Four – 05

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

“You all right?”

He startled at the sound of his wife’s voice, trying to muster a smile as he turned. The look on Hecate’s face as she peered up at him told him that he’d failed and failed miserably. Her brows knit and she reached to stroke his cheek.

“What’s wrong?” she asked softly, searching his face, his eyes. Matt sighed, bowing his head slightly and resting his forehead against hers.

“Lin was attacked in the ravines,” he said softly. “And the Hunt’s found slaughtered caravans on the road.”

“Hell,” she breathed, fingers threading through his short-cropped hair and tightening for a moment. “Close?”

“A few days’ ride,” he said. “Closer to New Hope.”

“Are they—”

“They sent someone. We’ll know in a few days.”

Hecate laughed bitterly, fingers tightening for a moment more before she let go and stepped back. “Not soon enough, is it?”

“It never is,” he said quietly, staring at the trees again as his wife began to pace. He watched her for a few seconds, lips thinning. He knew the look in her eye as well as she knew the look in his. “The others will be here soon, I’m sure.”

She nodded. “No doubt. Have you made up your mind?”

“Do I look like I have?”

“No,” she said with a rueful smile. “Not really, anyway. You look like you’re frustrated.” Her smile grew a little wider. “Like you always do when you feel like you don’t know enough.”

Matt spread his hands, shrugging helplessly. Hecate shook her head slightly.

“It’s all right,” she said. “So tell me. What dared to attack our Lin out there?”

“A camazotzi,” Matt said quietly. “The monster everything started with back then.”

“I thought it was the gremlins,” Hecate said, crossing her arms.

“No,” Matt said softly. “The camazotzi were here even before those. Before the end of everything.”

Her eyes widened for a second. “You never told me that.”

“It never seemed important before,” Matt answered. “I’m not even sure it’s important now.”

“Why wouldn’t it be?” She came back to him, wrapped her arms around his waist and met his gaze steadily. “You know better than that, my love. You know much, much better than that. The wisdom of two lifetimes should have taught you that lesson long ago. If it hasn’t, you weren’t paying attention and I’m pretty sure I know you better than that.”

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