[This post is from Kailey Astoris’s point of view.]
Her feet hit the hard-packed dirt at the bottom of the ladder and she turned, seeing only her father’s back at first as he headed for Lin. There was tension in her father’s shoulders that she wasn’t used to seeing, a tension that she suspected she knew the reason for.
Dammit anyway, Lin. What were you thinking? Why couldn’t you have just told me and let me tell them?
But would she have listened?
Probably not. Hell. For all I know he was trying to tell me earlier and I just yelled at him and tried to hustle him to the tunnels. She almost—almost—shook her head.
“You’re second-guessing,” her mother said softly in her ear, and Kailey jumped, startled at her mother’s sudden nearness, something she hadn’t noticed until her mother spoke. “Is it about anything important?”
“I don’t know,” she mumbled, looking past her father to see Lin standing there, arms hugged against his chest but not hunching, not flinching under her father’s stare—which she knew had to be just about molten.
“You’re sure about this?” Matt was asking her cousin.
Lin nodded, his expression grave. “All of you guys have always told me to trust the dreams because you trusted what Mom and Dad saw. I know that they’re not here to hurt us. Don’t ask how I know, I just know.”
Matt exhaled, nodding. “Right. Anything else you can tell me?”
“One of them isn’t in good shape,” he said, then glanced away. “I think we can help him but I don’t know for sure. I feel like we have to try, though.”
Her father nodded again. “All right. Sit tight here. We’ll be back.”
“I’ll stay with them,” Hecate said softly. “Go on. Parley with them. See what they’ve come for.”
Matt hesitated a moment, then exhaled, leaning in to kiss Hecate gently. His gaze swept over his daughter and nephew, lingering on each for a few seconds before he turned away.
The gates opened and he strode out, Phelan and Carolyn falling in with him on the way.