[This post is from Neve’s point of view.]
The words came after a long silence, as if he’d weighed and measured them more than once before he spoke. He didn’t look at her, just stared off into nothing, almost like he’d been sucked back into a time and place that was very long ago and very far away.
“You saw how things went with Cíar, with his family and the people who loved him. They became targets for everyone coming against the Hunt because Brighíd wanted him back and I don’t blame her for that in the least. He was her brother and he was ripped away from her by their enemies and that wasn’t something I would have stood for, either.
“Neither would you, or Phelan, or Teague, and I knew that because of how you reacted to what happened to Cíar. I couldn’t risk that all over again, Neve. I couldn’t endanger you like that, and if you’d had any inkling I was alive, that’s the way it would have been. You never would have stopped trying to find me and free me—and the forces that had landed me with the Hunt never would have stopped trying to stop you, to eliminate you as a threat. Never mind all of the enemies I made leading the Hunt.”
“Like Orcus,” she whispered.
“Yes,” he said. “Like Orcus.”