Myka looked around them, careful not to make eye contact with any of the wolves. They seemed unaware of the presence of the stagsmen in the thicket. “Captain, they have us surrounded,” she hissed.

“Yeah, but they don’t know that,” Galen hissed back. “If we’re careful, we might be able to sneak away before they realize we’re even here. There’s too many of them for us to fight.”

“There’s a saying for this situation,” Diamonto murmured. Galen frowned and shook his head. The other stagsman had a saying for every situation. They were never common ones either. He seemed to make them up on the spot. Heedless to his captain’s ire, he continued, “Stuck in two meters of snow without a shovel.”

“Up the creek without a paddle,” Galen murmured. “We’re not. Follow me.” He ducked beneath the heavy growth and led the way out of their hiding place toward the main road. Hidden by the plants and downwind from the wolves, they weren’t likely to be found. The message would get through, he was sure of it.

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