“Just a little farther, babe,” Sam said into Enna’s ear, voice gravely in his dry throat.
Enna was exhausted. She’d been saying on repeat for the last hour at least, “Through the forest, past the crooked rocks, over the moor, there’s the store. Through the forest, past the crooked rocks, over the moor, there’s the store. Through the forest…”
“I know babe.” Sam tried to soothe her. “Almost there. Here’s the moor, see?”
She skitter-stopped at the boardwalk. They looked around at the flooded space. Something was off.
“Too much.” Enna shook her head, eyes narrowing on the expanse around them. They hadn’t been this out in the open for days. She hunched as if to make herself smaller and her breathing turned shallow. “Too much water. Not a moor. Not a store.”
She started to back away but Sam held her elbow firm, not allowing her to retreat. Not after all they’d come through.
“It’s just there,” he pointed to the little island with a shod hut sagging seemingly empty in the middle. “They disguise it to dissuade—“
“Let’s go back to the rocks.” Enna turned. “We must have taken a wrong turn.”
“Enna,” Sam huffed. “This is it.”
But Enna’s shoes were already kicking the scrub along the edge of the moor in her rush to scrabble back up the bank. Sam caught up to her easily and grabbed at her elbow again. She yanked away but stumbled in her overreaction.
Sam cursed and exerted his last bit of majix to catch her. Curling her light body into his chest, he retraced his steps to the water. Enna tried to roll out of his arms but he growled, adjusting to her movement.
“No, no, no, no, no…” Enna started in on repeat again.
The planks of the bridge creaked under Sam’s quick boot slaps. “Almost there.”
Enna shuddered and her voice deepened into a rumbling bass as she continued to writhe. “No, no, no…”
The hairs on the back of Sam’s neck rose. He leaned into a run. “Enna,” he whispered urgently. “Focus, babe. Now's not the best time to change.”