CHAPTER FIFTY-EIGHT

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER FIFTY-EIGHT: WHATEVER IT
TAKES TO KEEP YOU SAFE

      LATER THAT NIGHT, AFTER the rest of the group departed from the Wheeler's house, Cassie Harrington took a seat on Mike's bed and rubbed her tired eyes

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LATER THAT NIGHT, AFTER the rest of the group departed from the Wheeler's house, Cassie Harrington took a seat on Mike's bed and rubbed her tired eyes. For obvious reasons, the girl did not want to return home that night with her brother, Steve. Ever since her past trauma resurfaced, Cassie Harrington was afraid to step foot back in that house. In fact, the girl didn't plan on returning home for at least a few more days, or until the visions of the monster fully left her memory.

For this reason, the group wholeheartedly agreed that Cassie Harrington would be better off staying with Mike Wheeler for the night, in order to keep her safe.

Of course, the two teenagers would have to keep this a secret from Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler, who would not be happy to have a girl sleeping over in their son's bed — even if it were his girlfriend. However, this endeavor wouldn't be too hard, given the fact that they had done it many times before, when hiding Eleven.

After grabbing a few extra pillows and blankets from the couches downstairs, Mike Wheeler moved back up to his room and placed them on his bed. Meanwhile, Cassie Harrington was in the bathroom, changing out of her dirty clothes and into a pair of sweatpants and a loose t-shirt Mike had given her. When returning back to Mike's room, Cassie quietly moved towards his bed, taking a seat on the edge without a word. Following her actions, the boy sat down next to her and shot her a look filled with worry.

"So..." Mike trailed off, placing a reassuring hand on Cassie's back. "Do you want to talk about what happened?"

Slightly flinching at his touch, Cassie Harrington unknowingly moved away from the boy out of instinct. Ever since the girl was rescued from Vecna's Curse, she had been extremely on edge. Although she had previously been involved in several life threatening situations, none of them could possibly compare to what she just went through. Not only was she possessed by a monster who was planning on killing her in the most gruesome way possible, but she was also nearly sexually assaulted for the second time by the same man. Even if it was just a hallucination, it was frighteningly real to her. This was the reason why Cassie flinched away from Mike, for her head seemed to flood with unwanted thoughts that heightened her anxiety and made her feel sick to her stomach.

Noticing this, Mike Wheeler felt a stinging sensation fill up his entire body, almost as if a knife had been plunged into his heart. It was in this moment that Mike Wheeler began to overthink his actions, convincing himself that it was his fault she was being distant from him. Since he had not been watching her, she must have blamed him for what happened.

It took a few moments for Cassie finally meet Mike's gaze, but when she did, she was quickly able to notice an enormous amount of disappointment in his eyes. After realizing what she'd done, the girl immediately shook her head and apologized, "I'm sorry, Mike. It's not you, it's just..."

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