When we last left these characters, Cassie had just had a fairly meaningful and civil conversation with Molly(or Medusa as everyone else calls her). This scene skips ahead a couple days and we see how Icarus is handling things.
Icarus pounded his fists against the heavy punching bag. It had been a long time since he’d taken his frustrations out on one, but nothing else seemed to be helping lately. Except being with Cassie. If only he could make that a permanent condition.
But, he couldn’t hold back the waves of anger that kept sweeping over him. And he didn’t want those waves to even touch her, not come even close to frightening her. Which meant he’d had to keep his distance as much as he possibly could.
And that wasn’t helping his own state of mind. And so went the vicious cycle he’d been going around the last several days. It needed to end, but he couldn’t find the best point to put the brakes on. If he let Cassie see this violence in him, he’d lose her anyway. But, staying away only made him feel more violent.
He let his arms drop and staggered away from the bag, dropping back against the wall, his chest heaving. “A bit out of shape?”
He spun toward the voice, saw Bull step away from the stairwell, and dropped his hands back to his sides. “Apparently,” he said, a slight wheeze in his voice.
Bull smiled and put one hand against the bag, standing there watching Icarus as he attempted to catch his breath. He undid the gloves and let both of them fall to the floor. He’d pick them up later. Right now he couldn’t even think about it.
“I’m losing her,” he finally said. “He doesn’t even have to do anything, and I’m losing her.” He brushed damp hair away from his face. “I think I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told myself never again. I’d never again let myself love. I’d never again let someone get the drop on me. Never again let Henry Kearns take what I love from me. And it seems I’ve failed every single time.”
“You haven’t failed, Grady,” Bull said. “Not at anything.”
Icarus snorted and pressed his fingers over his closed eyes. He was obviously in bad shape if Bull was using his real name. “Try everything, Bull. I lost Cassie once before. Got pushed out of a job I loved. Never even knew I had a son for eighteen years. The girl I raised was used as a pawn and nearly…” He shook his head instead of finishing that. “Seems everything I’ve done turns into a failure.”
“That’s bullshit, and you know it. You loved Cassie, and at no fault of yours, she was taken from you. And how would you know you had a son when no one damn well told you. You did the right thing even if it did cost your job, and you know that as well. And what Brad did to Birdie, you know that wasn’t your fault either. His agenda had nothing to do with you.”
Maybe not, but he was the one who had brought the boy into their midst, had vouched for him, and he’d turned that on them. “Maybe it was better for them they spent all those years away from me.”
“Now, you’re just being stupid, and that’s not something you’re known for. Seriously, Grady, beating yourself up like this isn’t doing you or them any good. Cassie is worried for you. She wants to be sure that you are okay, that you’re not drowning here by yourself. Does that really sound like someone who is ready to leave you?”
Maybe she should, though. He couldn’t help the thought, even though he knew it was wrong. He pushed away from the wall, stooping to pick up the gloves on his way by.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to them,” he said. “No matter what else comes of it, I’ll never let him hurt them again.”
Will Icarus be able to keep that promise? Will he figure things out and get off this vicious cycle already?