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Katherine Lacey opened the front door for the second time that night, this time to let in Christina Mayer, who was sweating and almost in tears.

"Oh honey, are you alright?" Katherine asked as she threw her arms around Christina. They hugged for what felt like an hour, before Katherine pulled her inside, and locked and chained the front door.

"I am... I am alright. Just in shock, especially with what has been happening tonight." Christina was talking so quietly it was a little difficult for Katherine to hear. Katherine led her to the living room to sit down in front of the fire. The living room was homely and fairly small, making it all the more comfortable. The glow from the fire created a loving, yet dated, look to the room. However, the shadows it cast were discomforting.

"Don't worry about anything. Where are your dad and Christopher?"

"They're staying at a motel tonight," Christina answered. "I would have stayed there too, but the motel rooms are pretty small. I've already put them in danger and I don't want to do anything else to hurt them."

"I understand," Katherine felt a little torn about that sentence. It made it sound like she didn't mind risking her friend's life. Katherine decided to change the subject. "Carmen was here about an hour ago, as well. She was pretty upset by what happened at the café."

"Poor Tiffany, I can't imagine what she's going through right now," Christina sympathized, brushing her hair with her hands. "It was awful, Katherine, truly awful. I've never seen a dead body that close before."

"Neither have I."

"A customer spat on me, as well," Christina retold. "He was pretty drunk and he made this horrible comment to Tiffany about... her feet stinking." She couldn't repeat the vulgar word the man had said before it. "Trust me to get spat at."

"I'm glad I don't work there anymore; that sounds awful." Katherine comforted her by placing a hand on her shoulder. "I'd have slapped him, then kicked his ass out."

Christina shivered. "I'm not like that, I just take it."

"Are you cold?" Katherine asked. "I can put more wood on the fire."

"I'm fine, really." Christina didn't want to be a burden. "Was Carmen alright when she left? I should probably go see her."

"Oh, she was perfectly fine. It would be best if you didn't go over to her house tonight. She just really wanted to get some sleep and be alone," Katherine quickly lied. She remembered what Carmen told her – she couldn't forget it, and she had to make sure Christina wouldn't go over and find out her friend's secret. It wasn't her secret to tell.

"You're right; she needs some rest. She was at work most of the day. She really wanted to do an almost full day's shift today. Weird. It was like she was trying to avoid something at home. I wouldn't be surprised, her relationship with her mother is pretty strained these days."

"I think Carmen just wanted to make more money, what with her brother's birthday coming up soon; she wanted to buy him something nice for a change." The lies rolled pretty well from Katherine's tongue.

"That's nice of her," Christina lost herself in thought before snapping out of it and returning her attention to Katherine. "I'm sorry. I forgot to ask – how are you? I've just burdened you with my troubles; you probably think I'm being rude."

"Don't be silly. Of course I don't think you're rude. I'm really glad you can confide in me about this." Katherine smiled to reassure her. "And I am really well; not much happening with me at the minute. I joined a dating site."

Remnants of the Damned (Abyssal Sanctuary #1)Read this story for FREE!