In the Running (Dee Lloyd) – Chapter Two

Matt and Maura/Reenie arrive at “Hanson’s Marina”, Matt’s living & working place.

Maura shivered. She hated this vulnerable feeling. She’d always enjoyed solitude and prided herself on being able to look after herself. Being hunted changed that. [Because once you rely on somebody else, you will never be able to take care of yourself again.] She made herself concentrate on the sure, economical movements of Matt’s hands as he wheeled the Jeep through the wide gates. [Don’t you usually drive with sure, economical movements? At least, if you know how to drive. If you don’t drive like that, you really shouldn’t drive at all.]
For at least a few hours, her survival was in those long blunt-fingered hands. [Is blunt-fingered supposed to be good? (Because everything else about him obviously is.) Or is it really a flaw he has? Usually, the main characters don’t have any flaws other than being totally irrational. Do I get a sense of reality here? It can’t be. I must be misunderstanding the phrase.]

Two amazingly well trained German Shepherds come running to greet Matt, closely followed by a guy. The guy’s name is Jeff. That’s about all we learn about him before he drives out to get the boat. I’m guessing he works with Matt but I don’t know for sure.

At that moment, a dark blue van wheeled into the lot. A tall, striking woman opened the driver’s door far enough to lean out. [Why not opening a window?] Maura tensed. She couldn’t remember where but she was pretty sure she’d seen that black hair with its dramatic white streaks before. [Are white streaks dramatic? I’m thinking Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians now but I wouldn’t really call that streaks.] She stared back at the probing black eyes that were swiftly cataloguing her face. Maura recognized those eyes. [My guess (I really don’t know, I just finished chapter two and haven’t read any further) is that she’s one of the women on the photos showing Jon fucking around.]
Then, she realized they were the same jet black as Matt’s. [I don’t know one single person who has jet black eyes, yet, here we have two. I’m probably running with the right wrong crowd.]

The woman is, as you may have guessed, Bronwyn, the sister with the unfortunate name.

“Bronwyn would have made a drill sergeant,” Matt said, with a reassuring smile. “But she has a good heart.”  [They always have. They are never just bossy.]
The smile was fleeting, but it transformed his stone face [Like on the Easter Islands?] into a dangerously attractive one. She hoped he didn’t smile often. His impassive face was easier to deal with. [Goddammit, girl, you just got hit on the head and were in an accident because you are running from your fiancé who cheated on you and killed a guy, yet all you can think about is that a guy you don’t know shouldn’t smile or you’re going to jump his bones?]

They finally get to the house.

She was still fumbling with the car door when Matt opened it and reached for her. It would be nice to let him pick her up in his strong arms and hold her snugly against his chest again, but this was no time to start allowing herself to lean on people. [I think this is the perfect time to start allowing yourself to lean on people: You are hurt, tired and a nymphomaniac conspiracy theorist. What better time to get some help?]
Every self-protective instinct warned her that Matt could be dangerous. He was too vital, too male, too managing. He exuded the kind of animal magnetism that she had always steered clear of. [Because being sexually attracted to someone is always a bad sign. It means that the other person is dangerous to your virginity (?) or at least honour. That’s why Maura ended up being engaged with a guy she didn’t love for the sake of her grandmother’s lust for power.]

Matt carries her into his father’s bedroom (who isn’t there because he just had hip surgery) and Bronwyn starts patching Maura/Reenie up. Matt leaves them to it to take a shower. Bronwyn has to cut some of Maura/Reenie’s hair, which is especially tragic since a) Maura’s best feature is her long blond hair (mentioned in chapter one), which is neither blond nor long anymore because b) she just was at the hairdresser’s to get a new look for her escape and c) she just met the man of her life.

Matt comes back from the shower. Maura relaxed a little at the sight of him. Like it or not, he’d become her anchor in this turbulent sea that was tossing her around. [Metaphor: Fail. Also, Independence: Fail. (But that’s probably a good thing, s.a.)] He gives her some of his father’s clothes and then leaves them again which makes Maura/Reenie panick a little. But she hears his footsteps stop just outside of the door, so it’s ok.

Bronwyn helps Maura change her clothes and then shows her the bathroom (Ew, much? Why not wash off the blood and gore before putting on the fresh clothes?). Bronwyn attests her a slight concussion and recommends a visit in a hospital. Maura/Reenie gets panicky (again) and starts to protest.

“I’m not a stray puppy!” Maura broke in. It was past time she took control here. She kicked back the comforter and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. “It’s my decision. And I’ve decided to leave. Thanks anyway!”
“Sorry.” Matt looked taken aback at her explosion.
She was a little surprised herself. She never lost her temper.
[Are you kidding me? She does nothing but losing her temper.] She’d put up with too many flamboyant chefs who never bothered to restrain theirs. [Isn’t she a chef herself?] This was the second time in a few hours that she’d blown up at this generous bulldozer of a man. [Is that meant to be a compliment?

Bulldozer of a Man
That’s the first result when you google “Bulldozer of a Man”. He probably has jet black eyes and blunt-fingered hands.]

Despite all this, Matt still tries to reason with her.

Matt’s tone said clearly that he was a reasonable man dealing patiently with an irrational woman. [Which he is.]
He was an overbearing, sexist dinosaur. [Which he probably is as well.]

Maura/Reenie obviously has a dinosaur phobia and starts to cry. Matt takes her into his arms to comfort her, ignoring the dinosaur phobia possibility, and telling her that it’s the shock.

After she’s done crying, she admits that it’s probably the best idea to stay over for the night. Bronwyn tucks her in, tells Matt that he should wake her every couple of hours or so and leaves.

Matt gets himself some hot buttered rum [yuck], sits down in front of the fireplace and thinks about Maura/Reenie. He concludes that she’s definitely on the run but not from the law. It has to be a guy.

She wasn’t wearing a ring but rings were easy to remove. [You don’t say. It’s definitely not like a tattoo on her forehead saying “Jon forever”.] He scowled. Nevertheless, she was too attractive not to have some man hovering about. [No matter what her personality might be (and what he has seen of it so far are some maddening outbursts of rage), an attractive woman always has some men around her she has to run from. Oh well, that’s probably true. Look at Naomi Campbell.]

He wrapped himself in a loosely woven woolen throw, put an alarm clock on the coffee table, and lay down to doze in front of the fire. (…) Eventually, lulled by the warmth of the hardwood coals, he did drowse off. His internal alarm woke him an hour and a half later and he checked that Reenie was sleeping normally. [Why doesn’t he set the alarm clock? Is his internal alarm really so reliable that he can risk her life on it? Even despite the things that have been happening these last hours?]

Every time Matt wakes her, the same thing happens: She opens her eyes in terror, sees that it’s Matt, smiles at him and sleeps again. Matt is charmed by this (and who wouldn’t be?), but my guess is that she could do just about anything and Matt would still be charmed.

In the wee hours of the morning (God, I always wanted to be able to write that phrase), Matt wakes up because he hears her sobbing. He runs over to Maura/Reenie and she’s talking in her sleep, something about “blood” and “he’s dead” and “have to get out of here”. [Question: do you ever talk in your sleep? I don’t. Sometimes I snore, but I never did any talking.] Matt wakes her and asks her who died and what happened. She quickly concocts a story about her dog dying the week before.

Matt gazed at her for a minute. She sensed something that could have been disappointment in the set of his shoulders. [Disappointment of what? That she didn’t tell him her life story on the day they meet? That only her dog died and nobody else? What’s disappointing?]
“Why don’t you try to get a couple of hours more sleep?” His voice was cold. “I’ll check on you before I head out to the boathouse.”
Maura watched him leave the room. Was he on his way to call his friend, the sheriff, about the frightened woman he’d taken into his home? Maybe Matt would give her story about a dead dog the benefit of the doubt long enough for her to get over her dizziness.

Although Maura/Reenie has these doubts about Matt, she’s too weak to go anywhere. Also, she doesn’t know where to go because it finally dawned on her that her father’s fishing cabin is probably not the right thing. So she stays and she sleeps.


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