[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
“I thought you said that he was coming back.”
“He had to close up the forge first,” Hecate held a mug of tea out toward Thordin, her brow furrowing slightly. “You know how long that can take. Should I have hustled him faster?”
He winced as he took the mug, cradling it between both hands. “If he had to close up, I’m not sure you could have. That’s on me. I didn’t—”
“So it is bigger.”
“Bigger, more severe.” Thordin shook his head. “Our guests won’t be leaving for a few days, even if they wanted to—even if we wanted them to.”
Hecate’s brow arched as she settled in near the stove, resting her own up against her knee. “That bad? Did you not realize this?”
“Not until it was almost on top of us,” Thordin muttered, rubbing at his temple. “There’s something in the air, Hecate, and it’s not the weather.”
Her nose wrinkled and her gaze strayed to the stove’s grate, a frown creasing her forehead. “You wouldn’t be the only one identifying that, my friend.”
“It’s more than just the camazotzi reappearing, too,” Thordin said. “More than that, more than the storm—more than whatever jumped those kids on their way here. Hell. Have we heard anything from New Hope?”
“Not in the last few weeks,” Hecate said. “But then we don’t exactly expect to, do we?”
“I guess not,” Thordin said, then sighed. “I just—I wish we had, you know?”
“Well, unless or until we make the decision to send someone that’s not Cameron down there, or someone from there comes here—we won’t. Are you suggesting that we do the former?”
“I don’t know what I’m suggesting anymore,” Thordin said. “Just that something feels wrong and it’s bothering me because I can’t quite put my finger on it.”
“You and all the rest of us,” Hecate said, then drank deeply from her mug of tea, wishing it was something stronger.
It was too early for that.