I saw the smoke signal from above that all was clear, and raced down the mountain following the warm scent of burning wood through the trees. The smell was thick in the fog, filling my lungs in a way that felt like falling back into an overstuffed couch. Like coming home.
He was home, and I was coming to him.
But when I reached the clearing I saw only the fire, a clump of logs piled loosely off to the side. I don’t know what made me pause at the edge of the trees—the emptiness of the scene, the way the mist muffled sound, the smoke itself growing thicker.
Not so much like home, then.
I crouched and pulled my knife from my boot. Closed my eyes and lifted my nose to the wind.
Four of them? Maybe five? Assuming there weren’t any cloaked in the smell of the campfire.