[This post is from David O’Credne Miller’s point of view.]
“You were out,” Bryant said, glancing to the side, as if checking something, before his gaze met David’s again. “We spent quite a bit of time speaking with him and the other folks in charge here.”
Folks in charge? For a few seconds, he squeezed his eyes shut. There was a faint pounding behind his eyes, but that could have come from any number of causes. From the stories, that’s not like him. He advises, doesn’t lead.
Maybe something changed.
His hand shook as he reached up to rub his temple. “Phelan,” he said quietly. “You mean Phelan O’Credne.”
“The same,” she said softly. “Though he doesn’t use that name often. It’s usually Phelan Conrad.”
David’s lips thinned and he opened his eyes, studying her for a few seconds. Her honey-blonde hair was braided back from her face, the lamplight painting golden highlights into the strands. He couldn’t quite tell how old she might be in the light of the lamp and he frowned slightly, his eyes watering slightly despite the dim—or perhaps because of it. “I don’t understand.”
“It’s all right,” she said. “He has his reasons for it. You can ask him yourself later, when you’re up to talking.”
“I’m talking now,” David said, sagging a little more against the pillows.
“You are,” she agreed.
“It’s early,” Bryant said. “The others are still asleep.”
“Early,” David echoed. “How long have we been here?”
“Just since yesterday afternoon.”
Then it hasn’t been so long. Okay. He closed his eyes for a second.
At least, he thought it was for a second.