The chair gave a soft sighing sound as Cora sat down. The study had always been a warm, safe retreat from the world to her, but lately it had seemed less warm and less safe. The world was pushing in on Cora’s little haven and crushing it like an eggshell. Now, the atmosphere of calm and peace that had once pervaded the room existed only in the chair.

She sat there, curled up, as the last conversation she’d had replayed itself in her mind.

“I don’t know.” The words like thorns on her lips.

Jim, rearing as if he’d been backhanded. “You don’t know?” Roaring with anger.

“No,” Cora murmured. “Not a clue.”

“Great. Just great.” Jim throwing his hands up. “Well, you got us into this, and you’re gonna get us out whether you like it or not.”

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