Fourteen – 05

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

“So how do we prepare for this?” Thom asked, watching her. He was pale, but resolute. Hecate swallowed hard, half wishing he wasn’t there. She wasn’t sure any of them would very much like the answers she could come up with.

She wasn’t sure she liked the answers she could come up with.

Matt squeezed her gently. “The same way we always do,” he said quietly. “Keep a close eye. Check the wards. Stay alert. Be ready for anything.”

“Anything,” Marin echoed, then shivered. “Par for the course.”

“I was just about to say that,” Tala said. She shook her head. “Is this really how it’s going to be? Always?”

“Gods, I hope not,” Marin said, scrubbing a hand over her face. “I don’t know if I can take it.”

“None of us can take it,” Phelan murmured. “It’ll get better. It has to.”

“But when?” Tala asked. “When the hell is it finally going to get better, Phelan? I don’t know about you, but I’m tired. I’m tired of always being on alert, I’m tired of getting bound up in everything that’s none of our fault—not even yours, or Hecate’s, or Seamus’s, or anyone’s. We just get sucked in whether we like it or not.”

“We do,” Marin agreed. “And you’re right, it’s not fair. I just have to hope that by the time our children are old enough to understand that it won’t be a constant struggle anymore. I hope that we’ll have been able to fend off the worst of it and build a life, because that’s what this is. This is our life—this is our home.”

“It’ll be all right,” Thom said, his voice low. His gaze flicked between them, finally settling on his wife. “It will.”

There was the weight of promise in his voice, heavy and certain. Hecate shivered again and pressed herself against Matt.

She didn’t envy either of them, neither Thom nor Marin. Their gift was as much a curse and it wasn’t one she’d ever wanted or would wish on anyone.

There was just too much pain bound up in seeing the future, even if that future didn’t turn out to be real.

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