The Ring

The Ring by Danielle Steel Read Free Book Online

Book: The Ring by Danielle Steel Read Free Book Online
Authors: Danielle Steel
of me now.
    Kassandra shook her head and, taking a lace handkerchief from her pocket, blew her nose through her tears. I have nothing but respect for you, Walmar. And I love you, too. It was true. She did love him and she died a little over his pain.
    Then listen to what I have to say. You're going to have to stop seeing. ' your friend. Kassandra stared at him in silent horror. And not for the reasons that you think. I am twenty-nine years older than you are, my darling, and I am not a fool. These things sometimes happen, and they may hurt a great deal for the people involved, but if they're handled properly, one can survive the ordeal. But that's not what I'm telling you now. I'm telling you something very different. I'm saying that for reasons entirely other than me, our marriage, you must stop seeing ' Dolff. It seemed to cause him anguish to say the other man's name. In fact, even if you were not married just now, if you had never been, it is a relationship in which you could not afford to indulge.
    What do you mean? She jumped to her feet angrily, her gratitude for his benevolence instantly gone. Why? Because he's a writer? Do you think he's some land of Bohemian? For God's sake Walmar, he's a very decent, wonderful man. The absurdity of her defending her lover to her husband had not yet occurred to Kassandra as she looked into Walmar's eyes.
    He sat back in his chair with another sigh. I hope you don't think me sufficiently small-minded to eliminate writers and artists and their kind from the roster of those I choose to befriend. I have never been guilty of such narrow opinions, Kassandra. It would do you credit to remember that. What I'm speaking of here is entirely different I'm telling you he leaned forward in his chair and spoke to her with sudden vehemence "that you can't afford to know the man, to be with the man, to be seen at his home, not because he's a writer ' but because he's a Jew. And it makes me sick to tell you that, because I think that what is starting to happen in this country is disgusting, but the fact is that it is happening and you are my wife and the mother of my children and I won't have you murdered or put in jail! Do you understand that, dammit? Do you understand how important this is?
    Kassandra stared at him disbelievingly. It was like continuing the nightmare of what Dolff had said to her that afternoon. Are you telling me that you think they might kill him?
    I don't know what they'll do, and the truth is that I don't know what I think anymore. But as long as we lead a quiet life and stay out of what's happening, we're safe, you're safe, Ariana and Gerhard are safe. But that man isn't safe. Kassandra, please.' He reached out and grabbed her hand, If anything happens to him I don't want you to be a part of it. If things were different, if these were other times, I would be pained at what you are doing, but I would close my eyes, but I can't do that now. I must stop you. You must stop yourself.
    But what about him? She was too frightened to cry now. The magnitude of what he had said to her had cleared her head.
    Walmar shook his head. We can't do anything to help him. If he's smart and if things go on like this, he'd be wise to leave Germany. Walmar looked at Kassandra. Tell him that. Kassandra sat staring into the fire, not sure what to say. The only thing she was sure of was that she wouldn't give him up. Not now, not later, not ever.
    Her eyes found his in a moment, and despite the anger, there was something very tender there for him as well. She went to him and kissed him gently on the cheek. Thank you for being so fair. He hadn't berated her for being unfaithful. He was only worried about her safety, and perhaps even that of her friend. What an extraordinary man he was. For a moment her love for him fanned as it hadn't in years. She looked down at him with her hand on his shoulder. Is it as bad as that then?
    He nodded. I think perhaps it's worse. We just don't know it yet . And then

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