[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
Hecate stared at him, wishing her heart would settle down, wanting it to be easier to breathe. “How?” She managed to croak, reaching up to wrap her fingers around one of Matt’s hands, squeezing tightly and hard. Her palm already ached; she’d likely drawn blood.
I haven’t done that in forever.
J.T. took a deep breath, kneeling down. “You knew her, right? You were close?”
Hecate nodded, feeling hollow. “My only friend, really.” Aside from Cíar, but he was far more than my friend, wasn’t he? “We protected each other as best we could—she more than I, I think, sometimes, but there were moments…” her voice trailed away and she pressed against Matt. He buried his nose in her hair.
His voice came as a whisper. “Steady, mo chroí. Steady. You can do this.”
He’s right. I can. But flame and ashes, I’d rather not have to.
But she’s alive. By all the powers above and below, she’s still out there and alive and I didn’t lose the only other person in the world left that really mattered to me. One breath, then another. Steady.
“There were moments that it felt like she was doing more protecting of me than I was of her,” Hecate finished softly, then exhaled a quiet breath. “It—they never really loved each other. She was like me. She didn’t have a choice.”
“A lot of us didn’t,” Matt said, squeezing her briefly. Hecate sighed, squeezing her eyes shut.
Us. Accurate, if painful. Her eyes blinked open again. “How do you think I could help? You mean in finding her?”
J.T. shrugged slightly. “If you think it’s possible. Your—your magic is more powerful than any of ours, I think.”
She choked on a laugh. “That’s not entirely true,” she said softly. “I think in a lot of ways there are a lot of you more powerful than I am. I just have more practice, that’s all.”
But if my practice can help—
“Just tell me what you need me to do.”