Passages 26

Sandy Point - 1100 Bridge Pass: 10 AM

"It's nice." Randi stood in the middle of the only big room in the little beach cottage, stepping around suitcases and trying to figure out where the front door really was. In the kitchen? It wasn't that nice. It was kind of too close to the road and the bridge and the ferry, and the backyard was a bunch of rocks. Somebody had hung up purple curtains and painted something strange on the wall behind the tv.

Rayne slammed down a suitcase next to an old sofa. "I don't even care."

Passages 25

Sandy Point - #6 Big Tree Lane; 2 PM

"When? But why....Mom, is Ryan involved in this, is that why....ok, ok I know you haven't, I probably understand that better than anybody but I'm just asking - Dad did WHAT? Is he all right?"

Passages 24

Sandy Point - #6 Big Tree Lane; Midnight

"Why did you go up on the roof?"

"I don't know."

"Weren't you afraid of slipping off?"

"Guess I was more scared of something else."

Passages 23

South Beach - #10 Coast Road

Rayne: Cornered in the dining room between the table and the wall and the smaller table with flowers and some kind of goddess statue on it and feeling every single minute of the sleep she didn't get and remembering Toad's face when Cooper forced her to leave and now both of them were going at her, Cooper and her mother. She still had sand between her toes. Nothing felt good.

Cooper: Let me get this straight. That night you ran out of the house, Gabe Lombardo grabbed you, hauled you to his apartment somewhere downtown, and kept you there. You were what, five, six years old? That's the big secret you've been hiding? Rainie, I knew Gabe, what happened there to make you keep thinking about him all those years?

Rayne: Nothing really happened. I think I ate some cereal and took a nap.

Cooper: That's bullshit Rainie. Cereal and a nap? Why didn't you tell us where you'd been if it was cereal and a damned nap?

Rayne: Because he asked me to keep it a secret.

Passages 22

Sandy Point Marina - 10 AM


Pulling up by the marina, Jimmy took another long scalding gulp of coffee and leaned against his truck. He hadn't gotten more than a couple of hours of bad sleep, drunk sleep, the house hot and full of those girl mosquitoes that bit, and he'd heard Rennie walking around upstairs, when he could remember anything from last night. Couple of hours ago she'd run water and yelled at him to get dressed, and made coffee for him and sat next to him on the back porch for a little while, saying nothing, just sitting there, until they got in the truck and drove here.

"That's his bike. He's early," Rennie was saying nervously. "That's not a good sign."

Passages 21

Millwood - #24 North Lake Drive: 10 AM


Gemma was standing aside until all of them finally made it through the door, Rayne and Jimmy first, Jimmy's grip on her hand tight, reminding her maybe, maybe still reminding her to let him handle it. She didn't even want to walk into that place and kept thinking she should have called her father first, but she hadn't, and she didn't know about the Gemma/Julia woman so she couldn't have asked him about her. Jimmy was almost dragging her in. Vince waited over by kitchen talking to Adrian in a low voice while Woody wandered around looking at the pool in the back and trying to get a yellow cat to come to him. Rayne balked. She wasn't going any further in there. Three steps into the foyer, she stood where she was and watched Gemma until she finally shut the door and turned back.

"We may as well get it out of the way," she said pleasantly. "I'm Julia's cousin."

Passages 20

Millwood - South Lake Shore

Windshield wipers smacked ineffectually at the mist while Jimmy struggled with an old map, coffee stained and cigarette burned, and Rayne stared silently out the window. No he didn't have GPS. No he didn't know where he was going. No he wouldn't stop and ask for directions. It was early in the morning. She hadn't called her father yet because he probably wouldn't be up. She'd looked at the restaurants and shops they'd passed until they drove way past them, and she was wondering morosely what she was going to do about money, and wondering how high Cooper was going to blow when he found out she'd left rehab. And found out she was staying, even if temporarily, with the Toad.

Passages 19

Sandy Point - #10 Big Tree Lane: 8 PM

Late, sweating, Rennie taking a shower and me checking calls from two weeks. Vince crawling up my back. Gemma, that was a good one. Called back on that one, and maybe she’s not as positive as she claimed to be last time I saw her, but we got a meeting tomorrow at her place. Not sure where that is, address somewhere way the hell out in the north; I’ll make it. Definitely I am making it.

Passages 18

Oceanside - Starfish Cove Wellness Center: 6 AM

R's Journal

I thought someone would try to stop us. The people who run around in the freaking dark before the sun comes up, a couple of them looked at us, watching the Toad throw suitcases in the truck bed, but nobody said anything. Jimmy strapped the Martin down like it was a baby, like he thought it might try to crawl out on its tuners and hurt itself. If my dad hauled it all over the place for years I doubt it's going to break just sitting in the back of a truck. Excited, this feels like an adventure, like I need more of those, but I'm glad to be leaving this place. I didn't even ask where we were going, and Toad was quiet and worked fast.  It was chilly, goosebumps on my legs, dew on the grass so wet and shining and full of those spiders who only spread their grass webs in the dew and the dark.  Why am I still writing in the journal? Maybe because it helps make sense of what really makes no sense.  It's me making my web in the grass.

Passages 17

Oceanside: Starfish Cove Wellness Center

J's Journal 1

First night here. Puked my guts out. At least I got my smokes. I can't sleep, don't want to sleep. Been staring at that big rock out in the ocean. Stared at it all day. Saw Cooper Stanfield, larger than life, right here on the beach walking around with one extremely fine girl. Thought he had some kind of trouble with that, reason he quit touring, so who’s that? No matter, ain’t my business. He’s set up for life and I’m out here fighting the shakes.