Bearfoot and Pregnant(5)

By: Milly Taiden



Cassie glanced down at her stretchy pajama pants and her favorite tank top that read “Don’t Let Monday In.” Since she traveled alone on her dad’s jet, she never worried about dressing up. Aw hell, she never really worried about dressing up unless there was a reason for it.

“How are you?” Cassie asked, taking the first few steps up the marble staircase and gliding her hand over the hand carved wood of the railing. She loved the stairs. It was one of the showcase items that made this home not just grand, but memorable. She continued up towards Victoria, watching the other woman.

Victoria made a dramatic display of sighing and leaning into the railing at the top of the stairs. “Exhausted. The past few weeks have been draining.”

Cassie frowned. Though Victoria might be dramatic 24/7, she never complained of exhaustion. “The holidays too much for you?”

Victoria’s gray eyes went wide and a slow smile curled over her pouty, red lips. “It was lovely, but we missed you. Why didn’t you come down?”

Cassie hadn’t been up to it. She loved the holidays but she hadn’t been in the mood to explain to her father why she hadn’t gotten anyone gifts and plaster a fake smile on her face for the sake of his and Victoria’s friends. “I wasn’t feeling too good.”

Victoria took steps back up to the landing. “Are you okay? Is it contagious?”

Cassie cleared her throat and pushed laughter bubbling up back down. “Not that kind. I was just not feeling very festive and didn’t want to mess up your parties and gatherings.” She continued up the stairs until she reached the landing and took a few steps to the left wing where her rooms were located. “I’m going to go shower and change for dinner.”

“Good idea,” Victoria glanced her up and down. “Oh, I’ve been meaning to tell you that one of my trainers will be going up your way to teach a new class at a brand new high tech facility for people looking to get fit. I wasn’t sure if you were interested since Ricardo told me that you used to work out a little when you were younger.”

A little? Figured her father would dismiss her exercise routine because the results hadn’t been what he’d expected. Cassie still worked out. She was in pretty good shape and could probably outrun a ton of people if it came down to it, but you couldn’t tell from her size.

“Thanks, but I’m okay.” She turned away from Victoria and headed down the pastel purple hallway to her rooms.

Gerri’s words came back to haunt her. Visit another planet. She snorted as she opened her bedroom door and tossed her bag on one of the antique purple and gold sofas in her room. The room had been decorated multiple times through Cassie’s life.

When she’d been a kid, there had been a princess theme complete with a throne chair to play queen with Ivan and Ivy. In her teen years, the room had transformed into one of the least favorites for her dad. Gothic and dark, the walls had been painted black and white with sugar skulls covering every surface. He’d gotten angry when she’d wanted to get a sugar skull tattoo and made her promise not to.

Once she’d moved out, the room had been professionally decorated in her favorite colors, gold and purple and turned into a room fit for royalty. With a giant crystal chandelier glimmering soft light into the room, it made the space so inviting. An antique Persian carpet had been placed underneath her bed. She still shook her head at the price tag on it and most of it sat unseen.

Strategic sitting areas had been set around the room and went into her second room where her closet and bathroom were located. Large vases filled with purple roses welcomed her into her room. Estrella always went above and beyond to make Cassie feel welcomed.

She stripped out of her clothes and turned the radio on in her bathroom. She’d shower and change and hopefully spend some time with her cousins, without wanting to kill Victoria for once.





FOUR



Cassie finished putting her long hair into a ponytail and adding a clip to make it a bit more formal. She’d gone ahead and worn a dress because she’d been told there was another person joining them for dinner and she didn’t want to be the only one in her pajamas.

A knock sounded on her door while she put on lip gloss. This was as made up as she got.

“Come in.”

“Cassie?” Ivy called out from the other room. Moments later, her cousin waltzed in wearing a pair of skintight jeans and an off the shoulder glittery top with heels that made Cassie wince.

“Wow, look at you. You look gorgeous,” she said to a stunning Ivy. Now she wanted to change, but it was too late.

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