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“Tanner’s good at it,” Cassie murmured as she flipped between news stories. “He’s the face of the Breeds.”
Cassie had always said that, even as a child.
“Germany’s articles are late coming in.” Once again Cassie’s tone grew worried.
“Are you expecting something, Cassie?” Mica finally asked, mystified by the other woman’s demeanor.
Cassie seemed unaccountably anxious as she mumbled a “No” and gave a quick shake of her head.
Cassie’s deep blue eyes were narrowed on the e-pad once again as she scanned information coming through before her gaze went back to the halo-vision screens.
“Germany is always late, Cassie,” Mica reminded her as she glanced at the clock. “We still have an hour or so before we can consider them really late.”
Cassie’s lips thinned before she went back to work on whatever file she had pulled up.
“It would help if they were on time.” She sighed, shifting in her seat and causing the mass of blue black curls that fell around her shoulders and down her back to ripple in a wave of midnight color.
How the hell she managed to hold her head up with all that hair, Mica didn’t know.
“Why don’t you tell me what has you so nervous?” Mica suggested. “You know it doesn’t help to keep these things in, Cassie, they just make you crazy.”
It was no less than the truth. Cassie was unique in more ways than one. She was completely unusual and, sometimes, damned frightening.
There were “gifts” she possessed, friends she walked with that others couldn’t see. There was one friend in particular that Cassie seemed to be losing touch with though, and Mica knew it worried her.
“Have you seen her?” Mica asked matter-of-factly after several seconds of watching her frown at the holo-vision.
Cassie stilled. The sudden stiffness was telling, and worrying.
Cassie had “friends” that others only dreamed of having. Her imaginary friends weren’t imaginary though. They were very real to her, and Mica had learned over the years that however Cassie knew what she knew, she was tortured by information she had more than once stated she wished she didn’t know.
The other girl shook her head slowly after a moment. “No.” Her voice was small, soft. “I haven’t seen her.”
The “her” was the one Cassie had called a fairy as a child. The young woman was beautiful, Cassie had once told Mica. Fragile and frail, with such an air of wisdom, warmth and grace that she had possessed the power to calm Cassie even during the most horrible events of her young life.
The “fairy” had recently begun disappearing though. At first for only a few days, then longer and longer, until lately it seemed that the woman only Cassie could see hadn’t reappeared at all.
“I don’t understand it,” Cassie finally said, the fear in her voice rocking Mica to her toes. “She warned me of the future, Mica, then she just disappeared. As though it was too horrible for her to have to stay and witness.”
Mica’s friend turned from the screens. Deep blue eyes were damp and welling with moisture, thick black lashes spiking with it as she obviously fought to hold the moisture back. There was the slightest tremble of her lips before she could contain it.
Cassie was obviously becoming more distressed by the day with the disappearance of the woman that had been a part of her life since she was a very young child.
“She’s done this before, Cassie,” Mica reminded her.
“But not for this long,” Cassie whispered, the cool calm she had adopted as a young adult disappearing to reveal a frightened young woman. “And not after such a warning.”
What could Mica say? She was never comfortable discussing the “fairy,” the ghosts that had come later or the other visions that sometimes visited Cassie.
“Give it time, Cassie, she’ll come. She’s always come back just when you thought she wouldn’t.”
“I don’t understand it.” Cassie moved quickly from her chair, those long loose curls waving around her in a manner that had Mica totally envious. “She’s never been gone this long before, Mica.”
Mica struggled to come up with something that would comfort Cassie. That was part of her job as Cassie’s part-time personal assistant. A damned fine-paying job, as she well knew. Whenever Dash Sinclair realized his daughter was becoming anxious or overloaded with work, then Mica was excused from her job as an accountant for a major news firm and flown to Sanctuary for however long Cassie needed her. Mica helped Cassie in the PR office, sometimes did minor accounting for the office and generally did all she could to take as much pressure as possible off Cassie’s shoulders.
If Mica felt bad about the fact that she was being paid to help her friend, then she tried to put it behind her. She forced herself to remember that without the Breed’s willingness to pay her, then Mica could never have afforded to help Cassie as she did. And the fact that Cassie needed someone to talk to, to confide in, had never been more apparent than it was now.
“And like you’ve said before,” Mica reminded her, “sometimes, she does things to make you work it out yourself. Maybe that’s why she’s absent longer this time. Sort of like a mother leaving a child with a babysitter so her baby doesn’t rely so heavily on her. You know?”
“Perhaps.” Cassie shrugged as she shoved her hands in the back pockets of her designer jeans.