Claire drives to Cherokee with Clancey Como. She asks Henry to help Clancey so he stays on and Claire goes on to Boston. She finds a trespasser in her basement. Thomas is trying to finish his degree and has no money. He knows her brothers and she realizes he is very deserving of help. She invites him to stay in the basement. Clancey causes a scene in Cherokee and his dad Leo Como is summoned to drive Clancey back to Boston. Claire grows closer to Leo. She spends Thanksgiving with Leo. He declares his feelings for her and before she can respond, turns cold to her and leaves. It is Thomas who helps Claire through the last week of classes. After graduating, they drive their monster Buick toward New York to pick up her brothers. It is only when all four of them are safely inside their car headed for home that life begins to feel safe again for Claire. They arrive in Cherokee on a beautiful moonlit night and Claire swears that the house is smiling at their return.