Ten – 02

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

“Did we make a mistake?” Carolyn asked in a low voice, glancing at the both of them. Matt grimaced, keeping his gaze trained straight ahead.

“We were just saying that we didn’t,” he said. “We’re trusting Lin’s gut and whatever—whatever voices he’s hearing. Who knows. Maybe it was hers.” He wasn’t entirely sure which hers he meant when he said it—whether it was the same voice his sister had heard that warned her the end was coming or someone or something else’s. It had been so long, he wasn’t sure it even mattered anymore. “Besides, you said that Longfellow—”

“That’s not what I’m talking about,” Carolyn said, her eyes narrowing slightly as she stared at them both, her lips thinning to white. “I’m asking if we made a mistake then.”

Cold shot through Matt and his jaw tightened. On the other side of him, Phelan sighed, staring off into the distance, seeing but not seeing.

“They didn’t give us much of a choice,” Phelan said quietly. “We went with the path of least resistance. Can’t say it was right, but it was probably less wrong. Probably not a mistake.”

“You think so?” Carolyn swallowed, her gaze focusing on Matt. “Matt?”

“Phelan’s right,” he ground out. “They didn’t give us a choice. They’d already decided and we just—we had to go along with it. Like always when they weren’t going to budge.”

“Do you ever wonder?”

“Only every damn day,” he said quietly, then shook his head. “But I can’t dwell on that. I’ve got a job to do. We’ve got a job to do.”

“But is it fair?”

“I think all three of us know it’s not,” Matt said, looking away from her as a flicker of motion caught his eye. The riders were just coming into view through the gap. “Enough of that for now. It’s showtime.”

He unslung his warhammer and rested its head in the grass in front of him, casually folding both hands over the cap at the end of its handle, and schooled his expression into a stern sort of blankness.

Showtime indeed.

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