Chapter 44 (Casady)Mature

Casady

Casady let out a long breath as he watched Morgance and her worshiper, Rune, walk away.

"I'm sorry if I caused a problem," Brookie said softly, biting her lip.

Sighing, Casady shook his head. "You're not the problem," he said. "Morgance has anger issues, and Rune is willing to bend over backwards to make sure he's on her good side."

"Do you ever get caught in the middle?"

"I've only been here a couple days," Casady said. "But I'm guessing that sooner or later, yes, I'll get caught in the middle." He'd decided not to share too much information with Brookie until he knew her and her motives better.

Absently running her finger along the rim of her spoon, Brookie remained silent.

"So you say you don't fit in with the rest. Why's that?" Casady asked, wanting to know Brookie's reason for joining him.

"They seem to care more about winning than being civil."

Casady chuckled. "That's them in a nutshell, yes," he agreed. Brookie's synopsis of their fellow Singers could not have been more accurate.

"It must get tiring, to be so negative and bullyish all the time," Brookie continued. "Part of me pities them because I know they've been brainwashed. I mean, they know better than to act this way, but it's not entirely their fault." She shook her head.

"Are you condoning their actions, then?"

"Goodness, no!" Brooke said, turning to look Casady in the eyes. "I'm just saying that if my circumstances were like theirs..." Her voice trailed off.

"Your circumstances aren't like theirs?" Casady asked, his curiosity awakened by Brookie's cryptic statement.

Brookie waved Casady's concern away. "It's nothing," she said. "I was just rambling." Running her hands through her hair, Brookie raised her eyebrows at Casady. "So. Tell me more about yourself, Casady Conlin."

"I'm a tenor."

Brookie smiled. "I'm a soprano. I was hoping I'd be a soprano. I was practicing with Delancey, and I found out that I can't harmonize for the life of me!"

Casady smiled. "I'm sure you're better than you say," he teased.

"Ah, no. I don't think so. I'll prove you wrong someday - just you wait and see. You'll cover your ears and run in the opposite direction the moment I open my mouth!"

Laughing at Brookie's hilarious tone of voice, Casady leaned back in his chair.

Maybe Brookie wasn't so bad, after all. Maybe he'd completely misjudged her at first. Maybe Vinnia would think so, too.

The End

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