[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
“H-how do you know?” Hecate’s breath caught in her throat. “What—what makes you think that he’d—that he’d have her?” The terror was back, the deep-rooted fear. Even Matt’s touch seemed like a distant thing, comfort that she could barely perceive.
It was hard to breathe.
Seamus swallowed once, then again, studying his hands. “He might have her or she might be—be free. Be out there on her own.”
“Not likely,” Matt murmured quietly even as his arm tightened around her. “Not with what they saw.”
“The Hunt? What did they see?” Leinth’s gaze flicked toward Matt, then to Phelan. Hecate sank back, pressing herself against Matt’s side.
It was her. It had to be her. The figure they saw, the small one. It had to be her.
She felt sick, chilled to the bone. She squeezed her eyes shut. Marin reached over and put her hand on her knee.
“I’m okay,” Hecate lied in a whisper. “I’m fine.”
“You’re not,” Marin whispered back. “But it’s okay not to be. She’s your friend.”
“She’s the closest thing I have to family other than all of you,” Hecate said, reaching up to mop at her eyes. Her stomach roiled and she swallowed bile. Keep yourself together. You can do this. Don’t fall apart. You can’t fall apart. Keep it together.
“He’d want some kind of leverage,” Seamus said, his voice pained. “If he could find a way, he would. He’d find a way to get leverage over anyone who might oppose him. Having her—”
“It would be a lot of leverage,” Hecate said softly. “No one hates her. I was the monster. She was the innocent. Damn. Damn and damn.” She scrubbed her hand over her face angrily, eyes stinging with tears. “I promised her that I’d take care of her. We have to help her.”
“We will,” Marin said softly. “I promise, we will.”