I don’t feel safe anymore. (Journal Entry #23)

Mak took me home. I didn’t have much to say to him; I’m too unsettled for that. 

The Taniss Four—what a ridiculous name—have changed everything around here. So many people are angry that four innocent females didn’t die.

Because of archaic laws of vengeance that don’t make sense to anyone who stops to think about them for more than five minutes. 

“You’re quieter than usual tonight,” he said as he drove us back to the home I shared with my sisters on the outskirts of the city. Woalds have been farmers for as long as there had been Woalds. You rarely found us inside city limits. 

“I…a lot of things are changing for me lately. I n-need to think about them for a bit.” Maybe that was a cop-out, but I couldn’t think of anything else.

Whatever had been in that courtyard had unsettled me. 

Something had definitely been watching me. I could just feel it. Me and Mickey.

And it had felt malevolent. 

I shivered again. I just couldn’t help it.

“I can understand that.” He pulled into the winding driveway I’d helped my father gravel more than fifteen years ago. It needed more gravel again. But the money for that long of a driveway was something Riv—who handled the family finances—hadn’t approved. Other things—like food, clothing, shelter, utilities, and blood—were far more important than gravel. 

Then there was our house. Our beautiful, sprawling farmhouse that my father had lovingly built with his own two hands, with help from his brothers and nephews and his daughters. The house my mother had designed. 

It was their dream home. 

Perfect for the seven of us. “I…thank you for the ride, and for guarding me.”

“No invitation to dinner tonight? I take it you haven’t forgiven me yet?” He sent a sly look at me. One that was both attractive—and irritating from my head to my toes. 

Adrastos males were arrogant creatures, after all.

“I…I…what has happened to those young females…it isn’t right.”

“Now that I have met them, I have to agree. Even at over five hundred, I apparently still have something to learn. Thank you for that, by the way.”

He held my hand as we walked up the porch together. No one else was home yet, so I pulled my key free from my bag.

Just as something hard slammed into me, knocking me to the dirt surrounding the front porch of my home. I heard something strike the house above where we lay.

I stayed there under Mak, shaking, until he told me it was safe to move. 

I finally turned, enough to look at the door of my home.

Imbedded in the thick oak door my father had hand carved almost two centuries ago was a twelve-inch dagger. 

If it had struck me, I would no doubt have bled to death before Mak could have gotten me back the eighteen minutes to town to the Healers’ Hall. 

I would have died.

Mak had saved me in the nick of time.

I stared up at him as what had happened sank in. 

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