This is what keeps you alive. You breathe in the stale, bloodstained air—the smell of iron and sweat—and you press down with even pressure on her wound as you listen to her shallow breaths. You can already see the fever in her glazed eyes and flushed face. It doesn’t matter if you can’t actually smell the infection yet.
There’s nothing wrong with babies. Skylight likes them. When they aren’t hers and no one’s asking her when she’s going to produce one.
Her brother’s small daughter is sleeping in her arms, and Skylight’s busily going over reports for things her mother really doesn’t want to know the details of, whether or not she realizes it, when her brother walks in and pushes his glasses up to get a better look.
“You have a way with her.” He smiles. “You ever—?”
“No.” She doesn’t let him finish. She loves her husband, but they agree. They are not having kids.