The last post left us with Trace trying to assure his mother everything would be okay. But, Cassie even knows that no one can guarantee that. Now, a look into how she’s handling the possibility of her husband coming after her.
Cassie managed only a short time of being able to act like everything was okay. She was close to losing that mask now and knew she needed to get away before it was completely gone. Before everyone saw her lose it. Since she had gotten here, everyone had looked at her like a victim. And she was tired of it.
But, she didn’t know how to change it.
She edged out of the main living area, hoping no one noticed her departure. She didn’t want to answer any questions, not right now. She just needed a few minutes alone to gather herself and regain some control. She always felt like she was right on the edge of losing it all.
Before she could fall over that edge, she hurried to the stairs, moving up them faster than she ever had before. She closed her bedroom door, felt a sob escape and nearly ran to the bed, falling onto it as the dam broke and tears fell.
She let it all come out then, the sobs muffled by her pillow. All the worry, the fear. The shame. She wanted the tears to just wash it all away. But, when they finally stopped, she only felt wiped out on top of the rest of it.
Then, she felt the hand on her back. The touch one she’d never been able to forget, even after eighteen years without it. “Grady,” she said, another sob escaping with the name.
“Shh,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around her and pulling her up onto his lap. She tried to move off so she wouldn’t crush him, but he held her still. “It’s going to be all right,” he told her, brushing her hair aside and pressing his lips to the back of her neck. “I’m not going to let him touch you. Not you or Trace.”
From the quiver in his voice, she was sure he was thinking of the things Trace had told them. What Henry had done to him under the camouflage of discipline. No, there was no way that sick man would ever lay a hand on her son again. No matter what else happened, she’d do whatever was needed to keep him safe. She’d done a poor job of that over the years, but not anymore.
She shifted again and this time he let her move. But, it was only to turn and climb back onto his lap, facing him. “Cassie,” he murmured, his hands moving to her hips.
She didn’t wait for him to say more, to tell her it wasn’t a good time, or that he wouldn’t take advantage of her when she was vulnerable. He’d told her all that before, nearly twenty years ago. She’d trusted him then, with her life, with her heart. With everything. She knew she could now as well.
“Please, Grady,” she said and moved her hands into his hair as her mouth brushed over his.
He didn’t protest and let her guide the kiss. His hands stayed at her hips, his body almost as still as a statue. Only his lips moved, opening to let her take the kiss deeper. “I want to forget,” she finally said. “I just want it all to fall away. At least for a little bit.”
Icarus pulled back slightly. His eyes were still bright, filled with desire, but he stood up, slowly letting her legs down to the floor. “Come on,” he said. “I remember what always made everything fall away for you.”
She knew instantly what he meant, and she pulled back. “Grady, no. I didn’t…I haven’t. Not since…” Other than when they’d first brought her here.
His hand was gentle on hers, but he still tugged her along with him. “I know, Cassie. Eighteen years, almost nineteen, is a long time to go without something you used to love. You haven’t forgotten what to do have you?”
She shook her head. No, she hadn’t forgotten. Not since the first time she’d climbed on the back of his motorcycle.
Will she go with him? Or will she continue to stay away and let her fear rule over her?