Friday, 24 December 2010
Ethan glared at Sue-Ellen. Then "What are you doing here? And why did you tell them you were my fiancée?"
"I didn't. I just didn't tell them I wasn't."
He continued staring at her, frowning. "Why? I don't understand."
"I didn't intend to mislead them. I just--"
"You could have fooled me. Seems to me you wanted them to think that. Seems like you were deliberately misleading them.
Sue-Ellen led the way to a picnic table and benches under a gnarled oak tree. Her fellow workers sometimes took their breaks there, drinking coffee or tea. "Sit down," she said. "Would you like some coffee?"
He raised his voice. "No, I don't want coffee. I want answers."
"Please don't yell." She glanced around, to see if anyone was watching them.
His anger abated somewhat and he looked at her intently. "Talk to me. Tell me why you're here."
Oh, my, she still hadn't told him what she came to tell him. "Cassandra said maybe I should come."
"Since when do you do what Cassandra tells you to do?"
"When it fits the situation. You see, she thought I should write you, but I thought that was too blunt and that's when she suggested I make the trip. And it was a good idea, except that--"
"Yeah, right." He glared at her.
"I still need to bring -- uh, give you a message."
"Why?" His voice was hoarse with frustration. "You're driving me crazy. Where is Cassandra?"
Sue-Ellen started to answer, I don't know, which was technically true. But this wasn't the time to avoid the question. She'd done more than enough of that and look where it had landed her. He was obviously becoming irate again. "She's not coming here. I came in her place." She just blurted it out. There was no softening it.
"What?" If anything, he sounded even more confused. "She wasn't planning to come here. I was going there."
Sue-Ellen took a deep breath. "For the wedding, yes. But, Ethan, Cassie isn't going to marry you."