The lurker

“. . . What do you think, Dubhal, will he live?”

“His head will hurt for a good while” a man replied from the shadows behind Sean, his voice a gruff rumble. “Here, chew on this.” He reached around and shoved something into Sean’s open palm.

Hearing the voice, Sean realized the man – Dubhal – was the warrior with the claymore. Sean moved to turn around, to question him, but Dubhal evaded him, bowed over a large chest, its contents clinking as he rummaged through it. . . .

D: You’ve been watching too many vampire shows.
A: What? I don’t watch—
D: He can’t see my face, ever.
A: He’s not—
D: All I do is lurk.
A: But—
D: I’m a lurker.
A: . . .
D: Seriously.
A: Okay, but if Sean saw your face, he’d know who you are . . . were . . . what. . . you know what I mean. And I don’t watch vampire—
D: Oh yes, you do. You know what I’m talking about.
A: . . . Well, you can get a little pensive.
D: There’s nothing wrong—
A: And you are both Irish.
D: Excuse me; I’m Pictish and Frankish by birth—
A: And Irish.
D: Only on my mother’s side, and that’s half Scots anyway.
A: . . .
D: . . .
A: Lurker.

. . . Sean watched as Grania injected purpose back into her ship and crew. Activity followed the sound of her voice, her cohorts eager to restore the fleet’s routine. Sean turned to address Dubhal, to thank him directly. The man had slipped back into his cloak and his face was once again in shadow.

“You’re welcome,” Dubhal said quietly, not waiting for Sean to speak. “I have my own reasons, but I will do what I can to see Maureen returned to us.”

Then he was gone, melting into the activity trailing Grania. Sean shook himself and looked at Owen, puzzled and unable to pinpoint why. Owen shrugged and jerked his shoulder towards the hatch. There was work to do. . .