Last time we left Icarus feeling like whatever he did it would be wrong. And thinking it would be better if he stayed away from Cassie. Now, we get some of Cassie’s feelings on that.
Cassie didn’t know what she was going to do. “You have options.” That was what Molly had said to her just this morning. But, it was so hard to think of those. Especially when all she wanted was to go to Grady and be held by him. But, he apparently had no desire to do that. She’d hardly seen him since that story had come out in the paper.
At first he’d seemed fine. They were seeing each other at least when he walked her up to her room. But, after her talk with Molly, she’d tried to approach him. and he’d gotten distant. More and more with each day. And that was what she didn’t know how to deal with. She’d developed armor against yelling, against threats, against all those little digs Henry had been so good at. Even the slaps and punches.
The cold distance was something she couldn’t take. And it was so unlike Grady. Both the boy she’d known as a teenager for those wonderful months. And the man she’d gotten to know again over the last year. Cold and distant were two words she’d never have used to describe him before.
And really, what options did she have? Go with Henry? Maybe he would leave Grady and the rest of his Riders alone if she did that. But, she couldn’t see herself surviving the year under his control again. Didn’t think she could go back to living like that. And she would definitely lose Grady and his love then.
But, if she stayed, Henry wasn’t going to stop until he’d ruined their lives. And that was just the best case scenario. Even more likely, he wouldn’t stop until Grady was behind bars or dead. And that was something she couldn’t bear thinking about. Even more than having to live with Henry and the fear he wielded every day.
She hadn’t realized how bad she was trembling until her legs gave out, and she had to grab onto a tree for support. A moment later, she felt a hand at her back and turned her head to see Barbie standing right next to her. Raven came to her other side. “Why don’t you come sit down?” Barbie suggested. “The men are in a meeting right now, but as soon as they’re out I’ll have Bull send Icarus right to you.”
Cassie shook her head. “Don’t bother. He won’t come. He’s made that perfectly clear.”
Barbie’s mouth pursed, but she didn’t say anything as they walked with her back to the porch. Once Cassie was sitting down, Barbie said, “I think you’ve misunderstood what’s going on.”
“I can’t misunderstand when I don’t understand anything to begin with.”
Barbie’s lips twitched up at that. “He thinks he’s protecting you. He’s struggling, Cassie. He wants to be with you, but he’s so angry with what Henry’s doing, and he doesn’t want it to touch you. Doesn’t want to frighten you with what’s inside him right now.” She glanced over her shoulder toward the house then back to Cassie. “It’s killing him, staying away from you. But, he thinks it’s what he needs to do. I think you know what you need to do, though, don’t you?”
So much for options. There was really only one thing she could do. “Let him know he’s being a stupid idiot. But, there’s still no way I’m leaving his stupid ass.”
Barbie grinned at her. “See? I always knew you were one of us.”
Cassie turned and started into the house just as she saw the men filing out. She moved in front of Grady. “We need to talk,” she told him.
“I don’t have time,” he said. “We’re leaving first thing in the morning to put a stop to this. And I have to make sure everything’s ready.”
Her heart skipped at that. The last time they’d ridden out to face Henry, she could have lost her son. Could have lost Grady, too, if they’d been caught. If Henry had pointed a finger at him. She didn’t let that fear hold her back, though. “Then, you need to make time. At least for this.”
She put her hands on his face and turned it toward him, going up on her toes so she could reach his mouth. He froze for a moment, then he was kissing her back. “I’m not going anywhere,” she murmured against his mouth. “So when you get back, I’ll be right here waiting.”
He rested his forehead against hers. “I’m sorry,” he said. “Sorry for being so stupid. We’ll talk more when this is over. I promise.”
“I’ll be here,” she said again, stroking his cheek then watching as he walked away.
Are they going to be able to talk about this? Will it ever actually be over? Is he done being stupid?