In the Running (Dee Lloyd) – Chapter Nine

We’re still in the car on the way back, when we get some more info on Matt’s background.

On his visit home last spring, Bronwyn had taken him aside and set him straight on the situation at the marina. The arthritis in Pete’s hip was making it impossible for him to do the heavy work. Because he refused to admit it and hire the necessary extra help, they were starting to lose business. She told Matt plainly that it was his duty to come home to stay.
He was fed up with chasing dirty money through intricate electronic mazes for the Justice Department. He had enlisted full of idealism and dreams of adventure. However, he hadn’t been with the anti-terrorist squad long when the army discovered his talent with computers and immediately slotted him into a government agency that combated international terrorism by tracking the sources of their funding. [A lot of which came from the US anyway, I’m sure.]

Maura/Reenie sleeps next to him and coincidentally touches his leg.

Still asleep, she stretched and, as she did, one hand lightly grazed his thigh. Matt’s body stirred, too. [His reactions are like those of a sheltered 13 year old who sees the playboy magazine for the first time.]
The spontaneous combustion [Are you kidding me? Is he really on fire? Maybe he’s allergic to her?] that occurred at this woman’s touch was new to him. [I think that you can only combust spontaneously once, so no wonder there.]

But his thoughts soon turn again to the mystery sorrounding her. He really wants to know what’s wrong.

The next day, they start moving Maura/Reenie into the apartment and Pete back into the house. I’ll spare you the details of it. Just one thing, I’d like to point out.

She hadn’t many possessions to put her personal stamp on the apartment, but she’d hung the jeans and blouses she’d picked up in Manitowoc in the closet, arranged the women’s magazine and the paperback mysteries that were her only extravagances on the coffee table, and laid out her few toiletries and her new brush and comb on the bathroom counter. [Where’s the essential moisturiser?]

First: why have the books on the coffee table? Is there no shelf? Second: are magazines and books really extravagances? I mean, if she had like a gold rimmed champagne glass, ok. Some books and magazines?

Gold Rimmed Champagne GlassExtravagance: Yes Books and MagazinesExtravagance: No

But maybe I’m just utterly and completely spoiled.

Anyway,  things are settled on that front and Matt leaves the apartment he had been inspecting to help Pete with the phone fan out they promised Walt Ames to find Maura.
Bronwyn tells Maura/Reenie a bit more about Matt’s and Pete’s relationship and then asks Maura/Reenie if she really isn’t married. Obviously she has seen the burn scars on Matt after his spontaneous combustion. Maura/Reenie tells her that she isn’t and they head back to the house, too.

They talk a bit, then Bronwyn takes off to pick up her son, Tommy and Maura/Reenie fixes dinner. After dinner, Pete, Matt and her watch the news.

The news show Gladys Fitzpatrick giving an interview. She tells the journalist that Maura has called, telling her that she fears for her life. But that she, Gladys, believes that Maura is imagining things, probably suicidal and definitely on drugs.

After the interview:

“I think I’ll say goodnight,” Reenie said, rising stiffly.
He [Matt] didn’t argue but simply handed her jacket to her and put on his own. She looked so pale and tired Matt would have picked her up bodily [how else would he pick her up? Mentally?] and carried her to her bed if he thought she’d allow it.

Matt still doesn’t connect the dots between Maura’s disappearance and Reenie’s weird behaviour, though.
He walks her to the apartment and wants to ask her some questions, but thinks better of it and just says goodnight.

When he comes back to the house, Pete’s on the computer and he decides to get some paperwork done. Just as he calls it a day, Pete finishes and they decide to grab a couple of beers and watch the news again. [Ok, I’m all for watching the news and educating yourself, but watching the news twice on one day when there’s obviously nothing more important on than the disappearance of some rich girl might be a little too much. Don’t you have anything else to do?]

He [Matt] watched the news with only a small fraction of his mind on it. Pete was right. He had to get to the bottom of Reenie’s problems with her ex-fiancé. As Pete said, somehow he had to make her tell him about it. [If he learned something in the service, then he knows how to do it. I suggest water and darkness.]
He was snapped out of his reverie by an image on the screen. Film clips of the lovely blond socialite at various events had augmented the replay of Gladys Fitzpatrick’s plea. There was a shot of Maura at Jon Casen’s side at the opening of the opera season at Ann Arbor, and one at a Good Earth League fundraising dinner. The picture that shot him out of his chair, however, was of Maura Fitzpatrick working as a volunteer at a soup kitchen in Detroit. She was stirring a huge pot and blowing an errant strand of hair out of her eyes. He had seen that same gesture and those same eyes in the kitchen of this house! [FINALLY!!! I thought you’d never get it…]
“What’s the matter?” Pete asked.
“Just stretching,” [ROFL] Matt answered, trying to cover his reaction to the revelation that everything he thought he knew about Reenie Kelly was a lie. [That’s a bit melodramatic, isn’t it? The only thing you have known about her, and you’ve only known her for four days, is that she’s in trouble and that she knows how to cook. Those things still apply. To quote Shakespeare: What’s in a name?]

Matt goes to his room and he’s fuming.

The instincts he’d relied on for years had led him to believe her. Instincts! He’d been thinking with his gonads! [LOL. That’s one way to put it. And it’s still G-rated. Great!]

Matt decides to go to her apartment when Pete’s asleep and confront her.

Unaware that she had already run out of time, Maura sat curled in a large armchair in the cavernous, warm living room of the apartment over the marina shop shivering [if it’s so warm, why is she shivering?] and trying to read. Her perverse mind would not allow her to escape into her book for even a minute. She figured she was safe for a few hours, maybe even days, but someone was sure to recognize her soon. When they did, who would believe her story? [What’s so perverse about that thought?]

She decides to tell Matt the whole truth and show him the pictures and the faked invoices to prove her story.

Suddenly, someone bangs on her door. Maura/Reenie thinks it’s Jon but is relieved to hear that it’s Matt calling out to her.

She was actually sliding it [the door] open as Matt roared, “Right now, Maura!”
He knew who she was.


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