So instead, I'll offer another sneak peak into "Don't Let Go," which is going to be in an anthology available at GenCon. (Go find eyezofwolf/Dylan Birtolo if you're headed off to that convention. The anthology is going to feature some pretty neat stories!)
Fin ducked into the doorway of a cottage and stood at the back of the room, staying out of the way of a group of children crowded around a basket-weaver. Rain waved at him, just slightly, as he looked up from his weaving. He nodded back, continuing to explain the difference between the pattern in Manx baskets as opposed to European or American Indian styles as he wove his fibers back and forth. The children were fascinated, and after letting them watch for a bit, the weaver set them up at a table with some fibers of their own to give a simple pattern a try. Parents loomed over their children and the weaver stepped aside, settling back on his normal seat.
"Nice to see you, Rain," he said. "On foot again?"
"Always," Rain answered, pulling up one of the small stools. "Thanks again for the ride to Castle Rushen last week."
"A pleasure." The weaver tightened the fibers in the pattern, pulling the bottom taught. "It's hardly out of my way."
"I suppose they put you to work there a few days a week too?" Fin asked, and the weaver looked up at him, expression turning from annoyance at the question to delight in recognition.
"Well if it isn't Fin MacLeirr," the weaver laughed. "Glad to have you here, boy. Been too long."
"It has," Fin agreed, taking the weaver's suddenly outstretched hand. "I haven't gotten out much lately."
The weaver's face darkened, but just for a moment. "Well, since you're out, and in the company of my fine friend Rain, I should take the opportunity to invite you both to a bat barbecue we've got going on Friday next. Up at Billown. Caves up there are fabulous for it."
Rain blanched. "You don't eat them?"
Both men laughed at the question. "We watch 'em come out of their caves at dusk," the weaver explained. "Whole clouds of them! It's something to see. And then there's food, because what's a gathering without a bit to eat?" He looked from Fin to Rain, and then back to Fin. "You'll come?"
Rain looked up at Fin hopefully, knowing too well that she was showing all her cards. She wanted to go, and she wanted to see Fin again. Fin smiled and nodded, but the worry she'd noticed back at the club had returned. "It's a date," he said, and her stomach flipped.