Read an Excerpt
The creak of the rocking chair on the new wooden deck, the warm afternoon breeze off the ocean, the heat of the baby asleep on his chest and the bustle of the town he now called home soothed and calmed Owen Lawry. Along the newly painted white porch rail were flower boxes containing the pink, lavender and white impatiens Laura had nurtured all summer.
Every square inch of the Sand & Surf hotel had been renovated in the last year, leaving the scents of sawdust and fresh paint behind. They’d been operating at full capacity since Memorial Day, and it was indeed thrilling to see the hotel open and once again full of happy visitors.
Almost a year ago, Owen had stood on this same deck and watched the last ferry depart on Columbus Day. It had felt symbolic then. With that ferry went his old life as a footloose and fancy-free troubadour, traveling from gig to gig, following the seasons and the work.
He’d stayed that day. He’d stayed because of Laura. He’d stayed because he could no longer imagine a dayhell, anhourwithout her. And he’d never regretted it. Not for one second. Her son, Holden, the child they were raising together even though another man had fathered him, was now as much Owen’s as he was Laura’s. Earlier in the summer, they’d been surprised to learn they were expecting twins together. He who had never wanted the constraints of commitment or marriage or family was now as committed as any man could be, and he’d never been happier as their wedding date got closer with every passing day.
Just one thing stood between him and the future he wanted so desperately with Laura, Holden and the twinshis father’s trial. The thought of seeing his father again for the first time in more than a decade made Owen feel sick and anxious and fearful, as if he were still a five-year-old who couldn’t figure out what he’d done to stir his father’s wrath.
In a few days, he and Laura, his mother and Laura’s father, along with several friends who would be testifying, would depart Gansett on the ferry and travel to Virginia for the trial. Frank was coming to help out with Holden while they were in court. Owen didn’t want Laura to come, but she was insisting on being there for him. He hated the thought of her sitting in the courtroom listening to the nightmare that had been his life in vivid detail that would shock and horrify her.