to come here if we fail. And if he thinks he does, I’m sure that someone will convince him otherwise.”

That made his stomach drop even more. He looked at her, but she wasn’t looking at him, but at Carolyn. Her tone of voice, the matter-of-fact way she said it, told him more than a look would have. She’d made a choice about going with them and there was no way that he was going to be able to talk her out of it.

He would still try, though, on the off chance that somehow he’d prevail.

Marin glanced at him, her expression grim. He swallowed hard.

She knows. Hell. She’s probably on Hecate’s side. Matt swallowed bile and tried to focus again. Hecate coming along would be more terrifying for him but probably better for all of them in the long run. They’d need her strength, no matter how much he was loathe to admit it.

They would need as much as they could muster, one way or another.

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