Chapter 29 When Summer's Through

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Jay

I felt so different that I believed everyone would take one look at me and know. Yet, even despite the fashion nightmare; one of Parker's T-shirts combined with my dress from last night and his large flip-flops that I was flapping around in, no one paid me any attention.

The familiar salty sweet smell of hot doughnut oil, popcorn and candy floss still permeated the air. The sun was still shining, the kids were still digging in the sand and the change over day traffic still queued across the island. By and large, life on Greysea seemed to go on.

So much had happened over the last 24 hours that I felt sick and dizzy. The only thing keeping me from spinning out was Parker. His hand hadn't left mine since we parked the car at the beach flatlands and walked in the back way to my trailer. It was an attempt to delay the inevitable scene with my dad and stepmom. I definitely needed a change of clothes before I was ready to face them.

Parker had not stop touching me all morning and was trying to distract me again as I searched under the caravan for my key. "Cut it out," I chided, "I can't find it."

"Hurry up, I wanna get inside, again," he chuckled as I threw him a look of disbelief.

"Honestly, I can't find the damn key."

Instantly alert now, he tried the door handle, it opened easily and he motioned for me to stay back.

"Oh my god Jay! Jay? Is that you?" A clearly shaken female voice called out.

We cautiously entered the kitchenette and a bleary red eyed Ren jumped up from the pile of cushions she'd been sprawled out on, still clutching one of my self help quotation books as she threw herself at me in a dramatic hug.

"Oh my god, oh my god Jay. I couldn't find you. I thought he'd, I thought he'd..." She started crying again and I simply held onto her.

Parker looked pissed. He checked behind every door in the trailer.

As her sobs subsided, Ren became rigid and the hug just felt awkward. Pulling away,she wiped her nose on the arm of the hoodie that covered her crumpled outfit from the night before.

Parker came up behind me and circled his arms around my waist protectively.

A familiar look of defiance returned to Ren's face and she shook out her hair.

"Well clearly you're okay. I should get going." She said.

"No wait. Please Ren, don't go home. It's too dangerous. Your dad... Your dad..." I didn't get to finish, the words died on my lips as Ren's eyes flashed with thunder.

"My dad what? So he's not a doctor like yours. Your daddy is hardly father of the year material either. So he deals a little? So his business isn't exactly snow white, he, he loves me. Durov is the psycho," she spat, "my dad just needs to, he needs to..."

"It's much worse than you think Karenina." Parker said quietly, looking at her over my head. His grip on me tightened, "Tommo is firmly in control and he's gone way too far. It's past running numbers and dabbling in class B drugs. He's dealing in people now."

I tensed up. It made sense. Everything clicked into place. The skittish girls cleaning, the guys who constantly watched over them. The snatched conversations. The collection of passports Tommo hinted at.

Ren looked as if she'd been struck, she was suspended in disbelief for a moment before the shutters came back down.

"You know this how?"

"Last night. Asher."

"Shut up Parker. Shut the fuck up. You don't know what you're talking about. My dad would never, he would never. He wouldn't. I know him better than anyone!"

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