Monday, August 16, 2010


It was a combination of genuine worry, guilt over having been too wrapped up in her own problems, and an admittedly futile attempt to put some of those unsolvable issues temporarily on the back burner that drove Frankie to Sharlene's farmhouse, where she found her aunt pacing the well-worn route from front door to kitchen, glaring at the infuriatingly silent phone every time she whipped by it.

"Not ringing is a good sign," Frankie insisted on looking at the bright side. "If Gregory were... Allie would have called you."

"Allie," Sharlene bitterly muttered the name. "I swear, by the time I get through with that girl, she'll be begging to get locked up in jail, if only to keep herself safe from me."

"The minute they're found, you are going to be so happy to see Gregory, you're not going to care one whit about Allie or anything else."

"She couldn't have pulled this off on her own," Sharlene stuck to her train of thought. Because swerving even so much as a hairsbreadth was way too risky right now. "God knows, girl doesn't have the sense the Devil gave lint. That ill-bred friend of hers, though, Sarah; she's Olivia all over again. Conniving. Underhanded. She has to be the brains behind this. Her or Steven. Girls like that, they know how to make any boy do their bidding, genius IQ be damned. What do you want to bet Steven is just like his father? He'll sacrifice anything for a pretty face."

Frankie blanched slightly at the mention of Jamie, their playground conversation still weighing heavily despite the attempt at distraction. She wondered if Jamie were determined to let yet another pretty face talk him into blowing his life up for her? And then Frankie wondered if she'd be the one to actually light the fuse?

"Those arrogant brats," Sharlene continued to seethe. "They think they understand what's going on. They think they know best. Based on their years and years of life experience, they've decided I'm the bad guy for wanting to save my son. Allie at least has the excuse of being spoiled and sheltered and raised by her equally over-privileged and clueless mother. But, Gregory... He knows... He's been through so much. He's got to be in such pain right now, Frankie. Why would he put himself through this?"


Kirkland and Grant come to an understanding, Lorna compares herself to the last person Jamie ever expected, Rachel's youngest son fills her in about his brothers, and John faces a difficult question while Allie holds her ground regarding Gregory.

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