She went down the list; on and on it went.  Having repeated the story so many times it sounded rehearsed and she wondered if those she’d spoken with would take it seriously.  Still she persisted. It didn’t get any easier or less humiliating.  Feeling completely drained she flopped back in the chair.

“Here, I figured you might need this,” Maggy said, handing her a martini.  “I know, it’s early, but I figured, what the hell.”

Laughing, for the first time in hours Cassy agreed.  “Good call!”  They used the rest of the day and well into the night to relax until they were feeling no pain, and it felt good to let their hair down after all the emotional upheaval of the day.

Cassy was up early and called Shawna asking her to head on over for breakfast at Maggy’s.  Shawna thought it was work related, and arrived in short order.  They ate breakfast together and Cassy once again began the lengthy explanation.  When she was finished, she added, “I will certainly understand if you decide you want to opt out of this one, Shawna.  In fact, I’d feel relieved if you did.”

“Dream on!  I’m in!”

“This guy is dangerous!  From what Myerson said, he’s not going to stop until he’s caught dead to rights or loses interested; whichever comes first.”

“Hey, I might make a convert of that cutie, McKinney, the one that came to the store. There’s a bright side to everything, you know?” she laughed.

“Seriously, Cassy, I’m in and I will watch your back.”

“Appreciated and duly noted.  Please be careful, Shawna, very very careful.  This guy isn’t normal.  He doesn’t operate on the same wavelength as us.  He’s short circuited and will stop at nothing.  He or she for that matter, will dig, try to get information out of you.

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