Mm-hmm. I pranced toward him and tugged his arms apart so I could slip in closer, wedging myself between his legs. My head dipped back as I stared up into the blue pools looking down at me with such tenderness it sent a shiver up my spine.
Hon, I don’t know. His head hangs so low. We’ll figure out something.Hester taps me on the shoulder and points to his chest. Then he picks up his car keys and shakes them, meaning he’ll bring us.
Okay, will you tie dishrags to the front and back doors if it’s safe for us to come in? See you in a little while.I stare at the box, then turn to the vet; it’s been a few years since I used a phone. Is that all? Hester puts the earpiece back in its holder, then sets a cup of coffee on the table in a white mug, the kind they have in the Mountain Top Diner.He streams the white liquid from a quart mason jar, then clinks it back into his electric fridge. Mary Proudfoot has a similar Frigidaire at the MacIntoshes’, and she told me it costs almost as much as a Model T! In Pittsburgh we used an icebox, but there’s no iceman this far out in the country.
William, look at me. The unshaven man lifts his head, and I see that his eyes are red from crying. This can never happen again. If you touch a hair on Katherine’s head, I’ll call the cops. Lay one finger on her, and I’ll do it. I probably should this time.I’ll die before I do it again, William finally whispers. I have to lean into his yesterday-whiskey breath, his voice is so low.
You better bathe, shave, brush your teeth, and go say those words to Katherine. I’m not leaving until she feels safe. The man shuffles toward the stairs, and I let out my air.
Sometimes I surprise myself. When I entered the room, I had no idea what I’d say and was actually hoping I wouldn’t see him.Her expression fell. Okay, I’m not liking how bitter you sound. Understanding dawned on her expression. And Killian is walking around snapping at everyone like a wounded animal. What happened between you two?
Just like that, my anger spewed out of me. I let myself be vulnerable with him. Told him shit I haven’t told anyone. I made the mistake of thinking we were friends. I twisted my lips in distaste. He informed me otherwise, and he wasn’t nice about it.I regretted the words as soon as they were out of my mouth. I shouldn’t have said that to you. Christ. You’re his sister. I shouldn’t have said that.
Anger flushed Autumn’s cheeks. What is wrong with him? I could slap him silly sometimes!Oh no, no, no. Autumn, don’t say that. And don’t say anything to your brother. You’re the only person he really cares about. If he thought I was trying to turn you against him, he’d hate me.