SHE LIED to me. I knew she did. She knew that I knew. But I let it go. As much as my heart hurt for her, Jilly had to find her own way to deal with what happened.
But I couldn’t look at my baby sister and not want to help. “I still have the nightmares, Jilly. It’s going to take me a while to learn to deal with them. Everytime I touch Houghton’s scars, I remember. I’m afraid that I probably always will. But…none of us went through this alone. I’m here, even if you just want to yell about what happened.”
She stared at me out of eyes that looked just like mine, like Brynna’s, and Syd’s, and Carrie’s, too. The sadness in Jilly’s broke my heart. “I know. I’ll be ok, Mel. You don’t have to worry about me, or fix me, or anything like that. I’m…not going to let him win.”
“Ari’s starting a therapy group at the hospital. She somehow talked Fin into getting the board to approve initial funding. For now. I think she asked Luc to subsidize it.”
Ari–Jillian’s best friend, and younger sister to our friend Luc. Who was almost as wealthy as my husband. And just as incorrigible. He and Houghton seemed to search out ways to push boundaries–at least in their shared field of tech development.
I have no doubt that some of Luc’s designs had made their way into the infamous drones Houghton and Chance had been playing with.
“For those who have been the victims of violence against women.” Jilly slammed the bottle of Brynna’s favorite salad dressing down on the table. I jumped. “I hate this, Mel. I hate being a victim. It’s not right, and when does this feeling end? I’m not sure how much longer I can take it!”
I didn’t know what else to do–I wrapped my arms around her and just hugged her tight.
Jillian was the smallest of my sisters. She was almost four inches shorter than I was, and tiny. Dad often called her his evil little leprechaun. It was a nickname that fit. Jillian was quiet and sweet most of the time. The rest of the time she was a real terror.
I would give anything to have her back to being a terror. Rather than being constantly terrified.
I pushed my own anger at the bastard who’d hurt us all aside. I’ll have to deal with that anger someday, and I know that.
I really do. But…Jilly needed me to be strong again. So that’s what I am going to do.
Houghton came in when I was still holding her. “You two gorgeous women ok? Do I need to send the driver out for chocolate? Ice cream? A big shiny bauble the size of Jillian’s fist? There’s this little place over on Summit that sells those ring pop suckers. Even in cherry…”
Jillian laughed and I smiled at my husband, knowing exactly what he was up to. He could be really sweet sometime. Especially with my sisters.