In the Running (Dee Lloyd) – Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight starts with this observation:

Matt wasn’t surprised that Reenie had avoided him ever since they broke off that superheated kiss in the apartment yesterday afternoon. He’d been feeling a little gun-shy himself.

Gun-shy? What the hell is that supposed to mean in that context? defines it as:

1. frightened by the sound of a gunshot: a gun-shy bird dog.
2. hesitant, wary, or distrustful, esp. because of previous unpleasant experience.

So, either Maura/Reenie shot (at) him or their kiss was unpleasant. Which both wasn’t the case. Or did I miss something?
Maybe we’re entering Urban Dictionary territory:

1. Reluctant to become involved in a relationship, especially a sexual one
2. slow to react sexually

Summarising, Maura/Reenie scared him off sex. Way to go, girl!

Anyway, Matt doesn’t want to think about it, so he works on his boat, the Sailing Solution. [Can I just give you a quick *headdesk* because of that name? Thanks.]
Gus, sheriff, friend and Wyn’s pursuitor, comes round to help him.

Freckled and redheaded, Gus had the perfect looks for a small town sheriff. [Because all small town sheriffes have to be freckled redheads?] His husky build made him look shorter than his six feet and his laid-back manner caused most people to underestimate both his toughness and his intelligence. [Because intelligent people are never calm, they’re always hyperactive.]

They start talking. Gus asks about Maura/Reenie, but is amazingly not really curious about her. Instead he reminds Matt to call Sandy Fields (I’m not sure if I wrote about her, Matt dated her for a while and she’s a friend of Wyn’s. She wants Matt, Matt doesn’t want her). This reminder ends in the both of them being completely mean and bitching about her. [But who am I to point my fingers at them for that?]
Matt asks about Gus’ work to see if there’s any missing person report out for a young woman of Maura/Reenie’s description. Gus only talks about Maura’s disappearance, but Matt still doesn’t connect the dots.

At noon, the good housekeeper she is, Maura/Reenie calls them to lunch. After they sit down, the phone rings: It’s one of Matt’s friends, Ryan, telling him about something from 1932, which seems to interest him.

At the sight of the boyish grin that lit his face, Maura’s heart swelled. No! [It did not? Then why did you say it did?] She wasn’t falling for him. Not now. [Come on, girl. We know it and you know it and he knows it. You already did.]

Matt tells Ryan that he will fly over this afternoon, then hangs up the phone. Gus guesses that Ryan found a sextant for Matt and he’s right. Matt heads into the study to organise a few things, leaving Maura/Reenie alone with Gus for about a minute, which is enough to distress to no end.

But Gus doesn’t ask her any questions, neither ones she couldn’t answer, nor ones she could. Instead he talks about Matt.

“Mattias [Mattias? Where the hell did that just come from? But when Matt comes back, he repays Gus and calls him Gustav. Maybe it’s a joke between those two.] is like a kid about that sailboat of his.” [Whereas I am about 102 years old…] Gus leaned back in his chair and chuckled indulgently. “When we were younger, he and Ryan and I did a lot of day dreaming about roaming around the world in that kind of boat. Now that Matt’s quit his Washington job, and he’s his own boss, looks like he may just do it one of these days.” [It’s obviously not a question of money at all, only time. I wish I could live like that. I wonder where he got that money from. I don’t think that having a boat servicing shop pays off that well.]

After this beautiful little story, Matt comes back and asks Maura/Reenie if she could imagine doing her shopping in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. A friend of his got a plane and he obviously really wants this sextant, which is there. She agrees because she can call her granny from Wisconsin, letting her know that she’s alright, without giving away her current hiding place.

Maura felt as if she really was Reenie Kelly this afternoon as she and Matt strode towards the little red and white, twin-engined Cessna. [How people always know which planes they are flying with. I’m glad I can tell a jumbo jet from a double decker.] She sure wasn’t the well-groomed Maura Fitzpatrick she’d been since she was twelve years old. [Who was she before she was twelve years old?] 
[Yadda, yadda about what she’s wearing and how she’s looking. Nobody cares.]
As she looked through her garish dark glasses at the little airfield with its unbelievable number of small planes, she wished she really were Reenie. [Because as Reenie, she wouldn’t have to wear garish dark glasses. Wait… is it Reenie who wears the glasses?]
The only person in Reenie’s fictional world was the abusive fiancé she’d had a major fight with. [Which is really the only person you need in your life.] Reenie could choose to have a wild fling with Matt Hanson. She could even fall in love if she wanted to. [Because that’s always a conscious decision, made only when the time is right.] She could sic the police on her ex [I still don’t understand why she can’t do it now.] and build some kind of future for herself anywhere, in Millbridge or in Timbuktu. [Why always Timbuktu? I know people who were there, they said it wasn’t the end of the world. Of course, I only have their word for that, but I always believed that the end of the world was Franz-Josef-Land. Well, at least of the Austrian world.]

When they arrive at the aircraft, Matt tells her that he himself is going to fly the plane, which he learned to do in the service.
As soon as he said that, they’re already landing. He must have not only learned to fly, but also to bend the space-time-continuum. Maybe he’s a hero. [But then he should go and save the cheerleader and not fly around in search of sextants.]

They drive into town and Matt drops Maura/Reenie off at a shop and goes to have a look at the sextant. She starts shopping.

She had a few cosmetics in her bag but she needed some essentials. She picked up some moisturizer [essentials?], toothpaste, shampoo, and feminine products [Those euphemisms, how I hate them. That one in particular always gets me thinking. On the one hand, what’s so bad with saying tampons? On the other hand, in a language like english, where nouns don’t really have a gender, what is a feminine product? And what would be a male product?] When a display of condoms caught her eye, she thought of the amazing kiss that had almost swept them both away yesterday afternoon at the apartment. Just because Matt was sure they were going to make love didn’t mean it was going to happen. [That much at least is true.] She almost walked by.
Would Reenie walk by? [Obviously not.] Her heart gave a little skip as she tossed the box into her basket. [Oh, the thrills of buying condoms. Last experienced in 7th grade.]

She goes to call her grandmother. Jon answers the phone and she poses as one of her gran’s friends, which he believes. [The whole point of not calling from Millbridge was that her gran has number recognition. And now Jon doesn’t react to the fact that one of Gran’s friends just calls from another state?] Anyway, he gets Gran on the phone. The call’s a full success:

“Gran, listen. I ran because I was afraid Jon was going to kill me.”
“Oh, dear.” Gran sounded genuinely distressed. “Jon said you’d been working too hard and that with the wedding plans your nerves were ragged. [Which explains everything… No, wait. It really doesn’t.] Where are you, dear?”
“I can’t tell you that, Gran. I don’t want Jon to find me.”
“No, you listen to me,” The imperious Gladys [aka Gran] was back and in full overbearing stride. “Stop behaving like a child. You’ve worried us all terribly. You must accept that women make overtures to men like Jon. [No word about him not accepting.] But you’re the one he’s going to marry. Pull yourself together, Maura, and come home.”
It was obvious that her grandmother would not listen to the truth, much less believe it. Reenie had no ally there.
“Come on home to Lansing,” her grandmother had switched to the sweet coaxing voice that had always preceded a bribe. “Take a leave of absence from that lodge. You’ll be able to relax here. You won’t need those silly pills anymore.”

After her grandmother accused her of doing drugs, Maura/Reenie tells her she loves her and hangs up. Finally. Then she continues shopping, thinking about Matt.

If she didn’t hurry to finish her shopping, she’d keep Matt waiting. It struck her that she could count on his waiting. [How does she know? She’s known the guys for 3 days.] Her own grandmother had no trouble accepting that she’d changed from a competent woman to a flake in a few weeks [yeah, I have trouble with accepting that Gran would accept it that easily], but, after knowing her only three days, Matt would be there.

 Matt picks her up, (figuratively) drooling over the sextant he got. They fly back home.

During the short drive and longer flight, Reenie dozed. In her dreams, she and Matt were lounging on the satiny deck of the Sailing Solution, drifting peacefully under southern skies. Matt, of course, looked marvelously sexy in skin-tight denim cut-offs [I can’t imagine anyone looking marvelously sexy in skin-tight denim cut-offs. Except maybe Christian Bale. But let’s be honest, Christian Bale would still be amazingly hot, even if he wore Borat’s mankini.], while she looked more voluptuous than she ever had in her life in a skimpy midnight blue bikini.
“Oh, yes,” she said, tilting her head and opening her lips to meet his in a languorous kiss. The lips were warm and firm, and the tip of his tongue was minty and slightly rough [What should I do with that information? Every tongue is slightly rough. So, mentioning his especially leads me to believe that his tongue is rougher than others. But how rough, then? Like a cat’s? Like a cow’s? and how the hell did it get that way?], but the kiss was anything but languorous. Matt’s fingers slid into her hair as his searching tongue explored her mouth. The sensations were at once unexpected and familiar as breathing.
Her eyes sprang open and she pulled away. His laughing eyes were only inches away. [Well, it is quite hard to have the eyes, say two feet away from the face of a person, when you’re just kissing them, isn’t it? But maybe Matt’s a head contortionist and can do it. Who knows?]
“I couldn’t resist, sweetheart,” he said with a grin.
Still only half-awake, she found herself bundled into the Jeep and on her way up the dark highway once again towards Hanson’s Marina. But this time, the dark-eyed driver was no longer a stranger. He had kissed her and called her “sweetheart.” [So, if you want to accept candy from a stranger, but your mom’s told you not to, just let him kiss you and call you sweetheart. Because obviously, then he’s no longer a stranger.]
For a few brief moments, her troubles were forgotten. Her whole world had shrunk to Matt’s mouth on hers, to her racing pulse, and her heart swelling with an unfamiliar kind of joy.
Now, in the delicious closeness of the dark car, Reenie decided she wanted to experience that again. Soon. [At least she bought the condoms.]


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