"Right in here is where we set up our temporary home," Faith said. Several comfortable chairs nestled in one corner and a table and chairs occupied another. She held her hand out to Ted and her guests, signifying that they should stay there for a moment, then made her way toward a young woman who was busy preparing food and had a quiet word with her.
"Say, Faith," Ted called out.
She turned to him.
"What do you say we ask Erin to keep Klynn company while we get caught up with Dixon and Mara?"
"I think that's a wonderful idea." She motioned for Klynn to join her and the young woman with whom she'd been speaking. Then she escorted the two out of the room.
"She looks incredibly familiar," Mara said.
"Who?" Ted asked.
"The woman Faith was talking to."
"I thought the same thing," Dixon said.
Ted laughed. "She must have one of those faces. Both Faith and I said the same thing of her."
"Who is she?" Mara asked as she sat down. The smell of a hearty lamb stew wafted its way toward her. Her stomach growled.
The men sat to either side of her.
"I know who she looks like!" she suddenly exclaimed. She looked at Ted, her eyes narrowed. "What did you say her name was?"
"Oh, great Ehyeh! Is it possible?" She shook her head. "Where is she from?"
"What are you talking about?" Dixon asked.
"Where is she from, Ted?" Mara asked again.
"And you said her name is Erin?"
"Erin, yes. Why?"
"What? What are you thinking?" Dixon asked.
"Ted! Dixon! Nina has a sister, Erin. That's who she looks like. Like Nina!"
Dixon sat straight up in his chair. "Right you are."
"Ted, is it possible?"
"I don't know. She escaped from the army that was with Lilith. If it hadn't been for that young woman, we wouldn't have known anything of Lilith's plans. She found Hattie—oh, we'll have to introduce Hattie to you—and told her of Lilith's plans. We sent all the local Oathtakers out, trying to get the people to bring their infants here instead of taking them to Lilith's gathering, but . . ." His voice dropped off to nothing.
Mara and Dixon waited quietly for him.
"I've never felt such a failure," Ted finally whispered. "Here we are at sanctuary," he waved his hand to designate his surroundings, "but we weren't able to provide actual sanctuary to the people when they most needed it."
"Is that why the lights in the steeple are out?" Dixon asked.
"It seems an appropriate sign of mourning."
"You can't blame yourself, Ted."
"I know. Still . . ."
Faith entered the room and headed toward the bucket of stew hanging at the hearth.
"Faith, what do you know about Erin?" Mara asked.
"Oh, not to worry. I've not told her anything. I assumed the same was true of Klynn. With them busy now, we can speak freely. We have a lot to fill you in on."
YOU ARE READING
An Oath Sworn. A Struggle Engaged. A Sacrifice Required. When Mara, a trained Oathtaker, is drawn by the scent of the Select to battle underworld beasts summoned by powers of evil to destroy the guardians of life, she swears a life oath for the prot...