Leondra paused, because she didn’t know what this had to do with her sister, other than in keeping her involved with Leondra’s life despite the distance between them. “That… I don’t understand.”
“It’s not that I’m not happy with what I’m doing. It’s just… I didn’t realize you’d be happy doing that. Because of… well, the lack of beast. Is this what you want, sis? I have to know. Is this what you want, or are you doing this because everyone would call the rest of us a hunter without us having to do anything?”
Leondra did not respond.
“You never seemed to mind much. I didn’t think it bothered you, at least, not since you were really little. Please, sis. I need to know that this isn’t because of that.”
Leondra had no idea when the rest of the world had gotten so obsessed with the division between those who were and those who were not. “Not everything is about having the blood of a beast,” she told her sister, meaning every word of it.
It might have inspired her, but she was not reaching for unattainable heights. She was reaching for what she was.
“You’re a hunter now?”
Her sister sounded so surprised. Leondra shifted the phone in her hand. “I’ve told you all about it for months. Why are you surprised now?”
“Well… I don’t know. It’s not that I didn’t think you were serious. I knew you’d keep up with it. I… guess I didn’t realize that it would be what you did. Understand?”
“No.” Because as far as Leondra could glisten, her sister hadn’t believed it of her. What had she said that wouldn’t have made her understand this sooner? “What’s so hard to understand about what I said? I’ve been using the gun for years. Turning into my profession for the last couple. Finally working it out these last several months. Why are you surprised?”
“Because I’m not.”
There was a moment that hunting became the most important part of her.
Leondra didn’t know when it had happened. When watching and waiting became as easy as breathing. When taking an animal down in one shot became what she expected when she pulled the trigger, rather than what she hoped. When dressing the carcass didn’t cause her any hesitation.
When she ate well on her own, well enough to then help other people eat well. To afford the place she was staying in.
Hunting was important to her family, her family that all had the beast inside of them, telling them to be a predator.
Yet Leondra was the only one. She was the huntress.