[This post is from Hecate’s point of view.]
“Neither do I,” Carolyn said. Hecate glanced up at her again and the other woman smiled. “Something tells me that love’s pretty complicated.”
Hecate choked on a laugh, feeling tears start to sting in her eyes. “You have no idea.”
“Probably not,” Carolyn said, then shrugged. “I’m not sure I want one, either.”
“Probably not,” Hecate echoed, sitting back against her heels. She smiled wryly. “So what was bothering you about having children?”
“Who said it was bothering me?”
“Your tone of voice. The way you said it.” Hecate shook her head slightly. “I may have spent most of very long life more than half out of my mind, but that certainly doesn’t mean I can’t read people. In some ways, it made it easier.”
Carolyn laughed weakly. “Well, since you put it that way.”
“Since I put it that way, what’s going on?” Hecate leaned forward, clearing away a little more overgrowth, freeing the stems of another plant from a tangle of invading greenery.
Carolyn sighed, watching her for a few seconds. Hecate glanced up, her brow arching slightly.
Finally, Carolyn shifted her position, sitting cross-legged in the grass and fidgeting. “I guess I’m scared,” she said. “That’s all. I’m scared to have kids.”
It was more than just that, though—Hecate could tell from the way Carolyn’s voice hitched slightly. Carolyn might be afraid of the actual process of carrying a child and giving birth to a child, but whatever fear she carried went beyond that. “Scared to have kids or scared to have kids with him?”
She looked down. “It’s not that I don’t want children with him.”
“Then what is it?”
“What if something happens?”
“What do you mean?”
Carolyn swallowed hard. “What if something happens to us? To me, to him? What if—what if our child has the same gifts as one of us—or worse, something entirely different? Or what if they’re completely normal and everyone around them isn’t? What then?”
Hecate reached for her hand. Carolyn let her take it, looking up to meet Hecate’s eyes.
“We never know,” Hecate said softly. “And none of us really will. But know this—no matter what, they’ll always be protected and they’ll always be loved. When you know nothing else, when you can predict nothing else, you know that for certain. No matter what, they’ll be loved.”