Quin waited at the edge of the woods, a long, bloodied sword propped against his shoulder. He’d fashioned a rough splint, a stained shirt with the sleeves tied at the back of his neck. Splatters of blood and mud coated his clothes and skin. He grinned when he saw Matheus, a gap where his snaggletooth usually resided.
“Hello, sunshine,” he said. “Is the bitch dead?”
“She’s dead,” said Matheus. “What are you doing here?”
“You called me.”
“I did not.” Matheus looked across the lawn, at the charred pile of timbers. A few flames still leapt gleefully into the air, but the roaring mass had died away. No more charming, time-trapped cottage with its rotten innards. People staggered around the lawn, a handful still fighting. Others just sat, weapons forgotten on the ground next to them. Some had fled already; Matheus watched two distant figures heading for the street, lugging a third between them.