His Brother’s Secret
"Spolight on Sentinel Pass"
| September 2008
In college, Shane Reynard lacked the nerve to tell
Jenna Murphy how he felt. Now, with all his
Hollywood success behind him, lack of nerve is not
what holds him back. When his latest TV show lands
him in Jenna’s hometown, he offers her a place on
his writing team. Too bad spending a lot of time
with her reminds Shane of every single thing he
liked about her.
But as much as Shane wants to fall for her, there’s a
family secret he has to confess first. And once she
knows the truth, there’s a real chance Jenna will
never want to see Shane’s face again.
Spotlight on Sentinel Pass
to Sentinel Pass! When the idea for this series first started to
germinate in my mind, I knew two things: I wanted to set it in the
Black Hills of South Dakota and I wanted my heroines to belong to a
book club. Why? Because I have fond memories of living in the Hills as
a young mother, and because I am currently a member of a book club that
replenishes my life in innumerable ways. Libby, Jenna, Kat and Char are
lucky to have each other – especially when certain men arrive to upset
the status quo.
Jenna Murphy isn’t a fan of
change—there’s safety in routine. But suddenly Hollywood’s spotlight is
trained directly on her safe little world and Sentinel Pass is being
overrun with strangers who plan to make a television show called Sentinel Passtime. One of the first to appear is the show’s handsome, enigmatic producer, Shane Reynard…who seems familiar.
Shane’s droll sense of humor and unfaltering support of his best friend in BABY BY CONTRACT told me he’d make a great hero. And when fate provides him with the
chance to make something good happen in Jenna Murphy’s life, he doesn’t
hesitate to act—even knowing he might lose his heart to a woman who has
every right to hate him.
For insider information on what’s happening in Sentinel Pass, please visit my website: www.debrasalonen.com. Or write me at: PO Box 322, Cathey’s Valley, CA 95306.
isn’t the only reason Hollywood producer and writer Shane Reynard hires
small-town girl Jenna Murphy to help him pen the pilot for a TV show
based in her hometown of Sentinel Pass. Shane’s been harboring an
attraction for Jenna ever since college. When he finally tells her that
it was his own brother who drugged and raped her back then, will she
believe that it was her talent that landed her the job? His Brother’s Secret (4.5), by Debra Salonen, is wonderfully written. Salonen’s characters
are as realistic as their problems. Shane is likable, and Jenna’s
insecurities make her easy to relate to.”
“Cooper wants to marry me, Jenna. Can you believe it?”
voice came across the phone line as mystified and close to tears. But
Jenna didn’t doubt for a minute that Lib’s dreams were about to come
true. Nobody deserved this shot at happiness more than Libby McGannon,
Sentinel Pass postmaster and Jenna’s best friend for more years than
either cared to count.
“Me,” Libby repeated,
before Jenna could respond. “And he asked before I told him about the
baby. I think. Wait. Maybe not… Oh, I don’t know. My mind is such a
swirl of hormones and guilt and worry. But this feels right. Doesn’t
it? I said yes, anyway. Oh, I’ve gotta run. He just went to Mac’s to
formally ask for my hand – isn’t that sweet? — but I can see him
coming back. Thanks for listening. I love you. ‘Bye.”
Murphy slowly replaced the phone on its hook. The Murphy family’s was
an old-fashioned model. Practically museum quality. Black, because
black was cheaper. She was proud that her hand didn’t shake, not even a
little. Surprises had never been her friend. Even good ones took time
to become familiar, and thus…safe.
Libby,” she told her mother who’d probably been able to hear bits and
pieces of Libby’s exuberant monologue from where she sat across the
room. “Cooper proposed.” She swallowed the metallic taste in her mouth.
“And Lib said yes.”
“Oh, my,” Bess Murphy
exclaimed, springing up from the kitchen table where mother and
daughter had been eating breakfast. Granola and soy milk. Bess’s latest
health fad. “I knew it. I knew he was in love with her. I could see it
in his eyes last night at the town meeting. Even when he was talking
about what was going to happen and how the town would benefit from the
television production crew coming, he kept looking at Libby. Like a
starving man in a 7-Eleven.”
help but smile at the metaphor. Cooper Lindstrom, TV star and talent
show personality, didn’t strike her as the type to frequent quick-stop
convenience stores. But Bess was renowned for saying the first thing
that came into her head – often at her daughter’s expense.
“Have they set a date?”
didn’t mention one, but I imagine it’ll be soon,” she said, gathering
up both empty bowls to put in the bottom rack of the dishwasher. If she
left them for her mother to tend to, they might still be on the table
when Jenna returned from work. The completion of household chores was
dependent on the intensity of one or all of Bess’s ailments: arthritis,
diabetes, gastro-intestinal troubles, migraines or any other
unexplained medical symptom that might flare up, leaving Bess prone on
the couch watching Lifetime or Turner Classic Movies – or, God forbid, Discovery Health — for the entire day.
mother was a hypochondriac, plain and simple. She’d always been overly
wrapped up in everyday aches and pains, but since Jenna’s father’s
death two years earlier, Bess had pretty much honed the art of fretting
about her health to a doctorial level.
refilled her coffee mug and leaned casually against the dated olive
green composite countertop. “Why do you say that? They haven’t known
each other long. And Libby was pretty upset with him when she found out
Cooper had been playing her for a fool.”
felt her cheeks heat up. She was one of the few people who knew that
Libby was pregnant. She’d just assumed that Libby and Cooper would want
to make their relationship official before the baby came, but that
wasn’t always the case these days. “I don’t think Lib will hold that
against him, Mom. I’ve known her a long time, and this is the first
time I’ve ever seen her throw caution to the wind – relationship-wise.
That says a lot, don’t you think?”
answer right away, but at least she seemed distracted from Jenna’s
gaff. The break in conversation gave Jenna time to pack a small lunch.
Apple. Cheese stick. Cookies – the not-so-healthy brand her mother
refused to buy. At times, Jenna felt like a child living with her
mommy. But most days she felt old. Very old. Caught in a one-sided
generational squeeze caring for her ailing mother without the benefit
of a husband and family of her own to balance things out.
choice, she reminded herself. She’d had a couple of chances to unknot
the apron strings over the years, but the men she’d dated had been
either too much or not enough like her father. Or, in Brian’s case, too
much like her mother. She honestly had no expectations of ever finding
Mr. Right for more reasons than she cared to list – the most verbal of
them was looking deep in thought at the moment.
not surprised Libby fell for Coop. He’s like a big, handsomely-groomed
Golden Retriever. You just want to hug and pet him. But that friend he
brought with him to the meeting wasn’t too shabby, either. At first, I
thought he was purebred Doberman…because he was dressed all in black, I
suppose, but when I looked closer I could see the depth in his eyes.
So, I’m calling him Mr. Bernese Mountain Dog.”
shook her head as she rolled the top of her brown paper sack in a neat
crease and stapled it. “I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know you think of
him as a big slobbery pooch.”
“Not just any old
dog, dear. My favorite breed. When I was a young girl, our neighbor had
one. His name was Franz. His owner went all the way to Switzerland to
buy him. Now, there are breeders around the country. I always wanted
one, but Clarence claimed an animal that size would eat us out of house
and home. He’d never budge – even when I played the Jenna card.”
know how much your dad doted on you. I told him every little girl
should have a dog.” She pursed her lips and frowned in a way that made
her look older than fifty-one. The frumpy cotton housecoat worn over
faded pastel blue pajamas and open toe scuffs didn’t help. Jenna
remembered a time when her mother looked glamorous and exotic – even
before nine in the morning.
She made a mental
note to ask the doctor about clinical depression the next time she
accompanied her mother to an appointment.
“Clarence said if you wanted a dog that bad, you could buy one when you were paying the bills.”
smiled. That sounded like her father. It also reminded her of a debate
that Libby had mentioned between her brother, Mac, and his daughter,
Misty. The widower had yet to give in, but Jenna knew it was only a
matter of time. Despite his gruff outward demeanor, Mac was a big softy
deep down. Jenna had had a crush on him, off and on, for years. He
might actually be the only man she’d consider marrying; unfortunately,
he’d never shown the slightest interest in her, except as his sister’s
With a sigh she’d meant to keep
silent, Jenna stuffed the lunch sack into her backpack and looked
around to see if she was forgetting anything. As usual, she’d laid out
things the night before. She double-checked her list just to be sure.
know I told you this, Mom, but it’s important so please don’t call me
in an hour asking me to run to Rapid with you,” she said walking close
enough to make eye contact. “The Health Department is supposed to send
out an inspector today. He has to check the new pipes before we can
cover up the open trenches. We can’t afford to lose another day
otherwise I would have been filling in for Libby at the Post Office.”
mother’s still pretty lips pursed expressively. “Who’d they get to come
in? Not the girl from Hill City, I hope. Last time she worked I wound
up with Rufus Miller’s mail.” When she shook her head, a lock of
silvery blond hair escaped from the knot she’d piled on top of her
head. “Libby’s excellent, of course, but I miss the way things were
when Mary was postmistress.”
grandmother had practically run the town for as long as Jenna could
remember. “I know, Mom, but Mary’s not doing too well right now. Lib
said they had a scary episode yesterday. Calvin’s hoping it was a
reaction to a new medication, but they don’t know for sure.”
sighed heavily. “If I ever start showing signs of dementia, I want you
to toss a hairdryer in the water while I’m in the tub.”
had been hearing various exit strategies for the past couple of months.
“With my luck, you’d catch it, then accuse me of attempted murder.”
“I won’t. I promise.”
robs you of short-term memory, Mom. You might forget that the plan was
your idea. Libby’s grandmother didn’t even recognize her yesterday.”
lifted the cup to her lips but didn’t drink from it. Instead, she
frowned and said, “Well, I’m sure that no matter how bad I get, I’ll
still know when it’s time to exit stage left with grace and flair.”
knew better than to argue. They’d had this discussion as recently as a
week ago when Mom thought she’d developed C.O.P.D. — Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. No one adored diseases that came with
abbreviated names more than Bess Murphy. Her doctor had insisted the
symptoms were that of a cold. Possibly a little bronchitis. Mom had
Her mother needed to get out more. At the very least, she’d benefit from a hobby.
and her friends in the Wine, Women and Words book club had discussed
the topic at length. They’d even invited Bess to join the group. Mom
had declined, claiming her failing eyesight was proof of macular
degeneration. For some reason, Bess was convinced that her life was on
a slippery slope and she could swoosh off into the ethers to join her
deceased husband at any moment. A drama queen on skis.
“I probably won’t be home until four or five,” Jenna said, heading for the door. “You’re in charge of supper.”
“You’re not going to miss Jeopardy, are you? Alex Trebek is so cute…in a Miniature Schnauzer kind of way.”
stopped abruptly and wheeled about. “Mother, what is it with you and
dogs? Are you trying to tell me something? Do you want a pet?”
put a hand to her chest as if aghast. “Heavens, no. With all my health
problems? What would happen to the poor thing if we bonded then I died?
I wouldn’t inflict that kind of anxiety on any living creature.
No…no…,” she shuffled to the chair she’d vacated earlier and sat.
“I…well, if you must know, I’ve been trying to come up with a character
I could play in the new TV show. Say…a quirky older woman who runs a
pet adoption service.”
Jenna’s stomach crimped.
She loved her mother. The last thing Jenna wanted was to see her
disappointed. She was too emotionally fragile to handle rejection. And
Bess’s acting experience had been limited to local stages. Surely the
people who were turning Libby’s story into a television sitcom had a
script – and characters – in mind.
say anything. I can see in your face you think I’m slightly whacko for
thinking such a thing, but I’ve given this a lot of thought, Jenna Mae.
Hollywood coming to Sentinel Pass doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Not
only will the increased traffic and advertising the filming brings in
be good for business, but from what Cooper said last night, he and his
producer friend are looking for locals to appear in the show.”
His tall, dark and handsome producer friend. The
Bernese Mountain Dog. The guy who had set off all kind of weird bells
and whistles the moment he walked into Char’s gift shop where Jenna had
been working yesterday afternoon. The man who disappeared like a ghost
a short while later.
Jenna made herself focus
on her mother. Dreams were good – to a degree. But the chance of Bess
securing even a bit part in some not-yet-written TV show seemed pretty
iffy. And Jenna knew who would be left to pick up the pieces when
nothing came of all this dog-talk. “I’m sure Cooper means well, Mom,
but the only way the Mystery Spot is going to benefit is if we’re open
for business. Have you thought any more about your hours this summer?”
and Bess had been having this discussion for weeks—no, months. Bess
made a limp, noncommittal gesture. “I really don’t know if I’m up to it
this year, Jenna. The arthritis in my back isn’t helped by standing
around taking tickets and playing tour guide to a bunch of tourists.”
arthritis?” Jenna almost asked. So far, not one of her mother’s many
X-rays had shown even a hint of arthritic deposits.
you know our budget as well as I do, Mom. If I have to hire someone to
take your place, there won’t be any money left for the improvements we
have slated. Like paving the parking lot.”
vibrancy left her mother’s face, making Jenna regret her impatient
tone. She could blame her short temper on budget woes, but those were
ever present in a small, tourist-oriented business. The real cause was
something she didn’t want to talk about. Or think about. Her chase
dream had returned last night. An old, unwelcome friend that
had been a constant in her life through most of her twenties. It always
started with a pleasant, harmless stroll down a busy street but ended
in a heart-racing pursuit by a faceless demon whose heavy breathing
reminded her vividly of a memory she thought she’d mastered.
she said, crossing to the chair where her mother sat. She gave her a
hug, gently patting her back as she might a child. “I’m just a little
tense because it’s the middle of June and we’re not open. I probably
should have hired someone else to fix the broken water line, but I felt
so sorry for Walt.”
Walt Gruen was the plumbing
contractor she’d hired to repair her broken water line. Unfortunately,
his college-age daughter had been injured in a car accident a few days
after he started the job and he’d had to drop everything to attend to
her in Denver. Since he worked alone – for a fee even Jenna could
afford – there was no one to pick up the slack.
know, dear. But you can’t blame yourself. This kind of thing was bound
to happen. I warned your father about taking short cuts, but you know
how he was with money.” Bess shook her head. She was one of the special
women who gray with such grace and beauty it would be a sacrilege to
color her hair. Jenna feared she wasn’t going to be that lucky since
she’d inherited her father’s red hair.
Murphy had been sixty-four when he suffered a heart attack one morning
before leaving for school. Scientist, teacher and mastermind behind the
popular summer attraction that had baffled and intrigued visitors for
twenty-odd years, he’d been mourned by many. Jenna had been a part of
the family’s summer business almost from its inception, but her father
had sheltered her from one undeniable truth: her mother couldn’t be
trusted with money. His widely reputed miserliness may have been
prompted by a need to offset his wife’s tendency to spend without
reservation. Every day, Jenna felt she understood her father better.
“I know that’s what you think, Mom, but I can’t figure out why the break happened so long after the
frost melted.” Jenna sighed. They’d been over this ground before. The
pipe broke and needed to be fixed before they could reopen. Bottom
line. “I’d better go. Don’t want to miss the inspector. I’m just sorry
I didn’t schedule this for yesterday. Then I could have subbed for
Libby today instead of holding down the fort for Char. The Post Office
“But if you hadn’t been working
at the teepee, you wouldn’t have met Mr. Burnese Mountain Dog.” Her
mother fluttered her eye lashes coquettishly. “Tell me again what he
Jenna paused, hand on the door knob.
She’d never understood her mother’s fascination with Hollywood. Bess
had nearly wet herself the first time she heard Cooper Lindstrom was in
town, and last night when introduced to a real live producer, she’d
gotten honest to goodness stars in her eyes.
name is Shane Something. I only remember that because I knew a guy in
college named Shane. Not knew knew, but we had a class together. And,
to be honest, this Shane didn’t leave that much of an impression.” Liar. “We barely exchanged two words before Coop showed up asking where he
stood with Libby. Your Burnese Mountain Dog slipped away.”
Bess looked in the direction of the McGannon homes. “And now Libby is getting married. There’s hope for you, yet, honey.”
didn’t see the correlation, but she let the comment pass. She was happy
for her friend who – with a little luck – might get some well-deserved
happiness – and the baby she’d gone to such extreme lengths to procure. “Gotta go, Mom. ’Bye,” she mumbled.
“Wait. Promise me one thing.”
Jenna held her sigh as she paused in the doorway. “What?”
“If you bump into the handsome producer, try not to mutter. It’s distracting and makes you appear a little odd.”
on earth makes you think I’ll be seeing him? He and Coop are supposed
to be holding open meetings for the townsfolk this week. I’m going to
be busy at the Mystery Spot trying to get the plumbing fixed so we can
open and start earning enough money to pay our taxes.”
Her mother’s reply was one Jenna had heard a million times. “I just have a feeling. You’ll see.”
always, Jenna wished she’d been born with a just bit less of her
father’s pragmatism and a bit more of her mother’s optimism. Maybe then
she wouldn’t spend all of her time worrying.
Shimmering lines bounce off hot pavement.
Wavy, unbalanced. Like a girl
“Going nowhere fast,” Shane repeated, as he looked up from the small volume of poetry that Coop had given him.
Kinda like me yesterday.
shook his head, still embarrassed by the way he’d reacted to seeing
Jenna behind the counter of the big teepee. Like an inexperienced
schoolboy drooling over the girl of his dreams. He’d come to South
Dakota to find her, he just hadn’t expected her to be the first person
he bumped into.
And he hadn’t expected her to
be so vivid. Possibly more beautiful than he remembered. Definitely
more real than the tragic figure he’d made her into in his mind.
pushed the heel of his hand against the uncomfortable pressure behind
his breastbone and shifted in the car seat. He didn’t know why he’d
never been able to get Jenna Murphy out of his head, but she’d
definitely been part of his motivation for joining Cooper in Sentinel
If he could work up the nerve to contact her.
reached around the steering column to turn the key in the ignition. The
Cadillac’s dashboard lit up impressively, giving him the pertinent
facts of time and outside temperature. He lowered the driver side
window a few inches and drew in a deep breath of dewy, pine-scented air.
been sitting in this car in front of Libby MacGannon’s house for over
an hour after dropping off Cooper. Not because he lacked a plan – Coop
had set the ball in motion the night before and people were expecting
them to show up at the local restaurant, but Shane knew he’d be
worthless until he got this thing with Jenna off his chest. Something
he could have done yesterday, but didn’t.
sighed and slumped down in the wide, comfortable leather seat. Maybe if
he’d been better prepared. Had some kind of dialogue scripted in his
head. But what do you say to the girl whose life you ruined?
Hi, Jenna. Remember me? Shane from Art Appreciation class. College. The semester you were raped.
groaned and wiped his sweaty palms on his trademark black jeans. What
the hell was wrong with him? He wasn’t an inexperienced kid who didn’t
have a clue about what he wanted to do with his life. He was a
successful television producer, director and screenwriter. He’d made a
lot of money at a profession he enjoyed and was good at. His shelf full
of awards that included an Oscar for his adaptation of a popular novel
a few years back was nothing to sneeze at, as his mother might have
said. She would have been proud of him. And happy for him. Although he
knew his personal life – or lack of one – would have concerned her.
she’d been gone nearly six years. Six years that had weighed heavily on
Shane since her deathbed confession of a secret that probably had
shortened her life through the weight of the guilt. Shane also blamed
that secret in no small part for the state of his love life.
lost count of the times he’d drowned his sorrows in a bottle of Scotch,
wishing for the impossible. That Mom had taken her secret to her grave.
Or, even better, that he’d been born an only child.
Shane had only to look in the mirror to be reminded of his brother.
Adam. His identical twin. His opposite in every way that counted,
though. Or so Shane hoped.
There were some in
Hollywood who called Shane “the monk” behind his back. He often made
the club scene but usually alone, unless work was involved. He dated on
occasion but seldom took out the same woman twice. Luckily, he lived in
a place and time where women enjoyed sex for the same reasons men did
and weren’t necessarily looking for a long-term attachment.
that made his life seem shallow and superficial, he didn’t really care.
He couldn’t name a single person he was trying to impress. He’d cut all
ties with Adam after their mother’s funeral. He’d done the same with
his father a few months later when the old man married a woman half his
age. His father’s act merely confirmed what Shane had always known
about his dysfunctional family – the nucleus was split evenly down the
middle. He and his mother on one side. Adam and their father on the
other. The gulf between the two factions was wide and deep. And Shane
hoped it would stay that way. For Jenna Murphy’s sake.
He picked up the book over and studied it. Ashes of Hope by Jenna M. Murphy. Deep maroon watermark silk with gold leaf
lettering. Elegant and lady-like. A little old-fashioned given the age
of the author, he thought, but serene. Perhaps to mitigate the
austerity of the poems, which, from the dozen or so he’d read, were
intense, deeply personal and poignant.
had given him the self-published treatise as a bribe to get Shane to
confess how he knew Jenna, who was Libby McGannon’s best friend. Libby,
Sentinel Pass’s postmaster, was the catalyst that had set this whole,
unwieldy circus in motion.
intended to blurt out the fact that he recognized Jenna, but seeing her
behind the counter of the teepee-shaped gift shop just minutes after
arriving in Sentinel Pass had left him badly shook up. And naturally
that kind of only-in-the-movies coincidence sparked Coop’s curiosity.
What Coop didn’t know — and Shane had no intention of sharing — was
the fact that Jenna was Shane’s sole purpose for being in the Hills.
could have delegated the research part of this trip to any one of a
dozen minions, but from Coop’s very first mention of an online ad
offering part ownership in a working gold mine in Sentinel Pass, South
Dakota, Shane had known his past had finally caught up with him. There
simply was no other explanation. Fate? God? Karma? Shane didn’t believe
in any of them. But he firmly believed every person was capable of
manifesting his or her own reality. For the past six years, Shane’s
reality had included the ethereal image of a young woman he’d barely
known for one short semester in his senior year of college. She haunted
him at night. Not the happy, exuberant persona that had attracted him
in the first place, but the hollow-eyed ghost of a girl in the back
seat of her parent’s car as they took her home weeks before the
normally scheduled holiday break. As far as he knew, she never returned
That girl was the reason he was here.
His plan…if you could call it that…was to ease his conscience and, if possible, to make amends.
just hadn’t expected Jenna Murphy to be the first person he met when he
and Coop pulled into town. But there she’d been – trademark red hair a
dead giveaway. Behind a counter filled with Native American jewelry.
hadn’t recognized him. A fact that didn’t surprise him given how much
he’d changed since college. He was a different person, really. Short
hair. A new name. Lasik surgery to lose the coke-bottle bottom
But she was still
every bit as beautiful as he remembered…with a few changes. Her
gorgeous red hair was shoulder-length instead of all the way to her
waist. Now, she was the one with glasses. Small, stylish black frames
drew attention to her flashing green-gold eyes, alive with wit and
wisdom. She’d laughed a lot back them. Until the night she attended a
party and became the victim of something the news media had branded the
‘date rape’ drug. Her attacker was never caught.
heaved a weighty sigh and reached for the thermal travel mug he’d
purchased that morning. He polished off the last gulp. Cold, but to his
profound surprise, the brew wasn’t bad – unlike what his mother had
passed off as coffee when he’d been growing up in Minnesota.
atypical Coop fashion, his friend had rousted Shane at the break of
dawn to drive him to the local bakery to buy doughnuts and jelly rolls
which he planned to use as props when he proposed to Libby.
set the container back in the car’s cup holder and leaned forward to
rest his arms on the steering wheel. He wondered how it was going for
his friend inside the unpretentious two-story home. There was no
outward sign of life, but a dark-haired man – Libby’s brother, Shane
was pretty sure – had come and gone on foot half an hour earlier.
hadn’t been any gun shots. Shane had been listening. Sorta. Mostly,
he’d read the words of Jenna’s poetry, trying at to catch a glimpse of
the girl he’d fallen in love with. Well, he’d called what he’d felt
“love.” Maybe it was infatuation. Lord knew it was one-sided,
completely unrequited. He and Jenna hadn’t exchanged more than a dozen
words that semester, but his knees got weak whenever he saw her walking
He closed his eyes and smiled.
Walking didn’t come close to describing the way Jenna Murphy moved. She
danced with barely contained energy, like a happy hummingbird. The
first time he saw her he’d assumed she was a theater major because she
moved like a dancer and her voice carried as if she’d been trained to
project. But he came to realize that was her “tour guide” voice. A
by-product of spending her summers working in her parents’ business. A
Sentinel Pass tourist trap called the Mystery Spot.
always told himself he’d return one day to visit the place. Although
that was before Jenna was attacked and left school. Before he dropped
out and moved to California. He hadn’t been back to South Dakota since.
According to Coop’s plan that he’d
laid out at the town meeting the night before, Shane was supposed to be
“mingling with the locals.”
with the red head that made the usually glib and suave Shane Reynard
turn into a stammering school boy,” his friend had added, poking Shane
with his bony elbow before hopping out the car.
Coop had even provided a crudely sketched map to find The Mystery Spot.
heard all about the Mystery Spot from Jenna’s mother, Bess, when I was
here before,” Coop had told him. “Apparently, Jenna’s dad was some kind
of eccentric college professor with a passion for optical illusions,
although everyone pretends the exhibits are part of some scientific
anomaly. I didn’t actually set foot inside, but it sounds like a hoot.”
picked up the oversize sticky note that was attached to the passenger
seat and studied the purple felt tip marker scribbles. The funny
jittery just under his rib cage started again. Too much caffeine, he
Or was it from knowing he was about to reconnect with Jenna?
know you said she didn’t remember you from college,” Coop had said
before turning in last night, “but I bet she would if you introduced
yourself using your family name. That might jog her memory.”
Shane didn’t doubt that for a minute. After all, it was the name of the man who raped her.
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