Part 2 - Chapter 22 - Visit to the Club

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Despite my stormy emotions, I slept well in the Morgans' guest bedroom, and I didn't try to sneak into Hailee's room. I was done fantasizing about her in that way. We could be casual friends. I could be personal security for her. Nothing more. I tried deadening my feelings toward her.

Hailee prepared breakfast for all of us, French toast and hash brown potatoes. Delicious. She'd make a nice little housewife for Brett.

I didn't have much to say to Hailee and engaged with her father instead, asking about his experience trap shooting at the club. He took me into his office and showed me his custom-made shotguns. They were expertly finished and perfectly balanced. Denholm would love to see these.

Close to lunchtime, Mr. Morgan said, "We need to get ready to cast off to go to the club. After Hailee swims her daily laps, we'll all stay for lunch."

"Cast off? You're taking your yacht instead of a car?"

He chuckled. "Not a yacht. It's just a cabin cruiser, and yeah, I have docking privileges at the club. Best steak sandwiches in the world are served there."

As the time neared, Hailee flitted down the steps from her room wearing an unbuttoned guayabera shirt over her lime green bikini.

She didn't make eye contact.

I followed the Morgans from the house and into their back yard. From the next-door neighbor's dock, I heard a roar of powerful engines firing up and the coolest looking speedboat I ever laid eyes on.

"Hello, Captain Larabee," Mr. Morgan shouted and waved.

The man at the helm waved back and throttled down on the idle. He beckoned us over.

Mr. Morgan introduced me to his neighbor, Captain Nathan Larabee.

"Just call me Larabee," the man said while shaking my hand, his skin tanned and leathery.

"Mr. Morgan called you captain."

"U.S. Navy retired. Served for thirty years." His voice was clipped, like someone from New England.

"Your boat is awesome."

"Thank you. It's my pride and joy. Procured it a few weeks ago. Manufactured by Cigarette Racing out of Miami."

The sleek craft shaped like a pencil was white with contrasting red racing stripes. The instrument panel looked to be trimmed in gray carbon fiber. "How fast does it go?"

"Twin Mercury racing engines have a net output of eleven-hundred horsepower each. She'll do close to one-twenty with both engines fully throttled."

"Holy shit!" I clasped a hand over my mouth. "Sorry."

Larabee laughed. "I'm a sailor and have heard much worse."

Mr. Morgan studied the craft. "I never asked, but this must've set you back some."

"New, it cost seven-hundred-fifty grand. Picked it up used for a half-mill."

I shook my head. Only a half-mill. These people.

"My wife gone, my kids grown, need to spend my money on something, right?" Larabee continued. "Can't take it with me."

Hailee's father pondered that. "Most guys in your position just a get a Corvette."

Larabee waved a hand in a dismissive gesture. "That's so clichéd."

"When can you take us for a ride?" Mr. Morgan asked.

"How about now? Round up your charming wife and lovely daughter and this young man, and we'll massacre some waves out there on the open ocean."

That sounded much better to me than going to the club.

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