Mallory's scream tore the night in two.
The inky dark hung over the house, trying to see inside, between the cracks in the curtains. The door suddenly opened and Jack staggered out, looking punch-drunk and shocked. He turned to look in the door and then took off at a run, sprinting towards one of the other houses hugging the steep valley wall that hung above the sea.
He had gotten close to his target when the door opened and Maria stepped out, bag in hand. He skidded to a stop and stood still and silent, staring at Maria.
'Well, lad, get yerself inside and have a tot and I am sure Blue will be along soon to keep yer company.' Maria steadfastly walked on past Jack, heading to the home Jack now shared with Mallory. The home that her brother and his wife had once inhabited too.
Jacl stared, mouth hung open until relief began to win over the shock and beat back his desire to be with Mallory and he hurried inside Maria's house to share a drink with her husband. He knew he would still hear Mallory, all be it faintly.
Time would pass and he would be called to see his child....
Assuming the bairn lived. Assuming Mallory survived. but then she had Maria and she had Danu's blessing as well, surely as it was now Imbolc to the very night.... Nine months since the night the Goddess had opened his eyes to his love. A gift. but then not all got to enjoy their gifts for very long....
He held his mug up to the fire in a silent toast to those lost.