After At the Gate, after Fathers
Adder was out of options, short of selling himself, and he’d thought about that a few times.
When he’d really started thinking the collar looked like a good option – at least then someone would feed him, in theory – he’d decided he’d at least be reasonable about it.
Orlaith hadn’t loved him. Adder was smart enough to know that. But she’d been a good Keeper; she had been, as she said, very clearly practicing to be a good Keeper.
Adder had a feeling, looking at the man calling his firstborn son, that her knew why, now.
He coughed, and shifted the weight of his rucksack. “Where’s Ora?”
The boy spoke. Had it really been that long ago? “Mom’s fine. You didn’t answer the question.”
He didn’t look like a miniature Adder, chin and cheekbones be dammed. His shoulders, his voice; he was a miniature whoever-the-hell-this fucker-was.
Adder’s stomach growled, and he remembered that he was hungry, tired, and down to his last pair of socks. He swallowed the lump of possessive frustration. He hadn’t been cy’Linden for nothing.
“The world’s sort of falling to shit out there.” He gestured behind him. It hadn’t escaped him that his son was living in a mansion, a mansion that still had power. “I came to talk to Orlaith. to ask if the Woods-Witch had a place for me.”
He hoped he didn’t sound too pitiful.
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