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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

         From her second floor window, Cassie watched Teddy help the crazy bitch into his patrol car.  For a while she had panicked, the fear choking up in her like a cobra around her throat.  It had looked as if the whole thing was going to turn to shit, her luggage lying open on the bed half packed, and $4000 stuffed in the armoire.  As much as the good ole' Sheriff had a thing for her, she still would have had some heavy explaining to do about the immediate hows and whys.  But no worries now.  Teddy had showed up only minutes after her call to him, finding Tessa Peppers screaming and banging on her door, and a frightened Cassie whimpering inside.  After checking on her safety, he had been able to convince the old hag that she needed to leave with him, promising Cassie he'd call her later.

        She hoped he wouldn't call at all tonight.  It would just make things harder.  She finished emptying the drawers, checking to be sure she had not missed any truly personal items. She slide the file folder with the account information in the false bottom of the largest case.  Once in Tampa, it might be possible to wring a tiny bit more from several of the old accounts, and she'd need every penny to set up in a new location.  Before unplugging the desk top computer, she printed up some phony paperwork showing Tessa's purchase of some now defunct stock.  It never hurt to have your ducks in order, although she was pretty sure the old bitch had lost her credibility with that performance on the front porch.

       Cassie locked the two largest of the cases and placed them on the floor next to the bed.  She'd drag them down in the morning when she was fresher. Right now, she was near exhaustion. Leaving this time seemed more difficult than it had in the past.  After nearly two years, she had come to feel comfortable in the little town.  For the most part, they had stupidly handed over their money to her, and left her alone. But when she had wanted human companionship, her neighbors were willing to share bits and pieces of their lives, and that had made her feel more normal, and not so isolated with her issues.

      And then, of course, there was Teddy.  If she were honest with herself, she'd have to admit to caring for him more than any of the others.  He was funny and charming, and seemed to genuinely care about her.  In addition, he was not too hard on the eyes, and the way he had taken charge and handled the out of control Tessa was decidedly hot. With a sigh, she took the photo of the Sheriff off her night stand, and tucked it into her purse.  It was the nature of her business, and not a whole lot could be done about it.  She was wired differently then other people, there was no denying that.  Maybe someday she could settle down to a vanilla lifestyle, but that time wasn't now.

     At this moment, all she needed was a good night's sleep, and Dr. Patterson's help in leaving this house.  Once she was safely ensconced on the plane, things would be better.  She frowned at the irony of the fact that she felt safer in a tin box flying with the clouds then she did stepping out of her own home. It was the openness that did her in, and the tight confinement of the 747 was a relief.  Besides, between the drug cocktail she was about to mix, and the hypnosis therapy Dr. Patterson would provide in the morning, she'd be okay until she could settle in Florida.

    She grabbed the prescription bottles off the bathroom counter and popped the lids.  Normally at night, she only took the Ambien.  But with the events of the day lying in wait within her head, and the churning fear in her stomach about leaving, she decided to add a Xanax as well.  The two combined would make her almost comatose, and that's just what she needed tonight; the ability to sink into oblivion, and not think about the trauma tomorrow's travels would bring.

Copyright 2012 Victoria Rocus


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