Cassandra held the cup of hot chocolate in her hands. The warmth of the cup only went so far into her body. Even drinking it did not help to ease the chill deep inside her. She tucked her legs closer to her body. She readjusted the blanket. It was not cold in the house but for some reason she could not stop shaking. She tried to relax her body into the cushions of the couch.

David was on the other end of the couch. He had not really moved since she had gotten home, even during the fight with Hema.

Hema had gone off somewhere. Alex had brought the blankets and hot chocolate for Cassandra. After the news about George, she needed to sit down. Alex, though, was now gone. She was alone in the living room, on the couch with David. The only light was the overflow from the kitchen that left long shadows on the floor.

“I am sorry for earlier. I should not have accused you of being the one to take up QT’s time. She told me that she was the one who offered her time to help you,” David finally said.

“Thank you,” Cassandra said.

Again there was silence.

“I am sorry that I left and did not tell you. I thought that if you knew what we were going to do that you would have stopped us. I have felt like I have been doing nothing, that I am just a nuisance to you. You said it earlier. Therefore, I wanted to do something to help. Hema offered to help; I know that she is mad at you. I was in the kitchen when she got home earlier. I heard all of it.”

“Now you have absolute proof that my family is not perfect,” David replied.

“What family is?” Cassandra said. “They all love you, they all care about you.”

“Hema is mad at me, the boy does not talk. Alex, who generally agrees with me, seems to have his own opinions lately, even QT. They are all leaving me for you.”

“No, that is not true. Alex will always be loyal to you, that will never change. Hema, Hema is your pusher right now. She is at the age where she would have been rebellious anyway. She uses that to keep you on your toes, to keep you here in reality. The boy, he listens to you. QT, she takes care of everything for you. She makes your life easier she will not change that. They will not abandon you.”

“They all think that I am wrong about you,” David said.

“Is that such a bad thing? People are allowed to have their own opinions. Alex and QT are not robots blindly following your orders. They do think and act independently of you. They can come to their own conclusions, they will most likely be more logical rather than emotional. If you all thought the same things, then it would be no fun, it would get very boring really fast. You are all dynamic and changing. I have even been challenged by your family.”

“I doubt that.”

“David, I have never thought that maybe the reason I went on the search for my brother was an excuse not to settle down. Your family fights less than any family I know and you live with each other twenty-four seven. You have done so much to protect your family.”

“Protect them from my mistakes.”

David again went quiet. Cassandra took another drink of her hot chocolate. Cassandra could hear David breathing. His face was tense; he appeared to be wrestling with himself. Cassandra was trying to give him space. She figured that if he wanted to say something, then he would say it on his own.