[This post is from Marin’s point of view.]
I slid my arm around her shoulders, squeezing her tightly. Hecate sighed and shook her head.
“I just owe it to her, you know? She helped me. We helped each other. Neither of us belonged there but we found a way to make it a home for as long as we had to.” Hecate blew out a breath slowly, then drew a deeper one, bowing her head for a few seconds. “Her longer than me in a lot of ways.”
“I’m sorry he never came for you,” I whispered. She stiffened slightly, looking up and biting her lip.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“It was Brighíd’s,” I said softly. “He never told her.”
“I knew he couldn’t,” she said, then smiled a little. “We both knew what his going back meant and it was worth it. I came a few times to see him after and it was hard but it was worth being there, even if it was only for a few minutes or only from a distance. I loved him—I loved Cíar. But I love your brother more, Marin. I love him so much more.”
I smiled back and hugged her tightly.
“I’m glad he chose me,” she said, resting her head against my shoulder again. “I’m glad he broke through.”
“So am I,” I said. “You cold?”
“A little. Why, are you thinking about going back to the fire?”
“Just away from the rain,” I said. “I’ve been helping with the books again.”
“I heard Jac caught Phelan reading mythology the other day.”
I arched a brow. “He is mythology.”
“So am I. So—well. Not you precisely.”
“No. Not yet, anyway.”
Hecate laughed, flipping her sketchbook closed. “No,” she agreed. “Not yet. Something tells me soon enough, though. Soon enough, that’s going to happen.” She started gathering up her pencils and supplies as I slowly stood up, checking on Lin as I slid off the dresser we’d been perched on. He was fast asleep, nestled against my chest and wrapped in his blanket, tiny fingers tangled in my shirt. I exhaled a sigh, unable to stop myself from smiling.
She glanced over and smiled, too.
“Someday,” she said softly. “Maybe.”
I canted my head to one side and she shook her head.
“I’ve been thinking. Not a lot about it because it scares the shit out of me and I’m afraid that I—that I won’t be able to handle it. But I’ve been thinking about it.”
She nodded, biting her lip. “Do you think…?”
As she tucked her sketchbook and pencils under her arm, I wrapped my arm around her shoulders again, smiling. “I think anything’s possible. Especially when there’s love. When you’ve got love, anything can happen.”