[This post is from Kailey Astoris’s point of view.]
“It shouldn’t have happened,” Lin said, lips barely moving. He stared out the window again but there was something about the look on his face that told Kailey that he wasn’t actually looking at anything out there, just staring off into nothing. She’d seen the look before.
“Of course it shouldn’t have happened,” she said, coming closer. “Those things are supposed to be gone. They’re not supposed to bother us anymore.” She looked at Jacqueline. “Right?”
Jacqueline didn’t look at her. “Lin, flex your arm a little for me.”
He winced but obeyed. A trickle of blood oozed from one of the gashes in his biceps and he winced.
Kailey took a step closer. “Right, Aunt Jac?”
“It’s a lot more complicated than that, Kailey,” Jacqueline said, starting to clean the oozing wound. Lin hissed in pain but held still except for a slight flinch and a contortion of his expression.
“What do you mean it’s more complicated? You guys stopped them before I was born. They never get close, they never hit us. They’re afraid of all of you.” Kailey was much closer now, barely a foot away. Closer up, the gashes look nastier, and she could tell that they were from claws. They had already started to look red and angry around the edges and that made her stomach drop.
What could all of those monsters of old really do? What did one attacking Lin so close to the Valley actually mean?
“They weren’t afraid,” Jacqueline said, a note of bitterness in her voice. “Not afraid enough, anyway. There was an agreement and now it’s breaking down.”
“An agreement?” The urge to make her aunt face her rose sharply but Kailey restrained herself, knowing that her aunt was working and that it was work that she didn’t actually want to interrupt. “Why would we have an agreement with monsters and things that were attacking us?”
“Like I said,” Jacqueline repeated. “It’s complicated.”