"What is this place?" Randy asked as she drove around to the back of the store.
"Home away from home," Cass replied, parking next to a set of steps leading to the upper level. "Martha Lynn and I shared the top floor. Our landlord lives on the first floor with his grandson."
A chill ran down Randy's spine as he stared at the woods beyond the two-story structure. It was no place for two women to reside by themselves. At least on the farm her father had the shotgun hanging over the front door, and both her parents knew how to use the weapon.
Randy knew nothing about the man who lived in the apartment beneath his wife. Besides the obvious questions about the man's background and character, what could he do to protect her if someone with lecherous intentions came around?
He decided not to dwell on the matter. It was not like Cass would be there by herself anymore. He was home for good and, in a few days, would move her to a more populated area. With his mind made up about the living arrangements, Randy climbed out of the car and grabbed the bags from the back. He followed Cass, who had already ascended the steps and unlocked a door.
Randy stepped into the apartment as Cass reached over the table in the center of the room and pulled the string to the light fixture. The single bulb flickered on, offering barely more light than the moon.
Randy's pressure rose as he scanned his surroundings. The kitchen to his left was smaller than Mother Porter's, and it housed an icebox and a wood-burning stove that had to have been installed when the building was erected at the turn of the century. To his right, a shabby sofa sat under the window next to a side table with chipped blue paint.
Randy silently cursed the government for ripping him away from his family. He should have been home, providing for his wife and children so they could have a house of their own, not making do at his in-laws' farm or in a hovel over a gas station.
Cass reached past him and pushed the door closed. Though he had vowed not to make an issue of the place that evening, he could not hold his tongue after viewing the interior.
Randy opened his mouth to list the reasons they would not be spending the night there, but before he uttered the first syllable, Cass pressed her lips against his and stroked his tongue with hers. She was no longer the shy, naïve woman he'd met years ago. She was a confident woman who went after what she wanted, and to his delight, she wanted him.
PRAISE FOR BITTER BLUES "This is a realistic plot that a lot of people can relate too..." ~Ginger, Long and Short Reviews
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