“Uh...” Then Mitch looked. His first
counselor. “Did I interrupt something?”
    “As a matter of fact, Steve, yes. What’s
    “Sister Bevan is trying to get hold of
    Mitch ground his teeth. “I’m in
    There was a long pause. “She’s demanding to
talk to you, wants your cell number.”
    “What’s the problem this time?”
    “She says Dan hit her.”
    Mitch had every reason to doubt that, but
wouldn’t take the chance. “Steve, please do me a favor and
take care of it. There’s a list of shelters in my desk drawer—”
    “Been there, done that, Mitch. Louise is
over at her house trying to talk her into going to the hospital and
filing a police report, which she’s refusing to do.”
    Of course.
    “Where’s Dan?”
    “Gone...who knows where.”
    Probably the library, where he’d always gone
when he wanted to escape his life. He’d done it since they were
kids, and right then, Mitch wanted to throttle him for it.
    “Have you seen her? Do you know what kind of
condition she’s in?”
    Another call was coming in. “Hey, Steve,
lemme call you back.” He switched over, already knowing who it was,
wanting to strangle whoever gave her his number.
    “Sister Bevan,” he said politely, holding
onto his patience with every last ounce of will he possessed. “What
can I do for you?”
    “I’m done. I cannot take this anymore. Dan’s
just...out of control. Help me!”
    “Listen to me and do what I tell you to do,
okay? Sister Kelly is with you, right?”
    “Yes, but she isn’t you . She can’t make Dan go away.”
    He ignored that. “Let Louise take care of
you, get you to a shelter at least.”
    Sally launched into a list of reasons why he had to be the one to help her and why she couldn’t go to
the emergency room or call the police.
    “Sister Bevan, I am going to help
you, but you have to let me talk to Sister Kelly, okay?”
    “Yes, Mitch,” she said, then sniffled.
“Thank you.”
    “Louise,” he said without preamble when she
answered. “Are you free to talk?”
    “All right.” This was an old exercise.
Louise’s job as Relief Society president gave her unlimited access
to Mitch’s ear, and they’d collaborated on the disposition of too
many such situations. “Any bruises or blood?”
    “Do you believe her?”
    “Call the police and have her make a report.
If she’s not lying, we can get this dealt with properly. If she is,
maybe it’ll scare her enough to quit...”
    “Greg’s here.”
    Mitch’s throat clogged. Louise’s terseness
told him everything he needed to know about how helpful Greg would
be, sweetly feeding Sally’s obsession with Mitch.
    “Can you get him to leave?”
    No one but Mitch and Brother Kelly knew how
much she despised Greg Sitkaris. Her hatred had grown slowly over
the last five years as she’d gone about tending the women in the
ward, seeing the way Greg charmed them. Then, once they were
thoroughly captivated by him, he would slowly, subtly chip away at
their confidence and self-esteem with backhanded compliments
dispensed in tones flavored with disdain—
    —for his own amusement.
    Even Mitch had thought Louise’s descriptions
of his behavior unbelievable and she, like Mina, had given up
trying to explain it to him.
    But now Mitch understood.
    “All right. Insert yourself between them.
Don’t let him talk to her or get close to her.”
    She paused. “Uh...”
    “I get it now.”
    “ Finally! ” Little whispers of fabric
let Mitch know she was moving. “You need to do something,” she
    Louise certainly wasn’t shy about stating
her opinion. He knew exactly what she wanted him to do.
    “I’m...working on that,” he admitted
    “Right now?” she asked, shocked.
    “Yes, right now! And I’m having a good time
and I want to get back to it.”
    “Oh,” she breathed. “That’s great! Okay,
I’ll call my

Similar Books

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Nonna Bannister, Denise George, Carolyn Tomlin


Nicola Barker

Before I Go

Colleen Oakley

The Rules of Attraction

Bret Easton Ellis