the moment I let go of it was the moment
I got more than I could handle
the moment I jumped off of it
was the moment I touched down
Sandy Point - 11:30 AM
"Almost home," Jimmy remarked, glancing sideways at her as they stopped for the light near the Sandy Point bridge. Rayne had slept through most of the trip. The glass felt hot against her cheek, sunlight at its worst. She fought with the hand crank and rolled down the window. Her head ached.
"Ok," she said.
He tightened his grip on the steering wheel while the light cycled again. Traffic had been heavy. Wincing against the light, Rayne examined the car in front of them. The driver looked familiar. She was putting on makeup in the rear view mirror, or pretending to put on makeup while she checked them out. Wasn't that the Mia girl? Casually, looking straight ahead now, oblivious to the occupant in the other car, Jimmy asked, "What's the deal with you and that guy Nic?"
Smiling, she ran her hand down his thigh, letting it slide between his legs, and leaned back and into him. "Nic's a friend. I tried to get him to kiss me when we were about 12 years old, but he was more interested in chasing bugs around the backyard. I got mad."
Jimmy grinned, released the clutch started moving through the intersection. "It's not some bugs he wants now. Asshole about took my head off."
Somebody honked at them. Jimmy swore, breaking hard, downshifted with a lurch and took the turn to the right away from the traffic. Rayne's stomach lurched along with the car. Here she was in Toad's truck going to Toad's house and maybe she'd play in Toad's band if she could stand giving Gemma a percentage of her own pay and she knew she couldn't, or she might sit around Toad's beach waiting. Waiting for him to come back from gigs. Or trailing around after him. She couldn't focus. "I don't think he feels that way about me. You think we might be able to pick up a rental car until mine is fixed?"
He reached down, took her hand and held on while the truck bumped along the pot holes down toward the beach, and said quietly, "Sure we can, Rennie. We got us some cash now; we're gonna be all right."
South Beach Metro - 2 PM
Stunned, Gemma waited in the corridor as the door behind her swung slowly shut. The doctor had confirmed what she already knew - she was pregnant. Dr. Nelson had given her all the standard warnings about the risks, how there was a 1% chance of conceiving while using the pill. She had been careful, as far as she could recall she had routinely taken it before bed. Maybe she had missed one or two but she always remembered to take it the next day didn't she? Resisting the urge to lean against the door and collapse she moved toward the stairwell exit.
Once outside Gemma spotted a bench and sat down. Fate must be reveling in her misery, she thought, as a couple walked past her swinging their toddler, another small child chattering happily behind her. A baby was not in her plans, had never been in her plans. She wasn't marriage-minded and she definitely wasn't maternal.
She always insisted her partners use condoms; admittedly there had been times she had thrown caution to the wind but those men were known to her, she had felt safe. This time though, it had not been her choice. He hadn't given her a choice.
This was bad, this was very, very bad.
Shutting her eyes, Gemma drew several steadying breaths. She couldn't know for sure who the father was since she had not been exclusive, protection sometimes did fail, but the most likely candidate was the one who would least accept it; he would want irrefutable proof.
Gemma stood and glanced down the street. She was in the vicinity. He wouldn't welcome the sight of her let alone grant her an audience. She would have to make him listen; she didn't like this anymore than he would. He'll have to suck it up and hear me out, that's all. With purpose, she exhaled, turned, and began the slow walk toward Hitman and Cooper Stanfield.
Sandy Point - 7 PM
"Hey..." His voice soft, wrapping her in voice and arms, "Rennie, you mad at me?"
"No." Rayne took his mouth, soft warmth, held onto the kiss until he was breathless. "I love you" whispered shared breath and tongue and need between them and she thought, I should let him have this tonight, I should, I want him, I want, I should...heartbeat, blood moving through her heart, the pulse of her heart, want should want should want should...
Like taking one drink, if she did, she wouldn't stop; stop the heartbeat, stop it. "You know what though."
"Uh..." An incoherent murmur, his fingers tangled in her hair, tightening, pulling..."yeah you coming to bed with me..."
She could see how it would end. She was borrowing her mother's life, trying it on, and it felt so good, at first it did, it really did. She saw it and how it would happen and how it would end. If she got out now, she could come back, maybe she could, she could try. "I know," Rayne whispered, voice shaking, hands shaking, reaching up to him, "but Toad...I'm leaving. I love you, I don't love anybody else but you, believe it, please believe it, but I can't live here with you. I have to do something else for a while. I have to go. I'll call you. I love you."
Jimmy staggered, reaching for her, eyes still blurred, mouth hot, grabbing at air, his voice a shaken gasp. "What?! What the hell Ren, what'd I do? Where you going?"
It was cooler off the porch. It was cold. It was a rip tide of cold air and it tore open the door to the rental car and swept her into it, and she didn't have any choice at all now, she had to go before she looked back and saw him drowning or she got out and drowned there with him.
Turning the car west, fumbling, grabbing the wheel with one hand, feeling blind for her cell, uncertain where he was, how to reach him, how to keep the car on the road, how to find the road lines and follow them through the dark, Rayne started calling her father.
NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 42