When Dena searched for him early the next morning, she finally found him in a chair on the dock, facing the sea, his feet on the railing. Deciding to look for something to eat before joining him, she opened the freezer door and stood staring at its contents. Something drew her attention, and she reached inside and pulled out a small plastic bag.
“Must be the spices Ruby uses to make that lobster salad so interesting,” she said aloud and opened it, sniffing its contents. She closed it quickly and walked down the series of decks to the dock.
She approached Britt slowly. He glanced up, and then looked back out to sea. She asked carefully, “Why do you have a bag of marijuana in your freezer?”
“I don’t,” he said.
She held it out.
Again he glanced up and looked away. “Must be Phillip’s.”
He didn’t move.
“What does Phillip have to do with it?”
He shrugged and shifted slightly. “He uses the place sometimes when I’m not here.”
“You mean, you just let him take over your house and do whatever he wants?” she asked incredulously.
He shrugged, still looking out to sea.
“Not in my house, Britt,” she said flatly and dumped the contents of the bag into the sea.
He winced as if she had slapped him.
“You disagree with me?”
He shook his head and looked up at her. His eyes were weary and scared and imploring.
“Do you feel all right?” She crossed the few feet that separated them and put her hand to his forehead.
He put one arm around her, his hand at her waist. “It’s just that . . .” He stopped and looked at the water for a long time, his face working, biting his lip. “Let’s go home, Dena,” he said finally.
“Home?” In his eyes, she caught a glimpse of the jagged rip in his heart. Without saying another word, she turned and climbed slowly back up the steps to the house.
Ruby was standing in the living room, looking through the glass at Britt. She turned her steady gaze on Dena when she entered.
“I can’t explain it, Ruby,” Dena said in a quiet voice, “but I have a terrible feeling that I’ll never see you again.” She turned and looked at Britt, who hadn’t moved. “Something has come over him. I don’t exactly know what it is.”
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