“You are presented with two options,” Madeline explained. “The first is to marry Howard Sherrod, dismissing what your heart desires deeply in wishing to please your parents. The second would be the rejection of social standing and protocols to follow what your heart wishes most for, that being freedom.”
“Black or white options, no gray,” Helen mumbled.
The Quiet Hours
“You may have arranged your own death sentence.”
“One I accept willingly if it means one more hour with you.”
“I never wanted to leave you.”
“I read your letter to me so many times,” Andrew confessed. “I can recite it word for word. I think of it each night before falling asleep.”
“As do I.”
Clarissa rested her head against his shoulder as their fingers entwined. Looking toward the sky, the brilliant blue began to fade to lighter hues. The perfect morning and afternoon could not last forever. Were I ever to escape this place, it would be with you, Casper. I choose you. No one holds dominion over my heart as you do. Someday I will speak words of love to you and will wait breathlessly for you to say them back. Already, they burn your tongue. I see this when you try to speak, yet your voice holds these words hostage. Soon there will be no restraints, only love.
There was growing anger in Aaron’s eyes when he looked at John, though it was clearly understood who this anger was truly meant for. “Isaac and his men will come looking for anything of value they can take from you. You can’t stop them. Even worse, they will find Merlynn. Please understand, I need to lead them away from you. I know what has to be done.”
John cradled his own face in his hands, running his palms over the stubble on his cheeks as he tried to think of something to say. “We could run away, all of us.”
“No, I can’t. It’s too late for that.”