Caden stood in the doorway of the bedroom, arms loosely crossed over the plain gray tee shirt he wore as he stared at the garbage bags.
He lifted his chin, and the room seemed to tilt as our gazes connected. His hair was pulled back, and the beams of sunlight seemed to be attracted to all the striking, symmetrical angles and planes of his face.
Upon the unexpected sight, my heart lodged itself in my throat. Now it was firmly back in my chest, pounding for reasons unrelated to shock.
“Stop crying,” I say shortly, and grab Ettie’s hand. “Come on.”
“Where are we going?” she sniffles.
I smile. A smile that she should never trust.
“Somewhere he will not be able to find you,” I say, which is only partly a lie.
We rush down a tangle of back streets, keeping to the shadows.
She’s breathless and struggling along behind me, but at least she’s stopped crying.
She thinks I’m going to save her. When I’m sending her to a fate worse than the seven hells.
But sometimes we must pay a terrible price to protect the things we love.
Good morning all!