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“Dr. Quinn, Therapist Woman just doesn’t have the same ring to it.”

“You’re very well-practiced at being avoidant, you know.”

Cassie did a little half bow in her chair. “Thank you.”

“That wasn’t a compliment.”

“I know.” She turned serious before Laura got mad at her again. “It scared me because I don’t enjoy being out of control. Realizing something may have happened to you when you were a kid to cause your brain to erase memories is frightening. I remember everything Novak did to me, so it’s concerning to think this could be worse.”

“Maybe. But you were only a kid. Having your best friend disappear is traumatizing enough. Your brain might not have been able to process it fully. Doesn’t mean something worse than that happened.”

Cassie wasn’t convinced.

“Not to go all therapist on you again, but have you fully processed what happened to you?”

“You mean with Novak?” Cassie considered the question for a minute before she was sure she’d found the right words. “Yes. I’ve been through years of therapy. I still struggle. Still have nightmares sometimes. Still have anxiety. I’m afraid a lot. But I’ve learned to work through it. I know when to push myself past that fear and when to allow myself off the hook.”

“That’s great.” Laura’s smile was genuine. “You should be proud.”

“I am. But talking about it with other people is harder. Talking to you about it is hard.”

Now Laura looked confused. “Why?”

“You’re my baby sister. I’m supposed to protect you.” When Laura opened her mouth to argue, Cassie held up a hand. “I know, you don’t need protecting. We’re both adults. But old habits are hard to break. I’m really trying here. I promise I am. But it’s going to be a bumpy road.”

Laura got up, crossed the room, and smothered Cassie in a hug. “I can handle bumpy roads. Just need you to let me come along for the ride.”

“I promise I will. Thanks for sticking it out with me.”

“That’s what sisters are for.” Laura let go and stood up straight. “But you should text Michael.”

Cassie slapped a hand to her forehead. “God, I was so awful. He’s never going to forgive me.”

“Are you kidding? He lives for drama like this. You should’ve seen his face. I’ve never seen someone so conflicted. He was caught between desperation and absolute elation. It would’ve been hilarious if I hadn’t been so damned worried about you.”

“He did ask for drama.”

“That he did.” Laura cocked her head to one side. “You were serious about that serial killer stuff?”

Cassie nodded. “Yep. Might’ve helped David solve a twenty-year-old cold case, too.”

“That’s pretty awesome.” Laura’s eyes sparkled. “I’m kind of jealous, actually.”

“Really? I didn’t think you were into

that kind of stuff.”

“Are you kidding? I’ve watched every episode of Criminal Minds, plus CSI and NCIS. All of them.”

Cassie felt the tickle of inspiration in the back of her head. “Are you up for some sister bonding time?”

“Always. What did you have in mind?”

“Let’s bake cookies and do something weird.”


Cassie pulled up to the front of the building and parked her car. She ignored the way her heart beat faster at the thought of what they were about to do. Instead, she waited until she had Laura’s full attention. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

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