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Drama Darker Tides ~ A Soap Opera

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by spycoder9, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Riverview Medical Center


    ?Chris. . .?

    [image=http://www.daysofourlives.com/imagerepository/renton_kristen_renton_k_2008_290x200.jpg]

    Cassie Rockford smiled as she took him in. No one was in the room with her, but signs of another person were obvious. Two purses, one with Cassie?s stitched on it, the other with no name on it, sat on the table. Cassie raised her hand slowly and laid it on his.

    ?Thank you. . .for coming. It means a. . .lot.? Cassie pressed a button on the side of her bed and slowly raised up a little.

    ?Please. . .sit down. My cousin will be gone for a couple of hours. She needed to get some fresh air and was going down to the. . .cafeteria.? Cassie had purple rings under her eyes, and her skin was a little pale.

    ?So. . .how. . .have you. . .been?? She winced at her stomach. ?I heard that. . .the school got hit by. . .a tornado.? Cassie smiled weakly.

    Only a few days ago she had been flirting with him, having fun. Living her life. Now both of her parents were dead.


    TAG: Han
  2. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Chris Nichols
    Riverview Medical Center

    Chris was exhausted and started to take her advice and lower himself into an empty chair, but paused as Cassie mentioned the presence of her cousin. Pausing, Chris turned his head and simply stared at Cassie, as if to silently accuse her something he knew she had no hand in setting up. Amelia and himself had quite the history, the kind of history that had apparently driven him to the point of taking Agatha's life to ensure something similar didn't happen again. "Amelia's here?" he finally stuttered, his face suddenly going pale.

    ?So. . .how. . .have you. . .been?? Cassie pushed on, obviously trying to push through the awkwardness. ?I heard that. . .the school got hit by. . .a tornado.?

    The change in subject was what he needed and he finally allowed himself to settle down into the chair, keeping his expression unreadable. "Yeah, it was pretty surreal," he admitted, staring at a fixed spot on the side of the bed. "I've never seen anything like it...it came through, ripped everything apart..."

    He paused, his eyes flicking up to lock with her gaze. "The Dean is dead..."

    TAG: spycoder
  3. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Riverview Medical Center


    Cassie?s eyes widened for a second before relaxing back down.

    ?Ms. Crumplebottom died?? She nodded her head for a second. ?That?s. . .good. She called me. . .into her office. . .whatever day it was that. . .all this **** happened.? She laughed a little, but her voice fractured and fell away.

    ?She knew about what. . .was going on between us.? Cassie paused, looking into Chris?s eyes. ?There is something going on between us. . .I can feel it. . .even now.? Cassie tried to smile at Chris. ?The tension in. . .the air.?

    Cassie leaned up in her chair and took a sip of water. She seemed to regain a little more strength. Then she was quiet. She didn?t say anything. No words prepared to come out. Then she spoke.

    ?You are married.?

    That confirmed all of her feelings.

    ?I like you. . .a lot. But. . .to think that. . .at my age. . .I would commit adultery. . .it sucks really.? She reached up with a shaky hand to wipe away several tears . ?Why does the world. . .curse me?? Then she laughed a little. ?Maybe. . .if you and your wife. . .don?t work out. . .?She winked at him, for good humor.

    ?Falls in love with teacher, stabbed by father.? She smiled. ?Like something out of a movie.?


    TAG: Han
  4. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Olivia Madders
    Olivia's Home

    *knock, knock*

    Olivia looked up as the door to her study slowly opened, and Kathy's head appeared. Olivia smiled, and waved her in.

    "Sorry for interrupting." Kathy smiled. "Anne fell asleep and I was wondering if you might have any blankets-" Kathy paused, looking over Olivia?s shoulder.

    "Wow, that is beautiful!" Kathy stated looking over at Olivia's drawing she had made. It was a small sketch of Anne, something that Olivia was toying with. Olivia's drew whatever she felt at the moment.

    "You?re an artist too!" Kathy laughed a little. "I learn something everyday."
    She grew silent for a second. "This has probably been the best rain day of my whole life. And Anne?s too. So carefree. Fun." She paused, then added, "Thank you for letting us come in."

    Olivia smiled as she stood from her desk, and then gave Kathy a hug. "Lord sakes child. I think I've had just as much fun as you." She stood back from the young woman. "Not many folks feel the need to come this way, unless the has troubles. But I like seeing to folks when they be good too. Long time since this old house and Rufus had the sound of young ones to cater to." Olivia laughed softly. "Mama Madders never turn away a soul thats in need. You remember that!" She added, waggling her finger playfully as she grinned. "And ya dont need to wait till a storms on top of ya head to come by for a visit. And if you need to stay just a bit longer, till you figure out what to do next, you be more than welcome to stay."

    Olivia began to walk towards the hallway, gesturing for Kathy to follow. She continued to talk as she walked. "I got lots to show. More than most thinks. But enough of this old woman's chatter." She lead the young woman to the pantry. "Here ya go. Plenty of blankets and sheets. And I have a spare bedroom straight down that hall." Olivia pointed. "No need to try and sleep on uncomfortable couch. And there is more food in the kitchen, case you need it." Olivia gave the young woman a nod. "Dont forget to give yourself some rest as well. That youngin' of yours is full of energy. You need to sleep. Things always better, after some sleep."

    Olivia reached up, and brushed back a strand of silver hair, chuckling softly. Satisfied that the young woman had everything she needed, Olivia made her way back to the sitting room. She paused, looking at little Anne blissfully asleep, and Rufus stretched out close to her. His ears picked up but then he rolled over and snorted. Olivia shook her head, and walked back to the kitchen. She grabbed a ladle and began to get herself some of the soup that was warming on the stove.

    It was a nice night so far.

    TAG: Spycoder
  5. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Chris Nichols
    Riverview Medical Center

    Well, that wasn't exactly what he had been expecting, but perhaps it was for the best. Things had been falling apart at home and at school, but why did this have to happen now? Right when he was taking steps to...rectify the problem. Chris could only stare at her for several minutes after she was done speaking as he struggled to get his emotions in check. He wanted to lash out and accuse her of messing up his master plan after he stuck his neck out to ensure things remained secret, but that wouldn't accomplish his goal (whatever that was). If anything, that would only push her further away. He had to remain calm and in control.

    Lie...

    Chris sighed and ran a hand over his tired eyes. "I thought you would say something like that," he said quietly as he returned his hand to hers. "But why do you think I'm out here in the middle of the night, all alone...coming to see you?"

    He trailed off and allowed silence to hang between them for a minute before squeezing her hand with reassurance. "If it means anything, I'm...already having problems. You may just get your wish. If you really wanted to try...we could make it work."

    TAG: spycoder
  6. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Olivia's Home



    And a nice night it would continue to be.

    Kathy picked Anne up and brought her to the spare bedroom. After covering her up, Kathy sat down in the living room and munched on some of the sandwiches and tea. She felt no need to say anything, seeing as the radio was playing a different type of music.

    ?You know about me and my mom, I?m guessing??

    Kathy glanced over at the elderly woman. She decided not to wait for her to talk.

    ?Me and my mother are two very different people. She is amazing. All around perfect. Beautiful, even at her age. Charming. Intelligent. My dad was the lucky one. But, for some reason, when my mom gets to talking to me. . .she lets her head-strong, controlling side come out. And I know, I know, she loves me and only wants the very best for me. But I?m almost thirty years old. She needs to accept that I have to make my own choices and live with them.?

    She rose from her seat and wandered around the room, looking at things.

    ?I love Anne. And I don?t think Mom realizes that. She thinks that I see Anne as a ?mistake?. But never in Anne?s whole life have I seen her as a mistake. Always, she has been a prize. I am lucky to be able to wake up every morning and hear her voice.?

    Her hands quivered, and she had to stop and steady herself.

    ?My mom will not take my child away from me. I would fight her to the ends of this earth to keep Anne.?

    Kathy finally stopped walking and looked at Olivia.

    [image=http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_QhflfXaiwvc/TAuzuK8NZHI/AAAAAAAAAHI/8_1sMxlCO8c/s1600/JULIE001.jpg]

    ?There. Now I?ve told you all about my sucky life. Care to dive back in the past and give me a detail??


    TAG: Ktala
  7. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Riverview Medical Center


    It was hard, and the pain was obvious on her face. But she closed her eyes and gulped.

    ?I. . .I can?t.?

    She took her hand away from his, and let it rest at her side. Cassie couldn?t handle all of this stress.

    ?If. If, Christopher Nichols, you. . .divorce. Only then. . .would I consider a relationship. . .between the two of us. No. . .not consider. . .jump on it, actually.?

    Tears burned her eyes again.

    ?Try to love. . .your wife. Try. If you can?t do it. . .come back to me.? Her eyes fluttered. Sleep was growing close.

    ?I?ll always be here. . .if you need me. . .?


    TAG: Han
  8. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Chris Nichols
    Riverview Medical Center

    Hurt and betrayal were evident in his eyes as he drew away from her and began to rise from the chair. He didn't need to be told who to love by some kid, especially one that was too afraid to take risks. She might have lost her parents in an unfortunate accident, but he no longer felt any sympathy. She was young with her whole life ahead of her...as for him, well, he had a lot more to lose.

    He had killed someone because of her. How was he to deal with the ramifications of that if she wasn't even willing to give it a shot?

    He allowed his voice to dip dangerously low, almost menacing. "I think you should know something...about Ms. Crumplebottom." He smirked as he started to backpedal towards the door, his expression bordering on maniacal. "She died because of you. It was to protect us and now you--you piss it all away!"

    TAG: spycoder
  9. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Riverview Medical Center


    ?Christopher. . .?

    Cassie started to weep.

    ?You don?t understand my. . .love.? She reached out to him. ?I want you. . .lust for. . .you. But. . .I can?t go after. . .you. I would. . .keep. . .thinking about your. . .wife.?

    A young peppy nurse, with the nametag Marissa Cain entered the room.

    ?Sir.? She spoke sternly. ?You are disturbing not only Ms. Rockford but also other residents. Please, keep your voice down in the hospital.?


    TAG: Han
  10. HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist

    Member Since:
    Apr 13, 2001
    star 6
    IC: Chris Nichols
    Riverview Medical Center

    A young nurse swooped into the room and scolded him for his behavior, which earned her a glare to the back of the head. "Sorry, nurse," he said callously, no longer having any real concern whether he hurt anyone's feelings. "It won't happen again. I was just on my way out."

    The nurse was hesitant to leave after catching part of their conversation, but eventually left them alone to attend to her duties. Chris waited until she was out of earshot before continuing, this time in a much quieter tone. "You're just scared. I can see it in your eyes. You need to grow up a little more and learn to take risks. I don't know what you were thinking, but maybe this is for the best if you scare that easily. I'm not exactly a saint...in fact, you have more to fear from me than you ever would with my wife finding out about us." He paused and reached up to brush the hair from her forehead, a sadistic smile pulling at one corner of his mouth. "Once you realize that and what I've done for you - to protect us - then maybe I'll be back. Until then, grow a thicker skin and be careful who you pick as friends..."

    Leaning down, he kissed her lightly on the lips for a final time before stepping back. "I'll see you in class...if you decide to come back. If not, I'll understand." He smiled again and turned to leave the room without another word.

    TAG: spycoder
  11. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Olivia Madders
    Olivia's Home


    Kathy picked Anne up and brought her to the spare bedroom, then moved on the grab something to eat, quietly. Olivia ate her soup, as they both listened to the music in silence. Olivia was in no rush. A little later, Kathy spoke up once more.

    "You know about me and my mom, I?m guessing?" Olivia looked up, as Kathy looked towards her, then continued to speak. "Me and my mother are two very different people. She is amazing. All around perfect. Beautiful, even at her age. Charming. Intelligent. My dad was the lucky one. But, for some reason, when my mom gets to talking to me. . . she lets her head-strong, controlling side come out. And I know, I know, she loves me and only wants the very best for me. But I?m almost thirty years old. She needs to accept that I have to make my own choices and live with them."

    Olivia nodded slowly, but didnt say a thing. She simply listened. The child needed someone to listen. So Olivia stayed silent as she watched Kathy stand and then move around the room.

    "I love Anne. And I don?t think Mom realizes that. She thinks that I see Anne as a 'mistake'. But never in Anne?s whole life have I seen her as a mistake. Always, she has been a prize. I am lucky to be able to wake up every morning and hear her voice."

    Olivia could hear the hurt in the woman's voice. It seemed to echo, like another voice, a lifetime away. Olivia gave a soft sigh, as she watched the young woman steady herself. "My mom will not take my child away from me. I would fight her to the ends of this earth to keep Anne."

    Olivia's eyebrows went up at that statement. Where did THAT come from? Take the child? That seemed a bit drastic. What was going on with families nowadays? She looked at the woman. She didnt seem like an unfit mother. Far from it. Course, now running out in the middle of a storm might make her a bit foolish, but that didnt make her a bad mother. She recalled the chatter she had with the girls mom a few days back. Wait a moment. She had mentioned her. Said she had run away with another new boyfriend..and made it sound like it as more than once. And more details of that fateful conversation came up as well. Kathy by now, had stopped walking and looked at Olivia.

    "There. Now I?ve told you all about my sucky life. Care to dive back in the past and give me a detail?"

    Olivia didnt say anything at first. She reached into her shirt, and brought out what looked like a small silver looking top, with a slender chain coming from the top. She held it out gently with one hand, and with a tiny twist of the chain, sent it spinning on its chain. Olivia watched, as the tiny item began to sway gently, making tiny circles clockwise. Olivia watched it, looking up at Kathy for a moment, before looking back at the tiny pendulum. It then began to spin the other way, without any movement from Olivia. She observed it for a few moments, and then gently cupped the pendulum in her hand.

    "In the past? No ... I dont think that's where you be wanting me to look, child." Olivia told the young woman, her voice taking a softer tone, as her eyes focused on something else. "No..You already know your own past. Your mama's past..we'll, lets just say that she was not always what you think she was. That back in the day, she needed help as well. She knows what it is to make a mistake.. and that she dosent want you going down the same road she did. Cause its a hard road, and easy to stumble. She got lucky. Not everyone does." Olivia tilted her head a little bit, as she did a slow blink.

    "Problem is ... you." Olivia looked at Kathy full now, staring at the young woman. "She told me you was been busy, chasing off after some young buck. Left her taking care of little Annie while you was off .. doing whatever it was you was doing. But if you want your mama to see you as an adult, then you better well ACT like it. Stand up to her. TALK to her. Dont go running off like some whipped tail dog, and disappearing off for days at a time, every time you has some disagreement."

    Olivia
  12. spycoder9 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 23, 2008
    star 4
    Olivia's Home


    Tears flowed down her cheeks as she listened to Olivia talk. After the elderly woman paused, Kathy sat down on the couch again.

    ?You-you sound as if you know this from experience.?

    Kathy sighed.

    ?I?m going to try.? She nodded as she slowly agreed with it. ?I?m going to try and work it out with mom. It?ll be hard, and I won?t like it at all, but I?ll do it.?

    Kathy stood up, approached Olivia, and gave her a gentle hug.

    ?I?m going to lay down.? She stared at her again. ?I can?t ever thank you enough.?

    Then she slipped off into the back bedroom.

    Rufus meandered up to Olivia?s feet and sat down, waiting for her to pet him.


    TAG: Ktala

    OOC: Well, we won't reach the point I predicted. So when the MOVE comes, we take a break. During this time, I will develop any type of combined, flashback, anything anyone wants to do. When we return, we'll finish up the day and then time jump to Thanksgiving day. I'm working with Han and Anne on their final posts before time jumps, and Anne should be posting part of hers. I aplogize for taking so long with this, but a school project has really gotten me behind! :( It's over now, and I'll be here for the next two days or so before move. :D />

  13. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    OOC: This post moves into early Thursday morning, approximately 5:00 AM.

    Streets, Riverview

    ?You?re driving too fast.? Hannah Gillis took a sip of her coffee as she and her husband drove down the rainy road. The winds continued to barrel into their car, and Daniel battled it by driving faster. ?We?ll miss her house.?

    ?I know where her house is.? Daniel swerved past a tree limb on the road. Hannah continued to sip on her drink, noticing how shaky her hands happened to be. She had seen her fair share of storms, but this one was particularly nasty. Storm damage was bad when they had first come into the town, but as they neared Kareen?s home, the damage grew less and less.

    ?Yeah, but with all this rain-? She stopped talking as she noticed Kareen?s cozy home. ?There it is! Turn, turn!? Daniel took his wife?s advice and swerved into the driveway. Water sprayed as they drove through a puddle. He parked the car and turned it off.

    ?Well that was fun.? He grinned at his wife, who rolled her eyes but smiled still. She got out of the car and hurried to the backseat. The rain smashed on her back as she pulled her two suitcases out. She also had a little red present she planned on giving to Kareen, but she kept it in the car.

    Hannah ran to the front door, pounding on it hard. Daniel grabbed his bags and came up behind her. He hoped his daughter would wake up.

    IC: Kareen Gills
    Kareen Gillis?s House

    Restless and antsy after Susanna had left, Kareen had laid down on the couch and flipped on the TV, leaving it on an old movie channel--anything but the news, because if it wasn't about the weather, then it would be about the Natalie Crane case--and eventually, lulled by the noise from the television and the rain outside, her fatigue finally overcame her, and she fell asleep.

    Four and a half years earlier
    Riverview


    Patrick noted the red tinge that came to her cheeks. It added to her overall beauty.

    ?I. . .think I am.?

    Kareen bit her lip, nervously running her hand over her hair. She'd still be in town tomorrow, and thus far had no plans for the day... But first, "Are you at least gonna tell me your name first?"

    Patrick chuckled.

    ?Patrick. Patrick Casper. I?m on the cover of that newspaper, if you want to verify.? He grinned. Charm and his smile. He was already too far in to back out now. ?Actually, don?t do that.? He picked the paper off the table and tossed it in the trash. ?I?d like to tell you about myself, and not have you know me from the papers.? He was lying. He hoped it wasn?t as obvious as he assumed it was. ?And your name??

    She watched with an amused sort of frown as he threw her paper away, but on the other hand, she kind of agreed with him--she would rather learn about him from him, not from a paper.

    "Kareen Gillis."

    ?Kareen. Pretty name for a pretty woman.? It was his turn to blush. ?You?re a tourist, aren?t you??

    She laughed again. "Do I stand out that much?

    "But yes. I live in Portland. I'm just here for the week. Vacation before I start work."

    "Portland. Nice place. What do you do there?"

    "Just finished college. I start work for the police department there when I go back next Monday."

    "Police officer?" He was a little surprised. "Surprised a little. You seem more like the model type." He grinned at the little joke.

    By now, Kareen wouldn't be surprised if her face had turned as red as her hair. "So what do you do that gets you on the front page of the local paper?" she asked, a light teasing tone to her voice.

    "It's not about me. My dad. . .he's pretty big around here. I work for his business." He shrugged. "Simple stuff. Boring business man."

    "Sounds kind of like me and my dad." Kareen was surprised at how easy it was to talk to him. How comfortable she already felt around him. "Of course, he doesn't run the police department, but he works there, too.

    "So, about that picnic tomorrow...where exactly were you thinking?"

    "Did you happen to see a brochure on the Falls? Enormous waterfall near
  14. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    Olivia Madders
    Olivia's Home


    Kathy sat down on the couch again. "You-you sound as if you know this from experience." she said softly. Olivia didnt say anything as Kathy sighed.

    "I?m going to try." She nodded as she slowly agreed with it. "I?m going to try and work it out with mom. It?ll be hard, and I won?t like it at all, but I?ll do it." Olivia nodded slowly, giving the woman a affirmative nod. "It will be alright. You'll see."

    Kathy stood up, approached Olivia, and gave her a gentle hug. "I?m going to lay down." She stared at her again. "I can?t ever thank you enough."

    "Good night, child." Olivia called after the young woman as she watched Kathy disappear off into the back bedroom where Anne slept. Olivia was silent for a moment, and then whispered softly, "I know child. More than you'll ever want to know."

    Shaking her head, Olivia looked down as Rufus had sat down near her, waiting for her to pet him. His huge head and muzzle trying to worm its way into her fingers. With a gentle laugh, Olivia reached over at gave a gentle scratch behind his ears, as she gently patted his head.

    "Oh Rufus. These young ones think life is hard now. Just let em keep on a living. Then they see. Not so bad after all, eh?" She smiled, looking down at her old companion. Come on. You and me got some work to do. Look likes the storm be winding down. Don't think any more visitors be come calling. We can put up some stuff, for tonight, but leave a few things out, just in case." Olivia listened quietly for a few moments. "Still pretty nasty out there. And the night needs watching eh?" She looked down at Rufus. "Bet you can use some chow as well. Well, come on, we both aint getting any younger..."

    Olivia stood up, and made her way into the kitchen, after smoothing down her apron. She fed Rufus, and began to putter around the kitchen. The light above still burned brightly, as she hummed to the music playing on the radio still on, as she worked.




    TAG: Spycoder
  15. Ktala Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 7, 2002
    star 6
    The Storm

    <....>

    Perfect. Listen to that wind. They say weather like this hides a multitude of sins...

    <NOW your getting religious?>

    *Dark Laugh* Hardly. But it makes my job easier. Nothing incriminating left behind. Gives me a clean slate, and I still have a lot to do.

    <Yeah. But what about them. They have hurt and destroyed? You can add stolen to that list now.>

    I know. I am looking for him. I think I know where he is. Those thugs are hard to miss. Planning to run. To run with something that is not his. Acts like he dosent think I know what he is doing. Trying to ruin yet another life. He wont get away with it. Neither of them. I saw the evidence. I wont let it happen.

    <So, when are you going after them?>

    Very soon. They have destroyed enough lives. Left them ruined and mangled.

    ...

    Its their time to hurt.

    <About time!>

    OH..SHUT .. UP!

    <...>
  16. JediMasterAnne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2004
    star 4
    IC: Kareen Gillis
    Kareen Gillis's House

    "Oh no, what happened now?" Hannah leaned on the counter, eager to learn the newest gossip.

    Kareen sat down on the sofa next to her father as she began to explain. "Apparently, Natalie Crane had a son no one knew about, Alex, who's been living with her mother in New York since he was born. When Susanna came back to town after Natalie's murder, she brought Alex with her. I don't know whose arm Mordecai Casper twisted, but he managed to get a court order to gain custody of the boy, then disappeared the same day. Just a few hours ago, Alex showed up on the front porch, in the middle of the storm, looking for Susanna--I guess he ran away from Mordecai. I called Susanna, with the intention of just letting her visit with him for a little bit before returning him to Mordecai. Right after I hang up, a couple of Mordecai's thugs show up looking for Alex."
    She ran her hands over her face and through her hair. "I lied--I told them he wasn't here. Not sure if they bought it, but they left. When Susanna gets here, she tries to run off with him. Then the two tough guys show up again, one of them with a gun, to take Alex back to Mordecai. I honestly think they would have killed us if Susanna hadn't covered for me.

    "I never should have called her...now she's terrified that her father will do something to her. We still don't know who killed Natalie, or who she was having an affair with, we still haven't found Heather...Susanna thinks that Mordecai may have killed her, but her suspicions alone don't make for probable cause to investigate.

    "Like I've said, it has not been a fun week." She gave a short, sarcastic laugh. "And that's just the Casper issue--I haven't even gotten into Amy, and Xander, and Robert..." Kareen shook her head. "Even though my week has sucked thus far...it's nothing to their problems."

    ?Honey,? Hannah sat down beside her. ?Come home with us. Quit your job. You can live with us and?and when an opening comes in Portland, you could just jump in and get it. I can?t handle seeing you tortured by this stupid family that controls this town.? Hannah squeezed her hand. ?I?m afraid for you. Scared.? It was obvious Hannah was struggling for composure. And usually this never happened. She was a strong-willed Southern woman raised never to show weakness. But, fueled by her urge to save her daughter, she would do anything.

    Kareen was stunned--but at the same time, she couldn't deny that the notion had entered her thoughts more than once over the last few days. But...she shook her head. "Tempting as that is, Mom...I couldn't leave Robert and Amy in this mess. This case is hard enough on Robert without me dumping the whole thing on his shoulders, and Amy trying to deal with the personal hell she's in..." As bad as things had gotten this week, she couldn't just abandon the only friends she had here.

    "But I will be careful," she promised her parents. "Very careful."

    Hannah nodded, but she wasn?t really paying attention. For once, she said nothing.

    ?Well, I?m gonna go to the bathroom.? Daniel got up, eager to get away from the awkwardness. When the bathroom door closed, Hannah looked at Kareen.

    ?Please tell me you have some kind of meal picked out for Thanksgiving. Because I?m gonna go shopping today and buy the stuff needed. Some of it you know needs to be prepared prior to-? And she drifted away from the tense subject and onto different things.

    Kareen noticed how her mother hadn't quite seemed to have heard her, but when Hannah changed the subject over to Thanksgiving, she didn't fight it. Frankly, she was happy to get away from any topic related to the Caspers--even though she had a feeling that her mother wasn't going to just let it drop.

    "Well, you promised to do the turkey," she reminded Hannah, "and you know Dad has to have his mashed potatoes...and I found a new recipe for stuffing that we could try out, if you don't have any objections. Rolls, of course, and if there's anything else you want to add...i
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