a sample of today’s writing:
They broke camp before the sun was in the sky, filling in the fire pit and packing away their tents. Daniel spread brush over the mound of earth over the place where the fire had been while Gaius walked a careful lap around the campsite, his eyes sweeping the ground for signs of their presence and smoothing them away. “How long is this pass?” Daniel asked, swinging up onto his saddle.
“About ten leagues, if my memory serves right” Jana said, looking up ahead at the mountains. “It winds quite a bit, and it’s rough terrain in places.”
“How long will that take?” Tae asked, settling Isi on his saddle and then mounting up behind her. The little girl covered a wide yawn with her arm and leaned back against Tae’s chest.
Jana frowned, glancing at Gaius. “My last trip was mounted with soldiers,” she said. “You’ve got more experience with slower moving parties, what would you say?”
Gaius scanned their group, his eyes calculating. “A day and a half,” he said. “Maybe two, depending on the trail.”
Jana looked at Lucia. “Do you need to check her? To be sure?”
To be sure we’re not doing something stupid for no reason, she didn’t say, but Daniel could see the thought written across her face. If the faintly amused look on Lucia’s face was any indication, she could see it, too. But she simply smiled, reaching out and gently touching Isabel’s hand. “Isi, love,” she said.
Without opening her eyes, Isabel pointed in the direction of the mountain pass. “It’s that way,” she said, her voice still thick with sleep. “When’s breakfast?”
“In a little while,” Tae told her, kissing the top of her head and then glancing at Lucia. “Is that enough? You don’t need to…” He shifted, his expression uncomfortable. Daniel couldn’t fault him for that. As much as he appreciated Tae’s willingness to let them use Isabel’s connection to her mother to find her and Ella, it couldn’t be enjoyable to watch your only child’s blood spill.
To his relief, Lucia shook her head. “There must be enough still in her system that she doesn’t need another dose,” she said, looking thoughtfully at Isabel and then sweeping her gaze up to Tae, arching one brow. “I suppose the magic she’s already got might be helping her there.”
Daniel blinked, startled. “What magic?”
“Faerie blood,” Tae said by way of explanation, shrugging. “On my mother’s side, a few generations back. And no, I can’t do anything useful with it.”
Lucia hummed, climbing into her saddle with surprising dexterity. “You might be surprised,” she said, in a tone that Daniel thought he’d likely find infuriating if it was directed at him, “at what turns out to be useful.” She smiled placidly at him when he frowned at her, and then turned to Jana. “Well,” she said. “I suppose we should be on our way?”
Jana nodded. “Gaius will bring up the rear,” she said. “Stay close, and keep the horses contained.” She turned a sharp eye to Daniel. “And don’t do anything stupid.”