[Author’s Note: We switch now to Lynn’s perspective as Jason continues his reaction to chapters 72 and 73, An Invitation to Dine (Part 1 and Part 2), of Phoenix Triumphant.]
Lynn slowly refocused her eyes and looked at Jason. “No storms on the horizon for another day or two.” She sighed, as her mind again went back into the sky, courting the weather patterns. “I could have used some help for this mission.”
“And the other experienced Weather Mages,” she heard Phoenix reply, “were out to sea or had even less training in fighting than you.”
Lynn’s mind returned to the tent, satisfied she’d read the weather right. Her second cousin’s face was etched with lines of worry and she felt ashamed she had complained. “Sarah is on your mind, isn’t she?” her voice softened. He, out of all of them, suffered the most.
“She is always on his mind,” Lynn looked up to see Mathew duck into the tent, “even when he was courting you.”
“Let it go Mathew,” Sergeant Phoenix sighed. “If Lynn has accepted it, you ought to be able to too.”
“Well if you hadn’t courted her then she wouldn’t have gone to sea and...”
“I would have still gone to sea,” Lynn spoke with more force than she meant to. “The Gods called for me to be a Weather Mage,” she rose to look into Scout Mathew’s eyes. “And even if it were you who had courted me I still would have gone.”
That statement clearly hurt him and Lynn was sorry she said it, but she wouldn’t take it back.
“So you say now...” Mathew began his voice hard.
“Enough,” Phoenix commanded harshly.
Lynn too, returned to her seat before the fire trying to glean from it a warmth that it could not give.
“Let us not focus on our personal lives, but upon the tasks at hand.” Sergeant Phoenix once more seemed the understanding second cousin she’d grown up with. “The siege will be set up at dawn and James will, hopefully, lead a small group back into the Fortress to rescue Princess Allmarah and Lady Miriam.”
“What of Sarah?” Lynn asked in concern.
“She dines with General Wholawski, so he can show her the power in which she might share” his voice was no more than a whisper.
Sinking to the floor, Phoenix buried his head in his hands and let go his facade of strength. Lynn looked from her cousin to Mathew, but he was looking at his former Sergeant.
“She wouldn’t go for that would she?” Mathew whispered, the color gone from his face.
“No,” Phoenix responded, “but I fear for her safety.”