Twenty-six – 01

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

Matt stood near the gate, staring out at nothing, trying to calm his racing heart. There was an ache in him that he just couldn’t shake, a raw wound that he couldn’t name the cause of. Behind him, he could hear the sounds of their little village waking, of people moving from their beds to the fire. The Hunt’s encampment was busy, too, with a few more Huntsmen than normal rousing themselves in the early hours of morning, before daylight came to the world again. Everything was in motion now—everything that he had set in motion.

Still, the urge was there, though. Part of him wanted to ride out now, alone, and try to deal with matters without involving the rest of them. He knew that sending scouts had been his plan. He knew that mounting a preemptive strike had been his idea. But there was still something that tugged at the tethers of his very being that said that maybe, just maybe, he should have tried to somehow handle this alone.

How, he wasn’t certain, but something in him might have been, something buried so deep he couldn’t consciously reach it.

It was that feeling that brought him to the gate, that led him to stand between its posts and stare out across the killing fields into the night, his heart lodged in his throat and beating too fast. His warhammer was already in his hands and he couldn’t quite explain even to himself why he’d picked it up when he’d climbed out of bed an hour before, leaving Hecate fast asleep among their shared blankets. He’d been careful not to wake her.

It had been a long day for both of them, sure to get longer still before all was said and done.

He stared out into the night, swallowing hard, reaching for something he wasn’t sure he would find in the deepest recesses of his soul.

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