I scanned the minuscule amount of nearly broken toys in my carrying bag. Would they be enough to handle The Monster? After inhaling sharply, I shivered. They smell like Mom.
Sweet, blackened mackerel danced through the air, and the delicious scent nearly overwhelmed me. I heard Ren smacking his lips. He had clearly finished preparing their supplies and decided to start eating without me.
Trying to remain calm, I padded over to the kitchen table and bounded atop it. "You weren't going to tell me?"
Without looking up, Ren said, "I figured your nose would," through rushed bites. "I have prepared enough fish for us to slay a giant."
I swallowed. My throat was dry. I hope it's enough ... .
After finishing, Ren looked up. He narrowed his eyes and licked his lips. "Did you swallow a bone?"
"No ... why?"
"That look on your face."
I tried to master my features. "I'm fine ... just worried about Mom." And The Monster.
Ren nuzzled his face against mine. "Everything will be okay ... I promise."
Even though I didn't trust Ren, it was good to have him along. I devoured the rest of my mackerel and grabbed my packs. With one final look around the house, I set off on my first adventure since leaving The Pack.
Next: Part 10