[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
Her heart beat wildly in her chest, power crackling around her. She knew that the storm above was reacting in part to her and that knowledge was terrifying and reassuring all at once.
You can do this. You have to do this. He’s counting on you.
They’re all counting on you.
Keep it together just a little bit longer.
It was Pluton striding toward her through the ranks of his army, ranks that parted quickly at the death-master’s advance.
That plays to your advantage. It could be worse.
Just keep it together.
Her fingers tightened around the grips of her crescent blades. Cíar had never told her what manner of magic he’d worked into those blades, nor had she ever had the opportunity to ask. After he was gone, she had put them quietly away; it was too painful to look at them, let alone use them.
It was all she could do to contain her shaking as Pluton cleared the ranks and stopped only a man’s length away from her. Hecate schooled her expression into blankness, staring straight at him, meeting his gaze and hoping she was hiding the fear in her own.
“Hecate.” There was a warmth in his voice as he spoke, a warmth that made something inside of her want to curl up and die. “Child, we have missed you dearly. Where have you been?”
“Away,” she said, her voice chilly. “I’ve been as far away from you and yours as I could be throughout the balance of these centuries and yet somehow I have never been able to escape.”
His brows went up. “Escape? Why would you want to escape?”
“You know damn well what the answer to that question is.” Her fingers tightened around the grips of her blades. “Don’t play games today, Pluton, I’m not in the mood for them.”
“Nor am I,” he said, his tone turning grave. “Your former husband wants you back and would see your lover dead.”
She felt rage surge and it took great effort to tamp it down.
Calm. It’s not time yet.
Don’t destroy yourself out here. You have something to live for as long as you can keep them alive with you.
“He won’t get what he wants,” she said, her voice steady. “I came here today with an ultimatum, Pluton. Either you leave and never return and cease your hunting of me and mine or I will destroy you and every survivor of Olympium that would dare stand against me one by one. Do not pretend that I can’t do it, either. I am the monster you made me into. Once my will is bent to something, nothing will stop me.
“There is your choice. Choose wisely.”