Twenty-nine – 01

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

By her calculation, they would have reached the camp by now. Perhaps the fighting had already started. She had no way to know. Neve’s fingers curled a little tighter around the book that lay open in her lap. She had read the same passage five times and didn’t remember a single word.

There’s no distracting myself from it. No chance at all.

She exhaled a sigh and scrubbed one hand over her face.

In the bed in front of her, Seamus stirred. She swallowed a curse. The fear welled up, twice as bad as it had been a few moments before.

Did Leinth get to tell him before they left? Does he know what’s going on? Oh, gods and monsters, am I going to have to break the news to him that they’ve ridden off to war without us?

How would her brother react to that?

She marked her place in the book and set it aside, leaning a little closer, peering at her brother’s pale face. He made another quiet sound, then seemed to settle again, going still but for the rise and fall of his chest.

Shivering slightly, Neve settled back again, watching him, fingers bunching in the fabric of her pants.

I still have time, then. I still have time to figure out what to say, if I need to say it.

Time probably wouldn’t help, though.

Lips thinning, she stood up, starting to pace, her stocking-feet steps silent against the wood planks. The twins slept in their baskets in the corner, full from a feeding half an hour before—that, too, had been a welcome distraction from her fear and worry.

But you can’t distract yourself forever. The world won’t let you, will it?

Her thoughts drifted back to Cameron, to Phelan, to all of the rest. She shuddered, biting her lip.

What if they didn’t come home? What would they do then?

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