• “Cassidy, you know I love you, but you can’t stay here. Not with Elizabeth. There are too many of them here,” Patrick begged, his eyes agonized by her continued refusal.

    “But what about you?” she demanded. If she could cry, her cheeks would be streaked with tears. “What if they found out about us? What if they hurt you?”

    He kissed her forehead quickly, reaching over her and opening the car door. “I can take care of myself,” he assured her in a rushed whisper, trying to push her through the open door. He hugged his daughter one last time, the barely one-month old baby sound asleep, warm in her blanket. He passed the baby girl to his wife, his eyes showing how desperately he didn’t want to say goodbye to the two of them, but knowing that their separation would be the best.

    “I don’t want to leave you!” Cassidy screamed over the pounding rain.

    “Nor I you. But this is for her sake, Cass. Surely you must know that,” he pleaded with her, gently pushing her from the car, their baby in her arms. “We will see each other again one day, when she gets old enough to know. But for now, we have to lie to her…in order to protect her.”

    “How will I know when she’s old enough?” Cassidy stared back at him, taking in one last, long look at him.

    “Just trust me. You’ll know,” he said with a sigh as he reached over the passenger seat and pulled the door closed, speeding away from them.

    She almost ran after him but knew that she wouldn’t catch him in her condition. Slowly, she walked to the door of their small apartment, resigned to packing before their flight in the morning.