[This post is from Neve’s point of view.]
Seamus lapsed into silence again, but Neve waited, knowing in her gut that he wasn’t finished. There was something in his expression that told her that, but at the same time, it tugged on her heart, dragging it down inch by inch.
She’d never considered how much hiding must have hurt him, too.
He didn’t need to protect us like that, but he did—he did because he was scared, because he thought that if any of the Hunt’s enemies knew about our connections, they’d use us against him. It was to protect us and the Hunt—and himself.
Her lips thinned, traces of anger bubbling up from somewhere deep. She didn’t want to resent him, but part of her did. There was a faint sense of outrage that was undeniable. How dare he, a tiny voice sounded in the back of her mind. How dare he make those decisions for you, for Teague, for Phelan. How dare he decide for you.
It was the same anger that she felt toward her father, though far more muted than the wrath she felt toward the late king, one who had made far more decisions for her and her brothers than Seamus ever had.
And yet the rage was still there.
Seamus’s fingers bunched in the covers again. He swallowed once, then a second time, slowly looking at Neve.
“Can you feel it?” he whispered.
“Feel what?” Anger started to coil deep inside, twisting into knots in her belly. Was he trying to dodge her now that she’d finally gotten him to open up again about this? Was he trying to distract her?
“One war ends,” he whispered, his lips barely moving. “And sows the seeds for a thousand more. I didn’t know. They couldn’t know. None of us—none of us could have known.”