No Safe Harbor — Chapters 10 & 11

Private investigator Shane McPhearson, now identified as a kidnapper and sought by detectives, takes to the streets disguised as a transient in order to find 8-year-old Jacob and protect him from crime boss Richard Sparlo and cops on his payroll. WARNING: These two chapters contain strong language and an attempted sexual assault.

Chapter Ten

As the heavy rains edged across Puget Sound and away from Seattle, a lazy drizzle followed, stalling out over Lincoln Parkway. In the alley between the deli and coffee shop across from Sharon Reese’s condo, Shane had propped open a trash dumpster lid, angling it against the wall to create a makeshift cover as he huddled beneath it and listened to the dull strike of raindrops.

His collar-length hair was now slicked back and oily. Two days without shaving had darkened his face. A plastic garbage bag had been fashioned into a poncho over torn khakis and a soiled sweatshirt. The boots were gone, replaced by dirty sneakers; no socks.

Exhaust fumes spiraled down the alley as a city bus departed from a stop near the entrance, continuing on its route through Lincoln Park and to a ferry a little more than a mile away. Shane had parked the Wrangler there for safe keeping, then caught the bus to avoid the risk of being seen.

He shifted uncomfortably as renewed concerns seeped into his thoughts. The sitting and waiting in the darkness while staring at Reese’s drawn curtains allowed his mind to wander into places he preferred not to go — places where Jacob was frightened and alone.

They were places mapped by Shane’s own childhood of being shuffled between foster homes and time spent on the street avoiding them. It wasn’t that he’d experienced a lot of neglect or physical abuse, although there had certainly been some measure of both. However, it was the constant and prevailing sense of indifference that stung the most. The feeling that he was just another kid being moved through a limbo-like system until he was old enough to be booted out, making room for the next sad story and monthly state check. Though he was now a grown man with a life of his own, the twin prongs of abandonment and indifference that defined his childhood still lingered. His cautious approach to friendship was testimony to that. So was his fear of commitment to Sam.

She was everything he could want in a companion and a lover, which made her everything he was afraid of losing again.

Shane sat quietly under the battered dumpster lid, understanding that his connection to Jacob was deeper than he’d been willing to admit.

Read More HERE

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

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