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Well, I did it. I went with her to the therapy group. No surprise, it was me, Jilly, Ari…Lacy and Gabby. Brynna hadn’t wanted to go. Therapy terrifies Brynna, especially after a bad experience she’d had as a kid with a behavioral therapist who hadn’t fully understood Asperger’s. So it was just the five of us.

And a therapist that Ari had rounded up named Margo Chelsey.

Margo seems nice; competent as a group therapist, at least. She and Ari are apparently good friends. Margo is a volunteer with a Texas organization–based in Finley Creek–that fights to promote women’s issues in the state, and in the nation.

She didn’t sugar-coat. Of course, I think it helped that we all were a part of the same acts of violence. Perpetrated by the same group of men.

Still, we all knew each other, we all had similar issues, and we were already there for each other if needed. I’m not sure how this group is going to be any different now that we’ve added a therapist to the mix.

Lacy was obviously there just for Jilly and Ari. Lacy and I are a lot alike, I think. We prefer to just deal with things ourselves. But, like I do for Brynna and Gabby, Lacy keeps an eye on Jilly and Ari, at times. Protects them from the world when needed.

I’m not even sure she realizes she’s doing it, honestly. And it’s not like the other two aren’t capable of handling themselves; far from it, though sometimes Ari gets lost in her head at times, and doesn’t quite seem to know what’s going on.

I’ve seen her play an imaginary violin when she thinks no one is looking. She’s a phenomenal musician.

Ari had planned on a career as a concert violinist until…

Until the man who had orchestrated my getting shot had tried to have Ari kidnapped to get back at her older sister Paige.

After that Ari had transferred to the main campus of Finley Creek University, to study to be a counselor.

She works part-time at the hospital in the mental health department. The rest of the time I’m not certain exactly what she does. Her brother Luc flies her up to St. Louis on a regular basis, though.

Ari apparently helps his wife organize charity events. Ari’s good at planning parties.

I need to keep that in mind and give her name to Pippa, Houghton’s personal assistant.

Pippa is a godsend. I’d honestly lose patience with my husband if I had to get him out of the inventor clouds and back to the real world forty hours a week, that’s for certain.

As much as I love my husband, I could not work with or for him. I’d strangle him first.

Instead, I spend my time in the office he created for me. He’d made it just perfect and every time I look around it, I’m reminded of that fact.

The first ‘therapy’ session was mostly just us sitting around looking at each other like idiots. Then Lacy rocked back in her chair and flapped her hands helplessly.

“Well, here we are. Got a raw deal by the creep of all creeps, and now we get to find a way to get over it. Mel–you still pissed over what happened?”

“Yep.” Leave it to Lacy to get to the heart of the matter, right? “Sure am. Probably will be for a very, very long time.” Of course I was. When I think of what my family has gone through because of him, how can I not be?

Traumatic events are traumatic because, hell, they are trauma.

Trauma: a deeply distressing or disturbing or damaging experience.

Lacy smirked. “Good. That’s normal. We’re all as normal as we can be. I’ve got nothing else. Let’s party.”

Leave it to Lacy, right?

We aren’t going to be able to forget that one of my sisters was impaled because of someone’s greed, were we?

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