School shopping was always the best. It went without saying that whatever they got would need to last them. Karen and Cassie claimed Nichole was the lucky one because she got their hand-me-downs. Nichole had quite a different opinion. She hated having to wear her sisters old clothes and getting less money to buy new things. Her clothing allowance was always less than theirs, which to her way of thinking was completely unfair.
At this point all Cassies work was on a volunteer basis. Shed taken the formal training, and one day, God willing, shed have the chance to go to college for a degree in social work with a minor in criminal law. That, for now, was a pipe dream.Maureen didnt speak until they were in Cassies car. Once her seat belt was in place, she released a stuttering sigh as if only now was she able to breathe.
You did it, Cassie said, praising her.Yes. The worst is over.Cassie didnt have the heart to tell her that this was only the beginning. When someone had been beaten down for years, making even the simplest decision seemed paralyzing. Maureen and her children would need counseling and hand-holding. Fortunately, Maureen was already in a support group. In an effort to lend encouragement and guidance, Cassie had sat with her for a couple sessions. Maureen had listened without speaking, although shed nodded a couple times. Lacey Wilson, who facilitated the group, did an excellent job of steering the conversation. The women who attended were at different stages of the healing process.
They drove to the shelter, and Cassie walked Maureen inside. She glanced at her watch and saw that she was already late for work. Maureen seemed reluctant to let her go. Will I see you this evening? she asked, following Cassie back to the door.Cassie knew Maureen needed her, but she would be doing the other woman a disservice if she allowed her to become too dependent. Maureen blocked the entrance to the shelter, her look imploring Cassie to stay with her.
Ill be back later, Cassie assured her.
How needy she sounded, uncertain and afraid, looking at Cassie with wide eyes, full of fear, fear of the unknown, fear of the future. Cassie knew about that, too. Leaving Duke had required grit and raw courage, but everything afterward had as well.Yes, you there in the back, I say like Ive never seen him before in my life. Like he isnt our future king. What is your question, sir?
His eyebrow hitches, as if hes saying, So thats how youre going to play this?Murmurs of recognition ripple through the room, but Henry doesnt seem to notice.
My question is about Heathcliff.And his voice . . . Ive missed his voice—strong and rough, but teasing and sweet. Oh balls, Im melting like a cheap candle.