John F. Lavelle Author & Teacher

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As soon as she faced him, Rancy yanked her head back by her hair. He aimed the beam of light into her eyes and said, “Well, lookie here. If it ain’t my dear sweet cousin. I’ll be damned.”

Cassie tried not to stare into the beam, but he held her tightly. Pain shot up her neck. “We’re not doing nothing wrong. Least ways, we’re not sneaking up on people.”

Rancy banged her head back against the automobile. “Not yet, but if I leave you alone for an hour, you’ll be screwing this skinny little bastard like there’s no tomorrow.”

Cassie’s knees wobbled from the pain. She braced herself against the car. “You got no right saying that.”

“Damn it,” he said. “Ain’t there no time you ain’t going to give me lip?” Rancy leaned close to her. Cassie could smell the whiskey on his breath. “I got all the right in the world, you whoring around. I told you I ever found you like this what’d I do.”

Cassie had been prepared to be raped the moment Rancy got in. She’d even left room so her head wouldn’t hit the passenger’s door when he threw her down. “Well, go to it,” Cassie said. “Go to it. Get it over with,” she screamed. Rancy gazed at her as if he’d never seen her before. “All your life you’ve been hounding me,” Cassie said. “You got me now.”

Rancy seemed to be waiting for her to fight or to cry. She’d already decided he wasn’t going to get that from her, not that kind of satisfaction. No one would again. And why hadn’t Gabe left? His silhouette sat unmoving in his car.

Cassie threw her cap onto the floor. She unbuttoned her coat, pulling it off and laying it on the cap. Rancy touched her cheek. Cassie pulled away. “Here, I’ll get you started.” She grabbed the front of her blouse and yanked it open. “I’m sorry I don’t have a dress on to make it easier for you.”

Rancy clutched her shoulder, feeling as if he might crush her bones, running his other hand over the skin of her chest, pressing gently against her breast. Cassie swallowed hard, knowing it was beginning and hoping the end would be soon. Rancy pushed her bra aside. Three large fingers cupped the bottom of her breast. Cassie closed her eyes. If she accepted it, tried not to fight, it wouldn’t hurt as much when he crushed her beneath him.

“Get out,” Rancy whispered. He pulled his hand away. “Get out, before I change my mind.”


An excerpt from OREADS

Cassie’s future in the mountains was painfully predictable . . .


John F. Lavelle, Ph.D.


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