[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
The birds were singing in the trees and Hecate squeezed her eyes shut, eyes still stinging as she slid her arms around Matt’s waist, hanging on. He took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, rubbing her back gently.
“Are you okay?” he asked quietly, cheek resting against her hair.
She sighed softly. “I don’t know. I think so, other than—than what I told you about. Even that—” Hecate broke off with another sigh, frowning as she leaned her cheek against his shoulder. “I don’t know what it means. It’s healing but it’s not healing fast and I don’t know what that means. That’s—that’s why I’m scared, why I hadn’t said anything because I just don’t know what it means.”
“He stabbed you with your own blade,” Matt murmured. “They’re enchanted weapons.”
“For my protection,” she whispered. “Not to be used against me.”
“That’s probably why it’s not worse.” He reached up, running his fingers through her hair as he looked down at her, meeting her teary gaze. “I know that the old weapons like that do more damage to people like you, grá mo chroí. It’s just how they’re made reacting to something in you. I’m sorry it harmed you so.”
“But my hand healed fine,” she whispered. “Slow, but fine.”
“Think about what you just said,” Matt said. Hecate frowned then let out a weak laugh.
“Damn.” She shook her head slightly. “I’m such an idiot. Why didn’t I think about that before?”
Matt pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Because you were busy being worried. I know how that happens—it happens to a lot of us.” He peered down at her for a few seconds. “You should still probably have Jay take a look, though.”
“I will,” she said. “I promise.”
“As soon as I see him, I’ll drag him off by the ear to do it.”
Matt laughed. “Well, maybe not as soon as you see him. But today or tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay.” Hecate squeezed him gently, the knots in her belly finally starting to loosen. “I just didn’t want you to worry.”
“I worry about a lot of things,” Matt said quietly. “Most of those things aren’t within your control to make me stop worrying about—though I appreciate the effort.”
“I’m happy here, Matt.”
He exhaled. She could almost see a weight lifting from his shoulders.
She let go of his waist and reached for his hand as she straightened up. “We can be happy here. Together.”
“Together,” he echoed, fingers twining in hers. He squeezed her hand gently.
“Always,” she added, then started walking again. The wind brought with it the faint smell of the cookfires, of lavender and the woods and a dozen other scents that helped drain away a little more tension, a little more stress.
They could be happy here—and they would be. Somehow.