[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]
They crested the hill and walked past the forge, spotting the others after a few seconds more. Phelan couldn’t see anyone missing from their informal council, not that he’d expected anyone to be missing. He’d suspected that he and Jacqueline would be the last to arrive. He nodded to Matt as they joined the knot clustered beneath the trees that were no longer young as the late afternoon sun shone through the branches.
“Last to arrive as usual,” Thordin said with a grin, the good-natured teasing welcome, especially in the fact of what they were about to discuss. “Why am I not surprised?”
“Because if I’m not here first, I’m going to be last,” Phelan answered, the ghost of a smile curving his lips before it faded as he looked at Matt. “What have you told them?”
“Nothing yet,” he said. “We were waiting for you and Jac.”
There hadn’t been much need for that, but Phelan had suspected that Matt would wait, if only to have Phelan for backup when the questions started flying—and so Phelan could explain what little he knew about the situation involving Lin and the camazotzi.
He wasn’t looking forward to explaining any of that.
“Well,” Matt said, squaring his shoulders. “Let’s get started.”