An excerpt from
The next morning,
Cassidy woke on the late side, blaming her laziness on jet-lag.
The room smelled decidedly like Brandy; a combination of her
shampoo and hints of her favourite discrete perfume, which
hasn't changed in ages. Falling asleep to it wasn't so bad,
Cassidy rolled over, feeling like she might even find Brandy
there, and that would have been fine.
Not as if they'd slept together last night, no, no, certainly
But it would have been... fine if she were simply there.
Unconsciously, in a groggy waking state, she found her hand
resting on a nearby pillow, and staring at it.
She felt like calling out to Brandy, to see if she was up,
but she dreaded opening her mouth and unleashing morning breath.
She dragged herself out of bed, grabbed her toothbrush and
toothpaste before shambling towards the bathroom. She was
staring herself down in the bathroom mirror, brushing her teeth,
when Brandy's voice passed by.
Cassidy assessed her situation, and gently kicked the door
"Ya run around nekkid from the waist down on base?" Brandy
called, now further across the house.
"Only on guard duty, or inspections."
"Thorough inspections! Hey – Bacon and toast?"
"If you're making em, Brandy, I won't say no! So, I'm up
early enough for break –"
"It's two PM, dear. But I got bacon because you were coming."
"You like bacon," Cassidy said as she slipped back into the
bedroom to get dressed quickly.
"Yeah, but I guess not enough to get it just for myself."
Lacking much else to do before having to go to the Sandy and
Pete's for dinner, Cassidy and Brandy ended up at a mall; not
something Cassidy had a lot of opportunity for, living out in
the desert on-base.
An unspoken agreement kept them away from jewellery stores.
Cassidy had never been big on the stuff, and it would bring
conversation back to her ring, and that morbid little pendant.
“Gonna get stuff for people back at base?” Brandy suggested.
“Well, let's see…” Cassidy looked on into nowhere while she
did inventory of her friends. “Frig, they're all kind of hard to
buy for. I'd get Cipriana something kinky, but I don't think
“Ah yes, the exquisite, yet painfully straight Cip. You
really have a thing for her, huh?”
Cassidy chuckled. “Nothing serious. It's become a running
gag. If she and I were on the market, I'd be more worried about
“Unless something's happened with Cip, you're both 'on the
market', single and whatnot.”
“Trying to fix me up again?” Cassidy grumbled.
“Not really.” Brandy grabbed Cassidy's hand, and stopped
walking, forcing Cassidy to stop as well.
“What? Let's go see if we can find any good pants at –“
Brandy squeezed Cassidy's hand harder, looking at the floor.
“Don't be alone.”
“What?” Cassidy tried to reclaim her hand, but Brandy had it
“Don't be alone. It's not good for you.”
Cassidy tried to look Brandy in the eye, but Brandy was too
busy looking at the floor. She knew that Brandy was talking
about her suicide attempts. Cassidy squeezed back. “It wouldn't
be healthy to lean on a person like that. It's not fair.”
“Not fair to a friend, either. If you die, and I didn't try
my best.” Brandy's voice cracked at the end.
“Are.. are you cry –“
“Shut up. Follow me.”