"Just you and the guys."

"God, it was disgusting." Kaye grinned. "I love having you here! Have I told you that? You clean up after yourself, and you smell nice."

I laughed. "I try."

"I'm sorry I'll be leaving you alone with them next year."

"You're moving out?" I asked, dismayed.

"I'm going to move to Boston." Kaye scrunched up her empty jello shot cup. "I want to be a photojournalist. I've been doing it up here, part-time, for the last few years—boring local paper stuff, you know—but it's time to try for something bigger. So I'm going to save some money and, even if I can't get a job by then, I'll just move there next year when our lease is up."

"Wow." It was hard to imagine Fall Island without Kaye, but at the same time I could totally see Kaye as a kick-ass photojournalist. "You would be amazing at that," I told her, tapping her shoulder. "You should definitely go for it."

"Thanks." Her fair cheeks turned pink. "How about you? Do you really think you'll stay?"

"I really do."

She shrugged. "Well, you know, for you, it's all new. I like it here, too, but I'm sick of... I don't know. I could use a change. And I have to at least try to accomplish my goals."

"I'm not sure I have those."

"What? Goals?"

"Yeah." I smiled wryly. Stay away from Rhys. Stop dating douchebags. Those were my goals. But what about the rest of my life, besides relationships? I couldn't remember the last time I'd given it serious thought.

"I think I might...." I stopped. I'd never said this to another soul. Not even to my mom's grave.

"You might what?"

"I want to teach art," I said, in a rush, "but I never went to college, so it's a stupid idea."

"It's not stupid!" she said. "It's not too late to go to college. You're younger than me, aren't you?"

"I'm twenty-four. I'd be in school with a bunch of nineteen-year-olds." And when I was nineteen, I was taking care of my sick dad.

"The age range would depend on where you went," Kaye said. "Andy only just finished getting his bachelor's part-time last year, and he's twenty-eight, like me."


"Really." She beamed at me. "I think you should do it."

"Thanks, Kaye," I said, and I meant it. "Maybe I will."


I stirred my whiskey with a plastic coffee stirrer that folded into the edges of the ice and irritated me excessively. I had become trapped in a conversation with the man Andy warned me about. Andy had sworn not to leave me alone with him, and yet, here I was, stuck talking to the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, Boredom.

 "So what do you do?" Boredom asked.

"I work at the Widow's Walk with Kaye and Andy." I took a healthy swig of whiskey.

"Oh, really? I'm a lawyer." He had introduced himself to me as Attorney something-or-other, so I already knew this. I watched him warily as he edged closer to me with his hands in his pockets, jingling his keys. "I just started working at the DA's office," he added.

Set Me Free [complete]Read this story for FREE!