“Matthew?! What happened?” Sarah’s surprise threatened to overwhelm her.
“If I could sit . . .” His voice was strained, and every movement caused his face to contort with pain.
Sarah and David slowly led Matthew to one of the big armchairs where he collapsed into the soft cushions. While Matthew tried to find a comfortable position, David spoke.
“I found him tied up in a basement down the street. The men who entered the house earlier came from there. I think they were holding him.”
“Good guess, kid. They thought I could help them, give them information on the house. In the end, though, they just left me there. Did they get Thomas?”
Sarah wasn’t sure how much to tell him. Trust wasn’t an issue between them, but she wasn’t sure he was strong enough at the moment to deal with the whole situation. “He’s still upstairs. Not dead. My current priority, however, is your well-being. How badly are you hurt?”
“I’ve felt better, but I’m going to live.” He forced a smile.
The light-heartedness he was trying to project actually caused her to worry more. “Do you think they’ll come back?”
“Hard to say. If they didn’t get him, they’ll be back. I don’t know how soon.” The pain showing on his face had become constant.
“Rebecca? Can you help?”
“Of course.” Rebecca closed her eyes and stretched out her hand towards Mathew. After only a few seconds, his head dropped towards his chest, and his breathing steadied. “Julia, I need some help getting him to the infirmary.”
Julia opened a portal and helped Rebecca carry him through.
“So what happened in the house?”
Sarah was thinking about Matthew and didn’t hear David’s question.
“Sorry.” She shook her head a bit to try to bring her focus back to the moment. “What did you say?”
“I asked what happened.”
“As Matthew said, they were after Thomas.”
“But they failed?”
A wave of exhaustion swept over her once more, so she slumped into a chair. “Sort of. Thomas is in his room, frozen in time. Two of the attackers are up there, too. They didn’t kill or capture him, but he is currently incapacitated.”
“How do we save him?”
“That’s what we were discussing when you came in. We aren’t sure yet.”
“Why didn’t you tell Matthew.”
“He needs rest. Needs to recover. There’s nothing he can do right now in his condition. Was there anything else in the house where you found him? Any clue?”
“No. The place was empty. I doubt they had been there long.”
“Okay. You should get some rest, too. Oh, and would you mind not leaving the house for the next few days. If they do come back, I’d rather have you in here with us.”
“Sure. Whatever I can do.”
“And David? Thank you for finding Matthew.”
“Purely accidental. But you’re welcome.”
David left Sarah alone with her thoughts. Matthew being back in the house, even wounded, managed to give her a little comfort, but there were still a lot of unknowns to deal with. Her first task was studying the features of the men in Thomas’s room. She wanted to be able to reproduce them as exactly as possible.