Nine – 03

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

The sound of Lin’s voice sent fresh cold flooding through her. Kailey twisted, her hand clamping down on her mother’s even harder—just as Hecate’s grip crushed hers.

He stumbled toward the wall from the shadows of one of the watch towers, his eyes wide and face pale. “Don’t shoot them,” he said again. “They’re not here to hurt us.”

Matt’s gaze cut toward her for a second, then went back to his nephew, expression darkening. “How do you know?”

From the corner of her eye, Kailey saw Phelan reach over and grasp her father’s arm, fingers flexing. If Matt felt it, he gave no sign. Her father’s attention was wholly on Lin, who stopped a dozen yards from the bottom of the wall and stared up at them.

“I just do,” he said. “I can hear it. Feel it.”

Her father opened his mouth to say something. Phelan interrupted. “Did you dream it?”

Swallowing hard, Lin nodded.

Matt breathed a curse. “Hold the arrow, Sif. Let me know when they’re a hundred yards out.” He started moving toward the ladder. “Kailey, stay with Lin. Keep him right there until this is over. Understood?”

Bile slicking her throat and tongue, Kailey nodded. “Okay, Dad.”

His gaze lingered on her for a few seconds, a flash of pain flickering through his eyes before he nodded slightly, glancing toward Hecate. “Are you staying or coming?” he asked softly.

“I’ll stay with them,” she said, squeezing Kailey’s hand again. “You never know.”

Matt nodded, then started down the ladder. Phelan was already on the ground.

Neve and Carolyn watched them from the other side of the gates. “What’s going on?” Neve called.

“Care, get some of your friends to check them out,” Matt said. “We’re going to talk.”

Carolyn glanced back behind the wall, spotted Lin, then nodded. “Got it. I’m coming with you.”

Matt didn’t argue, simply nodded and continued down the ladder.

Kailey followed, heart lodging in her throat.

I could strangle him. He’d said he was going down. When had he seen what he’d seen? Why hadn’t he told her? He could have—

She shook her head, climbing down the ladder as quickly as she could. There would be time to be angry later.

Right now, she needed to pray her cousin was right and that this wasn’t a colossal mistake.

Truth be told, she figured it could go either way.

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