Chapter Twenty-Five

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Kaye and Andy were sitting in near-darkness, with the television turned to the local news channel and the volume turned all the way down. The TV screen was showing pictures of Owen's blown-out garage wall. The ticker tape running underneath read: Vigilante justice? Bombing at home of accused murderer in Fall Island

My hands curled into fists. "Can we turn this off?"

Kaye looked up. She grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. "M., I didn't hear you come home. Are you okay? What happened?"

I told them about looking in Scott's room and going over to Owen's just in time for the bomb to go off. I didn't tell them that afterwards Owen had asked me to move away with him, and I'd said no.

"I'm so glad you guys weren't hurt," Kaye said, her eyes bigger than ever, rimmed with red.

Andy was sitting in one of our armchairs, his forearms draped across his knees. He looked more tired than I'd ever seen him. His expression was disconcertingly hollow.

"Scott called Andy from jail," Kaye said, looking at Andy with concern sloping her mouth.

"I was his one phone call," Andy murmured.

"Oh." I didn't know it was possible to feel any sadder than I already did. "Andy, it wasn't your fault."

"I know," Andy said, but he slumped forward and pressed his face into his hands. "I always knew Scott had problems, but I thought... if he just had someone he could count on, you know? He'd never had that before. I thought I could do that for him."

"He was better before Suze died," Kaye said, more to me than to Andy. "It was like... after she died, he gave up hope. Even though he'd finally gotten away from his folks. He just didn't care about anything anymore."

"He was obsessed with her." I cleared my throat. "Claire thinks he's the one who killed her. Because of that."

"Maybe he was obsessed with her," Kaye said. "But he was with us that night. Violet had a party, and he was there the whole time. I remember he was pissed when Suze didn't show. She was supposed to stop by with Owen, but she never did. She'd started blowing us off a lot by then, though," Kaye added sadly. "I remember complaining about it with Vi. Really wish I could take those words back now."

"You didn't know," I said, my heart breaking for her.

She shook her head. "I thought I knew Scott, but the guy I knew would never have done this. It's like losing another friend, just like Suze...." A tear rolled down Kaye's face and splashed on the knee of her jeans. "Is Owen okay? Was there a lot of damage?"

"Some damage to his workshop." I didn't want to mention that Owen, too, had seemed so damaged.

"I feel really bad about this. If I hadn't talked about Owen in front of Scott, maybe Scott wouldn't have...."

I shook my head. "Scott was sending Owen death threats for years. If anything set him off, it was me. I saw Scott just as he was arrested, and he said that I remind him of Suze."

"Oh," Kaye said. "Well—yeah, a bit. You're sort of—vivid, like she was."

"I don't think Miranda is anything like Suze," Andy snapped, getting abruptly to his feet and walking over to the fridge for a beer. "You're much nicer than she was."

"Andy," Kaye scolded him.

"Well, it's true." Their eyes met, and Andy sighed. "I'm sorry. I'm just—I should've looked after Scott more. And Owen.... I should have done something years ago to stop all of this bullshit. He's been through enough, for fuck's sake."

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