The house was a mix of pleasant smells and unspoken tension, making the metal prickle under his skin. He sat quiet on the bed and watched the woman rock her little girl.
"What's her name?"
"Tara. Here, hold her." She stood before he could protest and placed the baby in his surprised hands. He froze as she shifted his arms into a cradle, then stepped back to admire her work. There was steel in her, too, power flickering through her flesh. He could smell it: ozone and lavender.
The baby squirmed and opened her mouth to fuss. He bounced her and her eyes flew open; at the first small wail her mother reached forward and caught her up again, half a smile on her lips as one small hand grabbed her blonde hair.
Her eyes kept their secrets when she looked back up at him, her lips still curved. "My husband will be home soon."
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