“I trust you, Lyra.”
She gazes at me. “I hope so, Damin, for I may ask of you the kind of aid you may not be prepared to easily give. But come, everyone. There is food inside.” Lyra turns and heads back to the cottage without another word.
Watching her, I hope she will glance over her shoulder at me, but she does not.
Kay comes to rest at my shoulder. “Man, I see you love each other, but I also wonder if that will be enough.”
I wonder the same, but I glare at the westerner, and set off after Lyra, leading Forest. In the shade of the trees I leave him to graze.
Horin is behind me and releases his mount to the cool and new sweet grass as well. “The others are being tactful and have chosen to stay out there for a while.”
I glance over shoulder. They remove saddle bags and talk amongst themselves. Siri is the only one looking at me. She winks encouragement. I manage to smile at her.
“Lyra, is there water?” Horin calls.
Her answer comes from inside the cottage. “There is a trough round back. The horses will find it.”
Taking my arm, for I am now reluctant to move, Horin enters the dim space, taking me with him. I feel his strength.
Inside is a table and mismatched chairs, with a counter along one wall. A rough log ladder leads to a loft space spanning half the cottage. A small hearth opposite is in use, and Lyra is there, stirring something in a large cauldron. Whatever she is making, it smells heavenly. My stomach rumbles.
“How did you find this place?” I ask.
“I was led here after leaving the Spire.” Lyra leaves off stirring and joins us. "I assume we are to talk together first? Should Siri not be here?”