I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into the next chapter of Callie and Rowan’s lives.
She couldn’t cry.
Instead, she pulled the comforter tighter and climbed from the bed, bones and muscles protesting. It felt as though she’d fallen off a cliff. Every movement was punctuated with pain. It shot up from her feet into her knees, her spine to her head, fingertips to shoulders. Callie gritted her teeth and stepped into the bathroom, closing the creaking door behind her. She didn’t turn on the lights. She did punch the lock.
A tiny slice of sunlight seeped through the crack at the bottom of the door. Callie tugged the blanket from her body and used it to extinguish the light. When the bathroom was pitched in darkness, she let herself breathe.
Her clothes stank of blood. With shaking fingers, she pulled the stiff, ruined material over her head, letting it drop to the floor. Moving slowly, she followed the wall with her fingers, sliding over tile until she found the knobs for the shower. It took three tries for her to turn the water on. She would’ve sat on the edge of the tub to calm her nerves, but the thought of cold ceramic against her legs was worse than the thought of passing out.
Callie stood with her face turned into the scalding spray. She imagined the water erasing the past, removing the scars. How much more could she take before there were more scars than normal skin?
Sure, she was safe here, but for how long? They’d regain their strength and they’d move on to Fraeburdh.
And she was so tired.
When her legs grew too weak to support her, Callie sat shivering in the tub with her knees pulled to her chest, freezing water pounding her shoulders and back. It wasn’t abrasive enough to scrape away what happened. She imagined the droplets as sandpaper, scouring away the memories, giving her a fresh start. But it was only wishful thinking.