Beyond the Storm (9780758276995)

Beyond the Storm (9780758276995) by Joseph Pittman Read Free Book Online

Book: Beyond the Storm (9780758276995) by Joseph Pittman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Joseph Pittman
her catlike green eyes, tossed her friend a curious look. “Rev, we’re on a fast, downward slide toward forty. Is that what you want, to go from aging party girl to predatory cougar? And to keep taking me along on the hunt?”
    â€œGod, cougar. Such a vulgar term, so American.”
    â€œRev, we’re both American.”
    A look of absolute horror crossed her friend’s made-up, ruddy-cheeked face. She quickly gazed about the crowd to ensure no one had overheard such an offensive comment. They’d be tossed out of the Phoenix Club on their ears for sure, this time unable to rise from the ashes.
    â€œWhen do you leave?”
    â€œThis coming Thursday.”
    â€œSo, it’s back to Danton Hill, huh?”
    â€œYeah.”
    â€œYou think he’ll be there?”
    Vanessa visibly blanched. She recovered, though, because she needed to, realizing if she was going to bravely go back she had to work on that poker face of hers. No way could she wear her heart on her sleeve, not here, and definitely not later. “Maybe, probably, I guess so.”
    â€œGee, so definitive.”
    â€œOkay, call it a hunch.”
    â€œYou’re using up an awful lot of frequent flier miles on a mere hunch, dear? God, don’t you remember, you didn’t even like him . . . he was just a stand-in at the last minute, and from what I remember from your stories, he was rather . . . ordinary. What kind word did you use to describe him, ‘cute’ . . . ? Like a puppy?”
    â€œHe was cute, in a little brother sort of way,” Vanessa said. “But that was twenty years ago. He’s grown-up and he’s more than cute. You remember?”
    â€œSort of,” she said, taking a drink from her wine, her red lipstick sticking to the rim of the glass. “Too many of these, I suppose. Then and now. But dear, he may have grown up but is he mature? Why should he be when you’re not?”
    â€œReva, you’re such a bitch,” Vanessa Massey said, again pushing her hair away from her face, as though with such an action she had stopped hiding behind it. She was ready to show her confidence to the world, or at least to the corner of the world known as Danton Hill. “Now give me a damn cigarette. One last indulgence before I return to the land of the perms and sweatshirts worn off the shoulder. And may God have mercy on my soul.”
    â€œYou’re going home. So clearly he doesn’t.”
    â€œWho?”
    â€œGod,” Reva said.
    â€œYou say that too much.”
    Reva laughed, the deep sound flavored with a lifetime of smoking and perhaps a tinge of regret. “So, you’re going back to find out if the boy you didn’t like was actually The One? And then what? You two go off into the sunset together? Chicky, I’m going to miss you so much.”
    â€œReva, I’ll be back.”
    â€œWith him in tow? Like in a movie, the music swelling as the credits roll?”
    â€œIt’s Danton Hill,” Vanessa said wearily. “The only thing that will be swelling will be the sewers. It rains more there than it does here.”
    â€œHmm, let’s hope your taste in men is better than your taste in destinations.”

C HAPTER 3
    N OW
    H e was still alive, or at least he thought he was. He couldn’t exactly say he was familiar with what death felt like, having been alive all these thirty-eight years. Still, evidence suggested he’d survived the initial crash and impact: His eyes were blinking, and even though maybe he could feel the gooey wetness of blood, he couldn’t pinpoint from where on his body it flowed. His current position of being trapped upside down in the car wasn’t really ideal for a thorough examination. All he knew right this second was how numb his body felt and that the driver’s side window had smashed, turning the once-solid glass into jagged slices, some still imbedded in the frame, other shards

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