Chapter 3

Fiona Dirac left the train from Sandy Point at the Crossing, rolling her bike up to the street and winding her way around the cars parked at the rail station.

She stood in the central square where all the roads and all the rails met and crossed and went on east and west, north and south past all the maps she knew. She could go inside to wait but she was edgy and decided to stand outside and stroll around until her train came.

She took a brief look at the shops and restaurants around the station. They weren’t the kind of places where she could pass the time.

Things had not gone well so far. One old lady on the rail was determined to find out who she was and if she was a runaway who ought to be reported to someone and kept trying to peek into her backpack. A thin man with a red beard insisted on explaining his plan to relocate all the squirrels in the city. A couple kissed, constantly.

She rolled her bike down to the other side of the restaurant to get out of the spotlight, considering the old lady’s interest in runaways, and looked around for something cheap to do to pass the time.

And there, right there, right on the sidewalk and texting away was Jay Lombardo.

It wasn’t shocking to see him downtown, it was just such shockingly useful coincidence. Despite what she’d told Vivian, she wasn’t above coaxing the guy, or lying to him, or any combination of bullshit to get him to cooperate, and here he was alone and looking lost – potentially vulnerable.

Fiona contemplated the situation.
Go get him.

“Hi Jay,” she called out to him. “My mother and father left something for you, something connected with her work that they thought you’d eventually be interested in seeing, something…unusual. You want to talk about it?”

He looked at her with obvious surprise, hesitated, and then said in a firm voice, “I need a ride home right now, and doesn’t look like you have one, but sure. When?”

This was beyond her most ridiculously hopeful expectations. Whatever happened to him, it was pushing him in her direction and it wasn’t for a date.

She didn’t have a car but he wasn’t going to get away.

“Tomorrow. If you don’t have my number, I have yours.”

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