Twenty-one – 03

[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]

Hecate scrambled up the ladder, Lin clutched against her chest and making soft baby sounds. Her heart pounded hard against her breast, her side aching and burning as she stumbled away from the hatch. Matt reached to steady her and she shook her head quickly as she tugged Lin’s swaddle up over his face to shield him from the pouring rain. “Help Neve and Angie. They’ll need it.”

It had taken every ounce of willpower she had to tell him to do that, and some of her reserves to turn away and head away toward the edge of the tent and shelter from the rain. All she wanted was to hold him, to cling to him and not let go until all of the fears subsided and the old pain was forgotten. She stopped at the edge of the tents, just inside and out of the rain, watching the rain and the roiling clouds as she hugged baby Lin close.

I should find Marin. She looked down at the baby in her arms, the one that stared back at her with those too-wise blue eyes. He seemed content enough, and that heartened her a little.

Maybe there really was hope for her after all.

Neve slipped past her, out of the rain, shivering slightly. “Hell,” she breathed. “This storm.”

Matt was there a minute later, carrying one of the twins—Kurt—in his basket, Angie in his shadow with Gwen in hers. The fact that the small girl could so easily shoulder that burden impressed Hecate, but looking back…

I was the same, when I was a girl.

“Thordin’s still got a hold on the storm, we think,” Matt said. “Either that or it’s just tethered to him. Sif was hurt. This is the result.” He waved his free hand toward the storm.

“Hurt by what?” Hecate asked, her gaze meeting his. Her stomach sank.

“Not what,” he said quietly. “Who. Anhur and Menhit did it.” He swallowed. “Thordin told them that if Sif died, their lives were forfeit. Then he told them to run—they left, though I think they’ll be back.”

“You know they’ll be back,” Hecate corrected, then shivered. “You know they’ll be back.”

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