Cassiopeia, The End.

Despite Jupiter's promise, none of us had any intention of staying in the area. A few days after the confrontation, Laura vacated her La Jolla condominium. She settled on a ranch in Billings, Montana, which provided plenty of space for my dog, Jack Russell, who would stay with his new friend until it was time …

Cassiopeia, Part 11.

Cassiopeia quickly approached our group, her eyes clouded in confusion and alarm as she observed her mother pointing at her father. "What is this?" she asked when she reached me. “Elliott, why didn’t you tell me you were coming here? The house was empty. I thought he had taken all of you. I—" Her voice …

Cassiopeia, Part 7.

I stood abruptly, certain that one of Crew Cut's biceps alone could kill all of us and not caring in the least. "It's ok, El. He's on our side," Cassiopeia said. "How? He warned me about you. He told me not to trust you." I quickly relayed what happened at the dog park. "I told …

Cassiopeia, Part 6.

I canceled my reservation with the resort, and we returned to the road. Driving back to my house was out of the question; the agents monitoring her microphone would have traced the area as her last location and would likely have the place swarmed. Instead, she asked me to drive to La Jolla. During the …

Cassiopeia, Part 5.

After exiting the car, we began walking the trail adjacent to the resort. Jack Russell took the lead. "I was the product of one of his many affairs," Cassiopeia said, shoving her hands into her pockets. "We rarely discussed him, Mom and me. I knew I had a father but that was all I knew. …

Cassiopeia, Part 4.

I stopped short. My dog barked at her. Cassiopeia simply patted the side of her leg twice and Jack Russell ran over, licking her hands while she enthusiastically petted him. What a guard dog. "What are you doing here?" I asked, remaining where I stood. She studied me before glancing at the duffel bag in …

Cassiopeia, Part 3.

Later that afternoon, I sat on a bench in the dog park and dazedly watched my Golden Retriever, Jack Russell, playing and running about with some of the other dogs. Thoughts piled high in my mind, all stemming from lunch from earlier that day. Cassiopeia is aware of how you feel about her.How did she …

Cassiopeia, Part 2.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn't the only guy smitten with Cassiopeia. "You two met Cassi Benson yet?" Richard Nelson inquired one morning in the breakroom. Other than Richard and me, Danny Gator also stood by the counter, waiting for his coffee to finish brewing in the machine. I drank my coffee and remained silent. I wanted to …

The Hanging Tree, Part 5

Alice slipped on a pair of sunglasses when she walked outside the next morning due to  the glare of the sun, but primarily to cover her swollen eyes. Following her short, succinct meeting with the superintendent, the desire to both scream and give up had culminated in a weeping session in the ladies’ room. (She drily noted …